"Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices. The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight. In nearly all cases, their ideals must be grounded in a power greater than themselves, if they are to re-create their lives."
For those who have had the willingness to do the heavy lifting of the 12 steps we have come to know that they have "depth and weight." We have come to know that the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has "depth and weight."
We have come to know that "frothy emotional appeal" is just that. It's frothy. It's bubbly. And "in nearly all cases" just a thick layer of sweet syrup used to cover up the truth of the insidiousness of spiritual sickness, the spiritual malady the pioneers of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote so clearly about in the Big Book.
The good doctor realized that these men and women who "recovered" came upon something magical (and he had the courage to give it the tip of his hat so to say).
You want to know just how powerful these 12 principles are? You want to live at perfect peace?
Examine what you're doing right now for your recovery and where you're at with these divine principles.
Are you having difficult days where the only bright spot is getting to a meeting?
Let's look at that.
If you're trudging through the day with difficulty and the only thing that keeps you putting one foot in front of the other is the relief you will feel when you arrive at a meeting in the evening, human aid, know that your days do not have to be like this.
You wake, or come to, in the morning. Make your way to work, dutifully putting the hours in. All the while feeling as though your entire body has been turned inside out and every nerve is on fire. Or feeling so full of fear as if you were a dog crapping razor blades. You make it home, after driving with white knuckles, to the dinner table. But you begin to feel a bit better, lighter even. You're going to a meeting right?
As you leave the house to get to the meeting your step is lighter. You even attempt to whistle, and shoot the nice person at the drive through where you just picked up a coffee a smile.
You walk into the meeting and tell no one what your day was like. Why would you? You feel great at the moment, you have it all under control.
You take a seat as the meeting begins and listen to the speakers.
"Don't drink, and go to meetings!"
"Remember when." And you'll be fine.
"Keep coming back! We need you!"
As the meeting ends and a dollar is coaxed out of your pocket for the collection you feel wonderful. All is, as it should be. Peaceful. No thoughts of the past, perhaps resentments. No thoughts of the future, perhaps fears.
Thoughts of the present only. The idea of "May you find Him now" seems plausible.
You leave the meeting after some fluffy conversation and a few "atta boys" and head home. As you drive the bubbliness of the meeting begins to fade away. You arrive home and walk in the door with a lighter step and pass a few "I love you's" around the house.
You begin to settle in and a half hour goes by. The frothiness of the meeting, the emotional uplift of the meeting, and the appeal of being sober begins to fade away as resentment and fear present themselves.
You're in the same place you were in all day long.
That my friends is what the doctor was speaking to when he writes of frothy emotional appeal. Even Silkie knew it wasn't enough for a real alcoholic. The good doctor knew that the life of an alcoholic had to be recreated but fully recognized that the real alcoholic didn't have the power. He knew the alcoholic's mind needed an overhauling. He called it moral psychology. Dr. Carl Jung called it a spiritual experience.
The wonderful part of recovery is that if we follow the directions in the Big Book it is guaranteed that one will recover.