All posts by Chuck

Chuck’s Place: A World of Suggestion

A new suggestion…

Roughly speaking, the left brain is the home of personality and ego, the right brain is the home of our evolutionary history, our intuition, and our connection to spirit.

Eminent Yale psychologist Julian Jaynes hypothesized that, prior to the dawn of consciousness—that is, left brain ego—right brain automatically dictated human response to environmental and physical triggers. He went so far as to suggest that humans have always had voices in the head telling them what to do!

Carl Jung named these innate programs archetypal images that directed human behavior, unconsciously, through directives to the subconscious mind. Prior to the birth of ego consciousness, humans functioned as do animals, automatically reacting to the world according to the directives of archetypes. With the dawn of ego consciousness, humans developed the ability to reflect and choose whether to follow the automatic promptings of archetypal images or not.

The biblical Garden of Eden story depicts this moment of ego wrestling the ability to choose from the control of the archetypes. God essentially cast humans from the Garden for their decision to break from archetypal mandates. Thus, fledgling ego was left to both think for itself and manage the influence of archetypes upon itself. Left brain development gave humans the power to suggest their own destiny.

Nineteenth-century psychologists were immersed in the study of hypnosis, which could so deeply impact human behavior through the use of suggestion. Their studies proved that once a subject established connection with a hypnotist, it was even possible to be influenced by a mere thought of that hypnotist, though they be miles removed from the subject’s location.

Here we have an example of right brain non-spatial interconnectedness utilized by a hypnotist to circumvent a subject’s ego control and direct their subconscious to act. In clinical terms, we might call this an established transference, where the hypnotist becomes the authority figure that takes over the operation of the mind of the subject.

Psychic researcher Frederic Myers predicted, in the late 19th century, that hypnosis, with its components of trance and suggestion, would be foundational in clinical research in the 20th century. He was right. However, what took up the charge in the 20th century was applied marketing psychology, with the intent of material gain through influencing human behavior.

Psychologists Walter Scott and John Watson scoffed at the notion that humans were reasoning animals, calling them instead “creatures of suggestion”. They were able to demonstrate how easily the supposed ego could be subverted by powerful suggestions. They founded the advertising industry, perfecting the use of archetypal images in advertisements as bold suggestions, combined with verbal or written commands, to influence consumer’s purchases.

The modern world is dominated by an advertising industry that has now morphed into a social media that directly subverts the fledgling ego of humankind via hypnotic suggestion. Today, when a candidate runs for office, the main concern is the size of their war chest, that is, dollars to be spent to hypnotically entrance the electorate.

No longer is science or rational thought a trusty guide. The world is largely run by influencers, who through word, image, repetition and command entrance the populace with suggestions that become facts via their action upon the subconscious mind.

We are indeed creatures of suggestion, but with a reasoning capacity. The ego, however, is easily possessed or circumvented by the power of hypnotic suggestion. In fact, most of daily functioning is driven by one incessant voice in the head, the internal dialog.

To take back our extraordinary power to manifest via our subconscious powerhouse, it is best to assume conscious control of our innate suggestive tendency. Begin by identifying where you have unconsciously transferred your personal authority, allowing it to be controlled by the commands of authority figures.

Break the spell of these figures by commanding your central nervous system to go calm when you think of or visualize them. This is taking back inner control of the self. Regularly send the subconscious new suggestions to get calm. Exercise your own reasoning capacity, allowing it to guide your understanding and actions.

Truly take charge of your self-hypnosis with suggestions consciously intended for the betterment of self, and the greater good. Suggestion is indeed a highly influential force in human manifestation, but exercise it with reasoned care.

Go deeper into calm,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Law of Compensation

In flight in life, grounded in death, beautiful nonetheless…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Carl Jung recognized the psyche’s insistence upon balancing itself out in some way. Thus, if we consciously live a one-sided attitude in waking life, our dreams will balance it out with characters and dramas that engage us in the exact opposite attitude. Freud captured this principle in describing sexually promiscuous dreams as balancing an individual’s sexually repressive waking life attitude.

Psychic researcher, both in human life and in his soul’s afterlife, Frederic Myers, teaches from infinity how this law of compensation extends into the life of the soul after its completion of physical life. Myers channels, through Geraldine Cummins, his observation of the soul’s residence in the Plane of Illusion, the immediate world we encounter after a brief adjustment phase subsequent to physical death. (See both The Road to Immortality and Beyond Human Personality by Geraldine Cummins.)

