Tag Archives: projection

Chuck’s Place: Fit to Serve?

A sorry state of affairs…
– Artwork by Jan Ketchel © 2018

As the current of collective thought-stream challenges the mental stability of the Commander-in-chief, I find myself questioning the greater significance of such a mythological character at the helm of our government at this moment of our evolution. I begin by suggesting that, regardless of political or ideological persuasion, we view the current predicament as a reflection or symbolic mirror of the relationship between the human spirit and its physical host, all matter of creation.

Spirit is the character that functions on the mental plane, the architect and creator of reality as it defines it. In the flow of everyday life, spirit is the mind, the internal dialogue, and the ego that direct the course of daily decision making.

Matter, in this definition, spans all of nature, including the human animal. In human terms, matter is the physical body with all its instinctual needs and wisdom. The wisdom of the body is expressed through the archetypes, our inherited knowledge of the properties of matter and the innate formulas of how to respond to life on earth.

Thus, the human being is actually a microcosm of this greater spirit/matter relationship as it contains both spirit and matter in one being. Spirit and matter are the yin and yang of this world, each critical building blocks of our existence. The balance and relationship between these two partners determines the state of overall health in our world.

Just as I was writing the above explanation a synchronistic event occurred that intimately expresses the relationship between spirit and matter, mind and body. My daughter (who for psychoanalytic discretion in agreeing to let me share this suggests I identify her as “Beyonce”) called in a frantic state, near panic. “I feel like I’m going to pass out!” she said.

We immediately guided her to calm breathing, shifting her away from the dark forecast issuing forth from her mind that sought to define her physical symptoms as lethal. As she stabilized we reviewed recent dietary decisions which, quite frankly, were remarkably healthy.

We went on to review the pace of recent events as she and her partner have been overwhelmed by customer demand for their recently launched business. In fact, it suddenly dawned on her that what had directly precipitated her acute sensation of “passing out” was a new customer call for service. She and her partner had determined the night before that they were simply too overwhelmed; they needed to say no to new business for awhile.

The customer’s call had stirred the dilemma: “Can I say no to new business?” The call had also stirred the archetypal wisdom of her body to deliver its answer to the request in no uncertain terms. As we reflected, we determined that her body—the matter part of her being—was giving its answer to the customer’s request directly, saying loudly and clearly: “I’m shutting down! Over and out!”

And yet, how many of us would really listen to such sage wisdom from body central? How many of us would secretly be rationalizing from the mental plane: “This is great, more business, more money, great success!” How long would it take to arrive at some dietary glitch to explain away the dizziness and persist with the current plan to meet all demand in the service of financial reward!

“Beyonce’s” dilemma reflects the dominance of spirit over matter that plagues the macrocosm of our world as reflected in the psychology of our Commander-in-chief. His psychology is marked by a supreme alienation of spirit from nature. The guiding principal, beyond its narcissistic wrappings, is the spirit of financial success at all costs, regardless of its impact on the physical body or Mother Nature, the physical body of the earth itself. And Mother Nature, as is increasingly evident, is responding with her feedback to this spirit imperative.

Fortunately, “Beyonce” took heed of the imbalance in her mind/body relationship and intends to change the course of business to bring greater harmony to her mind/body partnership. Unfortunately for our Commander-in-chief, he appears all the more driven to deepen his spirit intent: “More, more, more!!!”

Though “Beyonce” may be restored to fit-to-serve shape, she will likely be challenged again and again to go to the heart and ask the question: “What is the truly right decision?” The spirit at the helm of the mental plane at present is so focused on self and survival that it blots out the needs of the body, the needs of others, and the needs of Mother Earth, our ultimate home base for survival while in human form.

The mental status of our Commander-in-chief poses a grave riddle to all of us: “Who is responsible for the imbalance that has thrown our world into peril?” The silver lining to the true answer to this question is self-empowerment. We all have the power to elect the best Commander-in-chief within ourselves and in so doing change the world.

Intending to be fit to serve,

Chuck

Soulbyte for Friday November 10, 2017

Every life has a core issue to figure out and work through in a meaningful way. What is your core issue? And how are you doing with it? The tendency is to address the core issues of others, to find fault in how others are doing things and going about their lives. These others are just showing you where your own issues lie. Thank them for being in your life as your greatest teachers and then take your attention off them and tend to yourself. It’s what you are there for—to resolve and to evolve!

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: Modern Mana

Numinous energy…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A burst of thunder! A flash of lightning! For a moment we are leveled in awe. Somewhere, out there, is an all-powerful energy far greater than the predictable flow of everyday life. For a moment we are seized by the divine, whether it be in terror or ecstasy.

The ancients took these outer manifestations in the heavens and on earth as the moods, judgments, and actions of the gods. For the modern ego the divine forces of nature have been explained and tamed by the human god of reason, though numinous encounters with nature quickly shatter its calm persona.

Mana is the term assigned to the energy of the divine. In our modern world that energy is projected onto people, places, and things. When a child is born, and for many subsequent years, mother is imbued with powerful mana. Who cannot recall either the experience or hidden craving for attention from mana mama!

A smile from mother deeply satisfies a need for validation: “I indeed belong in this world.” The glitter in her eye as she gives special attention to what the child is doing, saying, writing, drawing, singing,  etc. is utter communion with the golden nectar of divine mana.

As an infant grows and becomes a separate being the mother archetype, which at first included the entire world, differentiates and the mana of mother is distributed to other people, i.e., father, as well as to objects. In fact the well known special teddy bear or towel that the child attaches to for security and comfort was termed a “transitional object” by Winnicott.

By this he meant that the powerful mana originally totally projected onto mother now rubs off on the transitional object in the child’s possession, providing an intermediary container for the power and energy of mother that the child will eventually experience within the self-sufficient self.

