Tag Archives: Trump

Chuck’s Place: Video Poker

About a month ago I was introduced to a book entitled Heaven is for Healing by Joseph Gallenberger, a clinical psychologist and trainer at The Monroe Institute. The book details his healing process, including OBEs and channelings, following the death of his brother, Peter, who committed suicide in Las Vegas in 1991.

Shadowland anyone?

Very familiar with the OBE work of pioneer out-of-body explorer Robert Monroe, founder of The Monroe Institute, and having used Hemi-sync products from the Institute for many years, I had nonetheless never come across Joseph Gallenberger.

I purchased his book and was fascinated by his experiences, which paralleled many of my own, particularly his OBE explorations and the channelings he’d received, messages delivered in a language style very similar to those Jan receives from Jeanne.

Jan became interested in him too and discovered that he’d written another book, Inner Vegas, where he describes using psychic abilities to win big in Las Vegas, often playing video poker. Jan’s inner imp bought that book, which set the stage for a reconsideration of our basic values and became the basis for a whole new adventure.

I’ve never allowed myself to invest in the Stock Market, despite a pretty keen intuition of where money can be made, because to do so would have forced me to be indifferent to the impact that demanding high profits has upon the earth. I also never wanted to have my attention monopolized by constant tracking of world events and their impact on the markets.

The notion, however, of video poker, where you test your skill against a machine, seems like a cleaner opportunity to open to abundance. Interesting proposition: you invest your skill and money; you might be very successful, you might lose, fair and square. No one is harmed or tricked in your attempt to win big!

A gambling experience is one I shunned all my life as well. It seemed like a foolish waste of money. However, after reading Joseph Gallenberger, plans quickly germinated to go to a casino to try our skills, something neither of us had ever done before.

Suddenly, Stephen Paddock, a multimillionaire, highly successful at video poker, massacred 58 people and injured hundreds of others from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas. No motive has been ascertained.

On the surface his life circumstances, at age 64, would appear to be the flowering of the American Dream: successful in business, multimillionaire, freed to fully enjoy the luxury and pleasures of gambling at video poker, well known and well attended to in the top casinos.

How were Jan and I to understand the flow of synchronicities appearing in our lives around video poker just as we were about to set off on an adventure into casino land? Clearly this man, Stephen Paddock, had fully indulged in the opportunities of amassing abundance in the material plane. Why would he choose to end his life with such horrific carnage?

My speculation, as a psychotherapist, is that he misread an inner call to open up to his spirit. He had spent his whole life concentrated on the material plane to the total neglect of his spirit. I suspect, by way of compensation, that he harbored a psychotic voice that instructed him to kill off his materialistic, fun loving side. From his vantage point high above the casinos he likely projected his materialistic side onto a fun loving concert audience. From this “spirit” vantage point he killed off the material side of many, including himself.

Indeed, to open to the spiritual plane one must be willing to tame the material side of oneself. Unfortunately many suicides have resulted from a misreading of this inner command, which really says “time to kill off obsession with the material,” NOT “time to kill the physical self or others.”

Last week someone sent me an article entitled Jung and the Trumpian Shadow* by Alexander Blum. The gist of this essay pinpoints Trump as embodying America’s projected, disavowed shadow. This shadow part of the self is far more instinctual and conservative, focused on self needs and wants.

The American persona and spiritual ideal of altruistic values, progressive in its inclusiveness of all diversity and care for the deepest needs of the world, is countered by a hidden, self-centered preoccupation and entitlement that feels held back from speaking and living its true mind. Trump singlehandedly is living out this unacknowledged side of the American psyche. The real problem is the conflict of the evolved mind of modernity with its instinctual core. The tragedy in Las Vegas is an expression of the clash of these Titans.

In fact, if we could erase the bizarre behavior of that Sunday night in Las Vegas, many Americans would have seen Stephen Paddock as a shining example of their own unlived shadow side. To the contrary Stephen Paddock emerged as the darkest example of the shadow unleashed, wreaking utter destruction.

The dilemma we all must face is that if we don’t acknowledge, live out, and assume responsibility for our shadow/materialistic side, we will manifest people who will completely act it out for us, abusing with lethal power. On the other hand, we can open up to our deepest earthly impulses and with consciousness (spirit) and responsibility live a whole and fulfilled life.

With full knowledge of this backdrop of world events, Jan and I took it upon ourselves to have a conscious adventure in shadowland. Perhaps the imp will write about it sometime!

Play responsibly,

Chuck

*Read Jung and the Trumpian Shadow by Alexander Blum here

A Blog by Chuck Ketchel, LCSW-R

Chuck’s Place: Passion vs Reason

Reason lacks passion, passion lacks reason. Reason issues from the light of consciousness. Passion hails from the many moods of the moon.

Reason at the center, like the brain, surrounded by passion…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The coolness of reason separates itself from the chaos and passion of nature. Reason seeks to create and impose order. Passion issues from the instincts of the body, from which it emotionally imposes its will.

Reason cuts off passion at the throat where rising emotions seek to overpower the brain, the home base of reason. We call this a tight or sore throat, psychologically it is dissociation.

Passion cuts off reason in the belly and the bowels, refusing to digest the will of reason. We experience this physically as indigestion and IBS, psychologically as anxiety.

Reason is associated with the brain, the engine of abstraction, the organ of our body least associated with nature and feeling. Reason is responsible for the creation of our technological world, as well as the order we create in civilization. Reason is considered our highest evolutionary achievement.

Passion, associated with instincts, imbues emotion with cascades of numinous energy. The delight of eating, the ecstasy of sex, the blood thirst of war, the agony and ecstasy of parenthood are all endowed with the passion of instinct.

For centuries reason has grown in power; frankly, to the point of god status. Reason is antithetical to belief and the irrational, to the unprovable, so that though modern humans might still affiliate with religious traditions outwardly, the individual and collective compass for life is still reason.

Within the individual the conflict between reason and passion results either in depression, where passion is lost, or compulsion, where passion overtakes reason’s restraints.

The conflict between passion and reason in our collective world is currently being expressed through the breakthrough of a passionate leader who creates fire and fury wherever he turns.

For many, this powerful emergence provides the relief and release of long suppressed passionate emotions. What has amazed the rest of the world is how unreasonable this passionate leader can be and yet be so dearly cherished by so many.

The real lesson here is how disastrous it is to neglect passionate instinct. Eventually it will break through, with a vengeance. And reason is no match for its wrathful coming to power, which can go so far as to bring us to the brink of destruction. Take note reason: Suppress passion and risk an orgy of destruction.

This is not a Trump diatribe. Trump embodies a pagan energy that invites and incites passionate expression. C. G. Jung identified a similar breakthrough into the collective German psyche in the 1930s as the restless wandering pagan god of storm and wind, Wotan, who unleashed the passion and frenzy responsible for the atrocities committed during World War II.

Though leaders must be held accountable for their actions, it is equally true that the latent readiness in the populace to respond to passionate incitement reflects a burgeoning readiness to erupt.

What is constellated in America is a resurgence of a suppressed passionate energy at war with reason. And reason still believes that logic trumps passion. Time and time again Trump teaches us how easy it is to dismiss reason, simply by calling it bad, so bad.

Without entering into the argument for the need for regime change, I cut to the real crux of the problem: the reconciliation of reason and passion.

The technology of Christianity that sought to control the passion of sexuality was compensated for by the overarching shadow of its disowned sexual instinct emerging in sexual abuse, which haunts many religious institutions. What is suppressed will find its way out somehow, often in a most exaggerated, destructive way.

The technology of reason that once governed our political process and national identity is succumbing to hair-trigger instinctual rule. Clearly we need a new technology of balance.

To contine to project badness outside of ourselves is an archaic technology certain to end in destruction. To impose the technology of reason over passion results in, and will continue to result in, a stalemate and an escalation of tensions. To simply bury statues is like burying the pagan gods—beware the revenge of Wotan.

As is my proclivity, I turn to the individual, as the hologram of the world, to truly solve the issue. Passions must be lived, somehow. If reason is to remain in charge of life, it must honor and live alongside its passionate partner, consciously allowing the irrational to renew its connection to nature. This is a task for every individual to solve within themselves, and within their relationships, if we are to achieve a new  balance in the world.

Passion hates limitation, but so does reason. Perhaps if reason can agree to limits, passion will comfortably acquiesce to limits too. Imagine these two opposites in harmony. Wouldn’t that be something?

