Category Archives: Chuck’s Blog

Welcome to Chuck’s Place! This is where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences! Currently, Chuck posts an essay once a week, usually on Wednesdays, along the lines of inner work, psychotherapy, Jungian thought and analysis, shamanism, alchemy, politics, or any theme that makes itself known to him as the most important topic of the week. Many of the shamanic and psychological terms used in Chuck’s essays are defined in Tools & Definitions on our Psychotherapy page.

Chuck’s Place: God’s Chosen One: The Human Ego

When I reflect upon the momentous decision Jeanne and I made in 1979, to abruptly leave America and move to the Promised Land of Jamaica, I cannot help but see the parallel to now, to Jan and my very abrupt move to the New Land at The Monroe Institute.

The veil is lifting…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Back in 1979, it was the reggae sirens whose call we could not refuse, their song echoing the themes of bondage and deliverance, and God’s support for his chosen people. It was as if the Old Testament had shown up in a time capsule bottle on the shores of that island paradise with a message to explain the African diaspora and provide a spiritual depth and context in which to move forward as Africans forced to assimilate in foreign lands.

“Black man it’s time to know your history.” “King David, he was a black man. King Solomon, he was a black man. King Moses, he was a black man. From Africa, yeah!” This was the Rastafarian identification with the Old Testament heroes as made popular by Rod Taylor. This music echoes the universal themes of life and struggle in the human form, with an accompanying heartbeat that connects the suffering time/space human with their immortal soul.

Flash ahead to 2018. The siren that drew Jan and I to The Monroe Institute was the Hemi-sync beat, with its abilities to facilitate expanded states of consciousness and awareness, where left brain ego serves right brain spirit; the formula for ego liberation from its state of alienation from spirit, facilitating a return to wholeness.

Human consciousness, centered in the human ego, is God’s chosen one. The ego is a separated part of the infinite soul, a spark of divine light living in the time/space illusion of its current life. This is a life that will end—death is at the crux of its suffering—but it all began with its higher soul in infinity sending it on the sojourn of its current life, truly a mission from God. Thus, the part (the ego) became separated from the whole (the Spirit), with its necessary blank-slate-forgetting at birth.

That mission is as individual and varied as there are people upon the planet. Yet, there is an underlying collective similarity to all individual missions, and that is what Robert Monroe discovered and wrote about in his book Far Journeys. The mission is to refine love energy, he wrote. For love to be refined it must encounter the various stages Elizabeth Kubler Ross delineated for the dying process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

All of these stages are emotional stages that love must go through to reach the pinnacle of emotion, a Super Love that, with compassion, accepts and loves everyone and everything. These are the missions and varied lives we have lived through, or must live through, in order to fully master all the permutations of humanness, from the most horrific to the most fully loving.

Can I love the abuser I may have been in one lifetime, as much as the victim of abuse I might have been in another lifetime? This is the great challenge and opportunity Earth School offers us, to refine love to its greatest potential, at least in this cosmos. Once the Soul decides its specific goal for its time/space life on earth, it sends off its ego seed to be planted in a human body.

The next step of this unfolding mission is to be adopted into and successfully attached to an earthly family. Without attachment the mission and the ego spark of life would not survive. With attachment comes the inevitable misery of loss, truly a unique byproduct of time/space life.

The ego, in its birth, was indeed cast from Eden, its home of wholeness, to fend for itself in a predatory world. The predatory world is necessary to encounter conditions that offer refinement of emotion leading to Super Love. Yes, the ego can use its spark of consciousness to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, but it cannot escape the underlying truth: it is an orphan of its own wholeness, chosen to navigate and master its destiny in this life. Its true status is one of a wanderer with no real roots in this earth. Ego is equipped to enjoy and accumulate the riches of the earth, but it can never truly be at home here.

The dawning of the Age of Aquarius—the time we are living in—offers the human ego an enlightenment as to its true status, as an intelligent part of a far greater interdependent whole. The mission now for God’s chosen one is to free itself of the veil of separateness that has handicapped its effectiveness to fully love and effectively manage the earth. The ego must relinquish its self-importance, its grandiosity, as well as its inferiority, if it is to find its way back to the wholeness it has always sought, both on an individual as well as a collective level.

The ego must fully assimilate all peoples into one united chosen one. The chosen one is our collective human consciousness, not our local affiliations nor our individual egos alone. Clearly, such disruptive rumblings beneath the surface of current world events reflect our deeper separation and fear and rejection of our collective wholeness.

Defensively, separateness is being highlighted as imperative, as countries seek to expel others from what they perceive as theirs alone and reclaim what they perceive is their manifest destiny, to personally possess all they believe they are entitled to.

The current world leader mirrors so fully the ultimate inflated ego, a soon-to-be relic of an earlier stage of human evolution. Mother nature and the rising feminine will ensure the leveling of human inflation and facilitate the reign of the next level of human evolution, a union of all human groups, both physically and spiritually, into a united whole while in human form. From this will spring a new consciousness emanating from the heart, Super Love, capable of decisions of right action to the benefit of the whole chosen world.

One love, one destiny,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Atomic Self

A gathering of all the parts that make up the whole…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

So, this tiniest of units, the atom, what the ancients named the most basic building block of the universe, houses an incredible amount of contained energy. Once the integrity of that unit is split, it is capable of unleashing a surge of vast destructive energy, as the world witnessed in the closing days of WWII at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We are currently living through the unleashing of such powerful destructive energies on a social scale, as the integrity of our unity as a nation has been split by a leader well aware of the latent energy potential contained in such a unit as a United State. His modus operandi has been to tap those violent and ecstatic energy reserves through splitting rhetoric that halves the whole and unleashes lethal force.

On the individual level, that of a human personality, this social phenomenon mirrors the plurality of forces contained within a person. When the unity of personality is split open powerful energies are unleashed from the various factions of self, formerly cooperatively linked, now luxuriating in stretching their powers and vying for control of the self. This is the basis of the term I am employing in this blog, The Atomic Self.

How many times do we begin the day with a specific intent, only to find ourselves fully distracted and engaged in a less desirable activity? Less desirable to whom? I think we would have to say less desirable to one’s conscious ego state; less desirable to the leader of the personality and the working definition of self. But clearly, there is another faction of personality that exists somewhere within the shadows of self that has opposing wants and needs, a will and an energy of its own that supplants the ego’s intent by ‘wasting time’ in ‘unnecessary’ activities.

In fact, the Self is comprised of many factions beyond ego that each possess their own storehouse of energy. Freud identified a few characters: ego, id and superego. Jung expanded the population to include persona, shadow, anima/animus, Self, as well as an ancient inherent dimension to the psyche that includes the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Spiritualists broaden the field even further to include the soul, that which has had countless lives that coexist within the underpinnings of self in the current life.

In fact, the Spiritualist tradition would go so far as to point out that all who are alive in this moment are composed of the cosmic dust and ashes of countless prior generations of life. The notion of a pure bloodline of identity takes a quantum leap if we consider the sins and wisdom of generations past as the building materials of what we all really are, all deeply connected at the atomic level, all siblings sharing the same cosmic dust.

The unity of this oneness is often stretched to the max, as Miranon, a non-physical entity of high intelligence, explained in channeling explorations conducted in the early researches at The Monroe Institute. Miranon suggested we imagine a world of truly interconnected wholeness but all parts in opposition to each other, envisioned as a rubber band stretched in many opposing directions, it’s constituent parts vying for differentiation and supremacy. No matter how far they contort that rubber band it remains the same wholeness, albeit severely contorted and out of balance at times.

Thus, what we call personality is a plurality of characters and lives bound together in a cohesive way to form a consistent identity we call ‘me’. However, beneath this surface cohesion are very powerful energies that may not be well-integrated at all. Jung used the term individuation to define these energies as they actively seek integration and, ultimately, fulfillment in the maturation of an individual life.

People approach counseling when their factions of personality subvert individuation, preferring to assert their personal agendas at the expense of the overall integration of the personality. This results in failure to achieve goals, at minimum, and psychic atomic war at maximum!

The ego’s challenge of leadership with such divisive energetic personality factions is great. If the ego chooses a dictatorial approach to gain control, the rejected factions are likely to withdraw their energy reserves from the personality, whereby causing  a depression of energy resource that the ego requires to take action.

Despite this energetic stalemate the ego is charged with restoring balance to the personality. Sometimes this requires surrendering to the archetypal underpinnings of self and allowing, for instance, a flood of tears to release a tide of grief. Sometimes it requires the ego to refuse this archetypal call and hold on in a deeply alienated state until a reconciling thought, feeling, image, or outer happening provides the ticket to a newly resolved balance.

Sometimes the ego must recapitulate the experience of an archaic part of its atomic self that it had no idea existed. This may be presented to the ego in the form a powerful mood or emotional reaction to some environmental trigger. This encounter might require the  recapitulation of a repressed memory, a past life, or even a coexistent life at another level of its multidimensional self, lived exclusively at a dream level.

The name of the game is individuation, which integrates the separate components of the atomic self, with all their powerful energies, into a cohesively balanced self, on very deep levels. This is the journey and responsibility of now, inwardly and outwardly. As our earth continues her great transformation, may we, her children, shepherd her changes peacefully, lending our powerful energies to her newly rebalanced configuration.

Never doubt the value of turning inward and taking on the atomic self. Reconciliation at this level is what the world needs now: reconciling vs splitting the atom.

Atomically,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Build That Wall

I recall, as a young boy, the delight of constructing Lincoln Log forts, safe places on the outposts of the American frontier. I could play alone for hours, fully engaged in the interplay of battle and retreat to safety.

Walls to an open path…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Perhaps the number one obsession of the current world leader is the construction of the Great Wall of America. His supporters often break into a deafening chorus at his rallies, exclaiming: “Build that Wall!” My intent in this blog is to find the place in our current state of evolution where that battle cry might indeed find its rightful home. We all need to find the safety behind the walls we call home.

Perhaps the number one focus of any psychotherapist is to enable clients to ground themselves and withstand being overtaken by powerful forces, both within and outside the psyche. Plainly speaking, that is, to shore up the ego; to build a strong wall to withstand a psychotic coup, which could swallow up or permanently fragment identity, consciousness, and a consistent reality-based sense of self.

Biology teaches us that we are constantly under assault by predatory viruses and bacteria that seek our energy for their own sustenance. Thus, our immune systems are programmed to build walls around these invaders, blocking their access to our vital energy.

Structurally, this self protection is also reflected in the two separate hemispheres of the brain. Roughly speaking, the left hemisphere provides the physical operating system for the intrapsychic ego, the etheric executive in charge of decision making in time/space. By carving out a rationally based interpretation system, the left brain creates walls around energy and transforms its interpretation of it into a predictable world of discreet solid objects. The ego grounds itself, categorizes the world it lives in, identifies its operations in terms of cause and effect, and defends itself against thoughts and perceptions that threaten its control.

In contrast, the right hemisphere of the brain remains open to the far more inclusive, free flowing, interconnected energy that exists outside of the left brain’s categorization system. This is the home of creativity, psychic knowing, and the Soul that lives beyond space and time, that is interconnected with and communicates with everything. Although both hemispheres of the brain interrelate and contribute to a balance in life, the left brain dominates in ordering how we interpret reality.

The right brain is the physical operating system of the energy body, or the Soul, that assumes dominance of our being when we sleep. During dreaming the energy body separates from the physical body and ventures into infinity, the true home base of our energetic existence. Though the energy body appears largely dormant in waking life, access to it can be cultivated or spontaneously reached under extraordinary circumstances, such as through blunt trauma or ecstatic experience.

When psychics or remote viewers utilize their parapsychic abilities, they relax the typically dominant left brain and enter into the timelessness of the right brain, while still maintaining left brain awareness. From there they can delve into the Akashic record of all life lived, or to be lived, as they have access to the oneness of everything.

Interestingly, to navigate this sojourn in infinity it is necessary to have access to left brain consciousness, with its wall of identity and its ability to interpret the energy it encounters in these expansive journeys. Short of this, our right brained nightly dreams in infinity are lost to integrative consciousness. Though the mood of a dream may follow us or determine the quality of our response to encounters in waking life the next day, without left brain participation we remain completely unaware of our prior dreamland guidance, lessons, and experiences that prepared us for the day.

This amnesic effect of crossing the bridge from infinity to waking consciousness serves the great wall of ego that authoritatively directs waking life. This creates a veil over the infinite underpinnings of Self/Soul that the ego has no time for. The ego must get up and direct real, solid life in time/space. Until the ego is ready to discover its true lineage in infinity it must maintain its blank slate wall. For the ego there is nothing beyond its concrete interpretation of reality in time/space.

Of course, this kind of ego stance must rely upon a good variety of defenses. Ultimately, however, for growth to proceed, ego must willingly walk back across the bridge to infinity via a journey into right brain interconnectedness. This generally involves first squarely encountering the experiences ego has pushed into deep storage rather than assimilate their threatening truths. A major pathway for this clearing is the practice of recapitulation, which requires ego intent and participation if it is to be fully accomplished.

Once ego no longer finds it necessary to hide from the fullness of Self—which includes its energy body in infinity—it can bring its boundaried identity and left brain capabilities into practice, to observe, interact, act, and reflect upon its right brained journeys in both dreaming and waking life. Over time, and with practice, this wall of ego actually becomes more permeable, more elastic, more open to new truths being discovered, as life is enriched and enhanced by greater access to one’s fuller potential, left and right brain in full cooperation.

So, yes, we do need walls of identity, but let them reflect the fullness of who we really are: infinite spirits inhabiting finite human bodies. Let the two hemispheres of the brain more consciously get to know each other and work collaboratively in the dream of waking life, as well as in those nightly journeys in infinity. No need to be fearful of the unknown with the integrated support of that dynamic duo!

Hemi-synching,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Innate and Spirit Entitlement

In balance… within and without…

All newborn babies turn their heads toward the nipple and make sucking movements. This is an inborn program called the rooting reflex that prepares the baby to procure nourishment in the form of milk from the breast. Jung called these universal inborn mental programs, that orchestrate such necessary adaptation and survival behaviors, archetypes. At nature’s insistence newborns are born with an entitled energy to suckle nurturance from the breast.

Entitlement has its roots in nature itself. The energy that the archetypes are naturally endowed with is the energy of entitlement. When an archetype is activated it is potentiated with powerful energy, the energy of entitlement, that allows it to achieve its fulfillment.

The entitled energy of the hunger instinct fuels our ability to work and accumulate goods, property, and money, allowing us to meet our most primal of needs. This instinct is quite primitive and has its roots in narcissism, with the primary focus given to the satisfaction of the body’s primary survival needs.

As we grow, our narcissistic fixation naturally enlarges to include the family, a unit dedicated to survival as a group. The family carves out its ownership of its living space, not to be transgressed by non-family members without an invitation. The family is poised to accumulate for itself and defend its ownership against the competing needs of others. Thus, there is a legitimate basis for entitlement in human physical existence: survival.

Jung observed that archetypes also give rise to spiritual values in humans. This spirit instinct in human beings often comes to life as a result of sacrifice. The initiation rituals of yesteryear that brutally tore the young from their entitled dependence upon family and sent them off to experiences outside of the known and familiar—the world of mother, father, and extended family—are one example of such sacrifice.

Through the archetype of ritual sacrifice, youth became adults and took on greater responsibility for the group beyond family of origin. Vestiges of theses archetypal strivings are seen today in the stylized piercings, tattoos, and drug adventures of young people seeking to cross the bridge to adulthood through some kind of self-initiated ritual sacrifice.

