The Universe (uni-verse) is 'One,' as are all its constituents 'parts,' including us. At a deep level, that is what the third legacy of "recovery, service and unity" is all about. It is only our individualized "egos," or "selves," that create a seeming sense of 'separateness' with all its constituent suffering. How many alcoholic addicts drink and/or drug, at least at first, for that ephemeral feeling of inclusiveness, 'includedness' and belonging that is the essence of intoxication? Virtually every one of us, I would guess.
For many alcoholic addicts, or so it seems, it is the progressive nature of the disease that robs them of their ability to once again find this experience of "wholeness" when drinking or drugging, and that drives them - through suffering - to seek help.
The alcohol or drugs no longer gives the seemingly irretrievable alcoholic addict what they need the most, the evermore elusive feelings of wholeness, 'includedness' and well-being.
This "thirst for wholeness" is why (as it says on page 53 of Alcoholics Anonymous):
"When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we (have) to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. What (is) our choice to be? [Emphasis added.]In itself, this is a teaching of radical, ego-less, non-duality. ("God is either everything, or He is nothing.") Yet, we see this same teaching of ultimate non-duality further on, both on page 55 of Alcoholics Anonymous (where we read 'where' to find "a God of our own understanding"), as well as in the "How it Works" passage that so many AA groups read at the beginning of their meetings.
On page 55, we read the following:
"We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found." [Emphasis added.]Note that this passage is written with a singular pronoun "the Great Reality," rather than with the plural "a Great Reality."
Further, in the "How it Works" passage we read that, "there is One who has all power - that One is God. May you find him now!" [Emphasis added.]
(Even the great theoretical physicist, Einstein, an agnostic at best, called this ego-driven sense of duality, and individuality, a "cosmic delusion of separateness" - i.e., something that we believe is true, but which is, in fact, false.)
This 'Wholeness' has been called by many "the Ground of Being" and it lies at the center of a "perennial philosophy" found at the heart of all wisdom teachings, as well as (I would argue) the wisdom tradition that is witnessed in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Aldous Huxley, a non-alcoholic friend of Bill W., best describes this lesson of "Wholeness" and a unitive "Ground of Being" when he writes:
It is these four ideas - known by most cultures, but forgotten by most - that are at the heart of the Western spiritual renewal that the astute observer can see rising all around us; and they are also, in spirit, the heart of the miracle of non-duality that may be found in AA and its sister 12 Step fellowships."At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.
First: the phenomenal world of matter and individualized consciousness - the world of things and animals and men and even gods - is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their beginning, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
Second: human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.
Third: man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul. It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.
Fourth: man's life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground."