All posts by Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Love Is No Pity

A place of no pity…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

Perhaps the most Herculean task that we all face is for our Soul to have to fit itself into the helplessness of a human infant’s body, completely dependent upon the kindness of others to usher it into a human life and support it to maturity.

Stan Grof, with his extensive research into the perinatal stages of birth and the accompanying impact of primal birth trauma, has extended our knowledge of the Soul’s consciousness of itself as it evolves through all stages of gestation.

Back further still are the Soul’s prior lives and identities, which the Soul is required to temporarily forget in order to create the blank slate needed to authentically engage in the purity of a totally new, unfettered human life.  Knowledge of one’s infinite life would completely minimize the impact of any suffering in this life, undermining the very reason the Soul chose to enter into the life it is in. Earth School’s working axiom is simple: no pain, no gain.

The postnatal stages of development are archetypally governed by what are called object relationships with significant others, essentially our parents or first caregivers, to reach the necessary milestones of physical and ego autonomy. What we call ego is actually a part of the Soul, wiped clean of its eternal history, capable of growing into a mature adult; ego is the center of the Soul’s identity in this life.

In truth, what we call the inner child is actually the ego itself, a lost soul separated from its true parentage, forced to grow and learn how to navigate this mysterious world it was adopted into. How does one not feel sorry for this lost soul? Even great Master teachers in infinity have a soft spot for the plight of the innocent infant ego. However loving or unloving its adoptive world may be, it will never truly be home.

How does ego not fall prey to self-pity? No matter how much it inflates or deflates itself, at its core, ego feels itself as an abandoned child, disempowered of its divine heritage, inadequate to the task it unknowingly tasked itself with. This pervasive and inescapable self-pity might be tucked away in the ego’s guiding attitude of perfectionism, but even here it sneakily binds one’s attention and emotion through projecting itself upon the sad state of victimized others.

The shamans of ancient Mexico pierced this true reality of human suffering. They understood that the majority of human energy is spent on self-pity. To unclip one’s wings and fly to true freedom one needs a ruthless awakening to this hostage state. They called this great accomplishment, arriving at the place of no pity.

Carlos Castaneda truly loved his Master teacher, the Nagual, don Juan Matus. One day, don Juan had Carlos drive him into a city. Suddenly, Don Juan transmogrified himself into a feeble old man, who had seemingly just suffered a stroke. Carlos was beside himself with fear and pity. Don Juan then started screaming for help, claiming that Carlos was a predatory foreigner trying to rob and kill him. This aroused a group of young men who chased after Carlos.

Carlos was able to get away and ultimately reach a place of cold indifference toward don Juan, at which point he returned and found don Juan transmogrified back into his more familiar, kind and youthful self. Carlos had reached the place of no pity, total detachment.

In fact, the place of no pity is the place where the ultimate veil of narcissism is lifted. Don Juan explained that Carlos’ apparent love and pity for the old suffering don Juan was actually a projection of his own self-pity onto don Juan. The egoistic inner child state of self-pity was lifted as Carlos stepped out of the matrix of his projected self.

A modern example might be a parent blocking their adult addict child’s phone number. This ruthless act is in fact an act of true love, as the child is given the opportunity to assume responsibility for sustaining their own life in this world, a hallmark milestone of mature adulthood.

This cutting of the phone cord sends the message to the child that they truly have been let go to live their own life, and for them to trust in their own independent Soul to guide their journey, wherever that may lead. Trust that this being has their own angels and spirit guides. Retire the overbearing helicopter parent attitude.

In letting go, the parent must suffer the dread of the deep subconscious parental archetype that refuses to ever release the parent from parental responsibility.  However, to fully let go, the parent must in turn assume responsibility for their own innerly projected wounded child, which they had previously sought to rescue in the person of their actual child.

For love to rise above the veil of narcissism we must free ourselves from our own self-pity. Outwardly, this means reclaiming our self-pitied selves and facing them squarely. Ego is next tasked with assuming its true purpose and capability in this life: aligning with and mastering its greater Soul’s true mission for this life. That mission is likely situated in the very life circumstance that draws one to self -pity.

