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August 2004

The Twelve Concepts of AA: a Beginner's Guide

Understanding AA's Third Legacy

The Twelve Concepts of AA were a mystery to me for a long time in recovery. They were not a very compelling mystery since they were seldom referred to at meetings I attended. An oversimplified notion of service was part of my early training in sobriety; concepts of world service that provide principles like "the right of decision," the importance of hearing minority opinions, and "the right of appeal" were not brought to my attention. Only gradually did I notice how the third side of the triangle of recovery, unity, and service was overlooked.

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