All posts by Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Secret Life of Habit

Habits unchecked, mushroom…
– Photo by J. E. Ketchel

The human mind is a vehicle in constant motion. When we drive our car we actually turn the driving over to the subconscious mind, the home of established patterns of perceiving and acting, while our conscious mind journeys freely into other realms of thought and imagination. The array of established patterns stored in the subconscious mind are known as habits.

Some habits are archetypal in nature, meaning they are encoded pre-birth in the subconscious, to direct perception and action according to the needs of a species. Animals function almost entirely at a preprogrammed habitual level. A seasoned hunter actually becomes bored at the ‘sport’ of hunting, as animals are easy prey, traveling the same monotonous patterns daily.

The human animal has the advantage of adding new habits to the subconscious pool through the exercise of conscious suggestion and intent. Most suggestions, however, are obtained from the socialization process. Behavior is largely shaped by the reward and punishment responses from one’s social environment. These reinforced patterns become strongly recommended to the subconscious, eventually taking up residence as established habits.

Sometimes habits are established via completely non-conscious processes. If one experiences a serious trauma during an activity at a particular location, the unconscious reptilian part of the brain takes pictures of these circumstances and directly encodes a message to the subconscious to avoid subsequent locations that look similar. These are experienced as triggers, which are managed via the subconscious habit of avoidance.

The conscious mind may prove quite powerless to overcome these habitual reactions due to the potent energy programmed by the reptilian brain. Habit change at this level requires trauma processing to rewrite and override the program of avoidance. During processing we gradually achieve a neutral response to a trigger, allowing a new program of calm to be introduced and accepted by the subconscious mind, overriding the now anachronistic and unnecessary habit of avoidance.

Beliefs are tremendous influencers upon habit formation. The current social dimension of human interaction is largely governed by belief systems that have become encoded in automatic subconscious reactions.  The possibility of calm communication between groups is largely blocked by the automatic perceptions, judgments and behaviors driven by these powerful habits that have been shaped by belief.

Most of our lives are lived via subconscious habits. If we had to instruct ourselves to breathe to obtain every needed breath, we would become exhausted in no time. Habits are not only necessary but quite welcome for good economy of our psychic energy. Nonetheless, habits tend to limit innovation and creativity, as well as keep us frozen in the past.

Intents, suggestions, mantras, and prayers are repetitive techniques to facilitate the formation of new, consciously driven habits. Begin with a definite verb like “will” or “am”. Too often we begin with “I’d like to” or “I  hope” or “I want”.  The subconscious works best with definite, not ambivalent or begging, statements.

Perseverance is critical in new habit formation. The subconscious is used to its default programs, whether inherited or learned. Unless we are quite persistent in the repetition of our suggestions for a new program,  it will move toward the default position. Remain calm and persevering, with no attachment to the goal, to avoid the static of frustrated emotion that then weakens the power of the suggestion.

Suggestions are further strengthened when they are imbued with conscious presence as they are stated. Suggestions are most powerful when not opposed by blocking beliefs or traumatic events still charged in the unconscious. If powerful emotions or triggers litter the mindscape, best to engage in intentional processing to clear the debris, in preparation for establishing new desired habits.

May our habits achieve peak performance through a positive working relationship with our conscious minds. May our conscious minds put themselves at the service of the greater good of the Self, to ensure healthy habits for the betterment of all.

Habitually yours,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Why We Fragment

Fragments & Wholeness
-Photo by Jan Ketchel

We are living in a time of great splintering. The energy of the many fragmented voices is fast and furious. The single-mindedness of independent parts, warring against any challenge, vying for supremacy at any cost, is the energy of now. We are a world that has dispersed its wholeness, and those independent parts are not presently interested in finding their way home.

Ironically, when wholeness is achieved boredom eventually sets in. It’s as natural as the fullness of an inhalation alternating with the dispersement of exhalation. When fullness reaches the condition of completion the spark to adventure splinters the wholeness, as points of curiosity launch to scout out new possibilities.

We live this process individually every day. When we close our eyes to our solid waking dream of daylight, our constrained wholeness splinters into a host of adventures in the infinity of our nightly dreams. When we awaken in the morning our nightly indiscretions from the limits of rationality dissolve quickly from memory, as waking consciousness clothes us for another day in the limits of solid time/space reality.

