How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?
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Brock
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by Brock »

JaninGV1942 wrote: We all experience moments of awe and wonder at times in our life....that is a spiritual experience....
I have a more formal belief perhaps in a God of my understanding, however my spiritual path has me agreeing 100% with this. Each morning I get an emailed meditation from a good friend of AA, the well known priest Fr. Richard Rohr, and he agrees with this as well. He knows and speaks about the other person I follow, Eckhart Tolle, they both encourage development of a consciousness which has us seeing the beauty all around, a few weeks ago I quoted this from the bible -
If you would learn more, ask the cattle,
Seek information from the birds of the air.
The creeping things of earth will give you lessons,
And the fishes of the sea will tell you all.
It takes practice, and I am fairly new to it, but when we can look at things without judging them, just experiencing them, those moments of awe and wonder come. Tolle says we can learn to live with that feeling most of the time, being present and non judgmental is important. Seeing even a bird hopping across my lawn, has this old ex drunken vagabond smiling, and happier than I have ever been.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

Billcanojr
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by Billcanojr »

The only requirement for AA membership is an honest desire to stop drinking ( Page xiv ) Big Book . Also get the AA pamphlet " Questions and Answers Sponsorship " it has all the answers you need .

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ebear
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by ebear »

I have found the expression “Good Orderly Direction” (GOD) useful at times when my faith flags. When my faith is strong, I attribute my internal sense of that direction to the Spirit operating within me. When my faith is not as strong, my own honest and rational evaluation of a choice in front of me—really, what would my AA friends say is the right thing to do here?—points toward the Good Orderly Direction. By myself, of course, I could not find a Good Orderly Direction or sobriety. But when I joined AA and followed the direction of my fellows, the obsession was lifted. So at times, AA itself is the wellspring of the Good Orderly Direction that serves as my higher power and improves my life.
If you don't change direction, you'll end up where you're headed.

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PaigeB
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by PaigeB »

YES! "practical program of action"! With Direction of course.

With emphasis on practical and program and action. Bill's Story page 9.

This thing works if we work it ~ not if we just think about it.
If you want what we've got ~ you do what we did and continue to DO.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

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PaigeB
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by PaigeB »

THE UPWARD PATH

Here are the steps we took. . . .

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 59

These are the words that lead into the Twelve Steps.
In their direct simplicity they sweep aside all psychological and philosophical considerations about the rightness of the Steps.
They describe what I did: I took the Steps and sobriety was the result.
These words do not imply that I should walk the well-trodden path of those who went before, but rather that there is a way for me to become sober and that it is a way I shall have to find. It is a new path, one that leads to infinite light at the top of the mountain.
The Steps advise me about the footholds that are safe and about chasms to avoid. They provide me with the tools I need during the many parts of the solitary journey of my soul.
When I speak of this journey, I share my experience, strength and hope with others.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc
.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

innermost
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by innermost »

Hey Preacher

I know this post is lasts years and has been awhile.

I think the most important factor here is that you turn your sponsee over to God/HP.

Remember you are a human power.

And probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
The first 164 pg. is the program!

84 Problems
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by 84 Problems »

Wow. Great topic. My sponsor and me are at odds. He is extremely happy to pray to the long-white beard god and chides me for not doing the same. I take classes on Zen Buddhism. I consider myself deeply religious but as far as the god question....I still have to check "no" on the god box. So, I get thrown into the Athiest bin. If you really read the Big Book, Bill is really uncomfortable with that. My god is the present moment. Reality. How do I pray to that? I meditate daily but apparently that doesn't count. That's not praying.

Long story, short. We are not well matched. I would ask that we part ways but due to my wife's job, we are moving to a far-away state soon.

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PaigeB
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by PaigeB »

84 Problems wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:18 pm
Wow. Great topic. My sponsor and me are at odds. He is extremely happy to pray to the long-white beard god and chides me for not doing the same. I take classes on Zen Buddhism. I consider myself deeply religious but as far as the god question....I still have to check "no" on the god box. So, I get thrown into the Athiest bin. If you really read the Big Book, Bill is really uncomfortable with that. My god is the present moment. Reality. How do I pray to that? I meditate daily but apparently that doesn't count. That's not praying.

Long story, short. We are not well matched. I would ask that we part ways but due to my wife's job, we are moving to a far-away state soon.
Welcome 84! I am an atheist too! Just got my 10 year chip in August. AA is my HP - unless I am polytheist and studying ALL the ancient Wisdom Walkers. But I do so like the Practical Program of Action.

Don't worry about getting a new sponsor if you really feel you must. We sort of hire a sponsor... we don't marry them. Maybe just say the words when they say to say the words. If Nothing hears you, what is the harm? I started out with thanking my innermost Self and the Universe Whirling for intuitive thoughts and actions... Then the Sick man's prayer - my short version "God save me from being angry so I don't kill anyone." At about 7 years I finally started to use the 3rd and 7th Step prayers from the Big Book. I am much more satisfied with meditation - I get very practical results like being about to PAUSE when agitated (page 87). Some people pray and never actually meditate. We all do what we do... this disease is deadly so I hope I did enough today to give me a chance at an effective tomorrow.

Glad you are here! :D :D
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB

84 Problems
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by 84 Problems »

Paige B, Thanks so much for your kind reply. I went to an agnostic meeting last week and am planning to go again on Sunday (tomorrow). I called my sponsor and he was happy about both. We will see where this takes us.

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Layne
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by Layne »

I lean more towards zen, Buddhism, and mindfulness than i do towards the long-white beard god and prayer. I have no conflict with the AA program nor the twelve steps. For me, they mesh just fine with my beliefs.

retired baker
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by retired baker »

Notice the title of the chapter is WE agnostics.
Not THE agnostics.

Faith is not a requirement, only a willingness to believe and you're on your way.

The book suggests a God of my own conception, not a God of my own invention so there are guidelines.
A conception is built from attributes, what are the attributes in the big book ?
"One who has all Power."
"infinite Power and Love".
In case anyone is still confused.
"That One is God, may you Find Him now".

I was atheist, I still don't know what God is, no-one does fully, but I know what He did.

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avaneesh912
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by avaneesh912 »

Material on page 25 doesn't talk about "GOD" at all just after "There is a solution". It just starts with the inventory process.
There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self- searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed.
Then it says we have a new attitude towards life, other people and GOD.

We got to be desperate to move forward.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

retired baker
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by retired baker »

The book says Abandon yourself.
I threw all my old ideas out.
I threw ME overboard.

My attention was drawn to the chapter "We agnostics"..
It was explained, "notice it doesn't say THE agnostics."

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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by tom k »

What it was like, what happened and what it's like now . When in doubt tell the truth .

Not all atheists are alcoholics , not all alcoholics are atheists .

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avaneesh912
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Re: How do I help my atheist sponsee?

Post by avaneesh912 »

The last 2 lines of the book Power of Now goes like this:
How will I know when I have surrendered?
When you no longer need to ask the question.
I always wonder, is it not true in all cases? We have seen so many walk into the rooms of AA. And so many seek temporary sponsorship and very few stick around. For our sanity, a strong understanding of this disease will help us, overcome the disappointment when someone in whom we have invested some time goes out or struggles. Again there is that willingness that arise within the people we help, maybe that will come the next time they go out on a bender.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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