It's great to hear from ALL of you! You fill up a space inside me that only your presence and your words seems to fill!
I was watching a documentary on the History Channel about a month ago, and part of it dealt w/ the history of great philosophers, theologians, religions, and men of medicine -- in regards to the idea of "Sloth".
Some of the religionists and theologians thought of it as bad behavior and sin. That it went against the bibles instructions about the idea that a man should work for his food -- instead of accepting hand-outs. (Much different than a Socialist or Progressive view of "redistribution of wealth" for the common good of the poor -- regardless if the poor worked or sit at home collecting a benefit for not working).
Most of the Philosophers thought of it as a bad habit and a bad character attribute that must be conquered.
Then, one homeless Philosopher, that didn't work, and lived off of what he could sponge -- was happy, joyous and free -- considered sloth as a wonderful virtue that everyone should pursue! It was said, that Alexander the Great actually visited this Philosopher and offered him anything in his kingdom -- if the guy would explain it to him.
The philosopher looked up to the Great Alexander and said ... What I want? His answer was: "I want you to move aside -- your blocking the light and casting your shadow upon me!" and burst out into laughter! It said the man said something else like "I've already got all that you have -- because I've got your attention!" And, he bursts out in more laughter! And, it is said that Alexander simply mounted his horse and rode off in silence.
Then, some men of medicine began taking a different look at sloth. They began to call it "melancholy." and some, began thinking of it in terms of "an illness or a disease."
Later on, some other men of medicine began to speculate that it was a "depressing mental illness" and began to treat it with medicine -- and began calling it "depression."
I thought -- how interesting the historical parallels of the changing ideas and concepts regarding "sloth" and "alcoholism." And, the efforts to treat alcoholics and depressives with medications. And, it reminds me of a few lines in the Big Book, that go something like "science may someday accomplish this -- but, it hasn't done so yet."
And, here in the midst of a bunch of "outcast drunks" that found a way to stay sober -- and to be happy while sober" came up with a formula that could be applied to sloth, habitual drinking, drunkards, alcoholics, manic depressives, and outright mental defects in full flight from reality!"
Spirit = Life.
Spiritual = "A way of Living Live"
Malady = "a big problem"
A spiritual Malady = "A big problem (malady) in our life (spirit) as a result of the way we are living life. (spiritual)"
They discovered a "simple course of ACTIONS" -- Steps (when taken) often referred to as a Spiritual Tool-kit (tools, to change our way of living?) and a "Design for Living" (a way to live our lives -- after we've made the changes to our lives).
12 Steps of Actions.
One alcoholic -- talking to another. (Identification and Giving) And,
Confessing our faults and our findings -- with each other. Sharing. (Part of the new design for living)
results? A Spiritual (Life) Awakening as THE results of following this simple formula of Actions + Listening + Sharing.
Works for me!
It also caused me to remember that -- sloth, melancholy, depression, procrastination, problems in relationships -- is NOT something UNIQUE to alcoholics!
Therefore, it should have no place in trying to come up with a definition of an alcoholic , or as having anything to do with the definitions of "alcohol-ism" (treated, or untreated) as many seem to want to do, by using the "bedevilments" referred to on page 52. Since, ANYONE, alcoholic or not is subject to these things -- it should be ruled out in regards to definitions of alcoholics, or "the unmanageability of life" referred to in Step One.
Step One: "I'm powerless over staying stopped drinking and this is why my life has become unmanageable."
Steps 1 through 3: an acknowledgement of Power and a Lack of Power "to do it on our own -- with the tools and thoughts that we've been thinking. very simply, our ideas didn't work -- so we became willing to let go of our old ideas absolutely.
Steps 4 through 9: an acknowledgement of OUR responsibility TO DO certain things. My responsibility and my accountability of my taking the actions to change my life.
Step 9. Completion of Step 9 = Recovered. Restored to Sanity (as mentioned in Step 2) and the acquisition of a "manageable life" because the insanity and the obsession that was making our lives unmanageable has been removed. But, NOT CURED.
Steps 10 through 12: My responsibility and accountability, my will, + a "tapped into an inner-resource" the New Power (that we discovered and learned to use as a result of Steps 1 through 9), that most of us refer to as God. To maintain my sobriety, my sanity, my "life that is now manageable" "IF I CONTINUE TO DO THESE THINGS."
The variable as to "whether it works or continues to work?" = Two of them.
Note: the thoughts above are my own and may or may not have anything to do with Alcoholics Anonymous -- it's simply my own understanding of my own experience of "what I used to be like -- what happened (12 Steps both TAKING and USING them) -- and, what I am like now."