A Day in a Life: Where Do We Go From Here?

Like a leaf on the autumn breeze this is where I have landed…

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place. So goes a Zen expression. If I think about that statement in relation to where we are now in our evolutionary process as human beings, as spiritual beings, as Americans, as Citizens of the World, I immediately go calm. As I ponder my own process of growth and those who are closest to me, I go calm as well. For I sense that we are all in perfect alignment for evolutionary advance, that we always are, and when we are ready we will know what to do, in calmness.

Evolution is defined in Webster’s Ninth as: a process of change in a certain direction: UNFOLDING; the action or an instance of forming and giving something off: EMISSION; a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state: GROWTH; a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance.

I define evolutionary advance in my personal life in the same manner: I must allow life to unfold, letting go and giving off that which is unhealthy or unproductive, and get myself into a better state where growth, gradual and peaceful, can take place.

Just as no snowflake ever falls in the wrong place, so are we constantly falling into the places we need to be. Life, the force of the universe inside all of us, by its very nature is in constant flux, and so are we. If we allow ourselves even a few minutes to sit quietly and meditate, we will find that life force calmly waiting inside us to take its next natural step on the journey that awaits us.

The other night I woke at 2 a.m., worry spinning through my head, and being that it was night the worry spun its crazy web, as worry does in the dead of night. It spun and spun until I found myself helplessly caught in its sticky web, thought and intrigue, and more thought and more intrigue tightening around me. Shifting away in disgust, I turned onto my back, opened my eyes, and stared into the darkness of the ceiling above me.

“Please help me stop this worry!” I called out to the universe. “I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to be free of it. Help me to be free!”

The next thing I know I’m dreaming. I wake up in the dream, fully alert, and clearly see that worry does not exist in my dreaming state. I see that worry is nothing more than thoughts conjured by the mind, but now the mind is asleep. I see that it does its thing because it’s programmed that way, but as I look at it from my dreaming state I see that it really has no power at all, it’s simply a machine. And I can turn it off as quickly as I can flip a light switch.

“No worry,” I say, “how nice,” and I fall right back into my dream.

In the morning, I wake up totally refreshed, the worry of the night totally shed, and again I see it for what it is, a spinning machine. But at the same time I accept it in my life, for I know its value in teaching me.

Worry is like the snowflake that never lands in the wrong place. A petty tyrant of the highest magnitude, it comes to teach us. If we attach to it, it will swoop us up like leaves on a brisk autumn day and take us traveling on many adventures. I find, however, that the biggest lesson worry teaches is how to let go, how to become calm and detached. Worry by its very nature asks to be switched off, just as life by its very nature asks to be lived. Worry teaches us how to get ourselves in alignment with where we have landed. By flipping its switch to the OFF position, we are free to sit in calmness, to find our bearings, and know what’s right for us to do next.

Practice shifting…

I know that switching off worry is not that easy to do, but trust me; it just takes a little practice. The first step is to see it for what it is, to redefine it as I did in my dream. If we can separate ourselves from the thoughts in our head and give them a name, such as spinning machine or petty tyrant, we begin a process of change and we learn the real lesson of worry: detachment. Redefining things in this way offers not only a fresh perspective, but empowers us to begin taking action on our own behalf.

Was my worry of the night justified? Would it solve any problems, for me or others? Would it help in any way? Absolutely not. It had no impact on anything in reality. The only impact it had was on my energy and my sleep. It was a machine that I decided I did not want in my life anymore, and so I found a way to turn it off, kick it out of my bed, and get some sleep and dream insights instead—much preferable to the sticky web of incessant worry!

In these times of political, social, and personal energetic turmoil, I find that this simple Zen quote—No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place—is as calmly shifting and direct as my shift away from worry and into dreaming. In repeating it to myself throughout the day, I find myself calmly accepting of where I am, of where the world is, of where those closest to me are.

I believe we are all exactly where we need to be at this moment in time, in our lives, and in the evolution of our world. If we can accept this, then we can begin making choices in alignment with growth. Perhaps we see that where we are is necessary, that our next move in life is evolutionary, that we are in fact being shown what it means to be in alignment with our spirit, that where we have landed is leading us toward a gradual, peaceful unfolding of a life truly worth living.

I have landed where I have landed. Each day I wake up and remind myself of this, that I am where I should be, where I need to be, learning what I need to learn for my personal evolution. And then I dare myself to calmly take the next step, in alignment with where my heart tells me to go. I let my worry about this or that go; I let my fears about this or that go too. And I remember my dreaming self clearly perceiving worry as outside of myself, not mine, but conjured by the energy outside of me seeking attachment, wanting to feed off my energy, like the good petty tyrant that it is.

I don’t want to feed the petty tyrants anymore.


Readers of Infinity: Smile

The praying mantis smiled and we smiled in return!

Do not get caught in waiting for things to happen, but take action every day on behalf of the self, on behalf of the self as both a human being and as a spiritual being. Evolutionary advancement involves becoming fully aware of your greater potential, and such awareness will only come to fruition as you work on the self.

Work on the self involves not only deep inner work, but it also involves being fully present as a human being in the life you live. No matter what your circumstances may be, there is always great potential for change and growth, for a more fulfilling life, and for a person to be happy, healthy, and contented. Life upon that earth does indeed present challenges, there is no denying that, but nothing is too great to handle. Challenges must be recognized and accepted as evolutionary opportunities and dealt with every day in order for both human enjoyment on earth and spiritual enlightenment to take place.

It is advisable to determine your core issue and challenge, and then, in unwavering commitment to the self as an evolutionary being, deal with what comes to guide you and lead you to resolution of that core issue and the challenges that arise as a result.

If you refuse to confront the meaning of your life in this manner—by facing your personal inner issues—you will not advance into greater fulfillment. It rarely happens that the world alone provides enough, for even the most successful people in the world are not truly happy if the inner self has not been attended to. Yes, your life may be quite livable and comfortable, but does it really tend to your spirit? It is time for all upon that earth to tend to the spirit now. For all the spin in the outer world, the needs of the inner self will not be addressed there.

The inner self must be recognized for what it truly is, a force of power, unique in itself, and ready to evolve, to be more fully present in life. Yet it has been relegated to a quiet corner for the most part, left alone to wither, to contend with its own negligence, and yet it stirs often enough, sending messages that it too has much to offer.

For those who are in the midst of deep inner work, for those who not only acknowledge their spiritual self, but also engage and invite it into the world, be advised to stay the course of such work for it has far reaching effects, within the self and without. Your struggles will result in change, and once change begins to happen take note, and revel in its expression in your life as it aids you in your process. Take note also of its unfolding in the world around you, as the energy of personal change confronts the outer world and makes inroads that will not cave or be erased.

For those as yet asleep, fearful of what it means to do inner work, fearful of change, unsure of what it means to answer the call of the spirit’s knockings, look to your daily life for messages, to your dreams for guidance, and to the people in your life for direction. And then look into the self; listen to the ego self, the fearful self, and the inner voice that speaks the wisdom of your heart. Pay attention to how these selves operate and ask them to align now, to live life in synch more often, to walk hand in hand, giving and taking with kindness, gentleness, and compassion for the self, and others as well. Begin to notice that all beings seek what you seek.

Address what you need innerly, resolve it, and allow your true self expression. Smile and you will be smiled upon in return. Try this simply act and see what happens! Then let your spirit guide you from there.

Expansiveness of spirit, to self and others, will open many new doors, within and without. Be real. Be kind. Smile!

Channeled with love and smiles!

Chuck’s Place: Spiritus Contra Spiritum

Compelled to seek the numinous…

We are beings compelled to experience our wholeness. It’s intriguing to me how the shaman’s world, the Christian world, and the world in general covet substance—spirits—as the vehicle to parting the veils to divine wholeness. Substances are trickster spirits who would just as soon consume our life energy as let us pass through those veils. The history of AA captures the modern dance with spirits, the struggle with the ravages of spirit, and the eventual solution to lifting those elusive veils, revealing a possible path to wholeness.

