Tag Archives: chakras

Chuck’s Place: Kundalini Rising

We are in the time of the great healing crisis…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Tragic, the burning of Notre Dame. It takes us to the heart and the intent to rebuild. The energy, contained for centuries in this monolithic structure of Catholicism, has been released and will be reformed in its reconstruction.

Pope Benedict spoke from retirement last week, proclaiming, in a letter, the source of sexual abuse in the Church to be linked to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, the free love of the 1960’s. His prescription for reformation is in keeping with similar calls throughout the world for conservatism as the solution.

His letter reflects, at the highest level, the schism within the Church. Pope Benedict reflects the power of control at the third chakra, will. Pope Francis calls for love at the fourth chakra, all-encompassing. The mounting energy of this schism can be depicted as kundalini energy rising and bursting forth, in flames, in the split between these two chakras.

In America, the same schism is being exploited and the fires stoked. Some hold to the true spirit of the American Dream, the heart chakra. Others hold that that dream is over, that America is full, back to an old conservatism, the third chakra. The same schism confronts Israel. And though Netanyahu emerges victorious, Beresheet crashed into the moon.

At the deepest level, all these local tragedies are signs of the earth’s healing crisis. That crisis is the earth’s reformation, as the farmers of the Midwest can well attest. Healing will require rising to the objective truth of what is needed to survive at a fully interconnected level, beyond all special interests.

Consider Katie Bouman’s modest contribution to the algorithm that made possible the first viewing of a black hole. The key was to bring all telescopes on the earth together as one. The ability to merge the data as one produced the light of consciousness that takes us deeper into the mystery of us all.

The fires rage and the destruction is painful. Nonetheless, the healing crisis, well underway, portends new life, on more solid ground.

Present,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Facing Now

Time for your two selves to sit down and have a chat?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

On March 24, 1995, Tony Schwartz phoned Elmer Green to share his frustration that his recently reviewed book, What Really Matters (1995), which chronicled the development of the New Age spiritual movement in America, had sold so few copies. This despite favorable reviews in The New York Times and Fortune, and an upcoming guest appearance on PBS’s Charlie Rose.

When I went on to research Tony Schwartz, I discovered that he was the ghost writer for Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal (1987), the hugely successful, number one bestseller that first made Donald Trump a household name.

The coincidence and cognitive dissonance of Tony Schwartz, who has gone on to be one of the most successful proponents of New Age energetics, as applied to the workplace, being the same Tony Schwartz who first launched Donald Trump, is too compelling to ignore. Regardless of the findings of the Mueller report, Donald Trump was being groomed to become president by the forces of destiny, decades ago, as the prerequisite to the real launching of the Age of Aquarius.

Destiny insists that we reconcile our nature and our spirit selves for evolution to proceed now. Tony Schwartz reveals this polarity within himself in his 1995 call to Elmer Green. His outrage at his poor book sales, and his attachment to self-importance reflect his bottom-line-self, growling from his solar plexus chakra, saying, “what about me!?” On the other hand, the book he wrote speaks to the emergence of the New Age, reflecting a view from his heart chakra self, where the self-serving ego of the solar plexus chakra acquiesces to synchronicity and the importance of interconnected energy, versus self-importance and the will.

The fact that Tony Schwartz bemoans his role in Donald Trump’s rise in his 2016 statement on Good Morning America, where he characterizes his ghostwriting of Art of the Deal, as putting “lipstick on a pig,” suggests to me that he misses the true significance of his contradictory actions. All humans have two selves that must be reconciled with to advance both themselves and the human race.

To project the evil squarely upon a president, who may have stolen an election (even if it is true), is to dissociate from one’s own shadow self, which, as is evident in the Tony Schwartz example, continues to impact one’s life, albeit unconsciously.

The self of the first three chakras is embodied in the caricature of Donald Trump, and we all have that self. The first chakra is all about the wall and core safety. Do I have enough to survive? How much of our lives is spent on this obsession?

