The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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avaneesh912
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The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by avaneesh912 » Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:19 pm

Bill W prolifically wrote articles in Grapevine and AA compiled those as a book called "The Language of the Heart" but there was also an article called "The Language of the Heart" he wrote in July 1960, in which Bill points out the key to this global un-foldment can be related to a single crucial word.

The word is communication. There has been a lifesaving communication among ourselves with the world around us and with GOD.

He starts off by saying: "Lets see if I can communicate to you something of what it means to me" .....

then he goes on to write about how Silkworth conveyed to him about the obsession to drink and the allergy that guaranteed that they go mad or die if they kept it up.

then he goes on to say how the knowledge alone couldn't fix him.

he then talks about Ebby bringing him the message....

It would almost look like Bills Story but just better. You call this Dogma?

How are we to communicate this progressive nature of this disease to the newcomers?
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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by Spirit Flower » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:44 pm

I was reading "Language of the Heart" this morning. In a letter to Bill on January 30, 1961, Dr Jung says, "His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God."

Dr Jung touched Roland. Roland touched Ebby. Ebby touched Bill. Interesting.

There is alot of good depth in Bill's later writings.
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by leejosepho » Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:22 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:How are we to communicate this progressive nature of this disease to the newcomers?
By sharing that at least some of us once actually did have control over how much we drank while drinking...

"We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking...which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization...in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better." (page 30)

"All [alcoholics] have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence." (Dr. Silkworth in "The Doctor's Opinion")

Wanting to (again) be like other people (normal drinkers) who actually could have just a few and drink safely without always ending up drunk was a great desire of mine, but my repeated trips into "pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization" while trying to do that finally convinced me it was never again going to happen. And then I faced the very same kind of dilemma after I had decided to just stop altogether and discovered I could live neither with nor without drinking alcohol. So, our first "test" for anyone who is uncertain about the matter of the physical allergy is to go try some controlled drinking:

"We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition." (pages 31-32)

And then for those who have yet to realize having an alcoholic mind guarantees drinking again after stopping again being inevitable, we have this second simple test:

"If anyone questions whether he has entered this dangerous area, let him try leaving liquor alone for one year... We think few, to whom this book will appeal, can stay dry anything like a year. Some will be drunk the day after making their resolutions; most of them within a few weeks." (page 34)

And of course, yes, it is fine to even try to "cheat" a bit by attempting to just not take the first drink one-day-at-a-time while attending meetings for "support"! That ultimately almost never works for the real alcoholic, and thus can she or he discover a little more truth about ourselves.
=======================
"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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by Stepchild » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:14 am

That's a great share Lee...I don't think they left much out in that book...Matter of fact....I can't think of anything.

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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:09 am

yes, it is fine to even try to "cheat" a bit by attempting to just not take the first drink one-day-at-a-time while attending meetings for "support"!
My mentor talks about this fellowship being a choco-block full of hard-drinkers. And they can do this 1 day at a time. An alcoholic cannot. Thats the reason some of have that responsibility of identifying those chronic relapsers and show them these segments of the book so they can realize that they are different from these 1 and at a time members.
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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by Stepchild » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:39 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
yes, it is fine to even try to "cheat" a bit by attempting to just not take the first drink one-day-at-a-time while attending meetings for "support"!
My mentor talks about this fellowship being a choco-block full of hard-drinkers. And they can do this 1 day at a time. An alcoholic cannot. Thats the reason some of have that responsibility of identifying those chronic relapsers and show them these segments of the book so they can realize that they are different from these 1 and at a time members.
You have to wonder when AA's third tradition was introduced....How many non-alcoholics were lining up to join? I'm guessing not many. But as AA has grown and "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking" is thrown around like an open invitation to join AA...People are going to take advantage of that. It's not a bad place to hang out and get away from the wife!
When you look at some of the earlier writings of Bill W....It couldn't be more clear what the intention of that tradition was for...That no alcoholic...Whether poor or rich...Believer or non-believer...Panhandler or crook...Whatever...Would be denied membership. A couple cases in point...Here a few parts from early Grapevine articles that make this very clear...

