Tag Archives: tensegrity

Chuck’s Place: The Intent of Recapitulation

The gateway to recapitulation is focused intent…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

My first encounter with the shamanic practice of Recapitulation was at The Westwood Seminar in Los Angeles in 1997, that year’s annual summer intensive for Tensegrity practitioners. Carlos Castaneda stressed the seriousness of this ancient shamanic Magical Pass, which required a complete reliving of one’s life in preparation for the freedom to fly free, into infinity, at the time of the death of one’s human form.

For Jeanne and I, our ancient Catholic foundation was stirred, as we feared the equivalent of going to Hell if we did not complete our recapitulation before death! Well, I know that Jeanne did indeed make the cut when she left her human form, though she did have to touch back briefly to clear up some unfinished business with her birth mother before she could fully move on. (See the final chapter in The Book of Us for a recount of this unfinished business.)

When Jan and I discovered that recapitulation could actually serve as a total healing tool for complex PTSD, we realized that recapitulation had vast application beyond the shamanic preparation for one’s definitive journey.

In addition, I was synchronistically drawn to EMDR at the same time I was introduced to Recapitulation. I realized that recapitulation and EMDR shared a bilateral feature as their processing mechanism. I also realized that REM sleep shared this same bilateral mechanism, the processing function of ordinary dreaming.

I have capitalized on the innate biological mechanism of bilateral processing in much of my clinical work, but I have also come to discover that intent itself is really at the crux of everything.

When an individual sets the intent to recapitulate, that is, to fully retrieve energy that is sidelined or frozen, by incomplete processing or resolution of prior or inherent experience, something takes over and turns the totality of current life into experiences of what needs to be recapitulated.

Many clients, who are recapitulating traumatic events of which they have no current memory but which form the etiology of their complex PTSD, have discovered that memories begin to appear in no apparent order, haphazardly and from many different periods of their lives, which absolutely insist upon being processed.

Memories may be triggered by bodily pains, dreams, current interactions, smells, sounds—almost anything serves as a projective screen for a memory to reveal itself. Once fully recapitulated, another memory begins to flesh out, of its own non-conscious accord, often from a totally different time and circumstance, perhaps skipping over many other traumas that occurred in between.

The point here is that the intent of recapitulation itself, once engaged, becomes the director of the actual remembering, determining the sequence, frequency, and unique presentation of new memories and how they are brought to consciousness. I have come to trust intent’s illusive logic in directing an unfolding recapitulation, because the necessary healing appears to require its own idiosyncratic, sequential building blocks, constructed through the order of one’s personal unfolding memory triggers and encounters.

Though I hardly suggest that anyone embark upon the journey of traumatic recapitulation without a seasoned guide, I cannot deny anyone the knowledge of their birthright, their own access to the intent of recapitulation, the ultimate soul retrieval journey. To fully retrieve one’s energy is to be fully present to facing oncoming time.

Finally, when I learned the magical passes for intent in the shaman’s world, we practiced yelling the word, “Intent!” very loudly and firmly. And so, I simply recommend firmly stating, out loud, one’s intent to recapitulate, thus affirming one’s conscious decision to partner with the intent of recapitulation, a most worthy higher power.

Wishing you good luck on your journey.



Chuck’s Place: Energetic Fact or Phantom?

What does your conjuring mind look like? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What does your conjuring mind look like?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Riding in the front of the train, we encounter oncoming time, what is factually, energetically happening right in front of us, NOW. Speculation, in contrast, is riding in the caboose, the back of the train, inundated with mindless ruminating on life lived or life possibly to be lived, as the energetic facts of our life—what is happening now—passes us by without our awareness. Speculation plants the seeds of obsession, which in turn generates phantom life—energetic capital spent on an unreal world, an abstract world that runs on our vital energy. Energetic fact disappears as we are inundated with phantom “what ifs.”

