Tag Archives: infinity

Chuck’s Place: Just Passing Through—With Awareness

“Do the sweeping breath Jan,” I suggested as we stared out at the ocean. “This is the last time we will ever be here. Take it in and release it.”

There is so much to this world, more than we can possibly experience in a lifetime. Better to be fully present, soaking it in and releasing it as we move along.

Only the energetic flow remains.

When we first arrived at the beach, we went to Edgar Cayce’s Atlantic University. We walked through the meditation gardens brimming with energy. We slowly walked the labyrinth in the heat of the noonday sun. Finally we sat in the coolness of the meditation room overlooking the sea, immediately drawn into the vortex of energy present in that room from all the beings who had preceded us.

Sometimes we are so moved by the beauty around us, drawn to the energy, that we immediately want to bottle it, to hold onto it. Before we left the beach I felt drawn to return to that meditation room, but it was time to leave, never to return.

We moved on to our cabin on the mountain. The moment we arrived we wanted another night, another attempt to bottle life. I called Chuck, the proprietor.

“Sorry Chuck,” he replied warmly, “I’d love to accommodate you, but it was just booked this morning.”

I knew, in that moment, that we were being reminded that we are beings who are going to die. Our stay here is but a limited engagement, no bargaining for more time. The message: Be fully present, fill your cup of experience to the brim, but don’t try to bottle life.

As I write these words, the sound of infinity—a thousand cicadas—wakes up. They announce: “Wake up! Take the journey NOW. Infinity is NOW!”

Before we arrived on the mountain we spent a night at a hot spring only to find a beautiful dead moth lying by the hot spring of life. When we came to our lovely cabin here on the mountain another beautiful moth lay dead on the floor by the jacuzzi. When we set out to hike the mountain we were greeted by the fallen wings of two luna moths resting on the trail, an energetic stream of movement. Signs of infinity: moths in repose and the energetic springs of life side by side. These are reminders to stay alert, remain aware, take nothing for granted, soak it in, release it and accept that we are just passing through.

With deep affection, I hold you in my awareness as I move along through infinite moments of awareness.


A Day in a Life: Gazing at the Golden Monk

I would like to experience energy as it flows in the universe.” Yesterday I set this intent, asking both Jeanne and don Juan to hear me, and then promptly forgot about it. I then went about my morning yoga practice and afterwards sat down to meditate for a few minutes before jumping into the day.

I faced the backyard, sitting on my pillow in front of the sliding glass door, as is my preference; looking out into the gray, overcast morning. The leaves are gone from the trees now and the branches of the large catalpa tree are but gray sticks crisscrossing in an intricate pattern. I noticed a pentagram shape formed by two large branches and several smaller branches and in the center of this pentagram a nice triangle at eye level. This is where I chose to focus my gaze. I did my usual breathing to clear my thoughts and bring my attention inward. Then I let my gaze soften, holding it on the small triangular shape in the middle of the pentagram.

Gently breathing in and out and continuing to clear my head of interruptions by repeating the mantra I’ve given myself—”I detach” on the in-breath and “I intend” on the out-breath—I continued to soften my gaze. (This is a shortened version of a mantra I’ve been saying for a couple of months now as I meditate. The longer version, which captures the spirit of my original intent, is: “I detach from the structures of this world and I intend a new world.” But having set that intent a long time ago I now simply say the shorter, equally effective mantra, shutting out the world as I do so. So far it’s worked really well.)

Softening my gaze, keeping it focused on the triangle in the tree, the world and the branches began to blur. In a few minutes I noticed a golden glow beginning to emanate from the now blurry triangle. It took on the shape of a human torso, as if a golden statue were standing there, radiating golden light. There was no head and no legs, just a simple torso; neck, shoulders, chest, waist, and arms with hands clasped in front at the lower abdominal area, looking rather monkish.

As I gazed at this golden monk I heard a soft voice saying: “Let your gaze soften, just stay with it.” I followed the instructions and watched as the golden glow extended outward from the torso, filling the tree and the entire back yard with vertically flowing waves of golden light. Suddenly, the backyard was no longer dark and gray but instead full of trees with golden leaves and bright light, and everything was vibrating. I held it as long as I could, until my mind popped back in and questioned: “Is that the sun shining?” I lost the gaze and came back into this world. There I was looking out at the gray tangle of branches, the world as dark and overcast as it was when I’d started.

“What the heck was that?” I wondered. Then I heard that soft voice again saying: “You can find it again. Go ahead, do it again.” Once again, following instructions, I gazed at the triangle of branches. Immediately the golden torso returned and began to glow. I lost it. I snapped back to this world again, to the gray and overcast morning as my mind interrupted the experience with logic and doubt.

I heard the voice again: “Go ahead, do it again, just gaze.” I suspended all judgment and did it again. The golden monk returned, I held my gaze slightly longer and then lost it again. The voice returned, instructing me each time I lost my gaze to keep practicing.

“Do it again. That’s right; hold it as long as you can. Let your mind go,” it instructed, “just have the experience.”

I did this six or eight times in a row. One more time I was able to hold it long enough for the back yard to fill with the golden waves of vibrating light, for the trees to become clothed in golden leaves, to see the vertical flow of energy before it all snapped back to the overcast and dull morning that it really was, in this world. This world looked asleep and dead, but I saw it as totally energetically alive.

As I practiced I understood two things. One, that this was what the seers of ancient Mexico did when they sat and gazed. They held the experience for as long as possible, but then, rather than getting caught in the amazement or the doubt of the experience they simply did it again and again, training themselves to see energy as it flows in the universe, volitionally. Persistence is the key. Here I learned the value of repetition as Chuck wrote about in his blog the other day.

The other thing I understood was that by setting my intent and having forgotten I had done so, I called infinity to me. And infinity came! I could have brushed all this away as just my vivid imagination, dismissed it, but I chose instead to stay with it, to value it for the experience alone. By paying attention to that quiet voice telling me to try again and again, I got beyond the possibility of seeing energy to accepting the truth of it. This was my experience of learning to see energy as it flows in the universe, volitionally.

I learned that by setting my intent, letting it go, doing my practice—which included repeating my mantra, paying attention to what was placed in front of me, shutting down the internal dialogue, and listening to the guidance—I could have a shamanic experience with the golden monk and whoever else that was who was whispering so gently yet so convincingly in my ear.

I humbly offer this practice and these experiences of meditation, intent, and repetition so that others may find the courage to go have their own moments of seeing energy as it flows in the universe; in whatever way it comes, learning to trust the personal experiences. Oh, and by the way, enjoy them fully for just that: personal experiences of seeing energy!

If you wish, feel free to share or comment in the Post Comment section below.

Sending you all love and good wishes for good energy experiences,

Chuck’s Place: Into the Archives

Chuck is taking a break so we offer the following blog essay from the Chuck’s Place archives. Have a great weekend!

From 12/20/2008 here is #420 Death, Impermanence & Evolution:

My name is Chuck Ketchel, and I am a being who is going to die. In the shamanic world of Carlos Castaneda, practitioners introduce themselves in this manner, reminding themselves, each day, of their limited time in this world. With awareness fixed on the reality of death, shamans approach each moment knowing full well it might be their last. This gaze opens the door to heightened awareness, seeing beyond the veils of illusion. Shamans constantly condition their energy bodies for their definitive journey into infinity, transcending reincarnation.

Buddha spoke of impermanence in much the same way that the shamans speak of death. For Buddha, our greatest challenge in this world is to free ourselves of attachment to illusions. What he meant by this is our incessant wish for things to stay the same, our grasping to hold onto permanence in our lives. We cherish our families, our homes, our loved ones, our possessions. We cherish youth. We don’t want anything to change. We desperately seek to hold onto life in this world. Our obsessions with health, disease, and cures, reflect our deepest wish to cling to life in our bodies in an unchanging world. For Buddha, this is why we suffer. We cling to an illusion of permanence, which shields us from entry into the greater reality of enlightenment. Hence, we must reincarnate until fully prepared to let go of our illusory props.

In her messages, Jeanne focuses on evolution. In fact, death, impermanence, and evolution are all equivalents. She has us focus on the subtle, as well as the dramatic events in our current lives. Whether it be an ice storm, a snow storm, a change of season, the collapse of a financial system, or entry into a new stage of life, we are constantly being prompted to awaken to change, and to evolve with full awareness.

