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 : Dweller & Angel

Dare to trespass and grapple with the dweller!
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

The dweller* is the ruler of the subconscious, in the basement of our human being personality. I also call the dweller the little soul of the personality. The dweller is bound to nature’s survival instinct with sex in the forefront for species survival, and food, shelter, material resource and power acquisition its focus at the level of personal survival.

The dweller relies upon nature’s instinctual archetypes to maintain physical homeostasis and prompt behavioral action. The dweller is extremely conservative, it stays with what works, the programs that have ensured planetary evolutionary survival. These programs are encoded in our DNA, our ancestral memory and, ultimately, in our deepest karma, our high SOUL’s purpose for sending us into this earthly life.

The dweller doesn’t think and is not open to change. Like a conservative fundamentalist, it follows, without question, the commandments of the archetypes. In the absence of new orders it stays with what works. Even if one has been miserable an entire life, from the dweller’s perspective this represents successful survival and, hence, it is loathe to allow new, consciously sought after behaviors to stick. In fact, like a hidden sniper, it patiently awaits its opportunity to defeat them.

The ego Soul, bearer of consciousness, lives in the ground floor of the human personality, as a result of its decision to gain knowledge and make its own decisions in Eden, resulting in its banishment from nature, the dweller’s domain in the basement. Curiously, though the dweller is bound to its programs, like a willing soldier it immediately responds to orders from elsewhere, such as from ego Soul, influential others, or public opinion.

This, in a nutshell, is the heart of hypnosis. The hypnotist becomes the ruler of the dweller through suggestions that the dweller enacts upon command. In fact, we, as ego Souls, are all self-hypnotists, constantly sending suggestions to the dweller through the repetitive internal dialogue of our thoughts. Thus the dweller manifests in the body in how we think about ourselves.

This includes our central nervous system, which the dweller oversees. Thus, if we tell ourselves we are not safe, the dweller activates neurological signals and chemical processes that mold us into body-clenching, anxious beings. If we maintain this belief system over time, the dweller institutes this habitual thought pattern as a permanent program, with its resulting body state—however uncomfortable it may be—as a proven survival program, the dweller’s guiding priority.

Here we witness the familiar vicious cycle of ego Soul attempting to enact change by exercising intent, discipline, mantra, or downright discipline and, after some optimistic initial success, ultimately being defeated. The hidden dynamic is the dweller, at first following ego Soul’s orders but actually opposed to them, laying in wait for a vulnerable moment to defeat the ego Soul’s heroic efforts with doubt and defeatism, whereby restoring the more trustworthy program of familiar hell. In truth, the ego Soul might willingly collude with the dweller’s plot, as glimpses of the unfamiliar lightness of being might scare the ego to death!

Often, ego Soul turns to the upstairs occupant of its human personality, the high Self, who is connected to the high SOUL, to seek solace and guidance and, frankly, to escape from the dweller’s paralyzing grip, which repeatedly freezes the possibility of change. Thus, we might turn to inspirational music, prayer, or positive self-help books to infuse ourselves with the positive energy of heaven, seeking release from the darkness of our private hell.

Dweller in Angel, contained…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Many religions offer the technology to cast out and cut off the devil dweller and identify instead with the beings of light: saints and angels. Psychologically, this often results in a state of dissociation where a major part of the psyche is disowned, the consequences of which, in extreme form, can be seen in bipolar disorder, where one swings from living a powerful identification with the dweller to a powerful identification with pure angel.

The plight of the Catholic Church, as well as many institutions and individuals outed by #MeToo, reflects the consequences of the disowned dweller unleashed in the dark, contrasted by only the sunny angel appearing in the light of day. Out-of-body practitioners must also be aware of their own physical body dweller, as the tendency of New Age technologies is to covet the light and disown the dweller in the dark basement. If you are in human form there is no escaping the force of the dweller.

Ironically, both Jung and Trump agree on one thing: we must construct the walls of a mandala sanctuary within if we are to safely integrate the powerful forces at all levels of the personality: little soul, ego Soul and SOUL. Trump reflects everyman/woman in his struggle to contain those forces within himself and has consequently become a major channel to the dark collective dweller archetypes that are currently wreaking havoc on the human playing field. Would that Trump would grasp that his projected wall must be created within himself!

Trump’s journey is instructive to everyone. We all possess the dweller, the angel, and an ego. We must use our ego to fully own all that we are. We must create a container, build that wall within, versus identifying exclusively with dweller or angel while projecting the dark side outside of ourselves onto someone else, or some other race.

As we bear the tension of our mandala container in our own body, with the dweller’s help we can turn toward the angel for inspiration and comfort. And then, well, see what happens! This is the journey of soul to meet its higher SOUL, the topic of next week’s blog. Until then, build your inner wall mandala, the sanctuary and proving ground for your own personal journey of wholeness and completion.

Contained,

Chuck

*I am deeply indebted to Elmer Green and his life’s opus, The Ozawkie Book of the Dead, for introducing the term dweller in the context I use it. Jan and I are on our fifth reading of this treasured three-volume masterpiece. It is truly a diamond, cultivated from the rough work of living a fully explored life.

Also Please Note: We are currently publishing Chuck’s blogs on Tuesdays.

Chuck’s Place: Google & the dream

Daphne
– Art by Jan Ketchel © 2003

Carl Jung discovered the Collective Unconscious, a layer of the mind all beings share in common, what the ancient Hindus identified as Universal Mind. Edgar Cayce validated its existence through accessing, in trance, the Akashic Record to provide spot-on medical diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Joe McMoneagle equally accessed this dimension of all-knowing through Remote Viewing, proving its utility for military intelligence and solving ancient mysteries.

What Edgar Cayce and Joe McMoneagle teach is the use of deep relaxation of left brain focused ego dominance as a pathway to direct experience and access to all knowledge, the deepest level of the collective unconscious that we all share. These methods can be trained to waking consciousness.

Dreaming, where ego relaxes its focused left brain dominance in order to fall asleep, also takes place in the realm of the collective unconscious. Thus, it is possible to encounter deceased relatives or living archetypes, such as gods and goddesses, or virtual treasure maps, in one’s nightly journeys in the all-knowing Universal Mind of being.

Dreaming provides opportunities for the Universal Mind of the collective unconscious, or SOUL, to communicate profound knowledge to waking ego consciousness. This linkage of Universal Mind to personal ego requires dream interpretation.

The first stage in dream interpretation, and perhaps the most challenging, is to remember the dream.

Everyone dreams. It was scientifically demonstrated in sleep labs long ago that anyone who is deprived of dreaming for three days will become psychotic. Restitution of dreaming quickly reverses this condition. Remembering dreams, however, is a matter of intent. State, in advance of sleep, “I intend to remember my dream tonight.”

Stage two is to value whatever dream fragments one wakes up with and write them down. Like a hooked fish quickly slipping back into the ocean, a vivid dream not recorded is gone after even a quick visit to the bathroom. In particular, watch out for King Ego, master of the waking world: “Oh, that’s stupid, irrelevant, nonsense, etc., …” Follow Carlos Castaneda’s number one rule: Suspend Judgment. Write it down!

Stage three is to track immediate associations as you recall and write the dream. Last night I had a tin can of bluefin tuna in a dream. As I remembered the dream next morning, I immediately flashed to an article I’d read of a Japanese restaurant owner paying $3.1 million dollars for a large bluefin tuna at auction. Suffice it to say that this “prized fish,” contained in its leaden mandala tin, perfectly mirrors the current stage of my own opus of individuation.

Stage four. Once personal associations are exhausted, take it to the next level: Google. Google is humankind’s collective conscious effort to mirror the all-knowing collective unconscious. It is a great aid in deciphering the universal symbolic language of the vast collective unconscious.

I offer an example from a recent dream of Jan’s. Jennifer Lawrence and Lawrence Osborne show up as characters in the dream. Jan knew of and had associations to actress Jennifer Lawrence but had never heard of Lawrence Osborne. Quick google research produced a nomadic author of some repute. Jan has here to face her own nomadic author self, who has written deeply valuable books about her own shamanic recapitulation, combined with facing a latent extraverted Jennifer Lawrence self!

Jan next looked up the name Lawrence. Ultimate derivation of the name Lawrence is laurel, symbolically referring to Daphne, who ran from rape by transforming into a laurel tree. (Side note: many of Jan’s paintings include a tree). Daphne is both a symbol of perseverance and frozen avoidance of life. These associations help Jan explore the current balance of her hermitic introverted and confident extraverted selves.

These associations, both personal and collective, string together a profound communication from SOUL to ego Soul, essentially gifting a willing ego Soul with a direction for the playing field of waking life.

