Readers of Infinity: Stay With The Energy Of Change

Here is this week’s message from Jeanne, guiding us all to stay the course:

Like the hardworking ant, stay focused on your goals...Photo by Jan Ketchel
Like the hardworking ant, stay focused on your goals…Photo by Jan Ketchel

Stay with the energy of change. Let it guide you to fruition. Remain steadfastly attached to your goals, while at the same time detached from all that comes from outside to thwart your efforts.

Not yet certain of your goals? I suggest that you let the energies guide you anyway, for all is prepared for alignment. If there is acquiescence there is success for all involved. This requires mature and sober analysis and detachment of self and situation. This requires mature detachment with kindness and attention to truth. This requires a personal recommitment to stay on the individual path of truth and growth. In other words: Do not let outside energy, as volatile and persuasive as it may be, overpower you.

This is a time of personal transformation. If you stay connected to your personal truths and goals, your next phase of growth will be enlightening. If you are stuck, you are still offered the same outcome, but your energy and efforts must be directed toward overcoming your fears as you acquiescence to the situation you find yourself in.

There is really no other solution to where you find yourself. You have the opportunity to flow willingly or to fight. How you choose to react will determine the road ahead of you. Will it be an open road or a road full of obstacles? You are in charge of navigating your life and so the choices are all up to you.

How do you wish to proceed on your journey? Good luck in all your efforts. Keep always in mind that the energy of now does not wait for you. You are obliged to grab it and run with it or try to keep up as best you can. It is here to help you grow, but it waits for no one.

This is energy to aid the individual inner journey. On a collective level, it asks that each of you address the inner self and make some firm decisions on how to act appropriately in all situations, innerly and outerly, as this will affect the world around you. Be kind. Be generous, but also do not compromise the self, for the energy of the self is necessary if you are to engage this energy and evolve. Without personal energy there is no possibility of aiding others, so preserve and refresh the self as necessary.

Remain attentive to all you encounter, but determine the best course of action based on how much energy you really have to spare. This just may not be the time to give, but only to gather inward. You must each take personal account of where you stand and do what is best for the preservation of your personal energy and responsibilities. Remain calm as you go through the next few days of tumult and shift. After that things will slow down somewhat, but you may find yourself in a new world. Now that should be interesting!

Chuck’s Place: The Origin Of All Myth Lies Before You

The great mythological Eye in the Sky... - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
The great mythological Eye in the Sky…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Home from the office, I sink into a chair on the deck. I’m drained, fatigued. My energy continues to plummet. I end up frozen, immobile. My depleted energy directs me to the sounds and smells of nature. I crave the open sky. The thought of entering the inside cooled space of sealed containment is unbearable. Sleep must happen out-of-doors, under the stars.

The sky darkens. The constellations brightly impress themselves upon my eyes. I drift into sleep. I am awoken with these words: “The origin of all myth lies before you.” And before me, at the moment of awakening, lies only sky.

My relationship with life and experiences such as this-with nature, with the heavens, and with the mysteries-is the basis of my personal myth. This is something I share with all who have ever lived in this world. All the shared encounters with the mysteries, with the awe of life, are accrued and recorded in the myths we inherit and contribute to. How foolish it would be to not partake of the nectar of such accumulated knowledge and wisdom encased in the great myths that have been handed down to us.

Myths are our natural history, recordings of the ancient psyche that resides within us all. Myths are the language of the soul that, in a myriad of forms, speaks to us in dream and projection. Cracking the code of the myth, collective and personal, means discovering the greatest guidebook for life. However, the journey is always, first and foremost, in direct experience, in the here and now. Study the artifacts of the ancient myths to discover the mysteries of life, but directly live now, this day, this night.

Sadly, I see nothing in the structures we build and value to encapsulate and make sense of our lives. Modern humans are too busy, too distracted, too consumed, too pre-occupied. In truth, with a little knowledge of the ancient myths, we need only a direct encounter with the Big Dipper, nothing more, to send us into the direct experience of discovering our own myth and the experience of being fully alive now. It’s that simple.

Every day we are beckoned to wake up, to open our eyes to the stars, to discover where we are in our own myth—to engage life fully in the tragedy and comedy of it all—to live the magical, the mystical, the awesome; to break the spell of the fixation of the assemblage point that Jan referenced in her recent blog. Beyond that fixation lies access to the greater mysteries, to the hidden truths of our journeys through infinity, to why we find ourselves where we are at the present moment. The rigid fixation of the assemblage point is life lived at the level of the mundane, screened from the broader journey we’ve all taken—and are taking right now—without our even realizing.

