|Carl G. Jung (1875 -1961)|
In an informative video (attached) examining the underlying psychological and spiritual dimensions of alcoholism and addiction from a Jungian perspective, Dr. Jeffrey Sadinover, a gerontologist specializing in addiction problems amongst the aged, observes that, "(w)hat people experience in addictive behaviour is something which, in and of itself is normal." There is within every human, or so it would seem, a need for the divine, says Dr. Sadinover.
"That is to say," he notes, "the craving is normal - the craving for certain kinds of elation, for a certain sense of 'specialness,' for heroism, for cessation of pain. And, underlying all of those, really, ultimately, and most powerfully, is the seeking of a sense of 'meaningness.'"
"What we hope an individual will gain from the psychotherapeutic dimension of substance abuse treatment," says Sadinover, "is a way of finding meaning in their lives again. Because, as Jung correctly recognized, ultimately the key motivating factor in the beginning of an addiction is the seeking of spirit."
Author, Robert Johnson, draws on Jung's 'archetypes' and ancient mythology as fables for understanding and explaining the 'psychological' reality of addiction.
"It is basic, Johnson observes. "If we don't get our ecstasy, which is an archetypal quality, in a legitimate way, we will get it in an illegitimate way; which accounts for much of the chaos of this culture now."
|". . . deep down within every man, woman |
and child is the fundamental ideas of God."
And there we have it, the compulsion and obsession of the alcoholic addict "centers in the mind," or so it seems, just as we read in the 'Big Book' of Alcoholics Anonymous (at page 22).
"When we dismantled (Mount) Olympus," says Johnson, quoting Dr. Jung, "we turned the gods into symptoms." Therefore, as Jung noted in his correspondence with Bill W., the helpful prescription or formula is "spiritus contra spiritum."
The alcoholic needs the spiritual dimension in their life which is afforded by "the God of (their) own understanding," if they are to get, and stay, well.
Correspondence from Carl G. Jung, to Bill W., dated January 30, 1961: