From the BlogMeet Ron




. . .a spiritual life which does not include . . .
family obligations may not be so perfect after all. 
I can be doing great in the program – applying it at meetings, at work, and in service activities – and find that things have gone to pieces at home.  I expect my loved ones to understand, but they cannot.  I expect them to see and value my progress, but they don’t – unless I show them.  Do I neglect their needs and desires for my attention and concern?  When I’m around them, am I irritable or boring?  Are my amends a mumbled “Sorry,” or do they take the form of patience and tolerance?  Do I preach to them, trying to reform or “fix” them?  Have I ever really cleaned house with them?  “The spiritual life is not a theory.  We have to live it” 
Copyright 1990 
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83

A chief cause of unhappiness is what I call mental movies.
Mental movies are a misuse of the imagination. 
You know how it goes. You have a painful experience with someone,
then run it over and over in your mind. 
You visualize what you said, what he did,
how you both felt. As awful as it is,
you feel compelled to repeat the film day and night.
It is as if you were locked inside a theatre playing a horrible movie.
Vernon Howard
As active alcoholics we were always looking for a handout in one way or another.
The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness.
I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I’ve never had it so good.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics
Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Just what is meant by ‘your word?’ It means your conscious intention, your conscious direction, your conscious faith and acceptance that, because of what you are doing, the Power of Spirit will flow through your word in the direction you give It.
Ernest Holmes

They said you didn’t get arrested you got rescued. 

He stood in the Presence of Infinite Power and Love.
BB Into Action, p.83  

A Star Without a Name 
When a baby is taken from the wet nurse,
it easily forgets her
and starts eating solid food.
Seeds feed awhile on ground,
then lift up into the sun.
So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.
That’s how you came here, like a star
without a name.  Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights. 
(Mathnawi III, 1284-1288) 
“Say I am You” Coleman Barks Maypop, 1994

A COURSE IN MIRACLES  individual commentary on daily
ACIM Workbook Lesson 212 Insights
Review: “I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me.”
“I have a function God would have me fill.”
The function of Love is to extend Love. God created me as Love and so my function is to extend Love. I don’t extend Love when I don’t remember What I am. I don’t remember What I am when I attempt to replace What I am with illusions of separation from What I am. I am set free when I am willing to lay these illusions down.
When the ego thoughts are quieted, God, Which is Love, is there. God is the only Reality. God is freedom. God is joy. God is oneness and Love. If I am not recognizing this, I will feel bound and limited and separate from my Identity. In truth, God is my constant Companion because I am God’s extension. It is only when I return to my original function of extending Love that I find the freedom and peace that is in me.
I get what I desire and focus on. Today I seek only to fulfill my function as an extension of God’s Love. Only this brings me happiness. Only this sets me free. Letting go of illusions and extending only Love is my function today.
The Course says forgiveness is Love’s reflection in this world. Thus forgiveness is the way I fulfill my function in this world. Forgiveness is letting go of illusions. It clears the way for Love to be extended. It frees me to be the Love I was created to be.
Illusions are vain because they have no real effect. But if I believe illusions are real, I will believe reality is unreal and so the reality of Love will be lost to me. It is impossible to believe in two realities. Whatever I believe to be real blocks everything else from my awareness. If I want to experience the peace and joy and Love of God, I must let go of my belief in another reality in which God (Love) is not welcome.
This world was made as a place where God is not welcome. To be free of it, I must forgive myself for imagining a world without God and I must forgive God for not giving me what He could not give. God could not give me special love because Love is given equally by Its very nature.
When I experience true forgiveness, I experience an outpouring of Love, a sense of unity and joining with my brother. I see us as the same and my heart is filled with joy and gratitude. When I fall back into old habits of judgment, that joyous feeling fades. But the memory of it reminds me I really do want to fulfill the function God has given me. That is where I find freedom and joy.
Each experience of forgiveness strengthens my resolve to take every thought of condemnation, every judgment, to the Holy Spirit for Him to shine His loving Light upon it so I can see the reality beyond the illusion I mistakenly believed. Thus I fulfill the function God would have me fill and I receive His gift of happiness, which I cannot help but share with everyone.
True happiness is sharing. Holy Spirit, help me see with Your vision today that I might remember the freedom of being the Love I was created to be.
© 2003, Pathways of Light.
You may freely share copies of this with your friends,
provided this copyright notice and website address are included.

