Tag Archives: transparency

Chuck’s Place: MirrorIng, The Heart of Connection

Mirroring in nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

We can use words to communicate, but connection requires more than words. Connection is meeting in pure transparency.

The intimacy of meeting so directly can be overpowering. The removal of boundaries, at that level, recalls a state of union and oneness that long preceded the notion of a separate self.

The terror of loss of self in such encounters generates ambivalence. Though we might seek the closeness of connection, we seek refuge in the protection of small talk, roles, and prefabricated expectations and interactions. Why do we find it so necessary to hide?

Carlos Castaneda was emphatic that we should avoid looking into the mirror; at most, a brief unfocused gaze for shaving or combing of the hair. For the shamans of his lineage, looking in the mirror results in the fixation of attention upon self-reflection, what the psychotherapist of today calls narcissistic preoccupation with the self.

The more we focus upon the presentation of the self, the more we become alienated from our true selves. The more we stare at our reflection, the more Bobby the Flyer takes command, and we find more and more fault with ourselves, which leads to a state of narcissistic loathing. Why then do we hide? Because we are so damned unacceptable!

Loathing the self is then compensated for by the insatiable attention we seek for our outer presentation of self, what Jung called the persona, or the mask we wear. Regardless of how much attention it receives, it is never enough to erase the underlying belief of unworthiness of the true underlying self.

Mirroring, in the modern psychological sense, happens between two people, not one person viewing their own appearance in the mirror. To mirror with another is to feel, know, and be with the truth of one’s own and the other’s experience in the moment. A meeting of the eyes in that moment reflects an unmistakable acknowledgement of a shared experience.

Mirroring requires no words, though words might be exchanged. Words are not necessary because the knowing of the meeting has already been validated through the mirroring effect. Meetings of this kind crack the mirror of fixation upon self-reflection. Meeting in transparency, with nothing hidden, transcends judgments of self and other.

Mirroring actually requires no special skill. In fact, shamans suggest that we all have access to the direct knowledge experience of mirroring. Direct knowledge is knowledge unfiltered by the mental processing and judging of the mind’s internal dialogue.

The key to direct knowledge is inner silence, a state of mindful presence that shuts down the mental process, that is, thinking. Devoid of thinking we are treated to the experience of what is, unbiased by interpretation.

Connecting at the heart level is mirroring at the level of truth. Of course, this can be experienced as extremely romantic, where “hearts meet as one.” Romance is highly sought after for this mirroring experience of transparent meeting.

Unfortunately, romance soon becomes overwhelmed with archetypal expectations of each other, which quickly engages the judging mind. This closes down the purity of the mirroring channel between partners, who then become utter strangers. The mirroring of romance is co-opted by nature’s underlying intent to simply continue the species, not deepen spiritual connection.

Romance is a limited subset though valuable experience of mirroring. That is, while it lasts. Mirroring is possible in all human and non-human interactions. Mirroring frequently happens between humans and animals, or humans and plants. Mirroring is the basis of successful early parenting. Mirroring is the essence of true bonding.

Mirroring is the active relational tool for the current and coming evolutionary advance of the human species. It springs from the heart because the heart brings us to the true interconnected oneness of everything, which is the active principle in mirroring.

Relax the mind, suspend judgment, and mirror. See what happens!



Chuck’s Place: Total Transparency

Transparency calling…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Jeanne, our bodhisattva guide from infinity, has shared that there is no hiding in life beyond the shadow of this dimension. Encounters in infinity are fully transparent; when you encounter another you are both fully revealed to each other.

Life in this dimension is clearly evolving along that principle now as we experience a greater preponderance of public outings, exposing all the secrets.

From an astrological perspective this is reflective of the transition from the Piscean age of the past 2000 years into the dawning of the age of Aquarius where we are currently squarely situated. The Piscean was largely the age of Christianity that swept the world with its emphasis on raising the spirit and, while acknowledging the shadow, sequestering it to the private black box of the confessional booth.

The spirit is rising to new heights in the Aquarian age, shining an even brighter light upon the shadow. Trump has ushered in an unabashed expression of the life of the shadow, long operative but hidden beneath the persona of high ideals and perfection.

The current energetic wave of “me too” is instantly bringing down career politicians, actors, and pillars of the establishment with a force equivalent to nature’s hurricanes and earthquakes. Confession has burst fully into the public eye and instead of private penance we have crime and punishment.

How refreshing to have the truth revealed on such a massive scale. Perhaps at last this wave can finally overturn the stifling denial and “false memory” shutdowns of prior eras. Transparency, though it runs the risk of inquisition excess, is the necessary technology for needed evolutionary shift.

