Tag Archives: chakras

Chuck’s Place: Don’t Push the River

Decisions are the responsibility of the ego. Guidance may come from infinity or by simply contemplating the Tao of now, but ego, through the exercise of consciousness, must arrive at a decision and plan of action.

River-walking…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The ego is in charge of time-space navigation. The higher self, a higher power, and spirit guides, all of whom reside in infinity, can offer wisdom and the broadest possible perspective, but it falls upon the ego self to decide the next right action in daily life.

What is a right decision? The simple answer is, one that aligns with the true needs of the whole self. The ego might reason through a dilemma and come to a logical conclusion as to what must be done. This might be the right decision, but the ego would do well to also feel through a decision: does this feel right in the same way that it logically adds up? If it does, it’s a go! But if feeling and thinking don’t align, further deliberation is required.

Often times the ego is more centered in the solar plexus chakra, the seat of personal power. From that vantage point the ego gets the perspective of utilizing its power for its own needs and gain. This perspective is indeed important. We see it at the center of world decisions at present, but it is limited to its own survival and gain and tends to dismiss the larger interdependent reality beyond itself.

The heart center chakra has a greater connection to interdependent reality and often delivers its guidance in a sensation or calmness that follows a thought, thereby offering its support to the perspective that thought presents. The ego does well to check in with the solar plexus as well as the heart to be sure it is considering the needs  of both self and the greater interconnected reality.

It is amazing how much strength can be mustered to plow forward with a narrowly based decision. The ego can exercise its will to force the world to respond. Often however, if the ego is not inclusive of the greater interconnected reality, the world responds with negative feedback in the form of some kind of resistance to the ego’s push. This is where we find ourselves trying to push the river.

There is a right decision to be made and the ego must actually discover it. Discovering a decision is actually more appropriate than making a decision. The paradox here is that the ego must decide what is right, but in actuality the process is one of ultimately acquiescing to what is right. Only a mature ego is capable of surrendering its willfulness and aligning itself with what is truly right.

The process of ego maturation is the “Groundhog Day” of life on this planet. As we work with and bring our ego into mature alignment with spirit consciousness, we discover that all our decisions are right decisions because they teach us the consequences of making decisions based on ego alone. We learn from our mistakes. Thus, all decisions accrue value, as eventually we discover that they have all been part of a process leading to change.

Rather than pushing the river we learn the art of river-walking: walking with consciousness within the true flow of interconnected energy.

Learning to walk,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Harmony

Let’s get those chakras in alignment…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Harmony is created when the primal energies of heaven and earth move into union with each other. Heaven, whose natural movement is upward, places itself beneath the earth, whose natural movement is downward, creating a true meeting of their respective influences.

Heaven corresponds to the mental/spiritual plane in a human being, the upper chakras starting at the heart center. Earth corresponds to the physical plane, including the instincts, emotions, and inherent archetypes of the collective unconscious that dominate human behavior. These are the core lower chakras in the human body starting at the solar plexus downward.

When the mental plane respectfully places itself beneath the physical it attends to the sensations and emotions of the body as important messengers of necessary actions. Thus the mind attends to a body discomfort vs. cutting it off and acting on its own agenda.

Cutting off the body through imposition of the will is a form of dissociation. In this case heaven/mind is above, lifting into space far removed from the body/earth, which sinks in the opposite direction, their influences completely disconnected from each other.

Harmony requires connection and balanced integration of opposite tendencies. The I Ching reveals to me that this is the necessary action of now, for the time we live in. Further, it emphasizes that body/emotion defer to mind/reason at present . As well, it asks of mind/reason to defer to the more inclusive mind/Self. Consciousness in alignment with truth is called upon to further the individuation of the whole human being.

Understand that all human beings, regardless of gender, are a mixture of Yin and Yang, body and spirit. In effect the I Ching asks Yin/earth to receive the initiative of Yang/heaven. Truth received with affection is harmony. The operative word here is truth: that which emanates from the heart center of the body, home of the spirit Self. Initiative that emanates from the ego/mind lacks the rootedness and comprehensive truth of the Self.

We are faced now with a world of breakthrough conditions whether it be the hot lava in Hawaii or the protests in Gaza. In the midst of the chaos we are guided to seek peace and harmony through tuning into the guidance of the truth of the heart.

Truthful guidance is always accessible if we still ourselves, breathe into our heart center, and intend genuine harmony. Regardless of outer conditions we can always find peace and harmony within and act upon what is truthfully necessary to do and not do now. Thus, may we all be restored to harmony in the eye of our present storms.

Finding harmony,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Fire in the Belly

Heart chakra rising from the fire in the belly…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

With no judgment intended, simply honest observations, I see the world as currently being led by a force beyond reason. I call it ‘a force’ because it functions like an elemental being, a true force of nature, in this case: fire. Tweets and actions are like bolts of lightning that ignite sweeping havoc, leaving behind a whole new landscape.

I do agree with Donald Trump that if the election were held again today, he would win again. Reason is no match for this elemental being, the current ruler of the world. From the broadest perspective I ask, why has Gaia installed this conflagratory element at this time? I see the earth and humanity mirroring the same dynamic: fire in the belly.

From a chakra perspective, the belly, the solar plexus, is the birthplace of the ego. It is the place where personal power is established as it wages war with the fires and floods, the passions and emotions of the instinctual human animal. The rudimentary human spirit is born as a result of this contest, in the form of the ego. This is where Adam and Eve, with the birth of their personal egos, parted ways with the garden and ‘stole’ the power to create their own world.

Digestive issues, womb issues, intestinal issues, shallow breathing issues all reflect the challenge of fire in the belly—how to master it, how not to be consumed by it, and how to workably transform it. Psychologically this is the place of personal power, calling for the establishment of a self, a foothold in consciousness that can control and transform the deep instinctual forces within, as well as hold its own without, amidst the vast collective forces that inhabit the human jungle. The downside of this achievement is narcissism, the very narrow imperative of me and mine.

Humanity has been Gaia’s most recent catalyst of change. Who else beside humans has so drastically changed the face of the earth? I propose that Gaia is calling for a rise of kundalini energy from her third chakra to her fourth chakra, the heart center. The heart center is the true birthplace of the true spirit self, the self that extends far beyond the narcissistic wrappings of the third chakra ego center.

The way to the heart chakra is through the all-consuming fires of the belly. As kundalini rises the wrappings of consumerism, personal power, and advantage, at the third chakra ego center, burn off and what emerges, transformed, is consciousness of a higher self, what we know as the subtle body, the energy body, the spirit.

The spirit body at the heart center is attached to the gross physical body by its own umbilical cord that remains attached until the spirit embarks on its own definitive journey beyond physical life at the time of death.

While in this world, the spirit informs human life from its truer perspective. This is the Buddha/Christ consciousness that speaks the truth beyond the narcissistic wrappings of ego. This is the home of true compassion, not emotional highs and lows or romantic dances. This is the home of being able to see and act upon the true needs of self, the true needs of humanity, the true needs of Gaia.

The driving forces of human passion and emotion simmer gently at the heart center, which burns a constant flame, the steady heartbeat that maintains life. Compassion is natural love that embraces all life with true feeling, yet knows that the only true savior lies in the heart center of each individual. Each person must find their own way there and discover this for themselves.

Gaia insists upon this heart chakra development now. The crowning achievement of the solar plexus, the ego, with reason and its knowledge of the three dimensional world at the ready, has become too narrow a place to fully encompass and lead the fuller truth of the earth. This higher spirit at the heart center must be awakened, inhabited, and become the leader now.

Gaia’s methods can be harsh. All births are violent affairs. Contractions are no picnic for the birther or the one being born. Actually, preparations for discovery of the spirit within have long been appearing. One need only peruse Jan’s Recapitulation Diaries to see how the violence of sexual abuse can shake the ethereal/spirit body right out of the physical body.

Of course, such horrific atrocities as sexual abuse are completely, morally unjustifiable, but vast occurrences of such happenings have given countless thousands direct access to and experience of their inner spirit selves, as they often fly freely beyond the confines of the body during blunt trauma. What emerges on the world stage and in the personal lives of many humans at this time are the shocks, which though traumatic also open access to a consciousness that transcends the personal me and can align with the true needs of the interconnected we.

What has become completely apparent to me is that Gaia herself is in the process of shaking loose her spirit body, attempting to rise to the fourth chakra level of the heart. Gaia is prompting her own evolution, and humankind is the enzyme, the catalyst—rule without reason—that is providing the energy for this transition. It is a completely irrational and barely controllable catalyst that is the driving force behind this phenomenon, but nonetheless an obvious attempt to reach the heart chakra of Gaia and prompt human evolution as well.

The only hope to stabilize humanity and save the planet is to reach the heart-centered spirit consciousness of which we are all capable, and allow that spirit energy to lead us all forward now.

The heart center is the center that acts from objective truth. Reason and emotion that have passed through the proving fires of the solar plexus take up residence in their most purified form in the heart center, where they are freed to lead through love and truth.

Of course, there are higher chakras to be inhabited beyond the heart, but for now Gaia insists that we find our way, collectively, to settling in the heart. That quest is the priority of now.

And so, as we sit in the irrational fires beyond reason, may we allow ourselves to prove our worthiness to partake in Gaia’s initiative and settle calmly in the heart center of our being.

Stillness in the fire,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Love In The Afternoon

In the chakra system there is a division between the first three lower chakras and the four higher chakras located above the level of the solar plexus. The lower three chakras are associated with the human animal, which is controlled by the powerful instincts of human nature: survival, food, sex and power. The first half of life is generally dominated by the needs, demands, and passions associated with these lower chakras as we attempt to plant ourselves, find our way to survival, security, pleasure, and power in relation to ourselves, others, and the outer world at large.

In the golden stage of life... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
In the golden stage of life…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

By midlife, time, the ultimate devourer of all life, awakens us to the fact that we are at least halfway through our life’s journey on earth. We become increasingly confronted with the transitoriness of all material things, as well as with human relations, as those we have loved begin to end their sojourns in this world.

Our questions about the meaning of life and of life beyond physical life become paramount. This is the stage in India where the old yogi would leave the home and life with family to begin the spiritual journey, unattached to former material life and human relations.

In chakra terms, the kundalini energy that once innervated the lower chakras becomes more subtle as it awakens the heart chakra, the birthplace of the spiritual Self. The lower chakras were all about the birth, refinement, and fulfillment of the ego self, but with midlife the values and attachments that once satisfied life lose their compulsive hold as the search for greater meaning is initiated.

The four upper chakras depict an increasingly subtle energy progression, which ultimately results in the separation of soul, or energy body, through the crown chakra at the time of death. Thus, the second half of life is often initiated by a great depression, where one is confronted with the meaninglessness and transitoriness of all that one previously clung to and was passionately motivated by, and instead must go inward to find and cultivate the often hidden ethereal self with a whole new set of rules and intentions.

Of course, many seek rebirths and the fountain of youth in a younger mate or new career at midlife, but often life energy and the lower chakras refuse to fund these quests. So what happens to relationship at midlife if we choose to stay in it versus retreat into the monastery?

For relationship to remain vibrant and meaningful in midlife, we must first surrender our attachment to the roles and expectations that may have neatly served the first half of life. Time to stop mothering and fathering each other. Time to become peers with children and family. All become seekers, equally responsible for their own spiritual journeys, which no one can take for oneself, except oneself: only I can leave my physical body in my energy body when I die; that is a solo journey.

Food and sex continue to have relevance after midlife, but all must conform to energetic limitation. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico were careful to guide that energy was the only criteria for spiritual and sexual life. If one is modest in the expenditure of energy and maintains a sufficient reserve, one could pursue sex and spirit to the end of earthly life.

The key to enjoying fulfilling sex after midlife is dropping the performance expectations of the first half of life. This begins with a deepening spiritual connection that is no longer controlled by the powers of nature and ego that once ruled the lower chakras. The focus of union at the level of the upper chakras is energetic union at a deeply subtle level, which invites the body and lower chakras into complete spiritual/physical union. This is total union in human form, the merger of subtle and physical energy into pure energetic oneness. This is conscious spiritual/physical union.

Kindling the energy... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Kindling the spiritual…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Ironically, this kind of union may not ever require actual physical union with another, as union at subtle energy levels can happen and be experienced physically in a dream. Many dreamers have reported that their deepest sexual/spiritual experiences have occurred in dreams, as energy is freed to join at the most subtle level.

