Tag Archives: ego

Chuck’s Place: Relativity Of Mind

An integrated mind is a mind at peace…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

We might ask ourselves: “Who am I?”

The answer? It depends.

We are of two minds. One of those minds has an identity, an ego, that thinks, feels and knows who it is. The other mind is the subconscious, a far vaster mind that has access to all knowledge and has the potential to become anyone and anything. The subconscious mind has no ego or fixed identity. The subconscious simply becomes what is suggested to it.

When the ego thinks, the subconscious takes the suggestion of that thought and creates it in the physical body. The subconscious does not discriminate fact from fiction. If the ego imagines a frightful possibility, the subconscious treats it as real and armors the body to tense and prepare for clear and present danger.

The subconscious is the older of the two minds. It stores the evolutionary history of the body for its duration in physical life, as well as the historical journey of the soul that inhabits that body. Consequently, the subconscious lacks a specific identity, as its roots stretch way deeper than its current incarnation.

Without locking into any personality the subconscious reacts automatically and instinctively, in a way that has best served the survival of the species. Thus, it reacts to situations based on the suggestions of survival programs that automatically present themselves via association with a current challenge.

However, the subconscious is highly influenced by suggestions from many sources. The ego, or actual personality, exerts a powerful influence through its thoughts, beliefs and imagination. The ego thinks and reflects, which the subconscious does not do, and the subconscious manifests these dramas. Many a psychosomatic symptom or illness is directly the creative manifestation of a suggestion to the subconscious through conscious rumination.

The subconscious is also highly impacted by the free flow of thoughts in the universe, or by the points of view we expose ourselves to in news shows and social media. Political campaigns are judged by the size of one’s financial war chest, which is ultimately spent on suggestions to the subconscious mind’s of voters as to what they should believe and vote for.

Additionally, the subconscious is influenced by our divided selves. Beside our conscious identity are many parts of ourselves that live below the threshold of consciousness, in the region of the psyche that Jung called the shadow. These sub-personalities have minds of their own that constantly offer the subconscious suggestions that immediately register in the body.

I utilize a simple neurofeedback device that registers immediately a changed brainwave state should a background doubt whisper during a meditation session. The subtlety of sensitivity by the subconscious to become what is hinted at is extraordinary.

One does well to bring consciousness to these shadow ideas, that they reach levels of resolution to not unseat one’s conscious intent. This is the path of individuation where one enlarges one’s personality by truly reconciling the oppositions within the self.

Suggestions from such an integrated personality promote health, creativity and fulfillment where that which is within truly reflects that which is without. Such a mind finds duration beyond the relativity of time and space.

Beyond relativity,

Chuck’s Place: Archetype, Reason & Heart

Nature, ego, spirit aligned…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

Archetypes are nature’s crowning achievement. Our ability to survive is rooted in the activation of these evolutionarily sound, instinctual patterns of behavior etched in the fabric of the subconscious mind. Before humans had consciousness, with its ability to reason and make decisions, the automatic subconscious mind was the center of human decision making.

The guiding principle for the subconscious mind is association. If my senses detect a loud sound in the woods, images of a falling tree or an exploded firearm immediately come to mind. The subconscious associates the images to the sound, as action hormones are released in the body, which push for cautious investigative action.

With the birth of consciousness I can rationalize, that is, think about, the sound, and talk myself out of the need to investigate. My conscious will can subvert the subconscious story and call to action. Of course, through this suppression of the subconscious, a part of my mind may remain unsettled, but, as compared to primitive humans, I am not obsessively controlled by the absolute rule of the archetype.

Reason’s growing hegemony over the human mind is an evolutionary exercise that has produced mixed blessings. Scientists have proposed that we are now in a new geologic time period, which they are calling the anthropocene epoch, highlighting the overarching impact of human decision making upon the Earth.

It could certainly be argued, as does the Garden of Eden myththat human beings should never have stolen access to the fruit of the tree of knowledge and instead stayed obediently within the rules and laws of the godly archetypes.

The subconscious, had it remained in total control, would never have allowed the kinds of duplicitous decisions that ego has made during its reign as CEO of the planet. The subconscious rules with the intention of survival. When it acts upon a suggestion, that suggestion has impressed it with its utility, due to its frequency of appearance.

Reason, of course, would argue that evolutionary patterns can be cumbersome and non-related to the challenges of modern life. Despite some truth to this argument, reason itself has been unable to use pure reason as a basis for environmental decisions. In effect, reason has acted like an imperious child, holding the keys to the kingdom in its own self-righteous hands.

The subconscious is the section of the mind where spirit and matter mate. From spirit issues a dynamic suggestion in the form of a word. The subconscious mind opens to receive the word, which it then magnetizes to attract matter and give birth to spirit’s intent in physical form. From this union, the word literally becomes flesh.

The will of ego can, and does, impress its suggestions upon the subconscious mind, subverting its creative potential for its own self-interest alone. The speed of communications nowadays, through social media, flood the collective subconscious with suggestions that are literally generating alternative realities, which are grounded only in the fact of their repetitive frequency.

In the meantime, the archetypes that once balanced the Earth’s ecosystem are flagrantly misfiring, or are being pitted against each other in battles for dominance. Who, for instance, defines modern masculinity? Are ancient archetypal patterns relevant to being a man? Should reason dictate the curriculum of identity?

The subconscious and reason are reconcilable partners. The bridge to this partnership is objective truth. The subconscious might very well be the most powerful section of the mind, but, by lacking critical thinking, it can be manipulated for less than positive intentions.

The ego has free will, its crowning achievement, but it lacks the ethical grounding to do the right thing. The home of truth is the heart. The Egyptian Goddess Maat is the Goddess of Truth, Law and Justice. Upon death, a person’s heart was weighed against her feather. Only a heart weighing less than the feather was a pure heart.

A pure heart, one that tells the truth, can weigh both the appropriateness of ego’s reason and a suggestion posed to the subconscious. Decisions from the heart center elevate the subconscious and the ego to be in alignment with the true needs of the Self, and the planet as a whole.

As individuals, we are most responsible when we bring heart to weigh upon the validity of our thoughts and the appropriateness of our instincts and impulses.

From the heart,

Chuck’s Place: At the Threshold of the Matrix

The Dweller awaits…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

Rudolph Steiner identified the dual nature of The Dweller At The Threshold as both guardian and adversary. In trauma, this inner guardian steals away and absorbs the traumatic experience, enabling consciousness to go forward, relieved of the impact of the unacceptable.

The price for this amnesia is an illusory life in the matrix. The guardian dweller plants triggers at the threshold of the truth, explosive emotions that electrify the nervous system and repel deeper knowing. The seeker is led to mistakenly identifying the trigger as the culprit, and to value successful avoidance as the cure.

At the simplest level, the vulnerable ego is protected by mechanisms of defense, as Anna Freud labeled them. Some of these are, at the very least, semi-conscious, such as with suppression, when we knowingly push down a disturbing feeling. Most defenses, however, operate automatically, at the behest of the all-powerful subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is nature, with its sweeping survival instincts that protect life at any cost. The subconscious represses that which would hurt the ego, regardless of the truth that it blocks from consciousness. The subconscious projects onto others the ownership and responsibility for the ego’s thoughts and actions that, if truly owned, would hurt its self-esteem.

The subconscious is also the Dweller, in both the role of the guardian and the adversary. The subconscious houses unlived karma, that which is yet to be discovered and resolved. The subconscious is like the moon, which ultimately upholds the fundamental balance of nature. Though it can shield at its dark side, it will ultimately reveal all in its fullness. Karma, like the moon, also holds the complete cycle of nature, those personal truths we are all here to work on, to reveal, face and resolve.

The ego is equivalent to the sun. With the light of consciousness at its helm, the ego has free will, to do as it chooses. In fact, via suggestion, that impresses itself upon the subconscious, the ego can override and violate nature’s inherent laws. The Dweller stores the effects of these choices in the form of karma. Although withheld, this karma will ultimately be repaid, by nature exacting its balance.

