April 23rd, 2014 by Jan

You hear it all the time. The Bible says… as if that settles anything.

Well, you also hear it in the rooms of AA. The Big Book Book says… So, hush up and follow directions.

I heard that by 2012 over 31 million copies of Alcoholics Anonymous had been circulated and the Big Book had been recognized as one of the most influential books that shaped the American culture.

Four editions of this book have been printed. The first copy I received in 1984 was the second edition. I appreciate how the book is written; simple and straight forward..

The first 164 pages of the book have not changed since it was first published in 1939. The stories in the back do change to reflect the fact that alcoholics come from every walk of life, and are not just a bunch of cranky old white men who have lost everything to John Barleycorn. But the first 164 pages are considered the meat of the program. Not one word has been altered from when Bill Wilson wrote them. This despite the fact that we know so much more about alcoholism and recovery now. No changes at all, even though in the final chapter of the book “A Vision for You,” concludes with “we realize we know only a little.”

To me that statement is the founders way of leaving the door open for more to be revealed. I find it very interesting that the humility and wisdom of “we realize we know only a little,” is ignored by followers who seem to find the text of the Big Book sacred.

In my opinion, Big Book thumpers, well,, book thumpers of all types, shut that door with a slam.

Dogma ends any discussion no matter the topic. New generations are forfeiting input. Instead of treating the text as anecdotal experience I see the Big Book being treated as divinely inspired.

All I can say is uh-oh!!!

I think once we deem any passage in any book as sacred we become blind to new evidence and hinder ways of expressing our own kernels of truth in the message.

I’m glad my Tai Chi practice taught me to be firm on principle and flexible on method, and I’m very grateful AA taught me to practice these principles in all my affairs.

Here’s to prying doors open.

1 thought on “oilthatdoor

  1. Laura B

    Amen, Sister! You have just given me a new phrase for life: “Firm on principle, flexible on method”.

    Thank You.


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