Tag Archives: mirrors

Chuck’s Place: Synchronistic Mirrors

What does this synchronicity mean??? - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
What does this synchronicity
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

A wise yogi once shared his hard-earned wisdom with me: “Beware the allure of asanas. The heart of yoga is in pranayama, the breath.” My humble wife, earnest student of svaroopa yoga for many years, warned me long ago that I should approach inverted asanas with great caution and support.

Since young adulthood I have enjoyed inversions, particularly halasana, plough. Over a year ago, as I descended from that asana I strained my sacral muscles, initiating a long journey with back issues. Eventually, at my daughter’s hinting, I sought guidance from a teacher of the Alexander Technique. Most recently, particularly through the heart of the snow storms, I was amazed at the strength and resilience of my fully healed back.

The other morning, as I dressed, I was buoyant with energy, balancing on one foot as I raised the other to put on socks while standing. I quickly lifted my right leg, excitedly thinking how powerful I’d become, when suddenly a powerful pain shot through my sacrum. OW! I’d done it again!

I was thrown into immediate deflation, filled with negative judgments about my cocky stupidity. I was also in the midst of reading some lectures that Carl Jung, my intellectual nemesis, had given at the Tavistock Clinic in London in 1935. Ironically, he spoke of his own struggle with inferiority when a frequent guest at his home, Albert Einstein, would come and speak to him about his Theory of Relativity. Not being himself gifted in math, Jung said he “sank fourteen feet deep into the floor and felt quite small,” as Einstein tried desperately to communicate his thoughts. As I found myself sinking, I evoked Carlos Castaneda’s #1 dictum: “Suspend judgment!” That simple mantra is profoundly useful in allowing us to get to the deeper meaning of synchronistic events in our lives.

Of course I feel foolish for hurting my back so carelessly. But what is the significance of the event? What am I being shown? To get to the deeper meaning of events we can’t stay stuck in judgment, it too limits and clouds our view.

I am stirred to consult the I Ching to deepen my knowledge. I obtain hexagram #37, The Family. This hexagram speaks to the correct relationships within the family as the microcosm for all relationships in the world. I get a moving line in the 4th place: She is the treasure of the house… It is upon the woman of the house that the well-being of the family depends. Well-being prevails when expenditures and income are soundly balanced.

What is this telling me? Not sure yet.

We watch the documentary Cutie and the Boxer, about a married Japanese artist couple. I immediately don’t like the Boxer, he’s out of control, refuses to be limited. Cutie is held in check, keeping balance as best she can in their lives.

Time for the moon to shine a little brighter... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Time for the moon to shine a little brighter…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I pull the 5 of Wands card from the Tarot deck, Strife, as well as the Moon card. Strife results from the energetic clash when Leo, the fiery energetic creative lion, is inhabited by Saturn, the planet of limitation, discipline and boundary. The lion held in check creates strife.

The Moon is the universal principle of choice-making, particularly around karmic issues, that is, work that needs to be done. The moon is also the universal feminine symbol, yin.

Back to the I Ching. I’m being shown that the yin line in the 4th place—the Moon of the Tarot—must take the ascendancy. The strife lodged in the spine is the clash between the fiery creative energy that, like the Boxer, abhors limitation. This leads to structural defeat that throws the body out of the Tao.

The Moon, the yin, the internal feminine, must come to the ascendancy. Cutie is not to be subordinated to a subservient role but must take charge of internal affairs, asserting balance and limitation, making choices in accordance with the restoration of order, allowing for return to the Tao. If this is achieved, the future of The Family is Fellowship with Men, hexagram #13, depicting the restoration of order—balance and inner harmony—strife resolved.

This series of synchronistic phenomena all mirror each other. Yang energy must be properly complemented and balanced by yin energy. Dominance of the creative over the receptive might lead to a broken back!

Acquiescing to the Moon,

Chuck’s Place: The Mirror Of Recapitulation

Mirror of Self

Imagine the horror of looking in the mirror and seeing nothing. This is the experience of many young heroes who look to the world for safety, approval, encouragement, and love, only to be met by disapproving, rejecting eyes, or perhaps blank eyes incapable of meeting, or even worse, a wolf’s eyes intent upon feasting. The reaction of this young unwelcomed “me” is stinging shame, a curling inward around a deeply vulnerable full-of-potential self that protectively walls itself off and sinks into the womb of the unconscious. In its stead, the young hero self is charged with bringing life forward, awaiting the call from the deep unconscious to finally come and participate in the birthing of the true golden child when conditions are ripe for it to be born into fulfillment in this life.

