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: Soul Communication

Soulmate within…

As I sit here, preparing to write, I hear Bob Dylan in the backdrop of my mind, singing, “all I really want to do, is baby be friends with you.” This is one of the many ways our High SOUL communicates with its mate, ego-Soul, in the course of everyday life.

Also, as I sit quietly, I notice a very high frequency in my ears, what I’ve heard characterized as the sound of the chakras ringing. At times the frequency and intensity of the vibration rises and loudens or strikingly disappears in one ear. It’s a kind of Morse Code of the High SOUL that accentuates agreement with a thought or happening at that exact moment.

Actually, a golden thread of connection with High SOUL weaves through synchronistic events of everyday life. Morning reading, whatever it might be, is experienced in a heightened state of awareness, where a clear light is shone upon the lesson of the day. From there, any book might be randomly opened to provide further clarification and punctuating resonance to the lesson just presented.

Dreams retrieved from ego-Soul’s nighttime journeys further amplify the central theme of the unfolding day. Dreams are ego-Soul’s awakening to other dimensions of its High SOUL relationship at subtler levels of being, independent of time and space. Understanding the messages of dreams strengthens ego-Soul’s communication with High SOUL.

Awake states that access inner silence offer a direct communication with High SOUL. When Jan channels the daily Soulbyte, she silences the thinking mind and tunes in directly to the guidance of her High SOUL.

Pathways to achieving inner silence include mindfulness meditation, intent, magical passes, Hemi-sync binaural entrainment, and biofeedback training. All of these methods train awareness to release its attachment to the marketplace of thoughts that constantly lobby for our attention.

Beyond thought we encounter a hypnagogic state, generally associated with sleep and dreaming. Suddenly we might find ourselves in a drama with characters we don’t know but are fully carrying on a dialogue with. Often, at this point, we  drift into sleep and dream. However, if consciousness can remain aware as body drifts into sleep, we can journey lucidly in the subtler dimensions of being.

When Edgar Cayce traveled to this level, he was able to access the Akashic Record of all knowledge where his High SOUL dictated curative treatments for individuals seeking help. These treatments often combined many different allopathic and alternative modalities.

Fascinatingly, Cayce, in his normal waking state, had no memories of the readings. He was a simple man with no medical training or understanding. This reflects the true relationship between our ego-Soul and High SOUL.

Ego-Soul has its own intelligence, will, and desires but is terribly limited when compared to the fullness of knowledge of its High SOUL. Hence, the wisdom of developing a means to communicate with High SOUL in order to be guided to the best right decisions and actions in this life. Ego-Soul is solely responsible for navigating in this life. Why would it deny itself the guidance of its High SOUL?

Projected outwardly, we pursue a relationship with High SOUL as reflected in the search for a true traveling companion with whom to  navigate this life. Inwardly, we achieve this Soulmate connection through quieting our mind and centering our awareness in the heart chakra, a true meeting place with High SOUL. Yes, a high pitch in my right ear just now confirms this guidance!

A wave of  love devitalizes thought…

Time to go inward. See what happens in SOUL communication.

Tuning in,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Completing Karma

What goes around comes around…

Causes have effects. Karma is the effect of a cause, the place we land subsequent to taking an action. And where we land is the only place we can launch from in our next action in life. It is truly where we are.

We are comprised of many dimensions of karma. At the genetic level, we are the karma of our DNA, the historic journey of our ancestral line seeking answers to its mysteries. At the High SOUL level, we are the next chapter in our SOUL’s journey through infinity, part of our ego-Soul’s sojourn to gather experience for our greater SOUL group.

In the karma of everyday life we might write something on Facebook. From this action we generate reactions to our post that may enrage or hurt us. To complete this karma we must make peace with our feelings. Short of fully detaching from our feelings, we remain bound to the karma of our feelings, which on some level will determine where we launch to next.

For instance, we may decide to defensively avoid our feeling reaction to people’s reactions, by allowing our feelings to slip into the body unconscious. The karma of this action may result in a stiff muscle, a headache, and a depressed mood. This unsettled state of karma awaits future reckoning if it is to be completed.

The body may house many incomplete karmas. In traumatic recapitulation an individual’s body may be seized by the full reliving of a completely dissociated experience. The karma of that forgotten experience is completed as it is transformed during recapitulation into a deactivated memory, carrying no emotional charge.

