Like a smattering of applause, 16,000 copies of Beyond Belief now being read. A previously unmet need is finding appreciation with a niche audience. Scroll down to find:
Bookstore (eBook or Paperback) and specials
Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life, by Joe C., 2013 410 pages, 6 x 9 x 0.8 (ISBN: 978-0-9881157-0-5)
Finally, a daily reflection book for nonbelievers, freethinkers and everyone.
Each day starts with a quote from philosophers, entertainers, psychologists, the 12 Step community or classic literature throughout the ages. Each musing is practical 21st look at the age old problem of living clean and sober for the addict, codependent or alcoholic - maybe contrarian, playful or traditional - never dogmatic or cliché.
120 topic items can be found in the Index on everyday concerns that come up in recovery.
Delivery within 7 to 10 days anywhere in North America via UPS or DHL.
The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps, by Roger C, 2013: "There are many versions of the 12 Step program of recovery. In fact, there are about as many versions as there are alcoholics in AA who use the program to get sober and to maintain their sobriety.”
The book contains 20 alternative versions of the original 12 Steps reflecting a wide range of philosophical, professional, religious, and cultural perspectives and traditions.
It also has interpretations of each of the Steps by well-known authors Stephanie Covington (A Woman’s Way through the Twelve Steps), Thérèse Jacobs-Stewart (Mindfulness and the 12 Steps), Allen Berger (The Therapeutic Value of the 12 Steps) and Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts).
It can also be used as a workbook: templates are provided so that readers can write their own alternative 12 Steps and record their insights and interpretations of each of the Steps.
Finally, the book concludes with an essay that accurately and insightfully traces the origins of the AA 12-Step recovery program.
The Little Book is meant to make the 12 Steps accessible to all as a program of recovery, and especially those who have trouble with the “God bit” in the original 1939 version of Alcoholics Anonymous. In the Forward to The Little Book, William L. White (Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America) calls the book “a celebration of the varieties of recovery experience.”
Shipping is 7 to 10 days in North America via UPS or DHL
ePub (eBook) version of Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life with over 1,000 hyperlinks from 120 index subjects, end-notes and bibliography entries.
ePub is the universal eReader format that can be used on Nooks, Kobos and all free eReader software for your smartphone, laptop, tablet ipad, apple device or desktop computer.
Rebellion Dogs online Bookstore
The eBook version of Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life is the most interactive daily recovery tool available in the 12 Step community. The Index has 120 topics hyperlinked to relevant daily reflections. End notes that include links to more info on the web and the ability to read on your phone, tablet, computer or e-Reader is our idea of how recovery can look today.
See a Beyond Belief Sample ( PDF version of 100 random pages)
I saw on Twitter that Michele's latest, Widows-In-Law was coming out on paperback this week and I though—what a great opportunity to catch up with this New York city writer. I got the book, binge read it, loved it and what we have here is our little chat about the recovery community in New York City over the last three decades, her inspiration and writing style, and of course, her new book.
August 2020 Joe C participated on a panel with authors Marya Hornbacher and Dr. Allen Berger on Emotional Sobriety. I quoted a passage about confusion and many asked, "What was that from?" This is it. The Foreword to Beyond Belief was written by Ernie Kurtz and here, Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham join up again for their second collaboration, Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Storytelling (2014). Still sporting that fresh car smell, The Spirituality of Imperfection - the best book title ever, wish we thought of it - would be a good add.
Staying Sober Without God: A Practical 12 Steps by Jeffery Munn (2019). A clinical therapist breaks down the keys to recovery from addiction in a contemporary language.
Waiting: A Nonbeliever’s Higher Power by Marya Hornbacher (2011) A New York Times best selling author looks at why the 12-Steps work without supernatural intervention.
The Alternative 12 Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery by Martha Cleveland PhD and Arlys G is a 2nd Edition woman’s 12 Step journey, originally from 1991
From the professionals
Pathways to Recovery and Desistance: The role of the social contagion of hope (2019) by Professor David Best. Science of positive recovery capital including CHIME: Community, Hope, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment.
Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (2020) by Judith Grisel. A recovering drug addicts review of the brain-science of addiction so far this century.
12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends: Finding Forgiveness and Self-Respect by Working Steps 8-10 (2013) by Allen Berger Ph.D. The third in a series of Hazelden books on the clinical value of 12-Step work
Living Sober: AA’s collection of secular ways members actually stay sober today.
One Big Tent: Atheists and agnostic AA members share their experience, strength and hope (2018) AA stories of secular AA sobriety from the 1930s to present day
My Fair Junky: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean (2017) by Amy Dresner. Sex and Drugs and Ha, ha, ha! From Beverly Hills to bottom, recovery, bottom, recovery, repeat, comedian Amy tells it as she shes it.
Drunk Mom (2014) by Jowita Budlowska. This blunt and riveting tale of struggles with sobriety and parenthood
A Principal of Recovery: An Unconventional Journey Through the Twelve Steps (2015) LA punk rocker Jack Grisham’s bad-ass agnostic look at 12-Steps with a little rebel yell.
Parallel Universes: The Story of Rebirth (2018) by David B. Bohl. An addiction therapist tells a first-hand tale of the shame, anger, shyness of growing up as both adoptee and alcoholic.
These recent books added to our "strong buy" recommend list:
Jeffrey Munn and Mark Andrew Tennison are our featured guests on Rebellion Dogs Radio # 43. Christopher M. Finn (Drunks) was our guest on Episode 42
Michael Bryant (Mere Addiction, 28 Seconds) was our guest for Rebellion Dogs Radio.
Also, recently featured on Rebellion Dogs Radio:
Listen in on our conversation with Leslie Jamison, author of The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath on Episode 38 of Rebellion Dogs Radio. This is fusion of memoir and journalistic quest to see what becomes of the creative spark of the drunkard Americana author when sobriety is the new normal. It's a diet of poetry, pragmatism and journalistic research that suggests to us, The Recovering will find staying power in meeting before (or after) the meeting chatter between alcoholics and addicts.
David B. Bohl's Parallel Universes: A Memoir. This was the subject of Episode #36 of Rebellion Dogs Radio, click on Rebellious Radio to hear from David on his incredible journey.
FREE: Richard Peabody's The Common Sense of Drinking from 1930. PDF view or download for free
What others are saying about BEYOND BELIEF: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life
ORDER FORM. Alternatively, download a PDF order form and mail it in with a cheque/check or PAYPAL HERE account, you can order AMAZON from Beyond Belief to buy
Joe C is the radio host of Rebellion Dogs Radio now. Check out blog page for the latest or visit our Pod-O-matic page. You can also find us under podcasts on iTunes. Stream the shows or download them to your phone, computer or listening device.
Beyond Belief (2014 second printing) includes a Foreword by Ernest Kurtz, Ph.D., author of The Spirituality of Imperfection and Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous. Ernie Kurtz received his PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University in 1978. Dr. Kurtz was the first researcher to be granted unrestricted access to the archives of Alcoholics Anonymous. Hazeleden had the wherewithal to publish Ernie’s PhD dissertation—the book that resulted was, Not God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous. Along with Katherine Ketcham, Ernie gave us, The Spirituality of Imperfection: Modern Wisdom from Classic Stores (1992), and a book that demonstrates Kurtz' acute understanding of addiction, Shame and Guilt (revised and updated in 2007). For those in the know, catching an Ernie Kurtz lecture on his academic study of spirituality would be a life-altering experience. For those of us who missed that opportunity, there is more of Kurtz on addiction and spirituality in the 1999 The Collected Ernie Kurtz. There are been other books and other writings, both scholarly and popular but today, Rebellion Dogs is honored to share Dr. Kurtz’s experience with Beyond Belief:
One meaning of reflection, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “the action of turning (back) or fixing the thoughts on some subject; meditation, deep or serious consideration.” This treasure of a book offers spurs to refelction and more. Drawing on a rich variety of often surprising sources, each day's reading provides not a mere bite but a full meal of thoughts for the coming or just-past day. Since my mornings tend to be rushed, Beyond Belief soon moved itself into my mid-afternoon “break” period, where it could shed more leisurely light both backwards and forwards.
