Contempt Prior to Investigation
In the Fourth Edition of the Big Book, there is a quote by Herbert Spencer on BB page 568 that reads:
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
I chose this quote following an incident that I had this week in the grocery store. I was shopping and trying to reach something above my head. Whenever I do this post-accident, I get very dizzy and stagger a bit, and it appears to anyone watching that I have had a liquid lunch. It appears that way because I keep trying to get what I am after off the shelf, and the more attempts, I make the more dizzy I become. It is not pleasant, it is embarrassing but it is what it is.
This week when trying to shop, a member of the fellowship who I had not seen or spoken to in some time was witness to this phenomenon in my life. She reached the thing I was after and told me to “get my ass back to a meeting that I knew better than to drink,” and she walked away. She didn’t ask me any questions, she made up her mind and decided she knew everything. I had no chance to respond. I got a taste of my own medicine.
When working the steps early in my program, I was unwilling to investigate the gift of spirituality offered me. I often crossed my arms and was adamant that it wouldn’t work, wasn’t for me … I have since learned different … but I had to put away my contempt to be open to the lessons.
I would like to hear your interpretations of the quote or about anything else you feel a need to share.