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

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

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

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:07 am

Fom Gary Greenburg’s The Noble Lie: When Scientists Give the Right Answers for the Wrong Reasons (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: 2008)

The process of launching a diagnosis in order to launch its cure...has a name--disease mongering--bestowed by the same media that monger the diseases. It is a predictable, if perverse, outcome of a health-care system that bestows enormous rewards on drug makers, doctors, hospitals, and universities, but only for treating specific diseases. Disease mongering is...the bastard offspring of the marriage between science and the free market, which we trust to be almost as neutral as science in its determinations. Science names our maladies as diseases, and the free market provides the cures. Some of our most venerable diseases are the handiwork of public relations experts.

Before the Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol ran his article “Alcohol and Public Opinion,” Dwight Anderson had never written for a scientific journal. He was a marketing man, the chairman of the board of the National Association of Publicity Directors. Unlikely as it seems, however, Anderson’s article played a seminal role in creating the disease we now call substance dependence. It was 1942, Prohibition was less than a decade gone, and doctors everywhere were dismayed by the failure of their profession to find effective treatments for what at the time was still called inebriety. They were even more dismayed at their difficulty in attracting public attention to the need for medical research into the problem…. Some of these doctors formed the Reasearch Council on Problems of Alcohol to figure out how to get recognition as the go-to guys for alcohol problems, and they turned to Anderson for some advice. A recovered alcoholic, he rendered a quick diagnosis: the doctors had failed to make sufficient hay of the idea that chronic drunkenness was actually a physical disease. In his article, Anderson laid out the case for the diagnosis:

"What are the ideas of the least common denominator concerning alcohol which can be most easily established…? The first is that the 'alcoholic’ is a sick man who is exceptionally reactive to alcohol…. Sickness implies the possibility of treatment. It also implies that, to some extent at least, the individual is not responsible for his condition. It further implies that it is worthwhile to try to help the sick one. Lastly, it follows from all this that the problem is a responsibility of the medical profession, of the constituted health authorities, and of the public in general…. When these ideas have been fully accepted by a large number of people...the 'yes response becomes automatic, uncritical, and on the emotional level...and only by this means can the required approvals be gained for changing existing situations, for the creation of new institutions, for the formation of groups to DO THINGS without which science remains inter."

Anderson proposed using the principles of modern marketing to solve the problem of chronic drunkenness: convince consumers that their suffering is related to a deficiency that only the client’s product can relieve. To judge from the subsequent success of the disease model of alcoholism, this was brilliant advice.

Anderson was hired to write his article by Elwin Morton Jellinek, a statistician who was preparing a monograph for the research council that it hoped would demonstrate the grave threat that inebriety posed to the public health. It’s not surprising that Jellinek turned to someone who had never before written a scientific treatise. His own life had prepared him to understand the limits of facts, to know when invention was necessary. Born in New York and raised in Budapest…, Jellinek was nearly fifty years old when he joined the nascent Research Council in 1939, and his only experience with alcohol to that point was whatever drinking he had done (and never said how much that was and tending to friends during their binges. He did have some academic experience--studies at Leipzig and Grenoble--and spoke or read twelve languages, but [did not hold] the master’s and doctoral degrees that he claimed Leipzig had awarded him, he never fully explained why he had disappeared from Budapest (where, according to his daughter, he did something related to foreign currency) and surfaced in Sierra Leone as business man with the name Nikita Hartmann, and he couldn’t quite account for his sudden move from there to Honduras or how he convince United Fruit that he could research plant biology for them. But when he left Central America, he landed a job--perhaps on the strength of his doctorate from the University of Tegucigalpa, which he had added to his resume and which also turned out to be bogues--at Worcester State Hospital as a statistician and an editor of a professional journal. When he went to work for the Research Council, it was explicitly for his editing skills, but it was his capacity to navigate the political and social landscape of drinking that ultimately served the organization (and Jellinek) best.

