God Is Everything Or Else He Is Nothing
One of the most emphasized and reiterated principles in the Big Book is, to bring into our consciousness the presence of a God, a Higher Power, a Spirit of the Universe, that is within us, and to draw from that Power at all times throughout the day. To quote from the Big Book on page 85; “Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee-Thy will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly.”
There are many similarities between the principles focused on in the Big Book and other Religious and Spiritual teachings during the pioneering time of AA. Here is an interesting piece from Emmet Fox that emphasizes the practice of seeing the presence of God in all of our activities throughout the day.
Seeing God Everywhere
Those on the spiritual path know that they should try to see God everywhere and at all times. Many people, however, are not clear as to what this really means.
The Truth of Being is that the whole creation is the self-expression of God. We ourselves are individualizations of Him, through which He seeks further and new expression.
Man does not understand this, and he forms false beliefs about the Truth. He sees limitation of all kinds around him. He feels himself to be separate from God, and dependent on his own efforts.
Seeing God everywhere means reminding ourselves of that truth. We should, of course, give our full attention to whatever we are doing at any time, but also hold the thought-”at the back of our minds,” so to speak-that God is doing it through us. You can drive a car and watch the road carefully, and still, at the back of your mind, have the thought that you must make a telephone call when you arrive at your destination.
You should often remind yourself that God is really working through other people also; and especially during an important interview. If the other person is behaving badly, think that, rightly seen, God is working through him, and his conduct will change for the better.
One who is singing, or playing, or speaking in public, should hold the thought “God is healing the audience through me.” This will help everyone in the audience, to some extent, and will make them friendly and appreciative.
This is the real Practice of the Presence of God.
-Emmet Fox; “Seeing God Everywhere,” from his book, The Ninth Sparks Book
My good friend Howard P. often said “Wherever you see God pass, mark that spot, and go sit in that window again. Alcoholics Anonymous is my window, this is where I see God pass.”
Here’s a few more quotes from the Big Book that impress upon the reader the importance of a relationship with a Higher Power:
“Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.” Pg. 16 Bill’s Story
“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.” Pg. 25 There Is a Solution
“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.” Pg. 46 We Agnostics
“When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?” Pg. 53 We Agnostics
“Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God” Pg. 55 We Agnostics
“We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up…Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there”…”We found the Great Reality deep down within us.” Pg. 55 We Agnostics
“As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.” Pg. 63 How It Works
“We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be.” Pg. 68 How It Works
“We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” Pg. 75 Into Action