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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 72 , Apr 22, 2013
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      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
    • sottovoice
      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 72 of 72 , Feb 14, 2014
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        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
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