RA offers hope, sanity, and recovery, especially to those who, despite their best efforts, have yet to find full recoveries, no matter what their problems or behaviors may be and their family and friends.
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 Part 1: Absorbing the program and philosophy
 
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I) Reading and Discussing Step Four
This discusses the "clear-cut directions" for working Step Four.
 
 

Chapter Five

HOW IT WORKS

Step Four


1. The fifth chapter in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, "How It Works," contains three parts. We have already read the first part of this chapter. It was an introduction to the Twelve Steps designed to encourage newcomers to work them.

2. In the second part of this chapter, we read a discussion of the Third Step that the pioneers also used to explain the need for the Fourth Step.

3. We are now going to read the third part of this chapter. It contains the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for doing their Fourth Step inventory.

4. In this section of R.A.'s Step Presentation, we are going to thoroughly follow each of the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," and actually do their Fourth Step inventory.

5. Later, in Part 2 of R.A.'s Step Presentation, we will formally go through the Fourth Step.

6. The purpose of the Fourth Step is often misunderstood. In R.A., we believe that this is because, when Bill wrote the Twelve Steps, he did as he had been taught. It was common grammar at the time, to avoid repetition by using synonyms. This was intended to hold a reader's interest.

7. Therefore, instead of repeating the phrase "defects of character" in Steps Four, Five, Six, and Seven, Bill used synonyms such as moral, wrongs, and shortcomings.

8. Unfortunately, over the years, this has caused confusion about the purpose of the inventory.

9. Since the word "moral" is used in the Fourth Step, some people think that the inventory is supposed to list all of the times they did not act ethically, or honestly.

10. Since the word "wrongs" is used in the Fifth Step, some people think that the inventory is supposed to list all of their sins or crimes.

11. Since the word "shortcomings" is used in the Seventh Step, some people think that the inventory is a list of all times they were inadequate, deficient, or weak.

12. Sometimes people don't realize that "moral," "wrongs," and "shortcomings," are synonyms for "defects of character." Therefore, they spend a lot of time trying to list their interpretations of these words in their inventory.

13. When someone follows the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," they simply look for the character defects that caused their problems and behaviors.

14. Now we are going to change things up a little. You have been reading from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. Now we are going to switch to reading from R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook.

15. The "clear-cut directions" in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook are identical to the "clear-cut directions" in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. However, we have broken them up so they can easily be seen and acted on. In R.A., we have also added some additional comments that will make taking the inventory even easier.

16. I am going to read the section containing points A through H. I will tell you when you should read from the workbook.

17. In R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 8, it says:

STEP FOUR WORKSHEET #1

A. The "clear-cut directions" in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book were followed to create the columns in this workbook. The Fourth Step starts on page 29. Remember that the real purpose of this inventory is to search for, and find, your defects of character.

B. R.A. suggests that you spend no more than ten minutes writing your answers in each column. Occasionally people have more to write than this time allows. As long as you don't think that you must do it perfectly, you can continue adding items up to and through the time you share this inventory.

18. This needs to be emphasized. If you have more to write down than ten minutes allows, as long as you remember that you do not have to do this perfectly, you can continue adding items up to and through the time you share this inventory.

C. Answer the questions by writing brief phrases in the columns provided in this workbook. Please keep your answers as brief as possible. R.A. suggests that you write down just enough information so that you will be able to remember the incident. You will be able to expand upon your answers as you do the Fifth Step.

D. You may use additional pages if needed.

E. Refer to the list on page 29 in the Multilith as an example. R.A. suggests that you leave approximately one inch between each name or other entry you place on your list in Column 1.

19. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 29, please look at the list. You will see that the same columns are on page 9 in the workbook. However, in the workbook the information at the top of each column is expanded to make what you are supposed to do clearer.

F. The examples at the top of the columns are just suggestions. Your answers are not limited to them. They are a suggested starting point for your list. They are not meant to exclude other answers.

20. In other words, these examples are a suggested starting point for your list. They are not intended to stop you from using other answers. These examples are taken from the text of R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. However, you are not limited by these suggestions. If a different answer comes to mind put it down.

21. You may have heard the expression, "When in doubt, leave it out." In this case R.A. suggests that if you are not sure something should be on your list, put it in. R.A.'s experience is that it is better to add things, and then discuss them later, than to leave something out and then wonder if it was important.

G. The inventory from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book that is now in this R.A. workbook does NOT call for a history, an item-by-item list of details. It is just a listing of our "grosser handicaps."

H. For example, look at the sample list in the Big Book. Next to Mr. Brown's name, The Cause of the resentment is simply listed as, "His attention to my wife." Note that the details of each time Mr. Brown paid attention to his wife are not written down. This is the difference between an inventory and a history.