Truthfully, the adult self must arrive at the place of no pity toward its own inner child’s journey. This involves deep loving compassion for all of the child’s suffering yet appreciation for the lessons learned and a total assimilation/integration of those experiences into the adult self’s being.

From a place of no pity all experiences are valued with true equanimity. The real question becomes not how was I victimized, but what have I learned? And yes, the journey requires feeling the fullness of all life lived, however traumatic, and the release of stored emotional energies, but ultimately it is awe for the fantastic journey of the fullness of one’s actual life that one seeks.

In the end, full assimilation means to appreciate one’s life, regardless of its experiences, as a beautiful work of art. In this way the child self is dissolved into a powerful adult being, who discovers how much it has truly learned and grown through all of life’s many experiences, good and bad alike.

With this loving embodiment of all that one is, one is reunited with one’s greater Soul. And then one is able to handle remembering their true identity, in and beyond this life.

The willingness to suffer the fullness of one’s Soul’s mission is true love of self, love of Soul, and love of other.

On the mission, with love,
Chuck

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Chuck’s Place: A Vibrant Synchronicity

Exhale…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

The blog I intended to write this week is not this one. This blog is the result of a profound synchronicity that Jan and I experienced and that I feel is my responsibility to share. My intent is to present it as it occurred, leaving all interpretations to the mind and heart of the reader.

In recent months, someone had sent me the book, Breath, by James Nestor. Jan started to read it alone and then informed me that we should read it together because, as she said, “it is a book that will change our lives.” That suggestion caught my attention!

We read the book eagerly over a couple of week’s time. One chapter was particularly challenging, dealing with the potential health benefits of carbon dioxide retention via slow exhalation. Though I regularly practice breath retention, as prescribed by ancient pranayama techniques, as well as practices suggested by Jack Schwarz, I never connected its benefits as stemming from the retention of carbon dioxide in the body.

A major collaborator of James Nestor in the exploration of breath is the Swedish researcher, Anders Olsson. Both have spent more than ten years researching the effects of breathing on the human body.

Independent of my knowing, Jan researched Olsson’s website and discovered and purchased a pair of breathing devices called the Relaxator. She presented me with one. It looked like a plastic whistle or pacifier, and it cost $35! Needless to say, I was not impressed. Jan said, for the second time, “it’s going to change our lives!”

In spite of my doubts, I began to experiment with its protocol, which is to place the Relaxator in the mouth, breathe in deeply through the nose and then exhale slowly through the Relaxator, which constricts the breath and elongates the exhalation.

After the first 15-minute session I was deeply calmed and, yes, hooked! Jan and I have been deepening our practice ever since. During our last shared breathing session, I had the thought that when we finished we’d reread the chapter in Breath that dealt with carbon dioxide, to further grasp its action in the body, and then move on to an unrelated spiritual book, entitled Letters From The Afterlife, which we had been reading.

To backtrack a little, when we had previously finished reading Breath and pondered what to read next, Jan quickly breezed through our library and knew that Letters was the book we should read. She plucked it off the shelf and declared that we hadn’t read it yet. It’s part of our modest collection of Spiritualist books from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

Letters is a channelled book by Elsa Barker, published in 1915. The character she channelled was the prominent judge, spiritual seeker and noted author, James Patterson Hatch, whom Elsa had known while he was alive in human form. From his place on the other side of the veil, he made contact with Elsa and asked her to write Letters, which documents his discoveries of life after death, which he desired to share with humanity.

So, when Jan and I had completed our breathing session, instead of picking  up Breath, as previously planned, I unthinkingly picked up Letters and opened to the next chapter to be read: Letter 31, A Change Of Focus. In this chapter, Judge Hatch quite abruptly describes a methodology to heighten one’s psychic powers by raising one’s vibration through the practice of breath retention! This discussion was completely out of context from all the letters we had previously read.

Judge Hatch states that he has met with yogis in India in meditation who are aware that the retention of the breath causes a buildup of a poison (obviously carbon dioxide) that acts upon one’s psychic nature, raising one’s vibration and psychic powers. He suggested that at the level of gross matter—the physical body—many illnesses are cured as well. Judge Hatch mused that for all the volumes published on Yoga, none of them had described the physiological roots of the retention practice.

Well, as I realized that I had picked up a book written in 1915 that out of nowhere answered the question I intended to receive from one published in 2020, I knew, in that moment, that Judge Hatch is a teacher still! Though living in the astral dimension beyond this world, he continues to be very much focused on supporting spiritual evolution in the modern world, through the use of an extremely practical method—the retention of breath, the very method that I had recently been learning about myself. I further realized that a trickster spirit had crafted an amazing set of circumstances to captivate my attention!

I feel a deeply grounded imperative to pass on Judge Hatch’s synchronistic affirmation of Anders Olsson’s research. Of course my intent here is not to prescribe or recommend the Relaxator. My intent is to share a most vibrant synchronicity and, for me, a clear interaction with a spirit seeking to benefit humankind.

Links are provided below to the works cited, in case one is interested in taking the journey of this synchronous happening for one’s self.

Synchronicity provides a meeting place for different soul dimensions, both within and outside the self. Anyone who might choose to engage in a practice with breathing should consult with their medical practitioners to obtain medical clearance. This blog is simply informational, not prescriptive.

Gratitude for the gift of Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art. Love for all the souls engaged in this fantastic voyage of ever-evolving consciousness.

Vibrantly,
Chuck

Elsa Barker: Letters from the Afterlife
James Nestor: Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art
Anders Olsson’s website: Conscious Breathing
The Relaxator

Chuck’s Place: Belief Is Destiny

Owning beliefs from all quarters…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

Belief is a mental, not physical, process. We could say that belief, in its insubstantial state, is a spirit, comparable to thought. In fact, we could define belief as a fixed, determined thought whose spirit energy arranges perception and physical matter to conform to its expectations.

Spirit is our active Mars/Yang energy, the energy of intent that engages our Yin/Venus energy, the energy of attraction, to manifest our spirit beliefs. Beliefs become the seedlings of the events of our lives via intent and the law of attraction. All beliefs become true in their ability to attract the very gross matter circumstances that substantiate their validity.

Our subconscious mind is the home of our Yin energy. All of our spirit beliefs are endowed with our Yin energy in our subconscious minds to attract and manifest most of the events of our lives. Indeed, some untoward events passively happen to us, independent of our intent, yet even these apparently random happenings might reflect a deeper intent being housed at an unconscious level.

For example, a conscious intent for change and new life might be thwarted by a blocking belief at an unconscious level that far prefers the security of the status quo. In this case, blocking beliefs override, or, at the very least, weaken, the spirit of desired change.

Karma could be defined as our inherited belief state. Our astrological birth chart is the blueprint for the manifestation of the core beliefs we have accumulated from the various milestones of our infinite journey.

The moment and circumstances of our birth reflect the intent of our high Spirit, in concert with the cosmic Yin energy of the universe, to reflect our previously accumulated level of karmic development in a life on Earth, which offers us the opportunity to deepen our knowledge and advance ourselves to a new level of karmic clarity, challenge, and release.

Individuation can be defined as discovering and squaring with all the opposing beliefs we house in our unconscious karmic warehouse. Typically, we define ourselves at the level of ego consciousness. For the sake of consistency, the ego defends against knowing or owning alien thoughts and feelings dystonic to its working definition of self. It likes to stay in its comfort zone.

As a consequence, much of who we are is suppressed in the shadow dimension of our unconscious, or is simply kept from ever emerging from the deepest transpersonal levels of the collective unconscious. The current renaissance of psychedelic therapy reflects the impetus to force open the knowing and experience of these hidden levels of being.

Although transpersonal exploration is the wave of our evolutionary times, we must be careful to realize that we are here, in the gross matter form we inhabit, to fully live and solve the karmic riddle of the personal sphinx we came here to advance. To be overly seduced by spirit encounters and communion with mythical beings and archetypes can be the ultimate distraction from our core, grounded Earthly mission.

