Tag Archives: sexual abuse

Chuck’s Place: Sexual Abuse and The New New Deal

What’s missing? Relatedness!
-Art by Jan Ketchel

Poised as we are for the juggernaut of The New New Deal we are simultaneously treated to the greatest exposure of aberrant male sexual behavior the world has ever known.

The New Deal was really Eleanor Roosevelt’s baby, the caring, warmly related mother who insured the health and well being of her progeny. The New New Deal is the return of Kronos, Zeus’s father, who ate all his offspring, except Zeus, to insure his unimpeded rule.

The seeming contradiction of these synchronistic events, the rise of divisive egotism and the downfall of the abuser, deserves careful scrutiny. What both events share in common is the absence of  relatedness.

Human relatedness is born of the feminine in both women and men. The feminine underscores the interconnectedness of all life: wholeness. The feminine is eros, the glue that congeals a relationship, a family, a nation, a world.

In its purest form the masculine is pneuma, the imperceptible breath of wind that shows its effect by breaking up clusters of coagulated debris upon a lake, for instance, home to ecosystems in transition. In this image the masculine can be seen as aggressive, though I think more accurately as active. In its purest form the masculine is the active principle, yang, that spreads its seed far and wide creating ever new permutations of life.

This dispersion, however gentle the breeze may be, is destructive to what is. The dismantling of the social welfare caring state marks a radical breakdown of the inclusiveness and maternal supports that have served as the governing principles of the world for many decades.

The takedown of sexually abusive male icons and idols is its own dismantling of the status quo, largely fueled by the active yang energy in women. All are being emboldened by the bright light of consciousness to shine the light on hidden truths that have allowed an unrelated sexual instinct, housed in the dark recesses of the human shadow, to dominate with impunity.

What is currently lacking in both The New New Deal and our modern inquisition into abuse is the feminine principle of yin, relatedness. Perhaps it was time for a world restructuring. Perhaps care for all was becoming too inclusive, but clearly a push to completely shift resource into the hands of the least in need is missing something essential.

Similarly, to destroy careers without trial, to lump all male sexual behavior into the same category is lacking in a feminine relatedness that can feel its way to the differentiated truths in these many abusive vignettes revealed daily.

The truth is that any sexual contact that is not related, meaning not mutually agreed upon and desired by each person, is an abuse of human power.  A purely instinctual sexual encounter that lacks any real human connection, if  mutually agreed upon, is not abuse. However, the quality of such an unrelated encounter is not fully human, as it lacks the inclusion of the highest human potential, the ability to love. Sex without love is not related. The deepest human challenge is to reconcile animal and spirit in true union.

As we move forward from the disintegrative stage of our current world transformation we do well to realize that both action and connection are the yang and yin of our world. All new deals, wherever they may lead, require an equal participation and inclusion of both masculine and feminine principles.

Sexual abuse, as well as the New New Deal, reflects a preponderance of yang and a paucity of yin. Structures that lack balance will have limited life.

May we find our way to love,

Chuck

Why Do People Do The Things They Do?

Who’s rocking the boat?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We’ve all been taught to be nice girls and boys, to not rock the boat, not make anyone uncomfortable by bringing up disturbing issues. Who among us grew up in a household where things were really discussed, addressed, and resolved by coming to a deeper understanding of why we do the things we do? Not me.

In my house you kept quiet. You didn’t rock the boat, make anyone uncomfortable, or even talk about what bothered you the most. You held everything in and hoped for the best. If you got caught doing something bad you were blamed, shamed, and punished, but no one ever asked if you needed something. No one ever asked if you were in pain, in need, or suffering. No one wanted to know if something was disturbing you or confusing you. No one wanted to deal with feelings or emotions. They wanted it simple. You followed the rules so everything went according to plan, or else. You were told to act like a lady, get good grades, and stop being an embarrassment to your parents. In the end you just ended up feeling guilty, ashamed, and bad.