If our country can come together and collectively enjoy reason and passion facing off in a solar eclipse, surely we can bear the tension of this standoff within ourselves and find our way to higher consciousness.

The old technology to go to war within and without to relieve the tension of reason vs. passion needn’t be our fallback solution. We are ready for new evolutionary possibilities. Explore them within the self, advance the world.

Reasonably passionate,

Chuck

 

Chuck’s Place: Ego—The Active Side of the Self

We are all here for a purpose…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

In a letter, C. G. Jung once wrote that “… the ego should be (as I think) the supreme point of the self… You all seem to be interested in how to get back to the self, instead of looking for what the self wants you to do in the world; where—for the human being at least—we are located, presumably for a certain purpose.”*

Such a misunderstood character, ego. In our time especially it gets a really bad rap, as we see its hubris melting away the world as we have long known it. So, who is this character Jung speaks so highly of? How has it gotten us into such a precarious position? What is its mission now?

Carlos Castaneda titled his last book The Active Side of Infinity. This is an apt description of the ego, and its relation to the self. If the self is the wholeness of our being, the ego is that part of our wholeness where the light shines outwardly, where the world is seen, experienced, reflected and acted upon. In a nutshell, the ego is the daylight time of day, the time of consciousness. The nighttime then is the ego returning to its source, to the wholeness of being, lights out.

The ego is the child of the self. Each morning it is born anew. Immediately it renews its identity in the light of day as it casts away the greater wholeness that enveloped it in the darkness of the night. In the light of a new day the mission begins anew. What is that mission?

Having solidly established itself the ego assumes command of its charge to navigate the day. Decisions, decisions, decisions! What to eat, what not to eat, what to wear, what to read, who to talk to, what to think about, how to organize the day, what to do, what to avoid, how to understand its needs, the needs of others, how to advance its understanding and mastery of both its daily tasks and its deepest truths and challenges wherever it has been able to shine its light.

Thus, the ego is the engine of consciousness. The self, in its wholeness, birthed this active side, the ego, apparently to know itself and to advance itself into new permutations of being. For the self, the ego is its scout, its explorer, its navigator, its thinker, its experiencer, its change agent, its creator. However, in order to be these things, it must be freed from the constraints of its original wholeness, much as all children must leave the home of their parents, go forth, and discover and create a new world for themselves.

This brings us to the permutation of now, where the world ego has asserted full ownership of itself as creator. Sometimes, as anticipated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, creative possibilities, though they must be explored, do not bear fruit; it’s the end of the line.

Carlos Castaneda was the end of a very long shamanic line because he did not have the right energetic configuration to continue it. The ending of that specific line of shamans led to a new era, a new spiritual permutation, where there are no naguals. Instead, all who are interested must become their own shaman teachers now.

The current presidency in the United States presents another ending of an era. What is revealed in this experiment we are undergoing right now is the permutation of ego completely obsessed with itself, identifying itself as SELF, as all there is. In psychological terms this is termed inflation, ego inflation where ego crowns itself King of Creation, completely ignorant of a self beyond itself.

As this experiment has unfolded in America, and into the world beyond our shores, the emperor simply laughs at the fact that he has no clothes on—he doesn’t care. He hides none of his self-centeredness. This is the experience, as Jung put it, where the ego, as supreme point of the self, only sees itself as all there is. This is an example of Narcissus staring into the water and falling in love with his own countenance, his whole world.

Actually, we must face the fact that as a world our supreme point is currently at its most alienated point from its wholeness. The ego is in a mad love affair with its own godliness. This narcissistic permutation is the world fixation at the moment.  The saving grace of these dire straits is the ego’s reflective capacity. We all have the ability, like the best of scientists, to observe the real facts of this experiment. This is challenging, especially in a time of fake news.

The fact is, however, that the ego does have the ability to get to the truth and shift course to meet it. However, getting the ego to lead beyond its current narcissistic fixation is a major evolutionary advance.

I have no doubt that we will get there, but I also believe that the world will be greatly reshaped in the process. The ego was obligated to play out this current scenario before it could release it as all said and done, no longer a viable option. All options must be tested after all. To this point Jung writes elsewhere, “If there was ever a truly apocalyptic era, it is ours. God has put the means for a universal holocaust into the hands of men.”**

Indeed God, or the Self if you will, has insisted that the ego face its capacity for self-destruction and evolve from its decision. Perhaps we will arrive at knowing we have the ability to destroy ourselves but no longer find it interesting and instead choose to move on to new adventures on solid ground.

