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: Remembering Is Everything

Time to take a stroll down memory lane?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In a separate reality, I was in a new school, small and simple. It was the first day of school. Another student and I were called to stand in the front of the class. We were being recognized for the papers we had written from a summer assignment. I was amazed, as the topic was science or engineering, something I hardly felt knowledgeable in.

I remembered to remember that my task was to remember. Remember people’s names, remember the layout of the school, how to get to the lunchroom, where to sit, the protocols around being served and eating. I was painfully shy, not wanting to stand out by making mistakes. The imperative was clear—remember everything so that you can smoothly fit in and navigate the school.

The evening before this dream journey I was back at The Training for Living Institute, remembering being hired as a promising prospect, though still a teenager. The layout began to materialize, the large pop art rendition of the TFL logo painted on the wall, encircled in bright colors. The spacious outer reception area with modern, comfortable chairs.

Amazingly, the names of my colleagues began to materialize as my focus opened the Akashic record of this earlier lifescape. My school dream was validating the importance of remembering, the key to retrieving all of what we are. What really is the challenge of remembering? And why do we ‘forget’ to begin with?

Children often remember their families from a prior life. Parents must quickly talk them out of it, lest they be identified for medication assessment. The truth is, however, that children do go on to forget because the main attraction is the life they are currently in, not past lives lived.

Remembering a past life is as valuable as an astrological chart. It explains  the influence of indelible prior experiences and predicts future possibilities, but ultimately the action is in the free will choices of the current life.

We do not continue a prior life; we take up the issue of a prior life in a totally new context. We will meet incomplete challenges, which we might complete in this life. Future life will pick it up from there. Perhaps a life is an opportunity to pay forward the evolution of a greater life. And so, we forget past lives so that they don’t interfere with our current opportunities.

Of course, from the perspective of our greater wholeness in infinity, indeed, we must ultimately claim all of our lives. We must be able to handle the emotion of that integration as we bring together all of our varied adventures in infinity. This level of Enlightenment is generally the challenge upon leaving this life.

When the challenge is at this level of consolidation of our wholeness, we must be capable of radical acceptance of everything. This can only be accomplished with the most refined level of love for everyone and everything—with total equanimity. Until we are ready to love at this level, many memories must be anesthetized.

In trauma, the contents of an experience are separated from consciousness to protect the stability of the personality. These ‘forgotten’ experiences nonetheless include a portion of our vital energy. Thus, loss of memory, in this case, is loss of self.

Reliving a forgotten memory through recapitulation is a soul retrieval process that restores one’s lost vital energy. Key to this restoration is the ability to experience, release, and neutralize the emotions bound to the memory. The complete acceptance of self and other, as well as the circumstances of the memory, requires achieving the refined love of equanimity. If we can’t love every experience we have ever had, we are rejecting a part of our truth.

Morality has no value in acceptance. All that happened is valid because it happened. If we remain judgmental, we are not fully accepting of a part of ourselves and a part of our history. Our future lives will continue to reflect future attempts to reach total acceptance, as we relive new permutations of our unaccepted themes.

Thus, in the context of a current life, remembering the fullness of this life is essential to fully achieving the goal of the life one is in—to resolve the major theme and core issue of this life.

From the context of our greater Soul, in infinity, wholeness requires the remembering of all the lives, all the characters, all the partners and parents, all the loves, all the losses, all the supposed sins—all with total radical acceptance and total loving equanimity.

At the greater Soul level of acceptance, we must be ready for the big bang encounter with our fuller operating system, our multi-lived selves, at the time of transition into infinity. This might require extended time in purgatory bardos, as we slowly complete our cosmic recapitulation, resolving all of our lives and all of our issues. Remembering is the ticket to consolidation of our greater wholeness.

The order of challenge is to first remember and accept everything from the life we are in. With the wholeness of our current life achieved, it’s far easier, in infinity, to remember and accept every life lived. With this consolidation of cosmic Self, perhaps we approach the ultimate memory of oneness, with Source, the single being of everything and from which we all come.

