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Big Book Study - Post #12

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  • Jim
    Good Morning all! Paragraph 2 - Page 35: Jim the car salesman is example number 2 of alcoholic insanity. Reading through paragraph 3 on this page: We told
    Message 1 of 82 , Apr 22, 2013
      Good Morning all!

      Paragraph 2 - Page 35: "Jim the car salesman" is example number 2 of
      alcoholic insanity. Reading through paragraph 3 on this page: "We
      told him what we knew of alcoholism and the answer we had found. He
      made a beginning."

      "Making a beginning" means he had completed the first three
      steps. "His family was re-assembled, and he began to work as a
      salesman for the business he had lost through drinking."

      There is a situation ripe for a resentment. "All went well for a
      time, but he failed to enlarge on his spiritual life." He didn't
      continue on with the rest of the program - Steps 4-12. He got drunk
      again, and here's how, as recorded on Page 36 paragraph 1:

      "I remember I felt irritated (resentful) that I had to be a salesman
      for a concern I once owned. I had a few words with the boss..."
      (expressing his resentment no doubt!) He continues in this paragraph
      to be sane, but watch out!

      Next paragraph - all italics. The insane thought: "SUDDENLY THE
      THOUGHT CROSSED MY MIND THAT IF I WERE TO PUT AN OUNCE OF WHISKEY IN
      MY MILK IT COULDN'T HURT ME ON A FULL STOMACH."

      The insane idea was followed by action. Paragraph 4: "Thus started
      one more journey to the asylum (treatment center) for Jim... HE HAD
      MUCH KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIMSELF AS AN ALCOHOLIC (which did him no good
      whatsoever). YET ALL REASONS FOR NOT DRINKING WERE EASILY PUSHED
      ASIDE IN FAVOR OF THE FOOLISH (insane) IDEA THAT HE COULD TAKE
      WHISKEY IF ONLY HE MIXED IT WITH MILK!"

      Page 37: "Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we
      call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the
      ability to think straight, be called anything else?"

      This is where the Big Book defines the "insanity" of Step 2 as the
      state of mind that precedes the first drink.

      Our next example starts at the bottom of page 37, paragraph 4: "The
      Jaywalker." Read it through to the end of the second paragraph on the
      following page. Although it seems ridiculous it is a fine example of
      our state of mind.

      Our last example is "Fred the Accountant". Go to page 39, paragraph
      2. At the bottom of the page: "Fred would not believe himself an
      alcoholic, (Step 1) much less accept a spiritual remedy (Step 2) for
      his problem."

      Reading through to the end of this paragraph at the top of page 40
      it is clear that he also believes in self-knowledge. He tells what
      happened beginning at paragraph 3 on page 40. Almost immediately he
      is wrestling with the mental obsession.

      Page 41, paragraph 1 - Here is the insane idea: "I went to my hotel
      room and leisurely dressed for dinner. AS I CROSSED THE THRESHOLD OF
      THE DINING ROOM, THE THOUGHT CAME TO MIND THAT IT WOULD BE NICE TO
      HAVE A COUPLE OF COCKTAILS WITH DINNER (and return to the mental
      hospital). THAT WAS ALL. NOTHING MORE."

      Next paragraph "...I HAD MADE NO FIGHT WHATEVER AGAINST THE FIRST
      DRINK." Self knowledge fails again. He clearly demonstrates that we
      have no effective mental defense against the first drink.

      Bill's summary, last paragraph on page 43: "Once more: The alcoholic
      at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first
      drink. Except in rare cases, neither he nor any other human being
      can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher
      Power."

      This is a very important point. This means that we can have all the
      self knowledge we can get but still drink. It also means that human
      power, our own or others (i.e., the fellowship), will not help us.
      Finding God will.

      With our next post, we start my favorite chapter in the Big Book:
      Chapter 4, "We Agnostics" on page 44.

      Have a great day everyone.