Be empowered that this ego/Self drama is playing itself out in all of our lives—we are all the active side of infinity, all part of the whole, all energetically involved in some way. But let us all be empowered to fully assume responsibility for a different future wholeness. Let us all advance the ego as the supreme point in the service of something far greater—universal wholeness.

Clearly, at present, the ego is the supreme point of the self at its most extreme. This is obviously a dangerous permutation, however, one which had to be explored, but don’t forget that the ego, as the active side of the self, has the ability and the challenge to solve its messes and take us forward into a safer future.

Part of it all,

Chuck

* C. G. Jung Letters Vol. 2: 1951-1961 p. 195

**Ibid p. 209

Chuck’s Place: Love it all

Love it all, the dark and the light…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If we are truly to understand where we are, we must face the fact that the ego, with its capacity for reason, is the reigning god of now. The notion of an all-powerful god behind the scenes may still hold a sentimental attachment, a hope or belief, but reason reigns as that which gives order to life and the world. I pass no judgment nor support for this fact, I simply state the obvious.

The Christian notion of an all-loving god is the precursor to this god of reason. An all-loving god suggested a fair god, a reasonable god, a forgiving god, a god of order. And though this loving god still embraced the irrational—spirit life—it shed its dark side. Older notions of god, such as Yahweh or Allah, depict a far more bipolar god, a god of love but also a god of rage, a god of chaos. This god showed his dark side, torturing Job and drowning all who missed Noah’s boat.

The current god of reason has lost this ancient bipolar quality. I would submit that the current world crisis reflects the return of the disowned dark side of god, which is now in power, leveling the playing field of reason and order. We are currently facing chaos and the exercise of evil in control.

What I suggest here is that life is bipolar. We are both good and evil. Evil is not simply the absence of good, evil is part of the essence of everything. America has always stood for the highest values of goodness and caring, the most reasonable values on earth. But in so being, as we set out to save the world, we disowned our dark side, which has now visited itself upon us, and the rest of the world, in a caricature of abuse of power, an infantile, instinctual ego lacking reason.

Nonetheless, this startling state of affairs is so attractive and refreshing to the suppressed shadow, or inherent dark side of the populace, that it is lavishly having its day with all its drama and danger. This is the law of compensation: if we embrace one pole of our bipolar being too rigidly, the repressed side will eventually return with a vengeance.

This vengeance of the dark side is so intense that it threatens, like Noah’s flood, to wipe out all the goodness of civilization, in fact all of life itself. This instinctually driven, dominating power drive is completely self-serving, incapable of reasonable sacrifice to ensure a future beyond itself.

Yes, we must judge it; we must attempt to forestall its shortsighted, narcissistic stance that invites apocalypse, but we must also address the issue at its core: reconciling our bipolar being. We are all a composition of light and dark, good and evil, male and female. We must know all sides of ourselves; we must live all sides of ourselves. If we cling to a one-sided ideal of reason, we end up overturned by the irrational, chaotic side of our nature.

When I suggest that love is all, I mean that love includes evil, the dark side. Love can love its evil side. When the Dalai Lama states that yes, he could kill to defend his life, this does not make him hate his attacker. To the contrary, love reigns in that moment for he who must be killed. With the decision to kill, the Dalai Lama reconciles his instinctual, killing, “evil” nature with loving acceptance of all that is, even the ruthless, even the psychopathic.

Our evolving god image, that which we model ourselves upon, must return to its bipolar roots. That is where we are being led now. This is not merely an aberration being acted out on the world stage. That perspective is a hold out of the god of reason. No, what is being abundantly lived now is the breadth and potential of the dark side of humanity.

Of course, we hope that reason and the light side will prevail, but this can only happen if we embrace and find a place for the irrational, instinctual dark side of our beings. This is how each individual currently walking upon this earth is challenged and empowered to steer the course of our world.

Face your dark side, learn to love it. To love does not mean to give it free reign but to respect its knowledge and contribution to our wholeness. To acknowledge and accept our own darkness is the love that will ensure our survival and evolution upon this planet.

Do your part, as I do mine.

