All posts by Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond The Competitive Solution

Digesting one’s life is the source of new life …
-Artwork © 2024 Jan Ketchel

Every person alive in this extraordinary time is part of a major world transition. The question is whether this is a nightmare that must be completed or whether it’s time to choose a new dream.

The gods have unequivocally made certain that world events reveal the truths for all to see. And so it appears that what’s being asked is for humankind to assume full responsibility for deciding what comes next. Nightmare or regenerative dream?

Behind it all is the very real clash of opposites, inherent both in wholeness and in all of us.

Jane Roberts, who delivered to the world the epochal teachings of Seth, spent the last year and a half of her life confined to a hospital, her body completely locked in a fetal position, incapable of independent movement.

Jane’s mother had suffered and died from rheumatoid arthritis. Jane never saw her mother walk and spent her childhood and early adulthood at the beck and call of her mother’s bedpan. In her very early childhood, Jane spent two years in a repressive Catholic orphanage due to her mother’s inability to care for her. Her mother largely blamed Jane’s existence for her own medical woes.

Similar to many other extraordinary psychic adventurers, Jane’s traumatic childhood dissociated her into the largess of subtle energy exploration. She published short stories, science fiction novels and poetry before she ultimately met, and channeled, the wise, evolved human being, no longer in human form, who called himself Seth.

The opposites that riddled Jane’s existence were the part of herself that she designated the sinful girl of her childhood, who needed to be punished, and the adult channel she became, with access to the wisdom, critical in our time, to keep the human dream alive and evolving into deeper balance.

Jane had compensated for her neglected and abused beginnings with a spiritual drive that was intent upon discovering the deeper truths beyond everyday existence. It was not until later in life, fully frozen in her hospital bed, that she was forced to recapitulate the experiences of her neglected younger selves, with their limiting negative beliefs that had driven her discomfort with being a woman in this life.

Her total dependence upon nurses, and her husband Rob, allowed her to experience maternal care at a near infantile level, challenging the deep-seated unworthiness of her childhood. In addition, by embodying her mother’s limiting disease she was able to experience deep love and empathy for her mother’s frozen self, freeing herself of the burden of resentment. 

Jane’s heroic journey of ego compensation for traumatic beginnings is the heroic journey of most human egos. It represents the competitive solution to the problem of the opposites. In this scenario, heroic compensation defeats the legacy of trauma, at least temporarily.

Many a successful adult can trace their current good fortune to the one-sided discipline they brought down upon themselves to escape the fate of their origins. As successful as one-sided solutions may be, eventually, often by midlife, the knock of the spirit insists we retrieve the opposites we have left behind.

The extremes of Jane’s life required that she literally experience her mother’s full body paralysis in order to relive her childhood and face the depths of her own self-hatred and the negative beliefs she carried about herself.

Throughout Jane’s hospital stay, as she encountered the fullness of her night sea journey, Seth guided and supported her healing. Her devoted husband, Rob, would often massage her arms and legs, and at times Jane experienced her steeled muscles softening, permitting significant movement.

Generally, however, the physical and emotional pain resulting from such  release of defensive tightness would rebound into redoubled resistance to movement by the next day.

This scenario is a reversion to a competitive solution to the problem of reconciling the opposites inherent in our wholeness. Given an opening, the habitual solution to go to defense to ward off the pain and fear of true freedom reasserts itself with abandon.

On a practical level, the use of self-hypnosis to introduce to the subconscious new suggestions to old habits was freely employed by Jane and Rob, often with great success. However, the resource of new beliefs cannot override the necessity of recapitulation. We can never fully progress beyond where we are if we are not ready to bring all of ourselves with us: the good, the bad and the ugly.

As Jane discovered, and as her story reveals, no one else can heal us. No one else has lived our life and no one else knows the depths of our most painful experiences. Only we know what truly needs to be reconciled. Thus, only through our own exploration of our opposites, through the process of recapitulation, by taking a deep and thorough dive into our darkness, can we succeed in bringing ourselves into the light of full regenerative healing.

