Step Four – Part C

Cause and Effect

Pro-act don’t Re-act

If I had to sum-up the objective of the Alcoholic to Alchemist Philosophy in one sentence it would read as follows:

To transform a reactive person  into a proactive person


The Reactive

To re-act means to recycle old behaviour in response to new experiences. When we re-act, we don’t progresswe regress, repeatedly reverting to out-dated modes of action. Let’s remember, alcoholism is an escape mechanism used to escape a life that is deemed unbearable. If we continue to repeat old behaviour nothing will change.


“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done,

you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.”

L. Bateman


Reactive people are like ships caught in a storm, tossed and buffeted by the tides of life. Without the stabilizing force of a captain they drift aimlessly. Each wave knocks them off balance and they don’t have time to recover before the next one arrives to deliver a crushing blow. They are apparently at the mercy of the turbulent surface of the ocean; but, as we shall soon see, it is the undercurrents which pose the more serious problem.

  The word reactive implies lack of conscious control. Reactive people are driven by unconscious impulses: the undercurrents. Although we are powerful beings with the freedom to choose whatever we desire in life, our ability to exercise the faculty of choice is often thwarted by underlying mechanisms which override our conscious intent.

When we re-act, dormant forces come alive and render us highly volatile. Like time-bombs, we tick away – ready to explode in response to trivial situations. People inadvertently trigger these underlying forces and we attack them; but they are not to blame. The locus of the problem is situated firmly within ourselves. Our outbursts are triggered by processing the world through the lens of our history.


The Pro-active

When we pro-act, we take the helm and set a course for our desired life. With our sails filled with wisdom and insight, we venture out to explore the infinite possibilities the ocean of life has to offer. This wonderful journey starts by fostering an attitude of curiosity and enquiry.


Beneath the Surface

The journey from Alcoholic to Alchemist is contingent on our ability to raise our self awareness and identify the unconscious patterns that sabotage our lives. Many of our current relationships and interactions are negatively influenced by unconscious material. Have you ever flared up for no apparent reason and wondered what came over you? Or grossly over-reacted to a somewhat trivial situation? If so – then you have probably experienced one of the primary unconscious processes responsible for major conflict in our lives: transference, countertransference or shadow projection. This section is designed to heighten your awareness of these destructive mechanisms.

‘Knowing others is wisdom,

knowing yourself is Enlightenment.’

Lao Tzu

Now listen to the following audio presentations which will elaborate on this subject:







In many cases, the way in which a problem is framed or perceived actually constitutes the problem itself: many problems are spectres – distorted interpretations of a negatively conditioned mind.

The way we look at a problem is often the problem

 Our frame of reference, or simply – frame, is a lens through which we interpret the world; a filtering system comprised of our ingrained beliefs and values. Rather than assigning meaning to events impartially, we make interpretations based on our life’s experience.

We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are

The Talmud

In light of this fact, it is rational to assume that if we redefine our beliefs then our frame of reference must change i.e. we have reframed.

Viewing the world through different frames of reference is similar to viewing it through different coloured spectacles: each lens changes our perspective.

Now listen to the following audio presentation which will elaborate on this subject:

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