Tag Archives: synchronicity

Chuck’s Place: A Vibrant Synchronicity

Exhale…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

The blog I intended to write this week is not this one. This blog is the result of a profound synchronicity that Jan and I experienced and that I feel is my responsibility to share. My intent is to present it as it occurred, leaving all interpretations to the mind and heart of the reader.

In recent months, someone had sent me the book, Breath, by James Nestor. Jan started to read it alone and then informed me that we should read it together because, as she said, “it is a book that will change our lives.” That suggestion caught my attention!

We read the book eagerly over a couple of week’s time. One chapter was particularly challenging, dealing with the potential health benefits of carbon dioxide retention via slow exhalation. Though I regularly practice breath retention, as prescribed by ancient pranayama techniques, as well as practices suggested by Jack Schwarz, I never connected its benefits as stemming from the retention of carbon dioxide in the body.

A major collaborator of James Nestor in the exploration of breath is the Swedish researcher, Anders Olsson. Both have spent more than ten years researching the effects of breathing on the human body.

Independent of my knowing, Jan researched Olsson’s website and discovered and purchased a pair of breathing devices called the Relaxator. She presented me with one. It looked like a plastic whistle or pacifier, and it cost $35! Needless to say, I was not impressed. Jan said, for the second time, “it’s going to change our lives!”

In spite of my doubts, I began to experiment with its protocol, which is to place the Relaxator in the mouth, breathe in deeply through the nose and then exhale slowly through the Relaxator, which constricts the breath and elongates the exhalation.

After the first 15-minute session I was deeply calmed and, yes, hooked! Jan and I have been deepening our practice ever since. During our last shared breathing session, I had the thought that when we finished we’d reread the chapter in Breath that dealt with carbon dioxide, to further grasp its action in the body, and then move on to an unrelated spiritual book, entitled Letters From The Afterlife, which we had been reading.

To backtrack a little, when we had previously finished reading Breath and pondered what to read next, Jan quickly breezed through our library and knew that Letters was the book we should read. She plucked it off the shelf and declared that we hadn’t read it yet. It’s part of our modest collection of Spiritualist books from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.

Letters is a channelled book by Elsa Barker, published in 1915. The character she channelled was the prominent judge, spiritual seeker and noted author, James Patterson Hatch, whom Elsa had known while he was alive in human form. From his place on the other side of the veil, he made contact with Elsa and asked her to write Letters, which documents his discoveries of life after death, which he desired to share with humanity.

So, when Jan and I had completed our breathing session, instead of picking  up Breath, as previously planned, I unthinkingly picked up Letters and opened to the next chapter to be read: Letter 31, A Change Of Focus. In this chapter, Judge Hatch quite abruptly describes a methodology to heighten one’s psychic powers by raising one’s vibration through the practice of breath retention! This discussion was completely out of context from all the letters we had previously read.

Judge Hatch states that he has met with yogis in India in meditation who are aware that the retention of the breath causes a buildup of a poison (obviously carbon dioxide) that acts upon one’s psychic nature, raising one’s vibration and psychic powers. He suggested that at the level of gross matter—the physical body—many illnesses are cured as well. Judge Hatch mused that for all the volumes published on Yoga, none of them had described the physiological roots of the retention practice.

Well, as I realized that I had picked up a book written in 1915 that out of nowhere answered the question I intended to receive from one published in 2020, I knew, in that moment, that Judge Hatch is a teacher still! Though living in the astral dimension beyond this world, he continues to be very much focused on supporting spiritual evolution in the modern world, through the use of an extremely practical method—the retention of breath, the very method that I had recently been learning about myself. I further realized that a trickster spirit had crafted an amazing set of circumstances to captivate my attention!

I feel a deeply grounded imperative to pass on Judge Hatch’s synchronistic affirmation of Anders Olsson’s research. Of course my intent here is not to prescribe or recommend the Relaxator. My intent is to share a most vibrant synchronicity and, for me, a clear interaction with a spirit seeking to benefit humankind.

Links are provided below to the works cited, in case one is interested in taking the journey of this synchronous happening for one’s self.

Synchronicity provides a meeting place for different soul dimensions, both within and outside the self. Anyone who might choose to engage in a practice with breathing should consult with their medical practitioners to obtain medical clearance. This blog is simply informational, not prescriptive.

