Ambiguity.

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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri May 12, 2017 2:52 pm

No AA member who has actually read and studied this book for its inspirational prayers and meditations would ever think of anything written in this book as "ambiguous" or "contrary" to the AA program. It's concise, clear and straightforward, great tool for both morning and evening meditations or any time of the day. The one and only reason it came to be published by Hazelden instead of AA is that AA was broke and couldn't afford the printing costs at the time. As this book became an instant best seller and has continued to be the second most popular book in sales among people in recovery for over 60 years--the BB is first--I'm sure AA's GSO regrets having it turned down.

I bought my first copy at an AA meeting in 1974. Back then, it was published in a pocket size hard cover edition and AA members called it "the little black book". It is still sold by all the big AA bookstores--Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc--in hard cover and the newer paperback edition and is still popular even among newer AA members.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Layne » Fri May 12, 2017 2:53 pm

I was on another website this morning that talks about recovery from alcoholism. I was in a section, that was talking about step 4 and taking inventory, when I read this passage. For me it is a keeper as I find it very helpful and applicable to many life situations.
Most anger/resentment in relationships is supported by this sentence: If only you were more like me then I wouldn't have to be upset at you right now, so why don't you work at becoming more like I want you to be.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri May 12, 2017 3:03 pm

Layne wrote:I was on another website this morning that talks about recovery from alcoholism. I was in a section, that was talking about step 4 and taking inventory, when I read this passage. For me it is a keeper as I find it very helpful and applicable to many life situations.
Most anger/resentment in relationships is supported by this sentence: If only you were more like me then I wouldn't have to be upset at you right now, so why don't you work at becoming more like I want you to be.


Thanks for sharing that with us. It's a keeper for me too!
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Fri May 12, 2017 6:16 pm

I am not sure what a saying about anger or resentment is doing here, nobody is angry or resentful, we were just talking about a passage in a book. A book which EZ has decided can not be faulted in any way, apparently it's God's gift to AA's everywhere, and nobody here has said it's not a good book, we found fault with one section, not the whole thing.

So let's say someone new to AA is told to follow this book, to read the thought assigned to each day. They read -”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?” And seasoned AA members will defend something like that, and say - “No AA member who has actually read and studied this book for its inspirational prayers and meditations would ever think of anything written in this book as "ambiguous" or "contrary" to the AA program.” So maybe your program EZ thinks we can conquer alcoholism by not wanting to let down the members of our group, the program I and others here follow begs to differ.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Fri May 12, 2017 7:23 pm

We have all had this discussion many times before.

These works are helpful in addition to the Big Book...

In addition to the hopeless condition and the blank spot to which you speak, WE HAVE A SOLUTION... one on which we can absolutely agree (read ALL of page 17) and that is HOPE beyond the hopeless and blank... We work the Steps and have a spiritual experience and we have HOPE based upon the daily maintenance of our new spiritual condition. That daily maintenance can come in the form of Going To Meetings and/or any book from the Little Black Book to works by Rohr & Tolle & Father James Martin as well as Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain or the Bible, Koran, or the Torah AND ANY number of books in the library including the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions... ad infinitum.

WE ARE NOT FOREVER HOPELESS & Blank... to drive that home is to instill more HOPELESSNESS.

We have a SOLUTION and it works IF you work it. So what did I miss? I feel pretty good with my 7+ years and I always feel like you think we are missing something special that you have that I don't... What is it? I am drawing a blank. lol

Godbless & Godspeed ~ from your neighborhood atheist and believer in Angels.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Fri May 12, 2017 7:26 pm

Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?”

If I was a sponsor I would say BIG "IF" right there,

IF you can help it. Drunks drink. That is our "go to" fix.

We have a new FIX to fix the IF ~ It is called working the Steps. Are you willing to go to any length?
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Layne » Fri May 12, 2017 8:27 pm

I am not sure what a saying about anger or resentment is doing here

Whenever I post there are two approaches I can take. I can take a positive approach, in which I try to be helpful by pointing out things that I feel are productive and applicable to the discussion on recovery; or I can take a negative approach in which I try to be helpful by pointing out things that I feel are counter-productive and applicable to the discussion on recovery.

I am slowly learning to choose the positive approach because the negative approach has a detrimental effect on the person who uses it, while the positive approach has a good effect.

Do I choose to focus on how to pursue recovery or do I choose to focus on how to not pursue recovery?
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Reborn » Fri May 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Maybe I'm over simplifying but we're talking about this passage specifically right? No one has said don't read other books...this passage doesn't represent what the AA program promises. It's funny that a few posters turn it into some kind of talk about resentment...kind of a back handed comment about taking other people's inventory. That is not what is happening...basically the passage is not in line with THE PROGRAM..we get well by working the program not the fellowship...pretty simple...if we do what is suggested we can stay sober regardless of anyone.
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 9:15 pm

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 tell myself... if I can help it"

IF...

IF one is spiritually fit "members... who have gone all out for the program" the Program is the Steps
"They come to meetings. They work with other alcoholics." They seem spiritually fit. We can assume they are fit.

If we are FIT & are working intensely with other alcoholics we can be as fearless of a misstatement as we are from the alcohol aisle at the store.

"When I'm tempted..." IF & When? Ok... When I am tempted... I don't know where it says we will NEVER be tempted. I see the 10th Step promises like I see all the others... The only Step we have to work fully and get completely right is Step 1. THEN we start on an inner journey of Hope and we see others' experiences & strengths to help us through. Use You-Tube, any literature AND Meetings ~ whatever it takes. Go to any length.

BTW ~ I am a "conference approved literature" loyalist.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Layne » Fri May 12, 2017 9:16 pm

The passage didn't mention "meeting makers", but some people wanted to turn it into some kind of talk about "meeting makers".

I realize the topic isn't resentments, the quote I used had that word in it and yes it had inventory in it as well, but I was more attracted to the concept of the message in the quote rather than individual words and I can see the concept as being useful in many situations as opposed to be solely useful in situations or conversations about resentment or inventory.

My mind is like a parachute, it reaches it full potential when it is open.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Sat May 13, 2017 11:14 am

I feel pretty good with my 7+ years and I always feel like you think we are missing something special that you have that I don't... What is it? I am drawing a blank. lol

This came below my last post on this topic, and so I expect may be directed at me, but I would like to believe it applies equally to the others who have agreed, that the wording in the 24hr passage we are speaking of is sending the wrong message to newcomers. And of course I think I have something others don't, and equally that they have something I don't, if not we wouldn't learn from forums like these, or the meetings some say are so important, or sponsors for that matter.

And I have always said, that I believe that those who lean on meetings, or sponsors for support, can not expect to develop the same kind of dependence on a higher power, that those who don't do, go to the throne before the phone etc.

If we are FIT & are working intensely with other alcoholics we can be as fearless of a misstatement as we are from the alcohol aisle at the store.

Absolutely agreed, and even here or in meetings, we hear and read things which we believe are 'misstatements.' That's how the discussions get 'interesting,' we say we don't agree and give our opinion. But in this case it's in the written literature that many new people are told to read, and we went out of our way to say that it could give new people the wrong impression. Our concern was not with recovered alcoholics, who should easily see that the wording could give newcomers the wrong impression, even though some of them are fighting tooth and nail to avoid agreeing with that opinion.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat May 13, 2017 3:33 pm

Below is the complete context of the May 11 reading from the Twenty-Four Hours a Day book.

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Wednesday, May 11



AA 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?



Meditation for the Day

Wherever there is true fellowship and love between people, God's spirit is always there as the Divine Third. In all human relationships, the Divine Spirit is what brings them together. When a life is changed through the channel of another person, it is God, the Divine Third, who always makes the change, using the person as a means. The moving power behind all spiritual things, all personal relationships between people, is God, the Divine Third, who is always there. No personal relationships can be entirely right without the presence of God's Spirit.



Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may be used as a channel by God's spirit. I pray that I may feel that the Divine Third is always there to help me.


It's very important to know the history of the "little black book" and how it came to be published before attempting to criticize it based on a few lines cherry picked from only 1 of 365 other selections.

The author, Richmond Walker, first got sober in 1939 in the Oxford Group but got drunk again after a little over two years and stayed drunk for over a year before he found AA and lasting sobriety. He wrote the material that later became published in book form on cards which he carried around with him in his pocket in his early years of sobriety. The words which were written on the cards were his own private thoughts recorded for himself for his own use only in order to help himself stay on his own spiritual path. They were definitely NOT written for the purpose of instructing any other AA members on how to work their own spiritual programs. Don't know how other AA members in his home group discovered his cards, but when they did, they asked Walker for permission to print the material on pages to share with other AA members and he agreed. Within a few months, these pages were copied by other AA members and passed around to other members. Soon Walker's local intergroup was overwhelmed with thousands of requests to purchase "the book" and they did not have the funds or equipment to print a book or fill the orders. The rest is history. AA in New York turned down the opportunity to print the book because they were broke; Hazelden didn't.

The fact that this little book continues to be Hazelden's #1 best seller with millions of copies sold after 63 years speaks to it's popularity among people in recovery--who usually vote their opinions with their feet and their wallets.... :lol:
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Sat May 13, 2017 4:58 pm

It's very important to know the history of the "little black book" and how it came to be published before attempting to criticize it based on a few lines cherry picked from only 1 of 365 other selections.

I don't think knowing the history is important at all when it comes to criticizing a book, what is more important I feel is to read what people say, before saying things like this - “...attempting to criticize it based on a few lines cherry picked from only 1 of 365 other selections.” Because if you did you will see what I posted here yesterday, doesn’t sound like someone criticizing a book to me -
It's only one very small part of a book which I believe has helped many people, and which I enjoy reading each day.

I said one very small part EZ.

Edited to add -

I am not sure where you got your history, but I find the site at Barefoot's world usually the most accurate, and their version says he put the book together himself -
He originally wrote this material on small cards which he carried in his pocket, to aid him in his own sobriety. In 1948, he put it together in the little meditation book called "Twenty-Four Hours a Day, " at the request of the AA group in Daytona Beach, Florida, which they printed on the printing press at the county courthouse and began distributing all over the country under the sponsorship of their A.A. group.

It says there that it was distributed all over the country, not just passed around to some members. But this job became too much for them, so the history according to barefoot says -
In 1953, he asked the New York A.A. office if they would take over this job, but his request was turned down. In their defense, New York was desperately short on money, staff, and space; they also already had their hands full with the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, which came out in April of that same year. They only just barely managed to cobble together a financial deal to get that vital book published.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Layne » Sat May 13, 2017 6:20 pm

I am curious as to why start a thread on a piece of literature that you feel puts our program in a poor light?

Due to the fact that body language, tone of voice, etc. are hard to pick up on the internet i just want to clarify that I am strictly and honestly asking the question because I am bewildered as to why? I am not being a wise ass, snarky, argumentative, or whatever...
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Sat May 13, 2017 11:32 pm

When I first got sober my mom bought me that book... she remembered it from when she went to Alanon when my brother got sober decades before. I didn't care for it - too much God in it for me.

Then there is the whole idea of conference approved literature... perhaps that is another thread for another day. But I would not want to interfere with another person's spiritual journey... if they like the Hazelton Books,work books for the Steps, whatever, and more Power to them. This disease is hell. And all I have is my ES&H, but I think I meet the sponsor requirements on page 18.
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