Tag Archives: ego

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

Chuck’s Place: We Can’t Escape the Archetypes

Archetypes are nature’s prompts to action. In the animal world archetypes are the counterpoint to inertia. When the archetype is activated the target image, goal, and energy for action appear: the sleeping cat suddenly pounces!

Archetypal horse in nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Although the human animal shares with all of nature its pre-programmed reactions to life, these archetypal calls to action are often muddled by consciousness, which allows for freedom of choice. As the #MeToo perspective has charged, sexual arousal needn’t result in automatic behavior. Consciousness can restrain, reflect, and negotiate versus simply act out an archetypal impulse.

The archetypes in nature can be opposed and transformed by human consciousness. This evolutionary power of choice is facilitated by the prefrontal lobe hegemony of the human brain, particularly the left brain that organizes what it perceives and experiences into a logical space-time order. This thinking function has the ability to override nature.

The power to act upon its own decisions is associated with the ego, the center of human consciousness. As powerful and advantageous as it may be to oppose nature, it comes at quite a cost. At the level of the brain, the ego tends to dismiss the wisdom and fuller interconnected knowledge of the right brain, the seat of our vaster spirit selves, that perceives and lives outside the confines of space-time in infinity. This greater center of knowing could be and often is a valuable contributor to the ego’s decision making processes.

However, as is quite evident in the time we live, the world ego seems to have reverted to a more primitive #MeOnly perspective that completely dismisses our interconnected reality and chooses to act on its personal survival and needs alone. For many, this is a most satisfying respite from the altruism born of a higher interconnected concern for world survival. For others this is nothing less than a total disintegration of civilization, our collective effort to function cohesively as one world.

Ironically, the world ego is now actually being controlled by deeper archetypal forces that are colluding with the ego in a major world ego inflation. World leaders are emboldened and possessed by their primitive instincts to care only about themselves and their own national interests. What is emerging is a rapid takedown of the morals and principles that have held the world together.

Perhaps this is the result of nature, having been opposed for too long, exacting an exaggerated compensatory reaction to a spirit driven world. Even Obama questions if he came too soon.

The archetypes have destructive sides. Life in space-time begins and ends. Archetypes usher life both in and out.  One only need consider nature’s storms that destroy communities and nations in a heartbeat. This destructive side of archetypal nature is ruling the behavior and decisions of many world leaders at present. Nature is exacting some kind of correction upon the human race under the guise of supporting individualism.

The ego inflation of humankind will likely be leveled by nature’s actual storms and the emotional storms of egos possessed by destructive archetypes. The silver lining to this correction is an evolutionary push to more fully explore and inhabit spirit centered right brain interconnectedness. It’s time for left brain to consider, support, and serve its fuller energetic self, the hard drive of which is centered in the right brain. This is the conjunctio that is necessary as we move forward: left and right brain in complementary communion.

We are the progeny of nature. Nature had long ago decided that it was time to broaden from natural selection and the natural domination of archetypes to allow for more efficient guiding decisions from consciousness. Nature is now correcting for its creation, an inflated ego far too dissociated and negating of its all-knowing inheritance. Destruction will lead to evolved life.

As we move into the future now, we will more deeply inhabit our right brain, with all its interconnected knowing, with our left brain, providing time-space orientation and making decisions based on our true interconnectedness. Now that’s progress: ego and archetype, consciousness and interconnected all-knowing on the same team.

Integrating,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond Self-Importance

I am more than my physical body…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel taken at The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia

For many years, we must grapple with our acquired inferiority and  journey to overcome it. All humans become inferior as they grow from a childhood of oneness of connection to everything to a firmly separated ego identity whose consciousness creates firm boundaries between self and other.

This loss of oneness happens gradually as we are socialized into rational thinking, the operational interpretation system of our world. Rationality, with its cause and effect focus, fragments our  wholeness in an effort to bring understanding, order, and control into our lives. Our inherent connection to our soul group and access to the  knowledge of our journeys through infinity, as recorded in the holographic Akashic record of all life, slips away as the challenges of navigating life on earth calls for greater adaptation to the physical world.

