Tag Archives: splitting apart

Chuck’s Place: On Splitting and Uniting

Uniting the split self…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Infants scream, toddlers tantrum, and adults sulk when they don’t get what they want. Disappointment at a frustrated need or desire can result in an intolerable emotional state in humans of all ages. Often the resulting mood reflects a bipolar state of either happiness, if there is a change of fortune, or rage and depression at continued frustration. The ability to regulate and tolerate emotional extremes is a true sign of maturity.

This inner state of emotional challenge is often reflected in distorted, all-or-nothing reactions to other people. If an individual’s thinking reflects one’s own, that person might be liked. However, if that same person says something disagreeable to one’s own sensibility, they made be suddenly viewed as all bad, not a good person. The ability to tolerate the tension of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ qualities in the same person is often lacking. The result is a literal splitting apart of the other person, as either all good or all bad.

Often, intimate relationships suffer the brunt of splitting perceptions. If a couple are in sync with a desired activity, things flow smoothly. However, if they individually seek opposing activities this can result in an abrupt mood change and withdrawal from the now ‘bad’ other. Should the other give in to one’s want, there can be an instant positive mood shift, as the partner is restored to ‘goodness’.

Often, the partner who acquiesces to the other’s need creates a split within themselves. Though they smile and proceed outwardly, inwardly they carry a pocket of resentment that doesn’t allow full connection with their partner. This inner emotional stalemate can result in anxiety and depression, though outwardly all appears well.

We live in a time that has encouraged splitting on a grand scale. The political polarization of our time has resulted in roughly half the population viewing the other half as all bad. Either one agrees with the other or they are seen as all bad by the other. There is no tolerance for mixed feelings or beliefs. This is further exacerbated by the lifting of the social norm to suppress one’s angry or disappointed feelings.

This release of suppressed rage is cathartic and a relief from the constraints of political correctness, much like psychoanalysis freed the repressed sexuality of the Victorian era. Nonetheless, in both cases, primal release of repressed emotion does not result in emotional maturity and, in fact, often fuels an endless addiction to emotional excess.

The results of splitting are a divided self, a divided relationship, and a divided country. Though compromise might be a valued step in the resolution of conflict, it does not necessarily reflect true unity. True unity can only be achieved if there is full acceptance of other, perhaps as captured in the suggestion to ‘turn the other cheek’.

Jesus’s suggestion to turn the other cheek is fundamental to the shamanic practice of freeing oneself from the burden of self-importance. To not be offended by another’s behavior, however outrageous, allows one to tolerate the existence of the other. True, one may need to defend oneself from the behavior of the other if there is physical threat, but this is not driven by personal offense at the behavior and values of the other.

Beyond offense are the split, polarized attitudes of a world fatigued by Covid. One side clings protectively to the safety of retreat. The other lurches boldly into the right to live freely, even if it means death. Can we all not find both attitudes active within ourselves? Are we all not challenged with the conundrum of safety vs adventure, as we navigate the most basic decisions of daily life? Does it serve us to resolve that tension by becoming one-sided, projecting the rejected ‘evil’ opposite onto others?

Buddha proposed loving compassion for all. All includes evil. Rather than split off evil as something to be repressed, evil is granted its place in the flow of all that is. The ability to tolerate both the good and evil within the self sets the stage for unity of self. This, of course, requires a high degree of maturity and responsibility for managing and balancing the opposite tendencies within the self.

Tolerating the evil within the self can allow for acceptance of one’s partner as a being who sometimes pleases and sometimes disappoints. Accepting the evil within the self lessens a reactive emotional charge to  others who act upon their own evil impulses. Loving compassion does not preclude necessary boundaries, but with loving compassion those boundaries are not driven by divisive hatred.

Buddha arrived at the unity of enlightenment through the meditative practice of stillness and not grasping at any offering that presented, ranging from the most seductive to the most horrific. To achieve this, one must find deep calm, regardless of what thought presents from within or what scene is presented from without. The equanimity of this kind of detachment actually reflects total acceptance of everything, the key to unity.

To practice this meditation in our current world environment is to bring oneself to calm, within and without. Whatever appears, go to the breath: loving compassion on the inhalation, release of tension and judgment on the exhalation.

Intend unity; heal the split. As within so without.

Intending unity,


Chuck’s Place: Time Of Collapse

From a palpable and intuitive level, Colorado, Chicago, and Paris are all part of the same ocean of molten lava that’s erupting, in various levels of intensity, around the globe.

Chuck found these bricks washed up on the shore of the Hudson River... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Chuck found these bricks washed up on the shore of the Hudson River…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The I Ching confirms for me that we are in the time of Splitting Apart, hexagram #23. Here the image is of a top-heavy mountain collapsing upon the earth. The I Ching brings it very personally home in the moving line I threw, six in the fourth place: “…the disaster affects not only the resting place but even the occupant.”

