Chuck’s Place: Under the Bodhi Tree

In a dream, I witness a family with young children confronted with frightening events. They play a game where they race to outpace the impending disasters by creating stories that keep them at bay.

We tell ourselves stories, or stories are told to us, to spin reality and make us feel safe. We live in a time of great storytelling delivered through modern machines. Economies are now driven by handheld storytelling devices competing to deliver the latest story the fastest. Who can give us the latest image, joke, and spin in the fewest nanoseconds?

Meanwhile, the post-American Dream reality continues to debunk an illusory world long over. There are no real American corporations. Corporations are moneymaking entities with allegiance only to that which generates profit. America’s manufacturing has long left its shores in search of highest possible profit. America has become a Third World country that industry now seeks to exploit for its final riches—its natural resources. All this under the story of keeping America safe, secure and, of course, working!

When could we have imagined that fracking—a known disastrously carcinogenic procedure to obtain natural gas—is almost certain to be allowed in the midst of New York’s Hudson Valley, the major water supplier to millions of people in New York City. The storytellers are powerfully suggesting that it is the only American thing to do, to shore up our economy and preserve our independence. Such a “safe technology!” We are assured that our drinking water won’t be compromised. How reassuring!

The corporate world has wormed its way into the internet, the final frontier of free speech. Algorithms, ultimately programs designed to cater to our likes, secretly prejudice the information we call for and unleash the modern “hidden persuader” in search of our money. Watch TED talk:

What FACEBOOK and GOOGLE are Hiding from world.

So blinded are we by our own hunger for self-importance that we readily reveal all our likes and dislikes to Facebook, who’s algorithms digest the data and hand it, on a silver platter, to industry. And, we don’t care! As don Juan said: We are happy chickens in a chicken coop! Happily pecking away in our imprisonment, being fed to bursting.

Tweetie Bird, Twitter, has come of age as a scientific storyteller, yesterday revealing the universality of global mood shifts. The big news: people are happiest in the morning and on the weekend. How enlightening. With that news I can now be happy when I awaken and when the work week is complete, knowing that I’m normal, just like everyone else. Do we really need a “scientific study” from this giant storytelling machine to tell us something that we know by simply observing ourselves? Or have we come so far from knowing ourselves that we don’t know what we feel or when we feel it without Twitter’s enlightenment?

We are indeed in a time of great change. The old stories are folding and we anxiously grasp at our storytelling machines for calming new stories like the young family in my dream desperately seeking to stave off impending doom. I think it might be time to turn to an old story that presents a simple technique to find calm without a story.

No CAT-astrophies

There was once a Buddha who sat beneath the bodhi tree. He sat in utter stillness, calmly breathing, as apocalyptic and sensuous, lustful stories passed before him. He knew them all to be illusions and so he grasped at none of them, allowing none to plant seeds in his mind to generate worrisome, anxious or fearful attachment. Instead, he remained with the truth—unspun reality, simply what is—in utter stillness. With this he found his way to enlightening calm.

In a post-storytelling world of fully recapitulated truth we find our way into utter calm. Release the devices, find a nice tree to sit under, go inward and, in stillness, bypass attachment to the storytelling mind and allow yourself to stay present as the truths of the heart flow through you. Allow yourself to breathe the side to side sweeping breath, releasing untruths while consolidating inner truth.

Discover true calm,

A Day in a Life: Jeanne & Me

I dare to evolve, to take the next step. The reason I am writing this blog today is that my personal next step involves what I have been writing on this website, as myself and as a channel. I have been in training, as I see it, for the past ten years or even more, depending on how you look at it. I accepted what was presented to me and began a journey of a lifetime, which has led me through the past several years where I communicate with an entity and publicly post her messages, that entity being Jeanne.

Over the past month or more I have struggled with intense restlessness. All of my personal inner work has been focused on achieving balance between my two selves, my inner self and my outer self, and getting them in better alignment, fully accepting who I truly am now and being always open to who I might become. It’s a lifelong process as I see it, leading always to deeper experiences and deeper meanings. Why am I in this life and who am I supposed to become? This is a question I ask myself constantly because, as I see it, I have so much more to do.

