Chuck’s Place: You’re Never Stuck!

At the center of all of us lies the jewel… It's even in those we dislike the most… - Photo by Jan Ketchel
At the center of all of us lies the jewel…
It’s even in those we dislike the most…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We use projection as a defense when we find ourselves disliking or hating another person. We see in that other person qualities or behaviors that we find threatening or distasteful in some way. In disliking the other person, we keep such disturbing energies at a distance from ourselves, even if we must interact with that person on a daily basis.

The negative emotional state of disliking or hating another, though often unconsciously, protectively established, creates an inner toxic state of cynicism, depression, and powerlessness, leading to an equally toxic obsession with the disliked person.

We also encounter powerlessness in being unable to make the other person change in a way that would make us feel relief and comfort. In our powerlessness we also feel that our own deepest needs are not being met. If, for example, I experience someone close to me as being completely self-absorbed and unable to be present for me in the way I desire, I will likely feel angry, unloved, rejected, and unvalidated, as if I exist only to serve the other, with no consideration of my own right to be in this world.

In this scenario, I am powerless to find peace and happiness within my own being, as this rejecting person can’t even see me. I blame the other person for my unhappiness. I might feel stuck in this relationship that I see no escape from, or I might dream about a new life, freed of the prison I find myself in.

In order to turn such a scenario on it’s ear, in order to shift out of a place of blame and rejection, we must search for redemption within this situation and within ourselves. But how can I possibly find freedom now, you might ask, in the midst of what I consider a lifetime sentence? How can I save myself from the darkest of dungeons, from which I see no viable escape? Can I assume full responsibility for being in the situation I’m in, acknowledge that it is completely tailored for my growth? And at some deep level, can I accept that I’m in it to solve it? Can I face it without blame? Can I accept that the pain is part of my gain; it just is?

To begin with, we might look upon our perceived jailer, the rejecting other, as a being equally captivated within their own story, their own prison. Can we step back and appreciate the depth of the other’s drama and pain, how it limits them too from being fully present to live their own life to the fullest? Can we grant them the freedom to solve and resolve their own mysteries, to find their own way to salvation, to allow them the freedom to work on becoming a new person, capable of being present in the moment? Can we see that we can actually choose whether to be offended or whether to release ourselves from an expectation that doesn’t match up with current possibility? Can we accept the reality of where things are, without blame or regret?

Can we turn inward and validate ourselves, our own right to exist? Can we become the mother and father to our own evolving self? If, by the circumstances of our birth, we’ve been caught in an unloving world, can we become the lover of our own possibility? Can we fully assume responsibility for our birthright to evolve from wherever we began, taking control of our right to take life forward in a new direction? Can we validate our right to existence and open ourselves to possibility? Can we support and guide ourselves through the change we so desperately desire and seek? Can we allow ourselves to flourish?

Can we allow ourselves to take back our projections, becoming the change that we wish for, opening the door to the true magical mystery tour of life in this world?

Be the change you wish for!

On the tour,

A Day in a Life: Intent—Uh-oh, It Really Works!

Be careful in the shaman's world! What may look enticingly beautiful could be deadly if not used cautiously and knowledgeably. - Photo of datura by Jan Ketchel
Be careful in the shaman’s world!
What may look enticingly beautiful could be deadly if not used cautiously and knowledgeably.
– Photo of datura by Jan Ketchel

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico suggest that we state our intent and then let it go, that we send out a call to intent and then let the energy of intent find us, letting it bring us what we need or take us where we need to go. Sometimes our call to intent may be innocently misguided and then we can get into trouble, but if we are working on our personal growth in a sober and balanced manner we tend to be cautious and careful as we tread into unknown territory. It doesn’t pay to be inflated or foolhardy in the shaman’s world; there is too much out there that is eager to hook us and hook into us, desirous of our tasty energy. And so, when setting intent, it is best to be stably prepared for what may come.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve written about entities in my blogs, beings who seem to have come into my dream world for a reason. They’ve been absent for a week, at least I’ve had no recall of them. In fact, I’ve had little or no dream recall at all for the past week. As a result, last night, I decided to use intent to both dream and to remember what transpired in my dreams. To enhance the experience I decided to sleep with Carlos Castaneda’s book, The Art of Dreaming, on top of me. I lay in bed on my back, placed the book over my lower abdomen, and set the intent to absorb the contents of the book, to dream, and to remember what had transpired upon awakening. Perhaps it was a lot to ask.

I got the idea for the experiment from a conversation Chuck and I were having. He remembered that this was how Carlos would read books. He’d lay them all over his body as he slept and when he woke up he’d know the entire contents of the books he’d slept with. Chuck also recently read that Edgar Cayce, the American mystic and medical intuitive had done the same thing. “Yes,” I said, “I remember that’s how he read the Bible when he was a little kid. He became quite an expert interpreter of the Bible at a young age. He’d absorbed the entire book, but also the deeper meaning as well.” This gave me the idea to try it myself, mostly to see what would happen, if I would have an experience.