Six years after Prohibition was repealed, the tortured politics of wet and dry were still making coherent social policies about alcohol nearly impossible. Americans could not agree on just what kind of a problem inebriety was, and they never had…. Benjamin Rush--a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a doctor to the Continental Army, and a proponent of a constitutional guarantee of the right of medical freedom (lest health care become the entitlement of the rich)--announced in 1810 that “habitual drunkenness should be regarded not as a bad habit but as a disease...a palsy of the will….” Rush believed that abstinence was the best thing [because he thought] the problem was not spiritual but physical, not moral but medical, not a matter of right and wrong but of sickness. Alcohol, he argued, infected the soul, incapacitating the free will that all men in good health naturally possessed…. “Palsy of the will...” was in the body that was now the province of the doctors…[and] a public health problem...so grave, Rush thought, the the pathogen should be immediately banished. A century later, temperance groups, which claimed Rush as their founder, succeeded in fulfilling his dream of Prohibition.

The spectacular failure of Prohibition...forced mandatory abstinence into disrepute. The doctors at the Research Council, however, believed that abstinence was the only answer for the inebriate, and since 1935, they had at least two allies. Bill Wilson and Bob Smith…, [the founders of AA].

AA started small…, but Wilson and Smith had larger ambitions. They also face major obstacles to getting out the word that their was hope for chronic drunks. Not only did they favor abstinence, but they were an offshoot of the Oxford Group, an evangelical Protestant Organization (which eventually changed its name to Moral Re-Armament) that advocated “Four Absolutes: honesty, purity, selflessness and unbounded love. Its confessional prayer groups were the model for the AA meeting…, [a]n ascetic Christianity that favored abstinence. But then [they got an important break] when they met Sally Mann, a journalist who claimed to be the first woman who achieved sobriety through AA and who made it her life’s work to spread the AA gospel, met...Jellinek.

By then, Jellinek’s work at the Research Council had earned him the ultimate ticket to respectability: an appointment to Yale, where he joined the staff of the Laboratory of Applied Physiology in 1941 and became the managing editor of Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, two institutions that led the way in research and treatment of the new disease. And Mann was ready to spread the word about just what kind of disease inebriety was. It was all spelled out in chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous: “A Doctor’s Opinion,” written by William Silkworth, the physician who ran the upper-crust drunk take where Wilson had detoxed. In it, Silkworth brought Rush’s ideas into the twentieth century, opining the ineebriety was alcoholism, a word the doctors had previously used used to refer to the effects of chronic drunkenness, and drunkards were alcoholics, who had an “allergy” to alcohol and thus “cannot use liquor at all, for physiological reasons.” The fault, Silkworth said, was not in the bottle but in ourselves, at least in those selves unlucky enough to inhabit sick bodies. Alcoholism is the cause, rather than the effect, of inebriety, something over which the will had no control because it originated elsewhere; chronic drinking was the outcome of a “law of nature operating inexorably.” Alcoholism, in other words, was a disease in the most modern sense of the word, and modern man--that is to say rational man--will “accept the situation...and shape his policy accordingly” by abstaining from alcohol. And a rational society, Silkworth thought, will put alcoholics in the hand of the men with stethoscopes and give doctors the resources to find the best way to help patients achieve sobriety.

Silkworth’s disease and Mann’s tireless advocacy of it were exactly what the Research Council had ordered--a way to avoid the wet-dry culture war while still getting the message out about chronic drunkenness. By taking alcoholism entirely out of the moral realm and into the medical, the allergy model at a single stroke offered reassurance to all interest parties: alcoholics would get treatment in place of moral condemnation, drys could maintain that there was still something wrong with drinking (albeit only for some people), wets could argue that there was a place for alcohol in American life, clergy could still exhort (some) people toward (physician-assisted) abstinence and open their church basements to AA groups, and the newly reinvigorated brewing and distilling industries, which were pleased to help fund the the Research Councils research, could claim that science proved that alcohol didn’t kill people; alcoholism did.

Jellinek’s section of the laboratory eventually became Yale Center for Studies of Alcohol, which in turn started the Yale Summer School. In 1944, Jellinek helped Mann to start the National Education on Alcoholism in order to inform America of “two momentous discoveries”:

"FIRST, that alcoholism is a sickness, not a moral delinquency. SECOND, that when this is properly recognized the hitherto hopeless alcoholic can be completely rehabilitated."