The call to the journey of retrieval from the unconscious can come in many forms: a deep depression midway through life’s journey—where the energy to fund the current life has dried up, and the search for new energy to find meaning and fulfillment requires mining the depths of the unconscious to find the missing pieces of self—is a frequent prelude to the journey. Often the emergence of long walled-off traumatic memory may intrude upon consciousness in a dream, a flashback, or in powerful physical symptoms and pain. Often the call is mistaken, concretely, for physical ailment and only once that is ruled out can the real journey begin. Today too, much focus goes to genetic diseases requiring chemical cures, clouding the true meaning of the symptoms: a call to action by the deeper self.

Another complication in undertaking the journey is the veiled hope of rescue, of vindication by some mirroring person in the world to liberate and meet the deeply walled-off self. Though experiencing love can go a long way in healing, to truly be open to the intimacy and vulnerability of real love as adults we must first take the journey of inner liberation to free the unborn self from its illusions regarding love. We must first dismantle the walls of defense erected long ago to protect the golden but shamed self. To go to love without liberation is to invite dependency, fear of loss, and a persistent dark cloud of doubt around worthiness that no other person can ever remove. The search for the liberating other can mesmerize us for decades before we realize that the real needed partner for the journey is the ego self, willing to take the plunge into the darkness and find its lost soulmate, waiting within.

Love lies buried within

Dismantling the protective walls surrounding the true self is the task of recapitulation. In recapitulation, the present self—forged through years of heroic efforts—becomes the midwife to the golden self. Practically speaking, this means truly suspending judgment and being fully present to the truths of the buried self. These truths may come full of excruciating physical and emotional pain. As the present self meets the eyes of the buried self, it mirrors compassion and total acceptance, encouraging the buried self to reveal its deepest truths with all its emotional intensity. Without collapse, deep shame, rage, hatred, and sorrow are systematically allowed to be fully felt. Gradually, the power of the old feelings to shut down access to the gold is diminished.

As recapitulation progresses, it becomes clear that there is nothing more powerful than the truth of the self and its unborn potential for fulfillment. Driven by its desire for this fulfillment, the ego self welcomes and ultimately merges with its lost self in the truest of loving unions. In this mirror of acceptance, regardless of what is presented, lies the deep validation needed to encourage new life and for transformation to blossom.

With this union, the self is finally freed to open to the outer world and enjoy extraverted love and fulfillment. And now, a glimpse into the mirror reveals only the glowing golden self looking back.

From the heart,

Readers of Infinity: Life Is A Hall of Mirrors

What's the point of it all?

Dear Jeanne: Why must we suffer?

The other day someone asked me a rhetorical question: What’s the point of life if all we do is die and come back to suffer again? What’s the point?

We pondered the question from many angles, from the Shamanic perspective, from the Buddhist perspective, from what we’ve personally experienced and learned, but kept coming to the greater question, that being: What’s the point of anything?

What I’ve gained—in doing deep inner work around my own life lived, in doing recapitulation, and in having had experiences beyond the mundane—is a greater awareness of everything as quite the opposite of pointless and instead full of meaning and purpose. Today, I ask, can you clarify for us: What is the point of all our suffering?

Jeanne answers:

The most straightforward answer I can provide is this: Suffering leads to growth.

I follow that up by asking you, My Dear Ones, a rhetorical question in return: How would you even know you were suffering if you did not have something good to compare it to? How would you know that suffering was happening if you did not also know when experiences of the sublime were occurring? In this dichotomy I present the two facets of the meaning of life, for there is indeed great meaning in life. The point is to evolve beyond suffering. But it is only through suffering that the pointlessness of suffering will be revealed and it is only through suffering that the sublime will be revealed as well.

Fathom infinity as endlessness though not as nothingness. In suffering, one may remain endlessly caught in feelings of purposelessness, on the endless wheel of suffering. It is only in having experiences beyond suffering, outside of the wheel of suffering, that one will understand that there is more to life than suffering alone. Suffering is relegated to that realm, to life on earth. There are many other levels of existence. In your spiritual endeavors and in your experiences of life itself you have glimpses of these advanced realms of life; fleeting as they may be, accepted or rejected, they nonetheless occur many times in a lifetime. Life is not subject to life in human form alone, but exists independent of the human form as well.

Perhaps it is best explained this way: the spirit inside every human being knows that life has meaning, that there is a point to all life, to suffering and bliss alike. It is revealed in ways that do not overwhelm. It is revealed in experiences that each one of you can handle, even though you may think otherwise.

