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Random quote: "The Father has withheld nothing of what He is from His self-expression."-RAJ
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Authority problem
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   General Discussion -> The Gathering Place (TGP)Message format
Posted 2003-02-12 9:38 PM (#2180 - in reply to #2159)
Subject: RE: Authority problem


Posts: 190
Location: Provo, UT
Dear Dougoz,

These things can't be thought out in the same way that mankind has come to determine what is ethical in any situation. Thought obscures, and all questions about the presented situation would be based on differing perspectives and what is already known, so nothing that is new can happen, or miraculous can occur from those kinds of discourses. (Although the question of ethics is the best we may know of now).

To relate a story, and take from it what you will, a few years back, I was early in recovery from alcoholism, was in a 12 step program and had just begun doing the course in miracles (don't quite know why yet - all that talk about love and joy seemed very compelling at the time - I was just emerging from an mental and emotional hell from which there seemed no escape, so the course did have a certain attraction).

I had separated from my husband, who was still in active addiction at that time, and was staying with a friend who had been in AA for a number of years. My friend was an art dealer who worked out of his house, I was helping him out with some of his projects in return for rent. It was the end of October, and I had just completed my first of what in AA is known as the 4th step (a moral inventory of oneself - basically, ones fears, blocks and behaviors that interfere with a productive life and keep one in addictive patterns) and had prepared with my AA sponsor to do my 5th step (relate to God, myself and another human being the exact nature of my wrongs - or fears, blocks and behaviors as mentioned above). This meeting for my 5th step was very important to me as it is quite pivotal in the recovery process.

The day before this meeting was scheduled, two men dropped by my friends house. I had answered the door, and was put a bit on guard, they were not the usual type for the neighbourhood, or for buying art (they appeared more the 'biker' type - a bit rough). But they mentioned they had heard of my friend through AA, and they had just inherited some art and some antique furniture from their grandmothers estate and would my friend mind going out to appraise it. The art they mentioned was not what he usually dealt in, but it did have value so he agreed.

During this time of their discussion, I felt nervous about them. Their bearing was a little too intrusive in an odd way. I mentioned after they left that it seemed like 'either they are cops, or they are casing the place' - half in jest. I mentioned my nervousness to my friend, who said he felt a little cautious, but would double check the next day (on which I had scheduled my own meeting for my 5th step at the house), and if he still felt apprehensive, would not go to the meeting. Long story short, he felt OK about it and left the next morning to meet with the two men.

That morning, I had reviewed my 4th step, had done my ACIM lesson for that day "There is another way of looking at the world", and also did another meditation that asked that I might be able to utilize all that I saw heard and felt that day to my highest purpose, and prepared to meet my AA sponsor for my 5th step.

About 15 minutes after my sponsor arrived, the friend I lived with phoned and said that he was bringing the men back to the house to look at some art, and that I should go over to my sponsors house to complete the 5th step. I was a bit irritated, he would know how important this was to me, so I said we would just go to the basement to complete what we were doing. However, something was nagging at me, the whole situation bothered me and I mentioned it to my sponsor who shrugged it off and we agreed to just stay in the house. Again the phone rang, and my friend asked why I hadn't left yet, and became quite insistant that I go - he didn't want to be bothered he said. This apparent inconsideration really bothered me, but something more was there, and I asked him if everything was OK. He didn't answer and just told me to go. I knew something was wrong.

I didn't like this, I felt something was very much amiss. But couldn't 'proove' it logically. So my sponsor and I decided we would drive away from the house to the beach for a while, then drive back by. If all seemed normal we wouldn't worry about it, if not, we would deal with that then. The ego questions and says you may be being just overreactive, and a female is sensitive to being perceived as 'hysterical' as well as overreactive in these situations.

After a short period of time at the beach (my 5th step had been interrupted), we drove back by the house and I had that eerie feeling again. There was a strange car there, my friends delivery van was parked in an unusal spot and the garage door (which was used as an art showroom) was open slightly which was not my friends custom). Again, I was irritated with him, and the intrusion on my plans for that day and first thought just said - "Oh, let him deal with it, he's just being a jerk". Then a smaller voice said almost choicelessly, "what kind of person do you want to be?" Instantly the decision to go into the house was made without me totally consciously deciding it.

I told my sponsor to wait in the car and that if I had not returned in 5 minutes to phone the police. (We had called her boyfriend in the meantime to see what he thought about what was going on, and of course he thought we were being hysterical and should worry about it). I tried to open the front door quietly (I had visions of guys in there and somehow thought irrationally that perhaps I could just walk in and check out what was going on and excuse myself - if there was a problem, I would have to deal with that then). The front door was locked (which was unusual), so I walked quietly to the garage and opened it. Things had been moved, and as I approached what would lead to the back door of the house, I saw a stranger in there rummageing through some cubbyholes in the kitchen. I thought I should leave, but a voice again said "keep going in, they will sense the change in energy if you leave now". So I proceeded into the kitchen where the strange and a bit disheveled man was rummaging throug the kitchen. Fear was not present, nor was thought to what I was going to do. Just intense calm and following this inner direction.

When the strange guy saw me, he said I had made the biggest mistake in my life, and called to his even bigger and very muscular other friend in black bearing a magnum in a holster under his arm. When this guy came in he very calmly asked if anyone else was outside (I said no, of course), The big man was only frightening in his calm, almost militarily professional bearing. He was well spoken, which was out of character to his apparent character He then walked me down the stairs to the bathroom where my friend was sitting on the closed toiled holding his little dog and shivering terribly. I had never seen such a face - my friend was completely ashen, his lips grey. I wasn't sure if they had shot him. He was upset at seeing me (having thought he had gotten me out of the house, and harms way, which later it turns out the kidnappers had insisted on). The internal calm I had remained, as I told my friend everything would be OK. The police were on the way. (This made in frightened because the men had told him that if the police were notified, or if he tipped me off, they would kill us). But my calm remained with me, and seem to permeate to him as well.

One of the three men (It turned out there were three in total) came and moved me and my friend into a closet in the basement where they locked us in. This closet is next to a big storage room where large canvases are stored. He felt at one point that he should tell the guys about my sponsor outside and the police might be called) I told him no, don't do that, and the calm and lack of fear remained. Somehow I felt everything would be OK. The only time I felt a bit of fear was when I could hear one of the men's police scanner. But that passed as well. I had an image of myself being shot or something - but a feeling prevailed that even if I died right then, everything would be OK, it didn't seem rational, but the peace I felt was stronger.

After what seemed like a long time of hearing the men move things on the floor above us, we heard the police arrive and question them. We could hear them saying that they were friends of my friends, and were helping him move some things. For a minute it sounded like the police believed them, But they returned after another interminable amount of time (maybe 10 15 minutes again), and told the one man downstairs that he was under arrest. We could hear police dogs, an one of the men was then hiding in the storage room next to us - scrunching closer to the wall hiding spaces which were only separated him from us by the thickness of the drywall. We could hear him as if he was right next to us, and we knew of at least one gun, and didn't know how many more they might have.

A policeman opened the door to the closet where my friend and I were locked in, and we silently signaled to him that there was someone in the room next door and he had a gun. The policman closed the door on us again, told us to stay and took his dog after the guy in the next room. The man, fortunately, gave into the dog,(he could have shot through the wall right to us, he knew exactly where we were) and was apprehended. Following that it was an odd experience to emerge from the room, the policeman drawing down on us and the police dog being held in check but barking madly (they couldn't be sure who was who at that time, so the police were even holding guns on us!).

All was sorted out outside the house. They had 'kneecapped' my friend, with a brutal kick to his knee (which was why he was so grey and in shock, and in so much pain), and he had to be transported to the hospital (even the dog had behaved an been silent during all of this) and needed two other surgeries over the next few years.

The outstanding feature of this experience was the feeling of safety during what 'seemed' to be intense danger. As well as a lack of hatred or anger towards the criminals. My friend said that when they had hurt him, and were transporting him to the house in his own van with a gun to his head and told him to call to get me out of the house, that he had felt an odd love and pity for them. Even spoke to one of them about joining AA and getting his life in order. Odd reactions for someone in such an immediately stressful situation.

As well, who knows, my own goals and purposes for that mornings' meditation, the 4th and 5th step to help set my life in order, and the asking to be able to utilize all I saw felt and heard that day to my highest purposes may have had nothing to do with the scheduled meeting I had that day. "We do not know what anything is for'. That experience was so profound that it formed a tight bond between my friend and I that not everyone can understand. It was the safety of presence that was around us that struck os both so strongly and unquestionably.

My sponsor later relayed to me publicly that I was an idiot, I may think I had acted heroicly (It never occurred to me that any other person acting humangely would do anything different that I had), but that her truth was that I had endangered everyone. Still, that unquestionable peace and silence held us. No need to explain or be understood.

We had to go through three court trials, and the sense was not one of having been victimized, or these people needed to be punished. But even prior to understanding anything about higher purposes, or justice, or correction, there was a calm, that what had to happen had to happen. My friend didn't really even want to prosecute, but somehow that felt not up to us. This odd sense of another reason, or higher purpose seemed to prevail.

Obviously, the kidnapper/robbers, were not acting according to their best perceptions of themselves. It came out that at least one they had had rather harsh lives and were habitual criminals - having spent time in jail since they were young. Still, there was no sense of hatred at their apparent brutality, or any feeling of this being personal. All but one plead guilty (we had to attend three appeals with him - guess getting caught in the act he still thought could be considered as mitigating).

I have often wished I could have taken that experience more totally into my daily life, and not respond in business or social situations with what seems to be 'normal' fear. But it still had a profound effect. I still don't know what it was for entirely - but the ethics of God in this situation seem to bring about what a conscious plan of what the right thing to do could not. It was a miracle for me, and I trust that for the three men, though they were all encarcerated, received a miracle as well. Don't know what that would be.

Later the police relayed that they believed the men were going to kill my friend. They had not worn masks, had cut all phone lines, etc. And, as it turns out, they were hired to do this - we never found out by who, because the judge agreed - to do so would mean death for the perpetrators.

Forgive the long story, I hope it relates a bit of the authority problem in a dire situation, and when it is not a problem.


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