“When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned.
My depression deepened unbearably, and finally it seemed to me as though I were at the very bottom of the pit. For the moment, the last vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found myself crying out, “If there is a God, let him show himself! I am ready to do anything, anything.!”
Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. It seemed to me, in the mind’s eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man. Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself, “So this is the god of the preachers!”
SOURCE: Bill W., As Bill Sees It. Page 2. “In God’s Hand.” (The above quote is from Alcoholics Anonymous, P.100.)
Alcoholism (depression) and addiction , characterized as they are by the rigid clinging of obsession and compulsion, help us to understand the experience of release. Perhaps the greatest paradox in the story of spirituality is the mystical insight that we are able to experience release only if we let ourselves go. This is the paradox of surrender. Surrender begins with the acceptance that we are not in control of the matter at hand –in fact, we are not in absolute control of anything. Thus the experience of surrender involves the “letting in” of reality that becomes possible only when we are ready to “let go” of our illusions and pretensions ( our unreality).
If surrender is the act of “letting go” the experience of conversion can be understood as the hinge on which the act swings – it is the turning point, the turning from “denial” as a way of seeing things to acceptance of the reality revealed in surrender. The self-centeredness that reflects a false relationship with reality, and that false relationship begins with distorted seeing, with some kind of false understanding about the nature of reality and our relationship with it. Breaking through that denial and confronting reality is what members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Depressed Anonymous mean by “hitting bottom.”
The experience or release most frequently comes at the point of exhaustion, at the moment when we “give up” our efforts to just be…
What blocks release more than anything else is the refusal to “let go” that comes from the demand for security, for certainty, for assured results. Release, like spirituality, requires risk.”
SOURCE: The Spirituality of Imperfection. (1992) Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketchum. Bantam, NY. , Page 173.