Tag Archives: self-importance

Chuck’s Place: The Power of the Small

We are one cell, one bundle of energy in the great mystery of Gaia…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If we peek inside one single cell in our body we discover a self-contained universe of differentiated parts, working in unison to maintain the life of that single cell. Thirty-seven-trillion of these micro-universe cells coordinate to form a single human body. The health and well being of each of those individual cells contributes to the overall health and well being of the entire human body.

The Earth, Gaia, has its own biological body, of which humans, as cells, comprise a specialized unit. I would propose that on a macro-level the human race, as a whole, forms the frontal cortex of Gaia’s brain. In simple terms, the human race is Gaia’s ego consciousness center, the youngest part of the brain, that which is associated with the ability to override instinct and act instead with free will and reason.

Thus, when we speak of global warming as a function of human decision making, Gaia’s frontal cortex appears to be acting contrary to its overall survival needs. In fact, to carry the analogy further, the more ancient part of Gaia’s brain, the limbic system—home of powerful instinct and emotion—can be said to be releasing its destructive reaction toward human behavior in the storms, fires, earthquakes, tsunamis, and diseases that punctuate our time.

Just as the frontal cortex does not fully come on line in humans until about age 25, the collective human frontal cortex is clearly in its early adolescence, with narcissistic and self-serving behaviors in control of some of its most vital decision making. This reality is wholly reflected in current world politics where leadership is completely self serving, unable to align with both truth and the greater survival needs of the world as a whole.

The good news: as individual cells of the collective human race, we are each in a position to address and impact the very issues confronting our greater world. The operative analogy here: As within, so without.

We begin by assuming responsibility for the fact that we, as individuals, reflect the reality we see without. Although it may be difficult to face this shadow truth, it is also quite empowering. If I can face, and change within myself, the same power dynamics now being acted out in the world, I contribute toward the maturation of Gaia’s frontal cortex. This truly is a healing action.

Turn inward to your own inner universe with new awareness. Recognize that consciousness is the psyche’s youngest acquisition. Whereas human functioning was, for eons, directed by its instinctive, pre-programmed limbic system, consciousness—for better or for worse—can now consult Google and make its own decisions! Furthermore, consciousness can indulge its desires at any time, not just when its stomach says it’s time to eat, or its hormones say it’s time to mate. Consciousness also has the ability to reflect upon itself and question its real motives, i.e., really be honest with itself.

However, this ability to reflect has its dense physical trappings. Consciousness also likes to look in the mirror and  play dress up with life. The shamans call this tendency self-reflection, which, from their experience, absorbs the lion’s share of human motivation and energy. We are currently seeing such a caricature of self-reflection in the behavior of our leader, but can we see it in ourselves?

Every one of us has the responsibility to face our own obsession with the presentation of self in everyday life, as glaringly mirrored in our fanciful leader. I am reminded incessantly of this fact by our male cardinal who continues to peck away daily at every window and car mirror at our home. Can we ever get to life beyond this level of self-reflection?!

For ego to rise above its own reflection and unholy alliance with the appetites of its limbic system, it must find its way to right action. Right action is action based on reason that transcends the trappings of the Me-Me-Me self. Right action issues from a higher spirit, one that considers the true needs of the whole, not just the ego self.

That spirit resides within the heart, but its voice is largely obscured by the ego self’s physical obsessions. Nonetheless, the ego has many opportunities to channel its higher spirit, as it must suffer its failures and defeats in this life. Ego defeats result in deflation and sobriety, where we then have the opportunity to really reflect and then  choose or acquiesce to right action, the insinuation of the spirit.

We have, as well, the ability to invoke the help of our spirit by simply asking. When we set an intent, say a prayer, or ask for help, we are directly soliciting the guidance and support of spirit. The response we get might send us down quite a serpentine path, but it’s also likely to be the path that will best mold our ego to do right action.

Take for instance the most recent presidential election, which forestalled the coming to power of the matriarchy. The more inclusive values of the matriarchy would seem to be the healing balm needed in our time, and perhaps it ultimately will be, but for now we must take the serpentine path before us and deal with what we have delivered ourselves: the ultimate patriarchal trickster. And so, spirit might have had a hand here; showing us that to properly be ready to receive the matriarchy, we must first crack the mirror of our own self-reflection. Without first mastering this challenge, we’d likely just be transferring our childish neediness to mommy!

Be empowered within the walls of your individual cell self. Be compassionate with your ego self’s developmental process. As Gaia’s ego brain, we have a long way to go, but if we can take responsibility for our own leadership role, and reach out to spirit with humility, the power of the small is sure to manifest our healing intent.

Taking responsibility,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond Self-Importance

I am more than my physical body…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel taken at The Monroe Institute in Faber, Virginia

For many years, we must grapple with our acquired inferiority and  journey to overcome it. All humans become inferior as they grow from a childhood of oneness of connection to everything to a firmly separated ego identity whose consciousness creates firm boundaries between self and other.

This loss of oneness happens gradually as we are socialized into rational thinking, the operational interpretation system of our world. Rationality, with its cause and effect focus, fragments our  wholeness in an effort to bring understanding, order, and control into our lives. Our inherent connection to our soul group and access to the  knowledge of our journeys through infinity, as recorded in the holographic Akashic record of all life, slips away as the challenges of navigating life on earth calls for greater adaptation to the physical world.

This loss of connection to our greater wholeness is the ultimate cause of the collective human condition of inferiority. The truth is that our poor ego is inferior. How could it be otherwise? To go from a condition of interconnected oneness, what many might characterize as the oneness of God, to the puny separateness of an ego disconnected from its source is a built-in experience of inferiority.

Ego has few options to improve its impoverished state of being. One option is to learn and master the rules of the interpretation system of this world that will allow it greater adaptation to the challenges of survival. This track—good schools, good mate, good job—though still powerful, is found wanting in our time of general disintegration. Our planet can no longer house unlimited growth.

Another option for our ego is to employ either deflation or inflation. In deflation the ego keeps itself down, as it sees all others in the world as superior to itself. The advantage to this strategy is to be more accepting of an inferior life by feeling unworthy of receiving more. The downside of this strategy is possible depression and resentment for not having been able to experience or actualize more of one’s inherent potential.

In contrast, inflation fills the ego with a high level of self-importance, as it puffs itself up with an identification with a higher spirit. Narcissism could be understood as the ultimate identification with God: I am all there is! The trap of self-importance is a false assessment of self that is off-putting and generally not up to the job.

So what is a more realistic option for the ego beyond the trappings of self-importance with its artificially low value with deflation or overvaluation with inflation? First, we must actually value the ego for what it truly is: a fragment of our soul that lives in a world of space-time. This unique opportunity has an advantage over infinity. That which is born, lives, and dies can experience a maturing and discovery process while separated from the oneness of infinity.

In fact, it is likely that our greater soul group chooses life in this world to discover and grow through questions and problems that will enhance our soul’s journey in infinity. A sojourn in space-time provides the opportunity for a full exposition and living out of a question in a lifetime that enhances our soul’s knowing of itself outside space-time.

Nonetheless, the cost to our ego in this earthly lifetime is a disconnect from the mothership of our greater soul in infinity. This is simply the necessary byproduct of a life in space-time. However, this ego/greater soul axis remains present throughout our lifetime as a latent potential to be more fully realized and developed. This is the evolutionary shift now happening in the world. This is the key to the ego shedding self-importance as a survival strategy to cover up its inadequacy.

Through its sensory systems the ego is quite capable of bringing to consciousness concrete data perceived in the world, as well as mentally orienting itself to that data. If the ego can suspend the judgements of its socialized operating system, to allow for decoding the world in a broader rather than strictly rational way, it becomes well positioned to collaborate with the wisdom of its greater soul while still in space-time.

An example of this is synchronicity. In every moment of every day the world around us echoes sounds, signs, and messages to guide and supplement our decisions, reflections, and understandings. Nearly every time I reach a conclusion I am treated to an affirmation or tweak in some form by the world around me that supplements my process.

This can take the form of a song in my head, a page in a book I randomly open to, a phone call, or the chirp of a bird. If my ego is humble it immediately considers the feedback the world delivers as it orients itself to decisions at hand. This is not about ego letting go of its rational facility but instead expanding it to include wisdom offered from beyond the rational for inclusion in its processing.

When ego reaches beyond self-importance to shore up its relationship with its greater wholeness the world is moved toward greater wholeness and integration as well. Decisions made by a clear headed ego, acting in consort with its greater soul, are sure to lead us to a real world of stable continuance.

As for our ego, its connection to its greater soul assures its confidence in being fully supported in its soul’s intent in this lifetime. Now that’s support beyond self-importance!

Humbly,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Attention

Energy travels many paths…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Energy is blood at the ethereal level. Blood is the carrier of the vital life source in the physical body. Energy is the active life force in the energy body. As sometimes we may require a blood transfusion to preserve life in the physical body so the energy body seeks energetic enhancement through exchanges of energy at the ethereal level.

Actually, we can notice this energetic transmission of energy on the physical plane through the exchanges of everyday life. Attention is a form of energy. When we give something our attention we transfer some of our vital energy to it, which then enlivens it in some form.

However subtle, we can often feel in some way that someone has their attention upon us. Often it might register as a sudden thought about the person who is thinking about us or actually looking at us, even from behind.

Human beings often interpret attention as a form of validation. Attention is currency. Like money, it fills us with value and worth.  This can result in attention seeking behavior. The greater the attention given, the greater the feeling of personal worth. This was the theorem Mark Zuckerberg exploited with the launching of Facebook: the more friends who like us, the better we feel about ourselves.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico were well aware of the energetic dynamic of attention seeking behavior. In fact, they determined that our human obsession with validation monopolizes the lion’s share of our vital energy through our entire lifetime.

The experience of being validated may deliver a temporary  energetic boost. In actuality it proves to be an energetic drain when factoring in the amount of mental and emotional energy spent each day seeking attention and validation from the outside world.

The shamans teach us to become energy misers. They employ techniques to free themselves of the energy drain of upholding self-importance through external validation. They relish opportunities to release themselves from being offended, a major source of energy drain in human interaction.

If we can release ourselves from being offended by others whose narcissism prevents them from seeing or valuing us, in fact even causes them to bully us, then we are actually storing tremendous caches of energy. Releasing ourselves from any attachment to victimhood is central to this practice.

This doesn’t mean we simply turn the other cheek. In fact, we might have to actually fight back, but our approach is not driven by rage or revenge or preserving self-importance but is simply a pragmatic response to the challenge presented, based on what is possible in a given situation.

The energy gained and stored through losing self-importance allows that energy to be redeployed toward exploration of one’s true purpose for coming into this world, as well as the ability to explore life in other dimensions of infinity while still in physical form.

Best use of attention is to observe the tendency to be offended by others. Identifying it enables a process of detachment that both saves and frees energy for spiritual deployment.

Attentively,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: It’s Time for Ego Refinement

Energy in action…
– Detail of Artwork by Jan Ketchel

We live in the most stupendous of times for ego development. From the moment we awaken each day we are barraged with outer world events, bodily needs, and an internal dialog which all clamor for our attention. Attention is where we employ our vital energy. Ego must decide in rapid succession how it will spend this vital energy.

Will our decisions enhance or deplete our energetic reserves? Will our decisions be in alignment with the state of our body? Will our decisions channel the deeper calling of our spirit? These are examples of the myriad of decisions the ego must make in our hyper, fast-paced, rapidly shifting modern world.

Ego has gotten a bad rap. This is largely because it is associated with enhancing one’s self-importance and outer-world possessions to the detriment of others, as well as to the detriment of the spirit. Indeed, ego can decide to employ the vital energy of the body and the spiritual self to its own aggrandizement.

In fact, perhaps the most exaggerated example of this attitude confronts us daily in the governance currently in power of our world. We all must face the real possibility of nuclear holocaust in the hands of such leadership, but here also lies the very heart of opportunity for the moment we live in.

We must all choose whether to spend our energy worrying about this fact, and this is an ego decision, or not. True, we must acknowledge the threat to our survival, the existential anxiety of pending destruction and disintegration, for not to do so would be to dissociate from our animal knowing of the real and present danger to our existence.

However, as the shamans discovered long ago, death is our greatest advisor. Knowing that we are beings who are going to die is our greatest support to stay awake and take full advantage of the opportunities of life in this dimension. The ego must decide what to do with this information.

The ego can employ the classic defense of denial and go about daily life as if nothing is different, all is predictable and unfolding as it should. Modern events, however, are really rattling this defense.

The ego could become concretely opportunistic, gobbling up power and wealth to enjoy its time here in material abundance, paying little heed to the side effects of its choices. Nature is dramatically confronting this attitude right now.

