XVII-XXI For to the 2nd ed (that all may find a solution)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

XVII-XXI For to the 2nd ed (that all may find a solution)

Postby Karl R » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:01 am

Good Morning all,

Have posted the remainder of the second foreward below.

This part of the foreword to second edition talks about growth. Between the 1st and 2nd edition AA experienced spectacular growth partly because it was one of the only places that a successful solution was offered. Out of this came our 12 traditions. In the 12 steps we had principles for the individual to live by. The 12 traditions offer a solution for the problem of 'erratic' alcoholics to meet and work together. An interesting read is the 'long form' of these traditions on pages 563-566. We hear the short form at f2f meetings (pp. 561-562) but this is the first time I knew there was a long form.

Anyone want to comment on some of the controversies that disrupted AA unity during this period?

On page xx there is a paragraph dealing with success rates and the growth of AA.

Anyone want to speak to how this paragraph written in 1955 compares to the AA of today?

Page xx states that AA is not a religious organization nor does it take any particular medical view. It also states that 'alcohol being no respecter of persons' People from any background can be an alcoholic.

Anyone want to speak of their experience with reconciling the 'spiritual solution to our problem' with the fact that AA is not a religious organization?

This foreward ends with the hope that all may find the answer in the pages of the BB and walk on the 'high road to a new freedom'.

Cheers,
Karl

In the spring of 1940, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. gave a dinner for many of his friends to which he invited A.A. members to tell their stories. News of this got on the world wires; inquiries poured in again and many people went to the bookstores to get the book “Alcoholics Anonymous.’’ By March 1941 the membership had shot up to 2,000. Then Jack Alexander wrote a feature article in the Saturday Evening Post and placed such a compelling picture of A.A. before the general public that alcoholics in need of help really deluged us. By the close of 1941, A.A. numbered 8,000 members. The mushrooming process was in full swing. A.A. had become a national institution.
Our Society then entered a fearsome and exciting adolescent period. The test that it faced was this: Could these large numbers of erstwhile erratic alcoholics successfully meet and work together? Would there be quarrels over membership, leadership, and money? Would there be strivings for power and prestige? Would there be schisms which would split A.A. apart? Soon A.A. was beset by these very problems on every side and in every group. But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experience the conviction grew that A.A.’s had to hang together or die separately. We had to unify our Fellowship or pass off the scene.
As we discovered the principles by which the individual alcoholic could live, so we had to evolve principles by which the A.A. groups and A.A. as a whole could survive and function effectively. It was thought that no alcoholic man or woman could be excluded from our Society; that our leaders might serve but never govern; that each group was to be autonomous and there was to be no professional class of therapy. There were to be no fees or dues; our expenses were to be met by our own voluntary contributions. There was to be the least possible organization, even in our service centers. Our public relations were to be based upon attraction rather than promotion. It was decided that all members ought to be anonymous at the level of press, radio, TV and films. And in no circumstances should we give endorsements, make alliances, or enter public controversies.
This was the substance of A.A.’s Twelve Traditions, which are stated in full on page 561 of this book. Though none of these principles had the force of rules or laws, they had become so widely accepted by 1950 that they were confirmed by our first International Conference held at Cleveland. Today the remarkable unity of A.A. is one of the greatest assets that our Society has.
While the internal difficulties of our adolescent period were being ironed out, public acceptance of A.A. grew by leaps and bounds. For this there were two principal reasons: the large numbers of recoveries, and reunited homes. These made their impressions everywhere. Of alcoholics who came to A.A. and really tried, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with A.A. showed improvement. Other thousands came to a few A.A. meetings and at first decided they didn’t want the program. But great numbers of these—about two out of three—began to return as time passed.
Another reason for the wide acceptance of A.A. was the ministration of friends—friends in medicine, religion, and the press, together with innumerable others who became our able and persistent advocates. Without such support, A.A. could have made only the slowest progress. Some of the recommendations of A.A.’s early medical and religious friends will be found further on in this book.
Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization. Neither does A.A. take any particular medical point of view, though we cooperate widely with the men of medicine as well as with the men of religion.
Alcohol being no respecter of persons, we are an accurate cross section of America, and in distant lands, the same democratic evening-up process is now going on. By personal religious affiliation, we include Catho-lics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and a sprinkling of Moslems and Buddhists. More than 15% of us are women.
At present, our membership is pyramiding at the rate of about twenty per cent a year. So far, upon the total problem of several million actual and potential alcoholics in the world, we have made only a scratch. In all probability, we shall never be able to touch more than a fair fraction of the alcohol problem in all its ramifications. Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly. Yet it is our great hope that all those who have as yet found no answer may begin to find one in the pages of this book and will presently join us on the high road to a new freedom.
Last edited by Karl R on Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:50 am, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
Karl R
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3835
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:06 pm

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:04 am

Anyone want to speak to how this paragraph written in 1955 compares to the AA of today?

Page xx states that AA is not a religious organization nor does it take any particular medical view. It also states that 'alcohol being no respecter of persons' People from any background can be an alcoholic.


Around my area it is still they way it is. We refer to GOD or HP nothing else. As far as medical view is concerned we don't talk about metabolism or American medical association recognizing Alcoholism as a disease......

Anyone want to speak of their experience with reconciling the 'spiritual solution to our problem' with the fact that AA is not a religious organization?

Again, the people work with all kinds of folks no discrimination. i would say that is spiritual.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4638
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby Karl R » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:26 am

Upon therapy for the alcoholic himself, we surely have no monopoly. Yet it is our great hope that all those who have as yet found no answer may begin to find one in the pages of this book and will presently join us on the high road to a new freedom.

Today--I'm grateful that I found an answer in the pages of this book and have found some degree of a new freedom in my life. A great topic for me today.

Karl
User avatar
Karl R
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3835
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:06 pm

Postby Jdpasino » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:46 pm

Anyone want to speak of their experience with reconciling the spiritual solution to our problem with the fact that AA is not a religious organization?

To be honest when i first started coming to AA I didn't know the difference between spirituality and religion so even though i knew AA was not a religious organization i was still kind of confused about the whole hp thing. I learned the answer to this basically in rehab, but when i got out i still had a problem with being able to form a relationship with God or my hp without being religious. I've jumped from religion to religion ever since i was fifteen years old searching for something. This year in AA I finally got the concept. When i first came in and i read in the bb God of my understanding i was confused and i didn't know how to find a God of my understanding because i was used to a certain idea of God, which i didn't exactly agree with but thought it was right. This year i figured out the concept not from going to any particular religion but from talking to people and hearing people talk about it in AA. AA helped me and is still helping me to find my perception of God as i understand Him and to form a strong relationship with Him. For that i will be eternally grateful.
Jdpasino
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:05 am

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:42 am

To be honest when i first started coming to AA I didn't know the difference between spirituality and religion so even though i knew AA was not a religious organization i was still kind of confused about the whole hp thing.


Same experience for me too. I i truly believe all religions have spiritual guidelines except people don't follow them. I have come to embrace spiritual ideas from various religions and teachers. I heard an enlightened master say this, pluck the best flowers from various gardens and make a bouquet out of them.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4638
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby jak » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:57 pm

...all religions have spiritual guidelines except people don't follow them.


That is a very broad generalization. This may be quite insulting to those who do practice spiritual pricnciples through their religious exercises.
AA would not exist were it not for just such people!

jimk
User avatar
jak
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 951
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:50 am
Location: Watertown SD


Return to Big Book Study

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest