Tag Archives: recapitulation

Psyche & Soma

Psyche, in Greek, means soul or spirit, especially that part of the soul which manifests in the mind, in the conscious and unconscious parts of our wholeness. Soma refers to the body, especially to the nerve cells of the body. Psychosomatic is a combination of these two root words, meaning that which the spirit manifests in the body.

In my books, comprising the series called The Recapitulation Diaries, I write often about the incessant pain in my body. As real as the pain was, excruciating and debilitating at times, I discovered that it was really messages from my spirit, my psyche, directing me to what needed attention as I progressed on my journey. I discovered that during recapitulation what is manifesting in the body must be explored.

At first, I had almost every pain checked out by one doctor or another. I was doing this long before I even knew about recapitulation or began my journey of change and transformation. I’d go to a doctor and describe my pain, but there was never any diagnosis that those doctors could come up with to pinpoint what was causing the pain.

When I was in my early forties, I developed a skin cancer, a small red spot that turned out to be two types of cancer, basal cell and squamous cell. It’s unusual to have two types of cancer manifesting in the same area, the doctor who did the biopsy told me, but as soon as I had developed the red spot, and as soon as I was informed that it was cancer, I knew immediately that it had nothing to do with my exposure to the sun as a child, as was repeatedly questioned. I knew it had to do with what was festering inside me, that there was something much worse, that that little red dot was just the beginning of something far greater.

I knew, instinctively, that I had some dark thing inside me that I had been trying to forget my entire life. By the time I was forty, I had been pretty successful at forgetting, though I suffered in numerous physical, mental, and spiritual ways. That small red spot was just another indication that I might have to remember.

It was then that I acknowledged that my psyche was hiding something from me. It had protected me up until that point, but if I was to not get more skin cancer, or any other disease, I knew the time had come to face what it really meant. It took another five or six years before I finally took the leap, the leap into my own darkness and what lay there waiting for me to discover.

Pain is an indicator that the body has something to tell us. It might indeed be that we have a serious illness, or it might be that it is trying to protect us from that which we do not want to know. Pain can be a defense against that which is too painful to know.

As I recapitulated, I began to look at the pain in my body as a message from my spirit. I would ask it to show me what it knew, to guide me where to go next. I developed nerves of steel so I could face what my body had to tell me, what it knew and what it meant.

As I faced the pain and asked my body to be my guide, I also discovered that I always had the strength to face what it had to show me. I knew that it would not be asking me to face it if I was not ready. Whenever the pain showed up, and it showed up incessantly, relentlessly right to the very end of my recapitulation, I used it to heal.

That’s a strange idea, to imagine that our pain is actually our healing balm, but it’s true. Without my pain showing me what I needed to face I might not have freed my spirit and my body from the torment of years of abuse that had been so well-hidden inside me.

I often thanked my body and my unconscious for showing me what it knew, for revealing to me the truths not only of my own past but the truths of what the spirit and body are truly capable, how they inform and guide, how they really only want us to heal and discover the magical beings that we all are.

Even today, I still use my psyche and soma to guide me. I constantly question any pain I might have. Often, I realize, it is what I call “stuck energy,” a thought, idea, or attachment, a conjuring of the mind that I’ve latched onto that does not belong to me, stuck energy that needs to be moved along and out of my body, tension that when allowed to naturally release brings instantaneous relief.

Or it might be something that my psyche, my spirit wants me to be alert to, something that needs recapitulation. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons of recapitulation is that we are always being asked to grow and evolve, to confront our deepest issues and resolve them so we can move on into even greater freedom.

Our minds and our bodies, our psyche and soma, are amazing partners as we take our journeys through life, as we seek to know ourselves at the deepest of levels and as we seek to find the meaning in our lives.

I highly recommend any of the books by Dr. John Sarno, especially The Mind Body Prescription, as guides to understanding how psyche and soma work together to bring us to consciousness, to help us heal.

Our defenses are incredibly strong but our spirit is stronger. That is what we discover as we recapitulate.

I wish you all well on your journeys, and I send you love,

J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Witness

I wrote the following poem a few weeks ago. It just came through me without being conjured or called. I felt the urge to grab a pen, and this is what came through. I hope it helps, especially in these times of turmoil when we may not feel heard, respected, appreciated for the journeys we have taken, when no one wants to listen to our story, when we feel alone in the world and our heart is heavy. Perhaps this offering that I received will offer you something. Here is the poem:

Witness

Let the sun be your witness, for it has warmed you.

Let the wind be your witness, for it has heard you.

Let the darkness be your witness, for it carries your story.

Let the earth be your witness, for it bears your pain.

Let the dawn be your witness, for it knows your dreams.

Let the birds be your witness, for they sing your song.

Let the water be your witness, for it washes your tears.

Let the whole Universe be your witness, for it knows you better than you do.

Let your Soul be your witness, for it has already gone where you have gone.

Be your own witness, for you know who you truly are.

