Tag Archives: collective unconscious

Chuck’s Place: The Tripartite Soul of Now

I am writing to the future, the day this will be published, the morning after the midterm elections. For the record, my final edit for this blog was on the morning of November 6, 2018, well in advance of outcomes in time and space. My intent is that the electorate free its mind from manipulation and vote from the heart for the greater good of all. I will accept the outcome of the election as a true reading of the status of our collective soul now.

Tripartite: heaven and earth with the light of the intellect in between…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I define mind as soul, the subtle body companion of our physical body for the duration of our lives in this world. The soul is a tripartite structure consisting of the inherent collective unconscious with its instinctive knowing, the ego with its intellect and capacity for reason, and the high self that is guided by infinity through intuition and love.

Recently, we have seen the rapid emergence of instinct, with its passionate emotions, take charge of world governance. This is an archetypal response, from the collective unconscious dimension of the soul, to the Earth’s current major reshaping and the primal dread it awakens at our animal core. Survival is its battle cry.

Our reasoning mind has either been convinced of instinct’s call to arms, and leant it support, or opposed its radical approach, embodying, instead, calls for greater unity and compassion.

The question for this midterm was whether the escalating instinctive approach would continue to grow, or a movement toward more inclusive values would begin to assert itself.

Regardless of outcome, the Earth will continue its radical changes, and the human animal will continue to experience fear and anxiety in response. The problem for humans, as well as all species on Earth, is that the environment is shifting into unknown territory, where old tried and true instinctive responses cannot effectively assimilate the current dangers.

The intellect that has the capacity to analyze a problem and oppose even its own nature to effect a solution may be equally disadvantaged if it cannot detach from personal interest or the thrill of unbridled emotion. Furthermore, the real solution to survival in this changing world might require opening to the guidance of an intuition that transcends pure reason.

Clearly, cooperation by all parts of the tripartite soul would best prepare us to ride the tide of our evolutionary challenge. From our instinct emerges the alarm of real threat to survival. From our intellect emerges the ability to analyze and act in our best interest. From our high self comes the experience of pure love, which binds the world together in common interest. Thus, the combination of instinct, intellect, and love are the winning ticket.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, our evolutionary path requires us to access the fullness of our tripartite soul to find our way. Regardless of the outcome of the election, every individual is free to travel this evolutionary path within the confines of their own physical body and tripartite soul.

In fact, the greatest of leaders throughout history were masters of their tripartite souls, to such a degree that they inspired humanity to higher spiritual directions, merely through the presence of their evolved personalities.

Focus now on evolving the personality through acknowledging the anxiety from below, through thinking objectively and initiating right action, and by finding inspiration and intuitive solution from the love and wisdom that comes from above. This is the tripartite ticket to facing one’s deepest issues within, as well as managing one’s reactions to the volatility expressed without.

Never feel powerless; you are the agent of change. Change the self, change the world.

In gratitude,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Holy Shit!

The nigredo…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We meet the animal that we are in the bathroom. Despite the soft, white, scented Charmin’ tissue paper that we wipe ourselves with, what leaves our bodies is stinky, sticky and dark, the color and texture of muddy earth.

C. G. Jung suggested that the bathroom is the room where we most encounter our instinctual selves, thus it is equated symbolically with the collective unconscious. The day I read Jung’s reflections on this specific subject, a client, who has graciously agreed to allow me to share it, had the following interaction with me:

Me: “So, have you had any dreams?”

Client: “Funny you should ask, I had a disgusting dream that I’m not going to tell you” (and then she did).

Here is a summary of the dream:  “I’m in a red-neck setting, one I’d never be in. I’m hidden under a tree. I’m on my side looking at people. Suddenly and uncontrollably I take a long, foamy bowel movement. I’m extremely embarrassed. I move away, afraid they’ll find out it was from me. I decide to go back to cover it over but can’t find it.”

As we reflected on the dream we came to understand that the client was attempting to get away from something deeply uncomfortable, hidden in the shadow of the self, something “behind her,” a fact she’d much rather keep “flushed away” from herself. Her instinctual dream would not let her get away with this however.

