Saturday, August 11, 2018

Love: Not Just A Pesky Human Feeling

A few thoughts on love, collected from various conversations with seekers along the way.


Love isn't "just" a fluffy human feeling/emotion. It is actually a moving/living force which has the power to create or destroy, depending on the intent and will of the practitioner.

Without love, nothing gets done. Others may argue that it's sheer intellect that drives them, but I would challenge that belief. If one doesn't love life, one has no reason to go on breathing. Even if you hate your job, your friends and all your inbred relatives, there is something inside you that loves life or finds a reason to terminate it (whether immediately or in the long-term). Love is what drives us to do anything and everything - if you are willing to stop and actually think about it. Silly example: I might rightfully detest my unscrupulous competitors in our business, but it is my love of seeing them fall on their face that keeps me going. Even anger has its roots in love if you are willing to look deep enough.

Ultimate folly: trying to explain love to someone who refuses to admit its existence.

Love can either be used to create, or suckled at like the teat of addiction. Too many people seem to think love is about what you do for others or some funny feeling in the pit of your stomach when you're really just feeling an urge to make whoopie. But real love is probably the most selfish thing of all. It is what moves the Will. Without love in some form, there is very little reason to do anything - if you stop to think about it. If not... then love is just lovey-dovey, frilly-willy, hippie-dippie.

Some insist love is delusional – that it doesn’t exist at all. If you think love is delusional, why bother saying so... unless you just need to bolster that belief in yourself. Clearly, anyone who believes that has no real clue what unconditional love actually is, and such statements are typically made from a perspective of fear, even if it's masquerading as intellectual posturing.

As far as love from a Toltec perspective, I'm not even saying love is necessarily an aspect of Toltec. But there is more to life beyond even Toltec - something that seems to be difficult for Toltecs to comprehend. In that way, Toltec has become just another religion for most who claim to follow it. And if they are truly following it, they have missed the point altogether since true Nagualism advocates losing all programming, including its own.

I don't make comments or posts on the internet to entertain people, and certainly with no delusion that I can teach them anything. Put another way – you can't teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and annoys the pig.  Nobody is really listening, so why are we even talking?

The only devil is religion itself.
Every time I even use the word “teach” in any form, someone is sure to accuse me of trying to convert others in some weirdly religious manner. Truth be told, I'm as far from religious as it is possible to be. Religions are the quantifiable "devil" they try to warn everyone else about - hiding in plain sight... and a lot of Toltecs fall right into quasi-religious adherence to Carlos Castaneda's methods, even when it becomes obvious those methods might not be working for them as individuals. But because Carlos said so, it is gospel, and therein lies the dark danger of religious quackery.

The problem is - so many of the "practices" are followed willy-nilly, when Nagualism must be practiced as a system of knowledge. But people don't want to hear that because it means real work and not just adherence to a single aspect, such as dreaming or stalking or recapitulation. It also means throwing all the books away and forging our own path to freedom and not just to an altar piled high with someone else's books. If not practiced impeccably, Nagualism (like anything else) runs the very high risk of becoming just one more cult following (not unlike Catholicism).

Another commenter on a group I belong to spoke at length about meeting Taisha Abelar, Florinda Donner, and others in the Toltec community who were contemporaries of Carlos Castaneda. But as I told him, who you met is pretty much irrelevant. *shrugs* I met William Shatner on numerous occasions, but that doesn't make me Captain Kirk. I had ample opportunity to meet Castaneda but never did because I recognized the allure of his celebrity and the tendency humans have to become infatuated with it and to even draw false conclusions about the person based on their own projections. So I chose not to go down that road, but to walk my own path with heart... alone. Not a decision I have ever regretted.

