Tag Archives: shamans of Ancient Mexico

Chuck’s Place: Will & Intent

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico make an important distinction between will and intent. Will is automatic, intent requires consciousness. Will issues from the land of participation mystique, where individuals or whole nations unconsciously follow the leader. With intent, consciousness taps into that same underlying energy as will, but assumes control of its manifestation.

Intend with the consciousness of a yogi…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A concrete example of the distinction between will and intent is a Yogi who is capable of assuming conscious control of the autonomic or involuntary nervous system. Thus, bodily functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and digestion—generally controlled by the ‘will’ of the body—can be co-opted to function according to the conscious ‘intent’ of the yogi.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico discovered that the underlying energy and power of manifestation of both will and intent come from the same source, the greater energy of intent in the universe that manifests all things. The only difference between them is simply who is in charge: nature’s archetypes or consciousness? Like the yogi, the shaman cultivates the power of intent at a fully conscious level, assuming control of what ordinarily happens when we function at the level of participation mystique.

The greatest obstacle to mastering intent, according to don Juan Matus, is limiting beliefs. We simply do not believe that we can manifest simply through intending a change. Abraham, as channeled through Esther Hicks, taught the law of attraction. Simply put, what we think is what we manifest. Thus, if we intend a change but constantly doubt our ability to manifest it the energy of our intent receives an ambiguous message: “change but don’t change, because I can’t change!” This compromised intent manifests a stalemate, no change.

The simplicity of simply stating an intent, of holding an intent as an agent of change, just seems too darned simple to our modern rational sensibility. We either argue about its impossibility, defeat it in doubt, or too meekly state it for it to be heard by the greater intent of the universe, which we personally tap into when we intend.

To not assume conscious responsibility for intent is to largely leave the direction of our lives in the default position of will, where we mystically participate in the rule of the archetypes. These archetypes are then projected upon the outer world where they organize perceptions and mental judgements, in essence manifesting the world we live in.

The incessant voice of ongoing commentary within the mind, what the shamans call the internal dialogue, essentially reinforces the will of the archetypes, which becomes how we experience life. Thus, when the world leader presents his view of the world in a state of the union address, world citizens are unconsciously drawn to project the archetype of the king upon him and assimilate his words as their personal intent or worldview.

The phenomenon of hypnotism illustrates the power of a message to manifest an outside intent. Suggestions from outside of us, like the suggestions we give ourselves, unawarely through our internal dialogue, become the commands we automatically manifest in our beliefs and actions.

Intent itself is impervious to morality. Intent is a pool of energy awaiting a command, a direction to manifest. Thus, for instance, there are ‘good’ shamans and ‘bad’ shamans, as Star Wars so eloquently demonstrates. If the force is equated with intent, the crucial question is, who will command the force, the light or the dark side? Intent can manifest either way, for purposes of good or evil.

It rests with the individual to decide the fate of intent, in fact, the fate of the world. Consciousness itself is the first rupture with the automatic adherence of the individual to the will of the archetypes. The Pope recently pointed to the apple in Eden as the first example of fake news. From this perspective he acknowledges that the intent of consciousness ‘sins’ against the will of the archetypes, or perhaps what he would call the will of God, as the individual is freed to engage in the  ‘fake news’  of consciousness and offered the opportunity to act with intent. His concern is duly noted given the current state of affairs in the world.

With freedom comes responsibility, what the world is faced with assuming right now. It begins within the individual. How will I use my personal power of intent? Many entities have a powerful interest in commandeering my intent for their own ambitions. As malevolent as this might sound and be, simply watch nature; watch the birds. All life feeds upon life. The dark side is part of life.

Nonetheless, with consciousness we are freed to intend balance within ourselves and balance within our world. Balance, like the Tao, finds a place to incorporate all that is, light and dark. Of course, consciousness can equally choose to align itself solely with the dark side, thereby delivering to the light side a great challenge for growth. Here we see the value and necessity of the dark side.