If we can suspend judgment toward our own beliefs, as well as the beliefs of others, we are freed to more deeply enter their vortex and discover their etiology. For instance, an adult’s inner child’s belief that it is responsible for the abusive treatment it received can be understood as issuing both from its young narcissistic, cognitive developmental level, as well as the defensive action of its instinct for self-preservation.

If we can blame ourselves for the shattering behavior of others, we can protect those who harm us, for we may need them in order to survive. As well, if we are to blame, we can maintain control over the world, believing we are the cause of everything that happens to us. However, if we respect our inner child’s belief by confronting it, feeling it, and interacting with it, the child might crack the nut of its fixated belief, freeing itself to experience new life with its adult self.

Therefore, what we believe is indeed our destiny. Destiny means we MUST live it, at least in some form. If we refuse to know about it, it will need to continually reappear in gross matter, or physical life circumstances, to give us new opportunities to crack the nut. This is our true karma, to crack the nut of what we are truly up against now, in this life.

However, if we are willing to suffer the fullness of our beliefs by owning and getting to know them on a deeply inner level, without having to act them out to get to know them, we can truly free ourselves from their limitations and journey into new life in our infinite journey.

Refining destiny,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Divine Bi-Spirituality

Divine connection…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

The typical splitting of body and spirit into a pair of opposites, though useful in contrasting gross and subtle expressions of energy, reinforces a spiritual prejudice against the body, encumbered with its instinctual life. Most spiritual traditions, while tolerant of life in a physical body, place a premium on sacrificing carnal life for the betterment of spiritual evolution.

Furthermore, the physical world is typically associated with feminine energy, which is equally devalued or seen as subservient to the superior masculine spirit. The body, with its instinctual inclinations, is associated with evil and passions, that which must be sacrificed to achieve spiritual advance.

This stripping of the physical body and instinctive mind of divine association has been the prerogative of ego consciousness, which has the ability to exercise its will over instinct and the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Most profoundly has been the explosive growth of the rational mind, with its associated prefrontal cortex, which claims absolute power over the belief systems of modern humans.

It can certainly be argued that the one-sidedness of modern ego consciousness matches the one-sidedness of our early ancestor’s absolute dependence on instinctual guidance. However, this modern one-sidedness has clearly reached the tipping point, as the world is currently being reshaped by the breakthrough of repressed instinctual forces of destruction.

Marie Louise von Franz, Jung’s most valued associate, reflected on a Romanian fairy tale about a 17-year-old princess who was turned into a cat via a curse from the Virgin Mother, Mary. The curse required that both her cat tail and cat head be cut off by a prince for her to be restored to her human self.

This association of witchy behavior with the Virgin Mother is highly unusual. Von Franz believed it represented the repressed state of the feminine by the Catholic Church. Mary’s shadow delivered a curse intended to fully redeem the feminine.

Von Franz associates the cat’s tail with its dominant animal instinct. Symbolically, the cutting off of the tail represents a humanizing ability to successfully handle the threat of being overpowered by one’s instinctual feelings and sensations. Feelings and sensations are a divine gift, but to be received in a fully human way they must be refined from their overpoweringly compulsive control and integrated as part of a balanced self.

Men who struggle with premature ejaculation learn to breathe and get calm to be able to tolerate and savor the feelings and sensations associated with sexual activity. Divine union must include the wholeness of feelings and sensations. 

Cutting off the head addresses the one-sidedness of mental control by ego or the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Most times, the experience of anxiety is the consequence of the projection of an archetype onto a person or situation one is confronting. Thus, if one’s boss evokes anxiety, it is likely that one is dealing with the image of the destructive side of the Great Mother, or wrathful Yahweh, which must be cut off before one can have a human interaction.

Shamanic journeys, active imagination, and dreaming all offer venues to heroically confront and ‘cut off’ the influence of these archetypes that overshadow human interaction. Breath work, yoga, and meditation provide pathways to gain control over the central nervous system to again cut off the power of the archetypes to possess human life.

