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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Step Ten: A 'Continuous' Moral Inventory

Step Ten suggests that "we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes as we go along." In The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions both a "spot-check" and a "nightly inventory" are suggested. However, my sponsor, who has spent three-quarters of his life working this program of recovery, suggests that this be a "continuous" inventory, rather than a once a day thing. After all, once we "have entered the world of the Spirit" it becomes immediately clear and evident when we have done or said something (or have omitted doing or saying something) that puts us add odds with the spiritual principles and locks us right back into the bondage of self. And, as John Lennon, famously put it: "Instant karma's gonna get you." That is, right away we feel the results of our misdirected actions.

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, indeed, recognizes that "(a) continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means, are necessities for us," particularly if we are to avoid the crippling and dangerous "emotional hangovers" that are "the direct result of yesterday's and sometimes today's excesses of negative emotion - anger, fear, jealousy and the like."

"It is a spiritual axiom," we are told, "that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us." And, thus, it is up to us to recognize where we have been wrong and to make what restitution we can - as soon as we become aware of the errors in our thinking and actions - if we are to restore our consciousness and being to the emotional sobriety of the spiritual plane as soon as possible.
[The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 88-90.]

Otherwise, "instant karma" is sure to get you!

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