Writing in the June, 1961 Grapevine, he observed:
"There can be no absolute humility for us humans. At best, we can only glimpse the meaning and splendor of such an ideal. As the book Alcoholics Anonymous says: "We are not saints . . . we claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. Only God himself can manifest in the absolute; we human beings must needs live and grow in the domain of the relative. We seek humility for today."Bill was, after all, by profession a stock promoter. Immediately after his spiritual awakening the thought came to him that his experience might serve as an illustration of how to get over alcoholism, and that one drunk working with another could spread like a "chain reaction" sobering up everybody who needed help. And he immediately set out to start such a chain reaction, but with absolutely no success until, in desperation to hold on to his own tenuous sobriety, he told his story to Doctor Bob.
"Therefore our practical question is this: "Just what do we mean by 'humility for today' and how do we know when we have found it?""
"We scarcely need to be reminded that excessive guilt or rebellion leads to spiritual poverty. but it was a very long time before we knew we could go even more broke on spiritual pride."
On his desk, he kept a plaque bearing the following inscription about humility:
Perpetual quietness of heart. It is to have no trouble, It is never to be fretted or vexed, irritable or sore; to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me.
It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised, it is to have a blessed home in myself where I can go in and shut the door and pray to my Father in secret and be at peace, as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and about is seeming trouble.
It may be that the only time we are wholly free from the wiles of the ego is in meditation and contemplation. And this takes hard work and practice. "Perpetual quietness of heart" is a very high ideal, a rarefied consciousness that we are progressively alienated from as we age. That downward shift into pure self-consciousness is only accelerated by our years of addiction, alcoholic or otherwise.
Today, for me, I have to be just as aware of the inner dialogue going on about spirituality as I do of the "painful inner dialogue" of the usual ego-stuff. Though it is much more interesting to think about, it equally robs me of the experience of the here-and-now going on all around me. The time that I spend in quiet meditation and contemplation is inversely proportional, I find, to the amount of time I spend uselessly chattering away in my own head.