I interrupt Jeanne with a thought. Yesterday, Jeanne, I had the clear perception, perhaps clearer than ever, that the recapitulation process is very much like the dying process, that is, as we recapitulate we shed an old self, much the way we shed our human form and leave our body in death. Would you agree?

Yes, I would agree, Jeanne replies.

I go on to state: I agree with you Jeanne that in recapitulating we invariably allow ourselves the opportunity to understand life on a deeper level. In my own process, I began to understand both the Shaman’s perspective and the Buddhist concepts of life and afterlife at a much deeper level of understanding. I could not have fully embraced these new ideas had I not had many experiences during my recapitulation. In fact, recapitulation became my greatest teacher.

Jeanne goes on to say:

Remember, it was your own spirit that urged recapitulation upon you and this is what I speak of when I say that your spirits know how to guide you through life. Your spirits know what you personally must encounter in order to evolve. Your spirits know the challenges that will present you with the means of going beyond suffering as you go through your personal struggles. And yes, you must suffer until you no longer need to.

It is only then that you will understand the point of life—yours personally—including the point of suffering and the point of spiritual evolution. Until then it will all remain a confusing concept, a great mystery; as it should.

If you find yourself caught in the endless cycle of thought regarding life—constantly asking what’s the point or why must I suffer?—you will not evolve. The question itself will keep you attached to the queries of the mind, attached to the idea of suffering and the endlessness of pointless life. Why stay there when you don’t have to? In fact, the first point of life is to fully understand life through your own experiences, and then, through your own experiences, to expand the mind to fully understand mindlessness; the concept of mind without attachment, without grasping, to fully experience open mind without fear.

The job of suffering is to aid you in ridding yourselves of fears so that your dying process—in the many forms of dying that happen everyday, in the death of old ideas and concepts of self and others, for instance—may lead you to greater awareness. Life is not relegated to life on earth alone. That is what your spirit strives to teach you every day. Even your suffering is not really of earthly experiences, but far exceeds your present moment, your present self, and your present situation. Your suffering takes you on journeys far beyond self and the mundane world.

Is not most of your suffering inside you? Where is your suffering really in the world around you? You will find that the world does not deliver your suffering, but merely reflects your inner process, long ago planted inside you. Your inner fears are mirrored all around you. Life is a hall of mirrors. So where is reality? Once you discover that reality is inside you and that you have total control over it, the point of everything else will be revealed.

Work on freeing the self from the hall of mirrors. Face the fear that sends you looking for escape from the endless hall of mirrors. Look at it closely. Realize it is buried inside you, presented in this life but even more deeply embedded from past lives. You will indeed discover that the fears you carry have been carried much longer than you suspect. You carry your life lessons always within. Until you resolve them they will continue to haunt you, reflected in life.

So, what’s the point of suffering? What’s the point of life? The real point is to answer those questions for yourself. What do you think the point is? And believe me, there is indeed a point that will be revealed and the sooner you find out the better you will feel about it, about life, about the self, and about your role in infinity, because that is the ultimate point: you all have a role in infinity, in far greater life than you can now envision. But I can’t really tell you more than that. It’s your journey to figure out, to experience every day that you live upon that earth as you experience that wheel of suffering.

Keep learning about the self. Trust your life’s unfolding and your spirit to guide you on your journey, they know where you must go and why. Solve the riddle of self first, then other riddles will naturally be resolved.

Seek openness, freedom, and fearlessness by facing all the challenges of the self in a deep inner process of not only shedding old life but in seeking new life, a new life full of energy and curiosity. In letting go, in learning what it means to let go of suffering by suffering, you will eventually get the point of it all.

May patience, compassion, and fearlessness be with you.

#717 The Pulse of the Universe Inside You

Jan Ketchel channeling Jeanne Marie Ketchel

Dear Jeanne,
Today feels like the day we have all been waiting for, the culmination of a long and serious transition time. This morning I pulled a Tarot card and received The Chariot, a fine affirmation of all my personal intentions to live, work, and be within the flow of nature, both calm and flowing but also in motion, constantly daring myself to go beyond my limitations. This card is perfectly in alignment with where I am at this moment in time.

Drawing this Tarot card struck at the heart of change as I personally enact it in my life, setting my intent from a calm place of heart, yet remaining fully aware that I must push myself and sometimes even force myself to stick with my well-laid and well-intentioned plans. While I feel a shift today I also know that challenges will arise because that is the nature of the universe and it is how we are shown where our path lies. I know that I must stay connected to my intentions and on my path, but that I must also be alert, aware, and prepared for anything.

