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!

~PK

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.

Finally.

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.

~~~

www.psychceu.com
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.]

 

Dialogue in Journaling

p. 2o Red Book – Plato and Aristotle, Jung, me

p. 82 Red Book  Active Imagination

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!

~PK

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.

Finally.

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.

Romancing the Numinosum

Don’t let the Latin name frighten you, though it is, happily, a little mysterious. Journaling is a template that can bring up buried, or forgotten thoughts, thus lightening the load for transcendence above the rim.

By putting fingers to pen to paper, you prepare the conditions for coaxing consciousness out of the numinous.  Numinous what, you ask?  I’m not sure, but it’s like fishing in the dark–something mysterious is taking the bait.

250x word edit fisshing at night journaling page

But you can’t think about it or you’ll scare it away with the brightness of your mind.