Addiction seen in its rightful perspective

The following is a letter to Bill W. from Carl Jung which I find staggeringly enlightening…What I have always suspected, is beautifully articulated here:  

“His craving for alcohol (for drugs in general, I would add) was the equivalent on a low-level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the Union with God.

How could one formulate such an insight in a language that is not misunderstood in our days?

The only right and legitimate way to such an experience is that it happens to you in reality, and it can only happen to you when you walk on a path which leads you to higher understanding. You might be led to that goal by an act of grace or through a personal and honest contact with friends, or through a higher education of the mind beyond the confines of mere rationalism.

I am strongly convinced that the evil principle prevailing in this world leads the unrecognized spiritual need into perdition if it is not counteracted either by real religious insight or by the protective wall of human community. An ordinary man, not protected by an action from above and isolated in society, cannot resist the power of evil, which is called very aptly the Devil. But the use of such words arouses so many mistakes that one can only keep aloof from them as much as possible.

These are the reasons why I could not give a full and sufficient explanation to R., but I am risking it with you because I conclude from your very decent and honest letter that you have acquired a point of view above the misleading platitudes one usually hears about alcoholism.

You 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.

Union with the Uncreated – healing from Thought and Separation

This is a very interesting dialogue between Michael. K. Marsh and me.

Michel:
We must get away from the idea that death is God’s punishment. Death is a consequence of being created. The created as opposed to the un-created has a beginning and an end.

The healing of this condition is union with the uncreated. We do not have life in and of ourselves. To turn away from the work of union with the divine/uncreated is sin. Thus the wages of sin is death.

I think this fits with scripture and tradition about the two ways: life and death. Both are always before us.

I think there is a fear of death in human beings. It is a driver in our lives, the choices we make, the priorities we establish. The problem is we often deal with that fear through substitute gratifications. We settle for relief rather than healing.

The degree to which we are afraid of death is also the degree to which we are afraid to truly live.

The paradox is that to live we must die. I think it is the Sufis who say, “Die before you die.” I think this is what Jesus was getting at when he said, “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.” It is the invitation to life, through union/thesis.

Living becomes an interior transformation which leaves us in the present moment. The present is the fullness of life, it is where the divine is located, it can become eternal. Too often we live in the past – “If only…,” regrets, wounds, resentment – or in a future we do not yet have. Both of those it seems to me are places of death.

God’s deepest longing is that we would live and live fully. St. Irenaeus said something like, “The glory of God is a many fully alive.”
I wonder sometimes if we have forgotten or confused what it is to be fully alive. I think there were be profound freedom in this – not autonomy to choose to do what every I want – but freedom to be, to be real, authentic, true – and in so doing to discover and know my own holiness and the original beauty of my creation. When we can see this in ourselves then we can see it in others.

Me:
I have to tell you that you have such a poignant and winsome way of writing. I feel the Silence, and the echo of your deep insights between your words.

There is both elegance but unsophisticated humbleness in your wording.

Yes, this is perfectly put:

Healing is Union with the Uncreated.

What is created is mostly under the supremacy of Fear. Hence, most people settle for relief, as, to reach Union you have to go through the hell of Separation, which means wrestling with Fear – an inhuman undertaking. Few – if any – have the courage to directly confront this daunting demon – as fear is a demon after all – take the battle, and not flee.

I love the way you put it:

“Too often we live in the past – `If only´…,”regrets, wounds, resentment – or in a future we do not yet have. Both of those it seems to me are places of death.”

Presence is well guarded by Fear.To come out alive from these places of Death requires great boldness and determination. To die before you die is the greatest challenge for anyone – that is, to give up the false ego. The ego is the outcome of Time, of Thought…indeed the “me” identity which is so treacherously opposed to God…- to who we really are…

I have these days won incredible battles. And these battles have taken place on these invisible levels – which are incredibly “real”. In fact, more real than the “real”. To give up the thought-made identity…I tell you… – it is not less than a heroic act of courage as I come to understand that Thought is the total antinomy of Life…Thought is the greatest barrier to know God, in fact, ultimately speaking, I see thinking as the worst disease invented by man, in order to defend himself from Life.

Thought, which is psychological Time, keeps us away from the Divine.

Thought can never be free. As long as we reinforce thinking, we choose thus to be unfree.

If we are to be real, authentic, true – and thus to discover and know our own holiness and the original beauty of creation, we have to give up “mine” – that is, the false “I-identity” which is built on thought! Thought is “my will” as radically opposed to the will of the Creator.

Thought breeds and perpetrates Separation. 

First when we are relieved from the curse of thinking, can we see the purity in ourselves as well as in others.