What’s really true? You may have latched onto an idea about yourself that isn’t actually true. You may have manifested something that is not yours. You may have taken on a pattern of energy disturbance that does not belong to you. What are you carrying that belongs to someone else? Ideas manifest. Energies find homes. Only in deeply questioning yourself will you be able to rid yourself of that which does not belong to you, of that which you have carried for someone else, or of that which has burdened you unnecessarily. In allowing yourself to let go of something that is not yours to bear, you will become free to be yourself more fully. Even letting go of one old idea about yourself will begin a process and pretty soon you will wonder why it took you so long. Without judgment, let go of something today and begin your journey to freedom. Once you taste what that feels like, you’ll want more of it. Freedom—it can be yours too!
When it’s time to make a change, to move forward in life, to take a leap, to start something new, or finish up something that has been dragged out for a long time, there is usually a backlash from the psyche.
Reluctance arises, doubt arises, fear arises, worry rears its ugly head and for a moment, or longer, there is hesitation. Just as dawn struggles to pierce the dark of night, so does new life struggle to emerge from the dark of the self. Often our old demons, so familiar, reliable, and comforting, come to our aid, begging us to stay with them, to stay as we are.
“Why change?” they say. “You’re fine as you are!”
I became well acquainted with my personal demons during my recapitulation. I realized how long they had been in my life and how stuck I had become because of them, afraid of everything. Worry and fear were always nearby to step in and rescue me from doing something new, from changing anything about myself.
Even if we really do want to change, it is often very challenging to take that first tentative step toward what we know will bring us closer to the transformation we so desire. During times of change we get to experience how our demons work to entrap us, enticing us to remain in the safety and comfort of their arms as we face what scares us the most, new life looming on the horizon!
Just as we are about to take a leap, trusting that life really can be different, our demons can step in and drag us back into our habitual comforts, freeing us of the anxiety that surrounds any great leap into new life. Instead we are coveted and protected by our demons, as they bring us back to the familiar, to that which we may hate about ourselves but which comforts us too.
I often had to deal with my worry demon. It would bring me a perseverating worry-rant of financial ruin, an incessant tale of an inability to make enough money, worry over all the bills piling up, worry over the mortgage to be paid, the studio rent, things the kids needed. The lists were endless, even when there was no reason for such worry, even when I was financially doing well, with plenty of money in the bank, these worries would and did rise up like the old demons they were, intent upon ensnaring me.
I started to see how they came just as I was about to do something new, to take control of my own life and my own destiny, to start a new venture, or to leave someone or something. Those worry, fear, blame or shame demons could pop up so fast, speaking with such rationality that I would easily fall back into believing what they told me.
Much like an addict I’d let them take me spinning off into oblivion. Later I’d realize how hypnotic they were, how they had taken me from awareness of the present moment and lulled and dulled me for a long time with their old tales. Numbed by them I could lose hours, days, weeks, while I struggled to do what I knew I needed to do in order to move on in my life.
In the final throes of breaking away from those demons I learned to appreciate them, but also to recognize them a lot quicker so I could avoid them. I faced life more squarely, became less afraid and less frightened by change as I continually pushed myself forward, as I dared myself to keep embracing new life, no matter what happened.
Gradually, as I finished the recapitulation of my childhood sexual abuse and shed the symptoms of PTSD that had also been a big factor in my life, I learned that life really did like it when I dared myself to do something new, that life was eager for me to live more fully. Eventually those old demons left me alone, for I had no energy left for them, it was all going elsewhere.
As long as we entertain our demons, as long as we open to them, they are eager to entertain us. But as soon as we see what they really do to us we can begin to reject them. Instead, we can begin to take responsibility for creating our own life, the way we want it, even though each step forward may be full of anxiety. And then our demons, as they realize we are no longer interested in them, go away.