      Jim

      Weekend Big Book Studies with Jim & Dave - visit:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Big_Book_Seminars
    • Jim K
      Good Morning all! Paragraph 2 - Page 35: Jim the car salesman is example number 2 of alcoholic insanity. Reading through paragraph 3 on this page: We told
      Message 82 of 82 , Oct 23

        Good Morning all!

         

        Paragraph 2 - Page 35: "Jim the car salesman" is example number 2 of alcoholic insanity. Reading through paragraph 3 on this page: "We told him what we knew of alcoholism and the answer we had found. He made a beginning." "Making a beginning" means he had completed the first three steps. "His family was re-assembled, and he began to work as a salesman for the business he had lost through drinking."


        There is a situation ripe for resentment. "All went well for a time, but he failed to enlarge on his spiritual life." He didn't continue on with the rest of the program - Steps 4-12. He got drunk again, and here's how, as recorded on Page 36 paragraph 1: "I remember I felt irritated (resentful) that I had to be a salesman for a concern I once owned. I had a few words with the boss..."(expressing his resentment no doubt!) He continues in this paragraph to be sane, but watch out! Next paragraph - all italics in the book. The insane thought: "SUDDENLY THE THOUGHT CROSSED MY MIND THAT IF I WERE TO PUT AN OUNCE OF WHISKEY IN MY MILK IT COULDN'T HURT ME ON A FULL STOMACH."


        The insane idea was followed by action. Paragraph 4: "Thus started one more journey to the asylum (treatment center) for Jim... HE HAD MUCH KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIMSELF AS AN ALCOHOLIC (which did him no good whatsoever). YET ALL REASONS FOR NOT DRINKING WERE EASILY PUSHED ASIDE IN FAVOR OF THE FOOLISH (insane) IDEA THAT HE COULD TAKE WHISKEY IF ONLY HE MIXED IT WITH MILK!" Page 37: "Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, be called anything else?" This is where the Big Book defines the "insanity" of Step 2 as the state of mind that precedes the first drink.

        Our next example starts at the bottom of page 37, paragraph 4: "The Jaywalker." Read it through to the end of the second paragraph on the following page. Although it seems ridiculous it is a fine example of our state of mind.

        Our last example is "Fred the Accountant". Go to page 39, paragraph 2. At the bottom of the page:
        "Fred would not believe himself an alcoholic, (Step 1) much less accept a spiritual remedy (Step 2) for his problem." Reading through to the end of this paragraph at the top of page 40 it is clear that he also believes in self-knowledge. He tells what happened beginning at paragraph 3 on page 40. Almost immediately he is wrestling with the mental obsession.

         

        Page 41, paragraph 1 - Here is the insane idea: "I went to my hotel room and leisurely dressed for dinner. AS I CROSSED THE THRESHOLD OF THE DINING ROOM, THE THOUGHT CAME TO MIND THAT IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE A COUPLE OF COCKTAILS WITH DINNER (and return to the mental hospital). THAT WAS ALL. NOTHING MORE." Next paragraph: "...I HAD MADE NO FIGHT WHATEVER AGAINST THE FIRST DRINK." Self-knowledge fails again. He clearly demonstrates that we have no effective mental defense against the first drink.

        Bill's summary, last paragraph on page 43:
        "Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."

         

        This is a very important point. This means that we can have all the self-knowledge we can get but still drink. It also means that human power, our own or others (i.e., the fellowship), will not help us. Finding God will.

        With our next post we start my favorite chapter in the Big Book: Chapter 4, "We Agnostics" on page 44.

         

        Have a great day!

         

        Jim K. - The Into Action Group of Manhattan
        6:30pm Wednesdays at St. Francis De Sales Church
        135 East 96th Street (Near Lexington Avenue)
        On Manhattan's Upper East Side

         

        Weekend retreats with Jim: http://www.spiritualawakeningsretreats.com

         

        The Wilson House – The Birthplace of Bill Wilson - Weekend Retreats and Workshops -http://www.wilsonhouse.org/



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