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.
I was named Charles at birth after my maternal grandfather, a powerful man of boundless energy and spirit. Charles was a successful banker, a self-made and self-educated man, a staunch Republican and capitalist. His energy and spirit live on in me but, from my earliest memories, I firmly rejected the heaviness and adultness of his name, Charles. I softened it to Chuck and have insisted upon that name to this day. What hasn’t escaped me, however, is the synchronicity of my adult life being driven by the discoveries and practices of two other “Charleses,” Carl Jung and Carlos Castaneda.
I was introduced to their works in my teenage years and they have never ceased to guide and inform my adult life. The intent of my life is truth. These two men shared that intent and paved the way for others to discover their own deepest truths. Recently, a reader told me that my writing was starting to lose her, as it favored too much the description of shamanic practices. This coincided with my opening Jung’s The Red Book, realizing that it was time to delve deeper into his journey. What I have come to realize is that my role in this life seems to be the integration of Carl and Carlos.
I remember a dear friend and prominent Jungian analyst once telling me that he had read Castaneda’s The Art of Dreaming and found it to be “worthless, total nonsense.” At that time I was already deeply immersed in the shamanic practices being offered by Carlos in Tensegrity workshops and was experiencing powerful new truths. This was not an intellectual affair nor was it the trickery of a charismatic shadow leader. This was personal experience, deep inner experience.
Today, as I pick up The Red Book, where Jung’s inner process is finally revealed, upon which the foundation of modern psychology rests, what we discover is a man talking to his soul, and, his soul talking back! This is not an intellectual affair nor a psychotic process, but a true journey of knowledge rooted in deep personal experience. This journey required “guts of steel,” as don Juan stated to Carlos, as the requirement for taking the shamanic journey to become “a man of knowledge.” Truly, Jung took the shamanic journey.
For me, the shamanic world and depth psychology are parallel paths to self-knowledge and evolution, each offering valuable tools for the journey. Yesterday, in Message # 617, Jeanne and Jan spoke of channeling and noted the similarity of guidance offered by many channeled entities. For those who channel, their lives are transformed by the guidance they are challenged to integrate, a true journey into another world. What we discover in Jung’s The Red Book is his own transformation, effected by his own channeled encounters with entities who proposed knowledge that he was compelled to explore and ultimately integrate into his understanding of the nature of reality. As we sat and watched the film Tuning In, I couldn’t help but note the entities use of “Jungian words,” such as shadow, synchronicity, and archetype. These were all concepts that emerged from Jung’s conversations with his soul.
Equally, the channelers speak of our ability to experience infinity, now. This is the shamanic journey, the tools of which require finding one’s energy body, fully achievable through the techniques that Carlos passed along in Magical Passes and that Carl introduced in the process of active imagination. Both Carl and Carlos insisted that real knowledge can only be achieved through a personal experiential process.
True to my namesakes, I engage in an experiential process and attempt to make accessible the valuable tools of both Carl and Carlos, in taking the inner journey. This inner journey is the most meaningful process anyone can undertake, as stressed by the channelers in Tuning In, in Jeanne’s messages, and by the expression of Jung’s inner work in The Red Book and by the works of Carlos Castaneda. If I were to characterize my synthesis of this week’s synchronicities, I would put it like this: Tuning In to The Red Book is The Art of Dreaming.
I close this blog with one final synchronicity. I open The Red Book to this quote on page 233:
“I am weary, my soul, my wandering has lasted too long, my search for myself outside of myself. Now I have gone through events and find you behind all of them. For I made discoveries on my erring through events, humanity, and the world. I found men. And you, my soul, I found again, first in images within men and then you yourself. I found you where I least expected you. You climbed out of a dark shaft.”
As always, should anyone wish to write, I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to post a comment.
Until we meet again,