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Old 01-19-2008, 05:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Chapter Two: There Is A Solution


Every word in the first three chapters is here to allow me to see myself in the authors' words, enabling me to say, "Yes, I am one of them too; I must have this thing." But how can joining together with a gorup of people who are as sick as I am be of any help to me? The cement that binds A.A.'s together is not just that they have a common problem but that they have found a common solution (17:12)

The physical symptoms detailed in "The Doctor's Opinion" together with the mental obsession described here begin to give us a more complete view of alcoholism. The authors suggest that someone exhibiting these symptoms "....has probably placed himself beyond human aid" (24:15). This opinion is reinforced by the pronouncement of Dr. Carl Jung that he had never seen one single case recover where that state of mind existed as it did in Roland H. who was treated by Dr. Jung for alcoholism. The only hope Dr. Jung held out for Roland was a vital spiritual awakening (27:3-12). This deep and effective spritual awakening is exactly waht the author's state is available to us through the application of their program (25:8-10). They promise to give us "clear-cut directions" showing how this awakening was produced in their lives (29:1) and to answer "specifically" (20:5), our question as to what we are to do. They claim to have no desire to convince us that there is only one way in which faith can be aquired (28:6). We are free to choose our own concept of God (12:10).

We can see that the authors have obviously encountered the same difficulties that we have. Here they say that they have discovered a solution and successfully applied it to their own lives. They are undeniably right about what the problem is. They don't mince words about the solution. They see that what is needed is more than a mere change in behavior but rather a fundamental remaking of everything that makes us who we are. The promise that they can show us how to bring about an entire reorganization of our character gives us hope that we too can recover.
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The Blueprint

Alcoholics: The members of the fellowship were once without hope of solving their problem, but they found a solution that will work for us too.

Illness: This illness takes everyone who has it to much the same places. The writers understand the problem so well because they have been there.

Solution: A personality change sufficient to overcome alcoholismis described in no uncertain terms here. The writers promise to give us clear-cut directions showing how this can be brought about in our lives.
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Page 17 : sentances 1, 2-6, 10, 12-14

1
Quote:
We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, know one hundred men who were once just as hopeless as Bill.
2-6
Quote:
All have recoverd. They have solved the drink problem. We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, and social, religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix.
If these seemingly hopeless alcoholics have recovered, are we so different that it won't work for us? Our pride and self-pity makes us feel different and unique. This solution has worked for millions of people. It will also work for us.

Nothing in our background positions, achievements, or social standing disqualifies us from being alcoholic.


10
Quote:
The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us.
Imagine what the results would be if, having shared our common peril, we all discovered separate solutions. We would go our separate ways like the survivors of a shipwreck. At meetings we disclose our stories in a general way so that new peole can see themselves in us, then we tell what happened, how we found the solution, and what the results have been.

12-14
Quote:
The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer alcoholism.
AA at one time adopted a logo. A circle and a triangle within a circle. The circle represented the entire fellowship of AA. The foundation of the triangle represented recovery while the other two sides represented unity and service are the three legacies of AA. Finding that protecting its ownership of this symbol was becoming a distraction from AA's primary purpose of carrying the message of recovery, AA decided to discontinue its use.

Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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18:1-5, 8-9, and 18:10-19:1

1-5
Quote:
An illness of this sort---and we have come to believe it an illness---involves those about us in a way no other human sickness can. If a person has cancer all are sorry for him and no one is angry or hurt. But not so with the alcoholic illness, for with it there goes annihilation of all the things worth while in life. It engulfs all whose lives touch the sufferer's. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents---anyone can increase the list.
This is a picture of an alcoholic life. It helps us to understand that alcoholism is not a moral deficiency. If these symptoms are present in our lives we may be alcoholics also. These are the opposite of the promises listed on pages 83 & 84. We find relief comes as a result of working the 12 steps.

8-9
Quote:
Highly compentent psychiatrists who have dealt with us found it sometimes impossible to persuade an alcoholic to discuss his situation without reserve. Strangely enough, wives, parents and intimate friends usually find us even more unapproachable than do the psychiatrist and the doctor.
One reason we may not have been candid with others in the past is because we felt that they could not understand. Worse yet, we weren't sure ourselves why it was that we continued on in the way we did. Those close to us would give us advice that we knew we could not follow, even though many times we tried. We found it almost impossible to discuss our powerlessness over alcohol with those who did not understand.

