Letter from the President
and the Founding of Alcoholics Anonymous
It is fascinating to consider the areas of life that Jung influenced or changed, not only
within the discipline of psychology but within society as a whole. For example, most of us know that he gave us the now widely-used
concepts of introversion and extraversion. Additionally, his experiments measuring a subjects emotional responses to various
words read from a list led to the invention of the lie-detector test.
However, one of his most interesting
and beneficial influences must be in the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. AA was founded by two alcoholics: Bill
Wilson (Bill W), a one-time successful New York Stockbroker, and Dr Robert Holbrook Smith (Dr Bob). Bill W, as he was known
because of the fellowships principle of anonymity, was the main driving force behind the movement. When he died his obituary
appeared on the front page of the New York Times. Until the emergence of AA rock bottom alcoholics had little or no hope of
recovery; they were consigned to the insane asylum or they died prematurely. The state of alcoholism was commonly regarded
as a moral lapse of character. Professional help was meager since professionals did not have a response that consistently
helped alcoholics to quit drinking once and for all. Even finding a hospital bed for an alcoholic was a challenge since hospitals
generally considered it a wasted bed given to a hopeless case.
Although they never met, Bill Wilson
always considered Jung to have been a co-founder of AA. How did this come about?
Bill Wilson was the son of Vermont
hotelier parents. His father abandoned the family when Bill was around 10 years old. Not long afterwards his mother left the
children with their grandparents so she could study medicine; essentially another abandonment. Despite, or perhaps because
of these blows, he resolved to overcome his low self-esteem and succeed in life. By the late 1920s he was a successful stockbroker
flying high on Wall Street. Like others he became a casualty of the crash of 1929. In
his case alcoholic drinking had accompanied his rise to success where it seemed to affect his outer life only a little. But
after the crash he found himself eventually out of work and needing several beers to get out of bed in the morning. He and
his wife lost their home and he depended on his wifes tiny income from a store job. Several times he stole their only money
from her purse to buy drink.
Trips to hospital ensued with him
swearing to stop drinking for ever and finding himself back on the booze again as soon as he felt better.
Pronounced a hopeless case, he was
nevertheless desperate to escape his plight. Several events came together to give him an answer, the first being the connection
with Jung. An old friend, Ebby, whom Bill knew to have been alcoholic, showed up at the door of his New York home one night.
Remarkably he was sober. Ebby told Bill that another alcoholic friend of his, Rowland, had attended Carl Jung for a year.
Here is a description by Ernest Kurtz of this significant link in his book, Not God: A History of AA:
Sometime in 1931, another man, a
young, talented, and wealthy financial wizard, had found himself on the verge of despair over his inability to control his
drinking. Having attempted virtually every other cure, he turned to one of the greatest medical and psychiatric talents of
the time, traveling to Zurich, Switzerland, to place himself under the care of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung. For close to a year,
Rowland H. worked with Jung, finally leaving treatment with boundless admiration for the physician and almost as much confidence
in his new self.
To his consternation, Rowland
soon relapsed into intoxication. Certain that Jung was his last resort, he returned to Zurich and the psychiatrists care.
There followed, in Bill Wilsons words written to Dr. Jung in 1961, the conversation between you [and Rowland] that was to
become the first link in the chain of events that led to the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. That conversation, in Wilsons
and Jungs later memory, had made two points. First of all you frankly told him of his hopelessness so far as any further medical
or psychiatric treatment might be concerned. Secondly, in response to Rowlands frantic query whether there might be any other
hope, Jung had spoken of a spiritual or religious experience in short, a genuine conversion, cautioning, however, that while
such experiences had sometimes brought recovery to alcoholics, they were . . . comparatively rare.
