All posts by Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Terror of Woman

Shed light upon the fog of projection… stay with the truth…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

My intentions for this blog are: (1) to offer knowledge that might be helpful to those working through PTSD, and (2) to provide a greater context to a core problem of humanity that is of particular relevance to understanding and resolving our current Earth crisis. This crisis has reached a point where none should hold back their piece of the puzzle, as all pieces of that puzzle are needed to solve our current woes and launch us into health.

The TV show Grey’s Anatomy offered a boldly graphic and accurate presentation of Acute Stress Disorder, experienced by a woman immediately after a rape (Season 15, Episode 19). This blog is a contribution toward the complete healing of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the typical clinical progression of such a trauma, due to violence inflicted by another. At a certain point in that healing journey, understanding the objective reasons for the perpetrator’s actions is helpful in clarifying the truth that it really wasn’t my fault.

My Irish biological father was a violent alcoholic who beat my mother throughout her three pregnancies. When mother and I were as one, in symbiotic union in our journey through uterine space, we both absorbed the shocks of my father’s rapes and many physical blows. I was born with PTSD locked in the marrow of my bones, as well as in the subtlest dimensions of my Soul.

It would be my destiny, my karma, to locate the cure for PTSD in this lifetime, a deeply personal affair. PTSD would prove to be my worthy opponent in this lifetime. A worthy opponent, in the shamanic world, is that which most forces one to wakeup. Outwardly, in my chosen career as a psychotherapist, many have trusted me with their own frozen selves, the legacies of their own abuse. Within the shaman’s world I was led to recapitulation, the tool central to the complete healing of PTSD.

But beyond healing, what is the true etiology of man’s violence—in its many forms—toward woman? Today it is discovered that mass murderers hate women. Jeffrey Epstein clearly had an absolute need to completely control teenage girls. What was he so afraid of?

In my personal case, my biological father hailed from deep Irish culture, whose perennial ally has been alcohol to dream beyond the felt tyranny of the Mothership, England. An ally, in the shaman’s world, is a spirit that grants access to other worlds but also exacts a high toll in exchange. That same ally also gives license to the shadow’s rage at its impotence to rise above its child prison. Many a ‘good’ Irish woman hides the true deeds of absorbing the rage unleashed by the drink.

My biological father’s mother suffered from migraines and insisted my father be the one delivered, as priest, from the family to the Church. He opposed her will with the help of his ally, alcohol, and displaced his rage upon my mother, the intimate mother replacement in his life, his wife. His ally eventually tricked him into early death. Such is the fate of the refusal to reconcile the forces within the psyche with consciousness.

My adoptive Russian Jewish father, my one true father in this lifetime, venerated my mother, to a fault. Both Mother Russia, which had been his family’s home until the pogroms, and his Jewish matrilineal heritage sanctified Mother, regardless of their patriarchal dominance in practice.

Freud recognized the overarching power of Mother for son. He little understood woman, but he knew of the primal attachment and attraction between mother and son. Freud also never really valued the world beyond the nuclear family. For a son, the oedipal complex, the wish to fully unite with mother, was the single most important fact of life.

A wife, like civilization itself, was but a sublimated second best for mother. Man can erect towers, but even they limply compare to union with mother. For Freud, the confirmed atheist, Mother truly was god, and her power, he believed, was transferred by man onto all subsequent permutations of her, especially in his relationships with women.

When Freud met Jung, he crowned him his prince successor and desperately begged him to promise to uphold, as dogma, what he was convinced was the eternal truth of the oedipal complex. Jung’s  mother had had long psychiatric hospitalizations in his youth. Though she was an object of mystery for Jung, she was primarily an object of fear. Jung’s psychology was transcendent, reaching beyond the foundation of the family nursery. He saw a son’s primal journey to individuation as the hero’s battle for deliverance from dependence upon the mother, and the mother’s world.