We unearthed the disowned fact, which reached back decades into childhood. The shit became a pearl and opened the door to address and shift a lifelong source of shame.

Jung pointed out that the alchemists considered excrement to be a prima materia from which gold could eventually be extracted. They called this stage in their experimental operations the nigredo.

In these modern times, humanity identifies itself as a rational mind, a fast acting logical computer that I would call a spirit self. In our times, spirit has withdrawn from the heavens and been reframed as the mental place, the thinking brain. Spirit humans hardly see themselves as animals governed by bodily dictates.

In our dream, the instinctual self teaches the spirit/mental self, that avoids earthy red-neck environments, that the gold lies in that which is most rejected and avoided in the self.

Everyone has had dreams of public toilets without doors or of defecating uncontrollably in public places. These dreams are really about our deepest nature attempting to draw our attention to that which we are most afraid to expose ourselves or others to, and yet, like the diamond that emerges from the blackest coal, these dreams really should be treated as holy shit.

If we allow ourselves to own the shit, refusing to be shut down by shame or embarrassment, we disarm our emotional defenses and free ourselves to become more human and to discover the most valuable pearls of wisdom from the refuse of our own bodies.

Gotta go, nature calls!

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond Archetypal Bondage

We are all part of this vast collective we call home... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We are all part of this vast collective we call home…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Carl Jung broadened the scope of who we are as human beings by introducing us to the Collective Unconscious, a vast region within ourselves that we share in common with all human beings, in fact with the entire planetary being, planet Earth.

Earth is a living being whose survival is ensured by a powerful governing body that Jung defined as the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. All human beings are equally impacted by these governing forces that emanate from the deep unconscious of the planetary being Earth, of whom we are all a part while in human physical form.

Archetypes are rules and definitions existing independently of human beings. Preceding our personal selves, they shape our perceptions, interpretations, emotions, and actions in each moment of our lives, inhibiting our ability to be present in the purity, in the actual truth of each moment.

In a dream, Jan and I go to visit my long-deceased mother in her apartment on a holiday. She has been ill, physically incapacitated and limited in movement. I suggest immediately that we go out to eat. This is a visit to Mother who must be honored as special, treated royally on this day of celebration.

Jan says, “No. Ask her if she really wants to go out.” As suggested, I ask Mother. She says no. She’s relieved at not having to rise to the occasion. Relief for all.

The dream illustrates how the archetype Mother precedes the reality and the true physical disposition of the human being who resides in the apartment. The archetype demands reverence, honoring, special action, excitement, and celebration. The human person needs only rest.

Archetypes generate fear, anger, love, anxiety and awe. Archetypes define life and judge our ability to do the right thing. This dream clearly illustrates how the archetypes of Mother and Child take over the feelings and expectations of an encounter, so removed from the actual needs of the moment.

We too are earth-bound beings first... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We too are earth-bound beings first…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Archetypes correspond with chakras. The first two chakras, the root and the sex chakra, are concerned with individual survival and survival of the species via copulation. The planetary being, Earth, has control of the chakras around these issues to ensure its own survival. Two archetypes at this level are the Child and the Soul Mate.

The child archetype evokes very powerful emotions of protection in adults, as they see in the child ultimate vulnerability and innocence. The helplessness and fragility in the newborn and young child evokes the necessary responses from caretakers, spurring them to make great sacrifices in their own lives and attend to the survival needs of these deeply dependent beings. Failure to thrive by a young innocent life can evoke the most powerful sadness in adults, as they find themselves powerless to assist the failing child.

The healthy child archetype serves to spur the core survival needs of new life on Earth. However, too often the child archetype continues to govern beyond necessity and when this happens the opportunity to become an independent autonomous being is delayed or totally denied. In such cases, the child archetype rules well past its usefulness, resulting in a being who is ever-dependent on others for their survival.

Inwardly, the child archetype can distort one’s relationship with one’s own inner child. When the archetypal child takes over it can evoke an overwhelming sadness that induces utter despondency in a bottomless pit of helplessness. Sometimes we may be tricked into thinking we must release our sadness in a great catharsis of tears, expecting relief and healing, only to discover that the wound never heals. This is not human activity, this is the child archetype ever-extracting our energy, keeping us in the grip of powerlessness and woundedness.