Of the many gifts that Jane Roberts left behind, I appreciate the full transparency of her offering of the complete annals of her life to the Yale University Library. What they, and Rob’s uncensored notes of the last year of her life reveal, to all of us, is how tenacious the problem of reconciliation of opposites truly is. Even a direct confrontation with potential death itself can fail to avert the well worn habit of a one-sided defensive solution that precludes reconciliation with one’s whole self.

Beyond this competitive solution of opposites is the full acceptance of all of one’s life experiences. This advances one to full self love, as well as love for everything and everyone else.

Everything and everyone is part of our own wholeness. With that level of truthful acceptance we are freed from the bindings of competitive solution, freed to choose the regenerative dream. It’s the obvious right choice, and it includes the welfare of all.

Thank you, Jane, for pointing out the true depths of the challenge of recapitulation. Thank you, also, to all of you scouts, who have done the work and are stalking the regenerative dream beyond the eclipse.


Suggested reading:
The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk
The Recapitulation Diaries, J. E. Ketchel
The Way Toward Health, A Seth Book, Jane Roberts  

Chuck’s Place: Learn To Think In Optimistic New Ways

Restore your innate optimism…
-Artwork © 2024 Jan Ketchel

Seth, whom Jane Roberts channelled, spoke of an innate body optimism that we are all born with. Both Jan and I immediately had the thought of birth trauma, the body’s welcoming birth committee of perinatal challenges, that Stan Grof has so thoroughly delineated.

Almost immediately, our query was answered when Seth gave the analogy of a child’s birth being equivalent to the first opening of the petals on a flower.* Regardless of the effort or trauma experienced in arriving at new life, that innate impetus toward life propels us to open to it. We are born optimists.

Seth goes on to suggest that this innate body optimism always moves toward health and healing. What brings in disease, issues from the mental plane of existence in the form of thoughts that limit our inherent optimism and instruct the subconscious mind to generate feared states of being.

These limiting beliefs are derived from the overarching socialized belief in the inevitable breakdown of the physical body, which is marked by the occurrence of predictable medical conditions throughout the course of the life cycle. In fact, many diagnostic tests are indicated to be performed as one reaches certain ages, subtly reinforcing the inevitability of decline. These are the suggestions that often manifest disease.

Medicine has yet to discover the power of the mental plane to both generate and cure disease. In fact, it remains staunchly prejudiced by a material perspective in its healing prescriptions. A typical course of treatment requires some form of pharmacological medicine or surgical intervention to restore health.

Psychology suffers a similar prejudice in its approach to healing. For instance, no academic discipline for the mental healing professions teaches dreamwork. Dreams are the messengers of the soul, which deliver to us the cause and cure of our ailments. Psyche means soul in Greek. How can one learn about psyche if they don’t consult the soul?

The soul, like the body, is inherently optimistic. Dreams are the soul’s attempt to keep us in balance, as they take us deeper into our mystical journey of life. Our mental rejection of  the value of dreaming largely emanates from the ego dimension of the mental plane.

The mental plane is the spirit plane, and the ego is the part of that plane that is largely identified with the physical body, which it is primarily assigned to navigate. The soul, which issues from a much more subtle dimension of the spirit plane, views life from a far vaster energetic perspective, which includes both body and soul. Thus ego, though itself a part of soul, actually identifies itself with the body and therefore rejects its life on the spirit plane.

Learning to think in new ways begins with linking to our inherent optimism of both body and soul. The ego, through its internalized limiting beliefs, coupled with the ever-present drone of its internal dialogue, constantly bombards the subconscious mind with negative suggestions. For healing to progress, ego must align its intent with the optimistic healing powers of the body and soul.

The subconscious mind is also part of, and located in, the soul on the spirit plane, right at the crossroads of spirit intent and material energy. The subconscious is a magical factory. It transforms spirit suggestions into material objects and reality. Therefore, it might take a negative thought suggestion as its building plan, from which it emotionally manufactures a depressed mood that then registers in the body as physical inertia.

Negative thoughts, over time, become strong habits that are reflected in the posture and condition of the physical body. Dreams, in their unique symbolic language, offer commentary and solutions to overcome the detrimental impacts of these diseased mental habits. Dreams can restore the innocence of one’s inherent optimism, which is bathed in the energy that anything is possible.

