by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Grapevine : January 2011
most, my sobering up was brought about by listening to fellow sufferers and by sharing my own experiences. Despite my lack of faith I have found a wealth of inspiration in the AA program for maintaining my so- briety. Thirst for first-class knowl- edge of alcoholism is one result. I have collected a reference library on the subject. I have listened to lectures and watched movies and documentaries. I have hunted for clues on the internet. In my later years of sobriety Step Eleven has been a starting point of paramount importance to me, even though I have to leave out the "God part." Concerning Step Eleven, the AA Step book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions tells us that "the object (of meditation) is al- ways the same: to improve our con- scious contact with God, with his grace, wisdom, and love." My under- standing of meditation is different. My way of meditation has no other object than to watch the world with an empty mind, tranquil and wide- awake all at once. That's why my wording of Step Eleven is abbreviated to: Sought through meditation to strive for se- renity and spiritual development. Step Twelve is primarily about helping fellow sufferers---a job vital to recovering alcoholics regardless of their understanding of powers above or down here. I have no need for mixing God up in that task, even though a few passages in the Step book hint that the ultimate aim of working this Step is to find God. The all-embracing statement in Step Twelve about trying "to practice these principles in all our affairs" unfolds an inspiring vision of "the AA way of life" as the uni- versal answer to all kinds of human problems. According to the Step book, the new way of thinking that recovering alcoholics are acquir- ing in Alcoholics Anonymous may turn them into ideal human beings, not caring about material things or power or prestige, and humbly "ac- cepting poverty, illness, loneliness and bereavement with courage and serenity." Qualities like these are worth aiming at for me, too. The Step book's explanation of Step Twelve, however, indicates that such aspira- tions are more or less fruitless with- out God's help. I hardly need to add that I disagree. As a recovering al- coholic I have found that search for spiritual dimensions in life need not be of a religious nature in order to be highly rewarding. Notwithstanding my critical re- marks, I'd like to end by saying that my continuous sobriety since 1983 would be inconceivable without the humane support and spiritual inspi- ration coming from AA, its program and people. Aage B. Allerød, Denmark Grapevine 41