DISCUSSION No. 2
THE SPIRITUAL PHASE
material contained herein is merely an outline of the spiritual phase
of the program and is not intended to replace or supplant:
|| a. The
careful reading and re-reading of the Big Book.
b. Regular attendance at weekly group meetings.
c. Study of the program.
d. Daily practice of the program.
e. Reading of approved printed material on alcoholism.
f. Informal discussion with other members.
|| This instruction
is not a short-cut to A.A. It is an introduction - - a help - - a brief
course in fundamentals.
This meeting covers Steps 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 11. We will take them in
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could
restore us to sanity.
Our drinking experience has shown:
Therefore we "came to
believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." We
must believe with a great FAITH.
- That as we strayed
away from the normal social side of life, our minds became confused
and we strayed away from the normal mental side of life.
- An abnormal mental
condition is certainly not sanity in the accepted sense of the word.
We have acquired or developed a mental disease. Our study of A.A.
- In the mental
or tangible side of life we have lost touch with, or ignored, or have
forgotten the spiritual values that give us the dignity of man
as differentiated from the animal. We have fallen back upon the
material things of life and these have failed us. We have been
groping in the dark.
- No human
agency, no science or art has been able to solve the alcoholic
problem, so we turn to the spiritual for guidance.
| Step No.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the
care of God as we understood Him.
In the first step we learned that we had lost the power of choice and
had to make a decision.
- What decision
could we make better than to
- turn our very
will over to God, realizing that our own use of our own
will had resulted in trouble.
- As in the Lord's
Prayer, you must believe and practice thy will be done.
- God as we understand
is a word we do not use in A.A. We refer to a member's relation to God
as the spiritual. A religion is a form of worship - - not the worship
- If a man cannot
believe in God he can certainly believe in something greater than himself.
If he cannot believe in a power greater than himself he is a rather hopeless
| Step No.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being
the exact nature of our wrongs.
- There is nothing
new in this step. There are many sound reasons for "talking over our troubles
out loud with others."
- The Catholic already
has this medium readily available to him in the confessional. But - - the
Catholic is at a disadvantage if he thinks his familiarity with confession
permits him to think his part of A.A. is thereby automatically taken care
of. He must, in confession, seriously consider his problems in relation
to his alcoholic thinking.
- The non-Catholic
has the way open to work this step by going to his minister, his doctor,
or his friend.
- Under this step
it is not even necessary to go to a priest or minister. Any understanding
human being, friend or stranger, will serve the purpose.
- The purpose and
intent of this step is so plain and definite that it needs little explanation.
The point is that we must do exactly what the fifth step says,
sooner or later. We must not be in rush to get this step off our chest.
Consider it carefully and calmly. Then get about it and do it.
- "Wrongs" do not
necessarily mean crime. It can well be wrong thinking - - selfishness
- - false pride - - egotism - - or any one of a hundred such negative faults.
| Step No.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects
- After admitting
our wrong thinking and wrong actions in step five we now do something more
than "admit" or "confess."
- We now become
ready and willing to have God remove the defects in our character.
- Remember it is
our character we are working on. Not the other fellow's. Here is
a good place to drop the critical attitude toward others - - the
superior attitude toward others.
- We must clean
our mind of wrong thinking - - petty jealousy - - envy - - self pity - -
- Here is the place
to drop resentments, one of the biggest hurdles the alcoholic had
to get over.
- What concerns
us here is that we drop all thoughts of resentment: anger, hatred,
- We turn our will
over to God and let his will direct us how to patiently remove, one
by one, all defects in our character.
| Step No.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
The meaning of this step is clear: prayer, humility.
- Prayer No
man can tell another how to pray. Each one has, or works out for
himself, his own method.
simply is the virtue of being ourselves and realizing how small we are in
a big world full of its own trouble.
- If we cannot
pray, we just talk to God and tell him our troubles. Meditate (think clearly
and cleanly) and ask God to direct our thoughts.
- Christ said,
"ask and ye shall receive." What method is simpler? - - merely ask.
- If you cannot
pray, ask God to teach you to pray.
we ask God to remove are the very defects in character that make
us drink - - the same defects we drink to hide or get away from.
- Drop all pretense.
- We must not
be Mr. Big Shot - - bragging, boasting.
- Shed false pride.
- Tell the simple,
plain, unvarnished truth.
- Act, walk, and
- See the little
bit of good that exists in an evil man; forget the little bit of evil
that exists in a good man.
- We must not
look down on the very lowest of God's creations or man's mistakes.
- Think clearly,
honestly, fairly, generously.
| Step No.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
contact with GOD as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge
of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Most of us find it well
to - -
- We pray each night
- - every night - - a prayer of thanks.
- We pray each morning
- - every morning - - for help and guidance.
- When we are lonely,
confused, uncertain - - we pray.
- Choose, for each
day, a "quiet time" to meditate on the program, on our progress in it.
- Keep conscious
contact with God and pray to make that contact closer.
- Pray that our
will be laid aside and that God's will direct us.
- Pray for calmness
- - quiet - - relaxation - - rest.
- Pray for strength
and courage to enable us to do today's work today.
- Pray for forgiveness
for yesterday's errors.
- Ask for hope
for better things tomorrow.
- Pray for what
we feel we need. We will not get what we want - - we will get what
we need, what is good for us.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spiritual side
of the program. Willingness, Honesty, and Open-Mindedness
are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
pertaining to drinking, or stopping drinking, is silly or irrelevant.
The matter is too serious. In A.A. we learn by question and answer.
We learn by exchanging our thoughts and our experience with each other.
Any question you ask may help someone else. To cover as many questions
as possible in the short time available, all answers must be limited to
|| God grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the
things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.