Barefoot Bob's Collection of Writings
Stuff that I have written is Copyright 1974 through 2009
and I will be adding to it.
The Story isn't over as there is still more LIFE to LIVE!


Editorial note:  Barefoot Bob Hardison passed away on Januray 31st, 2009

Visit his memorial page - click here

This collection of oddments, quips, and blurbs includes some of the things that have helped me to come to peace in my world. Very little, if any, is original thinking as it is all a synthesis of many aspects of the Greater Truth, which has been around since the beginning of time.

If you can use any of it, that is all well and good. If not, throw it in the trashcan. That may be where I found it in the first place.

My only purpose in collecting it at all is to remind myself of what my Primary Purpose is -- To carry this message of love and peace into the world the best way I know how, through the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Now, just so you will know who this grizzled old fart is that goes by the Barefoot handle, as we talk to one another in all openess and honesty, searching for the truth and our Higher Power, working together to bring peace and understanding into our own lives and the lives of all those around us.

Photo by Craig Buck
Love and Peace,


One thing I noticed when I was first introduced to AA was the fact that there were a few REQUISITES to the success of a 12 Step Program of AA and it working in my life. The first requisite, of course, was that I had to want to learn to not drink, no matter what was or was not happening in my life. It does not matter what I think, feel or believe. The only thing that counts is what I do. If I drink I get drunk, and if I don't drink there is no possible way for me to become inebriated. In my case that is a polite word for "Stand up, fall down, pee in the corner, knee-walking, nose-puking, blacked-out, jailbird drunk."

The next requisite was that I had to learn to be willing to give up ALL of MY OLD IDEAS of how things should or should not be. I wanted to ask "You mean that none my old ideas were no good?". What the "Old-timers" led me to understand was "If we find any of them that are good and they are worth keeping, we will let you know", and "In the mean time don't worry about it, just learn to remain willing to give up all of your old ideas, as we re-examine them in the light of Truth, as you progress in the program, learning to apply the 12 Steps in your life in all your affairs."

The next requisite, if I was going to know any Peace of Mind or Serenity in my life, was that I was going to have to learn to relinquish my judgment about anything and everything that occurs. I would have to learn to rely on the Judgment of My Higher Power to make my decisions for me, in the light of HIS TRUTH. I would have to learn to leave the 3rd Step Decision alone.

Another requisite that I would have learn was to remember who it was that created me and for what purpose. I have to learn to quit trying to create myself. HE has created me for HIS PURPOSE and most of the time I am not going to know what that is until a long way down the line. (I can be standing in the middle of a miracle and I don't know a damned thing is going on, I'm so busy trying to get things sorted out.) I'm going to have to learn to seek a Conscious Contact with the Source of All Power through prayer and meditation.

I am also going to have to learn to give up my insane idea that I am on the face of this earth to be the "Achiever" . I will have to learn that I have been placed on this earth to be "THE ACHIEVEMENT-- GOD'S ACHIEVEMENT" , whatever that is to be, and I most likely will never know what it is that I will be when I grow up.

Love and Peace,

I received this from Joe Quinn, March 11, 1974, and it opened the door for me, toward that embrace with My Higher Power, My God, to come alive into happy, contented sobriety. Thank You, Joe.

The Touch of the Masters' Hand

It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
going for three",

But, No,
From the room far back a grey bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."

And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

(As Joe quoted it. Author was unknown at the time I put up this page. I have been informed, Aug 1999, that "The Master's Hand" was written by Myra B. Welch)

The way it happened is not all that unusual in A.A. I had showed up for my first speaker meeting. I was a week and a half sober, all spruced up, wearing a clean shirt and a tie, and getting well!. You know how well we get in that first week! I still had a case of the Whips and Jingles, but I was getting well.

There I was in the Friendship Club, sitting in the back row so nobody would see me. This little dried up, disheveled, misfitting clothes little fellow sat down beside me. I kind of scrunched over and out of the corner of mouth, mumbled to the person on the other side, "My God, look at this one, he really needs help."

Much to my chagrin, when it came time to introduce the speaker for the evening, this dried up little fellow was the one who got up and went to the podium. At that time Joe Q. had about 20 years of sobriety. During his pitch something or another got my attention and I started listening. Maybe it was the glitter in his eyes, or the sense of peace and love that emanated from him, I don't know. Anyhow, he ended his pitch with The Touch of the Masters Hand, and it really reached me and I KNEW he had something that I wanted.

You know that I didn't have a lot of courage at that time, and I didn't want anybody to know that I DIDN'T KNOW, so I waited until everybody else had moved away from him, screwed up my courage, and kind of sidled up to him.

He stuck his hand out to me, and asked my name. I blurted out my name, and before I drew another breath said, "I know you've got it, but I don't know what it is you're talking about, this Higher Power thing, can you please define it for me?".


With that Joe reached under the podium and pulled out an old wore out copy of the Big Book. He opened it to page 59 and stuck it under my nose and said "This is how you will find it."

I had to look, of course. That's the page the Steps are on. AND THAT'S THE WAY I FOUND IT!!

Joe's simple statement that I've put in capital letters above, but which Joe said to me in the gentlest of voices is what opened up the door so that I could throw out all of my old ideas that I had picked up from the dumping ground of others (and from my infinite wisdom of KNOWING that I'M RIGHT, that KNOW IT ALL attitude). I could now begin anew in a Lifetime of Sobriety. You see, I knew that I was the damn fool, and that I had failed in ALL my definitions.

Today I know that anytime anyone tries to define "Higher Power" to me, he is a damn fool, and whatever it is that he is trying to define, THAT ISN'T IT. This "Higher Power", My Boss that I work for today, handles things a whole lot bigger and more complex and more wonderful than any human being or group of human beings can even begin to define. All I really KNOW is, "IT LOVES ME and I LOVE IT."

Thanks again, Joe

Love and Peace,


ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS is a fellowship designed and administered by a bunch of ex-drunks whose only qualifications for membership are that they can't hold their liquor and have decided they don't want to learn how. Not that they could anyway, they never could, and it's highly unlikely that they ever would. It has no rules, dues or fees, nor anything else that any sensible organization seems to require.

At meetings, the speaker starts on one subject, winds up talking about something entirely different, and concludes by saying he doesn't know anything about the program except that it works. The groups are always broke, yet always seem to have money to carry on. They are always losing members but seem to grow. They claim AA is a selfish program but they always seem to be trying to give it away and to do something for others.

Every group passes laws, rules, edicts and pronouncements that everyone blithely ignores; members who disagree with anything have the privilege to walk out in a huff, quitting forever, only to return as if nothing has happened and be greeted accordingly. Nothing is ever planned 24 hours ahead, yet great projects are born and survive magnificently. Nothing in AA is according to Hoyle. How can it survive?

Perhaps it's because we have learned to live and laugh at ourselves. God made man. He made laughter too. Perhaps he is pleased with our disorganized efforts and makes things right no matter who pushes the wrong button. Maybe he is pleased, not with our lack of perfection, but with our sincerity. Maybe he is pleased with our trying to be nobody but ourselves. We don't know how it works, but it does, and members keep receiving their dividends from their AA investments. It is smart to be sober, and much easier, my friends, to stay sober than to get sober.

(STOLEN from some other members' writings)


Could Bill W., Dr. Bob and the First 100 have survived without service to each other? Those of us alive and sober today are a result of their service in writing the Big Book, AA Comes of Age, The 12 and 12 and all the rest of the AA literature, and the tremendous work and sacrifice required to keep the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous going.

Could they just as well left out Chapter 7 in the Big Book, and that 1st paragraph which states, "Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics!"

That is the essence of all the things we do in meetings and groups in the name of service, from simply occupying a chair in meeting, sharing our ESH in turn, sweeping the floor and cleaning up the tables and cups and ashtrays after we cluttered and cluttering alkies, planning and implementing group activities such as picnics and dances, being on the 12 Step List, going on 12 Step calls and nursing a wet newcomer into sobriety and sponsoring them, to the service of holding a position of responsibility within the group, district, and area. That is the "intensive work with other alcoholics" mentioned above that we do as we give of ourselves to gain sobriety for ourselves as we find our "niche" in service to oneanother.

Could they have done nothing but sit around and just not taken the first drink?

Of course they might have done just that, but if they had you and I would still be out there or dead! Thank God they didn't forget us, but if we want it to continue we will have to get off our dead butts and do something besides talk about it!


When anyone, anywhere reaches out for help,
I want the hand of A.A. always to be there.

To Give of Ourselves from the Fullness of Life as we have found it to be, to those who have not yet found Life to be Full, is the key to continued Sobriety, Happiness, and Serenity.

Love and Peace,

My Perceived Troubles And Their Solution

My sponsors had quaint ways of bringing me around to reality when my head was putting it on me, when I was having troubles sorting out the goodies and the baddies in my head, and the gut knots and emotional pain were becoming unbearable. I would complain to Tex that "I can't continue one more minute, I feel like getting drunk." He would either say "OK" and hang up, which pissed me off enough to stay sober until meeting time so I could tell him what an SOB he was, whereupon he would say "Well, asshole, what did you learn? That getting mad at me entirely eliminated your thoughts of drinking? That it is OK to feel like drinking as long as you don't do it?"

Or he would listen until I ran down and simply say "Well, asshole, your answer is on page 60" or 127 or 154 or 314 or 25 or -------etc. I thought he was brilliant because I would find my answer within half a page of where he had said. It took me 2 years to figure out that he was just hip shooting me numbers, so I would read and study the book. After awhile he would simply say "Your answers are in the book, asshole." And a little while later in time he would say "All right, dumbass, how many times do I have to remind you that you know where the answers are?

Joe Q. handled it somewhat different. Whenever any of us complained about the state of our lives his standard reply was "Compared to when?", or "Compared to what?, Are you still sober and are you still alive?"

Sam would simply state his belief that "I don't know about you, but every day since I have been in AA I have been having a good time. Certainly there have been days where nothing was going my way, where nobody was doing it right, where everything was upside down and I couldn't perceive any way out of my predicaments and troubles, where hope and love and peace had all but disappeared, but every day in AA I have been having a good time, because every day I have had in AA I have been sober and I have been alive! Check out which step you have forgotten. There are twelve of them, you know, to be used all day, every day."

Wino Bob would say that "Mama told me that there is no problem or situation so bad that a drink won't make it worse, a hell of a lot worse." Mama was the name he called his sponsor, a gal that had survived a number of years of the skid rows of the world. Wino himself had survived 7 years on Los Angeles skid row.

Jim would say "I understand what you are saying (believing)(thinking), but what you are saying (believing)(thinking) doesn't count because you've already admitted you are insane in the 2nd step. The only thing that counts is what you do. Apply the 3rd step, don't drink, and let God handle it. Just do the next indicated thing to the best of your ability.

Chuck would tell me "The spiritual truth is that the answer to all your problems lies within. Read pages 25 and 55 again, and don't forget the top line on page 26. And maybe it wouldn't hurt to re-read 83, 84, and 85 to remind you what it is that you are working toward. No matter which decisions you make, you must live with the consequences of your decisions."

Each handled it different and each gave me a piece of my puzzle. And I am very grateful to each of them for giving me my life as I know it today.

Love and Peace,

The Problem

Many of us felt inadequate, unworthy, alone, and afraid. Our insides never matched what we saw on the outsides of others. Early on, we came to feel disconnected -- from parents, from peers, from ourselves. We tuned out with drinking and fantasy. We plugged in by drinking in the pictures, the images, and pursuing the objects of our fantasies. We lusted for and wanted to be lusted after.

We became true addicts to our fantasies: drinking for more grandiose fantasy with and about self and/or to escape from our fantasies, leading to promiscuity, adultery, dependency relationships, and more fantasy. We got it through the eyes; we bought it, we sold it, we traded it, we gave it away. We were addicted to the intrigue, the tease, the forbidden. The only way we knew to be free of it was to do it. "Please connect with me and make me whole!" we cried with outstretched arms. Lusting after the Big Fix, we gave away our power to others.

This produced guilt, self-hatred, remorse, emptiness, and pain, and we were driven ever inward, away from reality, away from love and life, lost inside ourselves and the bottle.

Our addictions to fantasy and to alcohol made true intimacy impossible. We could never know real union with others because we were addicted to the unreal. We went for the "chemistry", the connection that had the "magic", because it by-passed intimacy, community and true union. Our alcoholic fantasies corrupted the real; lust killed love.

First alcoholics, then love and life cripples, we took from others to fill up what was lacking in ourselves. Conning ourselves time and again that the next "Big Fix" would save us, we were really losing our lives.

The Solution

We saw that our problem was three-fold: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Healing had to come about in all three. The crucial change in attitude began when we admitted we were powerless over alcohol and our fantasies, that our addictions had us whipped. We came to meetings and withdrew from our addictions.

We discovered that we could stop, that not feeding the craving didn't kill us, that drinking was indeed optional! That Reality was preferable to Fantasy! There was hope for freedom, and we began to feel alive. Encouraged to continue, we turned more and more away from our isolating obsession with fantasy, self and booze and turned to God and others.

All this was scary. We couldn't see the path ahead, except that others had gone that way before. Each new step of surrender felt it would be off the edge into oblivion, but we took the step. And instead of killing us, surrender was killing the obsession! We had stepped into the light, into a whole new way of life.

The fellowship gave us monitoring and support to keep us from being overwhelmed, a safe haven where we could finally face ourselves. Instead of covering our feelings with compulsive drinking and behavior, we began exposing the roots of our spiritual emptiness and hunger. And the healing began.

As we faced our defects, we became willing to change; surrendering them broke the power they had over us. We began to be more comfortable with ourselves and others for the first time without our "drugs". Forgiving all who had injured us, and without injuring others, we tried to right our own wrongs. At each amend more of the dreadful load of guilt dropped from our shoulders, until we could lift our heads, look the world in the eye, and stand free.

We began practicing a positive sobriety, taking the actions of love to improve our relations with others. We were learning how to give; and the measure we gave was the measure we got back. We were finding what none of the substitutes of our fantasies had ever supplied. We were making the Real Connection. We were home.

(I don't know where this came from, but I modified it to fit our AA way of thinking and doing.)

Love and Peace,

This is the substance of a revealing letter which Bill Wilson wrote in about 1949 to a close friend who had troubles with depression. The letter appeared in the "Grapevine" January 1958. Bill suffered from acute chronic depressions for the first 14 years of his sobriety.


I think that many oldsters who have put our AA "booze cure" to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development in AA-the development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our fellows, and with God.

Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance-urges quite appropriate to age seventeen-prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven or fifty-seven.

Since AA began, I've taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up, emotionally and spiritually. My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover finally, that all along we have had the cart before the horse! Then comes the final agony of seeing how awfully wrong we have been, but still finding ourselves unable to get off the emotional merry-go-round.

How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, and so into easy, happy, and good living-well, that's not only the neurotic's problem, it's the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all our affairs.

Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy may still elude us. That's the place so many of us AA oldsters have come to. And it's a hell of a spot, literally. How shall our unconscious-from which so many of our fears, compulsions and phony aspirations still stream-be brought into line with what we actually believe, know and want! How to convince our dumb, raging and hidden "Mr. Hyde" becomes our main task.

I've recently come to believe that this can be achieved. I believe so because I begin to see many benighted ones-folks like you and me-commencing to get results. Last autumn depression, having no really rational cause at all, almost took me to the cleaners. I began to be scared that I was in for another long chronic spell. Considering the grief I've had with depressions, it wasn't a bright prospect.

I kept asking myself, "Why can't the Twelve Steps work to release depression?" By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer..."It's better to comfort than to be the comforted." Here was the formula, all right. But why didn't it work?

Suddenly I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always been dependence - almost absolute dependence - on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.

There wasn't a chance of making the outgoing love of St. Francis a workable and joyous way of life until these fatal and almost absolute dependencies were cut away.

Because I had over the years undergone a little spiritual development, the absolute quality of these frightful dependencies had never before been so starkly revealed. Reinforced by what Grace I could secure in prayer, I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed, upon any set of circumstances whatsoever.

