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Common Sense Recovery: An Atheist's Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous Paperback – January 5, 2015
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As an atheist, Adam N. has been able to transcend this part of AA. Not without a struggle however, which he shares in his book. Adam walks us through an alternative to AA's Judeo-Christian dogma and focuses on the humanistic secular principles of AA. He fears that many a newcomer has attended AA, just to be turned off by the Father-God aspect of the program, and then never comes back and therefore never stays sober. He encourages the "Higher Power" groupies to make room and support individuals who don't embrace the God concept.
One of the most beautiful parts of the book is when Adam focuses on the positives of the fellowship in general. That there is something truly life changing about sitting, listening and embracing these Group Of Drunks (G.O.D.). He reminds us that for thousands of years humans have banded together in tribes for survival. He identifies AA as a tribe containing a vast amount of personalities and races from all walks of life and all belief systems. He writes, "alone we are weak, together we are strong." He believes that his High Power is the group itself. Adam has developed true humility and is able to respect fellow AA'ers while not abandoning himself as an Atheist, but that wasn't without a lot of hard work on his part. He writes about his struggles over the last 30 years within the program until he finally accepted himself as an atheist.
Everyone should read this book, especially those Big Book Thumpers who are so closed minded as to think the only path to sobriety is God. I will warn some who absolutely can't handle a little chiding of their God beliefs, and choose to read this book, that Adam isn't always "gentle" with his opinions about the "God folk".
Adam doesn't pretend it's easy for the newcomer to sift out the heavy jargon. He admits that Atheist and Agnostic members of AA have to try even harder when working the steps than a member who accepts God as their hero. Until those individuals can find the strength to sift through all the God talk to the secular elements of AA, sitting in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous must be very lonely indeed. That's why I'm all for Spiritual and Religious members to be more compassionate and accommodating to newcomers who don't embrace the God concept. I'm convinced that Adam's book has inspired our small city to recently create an AA meeting for Atheists/Agnostics/Free-Thinkers.
I’ve read this book twice already and I’m certain I will be making use of it in the future. It’s a great reminder that there is practical action we can take that provides real benefit, and there’s no need for a supernatural experience or assistance from a deity.
It is practical and informative, if somewhat repetitive.
If you are interested in secular recovery there is some substance here.