Chuck’s Place: Life Beyond The Predator’s Grip

All cooped up... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
All cooped up… – Photo by Jan Ketchel

We are travelers whose journey has been interrupted. Our world is like a crowded airport with grounded flights, journeyers sequestered, forced to stay put. We are guarded by sentinels, unable to move beyond the confines of the airport.

According to the seeing of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, the guards at the airport, the guardians of our world, are an impersonal energy, not human at all, that has taken up residence in the brains of our species. Those shamans labeled that energy the foreign installation of “the” mind. We tend to call it “our” mind because we are helpless to know otherwise, so pervasive is its control over our lives. The effect of this control is universal. It can be seen everywhere in the form of self-obsession. We are a species so obsessed with the self that we are blind to the real interdependent nature of all things. In fact, our species’ obsession with self-interest has brought us now to the brink of destruction.

The truth is: If we don’t evolve beyond self-interest into a world that includes the needs of other—plant, animal, climate—we face certain extinction.

Perhaps a more benevolent interpretation of our predicament is one of necessary growing pains, for in truth we are a species bent on changing. Were this not so, we never would have left the Utopia of the Garden. Our need to grow, change, and explore got us expelled from the Garden and brought consciousness—the freedom to choose—into the brain, as we simply got bored with the known routines. Our growth, however, has once again become stunted and routine, completely swallowed up in self-absorption. We must crack the shell of this container of self-absorption in order to reopen the airport so we can continue our journey beyond the self.

Perhaps it was necessary to have this respite of selfhood—a fixed identity to hold onto for awhile—as we consolidated our evolutionary gains. But now that container can no longer serve us, as the reality of where we are now is forcing us to evolve beyond the obsessive absorption of the self or perish.

The obsession that we are now afflicted with comes in many forms, ranging from extreme narcissism to near total self-abnegation. Do not be deceived. Self-sacrifice seeks its own rewards, even the prize of avoiding the truths of the self for a lifetime. Is self-negation not but another form of self-absorption, reigning all powerful, controlling life through avoidance of the most basic of needs?

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico ask us to not take personally the impersonal reality of our tyrannized relationship with the mind. From their seeing, this is a condition all humankind shares in common. There is no avoiding it. No one is to blame. But we must face that we are all in this predator’s grip.

It's impersonal. - Photo by Jan Ketchel
It’s impersonal. – Photo by Jan Ketchel

The Shamans state clearly that the first tool to counter the tyranny of the mind is to suspend judgment. Rather than personalize everything, observe the self and others from a perspective of objectivity—no blame—simply an intent to see things as they really are, without the filter of self-interest. If we stay in blame, we evolve no further. We stay within the compound of the mind like chickens in a chicken coop, naively and happily enjoying our captivity.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico had no illusion about the deadly power of the tyrant of the mind to absorb all our energy, as in fact we spend our entire lives in the prison of self-absorption. Nonetheless, they did see the value of using actual tyrants to their own advantage. They discovered that putting themselves under the control of an actual tyrant offered them the opportunity to break the tyranny of the self-absorption of the mind.

They discovered that in order to physically survive the brutality of a tyrant, it is utterly necessary to break through the veil of self-pity, self-worth, in fact self-anything. The tyrant cares nothing for the selfhood of its victim, and thus to survive the tyrant one needs the complete objectivity that only selflessness provides.

Many Shamans perished in their encounters with tyrants. Nonetheless, the rewards of success were so great and so meaningful that they risked this encounter with death, for success meant freedom from the human form of self-absorption. Success meant freedom to experience an expanded self, unburdened of the confines of self-importance; a self free to explore reality with far greater powers and clarity than humanly possible. To those Shamans, the risk was worth it.

This past week, the New York Times Sunday Magazine explored, in depth, the dilemma of child pornographic images continually finding new life on the worldwide web. How is a victim to heal or find closure when images of their abuse continue to be preyed upon, beyond their control, throughout their lifetime? These victims will indeed be unable to heal, as long as they remain attached to the self in those photographic images.

As I see it, these girls/women, though they didn’t choose it, have already had their own encounters with brutal tyrants like the ones the Shamans of Ancient Mexico faced. They have already survived those encounters. However, they must complete their interrupted journeys to freedom through a thorough recapitulation if they are to heal. They must fully relive their experiences with their tyrants and in so doing retrieve all their life energy bound to those experiences. And so, I envision a different scenario, healing by facing the tyrant.