I’ve always expected to live a long life. The women in my family live into their nineties, in full mental awareness, and I expect I will too. That means I have thirty plus years still to live upon this earth. My question to myself every day is: What am I supposed to do with those thirty years? Many answers have come through. One of them is that I must clarify who I am and continue to evolve to my fullest human potential, which involves evolving to my fullest spiritual potential as well. So that is what brings me to this day in my life when I declare that I am taking the next step on that thirty year journey.

Steppin' out

My recent period of restlessness has led to a breakthrough in my personal inner work. I have discovered that my spirit has been pushing me to take the next step in my spiritual development, daring me to go beyond the place I now find so comfortable. Yes, this is all about allowing restlessness and discomfort to guide in an ever-evolving process leading to fulfillment of greater potential. Here is the present challenge: Can I accept the role that I find myself in, as spiritual guide?

Jeanne and I have had quite a history together. She came to guide and teach me. The first thing she taught me was learning how to trust, which involved challenging myself to let in what was appearing in my life: people, signs, and her own guidance. I elected to pay attention and that was my first big lesson in understanding the universe, infinity, and the greater interconnectedness of all things. Throughout that process I learned to detach from the old and allow for the new, old worlds, old habits, old expectations of self and others being shed along the way. Jeanne’s position has been one of master teacher, mine as student.

Jeanne told me, about a year ago, that I didn’t really need her anymore, but at the time I still felt quite dependent on her guidance. I also felt that I had to uphold the expectations of others, many others, by being her channel. In essence, I was upholding an old world, one that I knew would have to change.

She told me that when I was ready I would let her go, that the time would be right for both of us and everyone else involved as well. I’m electing to pay attention now to what Jeanne told me last year, my spirit in alignment with her prediction that I would, in essence, go solo, take the solo journey as a spiritual guide.

This is not an ego thing, I have very little ego invested in what I do. I am bent on finding ways to use what I’ve learned to help others, and that’s why I’m daring myself to declare this personal challenge publicly. I’m not leaving Jeanne, nor is she leaving me, but I am facing the challenge of mergence now, moving more fully into being a reader of infinity without needing the master teacher constantly by my side. I am electing to take the next step alone. It’s what we all have to do.

I have already long been practicing this merged self. When I meet with clients for hypnosis or just to talk, as many request, I don’t go as Jeanne’s channel, though I have also done that in the past. I go as myself and seamlessly flow with what comes through me; whether it comes from one entity or another makes no difference.

The master, Jeanne, has been waiting for me to take up the greater challenge of becoming me, a spiritual being who is fully aware that she has access to infinity. It’s what she taught me to understand and practice so well. It’s what she dares me to accept now and fully live. I feel that I have no time to waste, thirty years or not, it can all go by in the blink of an eye.

This is an evolutionary thing. And I say that because, as readers of this blog, you know that we are all readers of infinity. This is what Jeanne has taught us all. It’s what don Juan taught Carlos Castaneda and his cohorts. It’s what anyone with a spiritual practice or bent on having experiences beyond the body discovers: We all have access to everything, ancient wisdom, and the ability to read the present and predict the future.

If I am in fact going to live upon this earth for thirty more years I must, because I am me, keep evolving. I must leave the last vestiges of an old world and an old self behind and find out what else I can do. I want the next thirty years to be as spiritually driven as possible for reasons I have yet to discover, but I guarantee will be pretty exciting as long as I keep challenging myself. I also know that, by my example, others may dare to challenge themselves to live lives of meaning, spiritually seeking greater possibilities for themselves and others as well.

We all have a voice. We must discover how to use our own voice to change the world. That’s where I’m challenging myself, declaring myself as an evolving spiritual being capable of reading infinity, just like everyone else.

So, in the future there won’t be messages from Jeanne posted on the website. Instead I’ll be taking over in a new blog called Readers of Infinity. I’m accepting the challenge. I look forward to taking all of this to a new level. Let’s see what happens!