Then only could I be free to love as Francis had. Emotional and instinctual satisfactions, I saw, were really the extra dividends of having love, offering love, and expressing a love appropriate to each relation of life.

Plainly, I could not avail myself of God's love until I was able to offer it back to Him by loving others as He would have me. And I couldn't possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies.

For my dependency meant demand-a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me.

While those words "absolute demand" may look like a gimmick, they were the ones that helped to trigger my release into my present degree of stability and quietness of mind, qualities which I am now trying to consolidate by offering love to others regardless of the return to me.

This seems to be the primary healing circuit: an outgoing love of God's creation and His people, by means of which we avail ourselves of His love for us. It is most clear that the current can't flow until our paralyzing dependencies are broken, and broken at depth. Only then can we possibly have a glimmer of what adult love really is.

Spiritual calculus, you say? Not a bit of it. Watch any AA of six months working with a new Twelfth Step case. If the case says "To the devil with you," the Twelfth Stepper only smiles and turns to another case. He doesn't feel frustrated or rejected. If his next case responds, and in turn starts to give love and attention to other alcoholics, yet gives none back to him, the sponsor is happy about it anyway. He still doesn't feel rejected; instead he rejoices that his one-time prospect is sober and happy. And if his next following case turns out in later time to be his best friend (or romance) then the sponsor is most joyful. But he well knows that his happiness is a by-product-the extra dividend of giving without any demand for a return.

The really stabilizing thing for him was having and offering love to that strange drunk on his doorstep. That was Francis at work, powerful and practical, minus dependency and minus demand.

In the first six months of my own sobriety, I worked hard with many alcoholics. Not a one responded. Yet this work kept me sober. It wasn't a question of those alcoholics giving me anything. My stability came out of trying to give, not out of demanding that I receive.

Thus I think it can work out with emotional sobriety. If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God's help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety.

Of course I haven't offered you a really new idea - only a gimmick that has started to unhook several of my own "hexes" at depth. Nowadays my brain no longer races compulsively in either elation, grandiosity or depression. I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine.

"Crazy as a Shit House Mouse"

Did you ever wonder how the expression "Crazy as a Shit House Mouse" originated? I often wondered why it was that people applied it to me and my behavior, which always seemed perfectly logical, sane, and appropriate to me at the time. And if they would only listen, I could, would, and did explain it to them. Why it was that I was always scurrying to and fro, chasing up one blind alley after another, going off on tangents, carrying things to extremes, burning bridges behind myself, leaving no avenues of escape or refuge, yet trying to cover everybody's butt except my own.

I would finish my explanation, after great circumlocution of all the mitigating and extenuating circumstances, relax with my beer or whatever it was that I was drinking at the time, adopt a smug "I've told you so" manner, and ask "What do you think?". Almost invariably would come the reply, "You're crazy as a shit house mouse" or words or condescending attitudes to that effect. It didn't help my self esteem much, but as usual I would just shrug it off with "They just don't understand and they damn sure don't care. I think I'll have another beer. Crazy as a shit house mouse, huh, I'll show them!".

It wasn't until I had been in AA a while, was practicing at the Steps and was beginning to observe the effects of them working in my life that I remembered an incident of my childhood that confirmed for me that I was indeed for all those years and sometimes even now "Crazy as a Shit House Mouse", crazy with fear.

It occurred when I was maybe 11 or 12. I was raised on a ranch in western Montana. One morning, a mild fall morning, after we had finished milking and before breakfast, I had gone to the outhouse. I settled down, got comfortable and proceeded to do My Thing. The outhouse was a three holer, two for adults and one for little kids.

I reached over to the paper box, picked up the Monkey Wards catalog to tear off a sheet and rumple it up to soften it.

A mouse had built a nest under it in the corner of the box. That mouse shot out of there like a cat was after it, found a dark corner, hunkered down, and quivered with fear. Every time I would move or rumple the paper the mouse would scurry around, up the wall, over the paper box, back and forth, in and out, running for dear life. Finally, in one desperate long run, it jumped to the little kids' seat and took the plunge through the hole and into oblivion.

The lesson to be learned, that took me so many years, was that all I had to do was wait for MY HIGHER POWER to finish doing HIS THING, a door would open and I wouldn't have to jump back into the shit one more time. Yes, I am every bit as crazy as that "Shit House Mouse", but today I owe him a debt of gratitude for the lesson that he taught me. You see, I was that mouse's Higher Power, and if he could have set his FEAR aside for "JUST ONE MORE MINUTE", I would have finished doing My Thing, got up and opened the door . . .

Love and Peace,


Those who have learned by experience what physical and emotional pain and anguish mean are a community all over the world. They are united by a secret bond. One and all, they know the horrors of suffering to which mankind can be subjected. One and all, they know the longing to be free from pain.

He who has been delivered from pain must not think he is now free again and can live his life just as he did before.

Having come deeply to know pain and anguish, he must help to take a stand against pain and anguish so far as human power can control them, and to bring others the deliverance which he himself has experienced.

Such is the fellowship of those who bear the mark of pain.

One and all we must realize that our existence receives its true meaning only when we experience within ourselves the truth of the saying -- "He who loses his life will find it."

A human being is never a total and permanent stranger to another human being. Man belongs to man.

Whoever is spared personal pain, must feel himself called to help in the diminishment of pain in others.

Whatever kindness a man puts out into the world, works on the thoughts and hearts of his fellow man.

The only way out of today's misery is for people to become worthy of each other's trust.

No ray of sunlight is ever lost, but the green which it wakes into existence needs time to sprout and it is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest.

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."

Albert Schweitzer

I found these writings of Albert Schweitzer at the Chapman College Library, Orange, CA, displayed on the mezzanine walls of the Schweitzer Memorial Hall. I was in a great deal of confusion and turmoil that day and had wandered into the library to get some data on a project. My God placed me where I needed to be, once again, so that I could remember what My Primary Purpose Is and will Forever Be, and to know that I am not unique in this world, that others have experienced and are experiencing what I myself experience, not only alkies, but all others, even the so called "normies" of the world.

Love and Peace,

One night in a meeting a member asked, "Where is God?". This person was in despair because he could not find God. I was in a writing mood, had a sharp pencil and a piece of paper and so I wrote out my thoughts.

Where is God?

Where there is Joy springing from the Good there is Love,
But it is only where that Love is, that this Joy comes from the Good.
Where there is Joy in the Good, there is Giving and Sharing,
And where there is Giving and Sharing with Joy there is
That LOVE, which is GOD.

His gift to us, His Beloved Children, is the Gift of Life,
Sharing with us His Eternal Spirit that we might become MAN,
The Being which seeks GOD.
And if, in his seeking, MAN seeks with sincerity,
He has already found HIM.

Take comfort, You who would seek ME, for in your seeking
You have already found ME, and ----


Love and Peace,

A while back, in A.A., I learned the difference between religion and spirituality.

It is really quite simple.

Religion is for those people who are afraid of going to hell.

SPIRITUALITY is for those people who have already been there.

Learning to apply the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to my life was like taking dancing lessons. I got tricked (by some girl) into thinking I wanted to learn. In the beginning, I wasn't that damned enthused with it at all, amongst all the confusion and fears that I would appear foolish or stupid (especially in front of that girl). First, I learned to place my feet (take steps) as the instructor told me. As I continued to practice placing my feet in time with the flow of the music and in the proper direction, I suddenly realized that the steps were doing the dancing for me, that I was having fun, I was enjoying it, and I was out there dancing for dear life.

So it was for me in A.A. Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Ernest and Julio tricked me into thinking that there might be a better way to dance to life. I tried practicing taking the Steps with my sponsor, learned to practice on my own, and before long the Steps were doing the Dance of Life for me. What a Ball!

And I found, as it is with any other dance, that it was more fun when I had someone to dance with, to be my partner. Today I have partners who dance with me all the time, --My Higher Power!--, and my brothers and sisters in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous and others throughout the world.

Love and Peace,

Some time in the middle of 1985, I was in the late night meeting at the Camel club in Gretna, Louisiana, and one of the members, Peggy, asked "Oh, my God, Why must it hurt so?

This triggered me into my thinking and writing mood. I had a sharp pencil and a stack of flyers, so I was writing and penciling out my thoughts. These are my thoughts on that subject.

Oh, my God, Why must it hurt so?"

My child, you speak to me with words,
Because that is how you have learned to speak.
But I speak to you with feelings,
Feelings that you can recognize.

Sometimes I speak to you with Joy,
And feelings of Love and Peace and Serenity,
Of Comfort and a Knowingness about Yourself.
These feelings are those I would have you have,
As you follow My Path which I have set before you.

There are times, however,
When you set out on a path on your own,
A path that you need to travel.
But in that path that is not My Path,
I must warn you at times of your danger.

It is at those times that you know Pain,
Feelings of Aloneness, Despair and Agony.
These feelings, well, they are incomprehensible and demoralizing.
Sometimes the pain becomes very acute,
But that is the feeling that I must give you,
So that you will understand that you have strayed from My Path,
And that I wish for you to return.

You ask me why it must hurt so. Because,
You see, I have set you the Path
And have given you the instructions,
But you have refused to SEE and to HEAR.
Let this be a lesson.
You that can see, SEE, and You that can hear, HEAR.
If you can neither SEE nor HEAR, Then must you FEEL,
From the FEELING of your pain,
Will be accomplished your SEEING and HEARING,
And you will UNDERSTAND that

Love and Peace,

Meditation and Prayer

You say that you don't know how to meditate? It is very easy to do.
It is merely thinking -- In the Presence of GOD --.

That is what the A.A. cliche is trying to get us to do --
Think, Think, Think -- In the Presence of God--, before we take any action.

Prayer is the same.
It is merely talking -- In the Presence of GOD --.

Love and Peace,


An A.A. Parable

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who scratched about in the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat. She called her neighbors and said,
"If we plant this wheat, we shall have bread to eat.

Who will help me plant it?"

"Not I", said the cow.

"Not I", said the duck.

"Not I", said the pig.

"Not I", said the goose.

"Then I will", said the little red hen. And she did.
The wheat grew tall and ripened into golden grain.

"Who will help me reap the wheat?", asked the little red hen.

"I don't have the time", said the duck.

"I would lose my old timer status", said the cow.

"I'm wallowing in enough problems", said the pig.

"I'm going to meetings", said the goose.

"Then I will", said the little red hen. And she did. At last it came time to bake the bread.

"Who will help me bake the bread?", asked the little red hen.

"Baking isn't GSO approved", said the cow.

"I'm still working on the first half of the first step", said the duck.

"I'm a dropout and never learned how", said the pig.

"If I'm to be the only helper, then that's not fair", said the goose.

"Then I will", said the little red hen. And she did. She baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see.

They all wanted a share and, in fact, demanded a share.

But the little red hen said, "No, I can eat the five loaves myself."

"Fifth Tradition", cried the cow.

"Selfish, egocentric", screeched the duck.

"I demand equal rights", yelled the goose.

And the pig just grunted.

And they marched around the barnyard and the little red hen shouting

"We want ours, we DEMAND that you GIVE it to us."

When the farmer came, he said to the little red hen, "You must not be greedy."

"But I earned the bread", said the little red hen.

"Exactly", said the farmer, "That is the wonderful free choice system. ANYONE IN THE BARNYARD CAN EARN AS MUCH AS HE WISHES. But in OUR SOCIETY, the productive workers share their production with those who do nothing."

And they lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, "I am grateful, I am grateful."

But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked any more bread.
(She decided to let them get theirs through osmosis)

We in AA are SELF supporting through OUR OWN contributions, in all OUR affairs, -----OUR affairs of RECOVERY, UNITY AND SERVICE .-----

(I have a half dozen versions of this, so I modified it to laughingly show the excuses we come up with to get out of doing something in AA.)

Love and Peace,

By This Certificate Know Ye That
Mrs. __________'s Little Boy ___________

is a Lifetime Member in Good Standing in
and is Hereby Entitled to:

Walk in the rain, jump in mud puddles, collect rainbows, smell flowers, blow bubbles, stop along the way, build sand castles, build snowmen and snow angels, throw snowballs, watch the moon and stars come out, say Hello to everyone, go barefoot, go on adventures, sing in the shower, have a merry heart, read children's books, act silly, take bubble baths, splash in the tub, get new sneakers, hold hands and hug and kiss, dance, fly kites, laugh and cry for the health of it, ask Momma for a kiss to fix the broken things, wander around, feel scared, feel sad, feel mad, feel happy, give up and worry, stay innocent, believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, say yes, say no, say the magic words, ask lots of questions, ride bicycles, draw and paint, see things differently, fall down and get up again, talk with animals, look at the sky, trust the universe, stay up late, climb trees, watch butterflies and bugs and bees and ants and things, take naps, do nothing, daydream, play with toys, play under the covers, have warm fuzzies (both feelings and things), have pillow fights, learn new stuff, get excited about everything, be a clown, stand on your head, hop on one foot, spin until you are dizzy, turn cartwheels, lean into the wind, enjoy having a body, listen to music, find out how things work, make up new rules, tell stories, save the world, make friends with other kids on the block, make mistakes and do anything else that brings more happiness, celebration, relaxation, communication, health, love, joy, creativity, pleasure, abundance, grace, self-esteem, courage, balance, spontaneity, passion, beauty, peace, serenity and life energy to the above named member and to other human beings on this planet.

Further, the above named member is hereby officially authorized to frequent amusement parks, beaches, meadows, mountain tops, swimming pools, forests, playgrounds, picnic areas, summer camps, birthday parties, circuses, cookie shops, ice cream parlors, theaters, aquariums, zoos, museums, planetariums, toy stores, festivals and all other places where children of all ages come to play, and is encouraged to always remember the motto of The Society of Childlike Persons:


This is Forever a Non-Revocable Certification and Authorization
By My Hand

By This Certificate Know Ye That
Mrs. __________'s Little Girl ___________

is a Lifetime Member in Good Standing in
and is Hereby Entitled to:

Walk in the rain, jump in mud puddles, collect rainbows, smell flowers, blow bubbles, stop along the way, build sand castles, build snowmen and snow angels, throw snowballs, watch the moon and stars come out, say Hello to everyone, go barefoot, go on adventures, sing in the shower, have a merry heart, read children's books, act silly, take bubble baths, splash in the tub, get new sneakers, hold hands and hug and kiss, dance, fly kites, laugh and cry for the health of it, ask Momma for a kiss to fix the broken things, wander around, feel scared, feel sad, feel mad, feel happy, give up and worry, stay innocent, believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, say yes, say no, say the magic words, ask lots of questions, ride bicycles, draw and paint, see things differently, fall down and get up again, talk with animals, look at the sky, trust the universe, stay up late, climb trees, watch butterflies and bugs and bees and ants and things, take naps, do nothing, daydream, play with toys, play under the covers, have warm fuzzies (both feelings and things), have pillow fights, learn new stuff, get excited about everything, be a clown, stand on your head, hop on one foot, spin until you are dizzy, turn cartwheels, lean into the wind, enjoy having a body, listen to music, find out how things work, make up new rules, tell stories, save the world, make friends with other kids on the block, make mistakes and do anything else that brings more happiness, celebration, relaxation, communication, health, love, joy, creativity, pleasure, abundance, grace, self-esteem, courage, balance, spontaneity, passion, beauty, peace, serenity and life energy to the above named member and to other human beings on this planet.

Further, the above named member is hereby officially authorized to frequent amusement parks, beaches, meadows, mountain tops, swimming pools, forests, playgrounds, picnic areas, summer camps, birthday parties, circuses, cookie shops, ice cream parlors, theaters, aquariums, zoos, museums, planetariums, toy stores, festivals and all other places where children of all ages come to play, and is encouraged to always remember the motto of The Society of Childlike Persons:


This is Forever a Non-Revocable Certification and Authorization
By My Hand

This poem, "The Quest", was written by a drunk, a sober drunk, who was sober about 5 days. I had twelve stepped Paul out of the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1985. He was a sad case. Boy, was he a sad case. We got him to the Camel Club in Gretna, got him sobered up, filled him with coffee, orange juice and honey, got him somewhat settled down and into a step house. I came into the club about 4 days later and Paul was at the coffee bar writing. I asked if he was writing a 4th step and he said "No, I'm writing a poem." I said "Oh, okay" and went over to talk with some other fellows. After 5 or 10 minutes had passed, Paul asked if we wanted to hear his poem, and we all waited. I said "Sure". This is the poem that Paul wrote.

