Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences! Many of the shamanic and psychological terms used in Chuck’s essays are defined in Tools & Definitions on our Psychotherapy website.
The good news is this: when shamans view the energetic state of human beings they see the big baby as an inevitable consequence of our human predicament. In other words: IT IS NOT OUR FAULT. IT IS BEYOND OUR CONTROL.
Shamans observe that we enter life with a high sheen surrounding our energetic cocoon. Shamans call this sheen our glow of awareness. Shamans have discovered that this energetic glow is food for inorganic beings, which are self-contained energetic entities that lack physical form; hence remain unseen by human eyes. Shamans call these specific inorganic beings, that prey upon the human glow of awareness, flyers, due to their energetic form and behaviors.
Shamans observe that flyers actually feed upon the glow of awareness of all human beings. Shamans maintain that the universe is predatory. If we reflect upon our own feeding behaviors, or that of all life forms on earth, we can see this same predatory principle in action: life feeds upon life. As grotesque as it is, why would we humans be exempt from serving as a food source for another form of life?
Shamans observe that without our glow of awareness we die. Furthermore, they observe that if we lose some of our glow it does indeed grow back. Flyers are careful, when they feed, to leave enough of our glow on our energetic cocoon so that it will grow back for future feeding. Through this method of “sustainable agriculture” they are assured a replenished food source.
Shamans state that flyers leave the glow of awareness in tact from the level of the ground up to the toes; this is the epicenter of self-reflection; this fixation of awareness at ground level creates the big baby. The big baby simply cannot see beyond itself. It is caught in self-neediness, self-pity, self-survival, self-importance, and its entitlement to be given recognition, value, care, love, and attention from without. Don Juan states that when caught in self-reflection we become easily offended, causing emotional embroilments that result in spikes in our glow of awareness that the flyers, in turn, consume. Don Juan instructed Carlos Castaneda to observe carefully the behavior of seemingly mature adults whom he admired, for instance, certain professors. Carlos discovered that behind the veil of maturity was a well-hidden insatiable self-importance, greedily seeking the admiration of all.
The good news, from the shamanic world, is that this human predicament is correctable. Shamans discovered that if we can break our attachment to the tyranny of the big baby’s perspective, that of self-reflection, etc., our growing glow of awareness changes texture, whereby it becomes distasteful to the flyers palate and they leave us alone. We are then able to restore our full glow of awareness around our energetic cocoon, freeing us from the limitations of self-reflection.
Through the centuries, shamans have devised methods to achieve this detachment from the big baby. One major venue of great relevance and accessibility, in our time, is focusing on our relationships with the petty tyrants in our lives. In general terms, a petty tyrant is anyone or anything that triggers our self-reflection in the form of the experience of feeling offended. This could be a person who refuses to acknowledge us or care about us despite their vows, or someone who blatantly violates us. This could also be a life circumstance, such as poverty or disease that we simply don’t deserve. Behind all offense is a blow to our self-importance: Why me? Being emotionally embroiled in the experience of being offended becomes the perfect opportunity to learn detachment. Shamans would call detachment arriving at a place of no pity, no self-pity, while caught by the “offensive behavior” of a petty tyrant. By arriving at a place of no self-pity in an interaction with a petty tyrant, who is indeed subtly or blatantly violating us, frees us from the self-reflective perspective of the big baby. We simply don’t take it personally.
This does not mean that we must turn the other cheek and allow ourselves to be hurt. However, we can free our defensive actions from the offended place of abuse and victimhood, shift to an objective perspective, and take appropriate action. Simply put, this means not taking the behavior of the petty tyrant personally, no matter how personally directed it is. From this perspective we can see the interrelationship of all things, which includes the petty tyrant as necessary, as both a dark force and as a teacher. After all, success in detachment from the big baby when encountering the petty tyrant frees our glow of awareness, enabling it to restore to its natural state, allowing us a much broader perspective of life.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of this detachment is a newfound ability to truly love. To love another requires going beyond the fixation of self-reflection, the big baby. I repeat: detachment is the highest form of love. Until we can fully detach from the self, we are not available to see, be with, or give to another without some level, however hidden, of self-interest.
Learning to detach from the big baby allows us unconditional compassion for all. We see the connection between the self and all things. Our glow of awareness, fully restored, is now capable of truly engaging the world beyond the self.
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Until we meet again,