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Revelatory EventsThree Case Studies of the Emergence of New Spiritual Paths$
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Ann Taves

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691131016

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691131016.001.0001

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(p.129) Chapter 6 Seeking
Revelatory Events

Ann Taves

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers Bill Wilson's personal spiritual journey, focusing on the personal views that he downplayed for the sake of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Personally, Wilson did not view his sudden experience as the great event that transformed his life simply because it released him from his alcoholic cravings (the AA perspective), but also as an opening to another reality that convinced him of certain spiritual facts and initiated a lifelong process of psychospiritual investigation that included spiritualism, parapsychology, Catholicism, mysticism, and LSD. Whereas AA embodied a tacit perennialism in its structure and organization that could be overridden by various theological perspectives, Wilson was an explicit perennialist with Catholic proclivities who viewed his own unusual experiences—spiritualist, mystical, and drug-induced—as different ways of entering into the unseen Reality.

Keywords:   Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous, AA, spiritual journey

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