Ambiguity.

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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Duke » Mon May 15, 2017 8:11 pm

I was given a 24 hour book when I came in (this was before Daily Reflections was published). I read it every day for a while, but I never really liked it. It just didn't reach me. So, for several years, my daily reading was from the Big Book, 12x12, or other AA approved literature.

As time went on, I found others that I liked. Emmet Fox has a book of daily readings that I liked a lot. There have been many others since then, but I've never gone back to the 24 hour book.

I encourage everyone I talk to who asks, to explore all spiritual literature until they find those that touch them. I think one of the greatest books written on spirituality​ and our program is "The Spirituality of Imperfection". Yet, a large percentage of people I recommend it to tell me it doesn't do much for them. My point is that living a spiritual life is easier with reinforcement on a daily basis. But it has to be material that speaks to you or it doesn't mean much.

Having said that, I still attend a meeting that uses the 24 book as its subject for meetings. I've never had any trouble reflecting on the idea raised by its readings and how it's played out in my life. I believe my job as a senior member of this program is to share the experience I've had applying the principles in my own life. I don't think I've ever heard a reading that doesn't allow me to do that.

I regularly share with others that while I have to do this for myself because I want it, it has helped me a lot over the years to have a home group with people that I feel a responsibility toward. That isn't why I'm sober and won't keep me sober, but it helps a lot with remembering that I am responsible for everything I say and do 24 hours a day. There are people that count on me. I take that seriously.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue May 16, 2017 5:00 am

I don't like the 24 hour book and there are many places in it which I would take issue with. but that is part of the reason why they did DR anyway.

And, to continue the hijack: I think that people have different view points of life time meetings partly based on where they go to meetings. I have friends in AA, so of course, I enjoy seeing them at meetings. I also hear good things in meetings, things that give me pause to reflect on gratitude, selfishness, surrender, etc. this is not about drinking, it is about my spiritual condition. I am able to see my spiritual condition in the mirror of the meeting. I have 31 years of sobriety. Where I go to meetings, there are always 3 or 4 other people in the meetings with 30 or more years; plus 20 or so other people with various amounts of sobriety down to that day. This quality of meeting is a gift and I am grateful for it.

Is this enjoyable and a bright spot? Yes.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue May 16, 2017 5:40 am

Yes, the moment we stress the importance of working the 12 steps as the most important thing, we are branded as meeting bashers. There are people who go to 2 meetings a day, some 4, if we could afford the time I am all for it. But there comes a point where if we don't start depending on our higher power, we will get bored. There was a guy at the meeting yesterday, who had been coming to meetings for the past 3 weeks, never reached up to others but started sharing that this sobriety has started to getting bored. Fortunately the discussion leader came outright and asked him, if he had a sponsor and said, once he gets one and start working the steps, life initially will get un-comfortable but he will never have to be bored ever.
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 tomsteve » Tue May 16, 2017 7:07 am

To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book.

None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did. We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. All of us spend much of our spare time in the sort of effort which we are going to describe. A few are fortunate enough to be so situated that they can give nearly all their time to the work.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby PaigeB » Tue May 16, 2017 7:09 am

Yes, the moment we stress the importance of working the 12 steps as the most important thing, we are branded as meeting bashers.

It is possible to do both stress the Steps with a sponsor AND go to meetings. I have heard of many people falling into lack of maintenance without a regular meeting and going back to drinking even though they are the most spiritual person in the world...

like this priest I know, he suggests meetings too. He hosts retreats for the guys to do 4th Steps and stuff, but I always see him at meetings. He is a big Steps guy. Still goes to meetings.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Tue May 16, 2017 7:24 am

It is possible to do both stress the Steps with a sponsor AND go to meetings. I have heard of many people falling into lack of maintenance without a regular meeting and going back to drinking even though they are the most spiritual person in the world...


