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"The Four Absolutes" are rarely heard of by the new comers today, unless they attend meetings with OLD TIMERS around.  Used to, these guys would carry cards around in their wallets of the Four Absolutes.  Bill Wilson left the Four Absolutes out of the Big Book, and I was asked by a reader, "Was this true and why?" basically.  I spent some time researching the issue, and here are the answers that I came up with:


     Thanks for asking a great question.  You caused me to pause and research.  I, too, learned some new stuff.  The answer to your question of weather or not Bill Wilson left out the four absolutes on purpose is “True”.  I put the word TRUE in quotes because although the four absolutes are not stated as the four absolutes in the Big Book and the 12th Step, The principles of the four absolutes are.  Let me give you examples:

 Honesty – You will see this all through AA’s Basic Text.  I also see it in steps 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10.     

Unselfishness Thoughtfulness and consideration of others is also found throughout the basic text.  This is also inventoried on the 4th and 10th steps.  Released in the 12th step when we are reaching out to others.

Love Mentioned again and again from Emmet Fox to The Family, to Corinthians principles and requited scriptures.

Purity – Although I see nothing stated, I believe that the 10th step is meant to keep people on the right track they have now started on.

     In researching this, I discovered that Bill’s rejection of the Four Absolutes was that 1) They were “Absolutes” as opposed to suggestions, and 2) They are all based on Jesus’s life teachings and biblically bound.  Many in AA come around with no God, or the rejection of the one they have been raised with.  The concept of throwing us all into one big bucket immediately is a scary one.  Most of use must deal with some of our Demons before we discover our real God.  From there on out, it is done with our God.  The fear of chasing people away immediately without any help or assistance is a big one.  We are support, here to help. 

     I hope all this has helped.  Some of my references I used to research this topic are listed below for you…some good reading, if I might add. 

    Thanks and have a Great Day.


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Looking For More on 12 Step History?  Click Desired Topic Below:

[ The Four Absolutes ] Dr Bob 1948 ] Bill W. Writes ] Matter Of Fear ] Dr Bob 1950 ] 6 Oxford Steps ] Death Announcement ] DrBobLastMessage ] History Links ]

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  Our main purpose is to support all 12 step programs and people in all stages of recovery. All views and opinions in The Sponsors Aide represent those of the writer's only and do not represent anything else unless otherwise identified by comment.  We hope this site helps.

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This Website was last updated on:  June 17, 2008

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