The term is closely connected with the idea of powerlessness at the core of AA's 12 Steps. The basic concept is that individual human beings don't have the power sufficient to defeat their addiction, so they must call on a higher power - super-human or supernatural - to help them in their battle.
Alcoholics Anonymous introduced the term "higher power" in an attempt to ease the way for people who entered the AA program as atheists or agnostics. It derives from a passage in the chapter of AA's "Big Book" entitled "We Agnostics", in which Bill Wilson writes, "Lack of power, that was our dilemma. we had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.
Obviously.""Higher power" is a controversial term. To many religious people, the term "higher power" demeans and depersonalizes the idea of God. To people who are not religious, it may seem to be an outdated euphemism, at best; at worst, it's an evasive tactic to avoid acknowledging the religious nature of the AA program.