Tag Archives: God

Chuck’s Place: Refine the Divine

All is divine…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The central question of our time is the future of our world. We are at an obvious transition point, as we grapple with a virus that has fundamentally challenged every aspect of the way we live. Though there be a wide range of opinion on how to proceed, the challenge to every individual’s core sense of security is undeniable.

When I was a young boy, I badly bungled my attempts to memorize my catechism, nearly costing me entree into sacramental rites. However, one thing I never got wrong: God is everywhere and everything. There is nothing that exists that is not God.

From this perspective, everything that exists, from virus to world leaders, are part of that same Oneness often referred to as God. If we accept the notion that we are all part of the divine, we should consider checking our projective tendency to vilify and demonize any part of our collective Oneness.

On the other hand, the current state of our world is such that there are such divisive and opposing viewpoints that, for either side, there is great difficulty seeing the divinity in the other. Perhaps a perspective that views the world as needing to dance through an extreme cosmic upheaval, and remain standing at the end, can free us from our hatred and depression.

Indeed, if my catechism was correct, we are, as a world, suffering one of the infinite permutations of possibility that exists in the infinite journey we are all on. From the place of equanimity, let us not wish it away or dismiss it but instead, live it fully.

The Hindu holy book, known as The Bhagavad Gita, addresses the dilemma the world currently grapples with. In this epic, a war between royals in the same family is being fought. Arjuna, fighter for one side is counseled by, Krishna, a Hindu equivalent to Christ, who tells him he must fight to fulfill his warrior duty to uphold the cosmic law of selfless action. 

Selfless action means acting without attachment to gain or outcome, simply doing what one feels is right. From that perspective all players have the duty to live out their individual truths. The outcome of such a play is in no way guaranteed, other than it reflects the full meeting of these felt truths.

Truths that are actually veiled distortions inevitably peel away, as they cannot be sustained by the greater truth, which must, of necessity, emerge as the true victor. In this process, the divine is refined and purified. On a pragmatic level, balance is restored to the world, as it finds secure footing.

That which peels away in this molting process must be thoroughly valued  as warriors critical to evolution. We don’t always get to play the hero, but without the antagonist there is no story. For evolution to proceed that which once held the truth must surrender to tomorrow’s new reality.

Thus, Love the ‘Other’ as Thyself. Like Arjuna, play your part, no attachment to the outcome other than that it be the greater truth, for now. Appreciate all that lifts us beyond inertia, as collectively we refine our shared Divinity.



Chuck’s Place: Why We Matter

On an individual level, the deepest question we can ask ourselves is, “Why am I here?” On a collective level, the deepest question we can ask ourselves is, “Why are we here?”

After years of focused exploration in the spiritual realm, seeking proof of and versatility in life beyond the body, I found myself drawn powerfully back into this world. I know my focus needed to first be in the spiritual world because I could not avoid exploring the question, “What comes next, is there life beyond this life?”

We are all dreaming this dream together... - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
We are all dreaming this dream together…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Recently, however, I was drawn powerfully back to focus on life in this world. In fact, for the past several months I have been drawn to volume after volume of notes taken at Jung’s seminars in the 1920s and 1930s. I realize that the energy of now mimics the energy of that time and that Jung was thoroughly engaged in comprehending its questions and attempting to provide answers. Those questions were answered but not solved in his time. We live in the further unfolding of the seeds of that time and are asked, in our time, to provide the next evolution of answers.

The stakes are indeed much greater now. Though the horror of Hitler still hovers, it pales in significance to the threat of total world annihilation, which is the truth of our current predicament. To soften that blow I refer to a dream Jung had where he met a yogi in deep meditation. This yogi was, Jung realized, dreaming his, Jung’s, life. When he looked closer at the yogi he realized it was an exact replica of himself. He also realized that once the yogi awoke from his dream Jung’s life in this world would be over, though life itself would go on in another realm, in a another dream.

That is our predicament now, we are the collective participants of God’s dream. We are the incarnation of God’s dream. That makes us all, like Christ, God made human, set down in our collective world to freely explore the evolution of God’s dream.

Our world dream, Earth, has been an epic dream that has managed to never end because we, in the dream, have always found a way to keep it going, to both create and solve innumerable challenges that continue to evolve the dream. And it’s a beautiful dream, one we’d like to keep going!

In our time, we have forced this dream to epic challenges. Can we rescue ourselves from the clash of forces that scream out for a major evolutionary advancement? Hitler heralded an attempt to maintain purity of line at all costs. That motive has fully matured on the world stage at this very moment. Tribalism, purity of line, separation of races, religions, classes and sexes are all at war with the ultimate world melting pot that we must evolve into if we are to continue our dream on a more secure footing.

The truth is, God is indifferent to the outcome. Here I speak of God beyond incarnation, eternal God. For that God, whom we are the seeds of, all is forgiven because the outcome of our dream was left to us to freely and creatively grow and discover. That is how God grows. We are the creative side of God and we are here to discover things.

