God in a Bottle? The Spirituality of Intoxication.

Why are we here? Is there anything beyond this? What started it all?

We all exist somewhat on our spiritual planes, whether consciously or not, and finding peace through a personal acceptance and understanding of individual spirituality is one of life’s more important tasks – a task less frequently attended to in the here-and-now age we live in.

But even though we do not necessarily devote time or conscious energy to our spiritual growth (as we perhaps should) we cannot fight our deepest impulses, and whether consciously or not, we do seek out answers. I’m not the first to say this, nor close to the wisest, but I believe that intoxication (and too often addiction) emerges in part out of a misdirected search for spiritual enlightenment – finding God in a bottle.

From the time we figured out eons ago that eating or smoking things changed our perceptions, human beings have been getting high, and more often than not getting high got intermingled with spirituality…and finding answers through hallucinogenic drugs was/is a pretty common source of spiritual enlightenment. We grow up as kids and young teens on a journey of subdued exploration, and then one day we get drunk, or we get high. And WOW, all of a sudden, things look pretty different – and although we probably don’t put words to it and we are probably more interested in the fun of it all, it feels as though there are answers to be had through altered consciousness.

Most people seem to be able to take it as it is, just a transient and ultimately meaningless shift of perceptions; but some of us seem to take more-or need more-from the experience. And it’s fun too, we go on merrily getting high and getting drunk, bouncing around, seeing what’s out there…and it feels important. We have deep talks about meaningful things while high, and that feels important too. Not that you’d ever say "Hey, I’m on a spiritual journey here…" but that vague sense is there, an undercurrent of meaning lending importance to the otherwise frivolous and indulgent experience.

And some of us, the foolish seekers, we just keep on at it, sort of searching, until one day it’s sort of all we know. And one day, usually more than a bit too late, we realize that it was all a sham.

Maybe there is truth and wisdom to be found through intoxication, maybe not…but any cosmic truth intertwined with intoxication probably reveals itself after the first few sessions or so, and certainly by the first few dozens of experiences, and after a hundred-a thousand-or more times getting drunk or high, well; we’re not getting much out of it – other than high. Fools that we are, we keep at it, and at it for way too long. Spiritual understanding doesn’t come served in a bottle or a pipe. It takes work and growth, and a searching for meaning through hard-fought experience. When we rely on the easy and cheap spiritually of intoxication, there is no growth – no real searching, just an endless and blind stumbling.

There are no answers at the bottom of that bottle, and so that bottle can never provide any of the spiritual peace that we crave, whether consciously or not. I see it now, in hindsight only. It took getting sober, and a long while after that, to even start figuring things out for real.

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Why are we here? Is there anything beyond this? What started it all?

We all exist somewhat on our spiritual planes, whether consciously or not, and finding peace through a personal acceptance and understanding of individual spirituality is one of life’s more important tasks – a task less frequently attended to in the here-and-now age we live in.

But even though we do not necessarily devote time or conscious energy to our spiritual growth (as we perhaps should) we cannot fight our deepest impulses, and whether consciously or not, we do seek out answers. I’m not the first to say this, nor close to the wisest, but I believe that intoxication (and too often addiction) emerges in part out of a misdirected search for spiritual enlightenment – finding God in a bottle.

From the time we figured out eons ago that eating or smoking things changed our perceptions, human beings have been getting high, and more often than not getting high got intermingled with spirituality…and finding answers through hallucinogenic drugs was/is a pretty common source of spiritual enlightenment. We grow up as kids and young teens on a journey of subdued exploration, and then one day we get drunk, or we get high. And WOW, all of a sudden, things look pretty different – and although we probably don’t put words to it and we are probably more interested in the fun of it all, it feels as though there are answers to be had through altered consciousness.

Most people seem to be able to take it as it is, just a transient and ultimately meaningless shift of perceptions; but some of us seem to take more-or need more-from the experience. And it’s fun too, we go on merrily getting high and getting drunk, bouncing around, seeing what’s out there…and it feels important. We have deep talks about meaningful things while high, and that feels important too. Not that you’d ever say "Hey, I’m on a spiritual journey here…" but that vague sense is there, an undercurrent of meaning lending importance to the otherwise frivolous and indulgent experience.

And some of us, the foolish seekers, we just keep on at it, sort of searching, until one day it’s sort of all we know. And one day, usually more than a bit too late, we realize that it was all a sham.

Maybe there is truth and wisdom to be found through intoxication, maybe not…but any cosmic truth intertwined with intoxication probably reveals itself after the first few sessions or so, and certainly by the first few dozens of experiences, and after a hundred-a thousand-or more times getting drunk or high, well; we’re not getting much out of it – other than high. Fools that we are, we keep at it, and at it for way too long. Spiritual understanding doesn’t come served in a bottle or a pipe. It takes work and growth, and a searching for meaning through hard-fought experience. When we rely on the easy and cheap spiritually of intoxication, there is no growth – no real searching, just an endless and blind stumbling.

There are no answers at the bottom of that bottle, and so that bottle can never provide any of the spiritual peace that we crave, whether consciously or not. I see it now, in hindsight only. It took getting sober, and a long while after that, to even start figuring things out for real.

How My Dog Keeps Me Sober

Lord help me be the kind of person my dog thinks I am

Ran across this quote the other day, and I can’t think of a better ambition for life than that! My dog thinks I’m kind, generous (except with the doggie treats, which he must think I hoard miserably) wise and a whole lot of fun to be with.

I can’t think of anyone else in this world who thinks quite as highly of me as my dog. I gotta admit my inspiration is coming from some odd sources these days, but hey, I’ll take it where I can get it…(God works in mysterious ways?). So for today, I’m going to try to live up to these lofty doggy ideals of perceived conduct. I’m going to try to be as kind and wonderful to all as he thinks I am.

I’m going to try on wisdom for a change by talking half as much and listening a whole lot more, and when I have something negative to say, I won’t. I’m not going to drink too -he honestly doesn’t have strong feelings on this one – but I’m going to add it on the list. I’ll try it on for today, and see how it fits, and maybe tomorrow too.

I won’t be what he thinks I am, but if I can get halfway there, I’d be twice what I am now!

Lord help me be the kind of person my dog thinks I am

Ran across this quote the other day, and I can’t think of a better ambition for life than that! My dog thinks I’m kind, generous (except with the doggie treats, which he must think I hoard miserably) wise and a whole lot of fun to be with.

I can’t think of anyone else in this world who thinks quite as highly of me as my dog. I gotta admit my inspiration is coming from some odd sources these days, but hey, I’ll take it where I can get it…(God works in mysterious ways?). So for today, I’m going to try to live up to these lofty doggy ideals of perceived conduct. I’m going to try to be as kind and wonderful to all as he thinks I am.

I’m going to try on wisdom for a change by talking half as much and listening a whole lot more, and when I have something negative to say, I won’t. I’m not going to drink too -he honestly doesn’t have strong feelings on this one – but I’m going to add it on the list. I’ll try it on for today, and see how it fits, and maybe tomorrow too.

I won’t be what he thinks I am, but if I can get halfway there, I’d be twice what I am now!

Christian Recovery…Be Sober AND Happy!

OK, here’s a secret, a secret that people in the recovery business don’t necessarily want you to know. Getting over addiction doesn’t guarantee happiness. It probably means a lot less pain when you can leave abuse behind, but a lack of pain does not necessarily equate to happiness, and deep down, bottom line and big picture, that’s the only thing that’s really important.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you are not going to be happy after you quit drinking or drugging, it’s just not a guarantee.

Christian Recovery

Now if you don’t believe in God, Christian recovery doesn’t offer you much, obviously. If you do believe in God though, the Christian method of recovery may have some advantages over secular forms of treatment. I’m not sure that long term success rates are all that different between Christian recovery and secular recovery, but if you change things around a bit, and define success as happiness, I think Christians in recovery win hands down. Some people can stay sober through sheer determination – through grit – and some of these people can even stay sober like this for ever. But man oh man…this takes work! It wears you down, and maintaining such constant vigilance drains the life out of you and it’s pretty hard to be truly happy when you’re just so tired.

Now by contrast, in Christian recovery, one of the fundamental principles to grasp is that you don’t have the strength alone to get better, only God does. Let go and let God! Once you can trust in God, feel His grace and believe that He will show you the path, you no longer have to worry every minute of the day about staying sober…God’s on the job! And this letting go, this makes it a whole lot easier to start really enjoying your life of sobriety.

