Foreword 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

Foreword to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby leejosepho » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:28 pm

Foreword to fourth edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"
(thread six in a series of several)

Foreword IV online: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_forewordfourthedition.pdf

Foreword to Fourth Edition

THIS fourth edition of “Alcoholics Anonymous” came off press in November 2001, at the start of a new millennium. Since the third edition was published in 1976, worldwide membership of A.A. has just about doubled, to an estimated two million or more, with nearly 100,800 groups meeting in approximately 150 countries around the world.

Literature has played a major role in A.A.’s growth, and a striking phenomenon of the past quarter-century has been the explosion of translations of our basic literature into many languages and dialects. In country after country where the A.A. seed was planted, it has taken root, slowly at first, then growing by leaps and bounds when literature has become available. Currently, “Alcoholics Anonymous” has been translated into forty-three languages.

As the message of recovery has reached larger numbers of people, it has also touched the lives of a vastly greater variety of suffering alcoholics. When the phrase “We are people who normally would not mix” (page 17 of this book) was written in 1939, it referred to a Fellowship composed largely of men (and a few women) with quite similar social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Like so much of A.A.’s basic text, those words have proved to be far more visionary than the founding members could ever have imagined. The stories added to this edition represent a membership whose characteristics—of age, gender, race, and culture—have widened and have deepened to encompass virtually everyone the first 100 members could have hoped to reach.

While our literature has preserved the integrity of the A.A. message, sweeping changes in society as a whole are reflected in new customs and practices within the Fellowship. Taking advantage of technological advances, for example, A.A. members with computers can participate in meetings online, sharing with fellow alcoholics across the country or around the world. In any meeting, anywhere, A.A.’s share experience, strength, and hope with each other, in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics. Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity.

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

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"A.A. members with computers can participate in meetings online, sharing with fellow alcoholics across the country or around the world."

We have "online A.A." right here in our group's 24/7 "chat room": http://www.e-aa.org/chat.php

Question: For e-AA forum members participating there along with face-to-face A.A. contact, how might online compare?

Question: For A.A. Loners in these forums, do "open chat" and/or online meetings enhance your overall A.A. experiences?

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A bit of A.A. history: "... it was found, to the astonishment of everyone, that A.A.'s message could be transmitted in the mail as well as by word of mouth." (Foreword to Second Edition, emphasis added)

Foreword IV: "In any meeting, anywhere, A.A.s share experience, strength, and hope with each other, in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics."

And now today: "Modem-to-modem -or- face-to-face, A.A.s (still?) speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity." (emphasis added)

What about when folks simply happen to prefer "online A.A." over any other venue?

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For any speculators among us: Along with the matter of "the Fellowship of" (organization) versus "ad-hoc society" (organism) mentioned earlier in this study, what effect might "online A.A." ultimately have on ...

"Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group ..." (Tradition Three)
"Each A.A. group ought to be a spiritual entity (having 'call-themselves-an-A.A.-group' members) ..." (Tradition Five)??

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And now with a playful wink:

"... a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in (cyber space?) with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done." (page 130) ;)

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

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This thread is now open for discussion!
Last edited by leejosepho on Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Foreword to Fourth Edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous"

Postby Jaywalker Steve » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:36 pm

"We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done."

So very important...especially for those of us (me) who have found religion and/or church while 11th stepping. No better place to keep a foothold than at meetings and detox. wards.
Every group has men and women who put too much thought and effort into their daily sobriety and not enough of themselves into their daily living. - Ed B., Akron, OH
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