For Jung, the psyche deepened beyond the nuclear family, into the depths of the collective unconscious. Ironically, both he and Freud remained chained to tortured relationships with their wives in their lives. Freud indulged in a hidden affair with his wife’s unmarried sister, who lived in their home. Jung indulged in a blatant polygamous life, with two wives (only one actually legitimate), which he publicly displayed and foisted upon his family at Sunday meals. Neither man could bear the tension of their projections upon woman without splitting themselves in two.

Freud’s theories of woman’s psychology dominated clinical practice for decades, forestalling the validation of women’s recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse, relegating them instead to mere childhood sexual fantasy. Jung never publicly explored the impact of having been sexually assaulted in his youth. Nonetheless, their personal journeys into the depths of their own psyches, and the theories they generated, shed invaluable light upon the psychology of man and his core terror of woman.

Freud captured the omnipotent power mother possesses over her infant and growing son. She is the source of life, source of nurturance, source of need gratification, source of love, source of desire, source of pleasure, source of ultimate security, source of soothing, source of entitlement, and yet, source of ultimate frustration via the oedipal complex.

Mother is the most important and most desired person in the world to son. Though his oedipal crush will not be fulfilled, his longing and rage toward her for disappointing him, or toward the power he feels she wields, is often defended against through violence toward all women, who represent subsequent molds of mother, throughout life.

Jung traced the roots of the archetype of mother to matter itself; the primal substance of all things physical in the world. All human life issues from the womb of mother. Mother is the only one who can give life. Mother is nature herself, who both giveth and taketh life. Man can never conceive or deliver life. Mother’s power is primary.

Men, from primitive times, have been fascinated with but terrified by woman’s primal power. Taboos restricting women and protecting men from contact with menstrual blood or menstruating women still survive in modern India. Menstruation, with all its emotional variabilities, threatens man with nature’s destructive, uncontrollable, and unpredictable power.

The true reason for the Inquisition was man’s attempt to control the creative primal power of woman that threatened the controlling patriarchal dogma of the Church. That same terror was the true reason for Hillary Clinton’s surprise 2016 defeat: Man’s terror of being dominated by the primal power of woman.

Man’s relation to his own primal power of sexuality, and its urgency for contact with woman, confronts him with his own nature. Mastering the irrational power and energy of the body’s sexual instinct requires a deep soulful journey; it’s not a simple business transaction.

Gaining control of and building a mature relationship with the sexual instinct is often forfeited, in exchange for demanding and expecting a woman/girl to perform to immature male fantasy. Here, control rules the roost á la Jeffrey Epstein.

Desire for, yet terror of woman—who is experienced as both a goddess who quickly overwhelms his potency, as well as a mother prototype who embodies his oedipal residue—often prompts a man to violence to overcome the supreme power projected onto woman.

Violence castrates a woman’s imagined power, making her  touchable, and it titrates oedipal intimacy down to manageable proportions. This is often the reason for preference of teenage girls and children to adult women, who can only be encountered with full-out violence.

Most women have no clue of the supernatural powers ascribed to them. The mystery, for most girls and women, is why they are targeted.  The truth lies almost completely in the projected imagination of the perpetrator. Her body is a blank slate for the man to act out his superimposed inner drama. That’s what it means to be an object. You really don’t exist at all. Not because you don’t have value, it’s simply that your person has been typecast in another person’s play, and you have no say.

Our current Earth crisis is man’s absolute patriarchal holdout to control, exploit, and fully dominate Mother Nature. Obvious to many, however, is nature’s growing impatience with such hubris. Young people have begun their own alchemical processes to free gender ship of its archetypal bindings, with the reconfiguration of gender assignments into he, she, and they, and beyond. Oh, what androgynous beings we are and may be!

Individually, all are empowered to reconcile their spirits with their human bodies. All bodies are composed of matter. All genders contain father mind and mother body. Mind over matter simply doesn’t work anymore. Nor does projecting one’s inner confusion onto others. All must grant matter the respect and place it is due, as well as be guided by its leadership.