Like an orphaned son seeking connection with his long lost biological father, Bill W. wrote to Carl Jung in 1961 to acknowledge him for his seminal role in the conception of AA. The crux of Jung’s input had been his suggestion in the 1930s to his alcoholic patient, Rowland H., that he seek a spiritual cure for his alcoholism.

Rowland H. took Jung’s advice to heart and went out and had a religious experience in an evangelical movement that was sweeping Europe at the time, which released him from the compulsion to drink. Rowland H’s experience was transmitted to Bill W., who at a very low point in his own active alcoholism, cried out to God in desperation and surrender.

“Suddenly, my room blazed with an indescribably white light,” he wrote in Pass It On. “I was seized with an ecstasy beyond description. Every joy I had known was pale by comparison. The light, the ecstasy—I was conscious of nothing else for a time.”

“Then, seen in the mind’s eye, there was a mountain,” he goes on. “I stood upon its summit, where a great wind blew. A wind, not of air, but of spirit. In great, clean strength, it blew right through me. Then came the blazing thought ‘You are a free man.’ I know not at all how long I remained in this state, but finally the light and the ecstasy subsided. I again saw the wall of my room. As I became more quiet, a great peace stole over me, and this was accompanied by a sensation difficult to describe. I became acutely conscious of a Presence which seemed like a veritable sea of living spirit. I lay on the shores of a new world. ‘This’ I thought, ‘must be the great reality. The God of the preachers.’ “

Bill W. never took another drink, and AA was born.

Consumed by the ravages…

Jung replied to Bill W’s letter in 1961, shortly before he died. Speaking of Rowland H., in the letter transcribed into Pass It On, Jung states: “His craving for alcohol was the equivalent on a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God.”

“How could one formulate such an insight in a language that is not misunderstood in our days?” Jung continued.

Jung knew that the medieval language around God had lost its value to serve the spiritual needs of modern humanity. Jung himself had experienced a profound vision in 1887 at the age of twelve.

“I saw before me the cathedral, the blue sky,” he writes in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. “God sits on His golden throne, high above the world—and from under the throne an enormous turd falls upon the sparkling new roof, shatters it, and breaks the walls of the cathedral asunder.”

Jung had come from a long line of Protestant preachers, but found himself utterly bored when his father was teaching him the catechism in preparation for his Confirmation.

In Volume 9, Part 1 of his Collected Works, Jung writes: “The catechism bored me unspeakably. One day I was turning over the pages of my little book, in the hope of finding something interesting, when my eye fell on the paragraphs about the Trinity. This interested me at once, and I waited impatiently for the lessons to get to that section. But when the longed-for lesson arrived, my father said: “We’ll skip this bit; I can’t make head or tail of it myself.” With that my last hope was laid in the grave. I admired my father’s honesty, but this did not alter the fact that from then on all talk of religion bored me to death.”

“Our intellect,” he continued, “has achieved the most tremendous things, but in the meantime our spiritual dwelling has fallen into disrepair.”

By the time Jung treated Rowland H., he had already taken his own numinous, spiritual journey into a living encounter with the collective unconscious, which he’d documented in his journals, recently published as the Red Book. Through his own experiences, Jung discovered that true healing could only be achieved through a deep, living encounter—a numinous experience—within the depths of the self, the God within/without.

A new means of experience…

Jung ended his letter to Bill W. by pointing out that, “Alcohol in Latin is spiritus, and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum.”

Alcohol is a spirit, what the shamans would call an entity. Entities are spirits that serve as gateways to the spirit world. The Christian Mass offers wine as the gateway to an ecstatic union with God in the sacrament of the Eucharist. Don Juan used hallucinogenic drugs called Allies to enable Carlos Castaneda to discover his deepest potential beyond the safeguards of the rational mind. However, as Jung clearly understood, such spirit entities that offer access to the deeper self, to union with God in this manner, always exact a price—spiritum—literally, the ravages of the spirit. And that is at the heart of addiction, getting caught in the ravages of the spirit.

