Welcome to Chuck’s Place! This is where Chuck Ketchel, LCSW-R, expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences! Currently, Chuck posts an essay once a week, currently on Tuesdays, 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.
The ruling intent of this time is to offend. Energetically, it’s a brilliant system to galvanize and employ human energy to achieve its goals. Indeed, it’s as Machiavellian as the human battery pods of The Matrix. How do we not give away our energy by becoming offended?
There is a distinction between being impacted and being offended. Offensive words generate deeds that definitely impact. The reality of impact should be acknowledged to the self and trusted others.
However, to be offended by a malicious act is a one-way ticket to the black hole of defeatism. In defeatism we lose our vital energy to the oppressor. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico observed that the greatest tyrant of them all had taken up residence in the human psyche.
Carol Tiggs, the Nagual Woman of Carlos Castaneda’s lineage, called that tyrant Bobby the Flyer. Bobby is the self-condemning voice in every human being that sentences us to that black hole of utter defeat. Bobby uses our incessant internal dialogue to keep us unworthy, stuck in our internal prison of inadequacy.
How many times a day do we hear the following words, inside our heads: “I’m bad.” “I’m inadequate.” “I’ll never be able to…” Or, “I don’t deserve.” The internal dialogue’s commentary on outer events is equally incessantly judging: “They treat me unfairly.” “I don’t matter.” Or “they look better, younger, thinner, more stylish, or, they’re more articulate…than me.”
Thus, outer offense mirrors the inner offense of Bobby the Flyer. Internally, the impact of attaching to offense is to define the boundary of the self with the belief that nothing will ever change. This overarching negative belief keeps our spirit in check.
To free the spirit we must free it from offense. A preponderance of offensive words are being personally intended now. How can we then say that it isn’t personal, when it clearly is? Everything is designed to personally impact and it does; it hurts. Hurt is hurt, but it’s not offense.
Offense is an abstract, subjective interpretation. When Victor Frankl was denied his most basic of human rights, he chose not to be offended by his oppressors. Instead he chose to save his energy, to place his attention on positive thoughts and memories that could sustain him. And he survived where many died, depleted of their vital energy by the black hole of defeatism.
In the martial art of Aikido, much attention is placed on the imbalanced energy of the oncoming attacker and how to strategically receive it. No attention is wasted on being offended by one’s attacker. To be offended is to lose focus, which could be fatal. Martial artists and shamans alike know the value of losing any attachment to self-importance if one is to hone abilities and preserve energy.
Self-importance should not be confused with self-worthiness. Unseat Bobby the Flyer. With meditation or magical passes learn to silence the internal dialogue. Assert your basic worthiness to the self, but don’t get caught in needing others to validate it. That’s a sure ticket to the black hole of defeatism.
Ironically, the biggest petty tyrant of our times is daring us to not be offended by him; it may be the only way to actually defeat him! Beyond that, he offers us the exercise of truly learning to preserve our energy for the deeply challenging times now unfolding upon this planet.
Tragic, the burning of Notre Dame. It takes us to the heart and the intent to rebuild. The energy, contained for centuries in this monolithic structure of Catholicism, has been released and will be reformed in its reconstruction.
Pope Benedict spoke from retirement last week, proclaiming, in a letter, the source of sexual abuse in the Church to be linked to the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, the free love of the 1960’s. His prescription for reformation is in keeping with similar calls throughout the world for conservatism as the solution.
His letter reflects, at the highest level, the schism within the Church. Pope Benedict reflects the power of control at the third chakra, will. Pope Francis calls for love at the fourth chakra, all-encompassing. The mounting energy of this schism can be depicted as kundalini energy rising and bursting forth, in flames, in the split between these two chakras.
In America, the same schism is being exploited and the fires stoked. Some hold to the true spirit of the American Dream, the heart chakra. Others hold that that dream is over, that America is full, back to an old conservatism, the third chakra. The same schism confronts Israel. And though Netanyahu emerges victorious, Beresheet crashed into the moon.
At the deepest level, all these local tragedies are signs of the earth’s healing crisis. That crisis is the earth’s reformation, as the farmers of the Midwest can well attest. Healing will require rising to the objective truth of what is needed to survive at a fully interconnected level, beyond all special interests.
Consider Katie Bouman’s modest contribution to the algorithm that made possible the first viewing of a black hole. The key was to bring all telescopes on the earth together as one. The ability to merge the data as one produced the light of consciousness that takes us deeper into the mystery of us all.
The fires rage and the destruction is painful. Nonetheless, the healing crisis, well underway, portends new life, on more solid ground.
Noticed, subliminally, that the ring on my pinky was quite loose, barely stayed on. A brief thought process to safely tuck it in my pocket was dismissed. Upon returning home, I discovered that the ring was gone. I was stunned but soon calmed, as I realized we, my ring and I, had made this agreement earlier in the day. I was alerted to its readiness to jump; it had given me one last obvious warning. I had given it the green light and it had chosen to launch.
The ring is composed of two thick golden entwined threads, a couple’s infinite love woven into a healing path, a sealed strand of intent ready for life. It had adorned my finger for 45 years. Though coveted, it expressed its intent to move freely in the world now. I release you, dear ring, so imbued with love, to bring your magic wherever you land.
Realized later that the day the ring sprang free, April 6th, was exactly one year to the day of our initiation at The Monroe Institute’s Gateway Voyage, where Jan and I abruptly moved into new life. Found out, as well, that our nearest neighbor, Elizabeth, had launched on her definitive journey into infinity that same day, having physically died in Los Angeles. Truly, this was a day of profound shift.
The spreading of love is indeed the karma of what is happening now, the work to be done. That which has fragmented must come back together. We must be patient in the knowing that change is constant. Disintegration, however vast, is the precursor to integration. Love is the energy of healing and union.
Spend not time judging the self, judgment is too divisive. Seek only clarity and truth. From the heart center ask the self the question, “does this old decision hold up now?” And if the answer is that it’s time to shift, walk in a new direction. Quietly, light as a feather, attract no attention, simply move on, filled to the brim with love.
To get to the truth of the heart, we must reach a profound state of relaxation. Allow each inward breath to reach every cell of the body. With the exhalation, ask every cell to profoundly release. Hold that level of relaxation as you begin the next inhalation, then release even deeper on the out breath. After some time, the body will become calm and receptive, the mind will have dropped its prejudices, and the truth of the heart will be ready to be heard.
Doubt is the third chakra’s devil’s advocate. Allow it to make its case, but recognize its narcissism. With calm, speak the truth. If unduly influenced by its call to arms or self-serving ploys, then reenter the matrix for another round of groundhog day. When the cycle completes, you’ll have accrued greater knowledge. And with it, what will you choose next time around?
The world populace oscillates now between its separate wants and true collective needs. Only love can settle the score, because it transcends the one-sidedness of separateness.
Toss the ring of what you hold dear into the ring of greater good. Let love grow in every interaction, in every thought and action. Let’s see what happens!
Trauma is a rupture to the security of the known. The sublime effect of trauma is to involuntarily usher one into the transpersonal dimension of the High SOUL. PTSD is the condition of being caught between the everyday world of the known and this deeper transpersonal dimension of being.
Recapitulation is an ego-Soul retrieval practice that reconstitutes the fullness of the self that was fragmented by trauma, curing the condition of PTSD. For many, recapitulation also refines one’s psychic ability to travel in and communicate with the transpersonal realm. Many psychic channels trace their awakened abilities to the blunt force of a traumatic incident.
Thus, trauma can be seen as the ego-Soul’s involuntary initiation into the fuller dimension and abilities of its High SOUL. As with all initiations the experience is shattering and dangerous, and not everyone returns safely. Modern clinical methods like EMDR and SE (Sensory Experience) can also facilitate the ego-Soul’s resolution of its forced traumatic shamanic journey.
The world is currently experiencing blunt force trauma on many fronts. The impacts of global warming upon the body of Gaia are evident almost daily. The fires in California, the floods in the midwest, the Typhoon last week in Mozambique are but a handful of the most recent physical traumas on Earth. The great human migratory movements throughout the world now largely reflect these environmental impacts.
Human beings are the cortex of the living planetary being of Gaia, and as a whole are expressing the polarized symptoms of instability so familiar to an individual in the grip of PTSD. Thus, we see a compromised collective human ego-Soul grappling with survival, as its known world continues to shatter.
The latent impact of the Earth crises of now is a collective shamanic journey for the human ego-Soul. Though the side effects of bipolar and psychotic extremes are evident, many are adjusting to the evolutionary shifts on the near horizon. The almost complete lack of privacy, the transparency of now, though invasive and almost out of control, are actually signs of a coming higher level of consciousness; that is, humans communicating telepathically, with total transparency, in a world with nothing to hide.
Humans have no choice but to reach this level of truthfulness to be able to function sanely as the cortex of Gaia. Seen from this perspective, the trauma of now is actually a planetary birth trauma, where both the Earth and human consciousness are being reformatted for evolutionary salvation.
It was the conclusion of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, in the person of the Nagual Don Juan Matus, that this energetic evolution was the only direction for humankind and for the survival of the Earth dream.
As individuals, we are all empowered to be midwives to a smooth evolutionary transition by facing the truths of our individual lives. Firstly, practice self-regulation, in some form of meditation or body practice, to achieve volitional control over the emotional terrors of the limbic system that react to the shocks of now. Stay calm, limit exposure to extremist rhetoric.
Keep thoughts positive and loving. Love is the most powerful and all-inclusive energy. It’s free. Bombard the world with loving kindness!
Hold onto the perspective that all the destruction of now is part of a major birth and an evolutionary initiation into a more loving, transparent, well-balanced world. Hold tightly to this knowing, protecting it like a candle in the innermost sanctum of the heart, amidst the violent storms of negativity blowing across the world. Know that it is simply another contraction in this amazing birth we are all participants in.
On March 24, 1995, Tony Schwartz phoned Elmer Green to share his frustration that his recently reviewed book, What Really Matters (1995), which chronicled the development of the New Age spiritual movement in America, had sold so few copies. This despite favorable reviews in The New York Times and Fortune, and an upcoming guest appearance on PBS’s Charlie Rose.
When I went on to research Tony Schwartz, I discovered that he was the ghost writer for Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal (1987), the hugely successful, number one bestseller that first made Donald Trump a household name.
The coincidence and cognitive dissonance of Tony Schwartz, who has gone on to be one of the most successful proponents of New Age energetics, as applied to the workplace, being the same Tony Schwartz who first launched Donald Trump, is too compelling to ignore. Regardless of the findings of the Mueller report, Donald Trump was being groomed to become president by the forces of destiny, decades ago, as the prerequisite to the real launching of the Age of Aquarius.
Destiny insists that we reconcile our nature and our spirit selves for evolution to proceed now. Tony Schwartz reveals this polarity within himself in his 1995 call to Elmer Green. His outrage at his poor book sales, and his attachment to self-importance reflect his bottom-line-self, growling from his solar plexus chakra, saying, “what about me!?” On the other hand, the book he wrote speaks to the emergence of the New Age, reflecting a view from his heart chakra self, where the self-serving ego of the solar plexus chakra acquiesces to synchronicity and the importance of interconnected energy, versus self-importance and the will.
The fact that Tony Schwartz bemoans his role in Donald Trump’s rise in his 2016 statement on Good Morning America, where he characterizes his ghostwriting of Art of the Deal, as putting “lipstick on a pig,” suggests to me that he misses the true significance of his contradictory actions. All humans have two selves that must be reconciled with to advance both themselves and the human race.
To project the evil squarely upon a president, who may have stolen an election (even if it is true), is to dissociate from one’s own shadow self, which, as is evident in the Tony Schwartz example, continues to impact one’s life, albeit unconsciously.
The self of the first three chakras is embodied in the caricature of Donald Trump, and we all have that self. The first chakra is all about the wall and core safety. Do I have enough to survive? How much of our lives is spent on this obsession?
Birthright and entitlement spring from this chakra. Did I get the attention, resources, and security promised by the ruling archetypes of family? Have I settled with my core disappointments and resentments, or do I secretly harbor acrid bitterness and jealousy? Why do I really have to share? The bottom line is everything. “I’m all for spiritual enlightenment, just as long as I get my piece of the action,” is the perspective of this chakra.
The second chakra is truly the scourge of humankind. As a therapist of some 35 years, I know for certain that child sexual abuse is a hidden industry in all communities, at all socioeconomic levels of society. It’s an ancient shadow industry that reflects humankind’s inability to face the true depths of its animal sexual nature and, with the turning of a blind eye, relegates the instinct to target the most innocent and vulnerable.
The notion that human beings have mastered and integrated their sexual selves is absurd. Many ‘solve’ the issue of sexuality through dissociation from and repression of their sexual selves. This, of course, only empowers the collective dissociated instinct that flourishes in human trafficking and the hidden corners of spiritual traditions.
Even those moderately engaged with their sexual selves have to question how much of their sex lives are commandeered by manipulation, avoidance, obligation, personal gain, control, or simply a focus on personal desire. How much of the fullness of sexual desire is integrated with true love and meeting of another? To reach this level of refinement, sexual connection must travel to the heart center, where the egg of narcissism is cracked open to reveal the other.
The third chakra is all about personal power, as the ego comes into its own. At this locale, the ego is all about Me. I want, I need, I deserve, I desire. These are the ego’s marching orders. It’s about agency and will, deeply colored by desire steeped in narcissism. The emboldened ego serves the desires of the physical plane, be they sexual or material. The tendency is to overindulge all the appetites and be granted attention for one’s specialness.
Though many may have settled for a codependent solution here, the shadow of that dissociated will-to-power fuels the energy of a Me First president, regardless of how deeply he may be consciously disavowed.
These concrete, primal, instinctual footings of the first three chakras are the basement foundation of our spiritual being, which resides in the heart chakra. Material accumulation, carnal desire, and personal power are the building block challenges through which our soul must pass. Though we may stalk the higher values of energetic interdependence and love for all beings, at the heart chakra, if we haven’t grappled with and made peace with our own first three chakras, our experience there will be overshadowed by unrequited need.
A well-seasoned warrior is one who has faced the power of the kundalini energy of the instinctual self within, and raises it for further refinement in love, compassion, truth, and right action of the heart chakra. Arrival at this heart-centered place marks the integration of the two selves, that which is needed for evolution to proceed now. As destiny is boldly reflecting to us now, we must cross the divide from the full experience of the lower chakras to the heart chakra for evolution to proceed.
The transformation of our political landscape, that which rules the world, is directly linked to each of us, as we face the fullness of our own natures. Soulful introspection into the truth of our inner opposition, as well as a sacrificial attitude that brings moderation to the heart, as well as acquiescence to the true leadership of the High SOUL, are the keys to this transition. This is our golden opportunity to face, now, with strong foundation, and launch ourselves into the spiritual potential of a truly enlightened New Age.
To be alive in such times as these is the envy of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, who treasured the opportunity for spiritual advancement as they faced the tyranny of the invading Conquistadores. Nothing tempers the spirit more than to shake loose the bindings of self-importance, that which is needed to cleanly arrive at the sobriety of the heart chakra. Owning the tyranny of narcissism, both within and as reflected without, is to find the ark to begin the journey across the great chasm of self-reflection to SOUL purpose.