Tag Archives: shamans of Ancient Mexico

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

Chuck’s Place: The Truth of the Heart

A path with heart…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Don Juan Matus contended that in the final analysis all paths lead to the same place, death. However, a path with true heart offers fulfillment in the finite life of human form. Thus, to find the truth of the heart is central to life while in human form.

The heart has been popularly associated with the path of romantic love. Romantic love is a spiritualized quest for one’s true soulmate.  That quest is imbued with archetypal energy that generates a heightened state of awareness that erases boundaries and creates the experience of oneness or wholeness between two people.

Most seasoned human travelers come to discover the trickster ally inherent in romantic love. What is experienced in one moment as deep closeness can abruptly shift into great distance in the next.

For the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, an ally was an entity that enabled one to enter the world of non-ordinary reality. Romantic love is indeed entry into a state of non-ordinary reality. However, the ally that works its projective magic to land us there also tests us.

Are we merely hooked on the ecstatic energy of romance or does our relationship truly have heart? If it’s the high we seek, the ally will send us on many journeys of illusion. Despite the highs and lows, we remain hooked compulsively to the pursuit of the next candidate that shines with promise.

Though Cupid, as the Romans named romance’s ally, may be useful to awaken to love’s potential, only the truth of the heart can tell us if we are on the path of love. The truth of the heart is calm and clear. The truth of the heart is not swayed by romance. The truth of the heart is a feeling and a knowing of whether something is right or not.

Thus, our attachment to the heart, as the home of romance, clouds our ability to access the objective truth of the heart. This is the test of the ally. Despite the wonderment of romance, can we get calm and ask our heart the truth about our potential traveling companion?

The true nature of the heart is compassion, rooted in its knowledge of the interconnectedness of all things. Romance is in fact an experience of greater interconnectedness with someone, however, it may be so narcissistically tinged by one’s own needs that one is unable to actually see their partner.

Furthermore, the heart is the meeting place for ego Soul and High SOUL, our ultimate Soulmate. Our High SOUL knows our intent for the life we are in and can guide and support us through the trials and tribulations of life in human form. But we must be able to sacrifice the pressure of our needs if we are to get calm and be open to the truth delivered by our High SOUL.

The truth of the heart is the key to finding one’s path of heart. If a path has heart it resonates in both ordinary and non-ordinary reality. Love is constant in all realities. Romance that does not transmute into the fullness of love in ordinary life fails the ally’s test.

Love, in this higher sense, is the true energy of the heart center, which is connected to the indivisibility and, hence, compassion for all life. As well, the heart center is connected to infinity, which puts into perspective the relativity of life in human form.

From these considerations, the truth of the heart guides the journeyer to their specific path of heart, truly the journey of a lifetime.

From the heart,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Finding Equanimity

Finding equanimity in nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The ability to remain consistently calm, in this time of incessant turbulence and rapid unpredictable bipolar shifts, is a cherished resource. Equanimity greets every moment with equal attention, appreciation, clarity and calm.

Buddhist practice embraces equanimity as the ultimate attitude needed for successful transition from human to infinite life. The ability to be present, to not sow a seed of reincarnation—by distraction or attachment—in the dying process, frees the energy body to evolve in its definitive journey beyond human life.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico also valued the relationship of equanimity and death. They reasoned that any moment in life could be one’s final moment, hence one should be fully present, alive, and equally appreciative of every moment in life, regardless of personal preferences.

The Shaman’s perspective is the ultimate Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all moments are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The Shamans cultivate equanimity as a program for living, the Buddhists as the key in dying. Both cultivate an attitude of deep calm in approaching life’s greatest encounter—its final moment.

How can we cultivate equanimity?

The Shamans contribute an attitude shift. Each day they remind themselves, ” My name is ________, a being who is going to die.” Far from being a morbid ‘Good Morning, World,’ this use of death as an advisor heightens one’s awareness to be fully present and engaged in every moment of the day, regardless of the activity.

How often do we lament a Monday morning, or the end of a joyous encounter? Even worse, how often do we dread an encounter or work task, and pray for it to quickly end. The intent of equanimity is to be equally calm and present to each equal moment, regardless of its intensity.

The Buddhists contribute the practice of meditation to still the mind, a great perpetrator of non-equanimity known as worry. Yoga, with its Hindu roots, uses self-regulation of the body to achieve equanimity. The practice of pranayama breathing exercises greatly enhances voluntary control of the autonomic nervous system’s mobilizing defenses, in the face of real or imagined stress, a valuable tool to achieve equanimity.

Autogenic training and self-hypnosis are tools to deepen the conscious relationship between mind and body. When we give the body a specific instruction when in a deeply relaxed state, the subconscious begins to listen and override its genetic, archetypal, or habitual programs.

Thus, we can instruct every part of our body to remain deeply calm while we remain fully awake and present to all conditions. Jan and I recently discovered the gift of Dr. Eleanor Eggers, a 97-year-old  semiretired psychologist, who developed a simple website giving away the secrets of her life’s work. This is her contribution to the greater good.

Her website offers the autogenic phrases that Elmer and Alyce Green developed at the Menninger Foundation, for deep relaxation, as well as other resources from her long and fruitful career. We happily pass on her website link: Dr. Eleanor Eggers.

Though, at present, we may experience limitation in exacting needed changes to our chaotic world, we are all free, as Victor Frankl would say, to assume the attitude we will embody in our encounters with that world. Equanimity ranks highest in our approach to life, in and beyond this world.

May all beings find equanimity.

Peace,

Chuck