Forgot to mention -- sometime in the last few days I finished Jack Trimpey's The Small Book, written to provide an alternative treatment for recovering from substance abuse. At least in the U.S., Alcoholics Anonymous and related groups have dominated the scene with their 12-step programs. In a supposedly secular country, it ought to be amazing that courts regularly sentence drunk drivers and drug abusers to such overtly religious treatments; Trimpey and his groups have been fighting this for over 20 years trying to get Rational Recovery (RR) equal standing with AA, hoping to provide something workable to the 90% (his figure) of people who can't, for whatever reason, be effectively treated by the AA's "Higher Power".

I recommend the book go into any anarchist's library, whether he is alcohol (drug) dependent or not, for a number of reasons, and I think Aristotle and Ayn Rand would approve. It uses reason -- rational self-interest, as Rand would say -- Trimpey says "enlightened" self-interest -- to combat the irrational "voice" within us that demands we take poison into our bodies. I'm using the method to limit myself to one beer a day -- which Trimpey doesn't recommend, by the way, insisting on complete abstention -- and on my third day it's a piece of cake. Then again, before that I was still suffering from last Saturday's overindulgence so maybe it's too early to tell. Anyway, Jack reached, by reason alone, some of the same conclusions Harry Browne provided in his now out-of-print How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, and Daniel Quinn reached by epiphany in Providence: a 50-Year Vision Quest. You have innate and undisputable self-worth, simply by virtue of being alive, and equal standing with any other creature on Earth (or Heaven, for those who believe in such) in that regard. You always have a choice whether to drink, to take drugs, to continue a relationship, to walk away from this sorry excuse for "civilization" -- and you don't need anyone else's say-so in anything. Self-evident? If it is to you, great, don't bother reading it. Unfortunately there's a huge percentage of humankind who would benefit from the words in this book.

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last updated 2013-01-10 20:47:36. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com