Beyond Belief terms its offerings musings rather than “meditations.” The O.E.D. gives the first meaning of the verb muse as “to be absorbed in thought; to meditate continuously in silence; to ponder.” Absorbed . . . ponder: this book is not light reading. I have not so far wanted to fight with it, but I do find Beyond Belief often challenging, sometimes provocative, unfailingly stimulating.
The book is aimed at a general 12-Step readership, but it is mindful that there heretofore exist no such aids for unbelievers, freethinkers, and the unconventionally spiritual. Given that the latest Pew survey found that twenty percent of the American people list their religious affiliation as “None,” it is certainly time that the Recovery world took into consideration this population's needs. Beyond Belief addresses that need in a confident, non-aggressive way. I doubt that any believer will find anything objectionable in its pages. This believer, for one, finds much that is spiritually helpful.
If I have one criticism of this book it is that its musings are too rich. On quite a few pages I wished to pause and think after virtually every sentence. For many, reading Beyond Belief will require a pen or pencil in hand and perhaps a notebook on the side.
This is the first daily reflection book of which I know that offers a lengthy (17-page) “Notes” section as well as a full Bibliography. The Notes are far more than mere citations, often presenting brief additional discussion and even new material that more frequently than not is as rich as the text itself.
In addition to the Notes and Bibliography, the end-matter of Beyond Belief contains a full Index that allows searching out individual musings on just about any topic. Having problems with “ego”? Check out May 29, August 8, September 24 or seven other dates. Polishing your gratitude? Flip to March 2, June 16, November 12 or eleven other dates.
Beyond Belief will enrich anyone interested in living a 12-Step life.
Denis K. Vancouver Canada
Many thanks for this great book; my Monday night group and I are having some great discussions related to the daily musings both at the group and often during the week over coffee. All of us were quickly losing interest in the local meetings, Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life gave all of us a much needed spark that has renewed our interest in the fellowship.
Dan N., Houston TX
5 out of 5 stars Thought provoking - Mind expanding., May 26, 2013
My day begins with a reading from Beyond Belief. The readings help re-commit to applying the 12-step principles in my daily life. It's a thought provoking, mind expanding, enjoyable way to start the day.
John McAndrew, MA, MDiv, director of Sensible Spirituality Associates
Thank you Joe, for this wonderful place to begin each day. No arguments about God, no belief systems to defend or attack- just a wealth of rich, thoughtful reflections.
5 out of 5 stars Finally!, April 17, 2013
Thank you, Joe C., for finally producing a daily refection for all in recovery! I absolutely look forward every morning to reading these reflections. Been in recovery coming up on 10 years and it took until this book to truly find a daily reflection that fits my spiritual path.
Roger C., author The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps and editor at AAagnostica.org
5 out of 5 stars A very precious way to start each day, April 8, 2013
This book never ceases to amaze me. Each morning I read the daily reflection and I am amused, inspired, touched, impressed and awed. Joe has put together an astonishing collection of authors, all of whom share extraordinary insights not only into 12 Step recovery but as well into the many challenges of daily living. And Joe's musings on these insights are always helpful, engaging and thoughtful. Why, just a few days ago, there was an excerpt from Dr. Seuss, and a book which is a perfect gift for those graduating from rehab: "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" I love starting my day with this book. It inspires a poignant self-awareness and appreciation for the wonderful challenge ahead of me, living life as richly and fully as possible, just for that day, one day at a time. I encourage you to buy this book for yourself but don't stop there, it's the perfect birthday present: the lucky reader is about to embark upon one of the richest years of her or his life, all thanks to you, Joe and Beyond Belief.
4 out of 5 stars Refreshing reflections, March 22, 2013
This book is refreshing for those in recovery who do not want a reflection book that is "God centered". You still get thoughts to ponder throughout your day. It is a good book to add to your collection.