If we're talking about meeting others in Dreaming, that's a different category altogether. I once met Carlos in a dream, and he was with a "witch" who attempted to stop my heart. It was an interesting encounter - a test of the type that tells me exactly why I have no great desire to play power games with people who like to play power games. What's the point? I won't be put in a position to have to prove myself to anyone - I have nothing to defend, after all, nothing to prove. So I told Carlos and his witch to take a flying leap, which they did. Did I win? Did I lose? Neither. The only winning move is not to play.

It’s been argued that love is dangerous or delusional because “love forces you to fall in love with it.” Actually, no. Love doesn't want you to love it. It isn't sentient in and of itself, so it doesn't give a rat's ass one way or the other. Love is a force and a motivational tool. You can pick it up, and you can even put it down if that's your choice. But to think it controls us... I can't help but see that as a manifestation of fear rather than a reflection of reality.

Another commenter said: "None of these emanations [Editor’s note: love, fear, hate, all human emotions] have any reason for existence except to supply sentience and sentient beings. Otherwise I doubt they would even exist. And as such, I believe sentience created them for their own purpose."

That's circular logic at its best and really doesn't make sense in the big picture. You would have to assume sentience existed in the first place, and that is getting perilously close to belief in a deity or creator of some sort - a belief with which I don't personally align. I choose to think all emotions come from us (from all living things - not just humans, but all living things) and that each one serves its own purpose. Even the so-called negative emotions have a purpose. Anger can give us strength. Fear can enable us to run when something wants to have us for its dinner. Even the darkest emotion of hate can keep us safe from something that wishes to harm us. Love, on the other hand, gives us reasons to do things we might otherwise never do. These things weren't created by sentience, but by necessity - in the long and arduous process of evolution.

The path of the death defier is rooted deeply in love - love of life, love of being, love of this Earth. Sure, we could dig up other words for it, but I think most of us know what the word means even if some feel the deep-seated need to banish it to the realm of "delusional." It is love of life, the unknown, the mystery, that makes me choose the path of the death defier. Maybe some can choose that path from a purely intellectual assemblage, but I think that would become sterile and dull after a century or two, and probably a lot sooner.

The only way anyone knows of Love is by allowing the assemblage point to assemble it. We learn by doing, in other words. Aside from that, it's all just psychobabble while the ship is sinking.

To those who would say that love is an addiction, or that “Love makes you fall in love with it, so it is therefore an attachment…”  I've found that, with clarity, a warrior can have love without needing love. Kinda like... I can have a piece of cake without needing it. I do agree that some (most) people seem to believe they need love. That's part of the program - absolutely! Everything in our culture promotes that belief because love is a commodity to be sold and profited from; but the warrior with clarity knows love isn't something that can be bought or possessed. And there are so many different kinds of love - most of which are transient but nonetheless useful when they come around - unless they are allowed to turn into obsessive love, at which point they aren't really love at all... but that's a whole other discussion for another day.

Bottom line - only unconditional love is unconditional. Up to and including the part where we realize we can have it without needing it. Love becomes part of us. I'm sure most warriors would argue that we need clarity and power. I don't disagree. I just think we also benefit from unconditional love - which actually boosts power and clarity for anyone who is willing to step past their fear of it and experience it directly instead of trying to analyze it from a safe distance.

Another thing I find troublesome is what I consider to be absurd speculation - the time-wasting variety. "What if Trump is the anti-Christ?" That's a good example of absurd speculation, since the debate would hinge on whether one is pre-programmed and pre-tenderized by the Eagle to believe in an "anti-Christ" in the first place. "What if Carlos made it all up?" One of those have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-yet kinda questions. First, no matter what answer you give, it's wrong. And second, there is no way to know whether Carlos did or didn't invent the whole concoction, so... it’s wasting time/energy just discussing it. But contemplation is a necessary part of the path (like love).

