Knowing at Different Levels

I have received a lot of comments and emails about the last entry on 12-Steps and Recovery. It looks like Recovery is an important topic for many of you. An interesting thing happened to me. I had been in London and became pretty sick while I was there. Instead of resting and taking it easy when I returned to Arizona, I kept up a crazy-busy schedule…then I felt even worse! The doctors I saw assured me I would be fine, yet I found myself going into a lot of fear and anxiety. My mind would fly to serious medical diagnoses, and I would become even more anxious! 

What occurred to me afterwards was how we can “know” things at different levels. For example, even though I intellectually knew I would probably be fine, at a deeper level, my emotions and “survival” areas of my brain had not “digested” what the doctors had told me.

In general, I think we have three levels of “knowingness”: intellectual, emotional, and “gut” knowingness. My perception is that until we we have deeply assimilated something that we “know” all the way down to our gut, we can “lose” what we have learned if the circumstances challenge us enough. 
In Recovery, this also very much applies. Stopping the addiction is just the beginning. Identifying and gradually “digesting” the living awareness of our true nature, can progress over a long period of time.