5 out of 5 stars: much needed for the agnostic 12 stepper, March 7, 2013
it is nice to have a daily meditation book that relates to the 12 step programs for a nonbeliever. I felt "left out" of an important part of my daily life in the program.
Dr. Amy author, social worker
Beyond Belief offers a spiritual welcome mat to agnostics and free thinkers in recovery. Joe C. provides readers with a thoughtful and enlightened year-long road map to self-improvement that reaches beyond the bounds of traditional Twelve Step thought—Bravo!”
Given my chosen profession I have had the opportunity to read countless daily meditation books—and this is a good one. Although the context is recovery from a 12-Step perspective, readers are invited to address the issue from their own philosophical view. One criticism of the 12 Step movement of course is that its dogma can be limiting—Beyond Belief seems to have addressed this. The quotes are cogent, the organization superb and the contributors are diverse.
From a clinical perspective I like that various schools of thought are called upon —Transactional Analysis, Jungian, etc. This daily meditation book provides a cross-section of spiritual and philosophical thought that is accessible to all regardless of one’s personal beliefs—in that sense it really is beyond belief.
Amy’s favorite quote:
“Go on a hunt for any areas of incompletion, large or small, and you will not be disappointed. A burst of creativity will often follow the completion of some long-left issue. Clearing up an incompletion gives you a felling of aliveness that you can get nowhere else.” Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. & Kathlyn Henricks, Ph.D
Amy S. D’Aprix, MSW Ph.D, Author, From Surviving to Thriving: Transforming Your Caregiving Journey
Fr. Ephraim Mensah, Born in Ghana, got his Ph.D. at University of Saskatchewan and author of The Paradox of Mission Education for Contemporary African Identity: I have started reading Joe's book. What a brilliant literary work. He has put the wisdom of the world in daily meditation. I am simply amazed. All I can say is that the Mystery-God is revealed in one whom this world regards as nonentity. Congratulations to Joe and thanks for putting me in the company of the wise.
Nancy B., retired R.N. Montreal, Canada
I have been pink clouding it on the "Road of Happy Destiny" since January of 1976, I have always been an avid reader, so when I came in contact with Twelve Step programs, I was compelled to read a large chunk of the literature from many of the different ones - A.A., O.A. C.A., M.A., and Al-Anon. I have also read many books from the Hazelden Publishers. The Daily Readers from many of these programs have been extremely helpful over the years, allowing me to tap into the spiritual wisdom of the world without any religious fervour.
I've found Joey C,'s book full of spiritual thoughts, with no hidden agenda.He pulls strengths from all over the world, and his comments have a way of making me want to read more. While reading these pages I did not feel that I had to "Filter" out any ideas that were not acceptable to my own spiritual truths.
Before January 1976, I had no belief beyond my "Finite Self" , and not much trust in my fellow humans. I now believe that there is a much stronger power available in this world than I had realized and it can be found through books like this one.
AA can, and must, adapt to changing circumstances and Bill Wilson was the first one to admit it. Unfortunately, members who have come after him are more zealous that our first members ever were. We have seen this dogmatism in history before of course, especially in religion. This is a very slippery slope to take.
I really like the fact that these reflections are for anyone who has an open mind. It does not cater to a specific group to the exclusion of others. All is asked is that one keeps an open mind.
Joan E., clean and sober 38 years
Where else are we going to find Leonard Cohen, the Dalai Lama, Erika Jong, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mother Teresa and Dr. Seuss all in one place? Rather than dwelling on how sick we are and how we need to work to get better, Beyond Belief often focuses on the theme of "You're OK, and recovery will come faster if you learn to accept that as a truth."
These reflections go beyond one idea, because they reach beyond solving problems through prayer - though there's nothing wrong with prayer. I would recommend this book to faith-filled Twelve Step members as well as recovering non-theists, with absolutely no reservation at all. Beyond Belief simply gathers some answers and poses some interesting questions - into one compact format.