Remembering to remember,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Gasp, Then Segue

Ahhh…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

The gushing river, hammered with thunderous rain, topples the restraining power of its dikes, flooding the lands it borders. We gasp at the breakthrough of this violent release.

As the I Ching points out, in the hexagram of Breakthrough (#43), this release is the consequence of a long period of accumulated tension, such as in that of a cloudburst that results from an extended accumulation of condensation in a cloud that can no longer bear the weight of the water it holds.

That tension was released, on the one side, by those who felt it their patriotic duty to storm the Capital. From the other side, the release took the form of vindication: yes, they had indeed been living under the tyranny of a despot. Those tense energies have climaxed simultaneously, as we approach the end of one era and the dawn of a new. We are now in the time of Segue.

As Bob Monroe wrote in his book, Far Journeys:

“…’segue‘  is defined as a proper interlude of musical melodies and harmonies that moves from the conclusion of one composition to the introduction of another. ‘Proper’ infers a transition that smoothly loses that previous theme or mood and sets the stage for what is to come.” (p. 63)

How now will we compose our segue?

The I Ching states that the facts must be announced truthfully. There is danger, but it does not favor one to take up arms. Nonetheless, the I Ching states:  “Even if only one inferior man is occupying a ruling position in a city, he is able to oppress superior men.”

That kind of power must be checked.

On an individual level we are guided to address any passion still lurking in the heart that would obscure reason. Passion and reason cannot coexist, therefore the true fight is to unseat the passion so that good might prevail. If we allow ourselves to indulge in the fires of rage, from any side, we risk devolving a peaceful segue into total conflagration.

There is no compromise with evil; it must be openly discredited. This includes an objective assessment of our own passions and shortcomings. Nonetheless, it is not wise to fight evil with proactive aggression, as this would only enflame its impulse and likely infect the good with evil, as it regresses into rageful reaction.

Perhaps the best segue the I Ching can offer, from the time of Breakthrough, is to shift the composition to one of making energetic progress in the good. The flames of evil require the kindling of negativity to continue to burn. A positive, loving attitude that embraces the opportunity for energetic progress in the good can unify a nation, and a world, that the common good may finally prevail.

Segue to love,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Body Follows the Mind

Even the Earth manifests healing intent…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The body is formed and functions according to a hardwired set of autonomous rules that don’t involve consciousness. At the subconscious level of the mind these rules are activated and employed to support the daily activities of life with little conscious awareness or input.

The belief that our genetics will basically control our physical destiny is an assumption that underlies modern attitudes toward the body. This is supported by the fact that the genetic makeup of an individual is in fact preprogrammed and if left to its own devices will predictably evolve along the lines of its innate algorithms.   

Consciousness has the power to break ranks with these powerfully controlling inner laws. At a simple level, a body predisposed to diabetes may have some control over the manifestation of that disease through the exercise of certain food choices. This same principle applies to many potential diseases that may not activate due to preventative behavioral choices.

At a higher more subtle mental level is the influence of belief on physical conditions. This is dramatically demonstrated with the placebo effect, where mental belief alone might cure or cause a disease. Thus, ascertaining one’s core beliefs, assessing the power of their influence, and considering suspending those beliefs in the service of manifesting a new possibility is a good practice to deepen one’s influence upon the body.

At an even more subtle dimension of the mind is the fact that thought is an energetic entity. Thoughts, in fact, have the possibility to randomly fly out of the head and enter the headspace of another person. The power of directed thought to manifest an action on the physical plane is demonstrated by the healing intent being transferred in a Reiki or Therapeutic Touch session.

At an even deeper subtle mental dimension is the fact that while in human form, that is, alive in a human body, the body serves the evolution of consciousness. Thus, if our growth requires changes in our body to support our spiritual growth, our consciousness might be able to rewrite or take charge of the rules that typically govern our physical functioning.

This level of potential change requires that we are in full acceptance of our body as is, that we can truly say we love it. If we are at war with our body we will have difficulty transcending its limitations, as the energy of change is the energy of love. Our process of change at this stage will require much attention to deep, loving acceptance of what is. The potential of what might be can only be built upon this loving foundation.

With the exercise of free will in choices, in suspending limiting beliefs, in sending positive healing thoughts and love to the body, in evolving overall consciousness, anything is possible. At least until proven otherwise!

Love and blessings,

Chuck 

Chuck’s Place: The Path to Heart

Wherever your path to heart may lead…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Often, what is experienced as traumatic in the moment becomes the seed of great growth and liberation when viewed from a deeper perspective at a future time.

Maya, a central concept in Hindu cosmology, is considered illusion at the level of everyday life, as events in the moment veil the fuller picture beyond the container of space and time. Yet, at the fully transparent level of the highest spiritual plane, Maya radiates as ultimate truth. The key to accessing ultimate truth is to revisit experience from the fullest and deepest perspective.

Thus, everything that challenges us, no matter how terrifying or painful, ultimately has the potential to lead us into deeper truth as we trod upon our path to heart. However, to benefit from this gift we must allow ourselves to review what we have already lived, by viewing it with a ruthlessly open and conscious mind and heart.

In viewing from a different perspective, we can release the emotions that have protectively shielded us and view the deeper truth that lies beyond our limiting beliefs. With this, the protective chaff falls away, as we now have direct access to the seed of our fuller knowing and future possibility.

One great antagonist in 2020 is Covid-19. At the level of everyday human life, its impact upon the world has been devastating. As a world, we hope to neutralize its impact upon us, even as I write. Many lives have been lost at the physical level, and many livelihoods and life plans have been radically changed through the lethal invasion of this virus.

Beyond personal impact, however, is the interruption it is causing to the energetic flow of the planet. Travel is severely limited. Gatherings of humanity, even the smallest of nuclear families, are suspended in physical space and consigned to connection only at the vibrational level of virtual reality.

The next higher vibrational dimension of humanity, the soul level, operates via thought and feeling, in its energy body, independent of the physical body. Though the virtual reality experience during the pandemic has largely been dependent upon human technology, it has also challenged the physical human being to find mental and emotional connection in non-physical contact. This has been a tremendous crash course on spiritual contact beyond the human body.

Of course, we all crave physical contact, as we also exist in human form. However, we are being ushered, via virtual reality, into another dimension of our human potential. When this potential is more inwardly developed, via the discovery and practice of innate psychic powers—such as intuition, conscious dreaming, and telepathy—the door is opened to unlimited possibility for travel and connection beyond physical reality.

Within the physical dimension, the quality of connection is spiritually enhanced to include greater movement to the heart, in a deeper experience of abstract love; that is, love beyond strictly physical attachment. The legacy of Covid-19 has launched us forever into a greater world of energetic possibility to satisfy our deeper mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Donald Trump has certainly presented as both central protagonist or antagonist, depending upon your perspective, in 2020. In fact, as I write this blog, it remains unclear what is actually going to happen at the completion of his current term.

Regardless of one’s perspective, Donald Trump has championed the fact that reality is truly relative. He has shown us that it is consensus of agreement that actually generates a reality. What we believe is true is more powerful than objective reality.

This is most powerfully demonstrated via the placebo effect in scientific medical trials. Many a person has actually been cured of a disease because they wholeheartedly believed they were being administered the curing agent, even if it was actually a placebo sugar pill. Though medicine may dismiss the change as mere placebo, cure is cure! The power of belief can concretely transfigure physical reality.

The power of the subconscious to change our mental and physical conditions is the essence of hypnosis. What we tell ourselves, often via forgotten or unknown subconscious programs, is what we manifest.

Donald Trump, as master hypnotist, has demonstrated the power of repetitive speech to determine one’s belief system. The use of affirmations, mantra, prayer, and suggestion to shift belief and behavior is extremely powerful. The collective massing of such efforts, when attuned to the common good, can spiritually advance the planet.

Donald Trump has also embodied the ego at its me-first zenith, which is a reflection of the collective planetary ego of our time. Every individual human must face that the dominance of the ego within their own personality is their greatest resistance to desired spiritual growth.

On a planetary level, it is the collective human ego that puts the wants and desires of itself above the true needs of the whole planet, presenting the greatest blockade to needed planetary change. Donald Trump has impeccably embodied this attitude of resistance, reflecting humanity’s struggle with its own massive ego entrenchment.