Carl Jung discovered, in his Word Association research, that the subconscious mind is filled with incomplete karmas, which he labeled psychological complexes . A complex is a feeling toned idea, in the subconscious, that gets triggered and intrudes emotionally upon everyday life circumstances. Triggers are caused by latent karmas seeking completion in the events and interactions of everyday life.

If I house a ‘complex’ karma of feeling belittled, I (it) may be triggered by anyone seeking to give me feedback in life. Actual completion of this karma may require both emotional discharge and full acceptance of the defining experience of being belittled. Full acceptance of that defining moment frees me from the legacy, or karma of that false belief. Incompletion of this karma would result in continuing to feel offended by people’s feedback, as well as maintaining a belittled complex within.

The subconscious also stores a composite of the many selves we have been in the many lives we have lived. There may be incomplete karmas from former lives that need completion. What we call our Soul Group is the cast of characters that seeks the wholeness of our SOUL, but struggles with a preoccupation with incomplete karmas from the separate lives we have lived.

Fortunately, the current life we are in has attracted many thematic elements from those prior lives into the composition of who we are in this life, providing a playing field for our past life karmic completion. It is not necessary to return to the knowledge and experience of a past life. All you need to complete prior karma is present in the circumstances of your present life.

Completion of karma can also be witnessed on a planetary level. Don Juan Matus admitted that in ancient times female shamans dominated the shamanic playing field. He contended that once the male shamans were able to gain the advantage, they swore they would never give up control again.

This position parallels the patriarchy of our planet, which has, until recently, succeeded in enacting a karma of powerlessness and pervasive self-doubt upon the feminine. The karma of the lopsided rule of the masculine upon the body of Gaia, planet Earth, has resulted in the pervasive breakdown of the world, as we now witness.

The fact of the matter is that all human life issues forth from, and is nurtured by, the body of woman. Earth, under the management of men, is on the brink of destruction. It is the inevitable karma of woman to restore the health of the planet. For this to happen, the feminine must be restored to its divine power.

Of course, this does not mean that women must once again solely rule the world. Women are equally capable of being dominated by a patriarchal mentality. All humans must restore the feminine to its rightful place to put the evolution of the world on solid footing. At present, political advance of the feminine values of love and interconnectedness represent the true collective karmic completion of planetary need.

Grappling with true karmic completion in our individual lives contributes holographically to the planet’s healing and advance. From a heart centered place, we are guided to the karma of right causes and right effects. Let’s pay it forward.

From the heart,

Chuck 

Chuck’s Place: The Desire Body

All is Love… Love is All…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Someone once asked Carlos Castaneda if we should recapitulate our current love relationships. He paused, and with a shy smile gently replied, “Not yet.”

Carlos knew that recapitulation would take the buzz out of love and desire at the level of archetypal projection, that which fuels the dance of relationship in the physical world. He wanted us to savor our projections, before the personal dissolved into the transpersonal knowing of the all-pervasive impersonal divine, that which maya clothes in the unique fabrics of this world.

Transpersonal love simply can’t limit itself because, at that level of pure truth, all is love. Carlos didn’t want us to have to suffer too soon the essential loss of specialness that our local illusions provide, the puppy love of our desire body.

Strictly speaking, the desire body is the emotional component of the astral body, the energy body component of our Soul in human life. The astral body is the home of ego-Soul, composed of both mental and emotional components. The astral body is the conscious personality that navigates waking life in the body. At night that same astral body unhinges from the physical body and journeys in the dreams of its desires. Freud called dreams the land of wish fulfillment. Pretty astute, from a transpersonal perspective!

Emotion is the fuel of action. A thought or idea from the mental plane requires the motivation of emotion to manifest. Emotion has a magnetic charge. A want  is a mental idea imbued with a feeling tone that magnetically attracts, via the law of magnetic attraction, the object of its intent to us, or us to it.

As I sit and watch a show the thought or image of popcorn might appear in the mind’s eye. If the thought or image is then imbued with the energetic momentum of desire, I might pause the show, get up, and make the popcorn! A mental thought that lacks an emotional engine is not likely to result in physical action.

Hence the guidance, don’t attach to unwanted thought. Attachment is thought which, when given continued attention, becomes strengthened by the emotional energy of desire. Sustained at this level, desire ignites into blind compulsion.