That’s not all too. Christian recovery is an exercise in humility, real humility before Christ. Although going through addiction is a pretty tough way to find humility, let me tell you that once you do, and once you feel your relationship with Christ flourish through your newfound humility…whatever you went through before was worth it! We also relearn the power and beauty of prayer through recovery, and that feels pretty good too. No recovery is easy, but once you can put your trust in Christ, you’ll feel better, you’ll feel His Grace and His strength, and it won’t feel so hard anymore. You may be able to recover through a secular rehab, but if you want Christian happiness, walk the Christian 12 steps, and rediscover how sweet life can be.

OK, here’s a secret, a secret that people in the recovery business don’t necessarily want you to know. Getting over addiction doesn’t guarantee happiness. It probably means a lot less pain when you can leave abuse behind, but a lack of pain does not necessarily equate to happiness, and deep down, bottom line and big picture, that’s the only thing that’s really important.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you are not going to be happy after you quit drinking or drugging, it’s just not a guarantee.

Christian Recovery

Now if you don’t believe in God, Christian recovery doesn’t offer you much, obviously. If you do believe in God though, the Christian method of recovery may have some advantages over secular forms of treatment. I’m not sure that long term success rates are all that different between Christian recovery and secular recovery, but if you change things around a bit, and define success as happiness, I think Christians in recovery win hands down. Some people can stay sober through sheer determination – through grit – and some of these people can even stay sober like this for ever. But man oh man…this takes work! It wears you down, and maintaining such constant vigilance drains the life out of you and it’s pretty hard to be truly happy when you’re just so tired.

Now by contrast, in Christian recovery, one of the fundamental principles to grasp is that you don’t have the strength alone to get better, only God does. Let go and let God! Once you can trust in God, feel His grace and believe that He will show you the path, you no longer have to worry every minute of the day about staying sober…God’s on the job! And this letting go, this makes it a whole lot easier to start really enjoying your life of sobriety.

That’s not all too. Christian recovery is an exercise in humility, real humility before Christ. Although going through addiction is a pretty tough way to find humility, let me tell you that once you do, and once you feel your relationship with Christ flourish through your newfound humility…whatever you went through before was worth it! We also relearn the power and beauty of prayer through recovery, and that feels pretty good too. No recovery is easy, but once you can put your trust in Christ, you’ll feel better, you’ll feel His Grace and His strength, and it won’t feel so hard anymore. You may be able to recover through a secular rehab, but if you want Christian happiness, walk the Christian 12 steps, and rediscover how sweet life can be.

What’s Detox Like in a Christian Rehab?

I get asked this question a lot, and it used to surprise me until I realized how little a lot of people knew about how a Christian drug or alcohol rehab really operates. Christian drug and alcohol rehabs run a spirituality based program in which an addiction is considered a malady of the body, of the mind, but most importantly of the soul; and treatments for best effect need to tackle the unique issues of all three areas of our being.

Christian rehabs emphasize the power and wisdom of God’s love throughout recovery; and through a study of the scriptures, recovering addicts are grounded in timeless wisdom and learn how their problems are the problems of the ages. Through study of the bible, Christians in recovery gain a powerful work of long term reference against temptation and abuse.

Why pray to a "higher power" when you can pray to Jesus Christ?

Actively praying together also feels a lot more natural to Christians than praying to some obscure "higher power" as in AA based programs. And through individual prayer and meditation with Jesus Christ, and through shared prayer sessions with other addicts in recovery, we take some of the strength offered by God as our own, and ask Him to lead us into better lives of service, and away from the harms of a drug or alcohol abuse. Healing the spirit is the true way out of addiction and the only way to a lasting peace and better life of sobriety, but the realities of the body and mind cannot either be ignored, and Christian rehab never abandons what has proven effective from secular rehabs, and never abandons norms of medical science in the treatment care of participants.

A Christian detox is just like any other form of detox…

So a Christian detox runs a lot like any other form of detox. The Lord gave us doctors and medications for a reason, and we would be foolish to risk our health by ignoring His gifts. Detox occurs under the supervision of medical personnel, and all available medications and medical care are used to ensure that detox progresses as safely and as comfortably as possible. Other therapies are used, and you’ll see the latest addiction and therapeutic science applied in a Christian Rehab as you’ll find it in a secular facility. But while most rehabs leave treatment at the body and mind, only Christian rehab heals the area of our being that needs the most help and assistance towards a better life of sobriety, and a lasting peace in the service of family, of Church and of the Lord.