It’s obvious that Jung proposed seeking a new means of intoxication of the spirit over imbibing of intoxicating spirits, suggesting that only a true union with God—spirit—could defeat addiction. Carlos Castaneda similarly warned about using drugs, having had personal experiences of the price exacted by the Allies—spiritum, as Jung points out. Castaneda suggested recapitulation and dreaming as the gateways to infinity. Jung developed active imagination and individuation as similar pathways to wholeness. AA developed the Twelve Steps as the Tao of wholeness. Different paths, same dictum, spiritus contra spiritum.

In spirit,

A Day in a Life: Everything Is Meaningful

Everything that comes in the day or in the night is meaningful…

During my recapitulation I learned that everything in my life, waking and dreaming, was supporting my recapitulation journey. I also learned that everything in my life had always been supporting my journey, though it was not until this very intense time of inner work that I was granted this knowledge in a very keen and extremely significant way, on a daily basis.

As I began to piece together how everything not only supported the inner work I was doing, but how it all seamlessly wove together pictures of my past with current situations, I saw how all of it was mirrored and supported in my nightly dreams as well. In a shamanic sense, I was training my awareness, as I went through several years in a perpetual state of heightened awareness as everything, in every moment of my life, greeted me with messages, insights, puzzles to be solved, and issues to be resolved. Since the completion of that recapitulation, I have continued to be taught by life itself, by what appears in daytime and nighttime, in awake experiences and dreaming experiences, by what my own body presents me with on a daily basis.

I know now, without a doubt, that I am guided through this life, that I have always been and always will be, that we all are. Only through offering myself the gift of innocent vision during my recapitulation, constantly asking the busy rational mind to sit by the wayside, as I turned to allowing the creativity and imagination of my adult and child self in cohesion to guide me, was I able to shift how I perceived the world and achieve this understanding. It takes some amount of daring to reject everything we’ve learned and turn inward, to turn to our child self—the defended, rejected, abandoned, frightened child self in my case—and allow the evolving adult self to show the child that, although it is all those things, it is also much, much more.

Perhaps the idea of expending the rational, the voice of reason, the voice that upholds the known and proven world, keeping us safe and comfortable, and turning toward the totally irrational, and listening to a new voice, is a crazy notion, but once the process is begun there is no going back. Once the magic begins, there is no going back to an old way of thinking, perceiving, or living. At this point, life becomes a most fascinating journey, as we accept what comes to us as meaningful, as we accept that each day and each moment in each day holds important information for us.

Once we are in it, there is no going back to the boredom of waiting for life to change or something exciting to happen to us, because we are fully aware that excitement is inherent in each moment. We are living it, painful or otherwise, and at least we can say that we will never again complain about life being boring. We just have to keep remembering the magic, remain open to it, and learn to constantly reinterpret our life and our experiences from new perspectives.

I don’t take much for granted; there is always something else behind the screen of normalcy, of convention, of the usual spin, something that is different, even magical or enchanting, and ultimately the real truth. We just have to learn how to constantly shift our thoughts away from the conventional and into the world of possibility. I trust possibility more than I trust convention, so you won’t find me believing much of anything I hear or see. I prefer to find my own answers and truths. All of this is leading me to relate an experience I had the other night, one in which I allowed my dreaming self to show me something.

It was a cool night; the sliding door in our bedroom was wide open to the brisk night air when the loud shriek of an owl startled us awake.

“An owl!” I said. “It sounds close. It must be perched on the deck outside our door.” We could hear its claws scratching against wood. It shrieked again and again.

“Why is it doing that?” Chuck wondered. “It’s hunting, shouldn’t it be quiet?”

“I don’t know, perhaps it’s calling to others, a mate or young,” I whispered. We listened to it until it grew quiet. As I drifted off to sleep I wondered why it had come.

“What does it mean?” I asked my dreaming self. Sometime later, Chuck made a sound in his sleep, waking me. I didn’t want to wake up, I’d been dreaming and I wanted to finish my dream, but the truth was that I was awake. I wondered if I could go back into my dream anyway.

I kept my eyes closed and looked into the darkness behind my lids, into the amorphous, fluid and multicolored darkness. I noticed that my left eye shut down completely and only my right was seeing. Peering sharply into the darkness behind my lid, it honed right into my dream, parting the curtains that had descended when I was startled awake a moment before.