the first point, Wilson wrote to Jung: This candid and humble statement of yours was beyond doubt the first foundation stone
upon which our society has since been built.The first point about hopelessness led to the AA principle that anyone wanting
to recover needed to first reach rock bottom, to reach a place of personal defeat from where paradoxically recovery would
As regards the second point, Wilson
went on to have a spontaneous spiritual experience during yet another psychiatric hospital admission. While Jung had recognised
that these spontaneous experiences were rare, Wilson realised that there might be a way for alcoholics to recover through
a gradual spiritual conversion rather through the dramatic but rare peak experience. Never needing to take another drink,
he developed the twelve steps of the spiritual programme of Alcoholics Anonymous with the help of a small initial group of
recovering alcoholics. This was also the beginning of the self-help movement in general, including particularly the many other
twelve step programmes (for drugs, overeating, mental health, etc.) spawned by the AA programme.
That inspiration from Jung, which
Wilson passed on to other alcoholics and thence to millions around the world, has been described as the greatest spiritual
movement of the twentieth century. In Jungs reply to Wilsons 1961 letter mentioned above, he writes:
His craving for alcohol was the equivalent,
on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God.The
only right and legitimate way to such an experience is that it happens to you in reality, and it can only happen when you
walk on a path which leads to higher understandingYou see, alcohol in latin is spiritus, and you use the same word for the
highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum
Longer extracts from this letter can be found in Claire Dunnes book, reviewed in our last newsletter, Carl Jung: Wounded
Healer of The Soul (Continuum, London/New York 2000). This book is available in our library. Contact Marie Sinclair to borrow
this or any of our many other books by and about Jung.
07 3356 1127
and Workshops Not To Be Missed!!!
You will by now have seen our list
of talks and workshops for the year. It should be an excellent series particularly
with the inclusion of David Tacey and Stephen
Gallegos both giving talks and workshops in October. The committee was fortunate
enough, through Rob Browns efforts, to meet with David during a recent visit to Brisbane.
David is a lecturer at Latrobe University
in Melbourne where he teaches a course on Jung and he also teaches at the Jung Institute in Zurich during their summer. He is the author of six books and he writes in a manner which seems to express ideas
that are subconscious for the rest of us but which we can easily grasp when we hear them in his words. For example, his book on Australian Spirituality elucidates an optimistic vision for an emerging new spirituality
from the coming together of Aboriginal and European spiritual and religious traditions. His ideas are carefully thought through
and indicate deep reflection on his part.
Steve Gallegos, although a veteran
of academia in the USA, by contrast takes a non-intellectual approach to spiritual and personal growth. He is the founder of Deep Interactive Imagery which is an experiential process in which one engages directly
with ones unconscious through the medium of imagery. It is a unique process not
unlike Jungs Active Imagination. His skill is to bring you in contact with the
cutting edge of your own growth through the safety of your own spontaneous imagery.
He has written several books, the most interesting from a Jungian point of view being The Animals of the Four Windows: Integrating Thinking, Sensing, Feeling
and Imagery (Moon Bear Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico). Double copies of this
book and two others by him are in our library.
Steve, a retired Professor of Psychology,
trains groups in Europe and the USA. He has presented his work at the World Conference
of Psychotherapy in Austria and we are fortunate to have him present a workshop and a talk in October prior to the International
Festival of the Animals which is the main purpose of his visit to Brisbane.
Time, Location and Admission Prices
yet to be confirmed
Now or Neverland: Peter Pan and the Myth of Eternal Youth: a psychological perspective on a cultural icon.
Ann Yeoman. Inner City Books, Toronto, 1998.