The Quest

I've searched,
I've searched the avenues of life,
the pristine chapels, the Bowery flophouses.
I've searched the Halls of Justice, on both sides.
I've looked under the leaves and behind the clouds.
I've searched through the rain and pain of forgotten memories,
broken promises and shattered dreams.
I've yearned for the answers to all the questions,
some as yet unasked.

I've loved,
the earth, the sky, and all the animals,
I've hated myself!

I've dreamed,
I've dreamed of dancing on moonlight and traveling to the stars.
I've dreamed of worldly delights, while searching through the bars.
I've dreamed of better worlds, with peace and tranquillity.
I've seen the cold shoulder of inhumanity,
Sometimes I've found it to be mine.

I've been,
I've been in and out of jails, in and out of Hell.
I've been ostracized, penalized, deluded, denuded,
and institutionalized.

I've seen,
I've seen the deathly gray pall of time passing uselessly by.
I've seen the fire of a new dawn,
Through an alcoholics' haze,
I witnessed the birth of a new life,
My own!

And now,
I have seen --GOD-- and --MYSELF--,
I am FREE,
FREE to be ME

Paul Wilburn

Paul was formerly a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford in England, came to this country to make his living in literature, got into a bottle, made it to the French Quarter, to the Camel Club, to this poem, and SOBRIETY! What a Gift!

Love and Peace,

Why One Man Quit

"How come you don't drink any more?", a renewed acquaintance from long ago asked me the other day.

"Any more than who?"

"I mean any longer. How come you don't drink anything these days?"

""Drink? I drink coffee, milk, tea, soda pop, water, fruit juices...."

"I mean drink", he said, "You know, BOOZE."

"Oh, BOOZE. No, I don't drink booze anymore, you're right," I said, "I couldn't trust it anymore. It turned on me. Once my friend, it became my enemy."

"Maybe you got a bad batch," he said.

"No, the sauce is the same, I changed. Because I have the illness of alcoholism, my tolerance weakened. Alcoholism doesn't come in a bottle. It comes in people."

"Sounds pretty confusing," the fellow said.

"You think you're confused," I said, "you should have seen me. I drank for happiness and became unhappy; I drank for joy and became miserable; I drank to be outgoing and became self centered; I drank for sociability and became argumentative and lonely. I drank for sophistication and became crude and obnoxious; I drank for friendship and made enemies; I drank for sleep and awakened without rest; I drank to soften sorrow and wallowed in self pity. I drank for strength and felt weak; I drank to prove my masculinity and it sapped my potency; I drank medicinally and got sick; I drank because I thought my job called for it and lost my job. I drank for relaxation and got the shakes; I drank for confidence and became uncertain; I drank for courage and became afraid; I drank for assurance and became doubtful. I drank to stimulate thought and blacked out; I drank to make conversation and it tied my tongue; I drank for warmth and lost my cool; I drank for coolness and lost my warmth. I drank to feel heavenly and came to know HELL; I drank to forget and became haunted; I drank to erase problems and saw them multiply; I drank to cope with life and invited death ...or worse. I drank because I had the right and everything turned out wrong."

"Gosh," my friend exclaimed, "that must have taken a bunch of booze to get you in that shape."

"Just ONE," I told him. " The first one. For me, One is too many and a thousand aren't enough."

"So that's why you don't drink anymore?"

"Yep, I made it a rule, `I don't drink while I'm sober.'"

(Unknown Author)

Indian John said of himself, "I am a very sensitive person, I get hurt easily, and I don't suffer well."

I believe he was speaking for all alcoholics, especially the "and I don't suffer well."

A.A. won't keep you from going to hell, neither is it a ticket to heaven, but it will help you stay sober long enough for you to decide which way you want to go.


So you have been around for quite a while,
Helping to spread A.A..
You've worked like hell since you first came in,

I heard your pitch, it was kind of long,
and you really told them how
you worked the steps in `76,

Do you still get up from your warm, soft bed
when someone out there is in trouble?
Do you grab your hat and your A.A. book

Or have you forgotten the early times
when you were sort of new?
Maybe you've been around so long

Maybe you are one of the Senior Saints,
Sober and Satisfied.
Maybe you've forgotten when you were sick,

Maybe I shouldn't bring it up,
maybe you're too blase';.
But just for the Hell of it, Mister,

Have you been around so cockeyed long
that you leave it to Harry or Sam?
Cause you're not your brother's keeper,

Maybe tonight the fights are on,
or you're going to the old ball game.
So what the hell if the guy is sick,

Well, Mister, you have a perfect right
to work your own A.A.,
and you know you'll do it your way

But tonight before you go to bed
just look in the glass and pray
that you and the Lord Know the answer to


How about that! The feelings I always thought I would have if only YOU would love me are the feelings I got when I learned to love you! I learned from you, through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, to love me and you and My Higher Power.

A Native American Prayer

O' Great Spirit,
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
and whose breath gives life to
all the world, Hear Me!

I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.

Let me learn the lessons that you
have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy - myself.

Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when Life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

From the Sioux, Dakota and Mandan

The Prayer to Our Father
A Prayer of Supplication and Humility to the Father of Lights

As translated directly from the original Aramaic text by Dr. George Lamsa, B.A., F.R.S.A., a native speaking Aramaean and translator of the entire bible from the ancient Aramaic manuscripts into English.

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name,
Let thy kingdom come.
Let thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
Give us bread for our needs from day to day.
Forgive us our offenses, as we have forgiven our offenders.
Do not let us enter into temptation, but deliver us from error,
Because thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.

I find it extremely gratifying and humbling that AA is so constituted that our bond of Community and Union is one of LOVE and not of faith, because when I came to AA I had no faith in nor love for myself or anything else. I didn't have to subscribe to any fixed belief or dogma. All I needed was a desire to stop drinking. AA members taught me LOVE through the demonstration of their LOVE and CARE for me, a stumble-bum drunk. From that LOVE I learned FAITH that I didn't have to drink one day at a time and later gained an ABSOLUTE FAITH in a Higher Power that I still don't understand.

Love and Peace,

I have been working with the Native Americans in this area. I discovered that few made it past the third step. I found that "taking an inventory" did not "compute" in their culture. When I asked what would be the equivalent and what would accomplish the same effect, I found that the offering of medicine or tobacco ties was a Native American cultural way of doing this. Hence the rewording of the Twelve Steps of AA to fit their culture. It seems to be working. If anyone can bring further light to cultural problems of this nature, to enhance the working of AA for cultural minorities, please let me know and we maybe can work something out. --- Barefoot

The Native American Twelve Steps

1. We admitted that the bad medicine of alcohol had counted coup on us, that with alcohol we could not manage our own lives.

2. Came to believe that the Medicine of the Great Spirit could restore us to His Way and to sanity.

3. Made a decision to return our will and our lives to the care of the Great Spirit as we understood Him.

4. Without fear, we made medicine ties for all our faults and bad behavior.

5. Took our medicine ties to the Sweat Lodge, placed them on the Sacred Heap, counted coup on them with our spiritual guide and sponsor, offering them to the Great Spirit.

6. Became entirely ready to have the Great Spirit remove all these faults and bad medicines.

7. Humbly asked the Great Spirit to take them from our spirit.

8. Made medicine ties for all our brothers and sisters that we had harmed and became willing to make good medicine with each of them.

9. Made good medicine with them all, making right the wrong wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to make medicine ties for our faults and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our medicine with the Great Spirit, praying to know His Way and for the courage to walk His trail.

12. Having had the Great Spirit join our spirit, as the result of these steps, we try to carry this Medicine to our brother and sister alcoholics, and continue to practice this Medicine in all our affairs.

A NOTE OF CAUTION --These 12 Steps should never be used as an excuse to continue a case of "Terminal Uniqueness", but only as a bridge to understanding the 12 Steps of A. A. from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Love and Peace,

Before we came to A.A., in our worldly drunken view, we were severely limited in what we could do. By ourselves, we could do little or nothing except drown out the bleakness and frustration of life. A man without power, as I was, is nothing. With POWER, however, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. That POWER is, of course, SPIRITUAL needs power, lots of it, to survive. This means getting in touch with the SOURCE of power . . . so that every act becomes a spiritual act, every day a spiritual day. It is thus that we come to live a COMPLETELY SPIRITUAL LIFE.

Through the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of A.A., we come to the full realization that the visible world is but a part of a greater spiritual world, and that the spiritual world and the visible world are one reality.

Love and Peace,

Prayer for Serenity

God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
taking this world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that you will make all things right
if I surrender to your will,
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with you forever in the next.


The Serenity prayer as I understand it--

God, Grant me the Serenity
to accept the people I cannot change,
the Courage to change the person I can,
and the Wisdom to know that person is me.

I found this marvelous little poem on the back of a dinner check at a truck stop in Carlsbad, CA. Just another reminder from my Higher Power.


There's the wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
And the love of a staunch true man,
and the love of a baby that's unafraid---
All have existed since time began.

But the most wonderful love, the Love of all loves,
Even greater than the love of a Mother,
Is the infinite, tenderest, passionate love
Of one drunken bum for another.


One other love
'twould be of note
and then I'll cease to bother,
merciful and nurturing,
the healing love
of the FATHER.

Love and Peace,

One thing I'm sure of today. People didn't drive me nuts. Things didn't drive me nuts. Conditions didn't drive me nuts. And BOOZE didn't drive me nuts, but it sure as HELL helped. Nope, I DROVE ME NUTS, me and my thinker.

AA told me I couldn't think my way into better living, because my thinker drives me nuts, but that I could live my way into better thinking, if I just didn't drink one day at a time, and trusted my Higher Power to do my thinking for me. That made sense. If His thinking is better than mine, His actions would be better than mine, and I really believe He doesn't want me drunk and tearing up His World.

Love and Peace,

I received these marvelous little poems written by his Dad from Mike D. in Jan 1991


Life to me is to survive
like the raging rapids,
Yet flow as gently
as a mountain stream.


Bending round always
to end back where you begin.
Idiot circle you'll
never get squared away

...Ben Dunham

All emotional pain is simply the result of kicking ones own self against Gods' will.

(It is rebellion against his authority, and you know we are all rebels.)

All things are possible to he who believes;
They are less difficult to he who hopes;
They are easy to he who loves;
They are simple to anyone who does all three.

On Friends in Recover at , a recovery message board on the Internet, a couple of poems got posted in one day, and Rick H., better known as Rico, decided it was "My Turn".

Posted by Rico on April 13, 1997 at 02:05:50:
Hi everybody! Time to test my poetry skills. Here's my original, one and only!

12 Oz. Can

In my younger days it seems, they say
I was a fine young man--
But growing up into the world
I found my 12 Oz. can.

Wanting to be someone
other than I am--
It seemed I had the answer
inside my 12 Oz. can.

My problems always disappeared
My dreams were well at hand--
I never had to look that far
to find my 12 Oz. can.

As time went on, the world went by
I'm sure you'll understand--
The answers didn't come at all
from inside my 12 Oz. can.

It seemed I had tried everything
but worse than it began--
My life turned into shambles
drinking from my 12 Oz. can.

The can became much heavier
The depths of hell I ran--
Perhaps I had to die that night
to lose my 12 Oz. can.

I could not stop, my will-no good
Myself I couldn't stand--
Then I heard about a program
to replace my 12 Oz. can.

With open doors and fellowship
success through out the land--
They told me to keep coming back
I don't need my 12 Oz. can.

Then suddenly the pain was gone
away like blowing sand--
Then God came down to take from me
The weight of my 12 Oz. can.

Thanks everyone. You're all a very special part of me.
Love and Peace,

I posted this back to him.---
Posted by Barefoot on April 13, 1997 at 09:48:24:
In Reply to: My Turn! posted by Rico on April 13, 1997 at 02:05:50:

Rico, Marvelous!

You are a poet,
and didn't know it.
You tried your han',
and didn't blow it,
Not at all with
"a 12 oz can."

Can I cop it for inclusion in the writings, with credit, of course?

Love and Peace, Barefoot

And now you know how this got included in Barefoot Writings.

Another thing I'm certain of today, as a result of the 12 Steps of AA, is that I am indeed a Spiritual Being having a Human experience, and not a human being searching for a spiritual experience. This knowledge removes all fear for survival and brings with it great peace of mind and a knowingness about myself and my Higher Power. This knowingness enables me to face the Truths of the Spiritual lessons that I chose to come into this existence to learn with humility and without trauma. I chose my time of coming and when my lessons are learned I shall choose my time of going, to return again as needed for further instruction and to have fun.

Every condition of my universe, the World of my Mind, is a result of my choices. I live in a different universe than all other beings as a result of my choices, and they as a result of theirs. My choices and the decisions I have made are all based on my experiences of Life, and what, at the moment, appears to be in my best interest. Some of these choices and decisions have been good and from them I have learned those things which bring a sense of satisfaction to my universe. Some have, at the time, appeared to be bad choices or decisions, but in fact they have been good. From them I have learned those things which DO NOT bring that sense of satisfaction, and which have brought about the need for change in me and my universe.

All things which have happened in my universe, and which will happen, are given me by my Higher Power for my ultimate benefit, even though I may not appreciate this at the time.

I know today that I do all things for one or the other of two purposes; TO LEARN or TO HAVE FUN.

Sometimes the learning has not been much fun, and sometimes what I thought to be fun has been the cause of Great Learning. However it may happen, I must learn by doing the thing, for, though I may think I know it, I have no certainty until I have tried it. I have tried applying the Steps and Traditions to the conditions of my universe, and have come to know that the program of A.A. works -- for me.

From all of these I have come to know the meaning of the great truth "I AM" and the true meaning of Love and Peace.

Love and Peace,


"Barefoot"" Bob H.
W.6350 Holland Road
Post Falls, Id 83854

Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx
North Idaho Correctional Institution
RT.#3, Box 147
Cottonwood, ID 83522-9499

Dear Xx,
I received your letter today, Aug 13, at the 12 Step Club in CDA.

You can get in touch with me when you are released at the above address, at the 12 Step Club or at xxx-xxxx .

A little about me. I'm sober years, and was in the past, Chairman of AA Hospital and Institution Committee and Secretary and DCM of District 8 of AA Eastern Washington Area. District 8 covers the Kootenai, Shoshone and Benewah counties of Idaho. I sponsor a number of men and a few women, and would be pleased to help you get a start in AA and NA in your home area. A number of the men I sponsor are active in both programs and one of them can sponsor you in NA., Xxxx X. being one I have in mind.

From your letter it sounds to me that you MAY be willing to SURRENDER to the 12 Steps as a guide for your life. SURRENDERING is not the hard part, in fact it is easy, once you have got past the hard part, that of KNOWING and ACCEPTING to your innermost self THAT BOOZE AND DRUGS HAVE GOT YOU BEAT. I hope this is so for you.

As you are able to get to AA meetings in Cottonwood, and are in contact with Xxxx X. and Xxx X., tell them Hello for me, start working on the steps together with them, GET YOUR 4th STEP WRITTEN BEFORE YOU GET OUT (I know you don't have a hell of a lot else to do) so we can do your 5th step when you get out. If you will get this done honestly and fearlessly, complete the rest of the steps, and learn to apply all of them to your life in all your affairs, the chances of you ever having to drink or use again, or winding up back in custody again are SLIM to NONE.

Be hearing from you,

Love and Peace,


"Barefoot" Bob H
W. 6350 Holland Road
Post Falls, Id 83854

Xxxxxx X. Xxxxxxxxx
North Idaho Correctional Institution
RT.#3, Box 147
Cottonwood, ID 83522-9499

Dear Xx,

Did I mention that unless we learn to apply all of the steps to our life in all our affairs, the chances of being able to stop drinking or using, and of not winding back in custody again are also SLIM to NONE? It's our choice which way we want to go, whether we want to go the AA way of life or our own. I know what going my own way got me!

