DISCUSSION No. 4
material contained herein is merely an outline of the active working step
of the program and is not intended to replace or supplant:
|| a. The
careful reading and re-reading of the Big Book.
b. Regular attendance at weekly group meetings.
c. Study of the program.
d. Daily practice of the program.
e. Reading of approved printed matter on alcoholism.
f. Informal discussion with other members.
|| This instruction
is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction - - a help - - a brief
course in fundamentals.
This meeting covers the Twelfth Step.
No. 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these
steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these
principles in all our affairs.
This step logically separates into three parts:
1. The Spiritual
The terms "spiritual experience" and
"spiritual awakening" used here and in the book Alcoholics Anonymous
mean (upon careful reading)
the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism
has manifested itself among us in many forms.
Do NOT get the impression that these personality changes or spiritual experiences
must be in the nature of sudden and spectacular upheavals. Happily for everyone,
this conclusion is erroneous. Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands
of alcoholics such transformations, though frequent, are by no means the rule.
of our experiences are what 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. The new man gradually realizes that he has undergone a profound
alteration in his reaction to life - - that such a change could hardly have
been 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 an unsuspected inner resource
which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than
Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic
capable of honestly facing his problem 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 spiritual
side of the program. Willingness, Honesty, and Open-Mindedness are the essentials
of recovery. But these are indispensable.
2. Carry the
Message to Others
This means exactly what it says. Carry the message actively.
Bring it to the man who needs it. We do it in many ways:
- By attending every
meeting of our own group.
- By making calls
- By speaking at
group meetings when asked.
- By supporting
our group financially to make group meetings possible.
- By assisting at
meetings when asked.
- By setting a good
example of complete sobriety.
- By owning, and
loaning to new men, our own copy of the Big A.A. Book.
- By encouraging
those who find the way difficult.
- By serving as
an officer or on group committees or special assignments when asked.
- By doing all of
the foregoing cheerfully and willingly.
- We do any or all
of the foregoing at some sacrifice to ourselves with definite
thought of developing unselfishness in our own character.
3. We Practice
in All Our Affairs
This last part of the Twelfth Step
is the real purpose that all of the twelve steps lead to - - a new way of
life, a design for living. It shows how to live rightly, think rightly and
to achieve happiness. How do we go about it?
In other words, our
sobriety is only a correction of our worst and most evident faults. Our
living each day according to the principles of A.A. will also correct all of
our other lesser faults and will gradually eliminate, one by one, all of the
defects in our character that cause frictions, discontents, and unhappy rebellious
moods that lead right back to our very chief fault of drinking.
- We resolve to
live our life one day at a time - - just twenty-four hours.
- We pray each
day for guidance that day.
- We pray each
night - - thanks for that day.
- We resolve to
keep our heads and to forego any anger, no matter what situation arises.
- We are patient.
- We keep calm,
- Now and most important:
whatever little ordinary situations as well as big situations
arise, we look at them calmly and fairly, with an open mind, then act on
them in exact accordance with the simple true principles that A.A. has taught
and will teach us.
pertaining to drinking, or stopping drinking, is silly or irrelevant.
The matter is too serious. In A.A. we learn by question and answer.
We learn by exchanging our thought and experience with each other. Any
question we ask may help someone else. To cover as many questions as possible
in the short time available, all answers must be limited to three minutes.
on the Beam
most commercial flying is done on a radio beam. A directional beam is
produced to guide the pilot to his destination, and as long as he keeps
on this beam he knows that he is safe, even if he cannot see around him
for fog, or get his bearings in any other way.
As soon as he gets off the beam in any direction
he is in danger, and he immediately tries to get back on to the beam once
Those who believe in the All-ness of God, have
a spiritual beam upon which to navigate on the voyage of life. As long
as you have peace of mind and some sense of the Presence of God you are
on the beam, and you are safe, even if outer things seem to be confused
or even very dark; but as soon as you get off the beam you are in danger.
You are off the beam the moment you are angry
or resentful or jealous or frightened or depressed; and when such a condition
arises you should immediately get back on the beam by turning quietly
to God in thought, claiming His Presence, claiming that His Love and Intelligence
are with you, and that the promises in the Bible are true today.
If you do this you are back on the beam, even
if outer conditions and your own feelings do not change immediately. You
are back on the beam and you will reach port in safety.
Keep on the beam and nothing shall by any means
- Emmet Fox
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I
can do, or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it NOW.
Let me not defer it, or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
- Stephen Grellet (1773-1855)