Tag Archives: will

Soulbyte for Thursday May 4, 2023

-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

Intent is exertion of will upon stubbornness. When stubbornness exists, despite all good intentions to change, it is the exertion of will that will finally bring about the desired effect. Intend with a good dose of will and your desired change will surely begin making its mark upon your life. Calmly and surely know in your mind that this is true and immediately see the results.

Sending you love,
The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: Existential Encounter And Free Will

The many shades of will…
-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

In 1966, Puerto Rican psychiatrist Efren Ramirez, my first therapist and mentor, captured the heart and imagination of New York City when he introduced his singularly unique treatment approach, based on existential principles, as a method to tackle the drug addiction problem ravaging the city.

The fabled success of his addiction treatment programs in Puerto Rico prompted Mayor John Lindsay to offer him carte blanche support to replicate this success in New York.  As a result, Therapeutic Community treatment programs (TCs) soon sprang up throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

Efren’s treatment approach, called The Concept, utilized existential encounter to awaken, within the addict, knowledge of the absolute power of their choices in determining their reality.

Rollo May, noted existential psychiatrist and author, pointed out that, for Ramirez, emphasis on diagnosis, etiology and prognosis actually obstructs and weakens the patient’s ability to gain full access to, and assume responsibility for, the central power of choice in determining the outcome of their lives. (Existential Psychology, 1969 edition)

The ability to assume full responsibility for one’s choices requires existential confrontation with one’s behaviors and attitudes, which brings to consciousness the choices one is already making, though largely at an unconscious level.

Through the enlightenment gained by one’s encounter with the feedback received from others, one becomes fully aware of how one blindly exercises one’s free will in one’s attitudes and behaviors. With this heightened awareness, one’s free will can be more judiciously exercised to the benefit of one’s life.

A generation before, from the heart of the holocaust, existential psychiatrist Victor Frankl observed and experienced that the single most important variable that determined whether one would survive or die in a death camp was the attitude one chose to assume while interned in the most terrifying, horrific and dehumanizing conditions imaginable.

The exercise of will to choose a positive attitude in the midst of a death camp could literally save one’s life. Furthermore, no one and nothing could take away an individual’s free exercise of imagination and will.

Carolyn Elliot, in her recent book, Existential Kink, takes one down the rabbit hole of one’s inner shadow to discover, own, and radically accept one’s unconscious yet willful collusion with the consciously rejected behaviors and habits active in the hidden recesses of one’s shadow.

Elliot stresses that “having is wanting” and that one must accept this in order to encourage one’s existential encounter with the many shades of will active in one’s being. This fuller acceptance of the polarities within the self frees the will to make choices that accommodate the wholeness of self.

The shamans of ancient Mexico sought to galvanize the will to be fully, mindfully present each day by shocking the ego with an existential encounter with death as an advisor.

Stating, each morning, “I am a being who is going to die” awakens the will to a heightened level of unified presence in each moment, as it chooses its attitudes and behaviors throughout the day. This intent of the will treats each moment with an equanimity that is fully prepared to seamlessly transition from this life in full consciousness as well.

Will is the creator of personal reality. Existential encounter with the fullness of self frees the will to responsibly exercise its power from the vantage point of total presence in the current moment. The intent of the will is then materialized through the suggestions one delivers to the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is the Mother of creation.
The subconscious mind stores the journey of the soul through all of its  history.
The subconscious mind has total control over the functioning, sensations  and health of the body.
The subconscious mind is the home of the instincts.
The subconscious mind has the knowhow and materials to manifest anything suggested to it.

As powerful as the subconscious is, it is still pure Yin. Yin is completely receptive, the feminine principle/anima, and capable of creating anything, but requires a suggestion to begin operations. Yang, her partner, the masculine principle/animus, is the Will.

Will is the active side of infinity, whose task it is to activate his partner’s creative process via suggestion. With their creative energies in sync, anything is possible. Every one of us is a combination of this divine couple and have the ability to both activate and create.

With consciousness raised through existential encounter, the will is freed to truly transcend the self-deceptive suggestions often made to the subconscious mind that keep one frozen in habitual disappointment.

Will, freed to suggest to the subconscious full healing of self and world, is indeed the necessary and adventurous order of our day.

Heal the self, heal the world,

Soulbyte for Monday April 24, 2023

-Illustration © 2023 Jan Ketchel

Change is not elusive; it is happening all the time. But change within the self can feel like it never happens, or only happens very slowly, but that is an illusion. For, indeed, even within the stubborn self change is continually taking place. It is, however, intention that gets the change moving at a faster pace and intention that will get the job of change done. Become aware of how you can contribute to your own plans for change and set something new in motion with a new intention today.

Sending you love,
The Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne

Chuck’s Place: Impressing the Subconscious

Each new dawn is an opportunity to intend change…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The subconscious mind is command central for the human mind. Nonetheless, though it sets in motion the bulk of everything we think, feel and do, it itself does not think. The subconscious mind simply obeys suggestions. The intensity or accrued stress of the suggestion determines the likelihood of it being activated.

