Living a spiritually conscious life is no mean feat. It must be lived consciously, and our self-consciousness is a pernicious and relentless adversary. Can our self-centered consciousness truly be overcome. In the St. Francis prayer (the Step 11 prayer at page 99 of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions) we are assured this is possible. "It is by self-forgetting that we find," we read. "It is by dying (to self, or the ego) that we awaken to eternal life." If we awaken to eternal life, is this eternity not inclusive of our whole lives? Are we not living in an eternal life, irrespective of whether we know or accept that fact. "The spiritual life is not a theory." We are living it - right now!
"There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation and prayer," we read. "Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakeable foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality that is God's kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the will or our own Creator.""Selfishness - self-centeredness! That we think is the root of our problem. Driven by a hundred different forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate." (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62.)
Self-examination, in turn, requires that we set aside time for prayer and meditation. Just a few minutes of silent recurrence to the realm of pure Spirit each day is enough for us to begin the path of living this spiritual life consciously. This is not a theory. It is the practical lesson learned by millions of alcoholic addicts in recovery. It works if we work it.