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"An Artist's Concept"
Ray C., New York City.
(p. 380 in 1st edition.)
Ray joined the fellowship
in February 1938.
He began his story by quoting
Herbert Spencer: "There is a principle which is a bar against
all information, which is proof against all arguments and
which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that
principle is contempt prior to investigation."
He said that the quotation
is descriptive of the mental attitudes of many alcoholics
when the subject of religion, as a cure, is first brought
to their attention. "It is only when a man has tried everything
else, when in utter desperation and terrific need he turns
to something bigger than himself, that he gets a glimpse
of the way out. It is then that contempt is replaced by
hope, and hope by fulfillment."
Ray chose to write of his
search for spiritual help rather than "a description of
the neurotic drinking that made the search necessary."
After investigating his
alcoholic problem from every angle, medicine, psychology,
psychiatry, and psychoanalysis, he began "flirting" with
religion as a possible way out. He had been approaching
God intellectually. That only added to his desperation,
but a seed had been planted.
Finally he met a man, probably
Bill W., who had for five years "devoted a great deal of
time and energy to helping alcoholics." The man told him
little he didn't already know, "but what he did have to
say was bereft of all fancy spiritual phraseology - it was
simple Christianity imparted with Divine Power."
The next day he met over
twenty men who "had achieved a mental rebirth from alcoholism."
He liked them because they were ordinary men who were not
pious nor "holier than thous."
He notes that these men
were but instruments. "Of themselves they were nothing."
He must have been an intellectual
type. He not only quotes Spencer, but Thoreau: "Most men
lead lives of quiet desperation."
It was Ray, a recognized
artist, who was asked to design the dust jacket for the
1st edition of the Big Book. He submitted various designs
for consideration including one that was blue and in an
Art Deco style. The one chosen was red, and yellow, with
a little black, and a little white. The words Alcoholics
Anonymous were printed across the top in large white script.
It became known as the circus jacket because of its loud
circus colors. The unused blue jacket is today in the Archives
at the Stepping Stones Foundation.
His story was not included
in the Second Edition of the Big Book but the Spencer quote
was placed in the back of the book in Appendix II, "Spiritual