Assimilation is simply putting together
the pieces of what you've learned.
One thing my mentor stressed was what he called "the art of assimilation." At a certain point, he said, "I've taught you all I can for now. I want you to take what you've learned and slam it up against the real world to see how it fares in the harsh light of day." The result was that assimilation is the process that forces warriors to integrate what they have learned into their day-to-day life and into their spiritual evolution. Without assimilation, it's all still just information. So, yes, contemplation is part of the equation, whether contemplating the potential effects of whether Castaneda made it up, or contemplating the statement that "We are beings who are going to die."

My concern also arises when well-meaning believers (in just about anything) pass their erroneous beliefs on to the next generation. It's one thing to tell your kid fairy tales about Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. Maybe even that is a touchy subject with some; but to fill the heads of children with a belief in a punishing, vengeful deity that demands their lifelong and unwavering belief and worship... It's that kind of belief that creates whole new generations of fearful bigots who polish up their pitchforks and turn into angry mobs in the name of some (imagined) "God." I agree that all should be free to find their own path, but where do we draw the line between that and the fact that while they are in the process of finding themselves, they are often a very real danger to every other living thing on the planet? It's a rhetorical question - but one that needs to be asked. I realize we can't legislate against stupidity, but there is clearly a problem that can no longer be swept under the elephant in the room.

Sex, Love and the Man On the Moon

So many people equate sex with love and love with sex, when the reality is that they have very little to do with one another. Maybe nothing at all. Nature/biology designed us in such a way that we are driven by our hormones to mate-or-die. In that way, Vulcans and their pon farr got nothin' on us horny, sad little hoomans. But sex ain't love and making babies ain't love. It's biology, straight-up and often ugly. (Thus the term: bumpin' uglies. It's a medical term. Look it up. Really, really!) It makes us crazy. We'll fight for it. Risk life and limb for it. Even kill Captain Kirk for it! But it still ain't love... just sex. Nothin' more, nothin' less, so sorry to burst anyone's fragile belief hymen.

Some humans go to the bother of "falling in love" in the aftermath of sex, or in the advance anticipation of it, because nature also designed us to be at least somewhat partner-oriented in the raising of all those babies we accidentally or even deliberately make when being driven to distraction by the mating dance. Back in "olden times" it was vitally important to have a nurturing mother and protective/providing father. Sloths and mammoths and warlords, oh my! Nowadays, maybe that kind of partnership isn't required as much, but our biology is still hard-wired through DNA to the past even though culture/society has evolved (de-evolved?) around us and we find ourselves in "the future" without having even a gnat's ass comprehension of how we got here.

No matter... point simply being - there's a vast difference between The Mating Drive and the creative power of love as a spiritual/evolutionary force. Knowing the difference can save a lot of hurt and herpes, and keep one out of shrink's offices and divorce court.

To argue against love is to argue against life.


A Related Article On this Blog:
Love: The Catalytic Force of Immortality

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Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Origins of Fear

There was a recent discussion on my Quantum Shaman Facebook Group regarding various tools used in the pursuit of spiritual Knowledge. The discussion opened with a look at Ouija boards, and the comments that followed were, to be honest, surprising to me, coming as they did from people who profess to be on a path of spiritual evolution and personal enlightenment.

Why my surprise? Because of the depth of outright fear expressed - fear that one might become possessed by using a Ouija board, not seeming to understand that The Exorcist was fiction, just another Hollyweird fairy tale designed to scare the crap out of horny teenagers at the movies on an otherwise dull Friday night. And yet, the idea that Ouija boards promote possession by demons invaded pop culture like a virus and spawned a terror that remains rampant to this day, some 45 years after Linda Blair told Father Karras that his mother sucks cocks in hell, and proceeded to masturbate with a cross.

It's just a movie, people. Just like Ouija, Witchboard and all the others. Fiction.

Demons sold separately.
Some assembly required.
A Ouija board is a very simple tool, and it is one which can be used wisely or foolishly.  It does not come with a slew of demons or angels, nor does it have any interest whatsoever in possessing your soul (assuming you have gone to the bother of nurturing one).

