Big Book Study - Post #33
- Good morning everyone!<br><br>"Chapter 8 - To
Wives" begins on page 104. My comments are somewhat
limited on this chapter, both here and at the face to
face weekend Big Book Studies that Dave and I run.
(Our next study will be held in Manhattan, most
likely, this winter). There is some historical stuff that
is very interesting however. First, a trivia
question: Who wrote this chapter? Most of us would
immediately say Lois Wilson or Anne Smith, but, alas, we
would be wrong.<br><br>Originally Bill wanted Anne to
write it. She had no interest in doing so. (I can see,
in my mind's eye, Lois jumping up and down saying
"I'll do it" and Bill saying "I don't think so"). Bill
decided that he would write it himself. No control issues
there! Of course Alanon was formed in the early 1950's
and became a society standing separate from AA. (As a
historical aside it is interesting to note that spouses were
very much involved with the alcoholic in the context
of meetings at the very early beginnings of AA. This
made this chapter even more appropo when it is viewed
from this historical perspective).<br><br>From the
bottom of page 108 through the middle of page 110 Bill
describes the four husbands illustrating the progression of
the disease. The following paragraph is perhaps the
most important in the chapter: "We never, never try to
arrange a man's life so as to shield him from temptation.
The slightest disposition on your part to guide his
appointment or his affairs so he will not be tempted will be
noticed. Make him feel absolutely free to come and go as
he likes. This is important. If he gets drunk, don't
blame yourself. God has either removed your husband's
liquor problem or He has not. If not, it had better be
found out right away. Then you and your husband can get
right down to fundamentals. If a repetition is to be
prevented, place the problem, along with everything else, in
God's hands". <br><br>This is from page 120, last
paragraph. It mirrors paragraphs 1 and 2 on page 101.
Remember what we have discussed throughout this study -
Bill will repeat important ideas in order to reinforce
them to the reader. This is yet another example of
this style of writing.<br><br>Tomorrow we continue
with Chapter 9 - The Family Afterward.<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.comwww.spiritualawakeningsretreats.com
www.wilsonhouse.orgIt is better to be loved for what you have giventhan to be admired for what you have gained