Each day, we are challenged, by changes that offer us the opportunity to let go, to detach, to die of an old way, and enter a new world. This is how we condition our energetic beings to develop fluidity, the ability to travel in infinity, without attachment to illusions. With fluidity, detachment becomes the ultimate expression of love. To allow oneself to be fully open to another, but equally willing to flow with the changes, unburdened of needy requirements, is living in free-flowing truth.

When Jeanne left this world, she invited me to continue to travel with her, in infinity. Since that time, I have entered and left several worlds. My capacity to experience deeper love has required me, and continues to challenge me, to let go of everything familiar, with an unattached heart, completely open.

If we allow ourselves to evolve in this world, we are already in alignment with the flow of infinity, flowing with death, into new life, each day.

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

Until we meet again,

#712 Chuck’s Place: Chuck—The Capitalist?

In a dream, I find myself working diligently on the renovation of a living room. In the center of the room is a round pool, actually the replica of a small 36″ deep pool that Jan and I put in the backyard this year. I am concerned about the cover being firmly in place, sealed, to allow the heat to be retained in the pool. Along one wall of the room I meet a man from India, studiously reading. I am aware that he is brilliant. I ask him a question. His answer goes way over my head, but I stare as if I am following him. He has advice for me: Just focus on inputting things, like into a computer. Next he tells me he appreciates the Capitalists. I am taken a bit aback and ask: “What about Gandhi, wasn’t he a God?”

“Oh yes, he replied, “he too was a God.” And then, affectionately, he puts his arm around me and talks about the history of other Capitalists, whom I’d never heard of.

I awaken, immediately recognizing the mandala in my dream: the circle of the pool in the square of the room. It was Jung who identified the mandala as the archetypal symbol of the SELF. I understood, with the appearance of the mandala, that I was being offered specific guidance about my own individuation process, that is, the completion and fulfillment of my true self in this life. But, what was I being shown?

Become a Capitalist?! I don’t think so!! Improve my computer skills? True, they are not so hot, but is that really what my deepest self wants me to work on?

As I contemplated this dream over breakfast, I appreciated the alchemical symbol of the tightly sealed pool—a container with rising heat. That is exactly the theme I wrote about last week, Bearing the Tension. Then, all of a sudden, I thought about what had preoccupied me the night before. I had opened an old file that Jeanne and I had kept from our early days in Tensegrity, back in the mid-1990s, of experiences and newsletters and publications from that time. I was struck by comments that Carlos and his female cohorts (Carol, Taisha, and Florinda) had made about don Juan’s world. They could not stress enough don Juan’s contention that the seers’ world was full of practicalities geared toward achieving definite results. They disputed any spiritual, intangible dimension to his world.

That night, I recapitulated how both the impact of the shaman’s world and Jeanne’s death had delivered me to a level of detachment that has made it impossible for me to be satisfied with the goals of an ordinary life in this world. I don’t say this from a place of self-importance; it is simply a fact, a major shift in my life. I know that I am a being who is going to die and preparation to enter that mystery is the central focus of my life. Constructs of romance and family, the things that keep us most attached to this world, though once very important have given way to a new reality. Love has deepened and become far more inclusive, appreciative of the shared journey we are all on. I attribute this shift largely to the accrual of energy previously spent on specialized attachments.

As I read through an old interview that Carlos gave to the magazine Uno Mismo, Chile and Argentine, February 1997 by Daniel Trujillo Rivas, my attention was drawn to the following question and answer:

Q: What’s the aim of you not allowing yourself to be photographed, having your voice recorded or making your biographical data known?

A: With reference to photographs and personal data, the other three disciples of don Juan and myself follow his instructions. For a shaman like don Juan, the main idea behind refraining from giving personal data is very simple. It is imperative to leave aside what he called ” personal history”. To get away from the “me” is something extremely annoying and difficult. What shamans like don Juan seek is a state of fluidity where the personal “me” does not count. He believed that an absence of photographs and biographical data affects whomever enters into this field of action in a positive though subliminal way. We are endlessly accustomed to using photographs, recordings and biographical data, all of which spring from the idea of personal importance….

For the seers of don Juan’s lineage encounters with infinity and preparation to enter it in full awareness was the central goal of their lives. To achieve this they discovered that you needed energy, plain and simple. Those seers determined that the number one waste of energy in human life is self-importance. That is why Carlos remained so anonymous, refusing both photos and recordings. In today’s world we might consider the world wide obsession with facebook as reflecting perhaps the number one drain of energy: obsession with self-importance.

As I continued to look through the old file the other evening I also came across some questions posed to the women seers, one of which drew my attention—from an interview with Florinda, Taisha and Carol by Concha Labarta from an article in Mas Alla, April 1, 1997, Spain:

Q: It seems that the key to expanding our capabilities for perception lies in the amount of energy we have at our disposal, and that the energetic condition of modern man is very meager. What would be the essential premise for storing energy? Is this possible for someone who has to take care of a family, go to work every day, and participate fully in the social world? And what about celibacy as a way of saving energy, one of the most controversial points in your books?

A: Celibacy is recommended, the old nagual told us, for the majority of us. Not for moral reasons, but because we don’t have enough energy. He made us see how the majority of us have been conceived in the midst of marital boredom. As a pragmatic sorcerer, the old nagual maintained that conception is something of final importance. He said that if the mother wasn’t able to have an orgasm at the moment of conception, the result was something he called “a bored conception.” There is no energy under such conditions. The old nagual recommended celibacy for those who have been conceived under such circumstances.

Another thing he recommended as a means of storing energy was the dissolution of patterns of behavior that lead to chaos, such as the incessant preoccupation with romantic courtship; the presentation and defense of the self in everyday life; excessive routines and, above all, the tremendous insistence on the concerns of the self.

If these points are achieved, any one of us can have the necessary energy to use time, space and the social order more intelligently.

I am struck by the thought, how many people would be willing to ask their mothers if they orgasmed when they were conceived?! I think it is fair to say that many of us were conceived outside of orgasm and did not inherit a large storehouse of energy. Tensegrity practitioners always challenge the suggestion of celibacy as a means to store energy. It is a personal choice. But the women seers do suggest other practices to revamp and accrue energy, namely, recapitulation, freeing oneself from incessant patterns i.e. groundhog days, whether they be romantic preoccupations or otherwise, and elimination of self-importance.

Finally, back to my dream. It suddenly dawned on me that my deepest self was urging me to continue to input energy into my pool. That is, to contain it, store it, and let it accrue. My Indian guru guide encouraged me to become a Capitalist—the ultimate symbol of the energy miser: he who amasses vast sums of money (energy) for himself. The practices of the seers’ world are all geared to the very pragmatic goal of retrieving and storing one’s vital energy toward the ultimate goal of taking the definitive journey in infinity as an energetic being in full awareness.

My Indian guru is encouraging me to continue to input, that is, to store my energy. This is the path to my fulfillment, completion, and INTENT to enter the mystery fully prepared. I am simply blown away by the continual juxtaposition of Carl Jung’s and don Juan’s guidance in my life, both in dreams and waking dreams.

P.S.: I walked in the door from work and Jan greeted me with an anxious: “We have a serious issue to address.” A call had just come in from Citibank. Apparently, a suspicious donation to an Indian mission of some 299,000 Rupees had been charged to our credit card. I immediately called a Citibank service representative. I spoke to Rajeesh, I suspect a highly educated Indian of advanced computer skills, working from India for an outsourced division of Citibank. He calmly and warmly reassured me, as if he had his arm around me, that this matter would be straightened out, at no charge… Such is the humor of the synchronistic universe we live in!

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

Until we meet again,

A Day in a Life: Recapitulation & Infinity

Over the past few weeks I have written about recapitulation as both a shamanic journey and as undertaking the inner journey, doing deep psychological work. Today, I touch on the other experiences that arise as one undertakes recapitulation and deep inner work, the experiences of infinity: of spirit, of channeling, of visions, of seeing and experiencing energy. Infinity presented as a shamanic or spiritual term, really boils down to experiencing the self as energy, interconnected to all other energy, having experiences that cannot be defined in rational terms.

