God/Higher Power

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PaigeB
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by PaigeB »

Soberguy27 wrote:
Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:39 pm
Personally, I would prefer that all meetings end with the responsibility statement. That would be more in line with not being allied with sects and denominations.
My homegroup ends with the 3rd Step Prayer and I know another meeting here in my city that ends with the 7th Step Prayer. Personally I did not say either until a couple years ago. I just stood united and silent while the others practiced their prayers. I pray it now, mostly to be in unison with them, but I DO find the words have meaning for me, even if I wonder about the efficacy upon any HP.
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

David G
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by David G »

My Name is David, im a recoverying alcoholic and believe my higher power has guided me trough my recovery.

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Brock
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Brock »

Welcome here David, my feelings are the same as yours, I ask for guidance and receive it, what a wonderful program.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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dralius
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Re: God/Higher Power

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I am in my 14th week of sobriety. I don't not attribute any of it to a higher power. The concept still baffles me. I am told that the HP doesn't need to be GOD, that it can be anything, your AA group, the universe, even a door knob. Looking at the steps I don't see how this is possible.

5. Admitted to a door knob, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have my AA group remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked the universe to remove our shortcomings.
"There is no greater disaster than discontent."
-Loazi...

Theo50
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Theo50 »

I too struggle with the conception of a HP.
Does anyone have a good understanding, with respect to the BB, of the relationship between the different reference to "GOD"

The Creator
God
Higher Power

Do these references all mean the same entity?

If the intent of the AA program is to serve God and the people about us, how can we serve "a door knob"

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dralius
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by dralius »

Theo50 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:44 am
I too struggle with the conception of a HP.
Does anyone have a good understanding, with respect to the BB, of the relationship between the different reference to "GOD"

The Creator
God
Higher Power

Do these references all mean the same entity?

If the intent of the AA program is to serve God and the people about us, how can we serve "a door knob"
AA claims that it is not a religious program just spiritual. That GOD of your understanding i.e. higher power is what ever you say it is. The purpose of AA is not to serve god but to help alcoholics. See tradition #5.
"There is no greater disaster than discontent."
-Loazi...

Theo50
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Theo50 »

Page 85 of the BB:
"Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee-Thy will (not mine) be done.” "

Page 76 of the BB:
"When ready, we say something like this: “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” We have then completed Step Seven."

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Layne
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Layne »

Theo50 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:01 am
Page 85 of the BB:
"Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve Thee-Thy will (not mine) be done.” "

Page 76 of the BB:
"When ready, we say something like this: “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.” We have then completed Step Seven."
In the spirit of AA being a broad highway, I offer two possible extrapolations to those two quoted passages

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous into all of our activities. “How can I best serve these principles-the principles (not my will) be done.”

"When ready, we say something like this: “ Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous***, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I have faith that working the twelve steps will remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to Alcoholics Anonymous and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to follow the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.” We have then completed Step Seven."

***(which has been a savior for many alcoholics and initiated the creation new lives for them)

Theo50
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Theo50 »

We are all able to change the words in the BB to suit our interpretation, but at some point it will defeat the purpose of the intent of the author. If the words cannot be taken literally from the BB, I would think that it should be changed. That however is a topic of great divisiveness among AAs.

By changing the word "God" to "doorknob", the meaning becomes very different. If the intent of the author was to change the word "God" used so many times in the BB, it should have been changed in all places.

Is the intent of the author for use of the word Creator to mean the entity that created the universe?

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shangc1107
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by shangc1107 »

dralius wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:01 am
I am in my 14th week of sobriety. I don't not attribute any of it to a higher power. The concept still baffles me. I am told that the HP doesn't need to be GOD, that it can be anything, your AA group, the universe, even a door knob. Looking at the steps I don't see how this is possible.

5. Admitted to a door knob, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have my AA group remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked the universe to remove our shortcomings.
Not a fan of the door knob myself and also confused me too, still don't get it. I hear people share in meetings about surviving so much without drinking and a door knob is not what got them through that.

So, I think we can all agree that we work the twelve steps to have a spiritual experience. That's the only solution for the "real alcoholic." Page 25 in the Big Book of AA says "we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God's universe."

