Category Archives: Jan’s Blog

Welcome!

Currently I put most of my energy into the weekly channeled messages, the daily Soulbytes, and the completion of The Recapitulation Diaries, but archived here are the blogs I wrote for many years about inner life and outer life, inner nature and outer nature. Perhaps my writings on life, as I see it and experience it, may offer you some small insight or different perspective as you take your own journey. In addition, I manage The Recapitulation Diaries on Facebook where each week I write a post about recapitulation and its many healing aspects.

With gratitude for all that life teaches me, I share my experiences.

Jan Ketchel

The Monogamy Dialogues: Sacred Sex

Why is sex so unsatisfying?

At its animal core, sex is an instinct, a biological urgency that comes and goes at nature’s prompting, on nature’s time, toward nature’s end. Most sex in nature appears particularly fast and violent and rarely results in a lasting relationship, in fact, for most animals it results in no postcoital connection.

Create sacred time… consciously…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

In contrast, the human animal, freed from its purely instinctual promptings can choose to engage in sex at will. Consciousness, what we refer to as spirit, introduces the possibility of choice as to when one might engage in sex.  For instance we might say, “I love you all the time, but sex is sacred. It needs its own time and space, sacred time.” Animals never have this choice.

Additionally, consciousness, when applied to sexual energy, enables it to be elaborated into a union within the self in the merging of physical and energy bodies—the two distinct human components: matter and spirit—as well as the possibility of a profound union with another human being, as well as a complete merger into the experience of cosmic oneness.

The word sacred means to set apart, to make holy, to consecrate. The decision to set apart, to regulate the sexual instinct for the holy purpose of consecration, that is, a transformation into a numinous experience of oneness with self  or with self and another being, is the intent of sacred sex.

To set aside a definite time for sexual union separates sex from its biological dominance, raising it to an honored, holy status. Hormones have their own timetables, but deciding the day of union is completely spirit based. Spirit says to body, “I invite you to be fully present, fully engaged, at this time and place. I am fully prepared to receive and join with you, this is my solemn commitment.”

Much of life can be dominated by the biological pressure and mental preoccupation with sex. That pressure in an individual may encourage frequent masturbation, in couples an ever-present expectation or burden. Setting aside a definite day within which sacred sex will occur relieves, ultimately, the individual or couple of this animal dominance of being.

At first, of course, the animal will resist. What horse or dog willingly allows itself to be tamed and trained? However, once the instinct sees that this is how it is, that it must wait, patiently, but that ultimately it will be rewarded with deep union and release, it will get on board.

Getting on board means accepting the set-apart time as the time, the only time, the sacred time of sex. All other time is not the time, hence, sexual thoughts, feelings and sensations must be stored to allow for mastery and refinement of formerly unbridled instinct.

And then, when it is time, it is time, sacred time. The commitment is to show up at the agreed upon, set-apart time, body and spirit. Just as the body had to submit to waiting, the spirit must submit to fully showing up, regardless of inner resistance. In the case of partner sex this is not about fulfilling an obligation to another, this is about honoring a sacred commitment to self. Marital duty, for instance, has no place in sacred sex.

Of course, the quality of each meeting is unique. Each partner must be extremely sensitive to the being it seeks to join with. Body has its definite needs, wants and desires, but spirit has its own intentions. To bring the two together in deep union requires a genuine meeting of both these bodies, physical and spiritual. The depth of each meeting depends upon how deeply each of these bodies is connected with, within and without. True connection requires deep knowing of self and other.

The practice of sacred sex is always unique, the growing closeness cumulative. The utter freedom and playfulness, in its sacred, set-apart time and space, allows for a merging with the divine that lives completely outside of time and space.

The rules are simple: deep respect, no coercion, plan with sincerity and openness, show up, see what happens. Obviously, sex needn’t be sacred sex to be right, but sacred sex is offered as a potential mature practice. Have fun with the planning too, make it special, allow no interferences in your sacred time and sacred space; keep it holy.

Even Reni Murez, a direct apprentice of Carlos Castaneda, Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner-Grau, and Taisha Abelar, acknowledges that although shamans store and use their sexual energy for conscious dreaming and out-of-body travel they also must balance their humanness. After all, they are currently here in human animal form just like the rest of us. Reni agrees that setting apart a special time for sex, be it once weekly, monthly, yearly, or once a decade, provides a sacred opportunity for human union, but also allows for sexual energy to be used at other times for other spiritual work.

No partner? No problem! Either save sexual energy for future union, with the intention that the right relationship will come to pass and that the stored energy will not be taken or squandered but used as planned, or engage in sacred sexual union with self alone, merging spirit and physical body in love.

Physical limitations? With spirit involved nothing is impossible! Perhaps the playing field might move over into dreaming where energy body and physical body can experience the deepest sexual union. Here sacred sex asks the dreaming intent to take over and arrange the magical, sacred meeting outside of time and space.

To get back to the question with which we opened this blog—why is sex so unsatisfying?—we propose the following: it simply isn’t sacred enough! We offer the path of sacred sex as a path of heart.

Of course, if one is in the midst of traumatic recapitulation or a spiritual practice that requires sexual abstinence, the practice of sacred sex is one of sacrifice and abstinence, as the energy of union is deployed toward healing and spiritual transformation instead. Nonetheless, such deployment can be understood as sacred sex employed to the needs and intent of self for the highest good. Indeed a path of heart!

Keeping it holy,

Chuck & Jan

The Monogamy Dialogues: Projectile Dysfunction

The projections we launch into our partners are the greatest cause of dysfunction in relationships, indeed, these alone can be the cause of erectile dysfunction itself!

The manly sun…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Both men and women have masculine and feminine sides within themselves, perhaps best symbolized by the sun and the moon.

For instance, suppose a man expects his sexual desire to be as instant as the sun itself that rises, fully, each day. However, inwardly, his inner woman—that is his anima, the feminine side of a man—may in fact be in a phase of her feeling cycle where she simply isn’t immediately responsive to his conscious sun-driven erotic intent.

This man, unaware of his true inner feeling state of non-readiness for sex, is likely to look over at his partner and “see” or project onto her, his inner anima, as lacking any erotic interest in him.

“You never approach me to have sex, I always have to initiate,” he might despairingly utter. “I don’t think you desire me physically.”

These could be his challenges to his partner. Of course, if there were any desire on the partner’s side, or an openness to exploring possibly having sex, this approach likely kills that possibility. Further, if the couple then tries to force coitus in this dysfunctional relational state, it is indeed likely that the penis itself might choose to go on a flaccid strike and ED, erectile dysfunction, ensues.

Women are very much under the influence of the waxing and waning of the moon, which corresponds to the menstrual cycle with respect to feelings, moods, desires, and physical comforts/discomforts. Women also have an inner man—the animus, the masculine side of a woman—who functions on the mental plane in the background of her psyche.

This inner man might take the form of a warrior who protects his woman. Perhaps this woman in the example above is preoccupied with the dark side of the moon in her emotional cycle, definitely not interested in sex,  just wanting to  remain innerly with her mood. Unbeknownst to her, and in her defense, her animus might launch into a critical attack upon her partner when he suggests she’s not interested in sex.

“You didn’t text me all day, I guess staying connected isn’t that important to you,” she might pose. “Seems like the only time you listen to me attentively is when you think there’s a chance for sex.”

These kinds of preemptive “attacks” are likely to accomplish keeping her partner at bay while embroiling the two in a standoff.

Alternatively, a woman’s animus may decide to override her true emotional and physical state with the intention of pleasing her partner. This sets up an inner civil war, as her dominant feminine nature will not be happy at being coerced into having sex. Her feminine nature might shut down her receptivity and sexual sensitivity, resulting in being unable to climax. She might project disappointment onto her partner for being unable to please her or she might sink into a depression at her own failure to “perform.” Here we have the feminine version of ED.

In men, the masculine sun dominates—things are either black or white, on or off. Men’s thinking seeks total clarity and knowing. This kind of thinking happens at any time, is not subject to the tides or the phases of the moon. However, deep within himself a man is very influenced by the phases of the moon. Often his female partner senses this and has to manage his moods on a daily basis, though he himself might characterize himself as completely rational, unaware of the influence of his emotions upon his life.

Moon woman…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Similar to a man, a woman is very much under the influence of her own inner man, with his hidden plots to protect, attack, or manipulate life through his own mental processes. Just as a woman might easily recognize the power of a man’s mood, which she has to manage, a man is often likewise aware of the intractable thinking of his partner in the part of herself that she is unaware is so dominant in her own psyche.

The ability to recognize and take responsibility for one’s self, including the contrasexual elements, the anima and animus, by working on them on an inner level before they explode outwardly and take over a relationship, clears the confusion that leads to dysfunction in relationships. With projectiles disarmed, true connection is possible. Sun and moon meet within each partner who then can meet in real union.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Chuck & Jan

Jan’s Dream Insights: Kill The Cobra

I have been dreaming again. Last Saturday, we published the following dream with our Soulbyte for the day, after the Paris attacks, as it clearly foreshadowed what occurred in Paris on Friday night. Here it is:

Insights from the night bring light into the day... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Insights from the night bring light into the day…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

On Thursday night, I had a numinous dream in which a huge energetic force sucked all energy from the earth, destroying all of nature, revealing what lay buried in the depths of the earth, a large coiled cobra. Then a giant tidal wave came and washed over everything, bringing a new order. I stood calmly as all of this took place around me. After the tidal wave I calmly walked away, followed by the cobra, to higher ground, but all that had been was transformed. The valley that had been a river was now the ocean, transformed from the personal to the universal. This is what I understood as important now: the new world order is universal love and compassion.

Last night I had another dream in which I heard a loud booming voice say: Kill the cobra in the bathtub! At first I thought it ridiculous, there was no cobra in the bathtub! And secondly, I couldn’t kill anything, let alone a cobra, the symbol of spiritual awakening and universal consciousness in my earlier dream!

Upon reflection, I realize that is exactly what must happen. We must kill the cobra in the bathtub. Not to be misconstrued as killing the enemy, but as per the following meaning:

If we are all spirits living a human existence our challenge is to bring spirit fully into our human lives. To do that we must suffer. There must be sacrifice. Think of Christ on the cross, Buddha under the bodhi tree, Jesus in Gethsemane, all examples of suffering leading to enlightenment.

Marie-Louise von Franz, in Shadow and Evil in Fairytales tells a tale of a white horse that guides and protects the protagonist. The white horse tells the protagonist that in order to be saved in the end the protagonist must cut the horse into pieces and throw its severed parts to the four directions. The protagonist is horrified at the idea of killing this beautiful horse that has been its savior and companion, but at the crucial moment does the deed and all is well. Now, back to the cobra in the bathtub.

In the first dream, the cobra followed me and now it’s in the bathtub. It went from the ocean, the collective unconscious, to a small body of water, a bathtub. It’s in too small a container. The bathtub is personal consciousness, a small body of water over which man has control. The cobra in the bathtub is under control of the ego, though its real home is the ocean, the deeper, uncontrollable unconscious, which it longs to return to. Thus, a cobra contained is madness bursting to be free. It is the urge to go to war.

When the cobra followed me out of the ocean in my first dream, it was foreshadowing what was to follow if the natural balance was not maintained. In the first dream all was as it should be, nature restored to balance, though greatly transformed. The cobra, in following me, was hinting that there was more to come.

Restore the balance... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Restore the balance…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The truth is, the cobra doesn’t belong in the bathtub, it belongs in the ocean. In its containment it is going mad and thus has to be killed. Out of the sacrifice of the cobra will come healing, for the snake is a symbol of healing, yet it is also a symbol of destruction. The cobra specifically has a helmet-like mantel that when expanded means it is about to strike, so watch out!

The cobra is like the Goddess Isis that Chuck wrote about in his blog this week, a symbol of the dark and the light, life and death, destruction and healing. The lesson is that these contrasts must be kept in balance. And the greater unconscious does not belong in a tiny bathtub, as the human ego is quickly overwhelmed. It can only take in the fullness of what lies in the collective unconscious a little at a time or it will go mad. This happens to people who experience true reality in visions and overwhelming insights, they often go mad.

