Notes on the Big Book – We Agnostics

Chapter Four – We Agnostics

Only a spiritual experience will conquer the illness!

It is only in finding a spiritual basis for life and living that one can find freedom.

Human resources as sought for by our will were not sufficient.

The power that we needed had to be a Power greater than ourselves.

But where to find this Power?

The notion of God is now entertained.

For many the notion or concept of God is rather negative in nature. Much of this initial negative reaction is from his or her past.

“To others, the word ”God” brought up a particular idea of Him with which someone had tried to impress them during childhood. Perhaps we rejected this particular conception because it seemed inadequate. With that rejection we imagined we had abandoned the God idea entirely.”

What is important now is that we consider the notion of God, again. For this to happen we need to put our past conceptions of God where it belongs, in the past.

“We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.”

It is our conception of God that matters.

“Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totally of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps.”

For me God is everything that exists or that does not exist.

To be connected, so to speak, with God is to experience true unity.

This is to be in and of the Presence of God.

But where does this Presence of God exist or reside?

“Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God.”

“We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.”

“Even so has God restored us all to our right minds.”

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Notes on the Big Book – More About Alcoholism

Chapter Three – More About Alcoholism

The first step in recovery, the admission that we are alcoholics. “We learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics.”

Also, the admission that alcoholism is a progressive illness.
“Over any considerable period we get worse, never better.”

Sometimes we think that if we remain sober for awhile that later we can drink normally.

“If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.”

To determine if one is an alcoholic let him or her stop for one year. “If he is a real alcoholic and very far advanced, there is scant chance of success.”

The crux of the problem is the mental states that precede a relapse into drinking.

“What sort of thinking dominates an alcoholic who repeats time after time the desperate experiment of the first drink?”

“He had much knowledge about himself as an alcoholic. Yet all reasons for not drinking were easily pushed aside in favor of the foolish idea that he could take whiskey if only he mixed it with milk!”

“Our sound reasoning failed to hold us in check.”

In some cases we get drunk, feeling totally justified by our being nervous, angry, worrying, being depressed, jealous or some other feeling.

Regardless, during this period there is little regard for the consequence of the drinking.

“But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self knowledge.”

Self-knowledge and will power will not work.

“They had said that though I did raise a defense, it would one day give way before some trivial reason for having a drink.”

“I saw that will power and self knowledge would not help in those strange mental blank spots.”

The answer is spiritual in nature, combined with a program of action.

“But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window.”

The true defense against the first drink “must come from a Higher Power.”

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