Jellinek threw his Ivy League weight behind these ideas, Mann campaigned tirelessly on their behalf, and AA gathered members in their wake. By 1949, twelve state were sponsoring alcohol treatment programs, all of them run by graduates of Jellinek’s Yale Summer School and operating on the belief that alcoholism was a chronic disease for which AA attendance and lifelong abstinence were the treatment. Many more programs would follow. The “yes” response, as Anderson had predicted, was becoming automatic.

BUT THERE WAS ONE CATCH. The disease model may have been brilliant public relations, but it was not very good science... In what sense is alcoholism a disease? What exactly is wrong with people who can't control their drinking (other than the fact that they can't control their drinking)? What is the mechanism of this "allergy"? Jellineck struggled with these questions and found himself up against the triumphs of modern medicine. Smallpox, syphilis, diabetes: these and other signal discoveries had raised the bar for establishing a valid diagnosis. In each case, a single pathology--a virus, a spirochete, a malfunctioning pancreas--proved to be the underlying cause of illness and led to a cure: inoculation, antibiotics, insulin injections. To call something a disease was to imply that something physical would be discerned with a stethoscope or its modern equivalent and found responsible. But proponents of the allergy model abandoned it in 1952, and the pioneer neuroscientists of that decade failed to find the kind of biochemical indicators for alcoholism they the were finding for depression and schizophrenia. Nor did endocrinological or nutritional or cellular studies discern the kind of differences between alcoholics and the rest of the population that could definitively be called causes, rather than effects, of drinking. The disease model was turning out to good to be true.

By 1960, Jellinek had to acknowledge the difficulty when he spelled out his theory in The Disease Concept of Alcoholism. He defended the flaws in the concept by arguing that it was a mistake to insist on finding an underlying pathology before accepting that a particular condition was a disease. “The fact that doctors are not able to explain the nature of a condition does not constitute proof that it is not an illness,” he wrote. “There are many instances in the history of medicine of diseases whose nature was unknown for many years.” Absence of evidence, Jellinek claimed, was not evidence of absence, and not because future findings might finally turn up the pathogen, but because disease itself wasn’t really something in nature after all. “It comes to this,” he announced in italics, “a disease is what the medical profession recognizes as such.” It seemed that the physician’s authority to say which forms of suffering were diseases could be cut free from the science that justified it….

In 1965, the American Psychiatric Association voted to admit alcoholism to its nomenclature, and a year later, the American Medical Association followed suit. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism was founded in 1970. By 1973, all fifty states had programs to treat alcoholism, as did most hospitals, and insurance companies paid for inpatient treatment, nearly all of which was based on the allergy-abstinence model. Research dollars flowed, as scientists increasingly focused on what they saw as the disease mechanism that was central not only to alcoholism but to other drug problems, and eventually to behaviors like gambling and sex: addiction, the disabling of the will. And American increasingly came to see their compulsions, their difficulties in moderating no only their drug consumption but their eating, gambling, shopping, having sex, working--indeed nearly any activity--as symptoms of this new illness.

But while scientists have unveiled some of the genetic and neurochemical correlates of addiction and developed some drugs that help to block cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, no one has yet discovered the pathogen, the “law of nature operating inexorably,” that Silkworth thought lay behind addiction. Alcoholism, addiction, substance dependence--these terms perhaps sound more scientific than “inebriety” or “palsy of the will,” and present-day doctors can talk knowledgeably about dopamine metabolism and other mechanisms that Benjamin Rush may only have dreamed of, but the idea that there is something in the body that afflict certain peopl and renders them incapable of exercising their free will over alcohol remains just that--an idea, a fiction.

That hasn’t stopped the disease model from becoming the conventional wisdom about addiction, the reason the most of the $5.5 billion a year we spend on treating addiction goes to doctors and hospitals. Perhaps this is because its such a good idea, and in a way that neither Jellinek nor Anderson knew. The idea that addiction is an illness for which sobriety is the cure helps us to negotiate some of the vast confusions that have always haunted American life: our ambivalence about pleasure (especially drug-induced pleasure), for instancc, of the uncertainties about the limits of free-will and self-determination, a culture thrash that started before...Benjamin Rush and continues today. These questions threaten to emerge whenever we see a person in the throes of addiction; but with the disease model, we have a ready-made answer, on that has the imprimatur of science: addiction isn’t wrong, it’s sick; abstinence isn’t virtuous, it’s merely healthy, and then only for those with the affliction. And when you tell a person that he is drinking too much, you aren’t exercising a moral judgment. You’re simply telling him that he has a disease.

