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A friend in Program says:

Is it possible for atheists and agnostics, Christians and Jews, Buddhists, Moslems, Hindus, Mormons and members of other religious faiths to agree to any extent about the last three Steps of Program?

The answer is yes, of course. Lurking behind the God-focus of Steps 10, 11 and 12 is the key to the problem impeding all spiritual growth -- "I." The chief stumbling block to the spiritual progress of any believer or non-believer is not God (or the lack of a God). It's the insistence we have on putting "I" first; on thinking we are so smart (or so spiritually enlightened) that we know not only what we should do but what everyone else should do; on believing in our heart of hearts -- whatever we may piously proclaim outwardly -- that "I" am really much more important than anyone else; on our soul-sickening belief that "I" am still to some extent the center of the universe.

Solipsism, or the belief that only "I" really exist, has always been around as a crackpot philosophical theory, but it has never formed the foundation of any viable, societally-based approach to life. With some very rare exceptions (some of which have occurred comparatively recently, unfortunately), workable ways of life have always been based on the notion that "we" are as important as "I." The problem -- for those who are God-oriented as much as for those who are agnostic or atheist -- has been how to live that notion out in practical terms.

Which is exactly what Steps 10, 11 and 12 offer us. If we are willing to accept that the term "God" in those Steps is open to the broadest possible interpretation, and that "prayer and meditation" involve listening rather than doing or talking, then we have a foundation for living in those Steps which any of us can practice -- as long as we're willing to get "I" out of the way.

"The spiritual life is never one of achievement:
it is always one of letting go."

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