Bruce Deile

Silver City, NM

#21 Feb 16, 2013
Perhaps better explained in the Wikipedia synopsis of the film "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" by Franco Zeffirelli. There is an element of the "establishment" controlling AA and that is what has bothered me the most about it. Because otherwise AA has been very helpful at times.
Friend of Bill

United States

#22 Feb 18, 2013
SO WHAT. DID BILL DRINK ALCOHOL? NO! FIND SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOURSELF INSTEAD OF RANTING ABOUT BILL. THE FACT IS...AA HAS HELPED MILLIONS. INCLUDING THIS WOMAN TO BECOME AND STAY SOBER FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS. GO AWAY KID. YOU BOTHER US!! HAHAHA LOLOL

“Are you done now?”

Since: Feb 13

Desk Jockey

#23 Feb 18, 2013
You all are idiots. I am better then you are.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#24 Feb 20, 2013
Bill Wilson's Wikipedia page:

....

During the last years of his life, Wilson rarely attended AA meetings to avoid being asked to speak as the co-founder rather than as an alcoholic.[24] A heavy smoker, Wilson eventually suffered from emphysema and later pneumonia. He continued to smoke while dependent on an oxygen tank in the late 1960s.[25] He drank no alcohol for the final 37 years of his life; however, in the last days of his life he made demands for whiskey and became belligerent when refused.[25] During this period, Wilson was visited by colleagues and friends who wanted to say goodbye. Wilson died of emphysema and pneumonia on January 24, 1971, en route to treatment in Miami, Florida. He is buried in East Dorset, Vermont.[26]
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#25 Feb 20, 2013
I recall seeing that--Bill W.'s demands for alcohol in his last days--on the A. Orange site which has voluminous criticism of AA. But hadn't known it to be so until seeing it here with the citation. I suppose that's to be believed; hard to know with complete certainty.

That, his alleged adultery, and his writing of suffering depression, waves of self-pity and resentment months and years into his sobriety made me think that was all *after* Bill W. had worked the 12 Steps. Along with that, Dr. Bob reportedly craved alcohol in his first year and a half of sobreity. Meaning that too was *after* he had worked the 12 Steps (actually in the beginning they were only 6 steps).

But that's all very helpful to learn after my having been influenced so strongly by AA meetings in 1985-86 in Anchorage, where, in the groups I regulalry attended, there was dogmatic teaching of the Steps.

Still wondering how much of that absolutism still effects me, since those members that worked closely with me seemed the closest people to God I'd ever met. Because evidently, even the co-founders did not work the Steps absolutely. That impression is consistently given however, particulalrly in the Preamble "...we beg of you to let go absolutely." Etc. And even though it goes on to include a caveta of "spiritual progression not perfection", the absolutism remains a strong emphasis to live up to.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#26 Feb 20, 2013
Ooops..."caveat" above (not caveta--I hunt and peck--soemtimes not very well).
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#27 Feb 21, 2013
Music break:

So many enjoyable SanRemo videos from 1960's early '70's...just found another...sweet:

Marcella Bella
Montagne Verdi
SanRemo 1972

video by flaniman2
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#28 Feb 21, 2013
Even better on 2nd viewing.

But in order to get the right one it helps to put into Youtube all this:

"Maecella Bella Montagne Verdi SanRemo 1972 Video & Audio Restaurati HD"
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#29 Feb 21, 2013
Ooops...

Marcella Bella....(not Maecella)
raxyax

Pittsburgh, PA

#31 Feb 21, 2013
youtube.com/watch...
Excuse or Reason?
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#32 Feb 21, 2013
What a lovely performance! I keep viewing Marcella Bella at SanRemo...it doesn't grab you by the jugular on first viewing, rather quite subtle, with such beautiful nuance in her singing. Brought to mind perhaps one of Linda Ronstadt's best videos--"Down So Low" in Germany. Haven't viewed Linda Ronstadt in a very long time, but she has beautiful movement while singing that one too.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#33 Feb 21, 2013
Wow. Just compared the two videos and they do have similarity. Viewed Marcella Bella a fifth time just now and am just stunned the more times viewing her. Her Wiki page is quite brief however. But what a beautiful performance that is at SanRemo in 1972. So glad to have found it.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#34 Feb 21, 2013
Ran "Montagne Verdi" through language translation:

"Green Mountains"

....the Catalina Mountains here in Tucson are snow covered after an unusual snowfall in Tucson last night. Coincidentally, Linda Ronstadt is from Tucson. Just can't get over how so very beautiful the Marcella Bella video is. Brought tears to my eyes on 7th viewing (!). Both singers put such good feelng into their singing on those songs.(as for that YouTube recommendation above on post "reason or excuse"--tried it but backed out immediately due to a warning that it may not be suitable viewing for children--am in a public library w/ children present--who knows what that video may have on it--unable to see it.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#35 Feb 22, 2013
Here are the lyrics (unsure how accurate they are having been run through online translation--one online translation was obviously quite whacky-- but they seem to give more of a feel for the song):

Montagne Verdi

I remember green mountains, and the races of a child,
with my most sincere friend, a rabbit black-faced,
then one day I took the train, the grass, the grass and that was mine,
disappeared slowly, slowly crying and talked with God

How many times have I tried the sun, how many times I have eaten salt,
the city had a thousand eyes I dreamed of green mountains.
My destiny is to stand next to you,
with you around I will not be afraid
and a little 'girl back.