Mother Nature is shifting the balance of power by forcing us into true respect and valuation of each other as the only course for survival. Begin with the self; love and care for the body. Get to know its true powers, needs, and wisdom and let them co-lead the way. It’s the only way to go.

Rather than imbue woman with the supernatural powers of an ally and subdue her with violence, may man accept woman, like matter itself, as his worthy opponent who offers him his greatest opportunity to wakeup.

With gratitude,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: On the Road to Berlin?

There are alternative roads for now…
– Lawn sculpture by Chuck Ketchel, photo by Jan Ketchel

I was born to be a therapist, but my first college degree was in history. I chose history due to my conviction that if we don’t learn from history we repeat our mistakes. As with psychotherapy, a thorough recapitulation of our history frees us from repeating global mistakes.

 My bachelor’s thesis sought to understand the etiology of controversial lectures that Carl Jung delivered to the C. G. Jung Gesellshaft (the Psychological Club of Berlin) in July 1933. I will report more on the findings of this exploration in coming blogs, as it delivers keen insights into the world patterns of now.

Barbara Hannah, an ardent student of Jung’s, was determined to attend these lectures, but this would require her to drive from Switzerland through Germany, alone. When she queried Jung about the advisability of such an undertaking, given the current atmosphere in Germany, he quietly deliberated and then replied, “Yes, risk it! Mind you, I don’t know what will happen, but it will be an interesting experience.”

I am reminded here of the sparkle of delight in Carlos Castaneda’s voice when he would tell us to go have our own journeys and, “See what happens!” All must discover for themselves the truth. We must become our own gurus, not simply rely upon what we are told.

Barbara reports that she encountered almost no cars on the highways but instead crowds of listless hikers wandering along the roads. Barbara writes that when Jung “read in the newspapers that the Germans were restlessly on the move, wandering from place to place, he was reminded of the wanderer Wotan and realized that this was an ‘archaic symbol’ that was certainly going to produce an unacceptable situation in Germany, unless enough individual Germans became conscious of the danger in time.”

History proves that consciousness did not prevail, and a collective trance set in that saw a civilized nation devolve into mass murderers, who committed the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Germany was struggling with difficult economic times, much as the world today is faced with growing scarcity, as the impact of climate change dries up resources and precipitates mass migrations. In an effort to empower Germany’s downtrodden, Germany’s ruler  tapped into the themes of nationalism and white supremacy, blaming the alien, the not pure-white Aryan, in this case the Jews, for controlling and hoarding Germany’s national wealth that only legitimate citizens should be entitled to.

Despite the hypnotic prowess of a charismatic leader, citizens’ psyches cannot be hypnotized unless the rhetoric being preached by the leaders resonates on some level with their own personal beliefs. This is why Jung determined that consciousness, becoming conscious of the beliefs and forces within one’s own psyche and how they operate and hold sway, was the only hope to avert disaster.

When illegal immigrants are arrested and separated from their families, what is the citizen’s internal psychic reaction to this action? Many law-abiding citizens might express sympathy for the children, but blame the parents of those children for their unfortunate predicament. The underlying belief might hold that the illegal entry of those aliens into a country is robbing legitimate citizens of their entitled resources, which trumps the fate of those children.

Citizens might blame their leaders for such horrific practices, but do they inwardly go numb and passively agree, out of concern for their own personal survival? Only consciousness that is willing to honestly face the depths of those feelings and beliefs, within the self, can be freed to act beyond its narrow, self-centered fixation. 

Fear, in this time of scarcity, has resurrected the challenges and behavioral solutions that resulted in WWII. Jung’s sage advice remains fully applicable. If individuals face their own psyches, with deep consciousness, they are no longer vulnerable to outer polarizing suggestions that justify white supremacy and elimination of other.

