God is everything or else He is nothing. What does it mean?

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God is everything or else He is nothing. What does it mean?

Postby Dallas » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:36 am

... either God is everything or else He is nothing.

"either God is everything
or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn’t. What
was our choice to be?"
page 53, the book -- Alcoholics Anonymous

What does that mean to you?

For those of you that are familiar with me – you might be as surprised and as shocked as I am – that I am the one starting this thread on the topic: “God is everything or else He is nothing.â€

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Postby garden variety » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:17 am

Hi Bro,

I think for me, I can keep this one simple.

It's just coming to the realization (acceptance) that I can't overcome the mental compulsion to drink or the physical addiction to alcohol, and to STAY STOPPED, without the help of a God of my understanding.

Alcoholism becomes my "self-imposed" crisis when I cross that "magic line in the sand" where I could choose to stop drinking on my willpower alone (without a "God" of my understanding). I think the book says something along the lines of there was a time in our "drinking careers" where we could have chosen to stop but we didn't. Then when we realized that we could have stopped, it was too late - we were gone (powerless). Now this point here is when I'm now "afflicted" with the malady of "Alcoholism" - it doesn't mean that I'm an alcoholic yet.

For me, that passage you quoted is the heart of being an alcoholic. It's not so much the words that say God is or He isn't that matter the most to me. The FIRST THREE WORDS matter the most to me, and they define why "God is or He isn't".

"When we became alcoholics..."

For me this is the most important part of the program. It's that "self-imposed crisis point" where and when I realize in the depths of my soul that I have to have God's help or "a something's" help that is Greater than me, or else I'm gonna die. The book says it like this - oh this is so beautiful and clear, and dear, to me:

"How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth, pounded on the bar and said to ourselves. "For God's sake, how did I ever get started again?" Only to have that thought supplanted by "Well, I'll stop with the sixth drink." Or "What's the use anyhow." [Now I used those exact same words toward the end!]

"When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with alcoholic tendencies, he has probably placed himself beyond human aid, and unless locked up, may die or go permanently insane. These stark and ugly facts have been confirmed by legions of alcoholics throughout history." (see page 24-25)

Let me say that I am one of those in the "legions" that can confirm these "ugly facts". That's how it happened to me.

Today I realize how badly alcohol had to "beat me into a state of reasonableness." That's the place where I had to go to "become alcoholic" like the book says. This is such an important point for me to remember. It was that last drunk when I knew that I was DONE. For me when I "became alcoholic", that was that magic point in time when I changed from being a drunk of the 100% hopeless variety into an "alcoholic" who could begin TAKING ACTIONS that would get me sober and keep me sober. It was the "jumping off point" where I started looking for hope instead of death (because I couldn't find death - only those hideous Four Horsemen). That's what differentiates an alcoholic from a drunk, at least in my experience.

This is good stuff Dallas. Hard core A & A!

Keep up the good work.

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Postby Calhoun » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:58 am

To me this is the heart of who God is. He is either an omniscient being or an impotent being. I chose to believe he is former for if he is not everything, we are back where we started:depending on our own self -effort to do something we could'nt before STOP DRINKING. But this seems to be a tough hurdle for some to overcome: to trust in this being who we cannot see-touch-or feel. No one can talk another in to"believing" so it is up to us alcholics to ask for his/its help and God is perfectlyb willing to help us. One mans opinion. Thanks for letting me share

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Re: God is everything or else He is nothing. What does it me

Postby garden variety » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:38 pm

Man I came back to this thread again brother. You really outdid yourself in this thing! You said so much that made perfect sense to me.

Dallas wrote:Yes, I believe that God is. And, that’s about all that I know.

I may never know anything about God... other than, God is... and, that God is interested in all of us.

I think you're right on the money. All I have to do is follow those words you typed, and I have my start. The 2nd tradition also makes the "concept" of a God at work in our groups and at our meetings just as simple. It's right in line with your words Dallas. Especially what you said about coming to "us" for our experiences.

I only need to "understand" a few simple things about a "God of my understanding" which are in the words of the second tradition: "Four our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving God as He may express Himself..."

Like you said: "God is."

God is what?

1. one ultimate authority (Power Greater than me)
2. loving

Then all I have to do is look to the fellowship for the rest. That is REAL simple.

Dallas wrote:It seems to me, that God can do things that I can’t do – and, I can’t do the things that God can do – but, I have to do what I can do – because God is not going to do what I have to do, and won’t do what I have to do – because it’s my job to do what I’m supposed to do!

Man I love that. Nothing else needs to be said bro, you said it all! Talk about keeping it simple!

[quote="Dallas"]When I was getting sober, I made the discovery that I couldn’t stay sober. For me – that describes “whyâ€

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Postby eastcoastscott » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:05 pm

Wow, almost like philosophy eh? I have been thinking a lot recently about how I cope with life on life's terms instead of by using my higher power. I figured that since the big book makes a lot of reference to God and "God of our understanding" that this could be the key to the program, or at least a large component. For me, I like to think that my HP was with me from birth. A formless "being" that controls my "real self". The exterior "form" or facade that I have, "the visible me" integrates into society, actions created by experience and time, gathering as I go. It is really only though evolution that Man became able to "think". Most, if not all other animals do not have the capacity to make decisions, feel complex emotions etc, they run on a more pre-programmed course. This makes me think that they are more directly connected to their HP. Our HP knows the difference between right and wrong, but we "choose" to do the wrong things, why? If only I could pause, ask my HP what to do, instead of going on auto-pilot and "doing the same thing over and over, expecting to get a different result", maybe then, I could avoid this ridiculous conditioned behavior that hasn't worked well for me. Tapping into this "being" or "living in the moment" connects me to my HP.
Anyhoo,this is keeping me sober since my trip and since I forgave myself, feel pretty good lately!

I'm thinking too that I don't want to believe in God (I used to believe in Santa) I'd rather "feel" God, just seems better to me, what I aim for.


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Re: God is everything or else He is nothing. What does it me

Postby pumakiss » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:59 pm

It means exactly what it says. You decide. All the grey area we add to it is the problem. This question is designed to get you off the fence. There is no right or wrong answer, but by making a DECISION either way, progress will begin. Otherwise, no real progress can be made.

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Re: God is everything or else He is nothing. What does it me

Postby Dallas » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:25 pm

Welcome to the site. Thanks for sharing!

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Re: God is everything or else He is nothing. What does it me

Postby Toast » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:26 pm

To truely believe this takes courage, that's why we ask for it in our serenity prayer.

Once we've acquired the wisdom to see how he saved our lives its really not such a hard thing to do.

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