Tag Archives: maze

Chuck’s Place: Parallel Lives, the Maze, and the Ego Self

The Big Bang

In the beginning, so say the scientists, was the Big Bang, and the universe was born. In his seminal piece, The Trauma of Birth (1924), Otto Rank describes the Big Bang experience of human birth and its psychological impact throughout the life cycle.

On a soul level, many have retrieved their journeys through infinity; their lives lived before the big bang birth into their current lives in this world. These soul retrievals point to a parallel life, a soul of many lives that gives birth to the Self of this life.

The decision as to what life to be born into is made at that soul level, as part of that soul’s evolving journey and needs in infinity. Some have called this process Karma.

For most of us, the big bang experience of our birth trauma into the life we are in is a shock that severs us from the knowing of our soul and our many lives previously lived. We are born into a maze with huge walls that seal off the memory of prior life and our connection to our greater soul that continues to live in tandem with the self we become in this world.

A hint of previous lives

We are here on a mission, and that mission requires a blank slate maze-of-unknowing. A maze is a definite, constrained life: a family, a culture, a set of circumstances, a world within which to encounter specific challenges, and a world within which to develop an identity, a sense of self, an Ego—a point of consciousness.

That ego will become our working definition of who we are and also our engine to accomplish our mission in this world, that is: the reason we came here, the reason we were born into the circumstances we arrived into.

Had we the full awareness of our greater soul coming into this life, our mission would be compromised. We’d be unable to fully inhabit the role we need to experience in taking on the challenge of this life. However, the ego does, in its separated state from its greater soul, experience a deep underlying sense of insecurity and separation anxiety. The ego retains an awareness of its orphan state and part of its mission in this world is to reunite with its true birth parent, its greater soul.

The circumstances we are born into

Life for the ego is a fragmented self in a fragmented world—life in a maze—a neatly constructed world, but only a fragment of life at large.

Traumas beyond birth continue the fragmentation of ego self into Ego States. Ego states are separate senses of self that coexist and live in tandem—parallel lives in tandem, parallel lives within the ego’s life in this world.

Ego states may be hidden from or known to each other. Some ego states remain largely in the closet, holding frightening traumatic memories. Some ego states suffer arrested development, child states necessarily pushed aside or denied for adaptive reasons. We discover and live the parallel lives of our ego states in our symptoms—i.e.: ailments, diseases—hinting at and suggesting the truths of our parallel lives. We discover and live the parallel lives of our ego states in our mood states—i.e.: depression, elation, hope, hopelessness, fear, etc. We also discover our ego states in obsessive projections—those we are drawn to in admiration or those we abhor. Somewhere in those projections are the mirrors to our unknown, unloved, or forgotten ego states. We also discover our ego states and our connection to our greater soul in dreams, active imagination, and synchronistic phenomena.

Parallel lives

If we can suspend our rational judgments and explore the characters and messages of dreams, synchronicities, and other psychic phenomena, we begin to step outside the maze of our narrow selves and access the fullness and resource of all that we truly are.

This is the process of integration that unites the fragments of this life and potentially the fragments of all lives lived—our greater soul—within this life. This is a mighty task though, as it asks us to truly take in the Big Bang realization of all that we are: We are much more than our orphan ego clings to in its neatly defined maze.

Though the knocking down of the walls of our mazes may shatter our “known” selves, it is not without its rewards. We discover a-maze-ing resources and a life of magic now freed for fulfillment beyond the maze, a once needed but now much too small home.

Out of the many become one: Parallel lives united, beyond the maze, continue the soul’s journey in infinity.


A Day in a Life: Getting Out of the Maze Before the Rat Dies

In a dream last week it came to me that we live our lives as the shamans of Ancient Mexico say, like chickens in a chicken coop, endlessly pecking away, without question taking what’s thrown to us. The image of chickens did not come into my dreamworld however. Instead the rat in a maze made an appearance, though it’s really the same thing.

The shamans of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage suggest that we train our awareness to avoid repetitive behaviors. They suggest learning how to shift, both physically and mentally, out of places that keep us caught, stagnant, and overwhelmed. By studying ourselves deeply, in recapitulation, we confront the truth of the maze we actually live in. We discover that we are indeed like rats, endlessly caught, endlessly repeating our learned lives. As Simon and Garfunkel write in Patterns:

“From the moment of my birth
To the instant of my death
There are patterns I must follow
Just as I must breathe each breath
Like a rat in a maze
The path before me lies
And the pattern never alters
Until the rat dies”

These lines perfectly describe the constructed world we live in, the one the shamans of Ancient Mexico alert us to and warn us about, that we are indeed caught in. Written at a time of great energetic change in our country, similar to the energy of now, these words alert us to the fact that we tend to live out our lives as we have been taught. We are crammed full of the lessons of this world from the moment we are born, and we follow the paths laid out for us until we die, largely unaware that there are other possibilities.

What does your maze look like?

In my dream, maze after maze appeared, alerting me to the fact that even in thinking we have left the maze we must be alert to the fact that we may fall right into another maze. I woke up wondering what I was doing in my own life that made me have this dream. Was I just repeating old behaviors? Was I fooling myself by thinking I had changed? Was I really caught in another maze?

Although the Simon and Garfunkel song ends on a hopeless note and a sense that we have no control over our lives, the shamans of Ancient Mexico offer a different perspective. They suggest what I learned in my dream: that no matter where we are in our lives we have the ability to break out of our mazes by constantly training ourselves to confront our thoughts, actions, decisions, and the choices we make. In my dream, I was being taught to stay alert and aware of the fact that yes, indeed, I am always in a maze of one sort or another and the only way I will get out is by constantly challenging myself to shift my awareness.

It’s not really that hard to remain aware. It means choosing to constantly challenge myself to note the truth of my reality. A simple question may help in creating a simple shift: Is this something I learned or is this something I truly know? Is this the way I want to live my life or can I approach life in a new way? Am I falling into an old pattern here or can I see this from a new perspective? How could I live this moment differently? How can I shift myself?

As soon as I note an old habit, an old thought, an old judgment, an old idea of self or the world around me, an old fear, an old pattern of speech, an old posture, an old expectation, an old desire, an old view of the world, I know it’s time to question myself. It’s time to refuse to walk another step in the old maze. It’s time to return to the roots of what I have learned in the shaman’s world, in the world of spirit and energy, which is, that nothing is as it appears. The world is an illusion. Everything in the world is presented to help me evolve to a new level of understanding my life and my reason for being here.

The truth is that in the end I will die, just like the rat in the maze will die. I suspect I have traveled the maze a thousand times in a thousand lives, but this time I am electing to journey differently. I am taking my journey with awareness. I am challenged, each day, to break through the walls of the maze. I am challenged, each day, to shift my thoughts and awareness to a far bigger picture.

At the same time, I know that the maze is important, that we must all travel its endless pathways until we wake up to the fact that we are doing just that, walking the same path over and over again. As the season turns soon into winter, as I look forward to the coziness of turning inward, I know I must not become the old me or turn inward in an old way. I must continue my journey of change. I must go through the seasons of life as an aware being, unafraid to change my perceptions and perspectives of the world I live in. I must constantly grow by challenging myself to constantly hop out of the maze.

Recapitulation offers a means of shifting out of the maze. It’s an endless process of training awareness, of challenging the self to change. Chickens and rats that we inevitably are for long periods of time, we all do have the energy to change. It’s what makes us human. We just have to dare ourselves to tap into it.

Our true potential is unlimited, but we may only access that unlimited potential by jumping the walls of the maze and making sure we don’t get caught in another one in the process. Here’s hoping that we may all continue to face our challenges, keeping our eyes on the ultimate prize: life on our own terms, as beings of awareness.

If we can stay connected to the truth that all things are possible we offer ourselves the opportunity to live a different life, without fear, sadness, or regret. But that often means changing the path we are on in order to actualize our fuller potential. By daring ourselves to jump the walls of the maze we may truly live.

Wishing you all good journeying,