Tag Archives: ego

Chuck’s Place: Squeezed In The Time Of No Exit

Eventually we exit, we birth…
-Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

Earth is birthing. Humanity is birthing. The human psyche is birthing.

At the current stage of the birthing process contractions have begun; we are in active labor. The fetus is tightly encased in the birth canal, with no possibility of exit, as the cervix has yet to dilate enough to enable the birthing journey into the light of this world. Stan Grof has named this stage of the birth process Basic Perinatal Matrix II (BPM II).

Nature’s hurricanes, massive flooding, erupting volcanoes and earthquakes, and worldwide conflagrations are all part of Earth’s contractions, closing in upon all life on the planet. Gaia is rebirthing herself into a new configuration of life, which is currently sealed in, like a fetus, in her alchemical pressure cooker of a womb, planet Earth itself.

Humanity finds itself squeezed by drought, tidal wave and famine, as it migrates, seeking safety and new life. Borders are closing. Nationalistic impulses are squeezing in upon sovereign nations, as greed and violence expand, seeking to stave off the stage of no exit.

Political heroes have emerged who promise to restore a former paradisal time of Shangri-La in the midst of this time of no exit. These so-called saviors intend to ignore, defy, or totally control the feminine. The entire world awaits the outcome of the American Election Day to determine how humanity will choose to position itself in the midst of this active labor.

Within the psyche, the ego finds itself squeezed by anxiety, terror, hopelessness and helplessness, as totalitarian archetypes threaten possession from within. Conversely, many people experience religious ecstasy and fervor, as they bathe in numinous identification with the masculine gods of war, certain to fully rein in and control the feminine birth process, within and without.

The fragility of ego muscle, no matter how well armed and defiant, is no match for nature’s current squeeze upon human emotion. The random violence of our time is ego’s impotent attempt to forestall the birth of a radically new world. What then is the correct attitude for ego to assume in this time of no exit?

Ego must face its pending death and rebirth, the story of all new life in this world. Our first breath in this world is also the death of our former life as aquatic beings, who were passively fed oxygen and nutrients in our symbiotic life as one with mother. The end of life in paradisal union with another requires letting go of hoarding our former material security, as we must meet the demands of changed conditions.

In the time of no exit it is possible to get calm. If we can’t escape the claustrophobic squeezing of ego by tumultuous emotions, ego still retains its existential ability to choose the attitude it will take toward the inevitable. Ego can breathe, however constrictedly, and instruct every cell of the body to go calm.

Just as ego knows that the numinous experience of body orgasm will result, if it can calmly let go of resistance to the higher power of instinct, ego can cognitively know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, as it lets go to the inevitable birthing of new life. And what does that new life look like?

Glimpses of new life are evident in the current psychedelic trials that activate the healing forces of the transpersonal dimension of the psyche. During psychedelic experiences, many individual’s hearts are opened by their recapitulation journeys through old traumas, with the resulting inner experience of total love and acceptance.

Others encounter past lives, ancestral trauma, and spirit encounters that break down old ideas and neutralize emotional intensities, while they simultaneously experience their death and rebirth into a broader, interconnected knowing of life.

I am neutral with regard to the coming renaissance of psychedelics as facilitators of healing and rebirth. Carlos Castaneda, mistakingly identified as the father of psychedelics and the New Age, was adamantly averse to their use.

Personally, I know that the mere invoking of intent is all that is needed to reach the holotropic powers of the transpersonal psyche that both break down and refurbish the ego with broadened and truthfully driven agency.

Know that the time of no exit is transitory. No matter how tight the squeeze, the opening will eventually appear.

Be patient, be calm, beware the false prophets and redeemers. Trust your innate ability to find the true light.

Taking the journey,
Chuck 

Chuck’s Place: I Am More Than My Ego Identity

Time for transformation…
– Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

In a dream, my son is my friend. I have no memory of him as my son. Upon awakening I am fascinated at this absolute lapse in memory of such a prominent waking life relationship. This is a glimpse of life beyond the veil.

“What veil?” you might ask. The veil of ego identity. Ego is the part of our soul identified with waking life in the physical body. Ego is the main player in the waking life drama we are fully engaged in. The ego’s veil is its narcissism, though not necessarily pathologically so. It simply only knows itself as all that it is.

The ego is also quite prejudiced with material bias. The physical world is its oyster and all that really exists. This in-body perspective has been critical to keep the focus on the intent, the fated karma of this current life adventure. However, as is more than evident in current world events, Mother Earth is in labor. Her water has broken and full-on contractions have begun.

