In the Fellowships of 12 Step Recovery, it has been said that the dues for membership is relatively cheap; they only require a desire to stop the destructive consumption or behavior. It is also said that the cost of entry, the initiation fee, is monumentally high, reflecting all the horrendous things we did over our lives to earn the qualification. The first three steps deal with all of this and are what we must accomplish to fully commit to the Fellowship.
But it is the first step that always must be done first…and fully…the full admission to the powerlessness of the drug or behavior and the unmanageability of our lives in the disease. These two parts are critical…and the failure to admit to both will always leave us nowhere, in limbo.
In the original Ghostbusters movie, the ancient Sumerian evil Deity, Gozer, is trying to inhabit the Earth in a physical form. He recruits/possesses Dana Barrett and Louis Tully, played by Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis. These two live on the top floor of the Shandor Bldg on Central Park West in New York, the building that is referred to in the movie as Spook Central. Dana and Louis become Zuul, The Gatekeeper, and Vinz Clortho, The Keymaster, respectively. The Shandor Bldg had been designed as the perfect entry vehicle for the forces of the paranormal to enter the real world. Zuul and Clortho are to be the key operatives in the opening of this passageway for Gozer, on the roof of Spook Central.
Does it strike you as it does me that Zuul and Clortho are uncanny representations of the two requirements of powerlessness and unmanageability that give us our credentials for this Fellowship of ours. Our powerlessness and unmanageability are the gatekeepers and keymasters of our entry into the disease and the Fellowship. Thinking of the grim final scenes on the roof of Spook Central and how grim our lives were in this disease, the parallel strikes me as.…well….striking. The forces for good, the four Ghostbusters, are almost overcome by Gozer, the Destroyer. A wonderful light twist is added when one of the Ghostbusters, Ray Stanton, played by Dan Akroyd, in response to a challenge by Gozer, imagines The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as the real-life personification of The Destroyer. Doesn’t this also portray how we can trivialize our disease as we are struggling to fully grasp its destructive power?
But I can also turn this analogy around, from the Dark Side to the Light. Step One requires admission of powerlessness and unmanageability, the manifestation of a real-life Zull and Clortho, The Gatekeeper and The Keymaster. The admission of these two, if executed correctly, also give us entry into the Fellowship…and it is the Fellowship that begins to open us up to a world of Light and Joy, a Sunlight of the Spirit. If we do the step correctly we turn them into a wonderful doorway. They are a true gatekeeper and key master.