Tag Archives: trauma

Chuck’s Place: A Break in Continuity

The coming of night affords a natural break in continuity…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Most simply defined, the quality of our mental health reflects the degree of continuity we can maintain as our known selves, the familiarseparate human beings that we are. Familiarity rests upon a predictable world and a predictable self that interacts with that world. When our normal expectations of ourselves and the world are disrupted, our security and sanity are threatened, as reflected in psychiatric symptoms in response to this break in continuity.

Our notion of ourselves as separate beings traces back to the birth of consciousness, or the coming online of our ego. In biblical terms, this was the moment we were separated from the Garden of undifferentiated wholeness, Eden, and were cast into the world as separate, thinking beings, capable of our own decision making.

Alienated from our true energetic oneness with everything, where knowledge of what was right to do came as unthinking knowing—what the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call silent knowledge—our orphaned separate selves were challenged to find a way to successfully navigate life.

Thus began our history as thinking human beings, alienated from our original connection to direct silent knowledge. Knowledge obtained through thinking is grounded in rational cause and effect, observation and interpretation. Direct knowledge is channeled from the source through our greater energetic self, whom we lived more fully and intimately before the fall.

Ego, as a defined separate self, creates boundaries to ensure its unique integrity. These boundaries have the secondary effect of severing the ego’s connection to its greater energetic self, which lacks such defined boundaries. As a separate self, ego is constantly focused on its own importance as the means to maintain its integrity as a functional unit.

Nonetheless, the cynic in all of us sees through the falseness and limitations of the persona, or mask, that ego presents to the world. Underneath it all, ego is a fragile, inadequate part of the self, trying to hold its own in the world. Hence, its constant obsession with self-worth, self-esteem, and the positive attention of others, in order to bolster its fragile existence.

Our evolutionary destiny is driving us to regain our wholeness, the energetic self we left in the garden. To get there, we must break from our obsession with maintaining the self-important defense of our ego as a superior separate entity. In essence, we are all being called now to break the continuity of our ego’s stand as the one and only self.

Trauma could be defined as a break in the ego’s continuity, which forces it to confront the irrationality of power exercised beyond a rational world. Trauma levels ego; ego is completely humbled by a rupture that transcends its ability to assimilate. Lucky are those who have had the opportunity that trauma affords! And yet, we are all confronting the trauma of now!

The full assimilation of traumatic experience requires fluidity, the ability to go with the flow of what is or was, not the limits of what the ego expects the world to be. Healing, for the ego, requires an expanded ability to acknowledge power and forces that exist beyond its rational expectations.

Achievement of this expanded ego state is fundamental to ego discovering its true home, as an energetic being, first, and as a separate solid being, second. Ego is then positioned to accompany its energetic foundation on journeys in this world, and beyond, with access to the full library of silent knowledge.

Our time might be defined as a major break in continuity. Our world leaders are tricksters, who are unapologetically rupturing our expectations, throwing us into the thrill and the chaos of a tidal wave of unpredictability. From this perspective, they function like teacher shamans, recklessly opening a door, exposing us to our fuller energetic reality.

At the same time, they threaten the stability of mental health, which is dependent on a predictable world. And we see the casualties of this break in continuity in the shootings that abound daily. We are confronted with a collective PTSD of a world ego under fire. Nonetheless, healing can only be achieved by ego achieving the fluidity needed to navigate the greater energetic world that transcends rationality.

Our trickster leaders, ironically, mirror our greatest stumbling block to achieving that needed fluidity: self-importance. In fact, world leadership boldly embodies its separatist self-important superiority, ego’s greatest defense. We could say, that our leaders both deliver the punch and mirror the culprit that must be transcended if our ego is to truly find its way back to the garden of its energetic oneness with everything.

We have no choice now but to ride this train of break in continuity, as that train has already left the station without brakes. Change the metaphor, to that of the Tao, of the river that flows. Rather than try to push the river, as the ego used to do, become a riverwalker, one who knowingly walks with the flow.

Riverwalker,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Traumatic Initiation

Stumped between worlds…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Trauma is a rupture to the security of the known. The sublime effect of trauma is to involuntarily usher one into the transpersonal dimension of the High SOUL. PTSD is the condition of being caught between the everyday world of the known and this deeper transpersonal dimension of being.

Recapitulation is an ego-Soul retrieval practice that reconstitutes the fullness of the self that was fragmented by trauma, curing the condition of PTSD. For many, recapitulation also refines one’s psychic ability to travel in and communicate with the transpersonal realm. Many psychic channels trace their awakened abilities to the blunt force of a traumatic incident.

Thus, trauma can be seen as the ego-Soul’s involuntary initiation into the fuller dimension and abilities of its High SOUL. As with all initiations the experience is shattering and dangerous, and not everyone returns safely. Modern clinical methods like EMDR and SE (Sensory Experience) can also facilitate the ego-Soul’s resolution of its forced traumatic shamanic journey.

The world is currently experiencing blunt force trauma on many fronts. The impacts of global warming upon the body of Gaia are evident almost daily. The fires in California, the floods in the midwest, the Typhoon last week in Mozambique are but a handful of the most recent physical traumas on Earth. The great human migratory movements throughout the world now largely reflect these environmental impacts.

Human beings are the cortex of the living planetary being of Gaia, and as a whole are expressing the polarized symptoms of instability so familiar to an individual in the grip of PTSD. Thus, we see a compromised collective human ego-Soul grappling with survival, as its known world continues to shatter.

The latent impact of the Earth crises of now is a collective shamanic journey for the human ego-Soul. Though the side effects of bipolar and psychotic extremes are evident, many are adjusting to the evolutionary shifts on the near horizon. The almost complete lack of privacy, the transparency of now, though invasive and almost out of control, are actually signs of a coming higher level of consciousness; that is, humans communicating telepathically, with total transparency, in a world with nothing to hide.

Humans have no choice but to reach this level of truthfulness to be able to function sanely as the cortex of Gaia. Seen from this perspective, the trauma of now is actually a planetary birth trauma, where both the Earth and human consciousness are being reformatted for evolutionary salvation.

It was the conclusion of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, in the person of the Nagual Don Juan Matus, that this energetic evolution was the only direction for humankind and for the survival of the Earth dream.

As individuals, we are all empowered to be midwives to a smooth evolutionary transition by facing the truths of our individual lives. Firstly, practice self-regulation, in some form of meditation or body practice, to achieve volitional control over the emotional terrors of the limbic system that react to the shocks of now. Stay calm, limit exposure to extremist rhetoric.

Keep thoughts positive and loving. Love is the most powerful and all-inclusive energy. It’s free. Bombard the world with loving kindness!

Hold onto the perspective that all the destruction of now is part of a major birth and an evolutionary initiation into a more loving, transparent, well-balanced world. Hold tightly to this knowing, protecting it like a candle in the innermost sanctum of the heart, amidst the violent storms of negativity blowing across the world. Know that it is simply another contraction in this amazing birth we are all participants in.

Regulating,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Changing the Past

The inspiration for this blog comes from our neighbor Joseph McMoneagle’s book,  The Ultimate Time Machine. His reflections on the relativity of the past, as a “reality” largely based upon interpretation, coincides neatly with the Shamans of Ancient Mexico’s experience of the Wheel of Time.

Changing the past allows completion of the labyrinth…

Recapitulation is an ancient shamanic practice that enables one to change the past. As McMoneagle points out, the past is largely defined by our interpretation system, which is mostly determined by our socialization by significant others since the moment of our birth. Thus, memory is largely colored by a feeling tone and cognitive understanding based on socialization.

When we recapitulate we relive the actual experience of the past with the consciousness of fresh eyes, or a point of awareness from the future, now, that affords a different view. From that new perspective, the past indeed changes. Yes, certain events happened that are the focus of the recapitulation, however, the interpretation of those facts is wide open to change.

Beyond actual interpretation is the feeling experience of the object of recapitulation. A traumatic event of violent proportion may at first be experienced as more physically and emotionally intense than actually previously remembered. This in and of itself changes the past because one is allowed, perhaps for the first time, a fuller experience of what actually happened.

The intensity of sensation and emotion emanating from a past event frequently shifts in recapitulation, to the point that remembering the event actually results in a neutral reaction. This is not the result of suppression or dissociation. The formerly traumatic event truly becomes a content of personal history that no longer casts a trigger shadow over present life. In fact, some horrific experiences in life can actually become transformed into objects of humor.

These are genuine examples of changing the past. The change is in having a much broader experience in all that happened in a way not possible when we first experienced it. We were limited by the level of our abilities at that stage of our development, as well as by the defenses our body and higher self brought into play, such as fragmentation and amnesia, as we simply were not ready to take in and make sense of the event as we experienced it. Now we are freed to know it and be with the past in a whole new way.

Recapitulation, then, is a valid technology to change the past, resulting in a fuller energetic presence in life now. In shamanic terms: we retrieve fragmented energy, parts of ourselves previously frozen in a “past” not fully known. This energetic retrieval is possible, as the past can now release it from the bondage of incompletion. The past is changed and the present is enlivened through this change in the past.

So, yes, change in the past can definitely change the present. Practice recapitulation, see what happens!

Recapitulating,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Total Acceptance

Like the burning off of morning fog, total acceptance seeks clarity…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The bottom line for total healing is total acceptance. The bottom line for completion is total acceptance. The bottom line of preparation for one’s definitive journey in infinity is total acceptance.

What is total acceptance? It begins with total knowing. We needn’t remember every detail, but if we harbor a wish not to know what we have experienced then our lives revolve around maintaining not knowing. Something that we experienced still feels more powerful than our ability to assimilate it so we keep it at bay, and there we must stay.

There is no negative judgment for this predicament, but it defines our life no matter where we are: we remain fragmented, our wholeness contained in dissociation. That becomes our karma, the path that solves the riddle of our resistance to integration. When we solve that riddle we move deeper into acceptance.

When we can allow ourselves to fully know the truth of our lives we open to the emotions and sensations of our dreaded experiences. The energy of emotion must be felt and released through the sensations of the body’s channels, whether that be in movement, tear, sound, or breath.

When the dust of expired emotion settles we are left with the facts of our experience, but facts can be clouded by beliefs. Before we can view the facts from a broadened perspective we must address the limits of our beliefs.

Often simply allowing ourselves the discourse of sharing our dreaded secrets begins an updating process that clarifies a long held misinterpretation. Part of this is developmental. Often our unexamined beliefs were encased in distortion by our young minds. The encounter of these naive beliefs with our adult power of understanding frees us from the misunderstandings of the past.

Of course this then throws us directly into the moralistic hands of  judgment. Adults with their firmly entrenched superegos must contend with the guilt of their imperfections and transgressions, with the fullness of their human nature. Total acceptance requires that we totally accept the full truth of what we have done, of what we have experienced.

Whether something is right or wrong, whether it should or shouldn’t have happened has no bearing here. If something happened it is a fact of personal history. To embrace our whole selves we must embrace the full truth of all our experiences. To embrace we must fully digest everything. The unacceptable of my experience is completely acceptable as a fact of my life because it truthfully is a real part of my life that can never be erased.

Total acceptance demands complete digestion of the facts of an experience. To have negative judgements about an experience may be a necessary part of that digestive process, but we must become freed of the clouds of judgment to know with utter clarity every nuance of our experience.

This is the knowing that is delivered to total acceptance: this is the fullness of the experience I had; I totally accept it without emotional residue, without judgment.

Total acceptance is squaring with the facts of our lives. Reconciled and freed we are fully energetically ready for the next adventure.

All aboard,

Chuck

Taking The Dream Back

Time to get rid of those old crutches?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Our woundings define us, control us, give us structure and purpose. They offer crutches so we can limp along through life making the best of it. What would happen if we threw away those crutches, if we decided to let go of everything we think we need and instead go in search of our dreams? If we lose touch with our dreams we lose touch with our spirit. The only way of getting back to our spirit is to get back to not only dreaming our dreams but actualizing them, and to do that we must get rid of our crutches.

Crutches can be everything from ideas, such as that we are not worthy of success, or a mate, or wealth or health, that we must bear the life we have, continually punishing ourselves because of some idea that that’s just the way life is, or because we repeatedly blame someone else for hurting us, for leaving us, for abusing us. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Crutches are also our comforts, and that’s where it gets tricky when we try to let them go. Part of us wants to just throw them away, but if we do will our back and legs be strong enough to carry us forward? Will our feet know where to take us? Do we have what it takes to go it alone without our crutches? Whatever our crutches may be they will try to convince us that we need them, that we can’t live without them, that we owe them for how they have helped us survive. How can you leave something, or someone, that has been so important to you? How can you just walk away?

