Ambiguity.

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Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Thu May 11, 2017 10:09 am

The Hazelden folks put out a three part daily reading for alcoholics, much like our daily reflection. The first part of today’s, I believe can be interpreted in a way which puts our program in a poor light. I will put it up, (don't worry moderators it shouldn't be an infringement of copyright).

Twenty Four Hours A Day^*
A.A. Thought for the Day
We can depend on those members of any group who have gone all out for the program. They come to meetings. They work with other alcoholics. We don't have to worry about their slipping. They're loyal members of the group. I'm trying to be a loyal member of the group. When I'm tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I'd be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?

We prefer official AA literature for good reason, but many alcoholics get guidance from these 24hr readings as well, and to be fair this is the only one so far that I didn't like. In this instance I believe they have done the AA program a disservice, with this ambiguous statement. Some may believe that we get the strength to stay sober, from considering what other members would think if we slip - “Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?”

I would say that this may be a useful thing to think in very early sobriety, before the steps while we are struggling a bit, but they should have made that clear. There probably are 'alcoholics' in groups all over the world, who may still cling to thinking like this, I have met a few. The meeting makers bunch, who get their strength from not wanting to disappoint friends and family, our literature says we get our strength elsewhere. And I believe it puts our powerful program in a bad light by suggesting otherwise.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Spirit Flower » Thu May 11, 2017 10:20 am

If this came from the "24 hour a day book", then it is very old. That book was around more than 30 years ago.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Thu May 11, 2017 11:20 am

Yes it's from that book, but like I said it's much like our daily reflection, where they do a reading for each day, and ours has been around since 1990, but is still used just as theirs is.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu May 11, 2017 12:27 pm

We within dilute the message with books like living sober. We alcoholics just can't be happy with one book, just like our physical craving part. We want more. And more. AA is adding more and more books based off grapevine articles. They now have book for relationship in sobriety.
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: Ambiguity.

Postby kdub720 » Thu May 11, 2017 8:03 pm

I am a very slow reader and so I appreciate these short posts and discussion of literature people find. I think everyones journey is different and what inspires them may inspire me as well so I love reading what people find. Like "Happy Gilmore" says "gold jacket? Green jacket? Who gives..." I like the article or paragraph whatever it takes is what it takes. Be Well.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby positrac » Fri May 12, 2017 2:28 am

I have two 24 hour books; one is dated 1955 as it was my grandmothers and is a keep sake of mine and then the one my grandmother gave me in 1990. I use the 24 hour as a means of other meditation and it is a mere tool for me and not a white knuckle reading. I love my As Bill sees it book as well and again a tool for my thinking outside the box and nothing more. One of the things I see is that with all of the electronic conversation we've lost that personal touch of reasoning of "what if I let the fellowship down"? It is subjective and might not hold water either. But when I was doing my entry level service work such as making coffee it was a big deal to have it ready before the meeting started and if I failed to make it happen I let those people down. Maybe stupid because they were and are as selfish as I am and yet I wanted to make my mark in a silent way by making the coffee, keeping the trash cans empty, ash trays clean and chairs in place before and after the meeting. I did those petty jobs for years because they are the one's others feel they can't do. My pride and self worth weren't bothered and I grew to understand myself and others better by my efforts to my home groups.

Might be another message that Brock is actually making and I missed his mark. But for me I see his post as one of how far do I read into that days message and is it merely a reminder by the grace of God their go I?
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri May 12, 2017 3:58 am

When I'm tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I'd be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?


The big book talks about re-coiling has through touching a hot flame. Its given. As long as we keep fit spiritual condition. Its a zone where the desire, obsession has been lifted. Of course there are certain attitude we need to carry toward life. Thats the only choice we get. Perhaps thats what Brock was trying to point out. The passage eludes to an alcoholic with an alcoholic mind.
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: Ambiguity.

Postby positrac » Fri May 12, 2017 5:22 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
When I'm tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I'd be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?


The big book talks about re-coiling has through touching a hot flame. Its given. As long as we keep fit spiritual condition. Its a zone where the desire, obsession has been lifted. Of course there are certain attitude we need to carry toward life. Thats the only choice we get. Perhaps thats what Brock was trying to point out. The passage eludes to an alcoholic with an alcoholic mind.


I think different than I did years ago toward my disease. Now for clarification: I am not associated with alcohol, I don't go to those places unless I have a specific business, and my mind operates different than in my early days and years of sobriety. Sometimes I actually dismiss words and or meaning because they aren't relevant to me. That quote is a slippery slope because of how it details reality as we know it in 2017. That is why I used the electronic way most communicate these days. 1/2 way houses would be an example of this kind of deal were the individual has to or become close to the group and the struggles.

Gotcha as your point makes sense.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby clouds » Fri May 12, 2017 5:39 am

I agree with you Brock that the sentiment expressed isn't making me feel that would be a strong basis for keeping sober.
Yet there is something about how the writer says those other sober AA's are the best friends he has ever had. Sure, he would be letting them down in the sense that more than likely his spree could shock and sadden them. So for the moment, if he thinks this, it keeps him sober. Next moment though, he'd do well to reread the 12 steps and see if he's "been trying to make morter without the sand", I mean if that is the thread he's hanging his sobriety on, its pretty thin.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Fri May 12, 2017 6:30 am

I agree with positrac 100%, regarding how we should be disciplined in doing group chores we accept, it's something I take very seriously as well. In that case I think it would be right to say we do these to the very best of our ability, so as not to let the group down, I just don't like the suggestion that letting the group down could be our defense against slipping. I like the words clouds used - ...“if that is the thread he's hanging his sobriety on, its pretty thin.

It's only one very small part of a book which I believe has helped many people, and which I enjoy reading each day. The site 'Transitions Daily' if you subscribe sends an e-mail each morning, it has good book quotes and both the daily reflection and 24hr reading. And to be fair this 24hr reading always seems to include a prayer for the day, they give a thought then a meditation then a prayer.

I know I am one who keeps going on and on about meetings not being the answer, because I see others saying that they are, and in parts of the world someone might read these things, and feel that because there are no meetings, or very few where they live, then they have no chance at sobriety. When a person comes in, I think the sooner he realizes that the power to stay sober is not with any human group, the sooner he will find the real power. I like a quote from a speech Bill gave, where he mentioned a letter he got from someone where there were no meetings - "Though all alone out there, an AA from the Marshall Islands still claimed his group had three members, God, the book Alcoholics Anonymous, and me.”
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri May 12, 2017 6:34 am

I have the problem with powerlessness concepts laid out in the meetings. Perhaps thats another thread that needs to be started.

I agree Brock. Meetings alone is not the answer. First and foremost, spiritual awakening and then incorporating other legs of the legacy to keep us stay connected.
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: Ambiguity.

Postby Mary » Fri May 12, 2017 8:17 am

Yes I agree with you Brock, the message to me seems to relate to small strength whereas the actual message of AA is big strength that goes beyond human power.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Reborn » Fri May 12, 2017 11:11 am

Twenty Four Hours A Day^*
A.A. Thought for the Day
We can depend on those members of any group who have gone all out for the program. They come to meetings. They work with other alcoholics. We don't have to worry about their slipping. They're loyal members of the group. I'm trying to be a loyal member of the group. When I'm tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I'd be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?


I believe the passage is a classic example of working the fellowship not the PROGRAM.

Big Book...98

It is not the matter of giving that is in question, but when and how to give. That often makes the difference between failure and success. The minute we put our work on a service plane, the alcoholic commences to rely upon our assistance rather than upon God. He clamors for this or that, claiming he cannot master alcohol until his material needs are cared for. Nonsense. Some of us have taken very hard knocks to learn this truth: Job or no job - wife or no wife - we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God.

Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house.


When I depend on people I'm setting expectations...expectations are resentments waiting to happen...to alcoholics resentments are poison. I have seen people who put on a great mask while at a meeting...know what to say...parrot stuff others have said on and on. Guess what...I've seen these people go out...and not come back. It's easy to sound good in a meeting...but living this is a whole other ball game. Personally I'm not let down nor supprised when an alcoholic goes out and drinks alcohol...thats what alcoholics who have an alcoholic mind do! I believe this passage is goes against what the program promises...if we get into action...stay in the solution...it doesn't matter what ANYONE does...we have a way of living that is absolutely wonderful!
We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others. BB pg 132
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Fri May 12, 2017 2:06 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:We within dilute the message with books like living sober. We alcoholics just can't be happy with one book, just like our physical craving part. We want more. And more. AA is adding more and more books based off grapevine articles. They now have book for relationship in sobriety.

Other books "dilute" the message? I don't suppose they do... We are often naming other authors and works that we refer to on a regular basis and the age of the book is irrelevant.

I think we all can use other sources like it says in the Big Book, page 87, "There are many helpful books also."
... a means of other meditation and it is a mere tool for me and not a white knuckle reading. I love my As Bill sees it book as well and again a tool for my thinking outside the box and nothing more.


So what is really the issue? I think I missed something. I know there is an unfortunate mindset out there that "meeting makers make it" and that is it. If that is the case, perhaps it is your purpose to start a Big Book or Step Study? Maybe have speakers come into a Friday night speaker group that are ONLY talking about the Steps? I get it. I mean I think that "meeting makers make it" IF THEY WORK THE STEPS.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Fri May 12, 2017 2:16 pm

So what is really the issue?


The issue is, the material eludes to the idea that the alcoholic has a choice in drink. And he/she makes a conscious decision to drink or not.

Our book states that if we are spiritually fit, we don't have to be in this state and moreover if we don't grow spiritually, there will arrive a point where we will have drink in our hand. There wouldn't be any contemplation. Thats the blank spots the book talks about using those stories in the chapter more about alcoholism.
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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