Similarly, romantic relationships can’t progress to true connection if one can’t cut off the control of an Adonis or Aphrodite mental projection onto one’s human partner. One will always feel less than when their partner is experienced as divine. Mythology is very instructive in pointing out the pitfalls of human and godly union.

While fully appreciating the attraction and beauty of each other, a couple can truly communicate in a real, down-to-earth human way. Thus, the intensified experience of a divine connection with another human being is truly possible if one communicates directly with the actual person they are with.

Mental presence, unencumbered by divine projection, in combination with matured feelings and sensations is the key to divine bi-spirituality. Our spiritual essence is both body and spirit equally engaged, equally valued, equally matured.

Our collective world shamanic journey of now beckons us to retrieve the lost and captured parts of our wholeness, in particular, our feminine and  animal selves.

The body is as much spirit as the spirit itself. It must be granted its true value and raised to its highest spiritual potential. This is the essence of divine bi-spirituality: as above, so below.

Love all,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Just A Boy And A Little Girl*

That inner partner might pop up at any time…
-Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

Just like the roots of our computer programs, that boil down to zeroes and ones, human beings are all, at their core, a combination of male and female, (+) and (-) energy. Psychologically, this means that our wholeness includes the existence of an inner contrasexual partner.

Jung called the inner feminine character in a male personality the anima and the inner male character in a woman the animus. These characters are living entities that interact with our ego, and various other characters within our psyche, where they impact our attitudes, beliefs and moods. Often these characters project themselves onto actual people in the world, which greatly impacts how we judge and feel toward the recipient of their projection.

We are, psychologically, hermaphroditic beings, conjoined together for life. Our individuation challenge, regardless of our sexual orientation, is to achieve union with our inner contrasexual partner. This requires getting to know our opposite side, respecting and accepting its existence, and achieving inner harmony with what is often experienced as a highly conflicted self.

Failure to achieve union with one’s inner other-half often results in suppression of one’s inner partner’s perspectives and feelings, a total denial of its existence, and countless conflicts with one’s outer intimate partner, who may be confused with one’s inner unknown partner.

How often do we feel judged and offended by what we assume another person thinks and feels? Little do we know that our ‘intimate knowledge’ of our outer partner is actually a reflection of our own unknown, or rejected, inner self.

Qualities of masculine energy include the mental function of thinking, most dominantly within the constraints of logic. Masculine energy tends to be active and solitary.

The dominant feature of feminine energy is relatedness, which seeks emotional connection. Feminine energy tends to be receptive, seeking to receive and compliment the energy of another. All of human experience involves some combination of masculine and feminine qualities and energies.

Writing this blog has required my feminine energy to become pregnant with masculine ideas needing containment and maturation to bear fruit. My patience with this congealing process is reflected in the words and thoughts pouring forth as I write.

Sometimes my anima insists upon a colorful word because she likes an idea dressed in her style. Sometimes my masculine ego is too abstract, refusing to give a down-to-Earth example that would facilitate ease of understanding.

In dialogue with my anima, I concede my abstract bias and agree to use this example of my personal process to help readers connect to my idea. My anima agrees to let go of her attachment to attractive but unnecessary words.

Often one’s contrasexual partner defends the ego by using its ability to reason to argue a point, regardless of the absurdity of its argument. Sometimes the defense comes in the form of powerful moods, where one’s inner other tells it how undeserving it is of the treatment it has received.

Through genuine interaction with our inner other, we achieve a collaborative relationship that facilitates progress in our individuation and also clears the way outwardly for positive relationships with others.

If we find ourselves in conflict outwardly, we do well to first check in with our inner contrasexual partner, who we might be avoiding and meeting instead in projected form in our current impasse. Most relational problems originate in one’s lack of relatedness within. As is often said: as within, so without.

Go within; work it out. Become that boy and a little girl, actually changing that whole wide world.

Working it out,
Chuck

*Words from John Lennon’s Isolation.