On Tradition Three
“The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking."
Editorial by Bill W.
A.A. Grapevine, February, 1948
"Our membership ought to include all who suffer alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation."

This is a sweeping statement indeed; it takes in a lot of territory. Some people might think it too idealistic to be practical. It tells every alcoholic in the world that he may become, and remain, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous so long as he says so. In short, Alcoholics Anonymous has no membership rule.
Why is this so? Our answer is simple and practical. Even in self protection, we do not wish to erect the slightest barrier between ourselves and the brother alcoholic who still suffers. We know that society has been demanding that he conform to its laws and conventions. But the essence of his alcoholic malady is the fact that he has been unable or unwilling to conform either to the laws of man or God. If he is anything, the sick alcoholic is a rebellious nonconformist. How well we understand that; every member of Alcoholics Anonymous was once a rebel himself. Hence we cannot offer to meet him at any half-way mark. We must enter the dark cave where he is and show him that we understand. We realize that he is altogether too weak and confused to jump hurdles. If we raise obstacles, he might stay away and perish. He might be denied his priceless opportunity.
So when he asks, "Are there any conditions?" we joyfully reply, "No, not a one." When skeptically he comes back saying, "But certainly there must be things that I have to do and believe," we quickly answer, "In Alcoholics Anonymous there are no musts." Cynically, perhaps, he then inquires, "What is this all going to cost me?" We are able to laugh and say, "Nothing at all, there are no fees and dues." Thus, in a brief hour, is our friend disarmed of his suspicion and rebellion. His eyes begin to open on a new world of friendship and understanding. Bankrupt idealist that he has been, his ideal is no longer a dream. After years of lonely search it now stands revealed. The reality of Alcoholics Anonymous bursts upon him. For Alcoholics Anonymous is saying, "We have something priceless to give, if only you will receive." That is all. But to our new friend, it is everything. Without more ado, he becomes one of us.

And...


Why can't we join A.A., too?
A.A. Grapevine October 1947
Bill W.

"But," some will say, "how shall we make such a vision actually work when most societies have to rely so greatly on management, money, and heavily-publicized leadership exercising powerful personal suasion?" Yet incredibly, we are beginning to see our vision come alive. Even though we persist in looking with misgiving on any large accumulation of money or personal prestige in the name of Alcoholics Anonymous, we do continue to grow despite the absence of those sometimes unstable factors upon which other human endeavors must so often depend.
Why is this possible? Is it because we are a superior people? Well, hardly! Far from being better than average, we are surely much more fallible. Strangely enough, our group strength seems to stem from our individual and ever potential weakness. We are alcoholics. Even though now recovered, we are never too far removed from the possibility of fresh personal disaster. Each knows he must observe a high degree of honesty, humility, and tolerance, or else drink again. For us of A.A. to drink is to die; to love God and fellow man is to live.

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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by leejosepho » Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:56 am

Spirit Flower wrote:I was reading "Language of the Heart" this morning. In a letter to Bill on January 30, 1961, Dr Jung says, "His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God."

Dr Jung touched Roland. Roland touched Ebby. Ebby touched Bill...
There above is the essence in all of this. I did not come to A.A. wanting to talk about my feelings of having just experienced yet another trip into pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization (utter hopelessness)...and yet that is where we must go if we are to ever help the next alcoholic deal with the matter of any kind of "spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness". Giving people pats on the back for not taking the first drink today will certainly never get us there, and thus does our challenge for the revival of and/or our return to actual 12th-Step work -- the language of the heart -- appear.