Joan E’s favorite quote: "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have." Emile Chartier (1868 – 1951)
Melissa D, Clinical Psychologist, California
WOW—what an undertaking to make this book a reality. I have never seen a daily devotional book written for agnostics. I found the readings to be extremely thought provoking. I wonder sometimes since there is such talk about God at meetings, what kind of turn-off that must be for agnostics.
Understanding that surrender is also a process for agnostics, I would definitely recommend Beyond Belief, particularly for the introspective, knowledge-seeking agnostic, who earnestly wishes to grow emotionally and intellectually in the program. I think this book will be very helpful to both the newcomer and the mature Twelve Step member.
Beyond Belief: Agnositc Musings for 12 Step Life author Joe C: "I was a closet agnostic for much of my recovery; I thought believing and belonging were synonymous. As the century turned and the internet made my AA community wider, it confirmed for me that being a nonbeliever was neither an intellectual hold out nor an inferior Twelve-Steppery. Although a minority in Twelve Step culture, we are not freaks of nature. Some nonbeliever members have their own agnostic groups and some fit into the mainstream fellowship, be it candidly or discretely.
"There is no shortage of daily meditation books for addicts who believe in an interfering/intervening deity. But when I went looking for a daily reflection book not based on a monotheistic worldview I couldn’t find one. So I wrote one; it took four years. Art, philosophy, religion, comedy, science, the folk-wisdom of Twelve & Twelve rooms all contribute to my recovery and I draw upon these varied sources for inspiration once more. I hope these pages of daily reflection resonate with others."
Read what people are saying about Beyond Belief on AAagnositca
On page 81 of Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age Bill is delighted that Buddhists are forming AA groups. They require accommodation and Bill sees Tradition Four’s autonomy of groups in action. Buddhists would be replacing the word “god” with “good” so that the practice of the Steps could be compatible with their non-theistic belief.
In 1957, Bill writes:
“To some of us, the idea of substituting ‘good’ for ‘God’ in the Twelve Steps will seem like a watering down of A.A.’s message. But here we must remember that A.A.’s Steps are suggestions only. A belief in them, as they stand, is not at all a requirement for membership among us. This liberty has made A.A. available to thousands who never would have tried at all had we insisted on the Twelve Steps just as written.”
The word from GSO has not changed over the years. Ward Ewing, an AA General Service Board Chair-emeritus is also ordained as an Episcopalian minister. He thinks nonbelievers have something to add to the AA conversations, not just among themselves but for the benefit of one and all. He helped champion a bid for pamphlet that included recovery programs from the point of view of theists and nonbelievers.
The drunk-on-dogma literalists speak a very different language than the founder who created a fellowship of pluralism, where alternate worldviews could coexist. According to the new-wave stewardship, what were once autonomous groups ought to be governed. The liberty of saying, reading and distributing what the group conscience agreed doesn't sit right with those who want a clear, singular interpretation of our age-old recovery program. The children of chaos free-thinkers both represent themselves as Stewards of Twelve & Twelve culture and champions of our next generation of newcomer. The liberals rejoice in AA's inclusive anarchy. Most people coming to Twelve Step rooms for the first time today didn’t grow up with the Judeo/Christian assumptions of early AA, NA, GA, OA, etc. The newcomers of today include Buddhists, Humanists, Taoists, Apostates, Atheists, Freethinkers, pagans and a whole lot more people who only ask for a Twelve Step way that works without having to adopt someone else's worldview or to deny their own.
Resistance to change causes reification which always goes something like this – A man tells a message, which starts a movement and somewhere along the way missionaries of this movement transform the man’s fluid, adaptable message to something carved in unyielding stone. Twelve Step fellowships were founded on the idea of one amateur helping another. Our currency is experience, not expertise. If we canonize founders and enshrine their words as “the gospel,” aren’t we forgetting the very message that was entrusted to us? “We know but a little; more will be revealed, take what you’ve learned and pass it on to the next in line.”
Beyond Belief is a book that respects the path that has been laid for us but plays it forward with an inclusive language. More than one nonbeliever has been offended by the patronizing binary thinking that, “...the doubter who still claimed that he hadn’t got the spiritual angle, and who still considered his well-loved AA group the higher power, would presently love God and call him by name (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions pg.109) .”
