Tag Archives: Trump

Chuck’s Place: My Inner Trump

Our baldheaded cardinal going at it again!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A doggedly persistent male cardinal smacks into our living room window throughout the day. The top of his head is bald and blue, like that of a turkey vulture, from his incessant headfirst crashes. We have noticed that this cardinal has a mate and we surmise he must be trying to fend off his perceived enemy reflected in the window, but the truth is that his enemy, unbeknownst to himself, is himself!

Our Soulbyte of Tuesday July 17, 2018 begins: “Pay attention. Become more fully aware of nature assisting you on your unfolding journey.” What is the guidance of this display of nature, of this seemingly crazy cardinal?

A bird is a spirit being. It flies like angels. The cardinal is named after the Cardinals of the Catholic Church in early Rome, adorned in their bright red robes and pointy red hats. Thus the cardinal is an earthly representative of a spirit being. Closer to home, the ego is the earthly representative of a spirit being. Consciousness, the hallmark of spirit, is born as the ego at the chakra center located at the solar plexus.

The solar plexus is the fire in the belly chakra, the home of personal power, where the ego discovers its ability to rise above the absolute control of nature’s primordial energies that command the lower chakras and choose its behavioral responses to the world. Nonetheless, choices are inevitably constricted by the narcissistic, self-referential cognitive and emotional limitations of the ego at this newly awakened youthful state of emergence.

Our cardinal reflects this narcissistic fixation. He cannot differentiate his enemy from himself. This results in a repetitive pattern of self-destructive behavior based on a distortedly applied archetypal instinct of defense. That distortion is a narcissistic reflection that won’t allow him a perspective beyond himself.

When Donald Trump asserts that American intelligence is the enemy, not Russia, he reflects the cardinal who sees his own reflection as the enemy. Trump unwittingly sees his own country as the enemy, which he subsequently incessantly verbally attacks, just as the cardinal incessantly attacks his own image reflected in our living room window. This is likely a developmental issue where ego is fixated on a narcissistic worldview.

The question is why this developmental stage is being so graphically mirrored upon the world stage at this point? What does it mean for all of us, as holographically we all share an inner Trump?

If we bring attention back to our friar, the baldheaded cardinal, attention is drawn to the redness of its firery spirituality. The cardinals of Catholicism, as well as the leaders of all spiritual traditions, have stood for a morality that rises above instinctual dominance. This is the equivalent of transcending the solar plexus and rising to the heart chakra with its more inclusive consideration of others.

The heart center can recognize and value life beyond itself. It can see truth and make decisions based on the overarching needs of the interdependent whole world. Our spiritual traditions stalk a higher chakra than we have actually developmentally reached. Obama stalked the heart center, which resulted in major inclusiveness of groups long rejected and cast out by society.

The truth is, however, that developmentally we truly have not reached the heart center perspective, and the Trump election avalanche was fueled by the collective narcissistic shadow which now unabashedly asks: “What about me, why do we have to care about everyone else?”

We are guided to take up this issue on an individual level. As our cardinal reflects, we must incessantly ask ourselves: “What repetitive self-destructive behaviors am I engaged in based on illusion? Who within me is in charge of my decision making? Am I properly including my deepest instinctual self in my decisions, or do I avoid the fire in the belly of emotion by blindly adhering to moral platitudes that defend me from the tensions within and without?”

The greatest individual contribution we can make in this time of fierce splitting apart is to face squarely our own inner Trumps. Clearly the planet beckons us to take up the challenge to reconcile our deepest instinctual selves with our highest spiritual values.

Suspend judgment. Take responsibility to know the self beyond illusion. Bear the burden of instinct and spirit. Find wholeness in the self. Let love join body and spirit, as well as neighbor to neighbor.

Facing my inner Trump,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Fit to Serve?

A sorry state of affairs…
– Artwork by Jan Ketchel © 2018

As the current of collective thought-stream challenges the mental stability of the Commander-in-chief, I find myself questioning the greater significance of such a mythological character at the helm of our government at this moment of our evolution. I begin by suggesting that, regardless of political or ideological persuasion, we view the current predicament as a reflection or symbolic mirror of the relationship between the human spirit and its physical host, all matter of creation.

Spirit is the character that functions on the mental plane, the architect and creator of reality as it defines it. In the flow of everyday life, spirit is the mind, the internal dialogue, and the ego that direct the course of daily decision making.

Matter, in this definition, spans all of nature, including the human animal. In human terms, matter is the physical body with all its instinctual needs and wisdom. The wisdom of the body is expressed through the archetypes, our inherited knowledge of the properties of matter and the innate formulas of how to respond to life on earth.

Thus, the human being is actually a microcosm of this greater spirit/matter relationship as it contains both spirit and matter in one being. Spirit and matter are the yin and yang of this world, each critical building blocks of our existence. The balance and relationship between these two partners determines the state of overall health in our world.

Just as I was writing the above explanation a synchronistic event occurred that intimately expresses the relationship between spirit and matter, mind and body. My daughter (who for psychoanalytic discretion in agreeing to let me share this suggests I identify her as “Beyonce”) called in a frantic state, near panic. “I feel like I’m going to pass out!” she said.

We immediately guided her to calm breathing, shifting her away from the dark forecast issuing forth from her mind that sought to define her physical symptoms as lethal. As she stabilized we reviewed recent dietary decisions which, quite frankly, were remarkably healthy.

We went on to review the pace of recent events as she and her partner have been overwhelmed by customer demand for their recently launched business. In fact, it suddenly dawned on her that what had directly precipitated her acute sensation of “passing out” was a new customer call for service. She and her partner had determined the night before that they were simply too overwhelmed; they needed to say no to new business for awhile.

The customer’s call had stirred the dilemma: “Can I say no to new business?” The call had also stirred the archetypal wisdom of her body to deliver its answer to the request in no uncertain terms. As we reflected, we determined that her body—the matter part of her being—was giving its answer to the customer’s request directly, saying loudly and clearly: “I’m shutting down! Over and out!”

And yet, how many of us would really listen to such sage wisdom from body central? How many of us would secretly be rationalizing from the mental plane: “This is great, more business, more money, great success!” How long would it take to arrive at some dietary glitch to explain away the dizziness and persist with the current plan to meet all demand in the service of financial reward!

“Beyonce’s” dilemma reflects the dominance of spirit over matter that plagues the macrocosm of our world as reflected in the psychology of our Commander-in-chief. His psychology is marked by a supreme alienation of spirit from nature. The guiding principal, beyond its narcissistic wrappings, is the spirit of financial success at all costs, regardless of its impact on the physical body or Mother Nature, the physical body of the earth itself. And Mother Nature, as is increasingly evident, is responding with her feedback to this spirit imperative.

Fortunately, “Beyonce” took heed of the imbalance in her mind/body relationship and intends to change the course of business to bring greater harmony to her mind/body partnership. Unfortunately for our Commander-in-chief, he appears all the more driven to deepen his spirit intent: “More, more, more!!!”

Though “Beyonce” may be restored to fit-to-serve shape, she will likely be challenged again and again to go to the heart and ask the question: “What is the truly right decision?” The spirit at the helm of the mental plane at present is so focused on self and survival that it blots out the needs of the body, the needs of others, and the needs of Mother Earth, our ultimate home base for survival while in human form.

The mental status of our Commander-in-chief poses a grave riddle to all of us: “Who is responsible for the imbalance that has thrown our world into peril?” The silver lining to the true answer to this question is self-empowerment. We all have the power to elect the best Commander-in-chief within ourselves and in so doing change the world.

Intending to be fit to serve,

Chuck

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