Tag Archives: trauma

Chuck’s Place: Beyond The Competitive Solution

Digesting one’s life is the source of new life …
-Artwork © 2024 Jan Ketchel

Every person alive in this extraordinary time is part of a major world transition. The question is whether this is a nightmare that must be completed or whether it’s time to choose a new dream.

The gods have unequivocally made certain that world events reveal the truths for all to see. And so it appears that what’s being asked is for humankind to assume full responsibility for deciding what comes next. Nightmare or regenerative dream?

Behind it all is the very real clash of opposites, inherent both in wholeness and in all of us.

Jane Roberts, who delivered to the world the epochal teachings of Seth, spent the last year and a half of her life confined to a hospital, her body completely locked in a fetal position, incapable of independent movement.

Jane’s mother had suffered and died from rheumatoid arthritis. Jane never saw her mother walk and spent her childhood and early adulthood at the beck and call of her mother’s bedpan. In her very early childhood, Jane spent two years in a repressive Catholic orphanage due to her mother’s inability to care for her. Her mother largely blamed Jane’s existence for her own medical woes.

Similar to many other extraordinary psychic adventurers, Jane’s traumatic childhood dissociated her into the largess of subtle energy exploration. She published short stories, science fiction novels and poetry before she ultimately met, and channeled, the wise, evolved human being, no longer in human form, who called himself Seth.

The opposites that riddled Jane’s existence were the part of herself that she designated the sinful girl of her childhood, who needed to be punished, and the adult channel she became, with access to the wisdom, critical in our time, to keep the human dream alive and evolving into deeper balance.

Jane had compensated for her neglected and abused beginnings with a spiritual drive that was intent upon discovering the deeper truths beyond everyday existence. It was not until later in life, fully frozen in her hospital bed, that she was forced to recapitulate the experiences of her neglected younger selves, with their limiting negative beliefs that had driven her discomfort with being a woman in this life.

Her total dependence upon nurses, and her husband Rob, allowed her to experience maternal care at a near infantile level, challenging the deep-seated unworthiness of her childhood. In addition, by embodying her mother’s limiting disease she was able to experience deep love and empathy for her mother’s frozen self, freeing herself of the burden of resentment. 

Jane’s heroic journey of ego compensation for traumatic beginnings is the heroic journey of most human egos. It represents the competitive solution to the problem of the opposites. In this scenario, heroic compensation defeats the legacy of trauma, at least temporarily.

Many a successful adult can trace their current good fortune to the one-sided discipline they brought down upon themselves to escape the fate of their origins. As successful as one-sided solutions may be, eventually, often by midlife, the knock of the spirit insists we retrieve the opposites we have left behind.

The extremes of Jane’s life required that she literally experience her mother’s full body paralysis in order to relive her childhood and face the depths of her own self-hatred and the negative beliefs she carried about herself.

Throughout Jane’s hospital stay, as she encountered the fullness of her night sea journey, Seth guided and supported her healing. Her devoted husband, Rob, would often massage her arms and legs, and at times Jane experienced her steeled muscles softening, permitting significant movement.

Generally, however, the physical and emotional pain resulting from such  release of defensive tightness would rebound into redoubled resistance to movement by the next day.

This scenario is a reversion to a competitive solution to the problem of reconciling the opposites inherent in our wholeness. Given an opening, the habitual solution to go to defense to ward off the pain and fear of true freedom reasserts itself with abandon.

On a practical level, the use of self-hypnosis to introduce to the subconscious new suggestions to old habits was freely employed by Jane and Rob, often with great success. However, the resource of new beliefs cannot override the necessity of recapitulation. We can never fully progress beyond where we are if we are not ready to bring all of ourselves with us: the good, the bad and the ugly.

As Jane discovered, and as her story reveals, no one else can heal us. No one else has lived our life and no one else knows the depths of our most painful experiences. Only we know what truly needs to be reconciled. Thus, only through our own exploration of our opposites, through the process of recapitulation, by taking a deep and thorough dive into our darkness, can we succeed in bringing ourselves into the light of full regenerative healing.

Of the many gifts that Jane Roberts left behind, I appreciate the full transparency of her offering of the complete annals of her life to the Yale University Library. What they, and Rob’s uncensored notes of the last year of her life reveal, to all of us, is how tenacious the problem of reconciliation of opposites truly is. Even a direct confrontation with potential death itself can fail to avert the well worn habit of a one-sided defensive solution that precludes reconciliation with one’s whole self.

