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Mystical Experiences of Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson cofounded the widely influential A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous). In the midst of another treatment for a recent binge in 1934, Wilson has this sick bed vision:
"My depression deepened unbearably and finally it seemed to me as through I were at the bottom of the pit. I still gagged badly on the notion of a Power greater than myself, but finally, just for the moment, the last vestige of my proud obstinacy was crushed. All at once I found my crying out, "If there is a God, let Him show Himself! I am ready to do anything, anything!
Suddenly the room lit up with a great white light. I was caught up into an ecstasy which there are no words to describe. It seemed to me, in the mind's eye, that I was on a mountain and that a wind not of air but of spirit was blowing. And then it burst upon me that I was a free man. Slowly the ecstasy subsided. I lay on the bed, but now for a time I was in another world, a new world of consciousness. All about me and through me there was a wonderful feeling of Presence, and I thought to myself, "So this is the God of preachers."

Source: Bill Wilson, quoted in Andrew Delbanco and Thomas Delbanco, "A.A. at the Crossroads," The New Yorker, March 20, 1995, p.52.


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