Throughout recorded history, neither human society nor governments have understood alcoholism. ‑If we turned to Solomon’s Proverbs (King James version) he describes an alcoholic by saying, “he who has trouble, sorrows and woes, he who sleeps as if at the top of a mast, who arises in the morning and says, they beat me, but I felt it not,” And, “Their eyes, behold strange women (or men),” Solomon concludes by saying, and “Yet they arise and seek it still?” ‑‑Alcoholism was a mystery to Solomon and still is to some, but physicians and psychiatrists began to view alcoholism in a new light in the early 1900’s and although most people still believe alcoholics are “weak willed,” or “sinful,” the doctors and psychiatrists began to suspect otherwise, they suspected alcoholism is a disease and its only a symptom of a greater malady.

Most people said to the drunk, “What’s a matter with you, don’t you have any will power, why can’t you drink like a gentleman, when my boss threatened to fire me, or my wife threatened to leave me, I quit, why can’t you?” ‑‑Some religious people said to the drunk, “If you don’t quit drinking you’ll go to hell,” but the alcoholics were already there and they didn’t care. ‑Early in 1930 CGJ (Carl G. Jung) the Swiss psychiatrist accepted a wealthy American patient for treatment who had already been diagnosed by American physicians and psychiatrists as being “Chronic Alcoholic!” ‑After treating the American for a year CGJ released him, but he immediately got drunk in Paris and was sent back to Switzerland. ‑CGJ told the alcoholic, “I’ve never seen a chronic alcoholic of your description recover, you’re going to die unless you hire a full time body guard to ensure you don’t drink or check yourself into a sanitarium.” ‑The man’s wife pleaded with CGJ, “Oh Doctor, is there no hope?” ‑After a few moments CGJ replied, “Yes, I have heard of rare cases where chronic alcoholics recovered, but I have never documented such a case and it requires a spiritual awakening and I don’t know how to make a spiritual awakening happen.” ‑CGJ went on to say, “I’m going outside my profession to diagnose you, but your alcoholism is, but a symptom of a greater malady, that malady is spiritual disease, disease of the spirits, spirit disharmony, soul or mind sickness. ‑After the alcoholic’s final appointment with CGJ he returned from Switzerland to New York with a new diagnosis of his spiritual disease and he began a desperate search to purchase a spiritual awakening.

At about this same time a Medical Doctor working at the Towns Hospital in Brooklyn New York wrote his now famous ‑”Doctor’s Opinion,” that alcoholism is a “two-fold disease,” that affects both the body and mind (“mind,” meaning soul, spirits or the collective thoughts of the human brain). ‑More about the Doctors Opinion and the American alcoholic’s story, later, maybe in the next issue of the Waynedale News?

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John Barleycorn

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