I remember the green mountains that night in your eyes,
when you said, "It's late, I'll take you if you want it."
fog in your words, your story and my story,
then in the dark not to mention I slept with you on the heart.

I love you my love, I love my first love,
how many times I searched the sun, how many times I tried the sun

My destiny is to be close to you, close to you more afraid I will not have
and a little 'more woman I will be
green mountains in your eyes I will see
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#36 Feb 23, 2013
Back to AA absolutism:

AA's Preamble, read before its meetings....Paraphrased at the moment:

We asked His protection and care with complete abandon...we stood at the turning point...half-measures availed us nothing...we beg of you to let go absolutely...

Again, it contains the caveat of "spiritual progression not perfection", and the Big Book explaining not all spiritual experiences are of a sudden nature (while containing a reference to William James and spiritual experience "of an educational variety").

Yet the emphasis is clearly absolutist. And that following the reciting in unison the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr--who, according to the New York Times article "Forgetting Reinhold Niebuhr", was a relativist:

..."Original sin, by tainting all human perceptions, is the enemy of absolutes. Mortal man's apprehension of truth is fitful, shadowy and imperfect; he sees through the glass darkly. Against absolutism Niebuhr insisted on the "relativity of all human perspectives," as well as on the sinfulness of those who claimed divine sanction for their opinions. He declared himself "in broad agreement with the relativist position in the matter of freedom, as upon every other social and political right or principle." In pointing to the dangers of what Justice Robert H. Jackson called "compulsory godliness," Niebuhr argued that "religion is so frequently a source of confusion in political life, and so frequently dangerous to democracy, precisely because it introduces absolutes into the realm of relative values." Religion, he warned, could be a source of error as well as wisdom and light. Its role should be to inculcate, not a sense of infallibility, but a sense of humility. Indeed, "the worst corruption is a corrupt religion."

One imagines a meeting between two men - say, for example, the president of the United States and the last pope - who have private lines to the Almighty but discover fundamental disagreements over the message each receives. Thus Bush is the fervent champion of the war against Iraq; John Paul II stoutly opposed the war. Bush is the fervent champion of capital punishment; John Paul II stoutly opposed capital punishment. How do these two absolutists reconcile contradictory and incompatible communications from the Almighty?"
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#37 Feb 23, 2013
These things come to mind having gained a degree of objectivity after not attending AA for over five years and just recently returning to a few.

I recall in early sobriety in Anchorage how I shared in a meeting of not having much willingness to turn my life over to God. That when I do, I soon take my will back becasue I want to live more for me and worldy pleasure than I do for God. This brought a wrathful rebuke from another member who said "When I turn my will over to God, I LEAVE IT THERE!". People were aghast; God had spoken wrathfully through this member and it embarrassed and shamed the hell out of me. Problem: that rebuke only fastened my resolve towards rebelling against the purported absolutism of the other members. Meaning it hurt me to be shamed on the group level that way since my rebellious nature only equated to worse sobriety for me over the years.

What's interesting, and so very difficult to piece it all together, is that around that same time, in that same meeting place, a member shared they honestly don't have the willingness to work the program all that often--but when they do, they know quite certainly that it works. The majority of people nodded their heads in agreement. Yet that was basically the same thing I had said--having admitted to not being willing to "work the program" more sincerely and wondering where the willingness comes from when you don't seem to have it.

Point being....tne majority of members are not in actuality absolutists. Neither am I. Yet the pretense thereof, and publicly shaming someone thereby, can be very harmful spiritually. Neibuhr makes this point somewhere in wondering if the Prodigal Son's rebellious trip may not have been incurred by seeing the hypocrisy of his religious elders and wanting nothing of it. An element of that may well be involved in AA, what with Big Book militancy, etc. Whatever degree of blameshifting notwithstanding.

I say harmful because it took me 20+ years to learn that not even the co-founders were absolutists in actuality. "If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it" notwithstanding.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#38 Feb 23, 2013
Ooops...wrote that last part a little unclearly:

I meant "notwithstanding" in that even if hypocrisy of others does motivate one towards rebelling spiritually, the responsibility for spiritual growth remains the individuals. Blameshifting--even if valid to whatever degree--doesn't work ultimately because you (I) still have to find the willingness to live more for God than selfish pursuit of pleasure. And I still, to this day, lack the sincerity or willingness of doing so. How to turn that about and do better? I keep praying about it after all these years--there's bound to be an answer sometime.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#39 Feb 23, 2013
Btw, although in "The Nature and Destiny of Man" Niebuhr explains hegemony a political necessity, in the NY Times article above he is quoted:

"A democracy," Niebuhr said, "cannot of course engage in an explicit preventive war," and he lamented the "inability to comprehend the depth of evil to which individuals and communities may sink, particularly when they try to play the role of God to history."

Paradoxical?
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#40 Feb 23, 2013
Another oops...

Meant to write in a previous post above that it *seemed* God had spoken wrathfully through that member who publicly rebuked me. That's a big ooops, and quite telling regarding how insiduous such harm can be.
Bruce Deile

Tucson, AZ

#41 Feb 23, 2013
Funny...somebody slipped this one online Feb. 14, 2013 (YouTube)--it's another video version of Michele Torr singing "La Grande Chanson"; this video is by Micheldidier.

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