Step Nine: The Promise of Intuition
October 4, 2021
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October 4, 2021
12 steps traditions concepts

In the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, we are all generally acquainted with the 12 Steps, as they are a necessity to recovery. We come to realize that sobriety is more than just putting the cork in the bottle.

The 12 Steps provide us with a Spiritual Awakening, which the Spiritual Experience section of the Appendices of our book Alcoholics Anonymous, states is a “personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism.” (p. 567)

The 12 Steps are almost always read at meetings and are talked about in lead and discussion meetings. The 12 Steps are frequently a topic of discussion before and after meetings.

We are less acquainted with the 12 Traditions, though they are principles paramount to our unity. In the forward of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, it states “A.A.’s Twelve Traditions apply to the life of the Fellowship itself. They outline the means by which A.A. maintains its unity and relates itself to the world about it, the way it lives and grows.”

The 12 Traditions are about unity, self-Support and anonymity. In addition, their practical application should bring about a certain amount of humility. The Twelve Traditions are usually read at meetings. They are sometimes the topic of discussion at meetings and sometimes mentioned in leads.

For some reason, less emphasis is placed on the 12 Traditions as compared to the 12 Steps. Perhaps it is because they are not very prominent in the first 164 pages of our Big Book. The 12 and 12 states, “We are sure that humility, expressed by anonymity, is the greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can ever have.” (p. 187)

We are hardly acquainted with the 12 Concepts of World Service, which are the principles that co-founder Bill W. stated, “will prove to be a reliable working guide in the years that lie ahead.” The Twelve Concepts guide us in regard to General Service, which involves all of Alcohol Anonymous.

The AA Groups, Group General Service Representatives, District Committees, Area Assemblies, Delegates, Panel and Committee members, the General Service Conference, the General Service Board, Conference and Trustee Committees and the AA World Services and Grapevine Boards all use the 12 Concepts.

These principles are essential to our whole organization. They are our lifeblood, yet the 12 Concepts are rarely read at meetings. They are rarely the topic for discussion or talked about in leads.

Concept One states: “Final responsibility and ultimate authority for AA World Services should always reside in the collective conscience of our whole fellowship.” AA belongs to the members of Alcoholics Anonymous. We have been given the structure and principles to guide us in this endeavor.

Sadly, few of our Groups and members are involved in the structure of Alcoholics Anonymous. There is no voice for the Group without involvement. And that begins with a Group Service Representative.

By Calvin L.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.