Tag Archives: gaia

Chuck’s Place: The Power of the Small

We are one cell, one bundle of energy in the great mystery of Gaia…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If we peek inside one single cell in our body we discover a self-contained universe of differentiated parts, working in unison to maintain the life of that single cell. Thirty-seven-trillion of these micro-universe cells coordinate to form a single human body. The health and well being of each of those individual cells contributes to the overall health and well being of the entire human body.

The Earth, Gaia, has its own biological body, of which humans, as cells, comprise a specialized unit. I would propose that on a macro-level the human race, as a whole, forms the frontal cortex of Gaia’s brain. In simple terms, the human race is Gaia’s ego consciousness center, the youngest part of the brain, that which is associated with the ability to override instinct and act instead with free will and reason.

Thus, when we speak of global warming as a function of human decision making, Gaia’s frontal cortex appears to be acting contrary to its overall survival needs. In fact, to carry the analogy further, the more ancient part of Gaia’s brain, the limbic system—home of powerful instinct and emotion—can be said to be releasing its destructive reaction toward human behavior in the storms, fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and diseases that punctuate our time.

Just as the frontal cortex does not fully come on line in humans until about age 25, the collective human frontal cortex is clearly in its early adolescence, with narcissistic and self-serving behaviors in control of some of its most vital decision making. This reality is wholly reflected in current world politics where leadership is completely self serving, unable to align with both truth and the greater survival needs of the world as a whole.

The good news: as individual cells of the collective human race, we are each in a position to address and impact the very issues confronting our greater world. The operative analogy here: As within, so without.

We begin by assuming responsibility for the fact that we, as individuals, reflect the reality we see without. Although it may be difficult to face this shadow truth, it is also quite empowering. If I can face, and change within myself, the same power dynamics now being acted out in the world, I contribute toward the maturation of Gaia’s frontal cortex. This truly is a healing action.

Turn inward to your own inner universe with new awareness. Recognize that consciousness is the psyche’s youngest acquisition. Whereas human functioning was, for eons, directed by its instinctive, pre-programmed limbic system, consciousness—for better or for worse—can now consult Google and make its own decisions! Furthermore, consciousness can indulge its desires at any time, not just when its stomach says it’s time to eat, or its hormones say it’s time to mate. Consciousness also has the ability to reflect upon itself and question its real motives, i.e., really be honest with itself.

However, this ability to reflect has its dense physical trappings. Consciousness also likes to look in the mirror and  play dress up with life. The shamans call this tendency self-reflection, which, from their experience, absorbs the lion’s share of human motivation and energy. We are currently seeing such a caricature of self-reflection in the behavior of our leader, but can we see it in ourselves?

Every one of us has the responsibility to face our own obsession with the presentation of self in everyday life, as glaringly mirrored in our fanciful leader. I am reminded incessantly of this fact by our male cardinal who continues to peck away daily at every window and car mirror at our home. Can we ever get to life beyond this level of self-reflection?!

For ego to rise above its own reflection and unholy alliance with the appetites of its limbic system, it must find its way to right action. Right action is action based on reason that transcends the trappings of the Me-Me-Me self. Right action issues from a higher spirit, one that considers the true needs of the whole, not just the ego self.

That spirit resides within the heart, but its voice is largely obscured by the ego self’s physical obsessions. Nonetheless, the ego has many opportunities to channel its higher spirit, as it must suffer its failures and defeats in this life. Ego defeats result in deflation and sobriety, where we then have the opportunity to really reflect and then  choose or acquiesce to right action, the insinuation of the spirit.

We have, as well, the ability to invoke the help of our spirit by simply asking. When we set an intent, say a prayer, or ask for help, we are directly soliciting the guidance and support of spirit. The response we get might send us down quite a serpentine path, but it’s also likely to be the path that will best mold our ego to do right action.

Take for instance the most recent presidential election, which forestalled the coming to power of the matriarchy. The more inclusive values of the matriarchy would seem to be the healing balm needed in our time, and perhaps it ultimately will be, but for now we must take the serpentine path before us and deal with what we have delivered ourselves: the ultimate patriarchal trickster. And so, spirit might have had a hand here; showing us that to properly be ready to receive the matriarchy, we must first crack the mirror of our own self-reflection. Without first mastering this challenge, we’d likely just be transferring our childish neediness to mommy!

Be empowered within the walls of your individual cell self. Be compassionate with your ego self’s developmental process. As Gaia’s ego brain, we have a long way to go, but if we can take responsibility for our own leadership role, and reach out to spirit with humility, the power of the small is sure to manifest our healing intent.

Taking responsibility,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Participation Mystique vs. Consciousness

The nurse hands you the cup and gives you a suggestion: “Turn on the faucet; it will help you to pee.” The image, the sound of flowing water invites your body to do the same and voilà, you mysteriously participate with nature’s flow, becoming the river that fills the cup.

Black sheep leading…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Human beings are social creatures, Barak Obama reminds David Letterman in a recent interview, they are predisposed to mimic what they are exposed to.

Specifically he cited the different worlds we now live in generated by the algorithm we are drawn to that then plays to us, whether it be through social media or news source. Although people might occupy a shared geographical space they live in separate realities, mystically adhering to and mirroring the prompts of their specific algorithm.

Jung was even more basic. He observed that human beings have barely emerged from their state of animal unconsciousness where perception and action are governed by nature’s inherited programs, the instincts and archetypes. Participation mystique is the governing principle of life at this very limited stage of consciousness. As social beings humans unconsciously construct and participate in life by projecting the basic archetypes of hierarchy, order, and meaning upon their fellow humans and behave accordingly.

For example, as Freud keenly observed, there is a fundamental consistency to family structure that includes the hierarchy of parental authority and sibling birth order, as well as the expectation of need fulfillment unconsciously projected upon different family members. His major discovery, the Oedipus complex, which he considered to be universal, governs the human struggle to wrench one’s inherent primary love attachment from within the family to find fulfillment beyond the nuclear family.

This primacy of the family archetype then extends to life beyond the family where issues of authority, loyalty, need and relationship are riddled with or overshadowed by the same archetypal expectations and experiences first encountered in, and greatly colored by, one’s family experience. This unconscious identity between family members projects itself forward into all significant relationships, obliterating the true identity of the individuals engaged with each other.

Thus, issues of problems with authority reflect experiencing one’s boss as one’s parent. The foundational archetypal relation to parent is transferred to characters in the world-at-large who occupy positions of authority. Our bodies and psyches mystically participate in primal reactions when in interaction with authoritative figures.

Similarly, feelings and beliefs of unworthiness with peers or a potential partner often mirror one’s experience with their primary parental love object in childhood, now transferred to new relationships. Irrespective of the actual social reality, an individual mystically participates with others according to archetypal patterns that generate a worldview and sense of self that may have little truth in actual objective reality.

In effect, participation mystique means that we unconsciously assume roles and react to the world according to innate responses activated by environmental cues just like the body responds to the cue of flowing water and fills the cup.

The world’s human population now struggles with its natural state of participation mystique with the ultimate authority on earth, the United States president. At a profoundly unconscious level all are influenced, like involuntarily peeing in a cup, to mimic the mood, world view and expectations of the United States president.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico saw the Earth, Gaia, as a sentient being encased in its own cocoon. All life upon the Earth mystically participates as parts of her living cocoon, like a flock of birds automatically flying in prescribed formation.

The human population appears to be the brains of Gaia with the human tribal leader, the United States president, directing the show. The rest of the human population, influenced at the level of participation mystique, follows the leader.

To deviate from participation mystique is to assume consciousness, which has the ability to pause, reflect, and decide upon a course of behavior. This course of action might be the exact opposite of nature’s archetypal promptings. This is the sin of consciousness, the ability to deviate from our inherent psychic laws, the archetypes, that have unconsciously governed life for eons.

Who put us up to consciousness, the ability to think and act freely, separate from the promptings of the natural order, the instincts and archetypes? It appears that nature herself advanced her psyche to the possibility of consciousness to improve  evolutionary efficiency. Rather than wait through eons of natural selection we now have the ability to change the conditions of life on Earth in a heartbeat.

As we can see in our lifetime, this ability to consciously choose our destiny is functioning at a highly immature level. Global warming is a perfect example. I imagine that Gaia scratches her head as to why she allowed consciousness at all, as participation mystique may have managed much better to preserve balance upon the planet. Gaia is now correcting our errors through nature’s storms. How far she will need to go to humble our inflated consciousness remains to be seen.

In psychotherapy, healing requires a combination of consciousness and participation mystique. Consciousness enables us to oppose our automatic instinctual reactions, participation mystique gives us nature’s healing experiences to truly cross the bridge to new life.