Similar to the Buddhist description of a personalized bardo, Myers describes how the soul’s imagination creates a world uniquely suited to fulfilling its unlived earthly dreams, or to feel fully the pain it caused others, as it compensates for the cruelty it delivered during its earthly sojourn.

Souls live and reside in these personal environments until they achieve the completed balance to further their soul’s journey at higher, more subtle and objective levels of infinity. Thus, the Plane of Illusion enacts the life necessary to compensate for and balance out the life just completed in human form.

On Earth, presently, we have two distinguished nonagenarians, Noam Chomsky and Sir David Attenborough, reflecting to us how this law of compensation is exacting its present toll upon our planet’s survival. In a recent podcast with Ezra Klein*, Chomsky states, without hesitation or reserve, that humankind has twenty years left to radically change its environmental behaviors before it faces definite extinction.

This deeply reflective 92-year-old scholar is bluntly pointing out how significant this time on Earth is for humanity. Within our current lifetime, decisions and actions now taken will determine the near immediate fate of our human race and planet Earth.

How much greater a wakeup call could there be? How awesome to be a participant in life, on this planet, at this moment in time! Such the opportunity to awaken to a world unfiltered by blurry narcissism!

Attenborough is gentler in his challenge to a humankind that has doubled its world population in the last fifty years, seriously squeezing out other life on the planet. In his Netflix series, A Life on Our Planet**, Attenborough invites us, in graphic detail, into the beautiful yet tenuous balance of all of nature, deeply interdependent and perilously impacted by human habit. He remains optimistic, appealing to our love and awe for our home planet to curb our attitude of entitled excess.

Much of the human population is reacting aberrantly to this intuitive knowing of the precarious state of the planet that both these distinguished sages affirm. Addictions of many kinds reflect a mass of humanity seeking to remain comfortably numb in the oblivion of a soothing, fanciful, materialistic womb. Staggering gun sales reflect the fantasy of survival in a post-apocalyptic world of diminished resource.

The objective truth is that humankind is emotionally and cognitively at a narcissistic stage of development. Narcissism represents an early developmental stage of the imagination, filtered and constrained by the needs of self. From the vantage point of narcissism, the purpose of other beings and resources is limited to serving the self, the boundary of the known world.

Decisions and actions stemming from this narrow view are often to grow and hoard as much as materially possible, to be able to move about as desired, and to continue to survive and thrive upon a dying planet. Migrants are often seen as aliens, trying to take what is not rightfully theirs, rather than as people seeking refuge from an increasingly uninhabitable planet.

The issue is not ultimately about caring for the less fortunate, however noble such a cause. The deeper issue is about facing and taking right action to save the planet. And right action is the willingness to sacrifice, to set limits upon the supposed sacrosanct right to more, more, more.

Very early in my college days, I ventured into an economics course, which insisted, as its sacred dogma, that humankind’s need for more was innate, and that the world must be irrevocably organized to meet this human demand. Who ever questions the given that the economy, jobs, the human population and the stock market must continually grow?

The world emerges now from its yearlong pandemic retreat. Already, CO2 emissions are climbing back to “normal”. All envision expansion as recovery. And yet, as Attenborough’s graphic display of the melting of Antarctica portends, the compensation for expansion will be the continued unleashing of endless viruses upon the world stage.

Chomsky points to atomic fusion as the likely safe antidote to our ever-growing world energy demand, but states that such a solution is decades beyond our twenty-year survival limit. But I ask, why do we accept, without question, this supposed absolute imperative that we accommodate our energy appetite?

Beyond this materialist fixation upon energy expansion lies the final frontier of energetic expansion into the province of our soul. The energy body, our subtle soul that innervates our physical body during the physical phase of our immortal life, is ripe for discovery and exploration now, while we reside in human form.

This is literally the stuff that dreams are made of. To open to this dimension of spiritual life is to direct the human felt manifest destiny for more into sustainable evolution. To awaken to this spiritual unfolding is to stretch the imagination beyond its narcissistic constraints, to take in the deeper reality in which the self is a participant but not everything.

The current initiatives to address climate change, at the highest levels of world governance, are laudable but likely to suffer the sad fate of most New Year’s resolutions. More likely, are continued attacks from nature herself—from viruses to earthquakes—to assist humankind, via compensation, to learn to curb and redirect its insatiable appetite for more.

Nature can take down our energy infrastructure in a heartbeat, teaching us how to live small and interdependently. The law of compensation insists that we will find our way to balance. All individuals are empowered to address this inevitable fate by squaring with the imbalances in their own lives.