The ego can fashion its own persona identity, and even believe it to be its true self, but nature’s storms of anxiety, fear, anger and depression will inevitably prevail and breakdown of this fragile identity will occur. For ego to advance in health and wholeness, it must ultimately make the journey to the gate of the Dweller, in the hidden recesses of its shadow, and retrieve its lost soul, its true identity.

Ironically, as the journey into the shadow begins, Dweller as guardian will turn into Dweller as adversary, triggering ego back to the sensibility of its comfortably uncomfortable life in the matrix. Better safe than sorry. To overcome this, the ego must drop its false pretensions, lose its self-importance, and relentlessly pursue the fullness of truth before it can find its way to freedom beyond this stagnant moat of the matrix.

“Yes,” stated don Juan to Carlos Castaneda, “this is a world of solid objects, but first it is a world of energy.” This was the ultimate solution to the paradox that eventually freed Neo from The Matrix. When you lock into a solid definition, you generate your karma in the solid physical world.

In The Matrix, Neo learned to suspend judgment. He refused the story,  the subconscious habit that generated a lethal certainty. His energy was then freed to open to an empowered interpretation of self. The shamans call this shifting the position of the assemblage point, where freed energy assembles into a new reality. To do this one must suspend a fixated judgment.

Present events on the world stage suggest that the karma of WWI is beckoning us for resolution and a new reality. Judge Hatch*, our Astral dimension war correspondent throughout that war, was clear that the spiritual intent for that war was: to make the world safe for love.

Though Christ, as shaman, stalked that position of the assemblage point, the chakra center of the heart, and America embraced it in principle, neither America nor the rest of the world has moved beyond the ego and the personal power center of the chakra located at the solar plexus.

Clearly, the souls on the Titanic continue to draw us down to her depths, where we must face her truths but also her tests. Though two years before the start of WWI, her sinking foreshadowed the challenge that was about to eclipse the world.

The hubris of the Titan sub’s CEO, Stockton Rush, was parallel to that of Captain Smith, who insisted, in 1912, that the Titanic maintain full speed despite the threat of icebergs. Humbling is the lesson that ego—despite its solar-plexus power gymnastics, or inflated reach for adventure—is no match for the Dweller, who can only be approached with utter caution,  respect and truthfulness.

The sunken Titanic, whose passengers included Stockton Rush’s wife’s great-great grandparents, is populated with many souls who sacrificed their lives that others might live. This is the myth that resolves the paradox at the gate of the matrix. Those souls reached the heart center, the spiritual center that puts equanimity over class, gender and race.

The Titan was drawn down to the mothership of the Titanic. Its journey captured the heart of the world. May its fate lead us to fixate upon the truth, humility and compassion of the heart center. To return it to the judgment at the solar plexus would be to misinterpret it as just another competitive loss and failure, missing its golden message.

The Russian Revolution was ignited in the midst of WWI. Stalin and Lenin have either reincarnated as, or exerted influence upon, the cosmic dance between Putin and Prigozhin, once partners in crime, as they now face off with shades of the 1917 Russian revolution coming to life. In their time, Stalin turned on Lenin, whom he had poisoned to death.

In this present incarnation, the deeply ingrained Russian Tsarist subconscious habit, of total massacre of all who revolt, was averted, perhaps for the first time in Russian history. Like magic, the river of energy approaching certain bloodbath in Moscow completely reversed itself, all charges dropped. Strategic or not, this action is utterly unprecedented.

The significance of these events—insinuations of WWI karma emergent in our time—is that the ego has the opportunity to exercise its free will; all is not predetermined.

If the world ego exerts its will in alignment with the truth, with interconnectedness and compassion of the heart center, it might successfully navigate beyond the Dweller at the Threshold of the matrix, who keeps us embroiled in the karma of past mistakes, and instead launch us into heart-centered interconnectedness.

The best training, for all whom embark upon this quest to exit the matrix through the heart center, is the Four Fold Way:

Show up.
Pay attention.
Tell the truth.
No attachment to outcome.

At the Threshold,

*War Letters from the Living Dead Man
Also, see Resources section in the left sidebar for links to other related books by Elsa Barker, who channeled Judge Hatch’s messages from the afterlife.