I already know that Carlos’s books are imbued with the intent of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico; he said this often enough. If you pick one up you are sure to be taken on a ride! The Magical Passes are imbued with that same intent too, not the least of them the Magical Pass of the Recapitulation Breath. This I am personally well aware of, as I discovered during my recapitulation. Once I began the journey, the entire universe seemed to be there with me, fully present, involved in my life 24/7. It was quite a thrilling ride! In just picking up a book about those shamans a strange and wonderful energy flows into the reader, absorbed through the words on the pages of the books, imbued with ancient intent. So, electing to place a Castaneda book over my abdomen had the potential to produce something!

Entities are everywhere, just waiting to hook in! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Entities are everywhere,
just waiting to hook in!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I had actually placed the book on top of the covers, telling Chuck that if it fell off me during the night, perhaps he’d have an experience as well. “Okay,” he said, clearly curious. And then I drifted off to sleep. Within seconds I was startled awake by the faces of entities, black, gnarly, weathered faces, treelike, intricately carved, as if they had lived for thousands of years. “No,” I said, reasserting my intent as soon as I saw them. “Not you guys,” I said, dismissing them. “I want to have dreams!”

I fell into deep sleep. I also fell into a dreaming intensity that I have never experienced. I woke with a start after three hours of tumbling around inside nonstop dreams that were grippingly engaging. As soon as I woke up, I could not recall a thing, but boy were they intense! I decided it was enough, perhaps too much, and besides the book, which had slipped to my left thigh, was now burning my skin. Heat like I had never felt before was burning through two heavy quilts right into the skin of my thigh, which felt red hot! “I’d better stop,” I thought, and I put the book aside and fell into heavy, deep and dreamless sleep for the rest of the night.

Upon awakening, I told Chuck of what had transpired. It was a mysterious and thrilling experience, but I’m a careful treader into the unknown, and so I intend to go slowly into dreaming with intent. I do have to say though, that I woke up with great energy, more energy than I’ve had in a long time. So, something imbued in that book affected me while I slept. I’m curious to read it again and see what it might be, what might stand out. Perhaps it’s just the energy of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico as they intend it to be experienced, and if so, that’s fine with me!

On the other hand, I do know that my entities appeared for the first time in a week—those gnarly tree faces—and I abruptly dismissed them. Perhaps that gave them license to play with me a little. Maybe they were the ones who took me on a ride last night, proving to me just how much power they really have! I know they are in my life for a reason, and that I’ll have to continue my excursions into the unknown with them as my companions, for better or worse; for the time being we belong together. Whatever really transpired, it was just the right energetic experience I needed, and I’m thankful for that!

On the ride,

Readers of Infinity: Air Of Change

Here is a substantial and very practical channeling message, compliments of Jeanne and Jan, to start off the week!

The signs of change are all around, breathe them in… - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The signs of change are all around,
breathe them in…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Wherever you look, there will you find what you need. Let your heart lead the way now, as you move forward into deeper life—deeper spiritual life, deeper inner life, and deeper physical life. Be present with your whole self now and you will more certainly notice the signs that abound and that surround you on a daily basis.

I speak of inner matters as being of the most importance, so do not shy away from addressing them. Do not turn your back on either the innocent self or the fearful self. Do not hide from the ignorant self or the bashful self. Do not dismiss the lost or the unfeeling self, but strive for connection at a new, deeper level with all of the selves. In this manner, your wholeness will be achieved. In this manner, your life will begin to interweave a stronger, more determined intent, with spiritual prowess and focus your main purpose.

People look outwardly for purpose and meaning, and yet I say that all you need is already within. It seeks uncovering, acknowledgement, and life. To evolve, one must let the self be humble. One must accept all that one is and, without critique, explore the meaning of the deeper issues of the self. You are enough.

Yet, you must also live upon that earth, and so I say, do it with impunity. Live impeccably, yet do not deprive, starve, or deny, for such restriction will only induce craving and resentment. Balance must be firmly established and adhered to, however, for change and advancement to take place. In the beginning, this may cause difficulty, and so, a call to discipline is of the utmost importance. Once discipline is established, balance will be easily maintained.

Balance requires physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, so strive first for these important aspects of overall health. This healthy balance requires that you do inner work while you also live in the real world. Your human situation requires this of you, and so, you must achieve balance in the situation you find yourself in, in the world you presently inhabit, if there is to be growth in a new direction. In other words, accept your life; begin where you are.

Do not berate the self, but do require adherence to certain principles of health and healthy living. Do not regret or resent the self for past or present behaviors, but take one step in a new direction each day. The simple intent to change and grow is of the utmost importance. Once better balance is achieved, once you are shorn up and feeling strong and committed, then one is prepared to turn and face the old self. In balance, it will be possible to both review and aid the old self while continuously moving forward into a new self. This is how to grow.

Create a new structure to abide by. As the world turns and the planets realign, your progress will be well supported. As earlier mentioned, the signs that will guide your progress and light your way will appear more readable, and more frequently, as you work on the self, simply because you will be in better balance with all of life. Look for these signs as you proceed on your personal journey toward balance. Define balance in your own life, to suit where you are, keeping in mind that balance will be different for each individual. Every human being must discover and enact their own set of impeccable disciplines and strategies. You are all unique, and only you will truly know what balance means for you.

Pretty soon there will be only the open road before you… and smooth sailing ahead! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Pretty soon there will be only the open road before you…
and smooth sailing ahead!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Proceed with the intent to change—this is the key to everything. Once you are well on the way, nothing will hinder your progress. The only thing that will get in the way is old behaviors, fighting desperately to retain dominance. Old behaviors are the greatest enemies any human has to face. But once your momentum is humming along at a good pace, there will be little or no interference from those old enemies, for you will provide nothing for them to attach to. Your speed and your intent will have taken over, and your future will become much more interesting than your past. That is when you will know that you have succeeded in attaining good balance, both innerly and outerly.

I wish you all well in this turning time, in this time of opportunity for real forward progress that is now upon you. Remain aware of it at all times and utilize it to your fullest advantage! Remember: Change is in the very air you breathe, so breath deeply, filling your lungs and body, knowing, at every breath, that you are aiding yourself in changing at the deepest, healthiest level.

The air of change is ready to take you deeper and further into fulfillment now. Bon voyage!

Chuck’s Place: Shamanic Tools Of Freedom

Freedom is the unmasking of the petty tyrant and seeing it for what it really is… - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Freedom is the unmasking of the petty tyrant and seeing it for what it really is…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

As a seeker and a therapist, I search for tools of freedom. Freedom is the ability to flow with life as it is. Life is flux—change—and with change always comes a wounding to that which once was. Woundings create fixations, protective shells of holding on, to that which was. Such fixations interrupt our ability to flow with life as it has become.

The shaman’s world accepts the inevitability of woundings and tracks the human tendency to fixate on judgment of the self for its woundings. These judgments take the form of self-blame or self-rage. Either judgment further infects the wound and alienates the self from the flow of life energy. The shamans are empathic to woundings but ruthless in their goal of freedom. Hence, they go to extraordinary lengths to uncouple from attachment to their woundings.

To break the fixation with wounds to self-worth, self-importance, or self-esteem, the Shamans of Ancient Mexico encouraged their apprentices to saturate themselves with the doings of tyrants who made their lives miserable. In order to free themselves from the effects of these tyrants, these shaman initiates needed to astutely study the tactics and behaviors of these petty tyrants to precisely plan and execute their defeat. If they allowed themselves to indulge in blame, shame, rage, pity, or self-defeat, they would lose focus, often to fatal outcome. Those shaman initiates learned to waste no energy on taking anything personally, but focused instead on staying present in objective reality. This was the path of freedom from their woundings.

Traumatic encounters are uninvited encounters with life’s harshest petty tyrants. Shaman initiates seek out the encounter with the tyrant, but innocent recipients aren’t given that choice. Whereas the shaman initiate is in an active playing field with the tyrant, in real time, the trauma recipient’s playing field is the field of recapitulation, the reliving of the trauma once lived.

The means of achieving freedom from traumatic fixation, however, is identical to the means of achieving freedom from all woundings. To complete the process, we must arrive at what the shamans call the “place of no pity,” for self and other. From this position, there is total clarity and total release, as the ability to be present for the full truth of what happened, and the full release of energies previously fixated by life interrupted, is achieved. This is the ultimate defeat of the tyrant: complete release from its grip and complete release from the protective shell of fixation. From this place of no pity we retrieve the journeying self. We shift and reengage in life, as it is. Freedom achieved!


A Day in a Life: Lockdown

Like a monk in a cell, a hermit in isolation, I bear the tension that will lead to resolution… Trapper's hut in the Manchac Swamp, La Place, Louisiana -Photo by Jan Ketchel
Like a monk in a cell, a hermit in isolation, I bear the tension that will lead to resolution…
Trapper’s hut in the Manchac Swamp,
La Place, Louisiana
-Photo by Jan Ketchel

My entities are active. I wrote about them last week, introducing them in all their finery, their insistence upon being in my life. I get that they are necessary if I am to evolve, as they present what more or less lies at my core, my fears and truths alike, and what I must face in the world outside too. So, I’ve done a full recapitulation, why do I still have to deal with entities? you might ask. Well, as far as I know, if we are alive and living upon this earth we all have to deal with entities. It’s just the way life is.

Awareness of their existence is the first big challenge. Have no doubt, they will come; it’s what they are programmed to do. In fact, once we study them, we realize they’ve been present during our entire lifetime. It’s only when we are ready to see them as entities that we will begin to more readily recognize and work with them. After a while we begin to know them on a deeper level, as they come repeatedly, like old friends, bearing the same messages until we no longer need to hear them. We do not need to seek them out, that is dangerous activity, instead we must be patient and alert. We must find out who they are, why they have attached to us, and if they truly belong to us, as there are entities out there that may not really be appropriate for our growth, and those kind are best expelled, though they too hold some message of significance for us. And so, after my dream encounter with my entities last week, I expected they’d return at some point. And they have.

This is how my entities approached me this week, in another dream: I am in a hotel room, on a high floor in a hotel in New York City. I sense that I am being watched. I’m pretty calm, but pretty tense as well. I know that Chuck is downstairs waiting for me, but also that he expects to wait a long time. I don’t seem to be doing anything special in the hotel room. I’m just waiting, but for what? I’m not sure. I go into the bathroom and close the door. Suddenly, I’m aware that someone has locked me in. My sense of there having been someone else in the room with me confirmed now. I try the doorknob. Yup, it’s locked from the outside. Through a chink in the doorframe I see a man sitting in a chair, his back to me. I can’t see his face, but I recognize his clothing, similar to the colorful clothing worn by my entities as they first appeared. My reaction is one of caution. “Do not give anything away,” I tell myself, “stay calm and quiet.”

I don’t want the entity to suspect that I am aware of his presence, which is pretty absurd thinking, since we both know that I’m fully aware of him. At the same time, I decide that calmness, stealth, and planning are my best options. Once again, I am aware that Chuck is waiting for me downstairs in the hotel lobby, that he will become suspicious and come looking for me. At the same time, I’m aware that he won’t even think of coming, because our agreement has been that I can handle things on my own, that I have come up to the hotel room on my own, for a reason that only I know.

I get very calm, soberly calm. Barely breathing, I steady myself and contemplate the situation I’m in. I could find something to pry open the lock on the door. I could somehow break open the doorframe, widening the chink that I can see through. I’m not totally without resources. I already know I will get out, that all is not lost. I feel trapped, however, my spirit suffering in spite of my knowing that this situation, untenable though it feels, is not totally hopeless. I look through the crack in the doorframe again. The entity sits without moving, his back to me, his head still. Almost like a statue he guards the room, his energy like that of a museum guard, non-threatening, but intent upon his task. I don’t really feel threatened by him, only by my own predicament. Once I realize this, I know I must stay inside the locked bathroom and figure some things out. Indeed, I am here for a reason.

Upon further contemplation, I realize that I am being pushed to reconcile something within myself, that this really has nothing to do with the entities in my life, but only with tensions and frustrations within my deeper self. The entity is merely a conduit to my facing this. Why must my spirit be held captive? Why has my psyche conjured up this lockdown situation? What part of me feels jailed or needs jailing?

While I ask myself these questions, there is another part of me that savors the isolation, the time to do deep work, and when I wake up that is what I take with me, the opportunity to sit in deep inner contemplation, my time in isolation well guarded, my entities pushing me to evolve. Even my dearest companion, Chuck, is aware of this, respectful of my need to withdraw into inner silence, as I am aware that he will not come to disturb the situation, that he will not, in fact, be coming to rescue me. This is my gig.

I have been given the go-ahead to do some deep work. This is all that matters now. I find it significant, just as we come into the season of the year when normally we open ourselves to the outside world, to gathering, sharing, giving and receiving, but all of that pales in comparison to what really matters, the deeper issues of the self in this world. I already know that I will be of no help to others if I do not help myself first.

And so, I turn the fear and paranoia of the first part of the dream, the sense of being watched and held captive, on its ear. Instead, I welcome my captor. I intend to let my spirit guide me through this process. In order to discover what I must, restraint and limitation must be enforced. If I am to evolve to a new level, I must force myself to endure a shift. And this is how I am being asked to shift now; to go into isolation for a time, to become innerly quiet and bear the tension, to be resolved to my situation and make the most of it.

I accept that one of my entities has come to guide me through this process of deeper self-contemplation, guarding my door, so that I may be undisturbed, even by those closest to me. The inner journey can only be undertaken alone. And so I thank my entities for their presence in my life at the same time that I face my spirit and ask it to tell me what is going on, what’s happening at a deeper level? I await the answer. In the meantime, I remain fully present in the rest of my life as well, even though I am locked in a cell, contemplating deeper issues. This situation, I am aware, is the next step on my journey.

Locked in and bearing the tension,