Chuck’s Place: You Are Your Wholeness

A moment of bliss... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
A moment of bliss…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

“What we’re really seeking is…the rapture of being alive in our bodies…” -Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth *

This quote comes from the man who said, “Follow your bliss.” He directs us to the essence of our human pursuit, to experience energetic vibrance and conscious awareness in our physical bodies. That feeling state of bliss is composed of physical sensation, emotion, and cognition.

This is an in-person experience, the full realization of aliveness in physical form, though it might be experienced in consort with another.

I recently encountered a provocative poem by Sharon Olds that captures the essence of this state of unprojected bliss, in other words, the state in which one takes full ownership of his or her own internal human experience.

Here is the poem, Sex Without Love by Sharon Olds:

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other’s bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health—just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time

Though unstated, this poem, for me, points to the highest love: love without illusion, full embracement and celebration of life within the confines of the self. Of course, our humanness requires that we partake of the sensuous other, that we find deep connection and sharing, reveling and revealing, in another. But at the deepest level we must respect the truth of the separateness of all others, and take up the full realization of our own individual being while in our human form.

The kissing tree... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The kissing tree…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

This experience of exhilaration in aliveness leads ultimately to feelings of calmness and contentedness, in concert with the awe of aliveness as it pulses through our veins and warms our hearts. This full experience of aliveness is our wholeness that so frequently gets projected outwardly—in being with, having or loving another. This is the trickster nature of our world. It’s really a world of projection where our missingness is reflected all around us, outside of us. How can we help but be compulsively drawn to consume our projected wholeness in some form?!

And pursue we must! It’s imperative that we fully experience our wholeness! But once we’ve burned through the disappointments of unrequited illusive wholeness projections, we are freed to fully embrace our untethered energetic wholeness within ourselves. At first, we might experience this in short spurts, while taking a brief walk in nature or in an encounter with the moon where the euphoria of aliveness waxes through our beings—physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

At some point, we might discover the exhilaration of our aliveness in attenuated calm, in every moment, in every encounter—complete wholeness achieved. Ironically, that wholeness in self is, in fact, the most loving interconnected experience with all—no boundaries to love or self.

Intending aliveness,

* This quote opened and closed a weekend workshop that I attended with Robert Miller on addiction and feeling states. This blog is, in part, inspired by his message that addiction is our seeking of the rapture of being alive in our bodies. I am in gratitude to him for his work.

A Day in a Life: Out Of The Shadows

Female energy in hordes, laying eggs in hordes, unstoppable... - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
Female energy in hordes, laying eggs in hordes, unstoppable…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

We have been and continue to be in a time of great feminine energy. The birth of the cicadas after seventeen years underground is only one sign of the emergence of long-suppressed female energy. Once emerged, the main intent of the cicadas, male and female alike, is to reproduce another crop of eggs that will lie dormant deep inside the earth until they too emerge in seventeen years and do the same.

The moon, the ultimate female symbol, is equally important now. The masculine sun has ruled for a long time. We know how important the sun is for life on earth; without it we’d perish pretty quickly. The feminine moon is just as important, ruler of the tides and time, linked to the seasons, to birth and death. She lights up the darkness, revealing things in a different light, while other entities not accustomed to light emerge and live. I always think of the moon in correlation with the oceans, with the ebb and flow of life, especially affecting the female body, its menses and moods, the salt of the oceans and the salt of our human bodies inextricably linked.

The Supreme Court knocked us back a few decades with their repeal of the Voting Rights Act. Texas wanted to close all abortion clinics, but the bill was filibustered by State Senator Wendy Davis, for 11 hours, and failed! My first reaction is an exasperated, “Woe! What is this world coming to!” But I see these things as last ditch efforts by the ruling male energy to suppress the emerging female energy. But they won’t be able to—just think of those cicadas. Nothing is going to stop this energy from coming out of the shadows now. It’s the time of the feminine. At least that’s the way I see it.

