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'.