There can be no doubt that the disease model has helped millions of people. If a made-up disease can be of such immense value, then we must consider the possibility that the truth is not all it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps in the republic of medicine, the fiction that addiction is a disease is a noble lie….

The disease model...fits American society like a glove on a hand. It helps all of us, addicts or not, to understand ourselves ins ways that make living here easier; we don’t have to fight about about whether the addict is a sinner or what it means that free will can be subverted so easily….

The line between illness and health will always change with new knowledge and improved technology and even with shifting fashion…. Jellinek had it right: diseases are what the medical profession says they are.

There are better diseases and worse diseases…. But diagnoses will always be fashioned according to prevailing notions of the good life and the good person, of what kind of people we ought to be. To give suffering a scientific name is not to remove it from the hurly-burly of human history, much as we might wish…. There are no diseases in nature. The activist philosopher Peter Sedgwick has put this beautifully:

The fracture of a septuagenarian’s femur has, within the world of nature, no more significance than the snapping of an autumn leaf from it its twig; and the invasion of the human organism by cholera carries with it no more the stamp of “illness” than does the souring of milk by other forms of bacteria (“Illness--mental and otherwise,” Hastings Center Reports 1[3] [1973]: 30).

There’s plenty of suffering in the human world, but none of it matters until we give it a name. Once we’ve done that, we can put our doctors and the vast apparatus at their command to work to relieve it. To have a disease is to have claim on those resources which, enormous as they are, are still limited.
(pp. 10-23, 218)


Some pertinent references:

-AA's Own Stats Show Slow Demise
-Alcoholism: a disease of speculation
-Addiction: A Disorder of Choice
-Alcoholics Anonymous and the Disease Concept of Alcoholism
-Coming Clean: Overcoming Addiction Without Treatment
-Disease Concept of Alcoholism
-Diseasing of America: How we allowed recovery zealots and the treatment industry to convince us we are out of control. Peele, S. (1989, 1995). Lexington, MA/San Francisco: Lexington Books/Jossey-Bass.
-Documents concerning AA Web Site Inc.
-E. Morton Jellinek (author of The Disease Concept)
-"G.I. Heroin Addiction Epidemic in Vietnam,” New York Times, 5.16.71
-History of Alcoholics Anonymous
-Oral History Interviews with Substance Abuse Researchers
-Orange Papers (Re: AA’s financials)
-Remission From Drug Abuse Over a 25-Year Period: Patterns of Remission and Treatment Use
-Sociological Aspects of the Disease Model of Alcoholism
-The Fix: Solving the Nation's Drug Problem
-The Rebirth of the Disease Concept of Alcoholism in the 20th Century
-The William Griffith Wilson (Bill W.) Estate & Lois Burnham Wilson Estate
-Twelve Things That Alcoholics Anonymous Doesn't Want You to Know
-When AA Doesn't Work For You: Rational Steps to Quitting Alcohol by Albert Ellis
-Vietnam veterans' rapid recovery from heroin addiction: a fluke or normal expectation?
Last edited by danieLion on Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:15 am

danieLion wrote: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"?
Because it looks like a great deal of work going into making a point. And the question is, of course, why? What is it to you that someone opts for AA or some such way of doing things? Given the way you present your massive amount of information, it looks like there is some agenda driving the show.
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 chownah » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:38 am

Could the crusade be to find the truth?........and to eschew obfuscation?
chownah
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby mirco » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:19 pm

Dea Daniel,
danieLion wrote:Hi mirco,
mirco wrote:"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 specific 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

thank you for the reminder. Maybe I was a bit quick on that plus I wasn't sober emotionally. On this theme, I tend to take things personally, since it feels like the A-meetings saved my live.

I do not blame the author anymore. He is doing what he thinks is best. If it works out for him, fine. If his method works out for any of his followers, fine.