Phantom life is generated by obsessional thinking before sleep or upon awakening in the middle of the night. Phantom life is worry, energy given over to the conjuring mind. Phantom life literally sucks the life out of us. Phantom life cannot exist if we don’t fund it with vast amounts of our energy.

In order to perceive the true energetic facts of our lives, we need silence—detachment from the internal dialogue that incessantly conjures our view of the world and all that we encounter. We need silence so we can see what is really there.

Silence is not the absence of noise, nor the absence of dialogue. Silence is mastery over where we choose to place our attention. If we let the mind say what it will, let the noise in the surround remain while we disengage our attention from its activity, we unhook, or de-tach. In this way, we free our awareness.

I offer a few simple examples of phantom thought and practical aids to achieving silence. If I really focus my awareness on an inhalation, I notice that I cannot hold a thought. If I am gripped by a thought that evolves into a phantom story, I notice that my breathing slows to a mere maintenance level as the story takes precedence. If I shift my awareness away from the phantom story that my mind is busy conjuring up and take a deep breath instead, the story desists. The two cannot exist simultaneously.

If I do Tensegrity, the Magical Passes of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage, I cannot maintain a thought. If I step into thought, I cannot remember the next move in the pass. I cannot maintain thought and accuracy of movement simultaneously. Magical Passes shift attention away from the internal dialogue, offering moments of silence. Any focused physical movement achieves the same outcome.

If I stare at a candle flame and listen to my internal dialogue, I notice that I lose connection to the flame. The flame remains, however, inviting my attention back, offering the opportunity to burn away my attachment to thought.

In practicing moments of silence, we eventually achieve mastery over phantom life; we hone our energy to be utilized with intent. In silence, we are fully present to the energetic facts of our lives. In silence, our energetic reserves are fully prepared to engage and live to the fullest, in NOW time.

In silence, from the front of the train,

Chuck’s Place: Leaving an Old World Like The Sabretooth Tiger of Intent

I woke up this morning and turned to Jan: “I just had a nightmare!”

“So did I,” said she.

I was struck by the classification nightmare, not one I really identify with. However, it was the word that came out of my mouth.

As we compared notes, I realized we were in the same dream, though with different props. For Jan, it was the phantasmagorical winged serpent devouring the innocent or foolish. For me, it was the world of people and the devouring power of greed.

In my early waking moments I was being seduced by the mind to attach to intrigues in the world. I watched it happen, but didn’t attach; I held onto my energy. The phantasmagoric imagery of Jan’s dream tempered my interpretation of my own dream. We were being shown an energetic challenge before us and offered the opportunity either to grasp the metaphor and face the challenge within or allow it to project outward onto the world of everyday life.

Jung’s axiom came to the fore: face the shadow within or encounter it without. How quickly, when we attach to the without, is our energy completely engaged and drained. Can we strip away the nightmarish energy, see the challenge directly, and address the needed change? Or must we engage a new drama in an old world?


As we talked about our dreams and came to understand the message, I found myself recapitulating walking out of a Tensegrity workshop that Jeanne and I had attended in 1999 having completed the magical pass of the Sabretooth Tiger of Intent. I provide a link to that pass here. I encourage those who view it to notice the transition back into the human form at the end of the pass. This is how to change: turn around 180 degrees and walk calmly away in a new direction, into a new life.

As Jan and I continued to talk this morning, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t written my blog! In fact, I hadn’t even thought about what day it was or what I might write about! It became quite evident that the spirit had its own intent that this be my blog message today. And so, I have delivered it!

Carlos Castaneda writes, in The Wheel of Time: “We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.”

About face!

Chuck’s Place: What the World Needs Now is Recapitulation

Are we all ready to face the real truths that are so obvious?

Jeanne was diagnosed with cancer in 1994 right in the midst of our move to Tivoli, New York. Simultaneously, Carlos Castaneda was launching Tensegrity, a modern format in which to pass on the knowledge of the Seers of Ancient Mexico. Around the same time Jan, living in the deep South, was also diagnosed with cancer while at the same time being energetically stirred to make the trek back to the Hudson Valley, called to a new potential destiny. All three of these energetic events, Jeanne-Carlos-Jan, were about endings and new beginnings.