Just one individual who truly faces the darkness of their shadow can change the world. And what’s in that darkness? As mirrored by world leaders of now, we all have our own narcissistic ME über alles, within us, that may rule from the shadows of our unconscious minds.

Consider the ME that insists on consuming the substance that places the overall self in crisis. Consider the blind conscience whose stock portfolio flourishes in the greatest market gains of all time, fueled by destruction of the planet’s resources and balance. Consider the ME whose hunger for attention takes actions that negate the true well-being of the whole self.

Can we bear the tension of the volatile energies of desire, like a Christ nailed to a cross, or a Buddha sitting unflinchingly amidst all the sensual delights and grossest fears of this world?

Such are the extremes we see exploding throughout the world now. Mass shootings simply reflect an individual’s inability to bear and resolve tension within, and they foreshadow the mass atrocities that loom oppressively on the horizon, if consciousness does not prevail. Let us not walk sheepishly on an old road to Berlin. Let’s refuse the scapegoat solution.

Let’s not repeat the nightmare. We must face it and wake up. Kali Yuga needn’t end in repetition compulsion. A new dream with true resolution waits on the horizon. But to arrive there, we must individually bear the tension of the polarity of consciousness and shadow within our own psyches.

Go within…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Let’s evolve that dream now. Bring consciousness within, bear the tension of the opposites within, and allow that contained explosive energy to rise to the level of the heart chakra, where we are all in this together, parts of the same whole. And together, as one, we can indeed dream a new dream.

Learning from history,

Chuck

Excerpts and references: Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir by Barbara Hannah

Chuck’s Place: Controlled Folly to Temper the Spirit

Temper that spirit, you gluttonous bee, and control your folly!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We live in the most spirited of times! Exhilaration is thrilling yet energetically exhausting, and as current events highlight, potentially perilous. Conserving and accruing energy is key to longevity and full self-realization in human form.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico developed a practice they called controlled folly to conserve energy, through tempering the human spirit. The human spirit is actually the ego-Soul portion of one’s greater SOUL. The two are connected, but it is the ego-Soul that lives and acts upon the world stage in our current sojourn in human form. It is the ego-Soul that grasps at life and wants more. Our greater SOUL lives as our silent partner, in infinity, the more comprehensive context of the human life we are currently in.

Controlled folly is engaging one’s ego-Soul in one’s chosen path of heart in this world, with great earnestness, like a true warrior and yet, having NO attachment to the outcome  of one’s actions. This detached edge is possible because one never loses touch with the fuller backdrop of one’s surrounding life in infinity.

The Shamans cite three essential facts, gifts of wisdom from the greater SOUL, as the foundation of controlled folly: (1) All life in human form is transitory and terminal, hence, (2) regardless of the role we play, or story we live, all roads lead to the exact same ending: death in human form, therefore, (3) the greater backdrop of all human life is our full transition into infinity, the ultimate destination of our definitive journey.

Shamans see, in some form, their energetic interconnectedness with everything, glimpses of infinity. Shamans read their journeys in dreaming, and the synchronicities in everyday life, as revelations and promptings from their greater SOUL to wake up to the fuller storyline of their ongoing life in infinity. By inviting the full awareness of ultimate death into their current incarnation, they transform an ordinary life into a magical life.

From this seemingly morbid perspective an individual can recognize that indeed, all the world’s a stage. And, as Carlos Castaneda once recommended, be the best actor you can be in the role you’ve chosen during your present time on the human world stage. Live the life you’ve chosen to the fullest, yet don’t get too attached to its significance; it’s not the main event or the only event.

Practicing controlled folly does not absent us from expressing human emotion. What great actor has not fully lived and expressed the true emotions of their role. Nonetheless, when the show is over the actor disengages from the role and shifts to their true human identity.

Controlled folly allows us to live with passion while knowing that, in the ultimate sense, none of it really matters. Thus, we can simultaneously be incredibly engaged in all that life offers, with utter seriousness, yet ultimately, be completely detached. This dual focus is how we temper our passionate spirit and how we are able to let go when what we have fought for doesn’t come to pass.

