During the mid-1930s, two anonymous ladies from England sought spiritual guidance by praying to God, then recorded on paper as they “listened” to what God had revealed. This process came to be referred to as Automatic Writing.
These “written answers” came into the possession of and Oxford Group author, A.J. Russell, who published them in a daily-message book, destined to become a best seller titled, GOD CALLING. As a matter of fact, these daily messages became the near-verbatim middle-page paragraph of a later book called “24 HOURS A DAY.” Certainly, Bill W. would have been aware to this Automatic Writing process when he asked God for help writing Chapter Five in December of 1938 (PASS IT ON, p. 198). Amazingly, Bill completed the first draft in about a half hour – this, of course, included changing six steps into twelve!
The Big Book, when discussing Step Four (p. 64), tells us to “take stock honestly,” but no further instructions are given. I have found this process of Automatic Writing to be a very useful tool at this point. I like to dwell on the four main defects discussed in Step Four: selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. I simply put them in columns and ask God to do the writing from my deepest spiritual level. I repeated this mantra over and over: “God help me, I am doing my inventory,” until the answers erupted from my deepest level (not my mind!). resultantly, more honestly exuded in ten short minutes than hours of writing out of my head – I then had truly honest information for continuing with the Fourth Step process.
By Bob S.