- Why study AA history?

Why study AA history?




General discussions related to A.A. History.

Postby garden variety » Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:43 am

Dallas wrote:I seem to irritate the hell out of people here, in meetings, or just walking down the street


Ahem...Let me say "Amen" to that! :twisted:

Are you being a bully again, Dallas?

I think "irritating" is probably an understatement. But here's the thing with me (of course it's all about me - who else?), when I see you being irritating, that means I recognize the same "quality" in me. And when it comes to irritation, I can be irritating walking backwards in a snowstorm! I have many creative ways of being irritating. In fact, I can be irritating and not even know it. Just ask the Cuyahoga County Sherriff's Department - I almost got shot for being irritating - and that was while SOBER! But here is the terrible part, sometimes I deliberately become an irritation. Wait a minute - I think I just found another character defect! :shock:

Of course I don't mean to be that way, which is also probably the case with Dallas. Or if I'm being mean on purpose, which I haven't forgot how to do, I sure hope someone calls me on it. Sometimes my "sense of humor" can also be pretty dry, and I've known folks to get pretty upset when I'm trying to poke fun, or trying to get a person to laugh at themselves. I can also be sarcastic which some folks don't quite understand either.

Then I've told many of my ex-girlfriends that I never turned in my smart@ss license. That REALLY doesn't go over too well. It's probably why I have ex-girlfriends, maybe? Oh and don't get to whining! I'll jump on a whiner like a stink-bug on a turd. Like I always say "It's better to give a resentment than to get one." :shock: :shock: :shock:

So RD1angel, just use that "Rule 62" in dealing with irratating people (like me and Dallas :twisted: ). That is one of the less talked about "spiritual principles" that works fairly well at getting an alcoholic "out of himself", but not always. We're all on the same lifeboat here, and in the rooms. And the BIGGER bottom line is this: all of us have WAY MORE in common than not. I try to never forget that.

By the way, back to the "History" thing, Dallas scored a home run by mentioning another little known fact. Emmett Fox wrote a book called "Sermon on the Mount" which is a "metaphysical" talk about the words of Jesus (spiritual instead of "religious"). It's been talked about up here in Cleveland and Akron, that a lot of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" is based on the writings of Emmett Fox. I picked up "Sermon on the Mount", and sure enough it was published in 1934, before the "Big Book". It is a GREAT book that really helped me with spiritual growth.

Also, no one has menioned this, but up in Cleveland and Akron, Sister Mary Ignatia is considered one of the original founders of AA. She was a non-alcoholic nun that worked in the hospital where Bill met Dr. Bob, which is today called Akron General, but it used to be called St. Thomas Hospital.

Sister Ignatia insisted on treating alcoholics as more than just "mental patients", and she felt so strongly about this that St Thomas wasn't comfortable with the idea, so they transferred her to Cleveland at St. Vincent's Charity Hospital. She was behind the AA movement and actually started "Roasary Hall" which is the detox center at St. Vincent where Dr. Bob and Bill W. spent a lot of time helping out - it's still there today. I have a good friend that is a counselor there, and I just paid a little visit there with a "friend" that I've talked about who wanted to detox.

Sister Ignatia INSISTED that the detox unit have a 24/7 coffee shop open to any alcoholic that was getting treated at Rosary Hall, and she actually threatened the "benefactor" who donated major funding to include the coffee sho "or else". She gained a lot of respect from Bill and Dr. Bob. Up in this region, you will see pictures of Dr. Bob and Bill AND Sister Ignatia hung up at meetings in both Cleveland and Akron. She is known as "The Angel of Alcoholics Anonymous". There is a book about her you can get on Amazon or any other bookstore. I bought it for my mom on her last birthday because mom (81 years-old) is still open minded and is eager to learn more about us drunks PLUS she is Catholic and was thrilled when I told her about the sister. She read it in 3 or 4 days!

So all of us can't forget the "non-alcohoics" that have also gave a great contribution to our "movement" as they called it.

Up here, the name Alcoholics Anonymous was given to the first ever "AA" meeting called an AA meeting which is still running. It was started by a fellow named Clarence Snyder whose sponsor was Dr. Bob. Clarence "convinced" Dr. Bob to break away from Oxford, so the meeting in Cleveland was the first AA meeting to be called an "AA meeting". That was followed by Dr. Bob's home group in Akron which is called the "Kinf School AA group" - so it was actually the second "AA meeting" to be called "AA".

I'd like to invite anyone who comes this way a warm place to stay and relax. My "running buddy" Mike and me would be honored to take you to some of the "good old" meetings that we go to, Like "Silver Lake", and "Borten" (which is Clarence Snyders group - I actually "washed dishes" there just Monday - they are china cups with gormet coffee). Mike and me also go to "Founders Day" every year and have a blast. Except this year that knucklehead left my girl (now an "ex"-girl) and me stranded at the campus - I left my phone in his car, and him and another buddy tried "calling" us, but we couldn't connect because they called before they got to the car. We also keep threatening to get to King School, but our work schedules cramp us out on Wednesdays.

