Tag Archives: freedom

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

Chuck’s Place: Freedom & Limitation

The energetic theme this week has been pervasive: a meeting of the opposites of freedom and limitation. Seeking an objective energy reading I turned to the I Ching, only to be presented, synchronistically (DUH!) with the Hexagram of Limitation, #60. The I Ching itself has always struck me as an oracle that reconciles the opposition of freedom and limitation, with its limited 64 Hexagrams encapsulating infinite possibility.

All the parts of the self in the freedom of containment...

The Hexagram of Limitation derives its meaning from the juxtaposition of water over a lake. Water is an inexhaustible element, however a lake occupies a fixed, limited space. Rain that fills the lake beyond its banks will be lost to the lake; it can only hold so much. A lake could not exist without the limitation of its fixed banks; they create a container for the inexhaustible resource of water. Without the lake life would diminish and the freedom of nature to birth and expand would be deeply compromised. Within this image freedom and limitation reveal their sibling oneness, their mutual dependence—opposite sides of a creative force.

Our human creative expression is the consequence of this same interplay of opposites. To gather the energy for an enterprise we must limit our activity. To gather the resource for a great undertaking we must limit our expenditures. As Jan’s blog this week suggests, gathering together the disparate parts of the self to allow for ultimate freedom in this life requires suffering the limitation and containment by the adult self, as it undergoes transformation through the process of recapitulation.

Without containment there can be no freedom and no transformation. For example, the dancer who dances with such abandon has suffered a lifetime of painful, regulated practice—containment—encountering, living, and releasing all resistance before reaching such a peak of perfect abandon.

The crowning achievement of conjunctio in alchemy, the realization of the opus—Gold—is achieved through a series of chemical operations that require limitation within a sealed container, or retort, where the disparate elements ultimately congeal and transform into a unified whole. Likewise, only with a unified whole self can complete freedom and fulfillment be realized in this life as well.

Of course, the I Ching, in its infinite wisdom, cautions that galling limitation must not be persevered in. We must place limitation even upon limitation. Thus, to deny the needs or feelings of any part of the self would defeat the goal of full self-realization. All parts must be considered and lived, in some way, in order to realize full freedom in this life.

...leading to wholeness and the unlimited Golden Self

So, in recapitulation, within the adult self as container, a solution is made in which all parts of the self are given full expression, and the end result is freedom—transformation and fulfillment in this lifetime. Conjunctio—Gold—is achieved.

Chuck

A Day in a Life: Freedom

What is freedom? What does it mean to be free? As I work on my book, The Recapitulation Diaries, I feel as if I’m writing about someone else, as if the experiences of my child self happened in a different lifetime. I’m no longer attached to her story as my own. The things that happened to her no longer personally affect me.

Even the adult I was a few years ago no longer exists. I no longer feel the way she felt. I no longer perceive the world as she did. I no longer fear the way she did. I no longer hide or withdraw the way she did. I no longer interact with others the way she did. I no longer even think the way she did. I am a completely different person. That is freedom!

To transform is a choice. Going deeply into the personal is a choice. To achieve the impersonal is transformative and freeing. What do I mean by the impersonal? Well, in the old days, when I was that other person I took everything personally. I trusted no one. I felt misunderstood, bad, ignored, neglected, mistreated, angry, and fearful. The world was not my oyster, but instead a place to withdraw from as often as possible. In fact, the truth is, that was how I perceived the world, not how the world perceived me.

At the time, I was still attached to feelings and issues that had been part of my life from earliest childhood. By the time I was a grown woman those issues had me in their clutches. I was in a critical state of discontent, just holding onto reality by a thin thread. Nervous and afraid, getting angrier and angrier and more depressed than ever, I’d often force myself to make changes. I knew change was good; it had worked often enough in the past to break the deadlock within, at least for a time. But the truth is that the changes themselves never led to anything because they were predictable, fairly safe changes, totally under my control.

Seeking transformation? How?

It wasn’t until I felt death breathing down my neck, clearly knowing that I would die if I didn’t make a real change, that I dared myself to begin a different kind of journey. At the time I didn’t know it would lead to a total transformation. It wasn’t until I met Chuck and began a shamanic recapitulation that the idea of transformation appeared as something even remotely possible.

I know I write about recapitulation a lot in these blogs, as does Chuck, but I just can’t help it. During my recapitulation, I met Jeanne, first in real life and then as an otherworldly entity. She told me, in the early days of my recapitulation when she came to me in her energy body, appearing when I was in the middle of recapitulating a horrific traumatic event, that I had a three-year journey to complete. She told me that I’d already made a good start, and that at the end of that time I would understand everything. She said I had to stay focused on the recapitulation, without being distracted by other things.

“Let everything else go for now,” she said. “Don’t worry about anything. Life will unfold as it should and all that is right will come to pass as you take this journey. Stay focused. It’s crucial that nothing distract you from this most important task. This is your work now.”

This is your work now?! What the heck did that mean? I had no clear idea at the time, but here I am ten years later and I know exactly what that means. My recapitulation did become the central focus of my life then, and the shamanic practice of recapitulation continues to be a central focus.

Once again I’m in a unique position, being offered another transformative opportunity as I prepare my book for publication. The process of writing about recapitulation has been transformative as well, as I realize just how thorough a job I did in recapitulating a brutal past. I am no longer attached to it in any way. I am totally free.

Transformation is possible, but it takes work. There’s no doubt about that, but I would not trade those years of deepest recapitulation for anything in the world. I had more experiences during that time and learned more about life than I could have learned anywhere else. I learned more about everything. And all I had to do was go inside myself. It was all there waiting for me.

Remembering to stay connected to the path of transformation, until next time,
Jan

Chuck’s Place: The Price of Freedom

Freedom is the ability to be alone with the truth. On the eve of his assassination, Martin Luther King stood alone at the podium, and, in the private knowing of his imminent death, uttered these final words:

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now, I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!”

“And so I’m happy, tonight.”

“I’m not worried about anything.”

“I’m not fearing any man!”

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”

In the shaman’s world, Martin Luther King was a warrior. In The Wheel of Time don Juan says this about a warrior on page 120:

“A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge.”

To accept our lot is to be fully with the truth of who we are, where we have been, and, in full awareness, where we go next. To accept our lot is to soberly realize the dream we’ve been cast in and to accept full responsibility for that dream: to complete it and dream on.

The other night at the White House, the rapper/poet Common validated the completion of the dream Martin Luther King had glimpsed and so profoundly hinted at while speaking at the podium on April 13, 1968. Common ended his poem with the following lines:

“For one King’s dream He was able to Barack us.”

“One King’s dream He was able to Barack us.”

“One King’s dream He was able to Barack us.”

Dream to Freedom

Martin Luther King did not die a victim or a martyr; he died a dreamer completing his dream. There was no regret in his voice as he covertly bade farewell. Martin was living the shaman’s code: I am a being who is going to die. Martin accepted the living challenge of his pending death, without regret. This was a dream worthy to die for.

To obtain freedom in our own lives, we too must be warriors discovering and taking full responsibility for all our own dreams—for accepting our lot. In recapitulation we awaken to the full truth of the dream we are in. We cast out the energy of those who shattered our innocence. It’s not about regret, because we are not victims; no one is a victim.

It’s not about forgiveness; there’s nothing to forgive. No, in recapitulation we release the energy of others; all must carry their own burdens, discover and face their own truths and forgive themselves for their own actions. No one can forgive anyone of anything. The real challenge is to take back the full truth and energy of one’s own life, to be with it in full awareness, in full acceptance.

Our living challenge is to discover the full scope of our own dream. Are we ready to release it, having stared it down and faced every bit of it? Do we need to hold it any longer? Is there something more to learn, some fragment not yet discovered, not yet acceptable to know?

Are we ready to release that dream and move into new life, no longer needing the safety of old illusions, like believing that we are unworthy beings, unfit for this world? Are we ready to let go of everyone we have clung to who made us feel safe while caught in our repeating dreams, as well as old myths of who we are? Can we fully be alone with the full truth and, like Martin, flow effortlessly into the next dream?

This is the cost of freedom. But, as don Juan states, on page 123 in The Wheel of Time:

“Freedom is expensive, but the price is not impossible to pay.”

Awake in the Dream,
Chuck