Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences!
When I was a young boy I wrestled deeply with believing in the existence of God. I tried diligently to be perfect, walking only in straight lines, like a soldier, making perfect right angle turns. The nuns insisted that I memorize the catechism word for word; that was all that was required to receive the sacrament to commune directly with God. I was a miserable failure at both straight lines and memorization, but the deeper problem for me was the shameful fact that I had no faith; I simply couldn’t accept that God existed based on belief alone. I recall the shame and anxiety I felt revealing this “sin” to my younger sister, whom I swore to secrecy; surely I was damned. Everyone believes, why can’t I? My deepest truth was revealed to my young self: I am not a believer! I am a failed Christian.
Finally, I decided to confront God, if there was one, directly. Looking back, I see my younger self discovering scientific method. I set up my hypothesis: if God could show me tangible evidence that he existed then I could believe in him. For my experiment I chose Good Friday, an established holy day where something big supposedly happened, that is, Christ’s crucifixion. I proposed to God that if it were true that Christ died on this day that he send me a sign to verify the exact moment of Christ’s death. I left the specific sign in God’s hands, only requiring that it be abundantly noticeable to me. With that proposition established, I prepared for sleep, incessantly repeating the Hail Mary, with the intent that my request be granted.
Some time in the middle of the night I was awoken, my body completely paralyzed, I couldn’t even open my eyes. My ears were filled with the buzzing sound of a million crickets as I experienced myself transforming into pure vibration. The intensity deepened to the point that I was sure my consciousness, my very self, would soon disintegrate and I would be completely swallowed up in the vibrations. I steadied myself, trying desperately to hold on to awareness, as I felt myself slipping away. Suddenly, it dawned on me: God has spoken! This was the moment of Christ’s death. Gradually my awareness returned to my body as the vibrations subsided. I knew that if I opened my eyes and looked at the clock I would know the exact time of Christ’s death. I was far too terrified to even blink an eye or move a muscle. I was simply thankful that I was alive, that I hadn’t disintegrated into sheer energy. This was my awakening; I discovered that direct experience was my one true religion. Christianity was simply the metaphor that opened the door to direct energetic experience of infinity. Through the years, I have discovered many useful metaphors and many useful methods.
This experiment became my first experience of life beyond the human form, the rational world of solid objects. No wonder we cling so tightly to that world, where everything is solid and knowable, relegating the proposition of spirit to believing or not believing. Entering the world of energetic experience brings us into a new world where nothing is solid and knowable, and we must learn how to steady ourselves to explore this new reality. It amazes me how simple it is to enter the experience of the greater reality of who we are and what we are capable of. It is our birthright, our innate potential to experience ourselves as energy and explore infinity now, as energetic beings. All we need to do is set that intent and ask for it, sincerely and innocently. Truthfully, what we need most is a little daring, and nerves of steel, to step out into the unknown.
The impact of our habitual patterns, accumulated through the years, creates a thick bark around our energetic selves, which can be challenging to penetrate. Herein lies the value of establishing some kind of practice to reach our energy bodies. My younger self discovered the value of repetitive prayer, coupled with intent. Dreaming is a natural time when we slip into our energy bodies. Again, using our intent, we can cultivate our dreaming attention to explore the world out of body. In the shaman’s world, practices such as Tensegrity break through the crust of habitual patterns to redistribute vital energy, improving physical prowess and the ability to reach the energy body. Practices such as yoga and meditation also open the pathway to one’s energetic essence.
It is important to remember that the method itself is really not that important, they are all equal, it’s simply a matter of finding the right fit, or what personally resonates. The ability to reach one’s energy body is innate. All you need to do is intend it, innocently, and hold that intent with gentle persistence. All the methods to aid this process, discovered by spiritual masters and codified through various spiritual traditions, can be helpful to aid one in cutting through the thick bark, which shrouds the energetic essence. However, attachment to a master or a tradition can just as easily contribute to the bark, if one is not careful. Once a practice becomes a habit, a must-do, the execution of which determines our judgment of ourselves, it gets absorbed by and reinforces our cognitive structure of everyday rational life, rather than helping us cut through it. If the method we choose becomes “the method,” again, it simply thickens the bark as we become trapped in the competitiveness of everyday life. If we project our sought after energetic potential onto our teachers, or spiritual traditions, we become trapped in hierarchy and hero worship, further alienating ourselves from our innate potential.
It’s challenging to not take our habits with us as we embark on a spiritual path to reach our energetic selves. Remember, everything you need you already have. You needn’t look outside for the answer, or the way. I suggest simply intending to discover your energetic self. See what happens!
As always, I am open to discussion or comment. Should anyone wish to write, I can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Although I did not return to the discussion of projection, as promised, I will most likely pick up where I left off in next week’s blog, discussing positive projection. Unless something else comes to my attention.
Until we meet again,