A non-theistic worldview is no handicap and need no cure. Neither is atheism more evolved. In Beyond Belief nonbelievers are assumed as rights-bearing equals in our fellowship. This idea will be obvious one day, if it isn’t already. Like voting for women or equality for all, a generation from now will look at faith like favorite colors; some of us believe this, some of us believe that. We all belong. There is no shortage of daily meditation books for those of us with theistic predispositions. Beyond Belief is a secular look at recovery for the rest of us living in recovery, one day at a time.
SEE a SAMPLE
CAN'T FIND EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT ABOVE? CUSTOMIZE YOUR ORDER, MULTIPLE BOOKS, COMBOS.
EMAIL US or call 416-239-8737 with what you want and in what currency. We'll tell you how much for books + shipping in your currency and ship.
Then you can pay is your currency @ PAYPAL.
Treatment Centers, 12 step group or institutional bulk discounts for six to 500 books HERE
Read our return, privacy and customer care policy HERE
Click on the BookBaby logo to buy now from your favorite eBook online retailer such as Barns and Noble, KOBO, iBooks or Amazon
Join our community at GOODREADS.com
The ideal companions, The Little Book: A Collection of Alternative 12 Steps + Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life Order The Little Book in paperback or Beyond Belief in paperback, ePUB or Kindle's Mobi eBook version.
eBooks delivered by email within 24 hours. Paperbacks shipped UPS or DHL (delivery 7 to 10 days in North America) Rebellion Dogs the book-retail industry now.
Support your local book store. Nothing would please us more than ordering our books from your local independent book store.
We have favorites that we shop at. These stores carry Beyond Belief, AAagnostica titles and other great addiction/recovery titles.
In New York City NY: Choices Books & Gifts Addiction Recovery & Wellness Titles
In Westmont New Jersey: Eleventh Step Books
In Los Angeles CA: My 12 Step Book Store
in Mountain View CA: East West Bookshop
In Lima PA 19063: Mirmont Treatment Center Bookstore
In Toronto Canada: Caversham North America's Largest Mental Health Bookstore
In Mississauga Ontario: Jackie's Place
Order from IndieBound independent booksellers everywhere
Beyond Belief reviews:
- 5 out of 5 stars; A daily reflection book for the rest of us. O.Mitt, Los Angeles, CA May 2015
- 5 out of 5 starts: Excellent daily readings; especially for those in recovery! Sheilabee, Kindle buyer, April 20
- A much needed resource for those wrestling with anything, not just addictions. Joe C. inspires, engages, uplifts, and challenges readers through a year of reflections and insight into addiction and human nature. Gretta Vosper MDiv, minister, author, atheist., January 18, 2015
- "Thanks so much for Beyond Belief! I am using it daily as part of my recovery support system and am appreciating the diversity of quotations and the comments on those quotations. I especially like the questions at the end which take me further into the material and inform my quiet times. Thanks for making the huge effort to put all that together. I really appreciate it." Kind regards, Pat H, United Kingdom
- 5 out of 5 stars MY BOYFRIEND IS LIKE A MEDITATION GURU AND HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS, January 19, 2015
- By J.F.: THIS BOOK IS SIIIIICK. WE GET SO SPIRITUAL IN THE MORNING. MY BOYFRIEND LOVED ME EVEN MORE NOW THAT I INTRODUCED HIM TO SUCH MAGNIFICENT READING MATERIAL.
|If you shop at Amazon or know people who do, please consider buying gift cards or ordering your Amazon music, books or Kindle eBooks from our Rebellion Dogs online book store. Grab a gift card here for yourself or others. Scroll down for recommendations from Rebellion Dogs. Tell us about your favorite books, too. |
Our book of the month is Experiencing Spirituality: Finding Meaning Through Story Telling by Ernest Kurt and Katherine Ketcham (the authors of Spirituality of Imperfection. You can order the hardcover now for under $20.00. Now, that's spiritual.