In this, the first paragraph of the 'Twelve and Twelve,' we are dealing already with the obsession of the mind. And it no mere coincidence that we are doing so, for "the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than in his body." (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 23.) But what is "Providence," and just where and how are we to find it?
The answer to where we find "Providence," or "a Power greater than ourselves," is found in the middle paragraphs of page 55 in the 'Big Book' of Alcoholics Anonymous. There, we read:
"Providence," God, or a Power greater than one's self is thus found "deep down within" the individual alcoholic addict, in his or her higher consciousness. Most alcoholic addicts who remain clean and sober will report that at some time before or after they come into A.A. (or one of its sister fellowships) they realized that they were alcoholic or an addict - i.e., that they have a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. This moment of grace - a moment free from all the calamity, pomp and worship of things that fills our ordinary, egoic self-consciousness - is "the act of Providence" that, if followed up with the 12 Steps, can free the alcoholic addict of the obsession for drugs and/or booze.
"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. 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.
In the Spiritual Experience appendix of the 'Big Book,' we read:
"With few exceptions our members find that they have tapped into an unsuspected inner resource which they presently identify with their own conception of a Power greater than themselves."
"Most of us think this awareness of a Power greater than ourselves is the essence of spiritual experience. Our more religious members call it 'God-consciousness.'"
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"All that is from the gods is full of Providence," the great neo-Platonic Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, wrote in his 'Meditations.'
"That which is from fortune is not separated from nature or without an interweaving and involution with the things which are ordered by Providence. From thence all things flow. . . ."