12/27/08 A vision for you BB pp 159-161 (the meeting)

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

12/27/08 A vision for you BB pp 159-161 (the meeting)

Postby Karl R » Sat Dec 27, 2008 2:42 pm

Good Day,

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Yesterday's reading spoke of identification between alcoholics as one of the building blocks of the fellowship in AA.

Today's reading speaks of the spirit of the first AA gatherings.

Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others.

They experienced a few distressing failures, but in those cases they made an effort to bring the man's family into a spiritual way of living, thus relieving much worry and suffering.

it became customary to set apart one night a week for a meeting to be attended by anyone or everyone interested in a spiritual way of life. Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems.

Anyone care to share ES and H about the three passages in bold above?

have a great day everyone,

Karl





All this time our friend of the hotel lobby incident remained in that town. He was there three months. He now returned home, leaving behind his first acquaintance, the lawyer and the devil-may-care chap. These men had found something brand new in life. Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others. They shared their homes, their slender resources, and gladly devoted their spare hours to fellow-sufferers. They were willing, by day or night, to place a new man in the hospital and visit him afterward. They grew in numbers. They experienced a few distressing failures, but in those cases they made an effort to bring the man's family into a spiritual way of living, thus relieving much worry and suffering.
A year and six months later these three had succeeded with seven more. Seeing much of each other, scarce an evening passed that someone's home did not shelter a little gathering of men and women, happy in their release, and constantly thinking how they might present their discovery to some newcomer. In addition to these casual get-togethers, it became customary to set apart one night a week for a meeting to be attended by anyone or everyone interested in a spiritual way of life. Aside from fellowship and sociability, the prime object was to provide a time and place where new people might bring their problems.
Outsiders became interested. One man and his wife placed their large home at the disposal of this strangely assorted crowd. This couple has since become so fascinated that they have dedicated their home to the work. Many a distracted wife has visited this house to find loving and understanding companionship among women who knew her problem, to hear from the lips of their husbands what had happened to them, to be advised how her own wayward mate might be hospitalized and approached when next he stumbled.
Many a man, yet dazed from his hospital experience, has stepped over the threshold of that home into freedom. Many an alcoholic who entered there came away with an answer. He succumbed to that gay crowd inside, who laughed at their own misfortunes and understood his. Impressed by those who visited him at the hospital, he capitulated entirely when, later, in an upper room of this house, he heard the story of some man whose experience closely tallied with his own. The expression on the faces of the women, that indefinable something in the eyes of the men, the stimulating and electric atmosphere of the place, conspired to let him know that here was haven at last.
The very practical approach to his problems, the absence of intolerance of any kind, the informality, the genuine democracy, the uncanny understanding which these people had were irresistible. He and his wife would leave elated by the thought of what they could now do for some stricken acquaintance and his family. They knew they had a host of new friends; it seemed they had known these strangers always. They had seen miracles, and one was to come to them. They had visioned the Great Reality - their loving and All Powerful Creator.
Now, this house will hardly accommodate its weekly visitors, for they number sixty or eighty as a rule. Alcoholics are being attracted from far and near. From surrounding towns, families drive long distances to be present. A community thirty miles away has fifteen fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Being a large place, we think that some day its Fellowship will number many hundreds.
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Re: 12/27/08 A vision for you BB pp 159-161 (the meeting)

Postby leejosepho » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:06 am

Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended by the happiness they found in giving themselves for others.

A.A. is/has a selfless program for healing selfish people, and I believe the above helps share that. Our awareness began here:

"...he turned away (from the bar) and walked down the lobby... what about his responsibilities - his family and the men who would die because they would not know how to get well, ah - yes, those other alcoholics? ... His sanity returned..." (page 155)

It seems odd to me that Ebby had put so much effort into being helpful to Bill and then seemed to not want to keep doing that with still others, and I can understand why someone might judge Bill or any of us as arrogant or even delusional for thinking the lives of others might in any way be dependent upon our own actions, but the facts speak for themselves and now today we know this:

"Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend." (page 12)
"Helping others (selflessness) is the foundation stone of your recovery." (page 97)
"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)
Last edited by leejosepho on Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 12/27/08 A vision for you BB pp 159-161 (the meeting)

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:38 am

First and foremost, I need to work on not losing the spiritual awakening by praying, meditating, watching the short coming and then try to help others. I consider "must help others" is also a form of attachment, I will have to take what God presents for me and not get frustrated when no one is responding.
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: 12/27/08 A vision for you BB pp 159-161 (the meeting)

Postby leejosepho » Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:57 am

avaneesh912 wrote:First and foremost, I need to work on not losing the spiritual awakening by praying, meditating, watching...and not get frustrated when no one is responding.

Agreed. First things first, and then learn how to sanely/humbly deal with the reality of non-responsiveness from others...and without ever blaming them for one's own discomfort. If someone were to ask me today how many people I have ever actually helped, I could only either offer an embarrassingly-low number as perceived by myself or else say nothing at all. But then when someone once challenged my wife about how many members of our group ever actually stayed sober, her answer silenced all of that: "Every single one of them who followed the directions in our book." So, and with those unbeatable odds still at work, we just keep carrying its message.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock


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