Tag Archives: suspending judgment

Chuck’s Place: Lifting the Veil of Self-Blame

What masquerades and torments as self-blame is often, underneath it all, the placeholder for painful truths we are not ready to assimilate. How does this work?

Trauma comes in many forms, but what makes all trauma, trauma, is the encounter with an experience we are unable to assimilate. By assimilate, I mean, able to take in—physically, cognitively, emotionally—the full breadth and truth of an experience regardless of how disruptive, intrusive, or devastating it might be.

When we are unable to assimilate part or whole of an experience we must store it within ourselves, in some form, until the day we are ready to fully assimilate, or recapitulate, the experience.

The storing of traumatic experience creates a fragmentation within the self because one part of the self can no longer communicate with, or know about, another part of the self. However, some form of inter-self communication can occur in a traumatized self, if the traumatized part wears a disguise that doesn’t reveal the truth hidden within, the real trauma.

Self-blame is often a disguised trauma. How does that work?

Self-blame implies “criminal” activity. This criminal part of the self is seen and felt as bad, abusive, unworthy, lazy, unlovable, or inadequate. On some level we hold onto self-hate and loathing, and blame ourselves for all the misery in our lives.

We then get caught in a cycle of old guilt and compensatory intentions and efforts to improve the self, to reform the criminal. Inevitably we fail, and around and around we go on this vicious wheel of suffering and redemption as our inner criminal resurfaces over and over again.

But, what if this blamed self is actually hidden trauma? After all, isn’t a trauma itself actually a “criminal” who invades our stable lives? Isn’t the trauma actually bad and abusive? Isn’t there an aggressive intensity inherent in trauma equivalent to the punitive energy of self-blame? Perhaps self-blame is the perfect placeholder for trauma and the unrecapitulated self.

In order to discover the true culprit behind the mask of self-blame, we must avail ourselves of Carlos Castaneda’s number one intent: Suspend judgment! Suspending judgment, in the context of lifting the veil of self-blame, means assuming a perspective of detached objectivity. We are looking to both understand the energetic function of self-blame in our lives, as well as discover the true nature of the experiences we have carried under the guise of self-blame.

As I pondered the energetic influences this past week, I consulted The I Ching. I received the answer of The Marrying Maiden, hexagram #54. This hexagram selects the role of the concubine to illustrate being selected to play a part, not for personal reasons, but because of the impersonal needs of others. How do we navigate being acted upon, as in the role of the concubine, simply because we are there and can fill a need of others, however inappropriate? If this is the objective truth of it, however distasteful and unacceptable that situation may be or feel, the truth is: it is impersonal.

Accepting the reality of the impersonal in our lives is a daunting challenge. To hold onto the truth of the impersonal and not change it back into the personal and self-blame, as a means of holding onto some degree of control, is what suspending judgment is all about.

Perhaps for decades we’ve needed to disguise the truth of abuse in self-hate. Can we now allow ourselves to know the real facts of that abuse? Can we now allow ourselves to encounter the truth of the impersonal forces that acted upon us, totally for their own needs? Can we face that we had no control and did not matter, in any sense?

In another example of impersonal experience: Can we take in that we were not loved, but that it was completely not personal—it was simply not our fault? Can we let go of our illusions of those we loved, and needed to preserve as loving people, in order to feel safe and cared for? Are we ready to take down the defenses that protect our wounded selves and release our true innocence, or do we need to hold onto the shield of badness and self-blame? Can we accept our lovableness, though others could not? Or, again, must we continue to protect ourselves with a cloak of unworthiness and self-blame?

Are we ready to release ourselves from the illusions of badness we repeatedly uphold through compulsive, self-destructive behavior patterns that falsely substantiate our sense of unworthiness? This is how that criminal wheel of suffering and redemption keeps spinning. Perhaps, for instance, we hold onto laziness as an ancient means of protecting parents who didn’t love us. In this example, we carry our laziness as a way to blame ourselves for our parents rejecting behavior. In other words, we deserve rejection because we are lazy. This keeps us from being confronted with the impersonal reality that they may just have been incapable of loving, and it was not our fault. Are we ready to face this truth, allow ourselves to break the criminal hold of self-destructive behavior and release the parents we’ve held onto for some kind of security? Can we release ourselves from this ancient flawed perspective and accept our lovability? Are we ready to be the adult self that suspends judgment and frees our innocence, seeing clearly, and releasing all who crushed our hopefulness and joy?