Tell Xxxx X. to write me with his address and number so I can write him.

I'm including a stack of stuff that I've found of value to remind me of who and what I am and what my purpose is, stuff that keeps my head screwed on right and keeps my thinking on spiritual terms in all my affairs. It may be of help to you and the others there at Cottonwood in AA. Share it with Xxxx X. and Xxxx X. and anyone else that wants to listen.

Read Page 25 of the Big Book --There Is a Solution-and realize that the only Shot that you and I have of leading a Sane, Sober, Satisfying and Successful life is to develop and accept Spiritual help. Notice that there are Seven Capital S's in the previous sentence. My life as a drunk and the disease which I have is characterized by what I call the Six S's -- Self-inflicted, Self-indulgence, Self-righteousness, Self-pity, and Self-BULLSHIT.

I had to learn to overcome the SELF-BULLSHIT (get honest with myself) before I could even begin to work the Steps and put them to practice. Staying Sober one day at a time, calling my Sponsor when my mind was putting it on me, Studying the Big Book, Sticking my hand out to a newcomer and Sharing my experience, Strength (that of My Higher Power) and Hope, and the Steps are what have allowed me to be something other than a Sick, Sorry Souse. You see, I only have to remember the S's to know where I came from, what happened and where I'm at now.

Be hearing from you,

Love and Peace,

Recommended reading that I found helpful to enhance my understanding of life, God (Higher Power), myself, AA and the 12 Steps and Traditions. They confirm for me that what we are doing in AA is absolutely beautifully perfect and correct.

Sermon on the Mount --Emmett Fox
The Prophet-- Kahlil Gibran
Illusions-- Richard Bach
The Impersonal Life -- Anonymous, published by DeVorss
The Course in Miracles -- library

A New Pair of Glasses -- Chuck C. (one of my early sponsors)
and ALL of AA literature, especially the "Big Book", the "12 & 12", "AA Comes of Age" and "The AA Way Of Life, As Bill Sees It"


When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel the way I do, you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

LISTEN! All I asked was that you listen, not to talk or do, just hear me!

Advice is cheap, 25 cents will get me both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.

I can do for myself, I am not helpless maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.

But when you accept as a simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and get on about the business of understanding what's behind my irrational feeling. When that's clear, the answers are obvious and I don't need advice.

Irrational feelings make more sense when we understand what's behind them.

Perhaps that's why Prayer works, sometimes, for some people, because GOD is mute, and doesn't give advice and try to fix things. GOD just listens!

I already know the Spiritual Truth that the solution to all my problems lies within.

So, if I do hear GOD, it is a still, small voice from within myself, which, if I will but listen to it, gives me the answers that I am seeking.

Please just listen and hear me.

And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn and I'll listen to you.

Author Anonymous


1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around. You will also receive a mind, and a spirit. The same is true for them, but they differ from the body in that they can be changed. How they change depends on how well you learn your lessons.

2. You WILL learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called LIFE. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth, intellectually and spiritually, is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works".

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5. The learning of lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its' lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. "There " is no better than "here". When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply have obtained another "there" that will again look better than "here".

7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of yourself is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside yourself. The answer to all of LIFE's questions lie within you. All you need to do is LOOK, LISTEN, and TRUST.



12. And then, ONE DAY you will KNOW it, and not forget it, ONE DAY AT A TIME !!!







If, after the age of FIFTY

You wake up in the morning

And Nothing Hurts,

This may be strong evidence that

YOU HAVE DIED During the Night!

Be Still and Know That I am Your God

The following thoughts are to a large extent plagiarized from the thinking of others, but I am writing them down here as the best explanation that I have to date of the dynamics of what it is that I have experienced and what I have tried describing as "Seeing the white light and hearing the angel feathers" or ""Knowing" that I was living and being in the presence of total and complete LOVE" or "An electric moment, like moving out from behind a jet engine into a sound proof room, the silence is so deafening".

The analogy that I have used, derived from a discussion of the dynamic of a Karate Master, expresses just one of the realities that I perceive on the subject, and are true to that extent only. They only help me to view the dynamics of the perception. If they become a truth for you or a reality that you can perceive and use, all well and good. Use the perception until it no longer suits your purpose. If not, then you are totally free to disclaim it, modify it, argue about it, tear it up, proclaim it false, or throw it in the garbage can, whatever suits your fancy. -- Love and Peace, Barefoot

We have all heard the dictum "Be Still and Know That I Am God". Well, Okay, what is it that we are talking about? How do we do it? What is it? Huh? Help? I am powerless to convey in words what it is I KNOW, but I am going to try anyhow. No one else that I know in or out of AA has been any more adept at describing the effect, or ever been able to properly explain the dynamics of the "Secret" to my entire satisfaction, and of course I haven't either, or I wouldn't be making this attempt now.

This phenomena that occurs when "Being Still and Knowing That I Am God" has occurred many times for me in the past years as I have been involved in the work of AA, i.e., the practice of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions, and especially the 11th Step in meditation after 12th Step work. In remembering the effect of it, I could think that I would like to be in that state forever, but I know I cannot, for I am still human with much to learn about my spiritual beingness.

In the practice of the 12 Steps, I came to and I came to believe, and the truth of the first 11 words of the 12th step "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps" occurred. This "awakening" is not mine alone. As far as I can tell it occurs for everyone who learns to apply the 12 Steps to their life, in one manner or another. The means by which or the manner in which one perceives the truth is of no consequence, only that one's truth is perceived.

Some beginners learn sooner than I did that instruction alone, without work, does not produce the results promised. So, after a few weeks, without working at it, they quit in discouragement, returning to whatever it was they were doing before. Those who persevere, it seems to me, were oblivious to the contradiction between words and action. They, like myself, assumed that the fault was theirs for failing to understand. Like a blind old horse, they persisted blindly, working at it until they absorbed a satisfying competence from prolonged contact, much as through osmosis, much as one can learn to dance with a willing partner without analyzing the STEPS.

Continued observation has revealed to me that the difference between the winner and the average member is not superior effort, stronger will, or special techniques. POWER is produced by the COORDINATION of THOUGHT and of CONSCIOUSNESS. The winner develops overwhelming strength of purpose, tireless endurance, and effortless practice because he directs all his thoughts into one drive, instead of dissipating his energies in random thoughts. This can be seen in the comparison of newcomers and successful old timers, the "WINNERS". The newcomer jerks all over the place, or is so rigid from the maelstrom of his thoughts that the question arises "Should we send for the coroner now?", while the winner moves through life quietly and gently, wearing the knowingness of "Higher Power" like a warm and loving shawl, forever safe within its folds.

Once this first insight of "coordination" had been gained as the "secret" of generating spiritual power, another difference of a Higher Order became apparent between ordinary winners and the "Legendary Mystic Masters". It is very easy to become religious when something like this "Enlightenment" first happens. You let your hair grow long, avoid sexual temptation, and go squatting in the wilderness, seeking the Godhead whence this power seems to emanate.

Closer analysis, proven by oftentimes clumsily experiencing the phenomenon, reveals that the Masters thoughts move in contradiction to what others see and what they believe they experience in his presence and sometimes in contradiction to what he himself thinks that he sees and believes. The Master's thoughts move neither swiftly nor sluggishly, but at a constant acceleration, akin to a state of not-quite free fall. His thoughts and actions are not made to exert force on his partners, but to induce them to follow him without exertion or sudden lunges. Even when changing direction, the Master's thoughts and actions always circle with this constant acceleration. He controls not by driving but by directing his attitude toward Life.

No matter how forcefully or erratically Life approaches him, there is some portion of Life that is moving at the same velocity as the Master. In other words, there is a point of contact with Life where there is No Relative Motion. That point of contact is "Now", in GOD's Moment in Eternity. The Master, therefore, can reach out and take hold of Life without any exertion of force or effort, without being forced off balance. The Masters thoughts and actions appear leisurely because his acceleration is constant and there is little velocity difference between him and Life.

This ability to control the point of contact with Life, the point of balance, is the mental power by which the Master wins. Once an individual loses his point of balance with Life, his strength is overwhelmed, and he is forced to follow whither he is led, until the whip is snapped.

"Losers" do not see the drive that throws them, not because it is too swift for the eye to detect or the mind to follow, but because it never happened. The power drive, their own, that throws them, is hallucinated so that the preconceptions about the way things should happen are maintained, and a mental block develops to prevent further examination of the evidence.

The mental block is produced not only in the "losers" mind, but in that of all the spectators to his life so that a mass delusion of mysterious transcendental power is created, while all efforts to explain it are sub-consciously misdirected to some "evil" power, i.e., the power of Satan or the like. When the real dynamics are revealed, they are vehemently denied by all authorities, because fundamental concepts informing us about the way the universe is supposed to unfold must never be challenged; a charge of insanity is raised against anyone who dares to question authorized "truths". I find it interesting that the word Satan is derived from the Aramaic word "satah" or "stahah" which means quite literally "that which causes us to miss the intended mark at which we were aiming" and also "ego or false pride". I find it built into myself as my natural ego defense mechanism which tells me that I cannot possibly be wrong. Insofar as it is natural, it must therefore have a God given purpose. As nearly as I can perceive, the purpose is to protect me from injury from perceived danger. The problem that arises here is that my perceptions are warped by past injuries, and my reactions are not apropos to the present situation but to the past trauma. I am a victim of my own flinch, however much I may not want to be, and, until I clear the wreckage of the past in its' entirety I will continue to experience the flinch to some extent.

Even the Masters are a part of this conspiracy to deny the evidence, because the Masters' ability to conform his thoughts and actions with Life depends on his confidence and belief that they will work. Unless a Master understands the dynamics, he believes he has a divine spirit on his side, and quite naturally, Masters who believe in a divine spirit don't want to have their beliefs disturbed. It is less disturbing to accept a dichotomy between the apparent reality and the spiritual reality and let the spiritual phenomena go unexplained.

A person who studies this phenomena, without capitulating to awe, will find that there is nothing supernatural about the spiritual power generated by the Master. It is merely natural, and the rightful inheritance of all of God's Children. It is truly a gift, but one which requires work and concerted action on the part of the receiver.

At the point of balance in the swings of the pendulum of Life, when the Master preempts that point, he is standing on solid ground and Life cannot throw him. All the Master has to do is let go and let the divine spirit do the rest. The spectacular flips, slips and slides of those who miss the point and continue to hold on to the past are a sight to behold. I have observed some of them really "flying".

Once I saw what was really going on behind this subtle mastery, there seemed no reason to me to consign one's self to the years of self-mortification that seemed to limit proficiency to members of the First Estate. But as I was trying to practice what I was learning, it soon became evident that there is more to generating spiritual momentum than the whammy that passeth all understanding. In throwing out all the mystical discipline as empty packaging, I was too hasty.

In order to concentrate all thoughts and actions into a single direction, at a single point in space, at a single instant in time, all thoughts and actions must be coordinated and consistent. The Master understands, quite correctly, that mental training is the basis for this kind of thought control and mental discipline develops this power much better and easier than blind grunt and sweat. The development of a fully organized and conscious mind, in fact, is the secret of a successful power in every human endeavor. Physical training at the combat of Life is merely the crudest system to exercise the minds of people not sufficiently conscious to get their act together by less strenuous discipline. Sport is meditation for sweatheads.

Ah, So! Coordination is the secret of Spiritual Power. How does one develop this coordination? If the would be Master is to develop precision of action and spiritual power, the brain must learn to produce coherent thoughts. So the proper question is, "How does the brain learn to produce coherent thoughts?"

How can a sponsor get into the newcomer's brain to adjust the thought distributor and its timing to stay in the NOW? My thought distributor and timing were like that of an old wore out car, with burnt out points, fouled plugs, a cracked cap, half the wires going to the wrong plugs or missing altogether, and at least three teeth missing from the timing gear. To effect the repair I can still hear Tex saying "Practice the Steps, *#@*", or "Don't think past your next heartbeat", or "Just do the next indicated thing." and "Don't worry about yesterday or tomorrow, they ain't happening now." And Jimmy saying "It doesn't matter what you think, say or feel, the only thing that counts is what you do.".

Unless there is a willingness on the newcomer's part to follow simple instructions and take action, there is no practical value to this discovery of the "Secret" and training to cope with Life must remain what it always has been - nothing more than a system for sorting out those naturally tuned into the "transcendent spirit" from the rest of us rendered weak by internal static, loose wires and short circuits.

We know from our own experience that the thought impulses generated in a persons nervous system are tuned to the game of Life that he is playing and which buttons are being pushed. Therefore there must be a natural TIMEKEEPER in the game of life to provide feedback to the brain so that the mind can tell the body what actions to take and when. What could it be?

Most sponsors merely repeat "Watch your timing, stay in the NOW," while newcomers quit in frustration, not knowing how or being able to tell time.

However, newcomers who persist in trying, begin to practice the steps more smoothly when they reach a certain stage of fatigue and are willing to surrender. This commonplace observation has led many sponsors to exhaust their protégés deliberately, as soon as possible, in order to bring about this state of efficiency. If the newcomer practices long enough in this state of relaxed exhaustion, smoother thoughts and actions become habitual. What happens is that fatigue reduces the newcomer's drive to exert HIMSELF (EGO), the body's thoughts and actions slow down until they coincide with the universe. At this point the thoughts and actions move freely without any more exertion than the minimum to maintain dynamic balance. This is why early morning meetings during Alkathons tend to be more open minded and honest, because everybody is too tired to keep up the walls of their ego defense mechanism.

The natural wisdom of Life is to reduce exertion, especially when one is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Fatigue is the natural stimulator of this wisdom. Therefore, the brain can be taught to accelerate or retard the tempo of its thoughts in order to maintain exertion at the lowest feasible level in the circumstances. We all are searching for the easier softer way! And we have found it through the practice of the 12 Steps of AA! Prior to Bill and Bob the savants of society consigned us alcoholics to the scrap heap, believing that we fell down because it was our nature to do so. The introduction of the teachings of AA and the 12 Steps is so revolutionary, flying in the face of common belief, that this one idea alone is sufficient to exterminate alcoholism and many other "isms". Such is the power of a fundamental concept when its time has come!

Each stage of proficiency in any art is established by the development of a certain degree of coordination between body, mind and soul. Coordination means that mental and spiritual awareness expands from the defined limits of the material body to include the surrounding space. This is the true meaning and intent of the injunction to regard others as extensions of ourselves, and the source of the AA saying to "Work with others and stay out of yourself". Coordination is therefore the essence of Rigorous Honesty, where each thought, feeling and action are consistent, each one with the others.

Just as there are many degrees of coordination in the movements of the limbs, with each degree yielding a commensurate amount of bodily power, there are many degrees of coordination between one's body, mind and soul and the surrounding space, each degree yielding a commensurate amount of spiritual power. The secret of coordinating the arms with the legs is called "timing". Likewise, the secret of coordinating one's body, mind and soul with the surrounding space, so that you "go with the flow" is also a matter of timing.

The TIMEKEEPER is the internal Higher Power which each individual finds deep down within themself. In fact it is their SELF. Someone else said something like this about 2000 years ago.

The realization that Life cannot injure us as long as we go at the same speed and in the same direction, is the essence of "Be Still and Know That I AM GOD". In this manner we each discover the state of stillness that appears when there is NO RELATIVE MOTION of OPPOSITION between ourselves and LIFE.

To a degree, a demonstration of this still point can be experienced while driving in the center lane of a crowded freeway, where you can enter the "still point of the dance", up until somebody stops paying attention, wrecks or stabs the brakes, and then it becomes chaos, and anything but still. At the still point, you can pass things back and forth from one car to the other, hold conversations, etc., and actually grab hold of the handle of the other car. However, don't attempt to hold on if there is any difference of motion, as it will rip you apart! Does this sound familiar?

One day, in meditation after a 12 Step call, a moment of absolute stillness of thought occurred for me, and my mind blew with an experience of Enlightenment and time slowed down. As time slows down, all the movements of surrounding space are sensed as movements of ones own mind and body, so that a strange sense of knowing what is going to happen is experienced and the STILLNESS is the very ecstasy of the "Dance of Life". I knew for an absolute certainty that I would never again have to take another drink of alcohol as long as I lived unless I myself insisted on it!

