Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

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Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Greywolf » Wed May 09, 2018 7:10 pm

One of my "sponsees" asked after tonight's meeting what does, "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path" mean? Seems he wants to know what path Bill, Dr. Bob and the alcoholics who were the originators of this portion of How It Works were talking about. He also wanted to know what was meant by "fail"?
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby positrac » Thu May 10, 2018 2:11 am

Greywolf wrote:One of my "sponsees" asked after tonight's meeting what does, "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path" mean? Seems he wants to know what path Bill, Dr. Bob and the alcoholics who were the originators of this portion of How It Works were talking about. He also wanted to know what was meant by "fail"?

So what did you tell your 'sponsee"? It would be nice to have you not only post and pose a question and then explain how you addressed it for them to understand. Then we can have a crack at replying on our thoughts of the topic ; I mean you know suggestions is all we can hope for.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu May 10, 2018 4:07 am

The path is the 12 steps. As they further elaborate in the chapter and subsequent chapters.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

Yeah, its all suggestions.

And the "fail" part is about, if we are honest about all the effort we put into our recovery, we could lead an obsession free life. We live one day at a time not and "not drink one day at a time" huge difference. They talk about permanent recovery. Some did and do go to the grave with obsession not ever returning back but many do fail. Lot of things goes through the individuals psychy perhaps as they go closer to end of their life they let the guard down.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby tomsteve » Thu May 10, 2018 5:54 am

the answer comes in the first 5 words of the next sentence in the big book.
Those who do not recover
the path is
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Greywolf » Thu May 10, 2018 7:49 am

positrac wrote:
Greywolf wrote:One of my "sponsees" asked after tonight's meeting what does, "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path" mean? Seems he wants to know what path Bill, Dr. Bob and the alcoholics who were the originators of this portion of How It Works were talking about. He also wanted to know what was meant by "fail"?

So what did you tell your 'sponsee"? It would be nice to have you not only post and pose a question and then explain how you addressed it for them to understand. Then we can have a crack at replying on our thoughts of the topic ; I mean you know suggestions is all we can hope for.

I told him I wasn't sure but thought that meant to join together to support one another in stopping drinking, taking the steps, practicing the principles of the steps in all our affairs and strenuously helping another alcoholic achieve sobriety.

I answered, affirmatively when he asked was that what I did.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu May 10, 2018 9:34 am

My path is more than steps. It is also fellowship, which is in the big book in a vision for you.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Brock » Thu May 10, 2018 11:51 am

Thanks for this topic Greywolf.

Since this comes one page before the steps, I think the idea was to have the path mean the steps. When I first heard it read in a meeting I thought it meant the path the people in the meeting took, which I found out after was steps fellowship and service. That I believe is the real meaning, steps fellowship & service, the old three legged stool.
He also wanted to know what was meant by "fail"?

At first I was sure fail meant to drink again, and of course I still believe that. But now I also believe that those who have missed the mark of the promises, especially the happy joyous and free part, have also failed to an extent. Maybe drinking again = F grade, and remain sober but miserable = D grade, both considered a fail, but one worse than the other.

Slightly off the topic, but I like reading a little modern day spiritual teaching, especially those who have uncovered ancient texts and translations of words in the bible. Many bible scholars now are quite certain, that the word ‘sin’ has nothing to do with peeping over the fence at your sexy neighbor, or any deadly sins list we sometimes see. They say ‘sin’ as it’s used in the bible, was simply to convey a failing grade, or missing the mark in having a fruitful and enjoyable life. Sinners lived in a hell of there own making right here, those who got the message do like it says in the book - “We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.”
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Greywolf » Thu May 10, 2018 2:26 pm

Brock wrote:Thanks for this topic Greywolf.

Since this comes one page before the steps, I think the idea was to have the path mean the steps. When I first heard it read in a meeting I thought it meant the path the people in the meeting took, which I found out after was steps fellowship and service. That I believe is the real meaning, steps fellowship & service, the old three legged stool.