Intent is the message you choose to deliver to the greater pool of energetic intent to manifest in your life and your world. Keep it simple, repeat it often. Grapple with your ambivalence, face the shadow of your intent, incorporate its truth into your intent. When doubt seeks to sell you its wares acknowledge it then shift to stating your intent, incessantly. Don’t attach to outcome, free intent to set the course of the journey, wherever it takes you. Suspend judgement of the current state of manifestation of your intent. Remain persevering. Hold your intent with the lightness of a feather as you gently send it off on the wings of intent.

Peace,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Participation Mystique vs. Consciousness

The nurse hands you the cup and gives you a suggestion: “Turn on the faucet; it will help you to pee.” The image, the sound of flowing water invites your body to do the same and voilà, you mysteriously participate with nature’s flow, becoming the river that fills the cup.

Black sheep leading…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Human beings are social creatures, Barak Obama reminds David Letterman in a recent interview, they are predisposed to mimic what they are exposed to.

Specifically he cited the different worlds we now live in generated by the algorithm we are drawn to that then plays to us, whether it be through social media or news source. Although people might occupy a shared geographical space they live in separate realities, mystically adhering to and mirroring the prompts of their specific algorithm.

Jung was even more basic. He observed that human beings have barely emerged from their state of animal unconsciousness where perception and action are governed by nature’s inherited programs, the instincts and archetypes. Participation mystique is the governing principle of life at this very limited stage of consciousness. As social beings humans unconsciously construct and participate in life by projecting the basic archetypes of hierarchy, order, and meaning upon their fellow humans and behave accordingly.

For example, as Freud keenly observed, there is a fundamental consistency to family structure that includes the hierarchy of parental authority and sibling birth order, as well as the expectation of need fulfillment unconsciously projected upon different family members. His major discovery, the Oedipus complex, which he considered to be universal, governs the human struggle to wrench one’s inherent primary love attachment from within the family to find fulfillment beyond the nuclear family.

This primacy of the family archetype then extends to life beyond the family where issues of authority, loyalty, need and relationship are riddled with or overshadowed by the same archetypal expectations and experiences first encountered in, and greatly colored by, one’s family experience. This unconscious identity between family members projects itself forward into all significant relationships, obliterating the true identity of the individuals engaged with each other.

Thus, issues of problems with authority reflect experiencing one’s boss as one’s parent. The foundational archetypal relation to parent is transferred to characters in the world-at-large who occupy positions of authority. Our bodies and psyches mystically participate in primal reactions when in interaction with authoritative figures.

Similarly, feelings and beliefs of unworthiness with peers or a potential partner often mirror one’s experience with their primary parental love object in childhood, now transferred to new relationships. Irrespective of the actual social reality, an individual mystically participates with others according to archetypal patterns that generate a worldview and sense of self that may have little truth in actual objective reality.

In effect, participation mystique means that we unconsciously assume roles and react to the world according to innate responses activated by environmental cues just like the body responds to the cue of flowing water and fills the cup.

The world’s human population now struggles with its natural state of participation mystique with the ultimate authority on earth, the United States president. At a profoundly unconscious level all are influenced, like involuntarily peeing in a cup, to mimic the mood, world view and expectations of the United States president.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico saw the Earth, Gaia, as a sentient being encased in its own cocoon. All life upon the Earth mystically participates as parts of her living cocoon, like a flock of birds automatically flying in prescribed formation.

The human population appears to be the brains of Gaia with the human tribal leader, the United States president, directing the show. The rest of the human population, influenced at the level of participation mystique, follows the leader.

To deviate from participation mystique is to assume consciousness, which has the ability to pause, reflect, and decide upon a course of behavior. This course of action might be the exact opposite of nature’s archetypal promptings. This is the sin of consciousness, the ability to deviate from our inherent psychic laws, the archetypes, that have unconsciously governed life for eons.

Who put us up to consciousness, the ability to think and act freely, separate from the promptings of the natural order, the instincts and archetypes? It appears that nature herself advanced her psyche to the possibility of consciousness to improve  evolutionary efficiency. Rather than wait through eons of natural selection we now have the ability to change the conditions of life on Earth in a heartbeat.

