Four Absolutes

For recovery discussion
User avatar
jakpar
Forums Contributor
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: West Virginia

Four Absolutes

Post by jakpar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:51 pm

hello everyone,

Where did the Four Absolutes go? (Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love)
They are not mentioned much these days.
Jack

"We are of service by accepting responsibility for the authority God has given us and by respecting the authority God has given to others"
Anonymous

John Boy
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:22 pm

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by John Boy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:09 pm

Absolutes are an Oxford group thing.

User avatar
johnd
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 721
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:50 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by johnd » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:37 pm

Well Jakpar,
There are a lot of things never mentioned much these days. I do hear the Honesty openmindness and willingnes metioned at a couple of my regular groups. Never much of the unselfishness and Love. Another I have bringing up in my meetings you never hear about joining a group or getting a home group. Very important in my recovery. A comfortable place for a struggling alcoholic.
Thanks for the topic. John D.
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

User avatar
jakpar
Forums Contributor
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: West Virginia

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by jakpar » Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:57 pm

hello again,
while I realize the Absolutes, Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, Love, were an "Oxford" thing, they were a vital part of early AA (as I have read and understand), then faded like many things.
Good point John, getting a home group asap to help you feel less like on the outside of AA, and more in the center of AA.
Doing service in the Home Group, strengthening the fellowship, getting to know others closer than just showing up for the meeting and leaving afterward.

there are so many things early AA's done that is not mentioned today, just thought I would mention the Absolutes as a way to possibly start a discussion.....
Jack

"We are of service by accepting responsibility for the authority God has given us and by respecting the authority God has given to others"
Anonymous

MitchellK
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:37 pm

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by MitchellK » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:48 am

Even the Oxford Group recognized that those standards were something to strive towards (progress, not perfection) and no one amongst them could ever maintain perfect adherence...

Bill W. wrote that he incorporated the absolutes and their concepts into the steps and writings but didn't actually use the exact phrases in order to keep separate from the OG.

Depending on geographic area, the Four Absolutes are still mentioned. Many areas have distanced themselves from early concepts which worked, like standards to check one's motives against and some areas it seems have also distanced themselves from concepts like continuous sobriety as well.

User avatar
Tommy-S
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1696
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:11 pm
Location: Norfolk, VA

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by Tommy-S » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:15 pm

Hi Jack,

I remember hearing about them when I first started, but then that's been about it, with the exception of western PA meetings where there is still a strong Akron influence, and on rare occasion at my home group in Florida when some one gets some AA literature sent from their 'home' Intergroup. (The Akron Central Office still prints The 4 Absolutes pamphlet)

The only think I remember being taught about the 4 Absolutes was to use them in decision making... listing pro & con, and then picking the best decision as the one closest to being Absolute Honest, Pure, Unselfish, and Loving.

It was light-speed ahead of my "eenie, meenie, miney, moe" decision making process, but I found it very helpful in early sobriety

(In writing that, I am thinking it ironic that I used it in early sobriety, when I should be more adept at figuring out what Honest, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love were the longer I am sober. Hmmm?)

Like any tool, this one has become rusted from lack of use.

But you got me thinking, now... The 4 Absolutes would make a good yard marker for any response I post on site. Double-Hmmm

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

kenyal
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by kenyal » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:28 am

The movement that advocated their use for non-alcoholics and alcoholics alike failed badly.

No car company is very likely to issue a retro-Edsel.

MitchellK
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:37 pm

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by MitchellK » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:54 am

It was written "The movement that advocated their use for non-alcoholics and alcoholics alike failed badly."

I wonder why then Bill Wilson said he wrote them into the 6th and 7th Steps?

Is it bad if before I say or do anything I measure what I say or do against certain standards?

Is it true or is it false?
How will it affect the other person?
Is it ugly or is it beautiful?
Is it right or is it wrong?


If living by these standards are driving an Edsel I plead guilty. I guess many in AA today could care less about truth or how what they say or do affects the other person or whether what they do or say is ugly or what they do is wrong.