We must vehemently stand up to this archetype and shoo it away if we are ever to be able to take hold of our will and achieve adult autonomy in life. If we are ever to develop mature relationships with our families we must break away from the rudimentary archetypes that govern family relationships. Our spiritual development requires that we all become independent equal beings, no matter what our roles once were within the family. We must grow up to become mature adult peers facing the same destiny: death and preparation for what comes next.

The soul mate archetype at the second chakra level is ruthlessly interested in having us hook up and make babies. The power of the sexual instinct under the rulership of the archetype controls most individuals for the better part of their lives. If people are completely honest, the drive for sex and children dominates life from puberty through midlife.

Drawn by powerful archetypes... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Drawn by powerful archetypes…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Most relationships shine with promise in the beginning, sprinkled with the fairy dust of the soul mate archetype. Post-coitus, and particularly post-children, the archetype deserts a couple as its job is done. There’s nothing in the archetypal program beyond coitus. If you want a mature relationship you’re on your own. Many relationships break up at this point, partners split, often to be drawn once again, by the reactivated archetype, to feel the entitlement of promised magic and wholeness projected onto yet another.

I recently recalled a haunting song that I always felt stirred the soul mate archetype, Wicked Game by Chris Isaaks, a brooding song of archetypal projected love. I found a video that he made for the song on Youtube, one I’d never seen. I include it here —Wicked Game— as it is a wonderful exposition of the powerful draw of the archetype, a man possessed, a woman responding but clearly merely playing a part. There is no personal relationship here. The archetype is a witch’s brew—Watch out!

I recall in my twenties how overwhelmed I was by the soul mate archetype, by the flood of women in their summer attire as I moved about Manhattan. One day, I realized I was exhausted by the time I got to work at 9 a.m. from the unending stream of stimulation! I decided to fight back, to break the slavery I was caught in by an archetype bent on taking over my life.

From that day on I blurred my vision whenever I detected a woman approaching from afar. After about six months I’d completely broken the spell! I allowed my eyes to go in focus once again and realized: I just don’t have to look! The archetype never again exerted its power over me as it once did. I was able to see woman as person, period!

Ready to take your place in a different light? - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
Ready to take your place in a different light?
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

The archetypes at the first two chakras are nature at its fundamental best. However, as we ascend to the heart chakra we discover that these same archetypes exist at a spirit level, beyond the domain of the planetary being Earth. Soul mate at the heart level is a genuine outpouring of compassion and love for another, a deeper appreciation for who the other is as a person and a partner. At the highest level the soul mate archetype guides to merge with our own soul in enlightenment. Similarly, the child archetype at the highest level brings us to the truth and innocent essence of who we are as we shed our egos in preparation for merger with our divine selves.

To rise to the spiritual heights, we must pass through and engage the archetypes at the level of the first two chakras, but we must refuse their dominance if we are ever to reach our spiritual completion and move beyond our cycles of bondage to reincarnated Earth lives and move on to new adventures in infinity.

Focused on moving on up,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Apple & ISIS

Still playing the same old record, reflecting the shadow? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Still playing the same old record, reflecting the shadow?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I honor this Patriot’s Day by reflecting upon the deep opposition that rocked our world on 9/11/2001 and continues, in ever-changing forms, to deepen the divide in a world so in need of reconciliation. A true patriot loves and defends his/her country. Love and the ability to defend require facing the deepest truths so that action toward reconciliation can be based on what is truly needed; we must all be willing to face the devil within ourselves.

As within, so without. The forces mirrored on the world stage reflect the deepest opposition within the psyche of the human race. Recognizing these opposing sides of ourselves offers us the opportunity to bring to wholeness our individual selves and contribute to reconciling the fundamental challenge of our time. Let us take up the challenge of inner truth versus seeking relief of this inner opposition by simply projecting the evil upon the enemy in the battle cry of war. Such distorted attempts at resolution have never succeeded as they don’t address the true reality of the opposition that is seeking solution.

