This is an old but good insight.
The twelve step program(s) can equally well be applied to my most basic addiction, to taking stories as true.
Here is a revised version of the twelve steps, applied to my basic addiction:
- We admitted we were powerless over beliefs — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Yes. I am certainly addicted to beliefs, and my life has become unmanageable because of it. That is very true, and I have seen it over and over.
- I am powerless over beliefs. In a conventional sense, I can do inquiry etc. and invite beliefs to release, but the invitation is all I can offer. I cannot “make” it happen.
- And in a more real sense, what I think of as me or I – this image of a me or I – cannot do anything, simply because they are images. Thoughts happen. Choices happen. Actions happen. There is a thought saying “I did that” with the I referring to these images of a me and an I. All of that happens on it’s own, and there is no “I” that does any of it. These images of a me or I are powerless, simply because they are images.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Yes. Since I am powerless – in a conventional and real sense – only a greater power can restore me to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- I make a decision and intention to turn my will and life over to the care of God.
- My will is not my will anyway, and my life is not my life, so I am admitting it has always belonged to God. I am giving it over to the care of God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Yes. When I am most honest with myself, when I take it as a confession, what do I find? How is my life? How am I living my life?
- One way I do this is through answering question #3 from The Work: what happens when I believe that thought?
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- This one is powerful. What happens when I believe my thoughts? How do I live my life?
- How is it to confess this – to God, to myself, to another human being?
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- God, let Your Will be Done. Remove these defects of character, if that’s your will.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- God, remove my shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Wow. That will be a long list, and it will feel good.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Yes. There is a power in admitting to how I have harmed others, and even more so when I admit it to the ones I have harmed.
- This is the path of reconciliation, and it also helps me see what’s left for me.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Yes. In my case, I can find support in this through The Work.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Yes. I pray for God to show me the way. To show me what I need to see. For me to befriend beliefs. For beliefs to fall away, if that’s Your will.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to believers, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
- Yes. As I gain more familiarity with this, I can share this with others just as this has been shared with me. It creates a community of people exploring this together in mutual support.
- How is it to live from this? Where do I not yet live from this? How would it be to apply it there? What support do I need, if any, to do so?
After going through this list, I have a strong urge to create a group like this – believers anonymous. It may be very powerful.
Of course, the meetings would start with my name is …, and I believe my thoughts.