Twelve Spiritual Principles (Virtues)

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April 30, 2015
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May 28, 2015
12 spiritual principles
The office was recently contacted by a long-timer who pointed out that the following article provides a list of spiritual virtues (not principles) that originated from a plaque which was sold years ago and may originally came from a Grapevine article or other AA newsletter. It is known in the rooms of AA that the spiritual principles are the Twelve Steps. To be thorough, the 36 principles are the Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts.

There are many different spiritual virtue lists that refer to the Twelve Steps which have been printed by other AA’s over the years. Although used by many AA members, they are not Conference Approved and the origin of these lists are unknown.

Bill W. considered each step to be a spiritual principle in and of itself. However, particularly in the 12 & 12, he outlined the spiritual principles behind each step. Some of them seem like common sense, but understand going into the exercise that reading these principles and actually practicing them in your day-to-day lives are two entirely different things (and that the latter requires vigilance and willingness).

  1. HONESTY – Fairness and straight forwardness of conduct: adherence to the facts.
  2. HOPE – To expect with desire; something on which hopes are centered.
  3. FAITH – Complete confidence; belief and trust.
  4. COURAGE – Firmness  of  mind  and  will  in  the  face  of  extreme  difficulty;  mental  or  moral  strength  to withstand fear.
  5. INTEGRITY – The quality or state of being complete or undivided; soundness.
  6. WILLINGNESS – Prompt to act or respond; accepted and done of choice or without reluctance.
  7. HUMILITY – Not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive; a clear and concise understanding of what we are, followed by a sincere desire to become what we can be.
  8. LOVE – Unselfish concern that freely accepts another in loyalty and seeks his good to hold dear.
  9. DISCIPLINE – Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character; to bring under control; to train or develop by instruction.
  10. PATIENCE/PERSEVERANCE – Steadfast despite opposition or adversity; able or willing to bear; to persist in an understanding in spite of counter influences.
  11. AWARENESS – Alive and alert; vigilance in observing.
  12. SERVICE – A  helpful  act;  contribution  to  the  welfare  of  others;  useful  labor  that  does  not  produce  a tangible commodity.

Source – Unknown Author