Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
The big book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes the second step as follows:
Let us make haste to reassure you. We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God. Pg 46
So now we see exactly what a Power Greater than ourselves is, God. At the same time our own conception of God is enough to make a beginning. Take a good look at what they are saying. It is my own conception of God, not a god of my own conception!:
When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach.That was growth. But if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was.
We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. "Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?" As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built. Pg 47
Look at what they are saying here. They are talking about God! Not your own god, your own conception of God. God as you understand Him. Not your own understanding of a god.
As we begin to approach the spiritual way of life we are basically all Agnostic. We don't really know what God is, but we all have our own understanding of God. This is not a difficult step to take. Do I now, or am I willing to believe that there is a Power greater than me? Isn't that simple? Let's simplify this even more:
Alcoholics Anonymous Is spiritual not Religious. It is not Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Buddhist or any other type of religious denomination.Quite simply, Alcoholics Anonymous was formed on the underlying philosophies of the Oxford Group, All biblical and centered on: "Surrender as much of yourself as you can to as much of God as you understand Him to be. God will come through to you, make Himself known, and enable you to understand more. You will come to believe. You will find God."(Samuel M. Shoemaker,jr. was an Episcopal rector at Calvary Church in New York and later in Pittsburgh. He was dubbed by A.A.'s Bill Wilson as a "co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.")
If you have been as honest and thorough as you could be, and you have come to see step one in your own experience, step two is not hard. Just like step one, step two requires coming to some conclusions of the mind. In step one we have concluded that everything that is humanly possible has or will fail and that we are basically out of options to try to achieve any kind of fulfilling sobriety. We stop asking why, and start asking what do I have to do!:
When this sort of thinking is fully established in an individual with alcoholic tendencies, he has probably placed himself beyond human aid, Pg 24
If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, Pg 25
The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power. Pg 43
Much has already been said about us being powerless to solve our problem. Let's see what the pioneers of alcoholics anonymous had to say about this Power greater than ourselves: My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea. He said, "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?" That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last.
It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend. Would I have it? Of course I would!
Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough. At long last I saw, I felt, I believed. Pg 12
Notice that Ebby says "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?". Not a god of your own understanding!
The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God's universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves. Pg25 There is only one God that is referred to as the creator.
I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all. Pg 14 There is only one God that is referred to as the Father of Lights.
Each individual, in the personal stories, describes in his own language and from his own point of view the way he established his relationship with God. Pg 29 Relationship with God, Not god of my own understanding.
Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral. And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God. Pg 45
Talk about God, not a god.
Much to our relief, we discovered we did not need to consider another's conception of God. Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient to make the approach and to effect a contact with Him. Pg 46
Again our own conception of God, not god of our own understanding.
As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. Pg 46 Again God, not a god.
When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did. Pg 52
Again God, not a god.
Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him.
When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us! Pg 57 Again God, not a god.
Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is God. Pg 59 There is One, not many or any, that One is God.
So step two is really where we make a beginning. The belief in a Power greater than ourselves that will solve our problem. That Power is God. Based on my own experiences when I take a look at step one and if I have come to see that I suffer from Alcoholism as they see it. I see the hopelessness of my malady! I see that nothing that I can do that is within my ability as a human being can help me to solve my problem or keep me from drinking. I have placed myself beyond human aid. I lack the power. I see that my problem is deeper than the drinking, that the drinking is but a symptom, although it is the one major symptom that has opened my eyes that I may be suffering from an illness that has the potential to actually kill me and affect the lives of hundreds around me. When I truly see what it is that I suffer from, a spiritual malady, I now stop asking why and start asking what do I have to do to get well: We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, "a design for living" that really works. Pg 28
The only requirements that I need to bring to the table are: My friend promised when these things were done I would enter upon a new relationship with my Creator; that I would have the elements of a way of living which answered all my problems. Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements. Pgs 13-14
If I can say that I do or I am willing to believe in the Power of God then I am ready to take a look at step three!