On behalf of Jeanne, I want you all to know that she is there for you, just as she is and was for me. Call on her for help anytime. She has not left any of us. She’s carefully watching as we take our first steps.

Love to all of you as we take those next steps,

#777 Balancing Heaven & Earth

Written by Jan Ketchel with a channeled message from Jeanne Ketchel.

I asked Jeanne for guidance this morning and this is what she advises for this week:

Get in alignment. Find out what that means for you at this time in your life and seek to maintain that alignment, balancing heaven and earth. For greater awareness of self tune into your bodies, My Dear Ones.

Your bodies are your vehicles, carrying all your needs but also all your issues. In knowing the body self in the deepest way, but paying attention to its messages over all others will one find the answers one seeks. The body must be the first aspect of self that seeks alignment for if body self is not in balance then spirit self will find no habitat in which to grow and mature, in which to reside and live out life to the fullest.

Seek balance

Find balance each day and each night. Find body self. Listen to what body self speaks of. Go deeply into its demands and ask it why. Do not fear the answers, for they are but your spirit asking you to find it. Go beyond the physical by paying attention and tending to the physical self first, so that spirit may take up residence in a well-tuned and well-prepared vehicle in which to take the journey that truly lies ahead.

You are all on journeys of meaning. Just what that might mean for each of you will be perfectly clear as you do your inner and outer work. Do not hesitate to be what your spirit self desires you to be. In the right circumstances you will be met with gratitude.

Be open, loving, compassionate and kind to the self and you will have conquered your greatest obstacle. Begin with awareness of self as the perpetrator and the healer, holding all you need. The only thing to work on at the moment, as I said, is to constantly maintain balance in all things.

Watch what you eat and drink. Get plenty of rest and relaxation. Find moments of quiet and moments of entertainment. Beware of rigidity and too little but also beware of too much. And yet, if you need to have too little or too much of anything, you will find that out. All must struggle with what life throws in front of them, but keep in mind that life does not wish to halt your progress, only to challenge you to keep going.

So, I say: Keep going, finding the balance that is right for today. And then seek new balance tomorrow. Eventually you will understand and know the feel of right alignment. Keep always in mind the most important goal: Finding the true meaning of your personal life in balance with the true purpose of all life, which is to discover the true self, the spirit, energy self in balance with physical self as you learn all you need in order to evolve.

Your life now offers you everything you need to take the next step in your journey. You will only know what that is and where it will lead by taking it. You will learn what you need.

Quiet daily beginnings will aid in alignment. Find centering time each day and reassert that centering throughout the day. Pause often to remind the self to get in alignment, balancing heaven and earth in calmness, no matter what else is happening in your life to teach you how to live. Always find the next best thing to do to grow. Seek that!

Thank you, Jeanne!

Chuck’s Place: Etiology of the Predator

Jan’s book, The Man in the Woods, gives us direct, unfiltered exposure to the collective shadow unleashed upon the innocence of a child. The atrocities of which she speaks are unthinkable, unbelievable, bloodcurdling and yet true. Evil without bounds is indeed an active potential within human nature. How can this be, and what can we do about it?

In her recent blog, Face the Shadow Self, Jan discusses the impact of allowing the truth to remain in the darkness. All that lives in the darkness is free to live and act without scrutiny, without awareness. The more that is pushed into the darkness the greater grows its power, the more distorted and evil it has the opportunity to become. As Jan’s book documents, there simply are no boundaries to the imagination and actions of evil unchecked and disowned by consciousness.

Sexual abuse is a pervasive reality and definite expression of evil actions emanating from the human shadow. What has caused sexuality to be split off and relegated to the darkness, where it has morphed into such grotesque and frightening proportions?

Today, I address not only this question, but I also ask my readers to face the true fact that sexuality is instinct. Instinct comes from our animal nature. We are animals, human animals.

