12 steps traditions concepts
12 / 12 / 12
October 4, 2021
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I Am Just Learning How to Do Life
November 1, 2021
santa monica ca beach

The Big Book amazingly promises that we will be reborn (p. 63). In Big Book context, Bill W. may have been referring to Dr. Carl Jung’s description of a spiritual experience: “Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.” (p. 27). Of course, Bill himself had a near similar experience at Towns Hospital (p. 14).

I had a similar experience when I was about three months sober but had not yet worked the 12 Steps. Late one night while meditating on a pier of rocks protruding into the ocean in Santa Monica, California, I was overcome with a tremendous surge of energy and joy that sent me sprinting down the beach. This lasted a long time but had dissipated by the next morning. It occurred to me that I had experienced the same as Bill Wilson on page 14—perhaps I, too, had become “reborn!”

Alas, two months later I marched into a bar and almost ordered a gin and tonic. Thank God I didn’t, but I certainly had not had a spiritual experience as the Big Book defines it: “the personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism.” (p. 567).

But as time passes, I realize that God has removed my mental obsession to drink alcohol so long as I remain in a fit spiritual condition. Indeed, the 10th Step promise on page 85 has happened: “Instead, the problem (mental obsession) has been removed. It does not exist for us.” In this context, I have been reborn!

By Bob S.

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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.