The ego might alternatively choose to face reality and attend to the impact of its animal knowing on its central nervous system through a variety of meditative and breathing practices.

Further, ego might turn its attention inward to the subtler energies of its spirit. These are the energies of manifestation, these are the energies of intent. These are the energetic pathways open to the evolving human. We all may glimpse them in the magical occurrences that frequently follow shortly after the loss of a loved one when, in heightened awareness, we are opened to the energetic possibilities of quantum connection.

Ego turning its attention materially toward outer control and accumulation are Old World technologies. It is obvious that from an evolutionary standpoint they are not favored. Don’t be fooled by the current last stand of the worst of these practices, they need to have their last dance.

We are being prompted now to discover life at a deeper energetic level. This entails tuning into the subtle energies of synchronicity and serendipity where the ego is presented with feedback and energetic possibilities that can guide life into truly sustainable evolutionary directions.

These are the amazing opportunities for ego refinement in our current volatile times. We are evolving into a  New World of energy as well as a world of concrete objects, a far more expansive world, with a wise ego at the helm.

In refinement,

Chuck

A blog by Chuck Ketchel, LCSW-R

Chuck’s Place: Being Somebody

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico discovered that the real culprit undermining humankind’s survival is the unshakeable quest to be important. In modern terms, this manifests as how many friends we have, who likes our postings, our pictures, tracks our tweets, wants our attention at any moment, day or night.

While the lion’s share of our vital energy is trained to hear the crystal sounding ding on our cellphones, announcing that “I am wanted! I am important!” a predatory dark force rapes the earth of its vital energy and relegates its human inhabitants to being, as don Juan Matus called it, “chickens in a chicken coop.”

Nothing but a little island grounded in the vast everything... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Nothing but a little island grounded in the vast everything…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

For years, I strove to be somebody by cracking the nut of the truth of our existence and sharing it with other seekers. I discovered early on that this naive romance with stardom was barred to me. Advertising generated nothing. Mainstream book publishers had no interest. I had traveled so far from the mainstream that the mainstream had no interest in my “good news.” Perhaps what I was really being taught was the foolhardiness of my own self-importance.

Side by side with self-importance is yet another energetic path that has ruthlessly hemmed humankind in, the path of inaction. Carl Jung noted that the yin and yang of our world are expressed in two different energetic systems: animal and plant.

Animal energy is the energy of action, it is masculine energy. It derives its sustenance from outside of itself, in the world at large. This is extroverted energy. A dominance of animal energy in humankind has led to power, control, and dominance games—that which rules the world at present. This dominance of extroverted Western values has also infected the greatest spiritual strongholds of the East, India and China.

Self-importance, on a global scale, is typified in the likes of Donald Trump who unapologetically mirrors the flippant, egoistic male action reaching, in comic crescendo, for world dominance.

Contrasting animal action is the rooted plant. The plant world, the feminine yin of our planet, is self-contained, deriving its energy receptively from the rays of the sun. Like any pregnancy, it produces from within, needing not to travel about and dominate for its substances and metabolic processes but requiring only nurturing stillness.

In human terms, plant spirituality is the Buddha beneath the bodhi tree, Christ upon the wooden cross tree. Both exemplify rootedness, stillness, the patience of the immobilized tree. In this deep groundedness, in this stillness, comes detachment from the grasp of illusion, detachment from extroverted action, detachment from the actions of needing to be somebody.

By withdrawing energy from attachment to the action of self-importance—the energy of definition and meaning through hierarchy and dominance—we are freed to see beyond the veils of self-importance, retaining our energy to truly evolve, not as being somebody but simply being and becoming what we truly are.

The energetic antidote to the one-sided dominance of human animal energy is human plant energy, the energy of yin, now uprooted from Tibet and planted throughout the world, particularly in America. Even the most prized Western brain science now embraces the technology of mindfulness as the key to neuroplasticity—real change.

Ultimately, the Taoist rebalancing of yin and yang, plant and animal, action and inaction, will evolve us into a new chapter in this Earth dream that we are all sharing. But for now, we must burn through the deluge of self-importance that is exhausting us in our need to be somebody. The ground is prepared to receive our planted energy and the seeds of genuine, needed change.

Becoming nobody,

Chuck