If this dream ends, God will not be angry or disappointed. God grows and learns regardless of the outcome. All outcomes are seeds of future eternal dreams. Nonetheless, this is a beautiful dream and it presents fascinating challenges.

From the perspectives I articulate here, I arrive at detachment. For me, detachment is merely having a fuller perspective that enables access to true solutions to problems. Detachment requires, however, that we fully suffer being in finite, human form. Only from that place can the true answers arrive. God outside time and space cannot provide the answers. Only incarnated God, in time and space, can provide the answers. And that’s us!

So, from inside the dream, feeling the full weight of endgame time, waking up now, I find that love in the form of suspending judgment appears as the clear resolution. To suspend judgment is to erase hierarchy; all are equally valuable, good, bad, and ugly. We are all necessary parts of the same whole. Each of us is necessary and vital, playing our unique part in the struggle to evolve the dream.

Love is embracing every aspect of the interconnected whole that we are, each of us trying desperately to solve the problem of a higher level of integration. And those that fight it the most must be loved and embraced for their role in forcing all of us to solve the issue our parent’s generation could only shelve.

It’s fully off the shelf now and WE MATTER, because without all hands on deck this dream will be shelved as the yogi comes out of meditation.

In meditation,



Chuck’s Place: Union

Front cover of Autobiography of a Yogi.
Front cover of Autobiography of a Yogi.

Almost every morning, as Jan channels the Soulbyte for the day, I go off and open a book at random to let the divine deliver its message to me.

The other day, I opened Autobiography of a Yogi to an interaction between Yogananda and his master Sri Yukteswar. Yogananda had just experienced a great physical healing, which he thanked his master for. Sri Yukteswar craftily worded his response to suggest that the healing was actually effected by a change in Yogananda’s own thought process. Yogananda anxiously sought to disavow this power and the next day awoke completely unable to physically get out of bed, restored to the comfort of the familiarity of his old weakness. Sri Yukteswar then instructed: “The human mind is a spark of the almighty consciousness of God…whatever your powerful mind believes very intensely would instantly come to pass.”

Can we take ownership of that Divine Spark, that God within us all? Can we wisely direct our thoughts toward greater union within ourselves, within the world? Are we ready to take full ownership of our power?

On another recent morning, enveloped in a mood of despair and stagnation, as Jan channeled, I turned to the I Ching for guidance. Not surprisingly, hexagram #12, Stagnation, appeared. Here heaven and earth are flying further and further apart, deeply out of alignment with each other.

It’s hard now to not see the signs of this dissociation every day, whether it be beached whales, fish fleeing the too warm waters of Maine, children slaughtered at school, women brutally raped, and the stories go on and on. We are in a time of total disintegration as nature and spirit dissolve the world as we have known it and move toward a new position, rebalancing into a new and sustainable format.

The I Ching tells me (nine in the fourth place) that the time of stagnation is nearing the point of change into its opposite. And finally, nine at the top, that though this time of standstill does not last forever, it does not cease of its own accord either; the right leader is needed.

Here I am led back to my opening quote, stating that the spark of God resides in every person. Every person is and has the power of God within, and that power lies in the power of intent. But we must truly embrace that power and believe it to effect the change we seek. One danger, of course, is to misuse that power. This has been the mistake of our human race to date, to exploit our Godly power to our own advantage: narcissistic greed. That mistake has brought us to this edge of oblivion.

Yesterday morning, I opened Autobiography of a Yogi again, to this quote regarding how to use our power: “Don’t do what you like, then do everything you like.” The guidance is clear. Ego must first check its narcissistic impulse to act. This impulse is cut off from the needs of the interdependent whole, just as the I Ching suggests that the earth and the heavens are cut off from each other, each swirling in opposite directions away from unity and wholeness. It’s all about me, me, me. If we pause, we give ourselves the opportunity to realign, to become the interdependent whole that then is freed to act with abandon, offered the opportunity to achieve true unity based on right alignment, with ego serving the Spark of the Divine.

We are all responsible for the unity we seek... for returning the world to wholeness. - Art by Jan Ketchel
We are all responsible for the unity we seek… for returning the world to wholeness.
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Synchronistically, I turned on the news the other day to hear that two leaders have acted as real leaders, serving the interdependent needs of the whole, Cuomo and Obama. New York Governor Cuomo refused the interests of the fossil fuels industry to value Mother Earth and our true needs. NO FRACKING in New York. Bravo, Governor Cuomo! President Obama has established diplomatic ties with Cuba, ending a long divide. Bravo, President Obama!

Let us all be our own Godly leaders, exercising our own Spark of the Divine. Let us all have pure thoughts of greater union, of care of the true needs of the whole, of heaven and earth, of self and other.

Happy Holidays!