People often ask about the loneliness they experience on this path of awareness and express that it seems difficult to maintain awareness on a path of freedom in a world where the majority of people are not aware or free.
Sometimes the greatest role a warrior can play is the part of the observer. It is through detached observation that we can truly appreciate the foibles of man and when we recognize this, there really is no other choice except to laugh and laugh and laugh! Don Juan laughed at Carlos all the time. Carlos was a struggling warrior apprentice in the beginning of his association with don Juan, with a lot of self-importance and attachment to the world at large. (Carlos was not, in my opinion, the idiot he made himself out to be but he wrote his books in a way that allowed each person to see themselves, regardless of their individual struggles as warriors on the path to freedom and he deftly outlined the obstacles that we may allow to get in our way.)
A warrior’s aloneness is rooted in seeing the world as it is. Knowing full well that 99% of the drives and desires of the world around him or her is illusion; a sham construct of pathetic self- importance and distraction from the truth. And yet, in seeing there is great humor watching the constant play that is being acted out in front of one’s awareness. He learns to laugh out loud, to smile inwardly… and through doing so connects even more deeply with the unfathomable force that aids the warrior’s knowledge that everyone has a chance at freedom, everyone. He or she is not special at all, thus all are equal in the quest for freedom. And freedom is the greatest gift.
In The Fire from Within, Don Juan said, To be a nagual, among other things, means to have no points to defend. A nagual has no obsessions. To have no points to defend is a defining moment for a warrior; to be able to sit in complete silence in the face of extraneous circumstance no matter how big or small it may be is what it means to be impeccable. To observe the indescribable force blowing through and around you and the decisions that people choose to make within it is art in motion to me. And more and more often there is nothing to do but laugh.
And from Tales of Power, I am going to disclose to you a warrior’s secret. Perhaps you can call it a warrior’s predilection. The life of a warrior cannot possibly be cold and lonely and without feelings because it is based on his affection, his devotion, his dedication to his beloved. And who, you ask, is his beloved? I will show you now.
His love is the world. He embraces this enormous earth. The earth knows that he loves it and it bestows on him its care. That’s why his life is filled to the brim and his state, wherever he’ll be, will be plentiful. He roams on the paths of his love and, wherever he is, he is complete.
This is the predilection of a warrior. This earth, this world. For a warrior there can be no greater love. Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one release one’s sadness. A warrior is always joyful because his love is unalterable and his beloved, the earth, embraces him and bestows upon him inconceivable gifts. The sadness belongs only to those who hate the very thing that gives shelter to their beings.
This lovely being, which is alive to its last recesses and understands every feeling, soothed me, it cured me of my pains, and finally when I had fully understood my love for it, it taught me freedom.
Listen to that dog’s barking. That is the way my beloved earth is helping me now to bring this last point to you. That barking is the saddest thing one can hear. That dog’s barking is the nocturnal voice of a man. It comes from a house in that valley towards the south. A man is shouting through his dog, since they are companion slaves for life, his sadness, his boredom. He’s begging his death to come and release him from the dull and dreary chains of his life. That barking, and the loneliness it creates, speaks of the feelings of men, men for whom an entire life was like one Sunday afternoon, an afternoon which was not altogether miserable, but rather hot and dull and uncomfortable. They sweated and fussed a great deal. They didn’t know where to go, or what to do. That afternoon left them only with the memory of petty annoyances and tedium, and then suddenly it was over; it was already night.
The antidote that kills that poison is here; this earth. The sorcerers’ explanation cannot at all liberate the spirit. Look at yourself, you have gotten to the sorcerers’ explanation, but it doesn’t make any difference that you know it. You’re more alone than ever, because without an unwavering love for the being that gives you shelter, aloneness is loneliness.
Only the love for this splendorous being can give freedom to a warrior’s spirit; and freedom is joy, efficiency, and abandon in the face of any odds.
The opportunities that warriors are constantly given, to dance within the energetic flow of all things, is an amazing gift. This is freedom. And sometimes it means that we have to walk alone for a day, a month, a year or through the empty spaces in between. The Buddha said, If need be, we must walk on alone. That is a much better choice than walking with fools. And to walk in solitude for a time is in itself an amazing gift because you are unencumbered by other people’s words, actions and perceptions and must rely solely on yourself. This, too, is freedom!
Don Juan often says that to be a warrior is geared towards struggle or battle. Some people are extremely opposed to the use of these words but that’s exactly what a warrior’s path entails. As a woman, I’d like to say that the battle, for the most part, has been a dance in fluidity, flexibility and mindfulness.
The spirit of a warrior is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning or losing. The spirit of a warrior is geared only to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior’s last battle on earth. Thus the outcome matters very little to him. In his last battle on earth a warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear. And as he wages his battle, knowing that his intent is impeccable, a warrior laughs and laughs. ~ Don Juan, A Separate Reality