Taking an honest accounting of one’s habits, and willingly sacrificing excess, in whatever form, is both the individual and the planetary imperative. All excess, voluntarily sacrificed, results in the accrual of energy for spiritual advancement and planetary survival. All individual sacrifice of excess additionally accrues to humankind’s growing account of energy for necessary attitudinal shift: from narcissism to right action.

The law of compensation is the truly sacrosanct law that governs this world, and the beyond. It will help us to grow and find fulfillment through mastering the art of sacrifice. We can aid this natural and spiritual law by voluntarily taking a personal inventory of habits and aligning with right action and true interdependent need.

Start small; all donations, of whatever size, are equally appreciated. Choose one small act of sacrifice today and notice its subtle appreciation by physical body and energetic spirit. Ask for help from the unseen and experience the synchronistic material response.

Put the law of compensation to best use: let material sacrifice be compensated by spiritual advance.

Appreciating sacrifice,

Chuck

*Ezra Klein interviewing Noam Chomsky
**David Attenborough’s film trailer

Chuck’s Place: Go Deeper Into Calm

Nestle in calmness…
– Photo by J. E. Ketchel

The mass shootings of now grate upon our collective heart, nerves and gut, agitating our intent for calm and spiritual advancement in ourselves and our world. Our reactions range from outrage to utter despondency, true depression of spirit.

In the midst of WWI, in 1915, psychic researcher Frederic Myers, who had physically died in 1901, channelled to Juliet Goodenow the following perspective on the forces at play in the Great War, from his removed subtle perch in the next dimension:

“Germany is suffering today, in consequence of her having accepted as truth the writings of misguided theorists, involving the world in a conflict of opinion. Materialists have accomplished this tragic result through the materialistic belief of the nation… Nations that overdevelop materialistic ideas lose the necessary spiritual balance to retain sufficient equilibrium.” (Letters to Juliet: Is there Life after Death? p. 18)

Certainly, if we fast-forward to WWII, Germany fully materialized its theories of human perfection through actualizing laboratory procedures of purification via human extinction. The Holocaust became the ultimate material realization of misguided and misapplied spirit.

The passion of misguided beliefs achieving materialization are the tragic sparks we witness daily on our current world stage. The equilibrium we require for stability is extremely tenuous. How might an individual, but a cell of this living world soul, contribute to needed balance, both within and without?

All have direct access to the inner workings of their central nervous system. The subtlest thought or vibration registers in the nerves of the body, activating automatic reactions and responses. The speed and network of this subconscious activity is far more rapid than the deliberate analytic workings of the conscious mind.

As a result of these hidden mind/body processes, we might find ourselves seized with passion, or equally mired in sullen mood for unseen or unreflected reasons. These unconscious operations take hold of our state of physical charge and swoosh us along like dried leaves in a powerful wind. Collectively these winds generate the human clashes of now.

True, there are forces, seen and unseen, that strategically seek to provoke such disarray; all are not the meeting of non-premeditated intents. However, intended or random, we, as individuals, have the power to assume control of our central nervous systems.

In fact, this is critical to our greatest challenge in life, as we all must release our physical bodies at our time of death. Critical to optimal transition is the ability to completely relax, let go, and go with the flow of body to spirit. Resistance or refusal at this stage fixates one’s journey in an alternative illusory life, necessary to be completed before the real journey can be successfully resumed.

Thus, now, while fully alive as souls in physical body partnership, through focus upon our physical body, which constantly registers and reacts to spirit commands—conscious and unconscious—we can deepen our spirit’s calm and take command of our soul’s journey in this life and beyond.

The practice is quite simple, yet like all skills of value, requires patience and perseverance for optimal development. We begin by turning our awareness, which is a function of our spirit, to the state of tension in the physical body. We will notice if our heart rate is elevated, if our jaws are clenched, if our breathing is restricted, if our throats are constricted, if our belly is tight, if our perineum is tense, if pain or numbness is registering in some organ or appendage of the body.

With conviction and intention, we suggest to the body to go deeper into calm as we consciously release the tension in the body, taking it down a notch in calmness. With our breath in exhalation, we ask the body to take it down to another level of calm. We repeat this several times, as we reset and take command of the state of relaxation in the body.

Notice how another spirit, the internal dialogue, begins to initiate its interpretations, judgments, negative beliefs and stories, and how they stir the body to resume a tense state. Don’t engage in arguing with this cognitive activity. Instead, use it as a trigger to go deeper into calm.

In fact, begin to use all explosions of emotion and physical threat as triggers to go deeper into calm. Fear not that this will ill-prepare you to respond to danger. Every seasoned martial artist knows that the best strategy for encounter is the clarity afforded by deep calm. Certainly, the greatest opponent of all, death itself, is best managed in utter calm.

From the place of deep calm, you contribute calm and clarity to the collective world’s nervous system, contributing soothing balance to stabilize it in such tumultuous times.

Regardless of eruption upon the planetary surface, go deeper into calm. This is the Spirit that will materialize true equilibrium in our world. 

Go deeper into calm,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Sorcery & Crazy Wisdom

Wholeness: engaging the light & the dark…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Carlos Castaneda said that if anyone opened to the energy of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico they would be inundated by their influence. The modern day shamans of his line acknowledge that all their knowledge comes from this ancient heritage; what has changed is their intent in how they use that knowledge.

The ancient shamans coveted power, and their ability to perform such supernatural acts as defying physical death itself, by remaining in physical form, for centuries. The modern shamans saw this intent as binding one to the physicality of the Earth rather than allowing one to move completely into the energy body and evolve into the subtler dimensions upon dying. Freedom to evolve is the intent of these modern-day shamans.

Don Juan Matus was concerned, throughout his mentorship of Carlos, that Carlos’s nature was too infused with the predilection of the ancient shamans. He foresaw that Carlos might become a Nagual partial to the sorcery ways of the ancient shamans. Those shamans trained their apprentices with the full-on ruthlessness of sorcery.

Sorcery has absolutely no morality, nor compassion, in its training manual. Jan’s Recapitulation Diaries document her, at the time, unknown early life apprenticeship with a dark sorcerer of ancient tradition. The training was brutal, yet her survival and recapitulation advanced her to a complete equanimity of consciousness.

Jan’s early life of abuse was the journey with the ancient shamans, whose throw ’em in the deep end predilection was later completed with the modern shaman’s road to freedom via recapitulation. Being shattered is forced psychic awakening; recapitulation leads to psychic wholeness and keen functionality.

Jan’s journey reflects the pervasive journey of our time: incessant trauma. Complex PTSD is the natural human response to the events, human and environmental, of current life upon the planet. Gaia is challenging us now with full-on sorcery, crushing our left brain’s fantasies of control. She expects a total recapitulation, and right action, for us to be ready to retake the helm with integrity.

Sorcery takes no prisoners. Petty tyrants are not fair. To survive, the ego must learn to be a keen observer, taking action only as absolutely necessary and appropriate. Demanding fairness and entitlement from a petty tyrant depletes energy and puts one at risk. Trauma forces entry into to the subtler dimensions, but even there one must not dally in the safety of dissociation. Mindful presence is the necessary ego state of survival.

Mindful presence must be cultivated out of defensive vigilance, which, if unrefined, depletes energy reserves and forestalls the necessary ability to go with the flow. Edy Eger in her memoir, The Choice, documents the impeccability of her mindful presence during her time in Auschwitz. Nonetheless, her journey remains a work in progress, as the full retrieval of her energy from the traumas of her life is still a work in progress.

As long as the sensational and emotional imprints of trauma remain charged in the central nervous system—in the form of triggers—present life remains partially frozen in the past. A fully clear and present life requires the complete experience of everything, and full detachment from everything, that has ever happened to us.

I experienced the modern shamanic side of Carlos Castaneda. The tools he offered are tools of freedom. Recapitulation is the tool of freedom from the trappings of trauma. I did not experience the fully ancient sorcerer side of Carlos that Amy Wallace documents in her memoir, Sorcerer’s Apprentice: My Life With Carlos Castaneda.

I know too many characters from my time in that world to doubt the validity of her journey. The cognitive dissonance between her experience and mine, made me keep her book at bay for years. She documents experiences that are so anathema to everything I stand for, that if Carlos were still in this world I believe he should be imprisoned. 

At the same time, the validity of the tools he passed on have cracked the nut of total healing from PTSD.  Certainly, Carlos ensured, by his extreme polarized ego states, that he would not be venerated beyond this life. The value of his tools are in their utility, not in their association with him.

Buddhism has its own brand of sorcery. Chogyam Trungpa, Tibetan refugee, teacher, scholar, founder of the Shambala Training method and Naropa University, had a similar shadow life to Carlos Castaneda’s. This included sexually abusive and inappropriate behaviors.

Many in the Buddhist world have been so positively impacted by Chogyam’s teachings that they accept the cognitive dissonance of his shadow behavior as “crazy wisdom”, essentially appreciating his sorcery activity as a deeply challenging but valid form of teaching.