Imagine one of those children mentioned in the article, now an adult, giving a news conference with all the images of their abuse plastered around them, as they calmly and with utter detachment describe the full truth of what happened in each of those pictures. Such detachment breaks all attachment to shame, blame, and victimhood—in fact any identification of self with the images presented. Nonetheless, the full truth of what fully happened in each of those images is fully known, fully owned, and fully released. The images no longer hold any energetic attachment or charge. This is healing detachment.

In such detachment there is no longer any emotional or physical energy attached to those scenes from the past. All energy has been retrieved for a new and evolving life. Those images are the shells of a prior life, but life has actually moved on. This detachment offers the means to completely break free of the predator’s grip—to be freed of the tyrant to control life—and to be freed of the self defined by the predator.

Free to fly at last! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Free to fly at last! – Photo by Jan Ketchel

This kind of detachment is life freed from its absorption with the self of those images. From this place the predator has no home, and thus no power. This new self is not a victim. This new self has moved on. This new self is a fluid ever-evolving being now, freed of all fixated definitions.

This kind of healing that I envision for the young women in the NYT article, frees the old self in those images from static interpretations and judgments, all the fixations of the self-absorbed mind. The freed self exists outside the predatory confines of the mind, as well as all who seek to feed off the torment of the once victimized being. That victimized being simply doesn’t exist anymore.

In fact, the evolved being can look back with compassion at all still caught in the confines of self-absorption. That freed being is fluid, able to resume its interrupted journey, in its evolved state having moved beyond the guardian mind of our limited world of self-absorption, a world that even says no one can heal from such a thing. Such an evolved being is now a beacon of developmental necessity, a shining example of where we all need to go now.

Seeing from a different perspective,

Here is a link to the NYT Magazine article: The Price of a Stolen Childhood

A Day in a Life: Omens Of Crow Magic & Energy

Why is crow calling? -Photo by Jan Ketchel
Why is crow calling? -Photo by Jan Ketchel

It’s Monday morning, early, still dark. I awaken to the sounds of crows. The sun has perhaps risen, but it’s cloudy and I have no sense of the dawn, yet the crows are calling, already wide awake. Their harsh cries penetrate the darkness. I sense them close to the house, ominous in their intensity. I wonder what they portend. My immediate reaction is negative. Is someone going to die? Is this the dark energy that Jeanne messaged about last week and that I’m supposed to turn away from?

Chuck and I sit and have our coffee by the fire, the door of the wood stove open so we can enjoy a quick blast of heat. I try to settle into the coziness of this winter morning, a dream still fresh, buzzing through my body, an old dream. It’s startling to me that I’ve dreamed of being in old crumbling warehouses, trying to get a baby to safety, a dominant dream theme of my recapitulation. I wonder why I’m back there. Again, I hear the crows.

“The crows are so loud!” I remark.

The morning progresses and still I hear the crows, so many, so close, so loud. What does it mean? Now they’re in the trees of the front yard. I see them in the field across the street pecking at the frozen ground. I hear them calling from the woods in the backyard, loud and insistent. Eventually, I push their energy aside, detaching as instructed by Jeanne last week, and sit down to channel a new message from Jeanne.

This week’s message is quite different from last week’s I think, speaking of positive energy and attaching to it, as opposed to last week’s, which admonished being aware of the energy as negative and largely seeking sustenance for its own purposes. Don’t attach, was the message then.

As I finish the message I notice the crows again. They’re swooping in close to the house now. Startled, I suddenly understand. They’re looking for food. The weather is ominous, not the crows, who are only looking for the crumbs of bread I leave for them on a large flat stone in the front yard. They call to each other. “Yes,” they seem to be saying. “She left us food! Come and get it!”

In abruptly switching my perspective regarding the crows, I accept the positive aspects of the energy of the day as relayed in the message from Jeanne. As I change my perspective I notice how relieved I become. I shed my fears and tension and I am no longer attached to the idea of crow energy as dark energy today.

For the most part I know crow energy is good energy, that crow brings messages of transformation and new life, that they are magical. But do I remember this, even for more than a few minutes? No! Because before long several enormous crows swoop through the front yard. I notice them, sweeping back and forth, as I sit and type up the channeled message. Each time I catch a glimpse of their large black wings, cut at such an angle as to appear threatening and ominous again, I startle. I get drawn right back into an old place and fear takes over. I can’t help but shake a little and wonder once again what they’re doing here so close, so many, so big, so threatening.

