top of page

July 14 • Prometheus Promises

Day 736

Belief systems are potent predictors on how people behave. From religion to atheism, across the political spectrums, and even random ideas that can obsess someone into a psychosis, we accept what we're told or what we tell ourselves. We cling to our own versions of the truth based on experiences and even what we want to be true. These are not criticisms, just observations that the same ideals we hold dear can turn into the dogma of war and hatred just as easily as they can bring us comfort or lead us to serve our fellow citizens of the world.

My first experience in doubting what I'd been raised to believe about God came during my sophomore year of high school when I was required to read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The book overwhelmed me with extremes of emotions and pathos and even anger toward the many moviemakers that have perverted the artistry of Shelley's work.

I still get angryish thinking about how the cinema has stolen the soul of this beautiful tragedy. Virtually every talkie made since Boris Karloff's version clunked across the screen in 1931 has been a remake of that movie or the one that came next; no one has had the courage to forsake Hollywood's iconic vulgarities in exchange for the complicated simple love story of a man and his beast. For months, I identified with that damn monster and the world of misunderstandings that tortured him and turned him from what he wanted to be, into that which he was believed to be. For years he has chased me across the frozen landscapes of my struggles.

I didn't mean to go quite that far with my rant; I'm just trying to make the point that my passions were stirred in ways that exceeded the emotions of my faith. That made me question whether my faith was real at all. If a piece of literature could generate such energies and certainties, how could I be certain that the Bible wasn't just another form of escapism or crowd control?

The doubt has been very healthy and has served me well, turning the faith of my childhood into my own faith based on the investigations, the experiences, and the decisions to surrender myself to a power greater than all of us. It has also served me well in my associations with believers of other faiths around the world as it has taught me that people who believe differently than me have been influenced by their own families and cultures and experiences. I have found room to respect those who have chosen different paths; that is now easier for me than accepting those who have chosen nothing.

It has also helped me in recovery from sexual addiction as I've had to look at the 12 Step program as a belief system with all the weaknesses and strengths of any way of thinking designed to bring about a particular result. It does not bother me that I can sit in a meeting next to an atheist as we both seek to surrender to our Higher Powers; that amazes me.

But I had to believe in the system before it began helping me. In the beginning, my belief was that I was killing myself in my sexual addiction and that I had no way out. It was out of desperation, not conviction that I walked into the room for the first time. All I found was hope that there might be something there in which I might eventually believe. That hope kept me going back for months, even as I kept acting out. The hope turned to seeking, and then I reached a point where I believed some of what I was hearing. I decided to pursue this 'system' of recovery. I made a decision to believe in the people, the stories, and the Steps that led them to where I was.

This is not magic, but it is tested. It is not supernatural... wait... yes, it is supernatural. My natural state has leaned deeply into addictive behaviors for most of my life. Recovery is superimposing new ways of thinking and acting that are slowly re-wiring my brain and my desires. And it happens in correlation with surrendering to my Higher Power.

It may not be divine, but it is supernatural. And in my belief system, I could not do it without the blessings and forgiveness of the divine.



Sometimes when facing common trouble

When whole town is screwed

We become actually human

Act like Prometheus would

Suddenly there is more humor

–Gogol Bordello, “Oh No”



bottom of page