The consequence of sexual abuse upon the individual is generally PTSD, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, a syndrome that guards the wounded personal spirit by freezing it out of life.

I have spent my entire professional career cracking the nut of PTSD, largely resultant from sexual abuse. I know that this interest issues from my personal journey with the violent abuse inflicted upon my mother while she and I were as one, when I was contained within her womb.

Curiously, the cure for PTSD is total transparency. This includes the total revelation to the self of the fullness of stored abusive experiences, as well as the ability to be transparent beyond the self, freed of shame and blame. A momentous undertaking, but totally doable, a totally healable journey.

Jan has offered her well-documented journey of total healing from Complex PTSD in her Recapitulation Diaries series of books as an example to all journeyers that complete healing is possible. Jan has no emotional attachment to judgmental reactions to her revelations; it is her gift to those intent upon healing. Her energy is concentrated on the fullness of life now, her energy freed from all the old frozen places.

Having discovered recapitulation as one road to healing from PTSD, I am now concentrated on the deeper dilemma of the human animal/spirit that generates the atrocities of sexual abuse. My current hypothesis: human consciousness (spirit) is largely dissociated from its animal self.

Truly, who really thinks of themselves as an animal. Who really knows what it means to be an animal? Thinking and reflecting are actions of spirit. To know thyself is a spirit function. The animal that we are has its own form of knowing that expresses itself through instinct and powerful emotion. Consciousness, as aware spirit energy, completely underestimates the power and wisdom of this archetypal substrate of animal being.

The rapid pace of technological, spirit-driven, advance has so seduced the Aquarian into the belief of the possibility of a totally rationally mastered world that it scoffs at the power of its animal core. Furthermore, it is deluded into the notion that body can be remastered and manipulated into spirit ideas of perfection and correction without dire reaction from its animal self.

These are the challenges the millennials of the Aquarian dawn face as they press for total transparency for our evolving species. A  reconciliation of spirit and animal human requires an attitude of respect for the wisdom and needs for both of these sides of the self. An attitude that treats the body as a circuit board for manipulation certainly devalues the wisdom and knowledge of eons of evolutionary experience.

As well, as we  move toward total transparency we must adopt the shaman’s central dictum: suspend judgment. We must become unbiased witnesses to the self and accept the parts of our spirit and animal selves that are generally riddled in shame and relegated to the shadows. This does not condone acting out, but it does reckon with the truth of the powerful forces that rage and hunger from within and must find a home in the wholeness of life.

Total transparency is total knowing, total acceptance, and total integration of wholeness of being. To eliminate the shadow we must transparently accept and live all that we are. Tall order indeed, but this is the calling of our time. Begin with self, see what you find!



Chuck’s Place: The Transparent, Responsible Dream

When we enter infinity…
-Art by Jan Ketchel

By many accounts, when we permanently leave our physical body to embark upon our definitive journey into infinity at death, we enter an energetic state of pure transparency, no hidden compartments, the exact opposite of the most salient feature of life in the human form, the ability to keep secrets from self and others. Thus, the next rung of our evolutionary trajectory challenges us all to be and interact with all “others” as we and they truly are, a distinct advance from the vagaries of human interaction and relationship.

Human relationship, lived  within the self or interpersonally with others, happens mainly in the dark. Truthfully, we know little of who we are and little of the true nature of those with whom we interact. Such is the curse and challenge of life in this dimension.

Technological advances of our time have however greatly restricted the ability to have a hidden compartment. Chances are, there’s a camera or recording device of some sort that is creating a record of all forms of observable human behavior, no matter how discreetly life is lived.

The hidden identities of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, right down to Carlos Castaneda, could never be maintained in today’s world. We don’t know for certain Castaneda’s real name, where he was born, his real date of birth, nor the place and date of his death. This would not happen in today’s world.

Carl Jung managed to conceal that he was sexually abused as a youth for his entire life, save one brief reference to it in a personal letter to Freud published years after his death. The fullness of that story would never be allowed to go to the grave in today’s world.

Donald Trump, though he still tries to conceal his tax returns, is perhaps the most transparent of all political figures of our day. We know he’s behaved like a lech, it’s recorded. He makes no effort to present himself as presidential. Whether we like him or not, with Trump we are treated to a very transparent leader, he simply can’t help himself.

The truth is, you can’t reconcile with yourself or with another person if you can’t reveal to yourself or another the fullness of who you are, however sordid. The absence of transparency gives rise to intrigue, deception, and hidden subplots in life, all the ingredients of fake relationship.

It appears that full transparency is our current evolutionary imperative. Of course, revelation of the shadow self, the hidden compartments, does not automatically lead to evolutionary advance. Trump’s current transparent behavior simply means that he’s acting out power-drives in the open versus acting them out covertly, as was typical of politics in the past. With transparency comes responsibility for what to do with one’s “outed” shadow.

