Principles of Sacred Consciousness


The common form of understanding addiction is through its widespread and conventional expression in the form of alcohol and substance abuse. These behavioral reflections of addictive process are well known, both in their debilitating and often catastrophic consequences for individuals and their families, and in the form of healing and treatment known as the process of 'recovery'. This process is one that millions of people associated with Alcoholics Anonymous and its affiliates have taken part in since the first half of the twentieth century when AA was established.
There is, however, a broader and more universal context in which to view addiction, one that is spiritual in nature and that affects the life of every soul on Earth. This universal context does not define addictive process by its conventional manifestation as alcohol or substance abuse. Rather, it sees these as the most concentrated symptomatic forms of a limitation of consciousness that is universal. This limitation gives rise to a motivation within humanity as a whole to address the state of inner emptiness arising out of perceived separation from Spirit, and to cope with this loss by filling the place formerly occupied by spiritual unity and wholeness. It is for this purpose, and this purpose alone, that all of addiction, at its root, arises.
Inner emptiness does not have to be felt as such in order to exist. In fact, it has been so much a part of the human condition, that most do not realize that there is a different way of life that is possible, and that the attractions, desires, and illusions that human beings hold onto can also be looked at as forms of addiction. For these attractions represent a clinging to what is less real in order to prevent experiencing the loss of what is more real. Such clinging may be to substances, but more often it is to ways of perceiving life, and values in life, that will confer upon it meaning and significance when its core spiritual meaning has become diminished or lost.
It is in this sense that it may be said that humanity as a whole, to the extent that it is subject to the illusion of a physical reality that is separate from the spiritual, is clinging to a false picture of reality as a substitute for truth, and in that clinging, partakes of addictive process, since the clinging to something external that is meant to fill a void within the self is the definition, par excellence, of what addiction is about.
Two things must be said about this, however, in order to not demean the evolution of human consciousness and the great spiritual strides forward that have taken place in the presence of separation from spiritual wholeness and unity.
The first is that this separation and its resultant clinging to attractions and illusions of various kinds – wealth, success, relationships, the youth of the body – is not a fault. It is not a mistake. For human souls, before they took incarnation on the Earth, chose to explore the realm of duality and to enter a dimension in which it would appear that the physical was separate from the spiritual. This choice of the soul to explore its own freedom and limitless possibilities also involved it with forms of limitation that were not anticipated, and immersed it in illusion as it lost sight of greater truth.
Secondly, it would not be right to reduce the complexity of human evolution and the path of movement of consciousness toward its present status to a word which represents an aspect of the problem of living in duality. For the word itself focuses primarily on the liabilities of that evolution and not on its growth or gains, and tends, in its present usage, to offer a picture of negative consequences rather than positive. This is due to its current association with addiction as a disability or disease.
Rather, we can understand the universal implications of addictive process, and still know that the conventional use of the word has served its purpose well, and has highlighted a longstanding symptom that must be dealt with on its own terms. This more restricted focus allows us to continue offering the help that is needed for those suffering from a serious emotional, mental, and physical disability.
Nevertheless, we can also know that there is a universal addictive process in which much of humanity participates, and that alcohol and substance abuse is the derivative form of this universal process in its most concentrated expression. Our ability to recognize the origin of this problem is now allowing us to return to the more fundamental roots of addiction on both levels, the universal and the particular, namely, spiritual separation and the sense of longing to return to a state of wholeness.
With this in mind, we can express deep gratitude to the Realms of Light for the offering of Principles of Sacred Consciousness to a waiting humanity. For these Principles are meant to be a transformative vehicle to change not only the lives of those who are or have been involved with substance abuse, but to affect the consciousness of humanity as a whole.
It will be seen that the shape of the Principles, in their writing, parallels their predecessor in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. This format allows these Principles to rest on the firm foundation of their historical relationship to conventional forms of substance abuse. In their present formulation, however, though resonance with the past is evident, Principles of Sacred Consciousness is also intended to bring forth a new outlook that has not been possible before now. This new outlook allows the Principles to appeal to a collective consciousness that is now ready to seek its way home from separation to unity, from the ordinary to the sacred, and from an awareness that sees the physical as something other than the spiritual, to one which recognizes that there is only one greater Life pervading all.
May these Principles be received in the place of the heart in which the deepest truth of one's identity can be found, and in which the identity of self and the identity of the Whole become One.

Julie Redstone
April 20, 2008