Beyond this competitive solution of opposites is the full acceptance of all of one’s life experiences. This advances one to full self love, as well as love for everything and everyone else.

Everything and everyone is part of our own wholeness. With that level of truthful acceptance we are freed from the bindings of competitive solution, freed to choose the regenerative dream. It’s the obvious right choice, and it includes the welfare of all.

Thank you, Jane, for pointing out the true depths of the challenge of recapitulation. Thank you, also, to all of you scouts, who have done the work and are stalking the regenerative dream beyond the eclipse.


Suggested reading:
The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk
The Recapitulation Diaries, J. E. Ketchel
The Way Toward Health, A Seth Book, Jane Roberts  

Chuck’s Place: How Are You Living Your Wholeness?

What’s the balance in your wholeness?
-Artwork © 2024 Jan Ketchel

We are always whole. The question is not whether or not we are whole, but rather, how are we currently living our wholeness? Our lives might currently reflect balance or chaos. Each alternative generates its own configuration of our same inherent ingredients of wholeness. Whether in balance or chaos, we are always whole.

If I long for something that I don’t currently have, the suffering I feel, whether as sadness or anxiety, holds the emotional place for the wholeness I seek.  A depression might hold the place for a missing or lost relationship.

The law of compensation is nature’s law of wholeness. Elsewhere known as karma, compensation insists that we fulfill our wholeness by living the natural consequences of our actions. If, for instance, we attempt to keep a trauma at bay through repression or willful suppression, the compensation may express itself in physical symptoms or triggers, which now serve the function of holding space for the unprocessed experience.

Many communication issues in relationships reflect this imperative for wholeness. If one partner presents their interpretation of reality the other partner might automatically see and feel compelled to express the other side of the argument. Wholeness insists upon both sides being represented.

Of course, often couples, or friends who share one’s point of view, will need to project the opposite point of view upon a person or group, outside their personal circle, whom they fervently dislike. In some form, wholeness insists that a one-sided point of view be compensated for by its opposite, which is then lived and owned inwardly, through emotional attachment to one’s projected antagonist.

Hate is a powerful expression of emotional attachment. It’s often very hard to not be obsessed with thinking about someone one hates. Once we can accept that these projections actually reflect aspects of our own wholeness, we can take the first step in shifting the volatile state of balance that our wholeness is in.

Wholeness includes everything. We are riddled with pairs of opposites that comprise our wholeness. Once we outwardly withdraw and take ownership for a hated projection, we can begin the process of reconciling the oppositions that comprise that opposition within our wholeness.

First we must bear the tension of holding this opposition within. Once contained, we can appreciate the value of our formerly hated other. Perhaps, for instance, this hated other reflects our own disdain for the limitations authority figures have imposed upon our lives.

By acknowledging this part of our wholeness, our heavily rational prefrontal cortex can come to appreciate its aggressive limbic  counterpart, and those two parts might come to accept their complementary roles and find acceptance and room for each other. This is how we shift the balance in our wholeness.

Accepting and finding room for all that we are allows for a more fulfilling wholeness. When the Rainmaker went into his hut to restore the Tao in the village riddled with drought (see last week’s blogpost), his effort reflected a rebalancing of the oppositions within himself, which then triggered greater balance in the outer world.

Wholeness is the same wholeness, whether it be in drought or rainstorm; the difference is in how we do our wholeness. Finding a compatible relationship between the opposites within ourselves is the key to balance.

The difference in personalities among us is simply that which is emphasized within our wholeness that then results in the state of balance we live with. That which is not emphasized is still part of our wholeness and must still be lived in some form.

If I am a true introvert my wholeness requires that I include extraversion  somewhere in my life, even if it is only fulfilled by obsessively hating what I judge to be shallow extraversion in others.

Our journey in infinity, beyond this life, may comprise many lives, where different aspects of wholeness are emphasized. This allows for an ever-deepening knowing of wholeness by exploration of it from many different perspectives. In fact, this is how we truly change the past, which completely shifts the balance of our present and future selves.