Birthing is our first rite of passage in this life. The journey into life is a solo voyage fraught with breathlessness, volcanic eruption, violent collision and claustrophobic containment. Arriving into our separateness, at birth, requires surviving the perils of these initiation challenges as we push out into new life. Currently, Earth’s initiation challenge requires us to navigate her violent changes as, once again, we find our way to new life.

New life on this planet is the discovery and integration of life beyond the confines of ego identity, life beyond the veil. Our materialistic focus, with its land-grab mentality, has saturated Mother’s nurturing capacity. She requires now a greater soulful human presence, a maturity beyond the childish dependency locked within the ego’s veil. To achieve this we must expand our knowing of all that we are. To achieve this we must venture into the transpersonal dimension of our being.

My amnesia of my son, as my son, was such a transpersonal journey. The more we cling solely to our relationships of familial association, as our definition of who we are and how we should live, the more we remain separated from the overall needs of the greater whole world. We are birthing into a consciousness that extends family to all, with equanimity.

To experience my son as friend, with no proprietary rights, breaks the illusion of special connection. Yes, of course there is special connection in the drama of this life. That can’t be erased. But to wake up to the greater reality, that all that is is part of that same whole, extends love to all; we are all simply inseparable. With this knowing, we are fully poised to grow beyond the limits of ego narcissism.

This journey to our transcendent selves, as we navigate the violent contractions of now, does require that we suffer the full knowing of our suppressed and repressed selves, what Jung called the shadow of the personal unconscious. This is the work of recapitulation, fully exploring the triggers of daily life, which bring forth our inconvenient truths.

We are aided in this journey by guides and by our Higher Soul, which resides in the transpersonal dimension of our being. Our ego soul becomes our left brain navigator on our voyage of recovery and discovery. Though still engaged in material life, our needs become more soulful and refined. The spirit of a gift outweighs the material gift.

Bob Monroe left us with a set of tools to discover that, yes, “I am more than my physical body.” As we traverse that non-physical reality, the ego discovers that it is part of its greater Soul. Indeed, that I am more than my ego identity. And with that we are truly birthing into new life.

I am more than my ego identity,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Befriend the Jackal

Befriend the Jackal…
– Artwork © 2022 Jan Ketchel

In Egyptian mythology, Anubis, the guardian of souls and lord of the underworld, appears with a human body topped with a jackal’s head. The jackal, in physical reality, is an earthbound wild dog who, like a vulture in the sky, feeds off the flesh of the dead. This is the likely root of Anubis’ symbolic and solemn association with death.

The jackal, in the tripartite human being dimensions of mind, body and spirit, is the physical body, the mortal component of this human trinity.  The physical body is also the subconscious dimension of the human being. The subconscious houses the raw materials of all that we are, as well as all that we have ever been.

When the superconscious dimension of our Spirit decides to incarnate in human form for a particular mission of self-actualization in time and space, it must forget its immortal existence to accomplish its goal. If we were to be born with a distinct knowledge of our soulful existence beyond death, it would trump the experience of mortality, which is crucial to creating the necessary growth environment, or experimental/experiential conditions that our Spirit requires to advance its mission.

The jackal, as accomplice to Spirit’s intent, is the  guardian of Spirit knowledge housed in the shadowland of the subconscious and stored in the human body. The paradox of this contract is that the jackal becomes Spirit’s greatest opponent in life. While Spirit seeks the spiritualization of our sojourn as material, mortal beings, jackal seeks to consume all of our spiritual stirrings that threaten to bring into the light of consciousness the truth of our hidden potential and immortality. The psychological tool to keep things hidden is suppression.

The jackal accomplishes its mission through preoccupying us with concerns of physical survival. We become obsessed with our income and resources to assure food and shelter. Our preoccupation with creature comforts renders us inert, as we sink into the malaise of semi-conscious existence. Ultimately, these obsessions evoke anxiety and fear and breed selfishness.

The world is currently caught in such a survivalist drama, as fears of scarcity fuel war and hate of neighbor. These fixations lack the deeper spiritual knowing of interconnected life beyond mortal existence. The challenge for the world now is to ascend to this spiritualized position of love and care for all of life. This is indeed the Great Spirit’s intent for the entire human race in its current incarnation: to ascend to love amidst threat to mortality. But how to accomplish this?

