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Big Book Study - Post #29

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  • Jim
    Good Morning! Page 85, Paragraph 1 - While we have recovered from alcoholism: We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve
    Message 1 of 84 , Mar 19, 2013
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      Good Morning!

      Page 85, Paragraph 1 - While we have recovered from alcoholism:

      "We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily
      reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
      Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into
      all our activities. 'How can I best serve Thee--Thy will (not mine)
      be done.' These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We
      can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the
      proper use of the will."

      Although we have made a decision to turn our will over to the care
      of God as we understand Him (in Step 3) we are told here how to use
      our will to fulfill that same decision. Our will isn't taken from
      us; instead, we are taught the proper use of our will. The proper
      use of our will is to try to align our self-will with God's will.

      Step 10 is our principal means of growth after we have completed the
      process of the first 9 steps. It is not a step that can be
      incorporated into our lives by itself, however. To be vital it must
      be paired up with Step 11. In the "12 Steps and 12 Traditions", in
      the discussion of Step 11, Bill refers to the "unshakeable
      foundation for life." That foundation is the logical interweaving
      of the process of self-examination (Step 10) and conscious contact
      with a Power greater than ourselves (Step 11). If the channel
      between us and God is filled with unattended 10th Step stuff --
      fear, resentment, anger, guilt and the like -- we will not have the
      open channel we need to God and His Grace. The sunlight of the
      Spirit can't come into our lives. Conversely, when our conscious
      contact with God isn't there our ability to "identify the worst
      items in stock" can disappear as well.

      Step 11 begins at the bottom of Page 85. Let's read through to page
      86 - paragraph 1:

      "When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we
      resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid? (Step 4? Sounds like it.)
      Do we owe an apology? (similar to Step 9 perhaps?) Have we kept
      something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person
      at once? (Step 5) Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we
      have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time?
      (More inventory) ... After making our review we ask God's
      forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken."

      So, at the end of the day we review and, through meditation and
      prayer, we "inquire what corrective measures should be taken."
      Sounds like Steps 10 and 11 go hand-in-hand. We are asking God for
      direction in prayer. Some of the folks I got sober with used to say
      that prayer was talking to God and meditation was listening.

      As we go through Step 11 here in the book we will see that Bill's
      knowledge of meditation and prayer was somewhat limited and he was
      forced to keep it simple. (This is what he is referring to when he
      says "we only know a little" on Page 164, by the way). Because
      prayer and meditation takes innumerable forms it was probably for
      the best.

      With our next post we will continue with our discussion of Step 11
      on page 86 at paragraph 2.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Jim

      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars
    • Jim K
      Good Morning! Page 85, Paragraph 1 - While we have recovered from alcoholism: We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve
      Message 84 of 84 , Feb 2
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        Good Morning!

        Page 85, Paragraph 1 - While we have recovered from alcoholism:

        "We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all our activities. 'How can I best serve Thee--Thy will (not mine) be done.' These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will."

        Although we have made a decision to turn our will over to the care of God as we understand Him (in Step 3) we are told here how to use our will to fulfill that same decision. Our will isn't taken from us; instead, we are taught the proper use of our will. The proper use of our will is to try to align our self-will with God's will.

        Step 10 is our principal means of growth after we have completed the process of the first 9 steps. It is not a step that can be incorporated into our lives by itself, however. To be vital it must be paired up with Step 11. In the "12 Steps and 12 Traditions", in the discussion of Step 11, Bill refers to the "unshakeable foundation for life." That foundation is the logical interweaving of the process of self-examination (Step 10) and conscious contact
        with a Power greater than ourselves (Step 11). If the channel between us and God is filled with unattended 10th Step stuff -- fear, resentment, anger, guilt and the like -- we will not have the open channel we need to God and His Grace. The sunlight of the Spirit can't come into our lives. Conversely, when our conscious contact with God isn't there our ability to
        "identify the worst items in stock" can disappear as well.

        Step 11 begins at the bottom of Page 85. Let's read through to page 86 - paragraph 1:

        "When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid? (Step 4? Sounds like it.) Do we owe an apology? (similar to Step 9 perhaps?) Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? (Step 5) Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? (More inventory) ...
        After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken."

        So, at the end of the day we review and, through meditation and prayer, we "inquire what corrective measures should be taken." Sounds like Steps 10 and 11 go hand-in-hand. We are asking God for direction in prayer. Some of the folks I got sober with used to say that prayer was talking to God and meditation was listening.

        As we go through Step 11 here in the book we will see that Bill's knowledge of meditation and prayer was somewhat limited and he was forced to keep it simple. (This is what he is referring to when he says
        "we only know a little" on Page 164, by the way). Because prayer and meditation takes innumerable forms it was probably for the best.

        With our next post we will continue with our discussion of Step 11 on page 86 at paragraph 2.

        Have a wonderful 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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