Pioneers of AA

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Tosh
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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by Tosh » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:37 am

leejosepho wrote:neither do I believe philosophy has any place in A.A.
Of course A.A. has philosophy; you're free to believe what you wish, though that doesn't change reality.
leejosepho wrote: Says who?! Human beings were not created as alcoholics or anything else terminal. Mankind brought that upon itself and then some of us were born with whatever...
Well you're contradicting the Big Book now. Heretic. :lol:

"There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way." Remember, bottles are just a symbol; these were born unable to be honest. It's that lack of honesty which kills these faultless unfortunates; they didn't have the freewill to do otherwise.

My father's death certificate should read "Cause of Death: Incapable of being rigorously honest". :lol:

And of course we were born with something terminal; the main cause of death is being born.
leejosepho wrote: "Selfishness - self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.
This is understood by those who aren't born 'that way'; the ones God created to fail (I assume).
leejosepho wrote: "We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn't do it." (page 133)
Mate, somewhere in the world fifteen children under the age of five years old die every minute. Many of their parents will be blameless and will have called out to God for help; yet their children still died. This is reality. I'm sure God wants those parents to be happy also, but reality and what's written down can be two separate things.

I don't believe alcoholics who die of alcoholism are to blame for it. Mainstream neuroscience agrees with the Big Book too, you know. I really do think they're not at fault; suffering alkies need helping, not judgement; or understanding at least.

And you're free to judge them how you like, but can I ask you, did you use your freewill and choose to be an alcoholic? And did you just use your freewill to stop drinking? And why don't you use your freewill to rid yourself of your character defects?
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by D'oh » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:10 pm

Tosh wrote:
"There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way." Remember, bottles are just a symbol; these were born unable to be honest. It's that lack of honesty which kills these faultless unfortunates; they didn't have the freewill to do otherwise.
That my friend is the keyword in that statement. Just as I cannot deem you an Alcoholic. And yes Alcohol was but a symptom, it was my inability to handle life's Isms that caused my problems.

That is why, Putting a Plug in the Jug, just didn't cut it. I had to find a way to live without running to the jug.

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by leejosepho » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:15 pm

Tosh wrote:Of course A.A. has philosophy;
Where? All I have ever read in our book is "combined knowledge and experience"...and including statements such as this:

"If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly." (pages 44-45)
...[belief]...doesn't change reality.
Glad to know we agree on something here!
"...they seem to have been born that way."
Being born an alcoholic or whatever else does not prove anyone was actually created as one...but with all due respect, your arguments here are of the windy variety that never get us anywhere...

"When...the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that underneath the material world and life as we see it, there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface and we laboriously set out to convince ourselves it isn't so. We read wordy books and indulge in windy arguments, thinking we believe this universe needs no God to explain it. Were our contentions true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.
"Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of God's ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn't it?" (page 49)

A.A. never tries to convince the agnostic or atheist of anything. We just share our experience with becoming convinced of something like this:

"We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God." (page 46)

No philosophy or theology is even necessary in order to experience that.
=======================
"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: Pioneers of AA

Post by D'oh » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:44 pm

leejosepho wrote:
Tosh wrote:Of course A.A. has philosophy;
Where? All I have ever read in our book is "combined knowledge and experience"...and including statements such as this:

"If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly." (pages 44-45)
...[belief]...doesn't change reality.
Glad to know we agree on something here!
"...they seem to have been born that way."
Being born an alcoholic or whatever else does not prove anyone was actually created as one...but with all due respect, your arguments here are of the windy variety that never get us anywhere...

"When...the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that underneath the material world and life as we see it, there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface and we laboriously set out to convince ourselves it isn't so. We read wordy books and indulge in windy arguments, thinking we believe this universe needs no God to explain it. Were our contentions true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.
"Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of God's ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn't it?" (page 49)

A.A. never tries to convince the agnostic or atheist of anything. We just share our experience with becoming convinced of something like this:

"We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God." (page 46)

No philosophy or theology is even necessary in order to experience that.
The proof was around me forever, I just did not see it. I was looking for Lighting Bolts, instead it was shown in thing like the Brilliance of the Moon or Stars.

Even Bill, in the Hotel lobby. Why didn't he just step into the bar? Why was the easel there with Church addresses with phone numbers? If it were not for that particular place and time and people in it, what would life be like today for all of us on this Forum?

