All posts by Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Quake Beneath the Mountain

Open mouthed Kali dragon stirring the world…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

It was Sunday morning. As I read to Jan, from Carlos Castaneda’s foreword to The Sorcerer’s Crossing, the Earth suddenly moved like a wave beneath us. Moments later, in a  more pronounced tremor, the Earth shook again.

The paragraph I was reading at the moment of tremor focused on how humans share an interpretation system that generates a solid agreed upon reality. This interpretation is not the only true reality, but in order to perceive beyond it one must gather energy.

Simultaneously, I have been immersed in Niels Bohr’s conviction that physical reality only exists when humans observe it. Therefore, ‘true’ reality exists at a level beyond the human perceptual program. Like the shamans of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage, physicists are confronted with two realities, one solid and one energetic.

My other current preoccupation has been Muktananda’s  counsel to “Give up all desires. If something comes, let it come; if something goes, let it go.” (Secret of the Siddhas, p. XV) This powerfully simplistic Taoist guidance from an Indian Swami is at the core of all spiritual traditions: reign in the ego, stay mindfully present, and let go when it’s time to let go.

On Saturday, Donald Trump issued executive orders that challenge the balance of power among the branches of government. From a synchronistic perspective these actions send tremors through the interpretation of the Constitution, the foundation of American democracy. Such challenges may generate a whole new interpretation of reality.

The active side of the Hindu Divine Mother is Mahakali, the dominant force of the world cycle we are presently in, kali-yuga. It is the tachycardia in her heart that rumbles beneath the Earth. It is she that hastens the changes rapidly unfolding before us, as we are challenged to reconstitute ourselves, and our world.

The image of a quake beneath the mountain constructs hexagram #27, Providing Nourishment, in the I Ching. The image is built with a solid line at the top and bottom with four broken  lines in the middle, suggesting an open mouth between upper and lower lips; hence the association with nourishment.

The quake below is action, contrasted with the utter stillness of the mountain above. Steadiness is recommended in the place of tremor. For Muktananda, desire would be the energy of tremor. His guidance would be to store one’s energy vs egoistic attachment and reactivity.

The I Ching recommends that one observe appropriate measure with all activities of the mouth: “For tranquility keep the words that come out of the mouth from exceeding proper measure, and keep the food that goes into the mouth from exceeding its proper measure.” (I Ching, Wilhelm edition p. 108)

The time of Providing Nourishment depicts God as coming forth with an arousing force that is brought to perfection in the keeping still of the mountain. This is the energy of spring, which brings forth new life.

With the breakdown of a uniform interpretation of reality all around the world, powerful forces have an opportunity for life. Steadiness of the individual is highly recommended to withstand the tremors of a  broken reality, but also to encounter the energetic reality that lies beneath our solid world of interpretive reality. That reality for physicists is the oneness of everything, as an interconnected energetic whole.

Like the mountain, store your energy; the path to new life. Care for the Spirit with careful words. Care for the body with temperate food and drink. Let desire be elevated to the intent for the greater good for all. Greet all that comes with equanimity. Release all that goes with loving kindness.

In stillness,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Capitulate

Time for Shadow Reckoning…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Ego is at the center of the conscious personality. Ego exercises the light of consciousness, which enables choice. Ego is part of the divine consciousness but experiences itself as an orphan, charged with the task of navigating life.

Ego wears a mask, as it embraces a persona, to become acceptable to the world. Often, that which is unacceptable in the self is moved by the ego into the subconscious, where it develops into a hidden character, called the shadow.

The shadow holds views with a passionate vigor that often threaten to overwhelm the ego’s executive ability to suppress. The collective shadow of a nation houses views that may seem anachronistic to modern times. The Black Lives Matter movement, for instance, shines a bright light upon underlying racist beliefs and policies that control modern behavior.

Thus, at a subconscious level, the Civil War was never completed. Much the same can be said of WWII, as we see a major demonstration of  Naziism in current day Germany. The burgeoning energy of the collective world shadow, generally held in check by leaders who model morality and responsible behavior, is instead being invited to exact its toll on the very fabric that holds modern civilization together.

From the Hindu perspective, we are currently in the final stage of Kali Yuga, the time of passionate breakdown of civilization. Thus our world is currently in its autumn season, with its inevitable capitulation to death and resurrection.

The unsettling impact of shadow eruptions, acted upon the world stage, reflect the necessary encounter with all that truthfully is, including the known, the suppressed, and the deeply unknown of the repressed. For new life to form, all the hidden pockets of self must be known and reckoned with. These are exposed in the many dreams of excrement and broken toilets that many spiritual seekers must encounter on their journey to truth.