Sending you love and support,

Jan KetchelAuthor of The Recapitulation Diaries

Recapitulation: Movement is Crucial

Just Breathe… anywhere, anytime…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

There are many phases of a recapitulation, especially a recapitulation of childhood, especially a recapitulation of a childhood of sexual or physical abuse with its many layers of psyche and soma.

Each layer needs its own separate recapitulation time. Memories are multifaceted and multidimensional, like the skins of an onion, layer upon layer of thin veils of information that must be addressed one at a time. This is one reason that a recapitulation can take a long time. But we can facilitate a recapitulation by consciously attending to each of those layers with intent and awareness, paying attention to where we need to go next by what comes to guide us.

Recapitulation is guided by spirit, that of our body and that of our high self. Dreams guide us too, and we should pay attention to where they take us; our spirit speaking to us in its own language of symbol, myth, and possibility, tapping into other dimensions of truth and fact that we may be missing during our waking life.

During my own recapitulation, I discovered how the many layers of memory came. First there were visual flashbacks. Then those flashbacks fused together into movie-like scenarios, with sounds, smells, feelings, in both physical body and emotional body. Eventually each of those separate somatic experiences required their own recapitulation, so that in the end my recapitulation became a many-layered experience, as each part of each experience took its own time to show me what it had to show me.

The body holds just as much memory, or possibly more than the mind. This is what I came to discover, that the body holds its own memories, separate and yet connected to the memories that come from the deep recesses of the mind, that which is stored in the memory centers of the brain.

These body memories appeared as stuck in my body, energy caught in various places, causing pain and discomfort, anxiety and tensions, and they often acted out real physical disabilities, such as unexplained limping, numbness, swelling, rashes, etc. Often, just the remembering and reliving of a memory did not fully release it from my physical body. Such memories remained deeply embedded in my muscles and sinews until I did something physical to urge them out of me.

I found running, walking, doing yoga, Magical Passes and breathing, Embodyment Therapy® and energy work by an energy worker helpful in releasing these memories from the sinews of the body. Massage, making love, with a partner or alone (yes, masturbation is an excellent means by which to release stuck energy); physical work, gardening, creative endeavors like painting, dancing, singing, playing music, even taking lots of soothing baths. Don’t force; do what comes naturally to you. Anything that stirs the body is helpful in addressing the deep needs of the body to release what it has stored alongside the mental memories.

If physical activity is limited, pain and incapacitation will continue. Mysterious symptoms that no doctor can explain will continue. Illnesses of no origin will continue. So, I urge all of my readers to get up off the couch, out of the bed, and onto the yoga mat. Do some exercises that appeal to you. Put on some running or walking shoes, ride a bike, do something you enjoy in order to get moving.

If physical movement is difficult, even just lots of deep breathing will begin to open the passageways to release what’s stuck; either the recapitulation breath or any other deep breathing technique will suffice. Or simply breathe consciously, with awareness, paying attention to the gentle and natural in-breath and out-breath that your body makes on its own. Breath is life; breath is healing.

Whatever you choose to do, begin slowly, proceed at a pace that you and your body can handle, but be persistent. Ask your body to show you what it needs; this is often the best way to start the physical release of recapitulation. Your body will respond and show you what it needs.

Both your psyche and your body will thank you for getting in touch at a new and deeper level. Your recapitulation will get unstuck, and you will be better prepared to handle what it reveals to you.

It will make you stronger in mind and body, psyche and soma. And your spirit will be overjoyed.

Wishing you well on your continued journey of recapitulation.

Sending you love and support,

Jan Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

•Published simultaneously on The Recapitulation Diaries Facebook Page

Chuck’s place: Twice Born

“Girl in a Large Hat” c. 1645 – c. 1650
by Cesar Boetius van Everdingen
– Rijks Museum

To be born means to be born physically, from mother. This event triggers the activation of archetypes that guide parents in their childrearing practices. Archetypes are latent inborn schemas, which, when activated, direct human behavior.

The powerful parent/child archetypes interact to provide a foundation for the developing personality. For instance, to be held when crying helps a child feel secure that the world will respond to its emotional needs.

Archetypes define needs and expectations in relationships. The archetypes of mother and young child cover a period of need and dependency in childhood, with the entitled expectation that the  basic needs of hunger and safety be met.

The archetypes that dominate family life are so powerful that very often they dominate all of one’s life on earth. Mother’s Day was celebrated but a couple of days ago. The mother archetype is indeed the most powerful archetype. Mother is the source, period, of all human life. Echoes of one’s relationship with mother fundamentally permeate all of one’s relationships in life.

Most mothers are, as Winnicott coined the expression, “good enough.” This means that the basic imperatives of the archetypes are met, helping a child achieve rudimentary adulthood. But archetypes are unyielding in their insistence upon perfection. Thus, many mothers are forever laden with guilt for not having done enough for their children.

But is mother ever allowed to retire from mothering? Must she nurture and be defined only as mother, for her entire life? Must she deny her full personhood, in lieu of her motherly duties, once her children are reared? At what point do adult children and parents become peers, equal as traveling companions in this great mystery of life, death, and beyond?

On the flip side are children, well along in chronological years, who feel terribly shortchanged and resentful that their basic needs in childhood were not met. The power of this sense of inadequacy and emotional need keeps one attached and dependent, sometimes for a lifetime. The archetype can be unrelenting in its entitled demand for its full due.

Adult children and their parents may remain embroiled in interactive patterns that were appropriate for the developmental period of young childhood, as they attempt to fulfill unmet needs. Unfortunately, once the critical period of childhood is over, these archetypal patterns cease to deliver the desired effect. In fact, they tend to intensify both dependency and despondency.

All adults must assume full responsibility for their journeys, regardless of the archetypal misfirings of their childhood. This is not a judgment; it’s a developmental fact. Psychological development in adulthood rests in the hands of the individual, not in the family that reared them.

The real challenge for adulthood, for all parties, is to obtain release from the anachronistic archetypes that bind them. This actually is the function of the initiation rites of both ancient and modern religions; to provide release from archetypes that interfere with transition into new roles in the life cycle.

Recapitulation allows one the soul retrieval journey to square with the archetypes that bind old hurts, needs, resentments, and blame. With recapitulation, one takes full ownership of every event of one’s life, as one reclaims all of one’s energy stuck in those old dramas.

This practice frees one of the archetypal bindings, opening the door to being born again, or twice born. To be twice born is to achieve psychological and emotional maturity and independence.

To be twice born is a spiritual birth, which happens beyond childhood where the primary archetypes that ruled family life are released, as one takes on full responsibility for one’s life as an independent physical and energetic being. To be twice born is to awaken and mature into the spiritual dimension of life in human form.

This is the journey of spirit, for which we prepare in our second birth. In our time, that journey has opened through the widespread experience of the energy body, both in our dreams and in our waking experiences out-of-body. To open to this journey we must transmute our archetypal relationships.

With detachment from archetypal binding, gained through recapitulation, we fully embody, within ourselves, the mother and father we need to be, for ourselves, to navigate our soul’s adventure in infinity. In our time, the door has opened to explore this realm while still alive in a physical body.

For the twice born, this is the deepest intent, while fully loving all, as they undertake their own journeys of discovery. Sending love to all.

One in Spirit,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Forget not Your Physical Body

Take a walk, you never know what Mother Nature might present…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Mother Nature is pushing us deeper into our own energetic nature now, as our access to physical travel, physical objects, and physical contact is greatly restricted. This, however, does not exempt us from taking deep care of the physical body, as it is the source of our energetic potential while alive in this world.

Consider trauma. Frequently, when an individual is confronted with a trauma they are automatically sent into their energy body for safe refuge. In this defensive state of dissociation the physical body embodies and stores the experience. The body as storage unit is burdened with the limitations and physical symptoms of this unprocessed trauma.

Generally, an individual thus burdened experiences life mainly on the mental plane, defending against encounters with the issues tucked away in the body. In such a state, the body might present any number of physical symptoms to the mental plane, seeking to awaken it to its hidden mysteries. Unfortunately, rather than see the concrete missives from the body as keys to access trapped energy, we often find ourselves in the emergency room, seeking relief.

Recapitulation is frequently initiated by body symptoms impervious to medical diagnosis and treatment. Once an event is recapitulated the body is freed of its burden, and energy is released both to the physical body and the energy body. On the physical plane the body moves more freely, perhaps gaining or losing weight according to its needs. Life in the body becomes an experience of sensual delight. The energy body is also freed to journey with awareness, not held in check by the defensive constraints of the mental body.

Although many psychics have great access to the subtle planes of the energy body, they are not necessarily themselves fully in their physical bodies. To be fully in body, without restriction, is the foundation for the greatest freedom in the exploration of life beyond the physical body.

As Mother Earth pushes us inward as she progresses with her own grand healing crisis, let us first attend to the strength and well being of our own physical bodies. To be in peak performance in body, we must nourish ourselves well and utilize our body, actively, throughout the day. Equally important is that we address the issues the body may be carrying, as it embodies our acute and longterm conflicts, the stuff of psychosomatic medicine.

A note of caution here: to be in peak physical condition through a discipline that ignores or overrides the issues stored in body, can be as dissociative as giving no attention to the body at all. Here the body is not seen and experienced as the traveling companion that it is, but as an object to be controlled and mastered. Love thy body, treat it with respect.

Greater access to life in the energy body while still in physical form is our evolutionary thrust  now. The human spirit, with its hunger for adventure, is only beginning to discover its unlimited potential in energetic life. However, to fully equip ourselves for these fantastic voyages we must attend to the matrix of our energy body here on earth, the physical body.

In this respect, all of us, men and women, are mothers to our own energy bodies. Be good mothers to your physical bodies, that you might cultivate your energy body, to have all your dreams come true.

Let the dreams begin,

Chuck