But growing up where nothing is ever discussed, where you are supposed to figure out some of the most frightening and complicated experiences in your life on your own is a daunting task, especially for a small child who just shuts up and shuts down, finds ways to self-soothe and somehow makes it through childhood and into adulthood. Having been sexually abused, I empathize with others who also had a bad time of it, but I also know that we must move beyond our traumas, not only entertain a new vision for ourselves and the world but embrace it as well. We must all dare to change.

In spite of my background I have always been able to see the good in others, no matter how bad they appear to be. Perhaps it’s just part of my personality, the part of me that somehow knew how to survive and thrive in spite of what happened to me. Suffice it to say, I’m an optimist. I’ve always been able to weigh all sides of an issue. Often this makes it impossible to take sides. I was never good at debating. I’m much better at taking in the whole picture and seeing how all the pieces fit together. This is a Buddhist perspective, the middle way, all things in harmony and balance. In the end, I tend to be okay with the way things are because I know that things have a way of resolving, often in the most unexpected of ways, but often in the most simple of ways.

For most of my life I felt like I was living in a daze. I didn’t really wake up, except occasionally, until I was 50. It was then that I started to gain clarity on what had actually transpired in my childhood, why I had lived in that daze for most of my life (because I was only half in this world, the other half still back in the past), but once all that insight about my past started to flood into me all I wanted to do was stay awake. I got interested in life in a new and different way.

I wanted to know why and how things happen, and how to change myself and the things in my life that I could change. I saw the bigger picture of what had been, but I also wanted to intend a new bigger picture for the future. I wanted to be actively involved in planning my future life in a different way, consciously aware of myself as part of the process. I didn’t want life to lead me; I wanted to meet life and take a new journey with all that it offered me. It meant I had to be prepared to really change. I had to learn how to let change work for me in positive and good ways, with intent and purpose, rather than just because it happened anyway.

I have since learned that not everyone wants to change, not everyone is ready to change, and in fact many people don’t care about changing at all, they just care about themselves. This seems to be what we are being confronted with now, just how many people really only care about themselves, how caught up they are in their own hubris, their own greed, and how little they care about others. We must all be accountable for what is happening now and we all have a responsibility to try and figure out how to resolve the chaos of our times. There are many forums, and many people are taking the opportunity to finally speak out, but for most of us perhaps the best forum is quietly within.

To truly know ourselves as human beings must be the first step in changing our world. Why did my abuser rape, torture, and assault me? Why did he sell me to others like himself? Why do people do the things they do?

I have discovered that if I am to understand others I must try to understand myself. The first step in doing that, I learned, is to give up all preconceived ideas of how things should be, all preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong, of what is supposed to be. I learned that I have to empty my mind of everything and be open to understanding life at a totally different level and from many different perspectives, be open to new concepts, new twists, new notions of possibility never before imagined. I have to be totally nonjudgmental, abundantly curious, and insatiably interested in learning new things.

In being open in this manner I come back to myself, to that young girl who could always empathize, who could always see the good in others, who could always see all sides of an issue or a problem. That little Buddhist girl is still in me and she still presents me with her open mind, and every day I am grateful for her. I had to work very hard to find my way back to her, wading through the muck of years of duty and adherence to principles and ideas I did not really believe in but followed blindly because I did not want to rock the boat, get into trouble, or be misunderstood. Then I decided it was high time for a different approach. I recapitulated. In so doing I had to break down the world I knew into dust and debris and pick from it only what was important and leave the rest of it behind, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Sometimes that’s all it is, just something to leave behind.

Now, as I said, I am awake, and in being awake I have to look at myself from all different angles all the time. How am I like those men who abuse? How am I like my own abuser? How do I abuse others? How can I judge another when I know I am not perfect?

When I accept that I have deviant behaviors inside myself, perhaps even to the same extent as some of the worst offenders, then I begin to know why people do the things they do. I do the things I do because I act impulsively or greedily or selfishly. I might be fearful, sad or lonely. I might lash out. I might take. I might overdo. I might be greedy today and selfless tomorrow. I might be hostile now and loving later. I might be inflated in the morning and by nightfall totally deflated and depressed. I might hate one minute and feel bad about it the next. I might get angry and vent, knowing that it’s important to state what is bothering me, but then I can also be the kindest person in the room, wanting the people around me only to feel comfortable and happy. I am all of these things because I’m human.

