The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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ezdzit247
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by ezdzit247 »

PaigeB wrote:Maybe God wants people to help the newcomer! He may come to find himself drawn to the Steps if they are not force fed... we nag a lot - "Did you get a sponsor yet?" and "Did you read the Dr.'s Opinion?" "Will you read "How It Works" for us tonight?"
I agree on all points.

I also agree with everything Bill W. wrote in this quote on working with newcomers from the BB's Chapter 7:
"....Unless your friend wants to talk further about himself, do not wear out your welcome. Give him a chance to think it over. If you do stay , let him steer the conversation in any direction he like. Sometimes a new man is anxious to proceed at once, and you may be tempted to let him do so. This is sometimes a mistake. If he has trouble later, he is likely to say you rushed him. You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do not exhibit any passion for crusade or reform. Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship. Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help...."
I don't interrogate 12th Step prospects or newcomers at meetings or anyone else seeking help or information about alcoholism or AA on internet forums like e-aa. It's not my job. I don't do interrogations. I don't question anyone's reasons for seeking AA's help or ask whether or not they believe in God, have a sponsor, read the BB, are working the Steps or pry into any other personal information that is none of my business. Not my job. It's not my job to promote my way of getting sober and staying sober as the "AA way" or the only "right way". My job is to work my own program and share my ESH on what It was like, what happened and what it's like now to encourage identification and give 12th Step prospects and newcomers hope that there is a solution, a way out. My job is the footwork laid out in Chapter 7. My function in AA is to "grow in understanding and effectiveness." The BB tells me this "is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime." The results of my performing my job, my function in AA , are God's department.
“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

Stepchild
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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ezdzit247 wrote:
PaigeB wrote:Maybe God wants people to help the newcomer! He may come to find himself drawn to the Steps if they are not force fed... we nag a lot - "Did you get a sponsor yet?" and "Did you read the Dr.'s Opinion?" "Will you read "How It Works" for us tonight?"
I agree on all points.

I also agree with everything Bill W. wrote in this quote on working with newcomers from the BB's Chapter 7:
"....Unless your friend wants to talk further about himself, do not wear out your welcome. Give him a chance to think it over. If you do stay , let him steer the conversation in any direction he like. Sometimes a new man is anxious to proceed at once, and you may be tempted to let him do so. This is sometimes a mistake. If he has trouble later, he is likely to say you rushed him. You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do not exhibit any passion for crusade or reform. Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship. Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help...."
I don't interrogate 12th Step prospects or newcomers at meetings or anyone else seeking help or information about alcoholism or AA on internet forums like e-aa. It's not my job. I don't do interrogations. I don't question anyone's reasons for seeking AA's help or ask whether or not they believe in God, have a sponsor, read the BB, are working the Steps or pry into any other personal information that is none of my business. Not my job. It's not my job to promote my way of getting sober and staying sober as the "AA way" or the only "right way". My job is to work my own program and share my ESH on what It was like, what happened and what it's like now to encourage identification and give 12th Step prospects and newcomers hope that there is a solution, a way out. My job is the footwork laid out in Chapter 7. My function in AA is to "grow in understanding and effectiveness." The BB tells me this "is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime." The results of my performing my job, my function in AA , are God's department.
That's all fine and very admirable of you ez...And that's a great paragraph that you have quoted from page 95...Maybe you can explain what Bill means when on page 92 in dealing with that same newcomer...He says this..

If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic, begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady.

I mean that's a pretty important part to leave out...Dou you not agree?

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PaigeB
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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No I leave that part out.

Back in the day when so many never had a chance to meet with Bill or Bob or one of the first 100, before the book and before proliferation of meetings, they had to be discerning. But they learned more between the Big Book and when they wrote the traditions... no need for use to refuse admittance to anyone.
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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PaigeB
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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PaigeB wrote:
In the early days of our drinking we occasionally remained sober for a year or more, becoming serious drinkers again later.
You think he may not be an alcoholic?
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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leejosepho
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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Stepchild wrote:...explain what Bill means when on page 92 in dealing with that same newcomer...He says this..

If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic, begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady.
PaigeB wrote:Back in the day when so many never had a chance to meet with Bill or Bob or one of the first 100, before the book and before proliferation of meetings, they had to be discerning.
If so, why so?
PaigeB wrote:But they learned more between the Big Book and when they wrote the traditions... no need for use to refuse admittance to anyone.
No, "Any two or three alcoholics...may call themselves an A.A. group..." (Tradition Three), and A.A. membership has *not* been opened to include people who are not alcoholics. Being satisfied that the prospect is a real alcoholic is all part of eventually getting to "the language of the heart" in helping him or her come to terms with the essence of "yet another trip into pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization" because of "cunning, baffling, powerful" and the chronic nature of true alcoholism as we understand it. For anyone else, we have the simple "tests" of trying to drink with control and trying to stop for a year even when we might be convinced about the other person but she or he still is not. It is fine that many people today know virtually nothing about doing actual 12th-Step work and simply welcome and "support" anyone at all who might be trying to stay sober in whatever way, and even Bill and Bob would likely say nothing about that. However, none of that changes anything in relation to where this thread began:
avaneesh912 wrote: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?
=======================
"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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ezdzit247
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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PaigeB wrote:No I leave that part out.