Magical Crow -Photo by Jan Ketchel
Magical Crow -Photo by Jan Ketchel

A blue jay swoops down to snatch some crumbs of bread from the stone. Immediately a crow swoops in after it, chasing it off so that it flies with a loud SMACK right into the window. I jump! And then I have to stop myself, I have to laugh. This is just what Jeanne’s message is about, not taking this energy of this day in a negative, fearful way, but in a positive way. And so I calm myself and shake off the energy that seeks attachment. In this moment I’m aware that even though last week’s message and this week’s message appear to be quite the opposite they are really saying the same thing: Be aware of how you perceive the energy in your life, what comes to you, and how you react to it.

Jeanne’s message this week says that life cannot help but evolve, life cannot help but flow. And so I see the crows and the blue jay as life in action, unstoppable. Nature has no problems acquiescing to the moment, to now. Nature does not fear what comes next. Nature does not hesitate to go for what it needs, when it needs it. And so I know I must learn this from nature. From my own abilities to channel I know how to flow with nature, how to detach from my thoughts and let nature flow through me uninhibited.

I realize I’m being challenged in my dream to be fully aware that it’s a very old dream. I’m being challenged by the crows and the jays to notice how old negative thoughts are so easily conjured. I’m being challenged to heed the warnings of my unconscious as it asks me to notice that change really is constant. I’m being asked if I’m going to flow with it, or am I going to keep feeding those old perspectives old notions of an old reality. Am I going to finally free myself of the stuff that I no longer need, that in fact I’ve really already detached from by fully putting it to rest?

I’ve been hard at work editing the final draft of my next book and so I’m aware that I’m rehashing and sifting through old stuff, my second year of intense recapitulation. And so I get the message of my dream, prompting me to take a good look at just how much work I did, and to face the complete truth of it, attempting to startle me by taking me into an old place, to alert me to the fact that I don’t need to run around in old crumbling buildings anymore. There is nothing to attach to there. There are no more babies to save. It’s time to get out of the old dreams and move into the new dreams already in progress. I’m aware that as we move forward in life, daring ourselves to take the next step, old things come to pull us back, seeking to keep us in old comfortable and comforting places, places that are unhealthy, unnecessary, and unevolving. It’s just the nature of the human struggle.

As I put these thoughts down, it begins to snow. Another winter storm has arrived. Nature doing what nature does. I am thankful for the messages from my unconscious, from my dream world, and from Jeanne, all in alignment with the energy of now, which states: Just keep going—whether the energy you sense is negative or positive, whether you feel pulled in an old direction, whether you feel stuck in old thoughts or ideas, whether you feel sad or lonely, fearful or apathetic—just keep moving and changing, looking always for the silver lining, the truth, a new perspective. And that’s what I take with me into this week.

Stay connected to the magic in every moment... -Photo by Jan Ketchel
Stay connected to the magic in every moment… -Photo by Jan Ketchel

No matter where I am, I must constantly pull myself back to the moment, to the present, reassessing my evolutionary journey, knowing that as a being of energetic potential I am responsible for getting myself out of old places, as Jeanne suggests in her messages. I’ve learned the power of the mind to control and I’ve experienced the mind totally free. I look around me now on this day and know which I prefer.

I know how to read energy, we all do. It’s just a matter of constantly checking in with our own energy, questioning what makes us feel energetically alive, and what makes us feel energetically dead, what makes us feel good and what makes us feel bad. And that’s what Jeanne’s trying to teach us to do, feel our own energy, so we can really understand that although her messages over the past two weeks at first appear to be the opposite of each other, in reality they are exactly the same.

Watch your personal energy, guard it closely and let it guide you. Learn to flow with your life the same way that nature flows. Let life flow to you and take you on your journey. Let life make the most of you, as Jeanne says, just as one day flows into the next, night into day and then into night again. Our choice is in how we want to live, and so as each snowflake falls I look at it from a new perspective and shed some attachment that I no longer need. For I am certain that we are all evolving beings.


Here is an excerpt from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews regarding crows. I think it very nicely sums up my experience and Jeanne’s messages to us all: The cawing out of the crow should remind us that magic and creation are cawing out to us every day.

Readers of Infinity: You Are Beings On Eternal Journeys

Here is this week’s channeled message from Jeanne, quite the opposite of last week’s dire warning.

