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Part One is subtitled "I am an alcoholic."  Part Two is "I am a Buddhist", and Part Three is "I am We."  This is a grammatically incorrect statement if "we" is considered plural and "i" singular.  But if "we" is considered singular, then the sentence is grammatically, and perhaps spiritually, correct.  "I am We" tells how AA and Buddhism, the "Group Of Drunks" and the Sangha interweave to strengthen her path  to  enlightenment and her  sobriety.
I say "interweave," rather than "Integrate" or "unify."  AA and Buddhism supplement each other, the  steps  help keep  her on the  path: the path helps  her work  the steps.  If the vocabulary of AA and the vocabulary of Buddhism are different languages groping toward the same reality and process, then there more than  complementarity, there is unity.  The twelve steps ARE Buddhism and vice versa -- and Christianity, and Islam and etcetera.  The perennial philosophy is the parasol under which these clones nestle.

We is a great word.  It does not necessarily imply a "they."  I can think we without thinking about who might be included or excluded.  In my opinion, we is a greater word the more it includes:  all Buddhists, all alcoholics, all people, all sentient beings, all of creation.  When we is treated as a singular pronoun, it becomes a synonym of non-duality.  Saying i am we is like saying atman is Brahman.  The language of Buddhism sheds a new and, possibly productive, light on the 12 steps, and the language of AA may well be the same for Buddhism.

One example, of which i was previously unaware, is the Buddhist use of the term "skillful" in moral discourse.  Euphemisms are never very successful solutions to communication problems.  The euphemism quickly becomes a synonym.  But quickly is not instantly, and the euphenism can  shock some  people into new ways of opening a subject to further thought and discussion.  In discussing the "disease model" of alcoholism, people sometimes say: we thought we were bad people trying to be good, but we were sick people trying to get well.  Between the time i hear  that  phrase and the time i decide that sick means bad and well means good, i have a brief time to consider the implications  of  a disease model versus a moral model.  Before Skllful thought and action becomes a mere synonym for good thought and action versus bad thought and action, i have a chance to look at the "errors" of speech and action in  a different and perhaps more productive way.

The promises of AA are no less spiritual and marvelous than those of mystical paths. I must also believe that the goals of the mystical paths are no less attainable than and not very different from the promises of AA.

This is a good  book for spiritual reading.  It is a practical guide to wise and skillful living.

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bobby1933
bobby1933

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