1. Many people think that the Second Step says: "Came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves."
2. However, these people are wrong!
3. The Second Step actually says:
"Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."
4. For too many people the whole focus of the Second Step has been lost, or has never existed!
5. The Second Step doesn't just say that we will come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, a Higher Power.
6. It doesn't just say that we will come to believe in God.
7. It says that this Power greater than ourselves will restore us to sanity.
8. This is the first promise of the program!
9. The Second Step tells us that God is going to restore our sanity so that we will start behaving sanely and normally in the same situations in which we used to hurt others and ourselves.
10. The Second Step lets us know that when our sanity is restored, we will be recovered!
11. The Second Step gives us the reason to work the program.
12. Referring to R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 20, in the sixth paragraph, it says:
"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."
13. The purpose of the Big Book and the program is NOT just to find a Power greater than yourself, but a specific Power; A Power greater than yourself who will SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM.
14. Sometimes people refer to the fourth paragraph, on page 21. It says:
"You need ask yourself but one short question. 'Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?' As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built."
15. They take this paragraph out of context, to justify using a Higher Power, not God, to begin working the program.
16. This is a good way for someone to start because a Higher Power other than God may eventually lead someone to God.
17. Some people even define their Higher Power as a tree, a bus, or a light bulb, etc. This may also help someone to find a Power greater than themselves.
18. However, will a tree, bus, light bulb, etc., solve their problem?
19. It is very difficult for someone to get somewhere if they do not know where they are going!
20. This is one reason so few people call themselves recovered!
21. Once again, many people do not even see that the whole point of the Second Step is to come to believe that God can and will RESTORE THEIR SANITY!
22. They do not have to believe this right from the start. They do not even have to believe in God to start!
23. However, they do need to understand where they are supposed to wind up, in order for the rest of the steps to make sense, and for them to have sanity, not sobriety or abstinence, as their goal.
24. In other words, it is far easier to get somewhere if they know where they are going!
25. Reading the directions for Step Two in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, and taking the actions R.A.'s Multilith Big Book describes, helps people make this transition.
26. R.A.'s Multilith Big Book does not just use the term, "a Power greater than ourselves," and leave it up to us to define this concept. It goes on to define this Power as "a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem."
27. It then goes on to define this Power in even more detail!
28. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 21, in the second paragraph, it says:
"Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another's conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. 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. We found that God does not make hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding. It is open, we believe, to all men."
29. This defines God as "a Creative Intelligence, A Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things."
30. Is a bus a "Creative Intelligence"? Is a light bulb "A Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things"? Of course not!
31. If someone comes into the program, and is told that they can use a bus or a light bulb as their Higher Power, without being told that this is only temporary, they are going to feel deceived when they find out the truth. They will often then leave the program.
32. The Big Book also makes sure that we know that we will begin "to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps."
33. In other words, it is encouraging us to work the rest of the steps to reach this point.
34. Therefore, as Bill writes in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 6, in the second paragraph, it is essential to this process for someone to come to believe that:
"God is concerned with us humans, when we want Him enough."
35. In R.A., we believe that it is vital for a newcomer to understand that not only does God exist, but that He cares enough about us to restore us to sanity, to solve our problem, to produce our recovery.
36. If someone cannot accept this at the start, that is okay!
37. However, they will then have the testimony of the pioneers to validate the fact that many of them also started out in the same place, and then made the journey to belief, sanity, and recovery.
38. They will understand that if this happened for the pioneers, it can also happen for them!
Please use R.A.'s Questions and Answers Forum to ask any questions or make any comments about any of this.