I always cringe when the meeting topic is “higher power.”
While this is a bedrock concept of AA, it’s also one that is so vague; it can lead to self-centered sharing about personal religious history – missing the point presented in the Big Book.
The point in the Big Book is to get sober everyone must tap into “a power greater than oneself!” But, the incredible innovation is that there is much latitude in the conception. It can be anything.
I have personally found the less said about any one’s concept of a higher power, the better. These concepts do more to divide than connect.
Once again, we must call on William James, who offered that the “truth” of belief can be measured by whether it was “instrumental.” In other words, does it work? He called this pragmatism.
This, of course, has led to many wild concepts. Hence the proverbial, “door knob.”
For many years I struggled with having no belief at all, falling at times into the atheistic camp. It’s important to note, through periods of strong disbelief, I still stayed sober.
Then one day it occurred to me, what do we really “know” about the universe?
Well, science tells us the universe is 46 billion light years wide, and 13.72 billion years old. Then I thought, “what is harder to conceive of, 46 billion light years wide and 13.72 billion years old or the possibility of a creator?”
I had my concept.