Tag Archives: narcissism

Chuck’s Place: Assume Responsibility for Being Here in this Marvelous Time

Let your ego-Soul rise to its heart’s SOUL!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

It’s not often, in the modern world, that the Divine Right of royalty can actually have an impact on our present world drama. Once upon a time, God’s royal blood poured through the arteries of kings and queens who ruled the Earth by divine right. Today, though royal doings and marriages fascinate the imagination, the rule of nations has largely given way to those elected democratically by the proletariat, the common citizen.

Last week, however, the Queen of England, was asked by her prime minister to suspend Parliament. Her decision would have a significant impact on the momentous Brexit process, a major transition point for the future of England. The Queen elected to oblige her prime minister. And with that the Gods have spoken: “let human nature play itself out now, without divine interference.”

Why have the gods taken this stance, particularly the Mother God embodied by the Queen? Could it be that Mother Nature has chosen to decree that it’s time for human nature to solve the riddles of its own storms?

The implication for our current Earth Crisis is that we will not be rescued through some deus ex machina, some godly savior from beyond. It is left instead in the hands of humanity to forge a sustainable path for the survival of its species upon the planet. It is indeed time to assume responsibility for being here in this marvelous time.

In the structure of the human psyche, royalty equates with the High SOUL spirit center, far removed from the doings of everyday life. Like the Queen of England, it does not take responsibility for human decision making. This, for better or for worse, is the province of the human ego-Soul.

We see before us now great examples of the mind of ego-Soul changing the substance, in structure and action, of the outside world. What lies behind all manifest creation is idea. Mind shapes substance. The consumer awaits a changed world of prices, as tariffs takes effect. Whole industries will change course, as an idea from a president becomes manifest in solid reality.

What ideas, what beliefs—all spirits in the mind—shape our bodies and our world. We are being given great examples, in this momentous time, of how quickly and formidably the world can be reshaped. If we assume full responsibility for our thoughts and our intent, great changes in our lives await.

The question emerges as to where we will place our intent. We do well to study the preponderance of our realized culture of narcissism, that Christopher Lasch so aptly captured in his 1979 bestseller, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. If we truly lean into the narcissism that surrounds us, we will discover its grip upon us all.

Survival and self-interest are the dominant ideas of our time. Our political leaders mirror this for us. Let us not project all responsibility upon the foolhardy and miss the gift they offer us. We are at an evolutionary turning point, and even the Queen insists that we, the common people, assume responsibility for the fate of our lives.

If we continue to fixate our intent at the rudimentary level of satisfying our narcissistic needs at the expense of the greater needs of the body, the Soul, and the world, the outcome is obvious.

If our intent can rise to the level of the heart, where the SOUL tells us the truth, our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs will be blessed with pure love. From that spirit state, our lives will manifest, in substance, all that is needed, all that is wanted for our deepest fulfillment.

And that fulfillment will extend to all living beings, as love in its highest form includes everything. That is the key to love at the heart center. Since love adheres to the truth that, energetically, we are all connected, nothing is left untouched by its care.

Narcissism is indeed its own form of love; it simply hasn’t grown beyond its own reflection. Accept that we are all narcissists at some level, but to grow one’s reflection to include the whole world is to rise to the heart of the matter.

The opportunity of this marvelous time we live in, is to assume personal responsibility through divine right to raise our beings to the heart center. The Queen herself has passed on this insinuation. Truly become your royal self.

With love,

Chuck

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

Chuck’s Place: My Inner Trump

Our baldheaded cardinal going at it again!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A doggedly persistent male cardinal smacks into our living room window throughout the day. The top of his head is bald and blue, like that of a turkey vulture, from his incessant headfirst crashes. We have noticed that this cardinal has a mate and we surmise he must be trying to fend off his perceived enemy reflected in the window, but the truth is that his enemy, unbeknownst to himself, is himself!

Our Soulbyte of Tuesday July 17, 2018 begins: “Pay attention. Become more fully aware of nature assisting you on your unfolding journey.” What is the guidance of this display of nature, of this seemingly crazy cardinal?

A bird is a spirit being. It flies like angels. The cardinal is named after the Cardinals of the Catholic Church in early Rome, adorned in their bright red robes and pointy red hats. Thus the cardinal is an earthly representative of a spirit being. Closer to home, the ego is the earthly representative of a spirit being. Consciousness, the hallmark of spirit, is born as the ego at the chakra center located at the solar plexus.

The solar plexus is the fire in the belly chakra, the home of personal power, where the ego discovers its ability to rise above the absolute control of nature’s primordial energies that command the lower chakras and choose its behavioral responses to the world. Nonetheless, choices are inevitably constricted by the narcissistic, self-referential cognitive and emotional limitations of the ego at this newly awakened youthful state of emergence.

Our cardinal reflects this narcissistic fixation. He cannot differentiate his enemy from himself. This results in a repetitive pattern of self-destructive behavior based on a distortedly applied archetypal instinct of defense. That distortion is a narcissistic reflection that won’t allow him a perspective beyond himself.

When Donald Trump asserts that American intelligence is the enemy, not Russia, he reflects the cardinal who sees his own reflection as the enemy. Trump unwittingly sees his own country as the enemy, which he subsequently incessantly verbally attacks, just as the cardinal incessantly attacks his own image reflected in our living room window. This is likely a developmental issue where ego is fixated on a narcissistic worldview.

The question is why this developmental stage is being so graphically mirrored upon the world stage at this point? What does it mean for all of us, as holographically we all share an inner Trump?

If we bring attention back to our friar, the baldheaded cardinal, attention is drawn to the redness of its firery spirituality. The cardinals of Catholicism, as well as the leaders of all spiritual traditions, have stood for a morality that rises above instinctual dominance. This is the equivalent of transcending the solar plexus and rising to the heart chakra with its more inclusive consideration of others.

The heart center can recognize and value life beyond itself. It can see truth and make decisions based on the overarching needs of the interdependent whole world. Our spiritual traditions stalk a higher chakra than we have actually developmentally reached. Obama stalked the heart center, which resulted in major inclusiveness of groups long rejected and cast out by society.

The truth is, however, that developmentally we truly have not reached the heart center perspective, and the Trump election avalanche was fueled by the collective narcissistic shadow which now unabashedly asks: “What about me, why do we have to care about everyone else?”

We are guided to take up this issue on an individual level. As our cardinal reflects, we must incessantly ask ourselves: “What repetitive self-destructive behaviors am I engaged in based on illusion? Who within me is in charge of my decision making? Am I properly including my deepest instinctual self in my decisions, or do I avoid the fire in the belly of emotion by blindly adhering to moral platitudes that defend me from the tensions within and without?”

The greatest individual contribution we can make in this time of fierce splitting apart is to face squarely our own inner Trumps. Clearly the planet beckons us to take up the challenge to reconcile our deepest instinctual selves with our highest spiritual values.

Suspend judgment. Take responsibility to know the self beyond illusion. Bear the burden of instinct and spirit. Find wholeness in the self. Let love join body and spirit, as well as neighbor to neighbor.

Facing my inner Trump,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: I Want

In the beginning was the child…
-Photo by Jan Ketchel

Yes, there really is a part of the self that simply is all about me. Born in childhood, this spark of me-ness is our earliest ego state that simply needs, wants, and expects to be given to. And at that stage of life this narcissism is healthy and necessary; it’s all about survival.

Fairly quickly the needs and expectations of powerful others require us to suppress our needs, delay gratification, and give as well as take—all technologies to form a mature adult ego. This socialization of the child ego state greatly curtails its self-centeredness, which slips into the shadows of the unconscious, hidden but hardly dormant. Polite as we might appear to be outwardly, inwardly or covertly the child still wants and gets, in some form.

In our time, new apps appear daily to rapidly cater to all our wants. In America our new president has become the poster child for entitlement. The child ego state has been freed from the shadows, its narcissism given full legitimacy as a national policy.

The wanting child has truly come of age. We are all being asked to grapple with our own wanting child ego state. However, in approaching this inner child ego state, we must be careful to distinguish between it and the many parts of the self that appear in the form of the child and are in fact not the child ego state, what I refer to instead as the child image. The child ego state itself is a universal non-personal inherited psychic structure much like a limb or any other part of the body which serves a necessary function in life. The function of the child ego state in young childhood is simply to procure, as it is too immature to give or care for itself. In contrast, the child image reflects the personal history of the personality’s unfolding in this life.

Often, an inner child image, not the child ego state, may represent a split off part of the self that was abused or neglected in childhood and had to be packaged up and stored away, often somewhere in the body, forgotten to the conscious mind. This part of the personality holds a memory that  may be triggered into awareness by a current event, seeking some kind of recognition and reconciliation with the rest of the personality. This is not the wanting child, this is the traumatized child’s experience seeking peace through integration.

A symbolic child image is also frequently encountered in dreams of  pregnancy, or simply having a child, which might represent the development of a new potential in the personality. Hence, one might decide to start a new career, enterprise, or relationship, all starting in an embryonic state, needing the conscious care of a parent/adult ego state to support and bring to fruition.

A dream variation on this theme might be finding oneself back in grammar school, high school, or college, having to learn something. Here, information or skills we missed in our formative years might need attention, asking our current adult ego state to humbly attend to an underdeveloped part of the self.

Having considered these other permutations of the child image self, we need to consider how best to deal with our structural child ego state. First, we should acknowledge that the child is the true home of innocence in the personality. This innocence has been extolled as the only state worthy of entering heaven.

Innocence approaches the world with curiosity and awe, unencumbered by preconceptions and rules. Of course, this innocence will be wounded by Buddha’s greatest discovery: life is suffering. No-one can escape the ultimate reality of old age, sickness and death. Nonetheless, under the tutelage of the adult ego state, “mature” innocence, that can remain open despite the vulnerabilities and inevitabilities of these truths, may find full expression in adult life.