The shamans of ancient Mexico reminded themselves each day that they were “a being who is going to die” to counter the jackal’s distracting efforts to mire their Spirits in materialism. With death as one’s adviser, one is mindfully present, with Spirit, to the opportunity for fulfillment in each mortal moment.

Between the superconscious domain of Spirit and the subconscious domain of the jackal—the body—is the mind. The mind is actually another orphaned dimension of Spirit, known as the ego. Like the body, the mind is a victim of brainwashing, that is, amnesia of its true origin: Spirit.

However, despite its ignorance, ego stumbled upon the tree of knowledge and free will. On the downside of this discovery is ego frequently colluding with the jackal, advancing its power aims and survivalist agendas. On the upside, ego has the potential to calm the jackal, whereby opening the channel to Spirit’s guidance and resource in its Earthly mission.

When ego chooses to meditate, it calms the body with positive suggestions, which in turn provide reassurance. This is where ego learns voluntary control over the jackal’s autonomic nervous system. When the jackal gets anxious, the ego can lead it to the calmness of its safe place. Once the jackal feels safe, and sees that its true physical needs are being met, it allows its hidden treasures to come into the light of consciousness.

This allows ego to recapitulate the repressed traumas of this life, or the issues of past lives, previously hidden and stored in the dark storage of the physical body. This allows access to one’s true karma, one’s mission in this life, allowing it to be revealed and fulfilled. Ultimately, this spiritualization process allows for the full merger of mind, body, and Spirit in love, the collective Spirit intent for the lifetime we are all in.

Interestingly, it is Anubis who presents the human heart to Ra at the time of human passing, as the actions of one’s just-lived life are weighed and future karma assigned.

We begin our journey of spiritual return through befriending the jackal, who in turn opens the door to the gems of our true heritage, presenting materials for advancement. And, ultimately, as our worthy opponent through life, the jackal returns us, upon passing, to our full-fledged Spirit in infinity.

Loving the jackal,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Tell Your Body What To Do

Image by Jan Ketchel

I would like to say that, yes, it is that simple. By telling your heart to beat slower, it will beat slower. By telling your blood pressure to flow more calmly, it will flow more calmly. By telling your breathing to calm down, it will calm down. By telling your body to relax, it will relax.

And though I know from personal experience that these things are true, I  also know that our internal programming, largely molded by our social conditioning and education, tells us that such things are not possible.

The rational mind either rejects such a simplistic possibility and refuses to do it or makes half-hearted attempts a couple of times and proves its absurdity.

If we allow our accepted beliefs to control our actions without honestly testing out possibilities beyond those beliefs, we will be slow to evolve. Evolution requires that we allow life to progress through its changes. If we grasp too tightly to old beliefs without testing new possibilities we create roadblocks to our own growth and evolution.

The true scientist is not offended when the outcome of an experiment disproves the stated hypothesis. To the contrary, there is the thrill of the discovery of a new truth. Science, at its purest, is a lover of truth. Beliefs that refuse to yield to an unprejudiced experiment are no lovers of true science.

It is true that many of our cognitive, emotional and behavioral actions happen outside the control of consciousness. Our subconscious minds are the home of the programs that automatically operate our physical and mental systems.

We should be quite thankful that the subconscious automatically shoulders the directing of these systems. Imagine if we had to tell ourselves to breathe every breath we inhale throughout the day! We’d have little energy and focus to do any other activity. Yet, it is a fact that at times, when we do assume conscious control of our breathing, it can have a deeply calming effect upon our body and state of mind.

The science behind the efficacy of conscious self-regulation can be traced to the pioneering research of German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz in what he called autogenic training. The marvels of hypnosis were in deep display in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. No one could deny that the subconscious mind could be influenced to vastly change the condition of the body.

What Schultz advanced was the possibility of a direct relationship between the conscious mind and the state of the body. Rather than put the conscious mind to sleep in a state of trance and then have the subconscious controlled by the suggestions of the hypnotist, in autogenic training the conscious mind is fully awake, talking with conviction to the body and the underlying subconscious, consciously directing physical changes.

The mind, at the level of the ego, the chief navigator of daily life, can decide at any time to direct thinking and behavior. This means volitionally, with conscious intent, interrupting and overriding the currently active program operating from the center of the subconscious mind.

With calm, unbiased perseverance, one can discover, for themselves, the power they have to directly influence the state of their central nervous system. Of course there are many other ways to influence this relationship, such as through the use of medications, whose chemicals exert direct influence over the automatic programs running the body.