“Before embarking on important undertakings sit quietly calm your senses and thoughts and meditate deeply. You will then be guided by the great creative power of Spirit.” 
― Paramahansa Yogananda


Bill Dotson – AA Member #3
“The Man On The Bed”

On a Friday night, September 17, 1954, Bill Dotson died in Akron, Ohio.
“That is, people say he died, but he really didn’t,” wrote Bill Wilson. “His spirit and works are today alive in the hearts of uncounted AA’s, and who can doubt that Bill already dwells in one of those many mansions in the great beyond.”

Bill Dotson, the “Man on the Bed,” was AA number 3. At his death, he had not had a drink in more than nineteen years. His date of sobriety was the date he entered Akron’s City Hospital for his last detox, June 26, 1935. Two days later occurred that fateful day when two sober alcoholics visited him: Dr. Bob Smith of Akron, Ohio, and Bill Wilson, a guest of Dr. Bob’s from New York.

A few days before, Dr. Bob had said to Bill: “If you and I are going to stay sober, we had better get busy.” Dr. Bob called Akron’s City Hospital and told the nurse, a “Mrs. Hall,” that he and a man from New York had a cure for alcoholism. Did she have an alcoholic customer on whom they could try it out? She replied, “Well, Doctor, I suppose you’ve already tried it yourself?”

Then she told him of a man who had just come in with DT’s, had blacked the eyes of two nurses, and was now strapped down tight. “He’s a grand chap when he’s sober,” she added.

Dr. Bob prescribed some medications, and then asked her to transfer him to a private room. He also put him on a diet of sauerkraut and tomatoes. That’s all he was allowed to eat during his hospitalization.

The nurse told Dr. Bob and Bill that Bill Dotson had been a well-known attorney in Akron and a city councilman. But he had been hospitalized eight times in the last six months. (Bill Wilson sometimes said “six times.”) Following each release, he got drunk even before he got home.

Bill’s wife, Henrietta Dotson, had talked to Dr. Bob and Bill earlier. When she told her husband she had been “talking to a couple of fellows about drinking” he was furious at her “disloyalty.” When she told them that they were “a couple of drunks” Bill didn’t mind so much.

Henrietta apparently had quite a conversation with the two men, and she told her husband that their plan for staying sober themselves was to tell their plan to another drunk.

Years later, Bill Dotson reflected on the jumbled thoughts in his mind as his wife left and he began to lapse back into withdrawal stupor: “All the other people that talked to me wanted to help ME, and my pride prevented me from listening to them, and caused only resentment on my part, but I felt as if I would be a real stinker if I did not listen to a couple of fellows for a short time, if that would cure THEM.”

So Dr. Bob and Bill talked to what may have been their first “man on the bed.” They told him of the serious nature of his disease, but also offered hope for a recovery. “We told him what we had done,” wrote Bill, “how we got honest with ourselves as never before, how we had talked our problems out with each other in confidence, how we tried to make amends for harm done others, how we had then been miraculously released from the desire to drink as soon as we had humbly asked God, as we understood him, for guidance and protection.”

But Bill Dotson was not impressed. He said, “Well, this is wonderful for you fellows, but can’t be for me. My case is so terrible that I’m scared to go out of this hospital at all. You don’t have to sell me religion, either. I was at one time a deacon in the church and I still believe in God. But I guess he doesn’t believe much in me.”

(Like so many of us on first coming to AA, Bill Dotson thought he was “different.”) But he did agree to see Dr. Bob and Bill again. They came again the next day, and for several days thereafter. When they arrived on July 4, they found Bill’s wife, Henrietta, with him.

Eagerly pointing at them, he said to his wife: “These are the fellows I told you about, they are the ones who understand.”

Before they could say anything, he told them about his night, how he hadn’t slept but had been thinking about them all night long. And he had decided that if they could do it, maybe he could do it, maybe they could do together what they couldn’t do separately.