In her famous study of the archetype
of the puer aeternus, or eternal child, Marie Louise von Franz, using a similar technique to that used in her studies
of archetypes in fairy tales, analyses two European works: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, and Kingdom
without Space by Bruno Goetz. In her short summary of the characteristics
of men who are caught in the mother complex and who are identified with the archetype of the puer, she describes the
puer as someone who remains too long in adolescent psychology; that is, all those characteristics that are normal in
a youth of seventeen or eighteen are continued into later life, coupled in most cases with too great a dependence on the mother. The two typical disturbances of a man who has an outstanding mother complex are, as
Jung points out, homosexuality and Don Juanism. In the latter case, the image of the mother the image of the perfect woman
who will give everything to a man and who is without any shortcomings is sought in every woman. She speaks of a constant inner refusal to commit oneself to the moment, and comments that The one situation
dreaded throughout by such a type of man is to be bound to anything whatsoever. She
adds to this catalogue the puers attraction to dangerous sports and to flight and his aversion to sticking to anything
that is routine and hard work. (Puer Aeternus, 2nd ed. Sigo Press, 1981, p. 1-5).
read and been fascinated by von Franzs study, I approached Ann Yeomans book wondering how it could be possible to find something
new to say about the puer. However, I found that this work does indeed
bring a whole new light to bear on the image of the puer.
Born in England, Ann Yeoman has a
Ph.D. in literature and is a graduate of the C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich. She
lives in Toronto, Canada, where she has a private practice and where she teaches at the University of Toronto. In an interview published in Chiron, the newsletter of the C.G. Jung Foundation of Ontario (Vol
18, no. 1, 1999), she confesses to having, as a child, created a whole fantasy world with its own geography, to which she
flew whenever possible. For her, she explains, Peter Pan is a figure that represents
creative possibility, the essence of fantasy.
Indeed, in this work, Ann Yeoman
redeems the puer by showing the inspirational spark, the poetry, the realm of possibility, the restless seeking
that this image represents an archetypal image parallel to that of the mythological figures Hermes, Pan and Dionysus. In a sense, she de-pathologizes the puer, at the same time bringing light to
bear on the attraction that many of us feel to the puer.
The tragedy of the puer, however,
is that the spark never becomes incarnated, never becomes grounded, so that any possibility of realizing its potential is
blocked. The story of Peter Pan, she points out, is a tragedy. Peter remains stuck in adolescence. There is no progression
in his character, no individuation. The nursery window is shut against him and
he must stay forever outside looking in. Although Peter tells Wendy that he needs
a mother for the lost boys, and that he himself hates mothers, he lives unconsciously with the pain of having, as he believes,
been rejected by his own mother.
aim is to explore what she calls the imaginal field of J.M. Barries 1911 novel entitled Peter and Wendy in which Barrie
paints a more precise portrait of the enigmatic Peter Pan than we find in the script of the stage play in 1904. This she does in typical Jungian non-linear fashion, circling around the subject, exploring areas from
social history to biography, from literary analysis to Jungian symbolism.
Her exploration of the imaginal field surrounding Peter Pan begins in
the outer circles of myth and imagination, with Jungs contention that artists must tap a huge store of mythic and symbolic
material in order to be able to convey the richness of their vision. She moves
on to the mythological ancestry of Peter Pan and of the puer archetypal image in relation to the senex image.
She sees the puer/senex , Pan/Hook syzygies as images which must co-exist to provide a vehicle for the process of individuation.
As she circles closer to J.M. Barrie
and to Peter Pan, she takes us on a journey to every angle and corner of the subject.
She analyses the relationship of Barrie to his mother, and to the boys in the Llewelyn Davies family who were his inspiration
for Peter. She analyses the characters in the novel: Mr. And Mrs Darling, Nana,
Wendy, Peter, Captain Hook and the crocodile, that carries the swallowed clock, symbolic of the fact that time is perceived
as threatening in the fantasy world of Neverland!
In attempting to answer the questions,
Why did the figure of Peter Pan so surely grip the Edwardian imagination? Why did he become a household name so quickly and
why does it continue to be so?, Ann Yeoman muses upon the values both of the Edwardian public school society into which Peter
Pan was first introduced (she points out that good form is an ethic which rules the conflict between Peter Pan and Captain
Hook) and of the American culture to which he was soon afterwards transported, to become the best beloved of all American
As the book draws to a close, Ann
Yeomans spiralling journey around her subject brings her to a modern collective level.
