On Becoming Fully Human

To Become Fully Human means to Individuate, and Individuation is not an easy quest, because it requires Consciousness. And Consciousness is bigger than all of us, for it’s not open to census-taking.  Once you’ve taken the bait tossed into your fishbowl (my bait was midlife crisis); and once you’ve convinced yourself you don’t want to wiggle off the hook, you begin to understand how Becoming Fully Human is not a selfish thing, but a responsibility to humankind we all share as in the earthly world, we make conscious the unconscious.

vintage-1721918_960_720Truth is, today I’m about 3/4 fully human. Yesterday I was 3/8. Both better than 100% fish.  And, let me tell you, I’ve seen things!

What’s in your fishbowl?

The Fool


The fool is the only one of the major arcana in a tarot deck without a number.

“Beware, Sir Gawain: if the lance catches your backside,the ladies in the tower shall have another moon at which to stare.”

Certainly the fool is a simpleton. Maybe he has been made simple by love, like Sir Gawain. Or maybe he is just simple-minded by nature:

“Lament, Parsifal the wretched: through your simple-mindedness,the Fisher King yet suffers from his wound.”

~from Hrodpreht


Proscriptions are collectively assumed societal regulations that insist certain behaviors are prohibited.  Certain enactments are proscribed within particular groups or subgroups, whether circumscribed by race, nationality, religion, culture, peer group, even self.

For instance, it is probably looked down upon by all races to get on all fours and eat out of a dish on the floor, although my 7 year-old daughter tried this out of sympathy for our dog she thought was human.

It is probably not acceptable for a Frenchman to cheek-kiss a Norwegian.  Norwegians are known for their stoicism, Frenchmen for their love of emotionally liberating wine. But, I learned right-cheek-kissing from Hispanic culture, and I do it to everybody, regardless of their culture.

An American from the States–well, at least WASPs–turn a wary eye upon worshipping a dead folk saint like Ni~no Fidencio is worshiped in the Rio Grande Valley Mexican Folk Culture.

Some proscriptions are stricter than others. Proscriptions are probably most important to teenagers, and can be stricter than adults for it determines top dog popularity.

Regarding myself, these days, not eating sugar is one of my proscriptions. But my not eating sugar has never been suppressed like my desire to cuss. Fortunately, it is not rigidly repressed, either, since my personal unconscious remembers how many times I have never been rigid about this particular proscription.  Tonight I had ice cream at Jason’s Deli.


is honored to present the complete Jung Lexicon online through the graciousness and generosity of its author, Jungian analyst, Daryl Sharp, publisher and general editor of Inner City Books.
The clothbound Jung Lexicon can be purchased directly from Inner City Books.

Consciousness. The function or activity which maintains the relation of psychic contents to the ego; distinguished conceptually from the psyche, which encompasses both consciousness and the unconscious. (See also opposites.)

There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites.[“Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype,” CW 9i, par. 178.]There are two distinct ways in which consciousness arises. The one is a moment of high emotional tension, comparable to the scene in Parsifal where the hero, at the very moment of greatest temptation, suddenly realizes the meaning of Amfortas’ wound. The other is a state of contemplation, in which ideas pass before the mind like dream-images. Suddenly there is a flash of association between two apparently disconnected and widely separated ideas, and this has the effect of releasing a latent tension. Such a moment often works like a revelation. In every case it seems to be the discharge of energy-tension, whether external or internal, which produces consciousness.[“Analytical Psychology and Education,” CW 17, par. 207.]

In Jung’s view of the psyche, individual consciousness is a superstructure based on, and arising out of, the unconscious.

Consciousness does not create itself-it wells up from unknown depths. In childhood it awakens gradually, and all through life it wakes each morning out of the depths of sleep from an unconscious condition. It is like a child that is born daily out of the primordial womb of the unconscious. . . . It is not only influenced by the unconscious but continually emerges out of it in the form of numberless spontaneous ideas and sudden flashes of thought.[“The Psychology of Eastern Meditation,” CW 11, par. 935.]

Constellate. To activate, usually used with reference to a complex and an accompanying pattern of emotional reactions.

This term simply expresses the fact that the outward situation releases a psychic process in which certain contents gather together and prepare for action. When we say that a person is “constellated” we mean that he has taken up a position from which he can be expected to react in a quite definite way. . . . The constellated contents are definite complexes possessing their own specific energy.[“A Review of the Complex Theory,” CW 8, par. 198.]

Constructive. An approach to the interpretation of psychic activity based on its goal or purpose rather than its cause or source. (See also final; compare reductive.)

I use constructive and synthetic to designate a method that is the antithesis of reductive. The constructive method is concerned with the elaboration of the products of the unconscious (dreams, fantasies, etc.). It takes the unconscious product as a symbolic expression which anticipates a coming phase of psychological development[“Definitions,” CW 6, par. 701.]The constructive or synthetic method of treatment presupposes insights which are at least potentially present in the patient and can therefore be made conscious.[“The Transcendent Function,” CW 8, par. 145.]

