Jamie Moon talks open-mindedness as a part of the 12 steps.The first of the two principles we have found in the practice of Step Two in our daily lives. The dictionary says, Open-Mindedness is being able to have a mind that is, receptive to new ideas or arguments. It is being unprejudiced; unbigoted; impartial. Now this is something that is hard to do. I know that accepting the idea that idea that I as an Alcoholic, for example, was the same as as accepting the idea that I was a binge eater. To me it was totally unbelievable. However, I was wrong. How could I not see that getting up in the middle of the night and eating a whole cake or tub of ice cream was no different than waking up and finishing off a bottle of booze?
The ego-mind wants to know stuff. Its whole existence is wrapped up in gathering information to prove its worth. Having an open-mind is for me to know that everything that I have been writing about over the past few months could be wrong. Today I don’t think so but I am willing to change what I believe to be so. Open-Mindedness I believe is not believing that the only information that should be discussed in a meeting is the specific addiction/obsession that that particular program was designed to help.
But, what do I know I could be full of it. However, all I know is that in the beginning of AA for example, there were all kinds of material talked about. Scriptures from the Bible, psychology books such as The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James for example. But today (at least in my experience where I live) you dare not mention what you’ve learned from other books no matter which Program. In fact that is the way a lot of the programs started was because they were banded from speaking about the material they were using. And certainly you don’t dare mention your current addiction/obsession in the wrong meeting. In fact some meetings say in their preamble before the meeting starts please keep your sharing about blank (which ever meeting you are in). I don’t know but if? Our addiction/obsession is truly NOT the problem but a mistaken answer for the problem then why are we talking about any of the addictions/obsessions at any of the meetings. I know, I know for the newcomer, but are all the meetings for the newcomer? If that be true and that is certainly one interpretation of Tradition Five then what about the old timer who “still suffers?” Why are they, not considered in that tradition?
In the 40 years I have been around these many programs, I’ve been to many of them and I have learned things that I wouldn’t have had I staying in my “primary.” I’m sure all this is perfect although it all seems a little fragmented. Too often the new program speaks a lot about the addiction/obsession; there many tools are great though not talked about enough. I do seem to get off on one, though don’t I? However I do think this all applies to Open-Mindedness. I really just want to point out many subtle ways that we become closed-minded; prejudiced; bigoted, partial. May you and I keep an open-mind.
To learn more about Jamie, check out his website at www.hpretreats.com