Are we ready to not flip self-blame into blame? If we attach to blaming others we remain bound to a new criminal. This is not about having to forgive. This is about being an adult and an innocent self, ready to open to life with a new found wholeness. With the truth revealed, the self is no longer bound by old ideas and fragmentations. The criminals, once needed to house unrecapitulated events, can be released.

Are we ready to come out of the shell of the blamed self and allow fresh air to touch our innocence? Lifting the veil of self-blame takes great courage and may take a lifetime, but it promises fulfillment in this life and opens the door to new worlds of possibility.

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

Until we meet again,

#730 Chuck’s Place: Intent & The Left Body

The concealed advantage of luminous beings is that they have something which is never used: intent. The maneuver of shamans is the same as the maneuver of the average man. Both have a description of the world. The average man upholds it with his reason; the shaman upholds it with his intent. Both descriptions have their rules; but the advantage of the shaman is that intent is more engulfing than reason.” —From The Wheel of Time by Carlos Castaneda, page 138.

The seers of ancient Mexico, who view the energetic dimension of human beings, observe two distinct energy patterns, on the left and right side of the body respectively. The energy of the right body moves in a continuous rocking motion. The energy of the left body, in contrast, is more “turbulent and aggressive, moving in undulating ripples and projecting out waves of energy.” —From Magical Passes, page 140.

Those seers also note that the energy of the right body is the dominating force in human beings. The right body energy is rationality; the left body energy is what Carl Jung would call the unconscious. For seers, the left body is both the more comprehensive reservoir of human potential as well as the human door to infinity.

The energy of the left body is accessed in various ways. Carlos Castaneda describes many times how, after a blow on the back from don Juan, he shifted into a state of heightened awareness, opening access to the energy of the left body. In non-shamanic life experience, trauma can force a shift out of body into heightened awareness as well. The peculiarity of heightened awareness is a state of detachment with a heightened ability to focus, understand, and know, at a profound level, as the dominance of rationality is suspended. However, like Cinderella at the stroke of midnight, heightened awareness suddenly ends with a return to right sided dominance, and all the accrued knowledge and experience of heightened awareness fades and is forgotten. These experiences are nonetheless stored elsewhere in the left body awaiting retrieval. This is a major reason to recapitulate. Recapitulation is an exercise in retrieving stored memory. The functional value of recapitulation is to open the channel to the left body and infinity.

Intent is also linked to left body potential. While the word intent is generally bandied about, full of ego desirousness or right sided control in such expositions as The Secret, intent belongs to the realm of energy and the left body. Intent is beyond ego, beyond reason, beyond the mind.

Intent or intending is something very difficult to talk about. I or anyone else would sound idiotic trying to explain it. Bear that in mind when you hear what I have to say next: sorcerers intend anything they set themselves to intend, simply by intending it.”

That doesn’t mean anything, don Juan.”

Pay close attention. Someday it’ll be your turn to explain. The statement seems nonsensical because you are not putting it in the proper context. Like any rational man, you think that understanding is exclusively the realm of our reason, of our mind.”

For sorcerers, because the statement I made pertains to intent and intending, understanding it pertains to the realm of energy. Sorcerers believe that if one would intend that statement for the energy body, the energy body would understand it in terms entirely different from those of the mind. The trick is to reach the energy body. For that you need energy.” —From The Art of Dreaming, page 23.

There is no rationality to intent. If we want something from right sided awareness we develop a plan, employ a strategy, manipulate, and control in order to create an outcome. When you boil it down, that’s simply ego control, not intent.

Intent, from the left side, is a simple intent, stated, sent out—light as a feather—with no attachment. No reason, no control, no manipulation is necessary. A silent knowing that the energy body has received the intent and works its magic is all that is required.

The process of tracking the path of intent is synchronicity: everything is meaningful. Everyone and everything that presents in your life reflects intent in manifestation. Follow it, and be guided by it. Suspend judgment, the dominating influence of the right body, and track instead the meaning and signs of the unfolding events in your life.

These events are the signs of unfolding intent. The challenge becomes one of aligning right sided decisions with unfolding intent. So much energy is consumed by right sided resistance through doubt, fear, indecision, rationality, and, frankly, big baby refusal to take the unfamiliar journey beyond known habit, the rocking chair of right sided energy.

Perhaps our ultimate intent is the one we set from infinity before we entered this world, our reason for being here. That intent persistently presses upon our lives, through the years, seeking to awaken our right sided dominant body to its true mission in the world. In the final analysis, our reason for being in this life is to discover and acquiesce to this core intent; the one set long before the birth of the ego and the right sided human self.

Send your intent to your energy body; see what happens!