If absolute stillness is touched, it is common to break into tears of ecstasy, saying or thinking that "The Man Upstairs Gave Me a Boost" or something of the like. The same tears of ecstasy overflow in people who are relieved of their afflictions by divine healing. In whatever manner the wild pendulum is trapped at its still point, the experience of Enlightenment is so awesome that everyone who realizes it can only believe a communication with a Divine Intelligence has transpired. In fact, this is exactly what has happened. What conventional wisdom calls a God Consciousness is really an expansion of the mind, beyond time and space, as defined by the prevailing concepts of reality.

Enlightenment is not a rare phenomenon confined to the lunatic fringe, although we may sound loony when we try to describe the experience. It frequently occurs in normal, happy, and productive people, who are not so foolish as to tell a psychiatrist about it. The more Enlightenment people experience, the happier, the more productive, and the better adjusted they become. As we have been told for most of our lives, ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE NORMAL STATE OF A WHOLE HUMAN BEING.

Successful Masters in the pursuit of this state have called the divine revelation "the religious experience", "the peak experience", "the flow". The next generation will introduce new terms to describe the experience, thereby introducing a confusion factor that will multiply without anyone being the wiser. No one is supposed to become wiser, because the cultural imperative is that the left brain shall not know what the right brain is doing. This is a natural cultural development of the evolution of the mind from the uni-cameral mind of the past to the bi-cameral mind of the present technological day. In examining writings of the long ago past, I find that mankind, because of the uni-camerality of mind in those ancient cultures, did truly hear and communicate with the gods, i.e. we find such statements as "And then the Lord said to Isaiah". This, confusedly and without understanding, has been carried forward into the present where culturally it is not permissible to "Speak with the gods" and anyone proclaiming to do so is promptly confined to a straight-jacket.

The ENLIGHTENMENT is the LOVING SPIRITUAL ORGASM resulting from the psychic union of the two cerebral hemispheres. Outside this state of loving spiritual matrimony, a person is not less than human, but is certainly less than whole, and far from divine. For myself, and I am not alone in this, I found that it is accompanied by an awareness of a great white light and a KNOWINGNESS about myself and my relationship with my creator. I do not find it strange that the word "enlightenment" exactly describes the process. (Before enlightenment, I was always trying to create myself for my own purposes, forgetting that I had been created by the Universal Spirit for His Purpose, He in my life and me in His, whatever that is to be. And You Know What A Mess of Myself that I Created.)

In reaching the point of absolute stillness, most would assume that all thought and action would cease, right? Wrong! What happens when a person taps into this condition is that all randomness of thought and action ceases. The critical condition is not "thought" or "action", but "random". In the state of Enlightenment thought and action still exist, it is the randomness of thought and action that ceases and the Master resonates in harmony with the Universe. Enlightenment is merely a stage in the evolution of humankind.

Conventional wisdom believes the evolution of the human body is completed in the maternity ward. This is simply not so. We continue to evolve from infantile dependency to adult interdependence, and each person experiences, concurrently, the entire sequence of socio-spiritual evolution. Evolution of the human species is not complete with sexual maturity either. The entire human race is a species in gestation in the biospherical womb of Mother Earth. We are not completely human until we have been delivered from this planet to a location, that for lack of better understanding or language, we call Heaven.

Each stage in our evolution raises the individual from isolation and impotence, and raises him into a social body, the placenta of our Terrestrial Womb. When the social body matures to a stage sufficient to conceive and support a critical mass of perfect holy men in one generation, the entire species will be transformed in a final metamorphosis of humanity and all members of the social body will share a common consciousness. The experience of sharing a common consciousness is exactly the same as the experience of two healthy brain hemispheres sharing the same mind - the left brain knows what the right brain is doing - mutual extensions of each other. When everyone in society experiences each other as extensions of themselves, there can be no war, no poverty, virtually no dis-ease, and everyone will be blissed-out as they were in the myths of Paradise before the Fall. This ideal society is the promise of premature prophets, but the promise shall come to pass, if we don't abort civilization before delivery at full term.

Does an immortal society, sharing a community consciousness, strike you as impossible? Well, it is already beginning to happen. However, there is still some wreckage of the past which needs to be cleaned up and all 12 of the Steps will require diligent and continued practice. All that we have to do is expand our minds into the higher planes of spiritual reality. Like discovering a new world from the altitude of an airplane, all that changes is our point of view.

All the commonness of life, the passing time, events and "things" that we see dancing before our minds in this world we live in are really cross sections of our true spiritual entity. In other words, our personal body is merely a cross section of an eternal Godlike being that has infinite other cross sections manifest in this reality that we perceive, bounded by matter, energy, space and time. Our entire life can be represented by the projection of our spiritual "cross section" continuously extended through time. We have inherited from our father a higher plane of consciousness which enables us to review the past and contemplate the probable futures of alternative actions.

We are informed by this higher plane consciousness with an instinctive hunger to know about the higher dimensions of spiritual reality. This instinctive curiosity is the mental expression of the presently undeveloped organ of consciousness that attains full maturity with the direct perception of our true entity. The perception of our whole Godlike entity is the spiritual destiny of each individual, just as procreation is the carnal destiny of most children, and sexual curiosity is the mental expression of immature sex organs.

Peace of mind, serenity and a sense of oneness are the first order of Heaven. To perceive these is to arrive on the ground floor of God's kingdom.

A world without war, poverty, misery or death sounds like Paradise, doesn't it? Well, I've got some news for you. Paradise is not a playground where carnal desires can be indulged without stint. Holy men don't have carnal desires! Paradise is a hardworking school of mind where worlds are designed, constructed, populated and governed. Paradise, in fact, is where each of the architects of the multitude of universes becomes totally answerable and responsible for the creation of his own universe. Profits and losses are audited. Efficient creators get promoted, while those who are not are put back in training pants (they still continue to shit themselves). All the people pounding on the Pearly Gates for admission are like teeny-boppers, believing that adults have nothing better to do all day but spend money, tool around in flashy cars, and swing with sexual license.

What is life like in Heaven? Well, arriving in Heaven is just like growing up, leaving school and starting your first job - the "fun and games" are over. You realize that there is no Santa Claus, your parents are tired of supporting you, and you have to meet the cost of living and take responsibility for your own life. In other words, Heaven is where you pick up the buck. The way to Heaven is not by meditations, prayers, and devotions. You arrive in heaven the instant you pick up the buck, and take action to avoid or eliminate anything that has Life damaging consequences, and action to gain that which enhances your true spiritual life.

A lot of people think that Heaven is getting room service, instead of serving - THAT IS THE HELL OF IT. What you may think about it has nothing to do with it, THE ONLY THING THAT COUNTS IS WHAT YOU DO.

The REAL work of being Human, of HEAVEN, begins by carrying a message of LOVE, HOPE and PEACE through SERVICE to ALL your brothers and sisters in THIS WORLD.

Love and Peace,

The Beginning and the End

The end of the first hello is also the beginning of the last goodbye

To most people the above statement is incomprehensible, because it flies in the face of the reality that they perceive. It is for the same reason that the statement "I am the Alpha and Omega" is largely misunderstood by the general populace.

It is because of the illusory nature of reality. This illusory nature has been brought out time and again by the great thinkers and teachers throughout history. Reality is all a matter of thought and attitude, and to each thought and attitude a particular and unique reality is manifest. In this manner it can be said that each thinker is always living and/or dying in their own reality, in his or her own universe.

In Genesis it is proclaimed that we have been created in the image of the gods. How so?

In the ability to think!

Thinking is creating, and as a thought system is held it manifests as reality. This is the very first spiritual truth. As a man thinks so it is for him. Seeing is believing, but for most, unable to see that they have created their own universe, blame for their own reality must be assigned to "others" or to "Evil Forces". This is the spiritual attitude held which is the cause of all the strife, misery, torment and pain experienced by mankind, and, as it is commonly held, it is the "reality" of the world. So be it, if that is what they wish to perceive.

If the beginning and the end are the same, then there is nothing in between, or there is everything. For humanity the everything is what is called LIFE, manifested as a time sequence of events in a four dimensional material reality, created for one or the other of two purposes or both, to experience Learning or to experience Pleasure. The only problem is that the thinking of the world is by and large reversed, and what is created is Confusion and Pain, merely the crudest system to exercise the minds of those not sufficiently conscious to get their act together by less strenuous means.

If the beginning and the end are the same, then there is nothing in between, and everything is happening at the same time in this instant of GOD's eternity, NOW! This, followed to its' logical conclusion, means that the world, the universe, the attitude, the thought system, and the realities of the individual, and indeed of the whole of humanity, can be transformed in a twinkling from "Hell" to "Heaven". So it is that we experience the reality, on coming to AA and practicing the steps in our lives, of "rebirth" into a "new" world.

We are told that "You cannot think your way into better living, but you can live your way into better thinking", a paradoxical but true statement as long as the individual or the whole of humanity persists in the belief of Matter, Energy, Space and Time as the only reality. However, when the possibility that another reality exists is acknowledged and accepted, the path to the true reality, Spiritual Reality, is straight and clear. One has only to think it! And it is accomplished instantaneously!

For most, and this is where time enters the picture, the only way to survive the collapse of their world, of the shock of hitting their bottom, the experience of their "Ego Death" and "Surrender", which forces them into a state of humility, and forces them to examine their basic concepts of reality, is by reconstructing their basic concepts of reality in a time frame whereby they are capable of comprehending the facts of life as rapidly as the old beliefs are swept away. Those who are capable of reconstructing their beliefs suffer a psychological death and a rebirth into a new reality. They become "Enlightened" and they transfigure their world as a consequence of their personal renaissance. They then become the founding fathers and mothers of a new civilization and the "saviors" of their world, built always on the ruins of the old.

The "CLEAN HOUSE AND TRUST GOD" injunction of AA is the practice of the Steps, sweeping away the past belief system and constructing a new. There are only two thought systems which can be held by humanity, and each individual demonstrates that he or she believes one or the other is true in all instances, depending on the circumstances they believe they are experiencing in the illusion that they have created. These two thought systems have been characterized as "negative" or "positive". They depend upon the direction of flow of the Matter, Energy, Space and Time in the reality being perceived, either away (Fear of Loss), or toward (Joyful acceptance of the Gift of Life). The "negative" is based on "getting", manifest as the "Seven Deadly Sins", and the "Positive" is based on "giving", manifest as "LOVE" and the knowing that "Loss is impossible", that to "GIVE is to RECEIVE", that "GIVING and RECEIVING are the SAME", that "CAUSE and EFFECT are Never Separated", and that "GOD is the CAUSE and "I" am the EFFECT".

The above thoughts are a result of a conversation held in JB's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene the evening of 1-1-94, as I was thinking about my brother and his problems, and are a synthesis of the learnings expressed by others through the ages and which I have graciously and freely been given by those who have passed this way before.

Love and Peace,


AS A MATTER OF FACT, the universe that I perceive is different from that which you perceive. I do not possess either the lexicon or semantics to define my universe and reality in terms of your universe and reality. I possess only enough to explain my universe to myself and sometimes it is inadequate even for that purpose. I must accordingly invent new terms which are of use and understandable only within my own reality. They may consequently appear totally insane from the viewpoint of your reality.

This is the essence of the last half of the first step and the very nature of the second step.

It is only to the degree of commonality of the terms which we use, that my universe and reality merge with yours, and make mine (and yours) socially acceptable to you, to me and to others. It is only through communication of these commonalities that we can establish a reality (agreement) and therefore, affinity (Love), Love being defined in my lexicon as "an honest interest in and care for" another being, without any sticky strings attached. However, I cannot be made slave to a socially acceptable image of my universe. I can only be true to my own reality and my own true nature as a child of God as he/she has created me.

No one ever completes a social reality or enterprise all by himself. He is constantly building and rebuilding from his own perceived mistakes and from those of others. Successful creation of ones' own universe and reality is nothing more (nor less) than putting a lot of mistakes together in a way that works.

It is for this reason that all human endeavors, institutions and realities are shot through and through with error and mistake and are temporary at best. Errors provide the lessons with which the Universe (God) teaches his/her children.

A wise man's education toward understanding his own universe and reality (and to some extent yours) will embrace as much folly as he can afford. It is only to the degree that he can afford it, that he will be able to laugh at himself. If he embraces more folly than he can afford, he will cry.

Love and Peace,


Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence and destruction.

Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks.

Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse.

Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say, "I was wrong." And, when you're right, you need not say, "I told you so."

Maturity is the ability to make a decision and follow through. The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities and then do nothing.

Maturity means dependability, keeping one's word and coming through in a crisis. The immature are master of the alibi. They are conflicted and disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business and good intentions that never materialize.

And -- based on the Serenity Prayer -- Maturity is the art of living in peace with what we cannot change, the courage to change what we know should be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Source Unknown


The Disciples of Spirituality receive their wings by consummating their trials with the realization that the meaning of Life is created each moment by each person.

Objective reality is as absolute as the universe, but the meanings we derive from the reality we create subjectively determines how we experience Life and how we succeed and fail.

In this way each person becomes the Master of his Fate and the Captain of his Soul.

Love and Peace,


By Milton O.

As each bird flaps its' wings, it creates an uplift for geese following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because the are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

LESSON: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay with those who are headed in the direction we want to go, and be willing to accept their help as well as to give our help to the others.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies at the point position.

LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and share leadership. People, as well as geese, are dependent upon each other.

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging, and not something else.

When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down it honks for help and two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with the sick goose until it is able to fly again or it dies. Then they launch out on their own, or with another formation, or catch up with the flock.

LESSON: If we have as much sense as geese, we too will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong .... and honk when we need help!

I found these words of Dr. Bob at Central Office in the Akron Genesis of AA about the beginning and meanings of the Third Step.

"That we turn over as much of our will that we understand to as much of God as we comprehend"

One must make a commitment to relinquish as much of our will as we understand to our Creator to the degree that we know Him, or believe in Him, or recognize Him, or trust Him. Then we ask God - if there is a God -- to make clear what we should do.

In the experiencing of the results of this experiment of "turning our wills and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him", an inner voice tells us not only what we may have done wrong, but also an intuition about what we need to do, a direction in which to go, a feeling or an illumination. We consciously try to let God's presence soak in. If we will be willing and obedient, we will experience a new power and a new sense of direction in our lives."

A friend handed me a note the other night in a meeting that stated "Please don't ask me how angry I am, because I am too damn angry to know how angry I am!" I understand that! I understood completely. I lived there for a good many years, making everything and everybody my enemy. I have experienced long times in sobriety where I didn't manifest that anger and short times when I did. I do so hope that I have got past the last vestiges of that syndrome in these past weeks, where I can be free of anger, of the need to defend my ego.

My God, Charlie, has been good to me, although I didn't understand at the time while I was going through the miseries, that he had merely given me another opportunity to learn to love better. So many times I have refused the opportunity.

It hurts me to see you in the pain of your miseries and confusions, as I know and understand and have deep compassion, but at the same time I also feel great joy and love for you because I also know that when you work your way through these times, you will be stronger, more whole and more loving, more the person you want to be. It is such a bitch, a confusion, to know what to do with the loves and hurts that we feel. Damn the Confusion. But I also know that the first thing that occurs when we try to create Order out of Chaos is Confusion, so I must be grateful for the Confusion, as well as for the Hurts and Fears, the Chaos, and for the Love and Peace that I experience when Order is restored. It just takes every step of the way for me to learn to do it right.

I have had to realize once again that nothing, but nothing, happens in God's world by chance, that ALL the frustration, the angers, the shames, the guilts, the remorses and the FEARS that underlie them all are nothing less than a "Goose" from God to get me moving on the path toward Him and His Love.