As we can see in our lifetime, this ability to consciously choose our destiny is functioning at a highly immature level. Global warming is a perfect example. I imagine that Gaia scratches her head as to why she allowed consciousness at all, as participation mystique may have managed much better to preserve balance upon the planet. Gaia is now correcting our errors through nature’s storms. How far she will need to go to humble our inflated consciousness remains to be seen.

In psychotherapy, healing requires a combination of consciousness and participation mystique. Consciousness enables us to oppose our automatic instinctual reactions, participation mystique gives us nature’s healing experiences to truly cross the bridge to new life.

When Carl Jung told Bill W’s friend, Roland H., to go and find a religious cure, as he could not cure him of his alcoholism, he was guiding him to tap into the power of nature’s archetypes—a power greater than consciousness—to lift the compulsion of his disease through a participation mystique experience with God. AA is the consequence of his transforming participation mystique experience.

On the other hand, if we follow our sheepish unconscious participation mystique promptings to follow our world tribal leader without consciousness, nature will be compelled to challenge us with a much greater survival scenario that forces consciousness to a more truthful and responsible level. This is the learning curve our world consciousness is currently engaged in.

Participation mystique and consciousness are actually partners in a fulfilling life. Once again the spirit of consciousness must reconcile with its human animal nature, with its unconscious power of participation mystique. May they arrive at the right relationship for the sake of our planet!

Peace,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Beyond Special

A warm heart indeed!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

To be special warms the heart; to be special tears us apart. Why this contradiction?

Both Carlos Castaneda and his teacher, don Juan Matus, who’s lineage stemmed directly from the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, taught with both humour and piercing seriousness that the greatest scourge of humankind was the need to be special. They pointed to the internal dialogue we all experience that constantly judges everyone and everything, particularly the self, which is judged as either less than or better than everyone else.

From an adaptive perspective those shamans speculated that our ability to make these rapid judgements serves well our ability to survive as we navigate our predatory world. Less benevolently they point to the lion’s share of personal energy that all humans spend grooming and protecting their self importance. This energy is then lost to the evolving human potential, which to access requires a shutting down of the overarching investment we make in feeling and being judged as special.

And yet, feeling genuinely special is thought to be one of the most necessary prerequisites to feeling worthy enough to be in this world and to feeling secure enough to partake of its bountiful opportunities. Hence, the field of mental health places a premium on  attachment and the quality of care in foundational relationships in childhood.

Unarguably, the quality of attention children receive in childhood places a powerful imprint on the incessant internal dialogue they will repeat to themselves as they form an identity and strategy for living. A neglected child might become the adult whose internal dialogue incessantly reminds them that they are not worthy to live other than to serve the needs of others and that they should be grateful that they are even tolerated by others.

The overly valued child might constantly be reminded by their internal dialogue that they are superior, really of royalty, entitled to the adoration and respect of the mere mortals that surround them.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico would argue that the true culprit here is the internal dialogue itself that channels our energy into defining and upholding our self importance, good or bad, for the better part of our lives. Rather than focus on challenging the message of the internal dialogue those shamans encourage eliminating the dialogue itself, which then frees our energy to explore our true innate potential, unbiased by the judgements that usually limit our sense of self.

From this perspective there is no advantage to having had a special versus neglected childhood. Either way we are saddled with the limiting judgements that steal away our vital energy for life. The real culprit is the internal dialogue, the true dungeon master of our lives. Rich and poor alike are saddled with the same enslavement. In fact, it could be argued that a neglected childhood may offer the advantage of seeking versus merely indulging in life.

The question of specialness is at the forefront of our current world fixation. Our world leaders express entitlement for their special interests and needs over and above the needs of others. Truthfully, persons of different cultures and religions share the same attachment to their own specialness over the needs of competing or just plain other groups.

Family, the foundation of a society, is perhaps the greatest perpetrator of specialness. “Blood is thicker than water” is the adage that summarizes this fixation of the internal dialogue. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico considered it crucial to break this fixation in order to free the trapped energy spent upholding it, to then have it available to be employed in the full realization of selfhood beyond the border of specialness.