Only The Buddha discovered universal laws for personality development.
Any other methods are fitting in there.

:anjali:
I get what I give
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby mirco » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:25 pm

danieLion wrote: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?

there are no reliable statics at all about the de facto functionality of NA/AA.

:shrug:
I get what I give
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:29 pm

chownah wrote:Could the crusade be to find the truth?........and to eschew obfuscation?
chownah
I think the "truth" has already been found, and we are being told what it is, in no uncertain terms. Obfuscation? All the words, all the articles and studies, but very little actual humanity. What is at stake here are people's lives, but what is being offered -- and why? -- are facts, figurers, studies, and very little else when compared to the kitchen-sink level reality of coping with one's alcohol problem.
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 Justsit » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:45 pm

danieLion and JeffR,

No one in AA says that it is the ONLY way for everyone. Where do you get that idea??

It may, indeed, be the only way for some people, but there is no claim that it works for everyone, all the time.

So AA didn't work for you - no big deal. Go try something else.
Is someone trying to force you to go??
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby Dan74 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:51 pm

I have a good friend who is a recovering alcoholic and I've seen the addict's mind at work where suddenly all the past lapses are forgotten and the taboo against alcohol consumption appears as a horrible and unnecessary injustice against oneself. It doesn't take much to lapse at times like these and I really hope that people's resolve to stay sober is not undermined by this thread.
_/|\_
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon Sep 09, 2013 4:26 pm

Dan74 wrote:I have a good friend who is a recovering alcoholic and I've seen the addict's mind at work where suddenly all the past lapses are forgotten and the taboo against alcohol consumption appears as a horrible and unnecessary injustice against oneself. It doesn't take much to lapse at times like these and I really hope that people's resolve to stay sober is not undermined by this thread.

As do i.
AA worked for me and it works for alot of people. Thats why courts send drunk driving offenders to aa meetings.

Somebody should close this thread. It looks like to me that it serves little purpose except to give voice to denial and rationalization and seems to me to be doing more harm than good.
"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 mirco » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:55 pm

I second that.
I get what I give
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:41 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote: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"?
Because it looks like a great deal of work going into making a point. And the question is, of course, why? What is it to you that someone opts for AA or some such way of doing things? Given the way you present your massive amount of information, it looks like there is some agenda driving the show.

Hi Tilt,
I agree that the information can overwhelm, but there is no agenda beyond freedom from delusion and suffering.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
chownah wrote:Could the crusade be to find the truth?........and to eschew obfuscation?
chownah
I think the "truth" has already been found, and we are being told what it is, in no uncertain terms. Obfuscation? All the words, all the articles and studies, but very little actual humanity. What is at stake here are people's lives, but what is being offered -- and why? -- are facts, figurers, studies, and very little else when compared to the kitchen-sink level reality of coping with one's alcohol problem.

Hi Tilt and chownah,
You're right that I'm seeking for "truth" but I don't have a preconception about what it is. This is just my interpretation of the current evidence, which, when understood brings clarity, not obfuscation. Like I've repeatedly said, I might be wrong. I, however, find much humanity in the resources I've consulted, but more importantly with the people I know in recovery who utilize other approaches besided the 12 Step Model. This is all about "the kitchen-sink level of reality" for me, and I think it's a false dichotomy to say the research and that level are opposites.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:50 pm

Hi Justsit,
Justsit wrote:Is someone trying to force you to go??

No, but I have extensive personal experience with AA. Every meeting I've ever attended has been voluntary, and the same goes form the SMART Recovery meetings I now go to instead.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:58 pm

Hi Dan74,
Dan74 wrote:I have a good friend who is a recovering alcoholic and I've seen the addict's mind at work where suddenly all the past lapses are forgotten and the taboo against alcohol consumption appears as a horrible and unnecessary injustice against oneself. It doesn't take much to lapse at times like these and I really hope that people's resolve to stay sober is not undermined by this thread.

I agree that lapsing is sometimes hard to avoid, but I'm not encouraging it! To the contrary!! This information is provided to help people stick to their resolves. My commitment to living by the precepts is a huge part of my own resolve. However, I've personally found that this idea is much more compatible with SMART Recovery than the 12 Step Models. Ond of the reasons I disagree with the disease model is because I agree with the Buddha: sobriety is not just a medical issue; it's also a matter of virtue and freedom from delusion. I find the myths and fictions of the 12 Step Model to be conducive to delusion, and the principles of SMART Recovery compatible with non-delusion.