Time for a new perspective. -Photo by Jan Ketchel
Time for a new perspective. -Photo by Jan Ketchel

Regret not where you have been, whom you have been with, what you have done, but look at the passage of time and life lived as lessons in maturity. All upon that earth must grow. It is life itself that sets this tenet, for there is no other possibility once life begins. However, quality of growth is up to the individual. The individual is responsible, once childhood ends, for the path that life takes.

Move beyond feelings of sadness for the self, beyond feelings of shame and blame. Move beyond fear and tension to a greater understanding of life as unstoppable energy. Shift your personal awareness now to this greater perspective that all life is on a journey, evolutionary and fantastic at the same time.

With a simple shift of perception life may suddenly take on new meaning and this is what I advise this week, for too many are stuck in old places with old ideas of the self, long dominant but now no longer applicable. In repeating the same thoughts to the self, one remains caught in old ideas of the self long after they are no longer true.

You are beings on eternal journeys. Keep this in mind. Your current lives are but an instant of your far greater existence. Is it necessary to stay stuck in old ideas today? Find out why. Ask the self the question: What do I have to gain from staying here, telling myself the same old stories? Note that the real question you are asking is: What do I have to GAIN? For there is always something to gain in life’s problems and in the vicissitudes of human existence. So, again, I propose: What must be gained?

I suggest that you ask for clarity today, about one issue of the self that has been needling you. Find out the truth of this one issue. Is what you believe really true? Is there a different perspective that is equally or more true? Is your life not really as you perceive or envision it to be?

There is positive energy afloat today and as opposed to the negative energy of the recent past—which I warned against—this week’s energy is vital, life-giving energy, essential for growth. I suggest a concerted effort be made now to turn the self in a new direction, to snatch up some of this positive energy for the self and use it in a positive way.

It’s time to move on, to move forward, to accept life as it is at this moment, but make the next moment be positive. Shift your outlook on life from negative and dreary, simply by shifting your thoughts about the self. As negative thoughts arise, immediately shift from them to positive ones. It’s not that hard to do. And even if you can’t quite believe the positive affirmations you conjure up, it doesn’t matter, for they are infused with new energy, good energy. And, as I said at the beginning of this message, life has one intent: To grow!

It’s time to take life up on its intent. Let it take you in a new direction. Align with the positive energy of this day, open your arms, your hearts, and your minds to a new direction and let new life come to greet you. You might be surprised what you discover!

You are in charge of your personal attitude, no matter your situation. Don’t just make the most of your life, but let your life make the most of you! Acquiesce to it with maturity, sobriety, and confidence that it will guide you to a new place. Effort on your part is minimal. All it really takes is a shift of the mind from an old idea to a new idea. Begin with that and then see where life, your life, takes you next.

Thank you Jeanne for this most helpful and inspiring message! Channeled most humbly. -Jan

A Day in a Life: The Voice Deep Inside

That calm voice deep inside... Photo by Jan Ketchel
That calm voice deep inside… Photo by Jan Ketchel

“I tried to die young, boy did I try, but the voice deep inside would not let me succumb…” These words were written by Melanie Safka in a song from her recent album Ever Since You Never Heard of Me. Both Chuck and I have had this song playing in our heads for weeks now, its significance struggling to emerge.

I already know that when I hear a song over and over again like that it usually means something, either to me or someone I know. Sometimes before I do a channeling I might hear a song and so I know it relates to the person I’m channeling for. Once when this happened the person told me that it was the song that was played at her wedding, and it meant a lot to her. In fact, it figured significantly into the process she was struggling to make sense of, and so I trust such things.

In this particular song, of most significance to me are the words: “the voice deep inside.” This is the voice of the other mind that Chuck wrote about in his blog the other day, the voice of direct knowledge, the instinctual mind that knows we are here for a reason, that our journeys are journeys of the utmost importance. We all have access to this voice deep inside; at some time in our lives we’ve all heard it. Whether or not we’ve paid attention to its messages is one thing, but we can’t deny that it exists.

People who’ve been traumatized have direct access to that voice more than most, the voice that says: You will not succumb; you will survive. This is the voice that kept many people alive during the Holocaust, the voice that will not succumb, that will not give in, the omnipotent optimist inside us that will not ever give up. Every one has this voice inside them, but for some reason in some people, as Viktor Frankl suggests in Man’s Search for Meaning, it’s a dominant force.