Birthright and entitlement spring from this chakra. Did I get the attention, resources, and security promised by the ruling archetypes of family? Have I settled with my core disappointments and resentments, or do I secretly harbor acrid bitterness and jealousy? Why do I really have to share? The bottom line is everything. “I’m all for spiritual enlightenment, just as long as I get my piece of the action,” is the perspective of this chakra.

The second chakra is truly the scourge of humankind. As a therapist of some 35 years, I know for certain that child sexual abuse is a hidden industry in all communities, at all socioeconomic levels of society. It’s an ancient shadow industry that reflects humankind’s inability to face the true depths of its animal sexual nature and, with the turning of a blind eye, relegates the instinct to target the most innocent and vulnerable.

The notion that human beings have mastered and integrated their sexual selves is absurd. Many ‘solve’ the issue of sexuality through dissociation from and repression of their sexual selves. This, of course, only empowers the collective dissociated instinct that flourishes in human trafficking and the hidden corners of spiritual traditions.

Even those moderately engaged with their sexual selves have to question how much of their sex lives are commandeered by manipulation, avoidance, obligation, personal gain, control, or simply a focus on personal desire. How much of the fullness of sexual desire is integrated with true love and meeting of another? To reach this level of refinement, sexual connection must travel to the heart center, where the egg of narcissism is cracked open to reveal the other.

The third chakra is all about personal power, as the ego comes into its own.  At this locale, the ego is all about Me. I want, I need, I deserve, I desire. These are the ego’s marching orders. It’s about agency and will, deeply colored by desire steeped in narcissism. The emboldened ego serves the desires of the physical plane, be they sexual or material. The tendency is to overindulge all the appetites and be granted attention for one’s specialness.

Though many may have settled for a codependent solution here, the shadow of that dissociated will-to-power fuels the energy of a Me First president, regardless of how deeply he may be consciously disavowed.

These concrete, primal, instinctual footings of the first three chakras are the basement foundation of our spiritual being, which resides in the heart chakra. Material accumulation, carnal desire, and personal power are the building block challenges through which our soul must pass. Though we may stalk the higher values of energetic interdependence and love for all beings, at the heart chakra, if we haven’t grappled with and made peace with our own first three chakras, our experience there will be overshadowed by unrequited need.

A well-seasoned warrior is one who has faced the power of the kundalini energy of the instinctual self within, and raises it for further refinement in love, compassion, truth, and right action of the heart chakra. Arrival at this heart-centered place marks the integration of the two selves, that which is needed for evolution to proceed now. As destiny is boldly reflecting to us now, we must cross the divide from the full experience of the lower chakras to the heart chakra for evolution to proceed.

The transformation of our political landscape, that which rules the world, is directly linked to each of us, as we face the fullness of our own natures. Soulful introspection into the truth of our inner opposition, as well as a sacrificial attitude that brings moderation to the heart, as well as acquiescence to the true leadership of the High SOUL, are the keys to this transition. This is our golden opportunity to face, now, with strong foundation, and launch ourselves into the spiritual potential of a truly enlightened New Age.

To be alive in such times as these is the envy of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, who treasured the opportunity for spiritual advancement as they faced the tyranny of the invading Conquistadores. Nothing tempers the spirit more than to shake loose the bindings of self-importance, that which is needed to cleanly arrive at the sobriety of the heart chakra. Owning the tyranny of narcissism, both within and as reflected without, is to find the ark to begin the journey across the great chasm of self-reflection to SOUL purpose.

Taking the journey,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Our Most Intimate Partner

Make no mistake about the grandness of nature and instinct, within and without…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Last week, a mother dolphin off the coast of New Zealand carried her dead calf on her back for days as she obeyed nature’s instinctive spiritual call to grieve her lost child. The religious instinct is inherent in all of nature, dolphins and humans included.

We make a grand mistake when we blame the human animal, with its instinctual underpinnings, for all the egregious sins and excesses of humanity. As our mother dolphin demonstrates, nature’s religious instinct knows how to safely discharge, regulate, and transform its deepest emotions.

