Capizon Publishing

Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book

Personal Transformation:
The Promise of the Twelve-Step Process

By Kerb K.

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Capizon Publishing        ISBN13: 978-0-9659672-2-8        172 pages       Retail Price $15.00

From the back cover:
"I have always felt that 'Twelve-Step Spirituality' is a gift of the Spirit, and the unique contribution of America to the history of spirituality. Herb brings it all down to earth and practicality in this fine book. Theory and theology mean very little if they do not also transform lives. This is transformational spirituality."
Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M. / Center for Action and Contemplation
Albuquerque, New Mexico

"This guide book takes the trial-and-error out of searching for the golden nuggets in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. I recommend it for those who are willing to put the spotlight of 'searching and fearless' honesty on all aspects of daily life in sobriety."

Mel B. / Author of "New Wine" and other recovery-related books

"I'm always glad to see and encourage accurate step and Big Book studies."

Dick B. / Historian, Retired Attorney, Author of 21 Titles on A.A. History

Excerpts from Twelve-Step Guide to Using the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book.
This twelve-step process of transformation is a path that leads to an effective relationship with an accessible, personal God.  All individuals are entitled to have their own experience as they journey this path, led by the Spirit. 

It has been my experience that when, in an atmosphere of prayer, a thought-provoking question is asked and a thought-filled bit of information is presented, the result is new knowledge-not just at the intellectual level, but at the intuitive level. We become just a little bit more awake, a little bit more conscious. Our perceptions are shifted; our being is changed, ever so slightly, ever so subtly.

Transformation is our life's goal. But we cannot make it happen. We can only be open to the process, and make ourselves ready to receive this gift. We can be taken to a place of willingness (grace), but we must be willing to be taken (our cooperation). 

This guide is not a commentary on the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, which  contains all directions necessary to recover from "a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body" for those of us who are interested and willing to do the suggested work. 

This guide is intended to be used in conjunction with the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and A.A.'s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions  in working the Twelve Steps. It presents clarifying instructions for approaching and studying both books. But is not a do-it-yourself process.

For me, the directions in the Big Book were not self-evident.. I could not find these instructions or follow them without specific guidance from one who had preceded me on the path. The formula has been and always will be "simple and personal ... one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope"  I needed a step guide-a person who himself had been led through the step process, who could share with me his instructions and experience. 

My step guide gave me homework assignments, reducing the process into manageable projects, one for each step. I needed a lot of help over a prolonged time to understand both the depth of my disease and my responsibilities in recovery. This person was not only my guide, but my sounding board for questions and my mentor/confidant for each discussion. 
Having a guide was like wearing a coal miner's helmet with a light on it-my guide was able to switch on the light so that when I read the Big Book I could see the instructions and when I followed them precisely, I was led to the Truth.

As a result of my experiences, I wrote this guide to lay out the aggregate of instructions I received in the hopes that it might help others to see the "... clear-cut directions ... showing how we recovered". The specific instructions I received and followed for each step included Prayer,  Reading,  Consideration/Reflection, Writing,  Discussion.

I had no idea this would change my life from the inside out. It brought me into an ongoing transformation that provides the emotional stability and spiritual development I had been pursuing through religion, therapy, and a variety of self-help programs for many years before embarking on the Twelve-Step Process!

Underneath each of the steps is personal powerlessness-we are powerless to see the Truth; we are powerless to take the actions. Therefore, for each step, prayers were constructed for my own use, based on the principles, words, and suggested prayers from various sections in the Big Book. The specific PRAYER for each step will be found toward the end of the instruction for each step, just before the reflection questions. 

We all come to this place with our accumulated knowledge and experience (drinking, newly sober, or with long-time sobriety). Our knowledge and experiences have made us who we are today and have given us the lives we have today. To have something different (if we don't want what we have) or to have something better (if what we have is good but we want more-quality and/or quantity), we need new knowledge and experiences.

We have intellect and will, which lead to knowledge and action. The proper use of the intellect is to seek knowledge of God's will. Ask yourself: what is my vision of God's will for me? When we use our will properly, we align our will with God's will. Therefore, our prayer is "Thy will be done."

When we are in harmony with Creative Intelligence, the Spirit of the Universe which underlies all, our Higher Power is revealed to us and through us to others. We are possessed with a new sense of power and direction.

It's only in naming and accepting our brokenness
 that we can be healed, can be redeemed. 
It is in facing our shadows that we are transformed.

Asking ourselves the right question is more important 
than prematurely being given the right answer.

It is the cutting edge of the right question 
that rends the veil to TRUTH.

Copyright © 2001 by Herb K.
Published by Capizon Publishing June 2004

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