The Bite of the Ostrich... another myth, referenced in Jan's book, The Edge of the Abyss. - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The Bite of the Ostrich…another myth, referenced in Jan’s book, The Edge of the Abyss.
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In her blog, Jan writes of a dream she had when she was a young woman. In the dream, she buries her dead child en route across the American frontier, traveling by covered wagon, a recent Swedish immigrant. The dream foreshadows her return to Sweden in this life to ultimately rediscover an ancient strength that would allow her to lift the veils that hid a brutal life, already lived in this lifetime yet completely unknown. This is living the greater myth. This is cracking the code of the personal myth, daring to take the journey into the awesomeness of the personal myth, connecting lives lived with the here and now, but also bridging with life to come.

We are all living lives of greater myth, myths that are constantly seeking our attention, desiring to be lived and united with us, reconnected in a wholeness that transcends just this life and connects us with life in infinity. This is the journey that each and every one of us is on, charged with discovering our personal myth through direct experience with life, with nature, with the heavens, and with the mysteries. This is the meaning of the guidance I received. We all have access to it in our everyday lives, in the world we live in and the world we dream in.

As you dare yourself to wake up and live your own myth, I humbly pass on the guidance presented to me by the stars: “The origin of all myth lies before you!”

In the myth,

A Day in a Life: Stalking A New Self

In that dissociative fugue state... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
In that dissociative fugue state…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

It’s been in the news, a man wakes up from a coma speaking only Swedish. He doesn’t recognize his wife or family. A diagnosis called Transient Global Amnesia has been applied to his condition. Medical personnel assigned to his case have also decided that he’s most likely in a dissociative fugue state, wherein a person forgets their past and can sometimes take on a new personality. When I first read the headline I was intrigued, having had my own experiences with the Swedish language and inventing a new personality, wondering if the man had woken up in a past life.

The man, it turns out, had lived in Sweden as a child and for much of his adult life, so the fact that he spoke the language was no mystery. The mystery in his case was, how could he forget his current life so easily? The Shamans of Ancient Mexico would diagnose him as having suffered a jolt to the assemblage point, a shift in awareness into a totally new world.

My own first encounters with speaking Swedish came in a dream when I was in my early twenties. In the dream I was traveling across the United States by wagon train. I leaned against the back of the wagon, in which I was traveling with my husband and children, and wept. Great sadness had occurred, the death of our child, whom we had just buried along the trail. My husband came up to console me. We spoke a language I had never heard before. I spoke fluently and without hesitation.

My dreaming self observed the entire dream episode, saw what I looked like and heard myself speaking this strange language. I even understood what I was saying, even though I didn’t understand the specific words. I saw that I was a tall and strapping woman, with thick blond hair tied back in a long braid. I was dressed in neat, clean, but poor cotton clothing, a long dress and apron. My husband was taller and wore a hat. His pants were tucked into high boots. My dreaming self watched as he came over and embraced me.

We wept together and then he told me that we’d have to move on, keep going, that everything would be okay. The rest of the people traveling with the wagon train were preparing to leave. We had to stay with the group. Moving on was essential. It was a strenuous journey, but I knew we’d make it to our destination. I just needed time to gather myself together, I told him. I’d be alright. Then I felt myself pull inward, into deep inner silence. I felt a core of strength shoot through me, like a fire rising out of the depths of me, energy like I had never felt in real life. Then I shook off my sorrow. There was life still to care for, life still to live. Times were tough, but the tough keep going. I woke up as I shrugged off my sorrow, that core of strength burning brightly inside me.

Upon awakening, I was immediately puzzled by the strange language I’d spoken and the sense of connection I felt with the woman in the dream. I knew it really was me, had been me, and that I too had that fiery core of inner strength inside me. I suspected, at the time, that the dream was related to a past life, though I had little knowledge of how that could be possible.

Within a year of the dream, I met my Swedish husband-to-be and six months after meeting him I was living in Sweden. It didn’t take long for me to recognize the Swedish language as the same language I’d spoken in my dream. I took language classes and within no time I was speaking Swedish fluently, like a native I was told, like a native from the southern part of Sweden called Smaland that had been so devastated by drought that the vast majority of farmers left and moved to America during the 1800s. I spent considerable time exploring the country and always found this southern region extremely warm and inviting, the forests and thick-walled cottages so familiar. At the time, all of this reinforced the real possibility that I had indeed lived a past life in Sweden.

Who am I really? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Who am I really?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

At the time, however, I was dealing with my own deep issues, undiagnosed at the time. Indeed, I was living out my own dissociative fugue state. Many years later, as I write about in my books, I started working with Chuck. The first thing he did was give me a diagnosis of PTSD. The diagnosis gave me a sort of anchor, an anchor from which I could dive into the dark pool of the unconscious and do deep inner work, but it was not the answer. However, it was during that time that my past, including my decision to move to Sweden in the blink of an eye, all began to make sense. Unlike Michael Boatwright, however, the guy who woke up speaking Swedish recently, I had never lived in Sweden before, though I felt so at home there. I assimilated very quickly, learning not only the language but all the nuances of the culture as if I were, indeed, a native Swede.