When we open to our dreams and take responsibility for the quality of our internal dialogue, by presenting optimistic suggestions to our subconscious mind, we realign both our body and soul with the optimism of health and healing.

We must understand that, yes, when we came into physical incarnation we had an intent to explore a facet of life that would likely land us in adversive circumstances that would traumatize our body and soul. Trauma is a necessary entree into deeper life exploration, which must be transgressed. However, beyond trauma is the much greater energy of body and soul optimism, which always points toward the true north of health, growth and fulfillment.

When we view all circumstances in our life with the equanimity of an underlying optimism, that is sure of mastery and ultimate fulfillment, we indeed learn to think in new ways.

Value your dreams and optimize your optimistic suggestions. May this open you to pure innocence and awe, and one hell of a fulfilling life.

With great optimism,

* The Way Toward Health by Jane Roberts, A Seth Book, p. 69

Chuck’s Place: How Are You Living Your Wholeness?

What’s the balance in your wholeness?
-Artwork © 2024 Jan Ketchel

We are always whole. The question is not whether or not we are whole, but rather, how are we currently living our wholeness? Our lives might currently reflect balance or chaos. Each alternative generates its own configuration of our same inherent ingredients of wholeness. Whether in balance or chaos, we are always whole.

If I long for something that I don’t currently have, the suffering I feel, whether as sadness or anxiety, holds the emotional place for the wholeness I seek.  A depression might hold the place for a missing or lost relationship.

The law of compensation is nature’s law of wholeness. Elsewhere known as karma, compensation insists that we fulfill our wholeness by living the natural consequences of our actions. If, for instance, we attempt to keep a trauma at bay through repression or willful suppression, the compensation may express itself in physical symptoms or triggers, which now serve the function of holding space for the unprocessed experience.

Many communication issues in relationships reflect this imperative for wholeness. If one partner presents their interpretation of reality the other partner might automatically see and feel compelled to express the other side of the argument. Wholeness insists upon both sides being represented.

Of course, often couples, or friends who share one’s point of view, will need to project the opposite point of view upon a person or group, outside their personal circle, whom they fervently dislike. In some form, wholeness insists that a one-sided point of view be compensated for by its opposite, which is then lived and owned inwardly, through emotional attachment to one’s projected antagonist.

Hate is a powerful expression of emotional attachment. It’s often very hard to not be obsessed with thinking about someone one hates. Once we can accept that these projections actually reflect aspects of our own wholeness, we can take the first step in shifting the volatile state of balance that our wholeness is in.

Wholeness includes everything. We are riddled with pairs of opposites that comprise our wholeness. Once we outwardly withdraw and take ownership for a hated projection, we can begin the process of reconciling the oppositions that comprise that opposition within our wholeness.

First we must bear the tension of holding this opposition within. Once contained, we can appreciate the value of our formerly hated other. Perhaps, for instance, this hated other reflects our own disdain for the limitations authority figures have imposed upon our lives.

By acknowledging this part of our wholeness, our heavily rational prefrontal cortex can come to appreciate its aggressive limbic  counterpart, and those two parts might come to accept their complementary roles and find acceptance and room for each other. This is how we shift the balance in our wholeness.

Accepting and finding room for all that we are allows for a more fulfilling wholeness. When the Rainmaker went into his hut to restore the Tao in the village riddled with drought (see last week’s blogpost), his effort reflected a rebalancing of the oppositions within himself, which then triggered greater balance in the outer world.

Wholeness is the same wholeness, whether it be in drought or rainstorm; the difference is in how we do our wholeness. Finding a compatible relationship between the opposites within ourselves is the key to balance.

The difference in personalities among us is simply that which is emphasized within our wholeness that then results in the state of balance we live with. That which is not emphasized is still part of our wholeness and must still be lived in some form.

If I am a true introvert my wholeness requires that I include extraversion  somewhere in my life, even if it is only fulfilled by obsessively hating what I judge to be shallow extraversion in others.

Our journey in infinity, beyond this life, may comprise many lives, where different aspects of wholeness are emphasized. This allows for an ever-deepening knowing of wholeness by exploration of it from many different perspectives. In fact, this is how we truly change the past, which completely shifts the balance of our present and future selves.

Trauma freezes our perspective in the past. Beyond the release of previously frozen emotions in processing trauma is the greater perspective of the present self that frees long-held limiting beliefs and definitions of self. Our wholeness then has the opportunity to come into new balance, which allows for greater exploration and expression of our innate potential in the present.

Ultimately we are all part of the same wholeness. The separateness we experience in this life is all a journey to truly know the self and advance our personal and collective evolution through the achievement of a broader perspective, which can’t help but result in the attainment of refined love, for all.

In wholeness,

Chuck’s Place: Getting It Right Within The Self

Be the Rainmaker…
-Artwork © 2024 Jan Ketchel

Here is Jung’s favorite story, The Rainmaker. It was  told to him by his friend Richard Wilhelm, a theologian and missionary, who lived in China for 25 years and translated the I Ching:

In the ancient Chinese province of Kiaochou there was a drought so severe that many people and animals were dying. In despair, the citizens called for an old rainmaker, who lived in the mountains nearby. Richard Wilhelm saw how the rainmaker was brought into town in a sedan chair, a tiny little gray-bearded man. He asked to be left alone outside the town in a little hut, and after three days it rained, and even snowed!

Richard Wilhelm succeeded in being allowed to interview the old man and asked him how he made the rain. But he answered, “I haven’t made the rain, of course not.” And then, after a pause, he added, “You see it was like this – throughout the drought the whole of nature and all the men and women here were deeply disturbed. They were no longer in Tao. When I arrived here, I became also disturbed. It was so bad that it took me three days to bring myself again into order.” And then he added, with a smile, “Then naturally it rained.”

Toward the end of his life, Jung shared with Marie Louise von Franz, his chief collaborator, a spontaneous catastrophic vision of destruction of much of the world as we know it. It worried him greatly. We can understand why Jung so cherished the Rainmaker’s story. Humankind, he thought, still had the possibility of just sneaking around the corner of such devastating destruction, and the Rainmaker teaches how.

In our time, all of nature, including all of humankind, is deeply disturbed. The disturbance is infectious and cannot be avoided. Even the balanced Taoist priest who entered the infected province in his time could not escape infection. His infection was actually necessary for him to arrive at the ultimate cure.

The guidance here is to avoid the trap of blame of self and other. To be alive at this time is to be infected with extreme imbalance. The disorder, whatever its cause, can only be put right by action within the self; and nature, like the Rainmaker’s rain and snow, will respond accordingly to this individual gesture.

The Rainmaker’s first insistence is to be left alone within a hut. This guidance to withdraw is critical in our time as well, as the hypnotic suggestions of influencers—whether they be politicians, artificial intelligence or astral entities—seek to incessantly saturate the human subconscious mind with their intentions, whereby maintaining chaos.

Thus, though we cannot avoid infection, we can create a boundary around ourselves to ward off continued penetration by outside influence. Self-hypnosis that states such an intention can materialize such a boundary. Meditative practices to not attach to thoughts inhibit their impact upon the central nervous system.

Current immune research observes that inflammation is an immune response to viral infiltration that draws one inward, forming a boundary around outside interests, that enables energy to go inward, much like the solitary Rainmaker in his hut. Even friends and loved ones are withdrawn from, as libido is needed for the inner journey of self love.

Practically speaking this requires assuming sovereignty over the central nervous system. Victor Frankl demonstrated that one could even achieve calm while interned at Auschwitz. This was how he survived. When I project myself into Gaza right now, I breathe myself into calm. Alpha calm can be achieved through the breath: 8 counts in, hold 8, exhale 8, pause 4 and begin again, and again…

Proverbial to the Rainmaker’s inner journey is the duration of three days, after which the heavens released water to this world in cloudbursts of rain and snow. Three is the number symbolic of completion. Christ’s journey to resurrection came on the third day after his death.

Completion itself might be of much longer duration than three days. Carlos Castaneda advised us to take all the time we need, but also to hurry up, as old age is real in human form. He knew this intimately, as he died to human form shortly after delivering this guidance.

