Paul wrote:It's a spiritual program of action. My mind needs to be Directed by someone other than me. And it has to be a Higher Power. Now I guess the tricky thing about that is, that Power which is an outside Source of my Direction, has to work through the "inside" (my mind and imagination") to "express" Himself outwardly through my actions. Now there is something to think about, huh?
I used to look on the "outside" ... once upon a time, then I read the Appendix II, Spiritual Experience, in the back of the Big Book, and then re-read Chapter 4. Not sure which page the Appendix II Spiritual Experience is on in the 4th Edition, but if you look at the bottom of page 569-570 3rd Edition, it reads:
"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 themselves."
When I gave up being one of the "few exceptions" through ACTIONS (Spiritual Program of Actions, as mentioned by Serenity) I was able to tap into an unsuspected inner resource
that I began to presently identify with my own conception of a Power greater than myself.
My old religious ideas kept me looking for something on "the outside" to fix me. Alcohol is also "outside me" and I was looking for that to fix me.
When I let go of all my old ideas -- absolutely -- I was able to have those ideas replaced "because of the actions" -- and I discovered deep inside me what I had been searching for on "the outside."
That's why I believe that it was most important for me -- to identify "my own conception" of the Power Greater than myself.... which is what Bill's Story shows that he did, and in Chapter 2 and Chapter 4, along with the Appendex II, Spiritual Experience, it led me to conclude.
That's when I discovered that "what I had been looking for I was looking with" (As old Chuck Chamberlain used to say). "I was looking for what I was looking with. In Him I live and walk and have my being. I and the Father are One, He in me and I in Him."
Then, when I went back to read the book of James, that the early A.A.'s had been reading (not William James), it became clear to me why our program is based on Actions -- and why Bill kept repeating that "Faith without works is dead." James, focuses on Actions, doing. He says something like "you show me your faith by your words (words are an expression of thinking, a word is a thought expressed ) and I'll show you my faith by my actions (works)."
When Bill wrote the 12 Steps, he was looking for the formula that "they did" not a formula for what "they thought." The actions will produce the thoughts -- rather than the thoughts producing the actions. The world had us doing it backwards and it wouldn't work for us. They said "believe this and think this -- and this will happen" -- through A.A. I learned "do this and do that -- and this is what I'll start thinking". To go back to thinking and then doing -- would have me doing what I had to stop doing -- to remain sober!
That's why I agree with someone who wrote above, something like "we can act (actions) ourselfs into right thinking -- but we cant think ourselves into right actions."
And, someone else wrote something about "Trusting God instead of trusting my head." When I'm trusting my head, I'm back into "trusting in Self"
Actions keep me from going back to my head and trusting my head.
If I trust in the Actions -- and God was the one who gave the course of Actions (which I believe that He did through the 12 Steps), that puts me in a place where I know that I'm not trusting in "my thinking" (regardless of how inspired it may be). I am allowing Him to "direct my course of actions".
When I go back to my head -- "My Ego" -- "my Self" will tell me that "This is God talking to you" and, it's only me talking to me in God's voice.
This is why they "checked it out" after the period of quiet time. My will or His will? His plan or my plan? Then they would talk it over instead of running out and "thinking about it." They knew that their thinking could be dangerous. My head will tell me what I want to hear, and it will tell me that any way that it has to tell me so that I will listen to it instead of Him.
So, this is why I listen to Him with my feet -- (actions) rather than my head. And, this way I can keep Him as the Head, and me as the feet!
Why do the Actions always work? Because He ordered the Actions.