If I Ever Find Myself in Heaven, It Will Be From Backing Away From Hell

Carrie Fisher? Courtney Love? Edward Dowling? Mariette Hartley? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: Terrible experiences often cause an individual to seek a superior pathway through life. Here is a pertinent adage:

Some of us can’t find heaven without backing away from hell.

This saying has been attributed to actress and writer Carrie Fisher and to singer and actress Courtney Love. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: Priest Edward Dowling was an advisor to Bill W. (William Griffith Wilson) who was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dowling delivered the following advice that was recorded in a chapter of the 1957 book “Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A.A.”. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[1]1985 (1957 Copyright), Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A.A., Chapter: Religion Looks at Alcoholics Anonymous by Edward Dowling and Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, Quote Page 256, … Continue reading

I doubt if there is anybody in this hall who really ever sought sobriety. I think we were trying to get away from drunkenness. I don’t think we should despise the negative. I have a feeling that if I ever find myself in Heaven, it will be from backing away from Hell.

QI believes that Edward Dowling is the leading candidate for creator of this saying.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading If I Ever Find Myself in Heaven, It Will Be From Backing Away From Hell

References

References
1 1985 (1957 Copyright), Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: A Brief History of A.A., Chapter: Religion Looks at Alcoholics Anonymous by Edward Dowling and Rev. Samuel Shoemaker, Quote Page 256, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc., New York. (Verified with scans)