This loss of connection to our greater wholeness is the ultimate cause of the collective human condition of inferiority. The truth is that our poor ego is inferior. How could it be otherwise? To go from a condition of interconnected oneness, what many might characterize as the oneness of God, to the puny separateness of an ego disconnected from its source is a built-in experience of inferiority.

Ego has few options to improve its impoverished state of being. One option is to learn and master the rules of the interpretation system of this world that will allow it greater adaptation to the challenges of survival. This track—good schools, good mate, good job—though still powerful, is found wanting in our time of general disintegration. Our planet can no longer house unlimited growth.

Another option for our ego is to employ either deflation or inflation. In deflation the ego keeps itself down, as it sees all others in the world as superior to itself. The advantage to this strategy is to be more accepting of an inferior life by feeling unworthy of receiving more. The downside of this strategy is possible depression and resentment for not having been able to experience or actualize more of one’s inherent potential.

In contrast, inflation fills the ego with a high level of self-importance, as it puffs itself up with an identification with a higher spirit. Narcissism could be understood as the ultimate identification with God: I am all there is! The trap of self-importance is a false assessment of self that is off-putting and generally not up to the job.

So what is a more realistic option for the ego beyond the trappings of self-importance with its artificially low value with deflation or overvaluation with inflation? First, we must actually value the ego for what it truly is: a fragment of our soul that lives in a world of space-time. This unique opportunity has an advantage over infinity. That which is born, lives, and dies can experience a maturing and discovery process while separated from the oneness of infinity.

In fact, it is likely that our greater soul group chooses life in this world to discover and grow through questions and problems that will enhance our soul’s journey in infinity. A sojourn in space-time provides the opportunity for a full exposition and living out of a question in a lifetime that enhances our soul’s knowing of itself outside space-time.

Nonetheless, the cost to our ego in this earthly lifetime is a disconnect from the mothership of our greater soul in infinity. This is simply the necessary byproduct of a life in space-time. However, this ego/greater soul axis remains present throughout our lifetime as a latent potential to be more fully realized and developed. This is the evolutionary shift now happening in the world. This is the key to the ego shedding self-importance as a survival strategy to cover up its inadequacy.

Through its sensory systems the ego is quite capable of bringing to consciousness concrete data perceived in the world, as well as mentally orienting itself to that data. If the ego can suspend the judgements of its socialized operating system, to allow for decoding the world in a broader rather than strictly rational way, it becomes well positioned to collaborate with the wisdom of its greater soul while still in space-time.

An example of this is synchronicity. In every moment of every day the world around us echoes sounds, signs, and messages to guide and supplement our decisions, reflections, and understandings. Nearly every time I reach a conclusion I am treated to an affirmation or tweak in some form by the world around me that supplements my process.

This can take the form of a song in my head, a page in a book I randomly open to, a phone call, or the chirp of a bird. If my ego is humble it immediately considers the feedback the world delivers as it orients itself to decisions at hand. This is not about ego letting go of its rational facility but instead expanding it to include wisdom offered from beyond the rational for inclusion in its processing.

When ego reaches beyond self-importance to shore up its relationship with its greater wholeness the world is moved toward greater wholeness and integration as well. Decisions made by a clear headed ego, acting in consort with its greater soul, are sure to lead us to a real world of stable continuance.

As for our ego, its connection to its greater soul assures its confidence in being fully supported in its soul’s intent in this lifetime. Now that’s support beyond self-importance!

Humbly,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Numinous Encounters

Encountering the numinous…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The heart pounds so hard it must be audible to others. The muscles seize in momentary paralysis. The face flushes, the throat tightens, the breath is halted, the body vibrates. This is divine encounter, a  numinous experience.

A man looks at his partner and is overtaken by the beauty of divine glow. So powerful is this encounter with numinous energy that his humanness is overwhelmed with premature ejaculation.

