Summary: A Potpourri of Irrelevant Personal Opinion
Comment: Let's talk about Quiet Time and prayer and meditation as early AAs practiced it. For one thing, they embraced Bible study, prayer, seeking God's guidance, and reading Christian literature. They also used Christian devotionals such as The Runner's Bible, the Upper Room, My Utmost for His Highest, and Daily Strength for Daily Needs.Good Morning!: Quiet Time, Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A.. They also used a good many other "helpful books" which, as Wilson suggested could be based on suggestions from one's rabbi, minister, or priest Dr. Bob and His Library: A Major A.A. Spiritual Source; Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939: A.A.'s Principles of Success; The Good Book and the Big Book: A.A.'s Roots in the Bible (Bridge Builders Edition); and The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials. When Bill Wilson was in his deep depression after the Big Book was published, new meditation materials came from Sister Ignatia, Richmond Walker, Father Ralph Pfau, and finally in the form of the Little Red Book and the Twenty Four Hour Book. Then came the publishing flair--religious publishers, Hazelden, and others began pouring out meditation guides. And, about the time I entered AA, this "reflections" book was tendered to members in a meeting; and they almost uniformly voted it down as unnecessary. When A.A. finally published the book, it contained a mass of private opinions that talked about higher powers of a nonsense nature and A.A. meeting chatter. Does the book have value? Not if you are a fancier of Hazelden's 24 hour book. Not if you are an adherent to a religious denomination which can point you to the Bible, to the many quarterlies (the Upper Room still publishes), and the church prayer books. Bill Wilson's mentor Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker made many suggestions about quiet time books also.New Light on Alcoholism: God, Sam Shoemaker, and A.A. (2d ed.). One could justifiably ask why A.A. ever decided to publish a book with such a wide variety of personal opinions, idolatrous suggestions, and irreligious nonsense. If someone wants atheist, humanist, New Age, New Thought, or Budhhist chants, there are plenty of resources which at least represent careful thought. For a broad look at the materials that contributed to early A.A. and its successes, seeMaking Known the Biblical History and Roots of Alcoholics Anonymous: A Sixteen-Year Research, Writing, Publishing, and Fact Dissemination Project, Third Edition. When I am dealing with A.A.'s own books, I much prefer the Big Book--which has specific meditation instructions in connection with Step Eleven. Or the history books like Pass It On and DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers which explain that the early AAs simply studied the Bible and favored the Book of James, Jesus's Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians 13.The Books Early AAs Read for Spiritual Growth, 7th Edition; That Amazing Grace: The Role of Clarence and Grace S. in Alcoholics Anonymous
Summary: Excellent way to start your day
Comment: I start my day reading from here and really using what I read the day throughout.
Summary: Warm Fuzzies
Comment: This is a must-have for anyone in recovery or a 12-step program. Serenity is the objective. This is just another great tool to help to achieve it.
Summary: Poor Substitute for Hazelden's 24 Hours a Day
Comment: Fours years after its initial publication, I don't personally know of any AA member who still uses this as a daily reflection. I think AAWS just wanted to see if they could generate revenue by competing with the Hazelden 24 Hour A Day book. However, this turned out to be a weak effort.
Summary: A book of wisdom, courage, and hope
Comment: This little meditation book is a great help for people in recovery seeking to build and maintain a firm spiritual foundation one day at a time. Using A.A.'s "take what you can use and leave the rest" rule of thumb will make this book of tremendous value to most anyone, regardless of religion (or lack thereof).