Nonetheless, the gifts of our nightly adventures innervate our daily lives, as synchronicities of knowing seek to jar our consciousness to remember; to remember the dreams, to remember the lessons, to integrate the nightly knowledge gained that opens up a broader perspective of who we really are and all that is possible.

It’s all about remembering. Remembering is the technology of wholeness. Trauma fragments, yet also sends scouts of us out into infinity. Recapitulating, retrieving the parts of our fragmented whole, brings us into greater reality. That greater whole restores innocence, but a greater reconditioned innocence, tuned to navigate the dark, as well as the light of reality.

The goal is hardly the restoration of lost innocence; it’s the birthing into matured innocence, prepped for new adventure. Like the flip side of a divorce that on the one side shatters the security of the archetypal family, on the other side launches all members of a family into a new world of knowledge beyond the myths of the nursery.

The blank slate of our birth is just another nursery myth to securely swaddle our awakening, alienated scout into a new life. When will we awaken to the deeper truth that our longing for soulmate is actually a protective cover from the impact of the accumulated love of our many lives, those whom support us from behind the veils of this earthly sojourn.

Jan, in her recently published final book of her five-volume Recapitulation Diaries Series—Dreaming All The Time—takes us even deeper into the mystery of our birth, as she discovers that she’d agreed to the challenge of her life before she arrived in her blank slate innocence of birth. Why would anyone agree to such a traumatic life?!

When I ponder Christ’s knowing fully of, and agreeing to, the traumatic fate that awaited him when he fragmented from the Mothership to be born in human form, I ask, why? Really? And then the answer comes: What was his greatest message? Love! Love thy neighbors, whoever they may be, whatever they have done to ye! Love thy petty tyrant and you will truly refine love, the prerequisite to advance into the greater wholeness of infinity.

When will we be ready to drop those veils and bring to our wholeness the discoveries of this fragmented life? Once again, it’s all about remembering. Remembering is the road to wholeness. Remembering is the great inhalation.

But, to answer the question, as to why we fragment? We fragment to explore whole new worlds, to satisfy our deepest curiosity, to learn, to discover, to adventure, to grow, to augment our wholeness, to change, to deepen our love, and yes, at times to avoid the challenge of integrating all of our selves, all of our experiences. The list is endless, the challenge great.

But do remember to breathe! Completely exhale, then breathe in a full inhalation. Hold for a few moments, deeply appreciating the wholeness encased within. Then let go, in exhalation, freely releasing the wholeness of the breath to disperse and travel freely, until we meet again, new and renewed, imbued to the fullest with the prana of the journey.

Breathing in and exhaling outwards, ever outwards,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Value of the Petty Tyrant

Is that even possible?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A central feature of shamanic technology is the  use of a petty tyrant for the purpose of growth. In The Fire From Within, Don Juan Matus defines a petty tyrant for his apprentice, Carlos Castaneda: “A petty tyrant is a tormentor… someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction.”

From a shamanic perspective, the more ruthless the tyrant the greater its potency. The tyrant disrupts any attachment one might have to moral fairness as an inalienable right and resting place.

The benefit of such disruption is to obtain access to a more expansive plane of consciousness better suited to navigating the greater reality of infinity. If we remain too fixed in our entitlement for a fair and reasonable universe, we remain unschooled in the ways of a predatory universe. The greatest predator of all is the irrational within ourselves that refuses to be tamed.

On a lighter note, the tyrant can be found in a Freudian slip, where we are tricked into revealing the irreverent side of our own judging nature. Though we hide behind a well-crafted persona, the trickster makes us cringe in shame as we inadvertently expose our true feelings. That trickster is the petty tyrant tormentor that resides within ourselves. How will we ever become whole beings if we disavow the Id of the Freudian unconscious?

If we can allow ourselves to laugh at our leveled ego, releasing the chains of a bruised self-presentation, then we will have passed the tyrant’s test. The tyrant truly helps us to get beyond the limitations of self-pity and self-importance that so limit our growth.

Petty tyrants also show up daily in our outer world lives, via the law of attraction. We actually, unknowingly, attract those individuals who frustrate and torment us, as an outer means to grow beyond the trap of feeling sorry for ourselves in our seeming powerlessness.

