[I updated the title of this post because it was grating on me. When I read this article, I thought “Now here’s a guy who wishes he weren’t too smart for AA.” He found a way to make it sound smarter.]
From The Guardian:
This is not a plea for the legalisation of street drugs, nor is it a flippant counter to vague public health measures that have been described as “window dressing” and “lacking in detail”. What I would suggest, however, is that the best method of treating alcoholism, smoking and obesity is a religious one.
The basis of Bill W’s recovery was the renewed sense of purpose that his religious experiences offered and, in his 12-step plan, he stressed the need for AA members to surrender themselves to a “higher power”. This higher power didn’t have to be a deity; what mattered was that people believed that, while they were not in control of everything, they lived in a meaningful universe. It was the classic prescription for a way out of the “age of anxiety”: if he or she wanted to survive, the recovering alcoholic or drug addict had to learn what Alan Watts calls “the wisdom of insecurity“.