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: Being In Presence

Being in presence…
– Photo by Chuck

Our truest parent is our Spirit, which has provided us with a reflection of itself as an ego entity, and charged us to lead this human life of material being with consciousness, on  a mission of progress, the underlying intent of all nature.

Spirit’s material clothing for its fledgling offspring is the prefrontal neocortex of the brain, that houses the functions and states of ego that make conscious decision making possible. Spirit, in its intent for progress, equipped little ego spirit with the ability to alter the accrued binding laws of life, known as archetypes, which, without interference, directed life actions until the dawn of ego consciousness.

Ego, with its ability to quickly override the rules of its conservative evolutionary inheritance, is nonetheless still but a child quaking in its boots, as it assumes its assigned task to responsibly lead both its individual life and the life of the planet. The world stage today reflects ego’s developmental struggle to emerge from its insecure narcissistic adolescence into assuming true adult responsibility, for the greater good of all.

Spirit never abandoned its ego progeny; its eyes rest peacefully and lovingly—but not interferingly—behind the ego’s eyes that, of necessity, remain fixated upon the outer material view of the world. What Kahlil Gibran counsels all parents, as regards their children, applies to Spirit as well:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. 

Nonetheless, Spirit’s seeing is not encumbered by the shadows that veil  ego’s perception and interpretation of its limited worldview. Spirit sees ego’s projections upon its fellow humans that mirror its own unknown or disavowed self. Spirit sees the power drives of the archetypes, powerful spirits in their own right, competing and vying for life through the ego’s decisions on life’s earthly stage.

Ego, in its humbleness, might at any moment turn inward and ask its Spirit what it sees. Spirit never judges; all roads lead to evolution and must be trodden. Spirit only tells the truth if ego seeks its guidance. If ego is hiding from the truth, Spirit will show it this truth by way of a compensating dream.

Spirit will suggest ego get calm and notice all the events that are happening within its purview, from a blinking light to a cardinal’s song to an open book that falls to the floor. This is the language of truth that greets all of us every day, in every which way we turn.

Spirit also offers ego the communion of being in presence. In the quiet calm of meditation, as the sensory world is put to rest, ego and Spirit come home to each other in the deepest of calmness and oneness of being. Ego can walk any road in life with the knowing of this most intimate relationship ever present, within and without.

Walk with confidence and tread lovingly,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: I Want

Spirit wants matter…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In the beginning was  Intent, and Intent attracted to it a material world and all life in it. Intent, as represented in thought and image, is the magnetic blueprint that draws to it the material life we are in. One “I” of “I want” is the intent of our spirit  that has drawn to us the physical body we don during our human journey in this world.

Our spirit body, the home of intent, is composed of our high self, ego self, and subconscious self.

From the high self is delivered the blueprint for the life we will enter. This encapsulates our spirit’s intent, our mission for the life we are in.

The ego is the seat of our individual consciousness that allows us choice, our personal connection to intent, within the life of our spirit’s design.

The subconscious is the home of the desire body that, through the law of attraction, transforms suggestion (spirit) into physical existence (matter). When the subconscious is given the suggestion, “I want,” it automatically prepares the body to receive and act to produce the desired outcome.

The subconscious is a highly sophisticated manufacturing and maintenance facility. The subconscious is nature’s brain. The subconscious automatically operates all physical systems and cycles of life, without consciousness, in the human body.

The subconscious does not think, it follows orders. Its inborn orders are the genetics, instincts and archetypes that govern a specific species. The subconscious also has access to the akashic library, the reservoir of all human experience and knowledge, past and present.

When life presents us with any circumstance, the subconscious scans its resources and activates the program it associates most specifically to the situation presented. This action is called habit; no conscious thinking involved. When we drive and someone runs in front of us, the subconscious automatically reads the danger and directs the foot to brake.

The subconscious can be influenced by suggestions beyond the dominant programs of nature. The ego can choose actions that override nature’s laws. Though we may be dead tired, we can force ourselves to stay awake. Though we are attracted to somebody, we can choose not to approach them. Though we may not be truly hungry, we can force ourselves to eat.

The ego, with its constant internal dialogue, writes programs that the subconscious obeys. Thus, if my ego tells itself that it is inferior, the subconscious activates neurotransmitters that provide it with a depressed mood.

The subconscious also receives the suggestions that spirit forces seek to deliver to us. The universal law to progress, in this life and beyond, is to be helpful to those whom one can truly help. Spirits beyond human life, who have evolved and have guidance to offer, known as spirit guides and guardian angels, constantly offer helpful suggestions to our subconscious minds, the medium that receives their subtle energetic impressions.

These suggestions suddenly burst forth upon our ego consciousness in the form of images, thoughts, intuitions, inspirations and wants that the subconscious presents to the ego as it awaits orders. Often the ego is unaware of the origin of these offerings ushered upon consciousness by the subconscious acting as medium to spirit.

