Waiting a Nonbeliever’s Higher Power by Marya Hornbacher
Marya Hornbacher’s Waiting A Nonbeliever’s Higher Power is a must read for anyone who is working the Twelve Steps, but is having difficulty with the “God Stuff”. Marya takes us through the steps as written and she doesn’t shy away from spirituality. Rather she divorces it from religion and the supernatural. She describes spirituality not as something that comes from outside us, but as the breath that stirs us, what connects us to other humans. As I was reading the book, it occurred to me that spirituality is also the language of the heart, it’s the poetry by which we communicate our experience to others.
Marya treats traditional AA literature, Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book), and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions with great respect. All Twelve Steps are left intact as originally written and described from her experience as one who does not believe in a god. Atheists may be surprised to find that even Step Eleven is left in its original wording. Marya feels that prayer is something that can benefit the nonbeliever as much as the believer. Prayer doesn’t need to be directed to a deity and there’s nothing supernatural about it.
The Twelve Steps are a practical program of action and this book makes that very clear. This is all about practicing the steps to bring about a transformation in our thinking and outlook, so that we no longer have the obsession to drink or practice whatever addiction from which we may have suffered. The end result is that we are more connected and useful to others, and we become more aware of how our actions can impact the world we live in for the better.
Waiting A Nonbeliever’s Higher Power would be ideal to use for Step discussions at any Twelve Step meeting. I will recommend that our group consider using it for our Step meetings. Marya describes the program as I believe it was intended to be lived. There’s no dogma, no musts and no narrow path. She uses the metaphor of the seasons to describe the various stages of recovery that we may experience in cycles throughout our lives. This is a book we can return to time and again as we continue to grow through the seasons of our lives.
As one who has practiced and still practices the Twelve Steps, I relate to Marya’s experience and I’m grateful that someone with her talent has taken the time to create this beautiful work of art to gently guide us through the steps and bring us to a place where we can feel love for and connection with the world in which we live and the many people with whom we share this place in time.
You can purchase Waiting A Nonbeliever’s Higher Power at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.