18:10-19:1
Quote:
But the ex-alcoholic who has found this solution, who is properly aremed with facts about himself, can gernerally win the entire confidence of another alcoholic in a few hours. Until such an understanding is reached, little or nothing can be accomplished.

That the man who is making the approach has had the same difficulty, that he obviously knows what he is talking about, that his whole deportment shouts at the new prospect that he is a man with a real answer, taht he has no attitude of holier than thou, nothing whatever except the sincere desire to be helpful; that there are no fees to pay, no axes to grind, no people to please, no lectures to be endured---these are the conditions we found most effective. After such an approach many take up their beds and walk again.
We have found this solution to be a design for living that really works. We have practical experience applying the program of action including knowledge of who and what we really are, obtained by working steps four through nine, which gives us the ability to relay our message with a depth and weight certain to establish an understanding with a fellow alcoholic.

We are not armed with ideas about what the other person should do, but rather facts about who we are and how we have overcome our problem with the aid of a Power greater than ourselves. This is a take it or leave it program. No one is saying we have to do these things or even that we should do them, but only that others have done them and that they have worked for them. We did not do this because we are better than others, but only because we had nowhere else to turn and someone who had a real solution approached us.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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19:3-4, 9-12, 13-17,

3-4
Quote:
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.
If alcohol was the cause of our problems, quitting drinking would solve them. Why doesn't it? The reason many alcoholics drink is that we think it is a solution to our problems. ONce we remove our failed solutions (drinking) we are left to face the underlying causes. We learn to face and successfully deal with life's problems by practicing the steps of this simple program of action.

9-12
Quote:
Many could recover if they had the opportunity we have enjoyed. How then shall we present that which has been so freely given us?

We have concluded to publish an annonymous volume setting forth the problem as we see it. We shall bring to the task our combined experience and knowledge.
The study of how to most effectively carry this message is the most worthwhile study we can make. To prevent this message from being diluted or misinterpreted and to carry it to as many people as possible was the reason Alcoholics Anonymous was published, but were thinking of us and how they could best meet our needs.

This opportunity we now enjoy is the legacy of the first one hundred men and women. This gift has been freely given to us by our sponsors, and by the people in meeting, not only those who share their experience, strength, and hope, but also those who set up, clean up, run the meetins, answer the phones, and work at the district, area, and world levels doing service of all kinds.

13-17
Quote:
This should suggest a useful program for anyone concerned with a drinking problem. Of necessity there will have to be discusssion of matters medical, psychiatric, social, and religious. We are aware that these matters are, from their very nature, controversial. Nothing would please us so much as to write a book which would contain no bais for contention or argument. We shall do our utmost to achieve that ideal.
The authorse do not tell us what we ought to do, but rather show us what they have done to recover. The authors leave it up to us to decide what it is that we need to do. This is not to say that AA is a program of suggestions, but rather it is a suggested program which if adopted as a way of life can lead an alcoholic to recovery. When they speak of medical, psychiatric, social, and religious topics, we try to avoid contempt prior to investigation (387:1). We investigate first, then we decide.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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20:1, 4, 5-6, 8-11, 21-22

1
Quote:
Our very lives, as ex-alcoholics, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.
The authors of this book were educated people (xiii:8). When this book was written, great care was taken in the selection of words. They knew what they were saying when they wrote it and they wrote exactly what they meant, each word was carefullly chosen. Here they are stating very simply a profound truth, a truth that had been proven by trial. Our self-centerdness is fatal to us as it can block us off from God and lead us back to drinking. How can we be selfish and self-centered if we are constantly thinking of how we can be useful to others?

4
Quote:
If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking, "What do I have to do?"
Why might we be asking, "What do I have to do?" Perhaps because we have tried everything we can think of and like Bill (17:18) and the two fellows in the Doctor's Opinion (8:2 & 8:12) have admitted defeat and are now willing to look outside ourselves for an answer.

5-6
Quote:
It is the purpose of this book to answer such questions specifically. We shall tell you what we have done.
Faced with alcoholic destruction, we become willing to follow specific and clear cut directions on how to recover. If we possessed the answers, we would have put them into effect long ago We can be grateful that the authors graciously showed us precisely what we can do to recover.

