Tag Archives: conflict

Chuck’s Place: The Divine Conflict Of Now

Out of the tension of conflict comes the possibility of resolution…
– Artwork © 2022 Jan Ketchel

In 1952, Carl Jung published an extremely provocative book entitled Answer to Job. I was drawn to read it this past week and find I must write my own provocative blog, based upon its insights, as they reflect upon the world stage of now.

I, like Jung, seek refuge from blasphemy by focusing on God as a psychological reality alone, with no comment on liturgical validity.

In a nutshell, Jung points out that for all of God’s omniscience—all knowingness—and omnipotence—all powerfulness—he mercilessly and even immorally tortured Job, his most faithful of servants, this all based upon a dare from his son, Satan.

Jung points out that at this pre-Christian stage of religious history it was evident that God blatantly expressed the full bipolar nature of his wholeness as both a loving and a vengeful God. Job, in his reaction to God’s undeserved cruelty, evidenced a moral superiority to God, as he remained completely loyal and quiet while bearing his undeserved punishment.

In effect, Job’s bearing the cross of this injustice without rageful reaction, yet with clear knowing of its undeservedness, achieved a reconciliation of emotional and cognitive opposites superior to that of God himself. Jung goes on to suggest that God actually requires human beings to struggle with these same opposites within themselves to advance His, God’s, own evolution.

Indeed, life in human form is fraught with the torment of opposites. Life is suffering states the Buddha. When Bad Things Happen to Good People writes Rabbi Kushner. The people of Ukraine are being slaughtered, like Job, for no fair reason. How can good and evil be reconciled to ensure a future for our threatened planet?

Christianity was built upon love, as in love thy neighbor as thyself. This heart-centered compassion for all beings does offer a reconciliation to the current tearing apart of life, as experienced in the extreme polarities at war in all nations of the world. However, this heart-centered solution has yet to advance.

The schism in the Christian solution of love is rooted in its splitting off, disowning, and condemning of the shadow side of self, and of God. Evil’s rightful inclusion as part of the wholeness of God, and human, is lost. This results in the projection of one’s own evil upon thy neighbor, which forestalls the commandment to love thy neighbor. This leads, as well, to the kinds of abuses resulting from the repression by the conscious personality of one’s shadow, and the subsequent possession of the personality by that shadow self.

If Jung was correct in his assessment, human salvation requires a human willingness to bear the tension of the opposites, such as is currently unleashing upon the world stage, in the disintegration of laws in such places as the United States Supreme Court, for instance, as well as in the overall governance of the world.

The fact that civilization, as we have known it, is breaking down, means that we are being called upon to reconcile the unleashed extreme opposites, which we are all composed of, in a new and durable form. Love may be the answer, but we won’t get to it through disowning our own evil side and blindly projecting it upon our neighbor.

Prayer may be helpful, but remember the challenge of Job: God required of him to find a reconciliation of love, hate, cruelty, and unfairness to provide an answer for God himself. Everyone of us is divinely challenged to take up the reconciliation of the extreme opposites inherent in our own bipolar nature, as reflected in the chaos of our time.

Bearing the cross of opposites to achieve balanced wholeness in human form is taking up the work of God’s karma. Assuming full responsibility for the life we are in is the only path to survival and sustainable evolution.

In pragmatic terms, we must begin by accepting, without blame or resentment, that life is unfair. Actually, this, in itself, is the outcome of a transformative process, which requires that we first allow ourselves to accept and express, in some form, the “evil” of our intense emotional reactions to being ruthlessly offended.

We are then freed to bear the tension of our unfair circumstances as we move beyond the entrapments of resentment and self-pity. From the groundedness of this acceptance we find our way to the equanimity that values all circumstances equally. From this place, we are emotionally refined and able to find our way to the love and transcendence available at the heart of our being.

Love does offer the breadth of acceptance that owns and reconciles the truth of our bipolar nature. To travel this human path is indeed a genuine resolution of the the divine conflict of now.

Assuming responsibility to love,


Chuck’s Place: I See Myself in All Others

Love the whole…
Artwork © 2022 by Jan Ketchel

I am deeply optimistic about our world’s survival. The challenges we face represent a grand adventure in the evolution of consciousness and the refinement of love.

Currently we are in the grip of a global mental virus that has undermined the cohesion of our consensus reality, evident in the extremely polarized interpretations of reality competing throughout the world. Conflicting views on the treatment of the physical virus, Covid-19, clearly illustrate this point.

The mental virus that is afflicting us has even fatally wounded many intimate family relationships, the bedrock of civilization. Most disturbing has been the failure of communication even between friends and family to bridge this deep divide.

As a therapist, I have experienced this failure of reconciliation with even the most caring of relationships. At this stage, calm, rational communication is trumped by this mental virus. Individuals are so sure of their interpretations of reality that communication is limited to argumentation and the intent to convince.

The time for successful communication to promote communion of polarized opposites has not arrived. Indeed, communication, however well intentioned, is simply not effective at this time. Other processes are currently in motion that must be completed before the ingredients for effective communication can be joined.

Earth itself is engaged in a major transformational process. Transformation requires first a course of breakdown of what is before a reformation of those materials can be accomplished. In alchemy, two major operations that accomplish breakdown are calcinatio and solutio.

Calcinatio is the destructive force of fire. Currently we have a winter fire burning in Big Sur. Last week we had the volcanic explosion that devastated the island of Tonga and was felt around the world.

Solutio is the dissolving power of water as it floods the Earth. Currently, Iran and Zambia are dealing with severe flooding. January 2022 has already seen flooding in South Africa, Madagascar, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil and France. Will Russia dissolve the autonomous country of Ukraine, with its military might swelling at its border, portending the flood of invasion?

The operations of calcinatio and solutio, in human terms, are the expression of passionate emotions that seek to break down the status quo through heated verbiage and flooding of emotions. Humans, physically constructed of the materials of Earth, are behaviorally reflecting her transformational process, currently in the destructive phase.

Separatio is an alchemical operation that separates the broken down materials into their component parts. This is a process of differentiation that values the purity of unique ingredients. On the human front, these are the separatist, or xenophobic, movements that seek to cleanse their enclosed borders of those who seem different from themselves.

In human relations, all three of these operations are concurrently active. These forces of breakdown and separation are all precursors to coniunctio, the alchemical stage of union, where all previously broken down and separated elements are rejoined in a new chemical bonding.

The forces currently active in nature, and human nature, will eventually reach this stage of union. However, that stage has far from arrived as we are still in the midst of breakdown and differentiation. How does one then hold together, with self and other, in such a time of disintegration and separation?

Do not try to force union. Reason cannot contain the forces of destruction and differentiation. Nonetheless, love—the ultimate glue that holds together the oneness of everyone, and everything, at the subtlest energetic level of being—is ever-present, regardless of the alchemical processes currently dominating the world stage.

Rather than bad rap, laugh at, marginalize, or hate those who passionately oppose me, can I see myself in all others? Every attitude, emotion, thought, and belief that I see expressed by another, that I personally differentiate myself from, is actually in me too, somewhere, however dormant. Can I find it, examine it, value it, and include it in my own wholeness? This, I can certainly accomplish within myself.

Though we may not be at the place of union without, can I hold onto the most subtle truth of our oneness within? In wholeness, all belong, none can be eliminated. This ultimate truth is expressed clearly in the revelations of transpersonal psychology and subatomic physics.

Thus, those who heap aspersions upon me are as much a part of me as those I asperse against. Though we might at present be quite separated and unable to communicate, I can still feel love and compassion for all in our interconnected oneness.

Union, like separation will have its day. In the meantime, hold onto love, especially for those you must now oppose.

Love always,


Soulbyte for Monday November 13, 2017

Conflict resolution often requires compromise. Conflict within the self will also remain steadfastly damaging if compromise is not reached. Compromise entails being able to see things from different perspectives, to step out of the self and observe the self from afar, to let go of that which the mind has decided must be. For conflict is in the mind, an idea so mentally implanted as to create a deadlock within the self and then one is a slave to it. Freedom from such slavery comes in emptying the mind of its ideas and starting fresh. Today is a good day to do just that. Don’t waste another moment of your life; release your mind from its mental war and for one day let peace reign. You will discover how wonderful a peaceful mind can be!

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Soulbyte for Monday August 14, 2017

Keep kindness in your heart wherever you roam, compassion near at hand. Though hatred may dwell in the hearts of many let this not sway you from your mission of peace and equality for all. There will always be the ones who know not love yet, who do not understand what it truly means to love, but that does not mean it should be abandoned by those who feel it and understand it and find it always at the ready. It will never lose its power nor go out of fashion. Its power is boundless, its strength unflagging, its beauty all encompassing. Let love be your weapon of choice, always.

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Soulbyte for Tuesday July 18, 2017

Don’t attempt to overpower nature. Let nature take its natural course. Remember that even in the midst of a storm there are moments of calm; the eye of the hurricane, the time between wind blasts, the pause between lightning strikes. There is always an opportunity to reestablish stability and gain balance. Maintain your flexibility as you learn to ride the rough times that naturally occur, for you are no more than a storm yourself, capable of test and turmoil, a powerful force of nature. You are your own boat and you are the rocky seas, you are the wind and you are the waves, you are the sun bringing the end of the storm and the calm air too that signals that it’s over. Be grateful for all that life brings and all that you are, the calm eye and the wild storm too, powerful energy indeed! Use it wisely.

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne