Tag Archives: reason

Chuck’s Place: Beyond the Shadow of Doubt

The shadow is everywhere…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Reason is the dominant tool of the first attention, what the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call everyday life. Beyond the first attention is the second attention, the world of energetic life, which is replete with all things irrational.

The Hindus note, for instance, that the emotional body component of the energy body, which is the home of powerful emotions and passions, is a prominent feature of the second attention.

Jung calls the second attention the collective unconscious, which lacking consciousness to guide volition, operates through the activation of powerful archetypes that can overwhelm the reasonable ego of the first attention, causing it to perform outrageous acts. To preserve the order and decency of normalcy, Jung asserts that these deeper dimensions of the psyche are repressed and housed in what he called the shadow, a component of the second attention.

Reason and shadow are mortal enemies, hence the natural tendency to keep them separated. Reason insists upon the rules of logic and fairness for decision making. Shadow insists upon the release of intense emotions and passions as its modus operandi, reason be dammed. Reason, in its own condescension, snubs the irrational shadow, misjudging the power of the repressed.

The history of humankind reflects the occasional reckoning of these two dominants in the clashes of world wars. Our current world predicament is a prime example of reason clashing with the formidable energy of the irrational. The world is rapidly disintegrating into such a primal clash at this very moment.

At a fundamental level the worlds of the first and second attention are layers of the same onion. As humans we are both consciously reasonable, solid beings, as well as irrational, energetic spirit beings. The totality of ourselves requires that we integrate these worlds despite their inherent opposition. Evolution is absolutely requiring such an advance at this time. How can we achieve this integration without the ultimate disintegration, Armageddon?

To begin, reason must address the limitations of its own belief system: “Things aren’t that bad… no one would let that happen…” In fact, the shadow thrives on letting anything happen that offers it powerful release.

Next, reason must recognize that shadow is a dimension of its own self. Reason often doubts this, despite the many addictions or obsessions that it notices in its own functioning. Does it also notice its fascination and vicarious excitement with the emotional outbursts of now?  Reason always believes that it has things under control, or that things are, ultimately, under control.

Reason must accept responsibility in developing a relationship with the energetic world of the second attention. When people discover the out-of-body world, they are often at first driven by insatiable desires, repressed in the first attention of everyday life. Maintaining the operation of reason, with the intents available in the second attention, is critical for deep responsible exploration.

I strongly recommend Robert Monroe’s three books, which detail his own journeys into the second attention with the evolving accompaniment of his first attention, reason. With his success and guidance, he is truly deserving of the title of American Shaman.

Exploration and reconciliation with the deeper dimensions of the self offer a playing field of deep soulful satisfaction, which checks the tendency of the shadow to need to project itself upon habits and outer events that mesmerize the ego and take over consciousness.

Ego must humble itself to the existence of energies within the self that are far more powerful than ego itself. Ego has reason, but that’s no match for the irrational. Ego, in its humble smallness, can say no however. What change would happen overnight in the world if all individuals just said no, not driving today, not consuming today? Such a world strike of no would force a different relationship with power.

Nonetheless, ego must not be unreasonable in its demands. The world of the irrational, the world of passion and spirit must be lived. Beyond the shadow of doubt, reason must join with its passionate, spirited, irrational self in deep exploration and life, beyond reason.

Living the irrational, with reason,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Where Will Magic Greet Me Today?

Join Chuck on his Magical Tour…
– Thanks to Capitol Records

This is the essential question to ask, as you begin each day: “Where will Magic greet me today?” No room for doubt in this question. Magic will happen. Intend to be aware and present for this most certain encounter.

Magic will happen because it is our other side, our energetic half. How could we not experience, in some way, our mysterious magical side, each and every day?

We live it in our dreams and it makes its appearance at unexpected moments in the day. A sudden deja vu, sounds from the environment that respond to our thoughts, a fleeting glimpse of an entity scooting into the bush, a smile from the moon, a song that appears and engulfs, a phrase spoken to the mind from within, a pressure on our arm, a knowing certainty that something will happen—these are but a few of the infinite possibilities of visitation from our magical side.

Sometimes the magic completely projects itself upon another person. We may be seized with attraction, or thunderstruck with terror to encounter such a powerful being. Feeling inadequate, we may shrink ourselves or doubt our worthiness. In these instances, we experience our magic vicariously, as we are unaware that the magic we feel really emanates from within ourselves.

“Not worthy,” does the smallness within becry? That’s normal, because it is normality that we cling to, as we know how rattling the magic can be. Secretly, we long to merge with our magic, yet we titrate its impact with wishing and hoping to remain safely insulated from direct exposure to its live current. This is fortified by doubting our worthiness.

Magic defies reason. Magic shatters, period. If it be the magic of a soul encounter, it delightfully transports us to an ecstatic world far beyond the world of reason. If it be a dark encounter with black magic, it threatens to devour the self. We never know for certain how or in which form it will appear, hence, the vigilance to seek safety behind the veils of true encounter.

The world stage is replete with magicians at present that excite us with their tricks. They serve to remind us that anything truly is possible, nothing is really as solid and reasonable as we believe. But don’t merely be vicarious spectators at these main events; fully show up for the main events in your own life! And such events are the Magic that awaits you this day.

Reason, our impeccably trained other half, longs to commune with its magical side but is terrified of loss of control to a power greater than itself. All our addictions are sullied pathways to our magic, protected by badness. Reason structures an out-of-control encounter that it can then regret, remaining safely in charge through the feeling of guilt.

Reason itself is magical. To construct a world that can be completely accounted for with reason is one magical feat. The problem for reason is that, in and of itself, it is boring; it lacks the power of magic. This fact might explain our current political reality, where the attraction to irrational impulse has consistently trumped reason.

The real challenge is to bring reason and magic into complementary alignment. Reason is a formidable guide with which to know and navigate the world. Magic, on the other hand, is infinite possibility in many worlds. Reason can steady and affirm the self as it journeys into infinite possibility, whereby supporting one’s quest for wholeness. To do this, reason needs to suspend and refine its normal judging function, granting the self encounters with its magical side in everyday life.

Thus, begin each day with a direct question to magic: “Where will WE meet today?”

Know that you will. Ask reason to guide you to its appearance and to hold you steady in the grip of its encounter. Ask reason to be expanded and blessed by the realness of its communion with magic. Roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour, you won’t regret it!

In the magic,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Love it all

Love it all, the dark and the light…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If we are truly to understand where we are, we must face the fact that the ego, with its capacity for reason, is the reigning god of now. The notion of an all-powerful god behind the scenes may still hold a sentimental attachment, a hope or belief, but reason reigns as that which gives order to life and the world. I pass no judgment nor support for this fact, I simply state the obvious.

The Christian notion of an all-loving god is the precursor to this god of reason. An all-loving god suggested a fair god, a reasonable god, a forgiving god, a god of order. And though this loving god still embraced the irrational—spirit life—it shed its dark side. Older notions of god, such as Yahweh or Allah, depict a far more bipolar god, a god of love but also a god of rage, a god of chaos. This god showed his dark side, torturing Job and drowning all who missed Noah’s boat.

The current god of reason has lost this ancient bipolar quality. I would submit that the current world crisis reflects the return of the disowned dark side of god, which is now in power, leveling the playing field of reason and order. We are currently facing chaos and the exercise of evil in control.

What I suggest here is that life is bipolar. We are both good and evil. Evil is not simply the absence of good, evil is part of the essence of everything. America has always stood for the highest values of goodness and caring, the most reasonable values on earth. But in so being, as we set out to save the world, we disowned our dark side, which has now visited itself upon us, and the rest of the world, in a caricature of abuse of power, an infantile, instinctual ego lacking reason.

Nonetheless, this startling state of affairs is so attractive and refreshing to the suppressed shadow, or inherent dark side of the populace, that it is lavishly having its day with all its drama and danger. This is the law of compensation: if we embrace one pole of our bipolar being too rigidly, the repressed side will eventually return with a vengeance.

This vengeance of the dark side is so intense that it threatens, like Noah’s flood, to wipe out all the goodness of civilization, in fact all of life itself. This instinctually driven, dominating power drive is completely self-serving, incapable of reasonable sacrifice to ensure a future beyond itself.

Yes, we must judge it; we must attempt to forestall its shortsighted, narcissistic stance that invites apocalypse, but we must also address the issue at its core: reconciling our bipolar being. We are all a composition of light and dark, good and evil, male and female. We must know all sides of ourselves; we must live all sides of ourselves. If we cling to a one-sided ideal of reason, we end up overturned by the irrational, chaotic side of our nature.

When I suggest that love is all, I mean that love includes evil, the dark side. Love can love its evil side. When the Dalai Lama states that yes, he could kill to defend his life, this does not make him hate his attacker. To the contrary, love reigns in that moment for he who must be killed. With the decision to kill, the Dalai Lama reconciles his instinctual, killing, “evil” nature with loving acceptance of all that is, even the ruthless, even the psychopathic.

Our evolving god image, that which we model ourselves upon, must return to its bipolar roots. That is where we are being led now. This is not merely an aberration being acted out on the world stage. That perspective is a hold out of the god of reason. No, what is being abundantly lived now is the breadth and potential of the dark side of humanity.

Of course, we hope that reason and the light side will prevail, but this can only happen if we embrace and find a place for the irrational, instinctual dark side of our beings. This is how each individual currently walking upon this earth is challenged and empowered to steer the course of our world.

Face your dark side, learn to love it. To love does not mean to give it free reign but to respect its knowledge and contribution to our wholeness. To acknowledge and accept our own darkness is the love that will ensure our survival and evolution upon this planet.

Do your part, as I do mine.

Love it all,

Chuck

Soulbyte for Tuesday April 18, 2017

Try to remember why you are there living the human life. Try to discover what it all means in the course of many lives. Remember to search for meaning every day. Remember to remember at every day’s end that you are part of a greater whole, alive for a reason, alive for the completion of something that only you can figure out. Remember to dream. Remember that everything has meaning and your life is no exception. Remember especially that!

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: What We Need Now

Too soon!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I observe the spring birds and daffodils arriving too soon, simply following nature’s cues, their inner programs indelible, natural laws that must be obeyed.

In contrast, most conscious humans would delay flight plans if alerted to an as yet unseen arctic nor’easter. How is consciousness not superior to nature’s old ways? This is the argument that elevated reason to chiefdom, to stardom. But reason, in its mental abstractness, has lost contact with its deep chthonic roots, with the power and wisdom of nature itself. Reason can harness the energy of nature, but if it abuses this decision-making ability nature will exact its corrective.

We find ourselves living in a comic book world now. Super villains or, from another perspective, super heroes have taken charge of Gotham City. Like many of Hollywood’s current epics the forces of good and evil are in dire conflict, either pre- or post-apocalypse. Reason has clearly lost its command, but why?

Why have the deep chthonic powers arisen so ardently to topple reason and reinstate an angry god? Was our choice of Obama that one-sided, as we presumed that the world was ready for full inclusion? Wasn’t Hillary reason’s obvious no-brainer for the next step? Why are we where we are now, back in Gotham City?

Perhaps the mistake was presuming that the light and right of consciousness was all that was necessary for wholeness to finally come about, that good will always triumph over evil. In fact, this one-sided hubris constellated the enantiodromia of the blitzkrieg of this dark side we now face. Light and dark, the two sides of God, are the two sides of all of us, and they must each be included lest the jealous, disowned God exact its revenge.

Take the sexual instinct, for example. Consciousness can prescribe the appropriate channels for this instinct, a very logical and ordered program. But beware the ravages of a powerful neglected instinct not properly lived in consciousness. The result, sexual abuse, in every culture, class, and institution around the globe.

What has assumed power is civilization’s disowned shadow, blind instinct wanting and taking. Responsibility for why we are here lies with the people of light, who truly underestimate the power and relevance of the people of the dark, as well as with the people of the dark who have no use for the reason of the people of the light.

With sex you cannot consciously force attraction. You must engage the power of deep instinct to join with conscious love for there to be fulfillment. Conscious love without the juice of attraction is at best a rational partnership, the shadow of which supports the pornography industry.

Equality…

So how do we arrive at conscious and fulfilling sacred sex? Clearly such a merger must include the heights of spirit light and the depths of dark chthonic instinct. Only an inclusive yin/yang configuration can lead to a balanced whole. If a tree’s branches are to reach heaven, its roots truly must sink into hell.

Consciousness must be restored to its leadership position in our world, but it must become a realistic versus idealistic leader. Nature did advance itself by evolving human consciousness after all. Yes, it is better to be able to delay a flight versus arrive early to sudden death.

On the other hand, consciousness must fully know and embrace its darkness, its deep chthonic roots, and slow its evolution to a reasonable pace that its integrated wholeness can bear.

In consciousness with chthonic roots,

Chuck

PS: Today is International Women’s Day, a day that many have called for women to give the world the experience of no women in it. That wave of energy may be experienced as what it is like to be in a world of light lacking its deep chthonic roots. Let’s see what happens!!