Old Age and the Warrior Traveler

At the end of his journey of learning, and almost without warning he will come upon the last of his enemies: old age! This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one he won’t be able to defeat completely, but only fight away. This is the time when a man has no more fears, no more impatient clarity of mind – a time when all his power is in check, but also the time when he has an unyielding desire to rest. If he gives in totally to his desire to lie down and forget, if he soothes himself in tiredness, he will have lost his last round, and his enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge. – Carlos Castaneda, The Teachings of Don Juan

In 2015 I wrote a blog entitled warriors and the four natural enemies. Today I want to talk about the natural enemy of old age because this is the era that many who have aligned themselves with the Toltec path of knowledge and awareness are entering into. I bring this up at this time because I am witness to a group of warriors – who I have done work with for decades – succumb to old age, and some of them are still in their 40s. As a result, I felt myself slipping into a state of perma-rest until recently when faced with the choice of acquiescing to the predator or continuing the battle against it.  Wake up call! The battle for knowledge and freedom continues.

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Switching Gears

I now understand why it is so difficult to be able to trust in the flow of life because in order to do so, we must make a conscious choice to not allow our minds to control our every moment, our every thought. When we take a stand to be in our power, we come to recognize that our power isn’t really ours, per se, but belongs to the flow of the universe that is guiding us, providing for us, and orchestrating our life’s events with or without our approval or consent. ~ Lorraine Voss, Becoming Awareness

So what to write now? Writing a book of non-fiction is as big of a distraction as any, one that anchors the writer into patterns and stories that have, in the case of my book, already been recapitulated. While writing this book I had to recount decades of experiences and information. There was no other choice than to reconnect to the energy of all those stories. In such an arduous undertaking, there was little time for being present for dancing along new lines of awareness. Continue reading

True Knowing Comes from Silence

“The main thing is that you realize that there is no such thing as ‘the teachings of Castaneda’. I just try to be direct and to act from my silence – a course of action which I recommend for you, because it does away with madness…If you want to verify the tales of power, you have to open up to experience. Don’t shield yourself behind your interpretations, because in spite of all our studies as modern, ordinary men, we know very little about the world.” ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

Even though Carlos and Don Juan talked about specific practices that must be done in order to achieve certain goals, they empowered others to have their own experiences by connecting with silence – with the abstract. They put a lot of effort into ensuring that the path of freedom didn’t turn into a conventional or traditional path. One of my benefactors worked in the same manner. While imparting his wisdom and even traditional knowledge to me, he always encouraged me to work from my own vision. To verify things for myself and to avoid accepting another person’s words at face value.

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Knowledge and Language are Separate

The nagual Elias used to tell me that the whole of humanity has moved away from the abstract, although at one time we must have been close to it. It must have been our sustaining force. And then something happened and pulled us away from the abstract. Now we can’t get back to it. He used to say that it takes years for an apprentice to be able to go back to the abstract, that is, to know that knowledge and language can exist independent of each other. ~ Don Juan, The Power of Silence

Don Juan goes on to tell Carlos, knowledge and language are separate; for a sorcerer an abstract is something with no parallel in the human condition. Sorcerers meet the abstract without thinking about it or seeing it or touching it or feeling its presence.

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Intent

One of the most misunderstood words presented by Castaneda is “intent”. In his books, he creatively intertwines the multiple meanings of intent with each other which leads most to focus on creating an intention or intending something rather than simply aligning with intent. But, aligning with intent is not simple.

The dictionary version of the definition for intent includes:

adjective
1. firmly directed or fixed; earnest; intense; an intent look
2. having the mind or attention firmly directed or fixed; engrossed intent on his studies
3. strongly resolved intent on going
noun
1. an act or instance of intending
2. something intended;
3. one’s mental attitude, including purpose, will, determination, etc., at the time of doing an act

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