Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Naked in the Dark with Your Death

  • A predilection isn't the same thing as a compulsion. I have a predilection to be a moody prick but if I indulge that compulsion then all I am is a moody prick, a slave to the dictates of my biological bent. The main point don Juan wanted to make about predilections is that they exist. Don Juan's predilection was to laugh, so there was no particular harm in indulging that one. But he knew Carlos's predilection was to be maudlin & melancholy, so he was always cautioning Carlos NOT to indulge that predilection because to do so was unhealthy for Carlos and everybody around him. Predilections are to be recognized and accepted, yes, but to indulge them is to admit one isn't strong enough to make a choice that goes against their animal leanings. Indulgence is just another form of slavery no matter how you label it. (Dan)

  • It's important to recognize our predilections - to have an awareness. But if we stop there and just live down to our lowest common denominator animal instincts, we have failed our commitment to our own impeccability. Some kids have a predilection to be lazy, but if the parents just accept that and do nothing to change it, then the predilection is enforced and the kid grows up to be a lazy adult. Where's the growth or evolution in that? Some people have a predilection to be angry or cruel or even perverse, but the question is whether we choose to act on our predilections or use our awareness to make a more impeccable choice. To just blindly accept our predilections is to live down to the lowest common denominator of hormones & programming and all the ingredients that make us human. Rising above our predilections is one of the first steps toward becoming other-than-human. (Della)
A good friend posted the quotes above from a private chat, but I'm afraid it will fall on deaf ears - as most stuff online tends to do. What I've observed over the past 8 years of hosting forums is that most folks have already pre-determined what they are going to believe, what they are going to do, and whether or not they have any intention of changing (i.e., evolving beyond their base-biological urges). Most are, unfortunately, stuck in habitual patterns of behaviour which are determined either by their gonads, their addictions, or both. Ouch. Ugly truth. I'll get hate mail for that one. They will use their predilections, their gonads, their addictions and their anger-management problems to justify almost any sort of lowest common demoninator thinking and lowest common denominator behaviour. They will tell you things like, "I'm just predisposed to be an asshole, and don Juan said it's okay." The reality, of course, is that don Juan said no such thing, but they would never consider allowing reason to sway them from their beliefs, because those beliefs validate their existing comfort zones and give them a good excuse to go right on being an asshole. *LOL*

It starts to remind me of Bible thumpers - using all manner of "scripture" to back up their belief systems. They might thump on the works of Castaneda or Jed McKenna or their own personal guru to justify whatever it is they want to justify - just as many xtians thump on the Bible and use it to validate their belief that God wants them to hate gays, for example, or that women should be kept barefoot & pregnant. Reason never enters into it. Not for a single moment.

So when I look at the tirades and the scripture thumping that goes on, all I can do is stand aside and be sadly amazed at the utter lack of understanding these folks have about their (so-called) spirituality. Spirituality on ANY level isn't about using your predilections to hammer or hurt someone else. It isn't about pointing the finger at your guru and blaming him for your failure, when the only one who can fail or succeed is the one in your mirror.

There's a big hooplah these days from people who are FINALLY figuring out that their greatest teacher is themselves - but in the meantime, they are quick to blame and demonize their former teachers (who have been telling them from the start that their greatest teacher is themselves). Amazing, frankly. I've had that fickle finger of blame pointed at myself a few times in the past year, and it always comes down to one thing. I can honestly say from my own heart that I have NEVER sought followers - too high maintenance and frankly, what purpose would they serve? And, in fact, when a few have TRIED to attach themselves to me, I have very directly told them I'm no guru, I don't have their answers, and all I can do is share my path with them. If they learn from that, great. If not, they are quite free to go seek their OWN way, which is what I have encouraged them to do from the beginning. I think hearing aids should be standard issue for anyone on a warrior's path, but that's just me exercising my predilection to be sarcastic.

It just seems to me that the blame game is a very efficient way of transferring responsibility from self to someone else. ANYONE else! It's a way of saying, "You were holding me back!" when the blatant and obvious reality is that the only one who can hold you back is YOU! I've said it from the start. I've repeated it... oh... a few thousand times over the years. If you need a guru, if you worship any particular teacher, if you are dependent on "What would Michael or Dick or Jesus do?", then you are sadly attached to comfort zones, and like any addict, will do whatever it takes to go on feeding your addiction. If that means convincing yourself that your former teachers are actually blood-sucking vampires from the 9th level of Hell, that's what you'll do. If it means putting some "new" guru on a pedastal and worshipping his every word, then you have done nothing to break out of your attachments - you have only transferred them from one guru to another, and it is inevitable that you will turn on THAT guru in time as well.

