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Post by hazel4 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:05 am

Just a few lines for comment, constructive criticism or simple condemnation.

A couple of random thoughts that seemed to make sense around 2.a.m.

One side of a door says 'Push'. The other side of the same door says 'Pull'. Both work.

A zen saying of Basho. "Do not seek to follow the footsteps of the men of old: seek what they sought."

Which, perhaps illogically, led me to the Big Book. I have been criticised for putting personalities over principles, which I have always chosen to translate as 'laws before people'. Something I could never tolerate. Until an AA friend suggested I look it up in my dictionary ! What an affront to one who prides herself on her English!

It worked. Principles do indeed mean laws but also, "A fundamental truth…A doctrine that is used as a basis of reasoning or action."

I therefore suffered a 'sea change'.

Bill says in his Chapter 'There is a Solution' (P.19) "Nothing would please us so much as to write book which would contain no basis for contention or argument.". Well, I, for one, am very glad that he did. I would never study a book as deeply as I have this one if I saw no basis for questioning, although I am both surprised and grateful that I have found most of the answers I sought.

P.S. Personally, I like the instruction on the door that says 'Out'!

Have a peaceful 24.

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Post by avaneesh912 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:14 am

In the same chapter "There is A solution"

We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, "a design for living" that really works.

In the following chapter, there appears an explanation of alcoholism, as we understand it, then a chapter addressed to the agnostic. Many who once were in this class are now among our members. Surprisingly enough, we find such convictions no great obstacle to a spiritual experience.

Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered. These are followed by three dozen personal experiences.

Each individual, in the personal stories, describes in his own language and from his own point of view the way he established his relationship with God. These give a fair cross section of our membership and a clear-cut idea of what has actually happened in their lives.

We hope no one will consider these self-revealing accounts in bad taste. Our hope is that many alcoholic men and women, desperately in need, will see these pages, and we believe that it is only by fully disclosing ourselves and our problems that they will be persuaded to say, "Yes, I am one of them too; I must have this thing."

The new-comer walking in the doors, is he presented with this information? We don't even question if he is serious to get well? We just assume that he is desperate and spend about 50 man-hours talking about our war stories... never talk about the solution. At the end of the meeting we ask him to "Keep coming Back". Never even offer him a Big Book.

I consider myself lucky that i stuck around and got the message out-side of the AA meetings and then forced myself into the program of AA.

If we are hurt and willing we become open-minded and follow any doctrine.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Post by Blue Moon » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:06 am

The observation that jumps out for me is "2.a.m."

I remember the first few months of sobriety, where the committee frequently decided to hold a meeting in my head at 2 or 3 am. Daily activities have stopped, which brings the mind into a state of reflection. In early sobriety, this reflection is on a series of sobriety-centric ideas that completely contradict our old way of thinking and doing.

Every motive, even the basis of faith itself, is challenged.

For those who recover, this process is often a precursor to an honest 4th Step inventory.

IMO it's proof that an alcoholic cannot simply "think" him or herself into a state of being recovered. Fear and resentment breeds fear and resentment. The book prescribes specific actions which, when taken honestly in sequence without reservation, guarantee a spiritual awakening.

For me, the real hurdle was that "without reservation" bit. Until then, the only thing I'd ever done "without reservation" was drink - and look where that got me!
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

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