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Big Book Study - Post #7

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  • Jim
    Good Morning everyone! We re at the top of page 8, paragraph 1: No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity.
    Message 1 of 92 , Mar 1, 2011
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      Good Morning everyone!

      We're at the top of page 8, paragraph 1:

      "No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that
      bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretches around me in all
      directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was
      my master."

      That sounds like someone who has been defeated (Step 1). Bill leaves
      the hospital in September and stays dry until the beginning of
      November of 1934.

      Armistice Day rolls around -- November 11, 1934. Bill took a bus to
      go golfing on Staten Island (see "AA Comes of Age," page 56). The bus
      he was riding on was involved in a fender-bender. Being the kind of
      guy Bill was, he and a new acquaintance left the bus to wait for the
      next one. Bill had already told his drinking experiences to this
      fellow: the allergy, his newly-found knowledge, etc.

      They got on the next bus, and then disembarked at a country tavern
      near the golf course. His friend suggested a sandwich, so in they
      went.

      Since it was Armistice Day, the bartender bought a round for the
      house. Bill threw back a drink without hesitation -- no effective
      mental defense whatsoever.

      His new friend was mortified! "Are you crazy?!" he asked Bill in
      astonishment.

      Bill answered, "Yes, I am."

      Bill stayed drunk for another month after that escapade.

      A couple of weeks later, Ebby Thacher, a boyhood friend, came to
      visit. Ebby's father was the mayor of Albany.

      Ebby was a true drunk and was always in some scrape or another. He
      had been in trouble in Vermont.

      Turns out Ebby had been painting a barn. (Honestly—how much trouble
      can someone get in painting a barn?) He was drunk and had just
      finished one side when a group of pigeons flew in and perched on top
      of the barn. The pigeons began to crap on the side of the barn, which
      infuriated Ebby. He got a shotgun and started firing away at the
      pigeons. The incident ended when Ebby got arrested.

      Two men appeared at Ebby's hearing -- Roland Hazzard and Cebra
      Graves, who were members of the Oxford Group, a Christian religious
      group that sought to practice 1st Century Christianity. They appeared
      in court to prevent Ebby's commitment to a mental hospital (which is
      what they did to drunks in those days). They brought Ebby to the
      Oxford Group's NY headquarters at the Calvary Mission in Manhattan,
      where he got sober. (We're at the bottom of page 9.)

      Ebby had been sober since September when he came to visit his friend
      Bill. In the last full paragraph of page 9:

      "They told him of a simple religious idea [Step 2] and a practical
      program of action [in essence: Steps 3 thru 12]." Bill was
      already "...hopeless" (top of page 10).

      Page 11, paragraph 3: "But my friend sat before me, and he made the
      point-blank declaration that God had done for him what he could not
      do for himself. ...He had admitted complete defeat." [Ebby had Step
      1.]

      Bill also has Step 1, and was beginning on Step 2 but there was a
      sticking point. Turn to page 12, paragraph 2:

      "My friend suggested what seemed a novel idea. He said, "Why don't
      you choose your own conception of God?" This is the spiritual (rather
      than religious) message. This is the root of Step 3's "...as we
      understood Him." This is the great turning point. It is important to
      note that this was NOT the Oxford Group message. They had a very
      definite idea of a Christian God that they preached about.

      In the next 2 paragraphs, Bill is able to take what would become Step
      2. In paragraph 5, he begins to describe a spiritual structure that
      will be built throughout the remainder of the book:

      "Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw
      in my friend." In several places in the book, he will refer to this
      spiritual structure, painting a mental picture of recovery.

      With our next post we will begin at the top of Page 13 - the last
      drink for Bill.

      Have a great day!

      Jim

      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars
    • Jim K
      We re at the top of page 8, paragraph 1: No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretches
      Message 92 of 92 , Feb 27
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        We're at the top of page 8, paragraph 1:

        "No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretches around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master."

        That sounds like someone who has been defeated (Step 1). Bill leaves the hospital in September and stays dry until the beginning of November of 1934.

        Armistice Day rolls around --November 11, 1934. Bill took a bus to go golfing on Staten Island (see "AA Comes of Age," page 56). The bus he was riding on was involved in a fender-bender. Being the kind of guy Bill was, he and a new acquaintance left the bus to wait for the next one. Bill had already told his drinking experiences to this fellow: the allergy, his newly-found knowledge, etc.

        They got on the next bus, and then disembarked at a country tavern near the golf course. His friend suggested a sandwich, so in they went.

        Since it was Armistice Day, the bartender bought a round for the house. Bill threw back a drink without hesitation -- no effective mental defense whatsoever.

        His new friend was mortified! "Are you crazy?!" he asked Bill in astonishment.

        Bill answered, "Yes, I am."

        Bill stayed drunk for another month after that escapade.

        A couple of weeks later, Ebby Thacher, a boyhood friend, came to visit. Ebby's father was the mayor of Albany.

        Ebby was a true drunk and was always in some scrape or another. He had been in trouble in Vermont.

        Turns out Ebby had been painting a barn. (Honestly how much trouble can someone get in painting a barn?) He was drunk and had just finished one side when a group of pigeons flew in and perched on top of the barn. The pigeons began to crap on the side of the barn, which infuriated Ebby. He got a shotgun and started firing away at the pigeons. The incident ended when Ebby got arrested.

        Two men appeared at Ebby's hearing -- Roland Hazzard and Cebra Graves, who were members of the Oxford Group, a Christian religious group that sought to practice 1st Century Christianity. They appeared in court to prevent Ebby's commitment to a mental hospital (which is what they did to drunks in those days). They brought Ebby to the Oxford Group's NY headquarters at the Calvary Mission in Manhattan, where he got sober. (We're at the bottom of page 9.)

        Ebby had been sober since September when he came to visit his friend Bill. In the last full paragraph of page 9:

        "They told him of a simple religious idea [Step 2] and a practical program of action [in essence: Steps 3 thru 12]." Bill was already "...hopeless" (top of page 10).

        Page 11, paragraph 3: "But my friend sat before me, and he made the point-blank declaration that God had done for him what he could not do for himself. ...He had admitted complete defeat." [Ebby had Step 1.]

        Bill also has Step 1, and was beginning on Step 2 but there was a sticking point. Turn to page 12, paragraph 2:

        "My friend suggested what seemed a novel idea. He said, "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?"This is the spiritual (rather than religious) message. This is the root of Step 3's "...as we understood Him." This is the great turning point. It is important to note that this was NOT the Oxford Group message. They had a very definite idea of a Christian God that they preached about.

        In the next 2 paragraphs, Bill is able to take what would become Step 2. In paragraph 5, he begins to describe a spiritual structure that will be built throughout the remainder of the book:

        "Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend." In several places in the book, he will refer to this spiritual structure, painting a mental picture of recovery.

        With our next post we will begin at the top of Page 13 - the last drink for Bill.

        Have a great day!

        Jim

        Weekend Retreats with Jim - email:
        jknyc@...
         


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