- "Our Perverse Streak"...step 4

"Our Perverse Streak"...step 4




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

"Our Perverse Streak"...step 4

Postby lotusinbloom » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:53 am

i am working through the 4th step...my sponsor provided me with a list of flaws and personality defects to write about ....i think the sheet is from a 4th step guid....the first 7 are the 7 Deadly Sins followed by ambition, dishonesty, worry, frustration, etc.....on the list is "our perverse streak"...i believe the BB mentions it...but how do you define this???? i must understand it before i write and i didn't quite understand my sponsor's definition....any advice, thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

deb
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Postby Dallas » Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:34 pm

I don't understand it either. Never heard of it. Have your sponsor explain it and to show you in the Big Book where it comes from.

Best wishes.

Dallas
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Postby lotusinbloom » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:32 pm

Dallas wrote:I don't understand it either. Never heard of it. Have your sponsor explain it and to show you in the Big Book where it comes from.

Best wishes.

Dallas


I just did a search for the phrase and believe it or not I found it in something you posted in 2009 (Chapter 4 We Agnostics)...you quoted the Big Book here:

Posted: Wed May 06, 2009 11:36 pm Post subject: Chapter 4 WE AGNOSTICS When, however, the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that underneath the material world and life as we see it, there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface and we laboriously set out to convince ourselves it isn't so
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Postby Dallas » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:49 am

That reference is on pg 49, of the Big Book. The Chapter to the Angostics relates to Step 2.

The instructions in the Big Book, that deals w/ Step 4, starts on page 63, and ends on pg 71. (The explanation for the root of what we are looking for starts on pg 60, bottom of page up to pg 63, which is the instructions on Step 3.).

I still don't understand "why" page 49 & "perverse streak" (which meaning there in context has a meaning ascribed to it)... is being mixed into instructions for taking the 4th Step.

Of course, I don't understand "why" the 7 Deadly Sins get included in peoples "interpretations" of doing the 4th Step are included either... because, that, too, is not in the Big Book. (Those first come up in Bill's Essay's on the Steps in the 12 & 12 book, which was written nearly 14 yrs after the instructions for Step 4, in the Big Book).

Bill explains in the 12 & 12, what his writings are there -- just his thoughts -- about the Steps, that is being written for members that have ALREADY "taken the Steps"... and should not be used to replace "the instructions for taking the Steps" in the Big Book.

There must be at least a 1,000 different "study guides" on Step 4... that are created with the creative minds of thousands of different people... many of whom have never "taken" the Steps... "as instructed" in the Big Book. Do all those ways work? I don't know. I only know of ONE way that works for sure -- and it's guaranteed -- and that is the Big Book way.

Thank you for the discussion! I appreciate you and the topic and your sharing. They help me to keep diving back into the Big Book. :wink:

Dallas

btw: Many AA Historian's conclude that it was Fr. Ed. Dowling -- that actually wrote much of the 12 & 12, "for Bill." From a literary analysis of what was written about Step 4, in the 12 & 12... it's confusing... because it should have been placed in the Step 10 section and not the Step 4 section.

I love the 12 & 12... so don't get me wrong... :lol: If I'm working w/ someone to "take them through the 12 Steps" ... the LAST piece of literature that I want them to read or refer to is: the 12 & 12. The ideas in the 12 & 12 & the ideas in the Big Book are in conflict w/ each other. They are confusing. Many times direct opposites.

My suggestion for people that are "taking the Steps"... to "produce the Spiritual Awakening" referred to in Step 12 is: Hide their 12 & 12 someplace where they can't find it until finished w/ "taking the Steps"... In regards to the "many" 4th Step Guides that I've seen on the market... I would suggest burning those. :lol:
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Postby lotusinbloom » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:47 am

Dallas wrote:That reference is on pg 49, of the Big Book. The Chapter to the Angostics relates to Step 2.

The instructions in the Big Book, that deals w/ Step 4, starts on page 63, and ends on pg 71. (The explanation for the root of what we are looking for starts on pg 60, bottom of page up to pg 63, which is the instructions on Step 3.).

I still don't understand "why" page 49 & "perverse streak" (which meaning there in context has a meaning ascribed to it)... is being mixed into instructions for taking the 4th Step.

Of course, I don't understand "why" the 7 Deadly Sins get included in peoples "interpretations" of doing the 4th Step are included either... because, that, too, is not in the Big Book. (Those first come up in Bill's Essay's on the Steps in the 12 & 12 book, which was written nearly 14 yrs after the instructions for Step 4, in the Big Book).

Bill explains in the 12 & 12, what his writings are there -- just his thoughts -- about the Steps, that is being written for members that have ALREADY "taken the Steps"... and should not be used to replace "the instructions for taking the Steps" in the Big Book.

There must be at least a 1,000 different "study guides" on Step 4... that are created with the creative minds of thousands of different people... many of whom have never "taken" the Steps... "as instructed" in the Big Book. Do all those ways work? I don't know. I only know of ONE way that works for sure -- and it's guaranteed -- and that is the Big Book way.

Thank you for the discussion! I appreciate you and the topic and your sharing. They help me to keep diving back into the Big Book. :wink:

Dallas

btw: Many AA Historian's conclude that it was Fr. Ed. Dowling -- that actually wrote much of the 12 & 12, "for Bill." From a literary analysis of what was written about Step 4, in the 12 & 12... it's confusing... because it should have been placed in the Step 10 section and not the Step 4 section.

I love the 12 & 12... so don't get me wrong... :lol: If I'm working w/ someone to "take them through the 12 Steps" ... the LAST piece of literature that I want them to read or refer to is: the 12 & 12. The ideas in the 12 & 12 & the ideas in the Big Book are in conflict w/ each other. They are confusing. Many times direct opposites.

My suggestion for people that are "taking the Steps"... to "produce the Spiritual Awakening" referred to in Step 12 is: Hide their 12 & 12 someplace where they can't find it until finished w/ "taking the Steps"... In regards to the "many" 4th Step Guides that I've seen on the market... I would suggest burning those. :lol:


Good advice. Thanks Dallas. My sponsor looks at the 7 deadly sins and has me write about how they are character flaws in my life by writing out specific experiences, analyzing the motivation behind them and how I felt (and what was the outcome) after I committed them....was I being selfish? was I acquiring more and more possessions out of greed and what was the result, how did i feel later on, etc.....she is of the educated variety and I highly respect and admire her...that is why I so desperately wanted her to be my sponsor. She is tough on me...I need that. She holds me accountable AND she is kind and caring..she has stressed over and over the importance of doing a very thorough and self-introspective 4th step. She said, "Deb, go after this step like there's no tomorrow"...so I am. The process is reminding me of things I really didn't want to remember, feelings I don't want to feel....it's cathartic and insightful. I respect her instructions on doing the 4th step. Also, she set grounds rules in the beginning for sponsoring me....we met, had coffee....and she explained to me that I had to be very serious about this, call her everyday, meet once a week (in addition to meeting at our home group every tuesday night) and be completely honest, in addition to other very reasonable ground rules. After all, she is getting back what she gives away. I am writing pages upon pages but need to be more vigorous (in my opinion). I am moving too slowly. I have been asking God to guide me through this process. As a result of the process, I notice that I am becoming angry and irritable and losing sleep.....which doesn't surprise. It's a tough one. She wants me to be fearless and very thorough. She's awesome!

How did you do a 4th step? How do you guide your sponsees through it?

deb
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Postby lotusinbloom » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:52 am

one more question:

page 49 & "perverse streak" (which meaning there in context has a meaning ascribed to it


what are your thoughts about the meaning of this phrase from the point of view of the context in which it was written.....the more i read it i see "perverse streak" is obviously related to our higher power and our willingness to accept that there is a higher power (whether it be God, or whatever)....our perverse streak limits us, causes us to rationalize and doubt the very existence of something greater than us all.....the way we sort of mind f_ck ourselves when we have difficulty believing or accepting a higher power into our lives, you know?

when i first read it, i thought the obvious: perverted sick and disgusting things (to be blunt about it)
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Postby Dallas » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:52 am

It sounds like you've got a great sponsor Deb!

I understand about the word perverse. :wink:

This is why we have to take each word in the Big Book into the precise content and context where it is used -- if we're going to rightly understand the author's meaning of it.

Another example is the word "gay" in today's popular meaning & how it was used in it's literary form in the Big Book:

"If not irritable, he may seem dull and boring, not gay and affectionate as the family would like him to be." pg 126

and...

"Down the lobby a door opened into an attractive bar. He could see
the gay crowd inside. In there he would find companionship and release." pg 154

Out of context, & not following the original guidelines for the 4th Step, an innovative & creative sponsor might make the mistake of suggesting to the person they were sponsoring to... "Make a list of all the times you were gay and the times you were not gay... and the times that you had gay companionship & release and the times that your companionship was not gay, and you still found release... after you went into attractive bars!" :lol: :lol:

Certainly, a newcomer would be quite confused and distracted from the orientation of "The 4th Step" and would most likely miss out on the objective of the experience of the entire 12 Steps! :lol:

This is why I like to stick w/ the PRECISE instructions in regards to taking the Steps -- as they are given to us in the Big Book.

Dallas
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Postby Dallas » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:58 am

Another example is the word SOBER! If we looked into a dictionary to define it -- out of Big Book context -- we could conclude that we were SOBER "if" we hadn't "drank too much!" (Meaning... we were still drinking but just not legally drunk!) Instead of the "TOTAL ABSTINENCE" meaning in our book. :lol:

btw: Over the years I HAVE met some AA's that THOUGHT they were sober -- because they were still drinking -- but, just weren't "over the legal limit"! :lol: And... they'd want to argue the point of their logic w/ you! :lol:
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Postby flying fiddler » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:08 am

I found that my alcoholic mind has the ability complicate the most simple things to the point of gridlock. I did this with this program and specifically the 4th step, for many years. The result was me not doing the work, and the result of that was slowly swirling down life's toilet bowl. It required me to hit an all time low bottom, receive the gift of desperation, becoming willing to get to work.
I had to overcome my insecurities of wanting to the the best job ever, fear of doing it wrong, and the notion that this is some kind of course that once graded, you can't take again. When I finally got past all those silly thoughts, I was able to go to it.
I tried to use all the different worksheets available out there finding it only bogged me down, and distracted me from the primary purpose. I've learned enough about myself that I know when I create "justified" postponement. Luckily, or should I say divinely, I had the willingness, courage and a good sponsor who led me back to the simple suggestions in the Big Book. My needs were once again met.
I found that by following, the SIMPLE Big Book suggestions on step 4, I was able to really dig deep and do a thorough, honest list.

KEEP IT SIMPLE; It works when this alcoholic works it!
Thanks for letting me share
John
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12 Step Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery | - "Our Perverse Streak"...step 4