Tag Archives: higher power


Been awhile. I still adore you. I’ve had to do some solitary work, some secretive soul searching. At this juncture, I have taken to drinking (a bit), I am working my way through the Bible (just started Numbers), I’m uncomfortable with my long-standing 12 step philosophy, I just got a fabulous bow rehair from Goering, and I built a rolling basketball system as a result of Cody starting in a mini basketball team.

My Bible reading and uncomfortableness with 12 stepping are interconnected, as you might have guessed. I have been struggling with a definition and/or verification of a higher power since I began my spiritual/religious journey, but every once in a while I have gotten a whiff of a feeling associated with my childhood religion. So it wasn’t completely forgotten, apparently. It is in there.

I’ve really been trying to find the meaning in the 12 step programs. I guess when you’re seriously striving to do that, you dig deeper and deeper into your spirituality, otherwise it seems you will continually reach an impasse within the steps. So I kind of went to the source, as it stands for me. It seems the words and the stories and the chronology of the Bible have resonated quite deeply. I even have tried out a Bible study group. But along the way, I attended a High Holy Day service (Yom Kippur, post- the Kol Nidre performance), and it struck a deep chord, so I may end up becoming willing to convert back to my original religious persuasion. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am still deeply rooted in an atheist’s mindset and philosophy. So I imagine my version of Judaism will be unique, incorporating personal quirks that allow me to remain true to myself. I guess this wasn’t meant to be easy for me.

I’m also suspecting that it may not be possible to be a believer and a non-believer simultaneously. I mean, it is possible, but it’s not productive. It keeps your spirituality stuck in second gear. Are atheists supposed to possess spirituality? There’s a continuum, between atheism and religious devotion. What if you want some of each? Are you asking for the having and the eating of the cake?

On a different note, playing the Beatles tribute tonight was pretty religious. In the sense of the religion they espoused – love, love, love; peace; incredible harmonies, tunes and musical manifestations; fellowship; friendship. It was rather cathartic given what transpired in our country this week. I wondered what the largely Trump-supporting audience gleaned from it. It certainly made me wish the fab four were still around spreading their philosophy. We could certainly use it. I think I will have to do whatever I can to encourage those sorts of ideas and sensibilities in my circles.


Not believing in some kind of a higher power is a vice in itself.
It is a defect of character.
As I just witnessed with Cody, a higher power gives one a starting point for developing curiosity and wonder. It is a springboard for conversations about big questions which may be hard to pinpoint exact answers to.
Nowadays steps about the higher power force one to address the question of the age – science vs religion.
Why is writing this down so awkward?
I think “should” is not such the dirty word it’s been made out to be. Maybe that’s why god is ok to use, too. God implies responsibility to something, something to answer to all the time. Someone, even.
Faith without works is dead. Like written music without performers is dead.
I was thinking that even with all the good reasons to follow the steps – they work, they’re good for the world – the idea of “should” cannot be ignored. Because I said so. You have to truly believe in the things that you “should” do, but in the end, some of it is just because I said so. You are free to vacillate back and forth between finding justification for it and doing it out of sheer duty. Maybe you need both.
It’s like my eternal question about bridging faith and work. Or bridging a lot of things. Eating well and exercising for example. Not one or the other. Not one in spite of the other’s absence. You vacillate. You don’t count one out.
I have a million zillion vices. Where would I begin? There’s the problem. Identifying the problem is a great exercise. Practicing the solution – that’s the great part. Problem / solution. Multi-tasking. Right? Don’t be afraid. Be afraid. Ha. Go for it. Be utterly cautious.
The solution lies out there. Somewhere, someday, someplace. Somehow. In the ether. In the future. Futurepark. I see it. I have seen it. In my dreams. I live in the bright light of that special glowing place. I have tasted it. Here. There.
The solution is….. looking at my vices in real time, as they say. Trusting that a life without them is a better one than with them.

Accept except

I see a lot of good things coming from a belief in a HP. But in contrast, there is also a greater pleasure experienced when I disobey Him. But I must not be deceived – the pleasures cannot become my focal point. I must keep the purer goals foremost in my actions. See how judgmental I get? So bossy. So quick to make proclamations that don’t leave me open to growth. They may seem like good proclamations, but they aren’t really mine to make.

It may be my mood. This morning. Maybe it’s alright to make good proclamations. I hear Cody talking, and it’s distracting me, making it difficult to stay in the mist of my traveling mind path.

I mean, how easy do I think it will be to do what I am suggesting, to not use my newfound purity as a means to get more out of the guiltier pleasures? Isn’t it one of those challenges I’ve been discussing of late? Challenges that seem to be present even for the most pious among us. I like the idea of being a part of the human race. Why don’t I? Is it because of the great public school system? The one mom was touting. I know I experienced a great freedom when I escaped from academia. I could learn on my own terms and experience the world likewise. Did I need protection prior to that? People approached their educations differently. Some gigged a lot, thus feeling the breeze of the outside world during their time in the educational system. She doesn’t always seem to appreciate the winding and treacherous road I’ve traveled to be even slightly happy.

The interesting thing is that so many of these questions seem to have answers found in a solid practice of faith. I understand it’s not logical. I understand. I understand pleasures of the concrete world and of our senses seem to be the more obvious, reasoned choice. However what about the evidence? I am truly experiencing a burgeoning of wisdom the more I seek the unseen wisdom of a higher power. And not only wisdom. But a deep happiness.


I think my original program – EA – may have been all too appropriate for me. Even with my foray into OA and its focus on food obsession, my chief battle still seems to be emotions/rationalization versus faith. Which will I follow? After all isn’t eating the way I do an emotional affair? And then I rationalize my emotions or my reactions to food. Whereas in the program you are supposed to release yourself from this sort of self-will, self-gratifying focus. It’s un-American, right? I must think of myself as some sort of patriot, or homegrown county boy.

The oddest part is that the program guarantees that you will find your true self, your true nature, by ceasing the search for it. Or, at least, sharing the search with the higher power. You trust the higher power to direct your life.

I think there are 2 types of people in the world, those with blind faith and those without. It’s a bizarre exercise to to try to span the gulf between the two. I know as the latter, your whole existence is laid out before you as evidence that blind faith is idiotic and pointless. I can only surmise that those in the faith category have the same totality of evidence permeating their existence.

So, is it worth it? The answer to that may lie in the fact that a lot of worthwhile things are uphill battles. Maybe the definition of an uphill battle is one which requires a degree of faith. Faith that you will eventually get to the goal line.


Forgetting. Forgetter. What do you do if you’re the master of forgetting? I thought it was just certain things about which I am forgetful. But apparently not. There’s another expression – selective memory. You remember things in the way that you want to remember them.

I’d like to live my life in less of a fog. I’d like to wake up in the morning with a clear sense of what happened to me the night before. And I’d like to have continuity from the night to the subsequent morning. I used to have that. I feel it was stripped away from me. I think I am fairly thin skinned. Which could be a good quality when it comes to making sincere, expressive music on a cello. But a not so great quality when navigating life’s tribulations, when trying to make sense of life’s bizarre complications.

I pray for my HP to help me tonight. I’ve strived for so long to handle things myself, as perhaps I’ve been taught by example in my family of origin. Of course I admire them if they can indeed accomplish that. That is exactly why I have attempted it. It’s fantastic if managed. But is it not also admirable to admit that I am not indestructible, impenetrable? To admit what is more representative of reality? That I need? That I have needs. That I need others.

Sitting there in that meeting tonight just felt good. It felt good and right to lean into the fellowship there. To allow myself to feel community. And by extension, to feel my god. A power greater than myself.

Isn’t god a little bit more comforting than a functioning modem? I should seriously consider that choice. I should consider a lot of choices. I should not just forget. I should reconsider. I should remember. I should recall. I should reconnect. I love my HP. With all my mind, soul, heart, and body. Just as a good jew should. I don’t ask for much. Just that my HP can hold my hand. That (s)he can guide me from tonight to tomorrow morning uninterrupted, unfettered. That (s)he can be there for my memory, my memories.


