The Doctor's Opinion (Continued)
C: The doctor (Dr. Silkworth) told us what's wrong with us. The doctor told us what we needed to recover. But the doctor could do no more for us, because he didn't know how to bring this psychic change about. The only thing that he gave us was the problem. But for the first time in the history of mankind we saw what the problem really is.
That's what Bill took to Dr. Bob. That's what Bill and Dr. Bob took to Bill D, A. A. number three, the one on the bed. That's what they took to A. A. number four. You see, they said Bill went to Dr. Bob to carry the message. No. No, Bill was the message of: this is the way I drank. This is what happened to me.
This is the solution I found. This is the practical program I used. Bill was the message, because up until that time nobody understood what Bill Wilson understood.He was the first human being to know those three things. You and I know those three today. If we act upon it as Bill and the rest did, then we most certainly can recover from this hopeless condition of the mind and the body, (p. 20, par. 2) just exactly like they did.
Now, the rest of the book will be designed to show us the solution to this problem, and the practical program of action necessary to find that solution. The book now starts a pattern that it will follow all the way through the book. Now, there's a few things about the book, if we can pick up on the way Bill wrote, that it makes the book very simple. The pattern it now will start is, that it never tells us something that it does not then give us an example to reinforce what it's told us. The very next chapter in the book will be Bill's Story. It will be an example of what the doctor has told us in The Doctor's Opinion. And that's where we start tomorrow morning, with Bill's Story. We're through for the evening. Hope you all have enjoyed it. We certainly have. (applause)
C: Like I said last night, we love to tell jokes. We love to laugh. We love to cut up. We love to have fun. And we think that's what this thing is basically about. If we can't enjoy ourselves and have fun in A. A., sooner or later we're going to go back to drinking. The story I like to tell... (Bus station Joke.)
J: Everybody gets a lot of fun, and they always wonder why I shake my head at Charlie's jokes. You know, I listen to them quite often. (laughter) As we begin... I think again we can see the importance of Friday night in the Big Book study. It's to lay the foundation for the weekend. Because the whole thing is going to be built on the problem.
What is the problem? The First Step, you know, that is the foundation of recovery. That's what opens the door. Once we see the problem--last night we went through The Doctor's Opinion--we went through the problem. We found out that we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become
unmanageable. We found out that the details of this was involved in the fact that we have a disease. That this disease is twofold. That it affects the body and the mind. Later on we're going to have to bring in the third area of human life, the spiritual, in order to recover.
So this weekend ... we're going to be talking about all three parts of a human life. There are three parts to a human life: the mind, the body F and the spirit. We find out that our disease is twofold. We have a physical allergy, which is manifested by the craving. And we have a mental obsession. These two things, coupled together, make us powerless over alcohol. This is the exact nature of the problem. So now that we have seen this, as Charlie said last night, our book, the Big Book, has a... specific, unique, beautiful, way of teaching. Once it makes a point, then it can broaden on that point. It always... gives you an explanation of it, and ... gives us a broader concept of what our problem is. So Bill's story fits right behind The Doctor's Opinion.
The doctor has explained the problem. Bill's Story is an example of active alcoholism. You know, if you were in a medical school, and you went into a classroom setting, they would probably teach you academically about an illness or a disease. After they (taught) you about the illness, then they would carry you on to the ward, and show you somebody with that illness. This is what Bill's Story does. Bill's Story broadens on The Doctor's Opinion.
We can see alcoholism in a human life. We can see it's progression. We can see the allergy, the obsession, and the progression of alcoholism. And it also brings out to me the second part of the First Step: our lives have become unmanageable. We can see the unmanageability of Bill's life as we read and study Bill's Story. This is why Bill's Story doesn't really have a lot of impact on the reader if he starts at Bill's Story. If he has read and studied The Doctor's Opinion, then... Bill's Story has some meaning. (End of Side A of Tape 2)