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: Sex & The Uninitiated Male

Why would men with such material wealth and power need to abuse that power for sexual contact with a woman? In fact, why would any man need to abuse his power to have a sexual experience with a woman?

True union…

Abuse of power is aggression. If a man exercises aggression to gain access to a woman, that man must, on some level, be terrified of woman. In his eyes, woman wields some power over him, which he must subdue to feel safe enough to engage with her.

It must also be stressed that “sex” under these circumstances has nothing to do with union, true joining with another person. Though the man may indeed gain access to his victim’s body, his sexual gratification remains purely narcissistic, locked within himself. Regardless of his victim’s physical reaction to his intrusion, there is no actual meeting in such an encounter. The man exits this kind of encounter still a prisoner to his own terror of woman.

All human beings issue forth into life as infants from the most powerful being on Earth: Mother! She who gives, nurtures and can even take life. The terror and total dependency upon this powerful Mother Goddess may recede into the unconscious as a man ages and develops in autonomy, but the power of this female imprint persists and is projected onto all women, the fascinating but terrifying, dangerous other. Even nonaggressive males deal with this terror.

Male initiation rituals, puberty rites of the ancients, resolved this dilemma for all males in a community by breaking the initiate’s dependence upon Mother through deliverance to the power of true adult standing within the community. From this position a man could stand on equal, albeit different footing from woman, and a genuine meeting with woman could happen devoid of violence.

Our modern world has rationalized itself beyond the need for initiation rites. Today these are largely held in the sacred journeys of therapy where the patient-initiate must slay the dragon of his Mother Complex to finally be able to see woman as equal partner.

What modern powerful men such as Weinstein, Cosby, and even Trump with his “pussy grabbing” reveal is that the acquisition of economic and material power in no way initiates a male into true adult manhood. Power might position a man to touch a woman as he pleases, but he’ll never touch a woman’s  soul or experience a genuine union with her unless he achieves true manhood.

Manhood requires initiation. Initiation requires the defeat of the dependencies and the entitlements of childhood. Modern men must find their way to the initiation chamber on their own, with little or no community support. One modern initiation chamber, the psychotherapist’s office, is ready and waiting to provide the sacred space for the journey to real manhood.

Sex for the uninitiated man is his own narcissistic cell, a world of one. No amount of material acquisition or political muscle will release him from this solitary confinement. Only through taking the journey to slay his inner dragons may he be freed to enter the world and truly and safely be with a woman in real union.

Chuck

A special Sunday blog by Chuck Ketchel, LCSW-R

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: Nature’s Way

My body stilled as I stared in heightened awareness at the fish, equally frozen, some twenty feet below the ocean surface. Effortlessly, without thought, I gently sank as my fish awaited my spear, the first I was to shoot, ever, after many weeks of trying.

Immediately following the calm of this numinous encounter I was overtaken by a surge of hunter energy that possessed me to shoot wildly in a feverish effort to add to my bounty. My spear missed every fish.

Frantically I raced to reload my spear, great pressure exerted to reset the spear in the back of my slingshot style gun. This time the spear missed its setting completely and forcefully penetrated the palm of my hand. I blacked out.

Next thing I knew, I opened my eyes to find myself sitting alone on a deserted beach, spear and gun at my side, my injured hand packed in sand. I brushed aside the sand, no bleeding, only the imprint from the back of the spear stigmatized into my palm: a Zia, the Pueblo Indian mandala of the sacred circle and the four directions. The gods had meted out both their punishment and their healing. I had been initiated  into the human hunter clan. My hubris was humbled. I was taught moderation and respect for life.

The Age of Aquarius was ushered in with overwhelming numinous energy. The Beatles, themselves a four-sided mandala, heralded an archetypal influx of spirit energy that put the world into trance and opened human consciousness to infinite possibility. If I put my original Meet the Beatles on the turntable right now I am immediately delivered to that energy; it is sacred shamanic music.

The 60s broke open direct experience of the spiritual dimensions. There were many casualties of excess. As the Modern Age has progressed so has the shattering of limits reached every sphere of existence. Most excessive has been the human population, which treats the world as its oyster, with little concern for balance, health, or the  sanctity of all life on the planet.

Like my mishap in loading my gun our world is now being humbled by nature to temper its greed and disrespect. Nature has delivered its hurricanes, fires and floods with volcanoes abrewing. Nature has taken possession of world leaders, rendering them untethered hot air balloons, catapulting the demise of greedy rule.

The destructive side of Nature also shows up in a human psychosis that results in a mass killing spree. This storm reeks its havoc through human psyche and human hands. Nothing is impervious to nature’s intent for change.

Indeed, Mr. President, it is “pure evil”. Evil, however, will always take charge when the will of the ego has transgressed the laws of nature and thrown the world into untenable imbalance. Are we ready to question why the uninitiated human hunter is allowed to be armed with an arsenal? If we cannot submit to moderation we must suffer the consequences of excess.

How far will nature’s destructive side need to go? When will it deliver its healing balm? Destruction is leading us to the healing. Love that transcends greed is birthing in the Caribbean. Necessity is so great that only true human compassion can ensure survival.

Nature has launched an all-out offensive to shift human consciousness, to bring it to truly embrace moderation or face further destruction. Until we are solidly fixed in this new attitude as a species we can expect the destructive side of nature to continue to unleash its war on our old attitudes of superiority and unbridled greed, like the inflation I experienced as I voraciously sought to possess all the fish in the ocean!