He still speaks to me and I know today, as I have for the past years , that the path he has set before me is the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, and I know of no other path to come to Peace within myself, with others, with God's world and with HIM, the I AM. I can forget the path so very easily, but He always pulls me back to Him, not always gently, but always with Love. Whenever he gooses me, I always see pages 58, 59 and 60 of the Big Book, not always quickly, not always in a state of surrender, most often clawing and scratching all the way, but when I do surrender and follow the path to get honest with myself, trust God, and clean house, I find that I can return to Love and to Peace, to a knowingness about myself and about Him, to a state where I am not in fear of dying, of being killed.

We humans make it so difficult, total surrender to our Higher Power, but it can happen in an instant. In the Instant that we totally surrender our wills and our lives to Him, in that same Instant is His answer given. We become free to be the LOVE that we are.

The Problem that we face, the difficulty we create, that stops us from totally surrendering, Our Basic Fear of Change, is that we are never quite sure that the changes that He will make in us will meet with our approval. Well, just try it, you might like it.

For me the Swamp is being drained and the alligators are becoming tame and docile, pets to play with. I am reminded of J.C's teaching that the Lion will lie down with the Lamb. Is it this that He was referring to, that our more Ferocious Emotions would be at peace with Love? I believe so. I believe it is not only possible, but that it is inevitable, as we trudge this road to Happy Destiny. I have found no Power that can thwart the Will of God, if I will but surrender to Him, none but my ego and false pride that keep me from His Peace.

I am also reminded of my rephrasing of the Golden Rule, "Do unto others only as they would have done unto them, and cause only those things which they can experience easily." I wish I was able to practice this understanding completely, without getting self in the road.

I know that for me the path to inner peace, the ability to practice the Golden Rule in completeness, the ability to live within God's Will for me and in harmony with his universal laws, lies in the continual practice of the 12 Steps in my life. I know that the lessons I am learning from life are to bring peace into my life and into the lives of others. I know that this is the way of peace: Overcome Evil with Good, Falsehood with Truth, and Hatred with LOVE. This is the message that Peace Pilgrim carried in her walks across the continent, that JC carried in his walks about his world, that Mohandas Ghandi carried and that many, many others have and are carrying in the world today.

There is nothing new in this message, except the practice of it. And the practice of it is required not only in my personal affairs, but I believe in all the affairs of the world. I believe that the situation in the world, all the misery and strife that we see and experience is a reflection of our own immaturity. If we were mature, harmonious people, war and misery and strife of any kind would be no problem whatever, -- It would be impossible.

All of us can work for peace. We can work right where we are, right within ourselves, because the more peace we have within our own lives, the more we can reflect into the outer situation.

When we talk in AA about the Steps to Inner Peace, to Serenity, of the Knowingness about One's Self, the Self of Others and the Self of God, we talk about them within the framework of the 12 Steps of AA. There is nothing arbitrary about the number of steps. They can be expanded, they can be contracted. They are just a way of talking about the subject, but this is important: the steps toward inner peace need not be taken in any order. The first step for one may be the last step for another. So, just take whatever steps seem easiest for you, and as you take a few steps, it will become easier for you to take a few more. And in this area we can really share. For those of us in AA the admission of the First Step of AA seems to be the one we have to take first, last and always, in order that we can even begin to practice the rest and apply them to our lives in our quest for wholeness, for serenity, and for unity and PEACE with our universe.

Love and Peace,

The ever-loving anarchy of Self

I have been reading a new book "Getting the Love You Want", a Guide for Couples, by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. It further substantiates what I have learned over the years and I can see that it draws to a considerable extent on Scientology and what Hubbard had doped out 35-45 years ago. Hubbard concentrated on tech to remedy the Eros, to return the "old brain", the "reactive mind" to a state of "clear". In the fact that what he subscribed to flies in the face of accepted societal taboos and beliefs and Freudian psychology practices, he and his tech have been labeled a "cult", an evil force, and have been persecuted, just as early Christians were until they gained official acceptance over time. Hubbard was before his time. As Schweitzer stated, "No ray of sunlight is ever lost, but the green which it wakes into existence needs time to sprout and it is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest."

Society is just in the beginnings of the awakening, and will repress itself many more times before it comes to harvest, but it is greening. J.C. had it right also, we must be as little children, clear of our ego defenses, to be in a state of defenselessness, with all of our "walls" down, with all of our old "tapes' and "buttons" eliminated, or as we say it in AA, we must get rid of all of our old ideas. Many have had it right over the centuries, from even before Socrates and Plato, but society as a whole can not understand nor accept the truth, because of the addictiveness of our societally imposed emotional programming. The discovery of Self is an individual life-long process, and is available only to the so called "Rebel" who has the internal awareness to say "This must not be so, there has to be a better way", and who refuses to bend his integrity to the social strictures and mores, except where in all self honesty it serves his needs to be emotionally complete, and who takes as valid only those precepts which are experientially borne out to be positive and life enhancing. For any change of attitude or perception toward life, for each individual there must first occur bewilderment at the confusion of the circumstances of one's existence, bereavement for lost self, breakdown and recognition of old closely held negative perceptions that are no longer tenable, belief in some greater existing power which the individual asks for help to remedy or reorder the internal chaos, breakthrough by means of some internally established intuitive guidance, re-establishment to beingness and a state of blessedness, and is an ongoing process for a lifetime as the circumstances of existence change. The ever-loving anarchy of Self, the Self of God will have its sway.

Love and Peace,

Just For Today

Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires, I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do a least two things I don't want to do--just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won't find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

Author Unknown


Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master,
Grant the I may not so much seek to be consoled,
as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying to self
that we are born to eternal life.

Chaos and Order

All people have experienced or are now experiencing chaos in their lives. It has ever been so. From this vast experience of all the generations past has come a solution to the problem of Creating Order out of Chaos.

The Solution, to Seek Spiritual Help First, so that the physical and mental aspects of the chaos will be placed in proper perspective and appropriate action taken, is most often overlooked. This is because of the first thing that occurs when we would try to create order out of chaos. That first thing is Confusion and Fear.

Who? How? Why? What? When? Where? Which? by Who? How? Why? What? When? Where? Which? for Who? How? Why? What? When? Where? Which? with Who? How? Why? What? When? Where? Which? because Who? How? Why? What? When? Where? Which? -- Ad Infinitum -- Whew! -- Do you see what I mean?

I first learned of this solution when I was but a child, perhaps 7 or 8 years old, but did not really begin to learn to apply it until I was past 40, by which time I had managed to create a considerable amount of CHAOS in my life. I am now past 66 and still manage to create a little bit of chaos, but not to the same extent that I did when I was younger. At least I experience a little peace and serenity now. Thank God!

To illustrate the learning, I can but relate the happening as it occurred as a child, try to draw a conclusion from it, and, of course, try to practice the learning in all my affairs. It does not appear that I have reached any great degree of perfection in my practice as yet, but I shall continue trying.

My younger sisters and I were having a grand time bouncing on my bed, an old brass bed with slat springs like a trampoline. We got into a pillow fight and were laughing and giggling and bashing each other real good! We were really having fun! I bashed Tinka and my pillow split. Goose feathers flew all over the bedroom! We hoorahed, went wild and fell down laughing. That goose down was floating around everywhere. In our hair, in our eyes, stuck to the end of our noses, just everywhere. Chaos reigned.

About this time the stairs creaked. It was an old log puncheon stairwell and they always skreaked and groaned no matter how quietly one tried to come up. Confusion set in! And fear! ------- It's the Higher Power! --------- Pop!

Pop entered the room and I quaked, half expecting a thrashing or at least a tongue lashing.

He kind of grinned through his scowl, said QUIETLY, "I told you not to bounce on the bed because you might break something. Get it cleaned up." (Were any of you spoken to by your father QUIETLY in capital letters?) Confusion and fear really set in. Nancy shivered in fright, half hiding behind the back side of the bed, Tinka reacted in her normal way by blaming me, and I just stood there blank, not knowing what to do and afraid to make a wrong move which might incur his wrath. Thank God he had not been drinking, for his wrath would have been evident when he had first appeared and things would have been anything but QUIET.

"Get down off the bed and start picking it up."

"I don't know where to start."

"Just pick up the first bunch and put them in the case and keep doing it until you have them all picked up." Oh, okay, now I knew. End of Confusion.

You see, all I had to do was listen to my higher power, Pop, and follow his instructions. It didn't matter which feather I picked up first, only that I should start with the first feather, put it in its' place and continue on until all were picked up. Order Restored and the End of Chaos

The same applies to the practice of the 12 steps. It was indeed CHAOS when I was first introduced to them. I had to listen to instruction from a higher power, God as He expressed Himself through the group, put the first half of the 1st Step in place in my innermost self and continue on until all 12 were in place to end the chaos, the confusion, the fear, and restore some semblance of order in my life. Just like picking up feathers.

Love and Peace,

The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.
He Makes Me to Lie Down in Green Pastures.
He Leads me beside Still Waters.
He Restores My Soul
He Leads me in the Paths of Righteousness
For His Name's Sake.

Yea, though I walk through the
Valley of the Shadow of Death,
I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me.
Thy Rod and Thy Staff they comfort Me.
Thou Preparest a Table before Me
In the presence of Mine Enemies.
Thou Anointest My Head with Oil
My Cup Runneth Over.
Surely Thy Goodness and Mercy
Shall follow Me All the Days of My Life,
I Shall Dwell in the House of the Lord Forever.
23rd Psalm

As Alcoholics we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death every day. For me, ONE day lived without fear goes a long way toward removing past regrets.

Love and Peace,

So You Are Going Through The Steps Again

So you have been "goosed" by God to do the steps again, GO FOR IT!! I am sure I would, too, if Charlie goosed me again today, just as I have done so in the past ... there is no error made in that look deep down within to find the underlying cause(s) and conditions of the fear, the lack of trust ... some find the root cause(s) and conditions easier than others, some sooner, some later, some never do, but the results of the effort to seek is damn well worth it... and the results are as I wrote ... a stable, fearless, confident, loving, giving, whooping and hollering, fun loving, joyful and free soul, fully alive in the sufficiency of God's grace, amidst all the seeming chaos and poverty and ugliness in the world, and also the completeness, the beauty and grace, too, at ONE...

One thing I am absolutely positive about, is that none can do it alone, it always takes two ... you know, the basis of the saying "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be in their midst" Two are stronger than one alone to uncover and discover, that is the why and the wherefore of the 4th being shared with another in the 5th ... We are all victims of our own flinch, we can only get so close to the truth of whatever trauma set us up in the first place, before we flinch away from it. In sharing with a "sponsor", another human being, we set our collective strength against the fear that causes the flinch ...

Now, since you are once again on the path thru the steps, remember that the whole process is aimed at just one thing, the re-cognition that God is in Control of ALL aspects of Life, including the doing of all of the steps ... especially the 4th ... My recommendation, because this is what my sponsor had me do, and it worked ... now this I will have to narrate as it happened....

I was maybe 4 weeks sober, had read thru the book a couple of times, understood with no doubt that I had to do the steps, and was earnestly trying, as best I could, had understood the significance of the ABCs and the statement immediately after, being convinced, I was now at step three ... and thought I had that well in hand ... yes I had made the decision ... so the next thing to do was proceed on to the 4th ... Asked Tex about it, listened to his advice, went home, got out a fresh pad of paper, 6 new sharp pencils and a pen, opened the window in the den so God could get in, sat down at the desk, got my name and the date at the top of the page, broke out in a cold sweat and couldn't write nothing, double negative, nada ... shook and trembled ... frightened half out of my wits ...

Next morning I went to Tex and told him what had happened ... he just grinned, said "I knew that would happen." I wanted to hit him but I was too frightened, and asked him what was I going to do? He said, "It looks like you are going to have to do it a bit different." I knew that, hell, I knew I was different. "Here is what you do," he said, "Go down to the store, get yourself a 3x5 spiral notebook that will fit in your pocket, slip a short stub thru the spirol so you will have something to write with, and THEN as something occurs to you during the day, write it down. Doesn't have to be a whole lot of words, just enough so that you can recall it when we get to the 5th step. Now, when you get home at night, review what you have written, don't try to edit it 'cause your editor is broken, and if it is still true, take it out of the book and put it someplace for safekeeping, a shoebox or under the mat in the trunk of the car. If it is not still true, rip it out of the book, wad it up and throw it in the shit can. All we are looking for is the TRUTH. The reason I am having you take it out of the book is that I want you to start each day with a clean slate, and the reason I suggest that you write it down "as something occurs to you" is that we are trying to get God in Control in your life, including writing your 4th step. Now if you will do this diligently, when it comes time to do a 5th step, you will have a damn fine 4th step."

"Ok, I will do that Tex, but how will I know when to do the 5th?" "Dumbass, when you have to make a CONSCIOUS DECISION to do the 5th, or go get drunk!! That is when you will do the 5th!!" and that is the way it happened ...

Since then there have been many 4ths and 5ths, all done the same way, as more was revealed, as they occurred as the result of God's "goosing" me. In fact, a whole lot of my writings are just that.

Then Tex also had me look at the 4th step and read it out loud ... several times ... then asked me what kind of an inventory I was going to take ... and I went off into a dialog of how I was going to write down every time I had screwed up ...

"No," he said, "you are to take a MORAL inventory, what are Bob's morals, his standards, that he has broken over and over again because of fear, greed, lust, anger, you know, the 7 deadlys mentioned in the 12x12, and how you have broken your own ethical and moral standards all your life, to cause you grief, remorse, shame, guilt and resentments. And while your are at it read the paragraph on page 47 of the 12x12 that tells how you became alcoholic in the first place and what you are going to do about it ... it starts off 'We thought' ... "

He also said that as I was going thru the 12x12 and the BB if a question was asked and it caused a thought to occur, if it rang any bells, to write about it ... so I did ... I followed his instructions ... and I still do to this day ... there are at least 3 or 4 3x5 note pads on the shelf above me as I write this ... these days, of course, the writings are not so much of how I have broken my standards at all, but of what I have learned and experienced as a result of holding to them in all my affairs ... for one thing, I don't create as much havoc or chaos in my life as I once did. I finally understand that God is in control of all things at all times in all places, in all circumstances and situations, and that I have lessons to learn throughout my days in this life. That nothing occurs without a spiritual lesson for me in its hands. Even the writing of this.

Another thing I discovered about that search deep down within ... Start with the now and work your way backward ... one thing written will trigger a thought about something earlier ... and the earlier we can get, down to the point of our flinch, the better. Then when we find our selves flinching, we share that with another so they can help us get past it and then even earlier and deeper ... when a particular hurt or trauma, either physical or emotional, is faced with its own power, and we recognize the Truth of it, it blows, and has no further power over us ... and at the same time any blockages in the chain above it blow too ... and we are then free to search deeper ...

As JC said in the gospel of Thomas, his brother, "Jesus said, If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not bring forth that from within you, what you do not bring forth [will] kill you." - Gospel of Thomas 70

It is in addressing these issues for myself, and expounding and making them true for me as I have experienced them in my life, and witnessed them in the lives of others, that I wrote and put up on the web in recent months this series of pages ...
Getting "It" ...
Ancient Wisdom - A Starting Point ...
Something to Ponder ...
Elimination of the Ego-Self ...

Each of these pages give me something to think about for review and guidance as I continue to seek one day at a time. For the same reason, I go back to all my other writings, which are the result of all the years of seeking, to remind myself of that which I already know, to see if it can be improved upon or expanded. I am never in a static position, always exploring, always seeking new guidance "as it occurs to me", as God gooses me ... He wants to see my Footprints in the Sand alongside His and walk the walk with Him ...

And there you have it ... Mizpah!!

Love and Peace, Barefoot


I am the only "me" I've got. I am unique. There are two major parts of me. There is the inside "me" and the outside "me".

The outside "me" is what you see. The way I act, the image I portray, the way I look and the things I do.

The outside "me" is very important. It is my messenger to the world and much of my outside me is what communicates with you.

I value what I have done, the way I look, and what I share with you. The inside "me" knows all my feelings, my secret ideas, and my many hopes and dreams. Sometimes I let you know a little bit about the inside "me" and sometimes it's a very private part of myself.