22. If this was supposed to be a history, then the person who did the sample inventory that's on page 29, would have written down every time he could remember Mr. Brown paying attention to his wife. He would have said on July 24th at 9 p.m., and then on December 23rd, at 10 p.m. However, that's not what this inventory is calling for.

23. Please read the three paragraphs in section number 1 on page 8 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

24. 1. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 29, at the top of the page, it says:

"Your liquor is but a symptom. Let's now get down to basic causes and conditions.

"Therefore, you start upon a personal inventory. This is step four. A business which takes no regular inventory usually goes broke. Taking a commercial inventory is a fact-finding and a fact-facing process. It is an effort to discover the truth about the stock-in-trade. Its object is to disclose damaged or unsalable goods, to get rid of them promptly and without regret. If the owner of the business is to be successful, he cannot fool himself about values.

"We do exactly the same thing with our lives. We take stock honestly. First, we search out the flaws in our make-up which have caused our failure. Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, is what has defeated us, we consider its common manifestations."

25. Please notice that the pioneers very clearly say that the "personal inventory" is the Fourth Step. They also say that its purpose is for someone to discover the truth about their character defects, so they can admit that these character defects are objectionable, and then ask God to remove them.

26. The pioneers are trying to make this clearer. They say that someone should "take stock honestly." Then they say that someone needs to "search out the flaws" in their make-up, their character, that stopped them from recovering. These "flaws" are their character defects.

27. Now they start to get specific. They say, again based on their experience, "Being convinced that self, manifested in various ways, is what has defeated us, we consider its common manifestations."

28. In other words, the pioneers found that the character defect of "self," which shows itself in different ways, had stopped them from recovering.

29. Therefore, they look at the main ways this character defect of "self" shows itself. Remember, back on page 28, the pioneers said, "Selfishness — self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate."

30. So, now we know some of the common ways the character defect of "self" shows itself.

31. In the next paragraph, the pioneers continue to be specific.

32. Please read the one paragraph in section number 2 on page 8 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

33. 2. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 29, in the third paragraph, it continues:

"Resentment is the 'number one' offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else. From it stem all forms of spiritual disease, for we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically. In dealing with resentments, we set them on paper. List people, institutions or principles with whom you are angry."

34. The pioneers are saying that, "resentment is the 'number one' defect of character someone is to look for in this inventory."

35. They say that this defect of character shows that someone has been "spiritually sick," not just "mentally or physically ill." They go on to say that by doing this inventory someone's spiritual illness will be healed. Once that happens, their mental and physical symptoms, their problems and behaviors, will also straighten out.

36. Now the pioneers give us their "clear-cut directions" for dealing with resentments.

37. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 9, at "STEP FOUR LIST #1."

38. There are several examples, drawn from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, at the top of Column 1. These examples are only suggestions.

39. While most people are able to keep what they need in the column in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, if you run out of space, just take a blank sheet of paper and label it Number One. Please remember that you are not writing a history. Therefore, be careful to only write just enough for you to recall an item when you share your Fifth Step.

40. You will have 10 minutes to fill in Column 1. If you finish sooner, please let me know, and we'll move on.

41. On LIST #1, in Column 1, using the list in the Big Book as an example, you will now have ten minutes to list the people, organizations or doctrines, past and present, you resent. Start writing now!

42. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 10 minutes.

————————————Approximately 10 minutes later————————————

43. Remember, you can keep adding things all the way up to the time you give this away in your Fifth Step. Then, if other things come to mind after that, you will put them down in your Tenth Step inventory.

44. Please read the one paragraph in section number 3 on page 8 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

45. 3. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 29 in the third paragraph, it continues:

"Ask yourself why you are angry. In most cases it will be found that your self-esteem, your pocketbook, your ambitions, your personal relationships (including sex) are hurt or threatened. So you are sore. You are 'burned up.' "

46. In Column 2, you will now have ten minutes to list the causes of the resentments you listed in Column 1.

47. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 9, at "STEP FOUR LIST #1."

48. This is very straightforward. You are simply going to use column 2, and perhaps an additional sheet of paper, to write down the cause of the resentments, that you listed in Column 1.

49. There is an example, drawn from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, at the top of Column 2. Please remember that all of the examples at the top of the columns are only suggestions.

50. You again have 10 minutes. If you finish sooner than the 10 minutes, please let me know, and we'll move on.

51. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 10 minutes.

————————————Approximately 10 minutes later————————————

52. Please read the one paragraph in section number 4 on page 8 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

53. 4. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 29 in the fourth paragraph, it continues:

"On your grudge list set opposite each name your injuries. Is it your self-esteem, your security, your ambitions, your personal, or your sex relations, which have been interfered with?"

54. In Column 3, you will now have ten minutes to list your injuries, what these resentments affect.

55. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 9, at "STEP FOUR LIST #1."

56. There are again several examples, drawn from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, at the top of Column 3. Please remember that these examples are only suggestions. The answers for this column are not limited to these examples. If in doubt, it is better to put something in than to leave something out.

57. You again have 10 minutes. If you finish sooner than the 10 minutes, please let me know, and we'll move on.

58. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 10 minutes.

————————————Approximately 10 minutes later————————————

59. Please read the one paragraph in section number 5 on page 8 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

60. 5. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 29 in the bottom paragraph, it continues:

"Go on through the list back through your lifetime. Nothing counts but thoroughness and honesty. When you are finished consider it carefully. The first thing apparent to you is that this world and its people are often quite wrong. To conclude that others are wrong is as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome is that people continue to wrong you and you stay sore. Sometimes it is remorse and then you are sore at yourself. But the more you fight and try to have your way, the worse matters get. Isn't that so? As in war, victors only seem to win. Your moments of triumph are short-lived."

61. Here the pioneers give another one of their "clear-cut directions." They say that when someone has finished writing in Column 3, they should carefully look at what they have written.

62. They tell us that when someone does this, they will easily see that "this world and its people are often quite wrong."

63. They go on to say that, "To conclude that others are wrong is as far as most of us ever got. The usual outcome is that people continue to wrong you and you stay sore."

64. This provides a clue, as to why most of the inventories done in other programs do not seem to work as well as the pioneers' inventory. They do not follow the pioneers' "clear-cut directions."

65. When the people in someone's life do things that hurt them, it is common to get angry, and resentful. By doing this inventory, someone can see that his or her anger and resentment affects other people as well as themselves.

66. When someone follows the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" they are able to move forward. They are not stuck. They are able to understand that staying angry with other people, or staying sore with him or herself is not the answer.

67. The pioneers are saying that the more someone fights and tries to have their own way, the worse things get.

68. It also tells us that, the more someone tries to change other people, the more someone fights with them and tries to have them be the way they want, they make matters worse, not better.

69. Column 4 is not used right now, but will be used later.

70. In R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 10, please look at STEP FOUR WORKSHEET #2

71. Please read the two paragraphs in section number 6. I will read the red text.

72. 6. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, on page 30, starting in the first full paragraph, it continues:

"It is plain that a way of life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic whose only hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We find that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.

"If we are to live, we must be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm are not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for the alcoholic these things are poison."

73. The pioneers are saying that no one can afford to hold on to anger and resentment. Someone who does try to do this is only going to be unhappy. Everything else they try isn't going to work. They are going to feel useless and unhappy.

74. The pioneers again say that the only hope for a "real" alcoholic "is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience." They go on to say that resentment blocks a spiritual experience.

75. The pioneers are saying that someone who doesn't have a spiritual experience, because they hold on to anger and resentment, can die. If not literally, certainly emotionally and spiritually. They say that holding on to anger and resentment shuts someone "off from the sunlight of the Spirit."

76. The pioneers continue by saying that if someone is to live, they "must be free of anger." So-called normal people may be able to live with their anger and resentment. A "real" alcoholic can't. Anger and resentment are poison to them.

77. Please read the three paragraphs in section number 7 on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

78. 7. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 30 in the third paragraph, it continues:

"Turn back to your list, for it holds the key to your future. You must be prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle. You will begin to see that the world and its people really dominate you. In your present state, the wrongdoing of others, fancied or real, has power to actually kill you. How shall you escape? You see that these resentments must be mastered, but how? You cannot wish them away any more than alcohol.

"This is our course: realize at once that the people who wrong you are spiritually sick. Though you don't like their symptoms and the way these disturb you, they, like yourself, are sick, too. Ask God to help you show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that you would cheerfully grant a friend who has cancer. When a person next offends, say to yourself 'This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'

"Never argue. Never retaliate. You wouldn't treat sick people that way. If you do, you destroy your chance of being helpful. You cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show you how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one."

79. Once again, the pioneers are giving "clear-cut directions" for someone to follow. Just to make this clear, to do this inventory, every paragraph, every sentence, and every word in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book will be read. Every one of the pioneers' "clear-cut directions" for doing this inventory will be followed in R.A.'s Step Presentation.

80. In this quote, the pioneers are giving some very important instructions and information. They say to turn back to the list that is in the workbook. They are saying that this list holds the key to the future. Now here is what makes the pioneers inventory so different.

81. They say to look at the items on the list in a totally different way. When someone does this, they can see how their anger and resentment are controlling them. They begin to understand that holding on to this anger and resentment can kill them. However, since they know that they are powerless, and they cannot wish, or will away their anger, they have a problem. They don't know what they can do.

82. The pioneers have the answer. They give explicit "clear-cut directions" that will help someone move past their anger and resentment. They again share their experience. They say, "This is our course. Realize at once that the people who wronged you are spiritually sick. Though you don't like their symptoms and the way these disturb you, they, like yourself, are sick, too."

83. Think about this for a moment. If someone does something to deliberately hurt another person, isn't that proof that they're sick? Well people don't do things to deliberately hurt other people.

84. The pioneers say that someone does not have to like what these people did. The pioneers go on to say that, "they, like yourself, are sick, too."

85. Therefore, if someone can begin to understand that the people who hurt him or her did so because they are spiritually sick, they can begin to forgive them because they were powerless.

86. Then, someone can also begin to understand that they also hurt people because they, themselves, are spiritually sick too. They can start to forgive themselves for whatever they did. They can recognize that they were powerless too.

87. Now the pioneers give another of their "clear-cut directions." They say to, "ask God to help you show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that you would cheerfully grant a friend who has cancer."

88. If someone's friend were sick with cancer, and perhaps undergoing treatments that made them depressed and angry, it would be understandable that they might lash out and say and do hurtful things.

89. Therefore, the chances are that they would show their friend pity, patience, and tolerance, because they know that their friend is sick. They would probably understand that the angry and hurtful things their friend was saying and doing were the symptoms of being sick.

90. The pioneers say that someone has to give that same sympathy, that same understanding, to people who are spiritually sick, not just physically sick.

91. So, the pioneers give us a "clear-cut direction" to follow "When a person next offends." Notice they don't say, "If a person next offends," it says " When a person next offends, say to yourself, 'this is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.' "

92. While this is a very specific direction, the pioneers continue with more "clear-cut directions." They say, "Never argue. Never retaliate. You wouldn't treat sick people that way. If you do, you destroy your chance of being helpful. You cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show you how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one."

93. We are now going to continue reading from the bottom of section 7 on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. It says:

94. We will be coming back to Column 4 in a little while. In Column 5 you will now have ten minutes to list those you now recognize hurt you because they, like yourself, are sick too.

95. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 11, at "STEP FOUR LIST #2."

96. In Column 5 you are going to list the people you now understand hurt you because they are spiritually sick.

97. At the top of Column 5, there are again several examples, drawn from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. Please remember that these examples are only suggestions. The answers for this column are not limited to these examples. If in doubt, it is better to put something in, than to leave something out.

98. You again have 10 minutes. If you finish sooner than the 10 minutes, please let me know, and we'll move on.

99. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 10 minutes.

————————————Approximately 10 minutes later————————————

100. Please read the one paragraph in section number 8 on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

101. 8. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 30 in the sixth paragraph, it continues:

"Take up your list again. Putting out of your mind the wrongs others have done, resolutely look for your own mistakes. Where have you been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Though a situation may not be entirely your fault, disregard the other person involved entirely. See where you have been to blame. This is your inventory, not the other man's. When you see your fault, write it down on the list. See it before you in black and white. Admit your wrongs honestly and be willing to set these matters straight."

102. Here the pioneers are saying to "Take up your list again." However, this time they say to ignore the "wrongs others have done." Instead they want someone to look at what they have written and see the part they played in each situation, if any.

103. They want the person taking this inventory to see if they were selfish, dishonest, self-seeking or frightened. These are some of the character defects that, as we read earlier, caused people to retaliate.

104. In Column 6, you will now have ten minutes to list your own mistakes as they relate to the first three columns.

105. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 11, at "STEP FOUR LIST #2."

106. In Column 6, you will now have ten minutes to list your own mistakes as they relate to the first three columns.

107. At the top of Column 6, there are again several examples, drawn from R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. Please remember that these examples are only suggestions. The answers for this column are not limited to these examples. If in doubt, it is better to put something in, than to leave something out.

108. Someone should look at his or her own contribution to each situation. Even if the situation wasn't entirely his or her fault, they should ignore the other person's part. They should disregard the other person entirely. This is not the other person's inventory. Someone should only look at what they did.

109. You again have 10 minutes. If you finish sooner than the 10 minutes, please let me know, and we'll move on.

110. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 10 minutes.

————————————Approximately 10 minutes later————————————

111. Please read the one paragraph in section number 9 on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

112. 9. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 30 in the seventh paragraph, it continues:

"You will notice that the word fear is bracketed alongside the difficulties with Mr. Brown, Mrs. Jones, your employer, and your wife. This short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives. It is an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence is shot through with it. It sets in motion trains of circumstances which bring us misfortune we feel we don't deserve. But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling? Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing as a sin. It seems to cause more trouble."

113. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 9, at "STEP FOUR LIST #1."

114. Column 4 is now going to be used. Column 4 is for someone to list where fear relates to the resentments already listed. To keep things consistent, we have an entire column to list each time fear applies, instead of just writing them in brackets along side each item.

115. This way someone just needs to write the word, "fear" each place it applies to the things listed in the first three columns. Since someone only has to write one word, where appropriate, there are only five minutes given to fill in this column.

116. Going back to the bottom of section 9, on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, it says:

117. In Column 4, you will now have five minutes to list where fear relates to your resentments. You can simply write the word "fear."

118. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 9, at "STEP FOUR LIST #1."

119. In Column 4, you will now have five minutes to write the word "Fear" where it relates to your resentments in the first 3 columns.

120. Some people just write down the letter "F" to speed things up. Remember that this is just an outline that will be used to jog the memory during the Fifth Step. So, this does not need to be perfect. It doesn't need to have every detail. It just needs to have enough information so someone can remember what to share about in his or her Fifth Step.

121. You now have 5 minutes. If you finish sooner than the 5 minutes, please let me know, and we'll move on.

122. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 5 minutes.

覧覧覧覧覧覧Approximately 5 minutes later————————————

123. Please read the one paragraph in section number 10 on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

124. 10. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 30 in the bottom paragraph, it continues:

"Review your fears thoroughly. Put them on paper, even though you have no resentment in connection with them. Ask yourself why you have them. Isn't it because self-reliance has failed you? Self-reliance was good as far as it went, but it didn't go far enough. Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn't fully solve the fear problem, or any other. When it made us cocky, it was worse."

125. In Column 7, you will now have ten minutes to list where your fears played a part, even though you have no resentment in connection with them. Here are some examples of how fear may have played a part: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of getting hurt, fear of getting caught, fear of being deceived, fear of humiliation, fear of exposure, fear of change, fear of financial insecurity, fear of being alone, etc.

126. Column 4 listed the fears that are related to the anger and resentments listed in the first 3 columns.

127. Now, column 7 lists the fears that are NOT related to the anger and resentments listed in the first 3 columns.

128. For example: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of getting hurt, fear of getting caught, fear of being deceived, fear of humiliation, fear of exposure, fear of change, fear of financial insecurity, fear of being alone, etc.

129. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 11, at "STEP FOUR LIST #2."

130. In Column 7, you will now have ten minutes to list the fears that are NOT related to the anger and resentments listed in the first 3 columns.

131. You again have 10 minutes. If you finish sooner than the 10 minutes, please let me know, and we'll move on.

132. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 10 minutes.

————————————Approximately 10 minutes later————————————

133. Please read the one paragraph in section number 11 on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

134. 11. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 31 in the top paragraph, it continues:

"Perhaps there is a better way—we think so. For you are now to go on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. You are to trust infinite God rather than your finite self. You are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that you do as you think He would have you, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable you to match calamity with serenity."

135. This is the point at which you are to go on a different basis—the basis of trusting and relying upon God.

136. In R.A., many of us think that this is the most important paragraph in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. In it the pioneers give some more of their "clear-cut directions." They say, "For you are now to go on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. "

137. Remember, back in the discussion of the Third Step, the pioneers said that, "selfishness—self-centeredness," was the root of their problems. Now, they are telling someone that this is the point where they are to go on a "different basis."

138. They are saying that instead of the "self-reliance" that has failed them, someone should now go on, "the basis of trusting and relying upon God."

139. So, this is the point where someone is to stop trying to run the show him or herself. They are to let go of their selfishness, their self-centeredness, and start out on a different basis, "the basis of trusting and relying upon God."

140. Most people might think that this "clear-cut direction" was precise enough. However, it is easy to see that the pioneers did not think it was clear enough. They continue their "clear-cut directions" by saying, "You are to trust infinite God rather than your finite self. You are in the world to play the role He assigns."

141. In this passage they are simply restating what they have said many times before. Remember back on page 28, they said, "This is the how and why of it. First of all, quit playing God yourself. It doesn't work. Next, decide that hereafter in this drama of life, God is going to be your Director. He is the Principal; you are to be His agent. He is the Father, and you are His child. Get that simple relationship straight. Most good ideas are simple and this concept is to be the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which you will pass to freedom."

142. Back on page 10 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, the last sentence of the paragraph in section number 11 says, "Just to the extent that you do as you think He would have you, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable you to match calamity with serenity."

143. Notice that this sentence doesn't say, "Just to the extent that you do as He would have you..." It says, "Just to the extent that you do as you THINK He would have you..."

144. In other words, someone may still not be perfect. They don't have to be. However, if someone is doing what they THINK God would have them do, and they humbly rely on God, He will give them serenity, even when things are not going well.

145. Life doesn't become perfect just because someone is now on a different basis. It means that when calamity strikes, when there are trials or tribulations, they now have a different way of dealing with them.

146. They will react sanely and normally. They will trust infinite God rather than their finite selves. They will put the problem in God's hands instead of trying to rely on themselves to resolve it. These are very important concepts.

147. In R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 12, please look at STEP FOUR WORKSHEET #3

148. Please read the one paragraph in section number 12. I will read the red text.

149. 12. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 31 in the second paragraph, it continues:

"You must never apologize to anyone for depending upon your Creator. You can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. Never apologize for God. Instead let Him demonstrate, through you, what He can do. Ask Him to remove your fear and direct your attention to what He would have you be. At once, you will commence to outgrow fear."

150. In this paragraph, the pioneers are again giving more of their "clear-cut directions." First they say, ""You must never apologize to anyone for depending upon your Creator. You can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God."

151. Second they say, "Never apologize for God. Instead let Him demonstrate, through you, what He can do."

152. The pioneers' third instruction says, "Ask Him to remove your fear and direct your attention to what He would have you be."

153. Then they give the results of following their "clear-cut directions." They say, "At once, you will commence to outgrow fear."

154. Please notice these directions are designed to help someone move on to the different basis, the basis of trusting and relying on God. This is the alternative to someone trying to rely on him or herself.

155. Look at these directions. How much clearer could the pioneers have been? They specifically say, "You must never apologize to anyone for depending upon your Creator."

156. In other words, it does not matter if someone thinks it is foolish to trust God. It does not matter if someone insists that they are still responsible for controlling their life. The pioneers clearly say, "You can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness."

157. There are those who believe that relying upon God is somehow weak. However, all someone is doing is recognizing reality. They have repeatedly proven that they don't have the ability to control their problems and behaviors. If they had the ability to control their lives, their problems, their behaviors, they never would have needed the program in the first place.

158. The pioneers assert that depending upon God is not weak. They say, "Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage. All men of faith have courage. They trust their God."

159. The pioneers are saying that it takes far more strength, and courage, for someone to trust and depend on a loving God, they can't see, than it does to try to rely on him or herself.

160. This is the point in the program where someone starts to change. They begin to stop trying to rely on themselves. They recognize that they always screwed things up in the past. Therefore, they live in constant fear of screwing things up again. So, the pioneers give an alternative. They say, "Never apologize for God. Instead let Him demonstrate, through you, what He can do."

161. Someone is not asking for the power, the control, back. They are asking for God to demonstrate, through them, what He can do. God is the one doing it. God is their director. They are His agent. God is the parent. He or she is His child.

162. Then there is this final "clear-cut direction" from this paragraph. The pioneers say to, "Ask Him to remove your fear and direct your attention to what He would have you be. At once, you will commence to outgrow fear."

163. Some people do not understand that the word "commence" simply means to "begin." When someone prays for God to remove their fear, and direct their attention to what He would have them be, it doesn't mean they will immediately outgrow fear. It does mean that they will "begin" the process of outgrowing fear."

164. At this point, in R.A., we suggest that everyone now take a moment to pray for God to remove your fear and direct your attention to what He would have you be.

165. In R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 12, please look at STEP FOUR WORKSHEET #3

166. Please read the two paragraphs in section number 13. I will read the red text.

167. 13. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 31 in the third paragraph, it continues:

"Now about sex. You can probably stand an overhauling there. We needed it. But above all, let's be sensible on this question. It's so easy to get way off the track. Here we find human opinions running to extremes—absurd extremes, perhaps. One set of voices cry that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of procreation. Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex; who bewail the institution of marriage; who think that most of the troubles of the race are traceable to sex causes. They think we do not have enough of it, or that it isn't the right kind. They see its significance everywhere. One school would allow man no flavor for his fare and the other would have us all on a straight pepper diet. We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone's sex conduct. We all have sex problems. We'd hardly be human if we didn't. What can we do about them?

"Review your own conduct over the years past. Where have you been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom did you hurt? Did you unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where you were at fault, what should you have done instead? Get this all down on paper and look at it."

168. You will now have ten minutes to use all four columns (8, 9, 10, and 11) to review your own sex conduct over the years past.

169. Please look in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook, on page 13, at "STEP FOUR LIST #3."

170. These four columns relate to your sex conduct. You don't need to repeat anything you have already written down. These are separate incidents that relate to sex.

