Tag Archives: ego

Chuck’s Place: Becoming More Fully One’s Self

Becoming more of who we are…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A seed is what it is. Once it takes root it unfolds according to its innate code of development, greatly influenced by the environment it is born into. Humans are seeds of the soul planted upon the earth, each of us with our own unique innate program for development, which acquires further influence from the unique family we are born into.

The soul is the higher self, whose program steers the greater unfolding of our life. This unfolding is additionally impacted by environmental nuances and a budding ego self, a point of consciousness that gradually becomes one’s central identity. The ego is part of the higher self, as the higher self is comprised of all that we are. In effect, the ego is the General on the ground, charged by the higher self with making  decisions in everyday life that best fit the needs of the unfolding of the greater self in life. This is how we become who we truly are.

Ego inflation is a state of alienation from the higher self, where the ego installs and acts upon its own programs for life that fail to consider the true needs of the greater unfolding of the true self. In effect the ego crowns itself the higher self and exercises its freedom of choice to direct life to further its own ambitions. The political climate we find ourselves in now starkly reflects the plight and consequences of a runaway ego pursuing its own ambitions at the expense of the true needs of the greater whole.

The Tao of the inflated ego is deflation, a natural correction, as the energies that fuel the inflation eventually dry up, as they are not connected to and will not be supported by the higher self. The higher self contains the wellspring of energy for unfolding development. If true needs are not properly funded by the ego the higher self withdraws its energy from the ego, a state experienced psychologically as depression.

On an individual basis decisions made by an alienated ego will lead to complications of mind and body that reflect the split within the self. These complications serve as guides to the ego to adjust its attitude and decision making to better serve the true needs of the unfolding self.  A depression then is a precursor to needed realignment with the unfolding of the true self. A humbled ego can once again become empowered by the self as it embarks upon its corrected path. This is experienced as a lifting of depression, accompanied by a new outlook on life.

Although the ego can greatly obstruct addressing the greater needs of the whole self for a long time, its decisions will naturally be overridden in some form eventually. We see this now in the consequences of global warming upon the Earth. Essentially, we are being confronted with nature’s reaction to our environmental decision making, which has not been in true alignment with the needs of the planet. Thus we are being challenged with the consequences of our decisions by a rapidly changing climate. Our attitudes are being humbled; we are living with the consequences of the error of our ways.

The truth is that the unfolding of who we truly are, the reason we are here, continues to manifest, regardless of our mistaken attitudes. In fact, it may be that our karmic seed led us to be born in this time of great realignment to be part of an evolutionary ego shift. Thus, our unfolding selves are actually reflecting the great polarization we see abundantly reflected around us. We are all charged with reconciling the split between ego needs and the needs of the true self.

Ego has always had to grapple with life in the physical world, thus its focus tends to be materialistic. Thus it focuses on accumulation of wealth as a path to status and security. The ego also puts high regard on mastery in one’s chosen profession as a reflection of its worth and status. The ego also concerns itself with its ranking and desirability in its relations with fellow human beings. The ego’s goals of perfection and possession drive it to compete with or eliminate its neighbors. On the positive side, the ego has the capacity to suspend judgment and see the greater truth.

The greater unfolding of now is teasing us away from this one-sided obsession with material manipulation into a far greater exploration of our spiritual potential in human form. Bringing consciousness to our energy body’s energetic abilities was the hallmark of the U. S. Army’s Stargate program, where psychic abilities were employed for purposes of national defense.

The opportunity for the ego to shift its material focus to a greater exploration of energetic reality beyond space and time is the new frontier. This does not abandon material life. In fact, balance in material life is essential to balance in energy body exploration, where we are simply waking up to a greater awareness of the fullness of who we are. Many who have journeyed in infinity rest in the knowing that, as Robert Monroe’s core mantra states: “We are more than our physical bodies.” They no longer fear death.

We awaken to our energetic potential when we listen to the guidance of the self within and follow the synchronicities that manifest daily in our lives. We awaken to our energetic potential when we grant equal value to our nightly dreams as to the waking dream we begin anew every morning. We most align with our energetic potential when we align our ego intent with that of the higher self, to become who we truly are.

Aligning,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Fixation

In contemplative silence we build our well…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

What does it mean when you simply can’t get it out of your head? It might be a thought, a desire, a hunger, a person, an object, or an incident.

The energetic charge of our fixations is experienced as strong emotion and mental perseveration. This is the fire of an activated archetype outwardly projected and inwardly fixated. Some deep need is stirring and we are drawn involuntarily to its projection, the flame of our fixation.