Their methods to achieve this coup may sound severe, but they actually coalesce with the Buddhist practice of detachment. The shamans call their practice “erasing personal history.” The practice is to separate the special significance afforded family and loved ones, merely because of their family ranking and role, as well as to reduce emotional attachments. While not denying any of the truths of these relationships, the goal is to reduce them to the level of all human experiences, all entitlements removed.

Thus if someone has failed me, I fully face my feelings, but by removing the pressure of my entitlement, due to familial bonds, I am freed to see all my family and neighbors equally. A world where all is viewed equally is the template for the world we are evolving into, despite current appearances!

Freedom from the constraint of specialness is the practice that readies us for a world built on true universal love. Override the internal dialogue that creates hierarchy and special groupings with universal compassion for all beings.

Love liberates,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Tending The Magic From Within

Remember your magical beginnings…
– Artwork by Jan Ketchel © 2017

We are all Magical Beings, journeyers in infinity currently enjoying a life on Earth. Many are born into this life still actively connected to the memories of their soul’s prior journey through infinity or interactive with spirit essences invisible to the adult world. Many parents recognize the advanced wisdom of their young children, calling them Old Souls. Many children have very clear recollections of past lives, even able to tell their parents of their own roles in those past lives, as well as relay in elaborate detail events from those lives.

Young children live in this world of magical possibility and adults largely protect and promote this early magical stage of life. In fact we soon approach the consensus day of magic: Christmas. Regardless of religious affiliation there is general world agreement that this day is an open channel for childhood innocence to encounter the magic of infinite possibility.

For the adult world solidly ensconced in rationality the magic of childhood is a long-forgotten lost paradise. Many find vicarious compensatory solace in a child’s sparkle of surprise when opening a gift. Many need to shun exposure to any trigger linked  to  the vulnerability of expectant hope as the vicissitudes of a lifetime of disappointment seem to necessitate powerful insulation from the live wire of the thrill of anticipation.

Ultimately all children are led to the guillotine of disappointment, a process known as “growing up.” Parents may strive to protect their children’s innocence and connection to the magic as long as possible but ultimately must prepare their children to live in the “real” world.

This process is known as socialization and all adults knowingly or unknowingly collude to insure that children perceive and live in the world in a unified way. Not to do so might land their children in a psychiatric institution, labeled schizophrenic, for their hallucinations and delusions as regards communications with spirit entities and beliefs in other worlds.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico completely concur that this socialization that limits beliefs and perception is critical to being able to live and find stable grounding in this world. In fact they see it as a magical act that we are all capable of agreeing upon the same basic tenets of reality through the universal establishment of an ego-based rationality.

Nonetheless, the shamans do acknowledge that the fallout for this basic tenet of mental health, a strong rational ego, is as tragic as the magic of its creation: we become severely limited human beings cut off from our birthright, our magical connection to infinity. In a rational world magic is make-believe.

The dominance of rationality severely estranges us from our true natures. Though it serves us well in adapting to this world it leaves us deeply bored and unsatisfied. This is the ultimate reason for the profusion of substance abuse in our time. The use of substance dislodges the fixation on rationality and allows a fuller glimpse into human potential, unfortunately with often dangerous outcomes in dark or expansive journeys lacking the reasonable limits prescribed by rationality.

Truthfully, however, rationality alone rarely delivers fulfillment. Consider a relationship that appears perfect on rational grounds, and yet finds no attraction between its partners. Conversely, many relationships of attraction struggle with compatibility on rational grounds.

This dilemma reflects the deep split within all human beings, between their dominant rational ego and their deeper magical nature. Often we are really attracted to a partner, however inappropriate, that can deliver us from the stranglehold of our own rationality.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico suggest a different approach to resolve this inner quandary: tend the magic within. Shamans suggest that we accept the basic polarity of our beings: I am both a rational and a magical being. I am both a physical and an energetic being. Rather than pit these two sides of the self against each other their approach is more synergistic.