When Carl Jung told Bill W’s friend, Roland H., to go and find a religious cure, as he could not cure him of his alcoholism, he was guiding him to tap into the power of nature’s archetypes—a power greater than consciousness—to lift the compulsion of his disease through a participation mystique experience with God. AA is the consequence of his transforming participation mystique experience.

On the other hand, if we follow our sheepish unconscious participation mystique promptings to follow our world tribal leader without consciousness, nature will be compelled to challenge us with a much greater survival scenario that forces consciousness to a more truthful and responsible level. This is the learning curve our world consciousness is currently engaged in.

Participation mystique and consciousness are actually partners in a fulfilling life. Once again the spirit of consciousness must reconcile with its human animal nature, with its unconscious power of participation mystique. May they arrive at the right relationship for the sake of our planet!

Peace,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Time of Saturation

Time of Saturation…
– Art by Jan Ketchel © 2017

When we can absorb no more we reach a state of saturation where we essentially shut down, functioning on a kind of autopilot. This trancelike fugue state is prized in shamanic training where a practitioner is inundated with unexpected events to the point of saturation. This saturation defeats the ego’s ability to maintain its sense of normalcy and control. Deprived of its familiar fixation on order and predictability the practitioner’s awareness becomes pliable and open to new possibilities. Such are the conditions for all Earth inhabitants at present. Who knows what will happen today?

Our planet Earth, Gaia, is in her own process of becoming pliable and opening to new possibilities. We are currently being saturated with the effects of her labor through an escalation of fire, wind, water and earth upheavals. As Mother Earth rejects the burgeoning impact of the human species upon her body so does her human cohort, woman, challenge the practices of how mankind goes about spreading its seed.

We are currently saturated with the wildfires of Amazon Woman turning to ashes the careers of the sexually abusive power elite. Indeed there are innocent casualties in this massive conflagration  but, as with Mother Earth herself, a saturation of destruction is the necessary prelude to major reformation. Humankind must integrate its sexual instinct in a new, more balanced, compatible way. The time of unchecked sexually abusive behavior upheld by the silent collusion of woman is coming to an end.

In the world of governance we are saturated daily with radical shifts that evoke terror, deep insecurity, and panic. The calming father leader has been replaced by the wrathful Yahweh type, replete with emotional tirades and vindictiveness.

This same wave of incessant storm issues equally from Nature, MeToo, and leaders of governance. The common feature of all of these eruptions is saturation. We find ourselves confounded in our inability to absorb anymore. As with shamanic training our traditional hold on reality is being loosened. We are all being made pliable and open to new possibilities.

These possibilities include a reshaped Earth, a vastly different relation between the sexes and with the sexual instinct itself, and a governance far more acquiescent to the true needs of the planet. I caution getting too attached to the radical shifts being proposed and enacted by governance now. The greater intent behind this cascade of events is a loosening of our fixation on a world without change, the preparation stage for major transformation.

Onslaughts of saturation generate reactions of protest, numbing and dissociated indifference, until we arrive at the place of letting go of control, what the shamans call the place of no pity. From this position new worlds of possibility open to us as our allegiance to upholding old beliefs and attachments loosens.

Beyond the current fog of illusion driven by the saturation of fake news lies a world of transparency and acquiescence to the true needs of the planet. As we travel through the turbulence of these saturated times we do well to shield our light in the inner recess of the heart. All that is happening now is transient.

This time of saturation is the preparation or breakdown phase of major transformation. We do best, like Old Testament Job, to bear with patience the extremes of these times. Nothing can take away the sanctity of the self if we refuse the call to spend our energy attaching to half-baked solutions that avoid the fullness of real resolution.

Real resolution, post-saturation, is the birth of a new possibility. Imagine, for instance, a world where love and sex find their enduring union. Everything is possible.

Holding the candle within,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Fire in the Belly

Heart chakra rising from the fire in the belly…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

With no judgment intended, simply honest observations, I see the world as currently being led by a force beyond reason. I call it ‘a force’ because it functions like an elemental being, a true force of nature, in this case: fire. Tweets and actions are like bolts of lightning that ignite sweeping havoc, leaving behind a whole new landscape.

I do agree with Donald Trump that if the election were held again today, he would win again. Reason is no match for this elemental being, the current ruler of the world. From the broadest perspective I ask, why has Gaia installed this conflagratory element at this time? I see the earth and humanity mirroring the same dynamic: fire in the belly.

From a chakra perspective, the belly, the solar plexus, is the birthplace of the ego. It is the place where personal power is established as it wages war with the fires and floods, the passions and emotions of the instinctual human animal. The rudimentary human spirit is born as a result of this contest, in the form of the ego. This is where Adam and Eve, with the birth of their personal egos, parted ways with the garden and ‘stole’ the power to create their own world.

Digestive issues, womb issues, intestinal issues, shallow breathing issues all reflect the challenge of fire in the belly—how to master it, how not to be consumed by it, and how to workably transform it. Psychologically this is the place of personal power, calling for the establishment of a self, a foothold in consciousness that can control and transform the deep instinctual forces within, as well as hold its own without, amidst the vast collective forces that inhabit the human jungle. The downside of this achievement is narcissism, the very narrow imperative of me and mine.

Humanity has been Gaia’s most recent catalyst of change. Who else beside humans has so drastically changed the face of the earth? I propose that Gaia is calling for a rise of kundalini energy from her third chakra to her fourth chakra, the heart center. The heart center is the true birthplace of the true spirit self, the self that extends far beyond the narcissistic wrappings of the third chakra ego center.

The way to the heart chakra is through the all-consuming fires of the belly. As kundalini rises the wrappings of consumerism, personal power, and advantage, at the third chakra ego center, burn off and what emerges, transformed, is consciousness of a higher self, what we know as the subtle body, the energy body, the spirit.

The spirit body at the heart center is attached to the gross physical body by its own umbilical cord that remains attached until the spirit embarks on its own definitive journey beyond physical life at the time of death.

While in this world, the spirit informs human life from its truer perspective. This is the Buddha/Christ consciousness that speaks the truth beyond the narcissistic wrappings of ego. This is the home of true compassion, not emotional highs and lows or romantic dances. This is the home of being able to see and act upon the true needs of self, the true needs of humanity, the true needs of Gaia.

The driving forces of human passion and emotion simmer gently at the heart center, which burns a constant flame, the steady heartbeat that maintains life. Compassion is natural love that embraces all life with true feeling, yet knows that the only true savior lies in the heart center of each individual. Each person must find their own way there and discover this for themselves.

Gaia insists upon this heart chakra development now. The crowning achievement of the solar plexus, the ego, with reason and its knowledge of the three dimensional world at the ready, has become too narrow a place to fully encompass and lead the fuller truth of the earth. This higher spirit at the heart center must be awakened, inhabited, and become the leader now.

Gaia’s methods can be harsh. All births are violent affairs. Contractions are no picnic for the birther or the one being born. Actually, preparations for discovery of the spirit within have long been appearing. One need only peruse Jan’s Recapitulation Diaries to see how the violence of sexual abuse can shake the ethereal/spirit body right out of the physical body.

Of course, such horrific atrocities as sexual abuse are completely, morally unjustifiable, but vast occurrences of such happenings have given countless thousands direct access to and experience of their inner spirit selves, as they often fly freely beyond the confines of the body during blunt trauma. What emerges on the world stage and in the personal lives of many humans at this time are the shocks, which though traumatic also open access to a consciousness that transcends the personal me and can align with the true needs of the interconnected we.

What has become completely apparent to me is that Gaia herself is in the process of shaking loose her spirit body, attempting to rise to the fourth chakra level of the heart. Gaia is prompting her own evolution, and humankind is the enzyme, the catalyst—rule without reason—that is providing the energy for this transition. It is a completely irrational and barely controllable catalyst that is the driving force behind this phenomenon, but nonetheless an obvious attempt to reach the heart chakra of Gaia and prompt human evolution as well.

The only hope to stabilize humanity and save the planet is to reach the heart-centered spirit consciousness of which we are all capable, and allow that spirit energy to lead us all forward now.

The heart center is the center that acts from objective truth. Reason and emotion that have passed through the proving fires of the solar plexus take up residence in their most purified form in the heart center, where they are freed to lead through love and truth.

Of course, there are higher chakras to be inhabited beyond the heart, but for now Gaia insists that we find our way, collectively, to settling in the heart. That quest is the priority of now.

And so, as we sit in the irrational fires beyond reason, may we allow ourselves to prove our worthiness to partake in Gaia’s initiative and settle calmly in the heart center of our being.

Stillness in the fire,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Reign Of The Imp King

So, what is an imp? The imp is a little devil from the woods who lives and acts in a most impulsive way! The imp is a spoiler, rarely tells the truth, reverses himself on a dime and can never be held to any agreement. The imp defies all reason and simply cannot be nailed down to anything. The imp is impishly spontaneous, outrageously fiendish, and at times malevolently rageful.

The imp king.
– Collage by Jan Ketchel

Let’s stop blaming the Russians! This Friday the imp becomes King through democracy’s divine ritual of inauguration. The collective unconscious, Mother Nature herself, has delivered her imp son, Donald Trump, to take over world leadership. Gaia has taken the imp from the woods and installed him to lead the world. Why?

Gaia long ago gave birth to human consciousness. When she bid us eat the apple from the tree of knowledge she bid us take her forward in new and more efficient ways. Since leaving the Garden, human consciousness has mastered technology and increasingly distanced itself from its animal, instinctual roots, from Gaia herself.

Today a majority of humans live online. Facebook gives us the news and organizes our memories. We text, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. We romance on Match. Soon cars will drive themselves, as drones deliver our goods. We have become beings of mind, of reason, of the rational, logical, technical with nary a spiritual thought or experience. Our god is Google. Our ego consciousness, Gaia’s hopeful gift to us, has so dissociated itself from the Garden and enthroned itself as creator that the planet that births and feeds us has become a rapidly metastasizing cancerous tumor.

Gaia has pulled the imp from the woods to level our God of Mind and bring us back down to true mindfulness that incorporates all that we all are, nature in all its forms. Our mind has become too high and mighty, our dissociation from and disregard for nature without and nature within has constellated the impish destroyer. He simply defies all reason. He typifies the world’s most exaggerated ego. Here Gaia is presenting us with the homeopathic cure. In homeopathy like cures like by intensifying the symptoms of a disease to activate its necessary cure. Trump is both the homeopathic agent of exaggerated ego and at the same time the imp from the woods who defies all reason. He comes in the archetypal line of the savior.

Dionysus was such a savior in antiquity, a spring god who broke through all the dams of civilized order to fertilize the earth with orgiastic fervor. Christ was another such savior who came to tone down the instinctual bloodlust and orgy of that same Dionysian fervor through a ritual of communion, accenting instead the ascension of spirit, which in human terms facilitates the dominance of mental control. Unfortunately, the mental plane of humanity has grown to deify itself today, with mind our god, completely overpowering and dissociating itself from its instinctive nature. We are disembodied humans who live in our heads.

Donald, the “new savior,” is indeed a primitive, dangerous nature spirit that threatens world survival. His installation is bound to unleash the pent up instinctual energies of the collective unconscious in an orgiastic outbreak of unbridled lusts for all kinds of power and grab. Then there’s the danger of the autocrat, a la the Hitler variety. We must learn from history. A charismatic king can unleash a collective fervor that infects the populace at the expense of individual reflection and integrity. That was how Hitler mesmerized a nation to follow his will.

Mother Nature has gone to such a drastic measure to level the deified ego of reason, which has disregarded its irrational core, nature itself. That’s how dangerous our dissociated ego has become to the survival of the planet. Mother Nature has brought in a bombastic, dangerous imp to check the overgrown God of Mind at all costs. The question is, how much destruction will be necessary before a new guiding principle emerges?

Mind is critical, but it becomes irrelevant and useless if it deifies itself and does not include nature in its identity and care. Until that happens we will be at the mercy of nature’s impish destroyer, who seems quite content to bring down the God of Mind along with civilization itself!

Realize, with the installation of the imp outwardly, we are subject inwardly as well to the imp’s control, within the Self. We are all living cells of Gaia, all in this together, and therein lies our opportunity. If we can bring our mind down to embrace our earthy substance, and move toward necessary balance in our bodily home, we remove the imp from power within because we voluntarily humble ourselves to our true needs. If enough individuals, as conscious cells of Gaia, take up this challenge we offer the healing potion so badly needed, and the imp might all the more quickly be returned to the woods.

Begin to unplug the self from virtual life and plug into what’s really all around you. Bring life out of the head and back into the body at the rhythm of the heartbeat. Sleep well and listen to nature’s guidance in your dreams. Be in solitude. Be in real human interaction and communion. Embrace your inner imp by paying heed to your spontaneous impulses and find a way to live them in right balance. Allow your mind to be challenged by your disavowed needs, embrace the fullness of your nature. Nature abhors too much order, it’s simply unnatural. So, allow for some form of chaos to bring renewal to too ordered a life.

For better or worse, we enter now the time of the Reign of the Imp King. Trust that, as in all things, nature will only let things go so far, but be empowered within yourself. Nature once gave us the gift of consciousness. If we learn to use it in her service now, we are sure to be restored all the sooner.

Embracing my inner imp,

Chuck