The Bedevilments – Big Book p.52-53

We had to ask ourselves why we shouldn’t apply to our human problems this same readiness to change our point of view. We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn’t control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn’t make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people – was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight? Of course it was.

When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did.

The Wright brothers’ almost childish faith that they could build a machine which would fly was the main- spring of their accomplishment. Without that, nothing could have happened. We agnostics and atheists were sticking to the idea that self-sufficiency would solve our problems. When others showed us that”God-sufficiency worked with them, we began to feel like those who had insisted the Wrights would never fly.

2 thoughts on “The Bedevilments – Big Book p.52-53

  1. The article seems to imply that atheists and agnostics rely on self-sufficiency and that God-sufficiency is required. Atheists and agnostics are like those who believed humans cannot fly. Again it seems that AA thinks that atheists and agnostic have it wrong. Am I misinterpreting?


  2. Excellent point … many would agree with you that the chapter ‘We Agnostics’ is a ‘bait and switch’ that demands a belief rather than accepts that the ‘broad highway’ of spirituality has a place for us all. The category ‘Atheism’ on the home page has some powerful examples of how successful many who are atheists and agnostics have been in AA.

    Bill acknowledged in later years , his own arrogance and was very outspoken in seeing how his arrogance actually hurt, even killed, those needing AA’s love and non-judgmental acceptance.

    This article links below explores this topic.

    Thank you for your comment. It’s also true that this statement within the ‘bedevilments’ for has also helped some see their own ‘contempt prior to investigation’. So, like so many things, this section has been helpful to some and hurtful to others. There is a fullness to AA that can acknowledge much of what is true happens in a paradox that may be beyond our understanding.


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