Chuck’s Place: Maturity Of Elemental Emotion

-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

How is one not broken open listening to some version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah? Halle means praise, and jah, as the Rasta’s confirm, is God. Praise God!

The emotions aroused in listening to Hallelujah are transcendent bliss and love. These emotions, as reflected in Cohen’s lyrics (which evolved over many years), are refined from hungry sexuality and sensuality to the most expansive level of sublime spiritual union at a soul level.

The soul is the subtle dimension of a human being, which animates the physical body. The soul is composed of elemental emotional substance, as well as mental substance. Emotions are the soul’s passionately magnetic agents of desire that attract to it the substance and body of the human being we become.

The life we enter is constructed to fulfill our High Self’s karmic quest. That which must be fulfilled is the mission of the soul’s desire body, replete with its active body of elemental emotions. Part of that karmic mission is to refine its raw emotional substance to the pure innocence of mature love in human endeavors, attachments and relationships throughout life.

At the primal level of physical life, emotions are the desires that serve our instinctual imperatives to eat, protect and reproduce. Refined through the vicissitudes of human life, emotions draw us into spiritual communion with our source in infinity.

The  active elemental energies present in human emotion are latent elemental forces in all of nature. Fire, for instance, is a consuming elemental of nature that enacts necessary change, as old life is cleared to prepare the ground for new. Human beings have refined nature’s fire to produce warmth and edible food.

Within the human soul the latent elemental of fire is passion, a highly charged emotion that at a base level can lead to violence or simply gruff carnal union.  At a more refined level, passion can motivate a great technological advance, such as AI (artificial intelligence), a revolution currently descending upon us.

Actually, our technological advances, while fueled by elemental passion, are largely accomplished through the rational thinking of the mind, also housed in the human soul, in the mental body.

Our ability to reason is quite advanced, hence we are readily capable of sussing out the subtle elemental properties of the elements in nature, then recombining them to our seemingly unlimited material advantage.

Unfortunately, the ego’s refinement of elemental emotions has not kept pace with its refinement of its mental acuity. Thus greed and dominance have infused our technological advance with irresponsible intent.

The Hindu technology of yoga offers a clear path for the maturation of elemental emotions through the intentional rising of kundalini energy along the progressive energy centers, called chakras, that connect the soul body to the physical body.

Kundalini is the ultimate elemental life force energy that rises from the base of the spine, the root of our stability, through our sexual core to the solar plexus, the center of ego power.

As we align with the guidance of our Higher Self, at the heart center, our ability to speak our deepest truth opens at the throat, then travels to our intuitive center at the third eye. The crowning achievement of spiritual refinement is  enlightenment and deep empathy at the seventh chakra, at the top of the head.

Oftentimes, we might notice our throat tighten if we have an intense emotion and want to speak. Energetically we are experiencing an unrefined elemental emotion, too dense for transmission through the higher chakra channels.

In this case, the emotion might require further processing at a physical level, perhaps through belly screaming at the level of the solar plexus before it can move upward to the compassion center at the heart and then be calmly communicated through the larynx.

A psychological approach to elemental maturity involves similar dynamics at different centers of the soul. The subconscious mind is the base energy center of the soul that has the raw materials, desires and knowhow to manifest anything. The subconscious does not think, it follows orders via suggestions.

The ego, at the mental body center of the soul, has the power of consciousness and free will. The ego is the main character in a human life, orphaned by, yet on its assigned mission from, its High Self.

The ego must struggle to develop confidence and rise above its narcissistic infatuation with power. The ego’s charge, the hero’s journey, is to refine the desire body’s elemental emotions into love, its highest possible development.

The supra-conscious center of the soul houses the High Self, which supports the ego through its suffering journey of human life to transform its karmic elemental roots into the heights of spiritual purity and transcendental love.

Human life unfolds as a growing interaction between these tripartite  centers of the soul—the subconscious, the ego, and the supra-conscious—as ego gradually wakes up and moves toward greater acquiescence to the mission of its High Self in this life. And with that accomplishment we truly can sing Hallelujah!