Who in the world is not impacted by the daily outbreaks of violence that now infect the world? How are we to position ourselves in this time of collapse?

The I Ching is clear that what is happening is objective. When a structure becomes too top heavy it must, of necessity, collapse. The ruling attitudes of our world are too top heavy. Greed has amassed the bulk of the wealth in the hands of the few at the top. The masses, the foundation of the world, are unsupported. Greed has decimated the environment of the world too, to the point where it can no longer sustain life as it has done in the past.

If we understand that our current state of collapse is inevitable, and though the destruction surfaces in what appears to be a growing mass psychosis, the truth is that at the deepest level we are in the midst of a major world transition. Would that it could happen more orderly and calmly, but that is not the way of nature!

However, beyond the destruction is the building of a new foundation, a broad foundation that can support all of life on a planet in healthy balance. In fact, the future reading I received, derived from the changes in the hexagram of Splitting Apart, is the hexagram of Progress, #35. In this hexagram, the sun moves over the earth providing the clarity to build anew with wisdom.

Beyond the collapse of now we have all the stones to properly build a new foundation for life, and the guidance on how to proceed. If we study the hexagram of Splitting Apart, it is apparent that greed is a weak foundation. Balance, on the other hand, offers the proper cornerstone for our coming world.

On an individual level, we are free now to fashion our own personal foundation blocks. These blocks must include love. Love does not scapegoat or marginalize. Love is all-inclusive. Love provides a massive foundation for our coming mountain to build upon.

Balance within ourselves, within our bodies and our psyches, provides a sturdy base as well for our growing mountain.

Our new world must be built on love... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Our new world must be built on love…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We are all empowered to contribute stability to our evolving world by accepting the inevitability of change by staying calm, embracing love, and establishing balance. From this place we are assured rapid progress.

All is not lost, though we all must suffer through this painful time of transition.

Hang in there, we’re all in it together,



#718 Chuck’s Place: Po

Jeanne once called me “Parallel Man.” She referred to a certain knack I have to see the same idea presented in many different forms. In fact, under the influence of a certain idea I am likely to see it reflected everywhere for days. I suspect that this is how synchronicity works—like a wave of energy that moves and has a ripple effect on everything, at a moment in time.

This week I had a deep concern about a pending danger, a pending collapse. I consulted The I Ching, which produced hexagram #23, Po. This hexagram is constructed by five yin lines supporting a weighty yang line at the top. The image used to depict this state of energy is a house about to split apart due to a shattered roof. The English translation for the character Po is splitting apart, a most ominous condition.

The Flyer’s mind, what the seers of ancient Mexico called the foreign installation, that influences all human thinking, attempted to hook me on a doom and gloom scenario. This conjuring mind generates many negative scenarios, threats to survival; bait to capture awareness and energy in a state of agitation and fear. I breathed calmly, recalling Buddha beneath the bodhi tree as he refused to attach to earth-shattering illusions that were rapidly firing before him. It helped as well to recall the many “groundhog days” of going for the bait, investing so much energy in potential dramas that never materialized. Don’t attach; let life unfold; see what happens; suspend judgment; find out what it means—these mantras have proven far more emotionally and energetically efficient in approaching ongoing time than chasing down the red herrings of the conjuring mind.

The I Ching goes on to state that the imminent collapse presented in the time of Po is not due to personal behavior, but is, in fact, an impersonal reality, part of a death and resurrection theme inherent in nature. The time of Po is October/November, the time of the harvest. The I Ching also chooses the image of a rotting fruit on a tree to depict Po. Of necessity, the fruit will fall to the earth and die. However, that yang line, the seed, will be buried in the earth with the promise of new life.

Synchronistically, we are in the time of Po now, harvest time. Personally, illusions we cling to may be exposed, die, that change and new life might unfold. This is a natural and evolutionary process. Nonetheless, the process of letting go, of dying to old ways or untruths, may indeed be painful and threatening, as they present themselves.

I prefer the image of the rotting apple falling from the tree to that of the collapsing house. Though I see the parallel, an image taken directly from nature, undisturbed by human intervention, seems to remove the judgments we quickly place upon ourselves in trying to decipher the meaning of an oracle. Understanding what naturally does and must occur in nature first can help in suspending judgment of that same scenario as it manifests in human nature.

Incidentally, as I completed my contemplation of Po, I pulled a card from my Tarot deck (Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck)—the Knight of Disks—the harvester, who with his threshing tool in hand is preparing to harvest what he has cultivated. This card is a perfect synchronistic ripple of Po, splitting apart in the time of harvest. Time for all to bravely separate the wheat from the chaff!

If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.

Until we meet again,