Somehow, for an organization that "failed badly," it still exists around the world though under a different name. Like many things in life, it has evolved but it certainly never failed. I still get their newsletter.

User avatar
johnd
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 721
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:50 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by johnd » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:38 am

This is why I stay with this forum, So much Experience. Everyone who contributes enlightens me. I do love the works of A.A. . From its early beginnings to where it is today. I do admit I sure miss the principles being used and discussed at meetings today. even though I came into A.A. in 1986 I still heard many "Old Timers"
keeping the principles right up front.
My sponsor who would burn the idea that I must check my motives whenever I get into sticky situations.
"Keep it Simple" was his constant phrase.

I remember at times when attending a meeting the topic would slip aside, and then low and behold the person with some time in, would steer it right back to the topic at hand. Today, not so much if the topic drifts into example ragtime... no one really speaks up or tries to steer it back, they either get up go outside or just leave. Too bad though... if someone is struggling looking for an answer to their problem we will never know. just thought I'd add to the great topic here. Thanks John D.
Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans- Anonymous

kenyal
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by kenyal » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:52 am

The Druids were wonderful and there are still a few believers on youtube. Horace and Ra had some cool aspects to them back in ancient Egypt, and now they've each got their own slot machine games.

In their most recent newsletter, The Modern Phrenology Society says in part:

"Phrenology can now aid the Global Warmists. All Modern Phrenology practitioners are
urged to make the following adjustment to their diagnosis. This may in fact be a television news reader and helpful to our cause."

Those guys are still have a cause and a newsletter, and likely would take offense if someone suggested they are invisible to the rest of the world. But they are. Because they had the wrong ideas. Right ideas have legs.

If you want to practice the 3 Cs, seek the absolutes and measure your actions by the 4 standards then the Oxford group is alive in you and is a viable force in your life.

Though the Edsel still has active online fan clubs, Ford is not going to reissue an updated version.

In fact, the 2013 Shelby Cobra GT500 Roadster could be viewed as the direct decendant of the Edsel line, if you can ignore the differences.

MitchellK
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:37 pm

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by MitchellK » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:58 pm

Just gotta say...

I believe in honesty in my dealings with other people and with myself
I believe in being unselfish by helping others
I believe in loving my fellow human beings, my planet and all that inhabit it
I believe in doing my best out of purity in motive

It has nothing to do with the Oxford Group per se but in a better way of living as compared with the dirt bag I used to be like. If some people got their pants all twisted up with the OG, that is their problem, not mine.

User avatar
Duke
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:35 pm
Location: Kansas, USA

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by Duke » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:55 pm

I've always used them, when in doubt to check my thinking about the right action to take. That's what I learned from watching people who live this thing.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa

becksdad
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 914
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:54 pm
Location: Nawth Carolina

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by becksdad » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:56 pm

Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, Love. Are these Spiritual Principles? Do they sound different without the "absolute" attached? What does our 12th step urge us to practice? Is the problem with the wording or the basic idea?

WIth Absolute Honesty...... I don't understand what the problem is. At heart, same, same.

Thanks, Ed

Jaywalker Steve
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 514
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:36 pm

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by Jaywalker Steve » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:18 pm

becksdad wrote:Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, Love. Are these Spiritual Principles? Do they sound different without the "absolute" attached? What does our 12th step urge us to practice? Is the problem with the wording or the basic idea?

WIth Absolute Honesty...... I don't understand what the problem is. At heart, same, same.

Thanks, Ed
True story. Heaven forbid we discard vital spiritual principles our program teaches us on the technicality of being associated with the Oxford Groups or a semantic qualifier of 'absolute'. 'We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.' - right?
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

becksdad
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 914
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:54 pm
Location: Nawth Carolina

Re: Four Absolutes

Post by becksdad » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:34 pm

Exactly Jaywalker!!! I just don't understand the problem. Sometimes, I think we would argue over whether a flying animal is a "bird" or a "feathered Creature"!!!

Spiritual Principles are Spiritual Principles. Doesn't matter HOW it is said... it is the same.

But , you know, I can argue with the best of 'em too! I still got stuff to work on!!! :D

Post Reply