Fortunately, though ego is greatly impacted by its shadow passions, it retains the potential to face the full truths of all that it encounters, within the self. Ego can also withstand becoming identified with, and controlled by, its shadow personality, as it nonetheless listens to and attempts to resolve the challenges posed in an honest reckoning with its shadow.

Ego is tasked now with facing its shadow. The divine cannot be accessed through the veiled distortion of identity created by a personality that does not know its shadow. This is the value of the time we live in. The shadow is being completely outed and experienced. What remains is full reconciliation with shadow, so as to depotentiate its fury and fully integrate its value.

When ego has squarely faced and reconciled with its shadow it is fully poised to receive truth, the hallmark of the divine. From this place, the High Soul can be openly channeled by the ego, as it capitulates itself to manifesting what is truly needed in the world.

Capitulation is not surrender, it’s maturity. When one encounters the real truth, what higher purpose could there be than to serve its intent? Beyond the cauldron of now is the transformation of human life into a new personality construction, where ego capitulates to the guiding truth of the High Soul, who awaits its arrival at the heart center.

As within, so without. Be empowered. Reckon with the hologram of the self. Facing the personal shadow is also reckoning with the collective shadow that we are all a part of. Capitulate to the greatest task of all: owning and transforming the shadow, that the light might truly enter the soul.

Capitulating,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Refine the Divine

All is divine…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The central question of our time is the future of our world. We are at an obvious transition point, as we grapple with a virus that has fundamentally challenged every aspect of the way we live. Though there be a wide range of opinion on how to proceed, the challenge to every individual’s core sense of security is undeniable.

When I was a young boy, I badly bungled my attempts to memorize my catechism, nearly costing me entree into sacramental rites. However, one thing I never got wrong: God is everywhere and everything. There is nothing that exists that is not God.

From this perspective, everything that exists, from virus to world leaders, are part of that same Oneness often referred to as God. If we accept the notion that we are all part of the divine, we should consider checking our projective tendency to vilify and demonize any part of our collective Oneness.

On the other hand, the current state of our world is such that there are such divisive and opposing viewpoints that, for either side, there is great difficulty seeing the divinity in the other. Perhaps a perspective that views the world as needing to dance through an extreme cosmic upheaval, and remain standing at the end, can free us from our hatred and depression.

Indeed, if my catechism was correct, we are, as a world, suffering one of the infinite permutations of possibility that exists in the infinite journey we are all on. From the place of equanimity, let us not wish it away or dismiss it but instead, live it fully.

The Hindu holy book, known as The Bhagavad Gita, addresses the dilemma the world currently grapples with. In this epic, a war between royals in the same family is being fought. Arjuna, fighter for one side is counseled by, Krishna, a Hindu equivalent to Christ, who tells him he must fight to fulfill his warrior duty to uphold the cosmic law of selfless action. 

Selfless action means acting without attachment to gain or outcome, simply doing what one feels is right. From that perspective all players have the duty to live out their individual truths. The outcome of such a play is in no way guaranteed, other than it reflects the full meeting of these felt truths.

Truths that are actually veiled distortions inevitably peel away, as they cannot be sustained by the greater truth, which must, of necessity, emerge as the true victor. In this process, the divine is refined and purified. On a pragmatic level, balance is restored to the world, as it finds secure footing.

That which peels away in this molting process must be thoroughly valued  as warriors critical to evolution. We don’t always get to play the hero, but without the antagonist there is no story. For evolution to proceed that which once held the truth must surrender to tomorrow’s new reality.

Thus, Love the ‘Other’ as Thyself. Like Arjuna, play your part, no attachment to the outcome other than that it be the greater truth, for now. Appreciate all that lifts us beyond inertia, as collectively we refine our shared Divinity.

Love,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Soul of Desire

Soul rising…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Without desire human reproduction would lose its potency; there would be no future generation. At a fundamental level, desire is the vehicle of the High Soul’s intent for human life to continue and evolve.

The human ego possesses the consciousness to act from its own free will. The ego, with this freedom, enjoys its ability to take control over its inherent archetypal promptings, employing its instinctive energies as it sees fit.

Thus, for example, the ego can break ranks with the archetypes governing sexual behavior, in an exploitative way. This is what gives rise to sexual abuse, where the ego chooses to deviate from the inherent rules of sexual behavior, an example of which would be ignoring the incest taboo.

The ego is also freed to engage in sexual relations at any time of month, breaking ranks with the archetypal programs that control hormonal activation of desire at fertile times only. Individuals can create hormonal releases and bodily changes that activate desire through their own mind’s conjuring of fantasy.