The warrior who sees realizes that a Ouija board is a piece of processed wood accompanied by a piece of plastic. There is nothing sinister about it, other than what the users bring with them.

This is true of any tool - tarot cards, runes, crystals, hammers, a saw, a screwdriver. It's the intent and mindset of the user that determines the outcome. Point being - to fear a Ouija board is tantamount to being afraid of a wooden picture frame or a sippy cup. The tool has only the power you give to it.

People are afraid of tools because they have been programmed to be afraid of them. Between Hollywood, social media, and Christianity, it's a wonder anyone can walk down the street in broad daylight without being afraid of demons, dark spirits or some other form of boogeyman.

I was asked privately, "Della, why are you harping on this?" Simple. I'm tired of all the fear-based posturing in the so-called "spiritual community." Tired of people hopping on the new age bandwagon and believing whatever they're told by some self-proclaimed guru or nagual or yogi in the same way people hop on any religious bandwagon and become "believers" instead of seekers. I take my role in the spiritual community very seriously - and I would define it as assisting seekers in stripping away the programming & false belief systems that ground them in fear and create insurmountable limitations as a result.

Most of the things we fear are only shadows created by our own false beliefs - but we start to see the shadows as monsters and then make the doubly-dangerous mistake of concluding that the monsters are real and must be banished. And so it ends up that a lot of people devote themselves to banishing "the devil" when, in reality, they might as well be committed to banishing Cylons or Orks.

When I used to do psychic readings, I was often told by fearful xtians, "Oh, Della, don't you know that stuff is of the devil?" When I read Tarot cards, same thing - "Those things are evil - a tool of Satan!" When I have channeled Orlando (my double) I am constantly asked, "Are you SURE it's not an evil spirit? Are you SURE it's not the devil himself?"

Yes, I'm sure. And you would be, too, if you did the actual work instead of constantly trying to tell everyone else how dangerous it is or how the devil is out to get them or how many crystals you own to protect you from the (imagined) evil forces. After awhile, fear is not only self-limiting, it spreads like a virus to those around you because that is its nature and that is the agenda of the consensus - to keep you in a tight program of what you've been told is right or wrong. And don't forget to follow the money and the power. More often than not, you will find priests and politicians at the root of the root of all evil. So put a hundred dollar bill in the collection plate, cast your vote for what you've been told is truth, justice & The Right Way... but never forget you are just a pawn on the playing field of the powers that be until such time as you throw your fears away, get off your ass, and actually do the work of finding out for yourself. What's possible? What's right? What's wrong? What's real? (Helpful hint: virtually nothing we believe is real, which is why this is so important).

After awhile, I came to realize that I'm probably wasting my time even attempting to overcome the fear and self-limiting belief systems that run rampant in the so-called "spiritual community." People clearly want to be afraid and believe in "the devil" (or the evil-du-jour) because it's a comfort zone that requires no thought, no action, and no forward motion. As long as they can wholeheartedly believe (not "know" but just blindly believe) that Ouija boards are evil or Tarot cards are of the devil, or channeling is always from the demonic realms, then they have abdicated any responsibility for actually doing the work of direct personal experience. Easier to believe a wild-eyed Baptist minister that Hell is a reality than to think it through for oneself. Easier to think the boogeyman will get us if we ____________ (fill in the blank) than to strip away the insane beliefs that assault our senses from cradle to grave.

Ask yourself this: where did you first come to believe in god or the devil (or whatever deities and demons your religion foists upon you)? I can virtually guarantee it didn't just come to you while you were sipping a mint julep on the porch one hot summer afternoon. It came to you from parents or teachers or so-called "religious leaders". It's something you were told and not something you have experienced. And therein lies the fatal fallacy that slaughters all sense of reason.

