Saturday, December 12, 2015

"Get real," they said. But why?

As a practicing metaphysician and unrelenting believer in the power and potential of the human mind, perhaps the most frustrating words I hear (and all too often) are... "But, Della... you need to have more realistic expectations!"

Hmmm. I do wonder about the kind of person who lives their life around only what is "realistic." Must be a damn boring existence, if you ask me (and no one did, but I'm going to say it anyway). The whole purpose of any sort of spiritual pursuit (and most creative endeavors) is to get beyond what we think we know, and plunge headlong into the icy depths of the unknown. In my own life, that has come to mean questioning "reality" at every turn, flipping over every rock, and digging under every crumbling tombstone to see what might really be buried there. In almost every case, what I find in the dusty corners of "the real world" are the stagnant and poisonous remnants of belief systems which most people cling to out of some sense of obligation, habit, or simply out of fear.

When I was a little girl growing up in central Florida, my mother and Crazy Granny began to suspect they had a problem child on their hands when I wanted to frolic in the creepy church cemetery instead of sitting in a barren Sunday School room with  my hands properly folded in my lap like all the other "good little girls." Their suspicions deepened when they realized I was far more interested in the "transparent man" who appeared in my bedroom twice in the summer of my 8th year, than I was in the cooking and baking lessons going on in the kitchen. They finally knew they were in real trouble when it came time for me to be baptized, and the question I chose to ask the preacher was, "Why do adults believe in these fairy tales, but don't want us kids to believe in ghosts? Wasn't Jesus fathered by a ghost and born of a virgin? I mean - isn't that one helluva fairy tale?"

My questions were not popular. I was properly baptized, but never officially exorcised, even though I do believe Crazy Granny thought me to be possessed by Satan Himself. She once sat me down and said, "You have the devil in you, little girl."

Having been taught to never lie, I replied, "But you're the one who put him there!"

She looked at me as if I'd gone daft, and asked me to explain. What it really boiled down to was this:  this whole idea of a devil was not something I ever would have come up with on my own, and in fact it was the red-faced preacher shouting hellfire and brimstone about a guy with horns and a tail that first gave me the idea that such a thing might exist. I considered the possibility for all of about 5 minutes, dismissed it with the same nonchalance I had experienced when dismissing God and the Easter bunny and Santa Claus, and went on with my life despite the obvious mental illnesses of the adults all around me.

The reality was that I became possessed by a certain gram of reason at an early age - though that didn't stop me (and still doesn't) from believing in "magic" - which I have always contended is only science not yet understood. And, for that matter... have you ever stopped to consider that otherwise reasonable people stumble off to church every Sunday morning, singing hymns to non-existent deities, but in the same breath they will condemn anyone who says vampires or werewolves or fairies or mermaids might possibly be real in some isolated corner of this vast and mysterious universe. Really - what's the difference? If you're going to believe in God, who is even less plausible than Lestat or Ariel, why ridicule your children for believing in other improbable realities?

Think about it... what is really the difference? If the question strikes you as absurd and you find yourself sputtering like a faulty carburetor, it's most likely because you are already deeply invested in the belief system that only your hokey belief system is plausible. People I know who believe in God always say... "I just know." Well, what about the goth kid standing in the rain who says, "I just know," when referring to her belief in vampires or ghosts or things that go bump in the night? Why is a belief in God any more sound than a belief in mermaids? No right or wrong answer, really. Just something to think about when you feel yourself rankle at the question itself.

At any rate, as I've gotten older and found my voice and lost my fear of looking like a complete fool (what others think of me is none of my business), I've been testing the foundation of this "reality" humans cling to so fiercely, and I'm finding that it's pretty flimsy and tends to fall apart when the least bit of pressure is applied to exactly the right places. And admittedly I enjoy applying that pressure from time to time, even if only in posts on Facebook or other online forums that turn out to be controversial. It may not be rational, but I somehow expect my fellow  human beings to wake up and smell their false beliefs at some point.

And there are those words again. "But Della, you need to have more realistic expectations."

And yet, I somehow doubt that those with "realistic expectations" ever get their dreams off the ground. At the time when the Wright brothers had the idea of flying, that was hardly a realistic expectation. When NASA made the commitment to putting men on the moon, that was not only an unrealistic expectation, it was tantamount to blasphemy to many, and there are still people who believe we never really went to the moon, and it was all just a cheap Hollywood set somewhere in Los Angeles.

