Journey To The End Of Night
Adventures in Active Addiction and Recovery — A Philosophical Perspective

About Journey To The End Of Night

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My name is not important and I’m a dope fiend, been one for over twenty years – that is, until I bottomed out and checked into a rehabilitation center almost exactly 180 days ago today. Better check yourself here – if you want to read textbook program material you ought to just click off this page right now. I’m no Nazi! Although I know damn well I’m an addict and have been around the rooms of NA/AA/CA (Narcotics, Alcoholics, Cocaine Anonymous) some time now, I am not, nor will I ever be, wholly indoctrinated. Along with a number of other addicts besides myself, I have a lot of issues with the twelve step approach and with the literature in general that I don’t care to discuss inside meetings. Inside a meeting, members share – we don’t debate, criticize, question. So a whole plethora of questionable ‘truths’ are taken as given. Quite often I feel the message is ‘Here are the beliefs you need in order to recover. Believe it or don’t – your choice. But you can’t recover unless and until you do.” That’s fine for meetings which by nature are centered about applying the principles of the literature to daily life. Meetings are not philosophy classes. Nor should they be. However, I feel a real need to ‘step’ back and engage in a critical discussion, particularly with respect to the importance of God. Having worked the twelve steps once already myself, I’m not unqualified to do this.

My awakening of the spirit lead me back to atheism.

As an atheist (for now the simplest definition of atheist I want to get into is one who does not believe in the existence of anything even remotely resembling the judaeo-christian/muslim deity partaking of a ‘loving and caring’ nature — more philosophical and metaphysical definitions of ‘deity’ don’t merit the personal connotations the word ‘God’ bears) I think of this world as a savage garden, a beautiful, but for the most part, hostile, place wherein resources are limited, the competition over them endless and brutal, the only warmth, love, and compassion to be found that which we find it in ourselves to offer one another.

I’ve created this blog to share my experience of active addiction and of recovery, to provide information, links, and feeds to valuable resources, and to focus particularly on my approach, as an atheist, to the twelve steps. It’s not my intent here to argue for or against any particular form of spirituality but simply to share my own.

It’s important to state that my purpose here is constructive. My intent isn’t to bash the program but rather to be of service to addicts who may already be reaping the benefits this support system has to offer but are sitting on steps because the ‘god-talk’ turns them off. A fundamental tenet of my belief system is that spirituality and atheism are NOT mutually exclusive.

Furthermore, it’s important I mention that although I do speak as a member of a twelve step program, I do NOT speak as a representative of the anonymous fellowships. The views expressed herein are wholly my own. A man I hold in high esteem once said, “An addict with a great idea is a terrorist”. It is for that reason that I strongly encourage my readers — especially those new to recovery or still in active addiction — to seek out as many perspectives as possible, read everything out there on the net and in the bookstores, and discuss everything with everyone.

Be forewarned that, now and again, I find myself unable to resist engaging in off topic rants. I’ve just set the focus but will never hesitate to deviate from it, contradict myself on a near daily basis, meander here, there, everywhere, indulge myself in whatever musings suit my fancy any given day. Today, the above concerns remain foremost in my mind. Nevertheless, this is primarily the journal of a recovering addict. Nothing more. Nothing less…


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