Only when you can stand alone in the dark night of the soul, just you and your Death, will you finally be free. Until then - for as long as attachment to earthly teachers, or the validation of your peers remains of importance to you - you are just one more wayward crusader, rattling your saber for the right to go on being a wayward crusader. Chances are, you dont' even know what you're fighting for! You're just fighting because you've decided that's the way of the warrior, even though a TRUE warrior carries no weapon.

Being a warrior isn't about brandishing your sword at demons you've imagined or created. It isn't about thumping CC's books as some sort of warped validation to what you want to believe. It isn't about convincing yourself that you're already perfect, so therefore your work is finished. Instead, it's about standing alone in the world, in yourself, in the infinite. No one can do it for you. No teacher can take you there. No teacher can stop you from going there. You'll either do it or you won't. It will not make you popular. It will not earn you friends. It may even destroy you...

But that's the rub, isn't it? I've always loved that scene in STAR WARS, where Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi stand face to face, light sabers crossing, after a long battle. When Obi Wan lowers his sword and surrenders to his death, his final words are, "You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."

So the way I see it is simply this. If we have surrendered to our death, with the Knowledge that we have reached our totality, then the meager strikes of light sabers are insignificant, utterly inconsequential - just the sad battle fought by angry children who still believe there is something to 'win'.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Finding Your Voice

A lot has happened over the last year on my forums, and on various other lists & groups to which I belong. We've talked about enlightenment, the matrix, Plato's cave, transmogrification, vampires, empires, con jobs, snow jobs, hand jobs, and the meaning of life. Sometimes our talks have been pleasant and reasonable. Other times, not so. And at times of late, I find myself asking... Where are we going with this? What do we hope to accomplish here? Or on any forum or list or group, for that matter. Even if we were all to come to a single agreeement - God is a giant potato and we will all be freedom fries in the afterlife which is promised to us by The Great Spud - so what? Really. So what? Where does the agreement get us? What does it do for us? Does it advance us, or does it actually limit us? Are we here seeking freedom, or just arguing for our limitations?

When I initially opened my first forum - "The Quantum Forum" - it was largely for my own assimilation... a place where I could bounce my ideas off of others on a similar journey; challenge my beliefs to the core through direct interaction with other seekers who were wrestling with the same concepts; and essentially form a foundation of my own Knowledge. Not for any great purpose. Just to see if I know, even remotely, who I am. *shrugs* What I found over the years was that the foundation not only held - though it went through several modifications & structural changes, which I see as an ongoing evolution - but it gave me a far deeper understanding of the workings of "life" than I ever would have believed possible. Understanding "the shaman's double" led to a much broader understanding of how the energy of consciousness functions, for example, and with that understanding, I was able to formulate what amounts to a personal "plan" for burning with the fire from within, slipping past the eagle, and all those other tired old cliches which have run the high risk of becoming "just words" due to overexposure. But no matter. We all know what we're talking about... Experience>Assimilation>Knowledge>New Experience>Deeper Assimilation>Evolving Knowledge. And so the cycle goes. And all plans are subject to last minute revisions.

Lately, however, I've found myself facing some rather serious dilemmas in this whole thing. Nowhere to start except in the middle. I get about 20-50 emails per day on an average, most coming through the Quantum Shaman website. While most are "simple" in the sense that they may be someone just looking for a word of encouragement, or some acknowledgement from a stranger on the internet that they aren't alone in their experiences, there are some that are of a far more serious nature. Over the past month, I've gotten emails from one person who is at the brink of despair with health issues; another from a young man who has lost everything - home, family, career - and wants to know how he may apply his path to regaining his balance; another from someone having what she herself described as "a crisis of faith regarding the Toltec path"; another from someone wanting to come live at my house and be my "apprentice"; and dozens more from people with issues that may appear far less serious to me, but are obviously every bit as serious to them.