Here's some very helpful, humanizing and humanistic information about lapses and relapses and on why abstinence is important:
Abstinence Vs. Moderation
Stopping a Slip From Becoming a Relapse
Backward Steps to Addictive Behavior
Relapse Prevention: Activities you may enjoy
How to Get Self-Control
Principles and Practices of REBT and SMART Recovery
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:13 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi Justsit,
Justsit wrote:Is someone trying to force you to go??

No, but I have extensive personal experience with AA. Every meeting I've ever attended has been voluntary, and the same goes form the SMART Recovery meetings I now go to instead.
Kindly,
dL
The problem is in how you are coming across here. The inundating the tread with long quotes, tons of links, and beating up AA, as we can see, is not necessarily working in you favor. You have yet to put a human face on what you are advocating. Rather than beating up AA, it would have been far more meaningful to simply talk about, in very direct human terms, how the alternative that you are advocating works and what it has to offer, more or less ignoring AA altogether.
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 danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:16 pm

Hi m0rl0ck
m0rl0ck wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I have a good friend who is a recovering alcoholic and I've seen the addict's mind at work where suddenly all the past lapses are forgotten and the taboo against alcohol consumption appears as a horrible and unnecessary injustice against oneself. It doesn't take much to lapse at times like these and I really hope that people's resolve to stay sober is not undermined by this thread.

As do i.
AA worked for me and it works for alot of people. Thats why courts send drunk driving offenders to aa meetings.

Somebody should close this thread. It looks like to me that it serves little purpose except to give voice to denial and rationalization and seems to me to be doing more harm than good.

I'm into SMART Recovery because it fosters non-delusion and virtue (see above), the opposite of denial and rationalization.
Not all courts think AA's a good idea:
Court Cases and Mandated 12-Step Attendance
A.A. and Religion: The courts get the point
http://ffrf.org/faq/state-church/item/14012-court-ordered-participation-in-aa
"It's Spiritual, Not Religious"
Kindly
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:21 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi Justsit,
Justsit wrote:Is someone trying to force you to go??

No, but I have extensive personal experience with AA. Every meeting I've ever attended has been voluntary, and the same goes form the SMART Recovery meetings I now go to instead.
Kindly,
dL
The problem is in how you are coming across here. The inundating the tread with long quotes, tons of links, and beating up AA, as we can see, is not necessarily working in you favor. You have yet to put a human face on what you are advocating. Rather than beating up AA, it would have been far more meaningful to simply talk about, in very direct human terms, how the alternative that you are advocating works and what it has to offer, more or less ignoring AA altogether.

Hi Tilt,
I find what I'm doing here very humanizing and humanistic. I can't control other people's perceptions, and I'm not sure what you think I think "in my favor" is here (putting a "human face" on anything digital is rather difficult)? I'm not ignoring AA at all and the links I've recently provided here explicate well, and in humanizing and humanistic terms, how this particular (not "the) alternative works and what it has to offer.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:34 pm

danieLion wrote:I find what I'm doing here very humanizing and humanistic. I can't control other people's perceptions, and I'm not sure what you think I think "in my favor" is here (putting a "human face" on anything digital is rather difficult)? I'm not ignoring AA at all and the links I've recently provided here explicate well, and in humanizing and humanistic terms, how this particular (not "the) alternative works and what it has to offer.
Kindly,
dL
I am suggesting that you should have ignored AA. And, just for the record, what you do and how you do it, can have a lot to do with other people's perceptions. What you are coming across as lacking here, significantly, is empathy. Rather than links and links and links you might have done better to talk about what you are advocating in personal terms, with a very few considered links You have not done yourself any favors in this discussion. Nothing more I need to say here.
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 Justsit » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:43 pm

danieLion wrote:Hi,
Since I don't want people to think I'm engagind in an ad hominem attack on bodom's fine topic
Buddhism and the 12 Step Model of Recovery, I decided to create a new topic to critize the article he posted about their called 9 Essays: Buddhism & the 12 Step Model of Recovery. I've done so in the form of a blog post:

http://inthelion.blogspot.com/2013/09/t ... sm-12.html

I hope you like it; or, if you don't, I hope it at least helps you think more critically about this important issue.
Kindly,
dL

As Tilt suggested, perhaps you might have named your thread, "How SMART recovery works for me" or some such, and avoided the direct confrontational approach, as evidenced by the bolded area in your initial post( bold mine).