It’s definitely dominant in anyone who suffered through sexual abuse or other trauma as a child. If you have survived a childhood of sexual or physical abuse you definitely have had direct access to that voice, and if it hasn’t reawoken yet, it will, because it’s the voice that knows everything that happened, it’s the voice that speaks the truth. But that voice goes even deeper, beyond the trauma, to our very soul and this, I believe, is where the answers to surviving the most horrific of traumatic events lie. I believe we do not succumb, because our soul’s journey has a different intent. And so we are charged with discovering just what that intent is. Why did I survive my trauma when so many others don’t survive theirs?

As a child I heard that voice deep inside a lot. It came to my rescue when no one else did. It instructed me in how to survive. It gave me access to tools of survival that could only be fully realized because I was being brutally abused. Had I not been sexually abused as a child I might not even now have such direct access to that voice. I might not trust it the way I do now. I might not have direct knowledge of out-of-body experiences, of the innate abilities we all have inside us. I might not be so sure of what happens when we die, if I had not been traumatized as a child and had direct experiences of leaving the body, of leaving the thinking mind behind as my awareness left my body and went elsewhere. In addition, since I had direct access to that inner voice deep inside me from a very young age, it got plenty of exercise and it strengthened significantly so that today I’m very comfortable with it.

In fact, I feel lucky now that the voice deep inside was actively present in my life. I cannot deny it nor the access to a greater awareness it brings me. And so I would even have to say that in many ways I’m lucky to have been sexually abused as a child; I’m lucky I found that voice at such an early age. That voice helped me to survive, but it also taught me that there is more to life than meets the eye. It gave me direct access to my soul and the knowledge that I am on a journey of the utmost importance. Even if that journey is only partially completed in this lifetime, I am aware that in my next lifetime the work I am doing now to fulfill that soul’s journey will have great impact and significance.

That voice deep inside continues to teach me every day now, as I meditate, as I channel, and as I go about my day, hearing songs playing in my head, asking me to go deeper, to pay attention. And as I continue taking my soul’s journey, one day at a time, I can’t help but wonder how far I can go, who else I might become, in this lifetime or the next.

At one time I was a victim of sexual abuse, mesmerized by trauma I could not access, yet my life was severely limited because of it. Then it all came back to me and I became a survivor, strengthened by the knowledge that if my child self could survive what she had gone through, then certainly I could survive the recapitulation of it. Now I’ve advanced beyond survivorhood, for staying there held no appeal. Once I was done with reliving the trauma I had no need of it anymore. Except as a teaching tool it has been put to rest. I became interested only in facing life, life as I had never been able to envision it before. Having taken the diamonds out of the blackness that once was my life, all I wanted was to live among those diamonds, in a world that was aglitter, alive, vibrant and exciting.

All I’m interested in now is looking forward into life, wondering what other gifts I’m going to receive, what other songs I’ll be hearing, what other experiences I’ll have. I live from that place deep inside every day. I don’t have time or inclination to do otherwise. I wake up each day and that voice pipes up and happily asks: I wonder what this day will bring?

It is my sincerest wish that others find and trust that voice deep inside themselves. Trauma gave me access to it, as it has many others. There are diamonds hidden in the darkness of traumatic memory. Listening to that voice inside leads right to them. For those who have not had the gift of trauma to find that voice, it may just be a matter of listening a little more closely, paying attention in a new way.

It’s the dreaming voice, the sober voice of truth, the voice that acts on our behalf and shows us its ultimate gift—the power of the human spirit to transcend the body—that our awareness exists outside our human form. It’s the voice that acts on our behalf unbeknownst to us. Perhaps not until our traumatic event is over do we realize we’ve been aided by something other than what our brain or our will could conjure up. It’s the voice that says, “No, that’s not the choice you should make,” but do we listen, even when we know it’s right? It’s that mystical something, unexplainable by the rational mind, that just will not let us rest back in an old world once we’ve experienced it. We might even want more or it!

Once we’re in total alignment with it—the voice of our personal truth—we’re right in alignment with our deeper, spiritual self, taking our soul’s journey. Paying attention to that voice deep inside is what got me started, my spirit calling out to me, asking me to heed its call, and I did pay attention, and boy did it take me on a journey of a lifetime.

And I’m still going!

Thank you to Melanie for all the songs and for her voice deep inside that keeps her singing! Thank you to Viktor Frankl for having so deeply investigated the human condition.