Though we are moving quickly, driven by unstoppable technological advances toward greater and greater transparency, what has become abundantly clear is that we must reconcile all the formerly hidden parts that become transparently exposed. Full exposure is not reconciled wholeness. This is abundantly clear with the sexual abuse issue in the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church tried to repress sexuality in its clergy. Transparency revealed the results of that decision in perhaps the greatest institutional case of sexual abuse in history. Simply outing the perpetrators does not reconcile the opposition of spirit and matter/animal/sex. Transparency merely alerts us to the truth of all that we are. Any attempt at reconciliation that merely represses one side in favor of another merely creates a new shadow. Reconciliation means creating a stable personality that doesn’t require new prison compartments.

But how does one achieve responsible wholeness? Here are some suggestions:

1) Appoint your adult self to mediate the process. The child self or the shadow self must be included in the negotiation but only the mature adult has the stamina and objectivity to work with all the points of view and emotional states of the different factions of the self. An immature child self has neither the patience nor objectivity to see beyond its own needs. Maturity is critical. Maturity must be in charge.

2) Suspend judgement. We all have parts of ourselves that have powerful “unacceptable” emotions as well as “immoral” impulses. Regardless of our reaction to these challenging parts we must accept them as part of who we are. All parts of the whole must have a place in that whole. It is the challenge for the adult self to recognize its parts, listen to their needs and points of view, and find the best place within the whole self for each part to live. For example, perhaps there is a part of the personality that truly hates to deal with people and the outside world. Perhaps that part can be assigned to securing uninterrupted meditation time, both from outside influences and inside thoughts that would dare to intrude upon inner silence. Be creative.

Our challenge, with the imperative of transparency being handed down to us from the next rung of life beyond human life, is to reconcile with our wholeness. We must find a place for all that we are, light and dark, in the full light of day. I would call this responsible, transparent wholeness.

Transparency is coming into its own now anyway. I dream that we may find our way to responsibility too. Together, let’s dream that dream, the transparent, responsible dream.



Chuck’s Place: Transparency

Both Jeanne and Robert Monroe report that journeys in energetic infinity are completely transparent. Thoughts and feelings are immediately known to self and other—no place to hide. This in no way implies moral superiority or perfection, simply the absence of shadow—all is revealed.

In our solid dimension, shadow, the ability to hide from self and other, is, and has been, the nemesis of our evolution. At this moment in time, we witness a dramatic acting out of disowned shadow as it is projected and killed throughout the world.

It's really all about transformation... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
It’s really all about transformation…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

As horrific as such outbreaks of violence are, they reflect our own evolutionary movement toward transparency. Videos  abound, blatantly revealing violence and murder perpetrated by individuals projecting evil onto others. The truth is being revealed, and though reactions to those truths wreak havoc, in the end, the truth is being revealed in greater transparency.

Mother Earth has mandated evolutionary advance and humans are the agents of her intent. The rise of Donald Trump is another reflection of this urgency for change and transparency. Ironically, his flippant, ignorant, off-the-cuff reactive style appeals to a certain populace fed up with lies. He is actually supported by a wave of sentiment that seeks easy truth and simplicity vs the diplomatic complexity of seeking real solutions.

I remember, when I first started in the field of counseling, how some seasoned therapists would meet with a patient, analyze their problem, and provide them with a very clear prescription to solve that problem—very clear, rational, and black and white. The trouble was, most of those patients were ultimately labelled as defensive because they didn’t act on their prescriptions.

The one dictum I held onto from graduate school was to start where the client is at. This requires complex diplomacy—suspending judgment–and gradually helping a client to reckon with, own, and make their shadow transparent.

Trump mimics a quick prescriber that attracts the hunger for greater transparency and fairness, yet, ironically, Trump himself has led a business career of manipulation and dishonesty. What’s striking is the willingness to overlook these facts, so great is the desire for change.

As much as I am concerned about the current generation’s obsession with social media, which I see as a widening dissociation from our human animal selves, I can’t help but validate the same drive toward greater transparency that the internet and social media offer. It’s getting harder to hide and lie in this modern world!

We are in a cauldron of monumental change where phenomena like the rise of Donald Trump are likely to occur as an aberrant permutation of transparency. These are significant but transient events. The deeper, more fundamental event here is the realization of Mother Earth’s intent to evolve us to the next level of energetic transparency. And with that transparency the human will will have little choice but to acquiesce to the truth and the necessary actions to insure survival and the flourishing of our evolving dream and, ultimately, our transformation.

Transparently speaking,