We are being offered specific answers of exactly what we can do to recovery from this illness. Rather than advice about what we ought to do from people who do not understand us, we are told what these people, who suffer from our common problem, did to recover. The understand our obstinate resistance to advice. Every word in this book is designed to illustrate the path to recovery that the authors followed.

8-11
Quote:
How many times people have said to us: "I can take it or leave it alone. Why can't he?" "Why don't you drink like a gentleman or quit?" "That fellow can't handle his liquor."
How could they possibly understand the phenomenon of craving or the mental obsession of craving or the mental obsession of the alcoholic without experiencing them?


21-22
Quote:
Moderate drinkers have little trouble in giving up liquor entirely if they have good reason for it. They can take it or leave it alone.
Am I a moderate drinker? Can I take it or leave it alone? We can diagnose our problem by asking ourselves the questions in this book.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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21:3-4, 21:5-22:5

21:3-4
Quote:
But what about the real alcoholic? He may start off as a moderate drinker; he may or may not become a continuous hard drinker; but at some stage of his drinking career he begins to lose all control of his liquor consumption, once he starts to drink.
Am I a real alcoholic? Can I always maintain control of my liquor consumption once I have started drinking? These last three paragraphs are here to help us decide for ourselves if we are in fact alcoholic. This definition of an alcoholic does not include any of our stereotypical thinking of what an alcoholic is. This defintion does not rest on "living on skid row" or "drinking all the time." It bases its definition solely on one's ability to always control one's consumption and one's ability to stop drinking altogether if a good reason exists.


21:5-22:5
Quote:
Here is the fellow who has been puzzling you, especially in his lack of control. He does absurd, incredible, tragic things while drinking. He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He si seldom mildly intoxicated. He is always more or less insanely drunk. His disposition while drinking resembles his normal nature but little. He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees. He is the fellow who goes to bed so intoxicated he ought to sleep the clock around. Yet early next morning he searches madly for the bottle he misplaced the night before. If he can afford it, he may have liquor concealed all over his house to be certain no one gets his entire supply away from him to throw down the wastepipe. As matters grow worse, he begins to use a combination of high powered sedative and liquor to quite his nerves so he can go to work. Then comes the day when he simply cannot make it and gets drunk all over again. Perhaps he goes to a doctor who gives him morphine or some sedative with which to taper off. Then he begins to appear at hospitals and sanitariums.
Does this depiction roughly identify us? Of course, we don't fit this description exactly. Perhaps we don't expect we will ever exhibit some of these symptoms. Though, we never expected to be exhibiting the symptoms that we are suffering from now. If some of this description is too accurate to deny that it describes us and if we are having these things happen to us, perhaps we are alcoholic also.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion of the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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22:8-11, 14, 22:16-23:1

8-11
Quote:
Why does he behave like this? If hundreds of experiences have shown him that one drink means another debacle with all its attendant suffering and humiliation, why is it he takes that one drink? Why can't he stay on the water wagon? What has become of the common sense and willpower that he still sometimes displays with respect to other matters?
These are not rhetorical questions. They are placed here so that we will ask them of ourselves. Our lack of an adequate answer to these questions, that ring so soundly of the truth, shines a bright light on our predicament.

14
Quote:
We are not sure why, once a certain point is reached, little can be done for him.
Have we reached the point where little can be done for us? Have we reached the point where there is little hope for our recovery? Having arrived at the pint where there is little that can be done for us, where is it that we can turn for a solution? Admitting that we have arrived at this point is the first step in recovery.

22:16-23:1
Quote:
We know that while the alcoholic keeps away from drink as he may do for months or years, he reacts much like other men. We are equally positive that once he takes any alcohol whatever into his system, something happens, both in the bodily and mental sense, which makes it virtually impossible for him to stop. The experience of any alcoholic will abundantely confirm that.
If our experience confirms that to be true for us,then perhaps we are alcoholic and in need of a solution.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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23:2, 3, 8-13, 14-15, 16, and 23:17-24:2

2
Quote:
These observations would be academic and pointless if our friend never took the first drink thereby setting the terrible cycle in motion.
The phenomenon of craving can not overcome us as long as we do not take that first drink. This phenomenon seems to be a physical result of our increased sensistivity to alcohol. The book changes focus at this point and addresses the problem of why we are unable to abstain from drinking by using our own willpower.