I have written about my demons, I accept them as part of me. Even if I don’t act on all my impulses, even if I don’t let all my demons out of the bag, I have to accept that they exist inside me. I too am culpable, fallible, weak, and sometimes I fail. That’s what it means to be human. And that’s why I cannot hate, even those who do bad things to me. I can only love. Love is what I always come back to. It is the glue that holds us all together and it is the glue that must keep us together as we address the current climate of change, as people in power get sacked for their indiscretions, as others suffer the shock of knowing that people they love did bad things. What do you do with all that? You just keep loving them.

Love is powerful and hopefully it will get us through this to a deeper understanding of all that we are, the human animals as well as the loving spirits. We accept the loving spirit part of ourselves so easily, but it’s much harder to deal with the other side that we are too, the instinctual animal that we have yet to fully confront and accept into our lives and our world. We all need to work at it, within ourselves first and foremost. Only then will we understand why people do the things they do, because we do them too and we know why. Then we can truly be empathic, nonjudgmental, loving, total humans. Then we will be able to not just accept the bigger picture but embrace our wholeness as well.

Some things just have to be accepted as we wade our way through the chaos we now find ourselves in. Some people just won’t get it, will refuse to change no matter how much they are confronted with how badly their behavior harms others. Some people just aren’t that evolved yet and we have to let them be where they are, for the truth is they are part of what creates balance, they are part of that bigger picture. The Buddhists know that you can’t have the light without the dark, the good without the evil, the day without the night.

At the same time that I accept all that, I do have expectations of everyone I know and everyone I don’t know. I expect to be treated as a fellow human being. I expect to be given the same opportunities as everyone else. I expect the same fairness I grant others. I expect the same kindness and compassion I extend to others. I expect to be allowed to live in a safe world, free from violence, war, nuclear disaster, free of angry people with guns. I expect the same for others.

I want us all to live in a world where we make room for others, where we share what we have with others, where we embrace everyone as human beings just like us, where color and race and gender are not issues of divisiveness but what bring us together. I want the bigger picture to be bigger in love and kindness and compassion.

At the same time, I see how we are all rushing to the same side of the boat now, tipping it too far in our exposing, in our rooting out the evil in others in our need for validation. We have gone from never tipping the boat to nearly capsizing it! The truth does matter, but it can be taken too far, doing more harm than good in our eagerness for a quick solution. There is no quick solution. We might just tip that boat over and then where would we be but all awash in the same stuff we dredged up.

Somehow we have to get back into the middle of the boat again, back on the middle way, where everyone is given the opportunity to work on their issues with support and help, because the beautiful outcome of this process could be that we have finally exposed that we all have issues that need to be addressed without judgment, without blame, and without shame. We all know what judgment, blame, and shame do to us, how devastating they can be, sending us deeper into our traumas and deeper into hiding. We are all just human after all.

We’ve already rocked the boat. Now let’s get it back into calmer waters and meet in the middle, bringing with us all that what we’ve learned about others and ourselves. Let’s offer the same support to others that we expect to receive ourselves. Let’s not be the family that refuses to accept feelings and emotions. Let’s be the family that sits down together and talks at a deeper level and tries to understand each other. Let’s be the family that talks about all that uncomfortable stuff that has left a lot of people feeling confused and frightened, perhaps resorting to acting out because they don’t know what to do with it all.

Let’s try to figure out what we’ve been missing in our personal and workplace relationships, and what’s really needed for us all to heal and finally live peaceably together, as one, in the middle of the boat.


A blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Acceptance

Acceptance… there is beauty in the darkness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

This morning I wrote a Soulbyte* in the early morning hours, just coming out of sleep and dreams, about forgiveness and love, about how they are the same thing, unconditional energies that guide us to acceptance of who we are. The Soulbyte was triggered by a dream I was having just before waking.

