Category Archives: Chuck’s Blog

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.

Chuck’s Place: The Turning Point

No Pipeline!

On Sunday, The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project that threatened the sanctity of life on Roberts Mountain, was cancelled by its sponsoring companies. The impact of the coronavirus creating a world energy glut laid bare the truth that the cost of fracking and transporting natural gas via the pipeline was a financial absurdity. Even the recent Supreme Court decision to remove all regulatory roadblocks to the pipeline could not justify this 8 billion dollar project to its investors.

In our joy, Jan and I clearly realized that the world is now in the time of the Turning Point, hexagram number 24 in the I Ching. The corporate ┬ádecision was announced between thunderstorms. The Turning Point is composed of thunder beneath the Earth. Five Yin lines rest upon a Yang line at the bottom of the hexagram. The energy of new life is stirring in the Earth, and the heart. The Turning Point is the first substantial sign of long-awaited change; may it be handled with care. Here are the I Ching’s cautionary guidelines, interpreted from and with my personal insights:

Nine in the first place: To stray from the truth of the heart in small digressions is natural, however, be sure to turn around before a habit is formed. If one is enlightened of one’s illusion, shift position and embrace the truth. No shame is attached to abandoning that which does not serve the high Soul or the common good.

Six in the second place: Here the ego is encouraged to quietly subordinate itself to the truth of the heart, the intent of the high Soul. “Quiet”, writes Aurobindo (Powers Within, p. 120), “is a condition in which there is no restlessness or disturbance.” Ego is deeply calm when it acts upon its true vocation, the intent of its high Soul. Meditative practice that masters the automatic reactions of the autonomic nervous system can support this relationship.

Six in the third place: Here we encounter the Sisyphus of constantly doing that which I would not. These are the reversals of good resolutions brought on by the desire body’s influence upon a receptive ego. Ultimately, this is not a disaster; one simply will have to do it over again until one gets it right.

Six in the fourth place: Stay connected to your inner truth. We are surrounded by contrary views and the opinions of others. The power of true connection with one’s high Soul is the only friend one will ever need. There is no need to prove anything to anyone, proof rests in the knowing heart.

Six in the fifth place: Assume responsibility for manifesting your high Soul’s intent for your life. This requires deep self examination and honesty on the part of the ego. Admitting and relinquishing one’s attachment to illusions frees tremendous energy for one’s true mission, the intent of the high Soul.

Six at the top: Beware of blind obstinacy, it leads to misfortune. Refusal to answer the call of the high Soul ensnares one in an ever-deepening rift from right action; a slippery slope into the abyss. Mortality has its limits.

In summary, the time of the Turning Point is most auspicious. The underlying burst of energy to initiate change has arrived. However, as the guidance emphasizes, much effort in shaping needed change rests in the hands of the ego, which must first and foremost wrestle with its humanness.

Humanness is often governed by the inherent archetypes, the ruling parents. We are all children of those archetypes, charged with transcending their governance through arriving at right action, rooted in the truth of the heart center.

Nature is providing us with the thunder, let’s use it wisely.

At the Turning Point,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Endurance

Kundalini energy rising…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I would be neglectful indeed, in my duty as a licensed psychotherapist, were I not to validate the obvious current world predicament: walking the razor’s edge of latent collective psychosis. I would also be neglectful in my duty as a transpersonal psychotherapist were I not to share my vision of the multidimensional drama that veils our vision, just as the sands of the Sahara now blanket the world. Beyond the veil of ignorance coated by those desert sands lies the path of heart, the path of our redemption.

Psychosis, in modern psychological nomenclature, depicts a mental state where the ego, as the central governing force of the personality, sinks into the abyss of unconscious forces, as the personality becomes a rudderless ship taken over by the turbulent forces of nature. That violent nature, generally subdued by the matador, is overrun by the bull, the ultimate surge of a bull market, an inflation that refuses to yield to the axiom: what goes up must come down.

In earlier times, when modern psychology was expressed in spiritual terms, our current situation would be understood as the activation of the gods, what we now term the archetypes, competing with their enormous instinctual energies, in a game of chess with humans as their channeled pawns.

From a transpersonal perspective, the war we are in is ego vs archetype. When archetype possesses ego we risk psychosis. Ego’s challenge in such an onslaught, is to endure. To endure is to resist the enticing power and energy of the archetypes, the fine print of which is a truly Mephistophelian contract: total possession, loss of soul, slavery to the activated archetype.

Archetypes are spirit entities that program a species, the deeply subconscious patterns that rule instinctual life. They enjoyed total domination for millennia until the birth of human consciousness, an event that introduced the possibility of refusing or manipulating the emotional intensity and compulsion of instinct.

This power wrestled from the archetypes upset their balance and control over human life. Suppression and repression of instinct renders archetypes dormant but not dead. Jung wrote often, before the outbreak of WWII, that Wotan, the restless wanderer god of pagan origin, was stirring from the primordial depths, seizing control of the collective German psyche.

Inspiration from the archetypes seeks outlet in human life and is channeled, by human egos, in highly emotional spirited messages. The power and energy of these spirit forces are contagious, stirring frenzy in the masses. Their identifying mark is their disdain for reason, the human ego prison guard of instinctual energies. There is no reasoning with an archetype, instinct alone prevails.

Endurance is the capacity of the ego to weather the storms of passion without falling prey to possession. From a chakra perspective this is accomplished by containing the kundalini energy, the energy of the archetypes, forcing it to rise to the level of the heart chakra.

Pragmatically, this means refusing to engage the emotions of anger and sadness that feed the archetypes. Instead, go inward and exert calm over the excited kundalini emotion that begs outlet in excited action. Calm the autonomic nervous system with its typically unregulated dominance over the body. Send its energy through the breath to the cool respite of the heart chakra.

The heart chakra is the direct link to the Buddhic plane, the home of truth, love, and compassion. Kundalini at the level of the heart acquiesces to serve the High SOUL, as the true guide to right action. The pressure of world survival now is to rise to the level of action in conformance with true need over subjective want, it’s that simple.

All humans of all political persuasions are subject to this rising tide of kundalini energy seeking refuge in planetary survival. May the eyes of the masked and the unmasked meet in loving embrace.

From a transpersonal perspective, our current brush with psychosis is really our collective walking along the razor’s edge above the abyss, as we seek the solidity of higher ground.

Humanity is charged with raising the spiritual level of the planet beyond the blind control of the archetypes. The heart center is our destiny. May we endure this grueling transformation fueled with love for all. All for one, one for all.

With loving endurance,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: High SOUL, Bringer of Dreams

High Soul behind the mist, never doubt it…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The settings and characters of dreams come from many dimensions of being, but it is one’s High SOUL, or High Self if you prefer, that brings the dream. We might become lucid and change the direction of a dream, but this is consciousness only responding to High SOUL’S challenge to move life in a new direction, not the ego originating its own dream.

If we are able to exercise faith by suspending judgment, and with great concentration, call upon High SOUL to respond to our request, we might indeed invoke a response from High SOUL in the most powerful of dream experiences. Nonetheless, the bringer of the requested dream remains the High SOUL.

Suspending judgment means suspending the dominance of the mental plane which tends to splinter our will. Thinking uses opposition and contrast to build its arguments and conclusions. Opposing thoughts inspire doubts, generating internal civil war. Civil war consumes the energy of the splintered mind, neutering the opportunity to reach the transpersonal dimension of being.

High SOUL resides in the transpersonal realm. To reach it we need focused energy intent on connection. Suspending judgment does not dismiss the value of rationality, it merely shelves it while it sets out to open to the possibility of direct communication with the Divine, that is its High SOUL.

Regardless of our ability to gather our energy for focused connection, High SOUL delivers us everyday its communications and blessings in the dreams it brings us. Even nightmares fit the bill!

To wake ourselves up from a nightmare is High SOUL seeing to our growth. To not attach to a nightmare is High SOUL teaching us to navigate. To be forewarned by a nightmare is High SOUL manifesting as guide.

Dreams of immoral delight are High SOUL revealing to us the depths of our shadow. Dreams with departed loved ones are High SOUL offering reunions and opportunities to complete karma. Dreams that suggest what the future might be are High SOUL pre-cognitively preparing us for the inevitable vicissitudes of life and death.

Dreams that reflect our highest conscious aspirations are High SOUL cheering us on to stay the course. Dreams that manifest our doubts are High SELF highlighting our hidden forebodings. Dreams out of body are High SELF allowing us to truly be more than our physical bodies.

Offer deep thanks and praise to High SOUL, bringer of dreams. Suspend judgment and give yourself permission to love and embrace your highest of all SOULMATES, High SOUL, bringer of dreams!

Dream on,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: 47

Elmer Green tells of his 1941 vision dream shortly after his marriage to Alyce. In the dream he opens a zipper bag and pulls out two gold sweaters, one for each of them, each with the purple colored number 47 sewn into them.