Even though there are an enormous number of people in this world, no one is exactly like "me". I take full responsibility for "me" and the more I learn about myself, the more responsibility I am going to take. You see, my "me" is my responsibility. As I know myself more and more, I find out that I am an OK person. I've done some good things in life because I am a good person. I have accomplished some things in my life because I am a competent person. I know some special people because I am worth knowing. I celebrate the many things I have done for myself.

I also made mistakes. I can learn from them. I have also known some people who did not appreciate me. I do not need to keep those people in my life. I've wasted some precious time. I can make new choices now. As long as I can see, hear, feel, think, change, grow and behave, I have great possibilities, and I am going to grow and love and be and celebrate. I AM WORTH IT.

(Author Unknown)

The AA Principles


Step 1. We admitted that we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.


Step 2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.


Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.


Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.


Step 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.


Step 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Brotherly Love

Step 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.


Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.


Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.


Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.


Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Why an Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient God?

I feel it necessary at the outset of this discussion to impress upon you that the only conception of a higher power that I am convicted of, and which I derive from the Old Testament book of Genesis, is that there is a directing intelligence in this universe and that man was created by that intelligence in the likeness of it. You will note that I did not say God or Image. We are aware that translators have dimmed and obscured the exact meanings of the original scribes whom we have been taught to regard as "God Inspired". Therefore I use the more modern words which we more clearly understand.

I said I am convicted. How have I become convicted? What is my conviction?

First, I became convicted through desire, no doubt implanted when I was an unreasoning child, and second, through need as a member of AA desiring to stay sober, and thirdly, through reasoning satisfactory to me as an adult.

I am sure that most of us have experienced a period in our lives in which, while not actively questioning the existence of "God", neither did we actively acknowledge that existence. It is when we actively consider why there is or why there is not, that we start our search in reason and in logic. It is the very basis of "(c) That God could and would if sought." from page 60 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the following portion of these comments I will use three words quite often. For clarity and so that we all will apply the same meanings, I will quote their definitions in part from Collier's and Webster's dictionaries. The first of these words is 'likeness'. I quote, "The state or fact of being like; similarity or resemblance." The second is 'contingent', and here I quote, "dependent on the will of a free agent, hence dependent upon for existence".

The last of the three words is 'being' and I quote Webster here. "Existence, that which exists, can exist, or be logically conceived." However much more might be added to these definitions, for our purpose these are the applicable meanings which I use.

Without regard to all that has been written concerning "creation", let us start from here. Consider first a void, a total nothingness, so vast as to have no dimension or tangible content. Staggering, isn't it?

Now let us consider 'being' or existence as Webster has defined it. This implies then that a thought has being. Now let us place a thought in our void. There is still nothing tangible there, but we can perceive that there is something there as thought is the product of intelligence. To put something in our void, we have established a necessary 'first something', a necessary first beingness. It follows then that this necessary beingness is required for anything to exist.

Now let us consider putting a tangible 'something' in our void, whatever this might be. It does exist but it is not necessary as it is contingent to the thought or a contingent being. Observe then that our void at this point and time in history is literally filled with contingent beings. Each of the elements and all the natural compounds and solutions constituted of them are contingent upon the one necessary beingness having placed them there by the expediency of thought. For me this establishes a directing intelligence, the one necessary beingness, "Higher Power" or "God".

That man was created in the likeness, and is himself a contingent being, is established by a logical process. In speaking of one another we refer to 'this person' or 'that person' or 'those persons', which establishes a plurality of beings, not one of which is necessary to the other but are contingent to and are interdependent one on the other to establish a society or family, which is in itself a contingent being or thing. In like manner, we refer to 'this clay, those trees, that iron, etc.', all contingent beings but incapable of changing their nature by their own volition into another contingent beingness.

The one additional requirement that we have to address is the 'likeness' in which we are created. By applying that portion of the intelligence allotted to us in our 'likeness', we change the clay to brick, the trees to lumber, the iron to steel, each contingent to the 'likeness' for their being. We construct a building from these three contingent beings and it to becomes a being, not necessary but contingent.

This satisfies my mind as to our 'likeness', in that we are endowed with the intelligence to rearrange and combine all the other contingent beings that exist into different contingent beings, and further affirms a living "Higher Power", "Creative Intelligence" or "God" that still inspires it's likeness.

I also am satisfied that this answers the question, "If this God, this Higher Power, this Creative Intelligence is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient, can there be an opposite?".

It further affirms for me the statement made long ago that "This universe, this world, is not governed by the rules that mankind makes up, it is governed by a power that is in us but not of us.", as all things are contingent upon the One Necessary Beingness.

Love and Peace,

About 12 years ago I was going through some old papers that date back to the 50s, somewhere about 1955-56, and I ran across a poem that I wrote to my dad when he was going through some of the worst throes of his alcoholism. Things were going from bad to worse, naturally. Dad had just got out of Wyoming State hospital for another time of drying out, and came down to live with my first wife and I for a short period of time, and of course it didn't work. He and I went out and got drunk together almost as soon as he got there. I didn't know I was an alcoholic at that time, and I didn't know he was, I knew he had a problem, but I didn't know what it was. While he was there we did some fine engineering of some oil field tools and got them patented. I still have the drawings.

Then he went on home, and things got worse for him, naturally, both from a drinking standpoint and a financial standpoint and goal standpoint. The whole thing was just kind of getting worse for him and he wrote a letter to me bout it, and I wrote him a poem back. I wrote it while I was sitting at my drafting board at Douglas Aircraft on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica. I was designing parts for DC-6As and DC-6Bs and I happened to start off thinking. I guess I have been doing this all my life. We don't realize how long it is that we have been doing things, how long it is that we've been knowing the truth, and how long it's been that I haven't known how to apply the truths that I know. Jesus, I don't seem to be able to apply them all these long years later. Anyhow, for what it's worth here is the poem that I wrote to Dad then. It says don't quit, that's the title of it.

Don't Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
When you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
As it may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

That was 1955-56. Jesus, how many times it is that I haven't known how to do that, how many times have I quit and quit and quit and ran? How many times I could have heeded my own words, my own advice? How many times I have turned against what it was I knew? How many times? Because I didn't know how to be true to my ownself, I just didn't know how. I didn't even begin to learn how until I got to AA in 1974, and even today I still have problems doing it and I am still learning 26 years long years later inthe sober life of an alcoholic. But I am getting better as time goes on. Mom still has the original of the letter I sent Dad. She had sent it to G'ma Perry who was a member of the Soroptimists, and it got published there, or so I am told. I have a copy in my boxes of papers stored in the loft of my brother's horse barn.

Dad has been gone now about years, and I still miss him, he taught me so much, giving me a real jumpstart in the program. He died sober with 13 good years in the program. Have a good night Pop, and thanks, you probably never knew how much you meant to me, but I do. Thanks again.

Love and Peace, Barefoot


Freedom!! - what a precious word. It is something that has taken my whole lifetime to even begin to understand. These are learnings that I have obtained from many sources, and from that still, small voice within. I found it best defined in the song Me and Bobby McGee. "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose."

Most all of society, of the so-called civilized world, has defined it in terms of "We--Them". WE being those in the RIGHT, and THEM being those in the WRONG, THEY who would deny us that which WE want. Both sides of this equation being in the wrong, we and they both being subject to the same disease, threefold in nature, which I characterize by the Great Three Ss, SELF-PITY, SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, and SELF-BULLSHIT.

I see this same equation in action between minorities, majorities, nationalities, religions, non-religions, nations, indeed any group of people who gather together in common cause to redress grievance of any sort, seeing only that it is someone else at fault, never oneself.

I see it in many groups proclaiming to be Christian, (or for that matter any other religious group you might care to name, i.e. any group having a dogmatic belief system that proclaims that their way is the ONLY WAY), proclaiming their righteousness before GOD, at the same time that their opponents are proclaiming the same. What is really happening is their EGOs have forgotten who and what it is that has created them and for whose purpose, and that they are trying to re-create themselves. This is a "devilish" situation and I do not say this with tongue in cheek. It is literally what creates the HELL of it, in a world that has become spiritually blind.

There is only one path to true Freedom, Freedom from SELF, Peace with ones own Self, with ones fellows and with ones own GOD. That path is through the elimination of EGO and the acquisition of TRUE HUMILITY before the Spirit of the Universe, God as each may understand him. We use many different symbols for this Universal Spirit, Jesus Christ, Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Elohim, Great Father, Father/Mother/God, Great Spirit, The Creator, etc. etc etc., all being the same, all a call to our innermost higher selves to "Seek First the Kingdom of God Within".

From a Native American Shaman I learned a great truth. When I asked him about the native way of searching for Spiritual Awakening he replied "My son, there are many paths to the top of the mountain, but they all reach the same place. You must seek your own path."

Before I began to search for my path, in my worldly drunken view, I was severely limited in what I could do. By ourselves, we can do little or nothing except drown out the bleakness and frustration of life. A man without power, as I was, is nothing. With POWER, however, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. That POWER is, of course, SPIRITUAL needs power, lots of it, to survive. This means getting in touch with the SOURCE of that every act becomes a spiritual act, every day a spiritual day. It is thus that we come to live a COMPLETELY SPIRITUAL LIFE, HAPPY, JOYOUS and FREE.

Through the practice of our Faith we come to the full realization that the visible world is but a part of a greater spiritual world, and that the spiritual world and the visible world are one reality.

I personally call my God "Charlie", and it seems He likes that name as well as any other, as long as I talk to Him on a regular basis, try to do His will, listen to and obey His injunctions to me, recognizing and acknowledging His Reality as He presents it to me. He has become my very best ever loving friend, and I try to be His.

We must each come to realize within ourselves the Spiritual Truth, (not necessarily, I might add, the religious truth), the truth that we ALL are the SON OF GOD, both individually and collectively, inheriting equally from the Father the same inherent rights and responsibilities to Him and to each other. That right and responsibility is to LOVE one another as we LOVE ourselves. We must realize that we are created for HIS purpose that HE has for HIMSELF in our lives and WE and THEM in HIS LIFE. We must realize that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in GOD's Universe by chance, that everything is an opportunity for Spiritual Growth. These opportunities are given to ALL of us to do with as we choose, for without this loving Gift of Choice we would be unable to distinguish Light from Darkness, Right from Wrong, Love from Hate. This is, of course, an individual thing, the making of choices. Only "I" can come to Peace, only "I" can search within to find Gods Domain, only "I" can KNOW GOD. And it is to the "I" of each of us that I appeal, so that each will know the Peace that surpasses all understanding, the Pearl of Great Price, Peace of Mind, for without this one thing we are as nothing and in total rebellion with our CREATOR.

We each must come to grips in our own way with the very first spiritual truth, "As a man thinks, so it is with him", that "Thinking is Creating", and "As I think, so it manifests in my life". I must accept responsibility for my thinking, all of it, including the results of my mistaken choices based on self.

I have observed many over the years, of every religious and non-religious persuasion, who have proclaimed their righteousness to the world in that "They Know God in Their Lives" . When I have questioned how they KNEW, I have found only ONE legitimate answer-- "I LOVE YOU AS I LOVE MYSELF"

This word LOVE has been defined in many ways, but the best definition I have ever heard, "Honest interest in and concern for another being, without any sticky emotional strings or fishhooks attached, simply HONEST INTEREST IN and CONCERN FOR, period." All of the "IF ONLYs" are gone. LOVE is an action word. It is something I do, not necessarily something I feel. It is the way and the work that I do in treating and interacting with my fellows.

I must here parrot the wisdom of one of my mentors, "When you know that you are right and KNOW IT, it is damned difficult to know that you are wrong. As long as you know that you know, you will never know, but when you begin to know that you don't know, you will gain understanding and you will enjoy it." I remarked that he was crazy when he said this. He said "I know.", with a marvelous loving grin upon his face and a joyous chuckle in his voice.

As long as I feed my ego with my "Righteousness", I have no FREEDOM, but when I give it ALL to MY CREATOR, I gain FREEDOM FROM SELF, true FREEDOM to LOVE YOU AS MYSELF, for indeed we are all ONE. You see, I have nothing left to lose, I have given it all away to HIM/HER/IT?, and nothing, absolutely nothing can endanger or threaten my FREEDOM except that I myself (my small egocentric self) should choose to proclaim my righteousness again.

We have had many individuals in the past to show us the true path, to lead us by their example. They have maintained the ethical, moral and spiritual principles of Freedom, never confusing their True Self with their ego, with their worldly wants and desires. In their Humility before their Creator they have maintained these principles, even unto death. They have been the true defenders of Truth, although the Truth needs no defense. They have known that "Nothing real can be threatened, Nothing unreal exists, Herein lies the the Peace of God." The Truth is that "This world is not governed by the rules and laws that mankind makes up. It is governed by a power that is in us but not of us". After all is said and done, what can prevail against the will of God?

Love and Peace,

I received this list of AA Acronyms from Bernie R., I don't know where he got them from.

AA = Absolute Abstinence
AA = Adventurers Anonymous
AA = Altered Attitudes
AA = Altruistic action
AA = Attitude Adjustment
ABC = Acceptance, Belief, Change
ABC = Ashtrays, Broom, Coffee
ABC = Ashtrays, Broom, Chairs
ACTION = Any Change Toward Improving One's Nature
ALCOHOLICS = A Life Centered On Helping Others Live In Complete Sobriety
ANONYMOUS = Actions Not Our Names Yield Maintenance Of Unity and Service
ASK = Ass-Saving Kit
BAR = Beware Alcohol, Run
BAR = Beware Alcoholic Ruin
BIG BOOK = Believing In God Beats Our Old Knowledge
DEAD = Drinking Ends All Dreams
DENIAL = Don't Even Notice I Am Lying
DETACH = Don't Even Think About Changing Him/Her
DUES = Desperately Using Everything but Sobriety
EGO = Easing God Out
EGO = Edging God Out
FAILURE = Fearful, Arrogant, Insecure, Lonely, Uncertain, Resentful, Empty
FAITH = Fear Ain't In This House
FEAR = Few Ever Arrive Rejoicing
FEAR = Failure Expected And Received
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real
FEAR = Fear Expressed Allows Relief
FEAR = Feelings Every Alcoholic Rejects
FEAR = Fighting Ego Against Reality
FEAR = Forget Everything and Run (polite version)
FEAR = Fuck Everything and Run! (not recommended--it's what we used to do)
FEAR = Face Everything and Recover! (definitely recommended)
FEAR = Forgetting Everything's All Right (not really!)
FEAR = Frantic Effort to Appear Real
FEAR = Frantic Efforts to Appear Recovered
FINE = Faithful, Involved, kNowledgeable and Experienced
FINE = Feeling Insecure, Numb and Empty
FINE = Frantic, Insane, Nuts and Egotistical
FINE = Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional
FINE = Frustrated, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional
FINE = F--cked, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional
GAYS = Go Ask Your Sponsor
GIFT = God Is Forever There
GOD = Good Orderly Direction
GOD = Group of Drunks
GOYA = Get Off Your Ass
GUT = God's Undeniable Truths
HALT = Honestly, Actively, Lovingly Tolerant
HALT = Hope, Acceptance, Love and Tolerance
HALT = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired: Fix these situations before you make any decisions.
HALT = Horny, Arrogant, Lazy and Tragic: if you're any one of these, get to a meeting!
HALTS = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired and Stupid
HALTS FEAR = Hope, Acceptance, Love and Tolerance Stops Forgetting that Everything's All Right
HELP = His Ever Loving Presence
HELP = Her Ever Loving Presence
HELP = Hope, Encouragement, Love and Patience
HOPE = Happy Our Program Exists
HOPE = Hearing Other Peoples' Experience
HOPE = Hang On! Peace Exists...
HOW = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness: that's how we do it
HOW = Honest, Open-minded and Willing
ISM = I, Self, Me
ISM = Incredibly Short Memory
ISM = InSide Me
ISM = I Sabotage Myself
KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid
KISS = Keep It Simple, Sugar
KISS = Keep It Simple, Sweetheart
KISS = Keeping It Simple, Spiritually
MMM = Meetings, Meditation and Masturbation (recommended for the first year)
NUTS = Not Using The Steps
OUR = Openly Using Recovery
PACE = Positive Attitudes Change Everything
PAID = Pitiful And Incomprehensible Demoralization
PMS = Poor Me Syndrome
PMS = Pour More Scotch
PROGRAM = People Relying on God Relaying a Message
RELATIONSHIP = Real Exciting Love Affair Turns Into Outrageous Nightmare, Sobriety Hangs In Peril
RID = Restless, Irritable and Discontented
SLIP = Sobriety Loses Its Priority
SOB = Sober Old Bag
SOB = Sober Old Bastard
SOB = Sober Old Biker
SOB = Sober Old Bitch
SOBER = Son Of A Bitch, Everything's Real
SPONSOR = Sober Person Offering Newcomers Suggestions On Recovery
STEPS = Solutions To Every Problem in Sobriety
STEPS = Solutions To Every Problem, Sober
STOP = Sicker Than Other People
TIME = Things I Must Earn
WILLING = When I Live Life, I Need God
YET = You're Eligible Too


This morning, a cold overcast day, Dec. 20, 1996, I walked outside to get in the truck to go out and butcher a ram at the ranch. It was not something I wanted to do but it had to be done. Mother needs the meat for the winter and she likes mutton, especially with curry and rice or in sweet and sour meatballs. I'll tag her recipe at the end of this letter. They are uuummmbelievably good. Especially at potlucks at Alkathons and other AA gatherings.

