Tag Archives: shamans of Ancient Mexico

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: Losing the Human Form

Losing our human form makes us fluid…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In a very real sense the events of our world are shattering the solidity of all that we hold dear. We are, quite literally, being forced out of the world of ordinary reality. Our reason makes a valiant attempt to restore its normal premises to explain all that is happening, but, by being saturated with such a constant barrage of uncertainty, we are being thrust into other worlds of possibility.

The human form is the shaman’s term for the fabric of archetypal programs that govern our world of ordinary reality. Having a parent and being a child are examples of archetypal structures that generate uniform roles, expectations, needs, and relationships. These core archetypes can define an entire life in ordinary reality.

Beyond ordinary reality is the solitary journey of the soul, an incarnate life that was fashioned with a human form in order to experience archetypal life in ordinary reality. Nonetheless, that soul must one day exit from its life in ordinary reality; and though the life it has lived in ordinary reality will never be erased, it must journey beyond the limits of ordinary reality into new worlds of non-ordinary reality.

In ordinary times many do not encounter this greater reality until their moment of great transition, at death, from ordinary to non-ordinary reality. All religions, in some form, focus on preparation for this great transition. Thus, all religions strive to prepare one to smoothly lose one’s human form.

The ruptures to the basic fabric of our world, currently generated by both nature and human nature, are forcing a collective encounter, while in human form, with states of non-ordinary reality. Lack of preparation for such encounters is often the true precipitant of psychosis, where one loses the command of attention needed to navigate the rapid influxes of such jolts.

Evolutionary urgency appears to be the underlying culprit heralding our current world crises. Human attachment to material accumulation, human insistence upon unlimited growth, particularly of the human race itself, and human hegemony over all life, other than itself, are all archetypal programs gone awry.

Survival requires the voluntary acceptance of limitation in all aspects of life. Survival requires a meeting of all races and social strata at the heart center, where the true needs of the planet’s survival trumps all individualistic agendas. This evolutionary advance means meeting at an energetic level, where family is experienced as everyone and everything.

Energy medicine, energy body travel, and energetic connecting are the evolutionary waves of now. The human form of ordinary reality must release its fixation on a material world as the only potential world and prepare for other worlds and other realities.

Energetically shifting emphasis to the capabilities of the energy body is the greatest solution to the fossil fuel energy crisis. Even the internet will prove obsolete in a world where thought transmission and akashic record consultation replace social media and Google.

The magic of now is that our world is evolving into a world that opens up to life at an energetic level, the soul’s greater journey, while still in physical life. Though we must surrender our outdated human form, we needn’t relinquish physical life as we open to greater exploration of infinity, through actualizing our energetic potential.

Dreaming is our most immediate access point to that dormant energetic potential. Remember, write down, think about, talk about, and bridge your dreams to waking reality. Take seriously this portal to the energy body, with the intent to sharpen attention while exploring this ethereal dimension of being. You won’t be disappointed.

Lose human form, dream on,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Predator Teacher

We live in a predatory universe… beware!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Is it diabolical that a mosquito, tick, bacteria, or virus  feeds upon the matter and substance of our physical bodies? A nuisance, and in some cases a lethal nuisance indeed, yet, we begrudgingly accept this negative symbiotic reality as a feature of our physical world.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico concur that our universe is a predatory universe. They describe this dynamic as operational at an even more subtle energetic level as well, that of an inorganic yet living entity that feeds upon the human energy produced by human emotion. Although negative in its draining of human energy, it also serves as a teacher that helps humans evolutionarily advance, if they can learn how to master its parasitic onslaught.

This opportunity, and the need for mastery over it, is ever so obvious in the conditions of our current world predicament. Outwardly, we are bombarded daily with the most outrageous of words and behaviors, incessantly taxing our emotional reserves, resulting in extreme volatility and emotional exhaustion.

These onslaughts fill the airwaves and social media, captivating modern life. Closer to home, beyond the politics of now, are our own personal longings for attention and validation, our own deepest needs compulsively seeking to bind us to screens.

Inwardly, we too are prey to the promptings of self-importance and self-pity, seeking outlet in an upward spiral of ecstatic inflation, or in a downward vortex, sending us into a bottomless pit of tortured longing and sadness. These volatile tendencies within ourselves often manifest in cycles of addictive attachments.

Shamans maintain that these various pathways of emotional activation are generated by an inorganic entity, which they have dubbed the flyer, through the judgments of offense that our internal dialogue incessantly broadcasts. Those judgements are directed toward self and other. They, in turn, generate a wave of emotional energy, the food for the flyer.

To free the self of this depleting symbiotic trap, shamans recommend a furtive effort of detachment, which they call the warrior’s way. The goal of the warrior’s way is to gain freedom from the bindings of attachment, first and foremost to being offended. If one can remain sober and detached in the face of offensive words and behaviors, none of one’s energy is lost in the encounter.

To accomplish this, one must lose one’s attachment to self-importance. Self-importance is generally garnered through validation by others, a highly dependent and vulnerable position, which leads to endless emotional strife. Rather than turn over one’s power to another’s validation, the guidance is to face the truth of one’s self within. Acceptance of, and the ability to laugh at, one’s self, goes a long way in cancelling out the impact of the judgments of others.

Self-esteem becomes acceptance of the whole truth of one’s actual self, good and bad. Inappropriate behavior by others is properly placed as their problem to face and resolve, and not as offense to one’s own self. This does not mean that we don’t strategically decide how to manage inappropriate behavior, however, we do so with truthful sobriety rather than with offense.

Freed of the emotional activation generated by judgments within and without, we advance in maturity. We accrue the energy that grants us the power to act decisively, with precision. No energy is wasted in feeding the predator. The predator is defeated when we deny it the energy of our emotional disgust and defeat.

In this time of flagrant predatory human behavior, we are all offered the opportunity to advance beyond the narcissistic emotional web of the predator, who constantly stirs up and then feeds upon our emotional turmoil. We don’t have to keep playing that game.

I prefer to punctuate the positive opportunity of this seemingly depressed and depressing time. I envision the predator as our ultimate teacher.

The predator, as teacher, shines the spotlight upon our attachment to self-importance, showing us the emotional trap where the greatest work needs to be done, and where the largest storehouse of our energy lies, waiting to be retrieved. Once we close this emotional trap drain, we open ourselves to a whole new world of freedom. Freedom to be.

Being,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Always Return to the Heart

Find the heart everywhere…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Sadly, but truthfully, human beings are a truly cancerous species, malignantly acting upon the planet. Actually, to be more precise, it’s the current state of the human ego, not the full human being, that carries the disease.

Oddly, the human ego is capable of a quality of consciousness that affords it freedom to choose action beyond the binding instructions of instinct and archetype, a remarkable freedom. The downside of having this ability is the obvious abuse of its power, which has led to the diseased condition the planet is now plagued with.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico trace this ego malady to the predatory reality of the universe, where all life is sustained by feeding upon other life. From their cosmology, or seeing, what preys upon the human species is an inorganic species that actually feeds upon the energy released by human emotion.

In the case of us humans, this predatory species fixates our human awareness upon worries about survival and self-importance, thus generating waves of frenzied human emotion that serve as food for this inorganic entity. Thus, our human awareness is fixated at a narcissistic level that constantly seeks attention and validation, that constantly gets offended, and is predominantly motivated to act for essentially self-serving purposes. Human behavior, especially at this time, seems to fit this description perfectly.

The shamans suggest that this predatory entity succeeds in securing our obsessive worry by actually giving us its mind, a mental overlay that is obsessed with its next meal and threats to its survival. Thus, the impact of this entity’s mind on human awareness is to generate the obsessive internal dialogue that plagues human consciousness.

The plus side of this condition is what the shamans call our cubic centimeter of a chance to wake up and free ourselves from this parasitic relationship. Although we are prone to obsess, our ego does have the freedom to choose another option. This is our evolutionary birthright, the freedom to choose. Ironically, it is the encounter with the predator that sharpens consciousness and awakens it to this opportunity to evolve. The dark side of the force has its necessary role.

The key to freedom is to choose the option to turn to the heart over the obsessive mind. The heart is connected to the High SOUL, and hence the deepest truth. If one finds oneself in a condition of worry or strife and one shifts one’s attention to the heart center, one’s ego exits the energetic valence of narcissistic influence and opens to the purity of the heart.

The heart holds compassion for all beings, thus strife is cleansed of its preoccupation with self-interest and offense. Even if the other person clings to their narcissistic preoccupation, one is not personally offended. The heart might determine that strong boundaries are necessary, but it assigns no emotional energy to being offended.

The heart will tell us, and asks us to face, the truth. The heart refuses shame and blame. The heart insists we never put ourselves down nor judge ourselves harshly. The heart’s love is expressed in its full acceptance of all that we are and all that we’ve done. The heart guides us to right action, with love.

The heart also holds the awareness that the universe is a bundle of interconnected energy, that everything is part of the same whole. One sees, in the behavior of the other, a reflection of a part of one’s self, with which one needs to reckon with and accept.

Arriving at the heart center frees one of the narcissistic worldview and allows one to see clearly the true needs of the planet, and act accordingly. Thus, the path to the heart is the path to freedom from our current world crisis. All citizens who walk a path of heart are forging a sustainable solution for the planet.

We are currently challenged with a world leadership that incessantly draws us into a depressed mood, as it mirrors and amplifies the collective ego’s struggle with its narcissistic fixation. The resultant negative emotional wave weakens the ego and feeds the predator.

Seek refuge in the broadened perspective of the heart space. Have compassion for leadership’s struggle, but maintain ruthless insistence upon the truth of the heart.

Walk the path of love upon this Earth. Love is the one  powerful emotion that can’t be touched by the predator. Love indeed conquers all.

Breathing into the heart,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Controlled Folly to Temper the Spirit

Temper that spirit, you gluttonous bee, and control your folly!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We live in the most spirited of times! Exhilaration is thrilling yet energetically exhausting, and as current events highlight, potentially perilous. Conserving and accruing energy is key to longevity and full self-realization in human form.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico developed a practice they called controlled folly to conserve energy, through tempering the human spirit. The human spirit is actually the ego-Soul portion of one’s greater SOUL. The two are connected, but it is the ego-Soul that lives and acts upon the world stage in our current sojourn in human form. It is the ego-Soul that grasps at life and wants more. Our greater SOUL lives as our silent partner, in infinity, the more comprehensive context of the human life we are currently in.

Controlled folly is engaging one’s ego-Soul in one’s chosen path of heart in this world, with great earnestness, like a true warrior and yet, having NO attachment to the outcome  of one’s actions. This detached edge is possible because one never loses touch with the fuller backdrop of one’s surrounding life in infinity.

The Shamans cite three essential facts, gifts of wisdom from the greater SOUL, as the foundation of controlled folly: (1) All life in human form is transitory and terminal, hence, (2) regardless of the role we play, or story we live, all roads lead to the exact same ending: death in human form, therefore, (3) the greater backdrop of all human life is our full transition into infinity, the ultimate destination of our definitive journey.

Shamans see, in some form, their energetic interconnectedness with everything, glimpses of infinity. Shamans read their journeys in dreaming, and the synchronicities in everyday life, as revelations and promptings from their greater SOUL to wake up to the fuller storyline of their ongoing life in infinity. By inviting the full awareness of ultimate death into their current incarnation, they transform an ordinary life into a magical life.

From this seemingly morbid perspective an individual can recognize that indeed, all the world’s a stage. And, as Carlos Castaneda once recommended, be the best actor you can be in the role you’ve chosen during your present time on the human world stage. Live the life you’ve chosen to the fullest, yet don’t get too attached to its significance; it’s not the main event or the only event.

Practicing controlled folly does not absent us from expressing human emotion. What great actor has not fully lived and expressed the true emotions of their role. Nonetheless, when the show is over the actor disengages from the role and shifts to their true human identity.

Controlled folly allows us to live with passion while knowing that, in the ultimate sense, none of it really matters. Thus, we can simultaneously be incredibly engaged in all that life offers, with utter seriousness, yet ultimately, be completely detached. This dual focus is how we temper our passionate spirit and how we are able to let go when what we have fought for doesn’t come to pass.

Similar to the message of the Bhagavad Gita, Carlos deemphasized the morality of the role you play. No one role is more important than another. To judge harshly another’s role is to get caught in the self-importance of overvaluing the particular play you are in. All roles are parts of the play, angels and demons alike, creating a complete cast. To remember this is how to temper our own extreme emotional reactions to the dance of now, that which is taking place upon our world stage. All spirits are equal actors in the play, and yes, Marianne Williamson, though some are dark psychic forces, they nonetheless have critical parts in the play.

Life in this world is extremely important, why live it as a failed play? But at the same time, it’s all relative when contrasted with forever, the greater reality we will all return to when this play is done. Nonetheless, this is our play now, our moment in time to experience this drama to the fullest, and that matters; and yet, at the same time, it doesn’t. This moment is assured its place in infinity’s ultimate historical record, the Akashic record. It will never be erased, no fake news in infinity’s library. Nonetheless, it is only one moment among infinite moments.

The significance of the play we are currently in is the completion of Kali Yuga, the utter destruction and disintegration of civilization’s  highest achievements. But what is the reality that lies beneath civilization’s false self? Freud really did call it accurately when he called civilization a sublimated id. What has emerged from the depths of the collective human shadow now is the repressed ancient rivalries and conundrums that have never been resolved in our revolving human dream. We’ve all acted in plays together before; this is just one more show. And yet we have an opportunity to finally resolve some things that we’ve left hanging from previous lives.

Where, for instance, on the globe is the core center of volatile unrest? In the lands of the Middle East, of course, where ancient issues have yet to be resolved. Who’s entitled to the land? How does one protect what they feel is their’s? Simple questions, ancient, never-solved dilemmas. We all have them.

And yet, these ancient core dilemmas are impacting the safety of the globe, and they are being mirrored in the dominant politics and daily atrocities in most countries throughout the world, impacting us all. We are coming frightfully close to absolute rulers, outright racism, nuclear winter, concentration camps, and flirtations with final solutions. We’ve lost our perspective on the greater reality we all face.

As the Shamans codified, it is our awareness of death that elevates our time in this world from ordinary life to magical power. Why settle for a redundant, mediocre play when we can elevate our time here to a Tony award performance! Why not let all the actors stand on center stage to deliver their best performances? Why settle for world neurosis as the best compromised dream we can deliver? There is so much more.

Woodstock 50 is cancelled, no time for hallucinogenic reruns, but alas, Marianne Williamson has entered center stage! She is indeed the ticket to call out the dark side of the force. The play we are now in would best be played by such a rivalry; Donald Trump requires such an opponent as Marianne Williamson. He gets bored, and rightfully so, without a worthy opponent to challenge him.

We must all call upon controlled folly here to temper the spirit. We are all here for such a brief moment, such a brief appearance on the world stage. At the end of the day, the curtain falls and it’s the end of an era; this play is over. All of us will exit the stage, where we will shake hands with our fellow cast members, all rivalries dissolved. Only self-importance, the seed of reincarnation, will keep us replaying the same drama.

Controlled folly offers us the opportunity to truly advance the issues that have thwarted humankind for eons. Imagine Marianne’s Department of Peace. Imagine hugs in the Middle East. Yes, John, we can still Imagine, but with the edge of controlled folly we can do it with no attachment to the outcome.

Live the dream, intend it forward, and when it’s time to go, exit the stage, in love with it all.

Don’t hold back,

Chuck