The key to effective 12th-Step work? Here it is:

"When he sees you know all about the drinking game, commence to describe yourself as an alcoholic. Tell him how baffled you were, how you finally learned that you were sick. Give him an account of the struggles you made to stop. Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree... If he is alcoholic, he will understand you at once. He will match your mental inconsistencies with some of his own." (pages 91-92)
"Maybe you have disturbed him about the question of alcoholism. This is all to the good. The more hopeless he feels, the better." (page 94)

The fact that many newcomers might not be willing to tolerate much of that is irrelevant, and we do them far more harm than good when we people-pleasingly patronize them with feel-good platitudes headed in some off-shoot direction. Today's AA and its watered-down nonsense will continue to thrive no matter what we do, but the real alcoholic will never get help unless we, like Dr. Jung to Roland to Ebby to Bill to Bob and on, do something nobody else even can.
=======================
"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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by ezdzit247 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:03 am

avaneesh912 wrote:.....It would almost look like Bills Story but just better. You call this Dogma?
No. I would not call those examples "dogma". I would call those examples of Bill sharing his experience, strength and hope. He shared his ESH in all of his writings and speeches. Every one of them is a good example of "communication".

Bill W. gives good examples of "dogma", especially what he believes is "bad dogma, in this quote on page 228 in "Language of the Heart":

"It is an historical fact that practically all groupings of men and women tend to become more dogmatic; their beliefs and practices harden and sometimes freeze. This is a natural and almost inevitable process. All people must, of course, rally to the call of their convictions, and we of AA are no exception. Moreover, all people should have the right to voice their convictions. This is good principle and good dogma. But dogma also has its liabilities. Simply because we have convictions that work well for us, it becomes very easy to assume that we have all the truth. Whenever this brand of arrogance develops, we are certain to become aggressive; we demand agreement with us; we play God. This isn't good dogma; it's very bad dogma. It could be especially destructive for us of AA to indulge in this sort of thing."

avaneesh912 wrote:....How are we to communicate this progressive nature of this disease to the newcomers?
By sharing our own experience, strength and hope on this particular aspect of the disease with newcomers.
“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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by Stepchild » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:50 pm

You keep plucking that one paragraph out of an awesome piece that Bill W. wrote...It makes a lot more sense when used in context. I know it's long and I hope Avaneesh won't mind...But I'm going to post it. Enjoy!

Responsibility Is Our Theme
In AA's Thirtieth Year

MARKING AA's thirtieth year we shall, in this month of July, 1965, hold our International Convention at Toronto. It is most fitting that the chosen keynote for this gala occasion will be "AA's Responsibility." There we shall review the three decades of AA life that are now history. Stirred by gratitude beyond expression, we shall give thanks to God whose Grace has made it possible for us to achieve the quality of responsibility, individual and collective, that has brought our Fellowship into its present state of well-being and worldwide reach.

Looking back through the years, we shall be unable to conceive more than a mere fraction of what God has wrought among us. None will be able to imagine the sum of the suffering that was once ours, or the misery borne by those near and dear. Who will really understand the inner nature of our transforming spiritual experiences, those gifts of God, that opened to us a new world of being and doing and living? Indeed our blessings have been quite beyond any human comprehension.

At our international gathering, we shall look into new faces. Many from afar will be heard to speak in other tongues. We shall see that the sun never sets upon AA's Fellowship, that 350,000 of us have now recovered from our malady; that we have everywhere begun to transcend those formidable barriers of race, creed and nationality. This assurance that so many of us have been able to meet our responsibilities for sobriety and for growth and effectiveness in the troubled world where we live, will surely fill us with the deepest joy and satisfaction. But as a people who have nearly always learned the hard way, we shall certainly not congratulate ourselves. We shall perceive these assets to be God's gifts, which have been in part matched by an increasing willingness on our part to find and do His will for us.

Then we shall remember, too, how the pains of our illness literally drove us to what for most of us was the first responsible act of years--that of joining AA. Alcoholism had literally lashed us to such a point of collapse that we became willing to do whatever was necessary to get well; it was a matter of life or death.

Thus propelled we finally did join the AA Fellowship and there had our first glimpse of its quite new world of understanding and loving concern. Soon we took a look at AA's Twelve Steps for recovery but many of us promptly forgot ten of them, as perhaps not needed. We bought only the concept that we were alcoholics; that attendance at meetings and a helping hand to the newcomers would be sufficient to solve the booze problem, and probably all problems. We looked with approval on that dear old cliché which says that "Drinking is but a good man's fault." Once off the grog, life should be as pleasant as eating cherries. By happily warming our hands at the AA fire, all seemed well.

But by degrees certain dissatisfactions set in, even with our own group: it was not as wonderful as we had first supposed. There was, perhaps, some rock-throwing at a scandal, or a distressing row over who would become the group's next chairman. There were people we simply did not like, and the ones we did admire failed to give us the attention we thought we deserved. At home we were also shocked. After the pink cloud had departed from the household, things seemed as bad as ever. The old wounds weren't healing at all. Though impressed with our sobriety, the bank nevertheless asked when were we going to pay up. Our boss likewise demanded in firm tones that we "get with it."

So each of us looked up his sponsor and regaled him with these woes. Our resentments, anxieties and depressions were definitely caused, we claimed, by our unfortunate circumstances and by the inconsiderate behavior of other people. To our consternation, our sponsors didn't seem impressed either. They had just grinned and said, "Why don't we sit down and take a hard look at all of AA's Twelve Steps? Maybe you have been missing a lot--in fact, nearly everything."

Then we began to take our own inventories, rather than the other fellow's. Getting into the swing of self-examination, we finally began to discover our real responsibilities toward ourselves and toward those around us. Though a tough assignment, it did by degrees get easier. We began to make restitution to those we had harmed, grudgingly at first, and then more willingly. Little by little, we found that all progress, material or spiritual, consisted of finding out what our responsibilities actually were and then proceeding to do something about them. These activities began to pay off. We found that we didn't always have to be driven by our own discomforts as, more willingly, we picked up the burdens of living and growing.

Then, most surprisingly, we discovered that full acceptance and action upon any clear-cut responsibility almost invariably made for true happiness and peace of mind. Moreover these durable satisfactions were redoubled when we realized that our now better quality of willingness made it possible in meditation to find God's will. At last we discovered that we joyfully wanted to live responsibly.

Such has been the course of spiritual unfoldment in AA; our Pilgrim's Progress, if you like.

As it has been with each AA member, so it has been with each group, and with AA as a whole. I have often seen our Society timid and fearful, angry and prideful, apathetic and indifferent. But I have also seen these negatives fade, as the lessons of experience were learned and gladly applied.

Let us recall a few instances:

In the early days we were so timid that we were sure AA should be a secret society. We shunned publicity because we still labored under the stigma of alcoholism--also because we might be overwhelmed by an influx of so-called undesirable people. We have often been angered at criticism from within, and from the outside world. We have generally been far better at dishing out criticism than taking it. Sometimes we have boasted of AA as the know-all and do-all of alcoholism, so alienating our friends. Quite understanding the perils of accumulated wealth, we have converted this fear into an alibi for failing to meet our trivial group, Intergroup and World Service expenses--those vital arms of service so indispensable to carrying AA's message into the world about us. By poor sponsorship we have sometimes failed the needs of newly arrived sufferers.

Then at certain great turning points of our history, we have, in anger or sheer indifference, backed away from what should have been clearly visible responsibilities. Disastrous results were on a few occasions barely averted. Old-timers can recall that the book Alcoholics Anonymous might never have been printed because some avowed that we did not need it, while others shrank from the risks of preparing that invaluable text. There was a great outcry against formation of the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, that indispensable body of Delegates which today links our Society with the AA Trustees of our World Services. There was almost no belief that such a linkage could be effectively forged; even an attempt at such a project would ruin us, many thought. In consequence, this utterly vital undertaking nearly fell by the wayside from the sheer burden of indifference, heavy attack and little faith.

Yet, in God's time, our spiritual assets have invariably come to exceed even such large liabilities. AA recovery goes forward on a large scale. Practice of AA's Twelve Traditions has amazingly cemented our unity. Our Intergroup Associations and our World Service Conference have made possible a wide spreading of our message, at home and abroad. Our pains and our necessities first called us reluctantly to responsibility. But in the latter years, a joyous willingness and a confident faith have more and more permeated all the affairs of our Fellowship.

Despite this happy transcendence of the difficulties of yesterday and of today, we nevertheless deeply realize that our negative traits are still with us, and always will be. Therefore our constant responsibility should be that of taking a fearless inventory of our defects as we go along, the better to undertake their mending.

