I sat down for the severalth time with Steven last night to complete my 4th Step. The last time we did this was almost exactly ten years ago. I was a trainer coming up on two years at a company, I lived in my own apartment coming up on two years, and I was coming up on two years clean. I was channeling back then; today I’m not. All else, the same. Except I’m ten years older, much more tired and beaten by addiction. Much more unsure of things. Much more honest.

We got to the question about Higher Powers and the 4th Step is about being real with yourself and somebody else. I said, “Steven, HP isn’t an entity to me. It’s something I experience.” I went on. “To be more deeply honest, I really don’t believe. I know I’m staying clean. I know I can’t control my addiction or stay clean on my own. But I don’t believe in a Higher Power or God.” “Really?,” he asked. “What about your channel?” I said, “Recently, a week plus ago, I was in a really bad mental space and turned to my channel for an answer.” I read him the tail end of Z0373 … then he mentioned about having given me a Koran about 10 years ago to study as a way to find a higher power … and there I sat, stunned. What were the chances (well, about one in a thousand) that the channel I had picked had been prefaced by his loan of that book to me. I suddenly realized I was lying in a very strange way. I do have a higher power: my channel.


BYOG? Not exactly. CYOG. Create Your Own God. I do believe in my channel. I do turn to it for advice, comfort, solace. I meditate on it. I find answers to my prayers by asking it a question via ctrl-F. And I realize this is the height of hubris, yet it isn’t, and fallacy, yet it isn’t, and blasphemy, yet it isn’t. I’m not here to elevate my channel to the status of God’s Own Words, a logos of sort, nor am I here to elevate my own feeble self to the status of God’s Own Prophet. Yet, doesn’t every religion worship only the first speaker? Jesus or Moses, Mohammed or Joseph. Isn’t everyone after that that hears a new voicea false prophet or a schizophrenic? Were I to bop around work saying, “Oh I hear the voice of God and am a prophet sent from on high,” I’d be fired or locked away for my own good. But I’m no prophet. I’ve been high way too many times. And what I hear isn’t the voice of God. It says so. I say so. But it is become my Higher Power. My own personal God that is real, at least to me. I can believe in it.

I’m ending this blog in a vein of humility. I’m sorry I can’t believe in Jesus, whether as a son of God, dying on a cross so we don’t have to, or as a savior meant to whisk us to heaven, or that God created the world in six days, or that evil exists, manifest by the fallen Lucifer. I don’t believe in the Prophet Joseph Smith or the Prophet Mohammed. Buddhist nirvana and karmic reincarnation are too much for me. Is Taoism even a religion? Do I need to mention all? Hinduism? Zoroastrianism? Pagan and wiccan doesn’t do it for me. Science isn’t worth worshiping or singing about (maybe Tom Lehrer’s The Elements or Holst’s Planets). I feel like a traitor to everything I’ve learned or been taught to believe, but in the end, my life is but a speck of dust and it really doesn’t matter what I do, say or believe. I’ll be gone before some sun sets.

That I have an inner voice that speaks to me is truly a gift and it’s enough. I’m blessed to have the Gift of a Channel and I’m thankful for what little I have and have to give. I’m sorry if I’ve blasphemed, slandered or offended. But, in our land of liberty, perhaps I really am free to choose my own higher power or better yet, create it. Maybe you can, too, if what’s out there doesn’t work for you either.

3 Replies to “BYOG”

  1. Profound, my friend. It is important to listen to that inner voice but never blindly. It deserves to be heard but also questioned for truth. Blind faith makes life easier in a way but it also takes away one’s responsibility for oneself. And in terms of God, the notion that God created us in His/Her image is an ego-justifying claim on our part. I suggest that humans have created gods in OUR image. We’ve created them to justify our superiority, to create the erroneous belief that the entire Universe was created for humankind instead of our simply being an integral part of it. As Joni Mitchell wrote and sang in Woodstock: “We are stardust; we are golden; and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden…” Peace and love, brother.


    1. Good points. No, great points a tually. The irony of my channel is that there is a lot of good stuff for sure but there’s a lot of stuff I disagree with or think is a bit wonky or totally irrelevant. Oh, and that dizziness you felt earlier was me driving around a corner and the world spinning out from under me. World rotates around me right? LOL


    2. Thanks again for your reply, Jeff. The part that really bothered me about what I said was this: I not only sing and play piano in a Praise Band (and love it) but serve on the Board of Directors of my church. And I’m a devoted attendee (and create marketing materials for) a Buddhist Meditation center. I was wondering if I was just a dishonest charlatan here, then you helped me realize. I practice Christianity & Buddhism, I just don’t “believe in” their doctrine. Too weird! Thank you again for your reply.


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