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

Until we meet again,

NOTE: The books mentioned in this blog by Carlos Castaneda, and other books, are available through our Store.

#728 Chuck’s Place: Here & Hereafter

Yesterday, as Jan and I prepared to make a brief visit to Aunt Virginia before attending a matinee showing of Hereafter, I struggled to somehow dismantle the bathroom ceiling fan to free a trapped bird. Jan had just been outside and noticed a flock of bluebirds on the roof, calling loudly. The eyes of the trapped bird stared intently at me as I lowered the fan, it was a female bluebird and she was now freed.

We arrived a bit late to 91 year old Aunt Virginia to find her resting with her new Yorkie puppy Dewey sitting calmly in her lap. Dewey is adorable with bright attentive eyes, wise beyond his years. He locks onto my eyes, we connect. Aunt Virginia is a young mother again, constantly tracking Dewey’s whereabouts, fixing him lunch. We say our goodbyes; it’s time for Hereafter.

Back in the day, Jeanne and I anxiously awaited three things in life: the always postponed release of Stevie Wonder’s next album; Carlos Castaneda’s next book; and Clint Eastwood’s new movie. While Stevie and Carlos attended to our spiritual and magical sides, The Clint was pure masculine shadow. He mirrored the energy I aspired to and that Jeanne was attracted to. Who would have thought that The Clint would evolve into such a sensitive, gentle director willing to take on the question of the hereafter, only the greatest mystery of life?

This movie is at once engaging and seamless as it flows through the unfolding dramas of three characters in separate worlds whose lives ultimately intersect at the deepest level. The pace of the movie is decidedly Eastwood’s. He skips the explosiveness of most Hollywood dramas, calmly allowing the story to unfold without over-stimulation or over-telling. You’re not likely to encounter too many texting teens at this movie; The Clint does not cave to that energy. This is an intelligent movie.

Jan and I thoroughly enjoyed it, two thumbs up! I will say no more directly about the content of Hereafter. Go see it!

However, I am not a stranger to the hereafter, so I will describe my own experience. Jan and I have had profound experiences of Jeanne in the hereafter in the here and now. We literally lived a scene right out of Ghost where Whoopi Goldberg transmogrifies into Patrick Swayze so that he can connect with his wife played by actress, Demi Moore. Jan, Jeanne and I have verified this experience and that possibility.

What I can say however is that this experience doesn’t mean anything to my rational mind. The rational mind will always do what the rational mind does best: doubt and question. My rational mind doubts and questions every otherworldly experience I have ever had.

Here is the conundrum: We know this life will end. Then what? Lights out or lights on? Our reason knows there is no god, no magic; it can all be explained. We can choose to believe but our reason scoffs at belief. If we have genuine experiences of hereafter, reason, our own or someone else’s, quickly explains them away with reasonable doubt. And so, we are left with reason on one side and experiences on the other, with reason claiming ultimate control over the interpretation of everything.

My solution to this conundrum has been to suspend judgment and to have experience. Allowing for experiences leads to its own knowing. This knowing needn’t challenge reason, which has its own knowing, albeit limited. The solution lies not in convincing reason. This is not possible. Reason upholds our consensual reality. It is the foundation of that reality. Experiences of hereafter lead to knowing an expanded reality, one in which reason exists in its own right but is simply one world among others.

There was once a time when it was certain that the sun revolved around the all-important Earth. That it is now known that the earth—among other planets—revolves around the sun, does not diminish the reality of the earth, it simply diminishes its supremacy. Reason shares a similar fate, though it is fighting hard to maintain its supremacy over the hereafter.

I like The Clint’s approach to the Hereafter. It’s calm, no dramatic attempts of proof; an invitation to experience.

For those who haven’t read The Book of Us, I suggest this autobiography as a documented experience of here and hereafter. Of course, like all documented experiences, we are left with confronting reason with its doubts and questions. Take it instead as an invitation to have your own experiences. That has been the essence of Jeanne’s channeled messages: lessons in how to have experiences of hereafter, here and now.

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

Until we meet again,

#693 Chuck’s Place: FATHER


At Carnegie Hall, on a Tuesday night, a full day of work awaits, starting early the next morning. I make the sacrifice, my stepson is singing in Eric Whitacre’s Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings. Paradise Lost is the story of a lost generation of angel children left behind by their dying parents, walled off, without their wings, in a deeply protective structure. Logos is the leader of the now grown up lost children. The Gospel according to John begins: In the beginning was logos (the word), and the word was with God. Logos is the word, the law, the blueprint, the archetype of God, the ultimate father. In Eric Whitacre’s story, Logos frequently imbibes “amber,” some kind of hallucinogen that opens, for him, the channel to his deceased father, who communicates the message that he must protect all the children, at all costs. The decree of the father is to protect, maintain the status quo, keep things unchanging within the highly guarded and protected walled-in structure.

