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Big Book Study - Post #20

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  • Jim K.
    Good morning! We are at the bottom of page 63, last paragraph: Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal
    Message 1 of 82 , Aug 3, 2009
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      Good morning!

      We are at the bottom of page 63, last paragraph:

      "Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step
      of which is a personal housecleaning which many of us had never
      attempted. Though our decision [Step 3] was a vital and crucial
      step, it could have no permanent effect unless at once followed by a
      strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things which had
      been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get
      down to causes and conditions."

      So, we don't wait a year to move from Step 3 to Step 4. That is the
      meaning of "next," right? Remember, our decision is of little value
      unless it is accompanied by action -- vigorous action.

      What is the purpose of Step 4? In this step we will identify and get
      rid of those things that had been blocking us. From what? Blocking
      us from God's grace and our ability to live happy, joyous, and free.

      Here again is where many people get tripped up. Step 4 - Made a
      searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. First, let's
      examine the word "fearless". Bill was, at heart, a businessman. He
      wrote from a businessman's perspective in this case. When conducting
      an inventory for a grocery store, for example, we look to be rid of
      damaged, rotten, and unsalable goods that prevent us from being
      profitable. From a businessman's perspective "fearless" means without
      regret, without emotion. When we discard a rotten head of cabbage we
      have no emotional attachment to it, we just get rid of it so that we
      can put a nice fresh head of cabbage in it's place. We need to treat
      the things that block us from God's grace in the same way as the
      rotten head of cabbage.

      Next, let's look at the word "moral". Immediately the alcoholic
      thinks of the Sunday Preacher pointing out the moral decay and
      failings in his flock. In this context, however, we should really
      equate "moral" with truth - the truth about the stock in trade.

      Let's look at paragraph 1 on page 64:

      "Taking a commercial inventory is a fact-finding [searching] and a
      fact-facing [fearless] process. It is an effort to discover the
      truth [moral] about the stock-in-trade."

      So we are identifying all that prevents us from being a successful
      enterprise, from having a shot at a happy and useful existence. "If
      the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool
      himself about values."

      In other words we have to become honest with ourselves about
      ourselves.

      We begin by searching out the flaws in our makeup that caused our
      failure. "Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was
      what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations." What
      did we learn earlier? "Selfishness - Self-centeredness. That we think, is the root of our troubles." There it is again--self, not
      alcohol, was the problem. Alcohol was a symptom.

      With our next post we'll discuss the roots of resentment and
      thoroughly define that which AA believes to be the number one
      offender.

      Have a great day!

      Jim

      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars

      For a weekly chuckle visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Friday_Chuckle
    • Jim K
      Good morning, everyone! We are at the bottom of page 63, last paragraph: Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a
      Message 82 of 82 , Jan 19
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        Good morning, everyone!

        We are at the bottom of page 63, last paragraph:

        "Next we launched out on a course of vigorous action, the first step of which is a personal housecleaning which many of us had never attempted. Though our decision [Step 3] was a vital and crucial step, it could have no permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions."

        So, we don't wait a year to move from Step 3 to Step 4. That is the meaning of "next," right? Remember, our decision is of little value unless it is accompanied by action --vigorous action.

        What is the purpose of Step 4? In this step we will identify and get rid of those things that had been blocking us. From what? Blocking us from God's grace and our ability to live happy, joyous, and free.

        Here again is where many people get tripped up. Step 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. First, let's examine the word "fearless". Bill was, at heart, a businessman. He wrote from a businessman's perspective in this case. When conducting an inventory for a grocery store, for example, we look to be rid of damaged, rotten, and unsalable goods that prevent us from being profitable. From a businessman's perspective "fearless" means without regret,without emotion. When we discard a rotten head of cabbage we have no emotional attachment to it, we just get rid of it so that we can put a nice fresh head of cabbage in it's place. We need to treat the things that block us from God's grace in the same way as the rotten head of cabbage.

        Next, let's look at the word "moral". Immediately the alcoholic thinks of the Sunday Preacher pointing out the moral decay and failings in his flock. In this context, however, we should really equate "moral" with truth - the truth about the stock in trade.

        Let's look at paragraph 1 on page 64:
        "Taking a commercial inventory is a fact-finding [searching] and a fact-facing [fearless] process. It is an effort to discover the truth [moral] about the stock-in-trade."
        So we are identifying all that prevents us from being a successful enterprise, from having a shot at a happy and useful existence. "If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values."

        In other words we have to become honest with ourselves about ourselves.

        We begin by searching out the flaws in our makeup that caused our failure. "Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, was what had defeated us, we considered its common manifestations." What did we learn earlier? "Selfishness - Self-centeredness. That we think, is the root of our troubles." There it is again--self, not alcohol, was the problem. Alcohol was a symptom.

        With our next post we'll discuss the roots of resentment and thoroughly define that which AA believes to be the number one offender.
        Have a great day!
        Jim
        Weekend Studies of "The Sermon on the Mount" by Emmet Fox 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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