At Toronto, we shall therefore be asking ourselves, "What sort of heritage are we leaving, for the use of all those future generations that will people our Society? Is this heritage as good as we can make it? While there is yet time, what can we still do that may multiply our assets and decrease our liabilities?"

In so surveying our Society of today, I hope that I shall not be regarded as the wise and righteous elder who would admonish and exhort his fellows. If I inventory AA's shortcomings, be also assured that I am also taking stock of my own. I know that my errors of yesterday still have their effect; that my short-comings of today may likewise affect our future. So it is, with each and all of us.

Therefore, let us together take a look at the more important areas in the life of our Fellowship where the call for improvement will always be insistent.

Our first concern should be with those sufferers that we are still unable to reach. Let's first humbly realize that throughout the world of today there are 20,000,000 alcoholics, 5,000,000 of these being in the United States alone. Of course, these vast numbers are in all stages of sickness. Some cannot be reached because they are not hurt enough, others because they are hurt too much. Many sufferers have mental and emotional complications that seem to foreclose their chances. Yet it would be conservative to estimate that at any particular time there are 4,000,000 alcoholics in the world who are able, ready and willing to get well--if only they knew how! Clearly, all these sufferers need to know what alcoholism is and to recognize that they are so afflicted. Being thus readied, they need to be brought within our reach by every resource of public information and word of mouth that will tell them exactly what steps they can take in finding the road to recovery. When we remember that in the thirty years of AA's existence, we have reached less than ten per cent of those who might have been willing to approach us, we begin to get an idea of the immensity of our task, and of the responsibilities with which we will always be confronted.

These facts point straight to our next responsibility: that of intelligently and lovingly sponsoring each man and woman who comes among us asking help. The care and concern with which we individually and collectively do this can make all the difference. Besides, this is the greatest expression of gratitude that we can give for what we ourselves have received. Without much doubt, a million alcoholics have approached AA during the last thirty years. We can soberly ask ourselves what became of the 600,000 who did not stay. How much and how often did we fail all these?

In no circumstances should we feel that Alcoholics Anonymous is the know-all and do-all of alcoholism. We have in the United States and Canada alone perhaps one hundred agencies engaged in research, alcohol education and rehabilitation. Research has already come up with significant and helpful findings, and can still do far more. Those engaged in education are carrying the message that alcoholism is a definite illness and that something can be done about it. All these workers can make our efforts more effective. It is a statistical fact that rehabilitation agencies in the U.S. and Canada treat something like 50,000 alcoholics annually. True, their approach is often different from our own. But what does that matter, when the greater part of them are, or could become, entirely willing to cooperate with AA? Too often, I think, we have deprecated and even derided these projects of our friends just because we do not always see eye to eye with them. We should very seriously ask ourselves how many alcoholics have gone on drinking simply because we have failed to cooperate in good spirit with these many agencies--whether they be good, bad or indifferent. No alcoholic should go mad or die merely because he did not come straight to AA at the beginning.

Now let's look at the matter of criticism--criticism of AA that is made in the world about us. For years AA has been amazingly exempt from those barbs which society pitches at all endeavors of any consequence, whether they be social, medical, religious or political. So we register surprise, shock and anger when people find fault with AA. We are apt to be disturbed to such an extent that we cannot benefit by constructive criticism. Nor are we able to be good-natured about criticism which isn't so good. While these attitudes are not general among us, it is nevertheless a fact that many AAs do so react when they are hit where they live. Surely this sort of resentment makes no friends and achieves no constructive purpose. Certainly this is an area in which we can improve.

Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religion, nor is it a medical treatment, nor does it profess expertise in respect of unconscious motivations for behavior. These are facts all too often overlooked. Here and there we hear our members proclaiming AA as the great new religion. Except for strictly sobering-up operations, we are also apt to underrate medical contributions to our welfare. The fact that psychiatry does not yet sober up many alcoholics sometimes inclines us to think in unflattering terms of that profession. Again we are forgetting that to religion and to the medical arts we owe our very existence. In its cardinal principles and attitudes AA has made great use of all of these resources. It is chiefly our friends who first gave us the principles and attitudes that enable us to live and to move today. Therefore, the credit of all these vital contributors should stand aces high among us. Certainly we drunks did put AA together, but all of its basic components were supplied by others. Here, especially, our maxim should be "Let's be friendly with our friends."

