Tag Archives: archetypes

Chuck’s Place: The Sacred Technologies Of Everyday Life

Dream synchronicity…
-Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

When our ruler of waking life, the ego, surrenders its totalitarian grip on waking life, as it dies to sleep, we are released into the underworld of the dream.

We emerge newly born each morning from this birth canal of dream to an innocent moment of new life before ego suddenly and pervasively snatches our wonder and reconstructs its familiar definition of life once again.

Every day we profoundly experience this death/rebirth motif. When we die to the day each night, we journey through the shadow of the day just lived, frequently in exaggerated compensatory dreams that insist we see and experience that which waking ego defended against and kept at bay with its array of defensive tricks.

Beyond these shadows, our soul ventures into holotropic states where we commune with helpers, guides, predeceased loved ones, and subtle realms of deepening revelation. When we awaken, we are sent back from these near-death experiences to remember our lessons and bring them to life in the birth of the new day.

Waking up in the morning is a sacred technology. The awe of first breath and first light greets us with our existential opportunity to exercise our free will in birthing a new possibility that transcends the limits of ego’s working definition of self. Seize the moment. Deepen the breath. Relive the dreams. Let them be brought to physical life.

The other day, as we walked in a parking lot, Jan suddenly recognized the outline of a heads-up penny, mired in the dirt. As she bent down to pick it up, she was immediately transported to shiny copper pennies on a marble floor she had excitedly picked up in her prior night’s dream journey. This synchronicity bridged waking ego with Soul, with the clear instruction to be led by its signs that would bring magic into the day.

Everyday synchronicities are moments of numinous communion with our truest soulmate, our High Soul. Be thunderstruck with awe and love as these magical moments of divine resonance unfold. Suspend the judgment of ego’s downgrading of it into mere coincidence. Allow yourself a moment of silence in your inner temple.

The shamans of ancient Mexico discovered that we construct and enact our lives each day through sets of movements they called magical passes. Everyday life is an endless repetition of the same physical movements that give definition to who we are. These include basics, like our posture, our way of walking, the cadence of our speech, how we breathe, and the incessant repetitions of our internal dialogue.

The shamans developed a technology to break the fixated trance of the archetypes we identify with through a practice they called not-doings. Not-doings are simply movements that break the pattern of the physical movements or habits we typically repeat to affirm our ego’s familiar fixated identity.

We might introduce the magical pass of inhaling our breath exclusively through our nose, or consciously changing our pattern of breathing to a different rhythm. For instance, breathe in to a count of 3 and out to a count of 4. We might eat an unusual breakfast, leave home at a different time, drive or walk in the world on a road less travelled.

The options for shifting patterns are infinite and each one of them provides divine moments of silence before the familiar chatter of the internal dialogue reasserts itself. In Carlos Castaneda’s book, Magical Passes, he shares many magical passes that shamans have practiced since ancient times to recondition their physical energy to enter holotropic states of awareness in waking life.

Keeping it simple, just make spontaneous small changes in everyday habits and experience a momentary crossing of the bridge to heightened awareness, where the divine empowers us to be the new life we long for.

Rites of Passage are formalized rituals designed to help us mature into the deepening challenges of physical life and beyond. Not-doings are magical passes that build the foundation for these crossings through accruing energy with the execution of each magical pass.

The death and rebirth of sleep, dream, and awakening—the spiritual audience of synchronicity where spirit meets matter—and the not-doings of our ritual and habitual magical passes are all sacred technologies fully in our grasp and capable of being exercised in everyday life.

Grasp them, though not too tightly! All habits, even the good ones, must eventually be broken.

Not doing Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Our Promethean Debt

The power of One…
-Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

Prometheus stole fire from the gods, delivering to humanity the gift of consciousness and the ability to chart its own course. For his transgression, Zeus condemned Prometheus to eternal torment. Human beings must also suffer nature’s torments, as she evens the score for transgressions to nature, within and without.