The key to the tyrant’s technique is cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance occurs when the mind is confronted with two seemingly irreconcilable opposites. For instance, someone who truly helps and cares for you, suddenly stabbing you in the back. These contradictory behaviors simply do not compute in the mind, and cause disbelief and disorientation.

Emotionally, such cognitive dissonance leads to anger, sadness and depression. The task is to depersonalize the contradictory behavior and accept the pure truth presented: the reality you believed to be true, and the emotional attachment you had to that illusion must be released. You have entered a new reality through acceptance of the real truth presented.

To be able to be thankful to a ruthless, irreverent tyrant, who renders you a victim, is the resolution of two distinctly opposing experiences with the same person. The ability to reach such resolution frees one from the necessity of clinging to the safety of a predictable and fair universe. The key is in always being able to ultimately find love and laughter in whatever we are presented with. If we take ourselves too seriously, we burden ourselves with expectations that hamper our fluidity.

The fact is that coming into a life on planet Earth implies that we made the decision to do a tour with the petty tyrant. The greatest tyrant on Earth is death itself. After all the work we do to attach to loved ones and  accomplish our Earthly roles, we are then forced to relinquish it all upon physical death. This hidden fact makes us all victims  of human life.

In our advanced rational and technological age, belief in life beyond the physical body is largely rhetoric. Our obsession with the physical, as the only provable reality, casts a huge shadow of doubt over an afterlife. Frequently, it is the blow of the petty tyrant that opens the gates to life beyond the physical body.

Trauma is the blow of the petty tyrant. Trauma is cognitive dissonance. In trauma our precious hold on predictable reality is shattered by events that break all the rules yet introduce us to a deeper truth. And that truth is that everything is possible, even the unthinkable. If we can flow with that knowing, we need not cling to the illusion of guaranteed safety.

Of course, by one standard this rupture is unfair and deplorable, yet the jolt to the security of the known and predictable is the ticket to the discovery of heretofore unknown dimensions of the self. Most significant is the discovery of the self that lives outside the limits of the physical body; the body will die in time space but this self will live on.

From this place, the tyrant, though still reprehensible from one perspective, is met as the teacher, the initiator into greater reality. Of necessity, the tyrant’s blow makes us dissociative victims. And make no mistake about it, that blow is lethal.

Nonetheless, if we can take the journey to resolve the cognitive dissonance we are presented with, we advance freely into advanced consciousness and our fuller potential in the energetic dimension of our being. This is the greatest value offered by the petty tyrants who disrupt the comfort of our lives.

Of course, there are many stages, filled with many tasks to complete before we can arrive at the knowing that the petty tyrant is our chosen and necessary teacher. That knowing is the crowning realization of a completed recapitulation of a life, and lifetimes, that honed the sobriety, fluidity and analytic ability to come home to the fullness of self.

Be accepting of wherever you are on that journey. All roads lead to home.

There’s no place like home,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Energy of Now

Viral energy of now…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Body and mind are inextricably linked in our human sojourn. The physical condition of our world is reflected in our collective mental process.

Most pressing, currently, in our physical world, is the impact of a virus on human civilization. Most dominant on the mental plane are an infusion of viral beliefs, currently challenging a cohesive collective agreement on what is reality.

As the physical virus mutates and remains energetically viable, so do the action and energy of viral beliefs that overshadow human thought and relationships. Human efforts to vaccinate and subdue the power of the virus are equally reflected in highly charged emotional efforts, as humans of opposing beliefs seek to reach cohesion via heated persuasive argumentation, a largely futile effort to convert each other.

The backdrop of our current energetic collisions is an energy poised to affect change. The virus clearly seeks to affect major modifications in human behavior. Certainly, the ruling practices of humankind are in need of update to continue supporting life on the planet. Competing, emotionally-charged, clashing beliefs are equally determined to restructure human thought and behavior. 

The repetitiveness of human behavior is a slow yet significant technology for evolutionary change. Repetition ultimately accrues to boredom that then sets the stage for a breakthrough of a volatile energy that breaks down the familiar, as it seeks fundamental change. The physical and mental viruses of now are composed of a revolutionary energy so powerful as to hasten this change process and set the stage for a new way of life.