As with Carlos, if Chogyam were still alive in this world, he too should be prosecuted for unlawful behavior. Tricksters have their value in teaching but they are not above the laws of this world. At the same time, spiritual advancement requires that we totally accept every experience we have ever had, regardless of how beautiful or horrific it might have been.

Though we may subscribe to the highest level of morality, life itself is amoral. Though rising in the subtler dimensions requires progressively deeper refinements of love, we will not progress on that journey if we cannot accept every experience of our lives with equanimity. If we can’t find our way to love with that which is most horrific, its mastery defines our karmic destiny.

Sorcery and crazy wisdom are indeed expressions of the dark side of the force. Encounters with the dark side are required Earth School courses. Achieving wholeness—the coveted diploma from Earth School—requires that we know and accept everything we have ever done, or that was done to us, with equanimity.

With gratitude to the dark and the light—the wholeness,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Thinking Outside the Brain

Looking toward the heavens, and all that we are…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

What happens to the thinking mind of ‘I‘ when the brain dies? Modern neuroscience is in its heyday as it penetrates the biology, chemistry and neurocircuitry of the brain, unraveling the material wonder of mental processing. But, if death is truly not lights out, wherein lies this mental continuity in the soul beyond physical life?

Might it be, as esoteric experience suggests, that the physical body is actually an avatar of the soul? Though the physical brain functions as a self-regulating external hard drive, could it be that the more subtle brain of the soul is the true command center of the physical body?

Elmer Green spent seven intense years working with his wife Alyce in her journey through Alzheimer’s disease. Her physical brain deteriorated to the point of her inability to recall her familial relations. At times, she could become extremely paranoid and combative with her loving husband and professional collaborator of fifty years.

Elmer hypothesized that, due to the brain’s deterioration, the subtle wiring from the physical body to the soul was compromised. This connection is critical to memory, orientation and physical functioning. In esoteric knowing, physical death occurs when the cords between the physical body and the soul snap.

Just as the cutting of the human umbilical cord launches the newborn baby into separate life, as its symbiotic tie to mother physically ends, the soul is freed into independent life at the time of physical death. When the cord between the soul and the physical body is severed at death, the soul, freed from its preoccupation with the workings of a physical body, must adjust to its new milieu and come on line, or be born, to a new orientation in a subtler dimension.

Elmer reasoned that Alyce, in Alzheimer’s, was floundering on the astral plane, as her mental processes were no longer attuned to her physical senses. We all experience this kind of mental state in sleep, as we encounter, at times, bizarre circumstances in dreaming. Lucid dreaming and out-of-body exploration present opportunities for mind to become familiar and comfortable in the subtler dimensions of life.

Dreaming is a natural time for the soul to disengage from the physical body, as it visits more subtle dimensions of reality. The difference in dreaming is that the soul remains attached to the sleeping body, which it reunites with upon awakening, to tackle another day in waking life.

Elmer incessantly grounded Alyce, reading her profoundly esoteric books to provide her with an orientation, or map, to the kinds of territories and encounters she was encountering on the astral plane. At times she was able to come out of her deep disorientation and speak quite eloquently and coherently of her experiences, as well as evidence a profound connection to their life together on earth.

Elmer experienced her soul literally moulding the clay of her brain to function at extremely high levels for brief periods of time. I once had the experience of Jan physically transmogrify into Jeanne’s physical form during a channeling session, with that same intent. Like a scene out of the movie Ghost, we communicated.

Elmer was delighted when Alyce came fully on line in her soul body before she died in her physical form. This enabled Alyce to skip over the sojourn, however brief, in Hades, that departing souls traverse as they reconcile with their life just lived and spend time in semi-conscious replenishment, before waking up and becoming oriented to new life. Alyce went directly to the light.

Perhaps, some day, nursing homes may be seen as valuable in-between stations for preparing departing souls for the definitive journey ahead in infinity. Too often, caretakers and family interpret a resident’s interactions with the dead as hallucinations, generated by a deteriorating brain, versus valid interactions with souls on the next subtle plane.

Frederick Myers, cofounder of the Society for Psychical Research in London, died in 1901 and spent the next 40 plus years communicating to several psychics of his continued exploration of the evolution of the soul in infinity. Myers confirmed that the mind is indeed located in the soul, and that it psychokinetically controls the physical body during human life. Myers went on to elucidate further refinements to the soul, as it traverses seven planes of existence on its journey to the light and beyond.

Thus, thinking, indeed, has a relationship with the physical brain, as body and soul are intimately entwined during physical life. However, who you are, and your ability to think, transcend life in the body. Indeed, we are more than our physical body.

Thinking beyond the body,

Chuck