She sees the puer or adolescent period of life as an image for all periods of transition, and todays cyber-awed
and, perhaps, threatened civilisation as a period of transition displaying the characteristics we attribute to the puer
(Think of the flights and spectacular falls of some companies recently). The
modern attraction to Peter viewed purely as puer is parallel to [t]he collective tendency to avoid the agony of conscious
transformation in the here-and-now. The remedy is to bring back the senex
to the puer/senex syzygy, to bring back the depth that is missing when we are attracted only to the light, ignoring
the depth and darkness that are its counterpart.
Anne Di Lauro
is an edited version of a review by the author that first appeared in the March 1999 issue of the Newsletter of the C.G.Jung
Society of Montreal .It is reproduced with permission.
Sentient Experience and Lucid Dreaming in Everyday Life
7.30 pm 4 July 2002
St Marys House, Cn Peel and Merivale
Sts, South Brisbane
$5 members / $10 non-members
When we are caught in the dealings
and stresses of everyday reality, when we battle chronic disease or depression, or we are caught in the middle of painful
relationship situations, we often lose contact with a larger background of dreaming that connects us to deeper levels and
aspects of being. Through noticing flickers of dreaming during night and day we develop a lucid awareness in experiencing
Workshop with Silvia Camastral
Dreams: Doors to deeper experience in Everyday Life
9.30am 5.00pm 13 July 2002
Hillbrook Anglican School, 45
Hurdcotte St Enogerra
$65 members / $80 nonmembers
Please call Marie Sinclair on
3371 1285 for information and registration
Night dreams as well as daytime irrational
flickers and flirts are messages, calling to us, wanting to be lived and experienced. These dreamlike experiences are doorways
to deeper aspects of ourselves and life beyond duality, the world of sentience. We are all able to catch these dreamlike flickers
but have been trained to marginalize them in order to focus on everyday reality only.
Accessing the sentient realms of
life will open new awareness of lifes richness and can give us answers to our everyday struggles and lifes issues. In this workshop we will
- Relearn to focus and catch these dreaming flickers in order to find the messages and gain new awareness.
- Find ways to step through the doors of dreams and irrational flickers of awareness to deeper and new parts
of ourselves and life in general.
- Use dreamwork, meditation exercises and creative methods to discover new expressions of ourselves.
This workshop invites everyone who
is interested in exploring themselves to gain creativity, inspiration and a sense of freedom to deal with everyday life situations. Process Oriented Psychology has a positive and finalistic outlook towards meaning.
Its basic paradigm, based on Jungian Psychology, Taoist thought and indigenous philosophies, sees disturbances as meaningful
and containing solutions to the problem. The Process Oriented model offers useful methods to explore our unconscious.
Camastral is a Process Oriented psychotherapist in private practice. She teaches workshops and trains students in Process
Oriented Psychology (POP) nationally. She has been practicing and teaching POP for the past 12 years. Her interest lies in
following nature in order to expand our awareness to better understand life and its unpredictable offerings. Silvia is interested
in how creativity springs from our deepest challenges in life
Psychotherapy and Healing
7.30pm 1 August 2002
St Marys House, Cn Peel and Merivale
Sts, South Brisbane
$5 members / $10 non-members
Rachel will talk about her experiences in psychotherapy and in particular will explore
the following topics:
- What do we mean by healing?
- How does it happen?
- What facilitates the process of healing?
Rachel Darken graduated in medicine from the University of Queensland in 1968 and continued her studies in psychiatry,
obtaining a DPM in 1974. Her initial interest was in pcychoanalytic psychotherapy and she studied Freud, Jung and Klein in
particular. Always curious about what enabled her patients to achieve their desired outcomes, she continued studying in the
fields of Transactional Analysis, Gestalt, Psychosynthesis, Transpersonal Psychology, NLP and Hypnotherapy.