Google doesn’t always get it right, though. Ego Soul must decide upon what personally resonates and then take action—that is the completion of the dream. It is a grand opportunity to bridge the SOUL/ego Soul relationship and communication in the completion of one’s life karma, or mission on Earth, this time around.

Thank you, Jan, for sharing this gem.

Dream on,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: The momentous opportunity of Now

Turning in a new direction…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

As without, so within. Without, we are all witnessing a stupendous archetypal drama. The dweller, at the threshold of the mighty house, has opened the door to the dark side of the force. Within, the ego Soul, at the threshold of the subconscious, must awaken to whom it has let in.

Difficult to own this projection. The drama without is so spellbinding it would seem to be the only real movie in town. That’s part of the challenge. The collective subconscious ego Soul has materialized a hypnotist, whose name is invoked daily more than any other word on Earth. Now that truly is black magic. With that much attention surrendered to the hypnotist, we are all drawn sheepishly to await the next suggestion upon which all life revolves.

Now, how could such an overarching outer predicament actually reflect the condition within one’s own personal psyche? The ego Soul, at the third chakra, is a child obsessed with its own wants, needs, and desires—particularly an insatiable hunger for attention and recognition. A child is simply incapable of seeing and caring for the rest of its personality and body beyond the mirror of its own appetites and power drives.

The subconscious soul is the warehouse of what Jung called the shadow or personal unconscious. However, it is also the gateway to the collective shadow and the collective unconscious archetypes deeply tied to the physical instincts. The subconscious soul is abundantly willing to cater to the power and appetite drives of the naive attention-seeking ego Soul at the third chakra, with the hidden intent of taking possession of the ego Soul.

What then ensues is ego Soul at the third chakra getting all it wants satiated via a Faustian-like pact with the devil, which uses its position of influence to take control of the personality and give free rein to its long suppressed shadow agenda. From an outer world historical perspective, the Nazification of Germany reflected the shadow taking possession of a collective national ego Soul, with atrocious consequences.

To actually reflect objectively on both inner and outer reality, ego Soul must establish itself at the heart center chakra, which enables an adult perspective and decision making center to come online. These include being able to acknowledge life beyond the self, as well as clarity as to the interconnected, interdependent wholeness of all things. This allows for acceptance and creative integration of all parts of the self. This enables the adult to raise the child at the third chakra with compassion and firm limits.

Outwardly, we enter a New Year with a new American Congress set to challenge the Executive branch. Investigations offer the possibility of temperance, but all must face the reality: as without, so within. No one is immune from encounter with the dark side, which is quite willing to change its appearance from devil to angel but still house the same power drives. All must ask themselves: From what center are they really acting? From the sly, rationalizing, justifying, manipulating possessed ego Soul, at the third chakra, or from right action, from the ego Soul raised to the heart center?

The momentousness of this time we live in is the opportunity for all world citizens to participate in the raising of the world ego Soul to the adult position of the heart center, both within and without. This is the dawning of The Age of Aquarius, which at this time beckons us to own the projections of our times, within ourselves, and to cover our ears from the master hypnotists, both within and without.

Turn and walk in a new direction. Don’t look back. Move forward with ease into new life. What will you meet? It’s all new now. Don’t get caught in the Scylla and Charybdis of depression or exhilarated denial. Walk the razor’s edge mindfully. You are the master of your own ship.

“The time to hesitate is through,” say the Doors.

Walk your ego Soul through the door to new life in the heart center of your SOUL.

The journey continues.

Happy New Life,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Soulplay

From soul to Soul to SOUL!

SOUL in its fullness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

There is indeed a developmental line of soul. Although we are born with the fullness of an immortal SOUL, it takes a human lifetime to bring on line a fully conscious knowing and relatedness of all dimensions of SOUL.

The subconscious dimension of our tripartite SOUL is connected to the physical body at the lower chakras, located beneath the solar plexus. The major intention of the little soul at this first level, as distinguished by a lower case “s” in the word soul, is survival, both at a species and an individual level. Sexual energy is its currency. As Freud rightly discovered, the little soul bridges body and mind, as it stimulates the psychosexual development of the individual and ultimately secures continuation of the species.

This subconscious little soul is not a thinking center; it strictly obeys the spirit laws of DNA, instinct, and the archetypes of the collective unconscious. The subconscious little soul oversees the majority of functions of the central nervous system, through the ancient limbic system of the physical brain.