Perhaps many of your readers are starting this week in a similar state of calm determination, feeling the shift in energy as I am. Can you offer us advice for the week ahead as we set our intentions to flow, while at the same time we know full well that there will be challenges ahead?

My Dear Jan and All My Readers, find your heart center as you begin each day, taking but a few moments to locate and feel the intensity of this calm place that lies within each of you. This is nature at the core of each of you, the pulse of the universe inside you. This universe you speak of is not outside of you, but deeply embedded inside you.

This is the first thing to note: Your challenges come from within. Even though you may notice them being mirrored outside in the world and the people around you, and in your daily lives unfolding, note that they originate inside you, conjured by your spirit urging you to confront that which holds you back. The universe and all of nature lie at your heart center. Visiting this place daily will set you on your path and invite openness to that which comes, for you will, in your openheartedness, recognize your challenges as perfectly matched to where you are in your life. There will always be something to get beyond, to work through—and it will always be something personally important or it would not be there confronting you each day—until you have solved the riddle of it to your heart’s content.

The second thing to note is: Each day you must also make note of the energy outside of you, for it will also show you how your inner process must be conducted. You must learn to read the energy outside of you, in the atmosphere, in nature, but foremost in the people you come in contact with. You must learn to assess what is happening for others in your proximity and adjust your expectations and your own energetic output to both accommodate and challenge this outer energy. You must find balance between your self and your outer world without compromising your intentions to change and grow.

It is a good idea to consider the self as a separate being with a separate inner process that must be attended to. But remember that the inner self is not the ego self. It is not one of the archetypal personality functions of the psyche, but the spiritual self who adjusts and flows without attachments, without demands, without really revealing itself, but simply flowing with what comes, even though it is absolutely in the fore, in charge so to speak.

In directing your inner and outer worlds from your heart-centered inner spirit self, using your knowledge of how change needs time to unfold, to present challenges, and to be worked through, you will both maintain good balance and forward movement toward not only culmination, as you mention Jan, but transformation, so that you go beyond it to a new level.

And, of course, when you reach that new level you start all over again, challenging the self to change and grow some more, for that is life. But also, at each level, you are more aware, more firmly heart-centered, flowing more easily, and more firmly grounded in who you are, why you are there, and what you are meant to do with your life.

Good Luck. Ask for guidance in the form of balance, in the form of inner calm, and in the form of daring, so that you might push through all that appears before you.

#708 You Are In The Changing Time

Jan Ketchel channeling Jeanne Marie Ketchel

Dear Jeanne,
I am sitting on the deck in the early morning. I hear a bob white calling as I give you voice. What do you deem to be the most necessary message for all of us today?

My Dear Ones, do you not hear the call of your spirit, of your yearning for other life, for rich inner life, cultivated so that your true purpose may become clearer? The following guidelines must now become your focus:

1. Remain attached to your inner life and the call of your spirit, even through the turmoil of your outer life.

2. Push beyond the stagnancy that drapes itself over you and attempts constantly to pull you down into its shadowy depths.

3. Seek new air, light, and food for your soul. Nurture yourself differently, My Dears.

4. Use your superior intellect to determine a new path. Elect, with determination—choosing to go into the realm of spirit self—to release the self of the past in order to move on and grow. By this I mean, most certainly, that it is time to help the self by becoming fully responsible for all thoughts, actions, deeds, decisions, and every step you take.

5. Allow for your failures, your missteps and mistakes, and your unconscious decisions, to be acceptable and recognizable as measures of teaching and growth.

6. Do not fall prey to your old demons, but ask them to explain themselves to you in clear language, but beware: they will attempt to tell you one thing but mean another. The demons look at you through mirrors and when looking into a mirror all things are reversed, including meaning. You think, for example, that you see another looking back at you, even a familiar self, but look again. It is a stranger. It is a self you have not fully accepted yet, for it is but the reflection of a deeper self.

7. Do deep inner work as you go through this time of grand change. As I have said before: you are in the changing time now. There is no more waiting or pending of events. If you are alive upon that earth at this moment you are being shown exactly what you must do to change, to evolve, and to have a rich spiritual life.

8. Remember to keep this mantra uppermost in your thoughts as you go about your days: All things are possible; everything is possible! That must be what leads you into new life, the truth of that statement.

9. Your choice must also be whether to go into the darkness or into the light, for both exist, and life exists in both realms. All things are possible; everything is possible! What you can see and what you cannot see, all of these things, imaginable and unimaginable, are possible.

10. Do not lose sight of the possibilities of the self to change. At all times now, must you push the self to change. That is how you and your world with evolve.