Tag Archives: entitlement

Chuck’s place: Twice Born

“Girl in a Large Hat” c. 1645 – c. 1650
by Cesar Boetius van Everdingen
– Rijks Museum

To be born means to be born physically, from mother. This event triggers the activation of archetypes that guide parents in their childrearing practices. Archetypes are latent inborn schemas, which, when activated, direct human behavior.

The powerful parent/child archetypes interact to provide a foundation for the developing personality. For instance, to be held when crying helps a child feel secure that the world will respond to its emotional needs.

Archetypes define needs and expectations in relationships. The archetypes of mother and young child cover a period of need and dependency in childhood, with the entitled expectation that the  basic needs of hunger and safety be met.

The archetypes that dominate family life are so powerful that very often they dominate all of one’s life on earth. Mother’s Day was celebrated but a couple of days ago. The mother archetype is indeed the most powerful archetype. Mother is the source, period, of all human life. Echoes of one’s relationship with mother fundamentally permeate all of one’s relationships in life.

Most mothers are, as Winnicott coined the expression, “good enough.” This means that the basic imperatives of the archetypes are met, helping a child achieve rudimentary adulthood. But archetypes are unyielding in their insistence upon perfection. Thus, many mothers are forever laden with guilt for not having done enough for their children.

But is mother ever allowed to retire from mothering? Must she nurture and be defined only as mother, for her entire life? Must she deny her full personhood, in lieu of her motherly duties, once her children are reared? At what point do adult children and parents become peers, equal as traveling companions in this great mystery of life, death, and beyond?

On the flip side are children, well along in chronological years, who feel terribly shortchanged and resentful that their basic needs in childhood were not met. The power of this sense of inadequacy and emotional need keeps one attached and dependent, sometimes for a lifetime. The archetype can be unrelenting in its entitled demand for its full due.

Adult children and their parents may remain embroiled in interactive patterns that were appropriate for the developmental period of young childhood, as they attempt to fulfill unmet needs. Unfortunately, once the critical period of childhood is over, these archetypal patterns cease to deliver the desired effect. In fact, they tend to intensify both dependency and despondency.

All adults must assume full responsibility for their journeys, regardless of the archetypal misfirings of their childhood. This is not a judgment; it’s a developmental fact. Psychological development in adulthood rests in the hands of the individual, not in the family that reared them.

The real challenge for adulthood, for all parties, is to obtain release from the anachronistic archetypes that bind them. This actually is the function of the initiation rites of both ancient and modern religions; to provide release from archetypes that interfere with transition into new roles in the life cycle.

Recapitulation allows one the soul retrieval journey to square with the archetypes that bind old hurts, needs, resentments, and blame. With recapitulation, one takes full ownership of every event of one’s life, as one reclaims all of one’s energy stuck in those old dramas.

This practice frees one of the archetypal bindings, opening the door to being born again, or twice born. To be twice born is to achieve psychological and emotional maturity and independence.

To be twice born is a spiritual birth, which happens beyond childhood where the primary archetypes that ruled family life are released, as one takes on full responsibility for one’s life as an independent physical and energetic being. To be twice born is to awaken and mature into the spiritual dimension of life in human form.

This is the journey of spirit, for which we prepare in our second birth. In our time, that journey has opened through the widespread experience of the energy body, both in our dreams and in our waking experiences out-of-body. To open to this journey we must transmute our archetypal relationships.

With detachment from archetypal binding, gained through recapitulation, we fully embody, within ourselves, the mother and father we need to be, for ourselves, to navigate our soul’s adventure in infinity. In our time, the door has opened to explore this realm while still alive in a physical body.

For the twice born, this is the deepest intent, while fully loving all, as they undertake their own journeys of discovery. Sending love to all.

One in Spirit,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Innate and Spirit Entitlement

In balance… within and without…

All newborn babies turn their heads toward the nipple and make sucking movements. This is an inborn program called the rooting reflex that prepares the baby to procure nourishment in the form of milk from the breast. Jung called these universal inborn mental programs, that orchestrate such necessary adaptation and survival behaviors, archetypes. At nature’s insistence newborns are born with an entitled energy to suckle nurturance from the breast.

Entitlement has its roots in nature itself. The energy that the archetypes are naturally endowed with is the energy of entitlement. When an archetype is activated it is potentiated with powerful energy, the energy of entitlement, that allows it to achieve its fulfillment.

The entitled energy of the hunger instinct fuels our ability to work and accumulate goods, property, and money, allowing us to meet our most primal of needs. This instinct is quite primitive and has its roots in narcissism, with the primary focus given to the satisfaction of the body’s primary survival needs.

As we grow, our narcissistic fixation naturally enlarges to include the family, a unit dedicated to survival as a group. The family carves out its ownership of its living space, not to be transgressed by non-family members without an invitation. The family is poised to accumulate for itself and defend its ownership against the competing needs of others. Thus, there is a legitimate basis for entitlement in human physical existence: survival.

Jung observed that archetypes also give rise to spiritual values in humans. This spirit instinct in human beings often comes to life as a result of sacrifice. The initiation rituals of yesteryear that brutally tore the young from their entitled dependence upon family and sent them off to experiences outside of the known and familiar—the world of mother, father, and extended family—are one example of such sacrifice.

Through the archetype of ritual sacrifice, youth became adults and took on greater responsibility for the group beyond family of origin. Vestiges of theses archetypal strivings are seen today in the stylized piercings, tattoos, and drug adventures of young people seeking to cross the bridge to adulthood through some kind of self-initiated ritual sacrifice.

When spiritual values emerge they signal a maturity that takes into consideration the needs of others, beyond the narcissism of me and mine, awakening an energy of compassion that extends to all living beings. This spirit entitlement employs its energy to consider and care for everything beyond the self. Spirit orientation is in opposition to the hoarding attitude of the narcissistic orientation. Spirit employs its personal energy to care for the greater whole and accepts itself as part of that greater whole. Spirit orientation acts to extend entitlement as a broader human right.

Narcissistic orientation bemoans having to give away that which it needs and wants. Spirit, on the other hand, can tend to neglect, negate, or even denigrate the needs of the physical body, its working vehicle for this life.

I would propose that we are presently in an energetic World War between these two instinctual orientations: body instinct and spirit instinct. The current world leader, our own President, exemplifies entitlement at a very primal level. That is, its inherent right to consider only the needs of itself over the needs of the more inclusive world. The degree of support accorded this leader reflects how accurately he taps into the narcissistic underpinnings of survival at the primal, animal, level in all human beings.

What has given rise to our current state of world affairs is a breakdown in the application of the technology of sacrifice to effect spiritual transformation. At one extreme is a failure of the institutions of the modern world to provide effective rites of initiation at key stages of life. Without these rites many people fail to individuate into true adulthood and thus remain fixated at a child’s level of orientation toward the world, entitled and demanding.

At the other extreme is a total renunciation of the body for the benefit of the spirit. One example is the requirement of celibacy in the Catholic priesthood; sacrifice the lower for the sake of the higher. Though this technology of sacrifice was successful in establishing a life oriented toward altruistic concerns, it has created a tremendous body-shadow backlash. Just look at the incidences of sexual abuse among the ranks of the Catholic priests. The entitlement of the repressed sexual instinct has emerged from hiding, deviously preying upon the young and innocent.

In the political arena we see a similar eruption of repressed primal instinct asserting its entitlement to accumulate resources for itself only, casting out the unfamiliar ‘other’ to fend for itself. This is the shadow of American altruism, bursting forth now with a vengeance.

The determination of this entitlement is expressed in its blatant use of lies, misinformation, and manipulation as a necessary and acceptable means to care for its basic needs. No amount of reason or scientific proof can shake it from its deeply seated conviction that it is entitled to care only for its own needs.

At present the lines are firmly drawn between body and spirit, it’s either one way or the other. There is no room for compromise, as each side is absolutely in touch with their inalienable right of entitlement. And they are both right; we are animals and we are spirits. Perhaps the ultimate solution is encoded in the axiom: as above so below. The needs of the body are as important as the needs of the spirit, the needs of the self are as important as the needs of the planet.

Where might there be adjustments to bring these two into better confluence?  As the Pope laments the abuses of his church he might consider the fact that nuns have probably almost never committed sexual abuse, despite their same commitment to celibacy as their priestly male counterparts. If the technology of celibacy is to be maintained, perhaps nuns should be invited into the priesthood to lead the way.