Justin, my grandnephew, and I, thanked our brother for the gift of his life and his generosity with his being, that Mother might be well this winter. Justin is my sister Nancy's grandson. Nancy died at the age of 24 from complications arising from alcoholism, when Justin's father was 3.

A snowflake landed on the back of my hand as I reached for the door handle of the truck and it started a whole train of thought once again, How wonderfully, how gloriously, sensitive this human being has been wrought by Our Higher Power.

I became aware that I could feel, even with the slightest pressure, the imprint of the gas petal even through the sole of the pair of heavy snowboots I was wearing. And then I became aware of many more sensations.

It is amazing how sensitive (and tough and resilient) we have been created.

My sense of touch can feel a snowflake, a millionth of an ounce of pressure, the landing of a mosquito, the feel of the slightest breeze, the softness of a baby's skin, the gentlest caress, a difference of temperature of minute fractions of a degree, and yet capable of walking into a bake furnace at 600 degrees and being able to breathe the air, able to endure great heat, pressure and pain.......

My sense of hearing once was able to distinguish a whisper across the block, hear a pine needle drop in the forest, the sound of a deer walking a hundred yards away, the sound of a baby's quiet breathing in the next room, the soft murmurs and intonations of love, the difference between sounds varying only one cycle of frequency, yet capable of enduring sounds with the power to shatter walls and other objects not as resilient as we........

My sense of taste that can still taste the sweetness of my baby daughter's lips, and she is a married lady now, that can recognize and appreciate the flavor of a myriad of substances presented in as little asonly one part in a million, and tough, able to enjoy a HOT cup of coffee or meal or the bite of a jalapeno........

My sense of smell is also as wonderfully capable, able to perceive odors consciously and subconsciously, where only one part per billion is presented, the glorious smell of a rose, the sweetgrass of the prairie, the smell off pines and of wild onions, the smell of an elk in rut at a distance through the woods, and of course those "pheromones" which bring our love together. It is also tough, able to withstand great floods of malodorous substances.......

My sense of sight is easily able to distinguish between millions of colors, able to perceive the light from the beginning of the universe, to see the vapor of the fog, the brilliance of a rainbow, the shimmering heat waves of a mid-summer day and the delicacy of that snowflake that landed on my hand, the finest detail of my loved ones face, the brilliance of the sun and in the darkness of the darkest night. Yes, it too is tough, (although not with the visual acuity that it once had when I was a young man)........

My sense of time, given me by that marvelous computer that is within every man and woman that has coordinated and stored and sorted every perception in a lifetime, that is capable of recalling every event and sense perception that has occurred. My sense of time can be like a fleeting second, or as drawn out as I desire, able to react to the slightest danger in less than the duration of a heartbeat, or to wallow around in all the sensations that are given me, that tells me when to go to bed and when to arise again. It too is tough and resilient, able to contract and expand at will, visiting the past in memory, always in the here and nowin anticipation of the future ........

My sense of being is the combination of all these things, my sense of rightness and wrongness, given me by that ineffable Spirit of Creation, and my soul..........It too is sensitive and Tough.

John the Indian says of himself, and I believe this is true for every alcoholic, "I am a very sensitive person, I get hurt easily and I don't suffer well."

Our sensitivities were given us out of the Creator's love, to protect us in danger, to brighten and enhance our lives, to give us the feelings that we call emotions, to be able to sense the pains, the joys, the thoughts, the emotions and feelings of our brothers and sisters everywhere, to share with us the beauty of his total creation, to let us experience His great love for us.......

Sometimes we don't appreciate our gifts, misconstruing, manipulating, misapplying the message which the Creator has sent us through our senses to give us happiness and joy and knowingness and freedom in life.......

Yes, I am a very sensitive person, but now with this understanding of my Higher Power's gifts, I can be very tough, able to endure all things in life without self destructing.......with out picking up a drink to hide from my sensitivities. H e has healed the error of my perceptions.........

It is only His strength, His gentleness and His Love that gives me all these sensitivities and strengths.......

Yes I am blessed with sensitivity, I have been given a lifetime of sensitivities........

Today I am a very grateful sensitive Alcoholic

Love and Peace, Barefoot

On this link on the web is a picture, Mom and Nancy- 1939 - Feeding Time, that will appeal to your sensitivities. Nancy was a very beautiful person until alcohol and pills took their toll.

It is on Grandma Hardison's Paintings Page at

G'ma Hardison's Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 envelope regular onion soup mix, or a 1/2 cup of onion soup
1/2 cup water (if soup mix is used)
2 eggs
2 lb ground beef,mutton, elk or venison (I like elk best)
1 can 32 ounce sauerkraut, drained
1 can 8 ounce whole cranberry sauce
3/4 cup chili sauce
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
Combine onion soup mix, 1/2 cup of water
. Beat in eggs with fork
Add meat and mix well
Shape into balls, approximately 30
Brown meatballs in skillet
Combine sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, chili sauce, 3/4 cup of water, and brown sugar
Pour half into 9"x13"x2" baking dish
Arrange meatballs on top of sauerkraut mix
Pour remainder of sauerkraut mix over the meatballs
Cover with foil
Bake at 325 for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes
Season with Cajun Spice to taste.

Happy Holidays to All!!

Love and Peace and Good Eating,


There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One of these days is YESTERDAY with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. YESTERDAY has passed forever beyond our control.

All the money in the world cannot bring back YESTERDAY. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said. YESTERDAY is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is TOMORROW with its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance. TOMORROW is also beyond our immediate control.

TOMORROW'S sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds -- but it will rise. Until it does, we have no stake in TOMORROW, for it is as yet unborn.

This leaves only one day -- TODAY -- Any man can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities -- YESTERDAY and TOMORROW - that we break down.

It is not the experience of TODAY that drives men mad - it is remorse or bitterness for something which happened YESTERDAY and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time.

I'm not the man I WANT to be,
And not the man I OUGHT to be,
But by the Grace of GOD -------
I'm not the man I USED to be!


OK, so you are thinking drinking...

OK, so you are thinking drinking...
But now that we have thought about it, knowing that we have already admitted that we are insane in the second step, we really don't give a damn about what we think, feel or believe 'because all those thinkings, feelings and believings are insane...the only thing that counts from here on out is what we do...If we don't drink, we don't get drunk and go more insane....If we do what we are told to do, we stand a chance of staying alive and recovering from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body...

The way it happened for me, my head was putting it on me something fierce, I called my sponsor,(I had learned to dial the phone), puked out what it was that the swarm of bees in my head was telling me, and before I drew another breath said "I feel like getting drunk." He said "Ok", and hung up the phone... PISSED ME OFF!!!!, I got so damn angry at him I forgot all about getting drunk, the only thing I could think about was getting to the meeting that night and telling him what a rotten SOB he was, and I did...big time. (Didn't bother him one damn bit that I was angry with him.)

He just looked down the side of his nose at me and said, "Well, did you learn anything?" HUHHHH?

"Did you learn, maybe, that it is all right to feel like drinking if you don't do it, that it's all right to be pissed off if you don't drink. Are you drunk now?"

No, sponsor, I am not drunk....

"Are you still alive?" Yes, sponsor, I am still alive.....

"So what's the big goddamn deal?"

Oh, OK.....

"Damn it, how many times am I gonna have to tell you that we don't give a damn what you think, feel or believe, the only thing that counts is what you do...and that the answer to all your problems is in the book, the steps and the fellowship, if you will just do what you have been told to do for the first time in your life."

Oh, OK, sponsor...I guess I better get busy on the steps...

"Yes, and in your case the sooner the better."

Oh, OK, so all I was doing was thinking drinking and that is insane....

"Yep, your disease talking to you."

Thanks, sponsor, I feel a lot better about it now, just stinkin' thinkin'


Oh, OK, want a cup of coffee?

"Believe I do."

See you in the morning meeting?

"Yep, see you there..."

Love and Peace, Barefoot

These are some thoughts that occurred to me regarding the Serenity Prayer, during my return from Alaska and the Yukon and as I was riding the motorcycle down through the magnificent Canadian Rockies from Jasper to Radium Hot Springs on the Icefields Highway in Alberta and British Columbia, and I had to put them on paper read them and feel the taste of share them with you...

God Grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference.

Many folks do not understand the meanings of the Serenity Prayer, and of consequence are left in a limbo of constant confusion as they continue to battle the conditions of life.

Let us examine this marvelous Prayer of Supplication to the Higher Power, which speaks to all human beings from deep down within.......

God.... A name and concept of this Higher Power, which most folks erroneously conceive to be outside themselves, separate from and alien to themselves, a "Santa Claus" god which is supposed to fulfill their dreams, their wishes and wants, to "make" the conditions of Life comply with their desire and their idea of "religious correctness"... Sorry about that, it just doesn't happen that way.... Our Big Book, on Page 55, establishes the conditions and locale of our relationship and understanding which we are to acquire of "Our" Higher Power.....

"We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. [But of a much greater friend, for in fact it is our own self,Our Own True Self.] Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us." ..... We are never separate from God. Separation from God is only an illusion that we have created. assure (in its original meaning) a knowingness of the orderliness of God's eternity, a prized condition that we earn through our efforts of learning to apply the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to our lives, not an "undeserved gift" as we hear so many times around the tables of AA.

Me... the I Am, of self, the True Self, that portion of self which knows that it is, in all instances.

Serenity... Again a word that is misunderstood, that most folks take to mean a quiet, unruffled, calm, undisturbed, tranquil condition in the circumstances of life about us. In truth what it really means is Presence of Mind in the Here and Now, viewing the Reality of whatever conditions and circumstances that may be occurring ... Not fighting Reality with illusions of how things should or should not be.

To Accept... to acknowledge the Truth of Reality, to take what is offered or given, to receive willingly... As we are given Life, one moment, one condition, one circumstance, one happening at a time...God's Life for God's Kids has to be a happening. It can't be any other way.

the things I cannot change....Reality, period...Reality cannot be changed. It simply is. And no amount of mind bending illusion creating will change it. The Truth is the Truth and it needs no defense. The only thing we humans can do with Reality is change our point of view, our perspective. Reality itself will remain unchanged.

Courage... The ability to make the Responsible Decisions Necessary and take Action to DO the things we already know need to be done in the face of unknown outcomes and consequences.. Our Life is determined by the decisions and actions that we take and the thoughts that we hold, by no other forces. We must in all cases live with the consequences of our decisions or our lack of decision. Life cannot be lived any other way.

to change the things I can...The only thing that we can change is our perspective as we view Reality, learning to make better Responsible Decisions, living our way to better thinking each moment.

And Wisdom to Know the Difference... Wisdom, an acquired trait through the experience of life, a recognition and remembrance of the things which do or do not coincide with Reality, which do or do not work, of the things which are true, which are honest, for that is the meaning of Truth, Rigorously Honest.

It has been said that a Wise Man's education toward understanding his own universe and reality (and to some extent yours) will embrace as much folly as he can afford. It is only to the degree that he can afford it, that he will be able to laugh at himself.If he embraces more folly than he can afford, he will cry.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

I have been out in the shop, working on the cycle, thinking again, and this is the gist of it...

No one on the face of this earth is obligated to carry any load that they don't want to carry. They can put down the load anytime they choose.. However, the load won't get to the place that they were carrying it to, and that probably is very good. It probably didn't need to go there in the first place. We are free to change our intent at any time, all the time...

Again, I am reminded that everyone on the face of this earth is always doing just exactly what they want to do, all of the time, whether they say they do or not, because if they didn't want to do just exactly what they are doing, they would do something else. It is just that simple..

Today, I choose to do what I think My Higher Power, Charlie, would have me do, to choose to be Happy, Joyous, Free and Sober in this lifetime that He has given me.

As an example of applied wisdom I am reminded of the story of two monks, who led a very aesthetic life, one of which vows was to never touch a woman, total chastity. They were traveling along the wayside, on their mission in life, when they came to a river crossing. There was a woman there who was afraid to cross, because of her fear of water. When she asked for help, the older monk said "Climb upon my shoulders, I will carry you across.", and she did and he did.

As the two monks continued on their way, the younger monk kept talking about the woman and the fact that that the older had carried her across. Finally the older said to the younger, "Why are you still carrying that woman? My Son, I stopped carrying her two miles back, and she is now going about God's business......Let us continue on our way, that we might do likewise."

Again, another parable.... Let There Be Peace

A wise old gentleman retired and made his home near a junior high school. He spent the first few weeks of his retirement in peace and contentment.

Then a new school year began. The very next afternoon three young boys, full of youthful, after school enthusiasm, came down his street, beating merrily on every trash can they encountered. The crashing percussion continued day after day, until finally the wise old man decided it was time to take some action.

The next afternoon, he walked out to meet the young percussionists as they banged their way down the street. Stopping them, he said, "You kids are a lot of fun. I like to see you express your exuberance like that. Used to do the same thing when I was your age. Will you do me a favor? I'll give you each a dollar if you'll promise to come around every day and do your thing."

The kids were elated and continued to do a bang-up job on the trash cans. After a few days, the oldtimer greeted the kids again, but this time he had a sad smile on his face.

"This recession's really putting a big dent in my income," he told them. "From now on, I'll only be able to pay you 50 cents to beat on the cans."

The noisemakers were obviously displeased, but they did accept his offer and continued their afternoon ruckus.

A few days later, the wily retiree approached them again as they drummed their way down the street. "Look," he said, "I haven't received my Social Security check yet, so I'm not going to be able to give you more than 25 cents. Will that be okay?"

"A lousy quarter?" the drum leader exclaimed. "If you think we're going to waste our time, beating these cans around for a quarter, you're nuts! No way, mister. We quit!"

And the old man enjoyed peace and serenity for the rest of his days.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Lovemaking and Foreplay....

Just think of the problems that we face as the foreplay of our Love Match with our Higher Power.

He LOVES us you know, and means to have us . . . He will in the end in any case.

So we might as well surrender now, 'Cause making Love with Him is so much fun...

Love and Peace, Barefoot

The novice asked the Master, "What is the way upward?"

And the Master replied, "You will hit it by descending lower."
- Chi Ch'en as quoted by J. Wu

The ABC's of Life
(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

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

What makes life 100% ?

IF - - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98% Only

11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96% Only


1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

Why?? Because

7+15+4+1+1+12+19+20+5+16 = 100%

Hard work and knowledge can take us only so far.
But when our attitude changes as a result of applying the AA 12 Steps to our life, it shows that God is directing our steps and our life WILL be complete!! We will have attained IT -- The Ability to Live Sober, One Day At A Time, FULLY ALIVE, in the Sufficiency of God's Grace!!!

Just playing and having fun!!
Love and Peace, Barefoot

Reminders For Reluctant Messiahs


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Barefoot's World
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Created 1/17/96 in the Spirit of Cooperation
Today, , it has been - One Day at a Time -
since I was welcomed into A.A. by that first handshake with Tex R.

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