XV-XVI Forward to the 2nd edition (Silkworth's remedy)

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
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avaneesh912
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Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:14 pm

The ideas of "working" the Steps (utilitarianism) and "a god of your own understanding" (pantheism) cannot be found anywhere within "Alcoholics Anonymous", the book.
Is that so?
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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leejosepho
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Post by leejosepho » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:04 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:
The ideas of "working" the Steps (utilitarianism) and "a god of your own understanding" (pantheism) cannot be found anywhere within "Alcoholics Anonymous", the book.
Is that so?
Yes, and I assume you ask honestly.

The original A.A. experience is that of abandonment of self to "God" in a way that "steps" -- no pun really intended there -- completely past sectarian religion, not past The One who created us.

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leejosepho
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Post by leejosepho » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:33 pm

One way to at least try to see some of these things in perspective is to consider the differences between a general or an overall view of A.A. as seen from the outside as compared to a view from the inside of our "society" (the Fellowship) of anonymous alcoholics gathering ourselves together in our respective and autonomous "fellowships within" our society. For example:

"Our primary purpose (as a society) is to stay sober (via recovery) and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety (by recovering also)." (Preamble)
However, "Each Alcoholics Anonymous *group* ... [has] but one primary purpose - that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers", and "we may refuse none who wish to *recover*." (Traditions Five and Three, emphasis added)

Outsiders know, of course, that our respective groups’ “only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking” (also Tradition Three), but on the *inside* we know there is actually a little more to be considered as we do our 12th-Step work:

“No one is too discredited or has sunk too low to be welcomed cordially - if he means business.” (page 161)
However, “If he thinks he can do the job in some other way [than through spiritual means], or [if he] prefers some other spiritual approach [than the one our groups’ members are suggesting], encourage him to follow his own conscience ... point out that we alcoholics have much in common and that you would like, in any case, to be friendly. Let it go at that.” (page 95)

For myself, however, and following a couple of still-suffering years “in the Fellowship”, the real issue here was related to my needing and wanting to experience the original “substitute for alcohol” mentioned on page 152 ... and it was while studying the occurrences of the word “fellowship” within our book that I had discovered the discrepancy in its Foreword To Second Edition.

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