Category Archives: Recapitulation

A Day in a Life: Evolving Recapitulation

I really am in the final throes of editing my next book in The Recapitulation Diaries series: The Edge of the Abyss. For this week’s blog I post another excerpt, as I am conserving my time for editing. As the recapitulation proceeded I constantly discovered just how my inner process was leading me to learn what I needed to learn about myself. Guided by the intent of the process of recapitulation itself—its intent set long ago by the Shamans of Ancient Mexico—I was swept up in that intent, for better or worse, married to it. Though I often felt that I had married a monster, at other times I knew I had married a prince. In the end I discovered that I had been married to myself all along—if that makes any sense! I don’t believe this excerpt needs the same kind of warning as some of the others that I’ve posted. It’s really just about gaining valuable insight about the journey of life and moving forward with renewed intent.

"Look what I bring!" my child self says... Bottle art by Haldis. Photo by Jan Ketchel
“Look what I bring!” my child self says… Bottle art by Haldis. Photo by Jan Ketchel

From February 6, 2003: My son, sick with the flu and a 103° temperature, sleeps in today. I get my daughter off to school and contemplate what I woke up thinking about earlier this morning: shame, and the child inside me who continues to carry it around like a heavy boulder. I’m pretty sure the adult self let it go a long time ago, but the child self sneaks into the adult world at times still bearing this heavy burden. She plunks it down in front of me and says: “See! It’s still here.”

As I peer at this big boulder of shame that she drags around, I suddenly experience complete separateness from this child self, and with utter clarity I understand that she is the one who so tightly rolls into that fetal position every night. Clutching all the pain and shame, she’s still very much alive, residing somewhere deep inside me, while I—the adult—have gone on into life. I’ve grown up and done a lot of adult things, distancing myself from her as much as possible in order to do so. Now, I clearly understand that I went on so I could one day return to this moment, so that I could one day be in the position I’m in right now, intent upon rescuing the child self still inside me and, in so doing, rescue myself.

Until today, I’ve had such a difficult time seeing and believing myself to actually be more than one being, fearful of what it might mean about me, perhaps that I’m crazier than I thought. But only in acknowledging that I am many beings simultaneously will I be able to embrace the crystal clear insight that right now, in this moment, hits me: fragmentation is a valuable skill!

In one aspect of fragmentation, my fully present adult self is able to step outside the memories and from her perspective carefully and sensitively guide my child self. I see this as an evolving aspect of the recapitulation. I realize that in so doing I’m finally able to reciprocate what my child self once so protectively did, as she fragmented, repressing the memories in the process, so I could grow up. I’ve simply not been in a position to fully embrace this insight until now, but it’s very clear that fragmentation is an important tool that has a valid place in the healing process.

"I can do this now," my adult self says... Photo and painted bottle art by Jan Ketchel
“I can do this now,” my adult self says… Photo and painted bottle art by Jan Ketchel

As I continue to hone the use of this skill, I imagine that all of my parts will eventually merge. As my adult self joins forces with my fragmented child selves—my sixteen little girl selves—and grants them each an opportunity to express themselves, they will no longer be alienated parts, separate from the whole. Once each part has told her tale and been fully acknowledged for both her pain and her bravery, another part will link into this healing process, another part offered the way home. Clarity and wholeness will eventually come, as new ideas and new perceptions about life in general and the past in particular are accepted and assimilated too.

It’s really the job of the adult self now to make all this happen, to introduce the guidelines, for only she has the wherewithal and the stamina to take on this monumental task. It’s what I’ve been preparing for. She must nurture and prepare each of the fragmented selves now too, make them welcome, and fully assimilate them into the inner circle of the new self. It can’t happen without a strong adult presence, a loving, respectful, and compassionate self. That kind of maturity is key to this whole process.

Thanks for reading!

Chuck’s Place: The Benefits Of Early Recapitulation

Detachment is a different view…

Those who have returned from near-death experiences report that upon leaving their bodies and entering into an out-of-body state, their entire lives flash before them in a single instant. Every nook and cranny of life lived is relived and reviewed. This is the ultimate recapitulation experience that we will all encounter, an essential component of transitioning from this life to the next.

The Buddhists are particularly cognizant of this experience at death and spend a lifetime honing skills of detachment so they will not get caught in the trappings of fear, regret, or longing for life lived in this world. Lack of preparation for this encounter upon dying is a major karmic variable for future incarnations, according to Buddhist tradition, as one’s future life is influenced by enduring attachment or non-resolution of life lived in this world as one travels through this moment of recapitulation.

Though the Buddhists spend a lifetime preparing for recapitulation at the moment of death, within Carlos Castaneda’s lineage, shamans discovered that recapitulation could be consciously and volitionally performed while still in this world. These shamans discovered that by recapitulating before dying we not only enhance our options upon death, but vastly change our experience of life in this world. Through beginning an early recapitulation we are afforded the opportunity to make ourselves whole, and with our full energy available to us now, achieve fulfillment in this life.

As a clinician, I returned from my journey into the shamanic world of Carlos Castaneda with the knowledge that recapitulation was a tool for total healing. Regardless of the shattering impact of the most horrific trauma, recapitulation enables us to retrieve our fragmented selves and energies, as well as disentangle ourselves from the binding energies of others that have compromised our growth and fuller potential in this life.

Recapitulation is an inevitability. We will all recapitulate our lives when we die. If we can’t face and know the full truth of who we are and the life we’ve lived now, will we be able to do that at the moment of death? Will we be so overcome with fear, regret, and longing that we will have to return to relive it all again?

Excavating and sculpting the self…

The shaman’s gift of early recapitulation offers us the opportunity for deep fulfillment in this life, as well as the evolutionary advantage to advance beyond reincarnation upon completion of life in this world. Furthermore, recapitulation is a magical pass. Magical passes have been performed for centuries in the shaman’s world. Magical passes are imbued with the intent of all those shamans, and anyone who undertakes a recapitulation is supported by the vastly helpful intent set by those shamans.

Here is an excerpt from Jan’s upcoming book, On the Edge of the Abyss, the second year of her recapitulation series in which she experiences this intent: “It’s eerily apparent that no matter what arises in the unfolding of this process, in which Chuck and I are but a small part, there is a sense of everything fitting together. We both remarked on that yesterday, as if we had been thinking the same thoughts. In some way, my dreams always show me where to go next—deeper truths revealed while my conscious self is out of the way—while the memories come in such a way as to suggest that everything is orchestrated. And I sense that whatever or whoever is helping me is worried about my energy. I sense that it wants to keep me whole and safe, deeply caring that I arrive at a place of total healing.”

When we recapitulate we must encounter the full truthful impact of life lived. How could it be otherwise? If we skip over that, we haven’t truly retrieved and mastered our real selves and our real experiences. However, we must keep in mind that we are protected and guided by a power greater than ourselves, by the ancient intent of recapitulation. That intent is that we fully revamp our lives, that we fully sculpt our energetic selves, and that we fully release all the burdens of extraneous energies formerly bound to the experiences of the unknown self. With this now fully-known and energetically-replenished self in charge, we are freed to live life to the fullest and to fully love the life we are living.


Chuck’s Place: The Mirror Of Recapitulation

Mirror of Self

Imagine the horror of looking in the mirror and seeing nothing. This is the experience of many young heroes who look to the world for safety, approval, encouragement, and love, only to be met by disapproving, rejecting eyes, or perhaps blank eyes incapable of meeting, or even worse, a wolf’s eyes intent upon feasting. The reaction of this young unwelcomed “me” is stinging shame, a curling inward around a deeply vulnerable full-of-potential self that protectively walls itself off and sinks into the womb of the unconscious. In its stead, the young hero self is charged with bringing life forward, awaiting the call from the deep unconscious to finally come and participate in the birthing of the true golden child when conditions are ripe for it to be born into fulfillment in this life.

The call to the journey of retrieval from the unconscious can come in many forms: a deep depression midway through life’s journey—where the energy to fund the current life has dried up, and the search for new energy to find meaning and fulfillment requires mining the depths of the unconscious to find the missing pieces of self—is a frequent prelude to the journey. Often the emergence of long walled-off traumatic memory may intrude upon consciousness in a dream, a flashback, or in powerful physical symptoms and pain. Often the call is mistaken, concretely, for physical ailment and only once that is ruled out can the real journey begin. Today too, much focus goes to genetic diseases requiring chemical cures, clouding the true meaning of the symptoms: a call to action by the deeper self.

Another complication in undertaking the journey is the veiled hope of rescue, of vindication by some mirroring person in the world to liberate and meet the deeply walled-off self. Though experiencing love can go a long way in healing, to truly be open to the intimacy and vulnerability of real love as adults we must first take the journey of inner liberation to free the unborn self from its illusions regarding love. We must first dismantle the walls of defense erected long ago to protect the golden but shamed self. To go to love without liberation is to invite dependency, fear of loss, and a persistent dark cloud of doubt around worthiness that no other person can ever remove. The search for the liberating other can mesmerize us for decades before we realize that the real needed partner for the journey is the ego self, willing to take the plunge into the darkness and find its lost soulmate, waiting within.

Love lies buried within

Dismantling the protective walls surrounding the true self is the task of recapitulation. In recapitulation, the present self—forged through years of heroic efforts—becomes the midwife to the golden self. Practically speaking, this means truly suspending judgment and being fully present to the truths of the buried self. These truths may come full of excruciating physical and emotional pain. As the present self meets the eyes of the buried self, it mirrors compassion and total acceptance, encouraging the buried self to reveal its deepest truths with all its emotional intensity. Without collapse, deep shame, rage, hatred, and sorrow are systematically allowed to be fully felt. Gradually, the power of the old feelings to shut down access to the gold is diminished.

As recapitulation progresses, it becomes clear that there is nothing more powerful than the truth of the self and its unborn potential for fulfillment. Driven by its desire for this fulfillment, the ego self welcomes and ultimately merges with its lost self in the truest of loving unions. In this mirror of acceptance, regardless of what is presented, lies the deep validation needed to encourage new life and for transformation to blossom.

With this union, the self is finally freed to open to the outer world and enjoy extraverted love and fulfillment. And now, a glimpse into the mirror reveals only the glowing golden self looking back.

From the heart,