At the deepest transpersonal dimension of our psyche we all share the same roots and laws that govern our being. These are the instincts and archetypes of the collective unconscious. When the decisions we make deviate too widely from those archetypal roots, our Promethean debt must be paid and, as Jung put it, “from time to time with hideous consequences.”*

This is the usual course of human history with its eternal torment of wars. Outwardly, the conservative laws of the instincts are diametrically opposed to the decisions and directions of detached consciousness. Instinct and reason are fighting for supremacy. The lines are drawn, with no interest in reconciliation.

Inwardly, the consequences of one-sided attitudes are the torments of restlessness, anxiety, terror, and depression. Resolution of these painful states is to be found on the path of individuation, where we reconcile and live the fullness of our wholeness. To travel this path brings benefit, both within and without. It takes but one rainmaker to bring rain to an entire village. As within, so without.

Every one of us is a fragment of the same hologram. Though outwardly we appear unique, at the transpersonal, quantum level of our being we are all all that is. Look no further than yourself to confront the same dynamics being played out, at this very moment, upon the world stage.

Individuation requires that we suffer the opposites of our wholeness. All beings are actually bipolar beings. Wholeness cannot be found in one-sided dissociation. We must suffer full ownership of our shadow, all the parts of us that we reject or simply don’t know about.

It is not enough for consciousness to shine its light into the darkness, it must accept and bring into life all of itself. Sometimes, for example, you must speak the truth, however painful the consequences. As a result, a rejected part of the psyche that had turned aggressive might feel reconciled with consciousness for its willingness to take such heartfelt action.

Those deep truths, though they may appear transactional, and require outer action, actually originate within the interplay of dynamics within the self. Outer truths merely mirror inner facts. Be sure to always bring it home, not leaving a projected part of the self in the person and behavior of an other. Take full responsibility for owning, suffering the torments of, and living your wholeness.

We, each individual, are the world. Every character upon the world stage is within us. The energetics without are the energetics within.

The playing field for our Promethean debt is the structure and dynamics of our inner world. Find the balance within; advance the world without.

In so doing, perhaps the usual course of history might be averted. Grab the opportunity to truly make a difference.

Going for it,
Chuck

*Essays On A Science Of Mythology, C. G. Jung and C. Kerenyi, p. 82.

Chuck’s Place: Perfection Is Wholeness

Find wholeness in all things…
-Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

Perfection is wholeness. Wholeness is the four-sided mandala: 4 directions, 4 seasons, 4 stages of life, etc. Winter is pregnancy. Spring is birth. Summer is fulfillment. Fall is death.

The decay of Fall provides the seeds and nourishment for new life, as the life cycle completes itself and begins anew. Nature teaches, in this most basic way, that life feeds upon life. The shamans of ancient Mexico called our world a predatory universe, not as a judgment but as nature’s destructive truth.

Evil is branded the demon, and it may present as such, but it is a necessary part of the life cycle, a fundamental part of our wholeness. Archetypes are the primal patterns that generate the life cycle. Archetypes populate the deepest level of the human unconscious, what Jung called the collective unconscious.

Joseph Campbell realized that in world mythology, which personifies the  organizing influence of the archetypes upon human behavior, the hero archetype has a thousand faces. Local cultures thus dress the core archetypes in local clothing and masks, but beneath the surface all the different variations can be reduced to the same universal archetypes.

Despite the culture or religion, the hero is always sacrificed, changes form, and is born again into new life. Once again, nature’s fallen resurrects in the new life of Spring.

Archetypes insist on being propitiated. We must appease their energetic imperatives or suffer the agonizing consequences of their wrath.  For example, depression is often the withdrawal of life energy by a neglected archetype. If we refuse a rite of Spring, like Daphne our life might harden into a frozen tree.

Modern humanity has forgotten its natural roots. The animal has been confined to the darkness of the basement, in the area of the psyche Jung called the shadow. While humanity luxuriates in its advanced technology, the animal in the shadow plans its escape into life. Here’s how Jung described the ravaged animal’s escape in Nazi Germany:

“Like the rest of the world, [the Germans] did not understand wherein Hitler‘s significance lay, that he symbolized something in every individual. He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody‘s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.” *

Projection of one’s disowned self onto a political leader renders one the sacrificial victim of a wrathful archetype. Victimhood is experienced as both the ecstasy of the entranced and the rage and hate of the rationally disenchanted. In both cases one is drawn into emotional bondage by the archetype.