Chuck’s Place: Neutralizing The Terror Of Archetypal Trigger

Our archetypal partner…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan

Ever-present in the background of ego consciousness is the archetypal human, that which, with its accumulated wisdom from having lived the entirety of human history, lives inside us and reacts along with us as we think, imagine, and encounter the phenomenal world.

Imagine standing at the edge of a tall mountain, flying in a plane, or crossing a turbulent river. The immediate instinctual reaction of our inner archetypal human might be anxiety, as it accents its knowing of potential danger. Archetypal triggers are the emotional downloads of ancient wisdom, gleaned from prior human experience, that automatically react to similar stimuli that appear in present-day life.

Our ego reaction to these same imaginary scenes might be to quickly rationalize the overwhelming statistics of the safety of flying and the ability to stay calm and in control in challenging situations. These efforts are attempts to minimize archetypal fears and master the challenges presented.

Ultimately, ego is tasked with becoming the Hero, who finds the means to  surmount the archetypal challenges being presented. Ego does well to begin with humility. Instinctual reactions are automatic; there is no blame in the reaction of terror.

The thought of giving a speech or performing before an audience might provoke immediate terror. It’s a completely valid instinctive response. This is the archetypal mind scanning the power of groups in myriads of human encounters throughout history and delivering its verdict—terror.

The lowered consciousness of group mind in such experiences has resulted in many tragic consequences in the course of human history. The ego does well to acknowledge this truth and to consider how it might best prepare itself for such a challenging event.

Sometimes ego might attempt to puff itself up to feel equal to or greater than the power of the archetypal trigger. Positive self-talk in such circumstances may be helpful but is not likely to maintain the confidence needed for true mastery.

The Hero’s journey is its own archetypal journey of ego development. First and foremost, one must heed the call to action. The call originates from our High Self or Spirit, informing us that it is time to grow: “Yes, you must meet with this person whom you experience as the archetypal bully or harpy.”

The instinctive reaction to freeze or retreat is respected but not chosen for this challenge to be successfully met. One might engage in yoga, breath work, meditation, neurofeedback, or any body-centered technique to increase conscious control over the instinctual reactions of the central nervous system generated by the archetypal mind.

The home of the archetypal human is the subconscious mind, which responds immediately to triggers or suggestions by generating chemical and electrical reactions in the body. The use of conscious positive suggestions to the body present new behavioral options to the subconscious mind. Just as the subconscious mind reacts to instinct, it also reacts to consciously generated suggestions.

Thus, regular self-hypnosis that suggests actions of calm and mastery can give the ego greater control over the habitual, instinctive reactions of the archetypal mind. The calmer we can be in an archetypal encounter the greater will be our ability to remain present and to respond quickly and thoughtfully to rapidly changing conditions.

Practice, practice, practice! This is the guidance given to all music students. Its wisdom can be generalized to prepare all of us for all kinds of archetypal encounters.

For instance, visualizing the scene and the myriad of possible permutations of an event, accompanied by the bilateral recapitulation breath as you live those scenes, allows you to gain greater clarity, fluidity and calm over the actual event.

Ego is also free to ask for help and support from its High Self, who appreciates ego’s efforts to meet its appointed task. In particular, one might ask the High Self for help in gaining access to the appropriate words and ideas that would be helpful as it navigates the challenge before it. Memorization has its place, but a quickness of mind is best suited to be fully present and responsive to an unfolding challenge.

Ultimately, the archetypal human is extremely conservative. Its aim is to keep us safe and alive. In fact, in actual life-threatening circumstances this ancient human can take possession of the ego and the body and perform superhuman feats. Don’t leave home without your archetypal human self!

On the other hand, realize that consciousness was evolved at the behest of the archetypal mind, who saw the wisdom of being able to change course on a dime, rather than suffer the consequences of habitual patterns ill-fitted to changing circumstances.

The ego is the child of the archetypal human who must truly become the adult to the personality, working respectfully with its archetypal partner and cohort.

Archetypal triggers are merely necessary tests meant to be mastered. Also, life always provides many makeup tests!

Choose wisely,