One of the first few speakers i heard was Don P. He was always involved in working with others. Running workshops. Taking meetings into corrections facility. Very little emphasize on meetings. If you think we need to be in meetings for maintenance, thats where we differ.
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 PaigeB » Tue May 16, 2017 10:13 am

If you think we need

Yes. We differ. And that's okay too. I think people NEED to hear both systems and make their own decisions about what is Right for them. I will always suggest the Steps, a sponsor and meetings because that is how I find it works most efficiently for me.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Tue May 16, 2017 12:36 pm

I will always suggest the Steps, a sponsor and meetings because that is how I find it works most efficiently for me.

That's fair enough, I would suggest the same as well. However, and for me it's a big however, I would make sure that people understand, that once the steps are completed, and the person feels spirituality fit, (as evidenced by living without urges and with serenity), then they will have the option to go to as many or as few meetings as they choose. This has a benefit for those people who do not enjoy meetings, (99% of the newcomers I have met), it is a carrot on the stick to get on with the work.

Spirit said -
I think that people have different view points of life time meetings partly based on where they go to meetings.

Very good point. We tend on this forum to speak as if everyone lives in an area similar to our own, and if someone says their meetings are crappy, we say take what you want and leave the rest. When they demonstrate that the meetings are really and truly crappy, as was done by Michjohn some time ago, by giving examples of how the members behave, we then turn around and say start your own. Even though the very same members are going to be the ones showing up to that new one as well. So as she says, in our area meetings might actually become a bright spot in our lives, but let's keep in mind not everyone lives in our area, or even our country.
Last edited by Brock on Tue May 16, 2017 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Tue May 16, 2017 1:17 pm

I have heard of many people falling into lack of maintenance without a regular meeting and going back to drinking even though they are the most spiritual person in the world...

I believe this is what is called a 'circular argument,' in that I can say what about the people you haven't heard about, because they are living happily without meetings, they don't come back to the meetings for us to hear about them. Sometimes they do come here, I believe Barbara is one who says she hasn’t gone to one in something like 30 years, another member I think Mike O, says he's been happily sober over 10 years and has never been to a live meeting.

I know that “most spiritual person in the world” is just a way of speaking, and not meant literately. Or even the priest, we can not judge what's in a persons mind, and unfortunately some priests and other so called holy people, have been caught doing most ungodly acts. A person who is on a solid spiritual path, I insist could not fall “into lack of maintenance without a regular meeting,” because the spiritual path itself is the maintenance. I have said before, on occasion I have sat in the car, got back out and came back in my house, I just know if I am on the path or not, and if not I need a short while with my maker. Then off I go to do my business, feeling better than any meeting I believe could hope to make me feel.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby ezdzit247 » Tue May 16, 2017 4:18 pm

I have heard of many people falling into lack of maintenance without a regular meeting and going back to drinking even though they are the most spiritual person in the world...


Brock wrote:I believe this is what is called a 'circular argument


LOL....The quote you refer to is very definitely not an an example of a "circular argument". Your critique of what Paige wrote is just another example of you cherry picking someone's words out of context as an excuse to launch another personal attack.

Here's the full paragraph:

It is possible to do both stress the Steps with a sponsor AND go to meetings. I have heard of many people falling into lack of maintenance without a regular meeting and going back to drinking even though they are the most spiritual person in the world...


Paige merely stated an opinion, not an argument, based on her own ESH.

What makes your post so breathtakingly hypocritical is that you falsely accused and berated Paige for doing this on page 3 of this thread with:

Of course that would be offensive, and that's why you shouldn't pick a sentence out of a paragraph and quote it.


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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Brock » Tue May 16, 2017 5:06 pm

Brock wrote -
I believe this is what is called a 'circular argument,' in that I can say what about the people you haven't heard about, because they are living happily without meetings, they don't come back to the meetings for us to hear about them.

Really EZ! Someone says they believe this is something, it means they are not absolutely sure. But then you cherry picked what I said as well, what is quoted above is what I thought might be an argument that goes round and round, and can't be proved by either party, so I believed it was what is called a circular argument. Which is not an argument as such, it's just people going round and round on something which can't be proved.
Your critique of what Paige wrote is just another example of you cherry picking someone's words out of context as an excuse to launch another personal attack.

How in heavens name can you classify either of the two posts I put up today as personal attacks, I have been guilty of some things in the past, but you pick two of my more agreeable replies in a discussion and call it another attack. Notwithstanding that the first so called “attack,” appears to have been amicably resolved when I explained further what my meaning was, and Paige thanked me for the clarification.

You Madam, are the biggest stirrer of the pot of discontent, this site is unfortunate to have as a registered member.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed May 17, 2017 6:45 am

Don P i heard him say: He is a spiritual entity having a human experience. Didn't make sense then, But I know what he means now.
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 PaigeB » Wed May 17, 2017 9:25 am

My daughter made me a painting for my birthday a couple years back. She is not in the program, she used the Tree I often use to represent solid grounding while reaching toward the sky. She used what I think is the full quote of that one avaneesh...

We are not human beings on a spiritual journey
We spiritual beings on a human journey.

She was pretty happy to hear it was a phrase often referred to in AA!
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby Sober_RI » Wed May 17, 2017 2:54 pm

I try to read different spiritual literature: the Big Book, the 12&12, the Daily Reflections, and also the Bible and NA literature, just to get different perspectives.
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Re: Ambiguity.

Postby desypete » Sun May 21, 2017 11:42 pm

Brock wrote:My reply was a direct answer to the post above it from Layne, who had also earlier asked flat out why I would start a thread on a topic like this. Maybe it's not the best of topics, but topics are what make a forum like this work, and those who never take the chance of starting one I feel should not be so critical. I have also in the past received PM's from him criticizing my style of posting, (and I know I can be pretty annoying at times), so I was not in the best frame of mind when that reply was done, and the remarks by me were what might be considered 'snide.'

But now Paige you are turning this thing around, you put this in quotes and ask what would make me say - "Some of us haven't recovered." I never said some of you haven't recovered, I said some of us who have recovered don't see the need to do x y and z, completely different meaning.

I was put off of AA, (and have said this several times in the past), since I was given the wrong impression, that I would have to attend endless meetings for life. And I would be very happy to stop telling newcomers, here and elsewhere, that constant meetings are not a life sentence, but you are the main reason I feel I need to. Always going on about the busy schedule, this meeting today, district meeting on Sunday, this sponsee to see tomorrow, this sponsor to see the next day, to go through the book for the twentieth time. Reading your idea of what AA is may send some running for the hills, I am one of the voices shouting at the hills telling them to come back down, that not everybody needs to do things this way.

I very often speak about the fact that I attend a couple of meetings a week, and have come to enjoy doing so, encouraging new people that they may come to enjoy them as well. But you go on and on with all this quoting the book about 'bright spot in our day' putting it in large letters. Maybe in those days of low bottoms only, when everyone had drunk themselves out of money and friends and places to go, and meetings were in members houses with nice sandwiches and tea, maybe it could have been the bright spot in their day. But if today meetings are the bright spot in somebody's day, after being in AA for years, well let's just say my life has some brighter spots than that. We can't just say it's in the book so we can quote it free sheet, we keep in mind changing times and changes in the way people think, just like those of us who believe in the power of God more than others, in deference to those who may be put off by all the God talk in the book, we don't often quote those passages.

For my parting 'shot' I will say this. I believe a 'recovered' alcoholic is a person who can stay happily sober, using a relationship with their higher power only, no meetings no sponsor no sponsees, it's a selfish way to practice the program which I wouldn't recommend. But when you ask what are you 'missing,' I believe it's just that, missing the freedom to walk the broad highway just you and your God.


i believe a recovered alcoholic is still a dry drunk clinging on to there own ways of trying to control and fight, they still haven't learned yet to stop fighting or to accept people places and things as how they are
for some its there only reason to keep on living is to always try to prove there right as they refuse like all good alcoholics to give in and go with the flow
i used to pull people to bits in aa as i could see all the bad in them but never able to see myself
my sponsor would never do that and it made me think how on earth does my sponsor never join in or criticise he would just smile most of the time and even more so when some sober recovered drunks were being loud in the rooms showing off how sober they are compared to the others in aa

he learned that he had to accept them all as they are and for him to enjoy peace its far better to keep his nose out and do and say nothing

my parting shot would be what an old timer once told me about opinions

opinions are like butt holes, everyone has one =biggrin
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