The love of Logos’ life is Exstasis. Exstasis is the Greek root for ecstasy, which literally translates to going outside of the stationary or static walls. Their names, Logos and Exstasis, foreshadow the ultimate conflict between conservative protection and freedom. Exstasis, in her own amber journeys, discovers from her own ethereal mother that her wings are hidden and retrievable, but she must take up the journey and go beyond the walls to visit the Oracle in the sacred temple. The Oracle insists that she face the truth, only the truth, to be guided to her wings. She passes this test and ultimately discovers her wings. However, in her final confrontation with Logos in which he burns her wings, she is killed, as the secure and protective father principle cannot tolerate her flight beyond the known, into potential danger.

A DREAM: The Great Train Robbery

I am at a train station on Long Island, right next to the ocean. In the first half of the dream, dimly recalled, I am part of a well-planned and executed plot to rob a train/railroad station. I recall a knapsack full of bundles of money. The robbery is successful, and involves the use of packs of dynamite, placed in several places around the station, set off just at the moment of getaway.

The consequence of this robbery is the end of this railroad station being included along this train line. A nostalgia sets in, particularly from my father. I join him in a campaign to restore the destroyed station. My father becomes involved in the beautification effort, the landscaping. I, in turn, distinctly recall where the planks and stones from the explosion had landed, which I easily begin to retrieve and restore. The dream ends as a smart detective, who has been tracking my activity, confronts me on the boardwalk about the crime.

I immediately awakened from this dream charged with the energy to record it, as well as contemplate it, with my consciousness still between worlds. I suspended my ego’s judgment about being a criminal and instead asked myself: what was the true nature or meaning of the crime? Not all crimes are criminal. When Prometheus stole fire from the Gods, mankind gained in consciousness. When Adam, at Eve’s urging, bit from the apple of the tree of knowledge, the world advanced in consciousness. In both cases, God’s, the father’s, rules were broken and there were punishments, paradise lost.

To go out alone, without the protection and security of father’s walls is both a reward and a punishment. In my dream, the destruction of the train station was a boon for me, a backpack full of money, a tremendous pick-up of energy. The seers on ancient Mexico devised the practice of recapitulation as a means of freeing oneself of static behaviors, returning that energy to the self for new possibilities. The train line, with its familiar stops and fixed rails, which cannot be deviated from, is the security of known habits and routines in life, the protective walls of the father. After I had committed the crime of breaking the routine, freeing myself from a familiar, well-trodden stop (the train station), I was drawn back to the old familiar place, by father, in the form of nostalgia for the old, known, unchanging stasis; the old way.

Regardless of our formative experiences with our actual fathers, real or imagined, present or absent, supportive or threatening, we are all our own fathers now! Formative experiences with our actual fathers are merely awakenings to this father within, the true father, who will guide and protect us through life. The father within us guards and protects the status quo of our lives: our habits, whether good or bad; our rules for ourselves, however limited or open they may be. The guiding principle of the father is the protection of the family. Inwardly we execute this father function by upholding the familiar safe-place train stops of our daily lives. Familiarity breeds safety and security, a bulwark against the changing sands of time. Zeus’s father, Kronos, Father Time, consumed all his children at birth to ensure the longevity, the unchangingness of his rule, that is, until his clever wife wittingly exchanged a stone for baby Zeus, which ushered in a new era.

Sometimes, of course, the conservativism of the father within us is wise to clip our wings. Daedalus, father of Icarus, constructed for his son wings to fly, made of feathers and wax. He tried desperately to warn his son not to fly too close to the sun. Icarus, so enthralled with his freedom, refused his father’s warning and suffered the inevitable consequence of his inflation, a perilous fall. Obviously there is a need for this protective father function, at times, but more often than not the supportive protective arms of our inner father attitude is just as likely to keep us entombed, limited within the safe walls of our familiar selves, however dysfunctional that might be.

Father is the guardian of the familiar: our inner family of known habits, behaviors and attitudes. The true challenge of my dream was to let go of a tried and true habit, to eliminate it from the repertoire of the self, to take back the energy spent on it and take up my wings, untethered to the tracks leading to an old station in life. But alas, I succumbed to the reconstruction of the walls of Logos, the protective rule of the father, enticed by the safety of the old familiar way, resulting in paradise lost. Thank God I woke up!

