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9468Big Book Study - Post #6

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  • Jim K
    Aug 13, 2014
      Good morning!
      First, let’s answer the question posted yesterday concerning "Pot" in the Big Book. Here it is, on the old doggerel--the way Bill remembered it (an abbreviated version):
      "Here lies a Hampshire Grenadier
      Who caught his death
      Drinking cold small beer.
      A good soldier is ne'er forgot
      Whether he dieth by musket
      Or by pot."
      Beer or ale was sold by the "pot" or small cask hundreds of years ago.
      Bill's Story, page 1 -Bill's Story was put into the book as a means of identifying an example of the disease in action and to outline the spiritual experience.
      Bill was born inEast Dorset, Vermont in 1895 and was brought up primarily by his grandfather. You can visit the Wilson House in East Dorset and actually stay there. Bill and Lois are buried nearby.
      Bill served in World War I. Then, during the Roaring 20’s he discovered Wall Street. The profit he speaks of on page 3 was a sizable sum in those days.
      At this point in his story, he still has no clue of his alcoholism. He begins to have an inklingnear the bottom of page 3:
      "My drinking assumed more serious proportions, continuing all day and almost every night. The remonstrances of my friends terminated in a row and I became a lone wolf."
      His friends questioned his drinking: that’s a sin in every alcoholic's book! Who needs them, right? He began to drink alone.
      Bill continued to ride the bull market of the 1920's, but in 1929 the market crashed. He was disgusted by those jumping out of the windows of high finance. He was better than that --he would just get drunk.
      In the last paragraph of page 4, Bill is handed an ego puncturing:
      "We went to live with my wife's parents." [At 182 Clinton Street in Brooklyn].
      That would crush most egos and Bill had quite an ego when he made all that money. By now Bill has no illusion. He is a drunk existing to drink.
      By the second half of page 5, Bill has lost all control. He knew he couldn't "take so much as one drink." He marshaled his willpower and what happened? He drank again! No effective mental defense against the first drink. Willpower is no match for the mental obsession to drink.
      At the top of page 7, it is now the summer of 1933. Bill's brother-in-law is Dr. Leonard Strong. The hospital was Towns Hospital at 293 Central Park West (at 89th Street) on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The Belladonna treatment refers to treatment with a drug derived from the nightshade family of plants and similar in effect to valium. Hydrotherapy is shower and bath therapy (you do get a clean alcoholic that way).
      Providentially, Bill meets Dr. William D. Silkworth for the first time. Bill begins to gain an insight into his disease, and a little self-knowledge.
      Did it work? During the summer of 1934, it did not. He got drunk again and it got even worse.
      Bill is without hope—powerless. The miracle is just around the corner…
      With our next post we'll start on page 8 with paragraph 1.
      Have a great day!
      Weekend Studies of Emmet Fox's "The Sermon on the Mount with Jim - visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sermon-on-the-Mount

      It is better to be loved for what you have given
      than to be admired for what you have gained
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