As to the wants of the child ego state, these may be largely under the compulsive dominance of instincts, be it for food, power, stimulation, or attention. The challenge for the adult ego is to help its child ego state become free from the instinctive dominance of its basic needs so that they may be incorporated into adult life in a fulfilling way. Keep in mind that free will can only exist within the limits of consciousness, which is a function of the adult ego state. Beyond those limits there is the mere compulsion of the child ego state. For instance, a sexual impulse, delayed, might ultimately become the foundation of a real loving relationship versus a narcissistic release with a casual hookup. The adult ego state can reconcile and integrate the energy and power of human animal instinct with true relatedness and spiritual love.

The essential challenge with the demanding “I want” child self is to transform it to coexist with the legitimate needs of others. The child ego state dominating in adulthood is largely anachronistic, non-adaptive to a reality beyond “me.” To achieve fulfillment of wants, those wants must be channeled and transformed through the adult ego state that can navigate the world as it really is and find a home for all its deepest needs, within the greater self as well as in the world. That is recognition and reconciliation in maturity!

I want maturity,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Locker Room Talk

(This is the third in a series of blogs around the same theme. Beginning with Narcissism on the Way to Love and followed by Hillary as Hermaphrodite, this blog takes a closer and deeper look at the psychology of narcissism. All three blogs are commentaries on the rebalancing of the masculine and feminine partnership, so necessary for the survival of the world and currently being played out in the political arena.)

Recent political events have given rise to the term “locker room talk” as a recognizable and understandable categorization of male sexual fantasy or actual sexual behavior, at least one common expression of it. So recognizable is its occurrence that many intelligent women in a recent New York Times article actually dismissed locker room talk as a legitimate reason to disqualify a potential presidential candidate exposed as engaging in it, in locker room talk.

On some level these women seem to be expressing the truth and acceptance that all men have that side of themselves; however annoying or immature it might be—it simply is. So, what is “it”?

In my recent blog, Narcissism on the Way to Love, I gave a nod to Freud’s stages of libidinal (sexual) development, beginning in primary narcissism. Narcissism is a psychological mindset that literally can’t get its face beyond looking in the mirror. The eyes simply cannot take in a picture of the world separate from the self.

Time to put away the toys and grow up! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Time to put away the toys and grow up!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Relationship is not possible at the narcissistic stage because relationship requires two separate people in order to exist. For the narcissist there is only one being, the self. Of course, at the adult stage, a narcissist must function in a world of separate objects, and they do. However, those objects are just that, toys in a toy chest for one’s pleasure and amusement.

Locker room talk depicts a woman, not as a separate being, but rather as an object with body parts available for one’s play and for one’s taking: legs, tits, asses, and pussies. The narcissist cannot solve the puzzle of a world beyond the self, much less the mystery of woman, a being distinctly other than themself. In fact, the terror of confronting the mystery of otherness gives rise to the sanctuary of locker room talk. Here men can brag of tales of conquest as they graphically describe the booty of body parts, the treasures they have stolen or intend to steal. Here men collude in an attempt to avoid real terror at the power of nature as embodied in a woman. The fixation here does indeed go back to mother. For what more powerful being on earth could there be than woman, whose body gives life to all human beings?

Freud localized this problem to an incestuous desire to unite with this powerful woman and therefore remain under her protectorate in an eternal Eden of bliss. Jung expanded this perspective beyond this regressive wish to include the challenge to individuate, to truly become a separate self capable of standing on one’s own two feet and thereby actually able to take on the mystery of relating to a feminine being that exists outside the narcissistic orbit of the first three chakras. For Jung, true relationship could only begin at the level of the heart chakra, where another individual can be seen and experienced objectively as existing outside of the self.

At the heart center, another person is a whole person, both body and psyche. Connection requires meeting the whole person. Body parts may indeed activate instinctual desires, but at the heart center the true desire is to meet and connect with another being, body and soul. Reaching this stage of development requires a heroic effort to both withstand the regressive protectorate of the mother world, frequently projected onto all women “partners,” and a willingness to truly encounter the mystery, power, and integrity of another as they truly are.

Donald Trump serves as a helpful example of both Freud and Jung’s perspectives. Donald expresses his penchant for married woman. Freud, of course, would see the oedipal victory in this: steal another man’s wife, obtain mother! This includes the power dynamic of defeating father because, as Donald states, in his world mother (married woman) willingly chooses/loves his lecherous approaches!

Jung would acknowledge this pyrrhic regressive victory but would insist as well that the hero in this case has really not slain the primordial dragon of dependency on mommy and her power to sustain life. To slay the dragon is to move beyond the family nursery, to stand on one’s own and enter the mystery of life. And, in entering that mystery of life, we must grant others their own autonomous existence.

Beyond the narcissistic orbit others are not simply need-fulfilling objects to play with or break. Others are powerful beings who likely terrify us because of their godly ability to give life, as well as take it if they see fit. Can woman be granted the fullness of who she truly is? This is a Relationship 101 prerequisite.

Like the toys of childhood, locker room talk must be put away if we are to take on the challenge of true adulthood and real relationship. It’s time to stop settling for less, men and women alike.

Outside the locker room,

Chuck