So if you're planning to come to the "cradle" and "birthplace" of AA, give me a PM, and we can give you the tour and a place to stay - no charge of course. I just closed on a BIG house, so I have space and Mike has at least a couple extra rooms.

God bless always
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Postby Jools » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:16 pm

Gosh, Paul, that would be a wonderful place for all of us to meet! Y'all keep talkin' about it, it's time to put the plan in action. I would love to give each and every one of you a big ole bear hug for all you've done for me.

Much love,
Julie
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Postby Dallas » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:49 pm

In the interest of Unity, and the fact that my reply above doesn't have anything to do with AA History -- and personality conflicts are normally best handled by private messages. The Moderators must be "off duty" for Thanksgiving -- or else they would have probably deleted my reply! Happy Thanksgiving... Moderators! :wink:

(Note: I decided to edit my message posted above this one -- before the Moderators come to get me and rescind my sobriety!) :lol: :lol:

Paul, thanks for mentioning Sister Ignatia. I just listened to a great talk that she gave, that fortunately was available on CD. Once I can convert it to mp3, I'll make it available for everyone to listen to -- if they are interested.

I enjoy listening to the Founders and Pioneers describe AA History in their own perspective in their own words based upon their actual personal history. I favor it more than listening to someone tell me what they said or did. Perhaps, at a latter time, I can make the several talks that I have on tape and CD available for the members of the forum here. And, we can link to them and listen to them in relation to this discussion of AA History. I also have a CD with over 120 letters and other articles that were from, to, and between the founders and pioneers of AA. I'll try to find a place to post those here, also.

The last paragraph of the Appendix II, Spiritual Experience -- in the Big Book reads: "We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open-mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensible."

And, then there is a quote by Herbert Spenser:

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance -- that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

A great example of AA, (he's passed on now) by the name of Hugh Douglas, was a tremendous help to me as I ventured in the adventure of life in AA.

Hugh, used to quote that quote by Herbert Spenser, before each of his talks. (He did a lot of speaking in AA). And, Hugh D., used to irritate the heck out of me when I was newly sober.

One day, one of Hugh's sponsees took me aside for a private and helpful conversation. The sponsee was Jim Buckley ( Another, great AA Old-timer, that just passed away a couple of weeks ago). Jim B. was closer than an AA friend to me, and he was used by me as one of my very first sponsors -- that was willing to help me, and that I was willing to listen to. Jim had an AA Tape Library and Tape Archive of over 50,000 talks by AA's and our AA friends.

During my early conversation with Jim B., he started our talk by turning to the bottom of page 58 of the Big Book, and explained to me why his Sponsor, Hugh D., and other AA Old-timers used to irritate the heck out of me -- and explained my defiance with anyone that wanted to share any helpful information to me.

Jim said, that the reason I was so irritated and defiant, was because "I was full of old ideas. And, that I was unwilling to let go of my old ideas and examine new information and new ideas, was because the old ideas were mine! :lol:

He said to me, that anytime my brain plugged into new information -- my Ego would instantly fight it and would not examine it "because it was not my idea". :lol: And, that new information was a "threat to me" -- because it might smash my old ideas, and I would feel vulnerable.

Jim B., was the AA that taught me to "Keep it Green." "Keep it green. Be willing to let go of your old ideas, absolutely, and God will reveal new information that will help you to grow and to make progress with the program of AA."

Then, there was another time in my AA Life, that I came to know so much about AA, that I somehow became convinced that I had become an authority on AA. I felt like I should have been Tradition 13 "The AA police, to protect, defend, the Big Book and to serve the Program of AA." (You've probably had the misfortune of meeting some of those types -- in your own Groups! :lol: ).

Talk about a road-block to spiritual progress and new information? How can anyone have a decent conversation, with an AA that knows it all? :lol: :lol:

And, once again, my AA mentors and sponsors came to rescue me! They pointed out my defects of character, how they were harming me, and what I could do about it -- to become willing to change -- or to face the threat of a bottle of Jack! :lol:

Their intervention on me was so successful -- that I was determined to let go of every idea that was old -- in exchange for new ideas. They explained to me that this is what's referred to in our Lord's Prayer, that some of us say at the end of our meetings. They said "Holding on to yesterdays ideas -- is like eating yesterdays bread. Why would you ask the Lord to 'give us this day, our daily bread' ... if you're going to try to survive on yesterdays bread? Be willing to let go of your old ideas -- and God will be able to give you new ideas and new information every day and every moment."

They also told me that "AA is God's deal. He doesn't need you to protect it -- He just wants you to live it, so that it can be an example to the alcoholic that is still suffering and the sober alcoholic that is struggling."

They told me that my idea of protecting anything, and defending anything, is just a manifestation of my fears. And, that fear has no place in the presence of God, and a life of spirituality -- trusting and relying upon God.

