Tag Archives: inner growth

Chuck’s Place: Faith & Doubt

Interwoven wholeness…
– Artwork © 2022 by Jan Ketchel

Sometimes we simply can’t believe, can’t accept something on faith alone; though spiritually driven we may need more than faith alone.

Jan has shared with me that the nuns of her grammar school called such spiritual candidates “doubters”, confused souls held tightly in Satan’s grasp of doubt. From their dogma, faith alone is the necessary bridge to spiritual ascent.

From my own earliest childhood inner experience, I qualified as a major-league doubter. In deep shame and horror, my truth was that I did not believe in God. I needed absolute proof, through experience, before I could believe. I challenged God to prove His existence to me.

That challenge was met with an experience that left no further room for doubt, for now I knew. Belief now rested upon the solid foundation of knowing, which has guided my life ever since. I thank doubt for setting the stage for the experiment and resulting numinous experience that has inspired my entire life.

Nonetheless, those Sisters at St. Mary’s knew of the perilous quicksand  that doubt becomes when it dominates one’s attitude toward life. Doubt can indeed cast a heavy shadow over the brightness of life. Excessive doubt breeds cynicism, where the interpretation of life events derives from an acute tunnel vision that sees only the negative side of everything. Doubt readily identifies the hidden, self-serving motive behind everything and everyone.

So convincing is the cynic’s perspective, as it casts its shadow of doubt  upon the supposed altruism of others, that its resulting negativity is quite infectious. In fact, one can easily lose faith that anyone is truly trustable, and firmly believe that any supposed loving action is really nothing other than a Trojan horse of self-serving narcissism.

Faith then, could be defined as remaining open to the hypothesis that anything is possible, at least until proven otherwise. Life, from this perspective, is sprinkled with optimism and positive thinking. Rather than dismiss a possibility outright, based upon a dogmatic or fixed perspective, we actually allow ourselves to remain open and see what happens.

In a relationship, a doubting attitude might easily judge the behavior of the other to be fraught with self-serving intent, despite their loving persona. This may then lead one to harbor resentment and distrust that precludes any possibility of a deepening intimacy.

If, on the other hand, one were able to suspend their doubting judgment and allow their faith to remain open and see what happens, they might be rewarded with the discovery that indeed, this flawed human being is actually reaching out to truly connect.

On the other hand, one might be led to the discovery that their doubt was actually well informed. They might be led to the fact that their companion is not ready to love another, as their gaze is solidly fixed upon love that is limited to their own reflection. Despite one’s disappointment at this, the outcome of this experimental relationship has proven its untenability, and so, it’s simply time to move on.

Faith allows us to suspend judgment and remain open to possibility. Doubt forces us to refine our relationship with the truth. Faith and doubt are thus a pair of opposites, which, when properly integrated, serve the deepening of our relationship with life, truth, and love.

If we are too one-sided in doubt, our relationships are sterile, calculated and fear based. If we have too much faith, we are easy targets for the con-artists, the prana suckers, and the devious.

The truth is that at different levels of our being we are all both devils and angels. We have good reason to doubt our own authenticity, at all times. We also have good reason to have faith in everyone’s capacity for deep altruistic love, including our own!

The fact that we are both devils and angels makes us human—beings who reflect a composition of both the left and right hands of God. Our challenge in this life is to weave both sides of ourselves into a functional unit that takes us deeper into the truth and love of this amazing journey: Life!

With Faith and Doubt,


Soulbyte for Monday February 28, 2022

Keep a low profile but a happy heart, a humble presence but loving intentions for all, and a generous spirit with few needs and your life will flow along at an easy pace. It’s the wanting more, the desire for fame, and the need to accumulate that will get you into trouble. When you want and need less, you will find that you actually have all you need, and that is enough.

Sending you love,
The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: How to Manage the Internal Dialogue

Watch out for Bobby the Flyer!
– Artwork © 2022 Jan Ketchel

The internal dialogue is that seemingly nonstop chatter in the backdrop of the mind that constantly judges everything and everyone, particularly one’s self! Carol Tiggs, Carlos Castaneda’s counterpart, as the Nagual Woman, once called it Bobby the Flyer, whose incessant lyric was: “I’m so bad!!!!”

Carol’s Bobby the Flyer issues from the shamanic mythological origin and function of the internal dialogue in humans: an extraneous predator that feeds off the negatively excited emotions generated by the voice of criticism and judgment. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico believed that this entity, whom they labeled the Flyer, influences our minds and bodies, through the internal dialogue, to ensure a steady supply of tormented emotions for its consumption.

