1938 Original Manuscript for 1939 1st Edition BigBook Searchable 1976 3rd Edition BigBook On-Line
The Prescription
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Buzzard Puke and --
My Understanding of the Names of The Higher Power

These words were written in response to a newcomer's question of why I call my Higher Power "Charlie", as the question took me back to the beginning of my AA Life and Sobriety and my own struggle with a concept and understanding of "My Very Best Friend".

"We have seen the highest circle of spiraling powers. We have named this circle God. We might have given it any name we wished: Abyss, Absolute Darkness, Absolute light, Matter, Spirit, Ultimate Hope, Ultimate Despair, Silence. But never forget, it is we who give it a name." -- Nikos Kazantzakis

But never forget, it is we who give it a name, "and our understanding."

On coming to AA and trying to learn to work the steps and apply them in all my affairs in life, I, because of a set of circumstances that were presented to me, began to call my Higher Power "Charlie", and I still do. I had a long standing antipathy for the word "God", and would almost puke or go into a rage with the mere mention of the word, due to my experiences in life and my then mis-understanding.

In the very beginning I had to take on blind faith the understanding of this "Higher Power", that was going to save my butt, that is given in the Second Tradition.. "A loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience." I had to have something better than my own understanding to hang my hat on, and that understanding, though diametrically opposed to mine, seemed to work for all the sober alkies with whom I found myself. At least they said it did, and they were sober and laughing at and with themselves, and there wasn't a damn thing funny about my circumstances, condition or state of mind at the time. I was fully aware of the Terrible Four Horsemen, Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration and Despair, that Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Ernest and Julio had acquainted me with, and I knew nothing else.

The story of how the door came open so that I could come to that loving embrace with my Higher Power, and live a life of Sobriety, Happy, Joyous and Free, fully alive and content in the sufficiency of God's Grace is in my writings at http://www.barefootsworld.net/bftwrite.html#touch

Since then, as a result of my seeking and learning to apply the 12 Steps to better my understanding and conscious contact with "Charlie, My Very Best Friend", I have found well over 10,000 positive names that people around the world have used to address their Higher Power, and there are probably that many negative names they have used too. From this, I believe it follows that He/She/It/Whatever doesn't give a damn what we call He/She/It/Whatever [even Buzzard Puke...LOL], just so long as we call upon it often for help in time of need and give it thanks each day for Life and Sobriety.

As I have continued to call upon "Charlie" and to give Him thanks for my life in sobriety, the GREAT PROMISES in the Big Book have come TRUE for me..

Pg 60 ... "(c)That God could and would if He were sought."

and on Pg 85 lines 8 and 9 ... "Instead the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us."

I thank you, my friend with the question, for it fills me with Gratitude and Love to remember that my understanding has changed, and that the door now stands wide open for me.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book



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On the Web September 28, 2002 in the Spirit of Cooperation

Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY