Tag Archives: Flyer

Chuck’s Place: The Predator Teacher

We live in a predatory universe… beware!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Is it diabolical that a mosquito, tick, bacteria, or virus  feeds upon the matter and substance of our physical bodies? A nuisance, and in some cases a lethal nuisance indeed, yet, we begrudgingly accept this negative symbiotic reality as a feature of our physical world.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico concur that our universe is a predatory universe. They describe this dynamic as operational at an even more subtle energetic level as well, that of an inorganic yet living entity that feeds upon the human energy produced by human emotion. Although negative in its draining of human energy, it also serves as a teacher that helps humans evolutionarily advance, if they can learn how to master its parasitic onslaught.

This opportunity, and the need for mastery over it, is ever so obvious in the conditions of our current world predicament. Outwardly, we are bombarded daily with the most outrageous of words and behaviors, incessantly taxing our emotional reserves, resulting in extreme volatility and emotional exhaustion.

These onslaughts fill the airwaves and social media, captivating modern life. Closer to home, beyond the politics of now, are our own personal longings for attention and validation, our own deepest needs compulsively seeking to bind us to screens.

Inwardly, we too are prey to the promptings of self-importance and self-pity, seeking outlet in an upward spiral of ecstatic inflation, or in a downward vortex, sending us into a bottomless pit of tortured longing and sadness. These volatile tendencies within ourselves often manifest in cycles of addictive attachments.

Shamans maintain that these various pathways of emotional activation are generated by an inorganic entity, which they have dubbed the flyer, through the judgments of offense that our internal dialogue incessantly broadcasts. Those judgements are directed toward self and other. They, in turn, generate a wave of emotional energy, the food for the flyer.

To free the self of this depleting symbiotic trap, shamans recommend a furtive effort of detachment, which they call the warrior’s way. The goal of the warrior’s way is to gain freedom from the bindings of attachment, first and foremost to being offended. If one can remain sober and detached in the face of offensive words and behaviors, none of one’s energy is lost in the encounter.

To accomplish this, one must lose one’s attachment to self-importance. Self-importance is generally garnered through validation by others, a highly dependent and vulnerable position, which leads to endless emotional strife. Rather than turn over one’s power to another’s validation, the guidance is to face the truth of one’s self within. Acceptance of, and the ability to laugh at, one’s self, goes a long way in cancelling out the impact of the judgments of others.

Self-esteem becomes acceptance of the whole truth of one’s actual self, good and bad. Inappropriate behavior by others is properly placed as their problem to face and resolve, and not as offense to one’s own self. This does not mean that we don’t strategically decide how to manage inappropriate behavior, however, we do so with truthful sobriety rather than with offense.

Freed of the emotional activation generated by judgments within and without, we advance in maturity. We accrue the energy that grants us the power to act decisively, with precision. No energy is wasted in feeding the predator. The predator is defeated when we deny it the energy of our emotional disgust and defeat.

In this time of flagrant predatory human behavior, we are all offered the opportunity to advance beyond the narcissistic emotional web of the predator, who constantly stirs up and then feeds upon our emotional turmoil. We don’t have to keep playing that game.

I prefer to punctuate the positive opportunity of this seemingly depressed and depressing time. I envision the predator as our ultimate teacher.

The predator, as teacher, shines the spotlight upon our attachment to self-importance, showing us the emotional trap where the greatest work needs to be done, and where the largest storehouse of our energy lies, waiting to be retrieved. Once we close this emotional trap drain, we open ourselves to a whole new world of freedom. Freedom to be.



Chuck’s Place: Not So Bad

Suffered with a backache for most of last week. Must have done something “wrong.” Finally had enough, reached out with a clear intent: May the healers come tonight and heal my back.

Had the kind of sleep where you wake up convinced you haven’t slept. Jan assures me that I definitely slept. I choose not to ask her how she knows for sure.

Walking all night long…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

All night I found myself with Dr. Yang, the surgeon intern on Grey’s Anatomy played by Sandra Oh. She is belligerently and steadfastly determined to stack her own unique pile of practices, like chapters of a book, as an alternative to the required purchase of health insurance. All night we walk briskly along the shoreline of ocean beaches, miles of beaches, in what feels like a doggedly active, sleepless night, as she builds her chapters.

I open my eyes at 4:30 am. Time to wake up. My awakening ego consciousness is deeply disappointed by my restless night. I’m immediately drawn to judge my activities of the day before as the culprit for my lack of deep rejuvenating sleep. My thoughts evoke negative feelings. I must have done something “wrong.”

I’m reminded of a workshop I once attended, led by Carol Tiggs, the Nagual woman, Carlos Castaneda’s counterpart. It was she who left with don Juan’s party of sorcerers as they “burned from within,” as they left this world to embark on their definitive journey in infinity, life beyond the human form. Only in Carol’s case, she returned to human form ten years later and became the spark for Carlos’ coming out party in the birth of Tensegrity.

At this workshop, Carol went on hilariously talking about “Bobby the Flyer,” the being she characterized as filling her mind with negative thoughts about herself. She even broke into a song about just how bad she was. Bobby became a playful name for that character in all of humanity that commandeers the mind to fixate upon and be tormented by its human inadequacies.

Yesterday, Jan and I were reading a lecture Carl Jung gave in 1936 on children’s dreams where he amplified the meaning of a child in a stable. Of course, a major archetypal representation of this is Christ’s birth. Jung pointed out the significance of being born as an animal, in a stable. Why would a “god” incarnate thusly?

Jung suggested that the stable archetype offers support to the lowly human animal to appreciate its animal instinctive self. We hold ourselves to such high spiritual and moral perfectionist standards that take us away from truly appreciating and accepting the instinctual, physical animal that we really are. Perhaps this is the original sin that gives fertile ground to Bobby the flyer. As soon as we switch from body to consciousness, or spirit self, all we see are our human animal failings.

As I sat in bed observing Bobby doing his “I’m so bad” thing, I suddenly realized that my back didn’t hurt so much and then I remembered the intent I had set before sleep and the dream of walking all night. Could it be possible that my back had actually healed? Could that endless walking on the beach with the anima healing surgeon have been the realization of my very clear intent to heal?

I very gently set my feet onto the floor, stood up straight, and walked a few steps. Pain completely gone!

“Sorry Bobby,” I thought, “guess I’m really not so bad after all!”


Chuck’s Place: Shadow/Flyer—Instigators of Change

Within the Shadows: Tools of Change

We are challenged every day by forces that want our time, money, attention, and emotion. Jung focused on the inner culprit—the shadow, or unknown self—as the force that consumes a great deal of our daily energy and actions. The shamans of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage focused outwardly on the flyer, an entity that preys upon the tumult of human excess for its own sustenance and survival.

These are two descriptions of reality that coin metaphors to capture the predatory dimension of life. If we can acknowledge, that is, suspend judgment about this dimension of life, both within the self and in the world at large, we are freed to benefit from this relationship. The function of the shadow/flyer is to show us all of who we are. With this knowledge we can choose who we might become.

As we exit the season of excessive consumption we are shown our proclivity for sensual delight, whether we indulge or refuse it. Encounters with shadow/flyer may result in nausea, guilt, depression, insatiability, out-of-controlledness, and defeat.

Make no mistake about it; these are powerful entities with completely self-serving agendas. They can wreak havoc on our physical and emotional selves. However, their power lies solely in our ignorance or refusal to know the full truth about ourselves. If we can accept that we are sensual, emotional beings that need to find fulfillment in all that we are, we can begin to make room for all that we potentially are, in new balance.

Sometimes, we engage in excess to numb ourselves from parts of the self too painful or frightening to know. This is a defensive strategy that has its temporary value, however, it cannot hold back the deepest need to know and realize the full self. This activity points the way to recapitulation.

