PP 28-29 There is a soluton (A design for living)

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
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Karl R
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PP 28-29 There is a soluton (A design for living)

Post by Karl R » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:22 am

Good Morning,

Yesterday we left the hopeless, alcoholic American business man a free man after he had a spiritual awakening.

Today's reading talks of escape with all the desperation of drowning men. That is what my early sobriety was like. Not until I had worked out a new relationship to my higher power and had started the steps did the desperation leave and I found miracles happening every day in God's design for my life.

The reading goes further in talking of the freedom of all to adopt whatever version of a higher power works for them. It's amazing to me that we can all live alongside one another, having had spiritual awakenings which vary greatly from person to person and there is little friction about this among us.

For my part, I was able to go back to the God of my youth. I had forgotten that he was beside me during 26 years of drinking but when I looked after becoming sober-he was still right there and he held no animosity toward me. Amazing miracle.

Anyone care to share their E S & H about 'finding' their own Higher Power?


Tomorrow we move along to "More about alcohol" and learn a little bit more about----well---alcohol.

in peace,
Karl

I've posted today's reading below.


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.

The distinguished American psychologist, William James, in his book" Varieties of Religious Experience, "indicates a multitude of ways in which men have discovered God. We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired. If what we have learned and felt and seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try. Those having religious affiliations will find here nothing disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters.

We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of past associations, or his present choice. Not all of us join religious bodies, but most of us favor such memberships.

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 forty-three 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."
Last edited by Karl R on Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Oliver
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Re: 9/18/08 BB There is a Sol'n (A design for living)

Post by Oliver » Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:48 am

Karl R wrote: Those having religious affiliations will find here nothing disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters.
[/color]
This was hugely important for me when I first came in to realise that the AA programme was entirely compatible with my own personal religious affiliation.
Oliver
"In exchange for bottle and hangover, I have been given the keys to the kingdom."

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Post by dwelling » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:49 am

Mornin',
I always loved this sentence-"We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired."

It seems to go along with that other humble line from the big book-"We know only a little"


This next sentence sounds like a typical AA meeting , if I go there wanting to learn and continue growing. -"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 (or maybe attend meetings), 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."

dwelling, "But what we have related is base upon experience, some of it painful. We had to learn these things the hard way."

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Post by jujub » Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:00 am

hey everyone,


"If what we have learned and felt and seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try."

my struggle with accepting a higher power in my life was rooted in my contempt and fear of the god i thought had abandoned me. i believed--still do at times--that i am inherently flawed and unforgivable. that belief has shrunk in the last few weeks; replaced with the possiblity of a god that is personal to me and interested in my life. a power that is available 24/7, and may in fact have my best interests at heart. a power that knows better than me what i need. the experiences i had with the birds, and the beauty of nature opened my mind and heart. i guess i became willing to try something different. to say maybe i don't know. maybe what i've believed for so long is inaccurate. maybe this is all available for me. my insistence on keeping the blinders on--seeing only a vindictive, punishing god--gave me a handy excuse to stay mired in active alcoholism. i'm hopeless no matter what i do, so why bother. the ultimate in self pity.

today it's different. i have a relationship--tiny as it may be--with a god that gives a crap what happens to me. a god that has a good sense of humor, and chuckles at my struggles. a god that says, geez little girl--i'm always here, just give up the fight. i've got amazing things in store for you.

glad i had some time to reconnect with you all. made it through that first day back at work in one sober piece. wishing you a great sober day!

judi, alcoholic

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Post by ann2 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:39 pm

Thanks, Karl, this is a great reading, and would be a wonderful alternate for the beginning of ch. 5 to open meetings. When I read this kind of openness and friendliness in the Big Book it reminds me to treat everyone with politeness and respect when sharing about A.A. I guess I should do that no matter what circumstance I'm involved with, eh? Practicing these principles . . . .

Experience in finding my higher power: well, it was very personal to me, and I think that's always the crux, that what gets me going would leave the next alcoholic yawning. And that's cool, I mean, I need to realize that I can't ride on anybody's concept-coattail, that I need to come up with something that works for me and not simply go around rejecting what someone else comes up with. No, that doesn't work, no I don't like that, no you're insane etc. etc. etc. Instead, daring to say what i really want, really think I need, what would truly make me secure.

In my case, it was (to begin with) the posulation that there was someone keeping track of everything, and that this being was on top of all the happenings -- actually kept track in some kind of record. Maybe I needed that idea so that I could stop trying to keep track of everything myself. It wasn't a loving or a sentimental concept by any means, but it *was* a very generous kind of higher power -- an administrator with resources, shall we say.

I came to this idea simply because I was told I had to come up with something of my own. When I did, I decided that I really really needed this concept in order to live. I couldn't stand the thought of going on without something like what I'd imagined to rely upon.

So I made a decision to live as if this higher power existed. At that point I believe I stepped into another universe -- one in which my recovery became a possibility. I like this universe a whole lot better than the one I was in before, where I was never going to make it.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

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Post by Karl R » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:17 am

LOL Ann,

I missed your phrase "an administrator with resources" the first time around. It's an interesting concept to this administrator.

I'm reminded of the simplicity of Bill's conclusion when approached by Ebby. About a foundation of willingness to believe in a power greater then myself.

