Big Book Meeting's Readings

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby D'oh » Sat May 13, 2017 12:32 pm

Ok, just throwing out a question. One of my favorite Groups that meets in our town. One of the only Big Book Meetings, has decided to read the first 164 pages, rather than the recovering personal stories. A group vote among us. I realize that “It is the Directions to Recovery” and played a very important part of My own Recovery.



My problem is, There are very few members in the Group that have been through the Steps their selves, to Guide the New Comers through this. I have been through the first 164 pages a few time, with the aid of a Sponsor, or through a Commitment Group. While the first 164 Pages does hold All (if not most) of the Answers. It also contains A lot of Questions, and there is also the Work that is attached to the Steps.



So I realize, that something much larger than myself has guided this Deal. It is in good hands. Then I thought a little deeper. The chair of the Meeting, who brought up “Reading from the Beginning”, is one of the people who has been through the first part of the book. Last year in a Commitment Group, which I also attended. The Chair person is also Sponsoring one of the New Comers in this meeting. So Alcoholic thinking kicks in “Is this a way to Jointly read the first 164 pages with the Newbie?” (just an Alcoholic over analyzing)



So, I accepted that this is a part of a Much bigger thing right? Then before the Meeting ended, a New Comer started handing out 4th Step Guides, from the Internet. I did mention “it is in the Book” something another Ole Timer picked up on, but none of the Newbies seemed to. The next morning I made an amend for blurting that out. Again believing that, this might be much bigger than “Me”. But then 2 Meetings later, see proof that things are being Rushed, and People are feeling it. (without getting into details).



So I ask. Does anyone go through the first 164 pages as a Group, without the help of a Sponsor or several like a Commitment Group? How as someone who has, help those who might have questions during it’s reading? How should the Readings be handled, if say the Group is on the 4th step, and a New Comer walks into the Meeting? (if the Group gets this far). Should I just start doing my Hair that night for a few months?



I have been through these pages, 1 on 1, and in a Group (closed and committed) but never Open and free to come and go.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby Blue Moon » Sat May 13, 2017 12:42 pm

D'oh wrote:But then 2 Meetings later, see proof that things are being Rushed, and People are feeling it. (without getting into details).

So I ask. Does anyone go through the first 164 pages as a Group, without the help of a Sponsor or several like a Commitment Group?

This sounds like a "Back to Basics" movement. I don't know what their official line is, but effectively the notion seems to be some sort of "6-week recovery plan".

It arose from a reaction to the multitude of AA groups that drifted away from the AA message. But IMO they swung too far the other way. Even though they adapted the AA literature, it's not AA. That itself is a problem when AA groups promote it.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby tomsteve » Sat May 13, 2017 12:53 pm

around here they are called big book study meetings. personally i like them and see newcomers get a better understanding. how their sponsor may explain may not make sense but can be worded differently from someone else and the lightbulb goes off.
usually, a few paragraphs are read, then comments from members on it. if no comments or theres time left, read some more.
if a newcomer walks in to their very 1st meeting while the group may be deeper into the book, usually the group goes back to the 1st step for that meeting. might not necessarily be like the normal study where reading from the book happens, but the 1st step or what it used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now is discussed.

To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby D'oh » Sat May 13, 2017 1:11 pm

I get a Big Book Study meeting, what I don't get is it as a regular Meeting. There needs to be some answers to go along with the readings. Some explanations to what was read.

My understanding is to read a Chapter, and then Comment on it.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby Spirit Flower » Sat May 13, 2017 1:31 pm

There needs to be some answers to go along with the readings. Some explanations to what was read.
Why?

There are Big Book meetings where I go and they read part of the book and then comment. They do start at the beginning.
I go to a weekly step meeting where we read through both the bb and the 12x12 but step by step.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat May 13, 2017 1:46 pm

This sounds like a "Back to Basics" movement. I don't know what their official line is, but effectively the notion seems to be some sort of "6-week recovery plan".


I agree. Also sounds like the "Primary Purpose" movement. Both movements appear to be based on a fictional revisionist version of AA history which promotes the idea that newcomers should begin working the Steps within their first few days of sobriety while they're still detoxing from alcohol. Both movements also promote the fiction that AA was more successful in the "good old days" before it split from the Oxford Group and it's Christian roots.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby D'oh » Sat May 13, 2017 2:02 pm

Maybe I am over explaining this whole thing.