When we find ourselves caught in the daily round of repetitive Jekyll/Hyde behavior—fully convicted and repentant with the rising sun, only to be swept away again and again with the rising moon—we are awakened to the power of the shadow/flyer to control our lives in the absence of self-knowledge. As we awaken, we are freed to find new balance in our lives, perhaps a middle way; and with this awareness we are able to release the predatory entity of excess.

Mosquitoes are predatory flyers. However, they will move on to other prey when the stagnant pool that breeds them dries up. If we remain in stagnancy, we invite the shadow/flyer into our lives. It will feast upon us in our stagnancy, however, with the discomfort it creates we are invited to change.

Such is the nature of this symbiotic relationship between predator and prey. The predator becomes the beacon or instigator of change. Nonetheless, we must use this provocation to our advantage. That is, we must wake up, face the fullness of the self and move toward balance and fulfillment in life. Once we begin this process of change we release the predator because it no longer serves us. And we no longer serve it!

Moving on, into a new space. We have literally moved our office to the end of the hall, beyond our former location. See you there!

#718 Chuck’s Place: Po

Jeanne once called me “Parallel Man.” She referred to a certain knack I have to see the same idea presented in many different forms. In fact, under the influence of a certain idea I am likely to see it reflected everywhere for days. I suspect that this is how synchronicity works—like a wave of energy that moves and has a ripple effect on everything, at a moment in time.

This week I had a deep concern about a pending danger, a pending collapse. I consulted The I Ching, which produced hexagram #23, Po. This hexagram is constructed by five yin lines supporting a weighty yang line at the top. The image used to depict this state of energy is a house about to split apart due to a shattered roof. The English translation for the character Po is splitting apart, a most ominous condition.

The Flyer’s mind, what the seers of ancient Mexico called the foreign installation, that influences all human thinking, attempted to hook me on a doom and gloom scenario. This conjuring mind generates many negative scenarios, threats to survival; bait to capture awareness and energy in a state of agitation and fear. I breathed calmly, recalling Buddha beneath the bodhi tree as he refused to attach to earth-shattering illusions that were rapidly firing before him. It helped as well to recall the many “groundhog days” of going for the bait, investing so much energy in potential dramas that never materialized. Don’t attach; let life unfold; see what happens; suspend judgment; find out what it means—these mantras have proven far more emotionally and energetically efficient in approaching ongoing time than chasing down the red herrings of the conjuring mind.

The I Ching goes on to state that the imminent collapse presented in the time of Po is not due to personal behavior, but is, in fact, an impersonal reality, part of a death and resurrection theme inherent in nature. The time of Po is October/November, the time of the harvest. The I Ching also chooses the image of a rotting fruit on a tree to depict Po. Of necessity, the fruit will fall to the earth and die. However, that yang line, the seed, will be buried in the earth with the promise of new life.

Synchronistically, we are in the time of Po now, harvest time. Personally, illusions we cling to may be exposed, die, that change and new life might unfold. This is a natural and evolutionary process. Nonetheless, the process of letting go, of dying to old ways or untruths, may indeed be painful and threatening, as they present themselves.

I prefer the image of the rotting apple falling from the tree to that of the collapsing house. Though I see the parallel, an image taken directly from nature, undisturbed by human intervention, seems to remove the judgments we quickly place upon ourselves in trying to decipher the meaning of an oracle. Understanding what naturally does and must occur in nature first can help in suspending judgment of that same scenario as it manifests in human nature.

Incidentally, as I completed my contemplation of Po, I pulled a card from my Tarot deck (Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck)—the Knight of Disks—the harvester, who with his threshing tool in hand is preparing to harvest what he has cultivated. This card is a perfect synchronistic ripple of Po, splitting apart in the time of harvest. Time for all to bravely separate the wheat from the chaff!

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,