It was apparently on that day that he admitted he couldn’t control his drinking and had to leave it up to God. Then they made him get down on his knees at the side of the bed and pray and say that he would turn his life over to God. Before the visit was over, he suddenly turned to his wife and said, “Go fetch my clothes, dear. We’re going to get up and get out of here.”

He walked out of that hospital on July 4, 1935, a free man, never to drink again. AA’s Number One Group dates from that day.

That Fourth of July they had plenty to celebrate. So they had a picnic. The Smiths, Bill Wilson, the Dotsons, and Eddie Riley, the first alcoholic they tried to help were there. (Eddie didn’t get sober at first, but later he did, and Eddie said in a talk that there were two firsts in A.A. — the first one who accepted the program and the first who refused it.)

Within a week, Bill Dotson was back in court, sober, and arguing a case. But at first his wife was doubtful. He had previously gone on the wagon and stayed sober for long periods. But then he drank again. Would this time be different? And he hadn’t had that sudden transforming experience that Bill Wilson talked about.

When Lois Wilson visited Akron in July of 1935, Henrietta shared these fears with her, and asked Lois whether she ever worried about her Bill drinking again. Lois answered without hesitation, “No. Never.”

The message had been successfully shared a second time. Dr. Bob was no fluke. And apparently you did not have to be indoctrinated by the Oxford Group before the message could take hold.

The three worked with scores of others. “Many were called but mighty few chosen; failure was our daily companion. But when I left Akron in September 1935, two or three more sufferers had apparently linked themselves to us for good,” wrote Bill.

Dotson’s story was not included in the first edition of the Big Book. Ernest Kurst seems to think it was because Bill Dotson’s “credentials,” were apparently too blatant: highly respectable upper middle-class background, above average education, intensive youthful religious training which had since been rejected, and former social prominence recently nullified by such behavior as his assault on two nurses.

In a 1952 discussion with Bill D., he was asked why his story hadn’t appeared in the first edition of the Big Book. He said that he hadn’t been much interested in the project or perhaps had even thought it unnecessary. He also said that Bill Wilson had come out to Akron to record his story, which would be in the next edition of the book. It appears in the Big Book as “AA Number Three.”

Old timers in Akron, according to Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, “recalled that Bill Dotson, was indeed a grand chap when sober. They remembered him as one of the most engaging people they ever knew.”

One said: “I thought I was a real big shot because I took Bill D. to meetings,” Another noted that, though Bill Dotson was influential in the area he was not an ambitious man in AA. “He wasn’t aggressive, just a good A.A. If you went to him for help he would give you help. He would counsel with you. He never drove a car, but he went to meetings every night. He’d stand around with his thumbs in his vest like a Kentucky colonel. And he spoke so slowly, you wanted to reach out and pull the words from his mouth. I loved to be around him. He put you in mind of a real ‘Easy Does It’ guy — Mr. Serenity.”

His wife, looking back in 1977, described him as “a great alcoholic who, like other alcoholics, didn’t want to get drunk.” She reportedly remembered telling her pastor, “You aren’t reaching him. I’m going to find someone who can, if I have to see everyone in Akron,” and she prayed with the pastor of another church that someone her husband could understand would visit him in City Hospital, where he had been admitted with “some kind of virus.”

I have found no reference to his age when Bill and Bob found him, but Bill keeps referring to him in the literature as “old Bill D.” [Bill Dotson was 43 when Bill and Dr. Bob found him, just 3 years older than Bill and 13 years younger than Dr. Bob.]

In a memorial to Bill Dotson, Bill Wilson wrote: “The force of the great example that Bill set in our pioneering time will last as long as AA itself. Bill kept the faith — what more could we say?”

Bill D’s Obituary

“Alcoholics Anonymous”, “Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers”, “The Language of the Heart”, Bill W.’s Grapevine Writings, “Bill W.” by Robert Thomsen, “Not God” by Ernest Kurtz, “Bill W.” by Francis Hartigan, “My Search for Bill W.” by Mel B.


Ron Richey
545 Queen St.#701
Honolulu, Hi 96813

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