At this time of historic Parliamentary chaos for the UK, this quote from Jung is the only “in/out” vote that the UK faces, the vote that #Brexit mimics. This question reflects the power at the very core of the 12 Step Programme.
This is the affirmative message of Diction Resolution Therapy (DRT) the very reason for my work as ‘Abd al-Mu’min al-Jāmi’ ibn Hulli, the only reason that you are reading this now.
“The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interests upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance. Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities which we regard as personal possessions: our talent or our beauty. The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change.”
— “Memories, Dreams, Reflections” (CG Jung)
From the text of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, the book that published the 12 Step Programme in the 1930s, comes this posing of the question ….
“Our friend was a minister’s son. He attended church school, where he became rebellious at what he thought an overdose of religious education. For years thereafter he was dogged by trouble and frustration.
Business failure, insanity, fatal illness, suicide —these calamities in his immediate family embittered and depressed him. Post-war disillusionment, ever more serious alcoholism, impending mental and physical collapse, brought him to the point to self-destruction.
One night, when confined in a hospital, he was approached by an alcoholic who had known a spiritual experience. Our friend’s gorge rose as he bitterly cried out: “If there is a God, He certainly hasn’t done anything for me!”
But later, alone in his room, he asked himself this question: “Is it possible that all the religious people I have known are wrong?”
While pondering the answer he felt as though he lived in hell. Then, like a thunderbolt, a great thought came. It crowded out all else:
“Who are you to say there is no God?”
This man recounts that he tumbled out of bed to his knees. In a few seconds he was overwhelmed by a conviction of the Presence of God. It poured over and through him with the certainty and majesty of a great tide at flood. The barriers he had built through the years were swept away.
He stood in the Presence of Infinite Power and Love. He had stepped from bridge to shore. For the first time, he lived in conscious companionship with his Creator. Thus was our friend’s cornerstone fixed in place. No later vicissitude has shaken it. His alcoholic problem was taken away. That very night, years ago, it disappeared.
Save for a few brief moments of temptation the thought of drink has never returned; and at such times a great revulsion has risen up in him. Seemingly he could not drink even if he would. God had restored his sanity.
What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker —then he knew.
Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him.
When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!”
So then, it seems that an overwhelming urgency, a preparation of the personal place, unique conditions that are often painful through disease, abuse, war, sudden realisation of a true situation as against illusion (as in the case of The Buddha walking away from a rich privileged life), collective adversity as can be seen in the microcosms of both Moses and Muhammad (pbuh), all of this and more has prompted people in the past to ask Jung’s question …. “Is he related to something infinite or not?”
So the conditions cited in the opening of this post are contextualised.
2 thoughts on “The Question”