Back in the day when so many never had a chance to meet with Bill or Bob or one of the first 100, before the book and before proliferation of meetings, they had to be discerning. But they learned more between the Big Book and when they wrote the traditions... no need for use to refuse admittance to anyone.
Precisely. Exactly.

This quote from AA's co-founder, Bill W., on page 172-3 of "Pass It On" addresses this issue:

"....We had to become much more inclusive and never, if possible, exclusive. We can never say to anyone (or insinuate) that he must agree with our formula or be excommunicated. The Atheist may stand up in an AA meeting denying God, yet reporting how he has been helped in other ways… we make no religious requirement of anyone. All people having an alcohol problem who wish to get rid of it and make a happy adjustment with the circumstances of their lives, become AA members by simply associating with us. Nothing but sincerity is asked of anyone. In this atmosphere, the orthodox, the unorthodox, and the unbeliever mix happily and usefully together, and in nearly every case great spiritual growth ensues."
“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

Stepchild
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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

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You guys can take these quotes and twist them around till the cows comes home.....And you can come up with theories like this...It doesn't cut it.
But they learned more between the Big Book and when they wrote the traditions... no need for use to refuse admittance to anyone.
But the 12 & 12 came out in 1952?...53? This is Bill W. from a 1958 Grapevine article which is also now an AA pamphlet. It's titled Problems Other Than Alcohol. It shouldn't leave much doubt.
Our first duty, as a society, is to insure our own survival. Therefore, we have to avoid distractions and multipurpose activity. An AA group, as such, cannot take on all the personal problems of its members, let alone the problems of the whole world.

Sobriety--feedom from alcohol--through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps is the sole purpose of an AA group. Groups have repeatedly tried other activities, and they have always failed. It has also been learned that there is no possible way to make nonalcoholics into AA members. We have to confine our membership to alcoholics, and we have to confine our AA groups to a single purpose. If we don't stick to these principles, we shall almost surely collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone.

To illustrate, let's review some typical experiences. Years ago, we hoped to give AA membership to our families and to certain nonalcoholic friends who had been greatly helpful. They had their problems, too, and we wanted them in our fold. Regretfully, we found that this was impossible. They couldn't make straight AA talks; nor, save a few exceptions, could they identify with new AA members. Hence, they couldn't do continuous Twelfth Step work. Close to us as these good folks were, we had to deny them membership. We could only welcome them at our open meetings.

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Re: The Language of the Heart article & the Book

Post by leejosepho »

"The Atheist may stand up in an AA meeting denying God...
Certainly, and yet this thread is about "the language of the heart" during 12th-Step work while trying to help someone come to terms with chronic alcoholism (Step One) and its inevitable "yet another trip into pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization" for the alcoholic who has yet to recover by whatever means.

The problem here is actually many-faceted, however. Some people do not want to go there or even try to help others get there because the original A.A. has no solution to suggest other than "Trust in God (our Maker) and clean house." Other people are unable to go there because they have yet to ever go there themselves...and then some people who might be willing and able when shown are instead distracted by suggestions of one-day-at-a-time sobriety with human-powered "support" of any of various kinds.

All of that is fine, of course, since none of us wear badges or carry whips, but this is still A.A. where even the majority does not rule.
=======================
"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 Reborn »

A newcomer needs to hear how serious alcoholism is...he/she does not need to be coddled...they need to decide sooner rather than later that they are an alcoholic and if they desire the solution AA offers. I don't jam the program down anyone's throat but I don't sugar coat anything...I dwell on the the progressive and fatal nature of alcoholism...the insanity...the mental twist that leads an alcoholic back to the drink again and again. I know these things because they were disclosed to me out of bitter experience. But there is more...I love to put the Big Book in a newcomers hand and say "let me show you how this book changed my life"...to let them see that I was once just like them...the difference is I did the MUSTS in that book and applied those things to my life. How my life has changed and continues to get better and better as time passes. I have a responsibility to AA and to those who showed me this path to carry the solution...not the alcoholic. I believe that each one of us have to reach that jumping of place...that enough is enough place...this can take on many forms...when a newcomer is deperate enough he/she will finally be able to understand the language of the heart.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132

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