Trauma freezes our perspective in the past. Beyond the release of previously frozen emotions in processing trauma is the greater perspective of the present self that frees long-held limiting beliefs and definitions of self. Our wholeness then has the opportunity to come into new balance, which allows for greater exploration and expression of our innate potential in the present.

Ultimately we are all part of the same wholeness. The separateness we experience in this life is all a journey to truly know the self and advance our personal and collective evolution through the achievement of a broader perspective, which can’t help but result in the attainment of refined love, for all.

In wholeness,

Chuck’s Place: A Tale Of Power And Stupidity

Fool on the hill…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

I stood on a steep embankment below a massive felled tree that had been cut into large rounds, ready to be split into firewood. I’d carefully been rolling down one heavy round at a time to a more level spot where I could split the wood. Three large rounds were pressed together at the top of the hill. I reached up, placing my hands on them, and started to rock them. They rocked as a group.

I got excited at their stored energy coming to life and the prospect of rolling the three together, as a unit. A voice inside said, “that’s a bad idea.” Too late. I rocked them and they started to roll toward my head at full force. Somehow I leaped out of the way as they picked up momentum. One crashed into a tree and stopped. The other two speedily descended hundreds of feet to the stream at the bottom of the mountain.

Truthfully, I have not been able to fully recapitulate how I got away. My ego consciousness was instantly supplanted by a more seasoned High Self that took command of my body and applied instinctive knowhow to jump out of the way and survive.

Trauma shifts one into a state of heightened awareness, which records one’s non-ordinary experience and where one is introduced to knowledge and abilities that defy the ego’s rational sensibilities. Oftentimes people have an out-of-body experience during a traumatic situation, as the High Self shields the vulnerable ego from an experience it is ill-prepared to take in.

Four indigenous children were rescued this past week, having survived for forty days in the Amazon jungle after their plane crashed, killing their indigenous leader and their mother four days later. Forty days is the archetypal eon for meeting a great spiritual challenge. In the heightened awareness of their trauma they were surely guided and protected by the spirits of their mother and leader, steadfastly present with them until they were rescued.

Master shamans teach their students in states of heightened awareness. The task of the student is to fully retrieve a memory of an experience, at the level of ego consciousness, in order to be ready and worthy of the knowledge being recapitulated. The same is true in trauma work. When the victim is ready they will become enlightened to the fullness of their previously dissociated experience. That’s when we fully learn our greatest lessons.

It would be convenient and partially true for me to identify an ego inflation, or influence from a parasitic entity, to explain my decision to rock and roll. However, the truth is that I quite knowingly signed up to have that experience. I fully own my impulsive decision.

What wants to be communicated here is that we are both good and evil, devil and angel. To truly become our whole self, we must own and reconcile with all the oppositions within the self. “Resist ye not evil,” said a great Master.

That evil within flirts with adventure, sometimes high stakes adventure. If we never take a risk we’ll be safe, but we’re sure to be saddled with regret. If we don’t approach, we won’t be rejected, but we’ll surely be alone. Everyone is told to be good, but truthfully, good can also be boring.

The human shadow is largely composed of characters and attitudes that compensate for our whitewashed conscious attitudes. So, for instance, if we are shown a highly desirous character in dreaming that we cannot consciously identify with, that character is most likely balancing out a rigid, morally bound, conscious definition of self.

It’s not so much that we secretly are that exaggerated character, but a part of us, that is more honest with the fullness of who we are, resorts to this persona to demonstrate to the ego the depths of its one-sidedness.

Reconciliation of this opposition would be the ego accepting the truth of its fuller self and its fear of living it. This acceptance of the shadow invites the shadow, with all its desirous energies, into a greater partnership with the ego and opportunities to find ways in life to live its fullness. Wholeness is truly a reconciliation with, and inclusion of, all the opposites that we are.

I’m quite certain my crazy stunt with the heavy tree rounds was not a hidden dance with death. Though, at the same time, every moment of our lives might be our inevitable appointment with death. For shamans, keeping this knowing in the forefront of consciousness gives living its fullest realization.

My tale of power and stupidity insisted on being shared to demonstrate that we are all devils and angels. Finding the right balance and creating a working relationship with these component selves is the key to refined, integrated wholeness, and spiritual advancement.