From 1994 to 1999 she was the medical coordinator
for the Medical board of Queensland and in 1999 she obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional and applied Ethics. She
currently conducts a part time psychotherapy practice and is a member of the Queensland Health Ethics Advisory Committee and
the Royal Brisbane Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee. She has been a lecturer for the Australian Society of Hypnosis
for the last 15 years, is a lecturer for the Post-Graduate Medical Course and is committed to ongoing post graduate education
for Health Professionals.
Most recently Rachel has been attending the Master Classes run by Dr Brenda Davies,
a British psychiatrist with a particular interest in energy medicine.
Wielding the Sword of Truth: Tools to Work with Shadow
7.30pm 5 September 2002
St Marys House, Cn Merivale and
Peel Sts, South Brisbane
$5 members / $10 non-members
This evening we will explore how the shadow works with us and how we can work with it. Who holds the sword of truth? What is the work that does? Kris will discuss practical tools that enable our more active participation in the
wondrous and precise process of the soul.
Kris is a trained facilitator in human potential with an MA in Eduation.
She has an experiential and training background in Jungian analysis, mythology work (including the Sugar Man story)
and adult and child psychotherapy. She is currently running workshops based on
the themes of her version of the hero or heroines journey: A Spiral of Wisdom (namely, Journeying Women and Love and Redemption).
A Letter From Patrick
virtue of hope
Will the future ever arrive? Should we continue to look upwards? Is
the light we can see in the sky one of those which will presently be extinguished? The
ideal is terrifying to behold, lost as it is in the depths, small, isolated, a pin-point, brilliant but threatened on all
sides by the dark forces that surround it; nevertheless, no more in danger than a star in the jaws of the clouds Victor Hugo
The news is full of reports at this
time of writing (late April) of the activities in the Middle East. With the way
things are, I did a quick skim through what I have here at home of Carl Jungs writings and did not find too much about how
he saw the role of the virtue of hope. He writes much on faith of course this
was his daimon that kept him wrestling with the relationship between dogma and experience.
Yet while he writes eloquently about love (especially in Memories, Dreams, Reflections) Jung says little about this
second of the virtues.
The world is falling apart, people
often say, and indeed rightly. Yet looking back over history, there has never
been a time when the world hasnt been falling apart. Through the blessings and
curses of modern technology, we can be so much aware of the groans of pain and the travesties of human injustice. With all the exposure of darkness, we need more than ever to tap into what this second of the virtues can
Carl Jung reminded us of hope in
a negative way, when he insisted that the Self, or the centre of the Personality, strives for conscious realization, and that
the Self attempts to force its way through if consciousness insists on denying the centrality of the Self. That is, the Self or the God-Image will not give up on us, and is forever inviting and sometimes kicking
us into greater awareness of and participation in the dance of life. Jung writes
on this grace of hope that, because it is a grace, cannot be conjured:
What will [the doctor] do when
he sees only too clearly why his patient is ill; when he sees that it arises from his having no faith, because he is afraid
to grope in the dark; no hope because he is disillusioned by the world and by life; no love but only sexuality; and no understanding,
because he has failed to read the meaning of his own existence? Human thought cannot conceive any system or final truth that
could give the patient what he needs in order to live: that is, faith, hope, love and insight. (Modern Man in Search of
a Soul, p226).
The word hope is often used in a
way that sounds as if it is something rather mystical. Yet hope is the dynamic
of history, the energy of transformation and the door that allows perception to move from one reality to another. Between impossibility and possibility is the door of hope, and through it lies the possibility of continuing
transformation of history. The greatest weapon any government or system has is
the taking away of hope, since an absence of hope withers the soul of a people.
Hope leads us to courage through
letting us trust the wild feelings within. Where would the black Americans have
been without hope; where would the womens suffrage movement have gone; where would recognition of the need for Australia to
be reconciled with its aboriginal brothers and sisters be without the virtue of hope?
Hope requires that we believe there is something on the other side or the door.