Our physical body, our faithful companion for all of our physical life, is born with the highest level of knowledge of how to safely navigate and fulfill life in this world. This is innate archetypal wisdom that we may not be conscious of. Consciousness, which resides in the ego Soul, is separate from the archetypes that govern the physical body and has assumed the role of decision making for the human animal. On all levels, we are alive at a moment in time that truly reflects the errors of that ego Soul’s decision making.

The spiritual instinct in nature, with its imperative for evolutionary exploration, delivered humans the ability to override nature’s accumulated wisdom of archetypal solutions to life’s problems. Thus, contrary to mother dolphin’s laborious journey of mourning, corporate programs structure acceptable time-off to grieve. When ‘consciousness’ overrides archetype the dissonance created often results in mental health problems.

Of course, the overseer of the body at the subconscious autonomic level, whom I have termed the little soul, does not always select the right archetype to solve an issue. Thus, a self-hypnotic suggestion from ego Soul, at the heart center of consciousness, might do well to override a negative belief held by the little soul, which may be generating a physical problem.

The problem with the little soul is that it doesn’t think; it guards the sanctity of the archetypes, its true master. This conservatism is critical to protect life, yet its rigidity might prove fatal. Like a faithful General it follows, never questions, its orders. The problem is, it is susceptible to any orders. Thus, if we insist on constantly thinking about our bondage to negative habits, the little soul makes sure our body experience backs up and fulfills those orders. Hence, we repeat our habits.

This of course can lead to bodily excesses in such instincts as hunger and sex. We may be quick to blame our instincts, but we do well to look more deeply into where little soul received its marching orders. Often, we will discover that the true culprit is ego Soul, lodged at the solar plexus level of consciousness.

Many world leaders currently mirror this fixation of consciousness. The solar plexus is the center of personal power. Needs and wants at this center are exceedingly narcissistic, all about ME. Thus, marching orders from this center reflect entitlement. “I want more” is its general imperative, be it with food, sex, money, clothes, screen time, attention, etc.*

Thus, ego Soul’s powerful wants override the little soul’s archetypes, commandeering the body and its instincts to fulfill its appetites, not the body’s appetites. The body falls victim to the ego Soul’s power play, and though it might react with illness, the disease may lie more in the ego Soul, with its lack of consideration of the body’s true needs.

Unfortunately, the learning curve for ego Soul at the solar plexus chakra is generally a function of karma, the groundhog day law of cause and effect. Many repetitions may be required of self serving destructive behaviors before a light of higher consciousness shines on the truth of the illusion one has been living.

This light issues from the heart center, where ego Soul glimpses the truth of its high SOUL, which reveals the interconnected and true workings of everything. Narcissism is purified at this level, as ego Soul sees clearly right action in conformity with the reality of the situation. Here the high SOUL becomes the ego Soul’s guide, as it delivers to the little soul the correct orders for body maintenance, healing, and action.

May we fully appreciate the wisdom and support of our most intimate partner, our own body, which contains and allows for our Soul’s transformation, as it sojourns through life within its precious physical body.

With love and deep gratitude,

Chuck

*NOTE: Synchronistically, today’s Soulbyte addresses the side of personal power susceptible to taking on outside influences as its own. Outside influences are both the outer personalities and thought currents of our time, as well as inner archetypes that target the ego Soul’s naive will to power, for their own nefarious intentions.

CHUCK’S PLACE: WHO AM I REALLY?

Dreaming the dream…
Art by Jan Ketchel © 2004

At a Tensegrity gathering in Barcelona, 16 years ago, an assignment was given to answer the question, “Who am I?”  A deadline was assigned by which answers were to be submitted via email. No suggestions were given as to how to navigate locating an internet cafe—there was no Wi-Fi in those days—nor how to communicate if you didn’t speak Spanish.

As I recapitulate the experience today, I know what my honest answer should have been, “I’m a terrified little chicken, reticent to assert myself, to be imperfect, to not be on time.” I believe my ‘enlightened’ answer at the time was more like, “I’m an energetic being who is going to die,” taken directly from the Shamanism Catechism 101 crib sheet!