Life, I realized one day, was not going to meet me if I did not go out and meet it. Rather than blame others for what had transpired in my life I became more daring and life became more exciting. Sometimes just going to the grocery store was the most daring thing I did in a day, but with persistent work on myself I started to go other places, to do other things, and after a while life was no longer so frightening.
When I met life, it met me too.
Still doing it. Still meeting life, and it still meets me. As I said to Chuck last week, “Let’s not waste a moment. Let’s go have fun!”
A blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico suggest that we state our intent and then let it go, that we send out a call to intent and then let the energy of intent find us, letting it bring us what we need or take us where we need to go. Sometimes our call to intent may be innocently misguided and then we can get into trouble, but if we are working on our personal growth in a sober and balanced manner we tend to be cautious and careful as we tread into unknown territory. It doesn’t pay to be inflated or foolhardy in the shaman’s world; there is too much out there that is eager to hook us and hook into us, desirous of our tasty energy. And so, when setting intent, it is best to be stably prepared for what may come.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve written about entities in my blogs, beings who seem to have come into my dream world for a reason. They’ve been absent for a week, at least I’ve had no recall of them. In fact, I’ve had little or no dream recall at all for the past week. As a result, last night, I decided to use intent to both dream and to remember what transpired in my dreams. To enhance the experience I decided to sleep with Carlos Castaneda’s book, The Art of Dreaming, on top of me. I lay in bed on my back, placed the book over my lower abdomen, and set the intent to absorb the contents of the book, to dream, and to remember what had transpired upon awakening. Perhaps it was a lot to ask.
I got the idea for the experiment from a conversation Chuck and I were having. He remembered that this was how Carlos would read books. He’d lay them all over his body as he slept and when he woke up he’d know the entire contents of the books he’d slept with. Chuck also recently read that Edgar Cayce, the American mystic and medical intuitive had done the same thing. “Yes,” I said, “I remember that’s how he read the Bible when he was a little kid. He became quite an expert interpreter of the Bible at a young age. He’d absorbed the entire book, but also the deeper meaning as well.” This gave me the idea to try it myself, mostly to see what would happen, if I would have an experience.
I already know that Carlos’s books are imbued with the intent of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico; he said this often enough. If you pick one up you are sure to be taken on a ride! The Magical Passes are imbued with that same intent too, not the least of them the Magical Pass of the Recapitulation Breath. This I am personally well aware of, as I discovered during my recapitulation. Once I began the journey, the entire universe seemed to be there with me, fully present, involved in my life 24/7. It was quite a thrilling ride! In just picking up a book about those shamans a strange and wonderful energy flows into the reader, absorbed through the words on the pages of the books, imbued with ancient intent. So, electing to place a Castaneda book over my abdomen had the potential to produce something!
I had actually placed the book on top of the covers, telling Chuck that if it fell off me during the night, perhaps he’d have an experience as well. “Okay,” he said, clearly curious. And then I drifted off to sleep. Within seconds I was startled awake by the faces of entities, black, gnarly, weathered faces, treelike, intricately carved, as if they had lived for thousands of years. “No,” I said, reasserting my intent as soon as I saw them. “Not you guys,” I said, dismissing them. “I want to have dreams!”
I fell into deep sleep. I also fell into a dreaming intensity that I have never experienced. I woke with a start after three hours of tumbling around inside nonstop dreams that were grippingly engaging. As soon as I woke up, I could not recall a thing, but boy were they intense! I decided it was enough, perhaps too much, and besides the book, which had slipped to my left thigh, was now burning my skin. Heat like I had never felt before was burning through two heavy quilts right into the skin of my thigh, which felt red hot! “I’d better stop,” I thought, and I put the book aside and fell into heavy, deep and dreamless sleep for the rest of the night.
Upon awakening, I told Chuck of what had transpired. It was a mysterious and thrilling experience, but I’m a careful treader into the unknown, and so I intend to go slowly into dreaming with intent. I do have to say though, that I woke up with great energy, more energy than I’ve had in a long time. So, something imbued in that book affected me while I slept. I’m curious to read it again and see what it might be, what might stand out. Perhaps it’s just the energy of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico as they intend it to be experienced, and if so, that’s fine with me!