Gratitude for the gift of Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art. Love for all the souls engaged in this fantastic voyage of ever-evolving consciousness.

Vibrantly,
Chuck

Elsa Barker: Letters from the Afterlife
James Nestor: Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art
Anders Olsson’s website: Conscious Breathing
The Relaxator

Soulbyte for Friday September 23, 2022

                                                       -Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

To advance is to let go of old ideas of the self and others, to free the mind and release the spirit to new ideas and new experiences. To advance spiritually is to be open, with open mind and heart, to the play of life all around you, to the changes and the synchronicities that every day show you that you have the opportunity to change and grow within the self.

Be open and receptive to those changes, and be alert to the signs that come to guide you. Notice what’s happening in your world, and be open to the call that comes to show you the way.

Sending you love,
The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: Synchronicity & The Ego

Synchronicity: Spirit meets Matter…
– Illustration © 2022 Jan Ketchel

Synchronicity is a spiritual encounter in everyday life. Once, a scarab beetle plowed into Jan’s neck as we sat on our deck. It fell to the floor and lay there in a stunned stupor. Jan immediately identified it as a scarab beetle, a rare occurrence for the time of year. We later discovered that the encounter with the beetle occurred at the same time as the death of someone we knew, someone whom I had once animatedly discussed Jung’s experience of synchronicity with a patient involving a scarab beetle, a beetle rarely seen in his environment.

The meaning of this synchronous encounter was obvious: a departing soul sent us an undeniable farewell gift that I alone would unmistakably recognize. From the spiritual dimension contact was made with the physical dimension in a most meaningful and touching way. That’s a synchronicity.

My ego, the soul agent of everyday physical life, was critically necessary for remembering the long ago scarab beetle discussion, but, to truly be touched and taught by the experience, had to humble itself to a higher  power, higher than itself. The narrowly rational, doubting-Thomas, typical ego attitude of everyday life has a tendency to laugh off the experience as coincidence, or to inflate itself with spiritual airs for having had the experience.

Since the dominant spiritual dimension of our existence comes to life in our sleep/dream time and is largely lost to memory upon awakening, when ego reawakens to its governance over waking life, synchronicity can be seen as the Soul’s adroit use of physical reality to impress itself upon the ego’s limited knowledge of its greater Self.

Sometimes, synchronous events can seduce ego into recklessly misinterpreting their meaning and inflating itself in its decision making. Stan Grof humbly shared his experience of a celestially romantic relationship with Joan Halifax in his book, When the Impossible Happens, that led to an impulsive decision to marry during a transpersonal conference in Iceland, which was attended by Joseph Campbell and officiated by Huston Smith.

The relationship, or non-conscious relationship, between Joan and Stan lasted very briefly after Iceland. Joan went on to become Joan Jiko Halifax, a famous American Buddhist teacher, founder of, and currently Abbot of, the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM. Stan went on to marry Christina Grof with whom he collaborated on the creation of Holotropic Breathwork to gain non-drug induced access to the spiritual depths of the psyche. Both Stan and Joan were humbled and advanced in their relationship with Soul and the language of synchronicity through this memorable coupling and uncoupling.

The lesson of Iceland was for ego to become humbled but not intoxicated by the power of synchronicity orchestrated by the Soul. Ego must also assume 100% responsibility for its decisions in this world. Ego craves union and connection with its higher Soul, or Higher Power, but must retain decision making responsibility in the life it is currently in. Synchronicities may offer numinous spiritual experiences of Soul union, but Soul refuses to do the work of ego: to reflect, think, feel, intuit and decide.

If Soul already knew the answers to the life we are in, how would it benefit from sending us into this life? What would be the point? We are here on a mission of growth, ultimately accrued to the benefit of our greater Soul. Granted, Soul has much wisdom, resource, and power, but it requires of ego to access that guidance and apply it, as feels right for itself. Even if ego is mistaken in its judgment, it will learn and grow from its mistakes.

High Soul uses its power of synchronicity to help ego grow. Sometimes that means being the trickster, as in Stan and Joan’s Icelandic adventure. At other times, synchronicity lends itself to facilitating a meeting of souls, as was the case with Jan and my encounter with the scarab beetle.

