“This is only one man’s opinion based on his own experience, of course. I must quickly assure you that A.A.’s tread innumerable paths in their quest for faith. If you don’t care for the one I’ve suggested, you’ll be sure to discover one that suits if only you look and listen. Many a man like you has begun to solve the problem by the method of substitution. You can, if you wish, make A.A. itself your ‘higher power.’ Here’s a very large group of people who have solved their alcohol problem. In this respect they are certainly a power greater than you, who have not even come close to a solution. Surely you can have faith in them. Even this minimum of faith will be enough. You will find many members who have crossed the threshold just this way…
This worked for me. As I have written, I was anti-religion and anti-God when I came in, but I was able to see that the people of AA were a power higher than me. It was not suggested to me that I make a person, an inanimate object or anything other than the combined wisdom of AA my higher power. I was never told to blindly follow any person, and I’ve never heard that suggested. Making a rock (or some such thing) a higher power is ridiculous, and I can’t see how that would help someone stay sober long enough to begin to grasp the program and really heal.
As the text suggests, that is just a beginning. I’ve come to believe that it’s a necessary beginning, and that anyone presenting him or herself at an AA meeting is not handling the alcohol problem satisfactorily alone. Acknowledging a higher power, whether God or the program, is a needed step on the path to recovery. A stubborn insistence that no power is greater than me is bound to keep me sick and getting sicker.