AA’s Spiritual Grandpa – Carl Jung

Carl Jung is an important figure to AA. His belief that life’s problems, and alcoholism in particular, were best treated with spiritual solutions was (and still is) a significant development for psychology and addiction treatment.

In many ways it was AA’s association with Jung – important enough to be mentioned in the very first edition of the big book – that legitimized and encouraged Bill and Bob’s early efforts starting a spiritual treatment for alcoholism.

According to the big book it was Jung who prescribed a “psychic change” for Roland H.. That was the best advice the esteemed Dr. could offer this chronic alcoholic.

Roland brought his spiritual awakening to Ebby T.. Ebby T. then brought it Bill who brought it to Bob and Alcoholics Anonymous was born.

Only Jung could have provided this initial inspiration. Jung was a believer. Freud, in contrast, was a devote atheist.

For that reason I like to think of Jung as AA’s spiritual grandpa. He deserves some of our gratitude and thanks. His works, in particular “Memories Dreams and Reflections” are worth a read.

The serious problems in life are never solved. The meaning and purpose of a problem seems to lie not in its solution but in our working at it incessantly – Carl Jung

And so in AA we trudge “a day at a time!”

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