For those with no hope, there is only cynicism of the worst kind (cynicism is named after Cynis the Dog, who was forever
chasing his tail). Of course, there is always a cost, and that cost is tangible. Yet when we walk through the doorway of hope and look back at where we have come from,
then we see grace everywhere.
With hope, we can say that it is
not twaddle to believe that nuclear arms are not necessary; it is not twaddle to believe that war is not inevitable; it is
not twaddle to believe that race, class and gender for a child will not determine their future. Hope is believing in spite of the evidence and then watching the evidence change.
Hope is not optimism. It has nothing to do with reason, logic or hoping against hope. Nor
is it a belief that tomorrow will be better than today. The virtue of hope is
a way of holding together simultaneously a realistic skepticism about human motivations, and also knowing that where I am
and where we are need not be forever. Hope is not being Peter Pan; rather, it
connects us to the great underground stream of both collective unconscious and collective conscious, and says to us that destruction
is never the end of the story.
Nor is hope an expectation. In fact, expectation can rob us of hope, because if we have an expectation that this
or that happens, we will frustrate a more profound story being played out. We may have an expectation that we need a particular
thing; hope gives a freedom to engage with Life. It gives us the courage to participate
in the journey through which we may well find we dont really desire what we thought we needed and we were given what we didnt
realize we desired!
I am satisfied with the course my life has taken I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things
at once, and cannot add up the sum in spite of all uncertainties, I feel a solidity underlying all existence and a continuity
in my mode of being Life is or has meaning and meaninglessness. I cherish the
anxious hope that meaning will preponderate and win the battle. (Memories,
Dreams, Reflections, pb392)
Deep Interactive Imagery
28, 29 June
Befriending The Shadow Bardon Counselling Centre
5, 6 July
Imagery For Men Quaker
Imagery Riverside Campfire Weekend Pine Mountain
26, 27 July
Music: a Doorway To Spirit Indigo House, New Farm
Contact : Frank Coughlan 07 3356 1127
Brisbane Gestalt Institute Welcomes
Friday night forums 2002
Working with Adolescents from a Gestalt Perspective
Presented by Mari Gray & Dixon Hammer (3rd year Gestalt students)
6 September: Gestalt in Groups
Presented by Chris Scharf & Tanya Loydell (3rd year Gestalt students)
Venue: 9 Morgan Tce, Bardon
Time: 6pm for 6.30pm start
(finishing at 9pm)
Cost: $10 (bookings not necessary)
Professional Development Days
Language of the Heart An Introduction to Phylophonetics Counselling
Presented by Yehuda Tagar
Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow: The Dance of Life and Loss
Presented by Michael Reed, PhD.
Venue: 9 Morgan Tce, Bardon
Time: 9.30am 5pm
Cost: $120 (discount applies
to Gestalt students) (bookings necessary spaces are limited)
For brochures or further information
please contact Brisbane Gestalt Institute on 3366 7500
Interests Survey Results
Thank-you to all members who took the time to complete a Members Interests Survey. Members indicated that they were interested in attending weekend workshops (please
see information in the front of the newsletter). Topics of interest for both
the monthly meeting and workshops include
· POP (Process Oriented Psychology)
· Active Imagination
· Collective Unconscious
out our very own web site.
Working Creatively with Type and Temperament
6th Biennial Conference of the Australian Association for Psychological Type
Manly Pacific Park Royal
55 North Steyne Manly
19 22 September 2002
To find out more about the conference contact Andrew Gibson
Telephone / Fax: 02 9150 4885
note that the admission prices for the extra Workshops and Seminars listed on the blue sheet (June December 2002 timetable)
inserted are yet to be advised (along with time and location)
For information about Jung in Australia on the Internet, check out the following sites!
Bulletin Board is a collection of information which
may be of interest to Society members. The are not necessarily Jungian and are
included at the discretion of the Executive. Basic information is provided for
those interested to follow up. The Society cannot endorse or guarantee the quality
of events or services. To include information in Bulletin Board please send information
to the Jung Society at
74 Camp St, Toowong, Qld, 4066