That was hard hitting for me. Here I was praying for the knowledge of God's will for me -- and I was filtering what I was receiving -- with my old ideas. Life is a fresh and as new as the breath that you breathed this moment. Once you exhale -- it's gone. It's history. And, the next breath of life is a mystery. So, the only life you really have is the life of this moment -- and that's where God is. He's here right now. In this moment. And, that's the only place you're going to find God. You won't find him yesterday -- because you're not there. And, you wont find Him tomorrow, because you're not there. You can only find and experience God where He is -- and where He is is where you are -- Right now. Those were the things that they taught me. And, based upon my personal experience with it -- it has benefited me greatly.

Another thing they mentioned was Step 10. They said "How can you possibly be practicing Step 10... because if you're holding on to old information and old ideas... you think that your old information and ideas are right. And, maybe they were right -- for yesterday. But, you live in today. And, how can you ever admit that you're wrong about anything if you're convinced that yesterday you were right?"

Thanks for letting me share with you. It may not have done anything for you -- but, it has helped me to clear the cob-webs and dust-mites from the corners of my yesterdays mind!

Dallas
Last edited by Dallas on Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Jools » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:55 pm

Some other AA history someone said to "Pass it on":wink:


The Alcoholics Prayer

At last the mystery of the Serenity Prayer has been solved. We have learned who wrote it and when it was written and how it came to the attention of the early A.A. members.

The timeless little prayer as been credited to almost every theologian, philosopher, and Saint known to man. The most popular opinion of it’s authorship favors St. Francis of Assisi.

It was actually written by Dr. Rienhold Nieburh of the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, in about 1932 as an ending to a longer prayer. In 1934, Dr. Howard Robbins, asked permission to use part of the longer prayer in a complication he was making at the time. It was published that year in Dr. Robbins Book of Prayers.

It came to the attention of an early A.A. member in 1939. He read it in an obituary in the New York Times. He liked it so much, he brought it to the little office on Vesey Street, for Bill W. to read. When Bill and the staff read the little prayer, they felt that it particularly suited the needs of A.A. Cards were printed and passed around. Thus, this simple little prayer became an integral part of the A.A. movement.

THE WAY IT WAS ACTUALLY WRITTEN WAS AS FOLLOWS:

“GOD, give me the Serenity
To accept things that cannot be changed,
Give me Courage to change things that must be changed,
And Wisdom to distinquish one from another.â€
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Postby Jools » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:57 pm

Paul, thanks for mentioning Sister Ignacia. I just listened to a great talk that she gave, that fortunately was available on CD. Once I can convert it to mp3, I'll make it available for everyone to listen to -- if they are interested.


*raises hand* I'm interested!!!

Thanx for your kindness.

Julie
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Postby RD1angel » Fri Nov 28, 2008 8:11 pm

Well, after removing myself from the keyboard for a day, I had to pray and ask for guidance. (thank you to my HP, I know you have been working over time with me lately) I did edit my post above, as I agree it wasn't appropriate..

GV said:

when I see you being irritating, that means I recognize the same "quality" in me


I hate it when someone is right!

I would love to hear Sister Ignacia !! I keep watching for the mp3 version.

Thank you all for your patience and tolerance, geeez, where else can a drunk go and be able to voice their twisted opinion and not get the #### kicked out of them. :shock:
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Postby GeoffS » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:07 pm

thanx_2hm wrote:
Paul, thanks for mentioning Sister Ignacia. I just listened to a great talk that she gave, that fortunately was available on CD. Once I can convert it to mp3, I'll make it available for everyone to listen to -- if they are interested.


*raises hand* I'm interested!!!

Thanx for your kindness.

Julie


Would be great to hear that at some stage. I love listening to the real old timers, not the potentially diluted versions we often here from others.
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Postby sunlight » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:54 am

Went to my home group tonight & the topic was "Is AA becoming watered down & diluted?"

I share about the book RD1angel mentioned, Back To Basics by Wally P., even though I don't even know what that book is.

After the meeting, a lady plops the book in my lap & says, "Is this the one?"
How cool is that? I just mention it, & there it is! :shock:

Then the group gets all excited & wants to devote one night a week to the book & we take a group conscience & it's a done deal.

Not only will we be amazed before we are halfway through, we will be amazed everyday! :D

Thanks RD1angel! You're keeping that fire going in Denver, even though it's blizzarding here.
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Postby RD1angel » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:34 pm

Wow, that is neat sunlight, the way things happen, all little miracles. Don't thank me, I, like you, got to be a small voice for the god of our understanding. That in itself is a miracle for this drunk, since I used to think I was a nothing, just a hopeless, helpless dweeb! (did I spell that right?)

I would love to go to Akron OH someday, talk about a spiritual experience, maybe that will enhance my being rocked into the forth dimension? :shock: No, I know, living the program on a daily basis. This is why I love looking into history, so many neat things. What I have noticed is we, alcoholics, haven't changed. We are just like we were back then. Somehow, I thought that we were MORE alcoholic than them.... typical thinking for me. So unique! :o
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Postby GeoffS » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:00 pm

sunlight wrote:
After the meeting, a lady plops the book in my lap & says, "Is this the one?"
How cool is that? I just mention it, & there it is! :shock:

Then the group gets all excited & wants to devote one night a week to the book & we take a group conscience & it's a done deal.



Would love to hear how that goes, and what you learn..
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