The projection of divine mana in adult relationships often harkens back to this hunger for special attention first experienced in childhood. Adults often experience in others the divine mana which they are drawn to and are terrified of as well. All intimacy must work through the mana projections that lead to dependency and avoidance of connection that have their roots in mana projections.

Modern mana frequently is projected into substances that loosen the spirit’s confinement in the body and offer divine communion with mana through flights of the imagination and pleasurable shifts in perception and physical sensation. Food as well can take on a divine mana, which delivers pleasurable sensation, hunger relief, and a fulfilled self-contained wholeness.

Mana is often projected onto objects we absolutely must have. Amazon.com is really a major mana warehouse. Books are often filled with mana as we commune with information and plots that give us divine tension and satisfaction.

The crux of mana is divinity. Human animals appear programmed to find the divine spark of their own spirit selves reflected in the people, places, and things of this world. This striving for contact or union with the divine is ultimately our animal self seeking to discover and join with its spirit half.

Until we discover and recover our own mana in inner union we are led to follow its trail in encounters with significant transitional objects in this world. That is the magic of this world; it serves as the playing field for finding the divine through participation in life and relationship on the road to wholeness of body and spirit within.

May the force be with you,

Chuck


A blog by Chuck Ketchel, LCSW-R

Chuck’s Place: Father, Mother & The Road to Maturity

The Archetypes as they might appear…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Father’s sperm sows Mother’s egg. Mother’s body fleshes out Father’s spirit. All human life issues from this primal happening. The basic archetypes of mother and father traverse the full breadth of human life, from creator to created to beloved.

Children first encounter these powerful building blocks of human life in their personal parents who generate, sustain, and protect their lives. Freud enshrined this primal nursery scene of dependence and love upon omnipotent parents as the core playing field of life, such was his conviction of the immutable powers and attraction of one’s family of origin.

Jung went on to demonstrate how the mother and father archetypes are projected beyond parents onto gods, the sun and the moon, kings and queens, presidents, authority figures, friends, lovers and spouses. As children grow, the numinous energy of the mother and father archetypes extend into encounters with people and objects in the world beyond the family crucible.

With the dawning of adolescence and the emergence of sexuality young people begin to experience desires and compulsions that generate fixations of falling in love. The object of these projections, the one wanted, is imbued with the numinous energy and need that harkens back to the primal archetypes of life: Mother and Father.

This numinous energy projected upon a desired other may be experienced as ecstatic bliss, terror, anxiety, paralysis or even aggression, the drive to conquer that which feels too powerful. Way beyond adolescence we may still tremble at making contact or feeling worthy enough to approach the one who embodies the god/goddess energy of these projections.

In ancient times rights of initiation to facilitate an individual’s ability to mature into an adult capable of making contact with a coveted other were commonplace. The Dionysian Mysteries of Ancient Greece and Rome were just one of the many cults serving this function.

In our modern rational world, we no longer value the transformative power nor the necessity of formal initiation rites to facilitate the maturity needed to take on the deeper challenges of meeting and fully connecting with a blessed other. The task of initiation in the modern world takes place in the inner sanctuary of the human psyche and body, often through the guidance and support of a knowledgeable therapist.

The call to initiation is frequently encountered in the anxiety, terror, longing, and excitement—all numinous energy—of a potential relationship. The stages of the initiation process are directed by the problems encountered in approaching a relationship.

Often, the first problem is the power of the projection itself. The desired other may be experienced as a god or goddess whose glow is so powerful that you feel unable to actually look directly into the solar rays experienced as emanating from this human form. Perhaps the heart pounds so hard it can be heard out loud; perhaps the vocal cords seize up, unable to make a sound. These are the presenting problems.

Perhaps this desired person appears in a dream with a loving, welcoming smile and you are drawn into sensuous embrace. Upon awakening you feel warmed, in a state of grace. Perhaps you spend the day immersed in the communion of the dream-memory, generating more and more fantasies of delight. Perhaps this secret romance goes on for weeks, a love affair with an inner god/goddess image in your private world of fantasy.

Suddenly, one night, this dream lover may appear in a new dream with another date. You are no longer desired! The impact: devastation and depression.

What is the lesson here from the god/goddess?

Perhaps you have been lured into the trap of feeling entitled to own this living figure whom you have enslaved in fantasy to attend to your sensual desires. Perhaps the god/goddess is teaching that this is infantile behavior, an adult expecting the one-sided attention appropriate only in the nursery.

Furthermore, the god/goddess may also be pointing out that nothing has really been achieved, as no real or substantial contact has been made with the human being so powerfully pined for.

Another dream may then issue forth that signals you to be a hero, to cross a raging river despite the odds. The prompting of such a dream might be challenging you to be your own hero, to shield your eyes from the overpowering projection of the god/goddess and actually make small talk with the real human person of interest, to go beyond your comfort zone and put it out there.

And so, the initiation proceeds with the waking task to approach the desired one, as well as the private task to cease indulging in infantile fantasy and face the reality that genuine contact with a human being requires getting to know them, in a down-to-earth way.

The various tasks of initiation are many sided and are determined by the specific needs of each individual unique personality. The temples of initiation are alive and active within our own inner beings. We encounter the gods and goddesses of those temples in many of our human relationships.

If we remain uninitiated we will experience ourselves as children, still needing the sustenance and protection of others. This returns us to the vicissitudes of Freud’s Oedipus complex, projected onto our adult relationships, which will continue to present us with all kinds of challenges.

Best to take up the journey of adulthood, launched successfully by an active engagement of ego with the vicissitudes of the primal archetypes that guide us all on the road to maturity.

That’s what it’s all about, folks!

Chuck

A blog by Chuck Ketchel, a man of knowledge; one who knows that he doesn’t know