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Big Book Study - Post #31

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  • Jim
    Good morning everyone! Chapter 7 starts on page 89. It is dedicated in its entirety to Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
    Message 1 of 80 , Aug 1, 2011
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      Good morning everyone!

      Chapter 7 starts on page 89. It is dedicated in its entirety to Step
      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." The bulk of this chapter is
      dedicated to carrying the message. Specifically from the beginning
      on page 89 to page 100. Why is this?

      Let's put the text into historical perspective - During the period
      of time when the book was written there were about 60 to 100 members
      sober - this after 4 years of work. There were two basic centers of
      activity: New York which was intellectual/psychological, and
      Akron/Cleveland which were more evangelical in nature. When
      originally written the 12th Step said this: "Having had a spiritual
      experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry
      this message to others - especially alcoholics, and to practice
      these principles in all our affairs." Clearly the mindset is one of
      conversion, spreading the word. Chapter 7 was written with the idea
      that it was (a) good to increase our numbers and that (b) carrying
      the message is the way to do it. They also believed that the message
      wasn't one that required a "personality" to convey it. Certainly
      Bill and Bob weren't about to go on tour. This book was the perfect
      vehicle to carry the message. By 1940, even Bill was surprised at
      the success of the book in carrying the message.

      When we read through these pages we see things that astonish us: We
      aren't convincing anyone that they need this program - we are
      demonstrating what it has done for us. We are attracting, not
      promoting. The assumption is that the alcoholic is ready to listen
      to the message. Page 94 - paragraph 1: "Make it plain he is not
      under pressure, that he needn't see you again if he doesn't want
      to." There is an old saying that isn't repeated often today - "AA is
      a program for those who want it, not necessarily for those who need
      it."

      We will also be astonished at the length to which we are expected to
      go in helping others. Paragraph 1 on page 97 really details what is
      expected of us.

      "Never avoid these responsibilities, but be sure you are doing the
      right thing if you assume them. Helping others is the foundation
      stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn't enough.
      You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may
      mean the loss of many nights' sleep, great interference with your
      pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your
      money and your home, counseling frantic wives and relatives,
      innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails
      and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or
      night. Your wife may sometimes say she is neglected. A drunk may
      smash the furniture in your home, or burn a mattress. You may have
      to fight with him if he is violent. Sometimes you will have to call
      a doctor and administer sedatives under his direction. Another
      time you may have to send for the police or an ambulance.
      Occasionally you will have to meet such conditions." That's pretty
      involved!

      The rehab community has taken much of this responsibility from us.
      Whether that is to the detriment of AA is for a separate discussion.

      With our next post we will continue with Page 100 - last paragraph.
      We'll discuss what our spiritual awakening has done for us and what
      being a "recovered alcoholic" means in Alcoholics Anonymous.

      Have a great day!

      Jim

      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars
    • Jim K
      Good morning everyone! Chapter 7 starts on page 89. It is dedicated in its entirety to Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
      Message 80 of 80 , Feb 4
      • 0 Attachment
        Good morning everyone!

        Chapter 7 starts on page 89. It is dedicated in its entirety to Step 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." The bulk of this chapter is dedicated to carrying the message. Specifically from the beginning on page 89 to page 100. Why is this?

        Let's put the text into historical perspective - During the period of time when the book was written there were about 60 to 100 members sober - this after 4 years of work. There were two basic centers of activity: New York which was intellectual/psychological, and Akron/Cleveland which were more evangelical in nature. When originally written the 12th Step said this:
        "Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others - especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs." Clearly the mindset is one of conversion, spreading the word. Chapter 7 was written with the idea that it was (a) good to increase our numbers and that (b) carrying the message is the way to do it. They also believed that the message wasn't one that required a "personality" to convey it. Certainly Bill and Bob weren't about to go on tour. This book was the perfect vehicle to carry the message. By 1940, even Bill was surprised at the success of the book in carrying the message.

        When we read through these pages we see things that astonish us: We aren't convincing anyone that they need this program - we are demonstrating what it has done for us. We are attracting, not promoting. The assumption is that the alcoholic is ready to listen to the message. Page 94 - paragraph 1: "Make it plain he is not under pressure, that he needn't see you again if he doesn't want to."There is an old saying that isn't repeated often today - "AA is a program for those who want it, not necessarily for those who need it."

        We will also be astonished at the length to which we are expected to go in helping others. Paragraph 1 on page 97 really details what is expected of us.

        "Never avoid these responsibilities, but be sure you are doing the right thing if you assume them. Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn't enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights' sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic wives and relatives, innumerable trips to police courts, sanitariums, hospitals, jails and asylums. Your telephone may jangle at any time of the day or night. Your wife may sometimes say she is neglected. A drunk may smash the furniture in your home, or burn a mattress. You may have to fight with him if he is violent. Sometimes you will have to call a doctor and administer sedatives under his direction. Another time you may have to send for the police or an ambulance. Occasionally you will have to meet such conditions." That's pretty involved!

        The rehab community has taken much of this responsibility from us. Whether that is to the detriment of AA is for a separate discussion.

        With our next post we will continue with Page 100 - last paragraph. We'll discuss what our spiritual awakening has done for us and what being a "recovered alcoholic" means in Alcoholics Anonymous.


        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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