"It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend." BB page 12

And what the Big Book says about our dilemma on page 45. Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

So....believing in the reality of the alcoholic dilemma, and coming to believe in some power greater then oneself that is available to help solve this alcoholic's dilemma.

cheers,
Karl

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Post by leejosepho » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:16 am

... a free man ... does not need a bodyguard nor is he confined ... can go anywhere on this earth where other free men may go without disaster, provided he remains willing to maintain a certain simple attitude.

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.
"... a spiritual liberation from this world, people who rose above their problems ... said God made these things possible ..." (page 55)
ann2 wrote:... a very generous kind of higher power -- an administrator with resources, shall we say.
I like that also, Ann, and we got a glimpse of that at Step Three:

"Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power [to deliver], Thy Love [in provision], and Thy Way of life [in right fellowship with you and with others]." (page 63)

And just as you have described, that comes without ever having to say anything to God about our drinking. Rather:
ann2 wrote:I made a decision to live as if this higher power existed. At that point I believe I stepped into another universe -- one in which my recovery became a possibility. I like this universe a whole lot better than the one I was in before, where I was never going to make it.
Same here.
We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired.
"We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us." (page 95)
Those having religious affiliations will find here nothing disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters.
For myself, some careful discernment between mere "old ideas" and specific "beliefs or ceremonies" in the light of our A.A. experience has become necessary, but now being able to actually share in our A.A. "experience, strength and hope" has made friction between us over such matters completely unnecessary. And so:
We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members identify themselves with as individuals.
However, I do still sometimes struggle with the fact that some people seem to view A.A. as a "religion" of sorts, and with a dogma all its own.
In the following chapter, there appears an explanation of alcoholism, as we understand it, then a chapter addressed to the agnostic ...

Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered ...
So far in our book, we have heard what the good doctor had to say, we have heard Bill's personal story and we have heard a little about our A.A. "solution". Step One will appear on the next page in our book, and then Chapter Four will show us how anyone at all can begin to embrace the spiritual solution we have just heard about.
... 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."
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: PP 28-29 There is a soluton (A design for living)

Post by PaigeB » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Perhaps I should resist the urge to point out the contradiction here...
We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired.
But goes on to point out a description
If what we have learned and felt and seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.
As an atheist, I sort of chalk this up to the times within which this great book was written. A time when an atheist would have been shunned (at least) or burned at the stake (in the not too distant past).

I decided to follow my urge and point out the contradiction for any reader who has problems with the "Living Creator" idea.

It is STILL more than possible to be completely non theist and recover from this disease.
provided he remains willing to maintain a certain simple attitude.
What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of... AA.(emphasis added)
There is indeed a solution. AA is coming out with a pamphlet on the atheist experience in this program and I for one can hardly wait to see it! This program works IF you work it!
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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Re: PP 28-29 There is a soluton (A design for living)

Post by leejosepho » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:23 am

PaigeB wrote:Perhaps I should resist the urge to point out the contradiction here...
We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired.
But goes on to point out a description ...
There is no contradiction. Again:

"We have no monopoly on God; we merely have an approach that worked with us." (page 95)

And from the preceding sentence in relation to those who might wish to try something else:

"If he thinks he can do the job in some other way [than through spiritual means], or prefers some other spiritual approach [than the one we have used], encourage him to follow his own conscience."

The idea behind "no desire to convince anyone there is only one way by which faith can be acquired" is simply and only about avoiding anything like "... better get his brand of spirituality while there is yet time." (page 128)
PaigeB wrote:I decided to follow my urge ... for any reader who has problems with the "Living Creator" idea.
Our book already does that, and you are an example of someone who has recovered even in spite or mere belief or disbelief.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Re: PP 28-29 There is a soluton (A design for living)

Post by Tommy-S » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:31 am

Thanks folks... a lot in a little bit of book
We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men...
Having studied lifesaving, I learned that a drowning victim will do 'anything' to stay alive... including trying to climb up and over the rescuer, which can result in two dead. The AA's imparted on me this same kind of desperation, to do whatever it took, come hell or high water, to make it through the day within caving in to that Fatal First One. It's still a daily decision I make.
We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of past associations, or his present choice. ...
An Entirely Personal Affair... meant keep it to yourself unless asked. Simple. Because of AA, I have a Power Greater than ME in my life, and it's no one else's business... Besides, I figure a G O D doesn't need a pimp, and I am sure He could find a better spokesperson than I :)
Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered. These are followed by forty-three personal experiences....
The left us Directions.. you mean I don't have to figure it out? LOL. It's a Road Map to recovery, laid out by those who have successfully found the way out of that Mad Realm...I need to quit stalling and just follow.

(And there IS a lot of Wisdom I can take from those personal experiences they left behind, so I don't discount them)
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."
Seeing the Living Examples of other alcoholics who had been like me, done the things I had done, and found a way out, was the Power of "Me, Too"... If they can do it, then Me, Too. So I developed a bad case of the "Me, Too's" and I still have them today. no matter what Life deals me for the day, as long as I can find another alkie who has gone through the same or similar without having to drink, I know "Me, Too"... I don't have to wimp out or cave in to the Drink no matter what today.

It worked, and still does. Thanks.

Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!

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