The Republicans don’t want Hillary to be President of the United States in 2016, but she will be. Even the Dalai Lama has spoken of the possibility of the next Dalai Lama being a woman, that it would be good because “females have more potential to develop affection or love…” Basically, it’s time. The world is badly in need of help. It needs a healing balm like no other. It needs the soothing energy of Mother, of nurturing energy, a new set of rules to play by. It needs a shift away from the male/masculine domination of our times to a new time of female/feminine intervention. The sun cycle is over; the moon cycle is about to begin. As the Dalai Lama also said, we need a compassionate approach to world leadership and women offer this.

I observe the cicadas. I can’t help it. They are everywhere in our yard, their carcasses littering the deck, the walkways, piled at the bases of trees, crunching beneath the wheels of our cars. I watch the birds swoop down and catch them in mid-air. Even the tiny wren easily grabs them. The cicadas, I notice, are a little clumsy. They flutter and buzz about with great determination but they often land on their faces and flop over onto their backs. They lie there inert, perhaps catching their breath before expending a lot of energy trying to turn over. Eventually they flip onto their prickly legs and stand dazed and unsure. I don’t think they really know what to make of this world that they are in for so short a period of time. Having lived in darkness for so long, they must struggle to get their bearings. In spite of this they attack life with great gusto. With their loud whirring, cheering, and piping sounds those little critters are having an impact!

Poppies popping up all over the place...more of that natural feminine energy! -Photo by Jan Ketchel
Poppies popping up all over the place…more of that natural feminine energy!
-Photo by Jan Ketchel

I think we’re going to have to be patient with ourselves as we move into a new cycle of moon energy. As I see it, it’s going to happen. There is no stopping it, just like there is no stopping the cicadas. But we all have to take full responsibility for where we’ve been and where we’re going. As human beings—not as male and female, but as an embodiment of both energies—we will have to learn how to navigate in a changing world. We may find ourselves as clumsy as the cicadas, but eventually we’ll get ourselves sorted out. We’ll align with the intent of now, which surely is that we correct what has been wrought by our dependence on the masculine energy of our society, as well as the masculine energy of our individual selves, on the suppression of our feminine, from outside and inside. Our egos have ruled for too long. Now it’s time for our hearts to take over and guide us forward into a new world.

We must pull our hearts out of the shadows and let them live and lead us to do what is right for all human beings, for the planet and all of life. Many of us are already there, doing it our entire lives. We must not be afraid to continue being the loving and tender beings we truly are, no matter what kind of backlash comes to stomp on us—and it will come, again and again. But just as we expect Hillary to go the distance, so must we. Just as we wish for a kinder, gentler nation, so must we accept that hatred, bigotry and racism abound, but we cannot allow them to harden our hearts and make us mean too.

We must not dismiss the lessons of the cicadas. They are here because it is their time. Their energy is decidedly feminine, their mission one that only females can enact. Yesterday, as I sat on the deck, a cicada suddenly dropped from the sky and landed with a plunk. “Wow, look at that,” I thought. “Just dropped dead from the sky.” I bent over to look at it and noticed that its back end was missing. “It must be a female,” I thought, “her reproductive cavity worn off with all that work of getting her eggs laid. This one’s mission is accomplished.” But just as I thought that thought, she suddenly turned over. Still alive! And then she got up and flew away! Wow, half dead, half her body gone and still flying! Not done yet! And so I say, we must not forget the cicadas!

Our own time to fly is now. Are we going to forget the cicadas as we move forward? Are we going to forget that we all have feminine energy inside us, just waiting to burst forth out of the shadows and finally live? We all know how good it feels to love, how good it feels to soften our edges, drop our ego pretenses and just be REAL. Why not do this all the time?

We must embrace and live by a new feminine paradigm. We are all charged with emerging from the shadows to change the world in a very new and untried way. We must challenge the status quo all over again. We must get up and fly again, no matter how exhausted we are. We may have to redo a lot of things we thought were already securely embedded in our American psyches. We may have to march again for our basic Civil Rights. Abortion rights, voting rights, and marriage rights are seminal to our growth and freedom as healthy masculine/feminine human beings. A female president of the United States and a female Dalai Lama are seminal if we are to not only heal the ills that we have all created, but move on in a totally new direction.