For the planet to arrive at the heart center, the needed perspective for planetary survival, the ego must acquiesce to the needs of the greater planetary whole. It is inevitable that we will get there, but we don’t know how far planetary disruption will go before we arrive at the heart center consensus.

To arrive at the position of unconditional love for all that is, is where we are headed. Begin to practice it now in full unconditional love for self. To love every aspect of self, from lowest to highest, will end the need for projection of one’s personal evil upon other.

To love other as self is indeed the path to heart. May we all take giant steps upon it this coming year.

Love to all,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The Soul of Winter

Heading into the light…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Today marks the first day of rising above our deepest darkness. With the completion of the passage through the Winter Solstice we begin the daily incremental lengthening of the light. Despite the barrenness of winter, the light will continue to support us .

Light is the essence of pure Spirit, which is our Source, without body. Before we arrive at this ultimate destination, Spirit is housed within the various soul bodies we inhabit, beginning with the densest, the physical body. Thus our soul resides within the physical body for the duration of our earthly tour, generally only sneaking out in our nightly dreams in infinity.

When we depart this dimension of life our Spirit moves on, housed in the soul body, also called the astral or energy body. We remain in that body until we have fully squared with the issues of the physical life we just lived. This region is variously called limbo, purgatory, or bardo states.

Upon release of these denser attachments, the Spirit rises into finer soul body states, as it proceeds on its definitive journey toward its Source. This progression toward the final merger with Spirit, in pure loving light, is wholly dependent upon the release and fulfillment of issues encountered in the denser regions of soul existence.

Winter is the densest season of the earthly cycle. Matter becomes thick, rigid and immobile. In human winter we experience depression, disconnection, and alienation from the light of Spirit. Some people sit beneath or wear light boxes to reconnect to their Spirit, as they rise above their heavy mood into the lightness of being.

Religious traditions, from pagan through Christian, celebrate the Solstice with the birth of the light, a connection to Spirit in the dark night of the soul of winter. Regardless of one’s weighted emotional state, hope is kindled in that which only increases the Spirit in the light.

The human body is innervated with energetic connections to all its finer soul body states through the seven chakras. Chakras one through four—which include the perineum, the reproductive organs, the solar plexus and the heart—deal specifically with life in the physical world, which covers survival, relationship, emotion, and ego concerns.

Thus the densest issues in human life are encountered in these chakra areas. The work of these chakras is in the challenges of physical life, as  experienced through developmental processes that render one progressively capable of autonomy, self sufficiency, and love.

Thus, for instance, the solar plexus serves as the birthplace of the ego that becomes a willful human being with intense emotion. Though largely steeped in dense narcissism at its earliest stage, it must be refined in the furnace of the solar plexus to rise to the lightness of the heart chakra, where it first encounters Spirit and the possibility of true love of another.

The heart actually presents its own furnace of transformation, as love must suffer its own journey from naive innocence to mature innocence in the vicissitudes of fantasy and relationship. Before refined love can rise to the higher Spirit chakras it must release the density of pain and blame.

Many a denser emotion is clamped down upon in the throat chakra. Such stuck energy is sent back down to the heart and solar plexus for further processing before its refined energy can comfortably pass through the throat chakra to the third eye and crown chakras above.

Thus, in human life, much time is necessarily spent in the lower chakras, working on and resolving core issues. In this respect, much of human life, regardless of actual season, can feel like the dead of winter. No blame here; it’s our karma, our core reason for choosing the life we are in—to come to Earth School to refine and rise above a specific issue.

The soul of winter reminds us that at anytime of year, at anytime in life, we do have access to our highest level of Spirit, that burns bright regardless of the darkness of our mood. The light of day, the stars and moon of night, the mere clicking on of a light, are all instant connections to this Source in light.

Inwardly, ask for help and guidance from all the light beings who watch over you and await your call. Ask and you shall receive. Just be mindful that ego must surrender to the Tao of Spirit, that has its own knowing way to truly answer our call!

Honoring the Soul of Winter, with love to all!

Chuck