Like a microscope, my right eye honed in on where I had left off and magically finished the dream. Fully awake I dreamed to completion. Satisfied, I opened my eyes and told Chuck what had just happened. It was then that I remembered the owl in the night and I understood the message it was bringing. It was asking me to hone the skills that I work at every day, to use the special ability of the owl to hone in on its prey with microscopic vision, even in the dark, abilities I now know I have inside me, that we all have inside of us.

“Yes,” Chuck said, “the shamans say we all have everything we need inside the human body to do everything the shamans do.”

“It’s true,” I say. “You taught me that when I was recapitulating too, as a means of keeping me focused on the inner journey, offering me some badly needed self-confidence, but really allowing me to accept my experiences as important, to not dismiss anything, but to learn how to perceive everything as meaningful.”

And that’s what I still focus on, allowing everything to be important and meaningful. All experiences are magical if we allow ourselves to experience them that way, not with ego, not by trying to be shamans, but by awakening and utilizing everything that is present in our human state, inside our bodies. The rational mind might not take offense at being pushed aside while we take a ride through our dreams at night, but it sure puts up a struggle during the day. We just have to work at assuring it that it will be okay, that it will be safe, as we let something else guide us to see a new reality, a dream reality during the day too. Our nightly dream training is showing us what we are all really capable of all the time.

Healing ourselves through deep inner work is the first part of learning just what we are capable of doing and experiencing. As we recapitulate, we are asked again and again to suspend judgment and take a look at what really happened, to not blame or attach to anything, but to let ourselves re-experience everything from a new perspective and in so doing experience just what it means when the shamans say that everything we need is inside the human body. Trusting that is the first major obstacle to leaving the rational world and the first major leap into the magical as well. Try it, in waking and/or in dreaming today; see what comes to guide you, out of your own body self, showing you the magic in your own life. Believe me there’s plenty there!

It takes trusting our inner spirit, the innocence comprised of the purity of knowing and perceiving that is ready to embrace our experiences and help us advance in this lifetime. It’s not so hard to defy convention and look at life as magical; it’s quite inspiring, fascinating to imagine that every day we are indeed being guided to learn some of the magic that resides inside all of us. I also now know that the owl’s message is to use that ability to hone my sight during the daytime too, with my eyes open. If I can hone so microscopically with my eyes closed, I should be able to do it with them open as well. That’s my next challenge.

Thanking the owls that come in the night,

Readers of Infinity: On The Razor’s Edge

What hangs in the balance?

There is a great propensity for success, for change to happen now on a greater level, for real change to take place upon that earth and within a great many individuals as well. For it is only with change within the individual that change on a mass level will occur, as you well know. However, one must be alert to the choices being made. Too often the dullness of everyday life wins out over the magic of the work and possibilities that lie within.

Be aware of your personal choices. Watch how they affect your physical and mental prowess. Be alert to the moment when decisions arise, when you are asked to direct your energy.

What is the proper use of your energy? This is the question to not only ask mentally, but physically as well. Direct the self to be thoughtful and careful and—with concern for the delicate balance between the world without and the world within—choose wisely how best to use your time, your energy, and your life. With concern for duration of life upon that earth as your sobering first thought, choose how to use that finite time to your best advantage.

Present advice is to urge humanity toward remaining alert, for the dullness of life so easily sweeps over the masses and then, no matter how hard some individuals work at changing themselves and the world, there will unfortunately be no greater mass change. And, as you all know, mass change is now necessary.

Mass change, in the right direction, is what the world needs and those who are really awake and aware of this necessity must stay awake. Choose to walk the razor’s edge of awareness, staying alert to the machinations of the mind as well as the energy outside of you. Be alert to what, how, and when it pulls you in one direction or another and make wise personal choices.

Remain balanced through this time of decision-making. Precision of timing is crucial; attention to choice and the best use of personal energy are the most important factors now. Awareness must be honed and kept in good working order for progress to stick. Good Luck!

Channeled with love.