Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

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

Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby leejosepho » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:14 pm

Preface to fourth edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"
(second thread in a series of several)

Preface online: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_preface.pdf

Preface (Fourth Edition)

THIS IS the fourth edition of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” ...
... first edition appeared in April 1939 ...
... second edition ... 1955 ...
... third edition ... 1976 ...
(fourth edition first published in 2001)

Because this book has become the basic text for our Society and has helped such large numbers of alcoholic men and women to recovery, there exists strong sentiment against any radical changes being made in it. Therefore, the first portion of this volume, describing the A.A. recovery program, has been left largely untouched in the course of revisions made for the second, third, and fourth editions.

"... the basic text for our Society ..."
"... a book which would contain no basis for contention or argument." (page 19)
"... a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral." (page 45)

============================================================

"... this book has become the basic text for our Society ..."

note: We are going to see a conflict with "Society" when we get to our book's second Foreword, but for now:

"... our society's great medical benefactor."
"... the early days of our Society ..."
"The fledgling society ... began to be called Alcoholics Anonymous ..."

============================================================

A little farther on in our book's Preface:

... personal stories ... expanded to reflect the Fellowship’s growth.


Question: Why does that not say "... our Society's growth"?

============================================================

"... the first portion of this volume, describing the A.A. recovery program ..." (Preface)

"... clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered." (page 29)

============================================================

At the close of our book's Preface:

This fourth edition includes the Twelve Concepts for World Service ...

All changes made over the years in the Big Book (A.A. members’ fond nickname for this volume) have had the same purpose: to represent the current membership of Alcoholics Anonymous more accurately, and thereby to reach more alcoholics. If you have a drinking problem, we hope that you may pause in reading one of the forty-two personal stories and think: “Yes, that happened to me”; or, more important, “Yes, I’ve felt like that”; or, most important, “Yes, I believe this program can work for me too.”

© Copyright 2012 Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
All Right Reserved

“Yes, that happened to me”;
“Yes, I’ve felt like that”;
“Yes, I believe this program can work for me too.”

http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_personalstories.cfm

============================================================

forum link to the beginning of this series of threads: viewtopic.php?f=31&t=9572 "Beginning at the beginning ..."

============================================================

This thread is now open for discussion!
Last edited by leejosepho on Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby PaigeB » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:24 am

Question: Why does that not say "... our Society's growth"?


Society: an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes.

ANSWER: We are not organized! Also, I feel like I don't want to be associated with the list... it is all the things our preamble warns us against. Now Fellowship on the other hand is more representative.
1.the condition or relation of being a fellow: the fellowship of humankind.
2.friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.
Spammer of interest, feeling, etc.

clear-cut directions


Keep it Simple. I have frequently found when reading this book that I just need to look at the words and not complicate things. If I don't "get it" right away, I will get it someday. My sponsor has 26 years and she is still finding "new" things! But it is in Chapter 3 - More About Alcoholism - that I paused and said, "I have done that. That is me. I knew I wanted to be part of this Fellowship - Since they knew what is in Chapter 3, they knew how to help me not drink.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby Karl R » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:59 pm

Always finding new things here.

“Yes, that happened to me”;


a valuable observation

“Yes, I’ve felt like that”;


a more important observation

and

“Yes, I believe this program can work for me too.”


the most important observation concerning the stories in "alcoholics anonymous".

K.
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby WHO » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:17 pm

This is what my sponsor took me through I had to find the answers in the big book on the specified page, also my sponsor did the research on the number of big books and ratio's.

VII) FOREWORD TO FOURTH EDITION
A) Glossary
1) Disease
B) Knowledge
1) Pg. xxiii
a) How many AA members were there as of 2001? 2,000.000
b) How many Big Books were in circulation as of 2001? 19,550,000
c) What was the ratio of Big Books in circulation to members of AA as of 2001? 18.5 to 1.ratio
d) What happened when the AA seed was planted? It has taken root
e) What happened when AA literature was made available? Then growing by leaps and bounds
f) What two things has “the message of recovery” done? The message has reached larger numbers of people; it has also touched the lives of a vastly greater variety of suffering alcoholics.
g) Is the AA message described as singular or multiple? It is described Singular
2) Pg. xxiv
a) What has the AA literature preserved? Has preserved the integrity of the AA message.
b) What do we share in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics? New customs and practices. Experience strength and hope
c) Where do we share all three phases of our message? Meeting Modem –to-modem, face–2-face
d) What criteria constitute an AA meeting? In any meeting anywhere AA’s share experience strength & hope with each other. Language of the Heart
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby leejosepho » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:24 pm

WHO wrote: g) Is the AA message described as singular or multiple? It is described Singular
2) Pg. xxiv
a) What has the AA literature preserved? Has preserved the integrity of the AA message.

