This is a great (short) read for many reasons.
Yes, AA asks that you believe in a higher power. I call that higher power god because that’s what works for me. Not a Protestant god. Not a Catholic god. Just a god that loves me unconditionally. It took me a little while to get to that point, but I could get with that idea. My concept is simple: There is a god, and I’m not it. That’s the construct I came up with shortly after I arrived, and it’s still serving me well today. My god and your god aren’t the same. And that’s totally fine.
That struck me, particularly as I’m now reading Karen Armstrong’s A History of God.
Reading about the history of what we mean when we talk about “God”, leads me to the conclusion that we don’t need to agree on what we mean by “God” in order for that concept to have a very profound (positive) impact on our lives. The beginning of this realization for me is the thought that God isn’t something “out there” but is literally everywhere. From that you proceed to the idea that God is inside of all of us. (And thence to the idea, perhaps, that we—and the whole cosmos—are really just God playing hide-and-seek from godself.)
Each of us has a totally unique experience of God. Reading Armstrong’s work drives home the idea that this is something that virtually all religions have understood at one point or another. More recently, however, there’s greater emphasis on objective experience of God.
This is something I’ve believed for a long time now, but only now am I beginning to understand what this feels like at a gut level. I’m sure I have a lot more (self) work to do on the road to more understanding about the implications this truth has.