Request to readers who go to 12-step meetings.
I listened to a discussion on the Promises of the AA program in Oct 2020. More got revealed when I perceived the subject from an Autonomic Nervous System perspective. I recognized that the Promises manifested when the Autonomic System moved from an active Sympathetic Nervous System to activated Para Sympathetic Nervous System. See http://promises.peaceeaseuse.com for details.
Purpose of this web-page
The purpose of this webpage to explore the concept that the sucess of 12-step programs in lessening the impact of addictions is a result of 12 step methodology in activating the Para Sympathetic Nervous System.
What its like now.
Given that I have come to believe is that the Promises happen as a result we/I of moving from an active Sympathetic Nervous System (self-centered, ego) to a more active Parasympathetic Sympathetic Nervous system (serenity,connection, less anxiety etc).
This most probably happens if i/we live the steps. Each step can be seen as an act of ego reduction as it requires an act of humility. And if we/I act as if we/i are a little more humble we might slide into a more active Para Sympathetic Nervous system with its more peace, calm, connectedness anxiety etc. This might to reduce the desire to drink which , of course, tends to happen when I/we want to reduce our feeling of anger, fear, resentments etc. by drinking.
We Agnostics (BigBook p 44)
Humility occurred in the early days of AA as a result of its origins in the Oxford Group as members worshipped (became humble) in the Judeo Christian tradition. But then the term “as we understand Him” came in and members discovered that they could replace the Judeo Christian guys with anything they chose. In Lompoc, CA in in the 80’s it was a doorknob or a blue chair! Could it be that the important aspect of this collection of deities was that that you were meant to express humility in their direction. And was it the expression of humility that helped people activate their Para Sympathetic Nervous Systems.
Can you see gratitude as another form of humility?
“The Point Is
that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. perfection”. Big Book pp 60
So if you believe the idea that increasing the activity of youre Para Sympathetic Nervous System is the same thing as increasing your recovery, then you might be able to increase your recovery by taking other actions that increase your Para Sympathetic Nervous System.
Two suggestions are given in Step 11 the Big Book. Pracrise Prayer and Meditation (Big Book Pg, 86). And it is clear that Meditation activates the Sympathetic Nervous System as does Prayer.
There are many other ways of increasing the activity of the Para Sympathetic Nervous System.
I want to emphasize that understanding this process is unlikely to assist anyone in stopping drinking. Its only by taking the ACTION of working and living the 12 steps (or a similar process) that the transition to living more with an active Para Sympathetic Nervous System might happen.
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