Christian rehabs are available throughout the Nation and the world, they are as safe and medically sound as any other form of rehab, and only a Christian rehab offers the guidance and love of Jesus Christ to addicts so desperately in need of the strength of the Lord.

I get asked this question a lot, and it used to surprise me until I realized how little a lot of people knew about how a Christian drug or alcohol rehab really operates. Christian drug and alcohol rehabs run a spirituality based program in which an addiction is considered a malady of the body, of the mind, but most importantly of the soul; and treatments for best effect need to tackle the unique issues of all three areas of our being.

Christian rehabs emphasize the power and wisdom of God’s love throughout recovery; and through a study of the scriptures, recovering addicts are grounded in timeless wisdom and learn how their problems are the problems of the ages. Through study of the bible, Christians in recovery gain a powerful work of long term reference against temptation and abuse.

Why pray to a "higher power" when you can pray to Jesus Christ?

Actively praying together also feels a lot more natural to Christians than praying to some obscure "higher power" as in AA based programs. And through individual prayer and meditation with Jesus Christ, and through shared prayer sessions with other addicts in recovery, we take some of the strength offered by God as our own, and ask Him to lead us into better lives of service, and away from the harms of a drug or alcohol abuse. Healing the spirit is the true way out of addiction and the only way to a lasting peace and better life of sobriety, but the realities of the body and mind cannot either be ignored, and Christian rehab never abandons what has proven effective from secular rehabs, and never abandons norms of medical science in the treatment care of participants.

A Christian detox is just like any other form of detox…

So a Christian detox runs a lot like any other form of detox. The Lord gave us doctors and medications for a reason, and we would be foolish to risk our health by ignoring His gifts. Detox occurs under the supervision of medical personnel, and all available medications and medical care are used to ensure that detox progresses as safely and as comfortably as possible. Other therapies are used, and you’ll see the latest addiction and therapeutic science applied in a Christian Rehab as you’ll find it in a secular facility. But while most rehabs leave treatment at the body and mind, only Christian rehab heals the area of our being that needs the most help and assistance towards a better life of sobriety, and a lasting peace in the service of family, of Church and of the Lord.

Christian rehabs are available throughout the Nation and the world, they are as safe and medically sound as any other form of rehab, and only a Christian rehab offers the guidance and love of Jesus Christ to addicts so desperately in need of the strength of the Lord.

Remembering How To Pray Through Alcoholics Anonymous

Working the 12 steps has helped me to achieve sobriety, and it has also bettered my relationship with God.

Faith and prayer during recovery can be powerful things. My story of recovery is a Christian tale of hitting rock bottom only to see the light. I was born and raised a Christian, but once I started using and abusing in my teens and through young adulthood, my relationship with my Faith all but disappeared within the haze of intoxication.

Other than during a few "stoner" talks about the meaning of life, I really didn’t think about God – just as I really didn’t think about much other than getting high or getting drunk. One of the most surprising aspects of my recovery away from addiction and abuse was a re awakening of my Faith, and the development of a very personal belief and reliance on God as I understand Him.

I still don’t go to church nearly as often as I should, but Faith has become important in my life, and it influences all that I do…and it was in AA after really hitting rock bottom that I discovered that God remained a part of me, and that I could use His strength to get better.

Remembering how to pray with AA

In AA we begin each meeting with a serenity prayer, and we pray to improve our relationships with God, to have God remove our shortcomings and we pray to understand God’s will and guidance for our lives. As AA is a secular but spiritual organization, you don’t have to pray to a Christian God, only to any higher power as you understand it; but for me it’s always Jesus that I pray to, and who I thank each night for keeping me sober and happy within my family and my community.

The thing about God’s lessons is that they don’t tend to fade as other lessons of recovery do. In rehab we all learn about cognitive triggers to abuse, and how to maintain our thinking to stay clear from temptation, and I have found these to be useful and have incorporated them into my recovery lifestyle. Unfortunately, these take a continual effort and sometimes feel like the lessons of long ago algebra class…something I once understood, but have no use for now!

I don’t question the value of these programs, but for me, once re awakened, my Faith and a belief in God’s power to guide me has always felt more personal and applicable to the battles of daily recovery and relapse avoidance. I pray every night for God’s continuing guidance, and I use the Bible for strength and support in difficult moments. I don’t look to the Lord because I have to…but because I crave His guidance and I recognize His power to keep me sober and happy.

