We Agnostics (Continue)
C: Today I believe that there's only three ways that you can believe in this God, as we
understand Him, whatever we want to call it. You can be an atheist; you can be an agnostic: or you can be a true believer. Those three ways are about the only way you can really believe in God.
Now, to be an atheist is to say that God does not exist. The true atheist believes that there's no power greater than human power, no power greater than the human mind. Now, if that be the case, then the true atheist has no other power to turn to. He must stand on his own two feet, make his own decisions, run his own show, because there's no power greater than his mind. I don't think most of us were atheist.
I think probably most of us were agnostic. Because you see an agnostic is one who believes that God exists, but then he acts as if he doesn't. He acts exactly like the atheist. He runs his own show, stands on his own two feet, runs his own destiny and turns to no other power for help. He gets the same results, nothing. Even though he believes that God exists, he acts as if he doesn't. (See Transcriber's note on
The only other way you can believe in God is to be a true believer. A true believer, believes that God exists, and acts as if he does. He doesn't try to run his own show. He doesn't try to make his decisions. He doesn't try to rule his own destiny. He turns to this God, as he understands Him, for help and direction in his life, receives it end he knows that God exists.
And that's the only way you can believe. You got to be an atheist, agnostic, or a true believer, one of the three. Most of us found ourselves, I believe, to be agnostics. I've never had any quarrel all my life whether God existed or not. I've always know that there was some Power greeter than human power.
But my understanding of that Power was false. I believed that Power was a punishing Power. And he wouldn't help people who had been like I am.
This book has allowed me to change my understanding. It's allowed me to move from being an agnostic to being one who now has become a true believer. Not only does it give me God as I understand Him, but it gives me a new understanding of God.
Now, if we be an atheist or we be an agnostic, the question becomes, how do we get from that state to the state of being a true believer? One who can use that Power, and then will know that God exists for sure. The book's going to tell me exactly how to do it in a very simple manner. It said: (p. 44, par. 4 p. 4S, par. 1) 'If a mere code of morale or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us (top of p. 45) would have recovered long
I believe that there's a difference between an alcoholic and a drunken bum. A drunken bum usually is about where (he) wants to be. They're satisfied with where they are, what they're doing and they don't particularly want to change. But an alcoholic is a different breed of cat. An alcoholic usually has a code of morale. An alcoholic usually
has a good philosophy for life. An alcoholic knows that you need to work. You need to make a living. You need to pay your bills. You need to take care of your family.
We have a good philosophy of life, but if those would have saved us, we would have recovered long ago. But they didn't save us. Things kept getting worse and worse and worse. Even though we had morale, even though we had a philosophy of life, we found we couldn't live up to those because of our alcoholism.
And my book says: (p. 45 par. 1) 'But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there. Our human recourses, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.'
I believe that to be true. If you and I could have done it through our own will, through our own morale, through our own philosophies, we never would have become members of Alcoholics Anonymous. I don't know anybody who set out at eighteen, fifteen, sixteen, fourteen, and took a drink and said I, can't wait for the day to come when I can be a member of A. A. (laughter) We were driven here, under the lash of alcoholism.
We tried every power that we could think of and finally, finally, when they all failed, we had to come to Alcoholics Anonymous. This is the court of last resort. Our power as marshaled by the will, simply was not sufficient. Now the book's going to tell me what my real problem is. I thought all along it was drinking.
But the book says: (p. 45 par. 2) 'Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?'