If you continue on the path of knowledge, you will soon discover that explanations are placebos, since they never fulfill what they promise. For each thing they clarify, they generate a trail of contradictions. In fact, we never understand anything; true teaching is physical and we only get it after years of fighting. That is the nature of the lessons of the nagual. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual
Every path is an illusion, a story, a pattern. I am re-reading, Journey Without Goal: The Tantric Wisdom of the Buddha by Chogyam Trungpa. I have always enjoyed Trungpa’s work and find many similarities at an energetic level to what Castaneda has written. Tantra is pure energy, and Tantric practitioners experience the direct connection to the energetic life force that Castaneda refers to as Intent. It has always interested me that Castaneda’s work is most closely aligned with Tantra than any other thing.
Whether one calls it the practice of tantra, sorcery, aligning with intent, honing awareness or connecting with silence doesn’t matter, those are just words, something to define the practice. Tantra is about becoming free from the cycle of suffering and sorcery is about darting past the eagle to be free. The point, from my understanding and experience, is to become free of the patterns (suffering) and connect with pure consciousness, awareness and silence. And from here one truly lives.
Both the Tantric and Sorcery paths are about freedom from the dogma and patterns of repetition though they both teeter on the edge of becoming dogmatic religion, in fact, all paths, religions, and spiritual modalities are repetitive patterns, nothing more than illusion. Spiritual materialism is a waste of energy and more often than not just a self-important, ego based, shout-out to promote oneself through recognizable iconry. Even the bible is correct in saying, accept no false idols. And while I’m no theologian, I would venture to guess that the word GOD in the bible, before it was corrupted by religion, probably was the word used at that time to represent the indescribable force, divine consciousness, pure energy; aka Tantra and intent.
So, if all paths are an illusion, how do we move forward? Practice, pure and simple practice without attachment to a goal, in fact, there is no goal. Goals are set for the “self” and the self cannot attain utter freedom or liberation because in the grand scheme of consciousness and total awareness, there is no self! Journey Without Goal. There is no goal, there is only practice. Meditation, silence, recapitulation, experience, seeing; it’s aligning ourselves with intent and allowing new energy to emerge. This is evolution and as sure as we grab onto self-fulfilling goals we are repeating patterns and thwarting evolution, stifling it completely in fact.
Practice = emergence. When we stop chasing the carrot, any carrot, we begin to relax and realize that the carrot is an illusion. When we sit amongst people talking about the right way, best way, traditional way, only way and recognize the foolishness of so much talk and observe in silence, we see how shallow and empty their words are. All that is called for is aligning with intent, getting out of our own way and seeing things for what they truly are; energy. It is when we are completely still that we experience an emergence, a new energy, a vision, a creative spark, a song, a poem, a dance, an idea. When we are open is when we can see the wide and beautiful range of colors dancing among this world like flashes of light that barely emerge when we are bogged down with goals, expectations, attachments. The Heart Sutra even says, “There is no wisdom and no attainment because there is nothing to be attained.” Emptiness is form, form is emptiness.
An hour of practice can sweep years of explanations off the table, and real results appear, results that stay with you forever. As you turn yourself into a witness of power, the obsessive pressure of your mind to be in charge will be cancelled out, and in its place the childlike spirit of adventure and discovery will be reborn in you. In that state you don’t think anymore, you act. ~ Carlos Castaneda