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by leejosepho » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:57 pm

D'oh wrote:The proof was around me forever, I just did not see it. I was looking for Lighting Bolts, instead it was shown in thing like the Brilliance of the Moon or Stars.
There are various things to keep in mind here, and the first, at least for me, is this: Proof is personal and nobody else is required to accept it just because I might be convinced. The thing that makes A.A. a society-in-groups of "combined knowledge and experience" rather than a mere philosophy or theology (religion) is the fact that each person is given the opportunity to do his or her own investigation (by taking the Steps) in order to experience this for himself or herself:

"Circumstances made him willing to believe (even if or where he possibly still did not). He humbly offered himself to (the One we happen to believe is) his Maker - then he knew." (page 57)

Philosophy and religion operate much differently by first declaring certain beliefs and then suggesting we go live them where we A.A.s simply "live our way into new thinking" instead.
D'oh wrote:Even Bill, in the Hotel lobby. Why didn't he just step into the bar?
Because he was concerned about all the alcoholics who might never get help if he did.
D'oh wrote:Why was the easel there with Church addresses with phone numbers?
Because somebody was thinking of travelers who might stop at that hotel and then seek spiritual contact or fellowship.
D'oh wrote:If it were not for that particular place and time and people in it, what would life be like today for all of us on this Forum?
I like to ask what today might be like for any or all of us if any or all of us had been there in place of Bill, Bob and others at the beginning...and that makes me shudder.
=======================
"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: Pioneers of AA

Post by ezdzit247 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:00 pm

leejosepho wrote:
Tosh wrote:Of course A.A. has philosophy;
Where? ....

All organizations have a statement of philosophy and AA's Preamble is its statement of philosophy:
"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women whoshare their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied withany sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by leejosepho » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:03 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:AA's Preamble is it's statement of philosophy
Nonsense. That is nothing more than a bird's-eye view intended for non-A.A.s.
=======================
"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: Pioneers of AA

Post by D'oh » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:37 pm

leejosepho wrote:
Because he was concerned about all the alcoholics who might never get help if he did.


I like to ask what today might be like for any or all of us if any or all of us had been there in place of Bill, Bob and others at the beginning...and that makes me shudder.
At the time, he knew nothing of those that might find help with his theory. All he was doing was saving his own butt with a belief that 1 Alcoholic, could help another Alcoholic, not to drink.

No Program, No Book, And No Fellowship, and no previous luck. Just a hunch.

Which for me, makes it even more outstanding. To follow a hunch, or step into a bar (that is known to solve life issues for a short time). It wasn't until (well my guess) Bill D #3 that his theory might work.

Was it "Proof" of Devine help? I am not sure, but it can make 1 wonder.

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by leejosepho » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:01 am

D'oh wrote:
leejosepho wrote:Because he was concerned about all the alcoholics who might never get help if he did.

I like to ask what today might be like for any or all of us if any or all of us had been there in place of Bill, Bob and others at the beginning...and that makes me shudder.
At the time, he knew nothing of those that might find help with his theory. All he was doing was saving his own butt with a belief that 1 Alcoholic, could help another Alcoholic, not to drink.
The idea of one alcoholic helping another has mostly to do with "it takes one to know and understand one in order to be trusted by another" (page 18, bottom), and Bill had just recently been told (Silkworth) to stop talking about his spiritual experience and to just hit the next man with the hard facts about the chronic hopelessness of our natural state of mind and body. He definitely already had the spiritual program (Oxford Groups) that would eventually be shared in our book, but he had yet to discern 12th-Step work as we know it today. From pages 153-155 in our book, here are some details from the lobby incident:

"...made a journey to a certain western city...trip came off badly...wound up in a law suit...much hard feeling and controversy.
"Bitterly discouraged...sober but few months, he saw that his predicament was dangerous. He wanted so much to talk with someone, but whom?
"One dismal afternoon he paced a hotel lobby... At one end of the room stood a glass covered directory of local churches. Down the lobby a door opened into an attractive bar."

Bill was aware of his fellowship (or at least conversational) alternatives there, and we next see him weighing one against the other:

"...Unless he took some drinks, he might not have the courage to scrape an acquaintance...
"But what about his responsibilities - his family and the men who would die because they would not know how to get well, ah - yes, those other alcoholics? There must be many such in this town. He would phone a clergyman. His sanity returned and he thanked God."

Finding another alcoholic is not what had saved his butt there. His butt was saved when he simply decided to just go do what he had already been told to do (Silkworth and Oxford Groups).
D'oh wrote:Was it "Proof" of Divine help? I am not sure, but it can make 1 wonder.
I believe a perfect path is laid out for each of us and that all can be well when all of us walk them as already laid out.
=======================
"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: Pioneers of AA

