that it is probably a society dealing with certain human problems. All of the more successful ones, like AA, tend to accept Absolute Purity in dealing with their specific problems. Compulsive Gamblers must sidestep any form of gambling, including those that seem fairly innocent. A compulsive overeater must stick to a food plan that eliminates any use of things that trigger an eating binge. A sex addict must put aside salacious magazines and other things that arouse lust. A compulsive spender is advised to cut up credit cards in order to avoid the actions that lead to out-of-control spending and overwhelming debts.
The same principle of excluding those first actions that lead to trouble would undoubtedly be applicable to the management of most human problems.
One thing we do know for certain: Absolute Purity in avoiding alcohol does work.
While it’s doubtful that we’ll ever become absolutely unselfish, AA writings have shown that we should seek unselfishness as an ideal. We need nothing more than this paragraph from Chapter Five of the Big Book to show why we should strive for unselfishness:
“Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes on our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly, without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self, which later placed us in a position to be hurt.”