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Is sobriety all that we are to expect of a spiritual awakening? No, sobriety is only a bare beginning; it is only the first gift of the first awakening. If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on. As it does go on, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life - the one that did not work - for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever.
--Bill W

 

AA Appendix II - Spiritual Experience

From Page 569, "Big Book", aka Alcoholics Anonymous 3rd edition.
Also From Page 567, "Big Book" aka Alcoholics Anonymous 4th edition.

The terms "spiritual experience" and "spiritual awakening" are used many times in this book which, upon careful reading, show that the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism has manifested itself among us in many different forms.

Yet it is true that our first printing gave many readers the impression that these personality changes, or religious experiences, must be in the nature of sudden and spectacular upheavals.    Happily for everyone, this conclusion is erroneous.

In the first few chapters a number of sudden revolutionary changes are described.    Though it was not our intention to create such an impression, many alcoholics have nevertheless concluded that in order to recover they must acquire an immediate and overwhelming "God-consciousness" followed at once by vast change in feeling and outlook.

Among our rapidly growing membership of thousands of alcoholics such transformations, though frequent, are by no means the rule.    Most of our experiences are what the psychologist William James calls the "educational variety" because they develop slowly over a period of time.    Quite often friends of the newcomer are aware of the difference long before he is himself.    He finally realizes that he has undergone a profound alteration in his reaction to life, that such a change could hardly have been brought about by him alone.    What often takes place in a few months could seldom have been accomplished by years of self-discipline.    With few exceptions our members and that they have tapped an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves.

Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience.    Our more religious members call it "God-consciousness."

Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts.    He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.

We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program.    Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recover.    But these are indispensable.

"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."

HERBERT SPENCER

 


*~~ Signs of a Spiritual Awakening ~~*

  1. An increased tendency to let things happen
       rather than make them happen.
  2. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.
  4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously
        rather than from fears based on past experience.
  6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  7. A loss of ability to worry.
  8. A loss of interest in conflict.
  9. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
10. A loss of interest in judging others.
11. A loss of interest in judging self.
12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything
       in return.


~~ Authors Anonymous as in AA ~~








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01/03/2011





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