Christian Rehab

I went through a secular rehab, and I can’t complain because when combined with AA and continuing group aftercare therapy – it worked (it took two runs at it though!); but now that I recognize the intrinsic value of spiritual guidance, and now that I use the Lord’s power to keep me sober every day of my life…I wonder if a Christian rehab might have been a better fit for me, and if it might have worked completely the first time.

Christian rehab offers us spiritual lessons, guidance and prayer, all to better understand how God can help us in all areas of our lives, and how we can work to live better lives for God and also live better lives for ourselves. The lessons of Christian rehab aren’t easily forgotten, and a reminder of the teachings are ever present within the family bible, and remain with you every time you pray to Jesus with an honest and open heart.

Addiction is a disease of the body, of the mind, and also of the spirit, and I can’t help but wonder if the spiritual healing (most overlooked in conventional rehab) isn’t the most important of the three. No one who knows me well would describe me as evangelical, and my Faith is mostly a very personal and private thing…but since a belief in God and using His strength as my strength has helped me so much, I feel that I have a duty to share my story, and suggest that using Faith and prayer for recovery maybe the most powerful source of healing of all.

Working the 12 steps has helped me to achieve sobriety, and it has also bettered my relationship with God.

Faith and prayer during recovery can be powerful things. My story of recovery is a Christian tale of hitting rock bottom only to see the light. I was born and raised a Christian, but once I started using and abusing in my teens and through young adulthood, my relationship with my Faith all but disappeared within the haze of intoxication.

Other than during a few "stoner" talks about the meaning of life, I really didn’t think about God – just as I really didn’t think about much other than getting high or getting drunk. One of the most surprising aspects of my recovery away from addiction and abuse was a re awakening of my Faith, and the development of a very personal belief and reliance on God as I understand Him.

I still don’t go to church nearly as often as I should, but Faith has become important in my life, and it influences all that I do…and it was in AA after really hitting rock bottom that I discovered that God remained a part of me, and that I could use His strength to get better.

Remembering how to pray with AA

In AA we begin each meeting with a serenity prayer, and we pray to improve our relationships with God, to have God remove our shortcomings and we pray to understand God’s will and guidance for our lives. As AA is a secular but spiritual organization, you don’t have to pray to a Christian God, only to any higher power as you understand it; but for me it’s always Jesus that I pray to, and who I thank each night for keeping me sober and happy within my family and my community.

The thing about God’s lessons is that they don’t tend to fade as other lessons of recovery do. In rehab we all learn about cognitive triggers to abuse, and how to maintain our thinking to stay clear from temptation, and I have found these to be useful and have incorporated them into my recovery lifestyle. Unfortunately, these take a continual effort and sometimes feel like the lessons of long ago algebra class…something I once understood, but have no use for now!

I don’t question the value of these programs, but for me, once re awakened, my Faith and a belief in God’s power to guide me has always felt more personal and applicable to the battles of daily recovery and relapse avoidance. I pray every night for God’s continuing guidance, and I use the Bible for strength and support in difficult moments. I don’t look to the Lord because I have to…but because I crave His guidance and I recognize His power to keep me sober and happy.

Christian Rehab

I went through a secular rehab, and I can’t complain because when combined with AA and continuing group aftercare therapy – it worked (it took two runs at it though!); but now that I recognize the intrinsic value of spiritual guidance, and now that I use the Lord’s power to keep me sober every day of my life…I wonder if a Christian rehab might have been a better fit for me, and if it might have worked completely the first time.

Christian rehab offers us spiritual lessons, guidance and prayer, all to better understand how God can help us in all areas of our lives, and how we can work to live better lives for God and also live better lives for ourselves. The lessons of Christian rehab aren’t easily forgotten, and a reminder of the teachings are ever present within the family bible, and remain with you every time you pray to Jesus with an honest and open heart.

Addiction is a disease of the body, of the mind, and also of the spirit, and I can’t help but wonder if the spiritual healing (most overlooked in conventional rehab) isn’t the most important of the three. No one who knows me well would describe me as evangelical, and my Faith is mostly a very personal and private thing…but since a belief in God and using His strength as my strength has helped me so much, I feel that I have a duty to share my story, and suggest that using Faith and prayer for recovery maybe the most powerful source of healing of all.