The other day I saw a commercial for a small, safe trimmer to remove all body hair from ears, arms, back, nostrils, etc. to become beautiful, sensuous metro-sexual beings. No! We are animals with hair! If we cut it all off, we stuff the animal into the dark basement. In the basement the animal becomes an angry, ravenous beast, driven to extremes. Once unleashed, that beast will reek havoc upon the innocent.

Our resident predator

Human beings have evolved into beings grossly dissociated from their animal nature. Humans have become so attached to and identified with virtual reality that our animal nature has completely slipped into the shadow. On a collective level the human sexual shadow has turned rabid, a predator of mass proportion that seeks to ravage the innocent. A predatory animal of this proportion is a strictly human phenomenon. There is no other animal on earth that tortures and destroys like the human animal.

The daunting challenges of regulating and transforming the instinctive energies of the human animal were once presided over by the priests and shamans of antiquity. Through the practice of initiation rites the human animal instinct was valued, channeled, and transformed into individually fulfilling, relationally fulfilling, and socially supportive avenues that consolidated and preserved our species. In the modern world such initiation has become the provence of the religious institutions.

However, the modern world has increasingly distanced itself from the true animal nature of the human creature. Religious institutions have become such centers of rationality that they’ve lost the ability to value and preside over the transformation of the instinctive energy of the human animal. For the most part, religious rituals serve social and moral channels, but offer little toward meeting the human animal’s need for expression. Unfortunately, this has led to the de-animalization and over-technocratization of the human being, resulting in extreme alienation and dissociation from the instinctive natural self. Uninitiated instinct is left to its own devices to act out deviantly, at all stages of life, be it childhood, adolescence, adulthood, or old age.

The truth is that the problem lies not in the animal sexual instinct of the human species, for if this were the case the Catholic attempts to reign in and strictly regulate that instinct would have led to an evolutionary advance. To the contrary, recent history has brought out of the shadows the rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, those most schooled in regulation of the sexual instinct.

The real problem lies not in the instinct itself, but in the human rejection of it. It’s the discomfort with and rejection of the instinct that leads to its repression in the shadows with evil consequences. If, on the contrary, sexuality is acknowledged and fully integrated into life—allowed to live consciously, in balanced relationship—its expression would find its way into the normalcy of life, passion and love fully entwined in the fullness of human life.

Having been relegated to the shadow self, instinct—our true animal nature—has been demonized rather than consciously and carefully tended to with awareness of its true need to be integrated and given expression. On a species level this disowned instinct creates an enormous collective shadow capable of committing evil without conscience, giving rise to predatory giants destructively compensating for the disowned animal core. Without conscience or regulation, instinct is free to operate unchecked in the darkness.

Such behavior has not only unleashed predatory behavior such as Jan writes about in her book, but it also has led to the refusal to even talk about it, which leaves society’s most innocent, our children, vulnerable. In our denial and refusal to accept the truth of our animal nature we are allowing children to suffer. Can we finally face the shadow we have created and deal with it, as Jan requests in her book? Can we, individually and collectively, responsibly speak out so that our children no longer suffer in silence, made the bearers of our shadow selves, made to carry the consequences of that which must not be spoken about for their entire lives? Can we face what we have truly done, by our denial of our true natures, to those who need our protection the most?

Who is staring out of the darkness?

Predators and their predatory acts must be fully outed and held accountable. All predators must be stopped and exposed. However, as a species, we are all responsible for acknowledging and integrating our animal selves. Spirit selves that forget they are also animal selves will become victims of their own disgruntled, rageful animal natures. The ultimate culprit in the etiology of the predator is perhaps the evolution of the human animal gone too far in one direction. We have so disowned and abandoned our animal selves that we’ve created huge predatory monsters that hide so well in the labyrinths of our denial that we can hardly believe they exist at all.

As a species this is where we find ourselves now. In our collective attitude of denial we have created monsters in our midsts, predatory beasts who roam and ravage, plunder and take, safe in the silent darkness of denial. The virtual, bionic fantasy that currently dominates the human race is, in fact, the jailer of the human animal that creates the minotaurs that roam in the maze of our collective shadow with free access to the innocent.

