Author Topic: AA as a Miracle Cure  (Read 1007 times)

Offline Baruch

Re: AA as a Miracle Cure
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2019, 06:29:04 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Don't know how it is in America for sure.
But we once had an AA-speaker come over to work to explain his organisation. Before the talk I told my colleagues, 'watch it, they are a bit cult-y'. They didn't believe me.
Dude spent 45 minutes of his allotted half hour rambling on in a confused manner and expressing at least 100 times how they were not a cult.
My colleagues told me I was right, afterwards.

But anything religious is distrusted in the EU.  It is part of 200+ doubling down on the French Revolution.  The US has a completely different revolutionary tradition, that doesn't have the "peasant revolt" aspect of European history.
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Offline Mr.Obvious

  • Atheist Mantis
  • Jacuzzi Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3438
  • Total likes: 1970
  • The rules are made up, and the points don't matter
Re: AA as a Miracle Cure
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2019, 06:54:56 PM »
Not everything, though most of my colleagues also seem to be atheist.

Church is still pretty big here too. My sister works for a religious charity organization.

She's atheist too, I think, but hey, what are you going to do.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Offline Baruch

Re: AA as a Miracle Cure
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 07:00:22 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Not everything, though most of my colleagues also seem to be atheist.

Church is still pretty big here too. My sister works for a religious charity organization.

She's atheist too, I think, but hey, what are you going to do.

Since King Clovis, there have been "no true Christians" in Europe anyway, even if there were "true Scotsmen" in Scotland.  Y'all might as well revert to hallucinogenic mushroom driven Viking berzerkers.

Christian refugees in colonial America were a potential new start.  And it has worked out better here than in Europe.  I am being sympathetic.  I am sorry for all the self inflicted Hell Europeans have done to themselves since my last relative managed to escape back in the 19th century.  A lot of nth cousins must have died prematurely in the last 150 years who stayed behind.
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Re: AA as a Miracle Cure
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2020, 01:39:56 AM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
The other thread on Lourdes sparked something in my mind that I have never articulated to myself before.  In AA's Big Book, Bill Wilson says, "You may be the type of alcoholic that can only be cured by a spiritual experience."  ...

Actually, there might be something to this. There is ongoing and promising research on the efficacy of hallucinogens in treating addictions. Basically the "spiritual" experience induced by psychedelics has measurable therapeutic value.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

... Of 536 participants in six trials, 59% of people receiving LSD reported lower levels of alcohol misuse, compared to 38% of people who received a placebo. “We were surprised that the effect was so clear and consistent,” says Krebs. She says that the problem with most studies done at that time was that there were too few participants, which limited statistical power. “But when you combine the data in a meta-analysis, we have more than 500 patients and there is definitely an effect,” she says. In general, the reported benefits lasted three to six months. Their findings are published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. ...
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Offline SGOS

Re: AA as a Miracle Cure
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2020, 11:39:54 AM »
Hey gymrat,  It's good to see you.  I've wondered where you had gone, and hope all is well.

I read a book I found in the College Bookstore back in the early 70s called LSD Psychotherapy, and by that time as I recall, most of the studies had ended, and the conclusion was that there could be a benefit to using hallucinogens to treat emotional issues, but it was hit and miss, sometimes with unreasonably harsh side effects.  I understand the interest has been renewed mostly in regards to treating alcoholism, now 50 years later. I have read a couple of he current articles, just in the last month.

And the articles I've read, while optimistic, also point out the negative side effects.  I'm waiting to see if the FDA approves the use beyond clinical trials.  I spent a couple of years in college doing drugs daily, and have had experience with LSD and about every other thing you could buy on the street, and I could have told the researchers that it works, but of course I would have been considered just another unsupervised recreational user, but not with the authority of Timothy Leary.  And most junkies could have told the researchers the same thing.  There can be something in it, but be ready to lose a few subjects to the mental wards.

Using hallucinogenics to promote personal growth is the like dream interpretation on steroids.  There will be insights embedded in the chaotic nonsense of both, although for me dream analysis was more productive, and without the psychotic breaks.  These chemicals are powerful and unpredictable.  OK, researchers are there to supervise the experience, but like college kids often had a buddy there to "talk them down."  But those conditions can be the worst experiences of your life far worse than experiencing the grief of a loved one.  Benefits that last three to six months don't interest me.  Personal growth is for life.

