Practice These Principles
Living the Spiritual Disciplines and Virtues in 12-Step Recovery


Listing does not imply endorsement of content. It is included only for what useful purpose it
might serve, as noted. As in the rooms, we can take what we want and leave the rest.

At the Theater 

The off-Broadway production of “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” ended
its run at the Soho Playhouse in NYC 05/04/14 after 11 months, 250 shows, and 30K
attendees. Read Ray's mini-review in "Blog," posted Sept. 21, 2013. Check play's website
from time to time for new stagings, most recent of which were in NYC 01/08 - 01/30/16
and Austin 02/02 - 02/07/16.  

For an unusual collection of 72 photos of Bill W. and Lois, please click on
  For story behind them, click on NYT Lens   Fellowship for Performing Arts, “C.S. Lewis on Stage:
The Most Reluctant Convert,”
 02/10 – 04/02/17, at The Pearl Theater in NYC. Those of us drunks who were also atheists will identify with Lewis’ reluctance to take what we call Step 2 and come to believe. Reading him 12 years after coming to AA was a turning point in my own recovery.
 Fellowship for Performing Arts, C.S. Lewis, “The Screwtape Letters,” 11/15 – 11/27/16, at The Pearl Theater in NYC; 12/08/16 – 01/07/17 in London.  Fellowship for Performing Arts, "Martin Luther on Trial,12/02/16 –01/29/17, at The Pearl Theater in NYC. 

Alcoholics Anonymous

Why We Were Chosen” is the text of an excerpt from a longer address delivered by Judge John T. on the 4th Anniversary of the Chicago Group, October 5. 1943. The text has been published as a pamphlet by many AA groups ever since. It is inspired by 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, where it is written that “God chose” not the wise, the influential, the noble, or the strong but “the foolish . . . the weak . . . the lowly . . . the despised things of this world . . .” to be the channel of his grace. – Stepping Stones, the historic home of
Bill and Lois Wilson. Click here for National Historic Landmark plaque. – Search through BB and 12&12 and locate passages on any topic.
Excellent tool for zeroing in on a particular principle like acceptance or honesty and seeing
everything the two basic texts have to say about it. Can even click on a dictionary link for 
a word's definition, together with synonyms and etymology. – AA history in unparalleled collection
of photos, in this and the following sites: – “Let’s Ask Bill,” organized by topic.
Brings together letters, articles, and other writings of Bill W. not found in a single place
elsewhere. – Full text of “The Next Frontier: Emotional Sobriety,”
Bill W.’s 1958 Grapevine article referenced in PTP pp. 58–65, his only piece on the subject. – Most comprehensive site on AA history. Named after Dr. William
Silkworth, director of hospital where Bill W. had his spiritual experience, and author of
“The Doctor’s Opinion” in the BB.

Other 12-Step Recovery – Twelve principles, one for each of the 12
Steps, presented in the context of eight religious traditions, including Buddhism,
Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, Science

Humility and Sports.” Philosopher Michael W. Austin on one of the principles (humility) and one of the affairs (sports) in which it can be practiced (Psychology Today, 03/27/17).

“Selfishness, Stoicism, and Epicureanism: A Philosophical Flaw,” blog posted in Psychology Today 11/13/16 by Michael Austin. We can learn some good principles from Stoicism, such as acceptance and detachment. Carried to extremes, however, the good of detachment can turn into the evil of indifference and selfishness. 

The Mental Virtues,” David Brooks’ review of some virtues of the mind (NYT 08/29/14).
Rare for a newspaper. Useful Step 10 tool. See “Intellectual Virtues in Recovery,” in “Ray’s
Book Reviews.” – Self-examination (Steps 4–10) is central to the AA
way of life, and Socrates in the City: Conversations on the Examined Life, can sometimes
help to shed spiritual light on a discipline going back 2,500 years. Featuring notable
thinkers and writers from a variety of fields and traditions, this monthly forum fosters
dialogue on “Life, God, and other small topics.” Some events can be watched on video.

At the Public Level

The Lawyer, the Addict.” Too smart for his own good, a high-powered attorney works, drinks, and drugs himself to death (NYT, 07/15/17).

The Fantasy of Addiction.” Journalist Peter Hitchens critiques the disease concept of addiction, in First Things, February 2017. “Drunk on Heresy,” his readers’ response, in “Letters,” First Things, April 2017.

Bill Wilson’s Gospel.” New York Times columnist David Brooks reflects on AA and why it works where more “scientific” and socially-engineered programs fail (NYT 06/28/10).

Alcoholics Anonymous, Without the Religion.” A movement of agnostics, atheists, and
freethinkers within AA claiming 150 “secular” groups nationwide holds its first “We
Agnostics and Freethinkers International A.A. Convention” (NYT 02/21/14).

Hired Power: Recovery as a Commodity. Trading the "spiritual angle" for a business one,
so-called “sobriety coaches” sell their services to the affluent (NYT 06/21/14).

Challenging the Second “A” in AA. NYT reporter breaks his anonymity and argues AA should
abandon the principle (NYT 05/06/11).

Mea Culpa.” Thanks to Oxford Group (aka Moral Rearmament and Initiatives for Peace),
man who thought himself religious has spiritual awakening, admits to torture and murder,
and makes amends (NYT 04/17/10).


Practice These Principles Group, Riverside PA
[Not affiliated with the book PTP. Photos reprinted with permission.]