Billiette Calling! Oh, What A Beautiful Morning!

My brother Michael located two Billiette Calling! columns, one of which is presented below as a concrete experience to be followed by reflective observation using our abstract conceptualization (theories) calling us to actively experiment with generating a new more enlightened alcohol free concrete experience to guide our lives – this is the experiential learning model, (CE – RO – AC – AE). This is Billiette’s AA Way that she used and wrote about to approach self-actualization and to help others. This is a never-ending process and to implement Billiette’s AA Way requires that we keep a journal on life. So, to begin your new journal tomorrow morning, if you remember your dream, immediately write it down before even thinking of getting out of bed, record it in your journal – if you do not immediately write your dream down, the dream will be forgotten! After it has been written down, think about it and tend to how it begins moving. You have now begun the process of tending dreams. Okay, now you can get up to start your coffee or tea – after all, it is a beautiful morning This is the important step in actualizing yourself!

Billiette Calling! Oh, what a beautiful morning.

Oh, what a beautiful morning – this tenth day of March. “This is the day that God has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it!” I shall never forget past days when I awoke with ‘head in hand’, moaning, “Good God, it’s morning.” “Tis good to remember those ‘daze’ – for in remembering them I am able to be ever so grateful for this beautiful sunrise today, with nearly 28 tremendous years of sobriety. No matter what the day may bring – good or bad, prosperity or famine, sunshine or storm, whatever it may be – “I BE ME, BILLIETTE”, a very grateful recovering alcoholic. I am grateful to my God to be Sober and Free! He came to set us ‘captives’ free. Glory be to my God and Creator!

   We, alcoholics, know, all too well, that there is a ‘power that destroys’. It may be alcohol – drugs – and let’s not forget ‘self’. But, we who are sober and free today KNOW that there is a power greater than ourselves, a ‘power that creates’. This Power that creates gives life and joy and peace. It gives freedom and not bondage, life and not death, transformation and not coercion. The power that creates restores relationships and gives the gift of wholeness to all. The POWER THAT CREATES is SPIRITUAL POWER – the power that proceeds from God. It is the Power that you and I came to believe in after we gulped down our PRIDE and HUMBLY ADMITTED we were alcoholics and could not manage our own lives. We came and we learned that we were “suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer” (Big Book, p.44).

   “Selfishness – self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity…” With all the negative happenings that have been occurring in my life recently, I have found myself once again in the ‘drivers’ seat’, attempting to take control, shutting God out.  I came to realize that I was on a ‘dry drunk’, with all the above-mentioned defects of character in full bloom. I had to get back to the basics or die. “Oh, God,” I cried, “I can’t You can. Help me get through this one more time.” This is the how and why of it – without God, we will be on a drunk, be it dry or wet!!!

   HOW IT WORKS… peace of mind in sobriety: The Big Book says on page 62, “This is the how and why of it. First of all, we had to quite playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal’ we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.”

   “When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all-powerful, He provides what we needed. If we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans, and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. (emphasis added) As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed the peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow, or hereafter.

   Every day can be a ‘new beginning’ if we but remember to say to our Maker, as we understand Him/Her: “God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!” (Big Book, Third Step Prayer, p. 63)

Receiving Billiette’s Call! Oh, what a beautiful morning.

I suppose agreeing with someone completely indicates one has been brainwashed. We need to listen carefully with our ‘third ear‘ and read carefully with our ‘third eye‘ to what is being said and written. Billie and I often discussed ideas and had disagreements we tried to work through. She ends this column writing this, which is an example of what we discussed: “Every day can be a ‘new beginning’ if we but remember to say to our Maker, as we understand Him/Her: “God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!” (Big Book, Third Step Prayer, p. 63). Billiette, uses the words “our Maker as we understand Him/Her” but we know her understanding is Christian as this prayer reveals. What I did try to point out to mom, is that writing “Relieve me of the bondage of self” is incorrect psychoanalytically. We do not hope to be ‘relieved of self’ but to be ‘assisted in the fulfillment our Self’. This is our project, however, I have not forgotten as Sartre points out “that ‘nature’ has an aggressive way with the human consciousness, which is analogous to the way a bellicose man thrusts his face close to the face of a person he is threatening.” I am still processing my frightening “bellicose AA person experience” that I had at the Fargo AA Club House – a very disappointing and startling experience still needing to be understood!

For many years I have tended my dreams – dream tending has been and is essential in understanding how I have and am still becoming. A useful book on my journey has been Maria Mahoney’s The meaning in dreams and dreaming. Here is one of my dreams shortly after I started attending Fargo AA Chapter House meetings.

