Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Instincts and Sin intro

Seabrook Island; SC

“Creation gave us instincts for a purpose.  Without them we wouldn’t be complete human beings.”  -  Bill Wilson

“So these desires, for the sex relation, for material and emotional security, and for companionship – are perfectly necessary and right, and surely God-given.”  -  Bill Wilson

     I grew up being taken to church – my parents had belonged to a very strict denomination when I was young and later switched to another – both of the Judeo-Christian bent.  Perhaps I didn’t hear what others heard, but I heard that I was a sinner.  There was evil in me that wanted to compete with the good in me – thus there were parts of me that I would be better off having exorcised.  When as a boy I began to mature sexually there was no frank discussion on the topic.  All I could comprehend from what I heard at church was that this urge was evil.  “Sex education” at school was a joke – spent primarily on the abstract of reproduction organs and the like.  As a young male the drive was strong and so at some point I just wrote myself off as “evil.” 

    But there was science that was at odds with the teachings of the church – one group said that the earth was only a few thousand years old while the other showed clearly that many millions of years had shaped this cold blue rock we float about on.  Science had hard answers to the things I observed around me - answers that matched the reality that I observed.

     So, at some point I discarded the notion of religion entirely – and along with it any ideas of “spirituality.”  But the hard-wiring of my childhood brain remained in place, and for many things I felt a deep sense of guilt for what I was and shame for what I was not.  And at some point my interpretation of Science - atheistic or agnostic at best - failed me too.

     The two quotes above came from a fellow named Bill Wilson, written back in the 1930’s.  His approach to spirituality taught that ALL of our instincts are right and true, it is just in the practice of them that we get misaligned.  He taught that all of them can be lumped into four basic categories, and if we are out of whack in one area it will affect the others negatively.  He taught that most every serious emotional problem derives from a misalignment of these instincts.  He was clear that if we are ever to know a faith that really works on a moment to moment basis we must bring these instincts into alignment and reconcile our past behavior regarding them.

     I would like to take the next several days to explore this concept, and compare it to the “sin-righteousness” concept that I was given as a youth.  This may take an open mind for some, and for others this may be old-hat.  Tomorrow we will start with the first instinct and what he argues is the most powerful – the sexual.

Today, may I be open minded.

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