October 7, 2010 on 11:00 am
Dear Spiritual Explorer: I am an old AA tippler well along the road to recovery and have just discovered a more expansive way of looking at the 12 Step Program of AA by Rabbi Rami Shapiro. Can you talk more about Rabbi Rami Shapiro? Yehuda, Albany, NY
Recovery, the Sacred Art by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Dear Yehuda: I was excited to see that we do indeed carry in Ma’s India Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s inclusive and expanded perspective in his book Recovery, the Sacred Art wherein he explores the spirituality basic to AA’s 12 step program. The difference in Rabbi Shapiro’s book from other tomes of alcoholism is that he teaches practices and shares insights from Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Taoism. Rabbi Rami Shapiro distills the veritable universality of these teachings and makes them accessible to all cultures and peoples suffering from not only addiction, but the root causes of addiction. Rabbi Rami Shapiro also shares his own recovery process and sees the freedom from addiction as the desire to be spiritually free also. This translates to being free of our feelings of jealousy, envy, hatred, etc., all those human emotions that continually bog us down which also contribute to our addictions. Like Rabbi Zalman Schachter, Rabbi Rami Shapiro uses Judaism as a mainstay and springboard from which to view and explore other religious perspectives.
I went on Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s blog the other day where he speaks of the problem with religion today in that it has lost its imaginative capacity and poetic soul and has bought into a pseudo scientific paradigm insisting that it too is science. Rabbi Rami Shapiro announces that organized religion is at a crossroads. It will either devolve into bad science accompanied by its archaic traditions, social norms and traditionalism accentuated by fear-wrought community values or it will regain its soul, rediscover the power of its myths and legends, and learn how to tell them in a manner that provides insight into the human condition, accompanied by comfort, compassion, and justice for the human community.
Naturally, Rabbi Rami Shapiro, consistent with these views, would want to develop a more expansive view of how the addictive process should be viewed. Rabbi Rami Shapiro would want it to expand into awareness that alcoholism as well as any other addictive process is an attempt by the ego to continue its habituations. Rabbi Rami Shapiro has expanded his own spiritual background as a Jew to include other philosophies and spiritual renderings, all of which contribute to a more inclusive view of humanity and God and Spirit. This is a remarkable book by Rabbi Shapiro.
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