The Founding of AA and The Spiritual Solution

The following is an excerpt from the chapter “The Founding of AA and Development Of  The Spiritual Solution”

…Ebby visited Bill again at the hospital, while Bill continued to detox from the effects of many years of alcoholism. While there, Ebby further explained the spiritual solution he had used to overcome alcoholism. He explained to Bill the need to surrender to a higher power of Bill’s own understanding. In order to deepen this surrender and to further cultivate an understanding of a higher power, Ebby impressed on Bill the need to take an honest look at his behavior and how his behavior had caused others harm. He told Bill that he needed to make restitution, to set right these harms. He then explained to Bill that he must incorporate a spiritual practice into his daily life, to maintain this new God-consciousness and to keep himself in fit spiritual condition if Bill was to overcome alcoholism.

Most importantly, Ebby impressed on Bill the importance to practice these spiritual principles in all of his affairs, and the absolute necessity of helping others. Soon after Ebby’s visit, Bill had a spiritual experience where he felt renewed, and his thoughts changed from being self-centered to other-centered. While lying in his hospital bed, Bill understood how important it would be to help other alcoholics, as Ebby had helped him. He realized that if he would help others, they in turn could help others, and many thousands might be saved by following these simple spiritual principles.

Bill left the hospital with the conviction of being of service to other alcoholics. At first Bill was not successful in helping other alcoholics achieve the sobriety he had. One particularly troubling day for Bill, he arrived home despondent at his lack of success. He complained to his wife Lois that he had talked to hundreds of alcoholics and that he was not able to help any of them. Lois’ very significant reply was “Yes Bill, but you stayed sober!” By practicing these new-found spiritual principles and by attempting to help other alcoholics, for the first time in decades, Bill was able to stay sober.

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