Exploring Step 2
Step two refers to "ourselves." What does this mean?
Ourselves - who are we?
Step 2 begs the question of who we are, in order that we can understand what is greater than ourselves. On 21 April 2010, while sitting on the beach in the sunshine, and meditating on this question I came to this conclusion:
I am my own conscious mind.
Everything outside of my conscious mind is greater than me, including my subconscious mind and my body. For example, my feet belong to me. And so my body belongs to me too. All these things, my subconscious mind, and my body are on loan to me for this life. I am grateful for my body, with all of its imperfections. I am also grateful for my mind with all of its imperfections. The 12 steps programme, given to me in perfect condition by alcoholics anonymous, has enabled me to begin the process of reducing the imperfections of my conscious mind.
My unconscious mind is that part of my mind that can take over, run on auto-pilot, and lead me into all sorts of grief. Many in 12 step fellowships refer to this part of their mind as "the committee" -- it argues and fights with itself to the point exhaustion, never making any positive progress. It is driven by fear, regurgitating resentments and cooking up all manner of insane plans.
I am not my unconscious mind
I am not my unconscious mind, however my unconscious mind clearly has the power to destroy me. Through the 12 step program I am slowly and steadily learning to use my conscious mind, guided by my conscience, to laugh at the insanity of the committee.
My spirit is how other people experience me. My spirit will live on, for a short while anyway, after I am gone. So my spirit does not ultimately belong to me. In the end it belongs to those who experience it now, and in the hereafter. As an example I have only today (4 Sept 2010) become aware of an amazing aspect of Charlie Chaplins spirit. Until today I always though he was just a silent comedian. His spirit clearly lives on, and it is rather eerie the way he says, "Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people."