Concept 9 - What does this mean to you?

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.

Re: Concept 9 - What does this mean to you?

Postby ezdzit247 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:42 am

More on AA as a "benign anarchy":

Box 459, News & Notes From the General Service Office of A.A. VOL 35, NO 1, FEB/MARCH 1989

Co-founder Bill W liked to call A.A. a "benign anarchy," and for good reason. A.A. is a spiritual movement, and as Tradition Two clearly states, our sole authority "is a loving God as He may express Himself in the group conscience." But what exactly is the group conscience? How does it differ from a group opinion or a majority vote? And what is the best way to get there?

It is generally agreed that the group conscience strives for unanimity through enlightenment, spirituality and adherence to our Steps, Traditions and Concepts. On sensitive issues, the group works slowly - discouraging formal motions until a clear sense of its collective view emerges. Placing principles before personalities, the group is wary of dominant opinions. Its voice is heard when a well-informed group arrives at a decision. The result rests on more than a "yes" or "no" count - precisely because it is the spiritual expression of the group conscience.

The late Dean K., who served a term as delegate, California/Northern Interior,and then managed the Seattle Central Office for a time, said that there are two ways to arrive at a group conscience: "The competitive way permits the person with the loudest voice to push his idea across, take a vote and come up with a majority decision. This is not informed group conscience. 1n the cooperative way, group members come together in mutual trust to arrive at a group decision, not one individual's personal triumph .

Dean's formula for a cooperative and informed group conscience calls for facts (or presentations) on both sides of a question. "The meeting is not thrown open for general discussion," he stressed. "This would allow the more vocal members to set the debate. It is suggested that the chairperson call on each member in turn, allowing two minutes for each to speak. No member should speak a second time until all have had their turns; this gives even the quietest person an equal chance.
The chairperson expresses his or her opinions only after all the others have spoken."

"It is important," Dean noted,"that the minority voice always be heard; but it should be born in mind that while the minority voice sometime is right, it is just as often wrong. Unless the minority voice is decidedly persuasive, it should be considered in its proper light - as a minority voice. To permit the minority always to influence the majority is to permit the tail to wag the dog."

Beyond the group level, the A.A. General Service Conference has the responsibility of acting as the collective group conscience of the Fellowship. About the closest thing to a collective voice that A.A.has, the Conference produces statements on important matters of policy that affect A.A. as a whole; approves the choice of some trustee nominees for the General Service Board and directly elects others. But neither the Conference nor the board can dictate to any A.A. group or member.

Not always understood, group conscience as expressed in Tradition Two is a powerful spiritual concept that makes it possible for people of diverse backgrounds and temperament to rise above personal ambition and unite in our common purpose: to stay sober and extend the hand of A.A. to the alcoholic who still suffers.
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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ezdzit247
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Re: Concept 9 - What does this mean to you?

Postby clouds » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:20 am

I like this very much. Thanks Ezdsit for posting that quote.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Concept 9 - What does this mean to you?

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:33 pm

Good leadership....

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“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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