Tag Archives: illusion

Chuck’s Place: On The Edge of Narcissism

What does it mean to be living in this time of The Trump Show? This thinly veiled reference to the movie The Truman Show casts no aspersions upon Trump but intends instead to present an incisive understanding of the momentous time we are living in.

There’s a whole new reality out there!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In The Truman Show, Jim Carrey’s character, Truman, lived his complete life on a TV set, totally unaware that he was the only real character in a fabricated story that the rest of the world vicariously watched on their screens. He naively lived this personal illusion, which was completely supported by consumer interest. The climax of the movie was the moment he discovered the boundary of his illusion, a fake ocean in a flat room, and a three dimensional world beyond it that he had never known existed.

Jim Carrey’s moment of revelation is symbolic of the time when human consciousness was confronted with the reality that the world was not flat, that explorers did not fall off the edge of it on their ocean voyages. At that moment, world consciousness realized that it had been locked into a belief system, like Jim Carrey, that kept it insulated from true reality, largely due to its isolated, confined, narrow-minded view of the world. Once that revelation came, everything changed.

That moment of revelation can be characterized as standing on the edge of narcissism and glimpsing the true nature of someone or something other than the mirror of one’s personal belief system, the lens through which one ordinarily perceives the world. It’s that moment on a date, when the one who has talked about him or herself, non-stop for an hour, suddenly looks up and notices the other person at the opposite side of the table, and asks, “And what about you?” The implication: Something beyond me exists, a startling revelation!

Human consciousness is currently nearing such a moment of revelation. Donald Trump is our Truman, bringing us to the edge of narcissism, to the boundaries of our belief systems that veil a more comprehensive view of reality. In one form or another, we are all players on the set of the Trump Show. The main technology of his show is sheer impulse and unpredictability, and we are all gripped and contained in the fiery energy of the drama.

No longer do we have a comprehensive collective belief system about how people should behave, what news is fit to print, how natural disasters or assassinations should be handled. Instead, we’ve  splintered into clusters of opposing views, where even the Commander-in-chief might impulsively, completely reverse himself, at any moment, on any given day.

This plethora of opposing beliefs keeps us locked into warring differences that vie for supremacy, an attempt by each side to install their belief system as the overarching truth. However, the more sublime impact of the Trump Show is the revelation that belief systems are just that, bulwarks of narcissism that veil other truths and realities, and prevent deeper exploration and knowing of those truths and realities.

And now, as we begin to see through the relativity of our limiting belief systems, what is the broader reality that approaches us?

Energetic reality is the new frontier. The Trump Show has laid bare the dominance of the survival drive, at the animal level, as the basis of current decision making. Energetic reality lays bare the existence of spirit as a dominant guiding force for life, in and beyond the physical body.

What all religious traditions have always held space for, is the existence of a soul, an etheric body that separates from the physical body at death to participate in continued life on new terms, without a physical body. Energetic reality offers the means to experience and explore this realm while still in possession of a physical body.

Robert Monroe was a leader in providing a technology of brain hemispheric synchronization that facilitates such exploration. Carlos Castaneda shared a simpler technology toward the same end, that of intent. The potential that each technology offers is direct experience of one’s soul, on an energetic plane beyond the physical body.

This energetic exploration is a means to knowing, versus simply hoping, that life continues beyond physical life. With this knowing, life on the physical plane is no longer encumbered by the fear of death, that which has led to the dominance of the survival drive at the animal level of our human selves.

Opening to energetic reality also exposes us to the true nature of our interconnectedness with all of life, on and beyond the planet, as we encounter the subtler energetic dimensions of being. With this broader view we realize that our thoughts influence others, spoken or unspoken. We discover that we too are deeply influenced by the silent thoughts of others, as well as the collective world thought patterns and beliefs, that on any given day large numbers of people may feel depressed and hopeless, or invigorated and hopeful, as the collective energy is felt on an energetic level.

Energetic reality is transparent and largely nonverbal. In energetic reality, we easily read the intentions of others, as well as ourselves. In energetic reality, the instincts of the human animal are seen, known, and accepted. In energetic reality, with a more honest awareness in place, the human animal is granted life with embodied consciousness. Certainly, in energetic reality, the negotiation of intimacy in relationship has the potential to become one of deeply profound union.

The ability to heal and be healed in energetic reality is exponentially advanced, as the subtler dimensions of thought and intention, as energetic change agents, are incorporated more fully and fundamentally into treatment protocols. The understanding of disease, as indicative of the status of the soul—perhaps being blocked in its intent, or forging its intent through the creation of physical symptoms—will deepen diagnostic and treatment approaches.

In energetic reality, inter- and intra-dimensional travel and communication, with souls no longer in human form, will vastly conserve the dense energetic reserves of the planet, currently being exploited for dense body, physical travel. Obsession with materialistic accumulation will give way to energetic creativity, with its boundless right-brain potential properly attuned with a left-brained attitude freed of egotistic fixation.

Though it may be difficult to imagine these profound changes, as we near the edge of the narcissistic platform that has embodied our beliefs, the possibilities I present are already being experienced by many. One need only decide, in earnest, to experience the soul directly, in an out-of-body experience in dreaming. As the body goes to sleep, the natural time for the soul’s dominant activity in our lives awakens. With but a little perseverance, one will have experiences beyond belief.

And so, with the Trump Show shattering our beliefs, the ground is clearing, as we reach the edge of narcissism and venture into a whole new world of energetic possibility.

Bon Voyage,


Chuck’s Place: My Dream for Today

In my dream I am studiously peeling a moistened layer of wallpaper off a wall, careful to remove it in one piece. Simultaneously I am being awarded an MD in psychiatry, a full course of learning in just one day for this effort.

My dream highlights Amma’s message (linked yesterday in a Facebook post) that a solar eclipse offers an incredible boon in consciousness if we are willing to focus our intent during it upon carefully peeling away Maya, or the veil of illusion we have been caught in.

This eclipse is for America. We begin the day with the tragic news that “the guided-missile destroyer, the John S. McCain, collided with a merchant vessel in the Strait of Malacca as it was traveling to a port in Singapore”, as reported in today’s NY Times. What is the meaning of this event? Let us contemplate deeply all our truths on this day of potential enlightenment.

What is truth, what is illusion?


Chuck’s Place: Soul Mate & The Masks Of God

The active side of infinity is always seeking... - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
The active side of infinity is always seeking…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

If indeed we are the “active side of infinity,” as don Juan asserts, then our mission is to live and thoroughly bring consciousness into the myriad of possibilities of infinity that we embody.

We are probes of awareness bringing light and life into the darkness of wholeness. Through our experiences of exploring a possibility, what we call a lifetime, the universe becomes aware of itself. Infinity lights up and grows through all of our “individual” journeys.

All our individual journeys are fragments of a greater whole, with specific missions to enhance consciousness through the lives we each live. These fragments that we are create the illusion of separateness that is necessary to explore a specific part of the wholeness we are here to enliven and enlighten. Of course, behind our illusion of separateness is the real truth of our oneness with infinity.

The primary driver of the separate self, our soul we’ve come to identify with, is a longing for unity with its lost wholeness in infinity—that is, the complete union of consciousness with its wholeness—the complete union of light with its darkness.

The truth is, we are souls seeking union with our one true mate—infinity itself. The driver of that union is love.

Love is full merger with all that we are and all that is. Nothing is rejected in infinity. On the other hand, love seeks the fullness of union, and for this to happen we must release attachment to all the illusions we attach to in our fragmented journeys, all the masks of God, beings we merge with, beings that awaken our lost forgotten wholeness, who offer us temporary refuge in the lives we live.

If we cling too highly to a golden being who wears the mask of God for us in this life, we are caught in the dilemma of clinging to false gods, the essence of karma. Karma, in this context, is our journey to the completion of the true wholeness that we really are.

Where have you projected your Soul? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Where have you projected your Soul?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

There are many worlds we enter on this infinite journey where the golden Soul Mate of wholeness projects itself upon another being. We are drawn to unite and ignite with this being in our quest for fulfillment.

Jung identified some archetypal programs that govern such projections. The shadow is a projection of a side of our wholeness that we refuse, experienced in people we are compulsively drawn to fear, hate and reject. The shadow hides in the darkness, but our journey to unmask it will bring us closer to our golden light, as we come to accept the unaccepted within ourselves.

The anima/animus archetype draws us to seek completion through merging with our unifying Soul Mate. The romantic and transpersonal experiences of this archetype, outwardly projected and joined with, bring us deeper into the fullness of infinity. However, we are challenged to unmask these golden companions as well.

I spent thirty years with my golden “Soul Mate” Jeanne, only to discover, as she entered the astral realm, the deepening reality that though we had experienced Soul in this life together, I was but one “soul mate” in life. There were many soul mates in many lives, both in hers and in mine. This expanded knowing blew wide open for me the idea of the specialness we all feel as we encounter the golden mask of she/he that reflects ultimate union in this life. Sorry, I learned, the buck just doesn’t stop there.

Our growing consciousness demands that we continuously stay only within the truth. The illusions open the door to the truth, but we cannot attach to them. Ever-deepening love allows us to broaden our connection to our ultimate Soul Mate—infinity—by welcoming all the truths, as we gracefully and with love retire all our illusions of separateness and specialness.

We must leave our little soul mates and find our true golden Soul Mate... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We must leave our little soul mates and find our true golden Soul Mate…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

All our golden encounters with our golden masks of God are truths, but relative truths—stepping stones to the ultimate wedding—union with infinity, in full consciousness.

Little bit of Soul,

A Day in a Life: Contemplating A Most Challenging Scenario

Death is a twirl; death is a shiny cloud over the horizon; death is me talking to you; death is you and your writing pad; death is nothing. Nothing! It is here, yet it isn’t here at all.” *

What would I do if my parachute didn't open?

I ponder something I read in the local paper recently. A man went skydiving to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. Strapped to his instructor, he had never jumped out of an airplane before. They jump and begin the free fall. As the instructor pulls the gear that will release the parachute that will bring them safely to the ground, he is knocked unconscious, struck in the head by part of the gear it is surmised. The chute does not open. The two men, strapped together—the unconscious instructor and the novice—plummet to the ground, the twisted parachute totally useless, while the rest of their party, floating in the air around them, watches helplessly. They both die.

I feel deeply for the families of these men who died, for the rest of their group, devastated by this tragedy, and yet I cannot help but think about death as I contemplate this scenario. As the shamans are fond of saying, we are all beings who are going to die. If I know that I can die at any moment, don’t I want to be prepared, aware at all times that death is constantly stalking me?

I experience the shock of tragedy as I read of these deaths. I feel the pain of facing death in this manner, a most challenging scenario. And yet, I know it is really no different than any other death. In the scenario that I describe, the novice is with an expert and yet suddenly, at a most critical moment, the instructor, the expert, is suddenly unavailable. The expert is unconscious, the novice alert, yet he has no recourse. Death is certain. The novice, left on his own, must face his death. Yet, in the end, I must face that it will be the same for all of us. Whether our death is sudden and violent, whether it is slow and painful, or calm, coming in our sleep, we will all have to face our death alone.

I shift my thoughts to the teachings of the Shamans and the Buddhists, who spend their lives preparing for death. We can elect to spend our lives in avoidance of death, in worry of death, in fear of death, or we can spend our lives in acceptance of and preparation for death, not in a morbid way, but with awareness of its inevitability and its evolutionary potential. This is what the Shamans and Buddhists do. They understand the role of the instructor and the novice, the aware self constantly training the novice self, in waking life, sleeping and dreaming life, at all times learning how to remain aware no matter what scenario they find themselves in. They know that at some point there is always the possibility that the instructor will become unconscious and the awareness of the alert novice must take over and carry them through.

When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous. We are timid only when there is something we can cling to.” **

I wonder. Perhaps these two men had prepared themselves well. Strangers though they were, perhaps they came together that day fully aware that they would die together. The reality is, that’s just what happened, they died together. Did they know? Now I must turn and ask myself: Am I preparing for my death every day, with awareness? Am I doing enough, saying enough, living and dreaming life to the fullest?

If life is indeed illusion, if this world as we perceive it, does not really exist—as the Shamans and the Buddhists, as the metaphysical thinkers, mystics, and quantum physicists alike declare—can I work to free my attachment from it more fully? Can I detach from this world that I live in, while simultaneously fully using it to train my awareness to be alert at all times?

Detachment, as I understand it, is not a negation, dismissal, or refusal to fully live life in this world, but a total living with awareness, keenly aware of the illusion, while taking full advantage of every moment to learn what that really means. Detachment is being curious, open, thoughtful, unafraid of that which is different or makes us uncomfortable, like contemplating death everyday. If death, as don Juan Matus explains to Carlos Castaneda in the quote I use to open this blog today, is nothing but part of the grand illusion, then death is now. As illusion, “it is here, yet it isn’t here at all,” as he states.

Will my parachute open today?

This idea is quite challenging, but if all that we perceive is illusion, then so is death. Death asks us to contemplate the self as nothing more than a novice skydiver, come to take the leap. Life asks the same of us, for we are all spinning and twirling to our deaths all the time. Are we aware of this?

I ask myself: Can I prepare myself to greet the inevitable, so that when I am in the same predicament as the man who dared to skydive, facing my own death, I will remain fully aware that I am leaving one illusion and about to enter another, even as the solid ground of this earth-time illusion comes rushing up from below to meet me with its solidity?

There really is nothing to cling to.

Contemplating the grand illusion I find myself in today,

*/** Both quotes are from A Separate Reality, as presented in The Wheel of Time, don Juan Matus talking to Carlos Castaneda.

Chuck’s Place: Under the Bodhi Tree

In a dream, I witness a family with young children confronted with frightening events. They play a game where they race to outpace the impending disasters by creating stories that keep them at bay.

We tell ourselves stories, or stories are told to us, to spin reality and make us feel safe. We live in a time of great storytelling delivered through modern machines. Economies are now driven by handheld storytelling devices competing to deliver the latest story the fastest. Who can give us the latest image, joke, and spin in the fewest nanoseconds?

Meanwhile, the post-American Dream reality continues to debunk an illusory world long over. There are no real American corporations. Corporations are moneymaking entities with allegiance only to that which generates profit. America’s manufacturing has long left its shores in search of highest possible profit. America has become a Third World country that industry now seeks to exploit for its final riches—its natural resources. All this under the story of keeping America safe, secure and, of course, working!

When could we have imagined that fracking—a known disastrously carcinogenic procedure to obtain natural gas—is almost certain to be allowed in the midst of New York’s Hudson Valley, the major water supplier to millions of people in New York City. The storytellers are powerfully suggesting that it is the only American thing to do, to shore up our economy and preserve our independence. Such a “safe technology!” We are assured that our drinking water won’t be compromised. How reassuring!

The corporate world has wormed its way into the internet, the final frontier of free speech. Algorithms, ultimately programs designed to cater to our likes, secretly prejudice the information we call for and unleash the modern “hidden persuader” in search of our money. Watch TED talk:

What FACEBOOK and GOOGLE are Hiding from world.

So blinded are we by our own hunger for self-importance that we readily reveal all our likes and dislikes to Facebook, who’s algorithms digest the data and hand it, on a silver platter, to industry. And, we don’t care! As don Juan said: We are happy chickens in a chicken coop! Happily pecking away in our imprisonment, being fed to bursting.

Tweetie Bird, Twitter, has come of age as a scientific storyteller, yesterday revealing the universality of global mood shifts. The big news: people are happiest in the morning and on the weekend. How enlightening. With that news I can now be happy when I awaken and when the work week is complete, knowing that I’m normal, just like everyone else. Do we really need a “scientific study” from this giant storytelling machine to tell us something that we know by simply observing ourselves? Or have we come so far from knowing ourselves that we don’t know what we feel or when we feel it without Twitter’s enlightenment?

We are indeed in a time of great change. The old stories are folding and we anxiously grasp at our storytelling machines for calming new stories like the young family in my dream desperately seeking to stave off impending doom. I think it might be time to turn to an old story that presents a simple technique to find calm without a story.

No CAT-astrophies

There was once a Buddha who sat beneath the bodhi tree. He sat in utter stillness, calmly breathing, as apocalyptic and sensuous, lustful stories passed before him. He knew them all to be illusions and so he grasped at none of them, allowing none to plant seeds in his mind to generate worrisome, anxious or fearful attachment. Instead, he remained with the truth—unspun reality, simply what is—in utter stillness. With this he found his way to enlightening calm.

In a post-storytelling world of fully recapitulated truth we find our way into utter calm. Release the devices, find a nice tree to sit under, go inward and, in stillness, bypass attachment to the storytelling mind and allow yourself to stay present as the truths of the heart flow through you. Allow yourself to breathe the side to side sweeping breath, releasing untruths while consolidating inner truth.

Discover true calm,