Sex is a powerfully wired instinctive mandate at the subconscious, little soul’s level of body management. Cyclical release programs of both hormones and neurotransmitters, in concert with external environmental cues, trigger powerful waves of desire that inundate consciousness from the depths of the body unconscious.

Clearly, nature’s most primal imperative is survival via propagation of the species. Archetypal imagery imbued with the highly charged emotional energy of desire dominate mind and action. The power of these archetypes to overwhelm even the most apparently spiritually committed is evident in the Vatican’s recent conference on sexual abuse.

But what about sex beyond the childbearing years? As nature’s cyclical programs recede, sex is still possible. However, it requires the higher involvement of consciousness at the ego-Soul level of the astral body, with both its mental and desire components needing to be engaged, to stir the body physical. Sex at this stage is far more a function of choice than biological imperative.

Although habitual mental patterns of sexual preoccupation and expectation may persist at this stage, the emotional energy of compulsion becomes freed for higher refinement. From a chakra perspective this is the raising of kundalini energy from the sexual and will centers to that of the heart, where a more conscious love becomes possible.

Oh course, sexual union may indeed be a concomitant of love at the heart chakra center. However, at this later stage, its overriding motivation is genuine connection and affection. This continued refinement of love ultimately flowers into universal love, as one clears the channel to the oneness of High SOUL in infinity. Reaching this state of love while still in human form is possible, though quite formidable a challenge as well.

As love descends from its purest state at the High SOUL level, where it exists as the cohesive energy that binds all into oneness, it becomes increasingly separate and personal, eventuating in the desire body of human form. The major opus of human life is to refine the physical and astral dimensions of the desire body to ascend to true love of another and, ultimately, love for all. That truly represents coming home.

This is the major play on our current world stage. Can the collective human desire body rise to the level of interconnected love in this hour of greatest need? It will, because it must, but when and how has yet to be written. We are the active side of infinity here, and the heart of every individual is the active playing field of needed change. Synthesize pure love.

With love,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Archetypal Pause

Calm…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Many people believe that the basic security they lack, due to parental neglect early in life, must be subsequently supplied by someone, somewhere, for healing and confidence to be established in their innermost being. When I began my professional career as a therapist at The Linden Hill School, a psychiatric hospital for nonviolent, deeply disturbed adolescents, I was told tales of former therapists who had attempted to compensate for the early neglect of caretakers by literally feeding their adolescent patients on their laps with warmed bottles of milk.

I myself once had a cat who’d been separated from his mother prematurely; we called him Ricky. Every time Ricky was held and petted he immediately attempted to nurse on anything his mouth could reach. No matter how much Ricky nursed through the years, this behavior never changed.

There appear to be critical periods for meeting certain needs through age specific behaviors. In the field of ethology, the study of animal behavior, Konrad Lorenz discovered that there are critical periods for imprinting and attachment. For instance, a mother goose will not bond with a separated chick beyond sixteen hours after hatching. In other words, that chick has just 16 hours to get the mother goose’s attention! If that fails, it’s on its own.

In humans, nursing behavior enacted beyond infancy will not supply the archetypal love as it does for an infant being loved through this form of nurturance. Fixation upon the now outdated archetype might persist, but acting it out merely provides a temporary fix, with powerful dependency on others continuing to be necessary to provide basic security. An internalized sense of being loved, with its resultant feeling of confidence, remains lacking.

How then does one fulfill a missed first chakra need of secure footing in this world? Regardless of the state of integrity of our personality foundation as separate beings, our bodies continue to grow. We are forced to adapt to new situations in life even if we are lacking in confidence. Fortunately, some inner parent, what I call one’s High SOUL, invokes a variety of strategic maneuvers which prioritize continuing to be able to grow, cognitively and emotionally, in spite of the lack of completion of a secure personality foundation.

One such strategy of the High SOUL is to prompt a child to make believe everything is OK. An adult name for this strategy is to act-as-if.  When we act-as-if, or fake it till we make it, we willfully explore a behavior that stretches us beyond the comfort zone of our habitual repertoire. Though acting-as-if may be experienced as a false self, or may not serve deeper personality transformation, it is useful for adaptation in the moment. It may allow one to stay in the moment and actually continue to grow in vital ways.

Another powerful intervention by the High SOUL is the use of amnesia. Frequently, in the trauma of primal neglect, the memory of the traumatic experience is completely lost to consciousness, stored alternatively in the unconscious mind or somewhere in the physical body. Through this dissociation an individual is enabled to stay somewhat present to the experiences and lessons of the current moment.

Interestingly, as I have witnessed in my personal clinical experience, the High SOUL decides when, at some future point in time, the forgotten experience will surface, often decades after the event. This parental wisdom, exercised by the High SOUL, is to wait until a stage of life when adaptive needs are lessened and focus can shift to the integration of lost wholeness. Indeed, I am suggesting here that our true parent is our own High SOUL, always present behind the scenes, supporting our ability to undertake and fulfill our mission in this life.

Addressing traumatic memory or the fulfillment of basic needs requires a strong adult presence. When one opens to need or trauma, the emotional state of the inner child is evoked through the little soul of the subconscious’s connection to the body and its release of powerful hormones and neurotransmitters to activate emotions specific to the state of the trauma or need. The ego-Soul is then asked to stay present to the activated emotional, cognitive, and body states associated with the memory or need of the inner child.

In effect, High SOUL has determined that ego-Soul is now ready to become the parent to its own child self. This is not a matter of going back to some earlier time and fulfilling a need in the form that was missed out on. What is required is for the adult ego Soul to stay fully present and open up to the experience of its formally dissociated inner child. This means feeling it in emotion and body, and knowing it cognitively as the child believes it to be. High SOUL, who raised ego-Soul, now asks it to become the adult parent to its personality in the time and space of this world.

But how to do this? How does one develop such affect tolerance? One approach is deep relaxation. The little soul of the subconscious does what it is told to do. If, in the midst of a highly clenched physical state, ego-Soul can volitionally place its awareness on the points of tension in the physical body and instruct the body, through suggestion to the little soul of the subconscious mind, to relax the body, the body will respond and lessen its grip. Repeated instruction will deepen relaxation and allow ego-Soul to help its child self to regulate its own emotional intensity in the face of the experience it is in the midst of.

This loving act, of staying present to and helping to transform the inner child’s emotional reaction, opens the door to a deeper cognitive perspective where the child state sees the fuller context of the truth of its early experience, which can clear up false negative beliefs it may have held about itself for much of life.

This adult ego-Soul relationship with its younger self becomes the true supplier of the primal nurturance long sought in life. With this foundation, genuine transformations occur that provide for enriched fulfillment in life, within and without.

Whenever stressed, practice relaxation. Pause, take a breath, shift focus to the subconscious with the instruction to release the body tension. Stay present, see what happens! This is love in action, the right mechanism for archetypal completion, now.

Releasing, completing,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: I Am Nothing, I AM

I am nothing, I AM…

We are beings of suggestion. In shamanic terms, what we intend is what we suggest, and that we become.

Our power lies in maintaining ownership of our intent. As suggestible beings, we are subject to the influence of many outside and inside intents, beyond our conscious awareness, that have the power to put us into trance. Once entranced, we manifest the dictates of those prevailing intents.

Take, for instance, waking in the night to a worrisome thought. If we are unable to fend it off that thought commandeers our central nervous system, and we become victim to its drama and a sleepless night. The thought was just a traveler in infinity, seeking an entertaining night in the theatre of a human body.

The truth is that thoughts are just illusory bait with no substance. In and of themselves they cannot hurt us. What does hurt us is our own energy giving them life, if they hook our attention. Their lifeless drama comes alive through the fear and anxiety we lend them as they take over our imagination.

Parasites they may be, but guides they are as well, those thoughts that manage to take root in our fertile soil. We are shown where our weaknesses are when thoughts penetrate our walls. And those weaknesses likely call us to our recapitulation journey, where we are given the opportunity to retrieve a lost part of our Soul and thereby shore up our wall.

We may have to journey through a nostalgia, a sensitive memory or longing, with its requisite emotions. We may need to feel, to release, and to witness the fullness of this nostalgia before its energy can be freed to join us in our current life. This recognition and appreciation  allows for an old nostalgia’s completion, as it gracefully frees its energy to go forward into the self of now. And, with that, a fully permeable wall of total detachment from the nostalgia forms, as there is no longer a vulnerability left in us to cause a trigger or fear.

As beings of suggestion, we must face just how powerful the law of attraction really is, as it manifests the dictates of an intentWe do manifest what we self-hypnotically tell ourselves. When the mind entertains a thought in the night, the little soul of the subconscious delivers us a body riddled with anxiety, the intent of the thought manifested.