Synchronicity can also be straightforward with spiritual guidance, as with the I Ching. Throwing physical coins is correlated with spiritual tuning in and guidance. Yet even the I Ching will become a trickster if ego becomes overly dependent, constantly deferring its decision making responsibility. Sometimes it gives you a totally inappropriate reading, essentially communicating: Wake up! Think for yourself!

In step three of the Twelve Steps of AA, a person in recovery is required to turn over the ego’s decision making to their Higher Power. Bill Wilson, cofounder of AA, was given the Twelve Steps in a direct encounter with his Higher Power during a therapeutic LSD therapy session. The function of step three is to refine and grow ego responsibility by first submitting it to the guidance of its Higher Power.

In the case of an addict, ego’s alienation from its Soul leads to attempts to merge with Soul through the use of excess substance, creating habitual spirit misfires, resulting in addiction. Step three suspends habitual behavior, while ego undertakes an honest life review and prepares to become a mature version of itself, with the support and leadership of its Soul. Eventually, ego is able to take full ownership of its life, and thus its decisions reflect the higher intent of its Soul.

When synchronicities occur, enjoy their numinous welcome but be careful with how you interpret and act upon their apparent insinuations.

Be humble before Soul, but never give up assuming full responsibility for decision making. That’s our deepest reason for being in this life.

Assuming responsibility,
Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Synchronicity, The Soul’s Messenger

Molting gutter snake…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In a dream, I was beside a lake at night, sandwiched among a pile of undulating bodies, tracking an elusive sensation in my body. Suddenly, Jan awakens me; it’s 4:15 am, already late to rise.

I abruptly stand up. My body suddenly begins to seize into a full body cramp. Unable to stand erect, I carefully hobble out to the living room couch. As the seizure continues to threaten to go into a full-blown convulsion, I question whether my energy body, in its abrupt return to the physical body, from the dream, has docked awkwardly, impacting both my muscular and skeletal structures.

Next, I reflect on the dream experience itself, recognizing the purposive action of a contraction-like movement in the dream, suggesting a birthing experience. I know from personal experience that all dreams, however painful or frightening, are promptings from the High Soul for movement and change, in the physical waking dimension of life, that are in alignment with its higher truth.

This was not some kind of physical recapitulation of a suppressed bodily memory. This was a High Soul energetic chiropractic adjustment that had to be completed in the awakened physical body. My fear dropped away and I wondered, in awe, what new life was struggling to take form in my body as I entered the light of day.

With this growth-oriented perspective, I was able to be receptive to the physically challenging experience as it led me into new knowledge and consolidation of mind, body, and spirit self. This is the process of inner alchemy, as the body becomes the retort through which soulful transformation is achieved.

The shamans of ancient Mexico discovered that all energetic intent is embodied in the routines of physical postures and movements we subconsciously repeat each day. Changes in movements and postures open one to whole new worlds of possibility. Frequently, those shamans would be instructed, in dreaming, in new sets of physical movements, which they called magical passes. They then practiced these passes in waking life to bring intended change into their lives.

The synchronicity of my dream body’s and physically awakening body’s experience was my High Soul’s message crossing between the unseen dimensions of my whole Self. The message was non-verbal; like a new magical pass, the message of change was quite physical.

Synchronicity had already provided a startling sign the prior day. A black snake’s head hanging from the gutter above the front door greeted us as we arrived back home after our daily climb up and down Robert’s Mountain. We suspected that the snake was shedding its skin, as we have often found discarded snakeskins in the gutters. I too was soon to begin the painful process of molting.

At the level of the High Soul is the dimension of our experience at the transpersonal level of existence. This is, literally, the subatomic Soul level of existence, where everything that is, is interconnected as an ever-undulating wholeness of energy. All of us, everything, exist as one; nothing is exempt from this wholeness, this oneness. This is our life at the High Soul level of infinity.

Closer to home is the dimension of a circumscribed life in a physical body, where the interconnected energy of infinity is perceived as a discreet world of separate solid objects. This is the life of the soul, sequestered to the perception of ego consciousness, constructing the familiar dimension of everyday life in time and space.

The transpersonal dimension is light as a wave, as energy. The ego dimension is light as a particle, as solid. These two dimensions operate quite independently of each other, yet they do interact in the freedom of the dream space, where they share with each other both their wisdom and their experiences. High Soul has the broadest view, but ego soul contributes to High Soul’s knowledge through its own experiments in physical form.