Carlos Castaneda writes, in The Active Side of Infinity, that he did not have explanations for the effects his recapitulation was having on him, that when facing the unknown and being confronted with things he did not have interpretations for he could not find a means of describing them. Don Juan presented him with a new source of interpretation by telling him that “infinity, or the voice of the spirit,” would come to his aid. He writes:

“Don Juan has guided me to accept the idea that infinity was a force that had a voice and was conscious of itself. Consequently, he had prepared me to be ready to listen to that voice and act efficiently always, but without antecedents, using as little as possible of the railings of the a priori. I waited impatiently for the voice of the spirit to tell me the meaning of my recollections, but nothing happened.” (p. 169)

As he goes on to recapitulate more memories of how he had behaved towards others in his life he finally arrives at the following: “I didn’t have to ponder anymore the significance of my vivid visions. For an unquestionable certainty invaded me, as if coming from outside me.” (p. 172) He goes on to explain how he discovered that the dictums he had been brought up with had overtaken him, what he had been taught driving his every action; so deeply ingrained they became necessities. This realization is his turning point. He goes on to say:

“I was aware, beyond any doubt, that what was at stake was infinity. Don Juan had portrayed it as a conscious force that deliberately intervenes in the lives of sorcerers. And now it was intervening in mine. I knew that infinity was pointing out to me, through the vivid recollections of those forgotten experiences, the intensity and depth of my drive for control, and thus preparing me for something transcendental to myself. I knew with frightening certainty that something was going to bar any possibility of my being in control, and that I needed, more than anything else, sobriety, fluidity, and abandon in order to face the things that I felt were coming to me.” (p. 172)

Don Juan admonishes Carlos to not get caught in “psychological exaggeration,” but to accept that he had entered an irreversible process. “Your true mind is emerging, waking up from a state of lifelong lethargy,” he says. Carlos writes:

Infinity is claiming you,” he [don Juan] continued. “Whatever means it uses to point that out to you cannot have any other reason, any other cause, any other value than that. What you should do, however, is to be prepared for the onslaughts of infinity. You must be in a state of continuously bracing yourself for a blow of tremendous magnitude. That is the sane, sober way in which sorcerers face infinity.” (pp. 172-3)

Carlos proceeded to do what most of us do when faced with the “onslaughts of infinity,” he got busy, immersing himself in work, in writing, in anything to keep infinity at bay. During my own recapitulation I too used all my energy to keep infinity from invading and seeping into my life, until finally, out of sheer exhaustion, I realized it was hopeless. There was nothing I could do to keep it away, including my connection with Jeanne, which both greatly aided me and frightened me at the same time. My own experiences mirror what don Juan described to Carlos in the following excerpt, as he talked about the results of going into inner silence:

“He assured me that a dot of a peculiar, rich, pomegranate red shows up, as if bursting from the lavender clouds. He stated that as sorcerers become more disciplined and experienced, the dot of pomegranate expands and finally explodes into thoughts or visions, or in the case of a literate man, into written words; sorcerers either see visions engendered by energy, hear thoughts being voiced as words, or read written words.” (p. 174)

Carlos went on to have an experience of words moving at tremendous speed, impossible to read. After his experience he rushed to tell don Juan about what had happened to him, as I once rushed to Chuck, needing anchoring in this reality. Don Juan assured him that he had had his first encounter with infinity and although its descent was not gentle, it was nonetheless how it appeared and that Carlos was going to have to learn how to adjust to its onslaughts. In my own case, I too had to learn how my connection with Jeanne was meant to be utilized, what it really meant for me personally, but also what I was supposed to be doing with it: what I was being shown and why by infinity.

Carl Jung also experienced the “onslaughts of infinity,” and many of his psychological terms and tools come from these personal experiences. The Red Book is his personal journey into the unconscious, into what don Juan called inner silence, the place where we are offered access to that which lies beyond the rational world, which has so structured and defined our perceptions.

In The Red Book, on pages 230-231, Jung contrasted “the spirit of the time” with “the spirit of the depths” as two opposing forces that must be reconciled with, the outer rational world with the inner unknown world. When he asked “the spirit of the depths” to give him a sign that it was right to no longer resist its call, he received a two hour long vision that happened in broad daylight. This was the beginning of his journey back to his soul, for he could not resist this “onslaught of infinity.”

In daring to take the inner journey, whether it be called recapitulation or inner work, reliving memories or doing active imagination, both Carlos and Carl entered other worlds, as real as this one. Despite initial fear and resistance, in finally acquiescing to the “onslaughts of infinity,” they both perceived and experienced energy differently. Their lives changed when they chose to take the journey with infinity leading the way, as both resource and guide.

If you wish, feel free to share or comment in the Post Comment section below.

Sending you all love and good wishes,

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