But lets return to the issue of the spiritual experience claimed by Bill Wilson, and observed by both researchers and the junkies of my college days.  Yes they happen.  I've had two spiritual experiences in my teens, but long before I did drugs for those two years.  They were wonderfully euphoric, and I felt close to God.  It was unexpected and more euphoric than anything I had experienced before, and I could understand they can be life changing.  Later when going through counseling, I had the exact same experiences, but with no God involved, and like my "spiritual" experiences they were transient.  Euphoria is transient.

So the question is, and I think this is important, "What is a spiritual experience, and how is it any different than a profound insight in self growth?  Now most alcoholics, at least the ones who have gotten out of the trap, abide by the saying, "If it works to get you off the sauce, use it."  And I agree.  Alcoholism is not as bad as a psychotic break on drugs, but it's a close second, and there is truth in one of AAs favorite bumper stickers, "Are You Willing to Go to Any Lengths?"  Hell, I would have sought out God again, if I needed to, just to get sober.  But is God and/or spirituality the common thread in recovery/growth, or is it commitment?  Or is it something else?  I'm betting on commitment?  I've watched Bible Thumping alcoholics praise God for their sobriety, only to see many/most of them fail.  Those that commit to God and fail are only "half in."  They need to commit to sobriety.  There may be other issues too.

Bill Wilson got his start in a fundamentalist religion called the Oxford Group.  He couldn't have a bowel movement without involving God in it, so it's no surprise that he saw God as his salvation for everything from saving his eternal soul from a fiery Hell to curing his alcoholism, smoking, and womanizing, which continued to bother him deeply through his life.  He was an advocate of LSD as a path to God, and actually participated in some of those early experiments.

The reason my spiritual experiences in my high school years went nowhere was because I could not keep logic out of it.  I had no training in logic.  I simply kept looking for proof of God.  The experience of God was euphoric, but that's an emotion and not proof.  I had a vague idea of psychology and knew intuitively that beliefs do not a God make.  And this is what my first post was about.  Current research may find drugs useful in psychotherapy.  It may find spiritual experiences useful, just as it may find placebos to be useful.  Hopefully, the researchers are not looking for spiritual cures, just cures, because I don't believe they will ever find an actual God or spirituality.  Is walking in the woods and having a heart swelling sense of awe, spirituality?  Or is it just another manifestation of love?  I would rather not discuss spirituality without a clear definition of what that is.  And even then I may question the definition.

Re: AA as a Miracle Cure
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2020, 02:47:26 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Hey gymrat,  It's good to see you.  I've wondered where you had gone, and hope all is well.

All is well. I read a book on digital minimalism and decided to limit my time online. I reallocated the time I was spending online to reading more books and meditating. I even went on a 7-day, vegan, no reading, no talking, meditation retreat, which is by far the most hippie thing I have ever done.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Current research may find drugs useful in psychotherapy.  It may find spiritual experiences useful, just as it may find placebos to be useful.  Hopefully, the researchers are not looking for spiritual cures, just cures, because I don't believe they will ever find an actual God or spirituality.  Is walking in the woods and having a heart swelling sense of awe, spirituality?  Or is it just another manifestation of love?  I would rather not discuss spirituality without a clear definition of what that is.  And even then I may question the definition.

In terms of research, most of the studies I've read have focused on whether there is a measurable therapeutic effect, not why. Many people who have participated describe their experience as "spiritual" and one study did have a definition of this experience including loss of sense of self, visual perceptual changes and other conditions but I can't find the study. I have experienced awe regarding nature but I've never had what I consider a spiritual experience and I don't think I've experienced euphoria.
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Offline SGOS

Re: AA as a Miracle Cure
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2020, 05:12:28 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
All is well. I read a book on digital minimalism and decided to limit my time online. I reallocated the time I was spending online to reading more books and meditating. I even went on a 7-day, vegan, no reading, no talking, meditation retreat, which is by far the most hippie thing I have ever done.
I've actually limited my time on line recently.  I've found other things to waste my time on.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
In terms of research, most of the studies I've read have focused on whether there is a measurable therapeutic effect, not why. Many people who have participated describe their experience as "spiritual" and one study did have a definition of this experience including loss of sense of self, visual perceptual changes and other conditions but I can't find the study. I have experienced awe regarding nature but I've never had what I consider a spiritual experience and I don't think I've experienced euphoria.
The studies I've read about that's what I'm picking up by the data end of it.  Some articles sensationalize the studies, and make it sound like they are onto a new tool.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 05:14:33 PM by SGOS »

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk