One might be the upstart, another the perfect achiever. Psychologists now often try to deal with the family as a whole, by allowing the different members to see how they may be exaggerating certain tendencies at the expense of others.
The upstart, for instance, may be displaying all of the bold aspects inhibited by other family members. Through this person the others may vicariously share the excitement or suspense of those experiences that are otherwise blocked. On the other hand the others may be completely hiding such impulses, while expressing faithfully the desires of other family members for “excellence” discipline. Now the same can apply to counterparts, and those in our experience can show to us, in exaggerated form, abilities of our own upon which we have not chosen to concentrate. We can learn much from our counterparts, therefore, and they from us. Those counterparts that we meet will be working, playing, and being more or less within our own culture. This does not mean that we are bits and pieces of some hypothetical whole self.
Pretend that the psyche is a plant sending out seeds of itself in many directions, each seed growing into a new plant in different conditions. Growing to plant-hood, those seeds send out further new variations. A handful of seeds from any tree might fall in the same backyard. Others might be blown for miles before they land.
We usually live with our physical family, though this does not always apply; sometimes our ancestors come from various countries, so there is a physical lineage that we understand. There are often homecomings, were distant relatives return to the homestead. Now psychically the same applies in terms of counterparts. If we belong to any particular groups, often our closest counterparts will also be there. We will be a counterpart from their viewpoint, by the way, many political, civic, educational or religious groups are composed of counterparts.
Conventional families are counterparts that form psychic families. They are family representations on another level. First of all, such groups have a built-in focus–political, civic, religious, sexual, or whatever. Certain members of the group express the repressed tendencies of others. Yet each is supported through a common sense of belonging, so that the group sometimes seems to have its own overall identity, in which each member plays a part. Anyone can discover this by examining the groups to which he or she belongs.
Now there are races, psychically speaking. There are also psychic counterparts of races–families of consciousness, so to speak–all related, yet having different overall characteristics or specialties.