The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity. – Don Juan, Tales of Power
Everyone has the ability to make a choice. Let’s say that we can choose something productive, artistic, positive, or innovative. This sounds like a great way to utilize our precious life-force energy. To create something is an act of power. It is the harmony of thought and action, an opportunity for bringing the tonal and the nagual into balance. Everything creative comes from the tonal. It allows the position of the assemblage to be fluid and open to perceive things in new ways. The energy flows.
Now let’s look at the possibility of choosing something with a negative, harmful, repetitious or derivative outcome. This choice is not harmonious or creative and has the propensity to put the person into states of self-pity from which self-importance arises. This plummets one into deeper states of remorse or self-doubt. Such a choice is rooted in the tonal, in the everyday grind, and lacks creativity. In fact the tonal cannot create – it can only witness, judge, and mold things to justify the position of a fixated assemblage point.
We wind up using the same amount of energy in choosing creativity or repetition. When we choose creativity, the positive and harmonious, we actually wind up increasing our energy. We have become creators and co-creators with intent in alignment with Source energy. We are light, intuitive, open, and free. With an increase in energy we see that the sky is the limit. Actually, we recognize that there are no limits to our creativity.
When we choose repetition, however, we descend into density and are weighted with doubt and remorse and as a result our energy decreases and we become anxious, fixated upon despair. We feel as though the world is crushing us, extinguishing us. We blame others for our condition, we blame the world. As our energy becomes depleted we are unable to aspire to anything and we either delve deeper into our despair until we break or we pull ourselves up, knowing that we have choice, and in that knowing we choose something greater.
A creator comes to know that the only choice for them is to choose the way of the warrior leaving the world of the average person behind. To live the way of the warrior is to live aligned with creativity and power, the power of self-expression and the manifestation of the nagual, of Spirit in their lives.
To live as an average person is to succumb to a world that predetermines how you will live in alignment with the patterns that already exist. Existing as a simple meme while striving to fuel its self-importance by dispersing the seeds of repetition to the masses as a means of having knowledge or power. To be in the flow of power does not mean to have power over others.
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. – Don Juan, Journey to Ixtlan
Thanks for this post, I work with these ideas, and look for the place of empathy for so many victims of the masters of the tonal. Don Juan gives dramatic testimony to the depredations of the Mexican military on the Yaqui Indians. (by the way, the usual textbooks will say that Columbo derived Indian from thinking he was in India, no so, it derives from En Dios, the people of paradise). When I look at what the US has done to indigenous peoples all over the world, it pains me in my heart and mind. It is true that I can and do turn to painting, poetry, wood working and yoga and sitting, hiking in the mountains, etc. to find solace in creativity, but there is always a tension between the foot in the tonal and the spirit in the Nagual. I like your posts because they are so helpful, they draw me out of my grumpy old man view of the world, and help to bring me back to a center of a different kind of considering. Just now I recommend the movie, “Happy go Lucky”, that takes a special view of this human condition. Let us not forget, while we are at it, that Don Juan details a path to escape from the Human Mold. Or the dangers of becoming a devotee to our own misunderstanding. I am also reading “being wrong” a fun text with a lot of value to the enquiring mind. At any rate, more thanks to you for your examinations of the text, and your comments on it.
I hear you. This quote soothes me:
“Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one release one’s sadness,” don Juan said. “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.”
As an artist, when looking into the vast blank page, it is courage to create that guides my initial steps. Every mark a new inspiration. No one can comment on the blank page of nothingness holding infinity. So too, I try to live my life with the same courage, to awaken to infinity and to know that no one can comment or distract my first breath as I open to a new day, new moment… blank slate of infinity staring back at me.
When the mark making begins to tire me, I know the patterns are old and uninteresting. They have no self passion, no illumination… they are weighed down with something foreign… and installation that no longer serves. But as an artist, I know I can either move in another direction, paint over, recreate or consign that creation to the fire where it warms the studio for another blank slate.
It takes courage as Rollo May said about creation… infinite courage because we must look always into the depths and create ex nihilo….. this is why I am a warrior, courage… courage in creating. Thanks for the constant reminders!!!
Constant acts of creation! Keep dancing!
Thank you for this post, it was just what I needed at this time. Sometimes the choices we make are not the best ones but yes, we always have choice.
That’s why one of the four agreements by don miguel ruiz is to always do your best! Thank you.
Spiritual intention, rather than mental intention, breeds true freedom. From true freedom comes action, rather than choices, which seem interchangeable to most. When we act, as we have created ourselves to be, we will produce results of that intention, free to be, not what our mind tells us we are. Be who you are rather than think yourself into oblivion, for it is from infinity that we have arisen.
“… Freedom cannot be an investment. Freedom is an adventure with no end, in which we risk our lives and much more for a few moments of something beyond words, beyond thoughts or feelings…To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there. Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up against the light of a billion stars, remains intact, because it never pretended to be more than what it is; a mere candle.”
Don Juan Matus “The Art of Dreaming”
Thanks for sharing your understandings of his lessons. You touch the spirit.