Guest blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 62 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.
The experience of living in the Community and Fellowship of AA and its sister 12 Step programs leads us to see the miracle of Love in its purest form. We come to care for each other in an absolute sense, unconditionally, eschewing any form of quid pro quo. It is a spectacular experience, one of which many of us struggle to realize the full potential.
The human species, homo sapiens, craves community and companionship. We formed tribes from the earliest periods. There was/is a dark side to this; our tribal nature could also develop an us vs. them tendency when opinions or beliefs diverged. Hate so spawned became the antithesis of Love, but it seems to me that Love has always overcome hate even after the most ugly, longest running of human clashes. Over time, Love always prevails and, for many of us, the idea of a Higher Power is that of pure unconditional love. It seems to me to be the one Absolute.
I would endeavor to define Love as the deep, soulful, unconditional caring for another. Our Higher Power exhibits this kind of Love for us in getting us to this point in our lives and in endeavoring to help others join us.
Many of the mythic stories we have discussed have Love prevailing over crisis and chaos to return a hero to her or his natural state within her or his community. Odysseus is able to finally get home after the love of Athena, Calypso and Circe help him to overcome the scourge of the Trojan War. Dante is finally able to embrace the vision of God when Beatrice guides him through Paradiso. Even Don Quixote’s love for his fanciful Desdemona sustained him in his quest.
In our own experiences in our Fellowship, we come to realize that the love of the men and women in our own meeting structures transcend all other elements of who and what we are. We embrace everyone, even those with whom, in another setting, we might have had significant difficulty and differences of opinion on a host of matters. None of that counts for anything when it comes to our mutual commitment to each other’s spiritual health and well being.
It is so clear to me today, as I reflect on the majesty of this Fellowship, that we need to bring our own best capacity to love to each of our daily lives in order to become, and to remain, psychically and spiritually whole.