Twelve step #1 – We admitted we were powerless over beliefs

 

1. We admitted we were powerless over beliefs — that our lives had become unmanageable.

This is the first step for those of us who take our thoughts as true.

First, I see the effects of beliefs and how they create discomfort, including through poor decisions.

Then, I see how my life has become unmanageable because of it. Beliefs creates discomfort, they cause poor decisions.

And finally, I see that I am powerless over it. I am powerless over the beliefs. I am powerless over their effects on my life.

I am caught up in beliefs, no matter how much I protest or struggle with it. They live their own life.

What can I do? After admitting I am powerless, they remaining eleven steps provide some guidance.

I can make a fearless inquiry into how I am powerless over beliefs and their effects in my life, and confess it to God, myself and another human being.

I find mutual support with others on the same path.

I pray to a higher power for restoring me to sanity.

– o –

We admitted we were powerless over beliefs.

I can find this in an ordinary sense, as mentioned above.

And yet, there are other and even more basic questions here:

When there is a sense of power over beliefs, where does it come from?

Hm. There is a feeling interpreted as a sense of power, but in itself it’s just a feeling.

Any number of stories could be put on it to interpret it in different ways.

There is a thought of power over beliefs.

Can I find power outside of thoughts?

No. Power is always an interpretation.

It’s always a thought. A question.

Reality is.

If I have power over beliefs, what is that I?

Here too, I find a feeling of an I.

I find sensations associated with an I.

These are feelings and sensations.

The idea of I is a label, an interpretation, a question.

It happens within thought, often wordless thought/images.

The feeling and experience of an I happens through thoughts.

Can I find it outside of a thought?

No. When something appear as an I, it’s because of a thought.

Mostly a wordless thought, an image.

– o –

We admitted we were powerless over beliefs.

Is it true?

After exploring this – reflected this and another post – there are also these questions:

Is there a place where I still hold onto a belief of control?

What happens when I have a belief of control?

– o –

I can control my thoughts.

Is it true?

I can find where it feels true. I’ll answer from that place.

What happens when I take that thought as true?

I believe I can control my thoughts.

My stories tell me so. I feel it. I act as if it’s true.

I become that belief.

A thought happens, a story says “I made that thought happen”, and it is taken as true.

If thoughts happen I don’t like, that come in against my desire, I experience distress. It feels wrong.

What am I afraid would happen if I didn’t take that thought as true?

I am afraid my thoughts would be out of control.

How likely is that? What’s more likely?

That they would continue as before.

Who would I be without that thought?

Notice thoughts happen.

Notice thoughts come and go, as any other experience.

Notice thoughts as any other phenomena, as sounds, sights, taste, smell, sensations.

Not struggling with thoughts.

Curious. Interested.

Noticing thoughts as innocent questions.

Turnarounds

I cannot control my thoughts.

(a) In an ordinary sense.

Thoughts sometimes go in a direction that’s uncomfortable, that “I” don’t want.

They sometimes keep going to images, memories, worst case scenarios, even if “I” don’t want it.

They are clearly out of my control.

(b) In a more real, immediate sense.

Hm. When I pay attention, I see that thoughts come by their own.

They happen. Just as anything else – sights, sounds, sensations etc.

There is a thought saying “I made it happen” but that’s a thought that comes afterwards.

And that thought just happens too.

My thoughts cannot control my thoughts.

Can I thought “control” another?

One often carries on where another left off, but that’s not “control”.

A thought says “don’t think of a polka dotted garden gnome” and the next thought (image) is of just that.

A thought says “think of a garden gnome” and the next thought is of just that.

Both of those just happens.

“Control” is another thought. It’s an overlay.

I cannot find “control” outside of a thought.

And that one just happens too.

My thoughts cannot control me.

Hm. It’s true in the same way.

I cannot find “control” outside of a thought.

– o –

I can unravel my beliefs.

Is it true?

I can find where this one feels true.

There is a part of me that believes I can unravel my beliefs.

Sure it’s true?

No. It’s a thought.

What happens when I believe that thought?

I see beliefs as something I can control.

They are under my control. In my power.

I can unravel them at will.

I seek refuge in this thought. I imagine it will feel safe to take refuge in that thought.

There is fear coming up, because it may not be true.

If it seems that beliefs don’t unravel at my will, I tell myself I didn’t do it properly.

I find ways to interpret it so it fits my belief.

What am I afraid would happen if I didn’t believe this story?

I am afraid I wouldn’t examine beliefs.

Is it true?

I don’t know.

Who would I be without the thought “I can unravel my beliefs”?

Curious. Receptive. Interested.

Interested in exploring beliefs. Get to know them. Befriend them.

See what happens, if anything.

Befriending beliefs for it’s own sake.

Because it feels good.

Turnarounds

I cannot unravel my beliefs.

Hm. What’s this “I” that can or cannot unravel beliefs?

Can I find it outside of a thought?

I find it in a thought. An image.

A thought saying “I did that”.

I cannot find it outside of a thought.

–> Can a thought unravel beliefs?

No. Inquiry may be guided by thoughts, but real inquiry happens through awareness and feeling it in the body.

And even then, it’s just an invitation for beliefs to unravel. They may or may not unravel, they live their own life.

My beliefs cannot unravel me.

Yes, I can find an example.

Beliefs cannot unravel what experience happens within and as.

They cannot unravel what I am.

–> My thoughts cannot unravel my beliefs.

Hm. Yes, that’s true.

Thoughts can guide inquiry and *invite* beliefs to unravel, but that’s all they can do.

The real inquiry happens through awareness and feeling it in the body.

And beliefs unravel or not.

They life their own life.

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  • powerless over beliefs
    • in conventional sense – can do inquiry, invite in release from belief, but cannot make it happen
    • in more real sense
      • what I take as me and I are images, they cannot do anything
      • thoughts, choices, actions happen, then a story saying “I did that” – with “I” as an image
    • ways to explore this
      • the work – see it’s an invitation only
      • sense field exploration
      • headless experiments

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