A woman stands before a large gathering. She is there to perform. Looking out at the crowd she is overtaken by the vastness of presence. She straddles anxiety and dizziness. Is she ready to channel the divine through her instrument? Her first challenge will be to steady her smallness in her numinous encounter with the divine as felt through the bigness of the crowd.

An ordinary dream escalates to a nightmare. Before we are able to awaken we are seized by terror as we are cornered by overwhelming odds. Waking with a start, our sleep is finished for the night. Our numinous encounter with the divine terrible leaves us anxiously counting the minutes till daylight.

As helpful as our rational mind may be in orienting us to ordinary predictable life, reason is no match for the power of the numinous. Until the light of day, awakened by the tremendum of a nightmare, we remain in the grip of the monster.

Similarly, in waking life, no amount of reason can free the afflicted from the power of a compulsion. Compulsion is the energy of the numinous imposing itself upon the smallness of ego. Ego can be coached to refuse compulsion’s will, but it cannot escape the resultant crucifixion by anxiety, the consequence of refusing the will of the compulsion.

The smallness of our ego as it is overtaken by the all-consuming energy of a numinous encounter, bidden or unbidden, is the core challenge of this life. For a child, parents loom as the first numinous encounter with a power greater than themselves.

Freud’s vast contributions on the legacy of these early relations attest to the power of these numinous encounters to control and define a lifetime. How are we ever to discover ourselves if the image or actual person of our parents continues to rule and preoccupy life throughout adulthood?

Jung discovered that the numinous character of these encounters originates in the vastness of the collective unconscious, home of the archetypes. Archetypes are the gods of yesteryear that were formerly projected onto Mt. Olympus or some other heaven. Modern humans have conquered space; the gods are now operating internally through numinous encounters within the self, projected outward onto normal humans experienced as gods and goddesses.

The truth is that we are seekers of numinous encounters. They are the experiences of divine communion that lend ordinary life its luster and meaning. They can be found in an impulsive Tinder hookup. They can be experienced in the elevating music of a rock concert or the Philharmonic. They can be experienced in religious or civil rituals, in the union of marriage or the finality of death. They are certainly the draw of most mind-altering substances.

The energy of the numinous at the human animal level is instinct. Animals become instinctually driven to mate, human animals are no exception. The human spirit elevates an instinctual act into an ethereal one. The act of sex can combine with love in union of body and spirit. The projected archetypes of god and goddess imbue the perception of lovers with spiritual depth and awe.

The human challenge is to engage these heightened energy states with sobriety. For some, the attraction to heightened energy is like a moth drawn to a flame. This is addiction, whether it be to substance, sex, a person or the news. The major challenge in addiction is to find a non self-injurious way to numinous encounter. The dry drunk alternative merely relegates one to addiction to negativity, also a powerful numinous force.

The development of control enables the ego to be nourished and broadened in numinous encounter, but not possessed and taken over by it. We start with the reality that we are small and vulnerable, the numinous is large and powerful. No point in inflating, i.e., “I can handle that.” No, the fact remains that numinous anything is more powerful than the ego. Be humble, but be an adult. If the Queen offers an audience with her numinous energy, be the knight who humbly receives her blessing.

The instinctual fear activated by encounters with numinous energy is a natural reaction to the presence of autonomous power greater than one’s ego. Turning to the body to regulate the inner influx of energy is far more effective than turning to the mental plane for support. The mind is likely to be inundated with thoughts that intensify the fear—no help there. A deep breath is a far greater regulator of numinous encounter than rationality, which is already in an experience outside its league.

Pranayama breathing, biofeedback exercises, and the intent to commune in flowing calm are practical technologies for the ego to practice to facilitate its ability to calm and regulate the central nervous system’s ability to go with the influx of heightened numinous energy.

Ultimately, the ego has no choice but to encounter the numinous. Our world now reflects this reality. The numinous is playing outwardly with abandon in the Gotham City world we are now living in. How the collective ego of humankind handles this encounter is a work in progress.