Love it all,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Economics of Changing Dreams

We must begin by assuming personal responsibility for the world’s current dream. Last week, I proposed that we are in the Time of the Usher, the dream changer. That lead role mysteriously fell upon Donald Trump.

Our very own Petty Tyrant!
– Art by Jan Ketchel

If we face the deeper truth that our world is spinning out of balance and requires a radical shift to survive, perhaps we can appreciate why we have called upon such a ruthless sorcerer from the dark side to usher in change. This sorcerer fits the bill of what the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call the petty tyrant.

Petty tyrants rank as extreme narcissists and psychopaths who wield the power of life and death over others. For shamans, encounters with petty tyrants are fundamental to their training. Most importantly, since tyrants lack any capacity for empathy for the cruelty they perpetrate upon their victims, shamans are offered a golden opportunity to lose their self-importance when dealing with them. Those indulging in self-pity under the reign of the petty tyrant exhaust their energy quickly and unwisely, as the petty tyrant has absolutely no concern for their needs.

Instead, shamans learn how to hone and revamp their energy, wasting none in seeking sympathy or validation for the hardships and cruelty directed at them by their petty tyrants. This energy saving training has the secondary benefit of preparing them to face future onslaughts from the unknown.

In this time of changing dreams that we are now experiencing, we are all at a distinct advantage, as it is very clear who the petty tyrant is. We can choose to stand up to him, by deciding to have all our energy available to meet the unexpected challenges and shifts that are occurring daily, with a minimum of energy expense.

Shamans ultimately seek the defeat of the petty tyrant but realize that getting caught in the traps of indignance and being offended both exhaust energy and cloud the ability to observe and plan strategically. The bigger the tyrant the greater the challenge to preserve  one’s energy and stay centered on the task. This is the position of the assemblage point that the shamans call the place of no pity. This position requires extreme mindful presence without ego attachment. The only question to ask oneself is, what is the appropriate action now, all personal attachment removed from view.

Since January 21st of this year I have limited myself to one minute per day of taking in the news. I came to this practice after observing the energetic impact that one hour of news was having on my energy as I went through the day.

Donald Trump, our news tyrant, seduces with outrageous antics and threats, which literally suck the energetic life out of a person. The emotional volatility evoked, and the attention given, literally feed the tyrant entity, who clearly has an insatiable hunger for attention.

I observe a tremendous energy savings with my one minute per day limitation. Each morning, I quickly receive the bullet points of necessary information, intentionally avoiding the trappings of emotional reactivity and seduction to track, think about, react to , and talk about the stories that are circulating in the news throughout the day—all energy-zapping practices. As a result I am free to decide if I need to do something or if I can just move on.

I don’t spend my energy on worry, fear, or rage. It simply depletes too much energy. Being offended by Trump is a waste of energy! Refusing to give him the attention he feeds off of, starves him of my energy and I get to keep it for myself. Having detachment from his outrageousness allows me to see clearly and to strategically navigate now.

Thus, I see Trump’s role as the usher, who has disrupted the familiarity and security of our world, as the role of the petty tyrant as well. He offers himself as the one to help us hone our energy and prepare for the real changes that we will invariably face as the world changes dreams again.

It’s a dangerous situation!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Please don’t misconstrue my perspective as a benevolent casting of Donald Trump. He is a tyrant and he is dangerous. Many people will be and have been crushed by his ruthlessness. However, the world must evolve now into a new dream in order to survive, and the silver lining in Trump is that, though he appears the antithesis of survival, he has had the ability to interrupt the status quo of the world. This interruption of energy flow is a move of a sorcerer and it allows us all an opportunity to hone our own energy and prepare for the challenges on the horizon. These challenges may be hastened by Trump, but they hardly originate with him.

The deeper dream we are leaving is the self-centered dream where it’s all about “me” and “us” (U. S.)! Trump’s embodiment of that dream is the catalyst for the new dream, the one centered at the heart level: the real truth, transparency, and all-inclusiveness.

For us to prepare for this new dream, we must learn the economics of saving our energy resources by losing the self-importance of being offended and raising our consciousness to the truth of the heart.

The heart stays in alignment with the soul/energy body—spirit—call it what you will, but it is that divine center within us all that tells us the truth, the real truth, and whose guidance will lead us forward into a truly sustainable dream, the dream we are really preparing for, a heart-centered world dream.

From an energy miser,

Chuck