You are old, you are retired, you are lonely, you are depressed, you are derailed, you want to get rid of alcohol addiction, drug addiction, porn addiction, you are bedridden or in jail – people will advise you to do some irrational stuff like reading holy books, praying to god etc. but rational people do not get so easily convinced with irrationality.
Now, non religious Alcoholics Anonymous meetings began. Isn’t it fantastic! Let’s see what happened to Glenn.
Glenn, a painter living in Manhattan, When he first went to an A.A. meeting 27 years ago, he found himself confronted by religious language and ritual that he considered anathema. Desperate to stop drinking, he tried to fit in.
“They had this fake-it-till-you-make-it attitude,” recalled Glenn, “This feeling that the religion will catch up with you. It worked in the sense that I got sober. But I got weary of it. It felt mindless.”
Soon after resuming A.A., though, he heard about a meeting designed for atheists. Though he found that group dogmatic in its own way — more concerned with criticizing religion than with reinforcing sobriety–he subsequently discovered a meeting for humanists and freethinkers.
In its “fellowship of concerned, loving people,” he said, he found a secular version of the “Higher Power” to which A.A. literature refers. Humanist A.A. groups also have drafted their own nontheistic versions of the 12 steps. Instead of needing divine assistance for recovery, for example, one step states that “we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity. By now, Glenn has sponsored seven humanists into A.A. He regularly attends three secular A.A. meetings each week.
People, sane or insane, can become addicted to different things. But secular or non-religious people do not require divine assistance for recovery. Ideas of rationalism and humanism are enough to encourage people in order to get rid of addiction and live life to the fullest, because we only get one life to live and obviously there is no afterlife!
I used to pick books from both sides while I was at the cross roads, not sure of the truth. Now more often than not I pick God delusion by RIchard Dawkins over SCience of self realization by prabhupada. I think the big realization comes from experience of being a human. It’s an enigma to me how the centuries of knowledge sharing focused on making what was already known as unreal and irrational into spiritual learning and drove billions into complete submission. Like your article like millions do. Keep going.
Good idea. It will join such nonreligious alternatives as Rational Recovery and Secular Organizations for Sobriety.
BTW, I remember once imagining a 12-step program for recovering from trollishness, a program I called Trolls Anonymous. I turned the higher power into the Trolls Anonymous community, something I thought more appropriate than some deity.
C M Rajan says
To Taslima Nasreen…
Beware when you Write!
Ants may be there
on your writing table.
The crawling Ants won’t like
your writing of flying Birds.
They’ll bite your fingers to death.
There will be Bugs big
in your writing seat.
They won’t let you be at ease
if you write
of oppression or suppression.
Watch also your Ink!
If it reveals like magic
What’s hidden and gone
the ghosts of the pasts won’t let you be.
Beware of your Pen!
If it is sharper than the Sword
you’ll be called a reactionary.
If it is in your hands
please don’t write.
If you want to write
write only what’s nice.
C M Rajan.