Chuck’s Place: Not So Bad

Suffered with a backache for most of last week. Must have done something “wrong.” Finally had enough, reached out with a clear intent: May the healers come tonight and heal my back.

Had the kind of sleep where you wake up convinced you haven’t slept. Jan assures me that I definitely slept. I choose not to ask her how she knows for sure.

Walking all night long…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

All night I found myself with Dr. Yang, the surgeon intern on Grey’s Anatomy played by Sandra Oh. She is belligerently and steadfastly determined to stack her own unique pile of practices, like chapters of a book, as an alternative to the required purchase of health insurance. All night we walk briskly along the shoreline of ocean beaches, miles of beaches, in what feels like a doggedly active, sleepless night, as she builds her chapters.

I open my eyes at 4:30 am. Time to wake up. My awakening ego consciousness is deeply disappointed by my restless night. I’m immediately drawn to judge my activities of the day before as the culprit for my lack of deep rejuvenating sleep. My thoughts evoke negative feelings. I must have done something “wrong.”

I’m reminded of a workshop I once attended, led by Carol Tiggs, the Nagual woman, Carlos Castaneda’s counterpart. It was she who left with don Juan’s party of sorcerers as they “burned from within,” as they left this world to embark on their definitive journey in infinity, life beyond the human form. Only in Carol’s case, she returned to human form ten years later and became the spark for Carlos’ coming out party in the birth of Tensegrity.

At this workshop, Carol went on hilariously talking about “Bobby the Flyer,” the being she characterized as filling her mind with negative thoughts about herself. She even broke into a song about just how bad she was. Bobby became a playful name for that character in all of humanity that commandeers the mind to fixate upon and be tormented by its human inadequacies.

Yesterday, Jan and I were reading a lecture Carl Jung gave in 1936 on children’s dreams where he amplified the meaning of a child in a stable. Of course, a major archetypal representation of this is Christ’s birth. Jung pointed out the significance of being born as an animal, in a stable. Why would a “god” incarnate thusly?

Jung suggested that the stable archetype offers support to the lowly human animal to appreciate its animal instinctive self. We hold ourselves to such high spiritual and moral perfectionist standards that take us away from truly appreciating and accepting the instinctual, physical animal that we really are. Perhaps this is the original sin that gives fertile ground to Bobby the flyer. As soon as we switch from body to consciousness, or spirit self, all we see are our human animal failings.

As I sat in bed observing Bobby doing his “I’m so bad” thing, I suddenly realized that my back didn’t hurt so much and then I remembered the intent I had set before sleep and the dream of walking all night. Could it be possible that my back had actually healed? Could that endless walking on the beach with the anima healing surgeon have been the realization of my very clear intent to heal?

I very gently set my feet onto the floor, stood up straight, and walked a few steps. Pain completely gone!

“Sorry Bobby,” I thought, “guess I’m really not so bad after all!”


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