Experiences of Bill Wilson
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:
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,
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."
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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