For Jeanne and I, it was to mark the final stage of our life together in this world as we began preparing to meet again on new energetic terms after her death. For Carlos, also soon to die, it marked the end of his shamanic line. Carlos, a socialist at heart, broke all the rules of secrecy in shamanism and offered everyone equal access to the tools of his shamanic line with the launching of Tensegrity. Tensegrity offers practitioners the tools to discover the energy body and the opportunity to evolve to new levels of human possibility. Jan was to heal from cancer, move North, and discover the need to end her sixteen-year-long marriage. On a profound personal level, an old illusion of herself was to die and she moved deeply into energetic life.

The energetic cord that was to bind these three events together was the shamanic tool of recapitulation. Jeanne and I were introduced to recapitulation at a workshop we attended led by Carlos. Recapitulation aided Jeanne in leaving her human form, landing her in her energy body, like a bodhisattva—an evolved being available to guide others still in this world. I introduced Jan to recapitulation, the tool that allowed her to discover her unknown self, shed her attachment to a horrific past, and revamp her energy to become an energetic channel able to connect with Jeanne in her evolved energy body state. Through Jeanne’s channeled messages to Jan, Jeanne expanded the practice of recapitulation outside of the shamanic format, to include the triggers and synchronistic events of everyday life as energetic promptings to recapitulate.

Personally, the day I introduced Jan to the tool of recapitulation was the day of my full coming out. It was my transformation, as I dared to openly use a shamanic tool in my clinical work. Up to that point, though I was well aware of the value of recapitulation as a tool for healing deep trauma, I relied more heavily on EMDR, a therapeutic tool with some similarities to recapitulation. However, it was really a subset of the far more comprehensive practice of recapitulation.

I introduced Jan to recapitulation over a decade ago. As is evident from my writings and work over the past decade, I can’t say enough about the healing value of recapitulation as a tool to fully heal from the deepest and most horrific of life’s traumas. In a couple of weeks, Jan will be releasing the first of three books, The Recapitulation Diaries: The Man in the Woods. This book, almost three years in the making, is a detailed description of every important facet of her recapitulation process. With this publication we enter a new era in our work as Jan makes available, to anyone, guidance on how to do recapitulation, how to discover who you really are, how to release the self from illusions about life and life’s experiences, and how to revamp energy to enter new and fulfilling life.

Before he left this world, Carlos fully understood and appreciated the value of the internet as a communication tool. His foresight has proven true. We will be publishing Jan’s book first on Kindle, the wave of the publishing future. We discovered, with out last book, The Book of Us, that the old structures of the publishing world could not serve as a medium for our ideas and experiences. In fact, none of the old structures work for us. We find ourselves constantly being energetically led to new formats.

A bit of Carlos’s socialist heart has rubbed off on us as well. Jan’s Kindle book will sell for $.99 (yes, ninety-nine cents!) making it available to everyone. It isn’t about the money—it’s about the energy and evolution. On the other hand, you do have to pay. Carlos and the other seers of his line discovered that you have to pay, no matter what world you’re in. If you give it away, it simply is not valued. Perhaps it’s just the nature of evolution; without challenge we simply don’t grow. But there doesn’t have to be greed—the number one cause of our crumbling world.

The relevance of the shamanic tool of recapitulation for our rapidly decaying world is obvious. Don Juan predicted that for human beings to survive now, a mass redeployment of energy, such as occurs through a recapitulation, was critical. Human beings need to be willing to drop the illusions that can no longer sustain the world, face the real truths, and move forward in a new energetic configuration.

What the world needs now is recapitulation on a personal, interpersonal, national, and international level. We see the sentinels of illusion busily trying to guard and uphold a world that is crumbling around them. And then we see many brave seekers recapitulating and preparing to lead a new energetic possibility.

Everything is possible—and a new recapitulated possibility is happening!