Saturday, July 9, 2011
THE MAN OR HIS WORDS
A few things I’ve been reading lately, and some discussions at a few meetings I’ve been to got me to thinking. What’s the role of Bill Wilson in AA today as opposed to the role of the Big Book, the 12 and 12, etc?
The subject actually came to a head with some of the sophomoric (sorry, MA) comments I came across while reading ST. I saw a lot of references to the “prophet Bill Wilson” and other such nonsense made with the insinuation that Bill is a God-like figure to those in AA, someone to be worshipped and glorified.
Now, either I’ve always gone to the wrong meetings or I never got the memo. But this is news to me.
This blog, and every meeting I’ve ever attended, focuses on AA as a recovery program contained in the first 164 pages of the Big Book. 16 of those pages cover Bill’s Story, hardly a paean to someone worshipped and glorified. I seldom if ever hear “Bill Wilson said…” and often hear “ The Big Book says…” even though Bill wrote the Big Book.
Yeah, we also have the “As Bill Sees It” and a few biographies/autobiographies, but again, I never get the feeling that Bill Wilson as an individual is that important to the program. It’s what he wrote – his thoughts and ideas - that matter.
So my question is, just how important in today’s AA is Bill Wilson? How many of us think of the man when we read the Big Book? I have my personal views of Bill as a man, but I also acknowledge his both his brilliance in coming up with the AA program and his willingness to listen to the advice of others when he was creating the program.
Personally, I read the Big Book as I read any other important reference material - for the content, not because of the author. I have the utmost respect and admiration for what Bill accomplished. I But do I worship him? Hardly.