On the other hand, I do know that my entities appeared for the first time in a week—those gnarly tree faces—and I abruptly dismissed them. Perhaps that gave them license to play with me a little. Maybe they were the ones who took me on a ride last night, proving to me just how much power they really have! I know they are in my life for a reason, and that I’ll have to continue my excursions into the unknown with them as my companions, for better or worse; for the time being we belong together. Whatever really transpired, it was just the right energetic experience I needed, and I’m thankful for that!
My entities are active. I wrote about them last week, introducing them in all their finery, their insistence upon being in my life. I get that they are necessary if I am to evolve, as they present what more or less lies at my core, my fears and truths alike, and what I must face in the world outside too. So, I’ve done a full recapitulation, why do I still have to deal with entities? you might ask. Well, as far as I know, if we are alive and living upon this earth we all have to deal with entities. It’s just the way life is.
Awareness of their existence is the first big challenge. Have no doubt, they will come; it’s what they are programmed to do. In fact, once we study them, we realize they’ve been present during our entire lifetime. It’s only when we are ready to see them as entities that we will begin to more readily recognize and work with them. After a while we begin to know them on a deeper level, as they come repeatedly, like old friends, bearing the same messages until we no longer need to hear them. We do not need to seek them out, that is dangerous activity, instead we must be patient and alert. We must find out who they are, why they have attached to us, and if they truly belong to us, as there are entities out there that may not really be appropriate for our growth, and those kind are best expelled, though they too hold some message of significance for us. And so, after my dream encounter with my entities last week, I expected they’d return at some point. And they have.
This is how my entities approached me this week, in another dream: I am in a hotel room, on a high floor in a hotel in New York City. I sense that I am being watched. I’m pretty calm, but pretty tense as well. I know that Chuck is downstairs waiting for me, but also that he expects to wait a long time. I don’t seem to be doing anything special in the hotel room. I’m just waiting, but for what? I’m not sure. I go into the bathroom and close the door. Suddenly, I’m aware that someone has locked me in. My sense of there having been someone else in the room with me confirmed now. I try the doorknob. Yup, it’s locked from the outside. Through a chink in the doorframe I see a man sitting in a chair, his back to me. I can’t see his face, but I recognize his clothing, similar to the colorful clothing worn by my entities as they first appeared. My reaction is one of caution. “Do not give anything away,” I tell myself, “stay calm and quiet.”
I don’t want the entity to suspect that I am aware of his presence, which is pretty absurd thinking, since we both know that I’m fully aware of him. At the same time, I decide that calmness, stealth, and planning are my best options. Once again, I am aware that Chuck is waiting for me downstairs in the hotel lobby, that he will become suspicious and come looking for me. At the same time, I’m aware that he won’t even think of coming, because our agreement has been that I can handle things on my own, that I have come up to the hotel room on my own, for a reason that only I know.
I get very calm, soberly calm. Barely breathing, I steady myself and contemplate the situation I’m in. I could find something to pry open the lock on the door. I could somehow break open the doorframe, widening the chink that I can see through. I’m not totally without resources. I already know I will get out, that all is not lost. I feel trapped, however, my spirit suffering in spite of my knowing that this situation, untenable though it feels, is not totally hopeless. I look through the crack in the doorframe again. The entity sits without moving, his back to me, his head still. Almost like a statue he guards the room, his energy like that of a museum guard, non-threatening, but intent upon his task. I don’t really feel threatened by him, only by my own predicament. Once I realize this, I know I must stay inside the locked bathroom and figure some things out. Indeed, I am here for a reason.
