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Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life: finally, a daily reflection book for nonbelievers, freethinkers and everyone Paperback – January 21, 2013
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About the Author
Clean and sober since 1976, Joe C is a songwriter, radio host, podcaster and a feature writer for music, financial and recovery-lifestyle periodicals. A member of NAADAC (Association for Addiction Professionals), Joe is a speaker and workshop facilitator for behavioral health professionals and the general recovery community. Topics include addiction/recovery culture, history, trends and demographics. Writing credits include: TheFix.com, Renew Magazine, In Recovery Magazine, Pacific Standard & AA-agnostica. Music/radio activity includes hosting the SiriusXM Satellite Radio weekly IndieCan Radio (www.indiecan.com) and Rebellion Dogs Radio (a 21st century look at 12-Step Life).
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Joe C's book "Beyond Belief" is, without question, the best book of daily readings I've run across. It's a staple of my daily practice, and I have recommended it widely and without reservation, both in person and through my own writing. There is no mystical b.s., no pseudo-spiritual preaching, and it's easy to read and understand. Every day brings some clear thought and insight into my recovery. It's not so much that what he has to say is new (some of the ideas, in fact, are very, very old indeed), but that it is presented in portions of just the right size to digest with my morning -- well, I was going to say coffee for effect, but actually my morning glass of water.
Don't let the sub-title "Agnostic Musings for 12-Step Life" turn you off. This is not an anti-religion tome; more accurately, it simply leaves religion out of the discussion completely, unless it is necessary to distinguish "reality" from "myth" in the context of a specific discussion. Joe deftly sidesteps the issues of whether the soi-disant (yes, I'm one of those) "spirituality" espoused by some fellowship members is accurate, preferring to state the ideas in such a way as to avoid direct conflict with those who confuse religion with spirituality, new-age gobbledygook with inspiration.
My one BIG COMPLAINT about "Beyond Belief" is the sub-title itself. I know for a fact that it has turned off folks who, in my considered opinion, would benefit greatly from a touch of its reality. Not only is it off-putting "prior to investigation," but it gives readers who are so inclined an excuse to pooh-pooh the remarks because they aren't (insert dogma of your choice here) enough. That is not a good thing, because this book should be on the bedside table of everyone who believes him- or herself to be in recovery, and "Earth People" could benefit from it as well. I sympathize with Joe's position, but I think just a bit of bend -- and a changed title -- would benefit myriad people in the long run.