Book Review

My book received a really cool book review, with this accompanying image from Carlos Castaneda’s book, The Fire From Within, and I want to share it here. It’s been so interesting to receive feedback about the book and I appreciate the time that has been taken by those who have left Amazon book reviews and/or contacted me with personal insights from the readers’ perspective.

Thank you, John, for a very interesting and supportive review!

Beyond Carlos Castaneda’s Teachings: A New Perspective

Rare is the book that comes along that is both a pleasure to read, as well as serves as a treasure trove of insightful knowledge into personal and spiritual growth. Lorraine Voss’s Becoming Awareness is one such book.

Early within “Becoming Awareness”, Lorraine mentions Carlos Castaneda and the books he has written. Some explanation is due to this mention.

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life outside the box

A warrior cannot have the luxury of following people’s ways, nor can he be a reactionary, because his freedom means to exercise other alternatives. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

This is a great quote. Our freedom is contingent upon our ability to remain awake and fluid, to not become bound by ideas, stories, and patterns. All of the paths in the world have the potential to enslave us, to turn us into followers of specific protocols, doctrines, or dogmata. It is when we decide to belong to a specific membership that we adopt the ideas of another which carries the danger, for a warrior, to act from a point of reason. This ultimately leads one to inadvertently employ or uphold bastions of judgements against those outside of their chosen and often structured beliefs; as though they have something to defend.

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Fusion With the Emanations at Large

Seers maintain, naturally, that awareness always comes from outside ourselves, that the real mystery is not inside us. Since by nature the emanations at large are made to fixate what is inside the cocoon, the trick of awareness is to let the fixating emanations merge with what is inside us. Seers believe that if we let that happen we become what we really are – fluid, forever in motion, eternal. ~ Carlos Castaneda, The Fire from Within

The degree of awareness of every individual sentient being depends on the degree to which it is capable of letting the pressure of the emanations at large carry it.

As human beings accumulate experience, the band of emanations inside their cocoon begins to glow. In some instances, the glow of this band of emanations increases so dramatically that it fuses with the emanations from the outside. Seers, witnessing an enhancement of this kind, had to surmise that awareness is the raw material, and attention, the end product of maturation.

Attention is the harnessing and enhancing of awareness through the process of being alive. To examine what seers see in the first attention is essential for the warrior-traveler dedicated to freedom. It allows the first attention the only opportunity it will ever have to realize its own workings as well as the machinations of the mold of man.

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Recapitulating the Non-Personal

To move the fixation of the planet is the only way out from the dramatic state of slavery to which we have been reduced. The course of our civilization has no exit, because we are isolated in a remote location of the cosmos. If we do not learn how to travel along the avenues of awareness, we will come to such a state of frustration and despair that humanity will end up destroying itself. Our options are the way of the warrior, or extinction. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters With The Nagual

In response to a recent questions about recapitulation the impersonal, recapitulating the impersonal encompasses the vast area of that which has been held by the position of the assemblage points of others, even if we never allowed our own assemblage points to fixate upon those lines of awareness. It is that which warriors see, that which enters into the scope of the warrior’s awareness when they have amassed enough personal power to truly see the vapidness, manipulative machinations, atrocities and stories of perpetuated myths of the monkey mind. Once a warrior has recapitulated the personal and has enough personal power to truly see all of the stories of the world that are maintained by the predator, they are then able to unwrite and recapitulate these impersonal lines of awareness. This territory is frightening to the extreme, walking deeply upon the lines that lie within the world of the predator, but it leads to even deeper levels of understanding, incredible awareness, and the potential to shift the assemblage point of the earth.

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Not-Doing

The residue of consciousness, called the second attention, is brought into action, or is harnessed, through exercises of not-doing . The essential aid to dreaming is a state of mental quietness, called “stopping the internal dialogue,” or the not-doing of talking to oneself. In a woman both the attention and the energy for dreaming originate from the womb. ~ Carlos Castaneda, The Eagle’s Gift

A fellow warrior recently asked a number of questions on the post Choosing Evolution. I cannot succinctly answer all of the questions asked since my perspectives and perceptions lie deeply rooted in the energies that emanate from the womb but I will attempt to provide the evolutionary course that works for me.

A Warrior’s descriptions are conceived from experience and action and not whimsical notions concocted to entertain. Once a warrior acts she is able to share her descriptions of the world in freedom, without imposing her will upon others to travel upon the same lines of awareness.