When he asks his Teacher the meaning of 47, he is told that 4 means squaring with 7, the number of Divine Law. To square with Divine Law is to become akarmic, where the personality “no longer generates effects in the world for its own personal reasons” ( From The Ozawkie Book of the Dead, by Elmer Green, p. 233.)

Jan reminds me that Jeanne died at 47. She indeed squared with her karma. Her guidance to this world is pure, reflecting the highest intent of SOUL.

The monk, Tsung Tsai, stares unblinkingly at the sorcerer, Mr. Lei, who in trance rings three bells for three non-stop hours. In the end, Mr. Lei stops, soaked in perspiration, and exits.

“Mr. Lei is finished” states Tsung Tsai. “He tries to chant me. Take my power… I am too strong for him. Simple monk have freedom. Freedom has power.” (From Bones of the Master, George Crane, p. 290.)

Simple monk has mastered detachment from the lower chakras, squaring with karma attached to the material world. Sorcerers are masters of control of the material world. They conjure, control, and delight in their ability to manipulate sentient life and the physical world.

The key to Tsung Tsai’s power is, like the Buddha, to stare unflinching at the delightful and fearful offings of Maya, refusing to gasp, grasp, or attach. In calm emptiness of desire, sorcery has no hook, one is freed to square with karma.

Have love and respect for the sorcerer. The sorcerer sacrifices its soul to challenge the warrior. Only through such challenges will warriors find their way on their path of heart.

The sorcerers in the temple challenged Christ to face his rage. Darth Vader challenged his son, Luke, to move beyond the dark side of the force through reaching the place of no pity: pure non-attachment. In non-attachment there is only allegiance to the truth and right action. In getting to non-attachment, the personal has been fully squared with.

We are living in a time of great sorcery, as spirits from all sides prepare for encounter. As the Gita counsels, all sides are necessary players in this cosmic war, this day, the day of the solstice, the longest day of the year.

The opportunity to square with Divine Law, to stare unflinchingly without gasping, grasping, or attaching is Tsung Tsai’s guidance. 47 is Jeanne’s guidance, who incidentally was born on June 21st.

May the force be with you,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Into that Good Night

Unity & Equanimity

In the light of day the solid world appears safely discernible. As darkness approaches the discernible melds into blackness. Anxious anticipation and fear replace confidence and security, as that which awaits in the darkness draws near.

“Go to the light” is the guidance of spiritual traditions. We turn on the lights to dominate the night, to safely traverse night’s feared demons. Home security systems promise protection from real or imagined demonic projections upon the darkness.

But what is the truth of those inner demonic projections, so frequently veiling the truth of the night? Jung appropriately named that disowned portion of the psyche, that which lives in the shadow. For Freud, the personal portion of the shadow was the sequestered human animal, whose sexual and aggressive politically incorrect impulses were relegated to wish fulfillment dreams.

Jung extended the reach of the shadow into all the unknown dimensions of self. Just the venture of letting go of ego control in the journey of sleep is a leap of faith. Who can guarantee that a night’s sleep will deliver them into life in a new day?

Dream is a natural entry point into the subtle spirit realm. As the body sleeps, the spirit naively launches into journeys in infinity. Will it safely return? Will its cord to the physical body remain intact?

What encounters will the spirit face beyond Freud’s wish fulfillments or repressed sins? Beyond the personal lies the collective, replete with entities unsettled and seeking. How will spirit handle these encounters? Will it be drawn into heavens of delight, or into hells of terror? These are the challenges of the journey of the dark night of the soul.

Beyond the collective lies the transpersonal, the light of the high SOUL. But the truth is that high SOUL is the Yin/Yang of white and black. In blackness is latent spirit. In light is spirit manifest. The light of the manifest requires shadow. Without contrast there is nonexistence.

To seek the safety of the light without owning one’s contrasting shadow ill prepares one for one’s true spiritual journey. One must reckon with and explore the fullness of one’s unknown self to avoid the trap of negative projection upon blackness, and the false security of clinging to the one-sidedness of the light.

All beings are black and white. To achieve the lightness of being needed for true ascension we must reconcile with, own, and treasure this wholeness. Without the darkness of the unknown our heaven in infinity would terminate in boredom. Without the light of consciousness to navigate the darkness we’d surely lose our way.

Inextricably united, may black and white journey in oneness into that good night.

Intending integrated wholeness,

Chuck