Quotations From Bill W.


"Is sobriety all that we are to expect of a spiritual awakening? No, sobriety is only a bare beginning; it is only the first gift of the first awakening. If more gifts are to be received, our awakening has to go on. As it does go on, we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life - the one that did not work - for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever."

"Learning how to live in the greatest peace, partnership, and brotherhood with all men and women, of whatever description, is a moving and fascinating adventure. "

"We have good reason to disbelieve those who think spirituality is the way of weakness."

"Honesty with ourselves & others gets us sober, but it is tolerance that keeps us that way. "

"Moments of perception can build into a lifetime of spiritual serenity, as I have excellent reason to know. Roots of reality, supplanting the neurotic underbrush, will hold fast despite the high winds of the forces which would destroy us, or which we would use to destroy ourselves." "

"The willingness to grow is the essence of all spiritual development. "

"We alcoholics are the biggest rationalizers in the world."

"More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor"

"We have good reason to disbelieve those who think spirituality is the way of weakness. "

"Nothing can be more demoralizing than a clinging and abject dependence upon another human being. This often amounts to the demand for a degree of protection and love that no one could possibly satisfy. So our hoped for protectors finally flee, and once more we are left alone - either to grow up or to disintegrate. "

"Could I also suggest that you look at excessive guilt for what it is? Nothing but a sort of reverse pride. A decent regret for what has happened is fine. But guilt - no."

"I was an agnostic, an atheist on top of it."

"Iím more affected than ever by that sweet and powerful aura of the church; that marvelous spiritual essence flowing down by the centuries touches me as no other emanation does, butówhen I look at the authoritative layout, despite all the arguments in its favor, I still canít warm up. No affirmative conviction comes."

" With ministers, and the world's religions, I parted right there"

" Nothing pays off like restraint of pen and tongue."

" We have never known the average, the mediocre. All or nothing, that's us."

" I understand that the father symbol will always be hitched to me."

" All our experiences are but lessons in some form or another which condition us for our larger destiny. Of that I am sure. Any way you look at it, it's a problem world. What matters, and what matters only is what we do with our problems"

"Great suffering and great love are AA's disciplinarians; we need no others"

"Anonymity was first conceived for AA as a mere protection; but unconsciously we made a spiritual ten-strike of large dementions, too - something that more and more appears as time passes."

"Nothing matters more to AA's future welfare than the manner in which we use the colossus of modern communication. Used unselfishly and well, it can produce results surpassing our present imagination."

"More than most people, I think, alcoholics want to know who they are, what this life is all about, whether thay have a divine origin and an appointed destiny, and whether there is a system of cosmic justice and love"

"Though many theologians hold that sudden spiritual experiences amount to a special distinction, if not a divine appointment of some sort, I question this view. Every human being, no matter what his attributes for good or evil, is a part of the divine spiritual economy. Therefore, each of us has his place, and I cannot see that God intends to exalt one over another.Ē

"Perhaps the thing that bothers you is the feeling that your case is somehow different and much worse than other peoples"

"The drinking of alcohol is a sort of spiritual release. Is it not true that the great fault of all individuals is abnormal self-concern."

"It is ever so hard to believe that any human beings, no matter who are able to be infallible about anything"

"No personal calamity is so crushing that something true and great can't be made of it"

"Years ago I used to commiserate with all people who suffered. Now I commiserate only with those who suffer in ignorance, who do not understand the purpose and ultimate utility of pain"

"The Catholics call it salvation, the psychiatrists call it integration, and I call it growth"

"What I really meant was this: I was catapulted into a spiritual experience, which gave me the capability of feeling the presence of God, His love, and His omnipotence. And most of all, His personal availability to me"

"Easy does it, first things first, do what you can. Believe me, I too have been through the wringer"

"Look, I'm just another drunk - pass it on."

"I was soon to be catapulted into what I liked to call the fourth dimension of existence"

"We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed"

"The common denominator of spiritual experience is pain and utter hopelessness"

"I suppose half the old-timers have neurotic hangovers of one sort or another. Certainly I can number myself among them"

"A. A. is an utter simplicity which encases a complete mystery"

"In Gods economy nothing is wasted"

"The most heated bit of letter writing can be a wonderful safety valve - providing the wastebasket is somewhere nearby"

"As to changing the steps themselves, or even the text of the AA book, I am assured by many that I could certainly be excommunicated if a word were touched"

"I had to be the first in everything because in my perverse heart I felt myself to be the least of God's creatures"

"In the wake of my spiritual experience there came a vision of a society of alcoholics."

"I have become a pupil of the A. A. movement rather than a teacher."

"The drinking of alcohol is a sort of spiritual release. Is it not true that the great fault of all individuals is abnormal self-concern."

"I am not the least big scandalized by the sins of the church or any of the people in it. I don't see how an ex-drunk can be scandalized about anything."

"It must never be forgotten that the purpose of Alcoholics Anonymous is to sober up alcoholics. There is no religious or spiritual requirement for membership. No demands are made on anyone. An experience is offered which members may accept or reject. That is up to them."

"The thing that irks me about all religion is how confoundedly right they all are"

"Pain is the touchstone of all growth"

"You must have often asked yourself the very question so frequently in my own mind. Why all this pain? What have I done to merit this suffering?

"The roads to recovery are many"

"You didn't get sober to go to meetings"

"Though I still find it difficult to accept today's pain and anxiety with any great degree of serenity - as those more advanced in the spiritual life seem able to do - I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless."

"So this, is the God of the preachers."

"Perhaps we carry the principle of tolerance too far, and if we find that to be true, I am sure we shall be willing to adjust our viewpoints."

" I used to be ashamed of my condition and didn't talk about it. But in recent years, I freely confess I'm a depressive, and that attracts other depressives to me. Working on them has helped a great deal. In fact, it helped me more than it did them."

"....how can I presume to say that my detailed theological convictions are correct? In this search I've had the advantage of what seemed to have been a very genuine and illuminating spiritual experience, together with many encounters with the psychic realm, both personal and by observation."

"Believe me , I know what you have suffered, and share your joy in getting well. Amoung older AA's there is a great deal of this nervous breakdown business. I certainly share your view that glandular ill health plays a heavy part in many of them. I also believe that the withdrawl of alcohol is likely to accentuate the neurosis in many of us. Our neurosis may break out in a very aggravated form after a few years of soberiety."

"In the wake of my spiritual experience there came a vision of a society of alcoholics."

" We have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking, it is not a disease entity "

" The Oxford group wanted to save the world, and I only wanted to save drunks "


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