Frequently, the ego takes credit for these creations in an inflated state of grandiosity. Nonetheless, consciousness is given the opportunity to examine the suggestion and choose a course of action. However, the ego must choose wisely, as not all suggestions are the offerings of benevolent spirits!

Just as the living human race is challenged by greed and self interest, so is the spirit world populated by souls at different levels of development. Many a departed soul clings to life in this material world through association with the physically living. Though their suggestions might appear desirable, their human impact might prove detrimental. Choose wisely.

To return to the phrase ‘I want’, we do well to question who the ‘I’ is within us. Suggestions abound from the spirit world, and the material world, in the form of subtle marketing suggestions. These suggestions are impressed upon the subconscious, with many rising to the level of consciousness, for review.

To really claim ownership of ‘I’, consciousness must own and agree to the suggestion. This is called acting responsibly. Acting without conscious reflection is ego signing up for a temporary state of possession. Though the ego remains responsible for its actions in this case, those actions are likely irresponsible.

When ‘I want’ chooses with consciousness, for the greater good of self and other, we can be certain that the ‘want’ is the desire body acting to manifest the intent of the higher self in the flow of our human life. And that is what I want!

I Want the greater good,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Advancement

Advancement… seeking ever higher…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

Memorial Day invites our attention to connect with those who have passed beyond physical life into pure spirit existence. In fact, we are all currently in spirit existence, for the soul that will someday pass on from physical life is alive and operational now, deeply attached to the physical body, at this very moment.

Those souls that have released from the physical body awaken to discover that their soul body, though lighter and brighter than their former physical body, is its exact replica or blueprint, the reason shamans have always called it the double. The desire of the soul body to sojourn for a life on the physical plane attracted to it the dense matter that clothed its soul during its earthly life, in the form of a physical garment.

Souls beyond physical life are often shocked to discover that nothing has changed. The soul and character that they lived in mortal life is the exact same soul and character they arrive with in the afterlife. The first great task in the afterlife is to fully recapitulate the life just lived, in the fullness of truth. Deeds and misdeeds must be acknowledged and reconciled before the soul can truly advance into the subtler possibilities of life in the afterlife.

What separates souls in this evolved position, from most people still in physical habitation, is the lightness of being and higher vibration of soul states beyond the sensory spectrum of the physical body. Nonetheless, these souls innervate our world and readily communicate through the medium of synchronicity, dream visitations, and, for those whose psychic channels have opened, clairvoyance and clairaudience. The spontaneous thoughts that arrive to us daily, through song or creative inspiration, are often the suggestions of guiding souls.

Those who reside in the higher vibrational dimensions, concentric with our Earth, are frequently dedicated to lives of service, the key to advancement on all planes of existence. Life on the Earth plane is socialized, from early on, to accumulate material wealth as its most important goal. The byproduct of this emphasis is a narrow narcissistic worldview that veils over our more fundamental interdependent whole.

The transparency of interconnectedness prevails in the afterlife, where everyone is confronted with the shadow of their former earthly life. That which remains unfulfilled must be completed. The burden of wrongs accumulated must be righted. Advancement demands completion and restitution. This is the law of compensation, cause and effect, and karma that prevails in all dimensions. This is not about being judged by anyone; it’s about living the necessary balance required by the truth of life lived.

Service at the soul-body level, delivered to the greater good for all, is both a means to give back that which was wrongfully taken and, more importantly, to refine one’s relationship to love, the most crucial factor to advancement on all levels of being.

Those of us still in human form do well to listen to the promptings of our own spirit, as well as to the suggestions offered to us through the spirit channels of those we memorialize, who live across the bridge we will all someday cross.

Granted, not all spirits have awakened to their greater potential and some may even seek human accomplice to their cravings. We must be careful how we interact, and so it is good to exercise keen judgment and assume full conscious responsibility for all our thoughts and actions.

Nonetheless, the guidance to be of service, to be fair, and to be loving in this life, particularly toward the promptings of our own spirit, who seeks only our advancement, is surely the road to fulfillment in this life, and beyond.

With love,

Chuck

A MEMORIAL DAY GREETING

Greetings to all whose physical lives were sacrificed,

On the battlefields of Earth in all times past and present.
To those who have yet to become aware of their changed life status,
Caught still in the PTSD of battlefield trauma,
Be awakened now by the thoughts and prayers of your earthly Brethren.
Look around at the oft relived scenes of your prior battles;
Notice they are no longer substantial.
Notice the luminous transparency of your Spirit body.
Yes you have died and yes you live.
Turn your gaze upward to the loving faces, the welcoming arms,
Of those family, friends and comrades who predeceased you.
Join them in your new lightness of being.
Sending love and good cheer from this dimension to yours,
Let us remain connected in Spirit even across this denser divide,
In time we will all fully unite.

Chuck Ketchel, LCSW
May 31, 2021

CHUCK’S PLACE: MOTHER LOVE

That critical moment of Mother love…

As Jan and I drove past the farm, in New Land, where we live, a calf sat calmly and contentedly outside the fence, completely undisturbed by its separation from  the herd. Following protocol, we notified the farmer of its predicament.

When we returned later, that calf had rejoined the herd, but strikingly we discovered that another calf had just been born, on the inside of the fence but with its back legs protruding under the fence.

Jan, seeing its predicament, worried that it was stuck under the fence and sensing that the mother was in some distress, stopped the car, and I got out to see if I could help. As I approached, the mother began licking her newborn and the rest of the herd stirred and headed in my direction, letting me know that I was unwelcome. I did note that the calf’s legs could easily slide back under the fence.

When we drove by again, later in the day, the newborn calf was still sitting in the same place, but both mother and herd had moved away to another field. The calf sat calmly alone, looking into space, like the first calf we’d seen earlier in the morning.

Newborn calves are supposed to stand and nurse within a couple of hours of birth. If they can’t, mother cow moves on, delivering its child to its fate. We did call the farmer once again, noting how strange it seemed that the calf had not budged, though its legs were now safely inside the fence. He said that he’d come around to check it out.

Interestingly, the first calf of the day was a sign that life was preparing to move on to another plane. The soul of the newborn calf, its etheric body, had touched briefly in physical life but would soon shed its fleshy garment and calmly enter life on the astral plane. The innate archetypal program of mother love assessed its child’s condition and knew to leave it to transition. The calf, very acceptingly, prepared to leave.

The human newborn requires extensive postnatal time and much maternal involvement to reach the level of autonomy of a calf, which can walk within minutes of birth. The attachment to mother, via loving attunement, is critical for the human infant to come fully online and thrive. Failure to thrive, death, or lifelong psychosis are the consequences of non-attachment at this critical early stage of human development.

Donald Winnicott, the famous British pediatrician and psychoanalyst, coined the phrase good enough mother to relieve mothers of lifelong guilt around having failed to execute, to perfection, the requirements of the mother archetype for their children, and to free them from holding themselves responsible for their children’s subsequent struggles later in life.

Essentially, he confirmed that early love and attachment for one’s newborn meets the basic requirements to allow a child to continue to grow into an autonomous being. Like all humans, mothers struggle with their own narcissism, which may impact their availability to tune in to their growing children; however, if they were good enough at the critical early stage, their children will continue to evolve, albeit with perhaps developmental challenges and neurotic conflicts. It will be the challenge of the child, in their own adult life, not the mother, to solve the challenge of unmet needs. Parents cannot heal their adult children.

My first wife, Jeanne, was adopted at birth by parents who fully met her archetypal needs for loving care and attachment. Mother love was provided and received. She thrived in her life, as a dancer, therapist, wife and exceptional mother. A few days before she died, we reached the clarity that it was necessary for cancer to break down her body, as its perfection had been a shield against her primal issue, felt rejection by her birth mother.

For Jeanne, mother love had been quite adequate, as she developmentally soared. The issue was not a lack of mother love; the issue had been primal rejection. After she died, she was able to connect with her birth mother, who was then in another life, and assisted in midwifing that woman’s birthing of a child, enabling the healing of that primal wound.

Psychic scientist Edward Randall reported about a soul who had died as an infant and later shared her afterlife journey with him, in his seminal book, The Dead Have Never Died. She stated that she was mothered by women in the afterlife whom had been denied motherhood in their previous lives on Earth. She described, as well, how she was taken in her soul body to her birth mother in sleep, where she would rest lovingly in her arms.

Sleep and dreams are natural times for meetings in soul bodies between dimensions. This girl soul expressed her appreciation for this connection between planes and particularly noted the joy of lucid encounters in dreams with relatives.

I am quite certain that the little calf soul, who briefly experienced its mother’s love in her licking of it, is well nurtured on the plane it arrived at and also visits its earthly mother in nightly dreams. Love never dies; it evolves exponentially, as we deepen our infinite journey. Mother love is critical to initiate that journey on this plane, however sparse or of short duration it might be.

The archetype of mother child love requires but a moment’s meeting to release a soul to begin its separate-self journey. As well, there are many opportunities between dimensions and lives to revisit and reconnect. We’re probably all doing it all the time, every time we fall asleep and dream, though we are mostly not aware.

The key to mother love is the switch it turns on to enable an infant to truly continue its autonomous journey, as a being separate from the maternal matrix it arrived through, into human life. Non-biological loving mothers fully fulfill this key function, though adoptive children may have to address an underlying feeling of primal rejection.

Though attachment with mother throughout childhood will further a child’s inner security to launch into deepening autonomy, the child who has experienced mother love at the beginning of human life is gifted with the ability to recover within themselves that love, regardless of subsequent relational conditions in life. Love turned on may be displaced, but it can never be turned off.

With love,

Chuck