Time to chop some wood, and I promise to be careful,

Chuck’s Place: Sorcery & Crazy Wisdom

Wholeness: engaging the light & the dark…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Carlos Castaneda said that if anyone opened to the energy of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico they would be inundated by their influence. The modern day shamans of his line acknowledge that all their knowledge comes from this ancient heritage; what has changed is their intent in how they use that knowledge.

The ancient shamans coveted power, and their ability to perform such supernatural acts as defying physical death itself, by remaining in physical form, for centuries. The modern shamans saw this intent as binding one to the physicality of the Earth rather than allowing one to move completely into the energy body and evolve into the subtler dimensions upon dying. Freedom to evolve is the intent of these modern-day shamans.

Don Juan Matus was concerned, throughout his mentorship of Carlos, that Carlos’s nature was too infused with the predilection of the ancient shamans. He foresaw that Carlos might become a Nagual partial to the sorcery ways of the ancient shamans. Those shamans trained their apprentices with the full-on ruthlessness of sorcery.

Sorcery has absolutely no morality, nor compassion, in its training manual. Jan’s Recapitulation Diaries document her, at the time, unknown early life apprenticeship with a dark sorcerer of ancient tradition. The training was brutal, yet her survival and recapitulation advanced her to a complete equanimity of consciousness.

Jan’s early life of abuse was the journey with the ancient shamans, whose throw ’em in the deep end predilection was later completed with the modern shaman’s road to freedom via recapitulation. Being shattered is forced psychic awakening; recapitulation leads to psychic wholeness and keen functionality.

Jan’s journey reflects the pervasive journey of our time: incessant trauma. Complex PTSD is the natural human response to the events, human and environmental, of current life upon the planet. Gaia is challenging us now with full-on sorcery, crushing our left brain’s fantasies of control. She expects a total recapitulation, and right action, for us to be ready to retake the helm with integrity.

Sorcery takes no prisoners. Petty tyrants are not fair. To survive, the ego must learn to be a keen observer, taking action only as absolutely necessary and appropriate. Demanding fairness and entitlement from a petty tyrant depletes energy and puts one at risk. Trauma forces entry into to the subtler dimensions, but even there one must not dally in the safety of dissociation. Mindful presence is the necessary ego state of survival.

Mindful presence must be cultivated out of defensive vigilance, which, if unrefined, depletes energy reserves and forestalls the necessary ability to go with the flow. Edy Eger in her memoir, The Choice, documents the impeccability of her mindful presence during her time in Auschwitz. Nonetheless, her journey remains a work in progress, as the full retrieval of her energy from the traumas of her life is still a work in progress.

As long as the sensational and emotional imprints of trauma remain charged in the central nervous system—in the form of triggers—present life remains partially frozen in the past. A fully clear and present life requires the complete experience of everything, and full detachment from everything, that has ever happened to us.

I experienced the modern shamanic side of Carlos Castaneda. The tools he offered are tools of freedom. Recapitulation is the tool of freedom from the trappings of trauma. I did not experience the fully ancient sorcerer side of Carlos that Amy Wallace documents in her memoir, Sorcerer’s Apprentice: My Life With Carlos Castaneda.

I know too many characters from my time in that world to doubt the validity of her journey. The cognitive dissonance between her experience and mine, made me keep her book at bay for years. She documents experiences that are so anathema to everything I stand for, that if Carlos were still in this world I believe he should be imprisoned. 

At the same time, the validity of the tools he passed on have cracked the nut of total healing from PTSD.  Certainly, Carlos ensured, by his extreme polarized ego states, that he would not be venerated beyond this life. The value of his tools are in their utility, not in their association with him.

Buddhism has its own brand of sorcery. Chogyam Trungpa, Tibetan refugee, teacher, scholar, founder of the Shambala Training method and Naropa University, had a similar shadow life to Carlos Castaneda’s. This included sexually abusive and inappropriate behaviors.

Many in the Buddhist world have been so positively impacted by Chogyam’s teachings that they accept the cognitive dissonance of his shadow behavior as “crazy wisdom”, essentially appreciating his sorcery activity as a deeply challenging but valid form of teaching.

As with Carlos, if Chogyam were still alive in this world, he too should be prosecuted for unlawful behavior. Tricksters have their value in teaching but they are not above the laws of this world. At the same time, spiritual advancement requires that we totally accept every experience we have ever had, regardless of how beautiful or horrific it might have been.

