Re: Big Book Study - Post #31
- In many places in the BigBook, they gives the
understanding of the vital nature that working with others has.
The opening sentence of this chapter as well as early
on. Here are my favs:<br><br>Practical experience
shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from
drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works
when other activities fail. This is our twelfth
suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can
help when no one else can. You can secure their
confidence when other fail. (p. 89)<br><br>My wife and I
abandoned ourselves with enthusiasm to the idea of helping
other alcoholics to a solution of their problems. It
was fortunate, for my old business associates
remained skeptical for a year and a half, during which I
found little work. I was not too well at the time, and
was plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment.
This sometimes nearly drove me back to drink, but I
soon found that when all other measure failed, work
with another alcoholic would save the day. Many times
I have gone to my old hospital in despair. On
talking to a man there, I would be amazingly lifted up
and set on my feet. It is a design for living that
works in rough going. (p.15)<br><br>This physician had
repeatedly tried spiritual means to resolve his alcoholic
dilemma but had failed. But when the broker gave him Dr.
Silkworth�s description of alcoholism and its hopelessness,
the physician began to pursue the spiritual remedy
for his malady with a willingness he had never before
been able to muster. He sobered, never to drink again
up to the moment of his death in 1950. This seemed
to prove that one alcoholic could affect another as
no nonalcoholic could. It also indicated that
strenuous work, one alcoholic with another, was vital to
permanent recovery. (p. xvii)
- Good morning!
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!
JimOur next retreat - "A Weekend with Jim & Paige - Letting Go of Old Ideas" - March 2015 at The Wilson House - email for details - jknyc@...It is better to be loved for what you have giventhan to be admired for what you have gained