Venting. Airing. Not trapping. Not contracting. Living. Loving. Being surrounded. Being alone. Being inhibited.
I’m like a moth. Involuntarily drawn to things. Drawn away from the truth, drawn to vacuousness. I exist in hieroglyphics. I am nomenclature.
No. Don’t. If you doubt it, then go.
A lack of discipline. Of all things! Difficulty integrating ideas coming from different directions. Assimilating. Star Trek put a bad spin on assimilation. Ha. Is compartmentalizing so great though? The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.
Everything I do erroneously is for safety. For protection. Ha. Maybe I’m just protecting myself from being alive. I am nearing death. Here I come! How bloody ironic. To think I have any say in death’s inevitability. I remember thinking that Buddhism seemed obsessed with the subject of death. But isn’t religion generally like that? Is Judaism? Depends which denomination. But Buddhism seems to be very direct and honest about life and death. Very, very direct.
Since I’m now delving into my religiosity and spirituality, it causes me to notice how other lifelong practicers have journeyed through and beyond questions such as these. It turns out I’ve only just started scratching the surface.
The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know, like Sebok noted.


If I am desperate enough, what will I be willing to do?…to salvage myself.
It is like everything is a puzzle that I must figure out. Mr. self sufficiency.
Do I ever ask for help with anything? God forbid a higher power. I think if I can just unravel these puzzles set out before me, then I will be alright.
Step two involves sanity. What if the definition of insanity is thinking you are totally self sufficient? Another definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
The way I’ve been taught, Step two is insane in itself. That a power greater than myself could affect some sort of change, restoring me to sanity. What??? That’s nuts.
If only all of my efforts on my own behalf have exclusively gotten me the desired results.
Things must seem altogether different to someone that puts themselves in the hands of a higher power on a regular basis. And not out of some sort of desperation. But because, why not? Why not hedge your bets? Why not direct their faith towards something that has seen them through some tough times, so it seems. Is analyzing and puzzling things necessarily the end all and the highest calling of one’s mind, let alone spirit?
It’s really hilarious that I am sitting here writing this at 1:33 in the morning. Hilariously strung out. I string myself out with my addictions, never letting it go, never regrouping, until I have nothing left but exhaustion, utter solitude, pure discomfort. What can it be worth at this point?
I guess it’s worth something. But look at the exorbitant price paid.


I’m now trying to monitor my food intake more diligently. I’ve even started going to a support group of sorts for this purpose. I’ve met some nice people in the process. It’s one of the 12-step groups. I’ve had some experience with other ones but took a hiatus for a while to explore other philosophical approaches to my instabilities, only to return when they became ineffectual. I have a nice array of addictive and compulsive options in my repertoire, so it helps not to be overly worried if I am having a good day (or week) with my dietary situation. I can always apply the steps to some other vice.
Actually a lot of the steps don’t pertain to the chosen addiction, but rather to one’s life story and the not-such-nice things one may have a propensity to do to oneself and others. These correlate to the steps which designate some kind of higher power, helping to remind us that we are not all-knowing or all-powerful. To keep us humble.

Humility is actually kind of a cool thing. But hard to sustain, as it turns out.

originally published on 1/21/09


I definitely need to experiment with some higher power options. I remember when my atheistic propensities were put on the back burner and I was consulting with Him/It for some solace and support and direction in the recent past. It truly did help for awhile. I think I need to be open to some possibilities, and not let my concern for semantics be a total block for acceptance of wisdom of a certain nature.
God I had weird dreams. So vivid when you’ve overeaten and you’re not sleeping very soundly. I would write it down if I could get a good handle on the details in my conscious mind. John W, weird sheet music issues, winding staircases, musical colleagues.

My latest thinking concept for playing knottedness is my brain stem. It seems to be medical, internal and compellingly scary in enough of a way to get me going in a better direction physically and otherwise. I just remember that I am a product of the fact of human biology, which includes things such as a brain stem inside my head and neck. This is an immutable situation, regardless of whatever I may feel or however I may want to contort myself. As long as I am breathing/alive, I have an active brain stem. Which I find a bit gross to contemplate. But this may be helpful in keeping my attention.

The point is, with this in mind I can acquire a balance within myself. I have a focus that is basically not harmful. Sadly, that is often not the case. Maybe it’s a little like a higher power option to which I refer above. Human biology.

originally published on 11/27/06