When the time comes to change, to move on, to throw away the crutches, we have to dare ourselves to stand on our own two feet. It can feel as if we are throwing ourselves into the great unknown, which we are. As if we are jumping off a cliff, which we are. As if we are taking a great leap of faith, which we are. The first thing we will encounter as we take that leap is fear.

As we untether ourselves from what has kept us safe and secure for so long we go reeling into the great nothingness of free fall. We don’t know where we are, who we are, or how to navigate without our crutches. We don’t know what to do, so we grasp for our crutches again. “Just stay with me a little bit longer,” we say. “I know you and I trust you. Even though you are bad for me, you keep me safe and grounded.”

During my recapitulation such times of free fall indicated that I was actually making strides. I was being challenged to embrace life, to get out of my safety zone and confront reality. Perhaps letting go of a crutch meant challenging myself to go beyond my depression, such as: “I won’t stay in bed all day today. Today I will go to the grocery store, or make a phone call, or take a walk.” Such simple things, you might say, but to a traumatized person these present major feats. Sometimes every day could be like that.

Perhaps a moment of free fall was instigated by an outside influence, such as someone requesting something of me, someone else needing me, or a job that needed to be done. To go outside our comfort zone when we have been badly wounded takes courage, fortitude, and strength, such ordinary characteristics of being human that for someone suffering from PTSD present mountains to cross, rivers to ford, the great unknown to encounter, and all without our usual crutches!

If we are to heal we have to change, and if we are to change we have to leave our crutches behind. The things that now keep us safe also keep us isolated, lonely, stuck in reliving our woundings and our ideas of ourselves as wounded, over and over again.

“I am wounded, poor me! I will never have a good life because someone did something bad to me! I have trauma in my background so I have permission to be sad and lonely. It’s my lot in life.” These are some of the things we tell ourselves to keep us aligned with our woundings, and each time we speak them our crutches are right there for us to grab onto, saying, “Yes, you need me. I told you that you would always need me. You don’t need anything else. I am here for you.” Are we really going to settle for that?

We are easily convinced by our crutches because the truth is that yes, they have been our salvation, they have stood by us through it all, and they have worked for us, to a certain extent. But they have also kept us stuck in our nightmares, and the truth is we would be better off without them. We’d be healthier without them.

I used to run every day. It was one of my crutches. I thought I needed running to survive. I have not run in 12 years now. I just stopped one day. At first I felt bad about not running, thinking I’d get out of shape, physically and mentally, and for a long time I’d whine, “Oh, I should be running.” But I never did again and once I really let go of it, in my mind too, I was just fine. I am physically and mentally healthier than ever. I don’t need to rely on running anymore. I have myself to rely on.

When it’s time to finally let go of the crutches, the crutches will try to stay attached. We suffer with them and we suffer without them. But if we can look at them closely, examine them, ask why we think we need them, we are well on our way to getting rid of them forever. We have to ask: “Are they part of some idea, some ideal that I latched onto a long time ago at a time when I needed something to support me? Do I really need that kind of support now?”

Times change. We change. As we choose to heal from our traumas, our dreams come back to haunt us, reminding us of what we have left behind that might really matter to us. In the long run, it’s our dreams that we should go running to. Is it time to throw away the crutches and go running toward your dreams?

In this time of #METOO, it is so important that we point fingers, that we expose the hypocrites, that we gather together, united against what has been going on in the shadows, but at the same time we can’t just stop there. It does no one any good if all we do is point fingers. If we are to heal our wounds we have to be willing to do the healing work, and that is an individual task. No one else can heal our wounds for us, for only we know what they truly are. Only we know what they have done to us and how we have survived with them and in spite of them. And only we know what all of our crutches are, many of which we have kept in the shadows of our own psyches.

Healing can only happen if we are each ready to take the personal journey within. If we are to heal we must put down our crutches, one at a time, and head off into free fall. In the end, I can attest, that we will land on our feet, and that our own two feet are indeed strong enough to bear the tension of taking back our health and our energy, as well as take us where we will go next. Time to take the dream back.


A blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries