Anonymous means Victorious

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Anonymous means Victorious

Postby Karl R » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:45 am

On anonymity...

From the Grapevine Digital Archives.

Copyright © The AA Grapevine, Inc. (February 1953 Vol 9 no 9 ). Reprinted with permission.

cheers,
Karl

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Anonymous Means Victorious
WE all recognize the practical reasons for anonymity. The new member, filled with all the fears of the alcoholic, may take heart that his veil of anonymity will be respected.

But there is too, the spiritual significance of this tradition, the placing of principles above personalities. We are all anonymous individuals having as our ultimate authority a loving God as each of us understands him. There is really little difference between us when we consider that we are all alcoholics, dependent upon the same power for our recovery. A member's economic or social background is not important in AA as he becomes a fellow-member and a friend.

We find in the Fifth Step that it is suggested that we admit to God, ourselves and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. Therefore we may expect in AA to share in the confidences of many. A respect of these confidences is obviously a respect of their anonymity. Should a member tell us of a slip that he or she may have had, it may be that they are seeking our assistance and advice. It certainly isn't because they want us to 'carry the message' of their slip to every member within reaching distance. The gossip that we hear in AA is strangely inconsistent with our principles; it could be checked by a more sincere application of our Twelfth Tradition to our affairs.

Still another aspect of this tradition is what I like to call "Anonymity of Service,' as an important AA function.

The benefit and satisfaction that we derive from our Twelfth Step work. . .the practice of AA principles in our daily affairs. . .is enriched when this practice becomes a habit. Service, as a habit, expects no recognition. . .demands no praise. It would take an enormous conceit indeed, to believe that we and we alone had the power to go to, speak with, and bring to a meeting, an alcoholic destined never to drink again. We neither accomplish nor are we able to accomplish these things alone but there is a Power at work both within and around us that each may understand and name as he understands it.

We are known as Alcoholics Anonymous. For the newcomer, our tradition of anonymity may be a shield against embarrassment, but to the older member it is a lesson in humility. It is a glorious anonymity coupled with a Divine Identity and the vehicle by which we may make sacrifices without expecting credit, by which we may work without seeking gain, and give, without counting cost.

And what is our reward for this? Surely there must be some recompense. There is, because our reward is the very thing we were seeking when first we came here. Sobriety.


Anon.
St. Rose de Laval, Quebec
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Karl R
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Re: Anonymous means Victorious

Postby Tommy-S » Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:04 pm

Thanks Karl, great article.

As the Long Form of Tradition 12 concludes:
"... The principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings will never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all." (Appendix I, Big Book)


A tall order for an "ego maniac with low self-esteem" like I am (at times), but the pay off is amazing. The Victory is, thanks to AA, I never had it so good :)

Tommy
Together, we don't have to cave in or wimp out to that Fatal First One, no matter what today!
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Re: Anonymous means Victorious

Postby sabakanwal » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:33 pm

With a natural tendency to overcomplicate things to the point I could easily end up pole-vaulting over mouse turds, I approached my sponsor with the naive question, "Does this mean I got to become a Priest?
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Re: Anonymous means Victorious

Postby PaigeB » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:34 pm

"... The principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings will never spoil us; that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all." (Appendix I, Big Book)

Bill's writing? Always on the flowery side. I find it endearing at the same time I find it a little annoying.

... genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings will never spoil us...
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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