Upon further contemplation, I realize that I am being pushed to reconcile something within myself, that this really has nothing to do with the entities in my life, but only with tensions and frustrations within my deeper self. The entity is merely a conduit to my facing this. Why must my spirit be held captive? Why has my psyche conjured up this lockdown situation? What part of me feels jailed or needs jailing?
While I ask myself these questions, there is another part of me that savors the isolation, the time to do deep work, and when I wake up that is what I take with me, the opportunity to sit in deep inner contemplation, my time in isolation well guarded, my entities pushing me to evolve. Even my dearest companion, Chuck, is aware of this, respectful of my need to withdraw into inner silence, as I am aware that he will not come to disturb the situation, that he will not, in fact, be coming to rescue me. This is my gig.
I have been given the go-ahead to do some deep work. This is all that matters now. I find it significant, just as we come into the season of the year when normally we open ourselves to the outside world, to gathering, sharing, giving and receiving, but all of that pales in comparison to what really matters, the deeper issues of the self in this world. I already know that I will be of no help to others if I do not help myself first.
And so, I turn the fear and paranoia of the first part of the dream, the sense of being watched and held captive, on its ear. Instead, I welcome my captor. I intend to let my spirit guide me through this process. In order to discover what I must, restraint and limitation must be enforced. If I am to evolve to a new level, I must force myself to endure a shift. And this is how I am being asked to shift now; to go into isolation for a time, to become innerly quiet and bear the tension, to be resolved to my situation and make the most of it.
I accept that one of my entities has come to guide me through this process of deeper self-contemplation, guarding my door, so that I may be undisturbed, even by those closest to me. The inner journey can only be undertaken alone. And so I thank my entities for their presence in my life at the same time that I face my spirit and ask it to tell me what is going on, what’s happening at a deeper level? I await the answer. In the meantime, I remain fully present in the rest of my life as well, even though I am locked in a cell, contemplating deeper issues. This situation, I am aware, is the next step on my journey.
Here is an account of what happened to me last week: I’m sitting in a yoga class, in sweet pose, a comfortable meditation pose. I intend to keep my energy to myself, innerly calm and protected. I don’t want to be affected by outside energy and so I do not turn my palms up but keep them face down. I do not wish to receive from without but only to hold sacred space within.
Placing my hands palms down on my knees, in chin mudra, with thumb and forefinger together, I think about entities, that they are everywhere. I am not interested in engaging them. Within seconds of silently declaring this intent, I feel a burst of cold air sweeping past me on the right, as if a window has suddenly sprung open. Swirling around, it hovers nearby, a strange sort of mini tornado. In the next second, cold energy hovers over my right hand, as if someone has placed a cool wet hand over mine. The sensation lasts at least 30 seconds, perhaps longer.
I have time to consider that perhaps the teacher has gotten up and is walking around the room, that he is doing some kind of energy work, but even so the rush of cold air that I’m feeling seems impossible to be made by anyone walking past, and I very much doubt that his energy would feel so cold. This energy has an otherworldly feel to it. I peek at the teacher just to be sure. He is sitting calmly in front of the class, eyes closed. Obviously he has not moved. Then I think: “It’s an entity. There’s an entity in the room.” And I am certain that it has come to convey the truth of my own insinuation, that there are indeed entities everywhere. It pays to be careful.
That night I dreamed. In the beginning of the dream, I am at an art gallery opening. The room is crowded. I slowly weave my way through the crowds, avoiding contact. I do not want to engage anyone. Seamlessly, I flow like water through the room and out the door. Once outside, I’m glad that I did so well at protecting myself from outside energy. Now I have to cross a stream. The water is fairly deep. I look down and see that four men, each dressed the same and looking remarkably alike, are lying in the water. They form a log-like bridge for me to walk across. I don’t want to go near them, for I am aware that they are entities, but at the same time I know I must cross the stream.
“Come on,” they say, “cross over. You have to.”
“I don’t want to step on you,” I say, concerned. “I’ll hurt you.”
“No you won’t,” they say. “Just do it!”