In either case, the truly disenfranchised is both the personal and collective shadow, the neglected animal and the natural world, the Earth. This is a universal collective problem for humankind, not simply an issue of polarization.

The archetype of the shadow is just that, that which lives in the darkness.  This is both the truth of our disowned lives, as well as the archetype of our unlived wholeness. To propitiate the shadow, we must bring the light of our consciousness into the darkness and discover the fullness of who we are.

In waking life, our journeys into darkness require us to own and release the intensity of our emotions in a safe place. Beyond release is the full knowing and acceptance of all we have done, light and dark. Finally, the darkness will reveal the changes we must make to align ourselves with our wholeness.

If we can suffer the Fall, reveling in its final colorful act, and have the patience of a pregnant Winter, new life will surely arrive, to be nourished in the Spring and brought to fulfillment in Summer, as the life cycle perfects its wholeness.

Seeking perfection,
Chuck

*Jung, C. G. (1946). Fight with the Shadow. In The Collected Works of C.G. Jung (Vol. 10). Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Chuck’s Place: Close Your Eyes To Projection

Discovering royalty within…
– Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

Our attention and emotional excitement are drawn outwardly to events that show us our very personal drama within. Our inner director is so stupendous, we hardly realize that our outer fascination is directed from  the depths of our own psyche, as it seeks to captivate the attention of our consciousness.

So held in the grip are we by certain events upon the world stage that it seems impossible to believe that they are actually reflecting something quite personal within our own selves. The movie we are drawn to see might be our own personal shadow play, or it may reflect the seismic stirrings at the deeper, unconscious level of our collective Soul life.

To discover the source, close your eyes and ask your Soul to reveal the source of your attraction, fascination, repulsion, and passion for the story it has directed you to. Allow your spontaneous thoughts and images to interact with your reflective consciousness. Prepare to take deeper ownership for the fuller picture of the many selves of your self. 

The Queen’s funeral might find one unexpectedly overcome by a depth of emotion completely enigmatic to one’s conscious attitude toward the monarch and sense of self. Closing one’s eyes to the world, an image of personal mother may appear. A series of vignettes might ensue, expressing her life of self-sacrifice and service, as she provided  nurturance and security to all. A wave of old grief might invite one to emotional release.

Perhaps one might be drawn instead to images of mother repressing emotion in all, stressing rules and limitations in her reign over one’s childhood. Perhaps one is then drawn into the emotion of guilt that one actually felt joy at liberation upon her passing.

At another level, one might encounter the numinous energy of royalty, the Great Mother Queen, whose coffin concealing her lifeless body draws thousands to wait countless hours to walk by and to personally commune with her Goddess energy. Welcome to the the domain of the archetypes.

Archetypes are nature’s images that direct human behavior from behind the mind’s eye. In archetypal reality, royalty is the Queen Bee, whom the drones of humanity are organized to serve. Queen and King are the ultimate mother and father in all benevolent or cruel authority figures that we encounter throughout life. We react to their projection with anxiety, awe, fear, and anger.

Inwardly, these archetypes are the ego’s parents, to which it owes its life. When ego inflates, it identifies with their power. When it deflates, it abandons all its power, as it returns to the womb in total surrender.

In Queen Elizabeth, ego highlighted the value of service—service to the established rules. Queen Elizabeth represented ego sacrifice to a higher value. Human predilection must conform to royal expectation, without exception.

Inwardly, human guilt and longing may be the consequence of our relationship to these powerful archetypes. Has my life gone wrong because I refused to sacrifice to service, that is, to what was expected of me? Is my fulfillment denied because my needs have offended the royals within? Is it time to break free of royal bondage? Am I prepared to go it alone, to honor my right to choose? And if I do, am I prepared to bear the wrath of the royal parents?

At the deepest collective level the boots of the activated Gods are making the Earth shudder. The Queen is dead, long live the King. Inwardly, this transition of power marks the emergence of a new rule, perhaps dictated by transition to a new stage of the life cycle. Clearly, the world is floundering as it seeks a new value to live by.