The sole criterion for true love in the afternoon of life is a shared quest for spiritual evolution between partners. And spiritual evolution requires that we detach from all the rules, roles, obligations, and demands of the lower chakra system that consumes the first half of life. And with that, we find ourselves free to love with abandon, an experience that transcends the ego’s ideal of love in the first half of life.

Love never ends, but physical life does. To refine love and take it forward, unattached, is a worthy journey for the second half of life, as it prepares us for our definitive journey in infinity. The maturing of love in the afternoon is one way to take the journey on the one-way journey we’re all taking together.

Refining and redefining love,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Narcissism On The Way To Love

Even as the sun rises over Mother Earth each day so are we, her children, charged with rising our consciousness... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Even as the sun rises over Mother Earth each day so are we, her children, charged with raising our consciousness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Freud rightly identified early childhood as the stage of Primary Narcissism. We are born into this life with but the seed of an individual personality planted in the fertile soil of this world, what the Hindus identified as the first chakra, Muladhara, at the location of the perineum at the base of the spine. The spark of awareness at this stage, amidst the vast unknown dark soil of this world, is simply the needs of the body and the relief of those needs from somewhere. The infant can hardly differentiate itself and its needs from the world and from who attends to its needs. All is experienced as one narcissistic Me.

For Freud, this need state evolves into the Pleasure Principle, the prime mover of all stages of life through its myriad of mature civilized permutations, what Freud came to understand as civilization and it discontents, ultimately a variety of sublimations under which lies the libido of narcissism.

Jung introduced the two primary trends in nature, introversion and extroversion. In human nature the introvert looks to the inner self as the final arbiter of truth and rightness. By contrast, the extrovert is open more to the greater external reality and adapting to it as the basis for survival. From this perspective, the introvert, though perhaps more self-reliant, can also be seen as more self-involved or narcissistic. The extrovert, more keenly in tune with the needs of others, can on the one hand be seen as more related to the other yet on the other hand self-negating or codependent. The truth is, however, that both natural introverts and extroverts are likely to be equally driven by narcissism as long as their maturity is limited to the first three chakras: Muladhara, Svadhishthana, and Manipura.

These first chakras, in fact, all exist in the realm of narcissism. Despite outer appearances these three chakras are extremely self-involved, essentially in establishing the ego in the areas of basic security, sexuality, and individual power. These three chakras are bathed in narcissism at their core, simply a fact of development at those stages. These are necessary chakras in the foundation of the ego/body self, which then serve as the ultimate launching pad for the discovery of the spirit self in the fourth chakra, Anahata, located in the region of the heart.

It is only at the level of the flame of consciousness at the heart where an individual is truly freed from the dominance of the pleasure principle, the primary motivator of the animal part of the self, which dominates the first three chakras. It is only at the level of the heart that an individual can grant another autonomy and independent value, separate from their value as a need-fulfilling object, which is the perspective of the world at the first three chakras. At the lower levels, whether introverted or extroverted, the outside world is colored through the lens of what’s in it for Me, whether that be in the form of food, sex, or power and control.

Rising to higher consciousness... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Rising to higher consciousness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

However, once kundalini energy rises to the level of the heart, narcissism undergoes a mighty transformation, as one becomes truly capable of love for another. While narcissism once narrowed the energy of love to the self and how the world could support it, true love at the heart level grants the other and their needs a place in one’s own heart. Thus, at the heart center the way of narcissism becomes the way of love. Of course, the body is included in this new mix, but it must acquiesce to the greater objective need the heart accesses, beyond the narcissistic orbit of Me only.

The journey from the lower chakras to the heart center is many-faceted, involving many explosions and implosions as the world increasingly refuses to gratify the entitled expectations of the narcissistic self. This may result in repeated cycles of failed relationships, but over time, with knowledge accrued, it eventually becomes clear that the main culprit behind the failures is the compulsive drives of the narcissistic self.

With this point of self awareness one learns to contain the leaking of emotional frustration in the form of blame and develop an introspective posture that reveals the prejudices of the narcissistic worldview and begins to mold the objectivity of the heart center that acts from the place of truth vs blind need. And with this accomplishment, narcissism transforms and finds its way to true love.

Transforming,

Chuck