Jamie Moon talks about the 25 principles to practice in our everyday lives.Let’s begin with the Principle of Defeat. Exactly what is defeated? As asked earlier, how do we use this principle to combat our many addictions? And, why are the words Principle and Defeat capitalized? Beginning with the last question first. I capitalize Principle because I feel that these Principles are spiritual Laws to live by. Why? Because a spiritual Law is something that when practiced has a quantifiable result in one’s life. Now Defeat may not seem to be something that would be anything like spiritual. But once we look at what is defeated it becomes clearer.
We begin the first Step in a state of hopelessness that Bill W. said was absolutely necessary to one’s success in the Program. So we are defeated. The ego screams that we can do this on our own. And it is the ego that needs to be defeated; we need to become conscious enough to know that we cannot do this on our own. We need others help. Now many of us are willing to concede this and get a sponsor. But we also don’t realize what a vital and mature relationship this needs to be. Some of us think a sponsor is someone to call and bellyache to and to some extent that is true. I certainly did for many years. However it is always the ego that is complaining. The sponsor’s job is to lead you back to the solution found within the Twelve Steps.
Is having a sponsor enough? I don’t think so. I tell anyone that I sponsor, “Do not depend on me and me alone for your sobriety (from whatever addiction they have). There will always be the time when I will fail you. So, I suggest that you have a minimum of five people that are diligently working the Program and will not just be a ‘misery buddy.’” Now there response varies but the ones that actually do it always have someplace to turn for help. I and any sponsor is fallible and should not be your only port of call. Again I have drifted off into another conversation. I do that. Defeat as a Principle to live by. When the ego mind is operating it has nothing but old ideas to call on. We have fallen unconscious and are operating solely on faulty ideas. Are all of them faulty? No, but most are tainted by childish decisions we made as a child. Everything is filtered through these ideas.
So, how is this knowledge helping us on the “road of happy destiny?” Most of us have lived on will power. Which I believe is faulty power in spiritual affairs. My “will power” is nearly always based on willfulness. I think, “I can do this. Now that I understand I can handle this.” Well I’ll tell you that never ended up well. I believe we must understand that the word we in the first Step is understood in each and every Step. Our belief in separation—our desire and belief that we should be able to stand alone on our own two feet without support—is where we need Defeat as a life Principle. It is the defeat of I alone and replaced with We. We is our first movement toward a spiritual life.
To learn more about Jamie or his ideas on the 12 steps, check out his webpage at http://hpretreats.wordpress.com/