When spiritual values emerge they signal a maturity that takes into consideration the needs of others, beyond the narcissism of me and mine, awakening an energy of compassion that extends to all living beings. This spirit entitlement employs its energy to consider and care for everything beyond the self. Spirit orientation is in opposition to the hoarding attitude of the narcissistic orientation. Spirit employs its personal energy to care for the greater whole and accepts itself as part of that greater whole. Spirit orientation acts to extend entitlement as a broader human right.

Narcissistic orientation bemoans having to give away that which it needs and wants. Spirit, on the other hand, can tend to neglect, negate, or even denigrate the needs of the physical body, its working vehicle for this life.

I would propose that we are presently in an energetic World War between these two instinctual orientations: body instinct and spirit instinct. The current world leader, our own President, exemplifies entitlement at a very primal level. That is, its inherent right to consider only the needs of itself over the needs of the more inclusive world. The degree of support accorded this leader reflects how accurately he taps into the narcissistic underpinnings of survival at the primal, animal, level in all human beings.

What has given rise to our current state of world affairs is a breakdown in the application of the technology of sacrifice to effect spiritual transformation. At one extreme is a failure of the institutions of the modern world to provide effective rites of initiation at key stages of life. Without these rites many people fail to individuate into true adulthood and thus remain fixated at a child’s level of orientation toward the world, entitled and demanding.

At the other extreme is a total renunciation of the body for the benefit of the spirit. One example is the requirement of celibacy in the Catholic priesthood; sacrifice the lower for the sake of the higher. Though this technology of sacrifice was successful in establishing a life oriented toward altruistic concerns, it has created a tremendous body-shadow backlash. Just look at the incidences of sexual abuse among the ranks of the Catholic priests. The entitlement of the repressed sexual instinct has emerged from hiding, deviously preying upon the young and innocent.

In the political arena we see a similar eruption of repressed primal instinct asserting its entitlement to accumulate resources for itself only, casting out the unfamiliar ‘other’ to fend for itself. This is the shadow of American altruism, bursting forth now with a vengeance.

The determination of this entitlement is expressed in its blatant use of lies, misinformation, and manipulation as a necessary and acceptable means to care for its basic needs. No amount of reason or scientific proof can shake it from its deeply seated conviction that it is entitled to care only for its own needs.

At present the lines are firmly drawn between body and spirit, it’s either one way or the other. There is no room for compromise, as each side is absolutely in touch with their inalienable right of entitlement. And they are both right; we are animals and we are spirits. Perhaps the ultimate solution is encoded in the axiom: as above so below. The needs of the body are as important as the needs of the spirit, the needs of the self are as important as the needs of the planet.

Where might there be adjustments to bring these two into better confluence?  As the Pope laments the abuses of his church he might consider the fact that nuns have probably almost never committed sexual abuse, despite their same commitment to celibacy as their priestly male counterparts. If the technology of celibacy is to be maintained, perhaps nuns should be invited into the priesthood to lead the way.

On an individual level, we are invited to truly tune in to the wants and needs of our animal selves, as well as our spirit’s longing for greater wholeness with the universe. For instance, the practice of sacred sex joins body, spirit, and other, in joy, pleasure, and union at a physical/spiritual level.

On a planetary level, the Earth’s body has taken the lead. We are in the beginnings of massive transformation at a planetary level that will force us to be more in step with the true needs of the Earth’s body and atmosphere. For humans this is a spirit/body reconciliation. Respecting the body of the planet is both a spiritual love, moving beyond just the narcissism of self, as well as a deep connection to the physical: self and planet.

The key to reconciliation of our warring instincts is recognizing the legitimacy of entitlement for both body and spirit. Behind the off-putting extremism of today’s headlines are individuals identified with either one orientation or the other.

Can you outwardly appreciate the one-sidedness of your neighbor, but also its legitimacy, in some form? Can you inwardly recognize the one-sidedness of your own orientation and, yes, validate it in some form too? Can you give value and a place to the opposite side, whether it be body or spirit? That is the way to become an integrated, balanced whole being.

Balancing,

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