When the "Big Book" was written in 1939, America was a reading society. Almost all of their daily news came from reading. Nearly all Americans read for entertainment, and letter writing and reading were much more prevalent in our society.
That is not the case in the Twenty First Century. Our society is not the reading society that it once was and therefore we, of the Twenty First Century, find it difficult to understand the written instructions for the 4th Step contained in our basic text book.
These worksheets are designed as templates only. They are not designed to be printed and used as the actual worksheets. In our work with alcoholics, we have found it best to try to replicate what the first one hundred men and women did to get the results they got. Well, the first one hundred didn't have worksheets. They took out a tablet of paper, turned the paper sideways (landscape, as we call it today) and used the edge of the book to draw the vertical (up and down) lines. That is precisely what we propose you do here.
The template calls out the page and paragraph that holds the precise instructions for that column and then gives you the title for the column. Remember, the inventory says "we search out the flaws ..." it does not say to search out the "goodies". And, it never tells us to put ourselves on the lists ~ that is something that came from the health care industry and has little importance here.
We spend about five hours in the seminars (and recordings) discussing the 4th Step Inventory. It is the springboard upon which you will move on to Steps 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. A lack of understanding here can be very detrimental to your progress in the rest of the spiritual exercises.
We believe the least understood and perhaps the most important part of the Inventory process is the prayer work. Of particular importance is the small prayer column marked with a "P" between the third and fourth column. It is immensely important and can not be underestimated. We urge you to get and listen to the tape set, cd or MP3.