He died with his boots on, as they say! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
He died with his boots on, as they say!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Oh, by the way, I noticed that the male cicadas die with their reproductive parts intact. Once again, it’s the female who gives her all. Take that into consideration as we go into the new moon phase of life, rife with powerful and unstoppable female energy!

Just my opinion,

Readers of Infinity: You Are A Most Amazing Being!

What are you keeping from yourself in the shadows of your mind? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What are you keeping from yourself in the shadows of your mind?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Examine the self. Find out who you are, who you have become, and who you want to be. Follow no protocols but your own. Discover what you need as you journey through life, trying out what might work for you, dismissing that which is not amenable, acceptable, practical, or fulfilling to your spirit. In order to know what is fulfilling to your spirit you must know yourself very well. This is what is most important in life—to know the self fully.

Use all the tools of awareness and inner work that you have at your fingertips and go to work on deeper examination of the needs and wants of the self. I do not speak of the needs of the child self, though they must be taken into consideration and seen for what they are. No, I mean the needs of the evolving human self, inhabited by an evolving spiritual self. These two parts of you must come to some agreement that is fluid and accepting of each other, not compromise but cooperation, with evolutionary growth in mind.

After all, what do you really want to accomplish during your time in this life, in this body? Think about it in the context of the self as an energetic being full of life and vitality yet stuck in human form. The body must get in alignment with the energetic self so that these two parts may fluidly navigate through life, learning about each other in the context of everyday life.

What do you want out of life? Ask your two selves. They already know, but perhaps they haven’t told you yet. The answer lies within, in the context of you as a spiritual human. It’s a great way to be! The answer to your question must begin with accepting this self as a most amazing being! You are a most amazing being!

Look for ways to shift your present outlook and your present perspective on yourself and your life. It’s not that hard to do. Find one thing that you consider a negative and turn it into a positive. Go ahead, I dare you! Then do the same with another aspect of self. Notice how your two parts learn to speak and communicate on a new and different level as you dare yourself to practice this exercise. A most amazing being indeed!

As I finish channeling, I hear the raven that lives in the woods nearby calling loudly in its crackly voice. “Heh-Heh!” it says, “laugh at yourself a little too!” And so, I end this channeling on a happy, laughing note to you all. Sending love, Jan

Chuck’s Place: The Secret Of Secrets

Let your intent shine through the burdens of unconscious intent... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Let your intent shine through the burdens of unconscious intent…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

“Saying something aloud is mysterious and magical… The loud and clear voicing of your intent is the secret of secrets. Do it… Assume responsibility to stand in front of the boundless. It isn’t weak; it doesn’t respond to supplication…” -Carlos Castaneda, December 1993, from a lecture at The Phoenix Bookstore in Los Angeles, California.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico contend that we are magical beings. Our magic is to manifest ourselves through stating our intent. It is true that we feel stuck and weighed down in our lives by burdens outside of our control. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico acknowledge this fixation but explain that we find ourselves so burdened because we’ve yet to consciously assume responsibility for our true intent.

We enter this world with a powerful set of inherited programs, what Carl Jung identified as the collective unconscious. The social systems—family and culture—heavily influence which programs become activated, whereby shaping the intent we have manifested in the creation of ourselves.

We internalize the tactical commands of our socialization and repeat them through our internal dialogue, dialogue that daily reconstructs the familiar burdened self that we feel so encrusted in. This is our intent unconsciously manifested.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico recommend that we carefully examine the repetitious patterns of our lives as a first step towards assuming responsibility for our link to our true intent. Unless we can begin to disrupt the commands we give our intent unconsciously, through our internal dialogue, we will not be in a position to state a clear unambiguous, non-contradictory intent.