3
Quote:
Therefore, the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body.
The author's discussion of the mental aspects of alcoholism begins here. Our allergy to alcohol, described by Dr. Silkworth, and our mental obsession depicted here combine to make our alcoholic condition appear seemingly hopeless.

8-13
Quote:
Once in a while he may tell the truth. And the truth, strange to say, is usually that he has no more idea why he took that first drink than you have. Some drinkers have excuses with which they are satisfied part of the time. But in their hearts they really do not know why they do it. Once this amlady has a real hold, they are a baffled lot. There is the obsession that somehow, some day, they will beat the game.
Alcoholics are every bit as baffled by their drinkign as everyone else. Who in their right mind would continue to drink knowing the awful consequences? Many alcoholics appear to be sane when not drinking. Their judgment and willpower are adequete in many areas, but not where drinking is concerned. The delusion that we will be able to control our drinking overrides our ever growing experience that we can not.

One AA explained: "The difference between an impulse, a compulsion and an obsession is that an impulse is when upon seeing a can lying in the road you want to kick it, a compulsion drives you to kick the can without thinking and an obsession causes you to search all over town for cans to kick."

14-15
Quote:
But they often suspect they are down for the count. How true this is, few realize.
By the time we begin to suspect our drinking might just possibly be getting out of contol, that perhaps drinking might be causing some of our problems, it is probably too late to stop without help.

16
Quote:
Ina vague way their families and friends sense that these drinkers are abnormal, but everyone hopefully waits the day when the sufferer will rouse himself from his lethargy and assert his power of will.
Those around us, many times, see that our drinking is abnormal before we do. Commonly, we deny to ourselves and others that our drinking is out of control. We feel drinking gives us relief from the circumstances of our lives.

23:17-24:2
Quote:
The tragic truth is that if the man be a real alcoholic, the happy day will seldom arrive. He has lost control. At a certain point in the drinking of every alcoholic, he passes into a state where the most powerful desire to stop drinking is of absolutely no avail. This tragic solution has already arrived in practically every case long before it is suspected.
This is a definition of alcoholism we can test for ourselves. Do we sincerely desire to quit drinking entirely? Are we able to? Have we tried to quit and failed? How many times? Have we promised our familes we will stop and then found ourselves unable? Have we failed to stay sober even after we made this promise to ourselves?


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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24:3-6, 7, 8, 9, 15

3-6
Quote:
The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called willpower becomes practically non-existent. We are unable at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.
This is why good intentions, firm resolve and sincere desire are of absolutely no use in combating alcoholism. The memory of how bad it was will not keep us sober for long. Left to our own devices we will inevitably drink again.

Where are we to turn? We are powerless over alcohol. We cannot stay away from drinking. Our human resources have failed us. Once we admit these things to ourselves, we may be willing to look to a Power greater than ourselves for a solution.

7
Quote:
The almost certain consequences that follow taking even a glass of beer do not crowd into the mind to deter us.
What are the almost certain consequences of taking a drink? Will this be the start of another spree? Will our spouses leave us? Will we lose our job? Will we be thrown in jail?

8
Quote:
If these thoughts occur, they are hazy, and readily supplanted with the old threadbare idea that this time we shall handle ourselves like other people.
These become threadbare by overuse. We try so many times to drink like other people one would think we would eventually learn that it is never going to happen.

9
Quote:
There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove.
This description of the alcoholic mind explains why we are unable to stop drinking no matter how much we ought to, need to, or want to. If our thinking was like a non-alcoholic person, we would have stopped drinking the second we saw the trouble it was causing us. Our inability to stop is explained by the fact that we suffer from a form of insanity. We need only look at the successful recoveries in AA to know that God can restore us to sanity.

15
Quote:
When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with alcoholic tendencies, he has probably placed himself beyond human aid, and unless locked up, may die, or go permanently insane.
Being beyond human aid leaves us little choice but to seek a spiritual solution to our problem. The truth is that most of us have few if any options left to us when we are presented with this program of recovery. We turned to this proven program only because we had exhausted all other avenues. If we feel as hopeless as did the authors, then perhaps we are ready to set aside our reluctance and give this method an honest try.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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25:3, 4, 5-6, 7, 8-10, 11-13

3
Quote:
There is a solution.
There is a solution! We are only seemingly hopeless. We have a program of action that has restored millions of alcoholics to happy useful lives.

