Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: You will never find one iota of support or suggestion in the Big Book for multiple fourth and fifth steps. Not a hint.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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I Think The Sandwich Place Is Worried About Me (Photo credit: eviloars ) If you read the Big Book with opened eyes it becomes clear th...
I Think The Sandwich Place Is Worried About Me
I Think The Sandwich Place Is Worried About Me (Photo credit: eviloars)
If you read the Big Book with opened eyes it becomes clear that the spiritual solution AA really proposes is a kind of “Catch and Release" program of action; principles that deliver freedom - not a jail sentence.
A person ought to do as many fourth and fifth steps as is necessary. But the question must be asked, "Why? Why was it necessary?" I do not do any more fourth or fifth steps. Don't have to. Oh, if it became necessary I would. In a heartbeat. But the prayer/meditation life works real well and progress continues on a daily basis.
You will never find one iota of support or suggestion in the Big Book for multiple fourth and fifth steps. Not a hint.
Multiple inventories are an invention in the AA Aftermarket. An Add-on. A revision. It's made up. 
You will find all indications of the exact opposite - that it is a one-time proposition. For this reason all the insistence upon thoroughness and fearlessness. The idea that you can always get it right next time - or the time after that, or the time after that - is extremely dangerous and only helps a newcomer cultivate laxity when doing his inventories.
I’ve seen it time after time. “Ah, if I don’t get it now I have a whole lifetime of this inventory stuff”.  I suspect we willalways see it too. As long as there are would-be Big Book sponsors re-writing their Big Books, improving and ramping up The Twelve Step process, tapping 12 X 12s and books like "Sober Living".
There probably will always be Twelve Step revisionists gleaning recovery tips off rehab circulars cranked out by troops of “Board Certified", relapse-ready counselors and middle-of-the-road fellowship cronies.  Complicating work for the sake of ego-accomplishment is is one of the oldest tricks-of-attraction in the book - and it is found in religions too.
The real alcoholic may not have all the time in the world. Death may be stepping up onto his front porchright now.
The time when a man ought to consider going backwards with the Twelve Step "treatment" is when he has failed to enlarge his spiritual life and his progress has waned. He’ll know it. His kids will know it. His life will be bedeviled with more crap than a doggie-run behind the McDonalds’ at the I-95 rest area. We should never encourage abridged 12-step work just because forsome it may be inevitable.
Progress is advancement and it means moving forward. 
A grade school child can tell you that going from 12 to 4 means going backwards. It is a reversal of progress. 
The Steps are ordered, in sequence, for a reason. But as I said, a man ought to do as many 4ths and 5ths as he need do. The question is, “Why did he need to? Something is wrong and it is good to have it tended to. 
When one meditates effectively, he will effectively be doing fourth and fifth steps all through his waking hours. His dependency will have been transferred off of sponsors, worksheets, notebooks and all such human aids. His reliance will instead be placed upon his God.
He will be able to pass his spiritual confidence onto others through his own walk in the Sunlight of the Spirit.
It takes courage, which means not doubting that this is possible. 

It is proposed in the Big Book, "Alcoholics Anonymous" - as it has been proposed through the ages.
I never turn down a person who needs to go backwards – who needs to do another inventory. That would be like a doctor-refusing antibiotic to a dying patient just because he didn’t follow the original prescription asfirst written. Like the empathetic physician, I do show them that there is a way toward progress and that means doing it as prescribed. Full dosing. No tampering. 
In the field of recovery/spiritual awakening, the key to spiritual progress toward perfection it is in effective, mediation. 
Not every co-founder of AA found it. Following their lives after the publication of The Big Book abundantly confirms that fact. However, Bill W found it - a little late but he discovered truth. Jesus was bornwith it. Moses found it. Many, many others have found it. I found it. It's what allows me to write the way I do. 
Very many do not, nor do they even know what ‘it’ is that they are they missing. They will tend to project their own arrogance upon anyone who does.
It is a very reliable indicator: A person attempting this 12-step lifestyle, who has not yet been able to stay on the spiritual path, will need to perform multiple 4th & 5th steps. It is also a reliable indicator of obstinacy when one idolizes such human imperfection rather than mean to improve upon them. Thatidea is so not in the Big Book – spiritual progress toward perfection is.
Thank God for do-overs, for sure! -  but let’s not venerate spiritual failure, let’s not worship the journey – let’s not see arrogance in those who have been blessed. Rather let’s be grateful when we can live through our errors and then move in the direction toward improvement – toward perfection.  
When we actually follow the directions, they do lead along a path of spiritual progress. If this is wrong, come visit me in my early grave. View my disease ridden, relapsed corpse and hold me up as a rotted example of how not to do it.
Until then, I invite anyone to come look at my life; to see what potential God-consciousness can bring upon a man and his family. See my credentials. They are the fruits of a certain spiritual lifestyle – filled with mental, emotional, physical health and stable, loving family relationships -- sans most of the issues many others still have. I live free from fear. Free from anger. Without doubt.

All of the titular “Promises” in the Big Book no longer seem as vague as they once did. They seem more to have been predictions and more; as they are currently being fulfilled. It is not luck. It is grace. I wish these blessings on everyone.
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