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Alcoholism and Codependence

"I bring the term "milestone" up at this point because the term "Codependent" has evolved out of a vitally important event or milestone in this century. A milestone whose ripple effect has been vitally important in laying the groundwork for the change that has taken place in human consciousness.

I believe that in a hundred years historians will look back and pinpoint this milestone as the single most important event in the twentieth century. This milestone was the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in Akron, Ohio, in June of 1935.

Besides the invaluable gift of sobriety that AA has given to millions of Alcoholics, it also started a revolution in Spiritual consciousness.

The dramatic success and expansion of AA facilitated the spread of a radically revolutionary idea which has traditionally, in Western Civilization, been considered heresy. This was not a new idea but rather a reintroduction and clarification of an old idea, coupled with a formula for practical application of the concept into day-to-day human life experience.

This revolutionary idea was that an unconditionally Loving Higher Power exists with whom the individual being can personally communicate. A Higher Power that is so powerful that it has no need to judge the humans it created because this Universal Force is powerful enough to ensure that everything unfolds perfectly from a Cosmic Perspective.

This reintroduction of the revolutionary concept of an accessible Loving God has been clarified to specifically include the concept that the individual being can define this Universal Force according to his/her own understanding, and can develop a personal, intimate relationship with this Higher Power.

In other words, no one is needed as an intermediary between you and your creator. No outside agency has the right to impose upon you its definition of God.

The spread of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the other Anonymous programs which sprang out of AA, is the widest and most effective dissemination of this radical revolutionary concept that has ever occurred in Western Civilization.


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Mystics, Gnostics, and certain "primitive" peoples have, throughout recorded human history, understood the Truth in this concept but the "organized religions" of urban-based civilizations have persecuted, tortured, and crucified any messengers or groups of people who believed in a Loving, personal God or Goddess - because it threatened the power of those organized religions' control over the masses and therefore their very existence. This time the dissemination of the message has been effective because: The time was right; the revolutionary concept was camouflaged as part of a successful treatment for a fatal, incurable disease; and it was accompanied by the Twelve Step Spiritual program.

The Twelve Step program of AA provides a practical program for accessing Spiritual power in dealing with day-to-day human life. A formula for integrating the Spiritual into the physical. Even though some of the steps, as originally written, contain shaming and abusive wording, the Twelve Step process and the ancient Spiritual principles underlining it are invaluable tools in helping the individual being start down, and stay on, a path aligned with Truth.

It is out of the Twelve Step Recovery movement that our understanding of the dysfunctional nature of civilization has evolved. It is out of the Alcoholic Recovery movement that the term "Codependent" has emerged."

"The condition of Spiritual dis-ease has been a part of the human experience for so long - for thousands of years - that some of its symptomatic defenses have been genetically adapted by the evolving human species. Alcoholism, I believe, is just one example of a genetically transmitted, physical disease that is an adapted behavioral defense against the pain of Spiritual dis-ease."

(Quotations from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)

next: The Death of an Alcoholic

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 11). Alcoholism and Codependence, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/joy2meu/alcoholism-and-codependence

Last Updated: August 7, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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