Carlos Castaneda taught that a merchant mentality is the ruling intent of our time. This is the ego-Soul fixated at the solar plexus chakra. Even the highest ideals of the New Age, those glimpsed at the heart chakra, are contaminated by fame, self-importance, and the profit motive. On the surface we turn to the light, but beneath the surface we unknowingly cling to security and self-interest, the merchant ego-Soul state.

Our intent is thus unconsciously fragmented, whereby confounding intended outcomes—the groundhog day scenarios of our lives. Without facing the fullness of our personal shadow merchant selves we remain beings of contradictory suggestions, who often then surrender our personal intent to outside influences, to make things happen.

Once a year, in a faraway land, the King, the great world father, stands before his people and proclaims the greatness of his kingdom. “Ours is the richest and strongest kingdom of them all,” he reassuringly proclaims. “The state of our economy is the envy of the world.” Many are moved to tears and applause, even those who would challenge the Gaia-destroying consequences of his policies. Calmly, he warns that the greatest threat to safety and continued success would be to question his rule. This mythological example exemplifies the reality of our current lives.

Many are lulled to surrender their personal intent, to resolve their inner contradictions and find hope and security by internalizing a powerful outer intent and manifesting its demands. The world—inner and outer—is a marketplace of such powerful intents, each vying for the most consumers. We are, by birth, hypnotic beings who must learn the art of consciously taking charge of our own intent!

Taking charge requires the following:

  1. Observe the content of the inner dialogue. Our personal intent, our personality, is a manifestation of the words we repeat to ourselves incessantly. The little soul listens to those words as instructions for the physiological creation of body and emotion.
  2. Change the tense of self-descriptive verbs and adverbs in inner and outer dialogue. “I will never” becomes: “In the past I never.” A further evolution is a positive and definite instruction: “I intend…”
  3. Shield the self from the marketplace of intent, both in the inner and the outer world. If an alien “idea” seeks to seduce from within, stop it in its tracks. This might take the form of identifying it as “thought” and shifting attention away from it, but it might require blatant warfare: “OUT!!!!!!!!” Yes, it may be necessary to return to the issue in recapitulation, but that will be on one’s own terms; never give over being in charge.
  4. Limit exposure to outside intent. Everything we read and listen to has its own intent, even as simple as liking a picture or quote. Liking something is an exchange of energy. Carlos Castaneda actually stressed this point to the level of inanimate objects in museums, where adorned objects feast upon and drain the energy of viewers. Of course this doesn’t mean not to go to museums, he stated, but one must be careful to guard the influences upon one’s energy, even in such an innocuous circumstance as appreciating a work of art.
  5. Archetypes are our true original parents. “I am the Lord, thy God…” These authoritative influences upon one’s personal intent are constantly and automatically projected onto high office holders. Recognize these projections, whose intents so easily supersede one’s own personal intent. Go to the heart center. What is the intent of one’s own High SOUL? Reconcile with that intent, taking full responsibility for life in this world.  

Taking charge ultimately requires raising the ego-Soul’s consciousness from the marketplace arena of the solar plexus to the quiet and clarity of the heart center. The proving ground for this ascent is the assumption of legitimate power by ego-Soul.

The fact is that ego-Soul is an orphan, separated from its wholeness as a condition for undertaking life outside infinity, in the finite space and time of this world. This sets up the foundation for all of humanity: inadequacy and inferiority. The trapping to compensate for this inadequate state of being is to enter the marketplace of self-importance and attach to its offerings to elevate the ego-Soul’s validity. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico countered this trapping with the mantra: “I am nothing.” The intent of this mantra is to refuse  identification with the false gods of the marketplace.

However, this is simply not the full truth. Indeed, “I am nothing” is the counter to the crutch of inflated self-importance, but, despite the fact that I am nothing, I AM! Can I strip away the crutch of self-importance, with its emphasis on validation and esteem, and simply acknowledge the purity of the fact that I AM. And with that acknowledgement of I AM, I am announcing that I am responsible for figuring out and taking charge of the life I am in.

Ultimately, it rests with ego-Soul to take charge of life in this world and that might even, at times, mean having it venture beyond the intent of its own High SOUL. In the final analysis, it is ego-Soul that has taken up this journey in space and time, a life that will end in this form some day. Take charge, refuse the not-I intents of the marketplace, and realize the wholeness of the I AM intent in this life.

I am nothing, I AM,

Chuck