Proscriptions are collectively assumed societal regulations that insist certain behaviors are prohibited.
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, who can be stricter than adults about it, 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, not eating sugar is not rigidly repressed, since my personal unconscious fondly remembers how many times I have never been rigid about this particular proscription. Tonight I had ice cream at Jason’s Deli.
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 appears to be a dark realm because it is outside our human consciousness. After all, our consciousness, our knowledge, is symbolized by light. We humans bring light to the world. However, consider 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 Jung said consciousness is created by the emotions–no pain no gain.
The cu (some say God) wants to be known by you. The more fish (unconsconscious contents) you land on the shore of consciousness, the more “God” becomes manifest in our world. See? We can be intentional about it. The creation of consciousness–making conscious the unconscious–is a great work.
As Fr. Bob, Episcopal priest, once explained, The Other is that entity that is so completely not me, so unknowable because it is so foreign, that it carries the numinous qualities of the divine. Moses met The Other in the burning bush and then later came down off Mt. Horeb with white hair to prove it. We attract that which we fear.”
When referring to my The OtherI am basically referring to Alberto Salinas, El Curandero. He lived in and breathed the air of Mexican Folk Culture. Well, I did too, as I crawled into bed with that culture (acculturated).
What created the condition of “The Rub” (the transcendent function), by which I hoped to individuate, was Alberto’s connection with a Magical World View-especially since he channeled the spirit of the dead Mexican folk saint, El Ni~no Fidencio, which practice qualified him as a shaman. To my way of thinking, this made him a card-carrying member of The Other World. And he was my spiritual director.
The Other in The Other World tensioned against me as the WASP in McAllen, Texas. Forbidden desire was powerful. Something had to give.
Mexican Folk Culture is constituted by Mexican immigrants in the USA, legal and illegal, and are predominantly those who don’t have medical insurance. Culturally, they are often called the poor ones, or el pobres. Their faith in the old ways—old stories, old medicine, old religion (and witches, demons, and spirits), mediated by curanderismo—is sometimes all that gives them esperanzay salud, hope and health. And perceived control operating from within their situation of poverty.
The still suffering Mestizos—the genetic mix of Native Americans (of all the Americas, not just the U.S.) and the sixteenth century conquistadors, (the conquering Spaniards)—are the ones that really count, as far as Mexican folk culture goes. The first thing Mestizos in Mexico do when their babies are born is to check their skin color and report it to l the extended family members in the waiting room, for they know the darker the skin all, the more discrimination the child will face. They pray for lighter skin. One can pretty well guess why Mestizos struggling in Mexico want to come to the U.S. where all men are created equal and the minimum wage is more than double. When they cross the border into the U.S.—some across the international border bridges, some across the Rio Grande River—they become known as elpobres, or the poor ones. They have suffered physically from poverty and mentally from alienation. It is through befriending el pobres that I can confront my awareness of existential guilt. Why should I have money and they don’t?
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.
When I first began studying Jung, the word numinous was not in my dictionary. Perhaps it can be considered a general increase in consciousness that today Merriam-Webster offers 1: supernatural, mysterious. 2: filled with a sense of the presence of divinity: holy. 3: appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense: spiritual.
Numinosity might be the goosebumps that do waves all over your body when you experience something uncanny. Or it might wake you up in the middle of the night with a shocking image from a dream. It might be what transports you when listening to beautiful music. Or it might actually be the reward for your search for The Other. I’ve felt it with gratitude when a muse jumps onto my journaling page.
What I know for sure is numinosity comes when you draw near to the realm of the divine. Maybe Eros is your guide. You may feel numinosity when synchronicity happens to you. Or you may dive headlong into the sea of the unconscious. Careful you don’t drown. Psychosis can be described as being overwhelmed by the collective unconscious. Jung warned against the mind-blowing experiments of tripping on LSD in the ’60s because they might trigger psychosis.
Moses went up on Mt. Horeb and came down with the Ten Commandments, which God had given him up there, and also with white hair instead of chocolate brown. Scared him to death. He had experienced the numinosum.
A process of psychological differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality.
No one is ever completely individuated. While the goal is wholeness and a healthy working relationship with the self, the true value of individuation lies in what happens along the way.
-Daryl Sharp (1991). C.G. Jung Lexicon. Inner City Books.
We might want to say individuation is transformation, but transformation acts upon the material things in the world. We might want to say individuation is spiritualization, but that takes you straight across the border of the earthly realm into a strange land, albeit a land where divinity is waiting to be discovered. What Individuation is, is the creation of consciousness by continuously integrating unconscious contents, both personal and collective into our human reality.
Here are some synonyms for WASP and their (downlinks) according to my take on it.
High Society, or simply Society (19th century America), Fresa (Mexican), Bourgeois (Bohemians), Republicans, (Democrats, although this needs some discussion because the democrats who call republicans “WASPs,” are often “Elites”), Capitalists (Socialists),
The Gentry (19th century England), Rich (I was taught it is bad manners to call people ‘rich’), Newly Rich Middle Class-New Money (Upper Class-Old Money)
A WASP is not: The Elite (Power Brokers), Upper Class (modern social democracies), aristocracy (pre-20th century Western European), “The 400” (How many Mrs. Astor’s ballroom could hold in Victorian NYC)
Also, look: A WASP is not necessarily a W.A.S.P. (White Anglo Saxon Protestant) Some of my best friends are Hispanics and they fit into my WASP taxonomy. It’s a class thing.
But don’t expect some of us not to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps to reach for that top rung of the ladder; which ladder social anthropologist, Emile Durkheim, calls “social organization.” America is also the land of rugged individualism.
Most importantly for our purposes: A male curandero motivated by fame is not the same as a female WASP motivated by desire for Individuation (and for the curandero). That’s why The WASP and El Curandero is funny.