“In the preceding chapters you have learned something of alcoholism…an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.” (page 44)
Many people might disagree with the thought of a spiritual experience being the only way to recover from alcoholism, but we are only saying that is the only thing that has ever worked for any of us.
“We had to find a power by which we could live…a Power greater than ourselves…where and how were we to find this Power?
“Well, that’s exactly what this book is about…to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem…a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral.” (page 45)
With spiritual fellowship today being our “sufficient substitute” (page 152) for alcohol, our Basic Text shows the steps each of us has taken to grow into it. We have not turned to our Maker to help us stay sober or to show us how to not drink, but to remove our problem for us by transforming us into “the Fellowship of the Spirit”. (page 164)
“…(the idea of) your own conception…applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book.” (page 47)
Perception might be a better word to use here, but the bottom line is that we are each free to believe, to perceive or “conceive” as we wish while humbly giving “God as you understand God” (page 164) an opportunity to reveal Himself by doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves along the line of an “effective mental defense against the first drink“. (page 43)
“In this book you will read the experience of a man who thought he was an atheist…a minister’s son…rebellious at what he thought an overdose of religious education…dogged by trouble and frustration…to the point of self-destruction.
“…’Is it possible that all the religious people I have known are wrong?'” (page 55-56)
A.A. is not about trying to change anyone’s belief or lack of belief. Our experience simply shows that anyone at all who is willing to to take the Steps can ultimately discover “that all of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.” (page 28)