Monday, October 31, 2011

Jedi Sobriety - Star Wars and the 12 Steps


As a fan of pop culture and an admitted geek, I like to watch am completely obsessed with the Star Wars sagas.  One aspect of the films that I find fascinating is the struggle between good and evil and the Jedi knights commitment  to maintaining  balance and harmony in the galaxy through their relationship with the Force.


All Jedi trainees, called padawan learners, undergo rigorous training with a mentor who imparts guidance and teachings on subjects of importance. Jedis learn to master their emotions and  eceive teachings on finding a connection to the Force as they understand it.


Jedi knights became powerful through the teachings of a Master Jedi, a master like Yoda.


What would Master Yoda have to say about each of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous?
  

What wisdoms might he impart to us if he were to take us through the Steps?


Let's find out...


Step 1 - Admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable. 


Yoda might tell us that we ..."must unlearn what you have learned…for, once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will."


Step 2 - Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


Master Yoda places his belief in in The Force - a power greater than himself, and believes that only It can bring true balance and sanity.  In coming to believe in a Higher Power, in a Force of our own understanding, Yoda might tell us that “a Jedi’s strength flows from the Force….May the Force be with you.”


Step 3 - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.


Master Yoda made a decision to turn his will and his life over to the care of the Force as he understood It. As part of our journey through the 12 Steps, we make a decision to allow a Higher Power into our lives. Yoda instructs us to “use your feeling, and find him you will. When all choices seem wrong, choose restraint, for you must unlearn what you have learned.”


Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


In making a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, we get a close-up of our  reactions to people, places and things, and the emotions that follow. For many of us, fear is at the root of our resentments. Yoda believes that taking a personal inventory is crucial to growth because “...named must your fear be before banish it you can.”
Step 5 - Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Once we have finished our moral inventory, we are ready to admit to our Higher Power, to ourselves, and to another human being what we have found. Yoda maintains that the fourth step is crucial to uncovering the truth, for “the dark side clouds everything. Clear your mind must be if you are to discover the real villains..."

Step 6 - Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 


In unlearning what we have learned in our alcoholic lives, we must be entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all our defects of character. It may feel as though we are losing a part of ourselves in practicing step 6, but to a Jedi knight, loss is another element of growth. So, according to Yoda, you must “train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

Step 7 - Humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings. 
A Jedi knight humbles himself to the infinite power and wisdom of the Force, humbly asking that It removes his shortcomings and makes him a better, more peaceful person. This step is an ongoing part of Yoda’s 12-Step training regiment, because he believes that “humility endless is.”
Step 8  Make a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 8 suggests we make a list of all persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all. Our connection to the Force we have forged comes particularly handy here because, with the Force on our side, we can walk through step 8 peacefully. Yoda reminds us “a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”
Step 9 - Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 
When we make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others, we strengthen our relations to those we have harmed. His relations with other groups have strengthened as a result of Step 9, and now he boasts “good relations with the Wookies, I have.”
Step 10 - Continued to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admit it. 
To be the best Jedi knight you can be, we must continue to take personal inventory and promptly admit our wrongs when we notice them. In practicing step 10, we are readily willing to accept the truth about our thoughts, our actions and ourselves. Yoda believes in step 10 because, “to be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose” how we respond to it and utilize it for positive action.
Step 11 - 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. 
Step 11 instructs us to seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, and to pray only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Yoda continues to practice step 11 each day and tells us that in our prayer and meditation to your Higher Power “to the Force, look for guidance. Use your feeling, and find him you will.”

Step 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.  
The core belief of a Jedi Knight is to give freely of that which they have received as a result of becoming enlightened in the ways of the Force. Yoda has said that in order to spread the message of the Force, we must “around the survivors, a perimeter create.” Coming to the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, we can identify as a survivor of our Alcoholism—find the other survivors and form a foundation of support.
We can be our own greatest support or troublesome obstacle, for, as Yoda prophesies, in the rooms of A.A. “you will find only what you bring in.”

We are now ready to sponsor a newcomer and take them through the steps, for in this spiritual journey, according to Yoda, “...always there are two, a master and an apprentice.” We can now  share our experience, strength and hope with our new apprentices, but we can't become complacent with our achievement and completion of the steps, for “...much to learn, you still have.”

Be well, do good work and keep in touch. 


Adapted from/Inspired By Addiction Blog

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