Though we may subscribe to the highest level of morality, life itself is amoral. Though rising in the subtler dimensions requires progressively deeper refinements of love, we will not progress on that journey if we cannot accept every experience of our lives with equanimity. If we can’t find our way to love with that which is most horrific, its mastery defines our karmic destiny.

Sorcery and crazy wisdom are indeed expressions of the dark side of the force. Encounters with the dark side are required Earth School courses. Achieving wholeness—the coveted diploma from Earth School—requires that we know and accept everything we have ever done, or that was done to us, with equanimity.

With gratitude to the dark and the light—the wholeness,


Chuck’s Place: Why We Fragment

Fragments & Wholeness
-Photo by Jan Ketchel

We are living in a time of great splintering. The energy of the many fragmented voices is fast and furious. The single-mindedness of independent parts, warring against any challenge, vying for supremacy at any cost, is the energy of now. We are a world that has dispersed its wholeness, and those independent parts are not presently interested in finding their way home.

Ironically, when wholeness is achieved boredom eventually sets in. It’s as natural as the fullness of an inhalation alternating with the dispersement of exhalation. When fullness reaches the condition of completion the spark to adventure splinters the wholeness, as points of curiosity launch to scout out new possibilities.

We live this process individually every day. When we close our eyes to our solid waking dream of daylight, our constrained wholeness splinters into a host of adventures in the infinity of our nightly dreams. When we awaken in the morning our nightly indiscretions from the limits of rationality dissolve quickly from memory, as waking consciousness clothes us for another day in the limits of solid time/space reality.

Nonetheless, the gifts of our nightly adventures innervate our daily lives, as synchronicities of knowing seek to jar our consciousness to remember; to remember the dreams, to remember the lessons, to integrate the nightly knowledge gained that opens up a broader perspective of who we really are and all that is possible.

It’s all about remembering. Remembering is the technology of wholeness. Trauma fragments, yet also sends scouts of us out into infinity. Recapitulating, retrieving the parts of our fragmented whole, brings us into greater reality. That greater whole restores innocence, but a greater reconditioned innocence, tuned to navigate the dark, as well as the light of reality.

The goal is hardly the restoration of lost innocence; it’s the birthing into matured innocence, prepped for new adventure. Like the flip side of a divorce that on the one side shatters the security of the archetypal family, on the other side launches all members of a family into a new world of knowledge beyond the myths of the nursery.

The blank slate of our birth is just another nursery myth to securely swaddle our awakening, alienated scout into a new life. When will we awaken to the deeper truth that our longing for soulmate is actually a protective cover from the impact of the accumulated love of our many lives, those whom support us from behind the veils of this earthly sojourn.

Jan, in her recently published final book of her five-volume Recapitulation Diaries Series—Dreaming All The Time—takes us even deeper into the mystery of our birth, as she discovers that she’d agreed to the challenge of her life before she arrived in her blank slate innocence of birth. Why would anyone agree to such a traumatic life?!

When I ponder Christ’s knowing fully of, and agreeing to, the traumatic fate that awaited him when he fragmented from the Mothership to be born in human form, I ask, why? Really? And then the answer comes: What was his greatest message? Love! Love thy neighbors, whoever they may be, whatever they have done to ye! Love thy petty tyrant and you will truly refine love, the prerequisite to advance into the greater wholeness of infinity.

When will we be ready to drop those veils and bring to our wholeness the discoveries of this fragmented life? Once again, it’s all about remembering. Remembering is the road to wholeness. Remembering is the great inhalation.

But, to answer the question, as to why we fragment? We fragment to explore whole new worlds, to satisfy our deepest curiosity, to learn, to discover, to adventure, to grow, to augment our wholeness, to change, to deepen our love, and yes, at times to avoid the challenge of integrating all of our selves, all of our experiences. The list is endless, the challenge great.

But do remember to breathe! Completely exhale, then breathe in a full inhalation. Hold for a few moments, deeply appreciating the wholeness encased within. Then let go, in exhalation, freely releasing the wholeness of the breath to disperse and travel freely, until we meet again, new and renewed, imbued to the fullest with the prana of the journey.

Breathing in and exhaling outwards, ever outwards,