Friday, May 29, 2009

"Bill Wilson’s Spiritual Awakening: Conscious Contact with God or a Neurobiological Perfect Storm?" by Roland J. Branconnier

Article summary: If Bill Wilson believed in God, it must have been because he was hallucinating.

(See link, and highlights, below.)

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever."

Romans 1: 18-25

Bill Wilson’s Spiritual Awakening: Conscious Contact with God or a Neurobiological Perfect Storm?
Roland J. Branconnier
  • Viewed within the context of physicalism, Bill Wilson’s spiritual awakening and conscious contact with God at Charles B. Towns Hospital was a not transcendent or supernatural event but completely explicable in physical reality and with the tools of empirical science.
  • Consistent with priming, it is clear that Bill Wilson had under gone a strenuous indoctrination by his friend, Ebbie, of the Oxford Group’s evangelical Christian dogma (Williamson, 1954).
  • Following his conversion to the Oxford Group’s teachings, Bill Wilson was primed to color his experience in Charles B. Towns Hospital with the patternicity of evangelical Christian religious overtones.
  • It is clear from the above symptom timeline that Bill Wilson’s spiritual awakening was, in fact, a hallucination not conscious contact with God.
  • Of interest to Bill Wilson’s spiritual awakening, he reported the following:
  • “Suddenly my room blazed with an incredibly white light. I was seized with an ecstasy beyond description. I have no words for this. Every joy I had known was pale by comparison. The light, the ecstasy. I was conscious of nothing else for a time.”
  • Perhaps, Bill Wilson had an NDE [Near-Death Experience] on December 14th?
  • What is highly probable is that Bill Wilson’s spiritual awakening was a hallucination as a result of, what in modern DSM-IV-TR (2000) nomenclature would be called, Alcohol Withdrawal, 291.81 and belladonna-induced Hallucinogen Intoxication, 292.89. The color of those hallucinations was determined by the priming and patternicity of his evangelical Christian religious indoctrination.
  • To the contrary, Bill Wilson’s spiritual awakening and conscious contact are completely explicable within the confines of causal closure of the physical world. There is no need to violate the law of parsimony by positing the intervention of any transcendent, supernatural higher power to explain his conversion.
  • Thus, it is possible the Bill Wilson belief in his salvation by God was instrumental in creating the will to abstain from alcohol for thirty-six years.
  • Bill Wilson was thirty-nine years old when he finally decided, that as they say in the halls of A.A. “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” He may have believed that God gave him his sobriety, but he was also at a critical age for many people with substance abuse issues.
  • Bill Wilson’s Twelve Step dogma got it partially right for all the wrong reasons. At the end, Bill Wilson like his fellow gurus did have Feet of Clay.

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