SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE - from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Appendix II
The terms "spiritual experience" and "spiritual awakening" are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, shows that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manufactured itself among us in many different forms.
Yet it is true that our first printing gave many readers the impression that these personality changes, or religious experiences, must be in the nature of sudden and spectacular upheavals. Happily for everyone, this conclusion is erroneous.
In the first few chapters a number of sudden revolutionary changes are described. Though it was not our intention to create such an impression, many alcoholics have nevertheless concluded that in order to recover they must acquire an immediate and overwhelming "God-consciousness" followed at once by a vast change in feeling and outlook.
Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands of alcoholics such transformations, although frequent, are by no means the rule. Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the "educational variety" because they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself. He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life; that such a change could hardly have be brought about by himself alone. What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self-discipline. With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped into an unsuspected inner resource that they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.
Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience. Our more religious members call it "God-consciousness."
Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
A New Year 2014 gift to the Adult Survivor of Child Abuse community !!ANNOUNCING: ASCAA -- Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Anonymous -- www.asca12step.org -- a just-launched recovery program, suggested for all survivors of childhood abuse and trauma who wish to heal through applying a new "design for living" based on the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions of AA.
No matter what type of trauma you experienced, be it through violence, sexual assault, emotional abuse or neglect (also known as maltreatment) you belong here.
Our primary purpose is to recover from the abuse and traumas of our youth and help other now-adult victims to heal from theirs. The only requirement for membership is a desire to recover and heal.
Dozens of groups have been created that emulate the AA program of healing and recovery that was first described in the book Alcoholics Anonymous (aka: the "Big Book") in the late 1930's. That's because it works.
Other well known AA literature would include a group of essays written by its co-founder, Bill W, which discusses each of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions (commonly referred to as the "12&12"). For now, these can both be used to understand the 12 Step program as a "design for living" that results in healing and recovery.
Please visit the www.asca12step.org web site, still under construction, and share it with fellow 12 Step knowledgeable folk.
We'll be anxious to learn what you think !!
Posted by Bill Murray at 4:52 PM