171. At the top of each Column, there are again examples, drawn from the paragraph we just read in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. Please remember that these examples are only suggestions. The answers for this column are not limited to these examples. If in doubt, it is better to put something in, than to leave something out.

172. In Column 8, you will review your own sex conduct over the years past. For example: "Where have you been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate?"

173. In Column 9, you will answer the question, "Whom did you hurt [by being selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate]?" For example: Yourself, your family, your friends and others.

174. In Column 10, you will answer the question, "Did you unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness?" For example: List incidents from the preceding columns.

175. In Column 11, you will answer two questions, "Where you were at fault, what should you have done instead?" For example: "Tolerance, patience and good will, toward all."

176. So, these are basically the same things that have been dealt with before. However, now the focus is specifically on sex conduct.

177. You will now have up to 10 minutes. If you finish sooner than the 10 minutes, please let me know, and we'll move on.

178. Some people finish this section in two minutes. Some people take longer. If you are not done at the ten-minute mark, your can take five more minutes.

179. I am going to put my phone on mute and get back to you in 10 minutes.

————————————Approximately 10 minutes later————————————

180. Please read the five paragraphs in section number 14 on page 12 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

181. 14. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 31 in the fifth paragraph, it continues:

"In this way you can shape a sane and sound ideal for your future sex life. Subject each relation to this test—is it selfish or not? Ask God to mold your ideals and help you to live up to them. Remember always that your sex powers are God-given, and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.

"Whatever your ideal may be, you must be willing to grow toward it. You must be willing to make amends where you have done harm, provided that you will not bring about still more harm in so doing. In other words, treat sex as you would any other problem. In meditation, ask God what you should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come, if you want it.

"God alone can judge your sex situation. Counsel with persons is often desirable, but let God be the final judge. Remember that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. Avoid hysterical thinking or advice.

"Suppose you fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble. Does this mean you are going to get drunk? Some people will tell you so. If they do, it will be only a half-truth. It depends on you and your motive. If you are sorry for what you have done, and have the honest desire to let God take you to better things, you will be forgiven and will have learned your lesson. If you are not sorry, and your conduct continues to harm others, you are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.

"To sum up about sex: earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, throw yourself the harder into helping others. Think of their needs and work for them. This will take you out of yourself. It will quiet the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache."

182. There are many good things in these paragraphs. For example, the pioneers tell us that the inventory process that has been done up to this point, will shape a sane and sound ideal for someone's future sex life.

183. The pioneers give a tool that most people didn't have before. Each time a new situation comes up it can be put to a test. Someone can ask, "Is it selfish or not?"

184. If it's selfish then someone can pray to do something different, that they behave sanely and normally. If it's not selfish then they can go ahead and trust that the relationship is healthy.

185. In their prayers, someone can ask God to mold their ideals. They can pray for God to have them live up to these ideals. As the pioneers say, they need to, "Remember always that your sex powers are God-given, and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed."

186. In other words, someone needs to pray that they not go to either extreme. They need to pray that they react sanely and normally. This means somewhere in the middle of these extremes for most people.

187. Since it is likely that most people will have different ideals, the pioneers go on to say, "Whatever your ideal may be, you must be willing to grow toward it."

188. In other words, the pioneers are saying that this is just the beginning of this process. Someone needs to be willing to grow toward his or her ideal, whatever it may be. They should not expect to be there instantly.

189. The pioneers say that someone must be willing to make amends if they have harmed anyone. This applies to things from the past, as well as for anything done in the future. Of course we need to be careful to not cause further hurt when we try to make amends.

190. Then the pioneers give more of their "clear-cut directions." They say someone should, "treat sex as you would any other problem. In meditation, ask God what you should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come, if you want it."

191. In other words the pioneers say to treat a sex problem the same way we would treat any other problem. In meditation someone can ask God what to do about each specific matter. They assure everyone that the right answers will come, if they want it.

192. The pioneers then go on to say that only God can judge someone's sex situation. While someone can certainly ask people for advice or suggestions, the whole point of trusting and relying on God, is to trust and rely on God.

193. As the pioneers say, "Counsel with persons is often desirable, but let God be the final judge. Remember that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. Avoid hysterical thinking or advice."

194. Only God can direct and guide someone. While someone can listen to other people, they need to remember that it is not unusual for some people to be fanatical, or get hysterical, when dealing with sex.

195. In this next paragraph, the pioneers remind everyone that the goal is spiritual progress, not spiritual perfection. They say, "Suppose you fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble. Does this mean you are going to get drunk? Some people will tell you so. If they do, it will be only a half-truth. It depends on you and your motive."

196. If someone is not perfect, if they make a mistake, are they doomed to immediately start hurting others and themselves? The pioneers say that while some people will say that this is true, they are wrong. Someone's recovery depends on him or her and his or her motive.

197. The pioneers go on to again share their experience. They say, "If you are sorry for what you have done, and have the honest desire to let God take you to better things, you will be forgiven and will have learned your lesson. If you are not sorry, and your conduct continues to harm others, you are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience."

198. In other words, what they are saying is not their hopes, or their dreams, or their wishes. They say these are facts out of their experience.

199. Once again, to sum up about sex, the pioneers give us "clear-cut directions." They say that someone should, "earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing."

200. Next the pioneers give a clear-cut direction that is repeated throughout R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, in connection with other situations. They say, "If sex is very troublesome, throw yourself the harder into helping others. Think of their needs and work for them. This will take you out of yourself. It will quiet the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache."

201. This is the same solution that Bill applied when he was plagued by waves of self-pity and resentment that nearly drove him back to drink. Bill writes that he, "soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day."

202. Please read the two paragraphs in section number 15 on page 12 in R.A.'s Step Presentation Workbook. I will read the red text.

203. 15. In R.A.'s Multilith Big Book on page 32 in the first paragraph, it continues:

"If you have been thorough about your personal inventory, you have written down a lot by this time. You have listed and analyzed your resentments. You have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. You have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. You have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even your enemies, for you know them to be sick people. You have listed the people you have hurt by your conduct, and you are willing to straighten out the past if you can.

"In this book you read again and again that God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that He can remove the self-will that has blocked you off from Him. You have made your decision. You have made an inventory of the grosser handicaps you have. You have made a good beginning, for you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself. Are you willing to go on?"

204. Many people spend between two and three hours doing this inventory. Therefore, it is clear that they will have written down a lot.

205. While this may not be as much as some of the other inventories, from some of the other programs require, in R.A., we can assure you that if you have been thorough, you have written enough.

206. Everyone who has gone through this inventory with R.A. has now read every page, every sentence, and every word that the pioneers wrote about their inventory in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. Everyone who has gone through this inventory, has followed every one of the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, for duplicating their inventory.

207. If there was more that needed to be done, then the pioneers would have written more "clear-cut directions" in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book. The pioneers inventory has been done just the way they wanted it to be done.

208. In doing this, they point out some of the important differences between this inventory and other inventories. First they say, "You have listed and analyzed your resentments. You have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. You have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness."

209. The pioneers make it clear that their inventory is an inventory of character defects, not bad behavior. They say that someone doing this inventory has started to understand how useless and destructive their resentments, and their other character defects can be.

210. Next the pioneers point out another difference from other inventories. They say that by doing this inventory, someone has started to learn "tolerance, patience and good will toward all men [and women], even your enemies, for you know them to be sick people."

211. Now this is important. The pioneers say that someone doing this inventory has listed the people they have hurt by their conduct, and they are willing to straighten out the past if they can.

212. The reason this is important is that someone doing this inventory, in this way, by thoroughly following the pioneers' "clear-cut directions," has now done 99% of the work required by the Eighth Step. This is why the entire discussion of the Eighth Step in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book consists of three sentences.

213. While it is true that in R.A.'s Multilith Big Book, you can read again, and again, that God did for us what we could not do for ourselves, in the current Big Book, in some cases, "God" was changed to "Faith."

214. Now comes the hard part. The pioneers say that they hope the person doing this inventory has been convinced that God can remove the self-will, the character defects, that have blocked them from finding a conscious contact with Him.

215. In Part 2 of R.A.'s Step Presentation, someone will formally go through Steps One through Eight. Becoming willing to have God remove the character defects found in this inventory will be done as part of formally going through the Sixth Step. Actually asking God to remove these character defects will be done as part of formally going through the Seventh Step.

216. Next the pioneers say, "You have made your decision." Of course they're talking about the decision someone made to turn their life and will over to the care and direction of God. They made this decision during the discussion of the Third Step we read earlier.

217. The pioneers go on to remind us that this has been an inventory of someone's "grosser handicaps." This means this has been an inventory of only the most glaring character defects someone may have. This inventory is not designed to list every little detail of someone's life.

218. The pioneers point this out because they want to make sure that everyone who has done this inventory understands that although they, "have made a good beginning," this is not all there is. Even though someone has "swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about" themselves, they need to move on with the rest of the program.

219. Remember, as we read on page 26, the pioneers say that, "Half measures will avail you nothing." It takes all of the Twelve Steps to produce all of the results, spiritual experience, the restoration to sanity, and the recovery that the pioneers promise.

220. That is why this ends with an important question. The pioneers ask, "Are you willing to go on?"

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