Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps

by Richard Rohr. Franciscan Media, 2011.

Richard Rohr, a well-known Franciscan priest and master teacher, is founder and director of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In Breathing Under Water, he shares unconventional wisdom about spirituality and human behavior. His "Four Assumptions About Addiction” include (a) we are all addicts; (b) "stinking thinking" is the universal addiction; (c) all societies are addicted to themselves and create deep codependency on them; (d) some form of alternative consciousness is the only freedom from this self and from cultural lies. The reader is compelled to read on to better understand Rohr's justification for such stunning generalizations. He expands on the correlation he perceives in Jesus' teachings with each of Bill Wilson's Twelve Steps Alcoholics Anonymous program. Breathing Under Water will provide insight to those trying to help others with addiction issues, especially clergy, family members, Stephen Ministers and pastoral counselors.