The playing field within the individual is equally as powerful but on that playing field definite progress can be made. Every individual encounters the numinous. Through suffering the encounter and holding one’s own we are nourished and guided to further our individuation and advance the world.

Dreaming it forward,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Mood

Bad Mood!
– Art by Jan Ketchel © 2018

“I woke up in such a mood; I can’t seem to shake it.”

What is this heavy feeling state that mysteriously envelops us like a fog as it thwarts our familiar energetic sense of self.  A mood hardly seems part of our typical ego consciousness. It seems to derive from elsewhere in the vastness of our psyche, having gained enough momentum to overtake and color our state of mind and energy for the day.

A mood is the emotional expression of an other part of the self, a sibling of the ego, that typically resides in our shadow, the part of us that is also “us” but resides in the dark, outside our conscious light-bearing ego self. A mood is a concretely experienced example of a separate and distinct part of ourselves that impacts  our consciousness, as well as our attitude, as we approach our daily lives.

Jung originally coined his psychological approach “complex psychology” when he discovered the existence of other characters in the psyche interfering with the conscious ego’s ability to respond to certain words presented in a word association test. This was expressed through delays in reaction time, as well as through physiological indicators of emotional distress. For Jung this was clear evidence of what he called “feeling toned complexes” or sub-personalities that coexist in the background or unconscious part of the psyche.

A mood can be understood as a form of communication to ego consciousness from an inner complex or sub-personality that expresses a powerful negative reaction or attitude toward something present or emerging in life. Given its debilitating impact upon the will of the ego, the mood may render the ego deflated or depressed. Often this can lead to an immobilized or compromised moody state.

The emotional tension generated within the individual by the mood frequently seeks relief via blaming someone outside the self as the problem. This of course can lead to endless misunderstandings and bickering as the scapegoated other reacts to questionable accusations. Unfortunately, the defensive need to relieve tension within the self often blinds a person to such distorted projections.

Ultimately, the sub-personality or complex behind a mood must be owned and reckoned with directly by the ego through an inner process of reflection and negotiation. The ego must suspend judgement toward the troublesome complex if it hopes to engage it in a reconciliatory process. Although the ego must endure a mood, it must also establish that it remains in control of all actions taken. Nonetheless, it must be willing to let the mood have its own voice too, that is, allow it to express its point of view, the reason for its mood.

The ego must be careful not to decide it automatically knows the reason for the mood, it must consult the mood directly. As we sit quietly with the mood we seek to have it communicate its point of view directly. We can do this through a process of amplification, by acknowledging the feeling state of the mood and asking for more information. Perhaps at this point an image or thought spontaneously comes into mind.

Perhaps we see a familiar person’s face in our mind’s eye. Perhaps we hear them saying something. We can listen and give attention to what they might say. If it’s just an image, no words, we can stay with the image and see what associations about the person come to mind. If we write down our associations we can then feel our way through them to see what associations feel more energized in this moment. In effect, we are building a communication bridge with the mood that gradually fills out its message.

Perhaps it becomes clear that our ego has felt obliged to accommodate a plan with another person because it doesn’t want to disappoint them. The mood becomes recognized as a shadow complex that holds the truth that we don’t want to do something. Its mood is an attempt to subvert action and have the ego assert itself.

The ego is now in a position to acknowledge the truth of the mood and the need to become more assertive with its true feelings. The ego can then validate the shadow complex and pledge to move gradually toward greater self assertion. This might set the stage for a fairly quick lifting of the mood. Sometimes it can be that simple, at other times far more complex.

The key to the resolution process is the acknowledgement by the ego of the autonomy and right to exist of the complex itself. Giving attention to the complex warms it toward the ego, but it must realize that the ego is in charge of all final decisions of action.

Treating a mood as an invitation to a dialogue shifts the focus toward positive collaboration. As difficult as that process may be, it stands to advance us toward inner unity and healing.

Move over Freud! Perhaps communing with moods is an even more efficient royal road to the unconscious, though of course dreams are always welcome!

Mood lifted, blog written,

Chuck