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When the Battles Have Ended

On the cosmic scale, the strength of a being is not measured by its physical capability, but by its capacity to manipulate awareness. It follows that if we are to take the next evolutionary step, it must be done by means of discipline, determination, and strategy. Those are our weapons. In order to manipulate and understand the emanations which arrive to our senses, sorcerers develop the power of their attention, sharpening it through discipline to exquisite levels, which allow them to transcend human limitations and to fulfill all the possibilities of perception. Their concentration is so intense that they can penetrate the thick armor of appearances, and expose the essence of things. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

Recapitulation Complete? Check.

Mold of Man Broken? Check.

Personal History Erased? Check.

Death as an Advisor? Check.

Predator Defeated? Check.

It seemed impossible. Diligently walking the path of the warrior towards total freedom while being constantly mindful to use what Carlos referred to as the weapons of discipline, determination and strategy has had its payoffs. It seemed an arduous task, and it was; breaking the patterns, unplugging from the man-made matrix, experiencing the Toltec mysteries, traveling throughout Mexico, taking the journeys, abstract flights, meeting other warriors, writing, writing, and writing.

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Why Do I Always Say “Keep Dancing”?

I fidgeted nervously, changing sitting positions, and he smiled.

“I will have to come with you over and over to this hilltop,” he said. “And then you will have to come by yourself until you’re saturated with it, until the hilltop is oozing you. You will know the time when you are filled with it. This hilltop, as it is now, will then be the place of your last dance.”

“What do you mean by my last dance, don Juan?”

“This is the site of your last stand,” he said. “You will die here no matter where you are. Every warrior has a place to die. A place of his predilection which is soaked with unforgettable memories, where powerful events left their mark, a place where he has witnessed marvels, where secrets have been revealed to him, a place where he has stored his personal power. “A warrior has the obligation to go back to that place of his predilection every time he taps power in order to store it there. He either goes there by means of walking or by means of dreaming.

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A New Band of Awareness

They (sorcerers) don’t look for definitions, but for results. If a practice is able to elevate our level of awareness, what does it matter how we explain it to ourselves! The means by which we will start acting to save and increase our energy are not important, because once we are in possession of our totality, we enter a new field of attention where we don’t care about concepts anymore, and things demonstrate themselves. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

When we can perceive from the perspective of “double vision” we are able to flow effortlessly among the various states of awareness, no longer clinging to this or that or the words that define them, i.e. tonal, nagual, 1st, 2nd or 3rd attention, stalking, dreaming, etc. The ability to have “double vision” allows us to merge multiple points of reference from which a new point of reference emerges. We align with intent and through that alignment we have no choice but to see things as they constantly unfold and then to participate in that creation or simply be a witness to it. From here we can, indeed, begin to navigate from a state of pure perception.

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Artificial Intelligence

There is no doubt that the description we have received (of living in the world)  is a valuable possession, similar to the rigid stake that is tied to a tender sapling to strengthen and guide it. It allows us to grow up as normal people, within a society that is molded to that rigidity. To achieve it, we had to learn how to ‘skim’ – that is, how to make selective readings from the enormous volume of data that arrives to our senses. But once those readings are converted into ‘reality’, the rigidity of our attention works as an anchor, because it prevents us from becoming aware of our incredible possibilities. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

I’ve been thinking lately about artificial intelligence and how our species is rapidly evolving into the arena of exactly that. Most people are “skimmers”, merely touching the surface of a subject in order to accumulate meaning and knowledge. Yes, as you know this is nothing more than self-importance, nothing more than accumulating knowledge to claim to know things without really knowing anything.

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Volunteers in the Sorcerer’s World?

The ape that we have inside yearns to have someone to guide him, he needs to believe that there are superior entities who can magically solve his problems. As children, we are always hoping that somebody will show up and take care of the situation. From this, cults are born that, in essence, are ways of leaving the responsibility for one’s own growth in other people’s hands. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

The American Heritage Dictionary defines cult as 1. a system or community of religious worship and ritual; 2. a) obsessive devotion to a person or ideal; b) a group of persons sharing such devotion.

That said it seems safe to say that every religion, spiritual belief, intentional community or membership into anything (gyms, gangs, clubs, fraternities, military, etc.) is indicative of cult-like behavior. The preferable word for cults has become cultures or traditions but the bottom line is they are cults and for you language enthusiasts, the Latin word cultus is the root of the words cult, cultures and cultivated which all refer to worship, care, nurturance, devotion, ritual and ceremony. This basically covers everything from the way you dress, the way you worship, the way you talk, the music you listen to, the way you define yourself. All of it part of a cult in one way, shape or form. The human brain is exceedingly malleable and one can be coerced and manipulated into doing or believing anything if they don’t have enough personal power.

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