The truth is that though the more honest answer reflects both my survival fears associated with the first chakra, as well as my ego Soul assertiveness issues at the solar plexus chakra, the answer I gave also reflected a center of who I am at the third eye chakra, though at the time this was not a place I could volitionally rest in.

We are beings with several dimensions of awareness. We may habitually occupy but one or two of those centers, but even A Failed Christian, as Nick Lowe sings of himself, can be stirred to a higher spirit center when the choir sings in harmony.

The chakra system of ancient Hinduism is a useful structure to identify the various centers of consciousness in the human body. More precisely, they refer to energy centers in the etheric body, a subtle body that energizes the physical body through the activity of kundalini, the active force in human life. I refer to this subtle body as the Soul, which is comprised of the little soul of the subconscious, the ego Soul, and the high SOUL who resides in infinity.

At the levels of the first and second chakras, we are purely animal instinctive beings, almost exclusively controlled by our DNA, ancestral history, and the archetypes of the collective unconscious. This is the domain of the dweller I have referred to in recent blogs, the conservative autocrat only focused on the rules of survival.

At the level of the third chakra, we have the birth of consciousness where the will and the ability to choose over nature’s dictates are discovered. Nonetheless, ego Soul at this level has a very narrow narcissistic worldview: ME!

At the level of the  heart chakra, ego Soul comes in contact with high SOUL, the love and truth of infinity, which expands its horizons to include itself as only a part of a greater interconnected reality.
The divisiveness of the solar plexus warrior is supplanted by a greater love for all beings as part of a greater wholeness.

The chakras above the heart center are increasingly associated with the high SOUL dimension of our whole Soul being. Consciousness at the third eye or crown chakra offers direct access to interactions with beings in infinity, such as in channeling, as well as provides the respite of deep detachment from the affairs of time and space, as one rests in the perspective of heightened awareness.

Meanwhile, back in time and space, we have Western thinking, which  is obsessed with progress. Goals are broken down into smaller logical objectives, successive stepping stones that culminate in achievement of the established goal. This linear ascent model dominates our definition of progress. We constantly judge ourselves and are judged by others by the quality and status of our ‘progress.’ Perfection is reaching the completion of the goal with maximum efficiency.

The truth is that this measure of progress is only relevant for a part of our multidimensional being, who we really are. Our root chakra is obsessed with survival. Our solar plexus may be obsessed with winning. Our heart may be concerned with doing the right thing with compassion. Our third eye might view the multidimensional synchronicities of this current wave of energy. Our crown chakra might be dreaming the dream we are currently living.

Progress or growth clearly involves an integration and blending of all of these dimensions of awareness to realize the fullness of Self. Furthermore, kundalini herself directs where and how our journey will unfold to discover the fullness of who we really are. The way of kundalini is not simply one of vertical assent or of logic.

In traumatic recapitulation, kundalini might first take one to an early childhood memory and next to adolescence, and then zigzag back to childhood, then forward to early adulthood. If one expects a logical time progression one is sure to be disappointed and, in fact, one can get caught in a depressed mood through a judgment of failure.

Kundalini has its own internal reasoning, which is impervious to the constraints of logical order. This is also experienced physically. The mercurial path of kundalini might go from a third eye intense headache one day to a pain in the big toe the next.

The path seems more about clearing space at one level and then returning to other levels to trigger and address older issues whose time is due. Perhaps the path is similar to a Rubik’s cube, where progress requires movement at different levels at different times. Guidance here is to suspend judgment and trust the process.

So, who am I really? Seems the current working definition is a multidimensional being, whose centers of awareness are getting to know each other. Good luck with solving the puzzle!

Have fun,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Containment and the Journey of Soul

Stay contained…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Last week’s blog culminated with the adjacent image of the dweller contained within the angel, sitting in quiet repose upon a tree stump. The eyes of the angel reflect the agony of the basement dweller, imprisoned within this flighty, heavenly angel, as well as the sadness of the angel, weighted down to Earth by the dweller’s dense energy. Nonetheless, a hint of innocent companionship is felt in their tentative thinking man pose.