Basically, are there any Meetings, other than BB Studies, which read the first 164 pages from start to finish in Chapter Form? Read, Comment and Leave?
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby PaigeB » Sat May 13, 2017 11:50 pm

We have both Big Book and Step Study meetings around here - quite a few actually. We also have a group called The Basic Text group and they always read from the first 164. We have a couple of speaker meeting that bring in folks from around the Country weekly and/monthly. We like to mix it up and take everything this program and its people have to offer. :D

I went through the BB 164 with my sponsor (some 12 & 12) and went through a Step a month (read and round table discuss) at a Women's Step Study. I still like the idea of working on a Step a Month. I have been doing it every day since I found this Forum using the Daily Reflections which follows the general pattern of a Step a month and some Traditions thrown in for good measure.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun May 14, 2017 5:57 am

While the first 164 Pages does hold All (if not most) of the Answers. It also contains A lot of Questions, and there is also the Work that is attached to the Steps.


I am really not sure what you mean by this. "It also contains A lot of Questions", and there is also the work that is attached to the steps.

Can you clarify the questions? And what do you mean by work that is attached to the steps? Of course there is work and thats where a competent sponsor comes into play.

The first 2 steps, I work through the key paragraph of the first few chapters + the doctors opinion and help the newcomer conclude whether he is an alcoholic. Then if he is sure that he is powerless, we then move to the next few steps. And the I heavily rely on those free solid workshops to have them learn the rest of the steps. Of course I will keep tab of where there and help them progress along. They all agree, like myself, they get more out of the workshops than in the meetings. But I still insist that they go to meeting so they can start helping new comers.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun May 14, 2017 6:38 am

The material i use is on google docs-feel free to look up, you can send me a message. I can share the link. All the material are from the book except for the visual we put together to illustrate the vicious cycle.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby D'oh » Sun May 14, 2017 9:22 am

Of course there is work and thats where a competent sponsor comes into play.


This is exactly my question. The first 164 pages requires a Sponsor. Read in a Group setting, one Chapter at a time, without someone to ask openly.

I remember, the first time I heard "Go try some Controlled Drinking" I was ready to slug my Sponsor who had just read it. Until we talked it out, before moving on in the Reading.

In a Group setting, I am not sure that things will be explained, or if others will have the courage to ask in a Group Setting.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby Blue Moon » Sun May 14, 2017 10:06 am

D'oh wrote:This is exactly my question. The first 164 pages requires a Sponsor.

No. Quite the contrary - the Big Book was explicitly written for those who have no sponsor and no access to AA meetings.

As a sponsor, I find it a useful tool. But I could help you recover without the book, and you could recover with the book alone.

D'oh wrote: Read in a Group setting, one Chapter at a time, without someone to ask openly.

IMO this is where the group-recovery setting falls down. Different people have different perceptions. Sometimes you may ask a question and get conflicting answers depending on what comprehension the individual answering has about alcoholism and recovery. In a meeting / lecture format the speaker is lucky if the audience absorbs 7% of what they say.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby D'oh » Sun May 14, 2017 10:47 am

No. Quite the contrary - the Big Book was explicitly written for those who have no sponsor and no access to AA meetings.

As a sponsor, I find it a useful tool. But I could help you recover without the book, and you could recover with the book alone.


Thank you, Yes the BB can help, even alone. I hold the first 164 Pages very close, it is how I understood the Program. Having gone through it 1 on 1 with my Sponsor first, In a group Study style Meetings, and by myself.

Going through it with my Sponsor First, helped with all of the questions, in the Group Study, helped open more views on what is written. I am sure I might learn more in a normal reading, if I keep an Open Mind.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby PaigeB » Sun May 14, 2017 11:16 am

As a sponsor, I find it a useful tool. But I could help you recover without the book, and you could recover with the book alone.

YES! Think of Bill & Bob and the others who HAD NO BOOK! They were "Flying Blind" and they sponsored one another.

Still I have come to find it most effective to sponsor and be sponsored AND use the Big Book. Any other literature (Bill and Bob used other lit) we each choose on our own is ok and I can further discuss the those with my sponsor as well! She and I (and I with mine) meet weekly for 1/2 hour to "catch up" and another hour or so to read the Big Book. We also talk on the phone once a week.
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Re: Big Book Meeting's Readings

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun May 14, 2017 2:11 pm

I have never read the bb with anyone; not even my first sponsor. And I don't personally have the interest in doing it with a sponsee now.

But I did listen to Joe and Charlie in my first 2 or 3 years and that clarified alot.

Where I got sober (Kansas City) almost all the meetings were bb or 12x12; no open discussion at all. So I read the book alot and heard it commented on alot.
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