Most seriously,

A Day in a Life: Face the Shadow Self

Before I begin today’s blog I note again: The paperback version of The Man in the Woods is now available for purchase through Amazon. Simply click the book icon in the left sidebar and it will take you directly to the Amazon page for the paperback book. If you desire to purchase the Kindle version you can find that here in the Kindle store. We invite reviews and are most grateful for feedback—of any sort. Please post comments on the Amazon page under customer reviews. Thanks for reading and keeping in touch!

Today, I address the shadow. We all have one. I met my own as I began the process of recapitulation.

Doing a shamanic recapitulation was not an easy process, but it was one I just could not avoid any longer. Try as I might the darkness of my shadow, which had been looming ever wider for years, finally swept over me and in one fell swoop I took the journey it offered. I let myself get swept into its darkness, but not without a firm grip on reality, with a place to anchor myself as I went deeper and deeper into its secrets. You see, the shadow holds all of our secrets—our secret desires, our secret fears, our secret pain, our secret thoughts—our secret self in all its myriad presentations.

That which is disagreeable

I thought I was living an eventful and meaningful life, full of creativity, but when I finally faced my shadow and asked it to take me into its depths, I could not deny that my life had been both controlled and unfulfilling. I knew for most of my first fifty years on this planet that something else needed to happen, but I just could not get a grasp on what that was. As Carl Jung said: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”

In my experience, meeting the personal shadow was indeed a most disagreeable process, but also a most transformative and enlightening one as well. I am also convinced that the world will not change if we do not face our individual shadows, for the collective shadow grows ever more prominent and domineering the longer we turn from our own, as we let the world outside of us bear the brunt of our personal darkness.

By the time I was done with my recapitulation I was not the same person I was when I had started the process three years before. I no longer viewed the world in the same way. I found myself totally changed, in a different world.

As I mention in the introduction to my book the idea of hiding the truth of what sexual predators do to children is abhorrent to me, thus I chose to be explicit in describing some of the things that happened to me as a child. In so doing I address the shadow, the facts of life that society chooses to keep in the darkness. Until we bring such behaviors into the light they will remain active in the dark, as that which is suppressed will find some other means of expression.

So, although I challenge my readers in my book, I do so because I refuse to carry the darkness of the sexually abused child within. It must be exposed. Only in exposure do I believe the world of the sexual predator can be dismantled and true healing happen.

Can we really change our world? Yes, but only by totally exposing the truth. We all carry burdens, in the darkness within where all that we could not face or allow to live resides. During my recapitulation I learned that by releasing myself from my own darkness I released my children from having to carry forth the burdens that were mine to resolve and release. My secrets, until I faced them, burdened them as well. They had to live with a frightened and depressed mother, and I found that as abhorrent as the sexual abuse I suffered. Family secrets burden every member of the family.

In turn, society’s secrets burden every member of society. What we are not allowed to speak of must be repressed and that repression results in disturbance somewhere. Our individual psyche will only take so much before it takes the liberty of letting us know that it is being overburdened. Our collective psyche works the same way.

There are many ways to heal and to face the challenges of the psyche. I found recapitulation to fit me perfectly. That is not to say that it will fit everyone, but if one is interested in facing the troubling messages coming from the deeper self, manifesting both innerly in mental anguish and outerly in the craziness of the world we live in, recapitulation offers a structure that is both spiritually and experientially enlightening and magical.

Each day I wake up full of energy, no longer depressed or afraid, but in a totally new world. Even though it’s exactly the same place, it does not at all present itself the same way because I do not accept it on the old terms. This is what I wish for all. Though I know it is asking people to take a journey that is as Jung said “disagreeable,” I know it is well worth it. If we really want to change our world we must begin within. This I have no doubt about.

I applaud all who seek spiritual and mental health and garner the courage to face the darkness within. The journey of the self is the most challenging and transformative. No matter how one elects to take it, know that it matters greatly to the self and the world.

Thanks for reading.

With love,