Senior citizens can engage in sexual activity without any support from instinctual urging, simply through the spiritual refinement of love for their partner. When does one ever see senior citizen animals engage in sexual behavior?

Freud called the energy of desire libido. Besides supplying the energy for sexual functioning, Freud declared that sublimated libido provided the energy for creativity, and civilization itself.

Yogic science calls the energy of desire kundalini. Kundalini energy rests at the base of the spine. From there, it rises to innervate the ascending chakras, throughout an individual’s lifetime. Spiritual aspirants often close the door to the second chakra, the sexual center, to pressure kundalini to rise through the chakras with the goal of enlightenment.

Shamans call the energy of desire dreaming energy. For shamans, reaching the energy body with lucidity and control are the requirements to explore life beyond the physical body while in human form.

While not explicitly prohibiting sexual activity, shamans encourage their apprentices to accumulate their sexual energy in order to accrue the sum of energy necessary to explore infinity. All religious traditions similarly place a premium on regulating sexual energy for spiritual advancement.

The soul of sexual desire insures our birth as human beings, which then initiates a developmental journey that introduces us to sexual desire, as well as the ability to have power over, and desire for, objects of the material world. For many, this might represent the fullness of life.

For others, that soul journey might rise to the spiritual dimension of love for all interdependent beings, as well as union with the High Soul in infinity.

It could be argued that desire is the High Soul’s vehicle for the ego to ultimately reach love, which is the operating principle of the next stage of human evolution. Beyond the battlefield of now is love, the inevitable victor.

The world will only survive and thrive when it rises to the heart center, where love alone governs human behavior. That journey is fraught with a labyrinth of perils and illusions, but traversing it successfully is the key to the kingdom, both here on Earth and beyond.

For certain, the journey of desire, regardless of its current fixation, is indeed, a journey of soul.

With love for all,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Snow — the Truth Congealed

Congealed truth…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Water, in its highest aspect is a symbol of our high Soul, the ultimate source of who we really are. Water symbolizes ultimate unity. Lacking in differentiated parts, the river flows in its wholeness: the Tao.

At the level of everyday consciousness, the world is perceived in a highly differentiated way that separates, classifies, and organizes energy into distinct objects that enable an individual to navigate life in a material world.

This perspective has the side effect of obscuring or downright blinding us to our underlying interdependence and oneness and also sends us into deep opposition within ourselves and with our many neighbors.

When snow appears in a dream, it represents the Truth from the high Soul being transmitted to the plane of everyday consciousness in the form of water, congealed. This intervention from the high Soul freezes water into snow, as we are not ready to grasp its full message at our current level of consciousness; we need to first melt the snow.

Melting the snow begins with the recognition that its appearance in the dream is significant. To contemplate its meaning initiates the melting process. It is likely that the message will not be revealed in an immediate eureka moment, though indeed that is possible.

Contemplation has its own limits, as it issues from the mental plane, which tends to think in terms of opposites and differentiated parts. However, reliving vs merely thinking about a dream can give rise to spontaneous associations that begin to decipher the message from the high Soul. In this way, contemplation makes space for direct communication, as well as intuition.

To fully melt the snow, one must enter into communion with the greater unity of the high Soul. From one perspective this means fully owning every aspect of the dream as part of one’s wholeness. Regardless of who the characters are in the dream, their drama, at a certain level, is one’s own drama.

What distinguishes this perspective from narcissism is its willingness to permit a fuller knowing of self, particularly aspects that function autonomously in the darkness of the shadow. Rather than dismiss the existence of other, this approach promotes solidarity with other in a greater acceptance of the universality of all human experience. In contrast, in narcissism, one is the only one who exists; there simply is no other.

Taking a walk in the snow in last night’s dream, I unknowingly found myself nearly falling off a precipice. Time became elongated. I had full clarity that my balance had shifted beyond the tipping point; indeed it seemed I was about to fall. In deep slow motion, I next experienced a counter energy that gently reversed my body movement like a rubber Gumby, as my feet remained planted on the ground. Balance was restored.

This dream speaks to many dimensions of my being, but at the most universal—that of the high Soul—it follows up the message of last week’s blog, The Turning Point. Here the turning point becomes the tipping point, the point of apparent no return. And yet, despite the inevitability of deep crash, balance was restored.

The message from the highest center of unity suggests that though the current Earth drama may go so far as to throw it out of its normal elliptical revolution, a return to balance is possible. Regardless of the deeply exaggerated precipitous ledge we find our world currently in we will swing back.

With this knowing, seek refuge in the heart center, the Truth center that melts all the congealed snow.

Warmly,

Chuck