To be alive at this time, in this world, suggests a readiness to participate in such monumental change. Beyond the outer challenge of navigating the viruses amongst us, is the opportunity for great change within the self. The energy of now insists that we examine our core beliefs and open to greater perspectives and possibilities than we’ve previously known.

To be alive in this energy matrix portends great opportunity to change life patterns that have dominated thinking and living, up to this current moment. The seduction to battle for needed change in the outer world exclusively, is to forego a great opportunity for evolution of the Spirit in its journey in infinity.

Take full advantage of the energy of now to achieve full transparency of self, to self, and make needed adjustments on the path of fulfillment.

Energetically yours,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Super Love on Groundhog Day

Another go round? Or emergence?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Why am I here?

What is the purpose of life?

“Just to love” was songwriter eden ahbez’s answer. For Bob Monroe it was all about reaching Super Love. This was the answer he was given when he posed the same question to his non-human guides, what he termed INSPECS, his acronym for intelligent species, astute observers of human life that he encountered in his faraway journeys in infinity.

The INSPECS gave Bob Monroe the metaphor of human life on Earth as an energetic factory that transforms the raw material of emotion into the purest grade of love, or Super Love. Carlos Castaneda used the metaphor of humans as chickens in a chicken coop, unaware that the energy spikes of their emotional trials on Earth symbiotically served the energetic needs of another inorganic species.

The exchange offered by such a parasitically binding relationship is the opportunity for humans to develop their consciousness and refine their emotions, to eventually free themselves from such servitude. The process for such evolutionary advancement has been dominantly that of Groundhog Day, celebrated today, February 2nd, where the necessity for continued repetitive behavior is assessed: more of the same repetitive darkness, or return of the sun?

The question for humans is the same as the groundhog’s: Have I accrued enough consciousness—that is, the bright sun—to see my shadow, and with that awareness be ready to change? Or do I go back to sleep, in the repetitiveness of habitual behavior? The ability to see one’s shadow and own it, is the willingness to retire one’s addiction to a central illusion that one has been living.

The illusions we live are intricately woven into our emotional attachments. At root is the attachment to human physical life itself. Humans are beings who are going to physically die, hence, powerful emotions are engaged in the counter-effort to continue to survive.

Attachment to caretakers, food, shelter and power are prime emotional movers of most daily activities to ensure survival. Sexual activity, as well, has at its core the survival drive, as sexual intercourse ensures replication and continuation of the human species.

Much of human life energy is spent in the passionate activity of ensuring survival. The emotions of fear, anger, sadness and joy punctuate the daily round of repetitive survival activity. Jealousy, possessiveness, worry, doubt, and hope further augment the emotional volatility of daily encounters.

Most individuals are driven by a captivating primary story, their personal karmic groundhog day, the main obsession of their lives. The repetitive behaviors of their lives generally entail a need to fully explore a passionate fixation until they solve it. Solution requires a genuine release from obsession with the desired or feared object.

For example, many people who were obsessed with a fear of death obtain release from this fear through an experience of life beyond the body, for instance, in a Near Death Experience (NDE). This experience of knowing that life continues after physical death can genuinely transform a fearful being into a being of magnanimous love.

The refinement of all emotion to the delicacy of pure love turns out to be the key to all spiritual advancement. True love is the acceptance of everyone and everything. This does not imply not protecting oneself from an aggressor. It does though require that one have compassion for the other, regardless of circumstance.

True love requires nothing from another that is not freely given. True love is guided by right action; action completely filtered from illusion. True love evidences no possessiveness. True love lives fully but is ready to leave in a heartbeat, when it is time to go, with no regretful turning back.

True love is letting the other go when it’s time for them to leave, with no requirements. True love is loving the body and the experiences of the senses, but releasing them all with good wishes when it’s time to change form. True love is remembering all, with equanimity.

If this groundhog day evidences no shadow, may your dreams in hibernation accrue to future sunlight. If the sun reveals the shadow of your illusion today, grab your opportunity to know and own it. Perhaps this might be the time the obsession lifts and you may move forward into the adventure of new life.

Whether you be a repeater or are ready to be launched, know that ultimately, all roads lead to advancement. With compassion for all, step forward.

With Love,

Chuck