Dream 5/25/2021 6:58 AM. I am still working on an issue that is slowly finding its way to the surface – something is being clarified.
Associations: The theme of this dream has been repeating itself these past weeks. My first association is that I am in the midst of trying to secure Billiette’s Fargo AA Silver Dollar columns, which are helping me and I sense will help others become more conscious!
Amplification: I am re-reading Colin Wilson Strength to Dream. I have been re-reading Chapter Seven The Need for Polarities – with its central topic of imagination. Reading from p.189-191, I sense is amplification for this dream and also realized it provides insight into a Billiette Calling Silver Dollar Column. Now, can this be seen and felt? I have red-highlighted what seems especially presentient sentences, with two sentences in purple that laser-focus for me what needs additional attention.

“Some kind of moral judgment on the world must, then, be inherent in all works of literature, the writer’s accepted view of man and the universe – which is to say that, in some sense, every work of fiction that has ever been written is somehow obscurely concerned with the problem of how men should live. The judgment may be overt, as in Candide or Rasselas, both openly concerned with man’s dubious position in the universe. It may occur only at the end of a work, as in Epitaph for a Small Winner, the work of the great Brazilian writer Joaquim de Assis, who feels that his hero is a ‘small winner’ in the game of life because he has left no children to whom he can pass on the misery of human existence. In this case, as in all classic tragedies, the polarities are the hopeless desires of man and the indifference of the universe. But the most important condition for the function of imagination has been observed – the great gap has been fixed.

This generalization leaves one important fact unexplained. There are many writers, particularly among the great novelists of the nineteenth century, who seem to work on a ‘humanistic’ level, with no great polarities of good or evil, triumph or tragedy, and yet who reveal a considerable inventive power. Dickens, Thackeray and Balzac are arguably among them, …Trollope and Dumas most certainly are.

   The interest here lies in the ‘unseen’ pole of which the writers may be completely unaware, the instinctive faculty of ‘affirmation’. The negative pole of the world is always visible, since man is far more capable of pain than of pleasure. Most pleasures are brief and easily forgotten; on the other hand, human life seems to be largely a matter of obstacles, always culminating in death, and frequently in a great deal of pain. It is easy to be fully conscious of ‘evil’; any philosopher of minimal talent can produce a hundred reasons why life is not worth living. The power of the urge to live is an altogether different matter. It requires either enormous strength to become aware of it, or one of those freak mystical insights that certain men seem to experience. A powerhouse exits in the subconscious regions of the mind. Occasionally we may become aware of it in some moment of relief from anxiety or of sudden joy. But for the most part, it seems to communicate the urge to life in a curiously stealthy manner, on a level where we fail to notice it. A man like Dostoevsky, about to be executed, sees it without disguise, and spends the rest of his life trying to explain to human beings that they have no idea of what life is. He does so by a curious method; from the gentle melancholy of his early work, his books develop an increasingly gloomy picture of human existence. There are brief flashes of mystical affirmation, but these are only hints. His purpose seems to be to communicate to his readers the inexpressible value of lift by deliberately trying to produce a kind of ‘soul sickness’ in them, and relying on this sickness to evoke a sense of values. His own imaginative powers increase as he becomes more deeply aware of the polarities, the visible pole of human misery and futility the invisible strength of human misery and futility, and the invisible strength of the powerhouse.

   It might be said, then, that the ultimate aim of all imaginative literature is to teach men ‘what life is’. In La Nausee, Sartre points out that ‘nature’ has an aggressive way with the human consciousness, which is analogous to the way a bellicose man thrusts his face close to the face of a person he is threatening. It tends to hypnotize, to jam the ‘prehensive powers’. Art is the most primitive human device for enabling the consciousness to retaliate; it attempts to thrust nature to arm’s length. Like science, it works on the principle of hypothesis and proof; it suggests ‘general theorems’ about life (i.e., spirit is good, nature evil; ‘you can’t win’; ‘as for living, our servants will do that for us,’ etc.) and then tries to create works of art that will ‘demonstrate’ the idea.

   All this means that the Flaubert-Joyce attitude to literature is untenable. Literature need not have a ‘message’, in the sense that a problem play has, but neither is its purpose simply to hold a mirror up to nature. The passive attitude to literature is ultimately as untenable as total pessimism. No matter how detached and uncommitted an artist pretends to be, he is involved in a world whose ‘direction’ is as positive as the current of a river. It is impossible to exercise the imagination and not to be involved in this current, in man’s need for a supra-personal purpose, in the evolutionary drive.” (189-191).

Steven S.

To continue…

Paper copy hyperlinks can be viewed at blog site

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