Spiritual Book Review: The Little Red Book

Often the truth isn’t where we think it should be.  By accident I found a copy of  “The Little Red Book” that has a truth one might never expect to find.  It wasn’t written  by theologians.  Nor was it transcribed by Spanish Monks. Tibetan wise men were not counseled for their views.  Actually the book is the result of two people who struggled with temptations, fear and frustration their whole lives.  These precepts are the life lessons of Bill W. and Doctor Bob, originators of the AA program. The Little Red Book(ISBN number 978-0-89486-985-3 ) is the handheld companion book for the Big Book from Alcoholics Anonymous(AA).  I’m not a member of AA so my finding this book is quite remarkable. I was slightly acquainted with it though because I have acquaintances and friends that are members of AA. I actually found this in the bookstore, picked it up, and immediately recognized it.  As I read the 12 Step Program from the book I thought “what a perfect spiritual outlook.” In the subtext is my spiritual reinterpretation of the 12 Steps that can be used by the rest of us. My apologies to any that I may offend by showing this in a different light, the rest of humanity can really learn from these examples and from the people who have followed them:

 Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. 

Sub: We admitted that we were powerless over our lives – that our lives are separated from one another and God.

Step Two:Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to Sanity.

Sub: Came to believe that a Power(God) greater than ourselves could restore us to Sanity(Wholeness).

Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

Sub: Same

Step Four: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Sub: Same

Step Five: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Sub: Same, a Spiritual Confession

Step Six: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Sub: Same

Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Sub: Same

Step Eight: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Sub: Same

Step Nine: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Sub: Same

Step Ten: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong (and)  promptly admitted it.

Sub: Same

Step Eleven: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Sub: Same

Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Sub: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other people, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Our eternal thanks to Bill W. and Doctor Bob

One day at a time
       – Bill W.


“The Little Red Book”  Ten Stars   **********

  ISBN: 978-0-89486-985-3

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6 Responses to “Spiritual Book Review: The Little Red Book”

  1. Pat Cegan Says:

    I, too, have admired the wisdom of the 12 Steps and also the slogans of the 12 programs. There are groups who have programs using the steps as you outlined them for people who are not addicted. There is even a Bible called Life Recovery Bible that uses the 12 steps as a study theme for people in general. I have been writing a series of poems based on the 12 steps called Steps of Life. I have them posted on my blog if you would like to see them. Thanks for posting this. There is much to admire about the success of these programs and all the families that have been helped by it. hugs, pat

  2. informationforager Says:

    I’ll be checking out your blog again which I have in my blogroll here. Thanks again.

  3. Jude Cowell Says:

    Great post and blog, thanks!

    The 12 Steps reminds me of what my church taught me years ago, that the important thing for each individual is one’s True Condition before God – not what we or others think of ourselves, but God’s opinion! Jude

  4. beautiouslife Says:

    I agree with this. I am not addicted to alcohol or drugs, but I have thought of using the 12 step program to become the best me I can be. Now that I have read the steps, I believe everyone can use them in the way you suggested. Great work!

    • informationforager Says:

      Thank you for your reply. I appreciate all comments. I also have considered a doing a Spiritual Book Review on “All We Need To Know We Learned In Kindergarten”, that may not be the exact title but I have previewed it and that looks good also. I will say the the rules of the 12 Step AA program are very challenging. Thanks again.

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