Big Book Study - Post #10
- Turning our books to Page 25-<br><br>Lets look at
paragraph 2 - "The great fact is just this, and nothing
less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual
experiences* which have revolutionized (Changed) our whole
attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God's
universe. The central fact of our lives today is the
absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our
hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He
has commenced to accomplish those things for us which
we could never do by ourselves." This is the
solution and this is what the solution has done - we have
changed our entire outlook. The asterisk refers us to
Appendix II which was added to the book after the first
printing of the first edition to clarify the spiritual
experience. The text goes on - paragraph 2 "If you are as
seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe that there is no
middle of the road solution". Lets review for a minute:
"no middle of the road solution" - we aren't doing
this thing cafeteria style or "taking what we like and
leaving the rest". "We were in a position where life was
becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region
from which there is no return through human aid, we
had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the
bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our
intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to
accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly
wanted to, and were willing to make the effort". So,
will meetings everyday suffice? Therapy? Calling a
sponsor everyday? Aromatherapy? Probably not.<br><br>Page
26 paragraph 1 - The certain American business man
was Roland Hazzard. He worked with Dr. Carl Jung for
an entire year. (It's interesting to note that Carl
Jung was Roland's third choice - Sigmund Freud was too
busy and Eric Adler was too sick to work with him).
Jung tells him he is hopeless, paragraph 3, but the
doctor also knows what he needs - see paragraph 3 on
page 27 - "here and there, once in a while, alcoholics
have had what are called vital spiritual
experiences...They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional
displacements and rearrangements (Change). Ideas, emotions, and
attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives
of these men were suddenly cast to one side, and a
completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to
dominate them". Another description of the spiritual
awakening from Dr. Carl Jung with change being the overall
theme. <br><br>So, this chapter was aptly named "There
is a Solution" and it has been hammered home to us
that the solution is change. And that change is the
spiritual awakening. Go to the top of page 60 for a minute
- "12. Having had a spiritual awakening as THE
result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to
alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our
affairs" (emphasis on THE is mine). The solution is a
spiritual awakening (see Chapter 2), the result of these
steps is a spiritual awakening (Step 12), so the steps
are the solution! It's simple, it really
is.<br><br>Tomorrow we will begin with Chapter 3 "More About
Alcoholism" on page 30.<br><br>Jim
We can gain some insight into the writing of the book through an examination of the original text (pre-publication "Multilith") in conjunction with the text as printed in the first edition.
Keep in mind, there were more or less two camps within AA at the time Bill wrote the book. The Akron/Cleveland camp was Bible based and religious in nature; the New York bunch was more psychological using a mental approach to gain the confidence of the newcomer and then hitting him with the spiritual angle. Sounds like a difficult task to write a book that would satisfy both trains of thought.
Most of the changes involved inserting "we" for "you" and making the text more inclusive and less like a sermon. Other changes involved key words that were inserted to change the basic meaning of the phrases.
Today and in our next post, we will go through the first three pages of Chapter 5 to illustrate how the book was transformed by these changes. The words that were replaced will appear in [brackets] following the words or phrases by which they were replaced.
Paragraph 1 - "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path [directions]."
"They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living [way of life] which demands rigorous honesty."
Paragraph 2 - "If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it - then you are ready to take certain steps [follow directions]."
Paragraph 3 -"At some of these we balked [you may balk]. We thought [You may think] we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not [We doubt you can]."
Paragraph 4 - "Remember we deal [you are dealing] with alcohol - cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us [you]. But there is One who has all power - that One is God. May you [You must] find Him now!"
We'll continue with paragraph 1 on page 59 and into the original written text of the 12 Steps with our next post.
Have a great day!
Jim K. - The Into Action Group of Manhattan
6:30pm Wednesdays at St. Francis De Sales Church
135 East 96th Street (Near Lexington Avenue)
On Manhattan's Upper East Side
Weekend retreats with Jim: http://www.spiritualawakeningsretreats.comThe Wilson House – The Birthplace of Bill Wilson - Weekend Retreats and Workshops - http://www.wilsonhouse.org/It is better to be loved for what you have giventhan to be admired for what you have gained