So a spiritual experience to me, is totally changing how I do life. While drinking where did I get my ideas? From myself. Did they result in success? No. Definitely not. And what's my big go to solution? Alcohol, because it changes how I feel.

So, my new higher power, or the source for my new ideas has got to be something outside of myself and something that does not tell me alcohol is a solution. I encourage you to surrender a bit more. It's okay to not be able to define your higher power. It's okay that it doesn't make complete perfect sense. As long as you are seeking a spiritual experience, you will stay sober!
"The heart of wisdom is tolerance."
Steven Erikson

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Layne
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Layne »

Theo50 wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 5:31 am
We are all able to change the words in the BB to suit our interpretation, but at some point it will defeat the purpose of the intent of the author. If the words cannot be taken literally from the BB, I would think that it should be changed.
The author's intent was to help other alcoholics to end their suffering and to begin to find a better way of life. The author's choice of words and the way they were put together in sentences is apparently not well matched to your personality and thought processes. Try to put the differences aside for now and look for the message underlying the words, literal definitions, and sentence structure.

In life guard training, one of the first lessons is that the person you are swimming out to save will fight your efforts tooth and nail. They will do whatever they can to try and save themselves. They are no longer thinking about anything but themselves. There is no reason or logic in their actions, only the will to survive. Don't be a drowning person. Don't fight the lifeguard (author).

I am not a Christian nor do I belong or believe in any other religion, however I can say the Lord's prayer genuinely and without any reservation because I feel that at it's core is a good message, concept, idea whatever. Saying the Lord's prayer, or prayers of other religions, is sending out good ripples. Open yourself to the ripples of the author of the big book.
Words are not truth. Truth is like the moon, and words are like my finger. I can point to the moon with my finger, but my finger is not the moon. Do you need my finger to see the moon? Huineng

innermost
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by innermost »

We are read the path of AA at meetings.
Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.
Here are a few highlights.
At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we
could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was
nil until we let go absolutely.
Remember that we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too
much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now
Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.’’ Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these
principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines.
The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather
than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures
before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought.
The path of AA is one of a spiritual nature.(Also a path to Power and freedom)
We of course have a requirement, that a person has a desire to stop drinking, that is all.
We also have a group conscience.
AA has many members that once believed they had no HP and through spiritual experience came to an awareness
of a HP, even though our HP can be elusive for many.(This HP is a Power greater than ourselves)
I have met many in AA that don't believe in HP/God.(NO spiritual experience)

I have never met a recovered real alcoholic that has found a God or HP (spiritual experience) and then came to un-believe in one.

We also build an arch in AA that our path leads to and through.
But that is another story for another time.
The first 164 pg. is the program!

Theo50
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Theo50 »

I will post my question in a simpler way.

According to the BB, are the following 3 terms synonymous?
God
Higher Power
Creator

This is where I get confused.

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Layne
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Layne »

The author is dead. Anyone else that answers will be doing so with conjecture and/or opinion. The thoughts of other people can be valuable to an individual, but the bottom line always comes down to what the individual believes and thinks. My conjecture on the question is yes. What are your thoughts on whether the the 3 words are synonymous or not and what importance do you attach to your answer?

Theo50
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Re: God/Higher Power

Post by Theo50 »

Layne wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:41 am
The author is dead. Anyone else that answers will be doing so with conjecture and/or opinion. The thoughts of other people can be valuable to an individual, but the bottom line always comes down to what the individual believes and thinks. My conjecture on the question is yes. What are your thoughts on whether the the 3 words are synonymous or not and what importance do you attach to your answer?
My thoughts are that they are all meant to be referenced to the same entity. My confusion with this is that if one choosing something as their HP, it would need to also relate to being their own creator. I don't know how humans were created, but the door knob theory just doesn't seem logical.

As I grew up with a significant amount of Catholic religion, I also always associate the name God with religion.

The author(s) may be dead, but there should be a significant amount of literature with these specific answers available so it could avoid this type of inherent confusion. To state things with ambiguity only makes things open for too many interpretations, (just like the Bible). It would have been much more helpful if the BB (and the Bible) was extremely specific on everything in it.

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