If a man picks up a hammer and uses it to kill half a dozen people, is it because he was possessed by the evil hammer, or because he was mentally ill? Same thing with Ouija boards and Tarot cards and runes and channeling. Should we all stop using hammers because somebody used one to kill someone? Think about it. Tools are just tools - they can be used to build houses or kill your spouse. And it's still not the fault of the tool.

It will always be easier to stand still and shriek in fear than to move forward into the unknown. Sure, there are dangers, but they are largely self-created and self-perpetuating. But there are also incredible wonders that you will never discover if you are hobbled and shackled by your own pre-programmed belief systems and irrational fears.

This path is dangerous to your comfort zones. Cowards need not apply.

Della Van Hise, July 5, 2018
All Rights Reserved

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Of Ghosts and Roses

Once Located in Land o'Lakes, Florida, the Green Gables
Motel was an insignificant blight on an otherwise lush, green
landscape. Oh - and it was also irrefutably haunted.
The place where I grew up was either haunted or cursed (take your pick). I saw my first full-body apparition at the age of 8 - not once, but twice, in my bedroom. Many odd things happened there over the years, including my "father's" suicide in that same room in the year 1973.(No sympathies, please - the man was a tyrant, and as it turned out, not my father at all). 

I was 6 or 7 here, standing by the "pond" which is actually
an extension of Lake Padgett.
The property was actually a 10-unit motel, a tiny house held together by termites holding hands, and several outbuildings. The 5-acres backed up to a pond/swamp/lake, and it was known that an aquifer ran underneath the entire property, giving additional credence to the possibility that the land itself was haunted, since it's a somewhat accepted fact among paranormal investigators that water increases spirit energy. 

Shortly after the death of The Old Man, I moved out at the age of 17, leaving the place in the rear-view mirror. For several years, nothing unusual happened in my own life, though my mother did say she saw a "man" standing outside the bedroom window (yes, the same room) more than once. That might be entirely explainable, if not for the fact that the house was actually raised at least 2 feet and so the "man" would have had to be 8' tall or more... but no matter. We'll file that under the heading of, "Weird Shit Happens In Florida."

It was 15 years or more after I left that I began being "pulled" back to that haunted motel. In dreaming. Or, more precisely in what might be called an astral or out-of-body state. The first time this occurred, I was intentionally terrified by a dark force that apparently resides on the property. The "dream" was such that the details were more than crystal clear - the house still stood exactly as it had when I was perhaps 8 years old. Faded red carpet in the living room, jalousie windows covered with dust, curtains that had seen better days, the broken-down flower-pattern sofa, and the lush green grounds out in the courtyard. In one corner stood the forgotten old console television dragged home from some thrift shop, never worked right and only got 2 channels on a good day. The scent of amarillo lilies and tea roses drifting in through the open window... a setting that might have been nostalgically idyllic if not for the overwhelming and literally heart-stopping sense of pure evil that permeated the very fabric of the vision itself. 

In the context of the dreaming, I knew I had been called there to do battle with this Thing. It had no name. No gender. No identity of its own. It was simply a living force - though I cannot even say with certainty that it was alive at all. I found a sword in my hand, though it was more accurately a dagger, and a small  one at that. At this time in my life, I had never been trained in the use of daggers, knives or other sharp objects, other than for cutting into a juicy steak, so I was not only out of my league with this Thing, but also lacking in any type of skill set. I felt the entity laugh at me, projecting its power onto me as if to smother me. I was dying. I knew I would die. And then it was dark and I was back in my own bed somewhere in southern California. 

In reality, the house and all the motel units had long since been torn down, the property abandoned, where it would be eventually reclaimed by nature. But at the moment I awakened in my own bed, I realized some other force had actually pulled me out of there - a force for which I had no name at the time, but one which has since come to answer to the name of my own double, Orlando. Though I was grateful (beyond words) for his intervention, I felt I had been utterly defeated by this Thing which was apparently attached to the property where I grew up. It was not something I wanted to think about. It was certainly not something I ever wanted to encounter again. And so I ignored it, hoping it would go away.