The constructive method involves both the amplification of symbols and their interpretation on the subjective level. Its use in dream interpretation aims at understanding how the conscious orientation may be modified in light of the dream’s symbolic message. This is in line with Jung’s belief that the psyche is a self-regulating system.

In the treatment of neurosis, Jung saw the constructive method as complementary, not in opposition, to the reductive approach of classical psychoanalysis.

We apply a largely reductive point of view in all cases where it is a question of illusions, fictions, and exaggerated attitudes. On the other hand, a constructive point of view must be considered for all cases where the conscious attitude is more or less normal, but capable of greater development and refinement, or where unconscious tendencies, also capable of development, are being misunderstood and kept under by the conscious mind.[“Analytical Psychology and Education,” CW 17, par. 195.]

Countertransference. A particular case of projection, used to describe the unconscious emotional response of the analyst to the analysand in a therapeutic relationship. (See also transference.)

A transference is answered by a counter-transference from the analyst when it projects a content of which he is unconscious but which nevertheless exists in him. The counter-transference is then just as useful and meaningful, or as much of a hindrance, as the transference of the patient, according to whether or not it seeks to establish that better rapport which is essential for the realization of certain unconscious contents. Like the transference, the counter-transference is compulsive, a forcible tie, because it creates a “mystical” or unconscious identity with the object[General Aspects of Dream Psychology,” CW 8, par. 519.]

A workable analytic relationship is predicated on the assumption that the analyst is not as neurotic as the analysand. Although a lengthy personal analysis is the major requirement in the training of analysts, this is no guarantee against projection.

Even if the analyst has no neurosis, but only a rather more extensive area of unconsciousness than usual, this is sufficient to produce a sphere of mutual unconsciousness, i.e., a counter-transference. This phenomenon is one of the chief occupational hazards of psychotherapy. It causes psychic infections in both analyst and patient and brings the therapeutic process to a standstill. This state of unconscious identity is also the reason why an analyst can help his patient just so far as he himself has gone and not a step further.[Appendix,” CW 16, par. 545.]

Pick Your Journaling Tools and Prime the Pump

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
Throw my journals in the lake!


Everybody brave enough tells me my handwriting is not as pretty as it should be for a girl. I say, so?  I’ve got 26 journals.

It’s true, I have 26 journals written over 24 years.  That’s enough I can’t hide them between the mattresses anymore.  It’s also enough that I figure it’s too daunting for my family members to read, anyway. I did buy a big treasure chest to store them in.  You might want to consider what you will eventually do with your journals as you fill them up and they won’t fit between the mattresses anymore.

To gain reward for journaling, you have to journal everyday for 24 years.  (I lie.  I had long stretches of journaling silence.) But keep this in mind.  Many biographies have been written because descendants treasured their ancestors’ diaries.  I think of Lord Byron who lived in the 1700s, and I just recently read his biography.

If I tell you it’s completely up to you what journaling tools you pick, this blog is over.  So here is my experience.  Mine and mine alone.

Tool #1:  The Journal

If you’re new to journaling, go ahead, for inspiration, and buy a leather journal, a pretty journal, a journal with a lock.  But be aware, if you intend to be prolific, you will probably settle on ruled composition notebooks.  Ruled composition journals cost about $3.  Pretty journals might start at $30.  Ruled composition notebooks organize neatly in the treasure chest.  Ornamental diaries are unruly.

Tool #2:  The Pen

I do find the choice of pen to be important because you want to be comfortable while you’re writing.

WARNING:  DO NOT USE PENCIL.  I cry everytime I tell this story.  Georgia Tuxbury who leads the Alamo Country Club’s “Telling Your Life Story” writing group, kept diaries as a teenager during WW II.  Priceless, yes?  I urged her to transcribe them.  She said, “I would love to transcribe them, but I wrote them in pencil, they faded, and no one can read them anymore.”

Personally, I like Bic medium point pens the best.  Fine point feels ‘scratchy.’  And I make more mistakes when writing with gel.  I’ve tried expensive pens, thinking my words would come out more flowery, but often the body of the pen is too fat or too skinny for comfortable writing.  So I’ve become habituated to cheap medium point Bic in packs of twelve.  I say habituated because it’s like my writing mind clicks on when I pick up a Bic.

But the color is a thing to play with.  When we took essay tests in anthropology classes, we had to use black ink only!!!  I don’t know why the professors made such a big deal out of black ink only!!!, but it’s the reason my journals are written in blue ink during that time.  However, when I want to pull off serious adult journaling, I do use black ink.  Red ink?  I don’t know why, but it shouts “nah” when I see it filling up one of my journals.


Tool #3:  Your Handwriting  3 points.

  1.  After I realized I was stacking up the journals, the content became more important than my ugly handwriting.  Seeing my ugly handwriting filling an entire journal day by day is very satisfying.  It’s also cool when you run out of ink.
  2. Now, this is a real conundrum and it bothers me every time I sit down to journal. For these days I journal to make indelible my grandchildren’s childhood. Can you guess what the problem is?   My grandkids can’t read their journal. They don’t teach cursive in school anymore!  Lord Byron’s diaries were in cursive.  Will I lose out on having my biography read by thousands in the year 2400 because in 2000 they quit teaching cursive?
  3. And don’t say “electronic journal.”  My final precaution is:  save electronic journaling for travelogues.  Something about fingers to pen to paper is how the soul likes to communicate.

Remember, the soul is the earthly up-welling of The Source.  This implies we’re in the realm of Water.  So, we might think of journaling as priming the pump between The Source and your soul.

I’m going to tell you this: your journaling tools will pick you.  You may think you pick them, but when you look back, you will be surprised that the soul was active all along.  So go ahead and Follow Your Heart when you’re selecting your tools of the Journaling trade.  And I’ll love to know what you discover along the way.

Collective Unconscious (cu)

While the sea is the source of earthly life, the symbolic sea of the collective unconsciousness (cu) is the source of our psychic life.  In the sea of the cu are all the images–they are actual energies–that are common to all people on earth, both dead and alive, through the eons:  the Great Mother, God the Father, The Child, The Wise Old Man, and, interestingly, the Tarot cards, to name a few.  Jung works his archetypal theories around these images that reside in the cu.  He spends a lot of time on the Mother archetype.

The cu is a dark place because it is outside our human consciousness.  (Our consciousness, our knowledge, is symbolized by light.)  However, the Hubbel  H0liCOW project estimates the Universe is expanding at about 45 miles per second.  Are we doing that with our minds?

We know for sure the collective unconscious exists when it wants to get our attention.  It sometimes will give us psychological pain–the kind of pain you might run to the professionals for.  This emotional pain, in psychoanalytic terms,  are neuroses.  We won’t go into all that here.  Just know that one way to become conscious is through emotional pain–no pain no gain.

The cu wants to be known by you.  The more fish  you catch from the cu, and integrate into your conscious life, the more real becomes the cu, too.  See?  We can be intentional about it.  The creation of consciousness–making conscious the unconscious–is a great work.  By now, we know some tools to work with.


is honored to present the complete Jung Lexicon online through the graciousness and generosity of its author, Jungian analyst, Daryl Sharp, publisher and general editor of Inner City Books.

The clothbound Jung Lexicon can be purchased directly from Inner City Books.

Collective unconscious. A structural layer of the human psyche containing inherited elements, distinct from the personal unconscious. (See also archetype and archetypal image.)

The collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind’s evolution, born anew in the brain structure of every individual.[The Structure of the Psyche,” CW 8, par. 342.]

Jung derived his theory of the collective unconscious from the ubiquity of psychological phenomena that could not be explained on the basis of personal experience. Unconscious fantasy activity, for instance, falls into two categories.

First, fantasies (including dreams) of a personal character, which go back unquestionably to personal experiences, things forgotten or repressed, and can thus be completely explained by individual anamnesis. Second, fantasies (including dreams) of an impersonal character, which cannot be reduced to experiences in the individual’s past, and thus cannot be explained as something individually acquired. These fantasy-images undoubtedly have their closest analogues in mythological types. . . . These cases are so numerous that we are obliged to assume the existence of a collective psychic substratum. I have called this the collective unconscious.[The Psychology of the Child Archetype,” CW 9i, par. 262.]The collective unconscious-so far as we can say anything about it at all-appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. . . . We can therefore study the collective unconscious in two ways, either in mythology or in the analysis of the individual.[“The Structure of the Psyche,” CW 8, par. 325.]

The more one becomes aware of the contents of the personal unconscious, the more is revealed of the rich layer of images and motifs that comprise the collective unconscious. This has the effect of enlarging the personality.

In this way there arises a consciousness which is no longer imprisoned in the petty, oversensitive, personal world of the ego, but participates freely in the wider world of objective interests. This widened consciousness is no longer that touchy, egotistical bundle of personal wishes, fears, hopes, and ambitions which always has to be compensated or corrected by unconscious counter-tendencies; instead, it is a function of relationship to the world of objects, bringing the individual into absolute, binding, and indissoluble communion with the world at large.[The Function of the Unconscious,” CW 7, par. 275.]


Aftermath: laptop transformation from Word to Word Office to WordPress

I think the aftermath of finishing The WASP and El Curandero after ten years is cool. These blog excerpts cover three months when my laptop changed identities from Word to Word Office to WordPress.

Alberto's Spirit Is Following Me Around
 Posted 8th October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot 
I finished writing "W&C" This Morning Just Before Writing Group
 Posted 13 October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Alberto Are You There?
 14 October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot 
Thanks, NPR For Hearing My Confession
Posted 27 October 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Ann Cries Over Alberto
Posted 17 November 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot.com
Gigima's A Freak!
Posted 24 November 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Afraid To Write the Last Page
Posted 6 December 2015 by Katherine on Blogspot
The Big Test
Posted 7 December 2015 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot

Is This Normal?
Posted 17 January 2016 by Katherine Brittain on Blogspot
Piano Tiles and Publishing