Finally, Carlos advises that the greater intent of the universe does not respond to supplication, that is, to begging. We must be firm and definite, stating our intent out loud, with true conviction. Do this daily to continuously renew the link to intent, stating it loudly and boldly, while simultaneously observing and discarding the old intents of the molting self. Then we should go on with our lives, knowing that our intent will be realized, in its own time, in its own way.

All together now—The Secret of Secrets—INTENT!


A Day in a Life: Staying Connected To Awe

I lose track of the awe... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
I lose track of the awe…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I have had to remind myself lately to not forget the experiences of awe that I have had in the past and constantly have in life. I get so caught up in the mundane, in this world, that I often lose track of where I’ve been and all of the amazing things that have transpired in my life. Jeanne suggests some useful guidance around this issue in her latest message.

Life in this world can drag us down. We become so fixated on things that are wrong, things that offend us, things that make us angry, resentful, hurt; feelings that leave us shamed, blamed, helpless and lost. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico would call all of those things issues of the ego, issues of self-importance. Lose your self-importance, they constantly suggested.

I try to be impeccable, but I am not. I try to be balanced and in perfect alignment with my spirit’s intent, but I am not. I try to be selfless, kind, and compassionate at all times, but I am not. I like to think of myself as on top of things when in reality I just am not. I’m often lazy. I had to face my imperfect, lazy self over the weekend when the hard drive on my computer crashed. I also had to face my psychic self, who kept warning me to do things that I ignored. “Make a copy of this, back this up, notice this sign and this sign that things are just not working right,” she warned me. But did I pay attention? No. And so I had to suffer.

We took my computer to the Apple Store and when they ran the diagnostics on it, a large red banner appeared that read: FAILED! Immediately, I felt like a bad person, because I knew I had not backed up at the end of the work week as I normally do and I wondered how much stuff I had lost. I did attempt a backup as soon as I noticed something was seriously wrong, but did it take? Only time would tell.

My MacMini is happy again... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
My MacMini is happy again…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Back home again with a new hard drive, I had to face the truth. Not only that, but I had to face it with other people looking over my shoulder, my techie guy and Chuck. “Seriously,” my techie guy said, “you didn’t back up like I told you to do?” “Once a week,” I said, meekly, “but I didn’t do it last week.” “ARRGH!” This is something like what the conversation went like and boy did I feel bad, and really really stupid. “So much for impeccability,” I thought. “Jan, you suck!”

As time wore on it became clear just how much stuff I had lost. The hard drive was so corroded that my last ditch backup effort had failed. I got more depressed, felt more stupid, admitted I was a real jerk and got depressed. By the time Monday morning rolled around I wondered what I would find when I looked at the last revisions I had made on my book, had I saved them? Uh-uh. Nope. More depression. Then along came a different me, the fighter/warrior, cut-your-losses and move-on person that I can be and she said: “Get over it! This is meaningful. It’s not so bad. It’s teaching you things you need to learn about yourself.” How could I argue with that?

I have my backup machine plugged in all the time now. I backup to DropBox as well now. I found that once I let go of trying to recall the changes I had made to my book, the editing of Volume Two of The Edge of the Abyss ran smoothly, with a new precision and conciseness that had been lacking for the past month. I had gotten so bogged down in trying to finish that I was forgetting to enjoy the process. I got so caught up in the mundane that I forgot about the awe that comes along even in the most trying of times. I forgot to really savor the people in my life, and life itself.

In awe... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
In awe…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

“I want to laugh more,” I said to Chuck the other day, and then someone showed us a funny video and we laughed so hard! I forgot that you just have to ask and you receive. I forgot to lighten up and enjoy where I am. I forgot that there is awe in life every single day, you just have to see it that way. I forgot to lose my self-importance and just enjoy every moment.

There is awe in my computer crash, there is awe in my depression, there is awe in my stupidity, if I so choose to see it that way. And yes, I do choose to see it that way, thank you very much!

Feeling the awe; hope you find it too,