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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

By Jorge Hernandez,2014-04-01 19:07
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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

    Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

    Step Four

     Of interest is that there is no reference in the book Twelve Steps

    and Twelve Traditions, written in 1952, to the “three column

    inventory” described on page 65 of the “Big Book,” which was

    written in 1939. The Fourth Step, as written in the “Twelve and Twelve,” consists of an Assets and Liabilities Checklist, along with some questions. In fact, with the exception of being asked to answer these questions, we are not instructed to write anything at all in the Fourth Step.

     The reason there is no mention of a three or four column inventory in the “Twelve and Twelve” is because the book is a reflection of what was actually being done at the time. In 1952, A.A. sponsors conducted a verbal Fourth Step or used an Assets and Liabilities Checklist.

     “. . . Nearly every serious emotional problem can be seen as

    a case of misdirected instinct. When that happens, our great

    natural ASSETS, the instincts, have turned into physical and

    mental LIABILITIES.

     “Step Four is our vigorous and painstaking effort to discover

    what these LIABILITIES in each of us have been, and are.”

    (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 42)

     On pages 43-46, we find a detailed list of the liabilities we need to address. And then on page 46, we find another reference to the Assets and Liabilities Checklist.

     “At this stage of the inventory proceedings, our sponsors

    come to our rescue. They can do this, for they are the carriers

    of A.A.’s tested experience with Step Four. They comfort the

    melancholy one by first showing him that his case is not strange

    or different, that his character defects are probably not more

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    numerous or worse than those of anyone else in A.A. This the

    sponsor promptly proves by talking freely and easily, and

    without exhibitionism, about his own defects, past and present.

    This calm, yet realistic, STOCK-TAKING is immensely

    reassuring. The sponsor probably points out that the newcomer

    has some ASSETS which can be noted along with his

    LIABILITIES. This tends to clear away morbidity and

    encourage balance. As soon as he begins to be more objective,

    the newcomer can fearlessly, rather than fearfully, look at his

    own defects.”

    (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 46)

    On page 48, the author states that there are several lists in use. Then he describes a checklist based on the Seven Deadly Sins.

     “Now let’s ponder the need for a list of the more glaring

    personality defects all of us have in varying degrees. . . .

     “To avoid falling into confusion over the names these

    defects should be called, let’s take a universally recognized list

    of major human failingsthe Seven Deadly Sins of PRIDE,

    GREED, LUST, ANGER, GLUTTONY, ENVY and SLOTH. . . .

    (Seven liabilities)

     “All of these failings generate FEAR, a soul-sickness in its

    own right.” (Eighth liability)

    “Since Step Four is but the beginning of a lifetime practice, it

    can be suggested that he first have a look at those personal

    flaws which are acutely troublesome and fairly obvious. Using

    his best judgment of what has been right (ASSETS) and what

    has been wrong (LIABILITIES), he might make a ROUGH

    SURVEY (CHECKLIST) of his conduct . . . ”

    (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 48-49, 50)

     Adding FEAR to the Seven Deadly Sins results in an eight-item liability checklist. This is the same number used by Dr. Bob S., A.A.’s Akron Ohio co-founder.

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     When we compare these liabilities to those used in the Back to Basics Beginners’ Meetings, we find the lists are, for all intent and purposes, identical.

    4th Step Liabilities List

    Twelve and Twelve Back to Basics

     Pride - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - False Pride

     Greed - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Dishonesty

     Lust - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Jealousy

     Anger - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Resentment

     Gluttony- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Selfishness

     Envy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Envy

     Sloth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Laziness

     Fear - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Fear

     On pages 50-53, we find a detailed list of questions we can ask ourselves about this checklist. Then on page 54, the author suggests we write down these questions along with our answers.

     “Therefore, thoroughness ought to be the watchword when

    taking inventory. In this connection, it is wise to write out our

    questions and answers. It will be an aid to clear thinking and

    honest appraisal.”

    (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 54)

C:/My Documents/B2B Support Material/Twelve and Twelve-Step Four-o02

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“Twelve & Twelve” Back to Basics

     Pride - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - False Pride

     Greed - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Dishonesty

     Lust - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Jealousy

     Anger - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Resentment

     Gluttony - - - - - - - - - - - - Selfishness

     Envy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Envy

     Sloth - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Laziness

     Fear - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Fear

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