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Title: Carl Gustav Jung outlined the basic reason why an alcoholic drinks
Author: Fraser Trevor
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Carl Gustav Jung outlined the basic reason why an alcoholic drinks, a reason that, of course, underlies the effectiveness of the spiritual s...

Carl Gustav Jung outlined the basic reason why an alcoholic drinks, a reason that, of course, underlies the effectiveness of the spiritual solution found in A.A. Making an intuitive observation, Jung noted that: "His craving for alcohol was on a low level the thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval terms: the union with God." Thus, Jung's conclusion that a real and effective spiritual or religious experience could aid the individual in overcoming alcoholic addiction.

However, Jung warned: "The only right and legitimate way to such an experience (i.e., the non-dualistic union with God) is, that it happens to you in reality, and that it can only happen to you when you walk on a path which leads you to higher understanding. You might be led to that goal," he observed, "by an act of grace or through a personal and honest contact with friends, or through a higher education of the mind beyond the confines of mere rationalism."

Fortunately for the alcoholic addict, effecting a "conscious contact" with a Power greater than the limitations of our ordinary, egoic self results in "grace"; the fellowship within our A.A. (or sister) group and/or with our sponsor affords us the requisite "personal and honest human contact" we need; and, the process of continual "self-examination, meditation and prayer" we engage in provides us with "a higher education of the mind" beyond the confines of our egoic and incessant rationalism.

Here is the body of the letter from Jung to Bill W., which is also included in the Grapevine book, "The Language of the Heart." Note, Jung's ultimate prescription for alcoholism: "spritus contra spiritum".

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