Aside from ascertaining that these folks had exhausted all "normal" channels first (doctors, psychologists, or what-have-you), I used to ask myself what I could do to "help" these people. Now, I just write to them and hope that spirit/gnosis/nagual will open whatever "connection" is required so that my words might point them in the direction of whatever tool or understanding they are seeking. I never know, of course. All I can do is share my knowledge, share whatever tools I've found, and make sure the person I'm talking to knows that whatever "path" they are on is THEIR path - not mine. "Here - take these tools, do what you Will with them - just don't try to recreate my path (or anyone else's) because then all you're doing is building sets on the stage of the play." Frustrating thing is, even when I have said to some of them, "I can't help you - I don't have the knowledge you're looking for," many will come back with something along the lines of, "Then help me to get to the place where you CAN help me. Do I need to take a workshop? Do I need to read any particular books, attend any particular seminars?"

No. No. And no.

Sure, I have workshops available on my website. They may even be helpful in overcoming some programs, or gaining some new techniques for stalking oneself, but ultimately no workshop or seminar is going to instill in anybody any real Knowledge. These are just tools. Take all the workshops you like. Go to all the seminars you want. But at the end of the day, if it doesn't ASSIMILATE into your "life" - if it isn't who YOU are - then it's all just fingerpainting on the deck of Titanic while the boat is going down fast. Amusement. Entertainment. A do-ing that cannot substitute for simply BE-ING present in one's life from moment to moment - aware, awake, filled with simply the love of being alive.

And yet... "So how do I wake myself up?" many ask. "How do I stay awake? How can I do with MY double what you've done with yours?"

Maybe you can't. That's MY journey. Maybe it isn't your destiny at all. If it were, I suspect you'd be do-ing it - manifesting it, creating it, experiencing it - instead of LOOKING for it. So all I can say in that regard is the same thing that's been oft-repeated here over the years. There is no path to FOLLOW. There are no "gurus" who can show you the way to enlightenment. All you really need to do is ask yourself one question: What does your heart want to do? I'm not talking about the frilly emotional baggage that often gets associated with the phrase "path of heart". I'm talking about the nitty-gritty confrontation one does in one's own mirror. Do you want to be a stock broker or do you want to be a rock star? If you DO want to be a rock star - now here's where it gets tricky - do you have the ability, the commitment, and a sufficient presence of Will to actually bring this into being?

Ain't easy.

So what does that mean in the big picture? If our heart wants to be a rock star, but we have a voice like Alvin the Chipmunk, what to do? How do we apply the path of heart to our day to day lives? Do we work as a stock broker in the day and sing karaoke in the local pub at night? Maybe. If that's what satisfies your heart, then why not?

I always wanted to be a writer. Never was able to make a reasonable living at it for many reasons, but because it is the path of my heart, I write anyway. Too much for some to handle, I'm told. But ya know what? I ain't writing ANY of it for you. This is MY journey and MY path... get it? I started writing when I was about 11, on an old Royal typewriter that would cut your fingers to the bone if they slipped between the keys and down into the inner gazurkis. And in so many ways, THAT is how I created my double. THAT is how I summoned my own muse, and breathed him into being over the years. I don't expect anyone to understand that - and I certainly don't expect anyone to try to do it in the same way. Wouldn't work anyway, because it would be a recreation of someone else's path, rather than a crying out of the human heart into the void. If you want to meet your double - if that is TRULY the path of your heart - then you will DO what it takes to manifest that reality. For me, it was Star Trek and sci-fi and going out into the night and shaking my fist at the sky, saying to the empty place in my spirit, "If I can't come to you, I'll bring you to me!"

Shake your fist at the sky. Howl and dance. Do whatever it takes to manifest YOUR dream, but for the love of life, don't try to manifest someone else's! Carlos Castaneda didn't hold the patent on awakening. It's been going on for thousands of years and has taken as many forms. And I dare say that those who DO awaken will do it on their own terms, and not at the hands of any extant guru, yogi, swami, holyman or the like. Sure, those folk have some great tools to offer, but there comes that critical point when you have to hear the beat of YOUR heart and no one else's. Then, and only then, will you have the ability to BE the journey, instead of seeing yourself as some being ON a journey.

At least several times a month, via email, I have someone essentially say they want to "walk the magical path" - but ultimately I have found that really isn't so. Not really. What they usually want is to sit at the gates and peer in at whatever magical kingdom they BELIEVE they want, but most simply are not willing to take even the first step toward manifesting the desires of their own heart. Why? Many reasons. Too many to list, but just to name the most prominent, I would say the foreign installation itself stops them at the threshhold just by saying to them, "That's crazy! It's okay to dream it, but if you ever try to BE it, they'll lock you up & throw away the key!"

