From the October 1993 magazine.

The Vine Line

Q. What did Dr. Carl Jung mean when he wrote the phrase spiritus contra spiritum in a 1961 letter to Bill W.?

A. To use Dr. Jung's own words, "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." In this sense then, spiritual awakening is an antidote for alcoholism. (See The Language of the Heart, p. 276 for the full Bill W.-Carl Jung correspondence.)

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