There we go!
=======================
"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: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby Todd M » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:00 am

from a previous post
g) Is the AA message described as singular or multiple? It is described Singular

Help me underestand, I do know, for sure, if I know, the singular message. :shock:
What is the "Singular" message?
is this in referance to xxiii?
is xxiii the Doctors opinion?

ref. Tradition-5: PrimaryP "its" message
could not each group, carry a somewhat differnet message?

is the Message being refered to here "Spiritual Solution" and "there is Hope" ???

Please help understand the "Singular" we are discussing. :?: :?: :?: :shock:
There is Hope, Todd M
Keep it Simple

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http://www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby leejosepho » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:10 pm

TbearTodd wrote:from a previous post
g) Is the AA message described as singular or multiple? It is described Singular

Help me underestand, I do know, for sure, if I know, the singular message. :shock:
What is the "Singular" message?
is this in referance to xxiii?
is xxiii the Doctors opinion?

ref. Tradition-5: PrimaryP "its" message
could not each group, carry a somewhat differnet message?

is the Message being refered to here "Spiritual Solution" and "there is Hope" ???

Please help understand the "Singular" we are discussing. :?: :?: :?: :shock:

Several years ago, my home group experienced about a 40:60 split over what I believe is at the heart of this matter:

"Abandon yourself to God as you understand God." (page 164)
"Abandon yourself to (a god of your own understanding)."

"Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others ..." (page 161), those of us who remained all continued (and yet continue) to carry this message:

"The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism." (page 17)
=======================
"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: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby WHO » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:07 pm

page xi

What tense is the AA recovery program in this book described, singular or plural? Singular

It does not say " AA recovery programs " it says AA recovery program (no "S " )
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path" It does not say paths. No "S 'on paths. Yet we hear all the time there are many paths.

Just something that has been pointed out to me

Yours in sobriety
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby Todd M » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:28 pm

Cool... Thank you... its now appears simple to me... it is one program of recovery
makes since to me now... Keep It Simple... one of my Favorites...
that reminds me
of another Tread i noted to myself, to offer up soon... along the lines... Pick One Program, and give it 100%
There is Hope, Todd M
Keep it Simple

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http://www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby leejosepho » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:50 pm

TbearTodd wrote:Cool... Thank you... its now appears simple to me... it is one program of recovery
makes since to me now... Keep It Simple... one of my Favorites...

Good deal, and now in relation to this similar thought or question:

TbearTodd wrote:ref. Tradition-5: PrimaryP "its" message
could not each group, carry a somewhat different message?

I have heard that argument used by various people wanting to carry a "different" or "targeted" message of whatever kind ... but when we look at all things together, like stuff from our book and all our Traditions at once, that kind of thing saying "Our group's message is *our* group's message" seems quite indefensible even though no group can be forced to do anything.
=======================
"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: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby PaigeB » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:33 pm

Yet we hear all the time there are many paths.


One Broad Highway... plenty of room for personal movement... it is not a march, but a trudge - def - walk wearily: to walk, or walk a particular path or distance, with slow heavy weary steps.

I disagree with the weary part.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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Re: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby leejosepho » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:29 am

PaigeB wrote:One Broad Highway... plenty of room for personal movement... it is not a march, but a trudge - def - walk wearily: to walk, or walk a particular path or distance, with slow heavy weary steps.

I disagree with the weary part.

Same here, and I have always just thought of "doing the next right thing" while placing one foot in front of the other ...

Image
=======================
"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: Preface to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby Karl R » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:31 am

trudge


from merriam webster

"to walk or march steadily"


And "steadily".

constant in feeling, principle, purpose, or attachment


that's how I take our "trudge".

later all,
Karl
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