4
Quote:
Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of short-comings which the process requires for its successful consummation.
This program works. We may apply it to our lives if we choose to. Should we desire to give the AA program a try, this paragraph lists a few of the requirements for success.

5-6
Quote:
But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was noting left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet.
Here are millions of people who say that this new way of life is better than anything they have ever tried. If we really are powerless over alcohol, if our lives really are unmanageable, if we really are beyond human aid, what then do we have to lose? This solution is being offered to us, not forced upon us. We can pick up these tools and begin to use them to reconstruct our shattered lives.

The people who are presenting this solution to us are not reformers or proselytizers. They are alcoholics like ourselves. Their alcoholic problem has been solved and they are willing to show us what they have done.

7
Quote:
We have much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence, of which we had not even dreamed.
When we throw that switch there is no going back. Our destination is a life of purpose, meaning, usefulness, joyousness and freedom. A life that is comprised of these things certainly seems like another dimension to those of us who have only known the misery, pointlessness and bondage of a life based on self-will.

8-10
Quote:
The great fact is just this, and nothing less; that we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences, which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows, and toward God's universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which could never do by ourselves.
This is the author's description of a spiritual awakening. These are the results of the abandonment of one's life to the care of God and the willingness to seek and follow God's guidance in all things. So much is available to us when we are willing to pay the price which is the destruction of our self-centeredness.

We are promised a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps. What is described here is not a mere modification of behavior, but a reconstruction of the fundamental nature of those who experience this awakening. This awakening may come suddenly or slowly, but is inevitable if we follow the path of those who have gone before us.

11-13
Quote:
If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives; one was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were wiling to make the effort.
Are we as seriously alcoholic as the authors were? Are we in a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body? Are we unable to control our drinking once we begin? Are we unable to stop drinking altogether? Do we sincerely desire to stop drinking and find that we are unable? Do we exhibit the signs of alcoholic thinking? Have we reached the point where we despair of ever recovering? Are we beyond human aid?

If we have reached the point where we are beyond human aid, where else do we have to turn? Our families, spouses, friends, and doctors are all powerless to help us and we can't stop drinking on our own. If we are finall willing, we can quit the futile battle and accept spiritual help.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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26:1-7, 16-17, 20

1-7
Quote:
A certain American business man had ability, good sense, and high character. For years he had floundered from one sanitarium to another. He had consulted the best known American psychiatrists. Then he had gone to Europe, placing himself in the care of a celebrated phsician who prescribed for him. Though experience had made him skeptical, he finished his treatment with unusually good. His physical and mental condition were unusually good. Above all, he beleived he had acquired such a profound knowledge of the inner workings of his mind and its hidden springs, that relapse was unthinkable.
Many believe our alcoholism to be a psychiatric problem and do not recognize the physical aspect. We mistakenly believe that self-knowledge will solve our problem. We seek out counselors, psychologists, and psychicatrists hoping to find an answer. When self-knowledge fails, we begin to lose our self-confidence.

HISTORIC NOTE:
26:1----Rowland H. found the spiritual solution for alcoholism in the Oxford Group, a christian fellowship. He helped Ebby T. find this solution and Ebby, in turn, brought this message to Bill W.
26:4----Dr. Carl Jung treated Rowland H.

16-17
Quote:
In the doctor's judgement he was utterly hopelss; he could never regain his position in society and he would have to place himself under lock and key, or hire a bodyguard if he expected to live long. That was a great psysician's opinion.
Once again we see that many physicians agree that chronic alcoholics are doomed (xxviii:20)

20
Quote:
He can go anywhere on this earth where other free men may go without disaster, provided he remains willing to maintain a certain simple attitude.
This simple attitude is described earlier in this chapter (25:8-10). Our spiritual fitness requires maintenance and our willingness is a result of our admission of powerlessness. The moment we think that we have power over alcohol and that we can manage our own lives we cease to be willing to accept spirtual help.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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27:3-4, 9-12, 16

3-4
Quote:
The doctor said: "You have the mind of a chronic alcoholic. I have never seen one single case recover, where that state of mind existed to the extent that it does in you."
To have an alcoholic mind (24:3-15) is a seemingly hopeless condition. No human power appears able to restructure a person's thinking to the necessary degree. This subtle form of insanity is why we cannot permanently abstain from drinking no matter how great our need or desire.

