Monday, April 28, 2014

The Influence Carl Jung Had on the Creation of Alcoholics Anonymous

     This is very interesting.  I learned this by reading
Further Along the Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck.  Whether you are a fan of his or not, this is interesting and spiritual. 
     In the thirties, when Alcoholics Anonymous came to be, a guy was seeing Jung for psychoanalysis.  At that time there was no treatment for alcoholism, nothing really effective besides incarceration, institutionalization or death.  However, Jung told this man who was a hopeless alcoholic that  one way some had recovered was through a religious conversion.  So, this man searched for religion.
     A few months later he converted to a religion and stopped drinking.  He then went to see a man named Ebby.  Ebby offered him a drink.  He said, "I no longer drink.  I found religion." 
     Ebby was like, "what?  But, you are a hopeless alcoholic."  So, he told Ebby about what Jung had said. 
     Then Ebby found religion and got sober as well.  He then went to see Bill Wilson, commonly known as Bill W., one of the founders of AA.  Bill W. offered Ebby a drink.  Ebby said, "I no longer drink.  I had a religious conversion." 
     Bill W. ended up doing the same, and he began a group called Alcoholics Anonymous, where men and women, mostly men back then, because women probably were more ashamed due to the latency of the suffrage movement, only just beginning slightly I guess, could get together and talk about alcoholism and recovery in an anonymous, safe environment.  Of course, coffee and cigarettes were prevalent, and still are except that people no longer smoke indoors.  The important thing was the program, the camaraderie, the fellowship, and the place to share, as well as the sponsorship and the steps.  Of course, it has never been based on any creed, religion or sect, but there is a focus on God or a higher power.
     The idea of AA is that only a power greater than oneself could restore one to sanity.  That is actually step two after admitting oneself to be powerless over alcohol, which is the first step.  I hope some of you found this as interesting as I did.  We all have dysfunctions, whether or not alcoholics or addicts.  I believe we all need a program, steps one through twelve and a counselor or sponsor of some sort.  We all can use some fellowship and guidance from time to time, no matter how smart, spiritual or independent.

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