“Higher Education” Jung quote …


Quote: …

The important message conveyed through Jung’s treatment of Roland, set out on pages 26-28 of the ‘Big Book’ of Alcoholics Anonymous, contains the following description of what seems (in Jung’s view) to happen to individual alcoholics who undergo profound psychological changes as a result of a spiritual (or religious) awakening:

“Ideas, emotions and attitudes which were the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and new conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.”

Carl G. Jung

In his reply to Bill’s letter of acknowledgment (copied, below), 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.”

 … Unquote


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