Fear, in other words. Fear of losing one's sanity. Fear of a permanent displacement of the assemblage point. Fear of loneliness. Whatever it is... it is fear. The internal dialogue. The consensus reality. The agreement. All of it. The checks & balances that hold us in stasis unless and until we simply DECIDE to wake up.

And here's the thing. For those people who DO only want to sit at the gates... That's okay. But if you TRULY want to live in what we've come to call "The Sorcerer's World" - you WILL. Nothing and no one will be able to stop you, for THAT is the path of your heart. That is where your world will come alive and fill every aspect of your life - no longer any "division" between your "spirituality" and your "real life persona." They will become one and the same - or that hollow, empty place will remain and you will continue to be just an actor in your own drama. And that, too, is okay... if it's what you choose.

But IF you want to find that wholeness, that "awakening" or shifting the AP into "the sorcerer's world", you will risk everything. Maybe you will even lose everything. When I first started this journey, Orlando warned that it would cost me my friends, my family, and any sense of "belonging" to the so-called "real world", and that has certainly turned out to be the case. Not because he said it would be so, but because that is where the journey has led over many years of experience and, at times, exhaustive effort on my part to prove him wrong! But, in the end, it is what it is.

Eyebrows raise, perhaps. "Is Della saying we should leave our families and join a cult?"

No. No. And no. If you think that, you need to clean out your ears.

What I AM saying is that in MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I have not found it possible (nor desirable) to attempt to maintain the polite facades required for "a normal life" - and that includes interaction with those who have tried to say to me over the years, "Can't you just be more positive? Can't you just be my friend and, by the way, here's the script for what I want you to say on any given occasion. Can't you just nod politely and pretend you agree with me? Can't you just be one of the guys? Can't you be this way or that way? Can't you be who **I** want you to be instead of who you are?"


That's the price. And for most, it is too high. "Well, I want freedom, but if it means having to give up my family and friends, then I have to find some other way." Good - do so. Find another way! By all means! You have to do the path of YOUR heart! When Orlando said this journey would cost me everything, what he meant was that it would become a CHOICE for me - because, ultimately, the journey itself holds far more value to me than family gatherings and polite dinners with old friends to discuss who's fucking whom and the proper care & feeding of rugrats. Don't get me wrong - those things are of ultimate value to some. Maybe to most. But to ME, I just keep finding too many "Smiths" taking on the mantra of the consensus reality, striving as always to drag us back into the programs. Phantoms on the road to Ixtlan, we call them in Toltec terms. Rest assured - they are very real, and the lure is a phenomenal force. A sense of belonging. Even love. "Just let go of all of this silly stuff you write about, Della, and you can be one of us. We'll love you and warm you and give you milk & cookies before you go to bed, and we'll all be together like a big, happy family."

Anybody here ever seen a happy family? I haven't. Oh, I've seen a lot of pageants and pretenses, but in my neck of the woods, most families aren't really "happy" nearly as much as they are stuck with one another by default. But no matter. That's MY experience. It doesn't have to be yours.

I've had a strange and wonderful life. Hope it continues for a long, long time to come. Over the years, I've had some friends who have gazed in at my strange life, and wanted to be a part of it in some deeper way (whatever that means). They want to have the experinces I've had. Or they want me to "produce" Orlando for their amusement. Or they want to be "along for the ride" when I side-step this "reality" and enter a world where time goes missing and inorganic beings hold tea parties at the edge of the abyss. Yes, I've done these things. Yes, some of them are even documented. And yet... so what? They are, quite simply, MY experiences. Yes, I DO believe others can have similar experiences, but those experiences have to be the ones YOU create - not anything that has been created for you in books, or tales by the fires of eternity. Your experiences. Yours alone.

And, yes, I will tell you that the price is high.

And yet...

If it is who you ARE, no force in the universe can stop you. If it is who you ARE, there is no price at all. You will follow your heart even if it leads you into hell, because what you will find is that you are perhaps happiest when battling the forces of hell, rather than sitting around the fire toasting marshmallows with all your personal demons.

Find YOUR voice. Even if you sing like Alvin, it will be YOUR song. Maybe nobody will love you for it. Maybe nobody will hate you for it. Doesn't matter. It's still your song, and there is not another one like it in all the universe.

Be the journey.


All material in this blog (essays, rants, images, poetry, et al) is copyright © by Della Van Hise, and may not be reprinted elsewhere without the prior written permission of the author. Quantum ShamanTM is a trademark of QuantumShaman.ComTM and reserves all rights.