Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby JeffR » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:37 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Another thought occured to me. There are character defects displayed by most addicts and any recovery strategy needs to address those as well as the actual substance addiction.


This is were I feel the eightfold path trumps AA and any other clinical or spiritual approach. I don't know of anyone who has been to AA, with or without success, who has been asked to address the underlying issues which led to the addiction.

m0rl0ck wrote:Most alcoholics before getting into recovery make multiple attempts to control or stop drinking and cant.


I don't think this can be researched; lots of people quit without "treatment", how do you count them?
M0rl0ck's definition of an alcoholic being someone who can't quit makes some sense but doesn't cover all addicts. Long ago I had a friend who was addicted to more than alcohol, the alcohol and drugs controlled him, not the other way around. His addiction ruined our friendship. He was able to quit without treatment and spent several years seeking various spiritual paths to get him through and did get a life eventually. Along with the process of seeking spiritual paths, to my knowledge he did deal with the underlying issues that led to his addiction; I had at least one heart to heart with him on that topic.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:43 pm

link fixed
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:48 pm

Hi m0rl0ck
m0rl0ck wrote:...if you can control your consumption of a substance, you are, by definition, not addicted to it. Addiction is about denial and continued use despite consequences up to and including death....

Another thought occured to me. There are character defects displayed by most addicts and any recovery strategy needs to address those as well as the actual substance addiction.

Your'e right that control implies not being addicted, but that's more to my point--"once an alcholic always an alcholic" is not supported by the current evidence nor is it compatible with Buddhist practice. Please elaborate what you mean "defintion." Which definition of addction are you going by? Do you believe there's only one definition? Plese also specify how you know "most" addict need to address their "character defects" and explain exactly what you mean by "character defects."

Control can be acquired. I could be mistakken, but addicts are not powerless, don't have a disease, don't need (but might be helped) by the 12 Steps and the groups they accompany to acquire said control.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:53 pm

Hi mirco,
mirco wrote:@ m0rl0ck: here

:rofl:

"Three Minute Therapy".

Maybe it takes three minutes to get the wallet out of the pocket to cure the author's chronically being broke.

You're right that therapists aren't the richest people around, but I don't see how monetary status and financial achievment are relevant. Correct if I'm wrong, but this seems ad hominem. Could you be more spefific by what you mean by this? I might be wrong, but I doubt you know anything about the author's financials. In the case of AA, the financial incentives of that organization and its founders are well documented. Perhaps I'm in error, but I suspect AA would cease to exist if these monetary incentives were not involved.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:25 pm

Id like to refer any further questions to the dictionary for a definition of addiction and to the Big Book of AA for other questions. Good luck :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:57 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi m0rl0ck
but that's more to my point--"once an alcholic always an alcholic" is not supported by the current evidence nor is it compatible with Buddhist practice.

Control can be acquired. I could be mistakken, but addicts are not powerless, don't have a disease
dL


If you are an alcoholic or addict that is extremely dangerous thinking. If you have had problems controlling your drinking in the past i urge you to go to a meeting or talk to your sponsor before you take a next drink.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby Justsit » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:14 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi m0rl0ck
but that's more to my point--"once an alcholic always an alcholic" is not supported by the current evidence nor is it compatible with Buddhist practice.

Control can be acquired. I could be mistakken, but addicts are not powerless, don't have a disease
dL


If you are an alcoholic or addict that is extremely dangerous thinking. If you have had problems controlling your drinking in the past i urge you to go to a meeting or talk to your sponsor before you take a next drink.

This.
29 years sobriety Aug. 24.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:33 pm

Justsit wrote:This.
29 years sobriety Aug. 24.

:clap:
22 for me Oct. 2nd :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby bodom » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:50 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Justsit wrote:This.
29 years sobriety Aug. 24.

:clap:
22 for me Oct. 2nd :)


I am so grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous and the amazing people who make up the fellowship. They and the program have helped to saved my life.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:59 pm

JeffR wrote:
I don't know of anyone who has been to AA, with or without success, who has been asked to address the underlying issues which led to the addiction.




That has not been my experience, the steps and the fellowship itself address the habits of thinking and character that go with addiction.
Also i was not aware that the eightfold path and the 12 steps were in some kind of competition so that one had to necessarily "trump" the other. AA and buddhism seem to co-exist fine with me, i guess im just not thinking hard enough :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby Justsit » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:11 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Justsit wrote:This.
29 years sobriety Aug. 24.

:clap:
22 for me Oct. 2nd :)

Congratulations! :thumbsup:
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:40 am

Hi m0rl0ck,
m0rl0ck wrote:Id like to refer any further questions to the dictionary for a definition of addiction and to the Big Book of AA for other questions. Good luck :)

I agree that dictionaries can be helfpul in certain situations, but it depends on the circumstances and which dictionary is used. Doesn't saying "the" dictionary imply all dictionaries (and definitions) are equal? That seems irrational to me. I might be wrong, but dictionaries are not ultimate sources of authority. And I agree that there is some useful information in the Big Book, but it is afteral just a compendium of opinions--just one narrow and dogmatic take on addiction.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:54 am

Hi m0rl0ck
m0rl0ck wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi m0rl0ck
but that's more to my point--"once an alcholic always an alcholic" is not supported by the current evidence nor is it compatible with Buddhist practice.

Control can be acquired. I could be mistakken, but addicts are not powerless, don't have a disease
dL


If you are an alcoholic or addict that is extremely dangerous thinking. If you have had problems controlling your drinking in the past i urge you to go to a meeting or talk to your sponsor before you take a next drink.

You're right that past behavior can be predictors of future problems. But how exactly is this dangerous "thinking." The research suggests that the real danger is in labelling oneself an "alcoholic" or "addict." Perhaps I'm in error, but I subscribe to the REBT notion that just because something once strongly affected our life does not mean it should indefinitely affect it. The Buddha's teachings on karma imply the correlative the disputation of this thinking error. We can learn from our past experiences but not be overly-attached to or prejudiced by them.

I agree that having others to talk to and having a "support group" can be beneficial, but why, specifically, do you think it absolutetly must be a "sponsor" in AA? Maybe I'm mistinterpreting you, but I agree with another REBT principle, which also reflect the Buddha's teachings on self-reliance, that we absolutely need something other or stronger or greater than ourself on which to rely. Maybe I misunderstand, but AA and "sponsors" seem like a mere "transference addiction" where one relies on another, a group, and its dogmas. As REBT and the Buddha,teaches, it is better to take the risks of thinking and acting less dependently.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:11 am

Hi bodm, m0rl0ck and Justsit,

I agree that the experience of some people in AA is valuable and that time sober is somewhat important and can help some people at some times. But self-appointing one an expert based upon mere experience or time sober can be misleading, especially to the extent that it ignores other differing experiences and rigidifies people against research that contradicts AA principles like powerlessness, surrender, the Rock Bottom myth, the "higher power" principle, the addiction-is-a-disease myth, sponsorship/meetings and "working the steps" as a necessity/only way to do it,the once an alcoholic or addict one is always so myth, etc.... How precisely do you think mere experience and chip accumulation qualify one to speak with final authority on the topic of addiction? I might be wrong, but this seems extremely dogmatic, inflexible, and rigid--just the type of cult-like mentality and just the kind of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors inimical to recovery.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby Justsit » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:24 am

AA and the people in it claim no authority.
It's a program to help people get sober.
If it works for you, great. It has worked for millions.
If it doesn't, that's OK, too. Hopefully something else will.

No cult, just people helping each other get sober.

If you have a problem with it, just walk away.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby bodom » Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:52 am

Justsit wrote:AA and the people in it claim no authority.
It's a program to help people get sober.
If it works for you, great. It has worked for millions.
If it doesn't, that's OK, too. Hopefully something else will.

No cult, just people helping each other get sober.

If you have a problem with it, just walk away.


Thank you. I am not understanding this apparent crusade against AA.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:38 am

Justsit wrote:AA and the people in it claim no authority.
It's a program to help people get sober.
If it works for you, great. It has worked for millions.
If it doesn't, that's OK, too. Hopefully something else will.

No cult, just people helping each other get sober.

If you have a problem with it, just walk away.
Just as one can walk away from this thread.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby JeffR » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:48 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
JeffR wrote:
I don't know of anyone who has been to AA, with or without success, who has been asked to address the underlying issues which led to the addiction.




That has not been my experience, the steps and the fellowship itself address the habits of thinking and character that go with addiction.
Also i was not aware that the eightfold path and the 12 steps were in some kind of competition so that one had to necessarily "trump" the other. AA and buddhism seem to co-exist fine with me, i guess im just not thinking hard enough :)

I never implied AA and the eightfold path were in competition. I'm aware AA works great; for 20-25% of those who seek it for assistance. What I wrote is that the eight fold path trumps AA.

It tires me the way those that have had success with AA push it as the ONLY way to deal with addiction, even though it has a 75-80% failure rate. It's at least as irritating as evangelicals pushing their religion as the ONLY way to live, breath and die.

If AA worked for you, GREAT. But it is clearly not the end all, nor for all.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:40 am

Hi Justsit,
Justsit wrote:AA and the people in it claim no authority.
It's a program to help people get sober.
If it works for you, great. It has worked for millions.
If it doesn't, that's OK, too. Hopefully something else will.

No cult, just people helping each other get sober.

If you have a problem with it, just walk away.

I agree that AA helps some people some of the time (about 6%; see the citation at the beginning of my blog). I do not believe nor did I say AA is a cult but rather that it fosters a cult-like mentality. What exactly makes you think it has worked for millions? I could be overlooking something, but I've not encountered even one study that indicates this. Perhaps I'm missing something? Would you please provide some evidence to support this claim?
Kindly,
dl
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:44 am

Hi bodom,
bodom wrote:I am not understanding this apparent crusade against AA.

I agree that what you are experiencing is a misunderstanding based on appearances. But this is not a "crusade." It is my observation of current evidence. Would you mind specifying what exaclty makes you think it's a "crusade"?
Kindly,
dL
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