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Follow the Winners A New Pair of Glasses

Notes from Chuck C.'s Classic Book
 
 
I found this book wonderful and helpful. In addition to great quotes, it provides great emphasis on engaging with (rather than isolating from) people and God, continuous growth, positive thinking/attitude, and action (living the solution).
 

Notes from A New Pair of Glasses , ©1984 by Chuck C., ISBN 916733009

Heaven is just a new pair of glasses, said Father Ed Dowling [p36]

Clancy I.'s Preface

  • What sets AA head and shoulders above other attempts to reverse the disease of alcoholism is in its immensely successful efforts to literally alter the relationship of the alcoholic to his or her world--in effect, to provide a different perception of the same environment. [pviii]
  • The most baffling characteristic of alcoholism--both to the alcoholic and to those who must deal with him--is the paradox in which the conflicts of sober reality eventually always become untenable, leading to the return to alcohol and/or drugs for relief. Then the "relief" chemical becomes the problem. The outside pressures begin to mount regarding its use, and the pain and discomfort in the patient begins to increase. Neither sobriety nor its chemical counterpoint can provide a meaningful cessation of the the conflict. This almost hopeless condition of mind and body is known as alcoholism...a truly strange disease in which withdrawal from alcohol has little if any salutary effect, and often makes the emotional agony intensify. [pviii]
  • There are many who will tell you how...there are few who can demonstrate it! I have discovered his living example to be more encouraging to me than all the countless pages of "How to..." books in which I for many years immersed my discomfort and discouragement. [pix-x]

Chuck C's 1975 Pala Mesa Retreat

  • This is not a headache we're talking about. We're talking about a terminal illness. [p15]
  • I have to be sober. Sobriety and life are synonymous. [p98]
  • The time has to come in our lives when we come to see that if there be fault, it's ours. [p99]
  • Our immediate problem when we came here was booze (p3).
  • Our problem actually is a living problem, and we have to have a living answer. [p27]
  • How fortunate we are. We have to find an answer lest we die. And we find the formula for sobriety and the formula for the good life and the formula of God are all the same. And we find an aswer that makes the chemical unnecessary, and it's an answer that doesn't just stay in the meeting. [p105-106]
  • You and I are victims of a combination of characteristics which came with us that make it impossible for us to integrate ourselves into the life that we're born into; into the so-called civilization that we're born into.
  • Before the thing happened to me, I thought the entire human race was a cosmic mistake. God's kids were too mean and too stupid to merit my attention [p44]
  • There are three characteristics (there are many more, but we'll use three) that are common to us all: perfectionism, the interior awareness that life should be a good thing, and highly sensitive.
  • Perfectionism is a beautiful characteristic when we learn how to live it, but until we do it'll kill us. Forever disappointed in ourselves and everything around us. [p100]
  • Never in our lives, long before we had a drink, were we able to settle for status quo. If it wasn't better than normal, we didn't like it. [p11]
  • "When I look out this window sober, it's cheap and it's dirty and it's ugly. But when I look out drunk it's beautiful." ("Days of Wine and Roses") [p100]
  • We're not emotionally immature, we're highly sensitive. [p101]
  • We cannot integrate ourselves in to the life around us. It's not because we don't want to, because we do. We want so much to be a part of, and we're forever apart from. So this is our problem, a basic spiritual unrest. [p102] I too had been born into a society that I couldn't swallow, I couldn't integrate myself into. I had to find a way to be comfortable. When I was nineteen I found a way to get comfortable in that society and for the next fifteen years I used this chemical for an answer. It remained an answer for the first fifteen years, but after fifteen years my answer turned on me and became the problem. The next ten years made it necessary for me to find the right answer, and I did. [p103]
     
  • Dr Jung wrote Bill that the alcoholic's problem was his search for unity with the life around him and with the God that made him. And when he found the bottle, it seemed to be the missing ingredient. It seemed to let him live a little bit more comfortably with himself and in the society around him. He had found a chemical unity, and it did a pretty good job for him until it became the problem that only a spriritual answer could solve. [p105]
  • The only roadblock between me and you and me and my God is the human ego. The best definition of the human ego = "The feeling of conscious separation from". Conscious separation from God, from each other, and eventually from ourselves. Life, Good, God to me are synonymous words. Here I am against the whole world. [p7, 29]
     
  • Why am I not drunk tonght? Because I have the thing I was looking for in the bottle. The king size hurt is gone. [p19]
     