I realize that my High Soul needed a willing partner, in its ego soul, to acquiesce to the molting and realignment that would allow for new discoveries in physical life experience, which are crucial to the High Soul’s growth and movement in infinity. Teaching and learning are a two-way street between the human and the divine. The particle and the wave are equal though opposite sides of the same coin.

I have come to realize that everything that occurs in waking life is meaningfully connected. From this perspective, the transpersonal knowing of the High Soul is channeled through the receptive ego, as it attends to the sensations of the world around it in waking life. Nature constantly provides signs and agreements to our cognitive meanderings as we navigate our days. This is synchronicity, the soul’s messenger, bridging the dimensions of Self.

To benefit from the High Soul’s messages from infinity, one must indeed suspend the judgment of an overly rational particle prejudiced ego, appreciating the promptings of the energetic High Soul.  As well, one must live a grounded life in the physical body and participate in the fulfillment of the physical life they are also in.

And so, I have daily come into alignment with the shift that occurred upon sudden reentry into the physical from dreaming, molting from an old ego stance into the new adjustment that was afforded me by the collision of worlds—my High Soul having instructed my ego to get into a new alignment that benefits both.

Get grounded, suspend judgment, open to the awe of possibility, and begin to dialogue with your own High Soul. It communicates everywhere, in every pulse of nature and the planet, within and without.

Forever molting,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Truckin’

When there are no blockages, all roads lead to the heart center…
– Artwork © 2022 Jan Ketchel

When I look out at the world, I see reflections of the human Body and Spirit. The Taoist guidance—as within, so without—guides my perspective.  Synchronicity, the meaningful co-occurrence of events, supports the parallel interpretation of world events and events within the individual.

Oceans, rivers, and roads are the Earth’s circulatory system. Vessels and trucks are the carriers of the world’s supplies, distributing, where needed, the nutrients and material building blocks for modern civilization. These are equivalent to the red blood cell truckers of the human circulatory system.

Recent truck blockades have interfered with the normal free flow of the world’s supply chain. What might this blockage reflect in the human body and psyche?

The adrenal glands are the body’s first and primary centers of response to real or perceived threats to survival. Typically, the hormone adrenalin is secreted by the adrenal glands to increase blood circulation to the muscles in order to respond to a perceived threat via flight, fight, or freeze.

This survival response, when maintained over time in a constant state of readiness and vigilance, creates an over-concentration of blood flow to the muscles, cutting off the supply of vital nutrients to other organs and cells in the body. This blockage in the supply chain can lead to vascular collapse as the roads to these other vital centers are blocked.

The human mind is intimately implicated in this toxic predicament. The survival response itself is an inherited instinctual reflex habit stored in the subconscious. This program is triggered both in response to actual sensory stimuli that communicate real danger, as well as imagined danger that might be generated from one’s internal dialogue.

The subconscious does not discriminate between real and imagined danger; it responds equally to each. Thus, the thoughts and stories that we attach to in active thinking directly contribute to roadblocks in our circulatory system, which both overstimulate the musculature into constant rigidity and deprive the rest of the body of nutrients and avenues for waste management.

The ability of the mind to release itself from the toxicity created by negative thinking is fundamental to adrenal care and smooth sailing throughout the circulatory system. To this end, the I Ching recommends that, rather than battle negativity directly, to instead make energetic progress in the generation of positive thought and action.

Practically speaking, this could mean feeling compassion for one voicing pessimism, hatred, and blame. For myself, I seek to find within my own self the qualities of the one who so offends or threatens me outwardly. I then appreciate that internal part of myself that holds that same point of view. This defuses inner turmoil and often broadens my perspective. Outwardly, I send love to the other that they might find calm and resolution as well.

Physical action also provides a release of energy prompted by adrenalin, as well as through deep breathing, where fresh oxygen binds with adrenalin, reducing its presence in the musculature.

Listening to heartfelt music can also shift one’s emotional landscape, as feelings of love, awe, and reverence begin to circulate throughout one’s being. As well, devotional actions of mantra, prayer, and intent guide the subconscious to call off the adrenal troops and return to calm.

I appreciate the image the truckers have provided as a diagnostic x-ray of the blockage in our current human predicament. I encourage that we all find our way to the positivity of compassion, love, and gratitude that we might find ourselves, flowingly, on the road again.

Grateful,

Chuck