When I am in the world of everyday life rationality is dominant as the magical self continues in the background to inform the ego of intuitions and perceptions of a parapsychological nature. When I am in the magical or energetic world rationality can serve as a helpful discriminating and orienting function that also offers grounding via a connection to some needed familiar definition of self. These two parts of self can complement each other’s functioning while enriching the depth of experience and fulfillment of our true human potential.

The truth is, however, that we cannot afford to tend the magic within until we have achieved a strong enough rational ego to make us bonafide adults in this world. The paradox of course is that this accomplishment of adulthood severely alienates us from the magic. And yet, without a strong ego we are ill-equipped to take the journey to recover our connection to the magic.

We are living through a time in human history that is severely rattling our security in the stabilizing power of rationality. Now is the time to use inner rationality to navigate this alternative reality we’ve all been thrust into. In a dark way our current world situation demonstrates the magic of alternative realities that exist in infinity.

Use your rationality to stabilize the self, yet tend also to the truth of the magical self that we all share in common. Tend the magical self within, with love, as we weather the radical shifts of our time. Nothing can take away the magic, let it shine.

Tending the magic, with love,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Time of Saturation

Time of Saturation…
– Art by Jan Ketchel © 2017

When we can absorb no more we reach a state of saturation where we essentially shut down, functioning on a kind of autopilot. This trancelike fugue state is prized in shamanic training where a practitioner is inundated with unexpected events to the point of saturation. This saturation defeats the ego’s ability to maintain its sense of normalcy and control. Deprived of its familiar fixation on order and predictability the practitioner’s awareness becomes pliable and open to new possibilities. Such are the conditions for all Earth inhabitants at present. Who knows what will happen today?

Our planet Earth, Gaia, is in her own process of becoming pliable and opening to new possibilities. We are currently being saturated with the effects of her labor through an escalation of fire, wind, water and earth upheavals. As Mother Earth rejects the burgeoning impact of the human species upon her body so does her human cohort, woman, challenge the practices of how mankind goes about spreading its seed.

We are currently saturated with the wildfires of Amazon Woman turning to ashes the careers of the sexually abusive power elite. Indeed there are innocent casualties in this massive conflagration  but, as with Mother Earth herself, a saturation of destruction is the necessary prelude to major reformation. Humankind must integrate its sexual instinct in a new, more balanced, compatible way. The time of unchecked sexually abusive behavior upheld by the silent collusion of woman is coming to an end.

In the world of governance we are saturated daily with radical shifts that evoke terror, deep insecurity, and panic. The calming father leader has been replaced by the wrathful Yahweh type, replete with emotional tirades and vindictiveness.

This same wave of incessant storm issues equally from Nature, MeToo, and leaders of governance. The common feature of all of these eruptions is saturation. We find ourselves confounded in our inability to absorb anymore. As with shamanic training our traditional hold on reality is being loosened. We are all being made pliable and open to new possibilities.

These possibilities include a reshaped Earth, a vastly different relation between the sexes and with the sexual instinct itself, and a governance far more acquiescent to the true needs of the planet. I caution getting too attached to the radical shifts being proposed and enacted by governance now. The greater intent behind this cascade of events is a loosening of our fixation on a world without change, the preparation stage for major transformation.

Onslaughts of saturation generate reactions of protest, numbing and dissociated indifference, until we arrive at the place of letting go of control, what the shamans call the place of no pity. From this position new worlds of possibility open to us as our allegiance to upholding old beliefs and attachments loosens.

Beyond the current fog of illusion driven by the saturation of fake news lies a world of transparency and acquiescence to the true needs of the planet. As we travel through the turbulence of these saturated times we do well to shield our light in the inner recess of the heart. All that is happening now is transient.

This time of saturation is the preparation or breakdown phase of major transformation. We do best, like Old Testament Job, to bear with patience the extremes of these times. Nothing can take away the sanctity of the self if we refuse the call to spend our energy attaching to half-baked solutions that avoid the fullness of real resolution.

Real resolution, post-saturation, is the birth of a new possibility. Imagine, for instance, a world where love and sex find their enduring union. Everything is possible.

Holding the candle within,

Chuck