Sweden offered me many opportunities. First, I got away from my past and, much like Michael Boatwright, I forgot what had happened to me during a certain part of my life, most of my childhood, in fact, as I write about in my books. I was also offered the opportunity to become a new me, and I did. I changed a lot while I was there. I stalked, as the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call it, a new personality. My introverted, shy self soon felt comfortable to become a new being. The distance really helped. I was so far from everyone and everything that had influenced me up until then that I felt really free for the first time in my life. And so I lived a new life for several years, until it was done, until it was time to return to what I had run away from, for I knew, instinctively, that I had run from something.

It would still be some time before I was ready to face my own mysteries. And, as I was to learn, a diagnosis, whether it be Transient Global Amnesia or PTSD, is not the real answer if one is to evolve. As Chuck likes to say, “Now let’s do the work!” The only thing that was going to help, was the work of recapitulation: facing the past, finding out why I was the way I was, and why I had to move so far away to begin with before I felt safe.

Upon return to the States, I had to reinvent myself once again, for the Swedish woman I had become was not appropriate for the life I embarked upon in New York City. Once again, I stalked a new personality, and I kept stalking different versions of who I thought I really was until I ran out of energy, until I finally collapsed and gave up. It was then that I met Chuck and began to learn about my own inner mysteries, the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, and the process of recapitulation. It was then that real change began and everything made sense.

It was then, as I embarked on a new journey of self-discovery, that I found I really did have within me that fiery core of inner strength that I’d experienced in my dream of the Swedish woman on the wagon train journey. For the most part, it had been deeply buried and inaccessible, as most of my life had been spent in a state of numbness, that dissociative fugue state. It was during my recapitulation that I saw my decision to move to Sweden in a different light. It became clear that it was a move on the part of my psyche to jolt my assemblage point.

With deep inner work, peace will come... - Art & Photo by Jan Ketchel
With deep inner work, peace will come…
– Art & Photo by Jan Ketchel

That journey to a foreign land had been pivotal in rediscovering some important things about myself, to not only awaken a past life experience in this life—and live it again in a sense—but more importantly to give me a hint of the possible self to one day look forward to in the future. For I now know that the free woman I became in Sweden was an immature model of my more mature, true self. I didn’t know any of this at the time, of course, but all of this and much more has been revealed as I’ve stayed on the trail of a life of change, the same kind of trail that my dreaming self was on.

The other thing that my time in Sweden hinted at, I understand in retrospect, was the first hint that I would have to go back in order to go forward. If I was to birth myself into a new woman and allow that fiery core strength to become a part of this life in a real way, I would have to go back into the darkness of my past and retrieve it. I would have to, singlehandedly, move it forward, out of my past life, into this life.

This is the real energy that moves through all of us, through our many lifetimes and many life experiences, but we must discover our own path to retrieving it. We don’t really have to go anywhere to do it, either, unless we have to. We can stay right where we are and do our deep inner work. But if we are to evolve we must take the journey of deep self-exploration so we can harness our energy, hone it, and utilize it as we travel along our life’s journeys.

Stalking new life, always,

Readers of Infinity: Find Solace In Simplicity

Here is a helpful message from Jeanne. Can you do deeper? She offers some practical tips on how to begin a deepening inner process.

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

Find solace in simplicity, in the offerings of a simple life. You do not need all that you think you need. Begin to pare down, naturally, by questioning the self: Do I really need this?

Find the means to communicate regularly with and regarding the consumer self. Question: What does the consumer self really need over what are the desires of that self? Need and desire are two different things. I do not recommend austerity but balance, for even in simplicity is there abundance if one learns and hones the skills necessary to experience life in both its simplicity and its abundance.

Seek calmness and quiet in order to more readily communicate with the deeper self, in order to access the truths of the self, especially regarding need and desire. It is in these truths that one will discover what simplicity and balance mean, what simplicity and abundance look like in the context of an innerly rich life fully lived in that world.

To fully experience the richness of inner and outer life, balancing simplicity and abundance, one must slow down, be patient, watchful, and attentive. One must seek a non-judgmental attitude, freed of self-criticism, without anger or petulance. One must become a mature, responsible being, attentive to self and other, and nature as well. That is how to begin to simplify and seek a new self in the fullness of all that life offers.

