Monday, October 18, 2010

Act the Way I Want to Feel

We owe much to the philosopher William James. It was his book, “The Varieties of Religious Experience” that was critically important to Bill Wilson’s sobriety. James’s book was one of the texts that early AA members read and studied before they wrote our AA literature.

Ideas from William James permeate the Big Book and 12 step thinking and language. For example, James wrote: “Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.” Or as we now say:

“Act as if”. And, “Fake it till you make it.” Or, as I am reminding myself this week, “Act the way I want to feel.”

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