#83 – The Archetype of the Wise Fool with Clare Morris


Clare Morris, Ph.D. is a former high school teacher as well as a former Roman Catholic nun. In 1971, Clare agreed to be the founding coordinator of the Ecumenical Peace Institute of Northern California, which was a chapter of Clergy and Laity Concerned About the War in Vietnam. In 1974, she organized the Angela Center in Santa Rosa, California, whose programs integrated spirituality, social responsibility, psychology, and the arts. After nine years at the Angela Center, Clare left her 25 years with her religious community and returned to school. Subsequently she earned a second M.A. and a Ph.D. in the field of Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her dissertation dealt with the archetypal image of the Fool as a primary healing factor. Clare is currently a psychotherapist with a Jungian orientation, as well as a writer. She has published two books of poetry, In Transit: Love Poems to The City and Child of the Longest Night, both published by the Angela Center Press. She is also a contributor to Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, edited by Maxine Hong Kingston, published by Koa Books in Hawaii.



  1. John Knight
    Posted January 5, 2010 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    What a lovely woman, and a joyous and touching conversation! 🙂 I too was taken by her position with colours and her perception of them. I’m a Synaesthete myself (colours, sounds, numbers, and words are linked), and found her colour associations fascinating. Is there any way I could ask her – or if you could pass on the question – when she dreams, does she experience something beyond her waking monochromatic world; are her dream objects textured with something she doesn’t see in waking life?

    I’d be fascinated to know if colour is something imprinted in the psyche from the womb, and doesn’t necessarily have to first be experienced with our eyeballs.

    Cheers again!

  2. Posted January 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Here is Clare’s response to John’s question:

    Dear John,

    My vision can be likened to watching a black and white, over-exposed, out-of-focus, slightly double-imaged film. (Who would pay money to do that? The story had better be worth it!) Because I am not distracted by color, I am sensitive to values, texture, line, form and spacial relationships.
    Because I was born with cone/rod dystrophy, I do not have color receptors. At least, that is what science says. My visual experience is more than what the structure of my particular eyes allow, however.
    For example, I am viscerally drawn to burgundy, and often ask, “What color is THAT?” I can feel the color in my solar plexus. My attraction to burgundy seems to be the only consistent color-attractor.
    I have also known inner events that have included different luminous values. These appeared to be alive with some kind of energy. They didn’t move; they just “hummed,” so to speak. I have often wondered if these images weren’t evidence of either a few color receptors on my retinas OR of the body’s ability to know color in ways we do not yet understand.
    As for the psyche’s “imprints” of color in archetypal patternings, I wonder about that too, especially in view of my inner experiences.
    Currently, I paint with acrylics. I use black and white, along with one or two colors. I use reds, purples, greens and blues most of the time. I hardly ever use yellow.
    I am also writing a series of poems which express my experiences of color, symbolicaly as well as physiologically.
    I hope these descriptions are helpful to your research. I am interested in what you discover in the entirety of your work.

    Clare Morris

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