So what does this have to do with ISIS and world events? The lesson is that we must rid ourselves of the ego attitude that the cobra in the bathtub signifies, it is too powerful and unwieldy. We are kidding ourselves if we think we can contain this madness. We must sacrifice its deadly urge to strike, its dark side of hate and destruction and find the healing answer in love. We must all kill, within ourselves, the urge to go mad with hatred. We must overcome our passion for destruction.

Yogananda’s teacher, Yukteswar when confronted by a deadly cobra that rushed angrily at him, with hood expanded, conquered it with his love.*

The ego continues to toy with the cobra, wondering how it will tame it, but we must remember that the cobra is deadly. It will not be contained and nothing the ego comes up with will subdue it. Kill the mad cobra by seeking refuge in love, which releases the healing power of the snake, and then the Goddess energy returns to natural balance, as shown in my first dream.

The Soulbytes and the Message from Jeanne this week have all been about stabilizing the ego and remaining focused on what is right. Monday’s audio message implied that those who pray are innocent at heart, i.e., it is not Islam that is the enemy but the disenfranchised, misguided and misdirected youth unable to find meaning in today’s world.

As Hermann Hesse stated when the German youth were being drawn to antisemitism preceding World War II: “…the form of [antisemitism] with us now among misled German youth does a lot of harm, because it prevents these young people from seeing the world as it is and because disastrously it encourages the tendency to seek out a scapegoat on which to blame everything that goes wrong.” **

We must keep in mind that we are spirits living a human existence and as such we must each create our own bridge from the spirit realm to the human realm. I bring what I learn in my channelings and my dreams, daring to speak of what comes through me.

Even just a little love will do the trick! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Even just a little love will do the trick!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Much as I would rather just recoil back into my own little world, I feel the obligation of these dreams and messages as they ask me to leave my comfy quiet and put out what comes through. I have, after all, resolved to walk this path of spirit more fully. It is what we must all decide to do now.

The messages are clear: Love, which will only fully release from the the healing power of sacrifice, is the answer.

Jan

* Autobiography of a Yogi, p. 98.

** Portrait of Hesse, Bernhard Zeller p. 98

Lessons in a Life: The Power Of Thought

It matters what we think, for we draw to us what we think. Even thoughts left unspoken yet still swirling in the mind attract. Ideas we have about ourselves manifest as we continue to repeat them and believe them.

Spines and prickles,  like so many unwanted thoughts... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Spines and prickles,
like so many unwanted thoughts…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Anything we focus on with intention, both good and bad, whether we are conscious of doing so or not, affects us. Sometimes our negative thoughts rule us to the point where we have no other sense of self except these negative ideas. And such negativity has very negative vibes attached to it.

Thoughts matter. You can prove this very simply. Think of something bad that happened or something that makes you sad. Notice how you feel. Now think of a good thing, something pleasant, a happy place to be. Notice how you feel.

We can consciously monitor our thoughts, by constantly bringing our attention back to our thoughts and asking: What am I thinking about right now? Is it a good thought or a bad thought? How does it make me feel? Does it bring me positive energy vibrations or negative energy vibrations?

If we decide we want to change something about ourselves, the first place to start might be in changing what’s going on in our heads. We can be sure that what we think finds a way in and affects us in some way, often in ways we are not even aware of. And a lot of thoughts just aren’t good ones!

A Meditation

A simple 2 to 5 minutes of quiet and focused breathing, with intention to change your thoughts and your energy too, might just begin the biggest change of your life. It’s very simple.

Focus on the heart center and breathe into your heart the following words, saying them softly or silently to yourself: “Goodness, kindness, compassion and love in.” Exhale through your heart center the words: “Goodness, kindness, compassion, and love out.”

Take another breath into your heart center and say the words: “I am breathing into myself goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.” Let the power of good words and good thoughts fill you. Ask them to remain present in you, even as you exhale.

As you breathe out through the heart center, say the words: “I am breathing out into the world goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.”

Then breathe in again, saying to yourself: “I am filling myself with goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.” Breathe out into the world with the words: “I am filling you with goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.”

The Mantra:

Goodness, kindness, compassion and love in.
Goodness, kindness, compassion, and love out.
I am breathing into myself goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.
I am breathing out into the world goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.
I am filling myself with goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.
I am filling you with goodness, kindness, compassion, and love.

Try some simple centering and calmness... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Try some simple centering and calmness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

A simple breath and a simple mantra, for a few minutes at a time, is a powerful way to change our thoughts and to also reap the rewards of positive thinking as well as the generosity of sharing our goodness, kindness, compassion, and love with the rest of the world.

We are all capable of doing this. No one is more or less equipped. Let your heart show you that this is true. You might even notice, as you breathe in and out through your heart center, that your head is pretty calm and quiet. And that’s really the message I wish to pass along today: Focus more on the heart, leave the head alone.

Breathing and sending good vibrations to everyone,
Jan

Note: I am shifting, pulling away, after today’s blog, from writing every week. In the meantime, a new collaboration between me and Jeanne, the Soul Sisters as I have been calling us, is in the works, to be revealed in the coming weeks!

Lessons in a Life: A World Without Borders

In the 1970s I lived in Sweden. I went there to live with my boyfriend. He later became my first husband. Entry into the country on a visa was easy. Since I was living with him, I had no problem. Had I been a refugee the process would have been a bit different but not too much more difficult had I been able to prove refugee status. After six months my visa was renewed for another six months. Permanent residency took a lot longer to achieve. We waited somewhat nervously for the authorities to approve my staying on. Eventually, after several years, full residency was granted.

As soon as I entered the country and applied to stay on, however, I was automatically granted entry into the system, into the state medical plan, into the sick leave plan, into higher education should I want it, into Swedish language classes. If I remember correctly I could vote too, at least in local elections. There were schools for retraining. Had I arrived with no discernible means of making a living I could have retrained, for free, in any number of occupations or skill sets. It’s a Socialist country after all.

The Buddha reminds us that we are all compassionate beings... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The Buddha reminds us that we are all compassionate beings…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The Swedes have had a working system in place for dealing with migrants and refugees for a long time. During World War II they began taking in people fleeing the Nazis. I knew of a couple, in their late fifties when I met them, who had escaped from Germany, as seventeen year olds, along with a group of other children of all ages, led by members of the underground, all heading to Sweden where they were welcomed with open arms. They traveled on foot for weeks during the cold winter months. The woman, Dora, lost several toes from frostbite. She and Herman met on that long trek, fell in love and married upon arrival in Sweden. They were inseparable.

They told of being compassionately cared for upon arrival, given everything they needed, though they were frightened and couldn’t speak the language. They were given the opportunity for new life and they never forgot it. They spoke always with gratitude for the compassionate people who had risked their own lives to help them along the way and for the Swedes who took them in. They did learn to speak the language fluently and eventually became Swedish citizens.

Sweden, whose population had been slowly dwindling, had invited in foreign workers during the 1960s and 70s to temporarily work in the car manufacturing plants, providing badly needed labor making Volvos and Saabs. By the time I arrived their intake system was well established and pretty seamless.

I read in an article in The Telegraph the other day, that along with Germany, another country that also took in guest workers during the 60s and 70s, Sweden is one of the key destinations for the Syrian migrants as it is offering permanent residency to all Syrian asylum seekers. That’s compassion. It has already gotten 64,700 requests for asylum. For a small country that’s an awful lot.

The article in The Telegraph addressed the dilemma that the Danish police faced as they tried to stop the migrants, who had come by ferry from Germany, from entering Denmark. The migrants had no intention of staying in Denmark; they just wanted to pass through. Many were attempting to walk along the highways in the direction of Sweden when they were stopped.

After a while the Danish police released the migrants. They did not want to fight or harm anyone. They let them stream into their country. They opened their borders for that moment and let the people go to whatever fate they chose. No borders that day.

There is no easy solution to what is happening to the Syrians and others who are running as fast as they can from the approaching apocalypse, as they see it, but perhaps the compassionate Danes, in stepping aside and letting those desperate people travel safely through their country, offer one solution. And perhaps that’s all it will take, at least for the time being, making decisions based on what is right in the moment. True, they could have also let in ISIS adherents traveling among the migrants, but they took that chance for the betterment of some many hundreds of lives.

It’s always time for compassion,
Jan

Read the article here: Denmark Blocks Motorway