Energy therapies such as acupuncture also directly impact the energy channels in the body, by overriding subconscious programs causing energy blockages. Massage therapy deals with the relaxing and redistributing of energy at the level of the densest concentrations of energy, the physical body.

All these methods have their benefits and may be helpful to creating harmony within the CNS. Statements made directly to the body empower an individual to directly impact their state of being. Of course, one should always investigate the reason behind an uncomfortable body condition, as there may be a message behind it to the psyche from the body, asking it to change a dysfunctional behavior or to investigate some deeper issue.

Nonetheless, even that kind of investigation requires a calm state of being to allow for clear mental processing. For this, the simple directive from the conscious mind, telling the heart to beat slower, may prove extremely useful.

Try it. See what happens. Be a true scientist.

My heart beats slower,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Thrust of the Spirit

Calcinatio in the retort of the body…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

My Spirit sees everything from an evolutionary perspective. Thus, even the sobering truth of Maureen Dowd’s editorial, Apocalypse Right Now,  is not a dealbreaker for my optimism.

All are encouraged to examine the truth, to the extent that that is possible, but then to exercise Carlos Castaneda’s number one dictum, Suspend Judgment, in order to reach the deeper truth of the soul’s fantastic voyage.

Sir Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos sought to actualize achieving such a high level perspective in their respective launches into space these past couple of weeks. I see their journeys as transcendent attempts to free their spirits from the  gravity of the mess on the ground of planet Earth. 

Indeed, the thrust of the Spirit now is for the human race to up its Olympian game. This does not require that all go in search of transcendent out-of-body experiences. In fact, though I am impressed with the recent space adventures, they appear a bit compensatory to the truth on the ground. Good to be reminded of the potential of the human ego spirit to rise above the mess, but can it apply itself to the needed changes below?

We are all in this world on missions of growth. Most are born with a blank slate to protect those intended missions from confusion and interference from their Spirit’s prior journeys in infinity. Though the soul brings with it the fruits of its prior adventures in the form of its innate intelligence, it temporarily releases the memory of those experiences to be fully available to the life at hand.

Thus, the purity of Spirit’s intent imbues one’s life with purpose yet becomes clouded over by one’s material DNA and physical life circumstance. Nonetheless, one’s physical life remains the playing field for the Spirit’s intended growth.

We could say that the purity of Spirit becomes muddied and weighed down by the imperfections of material physical life. The journey then, in this earthly life, is one of working through the impurities of our physical trials to further add to our Spirit’s clarity, knowledge, and growth.

Carl Jung spent much of his adult life unearthing and studying ancient alchemical texts. Most modern psychological researchers question his sanity for having wasted so much time on such obscure nonsensical pre-chemistry texts. Jung, however, discovered that the alchemists were deeply engaged in a series of operations seeking to release the Spirit from its material impurities.

Psychotherapy, for Jung, was the application of a series of alchemical operations upon the psyche, seeking to free one’s Spirit from the bindings of illusion that overshadow one’s life and block fulfillment—the refinement of one’s Spirit.

The alchemists began their operations by choosing a substance to work on. In psychotherapy, one chooses a core stumbling block in one’s life to work on.

Alchemists used a retort, a vessel that the substance was placed in and then sealed, while they performed their operations upon it. In psychotherapy, the retort becomes the introspective ego that is asked to stay in body and be with the thoughts, beliefs, feelings, memories, sensations and dreams that arise as one works with an issue.

In psychotherapy, the sealed retort is equivalent to the body and psyche containing the intense energies of a conflict that has arisen, which is so tempting to release through blame, rationalization, a new illusion, or an emotional catharsis. Like the pot of water that never boils if we keep lifting the lid, we will never achieve the desired transformation if our retort is prematurely opened.

Planet Earth is clearly in the midst of its own alchemical processes of solutio, via flooding, and calcinatio, with fire. The retort of Earth is performing the necessary operations to reshape itself, and the lives of its inhabitants, and to cleanse itself of the illusions that have encumbered its Spirit.

Humans are simultaneously being asked to stay grounded and face the truths of their own lives, without opening the retort to the inflation of Icarus or the deflation of morbid depression. Containment of volatile emotion is a necessary precursor to transformative change. Acquiescence to necessary behaviors that reflect the truth is the ego’s greatest challenge.

These are the earthbound tasks for all humans now, as we individually and collectively seal the retort and are driven, by the thrust of the Spirit, to advance deeper into truth, survival, and evolution.

In solidarity,

Chuck