It is an historical fact that practically all groupings of men and women tend to become more dogmatic; their beliefs and practices harden and sometimes freeze. This is a natural and almost inevitable process. All people must, of course, rally to the call of their convictions, and we of AA are no exception. Moreover, all people should have the right to voice their convictions. This is good principle and good dogma. But dogma also has its liabilities. Simply because we have convictions that work well for us, it becomes very easy to assume that we have all the truth. Whenever this brand of arrogance develops, we are certain to become aggressive; we demand agreement with us; we play God. This isn't good dogma; it's very bad dogma. It could be especially destructive for us of AA to indulge in this sort of thing.

Newcomers are approaching AA at the rate of tens of thousands yearly. They represent almost every belief and attitude imaginable. We have atheists and agnostics. We have people of nearly every race, culture and religion. In AA we are supposed to be bound together in the kinship of a common suffering. Consequently, the full individual liberty to practice any creed or principle or therapy whatever should be a first consideration for us all. Let us not, therefore, pressure anyone with our individual or even our collective views. Let us instead accord each other the respect and love that is due to every human being as he tries to make his way toward the light. Let us always try to be inclusive rather than exclusive; let us remember that each alcoholic among us is a member of AA, so long as he or she so declares.

Some of our more obvious perils will always attach to money, to controversies within AA, and to the ever-present temptation to scramble within AA and outside it for distinction, prestige and even power. The world around us is today shattered by these untoward forces. As drinkers we have been more subject to these forms of destruction than most other people. Here, thank God, we do have, and I trust we shall continue to have, a tremendous amount of awareness of our responsibilities for improvement.

However, the fear of these forces should not deceive us into absurd rationalizations. In the fear of accumulated wealth and bureaucracy, we should not discover an alibi for failure to pay AA's legitimate service expenses. For fear of controversy, our leadership should not go timid when lively debate and forthright action is a necessity. And for fear of accumulating prestige and power, we should never fail to endow our trusted leaders with proper authority to act for us.

Let us never fear needed change. Certainly we have to discriminate between changes for worse and changes for better. But once a need becomes clearly apparent in an individual, a group, or in AA as a whole, it has long since been found out that we cannot stand still and look the other way. The essence of all growth is a willingness to change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever the responsibility.

In conclusion, it is only fair to say that we of AA have been able in most areas of our lives together to make substantial gains in both our willingness and our capability for the acceptance and discharge of responsibility, something that our great gathering in Toronto will symbolize and demonstrate.

As we look into the future, we clearly see that an ever greater willingness will certainly be the key to that progress which God intends for us as we move toward His appointed destiny.



Bill W.

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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by leejosepho » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:25 pm

ezdzit247 wrote:
avaneesh912 wrote:....How are we to communicate this progressive nature of this disease to the newcomers?
By sharing our own experience, strength and hope on this particular aspect of the disease with newcomers.
No. That might be the way of today's AA where so-called 'ES&H' might vary greatly from one person to the next, but it is not "the language of the heart" of the original A.A. -- our singular-and-common-to-all "combined experience and knowledge" (page 19) -- in relation to the progressive nature of alcoholism taking us into yet another bout either of or with pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. But of course, few people in today's AA have ever actually experienced that anyway. Rather, it seems many have just felt "the nip of the wringer" or whatever and then quickly scurried over to not taking the first drink one-day-at-a-time...and that is fine since the ones who end up drinking again might eventually begin to understand what others of us are sharing.
=======================
"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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by Spirit Flower » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:33 pm

I don't know anybody in my home group who is not an alcoholic. AA is the last house on the block and most people are trying to get away from it.
The court-appointed and treatment folks who are not alcoholics don't stay around.
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by leejosepho » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:10 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:I don't know anybody in my home group who is not an alcoholic. AA is the last house on the block and most people are trying to get away from it.
The court-appointed and treatment folks who are not alcoholics don't stay around.
Many years ago some of us kinda got a kick out of people coming to meetings in Key West and saying they were "just passing through"...and then we would point out that we were the last house on the block at the end of the highway! The challenge, however, is to share our common-to-all experience that yet another trip to court, a treatment center or jail did not always amount to yet another trip into the pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that is the beginning point of the fellowship we share...

"The feeling of having shared in a common peril [repeatedly ending in pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization] is one element in the powerful cement which binds us..." (page 17)

Ernest Kurtz referred to that as "the essential dynamic of Alcoholics Anonymous: the shared honesty of mutual vulnerability openly acknowledged." And, that is "the language of the heart".
=======================
"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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by PaigeB » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:16 pm

The challenge, however, is to share our common-to-all experience
Maybe I missed something... is there a suggestion that we are only to share our common-to-all experience?

I see in the long article that we are to be "inclusive and never exclusive" and I recall that in AA Comes of Age the story of the 3rd Tradition where the word "sincere" desire was removed to keep groups from judging/diagnosing the new guys who straggled in. Yes, the Fellowship has grown exponentially. Our PI Comm. works with the CPC Comm. to get the word out to judges and PO's and treatment centers what OPEN AA meetings are for - and to steer their wards to those... but I am aghast to think that as individuals or groups that we would judge the new guy in ANY way at any meeting. We can talk to them and see if they can Dx themselves, but if they keep coming, are we to turn them away at the door? If so, which group service position does this duty fall under? The Chair Person?

I probably don't belong in AA anyway... I have better things to do on Friday night.

Like Spirit said, I don't know anyone who comes that is not an alcoholic - not in ANY of the 4 closed meetings I go to a week. Though there is that one gal who quit before she was even legal age. I spilt more than she ever drank and yet she seems to have the alcoholic mind and she is willing to do service work. But there is not much common between us... is it her or is it me that needs to go?

Maybe I just don't understand the whole thread. Communication... drive home the hopelessness... then give 'em the solution.
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: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by Db1105 » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:30 pm

PaigeB wrote:
The challenge, however, is to share our common-to-all experience
Maybe I missed something... is there a suggestion that we are only to share our common-to-all experience?

I see in the long article that we are to be "inclusive and never exclusive" and I recall that in AA Comes of Age the story of the 3rd Tradition where the word "sincere" desire was removed to keep groups from judging/diagnosing the new guys who straggled in. Yes, the Fellowship has grown exponentially. Our PI Comm. works with the CPC Comm. to get the word out to judges and PO's and treatment centers what OPEN AA meetings are for - and to steer their wards to those... but I am aghast to think that as individuals or groups that we would judge the new guy in ANY way at any meeting. We can talk to them and see if they can Dx themselves, but if they keep coming, are we to turn them away at the door? If so, which group service position does this duty fall under? The Chair Person?

I probably don't belong in AA anyway... I have better things to do on Friday night.

Like Spirit said, I don't know anyone who comes that is not an alcoholic - not in ANY of the 4 closed meetings I go to a week. Though there is that one gal who quit before she was even legal age. I spilt more than she ever drank and yet she seems to have the alcoholic mind and she is willing to do service work. But there is not much common between us... is it her or is it me that needs to go?

Maybe I just don't understand the whole thread. Communication... drive home the hopelessness... then give 'em the solution.
I was one of those who quit before I became of legal age. The ironic thing was when talking to those who remarked that they spilled more than I drank, I was had more arrests, time in jail, time in mental institutions, lost job and got kicked out of schools, etc., etc, than they did. I've seen over the years that most young alcoholics who don't get sober, don't live long enough to become old alcoholics. As for as this thread, and this board in general, its the belief that AA has been watered down and ruined by the infiltration of un-real alcoholics.

Noels

Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by Noels » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:35 pm

Hi db :) please will you explain to me what is meant with 'watered down'? I'm not being funny I honestly don't understand the saying.
Much appreciated
Noels

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