Similar to the message of the Bhagavad Gita, Carlos deemphasized the morality of the role you play. No one role is more important than another. To judge harshly another’s role is to get caught in the self-importance of overvaluing the particular play you are in. All roles are parts of the play, angels and demons alike, creating a complete cast. To remember this is how to temper our own extreme emotional reactions to the dance of now, that which is taking place upon our world stage. All spirits are equal actors in the play, and yes, Marianne Williamson, though some are dark psychic forces, they nonetheless have critical parts in the play.

Life in this world is extremely important, why live it as a failed play? But at the same time, it’s all relative when contrasted with forever, the greater reality we will all return to when this play is done. Nonetheless, this is our play now, our moment in time to experience this drama to the fullest, and that matters; and yet, at the same time, it doesn’t. This moment is assured its place in infinity’s ultimate historical record, the Akashic record. It will never be erased, no fake news in infinity’s library. Nonetheless, it is only one moment among infinite moments.

The significance of the play we are currently in is the completion of Kali Yuga, the utter destruction and disintegration of civilization’s  highest achievements. But what is the reality that lies beneath civilization’s false self? Freud really did call it accurately when he called civilization a sublimated id. What has emerged from the depths of the collective human shadow now is the repressed ancient rivalries and conundrums that have never been resolved in our revolving human dream. We’ve all acted in plays together before; this is just one more show. And yet we have an opportunity to finally resolve some things that we’ve left hanging from previous lives.

Where, for instance, on the globe is the core center of volatile unrest? In the lands of the Middle East, of course, where ancient issues have yet to be resolved. Who’s entitled to the land? How does one protect what they feel is their’s? Simple questions, ancient, never-solved dilemmas. We all have them.

And yet, these ancient core dilemmas are impacting the safety of the globe, and they are being mirrored in the dominant politics and daily atrocities in most countries throughout the world, impacting us all. We are coming frightfully close to absolute rulers, outright racism, nuclear winter, concentration camps, and flirtations with final solutions. We’ve lost our perspective on the greater reality we all face.

As the Shamans codified, it is our awareness of death that elevates our time in this world from ordinary life to magical power. Why settle for a redundant, mediocre play when we can elevate our time here to a Tony award performance! Why not let all the actors stand on center stage to deliver their best performances? Why settle for world neurosis as the best compromised dream we can deliver? There is so much more.

Woodstock 50 is cancelled, no time for hallucinogenic reruns, but alas, Marianne Williamson has entered center stage! She is indeed the ticket to call out the dark side of the force. The play we are now in would best be played by such a rivalry; Donald Trump requires such an opponent as Marianne Williamson. He gets bored, and rightfully so, without a worthy opponent to challenge him.

We must all call upon controlled folly here to temper the spirit. We are all here for such a brief moment, such a brief appearance on the world stage. At the end of the day, the curtain falls and it’s the end of an era; this play is over. All of us will exit the stage, where we will shake hands with our fellow cast members, all rivalries dissolved. Only self-importance, the seed of reincarnation, will keep us replaying the same drama.

Controlled folly offers us the opportunity to truly advance the issues that have thwarted humankind for eons. Imagine Marianne’s Department of Peace. Imagine hugs in the Middle East. Yes, John, we can still Imagine, but with the edge of controlled folly we can do it with no attachment to the outcome.

Live the dream, intend it forward, and when it’s time to go, exit the stage, in love with it all.

Don’t hold back,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Awe Over ARMAGEDDON

What’s next? Volcano, new dawn, or both?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

As if regressing America to its glory days of industrial giants and fossil fuels weren’t enough, we now have England being spurred to reinstate the dominance of the British Empire. Thank you, Hindu science, for the framework of Kali Yuga as a rational framework with which to understand this fantastical end of an era.

