Weekly Grapevine Readings

Current topics and news from The Grapevine.

Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:08 am

Thank you for posting the Grapevine article, Thumper.

It's always interesting to read another AA member's share about their ESH while trudging AA's Road of Happy Destiny and I'm very grateful that our visionary AA co-founder, Bill W. created this publication. I don't know whether or not Bill knew at the time what he was creating in this publication, but in addition to connecting us with other AA members we may never meet in person, it certainly has functioned overall as a "doorstop" against those "barriers of arrogance" that enable cultish dogmatism in our fellowship and kept AA's doors open to anyone who suffers from our disease and has a desire to stop drinking. For me, every article published in the Grapevine each and every month reinforces the fact that AA is not and never has been a one-size-fits-all kind of program. I like that.... :D
“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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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Reborn » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:01 am

Is it cultish dogmatism to stand up for the program as it is laid out in the Big Book? To point out that being stuck on step 3 for a year is not a good idea? I don't know about anyone else but I have seen several newcomers make excuse after excuse why they cannot move on to step 4. Either they over think the decision in step 3 or they don't want to take a good honest look at themselves in step 4. There is absolutely no reason to be stuck on step 3 for any amount of time..."Made a DECISION to turn our will and our life over to the CARE of God as we understood Him." They are talking about a decision...and not to turn our existance over to God but to the care of God. I know from my experience I could not waste any time with this thing...and to be honest the successes I see are the people who "launch into a vigorous course of action"...they just follow what the book tells them to do. So if this makes me a memeber of a "cult" I will gladly drink the kool-aid.
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:22 am

Its mind identification as Eckhart calls it.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby PaigeB » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:04 pm

I am full on for doing Step 3 ASAP. Good thing that we had to prefect our commitment to being an alcoholic. THAT I was able to understand. I could see AA restored you all to sanity ~ relatively speaking of course ~ so therefore AA was a good understanding for me to make a decision to turn my thoughts and my actions over to the care of AA. However, it didn't happen overnight. My sponsor did nudge me on to writing in Step 4, finally made an appointment to do Step 5 because I was being "really thorough", lol. Anyway, back to Step... I continued to and still continue to work on my commitment to my one time decision to turn "IT" over and I have not perfected it. I am glad that my commitment continues to deepen.

BTW, I changed sponsors at about 6 months sober because my first sponsor wasn't getting into the Big Book with me. It took a couple weeks to pick out a new one. and get through the Dr.'s Opinion up & through Step 2. With me not Understanding an interactive entity and my HP, my Step 3 looked a little different than the one taken by my Catholic sponsee or another sponsee who was more of a rebel and went through kicking and screaming. Both have made it through the Steps and are helping others who also vary in their understanding of an HP (as we all do, like it or not) and they also took this Step at varying times of their sober time. I think the thing that matter is that you get to it and get through it and to do it ASAP... as soon as POSSIBLE, without fail it will depend on the inner-life of the drunk taking the Step.

We open the door on a dark room just a crack. The Light enters and the door can be open more.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:00 pm

An older Grapevine article, "The Real Thing", mentioned Bill W.'s advice to a Buddhist from Japan who was apparently "stuck" on Step 3:

"....When I heard Bill W. speak at his anniversary dinner in the New York Hilton in 1968, he talked about a Buddhist from Japan who asked if he had to understand God the way it was described in the literature. And in effect Bill said no. It didn't make any difference whether the Higher Power was a he, she, it, a cosmic force, or greater humanity.

He also said that there were tens of thousands of alcoholics out there drinking that night, who weren't at an AA meeting because they thought AA was some sort of a cult. They thought they had to come in and become do-gooders. He called on us and he called on me (because when I get involved with a speaker I think the speaker is talking to me) he called on me not to build what he called barriers of arrogance - barriers of arrogance to keep these people out. We have to tell that person, No, you don't have to do what we do. You're welcome here anyway. The rituals can become replacements for the real thing and the real thing is us talking, one alcoholic to another, in the language of the heart."


The BB says:

We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him:

"God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"

We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him

A.A. Big Book, p. 63


I didn't hurry through Steps 1,2, & 3 nor did I work them with a sponsor. I read and re-read the BB, the 12&12, went to way more than the recommended "90 meetings in 90 days" after I finally got sober, and listened very closely to learn how other AA members worked the Steps. I followed the directions in the BB and "thought well before taking this step" to make sure I was ready. When I decided that I understood Step 3, and was ready to take it, I did so. That's what worked for me.... :)
“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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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Duke » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:07 pm

It was suggested to me when I reached step three that saying I had made a decision while at the same time saying "yeah but" about a litiny of items that I thought still had to be resolved before I could really focus on the steps or living on a spiritual basis was an inconsistency that would probably make my work on the rest of the steps less than effective.

My sponsor suggested I spend some time making sure the commitment to turn my will and my life over was as unconditional as I was capable of making before I moved on. Other than 10, 11 and 12, step three was by far the longest in terms of time for me.

Reflection upon this from the perspective of thirty-two years of sober, spiritual living is that the pause was a good idea for me. I readily share this experience, but never promote it as the "right" or "only" way to do step three.

That's my experience, for what it's worth.
"If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.", Mother Teresa
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Thumper » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:27 am

Great discussion. I posted another story that I would expect to get some traction. A handful of views... no comments. Win some, lose some.

If the Grapevine Weekly stories are value added topics to the forum, I will continue to post them. As GVR, my role is to expose and promote the value of our magazine. Paige has been published, I want to facilitate other e-AA members to do the same. I also promote the GV content as a source of discussion; again to promote the mag.

I will continue to post the weekly readings until I see the value vanish.

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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Brock » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:12 am

I also delayed a little on #3, but not because I was trying to make sure I was really ready to turn everything over, in fact I didn't even see how that was possible, what I did was use it as an excuse not to start #4, (“at some of these we balk”). Fortunately an online Big Book workshop suggested I was doing the wrong thing, and that #4 was a key turning point in dropping the obsession and white knuckling, so I forced myself forward.

It has been my experience that every step after that was a tool to learn #3, and it is something I will hopefully continue to learn and probably never perfect, the attainment of some of the 'promises' like happiness I believe lie squarely in continued spiritual development. #'s 1 to 9 got me to forget booze, #10 maintained that, 11 & 12 are to keep getting closer to the 'happy joyous and free' idea, and every time I let fear get to me and then things still end up OK, I bow my head and say thanks, and sorry I did not trust you with that one, and that's because I am still learning #3.

When Bill said 'be quick to see where religious people are right,' I don't believe he was necessarily telling us go and listen to a priest, if he had it to do over today, he might have said 'spiritual people' instead of religious. We know that both himself and Bob had extensive libraries on subjects that might be found under the 'self help' section, and titles of helpful literature have been shared here before. Some I find hard to read and understand, but with effort even Eckhart Tolle starts to make sense using the free audio book, and I believe all of these self help books point at step 3, the more we trust in a power greater than ourselves the less our worries and fears, and the more we live in the moment, which all contributes to what the book calls happy joyous and free.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Reborn » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:21 am

I believe it when they say "Faith without works is dead"....Step three is vital but again it is just a decision...basically I'm saying "Ok God I know you will catch me if I take this leap of faith and really work this program"...so making that decision is definitely a very important step but it means nothing if I don't get into action. Page 75 in the chapter Into Action tells me...

We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.

The day after I did the 5th (give or take a day) I experienced exactly what is written above. I had certain spiritual beliefs but I began to have a spiritual experience...walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe. I believe this happens when faith is followed by vigorous action...really I can have all the faith or belief in a power greater than me...but its what I do that demonstrates that faith...FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Weekly Grapevine Readings

Postby Thumper » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:21 am

Reborn wrote:The day after I did the 5th (give or take a day) I experienced exactly what is written above. I had certain spiritual beliefs but I began to have a spiritual experience...walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe. I believe this happens when faith is followed by vigorous action...really I can have all the faith or belief in a power greater than me.


I went into the 5th step, for the real first time, eyes wide open. My sponsor and I went through a story where I put all my 4th step crap in a bag. My HP picked it all up at the corner, put it into a shredder, and left an envelope behind. I opened the envelope and it simply said, "You are forgiven, get on with it."

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