Tag Archives: shadow

Chuck’s Place: The Power of Belief

“There is nothing that is not divine.” – Aurobindo
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

From a shamanic perspective, the cosmic dance of now lays bare the power of belief in generating the reality we live in. Our belief system is largely shaped by the messages we internalize from the outside world that become the internal dialogue that interprets our reality. The belief system we sign up for becomes our reality.

At present, the mass of humanity is engaged in a civil war of conflicting belief systems. The consequence of such disagreement is an instability of worldview that threatens basic security, both within the individual and in the world at large. Without a collective boundary of belief, the world is subject to a barrage of all that has been suppressed and repressed in the individual and in the collective human psyche as well.

Civilization has, at its root, civility, defined as a politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. Clearly we are in a time that has overturned politeness and courtesy in behavior and speech. What’s been unleashed is the repressed energy that lies beneath the surface ripple of civilization, what Freud called the Id and what Jung called the shadow. Civilization is currently overrun by the power of these discontented parts of its psyche.

Our fragile civilization is charged with addressing the truth of its discontents. A new balance is called for. This balance must consider the animal within the human being. That animal has long been the sequestered Minotaur, lost in the labyrinth of the unconscious.

That shameful human, with animal head and tail, is filled with rage toward the civilized human it blames for its rejection. Meanwhile, its human counterpart is both terrified by its power and hungry for its passion. Clearly these two spheres of existence have a place in human reconciliation. Domination of the unconscious as a defense strategy to protect civilization is unstable and cuts off a wellspring of vital energy needed for a fulfilling life.

The opportunity of now is to construct a belief system that values and reconciles all parts of being human. Thus the human animal and human spirit are recognized as valid parts of a human being that both contribute to and enhance human life. Both centers of being are valued for their inherent knowledge and creative potential.

Alexander Lowen, Wilhelm Reich’s protege, pointed out that human beings rarely experience full orgasm in their sexual contact because they have lost their connection to their animal core that truly knows how to physically move. Thus, human sexuality is rarely fulfilling, dominated as it is by the ego’s mental control and expectations.

A belief system that incorporates both our inherited nature and our ability to elevate it to the spiritual heights of love, offers a reconciliation of the human condition that may better serve our evolving civilization.

As always, be empowered to begin within. All the forces without that both attract and repel us are also our own projections from within. All that we hate and fear are as much a part of us as all that we love and long for. A belief system that accepts this equation is poised to find true stability and wholeness within. Wholeness within, wholeness without.

Optimistically,

Chuck

NOTE: Taking a week off, so no writings from either Jan or I next week, including Soulbytes. We look forward to reconnecting starting the week of September 14, 2020.

Chuck’s Place: Capitulate

Time for Shadow Reckoning…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Ego is at the center of the conscious personality. Ego exercises the light of consciousness, which enables choice. Ego is part of the divine consciousness but experiences itself as an orphan, charged with the task of navigating life.

Ego wears a mask, as it embraces a persona, to become acceptable to the world. Often, that which is unacceptable in the self is moved by the ego into the subconscious, where it develops into a hidden character, called the shadow.

The shadow holds views with a passionate vigor that often threaten to overwhelm the ego’s executive ability to suppress. The collective shadow of a nation houses views that may seem anachronistic to modern times. The Black Lives Matter movement, for instance, shines a bright light upon underlying racist beliefs and policies that control modern behavior.

Thus, at a subconscious level, the Civil War was never completed. Much the same can be said of WWII, as we see a major demonstration of  Naziism in current day Germany. The burgeoning energy of the collective world shadow, generally held in check by leaders who model morality and responsible behavior, is instead being invited to exact its toll on the very fabric that holds modern civilization together.

From the Hindu perspective, we are currently in the final stage of Kali Yuga, the time of passionate breakdown of civilization. Thus our world is currently in its autumn season, with its inevitable capitulation to death and resurrection.

The unsettling impact of shadow eruptions, acted upon the world stage, reflect the necessary encounter with all that truthfully is, including the known, the suppressed, and the deeply unknown of the repressed. For new life to form, all the hidden pockets of self must be known and reckoned with. These are exposed in the many dreams of excrement and broken toilets that many spiritual seekers must encounter on their journey to truth.

Fortunately, though ego is greatly impacted by its shadow passions, it retains the potential to face the full truths of all that it encounters, within the self. Ego can also withstand becoming identified with, and controlled by, its shadow personality, as it nonetheless listens to and attempts to resolve the challenges posed in an honest reckoning with its shadow.

Ego is tasked now with facing its shadow. The divine cannot be accessed through the veiled distortion of identity created by a personality that does not know its shadow. This is the value of the time we live in. The shadow is being completely outed and experienced. What remains is full reconciliation with shadow, so as to depotentiate its fury and fully integrate its value.

When ego has squarely faced and reconciled with its shadow it is fully poised to receive truth, the hallmark of the divine. From this place, the High Soul can be openly channeled by the ego, as it capitulates itself to manifesting what is truly needed in the world.

Capitulation is not surrender, it’s maturity. When one encounters the real truth, what higher purpose could there be than to serve its intent? Beyond the cauldron of now is the transformation of human life into a new personality construction, where ego capitulates to the guiding truth of the High Soul, who awaits its arrival at the heart center.

As within, so without. Be empowered. Reckon with the hologram of the self. Facing the personal shadow is also reckoning with the collective shadow that we are all a part of. Capitulate to the greatest task of all: owning and transforming the shadow, that the light might truly enter the soul.

Capitulating,

Chuck

Soulbyte for Tuesday July 7, 2020

When criticizing others don’t forget to look at the self and find the same criticisms. For that which is in others is also in the self. That which you find unnerving or frightening in the actions, language, or ideas of another lies also within the shadows of the self. For all are the same in the inner world; angel and devil, light and dark, good and evil. This is the universal duality that all suffer. Whether repressed or not, it is present in all beings. Resolution comes in knowing this and deciding which path is the right path of heart. The path of compassion or the path of hate? The path of equanimity or the path of disruption? The path of ego or the path of spirit? In the inner world there is always work to do. As within, so without. Change begins with you.

Sending you love,

The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: Into that Good Night

Unity & Equanimity

In the light of day the solid world appears safely discernible. As darkness approaches the discernible melds into blackness. Anxious anticipation and fear replace confidence and security, as that which awaits in the darkness draws near.

“Go to the light” is the guidance of spiritual traditions. We turn on the lights to dominate the night, to safely traverse night’s feared demons. Home security systems promise protection from real or imagined demonic projections upon the darkness.

But what is the truth of those inner demonic projections, so frequently veiling the truth of the night? Jung appropriately named that disowned portion of the psyche, that which lives in the shadow. For Freud, the personal portion of the shadow was the sequestered human animal, whose sexual and aggressive politically incorrect impulses were relegated to wish fulfillment dreams.

Jung extended the reach of the shadow into all the unknown dimensions of self. Just the venture of letting go of ego control in the journey of sleep is a leap of faith. Who can guarantee that a night’s sleep will deliver them into life in a new day?

Dream is a natural entry point into the subtle spirit realm. As the body sleeps, the spirit naively launches into journeys in infinity. Will it safely return? Will its cord to the physical body remain intact?

What encounters will the spirit face beyond Freud’s wish fulfillments or repressed sins? Beyond the personal lies the collective, replete with entities unsettled and seeking. How will spirit handle these encounters? Will it be drawn into heavens of delight, or into hells of terror? These are the challenges of the journey of the dark night of the soul.

Beyond the collective lies the transpersonal, the light of the high SOUL. But the truth is that high SOUL is the Yin/Yang of white and black. In blackness is latent spirit. In light is spirit manifest. The light of the manifest requires shadow. Without contrast there is nonexistence.

To seek the safety of the light without owning one’s contrasting shadow ill prepares one for one’s true spiritual journey. One must reckon with and explore the fullness of one’s unknown self to avoid the trap of negative projection upon blackness, and the false security of clinging to the one-sidedness of the light.

All beings are black and white. To achieve the lightness of being needed for true ascension we must reconcile with, own, and treasure this wholeness. Without the darkness of the unknown our heaven in infinity would terminate in boredom. Without the light of consciousness to navigate the darkness we’d surely lose our way.

Inextricably united, may black and white journey in oneness into that good night.

Intending integrated wholeness,

Chuck

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