But nature, as I experienced sitting upon the beach, wants us to learn not to perish. Nature nurtures life and nature heals our wounds. It’s Nature’s Way. May we join nature’s healing intent: drop the greed, embrace compassion and accept moderation. Moderation is indeed nature’s intent for our species now. May we find our way there and be healed.

Embracing Nature’s intent,

Chuck

 

Chuck’s Place: Finding a Safe Place Within

The earth quakes from below and the winds blow from above as threatening words rock the safety and stability of our world. No reassurance can be trusted from without; we must find our safe place within.

Scariest ride imaginable!
– Photo credit GreatAdventureHistory.com

When I was a young boy I pleaded in prayer for a direct experience of God. My prayers were answered in a shattering vibrational experience that overwhelmed my consciousness. The buzz of billions of crickets filled my ears as vibrations became vividly colored and ferociously persistent. I was certain that I would soon dissolve into nothingness. Somehow I managed to hold on long enough for this numinous state to release me from its grip and return me to normalcy.

Once the door to this experience was opened it returned frequently over many years. Every time it showed up I was confronted with annihilation. One day I had the idea to imagine myself as a driver of a race car. It worked. I discovered my safe place behind the image of a steering wheel, my hands gripping the wheel, gaining some control by riding the vibrations. Embodied in this image I could race in circles, carving a boundary of self to withstand the disintegrating force. This image was to preserve my consciousness and sense of self in countless perilous encounters.

Years later I was preparing to leave America, perhaps for good, with my young wife, Jeanne. This was a great leap into an adventure we both desired, but beneath the surface was a serious question as to whether or not our relationship could continue into the next phase of our lives.

Before we left we found ourselves at Great Adventure Amusement Park. I hated, avoided all roller coasters. I decided to challenge myself to find a safe place on a ride called Lightnin’ Loops, the scariest roller coaster imaginable. I needed to take a leap to prepare myself for perhaps an even greater leap into the unknown.

I was secured in my seat. The ride began. I closed my eyes tightly and consciously breathed, relaxing my muscles. As the ride crept up to the zenith, where it might plunge forward or backward—either way a terrifying drop—I intensified my command to go calmer, relax, and breathe!

I succeeded in staying calm throughout that entire first ride and then through subsequent rides, as I obsessively repeated the ride using the same approach, but with eyes open, going even deeper into calm. My safe place evolved, as my ability to call my intent to go deeper into calm evolved. Incidentally, we did set off on our great adventure and left America for a time, confronting the possibility of the annihilation of our marriage and our union, with eyes wide open, acquiescing to the process by going deeper into calm.

For years, like many people, I avoided dental visits so as to not have the experience of numb mouth for hours after a procedure requiring  novocaine shots. I always had the fear that I might accidentally bite my tongue because I simply couldn’t feel it until the novocaine wore off. One day I decided to request that the dentist drill a cavity without using novocaine. He reluctantly agreed, reassuring me that we could and might have to stop and administer novocaine, as the pain would likely become intolerable.

Inwardly, I decided to master the pain by simply defining it as a sensation, and also a signal to go calmer. The truth is, I never needed novocaine again for cavities or crowns. I don’t recommend this approach to anyone, but do want to stress the power of intent and self-suggestion to ride through what might commonly be considered very threatening circumstances.

In our current world, nature and rulers are undermining our most basic security. We must turn inward to find our security and control in this free-fall of a world we now find ourselves in. We can access our safe place to successfully ride through these times by using our intent and our self-suggestion.

We cannot stop the world from changing. Mother Earth is in the midst of contractions as she reshapes our world. However, we can access our own inner ark to navigate her waves of contractions. That ark is in our intent.

Go deeper into calm. Breathe. Let every shockwave be interpreted as a signal to go even deeper into calm. Forge a secure boundary around yourself. Steady as you go.

Peace & calm,

Chuck

Sage Guidance for Now

The energy we prefer to spread…

Jan and I drove into our little village of Red Hook yesterday to be greeted at the main crossroad by a pickup truck sporting a huge half- American half-confederate flag blowing in the wind in the bed of the truck. The energy of the war drums pounding is palpable everywhere. How to respond? We turn to some sage guidance from the person we consider to be the wisest of the 20th Century, whose reach has yet to be fully realized, C. G. Jung, from his collected letters Volume 2, p. 502-3.

On April 28, 1959 Jung responded to a question as to why he didn’t protest against the injustice done to Tibet by the Chinese occupation. Here is his response:

“You are quite right: I also ask myself why I do not use the means that appear to be at my disposal to do my bit in combating the atrocities that are going on in the world. I can give no rational reasons for this. In such matters I usually wait for an order from within. I have heard nothing of the kind. The world situation has got so hopelessly out of hand that even the most stirring words signify nothing. It would be more to the point, or so it seems to me, if each of us were sure of his own attitude. But an individual who thinks that his voice is heard afar merely exposes himself to the suspicion that he is one of that band who have said something in order to prove to themselves that they have done something whereas in reality they have done nothing at all. Words have become too cheap. Being is more difficult and is therefore fondly replaced by verbalizing. Unfortunately this is all I have to say on the matter.”

What Jung is suggesting is that we act when we hear the order to do so from within ourselves. That order issuing not from impulse but from the quiet certainty of the heart. In the meantime the real contribution is to take on one’s own being, truly reconciling the opposing energies within the self. This is the playing field for world peace, the holographic solution.

Peace,

Chuck