#4777 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry Katz
- #4777 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - Editor: Jerry KatzThe Nonduality Highlights http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights/
Beyond Recovery: Nonduality and the Twelve Steps
by Fred Davis
Reviewed by Jerry Katz
Beyond Fred, December 5, 2012This review is from: Beyond Recovery: Nonduality and the Twelve Steps (Paperback)
What Alcoholics Anonymous is
Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of recovery from alcoholism and the restoration of responsibility so that one may function effectively in the world, or, as Adyashanti might say, "Dream well." Dreaming well could mean that one lives well, lives a good life, is a fine citizen, family person, and member of the community, and that life includes remaining sober, taking on-going personal inventory, and yielding to the will of a higher power.
However, the culture of AA does not include a teaching that would look into the dream or the dreamer. Fred calls the addiction to the dream, or to compulsive thinking, or to our small self, our "secret addiction." Nonduality takes care of that. He writes, "We're trying to find out the truth about ourselves; to unloose blind patterns; to unravel and unwind our story; and to begin dismantling the dream of me-ness from within the dream itself."
A cultural shift
So this book by Fred Davis extends the culture of AA and contributes to the current shift in Western civilization which is one from attending to religion, philosophy, art, history, music, and science as pointers to our true nature, to true nature itself. In other words, it is a shift toward attending to attention, or to the one attending, rather than to the creative outcomes of that kind of attention.
Science and the liberal arts do not lose attention, significance, or importance in this shift. Rather, they become enhanced as people have less need to defend, protect, and therefore distort and stifle them. That is, identification with a creative work is released as attention turns and moves toward the one identifying. While AA restores responsibility, nonduality looks at the one who would be responsible.
Fred is a player in this shift. He knows what's happening and writes, "The greatest change in history is happening right now, in our lifetimes."
Hallmark of a good nonduality book
Fred has achieved the hallmark of a good nonduality book, which is that it communicates the essential teaching of nonduality to just about any reader regardless of the book's dominant perspective. That hallmark is evident in works whose dominant themes are quantum theory, neuroscience, ecology, acting, education, psychotherapy, Western philosophy, art, yoga, aikido, haiku, ecofeminism, film, and religious studies.
As a collector and organizer of nondual perspectives, allow me to announce that with this small flurry of books on recovery by Fred Davis, Scott Kiloby, and the upcoming one from Gary Nixon (and there are others prior to this flurry), we now have an official new nondual perspective, the one of recovery.
Effectiveness and grace
The bottom line, though, is how effective is this nondual take on the 12-step program of AA? Fred writes, "I do know that what I present here is effective in helping others. This is not mere theory; it is field proven." It better be. Like others with severe addiction to alcohol, Fred's life was hellish for a long time and he describes it in detail.
Yet, he says, "Becoming addicted, in a bizarre way, is the greatest thing most of us ever did." ... "[Recovery] has primed us for approaching enlightenment. Recovery has given us one new life already, and now we discover that it has readied us for another! Who could imagine that people such as we could come into such great bounty and beauty? Who could imagine such grace as this?"
Fred says, "Nonduality could be called the philosophy of not asking the universe to do anything it's not already doing. In this tradition we're not applying for change. We're applying only for awareness and acceptance."
However, he says, "I don't recommend Nonduality for getting people clean and sober and abstinent, and I don't recommend recovery as the best path to awakening. ... Addiction is a closed, self-affirming system. But recovery can become something of a closed system as well; it's quite circular. That's not a criticism, it's an observation. Addiction and recovery are yin and yang, two sides of the very same coin. Our goal here is to move our view beyond all opposites, including those two."
Fred Davis opens a big gate door with this book, so that brave ones from the world of recovery may further pursue their adventure of inquiry within a thoroughly described context of nonduality.~ ~ ~Order through Amazon.com: