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Spirituality Defined

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A recent communication from an OA member had me thinking about the spiritual aspect of OA’s program. This person didn’t work the spiritual side of recovery. Well, I am an atheist, and I have a strong spiritual side. I began to ponder how I could explain this.

I am a definitions person, so I consulted some online dictionaries for the meaning of “spirituality.” I left out obvious definitions about religion and the soul because I don’t believe in the soul as a definitive, everlasting creation. I’ve listed interesting, and not inferior, definitions:

  • “standing in a relationship based on communication between the souls or minds of the persons involved”
  • “having a mind or emotions of a high and delicately refined quality”
  • “of, relating to, or characteristic of sacred things”
  • “incorporeal”
  • “closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, etc.”

I can relate to these definitions too. My mind may be made of neurons, which transmit electrical energy and chemicals, but it also creates something incorporeal, ethereal, and transcendent that we cannot easily explain. This is what people mean when they refer to the soul. I don’t believe it existed before I was born or will last after I die, but it is a remarkable thing.

One of the definitions refers to the communication of the mind (or soul) with another being, which could be a god, nature, or person. This highlights my personal definition of spirituality. How delicate, marvelous and wonderful for two or more souls or minds to connect with one another—a rare and beauteous thing, the stuff of magic and miracles. I’m not talking about mere communication—mindless, tedious, crude yapping.

I’m talking about a real connection between disparate individuals. It is the wondrous moment when two beings transcend the mechanics of speech and listening and become one mind sharing a thought. It seems simple and common, but it’s rare if one ponders it. How many times in your 24-hour day do you stop communicating and simply exist within one mind with another being! It can be done with or without words. It can be a mere look, with humans or animals.

I often share these transcendent moments with OA program people in meetings and fellowships. In the “real” world, these moments are as rare as finding a perfectly formed conch shell while walking along the beach. But in OA meetings and fellowship, you can string these pearls into a necklace and have the bracelet and earrings to match.

I find my spirituality in connection. This connection requires fellowship with other beings (or nature) and cannot be done alone. Twelve Step meetings and works prepare me for this fellowship and provide the opportunity.

Spending time in OA is more than a requirement, healthy mindset, or mere opportunity for relaxation. It is my spirituality. I feel nurtured and fed when I am in true fellowship. I don’t hunger afterwards. I am wonderfully full. My needs diminish, and my satisfaction with life grows. Fellowship is sacred time for me, and the meetings are sacred ground.

This, in a nutshell, is my spirituality.

— Amy, Fredricksburg, Virginia USA

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