From: Barefoot’s World, silkworth.net

19Q - Could you describe your spiritual experience for us and your understanding of what happened?


19A - In December 1934, I appeared at Towns Hospital, New York. My old friend, Dr. William Silkworth shook his head. Soon free of my sedation and alcohol I felt horribly depressed. My friend Ebby turned up and although glad to see him, I shrank a little as I feared evangelism, but nothing of the sort happened. After some small talk, I again asked him for his neat little formula for recovery. Quietly and sanely and without the slightest pressure he told me and then he left.


Lying there in conflict, I dropped into the blackest depression I had ever known. Momentarily my prideful depression was crushed. I cried out, “Now I am ready to do anything - anything to receive what my friend Ebby has.” Though I certainly didn't expect anything, I did make this frantic appeal, “If there be a God, will He show Himself!” The result was instant, electric beyond description. The place seemed to light up, blinding white. I knew only ecstasy and seemed on a mountain. A great wind blew, enveloping and penetrating me. To me, it was not of air but of Spirit. Blazing, there came the tremendous thought, “You are a free man.” Then the ecstasy subsided. Still on the bed, I now found myself in a new world of consciousness which was suffused by a Presence. One with the Universe, a great peace came over me. I thought, “So this is the God of the preachers, this is the great Reality.” But soon my so-called reason returned, my modern education took over and I thought I must be crazy and I became terribly frightened.

葛藤のなかで横たわっていた私は、それまで経験したことのない真っ黒な絶望に落ち込みました。瞬間的に私の高慢な抑うつが砕け散り、私は叫んでいました。「友人のエビーが持っているものを受け取るためだったら、私は何でもする、何でもするから」 実際のところ何かを期待していたわけではありませんが、私は必死で訴えました。「もし神が存在するのなら、姿を見せてくれ!」 結果は瞬時に現れ、それは説明できないほど電撃的なものでした。その場所が白い光で目がくらむほど明るく照らされました。私は恍惚となり、山の頂に立っているように感じました。大きな風が私を包み込み、貫いていきました。私にとってそれは空気ではなく、スピリットでした。燃え上がるように大きな考えが湧いてきました。「お前は解放されたのだ」 すると恍惚感は静まっていきました。私はベッドにいたままでしたが、その「存在」によって満たされた新しい意識の世界に自分がいることに気がつきました。宇宙と一体になり、私の上に大きな平和が訪れました。「これが宣教師たちの言う神、偉大なる実在なのだろう」と思いました。だがすぐに理性と呼ばれるものが戻ってきて、私が受けた現代的な教育が優位になりました。私は自分が狂ったに違いないと思い、ひどく怯えました。

Dr. Silkworth, a medical saint if ever there was one, came in to hear my trembling account of this phenomenon. After questioning me carefully, he assured me that I was not mad and that perhaps I had undergone a psychic experience which might solve my problem. Skeptical man of science though he then was, this was most kind and astute. If he had of said, “hallucination,” I might now be dead. To him I shall ever be eternally grateful.


Good fortune pursued me. Ebby brought me a book entitled “Varieties of Religious Experience” and I devoured it. Written by William James, the psychologist, it suggests that the conversion experience can have objective reality. Conversion does alter motivation and it does semi-automatically enable a person to be and to do the formerly impossible. Significant it was, that marked conversion experience came mostly to individuals who knew complete defeat in a controlling area of life. The book certainly showed variety but whether these experiences were bright or dim, cataclysmic or gradual, theological or intellectual in bearing, such conversions did have a common denominator - they did change utterly defeated people. So declared William James, the father of modern psychology. The shoe fitted and I have tried to wear it ever since.


For drunks, the obvious answer was deflation at depth, and more of it. That seemed plain as a pikestaff. I had been trained as an engineer, so the news of this authoritative psychologist meant everything to me. This eminent scientist of the mind had confirmed everything that Dr. Jung had said, and had extensively documented all he claimed. Thus William James firmed up the foundation on which I and many others had stood all these years. I haven't had a drink of alcohol since 1934. (N.Y. Med. Soc. Alcsm., April 28,1958) .

酔っ払いにとっては、最奥での収縮――あるいはそれ以上の何か——が答であることは明らか。それは極めて明白であるように思えました。私はエンジニアとしての教育を受けましたから、この権威ある心理学者からの情報は極めて重要でした。精神についての著名な科学者がユング医師の言ったことのすべてを裏付けてくれ、彼の主張を広範囲に立証する本を書いてくれたのです。ですから、ウィリアム・ジェームズは、私や他の多くの人たちがその後ずっと立っている基盤を固めてくれたのでした。私はあの1934年以来アルコールを飲んでいません。(ニューヨーク市アルコホリズム医学会, 1958年4月28日)

recovery/letsaskbillw/19.txt · 最終更新: 2024/05/31 by ragi