In the dream I was staring at a picture of myself at about age 10. I was dressed in my school uniform. I was focused on the face, saying to myself, “Yes, that’s me.” Chuck was next to me and I showed him the photograph. “See, that’s me,” I said, and then I took in the rest of the picture, looked at the full figure of my child self, sprawled out, looking groggy and stunned, perhaps drugged.

“It happened,” I said, as I saw that my clothing was messed up, my dressed pulled up and my legs spread wide, an obvious sexual assault having taken place. Here was a picture of the truth of my childhood. I could not deny that it was me and that I had been sexually abused.

“Yup, it happened,” I said without attachment, judgment, or emotional reaction. I took in the full picture as it was, an obvious fact, and accepted it.

A sexually abused person knows firsthand how hard it is to accept what happened, to forgive the self and to love the self. And so it is not unusual that both women and men who have been abused are reluctant to speak about what happened to them. They fear being judged and blamed, but the real challenge is to not judge and blame themselves. How can we speak of these things that happened to us publicly if we can barely speak of them to ourselves?

It can take years before a person is ready to even venture into memories, memories that may be so buried as to be completely blocked. It can take years before a person is ready to stop being so hard on the self, to stop torturing the self, and to begin a healing process of acceptance of life’s unfolding. It took me until I was almost 50 to begin looking at my life at a deeper level and to dare to remember. It felt like a brave thing to do, and to this day I know it was. It is the bravest thing I have ever done.

Sometimes things just happen to us. If we are curious we might ask ourselves why they happened. What did they mean in the greater context of our lives? What did we learn? How have we grown because of them, or in spite of them? What and who have we become because of what happened to us?

Often we regret what we lost, what we did not have the opportunity to become because of what happened to us. We feel cheated out of some aspect of life that could have and should have been. But at the same time we must accept that it is how our lives went, and what happened cannot be changed. Facts are facts, as I accepted in my dream as I looked at the picture of my abused child self.

In deep inner healing work, as we explore our sexual abuse in the context of our whole life, we are able to accept our pasts and move on into new life without attachment, self-pity, or regret. We can accept ourselves as strong beings, caring beings, compassionate and nonjudgmental beings, because we know something that many others do not know. We have been there, we have experienced the unimaginable.

As we grow and heal, through going more deeply into the darkness of our past, we are able to accept what happened to us without feeling like either a victim or a survivor because we know and experience ourselves are so much more than that. We are fully alive, energetic, spiritual, ever-evolving beings, not in spite of but because we have experienced both the light and the dark sides of life. We are more complete because of what happened to us.

Whether we’ve been abused or not, life challenges us every day to live a nonjudgmental, loving, and compassionate life, to learn to accept who we are so that we can fulfill the destiny of this lifetime. Perhaps it is to become just that nonjudgmental, loving, and compassionate being we have become. Perhaps it is to teach others how to become nonjudgmental, loving, and compassionate. Perhaps it is to prepare ourselves to finally live each day to the fullest, to be open to new experiences and new adventures like never before, to learn to trust that life loves us best when we dare to embrace it and fully accept its abundant offerings.

I dreamed my dream last night because I am working on the next book in The Recapitulation Diaries. As I have worked through each book over the past several years I have faced once again the things that happened to me, the things I recapitulated during the years 2001 to 2004, and I get to experience just how healing that process was. My dream shows my complete acceptance. This is what I wish and pray for everyone who has been abused, that they too begin the brave work of real healing.

No life is meaningless. No experience is meaningless. There is something of importance in everything that happens to us.

*Here is the Soulbyte referenced above:

Soulbyte for Thursday October 19, 2017

What is forgiveness but the ability to give unconditionally without attachment, without need for anything in return. What is forgiveness really? It is love. And what is love but unconditional forgiveness, for true love is ready and willing to be given unconditionally, for it attaches to nothing and needs nothing in return. Can you forgive yourself, love yourself unconditionally? That is the greatest challenge that love and forgiveness pose. Forgiveness=Love. Love=Forgiveness. They are one and the same.

-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

-A Blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Chuck’s Place: Coming To Meet—Copulation

The five yang lines trembling and tumbling at the approach of one little yin... - From The I Ching, translated by Richard Wihelm
The five yang lines trembling and tumbling at the approach of one little yin…
– From The I Ching, translated by Richard Wihelm

Five yang lines stacked together revel in their ordered, controlled, clarified mastery of life, life as idea. Suddenly, a coy innocent yin line enters from below, an impulse from nature, life in its utter sweetness and rawness. The yang lines are shaken at the vibrant appearance of yin, while at the same time they are magnetically drawn, their number and order shattered by the encounter.

Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the I Ching reading of hexagram #44, Coming to Meet, cautions: the maiden is powerful, do not marry such a maiden. Deng Ming-Dao, in his interpretation of the I Ching, goes further, naming Hexagram #44 Copulation. He takes us to the depths of human nature itself.

The urge to copulate is nature’s urge that will not be denied; it’s at the heart of nature’s imperative to survive. At that level it is an amoral force. Dress up “relationship” with romance and commitment if you will, but behind the scenes nature exacts its intent; copulation will occur, there will be offspring to continue the species. Nature has no regard for relationship, commitment or childrearing arrangements, it simply wants offspring.

In a recent channeling discussion (linked Here), Saleph pointed out that the disowning of nature—the ape in man—is at the core of sexual abuse. The disowning of the sexual instinct, and lack of respect for its power, has allowed for mass incidences of coming to meet in copulation—completely unregulated and dissociated from consciousness—to erupt in the most historically sacred countries, in the most sacred institutions, as well as in the most sacred place of all: in the family home.

Our distant ancestors were far more advanced at the regulation of this primal energy in their initiation rites and rites of passage. The modern world, having disowned its animal self, revels in a technological self image, with a rational brain machine that can replace all of nature’s parts, or so it thinks. This naive assumption has left the animal in man dissociated from its archetypal roots, as well as from its ego master. The instinct, in such an abandoned, neglected, manipulated state has gone off on its own, preying particularly upon the young. This is not nature’s program but an instinct gone awry, dissociated from even its own archetypal program. Copulation with the young will not fulfill nature’s imperative; it’s not in the archetypal program.

Praying Mantises in a sacred moment of carrying out nature's imperative... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Praying Mantises in a sacred moment of carrying out nature’s imperative…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Love, commitment, and relationship are only possible in a full integration of the sexual instinct with consciousness. Lack of integration leads to splitting, affairs, and the inability to commit. Consciousness must grapple with the fullness of nature’s imperative, but it must also be a worthy conduit for nature’s energy, able to both handle it, regulate it, and join with it in a deeper merging of consciousness, nature, and an other.

Richard Wilhelm also points out that the time of coming to meet is dangerous and yet, at the same time, is the meeting that brings forth new life. With respect to furthering this aspect of nature’s imperative, the door to delivering relationship itself to a new evolutionary birth is opened in full consciousness, offering the opportunity for the union of opposites, in playful cosmic dance, all elements fully present.

Committed to full consciousness,
Chuck

Random Act of Guidance #5: Questions For Saleph From Her Listeners

The following recording was made August 2, 2014. It is approximately 50 minutes long and includes questions for Saleph from Jan, Chuck, and three of Saleph’s readers/listeners.

At one point in the recording, Saleph responds to a question about life choices and describes a road. Chuck mentioned afterwards, as we listened to the channeling, that one day Jeanne had a breakthrough while driving and described to him this same road. She was elated, because something was so clear to her, but Chuck just could not grasp what she meant. After this channeling he explained this to Jan and said that he still did not get what the big deal was with the road analogy. To Jeanne and Jan it makes perfect sense! How about you?

Here is the channeled session. Hope you enjoy it and that it all makes perfect sense!