  • Sobriety is four-fold: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Physical sobriety comes from not drinking. We don't drink today and, after awhile, we are free from the physical affects of alcohol. But until we become emotionally stable and mentally stable and spiritually somewhat stable, we're not sober. [p120]
  • Sobriety is the ability to live comfortably, peacefully and joyously with oneself. [120]
  • Things short of it are partial sobriety. [p96]
  • How am I going to stay sober? I'm going to perform so that I'm comfortable, right here inside me [p98]
     
  • There is an answer that stays with you, and it's so much better than any chemical. And you don't have to repeat a dosage of chemicals. If you decide that you want to find this answer, and make an effort, you can find it. There are many people who will help you. [p103]
  • God came to meet me, through you, who had already found your way. [p114]
  • I've never had a sponsor in this program. I didn't figure that I was entitled to that much consideration from anybody. [p46]
  • Those that teach us what not to do are just as important as those that teach us what to do [p47]
  • The AA program is a program of Uncovering, Discovering and Discarding. Steps 1-9 are the uncovering steps, clearing away the wreckage of the past, squeezing us out of ourselves, ego-wise; to get rid of the human ego temporarily. [p6-7]
     
  • Now it's a moral inventory, so we don't have to write every time we turned left when we should have turned right. It means to write down enough that we can see the motivation for what we have done up until now. The motivating force in our lives. Every one of them will boil down to trying to satisfy the human ego, which cannot be done. But if I have to spread this dirty linen out before another humjan being, if I've got any ego left after that, I haven't done it! [p21] The main thing is that we become willing to give them away, and we give them away. [p22]
  • Sobriety has to come first. Unless and/or until sobriety comes first we can't have it.
  • And unless it remains first, we cannot keep it. [p15]
     
  • The key to life is rigorous self-honesty. We have a monitor in us, and we can't dislodge it. The religious call it conscience. When I perform according to the best I know there seems to be a nod of approval from the universe and they call that "peace of mind". [p54]
  • There's only one security, that's my own relationship with my own God. There are no values out there. The values are here inside me. [p142]
  • I find no diference in prayer and a serious thought [p131]
  • If you asked me "What's your religion?", I would say, "It's the way I live." [p79]
  • Why is I so hard to find God? Because he ain't lost. [p110] We can be like the fish who heard the water was fine, so they swam all over the Pacific Ocean hunting for water. [p110]
     
  • We think, and ourselves become the thing we think about. If I pour in slop, I get back slop [p42-43]. (Ref Power of Positive Thinking, rewiring the brain, etc).
  • You can live yourself into right thinking, but you cannot think yourself into right living.
  • Do these things and something happens; don't do them and nothing happens, no matter how much you know about AA. [p44] When I do these simple things, one day at a time to the best of my ability, I feel clean inside, and good thangs hapen in my life. [p109]
  • To get ourselves off our mind, there's nothing more highly recommended than to sit down with a wet drunk. [p124]
  • I doubt very much if our value as a counselor equals our value as a listener [p122]
  • Live above the problem to be of value to those who have it. We can't afford to become emotionally involved in their problem or we lose all our possibility for help. The answer is not in the problem, it is in the answer. [p120]
  • We're changing people. I'm not the guy I was yesterday; I'm the guy I was yesterday plus yesterday's experience and it's lesson. So we're always new, and that woman you're married to is always new. [p65] The words are always new. Every time I read them, every time I talk about them, they're new. The words remain the same, we don't. It depends entirely where we are what they mean. We'll be walking up this ladder forever. [p95] A happy sobriety will turn into a drunk unless we develop. We've got to keep going. All we need to do is get fat and compacent and quit walking, and we're in trouble. So grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty is a full time job. [p11] (Chuck and Frank M, a couple of old-timers talking at a 1965 conference) "I feel that the last five years have been the greatest period of my own growth." [p108]
  • All of us are God's kids. Whether we believe it or not, whether we like it or not, even if we deny it, we cannot change the reality of our own being. Walking alone is not normal, is not natural. Most of us have walked alone for most of our lives. [p27] It's normal for us to walk down the high road of life with our arms around each other, sharing our experience, strength and hope, one with another in love [p115] Some part of every one of you is going to be with me for the rest of my life. So thank you again. All I have to do is look into the eyes of a bunch like you, to see my God. [p117]
 
I had the lenses in my glasses backwards...
AA has given me a new pair of glasses.
Big Book pg. 451