Bart Ross, Recovery & Alumni Services Coordinator
This past February, we had our Hanley reunion. The theme was “Zoomed into the Fourth Dimension.” A great time was had by all who attended. As I had the opportunity to lead a couple of meetings, I thought I would also write an article on what the fourth dimension means to me.
In Bill’s Story on Page 8 of the Big Book, he writes, “How dark it is before the dawn!”
In reality, that was the beginning of my last debauch. I would soon catapult into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness in the way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.
I believe we are all born into a four-dimensional world. As we live our lives, we begin separating ourselves from our Creator.
Slowly our world becomes three-dimensional, and then we experience the spiritual sickness of being restless, irritable, and discontented. We become consciously and unconsciously separated from God and the people around us. Resentment and fear begin to run our lives.
The Big Book on page 52 refers to the bedevilments: “We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people.”
These are the things that cause tremendous and continual troubles in our lives when we separate from the fourth dimension.
As alcoholics, we must try and stay in the fourth dimension.
Living in the fourth dimension is when we are experiencing that a Higher Power exists. We want to continue to build a stronger connection with this Power, and this Power is always interested in us. This relationship produces beneficial changes in us.
The fourth dimension is real. We re-enter it as the result of a spiritual experience. Our thought lives and our actions are changed. We don’t tire so easily and are of maximum service to God and the people around us. We can experience peace and bring joy to others. Our troubles become growth opportunities, and we’re happy to be alive.
“Once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.” (Big Book, Page XXIX)
I was a man who never had any belief in a God. I was very close-minded to any concept of a Higher Power. Until I ran out of all other options, I wouldn’t even consider the idea. My world was tiny. Poor relationships were superficial at most, and I was feeling lonely and disconnected. If you asked me how I was, I say O.K. I understand today that when the Big Book says we couldn’t make a living, it’s not referring to money. What it refers to is just existing.
That was me at best. There were times I was prey to misery and depression and times when I was neither happy nor sad. I existed.
Today thanks to practicing a 12-Step life, I can say I’m in the fourth dimension of existence. I have a strong belief in a God who is personal to me.
I work on this relationship daily, and I know that God wants the best for me and all of us. I’m present in life and awake to my surroundings. It feels great to be a part of life. I am still amazed at what we can accomplish with our lives placed under Higher Power care.
“When we drew near to Him, He disclosed Himself to us!” (Big Book, Page 57)
Before having a spiritual awakening, I would argue that there is no Higher Power of any kind because I never experienced a God with my five senses. I’m very stubborn when it comes to opinions. I have no interest in people’s views, including my own. But I will listen to someone’s experience, and I can’t deny my own.
Today, living in the fourth dimension, I can see God in all living things, and I can smell God in the air.
I can feel God when you tell me a story, and I get goosebumps. I can hear God when people or nature speak, and I can taste God through food. Today I understand that God is everything. We are blessed to tap into this vital sixth sense when we’re living in the fourth dimension because it connects us to our Higher Power through all our other senses.
“If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent, we have begun to develop this vital sixth sense.” (Big Book, Page 85)
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