Never underestimate the value of a psychological defense. Of course, defenses obscure reality, but they do provide a perch to rest some cohesion of self upon, especially as we absorb the impact of the meteor of now.

In shamanic nomenclature, we are all experiencing a blow to the world assemblage point, that collective agreement that has for so long provided us with the consensus reality we have known as our world. The impact, however, is not Armageddon, unless one chooses that interpretation. The alternative is to choose awe in the face of sheer magic.

Indeed, the fanciful tricksters in charge now are the circus sideshow performers that incite and attempt to fixate our attention with their boastful charades, but they are not the main event. True, they have some hypnotic powers to peddle their versions of a new assemblage of reality, but their efforts are really just fleeting distractions.

The main event is Nature herself, as she rapidly reshapes the face of the Earth. Denial is one masterful defense. Indulge it while you can, but its foothold is shaking in its boots. At its core, even the human animal senses the mighty changes afoot.

The gift of now is the opportunity for fulfillment in this time of completion, for that is what we are dealing with now, the completion of one cycle before the beginning of the next. As our illusions shatter, the shadow comes to light. Who really could deny that the dark side of the shadow is having its day? But enough of that, it’s actually becoming boring.

Indeed, all must face the suppressed, the repressed, and the fullness of the unknown and unloved self. Nature, in her fullness, demonstrates the way now: from the sunlight of the day to the darkness of the night, it’s time to accept and integrate the dark side of the moon. That which creates also destroys. Without destruction we’d be stuck, replaying Shangri-La forever.

On the other hand, can we face and realize the golden side of our own shadow? The energy of now, in this time of completion, is shattering the limiting beliefs that have held us back from truly growing into the fullness of our beautiful selves.

Fear, doubt, shame, and inertia have provided safe places in our old world habitat, but the new world we are entering is a world governed by the magic of intent. Intend it and it will be so. Intend to realize the fullness of you and allow the energy of now to shape and materialize that dream.

Don’t be fooled by the destruction of now. Without clay, the potter’s wheel cannot throw us a bowl. Our Earth is simply spinning and reformatting its clay. Our intent is the architectural blueprint for our place in the coming new world.

Do your part. Keep it simple. Take full advantage of the gift of now. Face and reconcile with your personal darkness, then allow yourself to become your golden loving self, fulfilled to the brim.

It truly is all about intent. Intend awe over Armageddon!

Intento!

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Right Attitude

Waking up to the news of the world today, the synchronicity that presented itself was this quote from THE MOTHER.*

“If, in the presence of circumstances that are about to take place, you can take the highest attitude possible—that is, if you put your consciousness in contact with the highest consciousness within reach, you can be absolutely sure that in that case it is the best that can happen to you. But as soon as you fall from this consciousness into a lower state, then it is evidently not the best that can happen, for the simple reason that you are not in your very best consciousness. I even go so far as to affirm that in the zone of immediate influence of each one, the right attitude not only has the power to turn every circumstance to advantage but can change the circumstance itself. For instance, when a man comes to kill you, if you remain in the ordinary consciousness and get frightened out of your wits, he will most probably succeed in doing what he came for; if you rise a little higher and though full of fear call for the divine help he may just miss you, doing you a slight injury; if, however, you have the right attitude and the full consciousness of the divine presence everywhere around you, he will not be able to lift even a finger against you…”

“I have had innumerable examples of the power of right attitude. I have seen crowds saved from catastrophes by one single person keeping the right attitude. But it must be an attitude that does not remain somewhere very high and leaves the body to its usual reactions. If you remain high up like that, saying, ‘Let God’s will be done,’ you may get killed all the same. For your body may be quite undivine, shivering with fear: the thing is to hold the true consciousness in the body itself and not have the least fear and be full of the divine peace. Then indeed there is no danger. Not only can attacks of men be warded off, but beasts also and even the elements can be affected.”

Be so empowered,

Chuck & Jan

*Taken from the book POWERS WITHIN, Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, pp. 65-66