the 13th step

One of the greatest organizations that has come into being in the past century is Alcoholics Anonymous/AA. Many lives have been changed, many perhaps saved and families are functioning that might not be without AA. Many people have been guided into higher levels of consciousness and greater awareness through AA and other twelve step programs.

There is another step, though, for those who are ready and willing to take it. That is the 13th step, the step to freedom. (In numerology 1+3=4/foundation, thus the step to freedom.) This step is sometimes called the metaphysical or cosmic step. This step is moving from the little me of limitation (ego consciousness) to the spiritual consciousness of the I AM/spirit consciousness.

Remember God's admonition to Moses? My name is I AM.... This is humanity's God name for time irn- memorial (forever).

I AM privileged to attend the annual reunions each year of alumni of Cottonwood and Sierra Tucson. These are two of the centers for the rehabilitation of folks with addiction problems. These centers and others provide a wonderful philosophical, spiritual and physical lifeline to many around to world. Their celebrity graduates are role models for the masses and their message is simple.

                     "I took control of my life; and you can too."

From these are people who take the time, spend the money and travel great distances to come together to celebrate life.

One of, the most inspirational speakers/authors I've met is Father Leo Booth, an Episcopalian priest.  Over the years I've listened to him inspire many with his enthusiasm, eloquence and sincerity. His book: "The God Game, It's Your Move", talks about how we each have created a GOD BOX. The God in our box has been given attributes of rescuer, fixer, judge and a father who punishes or rewards as he is inclined. Sounds like we have created our God in our image, doesn't it?

Many of the qualities we have given God and the dogmas, liturgy and ritual in our God Box we have taken from our religious training. He says that the God Box is the spiritual baggage we carry from one religion to another. It's built from the collection of confusing messages and unhealthy beliefs about spirituality.

Two of the unhealthy core beliefs in the popular version of the God Box are:

1. We are born inherently sinful or powerless.

2. Only God has the power to fix or change us; nothing happens to us 
    except through the Will of God.

These are the roots of spiritual disempowerment. They are tangled in the bedrock of religious teachings. Our spirit teachers tell us that religion is the way man worships God and that spirituality is the attunement of one with the Creative Source.

We use a decree of freedom that helps us remember who we are. It reminds us that we are created in the image and likeness of God. It says, "I AM HAPPY, I AM FREE, I AM AS GOD CREATED ME.

Father Leo Booth's spirituality shines through him. He reminds me of Matthew 5:14, "You are the Light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Let your Light so shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Father Leo tells a story of his trip to Bali, Indonesia, where he was going to speak at a conference. While buying his airline ticket he was reminded that his passport will expire in four months and six months was required before the expiration date in order for him to travel overseas.

Since he carries a British passport he talked his way into flying to Shanghai; the Chinese accepted the four month expiration date. Bali insisted upon the full six months. He was going to make a plea to the British Embassy in Shanghai for an expedited passport renewal. It wouldn't happen, he was assured by the British and American government, not within the time frame he required for his lecture in Bali. He went to China anyway.

On the plane he was sitting in an aisle seat near the back. As a woman left the rest room and started up the aisle he noticed that her skirt was hiked up and caught in her waist band. She got up, and walked closely behind her. He whispered to her about her skirt.  She thanked him profusely then said to him, "You're not American; you're British aren't you? I'm also British.  I work in the passport renewal section of the British Embassy in Shanghai.

He had his passport renewal within two days and made his scheduled talk in Bali. He recognized that that experience was a magic moment. A cosmic coincidence, or serendipity as they say. Of course, he knows that there are no coincidences or accidents in the universe and that these experiences are to expand our awareness of cosmic or universal laws.

There are many paths to greater awareness and the ego's hold of limitation. "CELEBRATION," a Sunday evening group that I facilitated from 1985 to 1990 was one of the most powerful and potent life changing opportunities that I've experienced. We simply "celebrated" ourselves and others "happy, healthy and whole."       

One young woman freed herself from her eating disorder by doing a fire walk with me. Others, attending our 'Course in Miracles' groups and accepting the ideas within it as valid, were able to forgive their way to freedom.  Some had been in therapy, twelve step programs, counseling and support groups for years. The Course reminds us that we are neither our bodies nor our ego mind/ personality, but that we are spirit. Spirit, unlike the body, the emotions and the personality, cannot possibly be hurt. It is a part of the God force. It is the I AM THAT I AM.

Our opening song was usually "Magic". Its message is empowering and true.    We ended with "Living the Vision." Its message is also clear; it speaks to the soul: don't wait for another life to turn the wrong that you see into right living the vision.

Saint Jude reminds us that he has helped many through the ages and that he is still on the job. Many lives have been helped through his intercession. I was asked by a relative in spirit to do a novena for one here on earth. I did, and he was healed.

There are many paths to transcendence, the moving away from mundane muddles in our lives. But, like house paint, these rules, techniques, decrees and prayers only work when applied.

The transmutation of negative situations and problems through the use of the Violet Fire is assured. It seems to work like magic. But, again, the decrees only work when they are sincerely used. All of us are feeling the tension between the ego's fight for dominion and the soul's desire to live our vision.

It is time for us to pray/ask for guidance, meditate/listen for the voice of silence and begin applying our passion to our purpose.