Language has such nuance, and it often doesn't translate on screen.
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Re: Problems with "9 Essays: Buddhism & The 12 Steps"

Postby danieLion » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:22 pm

Hi Tilt and Justsit,
tiltbillings wrote:
danieLion wrote:I find what I'm doing here very humanizing and humanistic. I can't control other people's perceptions, and I'm not sure what you think I think "in my favor" is here (putting a "human face" on anything digital is rather difficult)? I'm not ignoring AA at all and the links I've recently provided here explicate well, and in humanizing and humanistic terms, how this particular (not "the) alternative works and what it has to offer.
Kindly,
dL
I am suggesting that you should have ignored AA. And, just for the record, what you do and how you do it, can have a lot to do with other people's perceptions. What you are coming across as lacking here, significantly, is empathy. Rather than links and links and links you might have done better to talk about what you are advocating in personal terms, with a very few considered links You have not done yourself any favors in this discussion. Nothing more I need to say here.

--
Justsit wrote:
danieLion wrote:Hi,
Since I don't want people to think I'm engagind in an ad hominem attack on bodom's fine topic
Buddhism and the 12 Step Model of Recovery, I decided to create a new topic to critize the article he posted about their called 9 Essays: Buddhism & the 12 Step Model of Recovery. I've done so in the form of a blog post:

http://inthelion.blogspot.com/2013/09/t ... sm-12.html

I hope you like it; or, if you don't, I hope it at least helps you think more critically about this important issue.
Kindly,
dL

As Tilt suggested, perhaps you might have named your thread, "How SMART recovery works for me" or some such, and avoided the direct confrontational approach, as evidenced by the bolded area in your initial post( bold mine).

Language has such nuance, and it often doesn't translate on screen.


Tilt: I see what you're saying. I agree that my behavior can influence (but not control) the perceptions of others. Nonetheless, I'm not responsible for their perceptions. To think that, I'd have to assume the validity of the irrational belief that, as Albert Ellis (echoing the Buddha) put it, human misery is invariably caused and is forced on us by outside people and events instead of the rational belief that our disturbances are largely caused by the VIEW that we take of unfortunate conditions. I can also see what you mean by saying that my presentation indicates a lack of empathy and that this is at odds with my goal, which is to educate. Thank you for pointing that out. I do take exception with the idea that I should have ignored AA because (1) I'd be musterbating (as Ellis would) say if I were to believe that and (2) it's hard to ignore what was once a big part of my life and still has a deep impact on me. However, I'll reflect on this, as I respect you immensely and value your judgment and wisdom.

I somewhat anticipated something like this misunderstanding of my behavior as de-humanizing and/or un-empathetic, so right after my initial post more than a week ago--long before the misperceptions and questionable accusations about my behavior and purposed arose--I started wrting a very personal and human account of my experiences leading up to and including my membership in AA titled, for now, "Faking It: My Story of Becoming a Born Again Christian in Alcoholics Anonymous." The problem is, there's nothing in it about Buddhism, so I don't know if it's even appropriate for Dhammawheel? Do you think it'd be okay to post a link to it's installments in this thread when they're ready? It goes to humanization, but not much to Buddhism. :thinking: :juggling:

I don't know when it'll be ready and I do not see myself having time for any more blogging or foruming for at least a week, maybe more. Perhaps the time away will give me some ideas?

Justsit:
Yes, perhaps that would've been better. It alos would've have been better if I'd not used the word "criticize." My primary intention and main aim is to educate, to which confrontation, in retrospect, would better have served as a subsidiary role. I absolutely agree with you about language online. I still have a lot to work on in that regard. But I've got in trouble here for deleting stuff before, so I'll just leave it as it is.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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