The subconscious is the programmed mind. All animals respond almost totally to circumstances with preprogrammed instinctive behaviors. Humans have the innovation of consciousness, which allows for the possibility of choice of response to any given encounter, over simply the automatic, unreflected action of the subconscious mind.

Nonetheless, the subconscious remains formidably dominant in human behavior. A person might choose to confront a situation that their subconscious mind’s program determines should be avoided. This program can be overridden by the conscious will, however, the subconscious might concurrently generate pervasive anxiety to freeze the intended behavioral action of the conscious will.

However, the proficiency of the evolutionary programs of the subconscious that have led to individual survival, and survival of the species for eons, tend to reassert themselves pretty easily over orders directed to the subconscious from the conscious mind. Anyone who has attempted to establish a new habit is well acquainted with the tendency of older, more established habits, to defeat conscious efforts to change.

The subconscious is comprised of evolutionary habits, as well as habits rooted in one’s outer socialization. The rules and expectations of significant others, in the impressionable years of childhood, are often internalized as powerful programs for behaviors that eventually operate unconsciously through the subconscious mind. These internalized programs are incessantly reinforced by the internal dialogue, which automatically judges self and other with predetermined prejudice.

The key to establishing a new habit in the subconscious mind is suggestion. When a hypnotist puts a subject into trance, they are essentially turning off the subject’s conscious mind. Next, a suggestion is made to the subject that goes directly to the subconscious mind and is then behaviorally enacted upon, as suggested.

Not everyone can be put into trance by a hypnotist, but everyone is put into trance by the many powerful programs that run daily, through suggestions operating at a subconscious level. Thus, if one has an internal dialogue that repeats the suggestion, “I am unworthy of love”, the entranced outcome will be a mood and behavior that reflects unworthiness and lack of lovability. These programs are often so powerful that even constant feedback to the contrary, from a loving partner for instance, cannot change this embedded suggestion.

Though a hypnotist might temporarily suggest a new program, creating change in a subject, the locus of control remains in the hands of another person, the hypnotist. This is why self-hypnosis is the preferred vehicle of change.

Saturation of suggestion during waking life definitely implants a suggestion to the subconscious. Thus for instance, if I want to remember my dreams, or become conscious while out-of-body during sleep, I might state this intention incessantly throughout the day.

Regardless of outcome on any given night, if I persevere with stating my intention, every day, that suggestion will reach subconscious action at some point. Every time we state an intent, we accrue energy toward a powerful suggestion becoming operational.

Unfortunately, we don’t know for certain how much energy must be accrued before it tips the scales to action. The guidance here: perseverance furthers.  As well, just as the hypnotist silences the conscious mind prior to implanting a suggestion, it is best to relax the body and mind prior to stating one’s suggestion.

Be of calm body and mind, state your suggestion many times a day, many days of the month. With the calm abandon of detachment, yet with the knowing certainty that the subconscious will be impressed, await the manifestation of your dream.



Chuck’s Place: Duration

Thunder above, wind below…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Today, I request of the I Ching*:  Guidance for ALL, now.

What is given is hexagram #32, Duration. The essence of duration is union, as an enduring condition.

The image of duration is built with thunder, the arousing, on top of wind, the gentle. Thunder and wind are a naturally paired set of influences.  With the sound of thunder comes the energy of wind. The human social analogy for duration is the enduring relationship of marriage.

Within the individual, duration is a state of being that is not worn down by hindrances. By embracing enduring meaning in one’s life, one becomes self-contained and self-renewing. This kind of meaning is found in aligning one’s will with one’s true spirit.

Thunder and wind are mobile occurrences, seemingly an unlikely pair to depict the qualities of duration. But this fluidity of coming and going implies a definite lack of rigidity or refusal to change. That which acts from duration changes with the changing times. What doesn’t change is one’s unswerving commitment to the inner truth of one’s being, that which guides all actions.

No particular moving line was emphasized, hence, all the lines of the hexagram carry guidance for specific challenges to the state of duration.

The first line: Seeking duration too hastily brings misfortune persistently. Relationships require time to achieve duration. Self-development requires perseverance over time. If we grasp too quickly things fall apart and we are saddened, or give up.

The second line: Regret disappears. The power of one’s will is greater than one’s material resource. However, in the time of duration one is able to regulate one’s inner strength, thus avoiding excess in action. This removes the cause for regret.

The third line: The inability to turn inward brings misfortune. If one remains at the mercy of moods aroused by outside events, one suffers inner turmoil and loses the innerly connection to that which provides duration.

The fourth line: No game in the field. If one persists in a course of action that is fruitless, one will only be disappointed. Here, will overpowers spirit and loses its duration.

The fifth line: Flexible reason, moderate emotion. Reason must be flexible and adjust to changing conditions. Emotion must remain moderate lest it burn up or remain overly attached to the moment. Best that reason lead to maintain duration.

The sixth line: Continued restlessness brings misfortune. To remain in persistent hurry or worry precludes inner composure. Turn inward, breathe in, breathe out. Let calm breathing lead to duration.

In this time of outer threat, find composure in that which provides duration. The power of duration will endure and safely bridge to coming stability, where that which lends duration within will also lead to duration without.



*Source: The I Ching, Wilhelm edition