A few years passed, so long that I had almost forgotten about the Thing and the defeat and the terror it had caused me. But then I was again pulled back into that same crystal-clear setting sometime around 1980...  This time, I was better prepared - though to be honest I could think of no reason why I had been singled out to do battle with something that was light years beyond my own abilities. Though I had trained heavily in martial arts for several years by this time, I was no fool. Even the most proficient martial artist would be no match for what amounts to an invisible opponent, one comprised of the pixels of Evil Intent itself. As my first martial arts teacher once said, "You can't fight the devil with a toothpick." Funny, since neither he nor I believed in "the devil," but the sentiment was clear and absolutely true. So when the Thing moved against me in this second encounter, I lay down the dagger and said out loud, "If it was your intent to kill me, would I not already be dead?"

The double is the vessel of our awareness beyond this mortal
form. We create it and strengthen it through intent, and
most of all, through unconditional love of Life itself.
The entity paused, but didn't stop its advance - though I did sense that it might have been considering my words. Then it was dark again, and Orlando was reeling me in, back into the safety of my own bed, my own body, somewhere in the stagnant suburbia of San Diego. I mumbled something that amounted to a thank you. Orlando only harrumphed. "If you die, so do I," he said as if it should have been obvious. "Self-preservation is a powerful motivator." And then he, too, was gone, leaving behind only the sharp echo of his words.

Time passed again. Over the years in between Then and Now, I engaged my path with heart fully, beginning in 1988 and continuing to this day. I studied the works of Carlos Castaneda, and found that they validated many of my own experiences, including my interaction with what the Toltecs call "the double." I applied myself to the healing arts, the mystical arts, and spent the next 20 years or so in what amounted to a self-imposed state of monkhood - reading, learning, practicing, applying the knowledge to my life, being particularly drawn toward the mystery which is the double. Wrote about it extensively in my first book (Quantum Shaman), and experienced so many magnificently strange things that I finally defeated the programming that tells us our dreams and visions are impossible, and insists that only the Real World exists. Sounds easy, perhaps, but it's the hardest thing any of us ever have to do - but it is also the only thing that gives us our freedom and awakens us to our own power.

Me & mom - with one of the motel units in the background.
Further back among the trees is the lake/swamp.
Then, last night - the early morning hours of May 12, 2018 - I was drawn back to that Dreaming again, into the same eerie setting that looked like something out of a scratchy celluloid commercial from the late 1950s. This time, I found myself in one of the dilapidated motel units - unit #9 to be precise. In the context of this dream, my mother was still alive (though she passed of natural causes in 2006). It was known to me that she had been living in this unit, but now the dark entity stood between her and myself. It was playing a wicked game of hide-and-seek this time - condensing itself down to the size of a little boy, hiding in the shadows, trying to lure me to come in and chase after it.

Instead, I called out to my mother, but there was no answer. Intuitively, I knew this was not because any real harm had come to her, but because the entity wanted me to think it had harmed her. It wanted to anger me. It wanted to get an emotional response rather than an impeccable one. It wanted me to come into its domain, into the darkness where it held all the power. This continued for several minutes, until I finally said to It, "I'm not going to chase you because I don't want you jumping out at me (my attempt to lure it into making a false move). If you want to play, come out and show yourself."

Love reaches where anger & fear cannot.
After awhile, I felt a movement in the darkness, like a cold wind sneaking in through a crack in the window. When it emerged and once again projected the full force of its Evil Intent toward me, I literally felt myself transform in an instant. The dagger I had been holding had become a single white rose. My own body was taller, more ethereal, and most definitely male. I was the double. I was Orlando. Though I could not physically see the entity, I laid the rose at its feet and only then realized there were tears in my eyes. In Orlando's voice, I heard myself say to the entity, "I am sorry for whatever happened to make you what you are."

For a moment, there was only the most profound silence I have ever experienced.Then the vision shivered and shimmered and I simply knew the entity was gone, and I also knew it was unconditional love that had defeated it (or freed it) without ever a battle needing to be fought.

So perhaps you can't fight the devil with a toothpick. Maybe with a rose. And definitely with the quantifiable force of Love.

Copyright ©  2018
Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Trouble With Teaching

Stolen with permission from Mikal Nyght's forum, Immortal Spirit.  At the author's request, a few revisions were made for publication here. I can only offer my complete and heartfelt agreement to every word expressed in this entry. (Quantum Shaman)

The Trouble With Teaching

I spent most of this past weekend involved in an amusing but intense conflict with an apprentice. It matters little to me. I have all the time in the world. Most don't.

The problem with attempting to teach is that most who call themselves apprentices or even just seekers appear to wholeheartedly believe they are already Masters of the Universe, Keepers of All Knowledge, and Resident Experts on Everything In Existence. The mere fact that the reality of it is a trifle different never occurs to them, and they will spend most of their time arguing for what they often say is their "right to be heard" (*banging fist on the table and expanding chest like a puffer fish*) 

My hearing is excellent. My experience is comparatively vast when held up next to that of most 18-30 year olds who initially say they want to learn from me, but then create entire little armies of dissenters who do nothing but argue and attempt to discredit the messenger. If that's your goal, it's fairly easy to do. After all, this messenger has claimed to be immortal, so he has given you all the ammunition you should need to bury his credibility in a shiny mahogany coffin somewhere in the vicinity of Forest Lawn. It isn't necessary to endlessly debate my teachings. It is only necessary that - if you really want to learn - you try them and be willing to move on if you find they don't work for you, or even if they don't resonate with your existing programming to such an extent that you are filled with angst and dread at the mere thought of continuing on this path I have described.

No one is holding you in place but you. What's amusing to me is when someone points out to me some little corner of the internet where a few "seekers" are gathered together lambasting me or my teachings, or Carlos Castaneda, or Miguel Ruiz, or Della Van Hise, or Buddha, or Somebody None of Us Ever Heard of... not because the dissenters are right or wrong, but because the teachings have rattled the cage of their comfort zones, and now the demons of their own self-importance are angry and demanding their day in court, when the only ones really on trial are themselves - The Program vs. The Seekers. And, sadly, The Program always wins because there is nothing more validating than a bunch of naysayers piled up in a huddle suckling at the festering boob of consensual validation itself.

Do what works for you. But don't assume that when something doesn't work for you, it's the fault of the teaching or even the teacher. Most times, apprentices fail not because the teachings are flawed, but because the apprentice insists on remaining flawed even when being offered a long list of workable solutions. I'm not speaking only of my own teachings, but any teachings of any competent spiritual adviser.

Carlos Castaneda once said in an interview that he considered himself to be a flawed student, not any sort of master, and that the teachings offered by don Juan and transcribed by himself were not for everybody, but only for the few who could shed their self-importance and overcome their fears. And while that might sound elitist or even arrogant to some, I would have to agree with his assessment, particularly with how it applies to my own efforts to pass along the Knowledge I have gathered over the long march of The First Fundamental Lie (aka Time). Those who argue the hardest are those who do the least, or who are perpetually looking for "work-arounds" that allow them to circumvent the task of unraveling the garbage that clearly holds them prisoner to the garbage. I always welcome questions and even discussions that might be called heated. All I ask is that both parties speak from experience. Direct personal experience. If one party isn't doing that, the game is already forfeit. Experience trumps belief every time.

It must also be taken into account that words do not exist to adequately explain much of what occurs within the apprentice during this process of bootstrap evolution. It reminds me of the oft-repeated statement that only when you are on the far side of the bridge do you have the capacity to look over your shoulder to see how the bridge was built. Change is difficult on a good day, and virtually impossible on a bad day. Some might say most days are bad days, but my perspective is that most days are insignificantly neutral. Life is what you make of it. If you Intend to attain the immortal condition, nothing can stop you. If you're looking for reasons to say it's impossible, you've already lost the battle (and yourself).

Define what you want. Know who you are and don't pretend to be someone you aren't. If you are being someone you aren't, where is that going to lead you? Are you trying to emulate the change you want to embody, or are you just being a poser while you wait for Death to come calling?

Love is the reason.

If you aren't doing whatever it is you do out of a sense of love and wonder, you are running in place on a slippery slope. You can't waste my time. But you can definitely waste your own. Think about it.

Darkly everafter,
Mikal Nyght


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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Let's (not) Pretend

One of the biggest steps I ever took was coming to accept myself, including and especially my so-called "dark nature" and all. I've told this tale before, but will repeat it briefly, since it has bearing here. There was a time when some friends were visiting here in the desert, shortly after we moved here, but just prior to our re-engaging with Orlando through his letters - probably around early 1994. I was in a transition phase, not really knowing what I was going to do next in my life - whether to pursue writing or venture off into another area altogether. I'd had some major setbacks in my writing career, and nothing else seemed to be opening up, so I was at a crossroads where none of the intersecting streets had a name or even a hint as to where they might lead.

These three friends, well-meaning but a bit naive, kept insisting that if only I would try to be more positive, more cheerful, more on the sunny side of the street as opposed to the shadows... in other words, if only I would be more like them... all would be well and I would find happiness waiting at the end of that rainbow they always seemed to be dancing on. And yet, in hindsight and based on how their lives have unfolded since that time now 25 years in the past, I have to say they would have been right at home in Stepford. One of them became a closet alcoholic (and had been all along), another addicted to drugs (and had been all along), and the third became what amounts to a card-carrying internet troll. So much for their sage advice.

Pretending to be happy doesn't make you happy. Acting as if you have all the answers doesn't make you wise. Believing you know what's right doesn't make it right.

And yet, perhaps because I was extremely vulnerable at the time, I found myself thinking on their words and actually trying to be more fill-in-the-blank.  Ultimately, however, all I was doing was attempting to upload yet another false personality. By trying to subjugate my autumn spirit and mask it with spring, I was programming myself to ignore the beauty of a falling leaf only because society in general finds more value in a fresh blossom (because that is what they have programmed themselves to believe). In trying to always outrun the storm because someone had told me there was more value in the sunlight, I was failing to appreciate the soft caress of the rain, the delicate beauty of the snow. In attempting to be something I wasn't, I was losing track of who I-Am.

It took awhile for me to go through this process, but ultimately I began to see that it is only by working with our nature that we can learn to enhance, expand, and evolve. That isn't to say we can't achieve greater balance, but the balance I discovered is one of finding joy, delight, happiness, beauty and appreciation within my own nature instead of trying to upload someone else's program of what we're "supposta" be. When I finally realized that and accepted that about myself is when - "coincidentally" - Orlando reappeared in our lives and the path began to really unfold. As long as I was trying to be something else, I was lost in the program.

So by all means, toss those programs out the window! A predisposition to "darkness" isn't evil anymore than the night is evil. Evil is always a matter of human intent, and it's nothing more than a social/cultural program that makes us question our nature. There are some people - many, in fact - who are hard-wired to the moon over the sun, the rain over the cloudless sky, autumn over summer, night over day. It is simply a variation in the yin and yang - and to try to "fix" it would be like trying to fix someone because they have green eyes instead of blue, blonde hair instead of brown. If all women looked like Hollywood's idea of perfection, we would live in a malnourished world indeed. If we all ran around like bliss ninnies without ever acknowledging that our trials and tribulations shape us as much if not more than our happiness, we would all sit in a field of yellow flowers staring at the sun until we were blind.

Never let anyone tell you who you are.  That's your secret, your power, and your evolution.


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