Posts tagged Carl Jung

Carl Jung, AA & Conversion

From Part 7 of The Guardian‘s series on Carl Jung
Carl Jung: The Power of Acceptance

Like the AA movement, Jung believed that acceptance and spiritual interconnectedness were crucial to a person’s recovery

But ever the experimenter, Jung had an idea.

Roland should join the Oxford Group, an evangelical Christian movement that stressed the necessity of total surrender to God. Jung hoped that his patient might undergo a conversion experience, which, as his friend William James had realised, is a transformative change at depth, brought about by the location of an entirely new source of energy within the unconscious. That might tame the craving.

It worked. Roland told another apparently hopeless alcoholic, Bill W, about the experience. Bill too was converted, and had a vision of groups of alcoholics inspiring each other to quit. The Society of Alcoholics Anonymous was formed. Today it has more than 2 million members in 150 countries.

I spoke to a friend of mine who attends meetings of Narcotics Anonymous to understand more about the element of conversion. “It’s hugely important,” he said.

His addictions had been fuelled by a surface obsession with career and money, and a deeper anxiety that nothing was right. “It’s the first time I’d been prompted seriously to consider something bigger than myself.”

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(Thank you humanspirit and Watch Surviving Straight, Inc.!)