As well, repetitive conscious behaviors drift into the subconscious little soul and become automatic habits. One obvious example is driving a car, which is largely managed by the subconscious little soul while the conscious mind, the ego Soul (distinguished by an upper case “S”),  floats elsewhere.

Although the subconscious little soul is highly automatic it is equally highly responsive to suggestion. As hypnotists demonstrate, the subconscious little soul can be influenced by conscious intervention. In trance, a hypnotist’s suggestion can become the subconscious little soul’s instructor, as it materializes, in behaviors, the instructions it has been given.

Furthermore, yogis, deep meditators, and shamans demonstrate a high degree of control over such functions as heart rate, physical healing, and shapeshifting, where the actual physical form can be changed via the power of conscious intent, i.e., the Soul’s will, at the ego level, directing the subconscious little soul’s relationship with physical matter.

I suggested in a prior blog that projection is the language of the little soul at this subconscious level of being, where it purposely mirrors itself on people and things in the world that attract and stir the ego—the conscious level of the Soul—to further its primal intent.

The subconscious little soul is equally capable of projecting its will through one’s own physical body. This is the basis of psychosomatic medicine, where ego Soul’s decisions that impact the body are challenged by the subconscious little soul. Essentially, the subconscious little soul creates a dysfunction in a body system to communicate to the ego Soul the error of its ways. Healing then requires the ego Soul to interpret the problem and change its ways.

The second level of Soul (with a capital “S”) is ego-consciousness, centered at the solar plexus chakra, the power center. Likened to the Garden of Eden, the ego Soul is where human beings grabbed and consumed the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, gaining their ability to choose their own behavior, even over the will of the archetypes, the gods of the powerful collective unconscious, rulers of our automatic, subconscious being.

From the furnace of the solar plexus center come the powerful emotions that influence the ego Soul’s will. Regardless of the freedom of choice, at this center the ego Soul’s worldview is largely narcissistic; it cannot see beyond its own needs and being. Whereas the little soul, at the subconscious level, operates via projection, the ego Soul, at the solar plexus chakra, operates through the mirror of self-reflection. Thinking is limited to what one sees in the mirror! World leadership is currently largely fixated at this level, where me only is the dominating principal.

The next level of ego Soul refinement takes place at the heart center chakra. Here the ego Soul cracks its mirror of self-reflection and begins to be able to reflect, that is, think, objectively. At the heart center, the ego Soul can see beyond itself to the true nature of interconnected reality and thus is capable of deep compassion for all beings.

Deep compassion does not mean allowing oneself to be harmed by an attacker. As even the Dalai Lama points out, sometimes we may need to protect ourselves aggressively from attack. Nonetheless, we still hold compassion for our enemy, a vital part of our totally interconnected world. This is the message of the Bhagavad Gita: both sides of the warring parties are God. This guidance appears particularly poignant in the world’s current fixation.

With the ego Soul equipped with interconnected awareness at the heart center, it is fully capable of right action—action that is truly right for our interconnected world. Thus, at the heart center level, decisions reflecting global warming would be in alignment with the overall survival of the planet, as opposed to the ego Soul stuck at the self-reflection level of the solar plexus, which cannot see or act beyond what it sees in the mirror: me!

Perhaps the best characterization of an evolved ego Soul, residing at the heart center, is that of a General following the plan of a Ruler, residing in the immortal third SOUL level, as distinguished in full upper case letters: “SOUL.”

The immortal SOUL is the high self that corresponds to the highest chakras, from throat to crown. Communications from this high center reflect the journey of the immortal tripartite SOUL through infinity. From here, we have access to all knowledge, as was evident in Edgar Cayce’s healing readings from the Akashic Record. From the immortal SOUL comes knowledge of all past life, much as the brain, at a physical level, can be seen as a storage drive for all sensory experience in this current life.

The immortal SOUL communicates via intuition and synchronicity. An ego Soul that has broken the shell of its narcissistic encasement and evolved to the heart center recognizes and resonates with the intuitive promptings of the immortal SOUL.

Synchronicity is the immortal SOUL’s manipulation of time and space, and even matter, to validate, support, and further the ego Soul’s decisions and actions, or, as needed, invalidate or challenge them as well. The immortal SOUL is the ultimate source of manifestation of intent.

Ego Soul does best to align its intent with immortal SOUL’s intent, which would be to solve one’s deepest challenges and find fulfillment in one’s current life on Earth. This alignment is sure to bring positive synchronicities, including positive relationships and resources to complete the necessary tasks of a lifetime.

All levels of our tripartite SOUL selves—from subconscious little soul, to ego Soul, to immortal SOUL—coexist in our human energy body, intertwining with our physical body in this lifetime. To judge and negate the subconscious little soul, due to its lowly position, would be to lose one’s footing in the world. To cling to, or solely identify with, the immortal SOUL would be to live in the heavens, without doing one’s work while in material reality.

To negate the needs and concerns of the subconscious little soul could prove fatal to one’s physical body. To not seize appropriate power at the ego Soul level, and protect one’s person, could prove equally fatal. The ego Soul, at the heart center, must mediate between the subconscious little soul and the immortal high SOUL. As above, so below is the operative suggestion here.

When subconscious little soul, ego Soul, and immortal SOUL are on the same page, all is right with the world! May this coming New Year bring us closer to such alignment!

Peace, alignment, and a whole lot of SOUL to all, and remember to enjoy your Soulplay,

Chuck

Chuck’s Place: Grappling with the Insatiable

The insatiable is infinity itself, life without end. As physical beings, beings who are going to die, we are eager consumers of a smorgasbord of infinity.

The never-ending flow of what life on earth offers…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The offerings include the excitement of the lottery—infinite funds for a finite life; food from all nations—a bottomless pit of sensory delight delivered overnight with Amazon Prime; sex that defies aging or physical limitation—arrangeable in minutes or just  seconds online; never-ending attention from without—every moment an opportunity for the ding of a text, a note to my self-importance.

Indeed, we all share in the angst of Faust. The taste of immortality delivers us to make a pact with the devil. Choose your object: sugar, gold, fame or flame, all are imbued with the fiery passion of the immortals. When we commune with our chosen magical substance we taste infinity and become prey to the insatiable.

For the Buddhists, this is life in the bardo, channeling the false gods of The Matrix, whom we so quickly give our life blood to in exchange for the thrill of their maya wares. For the Shamans of Ancient Mexico, this is the workings of the flyers, parasitic spirit entities that feed off the excitement of the human central nervous system.

Lest we get too anxious about the entities that entice us, know that we are only vulnerable at the point of our personal Achilles heel, and we all have at least one! Perhaps its source is in our DNA—some genetic karma—or in the social context of our birth and family history. Whatever its source, it must be encountered; avoidance is ultimately never an option. And with encounter comes the challenge of mastery.

And so be thankful to the self-serving duplicitous spirit entities that point us to our deepest challenges, our fixations on insatiability, the playing field for our deepest reason for being in this life. Though we feel captive prisoners to these entities and blame ourselves for our weaknesses, if we can suspend judgment of both the entities and ourselves we are freed to a clearer view of reality and the possibility, the one iota of a chance, for total freedom.

Total freedom, from a shamanic point of view, is life freed of the trappings of the insatiable. For Buddhists, it marks the end of the cycle of reincarnation, as lust, the energy of attachment, is transformed into acquiescence to the will of one’s own true spirit. To be alive in human form, doing the bidding of one’s own true spirit, is real communion with infinity.

Once we accept our lethal attachments without judgment, we must become warriors. Most likely, we have all had a very extended stay in basic training: Earth School 101. This is the groundhog day, the cause and effect course of repetitive indulgent behavior. For most, passing this course may require lifetimes—as it should. You are done when you are done, no judgment.

For some the dance with the insatiable is fatal, and so that bardo continues. Others survive to the tipping point, where the lust for the insatiable becomes acquiescence to the true spirit. This is a magnificent achievement.

For others, like the Buddha, finding the middle way to moderation is the winning ticket. Here, all sides of the ego self are both included and limited in acquiescence to the overarching guidance of one’s true spirit. Boredom, patience, and sacrifice are the weapons mastered in this course at Earth School.

And then there are the magical encounters…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Once the ego is in full surrender to the will of the spirit the real magic begins in human life. Synchronicity is the language of the spirit and, as Jung pointed out, synchronicity is spirit assembling matter to further its cause. When ego channels the true spirit, positive synchronicities abound and life on earth is filled with magic and joy.

Of course, sometimes there is need for course correction and then negative synchronicities appear. No judgment, simply correct course! When in doubt, ask your true spirit to give you its opinion. It might arrive immediately in a sudden flash or, more likely, in the synchronicities that appear throughout your day.

Guidance abounds, but so do the insatiable offerings of bardo spirits. Choose wisely, or immediately forgive yourself and do better next time!

Straddling the bardo,

Chuck