Projection is automatic, that is, unconscious. We don’t choose to project, it happens to us. We are not at fault, for instance, if we are attracted to the wrong person. Attraction happens. Nature is ruthless in pursuit of its aims, in this case, blindly bringing a couple together for union.

Caught in the flame of desire the ego is overwhelmed. The intensity of the energetic charge may at once be both threatening and exciting. After all, archetypes transcend our civilized exterior; they reach down to the primordial core of our being and flood us with bursts of living energy. How do we keep ourselves afloat in such a precarious state?

In the hexagram of The Well, the I Ching makes clear that we all need to partake of the living water that lies beneath the surface of the Earth. The well is the human connection to that living energy below. Humans must build the well. Psychically, the ego is the well. As humans we are charged with building and managing our relationship with our archetypal core, what Jung called the collective unconscious.

In the case of fixation, the ego builds its well through its response to archetypal activation. A hasty reaction may be equivalent to jumping in the well and drowning! An overly suppressive reaction may refuse the bucket that brings up the living water from below.

Often the ego lends its mental manipulative powers, such as through rationalization, to further the aim of the archetype while naively assuming it is doing ‘the right thing’. Only deeply contemplative inner truth will reveal the right action called for.

Often the ego protects itself from rejection and defeat through rationalization turned against the self in some cognitive permutation of unworthiness. Perhaps this is a necessary defense, as the ego hones its ability to regulate the impact of archetypal energy.

We too easily forget that the ego, with its consciousness, is a very recent acquisition for humankind. Before its arrival we shared, with all other animals, life completely directed by archetypes, with no conscious choice available. No wonder we are so flustered when an archetype is activated. How fragile our conscious footing amidst such intensively charged directives!

The ego can choose to bear the tension of the archetype. In recovery programs guidance is given to examine people, places, and things. In early recovery, particularly, the archetypal energetic power of the desired object is respected by avoiding known associations to it. Further, one turns to a trusted sponsor, the program, or a higher power to strengthen one’s resolve to bear the tension vs succumb to habitual addiction.

Spiritual traditions all stress restraint, sacrifice, and detachment as the technology to manage archetypal fixation. Unfortunately, this technology, valuable as it is, does not address the need to fully partake in our humanness while in human form. Yes, we are spirit beings, but we are spirit beings in human bodies with deep archetypal roots in this Earth. We must build our wells to draw our nurturance from that underground river of living energy.

If we can’t bear the tension and either jump into the well or refuse the call we needn’t judge ourselves negatively. All experience accrues, adding to eventual ego enlightenment. When we are ready, when the ego has been sufficiently moulded to be in the truth, we can align our intent with that of the heart, our personal conduit to our higher spirit.

From this place of heart centeredness we know the truth and allow ourselves to be in the Tao. Being in the Tao means knowing that our lives are unfolding to express and fulfill all that we are and that projections are stirrings to find outlets for that fulfillment. However, often projections are simply reflections, not what is actually needed. The heart, in its quiet calm, will tell us the truth.

Aligning with this truth we have the certainty that life will bring to us the real deal. And with that we will be led to draw the water from our living well, our fixations realized in their highest form.

Constructing the well,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: My Inner Trump

Our baldheaded cardinal going at it again!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A doggedly persistent male cardinal smacks into our living room window throughout the day. The top of his head is bald and blue, like that of a turkey vulture, from his incessant headfirst crashes. We have noticed that this cardinal has a mate and we surmise he must be trying to fend off his perceived enemy reflected in the window, but the truth is that his enemy, unbeknownst to himself, is himself!

Our Soulbyte of Tuesday July 17, 2018 begins: “Pay attention. Become more fully aware of nature assisting you on your unfolding journey.” What is the guidance of this display of nature, of this seemingly crazy cardinal?

A bird is a spirit being. It flies like angels. The cardinal is named after the Cardinals of the Catholic Church in early Rome, adorned in their bright red robes and pointy red hats. Thus the cardinal is an earthly representative of a spirit being. Closer to home, the ego is the earthly representative of a spirit being. Consciousness, the hallmark of spirit, is born as the ego at the chakra center located at the solar plexus.

The solar plexus is the fire in the belly chakra, the home of personal power, where the ego discovers its ability to rise above the absolute control of nature’s primordial energies that command the lower chakras and choose its behavioral responses to the world. Nonetheless, choices are inevitably constricted by the narcissistic, self-referential cognitive and emotional limitations of the ego at this newly awakened youthful state of emergence.

Our cardinal reflects this narcissistic fixation. He cannot differentiate his enemy from himself. This results in a repetitive pattern of self-destructive behavior based on a distortedly applied archetypal instinct of defense. That distortion is a narcissistic reflection that won’t allow him a perspective beyond himself.