P.S.: As I conceived of this blog today, moving through the experiences of this past week, it never dawned on me that tomorrow is Father’s Day. There was no conscious intent to write on this topic, to highlight Father’s Day. I take that to mean that I was moved in this direction by the collective energy that marks the celebration of that day. In keeping with the intent of what I wrote, I wish you all a Happy Father’s Day! Whether we are male or female, our true father is the powerful father within us all, who exerts a tremendous influence upon the blueprint of our lives. To become fully conscious of the operation of this father principle within us is a worthy exercise for Father’s Day.

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

Until we meet again,

#690 Suspend Judgment & Shed the Layers of Crust That Life Has Laid Upon You

Jan Ketchel channeling Jeanne Marie Ketchel

Dear Jeanne,
What message of guidance do you have for us today?

My Dear Ones, look not askance at your own dealings but look them straight in the eye and allow your truths to be revealed, fully known and wholly acceptable to you. In accepting the truths of the self, one is much more accepting of the dilemmas that will arise in one’s own life, as well as be much more accepting of the difficulties faced by others. Until one accepts the truth that one is imperfect perfection will remain an enigma. To lead an impeccable life does not mean that one must be perfect according to the laws of man or God alone, but one must be perfectly able to allow the truths of the self to fully come forth in total realization.

Are you going to talk about recapitulation today?

No, not specifically, but I am talking about learning to love the self, including all the imperfections, the dark secrets as equally as the light ones.

Okay, go on.

I know that you all struggle, My Dears, to make sense of your lives. I know that you wonder if you are doing the right things and making true progress; or are you only fooling yourself? I know that reaching impeccability means leaving behind all that you once thought was so necessary and so important. I know that you often find the ideas of recapitulation difficult to allow into your process because in so doing you must face so many aspects of the self, aspects that you thought you understood and other aspects that you had no idea even existed inside you.

Today, I ask you to more fully learn what it means to suspend judgment so that your progress in life may accelerate to a new level. In suspending judgment, at all times, you will begin to open many doors previously closed or never even observed. In learning how to constantly suspend judgment, by taking back all questions of whether something is right or wrong, and sitting with inner truth and calm, you may discover that your energy self comes forth to guide you. In suspending judgments, formulated by the world you have lived in and by the definitions so firmly planted in the mind, you may discover that there is another being inside you who knows far more that your mind could ever provide or hold available.

A process of suspending judgment involves constantly asking the self to notice where you are judging, first of all. Is that thought you just had a judgment of self, of others, of opening to new ideas, such as I propose, or of facing something you must face? Do questions immediately arise offering alternatives and categories, excuses and reasons to avoid, to dismiss, to push away something that might feel disturbing? Are you uncomfortable about something, so it becomes easier to judge it and place it away in a neat package, in the recesses of the mind or body, where it will not bother you?

As you begin to notice just how often you allow your mind to fix you in a position of certainty, you may also begin to notice that, although that fixed place of certainty is well known and perhaps even comfortable, it may not be your truth. Is it what you truly feel is your very own determination?

Then I ask: How do you personally, you, without forethought and without the opinions of others interfering, feel about this determination? In learning to suspend judgments one learns what it means to access innocence. Innocence is true spirit energy unencumbered by judgments, unencumbered by the thoughts and ideas of the mind. Innocence is totally energetic and flowing, unable to attach to that which is outside of itself, for it cannot attach to anything in that world, for it does not belong in it. Innocence belongs in the world of spirit. In the world of spirit, innocence is the true guide, the true gauge, and the true voice.

You see, in the world of spirit, which resides deeply inside each one of you, there is no need to judge or decide anything but only to flow with the truth of its knowing, its purity, and its impeccable presence in your life. Can you allow this innocence to come forth now, to push through all the judgments, and be present in your world? Can you allow your innocent spirit self to more fully be present as your guide? Can you find comfort in this aspect of self, rather than in the overbearing judgmental self? Can you shed the layers of crust that life has laid upon you and find this true life beneath? Can you connect with your inner energy?

Yes, of course you can! Begin this week with engaging in a new practice of suspending judgment. Look at the self that you are in the world. Look at how you treat your self, and how you treat others. This is the place to begin investigating your own actions and thoughts, and the habitual tendencies to dismiss and peg people, ideas, and truths of the self. What disturbs you needs to be looked at more closely. In suspending all preconceived ideas of how the world works, you may offer your self the first open veil to understanding the spirit self, the energy self, and all things as interconnected, full of potential, full of innocence.

Look today at your world with innocence, without your usual eyes but with unveiled eyes, and see what happens!