(week 74) 30 May 2013 Big Book Step Study Workshop
We Agnostics page 48 from 3rd paragraph: ‘The practical individual of today is a stickler for facts and results.’ until end of 2nd paragraph page 49 ‘Rather vain of us, wasn’t it?’
Look up the meaning of: unreasoning, prosaic, steel girder, assumption, laborious, vain.
Page 48: 2: You can substitute spirituality for electricity.
1a) If you cannot see, feel or use something are you the type of person who tends to discount it? Are you the type who will investigate or are you a person who will just accept it because someone you love, like or respect has embraced it? What type of person are you?
1b) Do you feel that that is the way God wants you to be?
1c) If you are not the person you want to be, how could you change?
2a) How is your outside appearance? How is your inside? Does your outside match your inside? If someone followed you around for a day, would they, because of your speech and actions, see a spiritual person?
2b) Do you judge by outward appearances or do you wait and get to know a person, a group, institution, a family etc., before making a judgment on whether or not you are going to have them in your life?
3. About God: are you prejudiced about the way certain people speak and act out their spirituality? Do you bristle when you are at a step one meeting and somebody talks with reverence and love about his or her Higher Power? Do you judge them or do you think they definitely have their act together? And if someone speaks about their Higher Power and you do not like it, are you willing to go up to that person and to get to know them?
4. Will you be willing this week to re-read pages 48 and 49 and really try to see how deep this example about spirituality is? [If you say no, that will be respected and if you say yes, you may be richly rewarded].
5. What do you think when you hear something (whether in your step one fellowship, at school, work or from your family members) that you believe shows the person has unreasoning prejudice and is talking from ignorance? Do you pray about it and say: ‘I feel strongly about this?’ Do you pray and say: ‘you know what, it’s not worth my time?’ And if it is not worth your time, will you pray about why not (e.g. is it your fear of confrontation, disagreeing with someone in authority, someone you don’t want to lose in your life, etc.)? If you think the person is wrong and you really don’t know, investigate why you would not do find out the answer and speak to him or her.
p. 49 line 7, underline: All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence
6. Do you have a Higher Power that is: a) All Powerful? b) You are willing to let guide you? c) Is a Creative Intelligence?
Write: No God, No Peace. Know God, Know Peace.
7. Write on this slogan. Does it make you bristle or do you think ‘I know that, but I’m not ready?’ How does it make you think and feel? Do you live that out?
‘Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of God’s ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Rather vain of us wasn’t it?’
8. Do you believe that? Why do you believe it will be alright? Do you still believe that if you do enough human actions, your best thinking can keep you sober? [It is very important to know where your starting point is].
Task for the week: Start each day with the Serenity Prayer adding: ‘Thy will not mine be done.’
9. How do you know what God’s will is?
(week 73) 23 May 2013 Big Book Step Study Workshop
Chapter 4: We Agnostics p. 47 from end of line 8:
‘…to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him.’
until page 48 end of second paragraph:
‘We think there are good reasons. Let us have a look at some of them.’
Above cornerstone write: belief in Higher Power/God.
Look up: emphatically, emphatically, effective, obstinacy, sensitiveness, abandon, persuader, tedious.
Q1. Name one thing spiritually that when you started this Big Book process was like that. No way, that’s not something I am going to do. I am talking about spiritually.
Q2 What is the purpose of the 12 steps?
Q3. a) Do I now believe?
b) Am I even willing to believe that there is a power greater than myself?
c) Where are you with that question today as opposed to a year and a half ago?
Q4. Challenge to all of us: Get out of yourself today and encourage somebody.
(It does not matter whom: a family member, a co-worker, a person on the street, someone in your 12th step fellowship).
Write what you did and how it made you feel.
Q5. Are you excited about the way God is bringing you? Do you have any fear about it?
Q6 What does spiritual structure mean?
Q7 Have you give yourself permission to go at your own pace or are you trying to live up to somebody else’s pace?
Are you to push, prod pull or is somebody doing that to you?
Are you giving yourself the dignity to be where you are meant to be?
Q8. What handicap of obstinacy do you have – in or out of programme?
If you are being handicapped by obstinacy in your spiritual life write about that too.
Q8. Re-read The spiritual experience and can also listen to it on 12stepstudyworkshop.com.
Q9 What is your great persuader today for you to complete this process?
(week 72) 16 May 2013 Big Book Step Study Workshop
Chapter 4: We Agnostics p. 46 from start of 2nd paragraph: ‘Yes, we of agnostic temperament have had these thoughts and experiences.’ Ending on p.47 line 8: ‘…to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him.’
Words: haste, inadequate, prejudice, earnestly
47:2 Draw the spiritual triangle around the ‘We’. God is on top.
Q1 What is your version of the Set Aside Prayer and how would you say it if Stephanie asked for a volunteer? Take each line and write on it. What does it mean to you? How do you own it? What is your experience, strength and hope with this? Ask yourself, am I writing from EGO and not learning what God wants me to learn?
Q2 Do you have an agnostic temperament?
Q3 Do you have an AA 12 x 12? If not, are you willing to buy one? Are you willing to use it as a companion to the Big Book? [When we finish We Agnostics we will read Step 2 from 12 x 12]
Q4 Are you willing to lay aside prejudice? Are you willing to express even the smallest foothold of belief in a Power greater than yourself?
Q5 Even if you don’t have any idea about your higher power just being willing to have a higher power come into your life is enough. Are you willing?
46:2 3rd sentence underline the words as below: ‘As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps.
These are promises of power and direction. Other simple steps are following the suggestions in the big book.
On a piece of paper write: Suggestions from the Big Book.
1. Admitting the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe. Beneath it write: ‘Benefits of this suggestion: a new sense of power and direction.’
2. ‘…we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. Write: ‘Steps 2- through 12’.
A Promise: We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men.
Q6 Are you willing to put time aside to have Quiet Time? To say the 3rd Step prayer and Set Aside prayer? (Stephanie’s suggestion).
Suggested Quiet Time:
Q7 What does ‘God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him,’ mean to you? Is it a promise? Is it helpful?
Q8 Are you willing to earnestly seek?
(week 71) 9 May 2013 Big Book Step Study Workshop
We Agnostics page 46 beginning of line 3: ‘We looked upon this world of warring individuals…’ until end of first sentence of paragraph two: ‘Yes, we of agnostic temperament have had these thoughts and experiences.’
Look up: refuse, skepticism, askance, awe, temperament.
Q1. Where are you in your life and your recovery? Are you where you want to be? Where are you with your relationships generally: parents, spouse, children, colleagues? Where are you with the God of your understanding? Where are you with this Big Book study?
Q2. How would you answer someone really close to you who confronted you about your dependence upon a Higher Power?
Q3. a) Are you skeptical about a Higher Power? b) Are you totally sold that there is a God and it keeps you sober and on the recovery path and have no idea why there is warring between people and inexplicable calamities.
Q4. Do you look askance when people talk about God at meetings?
Q5. Can you relate to having a moment thinking about God and things spiritual and the addictive chatter interrupts you?
Q6. When you start getting negative, do you talk to yourself in a recovery manner?
(week 70) 2 May 2013 12-step Study Big Book workshop
We Agnostics. Page 45 from start of first paragraph: ‘Lack of power, that was our dilemma…’ until end of first sentence top of page 46 ‘…the thought that faith and dependence on a Power beyond ourselves was somewhat weak, even cowardly.’
Look up: dilemma, non-judgmental, will
Lack of power, that was our dilemma.
Underline lack of power and draw a star beside it.
Q1a) What does lack of power mean to you?
b) Write about lack of power over your thoughts
c) and your actions.
Q2 The Big Book tells us that we can have power from God.
a) Do you believe that?
b) Do you have that?
c) How do/did you get it?
Q3. Where do you get your power from?
Q4 What does a power greater than yourself mean?
Write down: trudging means walking with a purpose.
p.164‘We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.’
Q5. Are you walking with a purpose today the Road of Happy Destiny?
‘Lack of power that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?
Well, that’s exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral. And it means, of course that we going to talk about God. Here difficulty arises with agnostics. Many times we talk to a new man and watch his hope rise as we discuss his alcoholic problems and explain our fellowship. But his face falls when we speak of spiritual matters, especially when we mention God, for we have re-opened a subject which our man thought he had neatly evaded or entirely ignored.’
Q5. Summarise and own for yourself these two paragraphs incorporating Stephanie’s sharing on them.
Lack of power is exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.
That is a very powerful promise
That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral.
Q6 Separate moral and spiritual and define in your own words what this sentence means.
Q7. Think back over the last four days and give an example to God, yourself and your buddy group of doing something differently because your morals are different.
a) When you talk to a new person do you mention God?
b) What do you reply when they say ‘I don’t believe in God?’
c) How do you help them?
Q9.Write about what happens when you are afraid?
The callback for the three-hour summary of steps 1-3 is on the website.
Telephone number is as for this workshop i.e. 641 715 3900.
For summary part 1 pin no. 235934# part 2 no. 578290#
Our live phone meetings are every Tuesday at 8:00 AM EST. The phone number for these live meetings is (712) 775-7031, and the meeting ID number is 714744988#.
P O Box 531
North Pembroke MA 02358
You can listen to our recorded meetings at (641) 715-3900, pin 95666# for our Tuesday Big Book Step Study workshop. You can also hear our Thursday Big Book Study recordings at (641) 715-3900, pin 298913#. These meetings can be accessed at any time.