If anyone has spent any time in AA they know that our "Program" is based on 12 steps. These steps were created by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob and many others over a period of time trying to find the "cure" for alcoholism. The fist 164 pages of the Big book pretty much are the same from edition to edition, the second part of the book, the personal stories vary. The first 164 pages are the meat and potatoes of the AA program and how it became to be. Like any organization, there were some rough spots. Some might even say that we still have some rough areas to smooth out.
If you're going to the meetings, and haven't read the book, here's the ePub version of it that was on Google Books for some time. I don't think that I'm violating any copy write laws by allowing access to this. But if it IS still on Google Play / Books, I'm not able to find it any longer. You can download it here, and freely spread this version around. For what it's worth, there are some other free versions of the Big Book on Google Play, but they're more APPS for your phone than the book it self. The basic text is there, but just a slightly different format.
AUTHOR’S PREFACE: This is a Study Guide to the book Alcoholics Anonymous. It is dedicated to those who want recovery from alcoholism, but have difficulty with the word "God". Especially, as that word gets used by individuals who embrace traditional religious concepts of what it means to them. Be advised that other ideas and interpretations, which are consistent with the basic AA text, also have value and usefulness in the recovery process.
Should you choose to follow this Study Guide, you will be presented ideas which this author has found to be consistent with the basic text of AA. However, some of those ideas go beyond the limitations many traditional religions have in their interpretation of the word "God" and what that word means for them. Readers who are open minded (see Appendix II) may discover new thinking about "a power greater than yourself".
The three-letter word "God" is generally used to communicate a concept of infinite knowledge and power. Concepts, other than those utilized by traditional religion, do exist. One fundamental idea of God, based upon the basic text of AA, (see pg 55), is being offered in this Study Guide. Some individual alcoholics may find the approach is useful in their personal recovery.
It is self-evident that no person is qualified to speak for God, nor for AA as a whole. The vital spiritual experience, necessary for recovery from alcoholism, is intensely personal to the individual alcoholic. That is precisely the point. A readers concept of God need not follow traditional lines.
The experience of the first successfully sober members of AA tells us: "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?" (AA page 12)
As much as I and others enjoy our fellowship in Alcoholic's Anonymous, there are those that seek sobriety elsewhere. Or try a mixture of methods. For whatever reason they choose to do so. AA isn't the only game in town to stay sober. While I personally think it's the best, and even treatment programs point their clients to AA or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) AFTER they've gotten treatment, to stay clean and sober on for the long haul.
In any event there's those that seek sobriety via a Reddit Forum. The Washington Post even did a write up on it. You can find a link to that here.
If you're frugal or just plain broke, There's a neat little App that I just discovered that might prove quite useful for the freshly sober, or those that would like to keep the information handy. It could be a life saver for anyone with a smart phone. They have a Free Version and a Paid for version. So you can take your pick of what you want. Or at least that's what I found on Google Play. I haven't a clue how it works in the Apple App Store.
It's like someone was listening when someone else said.
Keep It Simple Stupid.....
And then, for those that aren't into the whole schmancy fancy Techno Geekey Smart Phone thing. There is: Silkworth.net. That site has a HTML online version of the Big Book that you can find right HERE. I'm sure there are still even more resources online for the Big Book, but these are a couple that I figured you might find handy.
Enjoy, And have fun. For we are not meant to be a Glum Lot.