I like the 3-legged stool analogy.
Fellowship (Support for new way of life -- life without alcohol)
Taking the Steps (A program of Recovery)
Service (Working with others to achieve sobriety -- when the steps as they appear in How It Works were aligned on)
Service by necessity has broadened in its meaning.

He also wanted to know what was meant by "fail"?

Brock wrote: At first I was sure fail meant to drink again, and of course I still believe that.

It's important to remember what we thought "at first." IMO Too many of us forget going from suffering alcoholic to recovered alcoholic. (If you know what I mean, there's no need to explain. If you don't know what I mean there's no use trying to explain.)
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby D'oh » Thu May 10, 2018 4:29 pm

Those who do not
recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves


People (seems specially on this Forum) Think WAY TOO MUCH. We don't need to know "How, When, Why, Where, What, If " it works, just that it Does Work. If we can Completely give ourself to this simply Program.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu May 10, 2018 6:50 pm

When I was new, I did completely give myself to the program. I did it all: sponsor, steps, cleaning the hall, going out to eat, meetings, hanging out after the meeting, dances, canoe trips, campfire meetings, conventions, fishing (and I don't fish), helping people move, going out for coffee, motorcycle trips, retreats. Yup, completely! I mean hanging out with AA folks was tons better than sitting by myself in my apartment. We had a group around my age that did stuff together.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Brock » Thu May 10, 2018 7:10 pm

People (seems specially on this Forum) Think WAY TOO MUCH. We don't need to know "How, When, Why, Where, What, If " it works, just that it Does Work. If we can Completely give ourself to this simply Program.

A person new to AA asks a question like this -
Seems he wants to know what path Bill, Dr. Bob and the alcoholics who were the originators of this portion of How It Works were talking about. He also wanted to know what was meant by "fail"?

What could be wrong with experienced members here discussing what we might say in answer to such a question, why shouldn’t we explain to a newcomer what the path represents, or what we believe the book means by “fail.” If I asked those questions when I first came and was told I “don’t need to know,” I might not be around now. If some of us want to discuss this, it has nothing to do with thinking “WAY TOO MUCH.”
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Blue Moon » Thu May 10, 2018 8:29 pm

Not sure I understand the question, as it seems pretty straightforward to me. "Those who do not recover [from alcoholism] are .... unable or unwilling to be completely honest with themselves. Their chances [of recovering from alcoholism ] are less than average."

So we are talking about failing (aka not succeeding) to recover.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Greywolf » Fri May 11, 2018 4:25 am

Blue Moon wrote:Not sure I understand the question,

What is it about the question you don't understand? Seemed pretty simple and straight forward to me.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby D'oh » Fri May 11, 2018 5:31 am

What could be wrong with experienced members here discussing what we might say in answer to such a question, why shouldn’t we explain to a newcomer what the path represents, or what we believe the book means by “fail.” If I asked those questions when I first came and was told I “don’t need to know,” I might not be around now. If some of us want to discuss this, it has nothing to do with thinking “WAY TOO MUCH.”


It Works if you Work It!

there is 164 pages of "How". Even warnings about Easier Softer ways Not Working.

So, how ever you want to work it, it is one's Own Choice.

My belief, It should start "Never" not Rarely.
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Re: Rarely have we seen a person fail... meaning?

Postby Brock » Fri May 11, 2018 6:11 am

there is 164 pages of "How". Even warnings about Easier Softer ways Not Working.

Yes true, so what we were in effect doing is discussing what the book says. I reacted to the original comment about people on this forum thinking way too much, for what I believe is the good of the forum itself.

The forums ‘traffic’ goes up and down, when it’s up we see new people joining and asking questions, and other oldtimers pitching in. When it’s down it’s like an empty AA meeting room, new people look in, see no action there and leave. It was in one of those slumps that Greywolf posed a question, in short order we had seven posts on that topic, we were picking up speed again, then saying we are thinking too much was like sticking a spoke in the wheel and killing the momentum. Now in part due to that topic getting some folks posting, we have a lively forum this morning.
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