Christ spent those three days in hell. When we have steadied the central nervous system we are prepared for this deeper journey. This time period is symbolic of the night sea journey into the unconscious, where we retrieve our fragmented soul in our personal unconscious, as well as our ancestral soul in the collective unconscious. Only through such reclaiming and reordering of our wholeness can we align with our spiritual center and open the heavens.

Be so empowered. Every one of us who embarks on our inner healing journey is part of the collective savior of now. As the Rastafarians would say, and Bob Marley sings, “I ‘n’ I vibration yeah! Positive!”

One Love,

Chuck’s Place: Erasing Personal History

Erasing personal history…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

At one point, Don Juan Matus abruptly threatened the continuation of Carlos Castaneda’s shamanic apprenticeship by challenging him to immediately disengage from all his attachments and habits of daily life, thus erasing personal history, a prime tenet of a shaman’s advancement. For instance, Carlos was encouraged to immediately dissolve a lucrative tie dye tee shirt business partnership, which he did within a few hours.

Erasing personal history means ending the control of an identity, rooted in past associations, that continues to define one’s present life activities and sense of self. When I was in Castaneda’s world, I experienced people taking this insinuation to change to the extreme, completely leaving their daily lives, even changing their names, to free their energy to be employed in a totally new way.

This radical form of dissociation from the past is more a metaphor than a practical and effective form of achieving desired change. As a therapist, or spiritual guide, I approach such an intent for new life through the experience of changing one’s past self, and thereby, altering one’s present and future selves. Changing one’s past self is indeed erasing the hold of one’s personal history.

To change the past self we must fully revisit it. The power of suggestion is extremely powerful and can indeed change the present self, at least temporarily, through the power of dissociation. However, our wholeness requires us to fully associate with ourselves, which requires full acceptance, not dissociation, from our past self, and all it has experienced.

When we encounter our past self we must be willing to feel the fullness of everything it has experienced. This includes its feelings, bodily sensations, and beliefs, particularly around powerful experiences that overwhelmed its capacities and froze its further development.

The presence of the past self’s frozen state is experienced in what is called a trigger. When we are triggered our past self eclipses present self adaptation, as we become locked in our frozen past. Often, we expect others to respect our triggers, controlling their speech and behavior so as to protect us from experiencing the sting of our triggered, unsettled younger self.

Relationships are often tasked to avoid each other’s minefield of triggers. Sometimes this is considered an act of true love. How ironic. For triggers, once resolved, are the gateway to new and fuller love of self and other.

When the present self is fully able to be present to the experience of its past self, we begin to change the past. For one thing, this very act of showing up establishes a new fact of the past: Whatever was experienced in the past no longer has the power to shut one down.

When the present self is fully present for the past self it is also no longer alone. This alters its isolated experience of the past, as the present self becomes a true traveling companion to the past self’s journey.

When the past self relives its frozen moments, it is encouraged to  express its innate reactions that were previously suppressed. Words and agency come on line and metabolize a prior silent scream. The body breaths deeply as it expands beyond its habitual, frozen in time, stance.

In a dream, I am back in an old neighborhood under great siege of winter storm. I am confronted by an intimidating, rageful acquaintance. His threatening silent glare intensifies as his eyes bulge. I force myself to speak, refusing to accept this frozen encounter. A portion of my past self is changed in that moment.

Dreams often present us with dramas that are permutations of our frozen moments. With consciousness we can send our present ego self into dreaming with the intent to act where we were once previously frozen. Ego advance in dreaming generalizes to ego advance in waking life.

Often, the cognitive understanding of frozen moments in time is highly distorted for defensive reasons, or developmentally hampered by the age at which the traumatizing event occurred. The developmentally matured and advanced present self can be extremely helpful in broadening the scope of the past self’s experience by exploring factors unavailable to the younger self. This can considerably alter the past self’s identity, which then contributes a changed foundational stone to the present self’s state of being.

A fully transformed younger self no longer lives in the prison cell of its frozen past. While this in no way erases the facts of its prior experience, the younger self is no longer emotionally or cognitively conditioned by it. Its freed energy is liberated to rejoin its wholeness of being.

Thus, the past becomes fully recovered, resolved and revitalized for new life. The fully matured past self delivers its evolved gift to the present and future of self. This is how to truly erase personal history.