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:20 am


Was it "Proof" of Divine help? I am not sure, but it can make 1 wonder.
Call it anything, there was a shift back in 1935 in consciousness that created a solution for this problem. Dr. Silkworth understood that there is something different about the alcoholics. And then there was this spiritual program of action practised by the oxford groupers. Bill W was in deep trouble when he visited the 3rd time the Towncenter hospital. When Ebby T visited him, a solution arose. He got the powerlessness and un-manageability concepts from the Dr and the solution for his friend Ebby and pieced it together. One more important thing happened. Bill W couldn't save the drunks by talking to them about just the solution. He had to first talk about the problem (why people went back to the drink-the queer mental twist/blind spot) and then he was able to win over Dr. Bobs confidence. Hence step 1 is the most important part of the whole program.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by leejosepho » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:01 am

avaneesh912 wrote:Bill W couldn't save the drunks by talking to them about just the solution. He had to first talk about the problem (why people went back to the drink-the queer mental twist/blind spot) and then he was able to win over Dr. Bobs confidence. Hence step 1 is the most important part of the whole program.
Yes, absolutely...and here is an account of that discovery:

"This physician (Dr. Bob) had repeatedly tried spiritual means (Oxford Groups) to resolve his alcoholic dilemma but had failed. But when the broker (Bill W.) gave him Dr. Silkworth's description of alcoholism and its hopelessness, the physician (Dr. Bob) began to pursue the (very same Oxford Groups) spiritual remedy for his malady with a willingness he had never before been able to muster. He sobered, never to drink again up to the moment of his death in 1950. This seemed to prove that one alcoholic could affect another as no nonalcoholic could." (Foreword to Second Edition)

Bill and Bob were not putting their heads together to try to find some way to help each other keep from drinking. Armed with some additional elements-of-approach Ebby had not known while first helping Bill, Bill had just unwittingly begun learning how to do effective 12th-Step work by leaving the solution alone completely while first being certain of Step One for the recovery prospect/newcomer. For example:

Bill to Bob: "Do you have a desire to stop drinking?"
Dr. Bob: "Yes, I certainly do...and yet I keep ending up drunk anyway."
Bill: "Please allow me to share my own experience with that and help you understand chronic alcoholism..."
=======================
"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: Pioneers of AA

Post by clouds » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:36 am

:)
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by PaigeB » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:47 pm

I like to ask what today might be like for any or all of us if any or all of us had been there in place of Bill, Bob and others at the beginning...and that makes me shudder.
It was extremely paramount to those who wrote the Big Book that no matter what their differences, Unity had to come first. So many suffered from this disease. They had a desperation that I think we lack today. How horrible to live and die like that back then, there was no Hope to be had.

I often think back to what it would be like before alcoholics had a way out like AA. The Doctor's Opinion talks about his personal feelings of work on the "front lines" of this disease. He talks about alcoholism being as old as when man crushed grapes. (I think that reference comes from the D.O.) My mom is a nurse who tells me about "wet brain" syndrome, which was a huge problem back in the 30's and 40's. When she became a nurse in the 50's there were whole hospitals dedicated to alcoholism and tuberculosis. She took a job with a tuberculosis wing. Her father was a drunk and she left home to get away from that. Alcoholism is truly is a heart breaking disease. My mother does not remember AA being prevalent nor did she hear about Alanon until the 1980's when my brother went to treatment.

Bill had an intuitive thought, a hunch, that the Oxford Group was onto something. He liked to think big and in order to be more widely effective than the Oxford Group, it had to be something just a tad bit different... it needed to be more inclusive. Bill had tried so many ways to get out from under. In the hotel lobby, he had to make a decision about whether to make a call or get a drink. I have personally been faced with that decision and thanks to this program, I made a call.

Back in the "flying blind" days, they got you on your feet using the Oxford Group outline and then sent you to another city to start AA there. We have got it made today. Still, they die by the 1000's without the benefit of knowing or "getting" this program. If you (anyone) are not yet on a local AA service committee that is dedicated to helping the still suffering alcoholic, they always need good help!
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: Pioneers of AA

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:11 pm

D'oh wrote: The proof was around me forever, I just did not see it. I was looking for Lighting Bolts, instead it was shown in thing like the Brilliance of the Moon or Stars....
Me either. It was like I was blind, deaf, and stupid as well. Now I see, hear, and understand the proof was always there in front of me and everywhere around me. Now is better.
D'oh wrote:....Even Bill, in the Hotel lobby. Why didn't he just step into the bar? Why was the easel there with Church addresses with phone numbers?....
Carl Jung would probably call what happened to Bill on that day in the hotel lobby an example of "Synchronicity" or "coincidence with purpose". I'd agree. Og Mandino would probably have called it "the Hand of God". I'd agree with that too. Somebody like Dawkins would probably chalk it up to "dumb luck". I don't believe in dumb luck.
D'oh wrote: If it were not for that particular place and time and people in it, what would life be like today for all of us on this Forum?
I don't know about anyone else on this forum, but I'm real sure I'd have been dead long ago and my son would have had to grow up as an orphan whose mother died of alcoholism.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Re: Pioneers of AA

Post by PaigeB » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:19 pm

Somebody like Dawkins would probably chalk it up to "dumb luck". I don't believe in dumb luck.
Or a 50/50 chance.
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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