This stage of quiet containment reflects the moments in our habitual cycles when we are able to hold within ourselves the dweller’s impulse to action. This action of restraint, nonetheless, generates a condition of great tension within the body.

Inwardly, this is the experience of a combined wild fire and flood, as an electrical charge, called anxiety, races at lightning speed through the central nervous system, accompanied by a clenching vascular action that forces blood to rapidly flush throughout the body. Both the neurological and pulmonary body systems seek immediate discharge from this unbearable tension through physical release, be it through raised voice, aggressive body movement, or outright body flight into spirit, clinically defined as dissociation.

As pictured above, the ego Soul can alternatively choose containment over physical release and, with the support of the angel spirit (SOUL messenger), land in the eye of the body storm, at the heart center, which enables it to hold fast to the knowing that positive transformation will result from this right inaction. Additionally, expansive love is available from this center, enabling greater acceptance of the opposite planes of the self, activated and in conflict in its present struggle.

In a nutshell, the technology employed here is to not take the lid off the pot of water on the stove as the heat rises and reaches the boiling point where energy transitions to a new state, from liquid to gas. In human terms this can be likened to kundalini rising from one chakra to another, opening one up to a new plane of consciousness.

For instance, kundalini rising to the heart chakra opens consciousness to the expanded awareness of a non-egocentric perspective of the world. Rather than the perspective of a willful battle with opposing forces, characteristic of the solar plexus chakra, ego Soul at the heart chakra sees the interconnected value of all things. As well, right action, action in alignment with the high SOUL, becomes obvious and then ego can calmly, from a deep state of detachment, execute appropriate behavior.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico taught the practice of utilizing the petty tyrants in one’s life to achieve this enlightened state of awareness. Petty tyrants are the people and situations in our lives that trigger our anger in defense of our self-worth. Essentially, these are the people that offend us. Being offended evokes the survival fight reaction at the lower chakras, particularly at the solar plexus.

Although, at a certain period of ego development it is necessary to battle, i.e., confront one’s oppressors, to be frozen at this level leaves one permanently vigilant, tense, and dominated by a negative attitude. Shamans practice refusing release of their instinctual reactions to their petty tyrants. In fact, they allow themselves to be used by their tyrants, which causes the resultant contained emotional energy to rise. As that emotional energy rises it burns through the web of feeling offended at the solar plexus level, while purified awareness rises to the clarity of the heart chakra.

From this detached place of not taking anything personally, Shamans gain clear knowing of right action to subdue the tyrant, not from a place of anger but from objective right action. I’m reminded here of the elderly Aikido master who offers the hostile passenger his seat to most efficiently resolve a tense situation on a crowded train. Another example is the Dalai Lama who admits that one must defend oneself, even perhaps having to shoot someone in defense of one’s life, but all the while holding them in a place of loving compassion.

Gaia teaches us this practice of detachment now, as her own kundalini energy rises in our experience of global warming. Her evolutionary objective is to reshape the Earth, with survival practices emanating from the plane of the heart chakra. At core, Gaia’s intent can be summed up as a release from the Dweller-based economy of survival—that which has mismanaged and exploited Earth’s resources—by moving into a Spirit-based alignment with SOUL. This transition will shift humanity’s primary emotional operating system from fear and vigilance to interconnected knowing and right action, based on the true needs of the planet.

The journey of ego-soul through a lifetime on Earth, ultimately culminates in Soul, as energy body, exiting the physical body at the time of death. The trajectory of that Soul’s journey is to bring its experience and knowledge from its just-lived life home to its greater SOUL in infinity. That continued journey may require many stops at other levels of experience, perhaps even subsequent return trips to Earth to fully solve and release attachment to its former life.

A willingness to fully explore one’s life while here, particularly through the practice of containment, allows kundalini, the active energy of the Soul, to rise and open to a fuller and more fulfilled exploration of life while here, and a more direct journey to SOUL when it’s time for that definitive journey.

Contained and rising,

Chuck