Everyone knows AA is where alcohol over-indulgers go for rehab. But is joining the program the end of all troubles? I don’t have any experience in this domain, and can’t say for sure – but I doubt it would be any different from most other programs or lessons or coaching or tutorials for anything. There is perhaps some stuff handed on a platter, but there would be no substitute for self-effort.
Why the sudden talk of AA? A podcast I was listening to recently had the guest mention a quote by Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Apparently Bill once said “You can’t think your way into right action, but you can act your way into right thinking”.
This seems very simple and intuitive, but it is quite profound. In today’s world, there is an alarmingly high number of armchair scientists, theorists, psychologists, doctors, therapists, and all sorts of other pseudo-professionals. Armed with degrees from FB-college and WA-university, no domain is out of reach.
Is ‘thinking’ important? Of course, without proper thought and planning, one cannot succeed. But action (aka karma yoga) is essential. Especially on the spiritual path, thinking too much can only get in our way. But, by taking small steps towards positive actions, such as being kind to others, practicing gratitude and mindfulness, we’ll find that our thoughts and desires start to align with our actions, leading to a more fulfilling life. And eventually we may just discover our deepest desire – to attain enlightenment – even if we do not consciously desire or realize it!