When Donald Trump asserts that American intelligence is the enemy, not Russia, he reflects the cardinal who sees his own reflection as the enemy. Trump unwittingly sees his own country as the enemy, which he subsequently incessantly verbally attacks, just as the cardinal incessantly attacks his own image reflected in our living room window. This is likely a developmental issue where ego is fixated on a narcissistic worldview.

The question is why this developmental stage is being so graphically mirrored upon the world stage at this point? What does it mean for all of us, as holographically we all share an inner Trump?

If we bring attention back to our friar, the baldheaded cardinal, attention is drawn to the redness of its firery spirituality. The cardinals of Catholicism, as well as the leaders of all spiritual traditions, have stood for a morality that rises above instinctual dominance. This is the equivalent of transcending the solar plexus and rising to the heart chakra with its more inclusive consideration of others.

The heart center can recognize and value life beyond itself. It can see truth and make decisions based on the overarching needs of the interdependent whole world. Our spiritual traditions stalk a higher chakra than we have actually developmentally reached. Obama stalked the heart center, which resulted in major inclusiveness of groups long rejected and cast out by society.

The truth is, however, that developmentally we truly have not reached the heart center perspective, and the Trump election avalanche was fueled by the collective narcissistic shadow which now unabashedly asks: “What about me, why do we have to care about everyone else?”

We are guided to take up this issue on an individual level. As our cardinal reflects, we must incessantly ask ourselves: “What repetitive self-destructive behaviors am I engaged in based on illusion? Who within me is in charge of my decision making? Am I properly including my deepest instinctual self in my decisions, or do I avoid the fire in the belly of emotion by blindly adhering to moral platitudes that defend me from the tensions within and without?”

The greatest individual contribution we can make in this time of fierce splitting apart is to face squarely our own inner Trumps. Clearly the planet beckons us to take up the challenge to reconcile our deepest instinctual selves with our highest spiritual values.

Suspend judgment. Take responsibility to know the self beyond illusion. Bear the burden of instinct and spirit. Find wholeness in the self. Let love join body and spirit, as well as neighbor to neighbor.

Facing my inner Trump,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Stabilizing and Contributing Now

…you need!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Whether we feverishly track the news or guardedly protect ourselves from incoming data storms we are all, at our interconnected core, impacted by what is happening in the world. Though we might insulate ourselves from the plight of children separated from their parents, at a certain level the emotional energy of their fear and sadness runs through us all.

The high profile suicides we have witnessed recently speak to the existential despair of our fragile egos, subjected to a milieu of instability, uncertainty, and disintegration. As a psychotherapist my role is to acknowledge these truths and help people safely cross the tumultuous river of our time.

Recognizing that we are all interconnected means that certain currents of thought and feeling that flow through us are collective in nature; they are greater than our individual selves yet we might interpret them quite personally. Ego can forge its navigating ship by recognizing its interconnected core but at the same time not identify with or attach its individual self to its collective affiliation.

Copycat syndrome is actually ego loosing its grounded footing and identifying itself with the mood, thinking, and action of another. Ego is indeed vulnerable to dissolving its identity and merging with a collective impulse, as is well illustrated by a mob mentality. In fact, at present we are witnessing mob mentalities emerging from many corners, deeply challenging our individual egos to know thyself apart from the collective self of the group.

Turning attention to the body self is most helpful at this time. The body registers the collective emotional currents of now in stress reactions that tighten the body boundaries through clenching. Giving ourselves the message that, “it is safe to release in this moment,” accompanied by slow deeper breathing releases these inner dams of tension and better prepares ego to go with the flow.

From this more personally grounded place, ego can contribute to calming the collective angst by tapping into love energy, which radiates back into the collective river of energy at its deepest current, our interconnected oneness. Love is the glue that binds us together as a human family.

Feel and send love to the separated children. Feel and send compassion to those in control of deciding the fate of those children that they might find their way to love in their actions. Arm the self with love energy that it may hold together while weathering through the great changes and challenges of now.

Encased in love we hold together and advance regardless of outer circumstance. Love endures the pain of separation. Love issues from beyond space-time where all is one, all the time. It is our deepest challenge and greatest opportunity to find our way to this enduring connection in this time of great distraction and separation.

Through stabilizing and dis-indentifying with the violent currents of now we find our way to the deepest current of love, which contributes to the restoration of our true oneness. Find your way down to that which always flows at the depth of your being, the universal current of love, and let it radiate, period.

Love is all,

Chuck

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