Exercise #7: We Agnostics

Thursday Night Big Book Study

Exercise #7:  We Agnostics

Pages 44 – 57

  1.  We have covered the first and second components of the disease of alcoholism.  What are they?  Which chapters of the Big Book describe them?
  2. Have we made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the non-alcoholic?  If so, what is the distinction?
  3. If you are truly alcoholic what is the only thing that will conquer it?
  4. Why is this important to understand?
  5. What are the two alternatives we must face?
  6. What percent of those first 100 were atheists or agnostics?
  7. Why didn’t a code of morals or better philosophies of life not help us?
  8. What is the main object of the Big Book?
  9. Hope rises in the newcomer when the disease and fellowship is discussed, but what happens when we talk about God?  What does “re-opened” mean?
  10. Have you experienced the polarizing thoughts from skepticism to feelings of awe and wonder?  Describe both sides of your thoughts.
  11. What were the feelings of awe and wonder fleeting in your case?
  12. Can we fully define or understand God?
  13. Our inadequate conception of God is sufficient to do what?
  14. What does it mean to seek God?
  15. Who is the Realm of the Spirit open for?
  16. The sentences on page 47, “Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.  At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understand Him.”, describe actions we must take and the result we will get from that action.  Let us search the Big Book for 40 spiritual terms and define them for ourselves.  Use no books to help you define these terms, just use your heart at this point.  No one will read these out load, but you must have this done for understanding the following steps.
  17. When will “we accept many things which seem entirely out of reach”?
  18. How will you know you are “on your way”?
  19. What are we handicapped by?
  20. What does the phrase mean, “alcohol was the great persuader”?
  21. Give an example of “outward appearances are not inward reality at all”.
  22. What did you do, if anything, to convince yourself that God didn’t exist?
  23. How do you feel about the phrase, “Were our contentions true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.”?
  24. Do you have prejudice against organized religion?  Why or why not?
  25. What does this sentence mean to you, “We missed the reality and beauty of the forest because we were diverted by the ugliness of some of the trees.”?
  26. What three things do the people who claim “a revolutionary change in their way of living and thinking” say they have completed.
  27. Page 51, “Leaving aside the drink question, they tell why living was so unsatisfactory.”  Why was living so unsatisfactory for you (leave aside the drink question)?
  28. Were the ancients less intelligent then we are?  If not, why were they so slow to progress materially?
  29. Does our culture,…do we, disregard the old for the new?  Give 5 examples.
  30. List all of the bedevilments.  What do they have to do with our drinking?
  31. What is your choice to be?
  32. Has faith been involved the whole time in your case? Explain.
  33. Who was the first person you ever loved?  Describe your emotions.
  34. Who was the first person who loved you?  Describe how you knew they loved you and how that experience made you feel.
  35. Have you ever worshipped anything?  Describe your reasons.
  36. Have you ever “believed” in something?  Describe your logic.
  37. Have you ever had “faith” in something?  Describe why you trusted.
  38. Is there a difference between “faith in God” and the “fundamental idea of God”?
  39. Define:  Calamity, Pomp, and Worship
  40. Why did the first 100 give testimony to us, according to page 55? (4 Reasons)
  41. What does the phrase, “thought he was an atheist” mean to you?
  42. What does a “change of heart” mean to you?
  43. What brought this man to the point of “self-destruction”?
  44. While confined in the hospital, this man was approached “by an alcoholic who had known a spiritual experience” rather than a sober member of AA.  What are some potential reasons for describing this man that way?
  45. Have you ever had a spiritual experience?  Describe it.
  46. Define: Vicissitude
  47. Describe what you think the following sentence means, “His alcoholic problem was taken away.”
  48. Was he ever tempted to take a drink?  What kept him from drinking?
  49. What does the sentence mean to you, “He humbly offered himself to his Maker – then he knew.”?  (Story of Fritz M.)
  50. Who has God always come to?
  51. What happens when we draw near to God?

Click Here:  Exercise #8:  How It Works (Step #3)