And what are the opposing forces? At the deepest level these forces reflect humankind’s greatest nemesis: obedience to nature at an unquestioned instinctual level in the Garden of Eden before the fall versus eating the apple of consciousness and choice from the Tree of Knowledge. These are the opposing forces within all of us, two parts of the wholeness of who we are as human beings: instinctive beings with freedom of choice. These two forces are completely out of step in the modern world, leading to violence and opposition.

Our modern Apple has just bedazzled us with the soon to be released iWatch. Apple is the apple of the eye of the modern technological world. For all its gifts it also symbolizes a hubris of mind and technology over the instinctive needs of the world. IPhones rule the world and they keep coming with more and more promise of Eden itself, the latest watch offering to, in a sense, become our personal doctor, monitoring our heart rate, as if this could really cure the true illnesses of humanity.

Meanwhile, ISIS beheads, cuts off the ultimate houser of intellect, the head, insisting upon blind adherence to extreme fundamentalist law. ISIS is so extreme in its fundamentalist opposition to modernity that even Iran covertly aligns with the US in efforts to stop its advance.

The terrorist here is the deeply alienated, instinctive unconscious that has turned terrorist in reaction to the hubris of modernity. On 9/11/2001 it targeted the towers of Capitalism, the World Trade Center, the seat of conservatism and adherence to an old order, the symbol of a world financial order that had for so long neglected, tricked or controlled the resources of the Third World.

Time to slow the pace and get back in balance and rhythm with nature... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Time to slow the pace and get back in balance and rhythm with nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I heard of a college student writing a paper comparing Google to God and the collective unconscious. The deep psyche is not a lifeless Akashic Record as Google represents but a primal force that reacts to the attitudes of consciousness that have broken ranks with its deeper nature and run away with Apple, Google and Facebook. If consciousness allows itself to be continually lured and led by its fascination with the speed and playthings of technology, it invites the collective unconscious in, whose timepiece stretches into time immemorial to produce the terrorist to slow down its pace and wind its way back to the rhythm of nature.

Individually, we must all take conscious responsibility for the direction of our lives. We must reconcile with our primal needs and instinctive wisdom as we consciously direct the course of our lives toward fulfillment of who we truly are, the seed of our individuality fully realized. If we stray too far from our instinctive needs and wisdom our lives will be sabotaged outwardly and inwardly. Paying attention to the wisdom, messages, and compensatory actions of our dreams is a good place to start to face the truth of who and where we really are.

The Dalai Lama, as the nagual, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, has suggested ending the lineage of Dalai Lamas. Carlos Castaneda did the same thing as the final nagual of his ancient shamanic lineage. Both leaders represent guardians of ancient traditions that fully reconcile with the truths of nature and the deeper unconscious.

The message for the modern world is to take full responsibility for evolving the self, keeping in alignment with our deepest truths. Indeed, develop your iPhones of modernity, but keep an inner eye on the care of your body, along with the true needs of our interdependent world and the planet we all share. Perhaps the Dalai Lama and Carlos Castaneda, two great foresighted masters of our time, offer a model of reconciliation for the opposing energies of Apple and ISIS that threaten to split apart the world as we know it.

We all connect with the beauty of nature... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We all connect with the beauty of nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Both the Dalai Lama and Castaneda, upon release of their attachment to the rigid traditions of their ancient practices, allow for the diaspora of their teachings to find their way in forms appropriate to modernity. These masters charge consciousness with assuming leadership now in taking life forward, the intent being that we all assume full and individual responsibility for addressing life’s deepest needs and truths. On this Patriot’s day, let us be true patriots and assume full responsibility for the truths: as within, so without.

Assume responsibility. Accepting the shadow ISIS within eliminates the terrorist ISIS without.

In honor and reconciliation,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Into The Hologram

Ready to go deeper?

Are we ready for enlightenment?

“How far down the rabbit hole can you go, Alice?”

“The red pill or the blue pill, Neo?”

How far can we travel into the truth before lights out, black out?

David Bohm—considered the preeminent quantum physicist of the 20th century—gifted us with the hologram as the most apt metaphor to capture the true nature of reality. When a holographic picture is splintered into fragments, the whole is still contained in even the tiniest of those fragments. Human beings, like a cut up sheet of holographic film, are all fragmented beings, who—no matter how fragmented, however cut up the slice may be—still hold within the wholeness of the truth of everything. Shine a light on any fragment of holographic film, and the whole picture will appear.

When Jung gifted us the metaphor of the collective unconscious, he captured the same reality. At the deepest level, we are all the same—one interconnected whole being, present and interconnected in the collective unconscious. At a certain level, we are all the sum total of the Akashic Records.

The other day, I randomly opened the ancient Bhagavad-Gita, The Song of God, to the following description of holographic, collective wholeness:

“Die, and you win heaven. Conquer, and you enjoy the earth. Stand now, son of Kunti, and resolve to fight. Realize that pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, are all one and the same; then go into battle. Do this and you cannot commit any sin.”

On another day, I opened Rix Weaver’s The Old Wise Woman to a description of a woman’s dream, the exact same dream repeated many times throughout her life. In the dream, the woman always finds herself in the same room with seven doors; three doors to the left and three to the right, facing each other, and a seventh door at the far end of the room. Each time she dreams this dream, as she attempts to pass through the room, a dark presence descends like a cloud and forces her back.

What’s behind the door?

In a waking dream of active imagination—where the conscious ego stays present and interacts with the contents of the dream—this same woman fights the dark presence and is able to access valuable truths about herself behind each door. Finally, she opens the seventh door only to encounter a man with a Book of Rules plastered to his forehead, the true puppet-meister behind her construction of reality.

Jung identified this rule bearer as the Animus, the male counterpart inherent in the psyche of all women. This character functions autonomously in the psyche of woman as the discriminator or organizer, but all too often becomes a dictator—the dark presence that the woman sensed countless times in her dream—with all its rules and judgments, restricting and crippling life.

In this woman’s conscious interactions with her animus in active imagination, she transforms the relationship from one of foe to that of friend, whereby honoring her true feelings and broadening her capacity for articulation through positive collaboration. Had her ego not stood up to the dark cloud, she never would have known the deeper truths of her hologram, which enabled her to move more fully into life. Instead, she would have remained a prisoner to her inner ruler as he constantly dictated a safe world that she could exist in.

Men suffer a similar gatekeeper at the deeper level of the hologram. Last night, after reading Rix Weaver’s account of the woman’s dream doors, I dreamt of a house with several rooms, a woman in each room.

My dream suggests that man must encounter his inner anima—the feminine counterpart of the male psyche—showering life with moods and sensitivities that construct a reality he believes should exist, that he is entitled to. Under the influence of her vexations, man cannot know the true nature of reality, and certainly can’t know woman as person, devoid of anima’s spells of projection.

The true nature of reality—contrary to the popular belief that women are moody and men are rational—is quite the opposite. In truth, the background of a man’s psyche is dominated by his anima in all its moodiness and emotions, and a woman’s psyche is dominated by her animus with its rigid rules and rationalities. Both the anima and the animus are inferior forms of feeling and thinking that lead to hair-brained battles and are the source of many a conflict and breakup. Unless a couple or an individual delves deeper into the characters of the hologram, within or without, these characters dominate life from the darkness, and true reality never experiences the light.

As we move beyond the once highly defended confines of our ego selves, deeper down the rabbit hole of the hologram, we discover other characters quite willing to communicate and share their world. In recapitulation, for example, we frequently ask or are asked by the body self to re-experience, through our senses, a past experience from our lives. The results of this request are often quite dramatic, as we may be taken, quite physically, through the sights, smells, sounds, temperatures, and touch sensations of deeply forgotten experiences.

At other times, we might find ourselves conjecturing about the accuracy of a memory only to have an immediate physical sensation, a channeled body communication, authenticating the validity of our thoughts. In fact, the language of body communication can evolve to a fluid real time dialogue, to a kind of advanced kinesthetics between ego and body self.

Time to break the rules?

As we go deeper into the hologram of the collective self, we might open channels to past lives and to entities beyond this life, though fully part of the same interconnected hologram we all exist in and, ultimately, are.

Truly mind-blowing as these ideas are, that’s what happens when you put down the Book of Rules! The real challenge is to continue to journey ever deeper into the hologram, keeping the lights on—indeed, the true meaning of enlightenment.

Lights on!
Chuck