Do not be afraid to give and receive, to be kind to self and other, to express love for your fellow human being, though he/she may be fallible and judgmental. Know that you too are capable of turning your back on the truth even as you see others do so. Investigate the self even as you investigate others. Find balance in being honest with the self. Start there. Then add the skills of simplicity, a little more each day: calmness, quiet mind, patient waiting, questioning of what is a need and what is a desire.

Begin to make new choices as you practice simplicity. Discover that solace will naturally flow into your life. It really works as you do your inner work, for that is really the crux of change, doing the deeper inner work. I encourage you all to go a little deeper every day. Find solace in knowing that, if you do so, you are changing not only the self but the entire world, one step and one moment at a time. In this manner, you can make a difference.

Slow down and make some wise decisions about the self today, and then do the same tomorrow and the day after that. Seek discipline and maturity, as these are the keys to success!

Chuck’s Place: Hero & Hydra

Hydra..guarding the gate... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Hydra..guarding the gate…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In Greek mythology the Hydra is a nine-headed serpent that guards the entrance to the Underworld beneath Lake Lerna. In modern terms, the Underworld is the deep unconscious psyche, home of the powerful energies that fund our lives with the “rapture of being alive in our bodies.” *

As the myth goes, it took the hero Hercules to slay the Hydra and gain access to the magical, mystical, and awesome energies of the Underworld. In our own lives, we too must access our Hero selves in order to slay the worthy opponent that ferociously guards the gateway to our own magical inner treasures.

Ironically, the Hero and the Hydra are fraternal twins, two sides of the same being, the being of our Ego self. The Ego self was birthed at the moment of decision to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, as another myth portrays it, which led to expulsion from the Garden, the garden of blissful wholeness with nature. Like all children, the Ego, with consciousness and autonomy, must leave the womb of unconscious wholeness and go out and establish itself in the world, separate and distinct from the wholeness of its unconscious origin. To accomplish this, the Ego must break ranks with its deep unconscious nature and become a rational, controlled being, while simultaneously installing the Hydra with all its deadly defenses—projection, denial, repression, resistance, etc.—to defend it from the energies and controls of nature’s instincts.

The Hydra is the greedy, sensually-driven part of the Ego self, the child in us who wants it all. The Hydra is also the power-driven competitor in us who thrives on attention. The Hydra is the frightened child in us who shuns life in self-hate and self-pity. The Hydra is the stoic in us who denies our needs. The Hydra is the defender in us, the repressor, suppressor, who guards the gate to the Underworld and shields us from the truths of our recapitulations, keeping them safely stored just beyond the door to the Underworld. The Hydra is neither good nor bad. It’s the house we’ve constructed to manage our lives. We all need defenses to stem the tidal waves of fear, abandonment, dissolution, and all manner of traumatic events.

Once the Ego has gained a foothold in the world, it desperately seeks its wholeness, that is, access to the deep energies that inspire and electrify life in human form. At this point, the Ego twins are pitted against each other. The Hero seeks to win individuation, that is, union with its alienated, deeper self, in fact, also with the Hydra. This is the moment when the Hero must go to battle, slaying through to everything that has been stored away beyond the entryway to the unconscious, safely protected from memory by the ferocious Hydra. The Hero must face and subdue the Hydra on its journey to adulthood, for its wholeness requires knowing and unification with all the truths of life, as well as the truths of the primal energies that flow just beyond the entryway to the Underworld, in the darkness of the mythological Lake Lerner.

Two-Headed Hydra in the clouds... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Two-Headed Hydra in the clouds…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The Hydra, in its stead, has the task of testing the worthiness of the Hero, proving the Hero’s readiness to undertake the journey into the Underworld and reunite with the powerful energies in the darkness below. The Hero may initiate the journey by undertaking therapy, recapitulation, or some form of initiation or night sea journey into the unknown.

The Hydra is a mighty opponent, a worthy guardian at the door of the deeper self, throwing all the sensual delights at the Hero—food, drink, diet, pleasure, denial of pleasure, etc.—to waylay the journey. If one head is cut off, two heads appear in its stead. In this manner, the Hydra presents distractions, projections, crises, and must dos to snarl and challenge the Hero’s intent—entitlements, resentments, sleepiness, and sloth—in cycles of groundhog days that deplete the Hero’s energy and defeat the Hero’s resolve to complete the journey.

Only if the Hero succeeds in defeating all the Hydra’s heads will the Hydra grant access through the gate, to a Hero proven worthy of feeling the full impact of stored traumas and the numinous reward of the energies of the deeper self. Only with the defeat of the Hydra is the Hero truly ready to join with its wholeness, truly ready to funnel the deepest of energies into rapturous life.

And so, ultimately, these fraternal ego twins—Hero and Hydra—must become necessary partners in our quest for wholeness. May we honor them both for the roles they play in serving to launch us into fulfillment.

On the battlefield,

* Quote from Joseph Campbell.