The Queen’s adherence to ancient precedent cannot lead us to salvation. What is needed is not adherence and sacrifice to tradition but service and acquiescence to what is truly needed for the Earth, and all her inhabitants. Can ego serve such a King?

These are the many worlds within that play for attention in our changing world without. Though we might laugh at the silliness of monarchy, perhaps if we close our eyes and discover the powers that be within, we’ll understand the reason for a tear as we listen to the bagpipes sending this Queen on her definitive journey.

With closed eyes opened,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond The Tyranny of Archetypal Misinterpretation

How to break free from the patterns of the archetypes…
– Artwork © 2022 Jan Ketchel

Why are so many people afraid of public speaking? Simply put, it’s a situation of one person against many.

A mass of people wield a higher power than that of a lone individual. Talking to a group is thus experienced as a direct, terrifying encounter with a God!

How can a mortal stand up before a God without disintegrating? How could the offering of a mere  person be worthy before an audience of a God?

Our subconscious minds are programmed to interpret and respond to reality, based on what Jung called archetypal images. The image of a terrifying numinous energy hovers over a public gathering. This is the same image behind agoraphobia, the Greek word that literally translates as fear of the marketplace, a place of public gathering.

Archetypal images are preformed interpretations of energy that assemble and generate the reality we live in. They define what Robert Monroe called local traffic, the roads we travel in waking life. Monroe also discovered the interstate, roads that lead to the subtler energetic states of non-ordinary reality. The shamans of ancient Mexico call these different locales, alternative positions of the assemblage point, which generate real but relative realities.

Carlos Castaneda’s teacher, Don Juan Matus, was clear that we are solid beings in a solid world but that we are energetic beings, or spirit beings, first. Ultimately, archetypes are illusory and must be transcended to allow direct communication and relationship, as well as the freedom to navigate without the limits of preformed emotional reactions that inhibit genuine connection and expression.

When ego encounters archetype it experiences terror or ecstasy. The archetype behind attraction is, again, the energy of the divine. To be captivated by the beauty of another is a royal encounter with a prince, princess, God or Goddess. Fear and trembling hinder approach to one’s divine object of desire.

Archetypes can be helpful tools of interpretation, but they are projected images from within the psyche, not actual facts. Beneath the attractive person is a mere mortal being. Beneath the powerful uniform of a police officer or doctor is a flawed mortal, like all mortals. Uniforms serve to stir archetypal images, commanding high respect and trembling.

Often, individuals protect themselves from numinous archetypal encounters by staying safe at home. Others may take pharmaceuticals to regulate the anxiety activated by these projected archetypal images. Although these strategies may protect one from becoming diminished by the power of these images, they also reinforce the interpretation of these images as powers greater than the self.

The better course of adaptation is to withdraw the archetypal projection upon the outside world, neutralizing its overwhelming emotion of divine encounter. Projection, however, is not a choice, it simply happens to us: an object is encountered in the world and an archetypal image is activated to define it. However, the ego can take actions to master its ability to go into the world, speak publicly, and approach a person of interest.

Ego must first become humble and accepting of the self as it is. To inflate or deflate the ego to adapt to an archetypal encounter is merely transient survival. Ego should do the work it can do to improve itself. If you are going to give a speech, practice it many times.

Ego can practice biofeedback and neurofeedback to gain mastery over the emotions activated by archetypal images. This will allow the prefrontal cortex to remain online, granting access to one’s prepared talk. The subconscious can be instructed, through self-suggestion, to check the activation of archetypal images, thus enabling one to approach a person of interest as an ordinary human being.

Regular meditation and pranayamic breathing serve to ground the ego and invite higher spirit entities to energetically join with one’s intent. Ego’s ability to align with Spirit’s intent brings one’s greater wholeness to bear upon the ability to remain fluid during a numinous encounter.

Mastering archetypal images leads to true human interaction, perhaps the essential ingredient missing from the world stage at the moment. That work can advance on an individual level, as we each are free to free ourselves from the tyranny of archetypal misinterpretation.

Mastering,

Chuck