Beyond Human Aid

Last evening at the W. Acton Big Book meeting Jeff, a student of the Big Book, pointed out the phrase on page 128 “beyond human aid.”  He said it ought to be made into a bumper sticker and the phrase occurs first on p. 24.

After thinking about his comments for a bit I spoke to say that while the book may describe the alcoholic as beyond human aid, it was human aid that got me sober.  It was George Baldwin, now dead, taking me to my first meeting in Boston, and the guy at that meeting who gave me a copy of the Big Book w his phone number in it and Louise at that meeting saying “You don’t have to drink even if your ass is on fire.”.  It was at the second meeting that day that I joined my first group “Brighton Sunday Night,” and Helen the group secretary signing me up as a group member telling me to follow Bobby F. around and he became my sponsor, and Danny Ryan, now dead, telling me “Let me have done it for you.”, which no one can do and describing his experiences of creating the “water bed” and as a result getting thrown out of the “big bed.” It was Jimmy P. and his brother, Jimmy W. talking about how long you could survive on the street, and tons and tons of memorable characters from early A.A.

Today its not different really its about Tom, Lionel, Peter, Charlie, Jim and the other people I travel around with from Monday Night “Colleagues in Recover.”  It’s all about the A.A. meetings and the people that speak or don’t speak and the process of being at A.A. and working the program with others.  So I wondered aloud, “Is this a koan: what is the aid that is beyond human aid that human’s provide?” and got a bit of a laugh.  We all say that God works through people and its good to pray, but if you want potatoes you should pray but also get a hoe and start digging.

There’s no conclusion here.  What’s occurring is palpable in the sense that you see other people change and you know eventually that you’ve change in many ways too, although lurking at some depth beneath the surface is the old you, the self that would be drinking if it could and would pop right out and become you.  Some of it seems explicable some of it seems ineffable.  We are of course on the mystical trail and so that’s the way it is. 
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