On an individual level, we are invited to truly tune in to the wants and needs of our animal selves, as well as our spirit’s longing for greater wholeness with the universe. For instance, the practice of sacred sex joins body, spirit, and other, in joy, pleasure, and union at a physical/spiritual level.

On a planetary level, the Earth’s body has taken the lead. We are in the beginnings of massive transformation at a planetary level that will force us to be more in step with the true needs of the Earth’s body and atmosphere. For humans this is a spirit/body reconciliation. Respecting the body of the planet is both a spiritual love, moving beyond just the narcissism of self, as well as a deep connection to the physical: self and planet.

The key to reconciliation of our warring instincts is recognizing the legitimacy of entitlement for both body and spirit. Behind the off-putting extremism of today’s headlines are individuals identified with either one orientation or the other.

Can you outwardly appreciate the one-sidedness of your neighbor, but also its legitimacy, in some form? Can you inwardly recognize the one-sidedness of your own orientation and, yes, validate it in some form too? Can you give value and a place to the opposite side, whether it be body or spirit? That is the way to become an integrated, balanced whole being.

Balancing,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond Special

A warm heart indeed!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

To be special warms the heart; to be special tears us apart. Why this contradiction?

Both Carlos Castaneda and his teacher, don Juan Matus, who’s lineage stemmed directly from the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, taught with both humour and piercing seriousness that the greatest scourge of humankind was the need to be special. They pointed to the internal dialogue we all experience that constantly judges everyone and everything, particularly the self, which is judged as either less than or better than everyone else.

From an adaptive perspective those shamans speculated that our ability to make these rapid judgements serves well our ability to survive as we navigate our predatory world. Less benevolently they point to the lion’s share of personal energy that all humans spend grooming and protecting their self importance. This energy is then lost to the evolving human potential, which to access requires a shutting down of the overarching investment we make in feeling and being judged as special.

And yet, feeling genuinely special is thought to be one of the most necessary prerequisites to feeling worthy enough to be in this world and to feeling secure enough to partake of its bountiful opportunities. Hence, the field of mental health places a premium on  attachment and the quality of care in foundational relationships in childhood.

Unarguably, the quality of attention children receive in childhood places a powerful imprint on the incessant internal dialogue they will repeat to themselves as they form an identity and strategy for living. A neglected child might become the adult whose internal dialogue incessantly reminds them that they are not worthy to live other than to serve the needs of others and that they should be grateful that they are even tolerated by others.

The overly valued child might constantly be reminded by their internal dialogue that they are superior, really of royalty, entitled to the adoration and respect of the mere mortals that surround them.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico would argue that the true culprit here is the internal dialogue itself that channels our energy into defining and upholding our self importance, good or bad, for the better part of our lives. Rather than focus on challenging the message of the internal dialogue those shamans encourage eliminating the dialogue itself, which then frees our energy to explore our true innate potential, unbiased by the judgements that usually limit our sense of self.

From this perspective there is no advantage to having had a special versus neglected childhood. Either way we are saddled with the limiting judgements that steal away our vital energy for life. The real culprit is the internal dialogue, the true dungeon master of our lives. Rich and poor alike are saddled with the same enslavement. In fact, it could be argued that a neglected childhood may offer the advantage of seeking versus merely indulging in life.

The question of specialness is at the forefront of our current world fixation. Our world leaders express entitlement for their special interests and needs over and above the needs of others. Truthfully, persons of different cultures and religions share the same attachment to their own specialness over the needs of competing or just plain other groups.

Family, the foundation of a society, is perhaps the greatest perpetrator of specialness. “Blood is thicker than water” is the adage that summarizes this fixation of the internal dialogue. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico considered it crucial to break this fixation in order to free the trapped energy spent upholding it, to then have it available to be employed in the full realization of selfhood beyond the border of specialness.

Their methods to achieve this coup may sound severe, but they actually coalesce with the Buddhist practice of detachment. The shamans call their practice “erasing personal history.” The practice is to separate the special significance afforded family and loved ones, merely because of their family ranking and role, as well as to reduce emotional attachments. While not denying any of the truths of these relationships, the goal is to reduce them to the level of all human experiences, all entitlements removed.

Thus if someone has failed me, I fully face my feelings, but by removing the pressure of my entitlement, due to familial bonds, I am freed to see all my family and neighbors equally. A world where all is viewed equally is the template for the world we are evolving into, despite current appearances!

Freedom from the constraint of specialness is the practice that readies us for a world built on true universal love. Override the internal dialogue that creates hierarchy and special groupings with universal compassion for all beings.

Love liberates,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Freedom From Entitlement

Who is making the choices? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Who is making the choices?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The conscious self, the Adult Self, is the most powerful self we possess in our human form. It is the self that will determine the fate of our life in this world.

The crux of the adult self’s power lies in its freedom of choice. Even in the most dire of circumstances nothing can ever take away our freedom to choose the attitude we take toward our predicaments. And that attitude will define the path of our lifetime, now and beyond.

All circumstances in human form are not equal. Like all of nature, some circumstances are more physically favorable than others. A seed that lands in a fertilized garden is better positioned than a seed that squeezes into a sidewalk crack. Our first challenge is to recognize that life is not fair, all life is not treated to equal circumstances. Herein lies our primary opportunity to exercise our freedom of choice.

This is the fundamental truth the Shamans of Ancient Mexico teach: entitlement, which builds its protest from the unfairness of circumstance, and which consumes the lion’s share of our energy, can be squarely defeated by an attitude that acknowledges: “I am not special.”

This is not an attitude of resigned, negativistic defeatism, but an objective acknowledgment of the truth: being special is an ego construct rooted in entitlement. Being born entitles us to nothing other than an opportunity for life, and even that is not guaranteed for long.

Despite the glamour and power differentially distributed and enjoyed in the world, detachment from defining one’s value by dint of circumstance frees one to humbly navigate life without the burden and nuisance of entitlement.

To be unshackled from the chains of entitlement is to be freed to assess the truth of who we are, the circumstances we were planted in, and the core issues we are confronted with and need to solve in order to advance and resolve the problems that so weightily block us from the light of fulfillment. What are the karmic seeds fashioned for resolution by the context of our present lives?

What does freedom really mean? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What does freedom really mean?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

From this perspective we can see that we are completely freed, in this life, to advance our spiritual journey and attain fulfillment. Our seed fell where it needed to fall to grant us the opportunity to specifically address and solve an impediment that is unique to our personal Soul’s journey.

From this perspective, from a Soul perspective, all lives are equal in that all lives are planted where they need to be planted for their own opportunity for advancement. To be born into another’s life, no matter how attractive that may appear, would have little value for our own unique journey of advancement in this lifetime, or in infinity beyond this life.

From this perspective, the greater the challenge in this life, the greater might also be the opportunity for advancement. For example, people who have experienced severe trauma in their lives have unparalleled opportunity for spiritual advancement.

Firstly, fully mastering the impact of trauma requires a mastery of entitlement issues in order to have the energy and focus to take on the impact of the truth. Secondly, trauma is a natural, or unnatural, hatchway to the discovery of the energy body or the living soul, that which is mental and emotional awareness that remains entwined with the physical body for the duration of physical life.

The direct experience of this spirit essence in trauma ushers the person deeper into the truth of who they really are at an energetic and soul level and what life really is: a spiritual EXPERIENCE, far beyond what any religious teaching rooted in faith and belief can offer.

Entitlement is a vestige of archetypal domination from infancy that produces an imprisoned self, sentenced for life due to a felt paucity of material or emotional advantage. In other words, lifes’ circumstances run deep, even deeper than we might suspect. We are all dealing not only with the circumstances of our present lives, but also with the deeper issues of being alive in a world that is set up for us to have to confront and learn about our personal spiritual journey separate from this world and all that keeps us attached to it.

Somewhere in our karmic load lies all the answers... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Somewhere in our karmic load lies all the answers…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Though crimes should be prosecuted and victims recompensed, spiritual freedom requires a shift of attitude. And spiritual freedom is the essence of life. Physical circumstance is the playing field for spirit life and spirit evolution. Freedom from the bondage of physical entitlement sets the stage to truly resolve the seeds of our karmic load as materialized in the circumstances of our lives.

As Janis Joplin put it: “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose…” And I would add: because our karmic load is completely sewn, completely freeing us now to choose where we go next!

Working on it,
Chuck