It only takes one shot of whisky to whisk me on an uncontrollable drunken spree.
Dr. Silkworth describes this as an abnormal allergy of the body, but that does not explain why I would guzzle down that first drink, knowing very well the result may be disastrous. I believe Dr. Carl Jung had the answer for such puzzling lack of judgement. He writes about subconscious influences (archetypes) which spasmodically control my conscious decisions, leaving me without choice in the matter of drink (mental obsession).
Jung explains: Certain archetypal influences compulsively strive for exotic experiences, or at least some form of emotional meaningfulness. Although this presents no problem for most normal people, it left me with an emotional vacuum yearning to be filled. This filling, of course, took place at the local tavern. Alcohol was my salvation, my higher power!
Dr. Jung points out that from antiquity, gods generally resided high up on mountains or clouds. The Greek God of wine, Dionysius, who lived on mount Olympus, is often thought as being a drunkard, but not so—he provided the wine of spiritual joy to the expectant Achaean society below. Dr. Jung stated: “When Mt. Olympus was dismantled, we turned the gods into symptoms.” In other words, alcoholics, like me, suffer from a lack of spirit (spirituality).
Dr. Jung used the Latin expression, “Spiritus contra spiritum,” to further explain that my alcoholic obsession is really a low grade attempt to obtain a spiritual experience. On page 27 of the Big Book, Dr. Jung revealed the solution to Rowland H.’s alcoholism: “Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences.” This statement turned out to be the AA solution for alcoholism!
AA’s Twelve Steps have upgraded my drunken low-grade spiritual search to a high-grade spiritual Higher Power which has brought about a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism—at least for now. Thank you Dr. Jung! Thank you God!
By Chicago Area Service, Newsletter Nov, 2015