Chuck’s Place: Buffalo Soldier

Life reflects the dilemma of our energy body... - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
Life reflects the dilemma of our energy body…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

The human body is an animal. The human animal is the host of the energy body, the mental and emotional part of ourselves that generates the thoughts and desires that largely determine the fate of our physical, animal body.

It is the energy body that leaves our physical form upon physical death. Yet, while in physical form, this separate energy body—or soul—controls, like a dog on a leash, the activities of the physical body in daily life, determining its health and care.

Our food choices are not made by the physical body; they are made by the desires and rules of the energy body. Our sleep patterns too are largely determined by the wants and interests of the energy body.

Our obsession with pets is largely a projection of empathy and love for our animal physical body selves, largely dominated by the whims of our energy body. Our energy body is a more subtle body that tends to use the physical body to experience its wants and ideas through the sensory systems available in the human body, thus the pleasures of excitement can be played out in the sweets and spices we consume in our food and drink.

Left to its own natural predilection, the human animal self might select food that it really needs to remain in optimal health. Mental constructions, however, result in behaviors that often override the body’s true needs, either through restriction or overindulgence. Rarely is the human animal body ever included in decisions that reflect its wellbeing, rather it simply goes along with the dictates of the subtler energy body.

Last week, fifteen buffalo herded together and broke through the confines of a ranch in Rensselaer County in upstate New York. They swam across the Hudson River and then sauntered across a major interstate highway until they were finally slaughtered in nearby woods. They utilized the power of their innate archetypal herding instinct to break through their condition of servitude. I can’t help but applaud those buffalo soldiers as they danced their final dance in this world in utter freedom.

Two days later, Gaia herself violently shook her body self as thousands were swallowed in Nepal, that most ancient holy country. What is the message here, in these two recent examples of energy gone wild?

We are all energy beings entwined with physical animal bodies, our hosts while in physical life, charged with treating the earth with spiritual leadership. When we tyrannize the earth, the animals, and even our own animal selves, treating them as playthings for our ethereal pleasures, then Gaia, the buffalo, and our own physical bodies rebel and refuse to be partners on our spiritual journey.

Our mission as energy bodies entwined with our animal host selves, on a spiritual level, is to resolve our karmic challenges with the materials that life on earth offers us. Our gift to the earth in exchange is to enliven the spirit potential of this physical world to evolve itself in new directions.

The sketch Jan made in her journal as she contemplated her dream...
The sketch Jan made in her journal as she contemplated her dream…

The problem for humans is that their purest spirit intentions, as they come into physical life, get clouded over in the rich darkness of earth’s soil. It’s our journey in this life to release our karma as we journey from the darkness to find our way back to the light of spirit—pure consciousness of the truth. This morning Jan awoke with a dream that clarifies and illustrates the drama of this dilemma.

Here is Jan’s dream as she described it to me: “Come on, I said, let’s take a walk. I thought I was walking with another person. My observer self, who hovered behind and above me, however, pointed out: It has no legs! As I turned to look at the being beside me, I saw that I was walking beside a large paper-thin black square out of which hung a tendril of root. The root almost touched the ground as the sheet of blackness floated beside me. I realized that this black shadowy figure was my ego. Then I realized that everything that I am and seek to be is inside me; I am all I need. Ego was a shadow entity that inhabited me, clearly not human. I realized I no longer needed it. I knew that I just had to follow the Tao.”

The shadow square of Jan’s dream is a mandala, the representation of the spirit embodied in the energy body who then projects its ethereal self into the physical body as an ego. The ego is the spirit, or energy body representative, rooted in the physical body. But the truth is, it has no legs. It’s really an empty shadow. However, in human life it becomes the active force, the ruler of life. In its shadow state it is not oriented to spirit and uses the energy body for its own desires and appetites. This exploitation has resulted in the protests of Gaia and her buffalo, who bravely contest our inferior leadership.

The resolution of our human karmic dilemma is for the spirit’s energy body representative in human form, the ego, to find its way and eventually acquiesce to the dictates of the heart chakra, where the true intent of the spirit resides in what Aurobindo called the Psychic Being.

The quest for freedom requires that the ego self, like the buffalo, must lead itself out of the confines of servitude to the physical and into the light, graciously giving up its life for the evolution of the spirit. In the final analysis, the march for freedom is always death of the physical, ego included.

The heart chakra center of the energy body is grounded in the Tao and knows only truth, compassion, and right action. The Tao elevates everything to a spiritual level. Humanity elevated to this level sheds its shadow ego and aligns with the light of spirit, burning through its karma and leading earth into proper balance and evolution. It is the goal of all our spirits.

Chuck dancing with the spirit of the buffaloes... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Chuck dancing with the spirit of the buffaloes…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Our dear animal friends, the buffalo, teach us that tyranny is wrong action and that the quest for freedom is all that matters. This is spirit lived at the highest level, life shedding the tyranny of illusion, marching forward into the unknown, bringing light into new frontiers.

I honor those mighty Buffalo Soldiers, as did Bob Marley: Buffalo Soldier.

Dancing with the buffalo soldiers,

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