This raises the phrase, feeding off negativity, to a whole new level. We certainly experience ourselves feeding off negativity when we find ourselves in a bad mood, as the internal dialogue assigns every perception we have with a negative thought and emotion, which can either eat away at us in depression or feed our aggression.

Carlos Castaneda taught that this Matrix-like dynamic corrupts the  true magical nature of human nature, as it becomes shrouded and frozen in negativity. Typically, humans, though entranced by the negativity of the internal dialogue, compensate with materialistic delusions of freedom and satisfaction. Carlos jokingly called us complacent chickens in a chicken coop, unaware of  the predatory nature of our true predicament.

On the positive side, this compromised energetic stalemate has generated for us a solid body and world, which offer us a great opportunity to refine our energetic essence to reach higher vibrational levels, as our minds seek liberation from this embodied negativity.

The restoration of our true magical beingness, experienced as awe, optimism, joy, and lightness of being, requires that we neutralize the impact of the internal dialogue. This begins with stating one’s intent to consciously assume control and direction of one’s mind. The realization of this intent assumes many forms.

Though I may not have control over the thoughts that pass through my mind’s eye, I can control the thoughts that I choose to look at. This is the essence of the core Buddhist imperative of non-attachment. If I don’t grasp at a thought—that is, engage a thought that automatically presents itself in a process of active thinking about it—it simply floats by without impact.

This is the essence of concentration in meditation: releasing one’s self from riding the automatic chain of associations that spring from attaching to a thought, volitionally returning one’s attention to one’s choice of focus instead, such as the breath. Not engaging the internal dialogue, with active attention, neutralizes its impact upon the subconscious mind, the law of attraction center of the human psyche.

The subconscious, when time is not taken for self-reflection, simply activates energetic programs that construct our reality and determine our emotional states. If negative self talk is delivered to the subconscious, it may result in feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, as well as fear of others, who seem so powerfully superior and threatening.

Alternatively, kind and loving messages of self-acceptance, volitionally delivered to the subconscious, may result in a positive, adventuresome outlook, as one becomes excited with the experience of living in the now. Realize that though this might be a coveted state of being, the familiar world, rendered by habitual attachment to the ever-defining drone of the internal dialogue, may be frightening to let go of. Freedom requires the awe and courage to enter new worlds of possibility.

The internal dialogue can be highly seductive. The ego might mistakingly believe it can engage in communication with it without harm. This is an ego inflation. As soon as one enters into debate with the internal dialogue, it wins. Its weapon is to grab your attention, and once it has that, it wins every time! Rationality ought to be more humble.

Beware of the reasonable offerings of the internal dialogue, which can sneak in like a Trojan horse spouting perfect logic. Better to shift attention to positive messages to the subconscious mind, than to expend one’s energy in debate that actually reinforces old programming. As the I Ching suggests, the best way to combat evil is to not engage directly in a confrontation with it but to make energetic progress in the good!

Do not attach to the idea that the internal dialogue will simply go away. It is in endless supply. We cannot control the world of thoughts we live in, which constantly seek inroads into our attention, but we can let them be. Simply don’t empower them any further by naively gifting them the energy of your attention.

If the internal dialogue generates a frantic beta brainwave state of incessant negative thought, remember the first-aid alpha brainwave breath, which will very quickly release you from its clutches. For as long as necessary do this repetitive breath: an inhalation into the belly to a count of 8, hold for 8, exhale to the count of 8, hold for the count of 4, repeat the cycle.

All attention on the count and sensation in the body. Breathe until your consciousness is free, then relish in the calm. No easy road to freedom, just keep on breathing and you’ll soon be free!



Soulbyte for Friday January 8, 2021

Learn from your mistakes so that your future lessons may be fresh and new, so that the old lessons may be completed and done with, so that the lessons of each day may teach you new things about yourself and pull you along into new avenues of success, so that all that you are has a chance to come forth and blossom. Even in the dead of winter the seed in the ground is working hard to change itself into the flower that is in its future. Do the same. Work hard each day to change into the beautiful flower that is in your future too.

Sending you love,

The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

A Message for Humanity from Jeanne: Focus on the Positive

After awhile you will begin to notice the signs that come to guide you…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In this week’s audio channeling we are all encouraged to turn our hearts, our minds, and our bodies toward the positive, and to remember that the only way we will evolve is by doing our own hard work of living our human lives. In a positive way, of course!

May we all have a peaceful and calm, heart-centered week!