9-12
Quote:
Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly east to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.
What the great physician describes here is a change sufficient to overcome alcoholism. When Dr. Jung uses words such as "huge" he is not describing a slight change of attitude but an entire 180 degree turn away from our failed way of viewing and reacting to life. The things in us that have caused our failure have to be utterly abandoned and a entirely new way of life adopted. The more firmly we cling to our old ways the more slowly this revolutionary change will take place in our lives.

16
Quote:
This hope, however, was destroyed by the doctor's telling him that his religious convictions were very good, but that in his case they did not spell the necessary vital spiritual experience.
If our current religious convictions were working, we would not be in the condition we are now in. We need to develop a new relationship with our Creator, one of far more depth and weight than we have ever had. The program outlined in this book has been successful at producing just such a life-sustaning spiritual awakening for millions of alcoholics.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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28:1, 2, 3, 5-7, 8-12, 14,

1
Quote:
Here was the terrible dilemma in which our friend found himself when he had the extraordinary experience, which as we have already told you, made him a free man.
Here is the terrible dilemma that we face. We can continue hoping that this time it will work for us or we can abandon ideas and attitudes we have held for a lifetime and adopt this completely new way of living. The choice is entirely ours.

2
Quote:
We, in our turn, sought the same escape, with all the desperation of drowning men.
Our admission of powerlessness makes us willing to try this way that has worked for so many others. If we are not willing, perhaps it is because we still have some faith that somehow we will win out over alcoholism through our own efforts.

3
Quote:
What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proven to be the loving and powerful hand of God.
The authors are not asking us to have blind faith, but merely that we give this program an honest try. Our own experience will provide proof that this Power is available to us. All we need to do to begin this new way of life is to follow the path that has been blazed by those who have gone before us.

5-7
Quote:
The distinguished American psychologist, William James, in his book Varieties of Religious Experience, indicates a multitude of ways in which men have discovered God. We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired. If what we have learned, and felt, and seen, means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or color, are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.
No one is trying to force their beliefs on us. The authors promise to show us what they have done to recover. If we care to follow their suggestions, then we are promised the same results that they received. Though this may not be the only way, it is a path to a faith that works.

8-12
Quote:
Those having religious affilitations will find here nothing disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters.

We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies our members identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely personal affair which each one decides for himself in the light of past associations, or his present choice. Not all of us have joined religious bodies, but most of us favor such memberships.
People of many beliefs, creeds and religions the world over have recovered from alcoholism by using this program of action.

14
Quote:
Many who once were in this class are now among our members; surprisingly enough, we find such convictions no great obstacle to a spiritual experience.
Agnositcs are those with no direct experience with God working in their lives. Many of us fall into this category. The spiritual program of action produces direct experiences so that we may have a spiritual awakening about which there will be no doubt. To begin, all we need is a willingness to try.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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29:1, 3-6

1
Quote:
Further on, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recoverd. These are followed by more than a score of personal experiences.
Many of us hear that there are no musts in AA and that there is no right or wrong way to work the steps. Hearing this we may wrongly assume that there is nothing we must do and mistakenly fear that there is nothing we can do to recover. If we knew what to do, we would have done it a long time ago. The promise of clear-cut directions is the promise that there actually is something we can do.

3-6
Quote:
Each individual, in the personal stories, describes in his own language, and from his own point of view the way he established his relationship with God. These give a fair cross section of our membership and a clear-cut idea of what has actually happened in their lives.
The author's hope is that we will be able to decide for ourselves if we are alcoholic or not and, if we are, that we might follow their path to recovery.

The personal stories are told to illustrate how the authors began to awaken spiritually. To see how people, who obviously suffered from the same problem that we now face, recovered will help us to see that we can also recover.


Source:
The Annotated AA Handbook
a companion to the Big Book
Frank D.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:39 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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