And so I do. I run as fast and as lightly as possible, still worried, however, that I might hurt them or that I might be infected by their energy. As soon as I get to the other side of the stream they immediately hop out of the water and surround me, standing in the four directions—North, South, East and West—facing me.
“I don’t want entities attached to me,” I boldly say.
“You need us,” they say. “You have to encounter us and you have to engage us. We are your entities, and you can’t get away from the fact that we exist.”
“You won’t advance until you accept us,” they say. “You won’t get anywhere without us.”
I know I must acquiesce, for I know the truth of what they say. I am fully aware that everything that is placed before me must be encountered and dealt with, that indeed, I need it in order to advance. I am aware, as I dream, that these four beings will be with me now, my very own entities. I am aware that I must learn about them, who they are and how they operate. I must befriend them and make them my allies, as don Juan Matus discussed with Carlos Castaneda. I must utilize them to my advantage.
I am struck, as I awaken from this dream, how my intent to avoid contact with outside energy—both in my yoga class and in my dream—has resulted in my being presented with exactly what I was trying to avoid. There is great meaning in that. I am also struck by the fact that my entities, inorganic beings, as the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call them, all look exactly alike. And why are there four of them? I surmise that this is part of their teaching methods, tricksters that they are. I expect to be fooled by them until I no longer need to be.
Carlos Castaneda, in The Art of Dreaming, describes his own encounters with inorganic beings. Don Juan tells him he must make friends with them. “They have singled you out themselves,” don Juan says. “When they do that, it means that they seek an association. I’ve mentioned to you that sorceress form bonds of friendship with them.”
Don Juan goes on to explain that a friendship “consists of a mutual exchange of energy. The inorganic beings supply their high awareness, and sorcerers supply their heightened awareness and high energy. The positive result is an even exchange. The negative one is dependency on both sides.”
I am already aware of this exchange of energy. In fact, as I mentioned, I was not interested in engaging in such an exchange. In fact, I have always sought to avoid it. But now I understand that my inorganic beings have come to help me. If I am to advance, I know I must engage them. But I also fully intend to not become dependent. Even in my dream, I was aware that our association will be temporary, only as long as is necessary. I don’t know if that’s possible, or how it will come about, but that is my intent, for I fully anticipate moving on, advancing, which they also implied would happen if I engaged them. But perhaps they were only tricking me. I’ll have to wait to find out!
“Watery beings are given more to excesses,” don Juan tells Carlos, as he explains the two kinds of inorganic beings, water and fire. “The old sorcerers believed that they were more loving, more capable of imitating, or perhaps even having feelings. As opposed to fiery ones, who were thought to be more serious, more contained than the others, but also more pompous.”
From this description, I know that my four inorganic beings are water energy. This makes perfect sense to me, as I am a water sign, and because my own energy has always been watery, flowing for the most part, just like I did in my dream as I flowed out of the gallery. But water, though capable of gently simmering, is also capable of great force and power. And so I am both cautious and intrigued.
When Carlos asks the meaning of his own two entities, don Juan replies: “The meaning is too vast to discuss at this time. My recommendation is that you vanquish fear from your dreams and from your life, in order to safeguard your unity.” He tells him that he himself refused the inorganic beings, because he did not want to be at the mercy of any entity, organic or inorganic. He tells Carlos that his inorganic being wants his energy and he warns: “It will come to you for more.”
From this exchange, I intuit the necessity of remaining independent, to maintain my unity, my wholeness. But I must also learn how best to use these four watery energies for my advancement. The fact that they all look alike, capable of imitating, as don Juan tells Carlos, is going to be quite a challenge. I see that already. In fact, i believe they entered the yoga studio, invited in by my first challenge, my intent to avoid them. They saw an opening and they took it. “Be extremely careful,” don Juan tells Carlos, and that is exactly what I intend to be: Extremely careful!
Alert to what may come next,
Quotes from: The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda, pp 52-55.