So when someone tells me I need to have more realistic expectations, I more or less unfriend that person in my head because in so many ways, that person has become the character of Agent Smith from The Matrix - a living, breathing, speaking program desperate to uphold the most commonly held belief systems and protect the status quo at all costs. For those who have met Agent Smith, you already  know he isn't really a character in a movie. He is your father, your mother, your best friend and the guy standing on the street corner every morning when you walk by on your way to work. He is the one always looking at what you're doing and telling you why you shouldn't be doing it, or why you need to have your thinking adjusted, and - most of all - why you, too, should have more realistic expectations.

I read a quote from Lao Tzu this morning which is really at the base of this commentary. "At the center of your being, you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want."

It was such a simple statement, yet also one that echoed something my own mentor has said over the years.  "Who are you, and what do you want?"

I sat in the morning light for over an hour, contemplating the quote while the new puppy rested in my lap - awake and aware, as if she, too, was meditating. I can say with complete honesty that I do know who I am. And I do know what I want. The problem - if it is one - is that what I want is often considered "unrealistic" by every other living soul on Planet Earth, and so I have stopped expressing it out loud except in the darkest hours of night, when it is 3:38 a.m. and the good girls and boys lie sleeping in the sanctuary of their warm and cozy beds, and time is going by. Tick tock. Tick tock.

"The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older. Shorter of breath and one day closer to death."  Pink Floyd sings in my head, reminding me of those unrealistic dreams of mine.  But here's the thing - the nature of dreams is that they are seldom if ever realistic. As children, perhaps we longed to fly or dreamt of finding ourselves on board the Enterprise -  no, not the aircraft carrier, the real one, the one up there in orbit. As teenagers, perhaps we imagined going to the prom with the most handsome boy in school (even though we hated boys and insipid parties).  As young adults, we dreamed of what our lives might be - James Bond in a high speed chase every 15 minutes, or becoming a famous actress who would be the first woman to play the role of Bond. In our 20s and 30s we began to lose sight of our dreams - we began to trade those "unrealistic expectations" for more practical applications, and we began to settle into a living death which we committed ourselves to with a genuine sense of duty, honor and obligation. But perhaps we began to secretly resent some of those choices as time kept ticking by and the words of Pink Floyd started to sink deeper and deeper into that part of us which was moving further and further from our reach.

If we asked the mirror, "Who are you and what do you want?" perhaps we even learned to tell ourselves the convenient lies most normal people tell themselves. I want to have a normal life. I want to raise a family and be a good mother and a good secretary at the office and just be happy. That's what most people tell themselves, if they dare to ask the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall at all. And that's okay - if it's real. If it's really what we want, then it is something to be embraced and nurtured and adored for the time it will last.  I want to be clear that I'm not advocating turning one's back on what one truly wants. Whether family and friends. Or a life of reckless adventuring. Or whatever it is that forms the foundation of one's dreams.

And yet... there are those of us who do not and seemingly cannot embrace that so-called normal life, those "realistic expectations" which comfort so many but are spiritual poison to quite a few.  What does the human organism do when it realizes that what it truly desires is not only beyond its reach but - seemingly - not even within the realm of what the consensual reality would consider possible?  What does one do when one truly desires the "impossible" and refuses to believe it is impossible?

When I was 11 years old and first encountered Star Trek on a blurry black and white television in the year 1966, I fell instantly in love with that world - which was neither real nor possible according to all conventional and rational thinking.  Having already been bitten by that bug of reason mentioned previously, I certainly knew that, yet I could not stop dreaming about a day when it would be real.  I talked of nothing else.  I used my allowance money to buy an old manual typewriter (for those under 40, look it up), and began writing fan fiction until late into the night. My mother thought I had gone insane. Most of my friends agreed.  But there were those shining few who actually saw what I saw, and somewhere along the road between then and now, we almost do live in that Star Trek world with flip phones and computers that fit in the palm of our hand and so many other technological advancements which all would have been considered impossible before a few visionaries set out to make real that which had always been considered unreal.

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it.
The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
-Nikos Kazantzakis

So what's the point to all of this rambling?  Maybe none at all. Whatever you want to take away from it to fuel your own journey.  Ultimately, even if what we truly desire may seem to others to be impossible, I've found that the disbelief and cynicism of others is no reason to abandon my own crazy desires. I will believe in immortality and fairies and mermaids if it pleases me. And if they do not yet exist, I will desire them enough to create them. I will long for the impossible because I have lived long enough to know that what is impossible now will be commonplace tomorrow.

I will continue to dream. And one of those dreams will be of a world where imagination is alive and well and people may awaken to their own power and their own impossible dreams.

You are the most powerful being in the universe.  Prove it... even if only to yourself.

______________________

To read similar anecdotes...






Saturday, November 21, 2015

Freedom of Religion vs. Freedom FROM Religion?

Someone on my Facebook timeline was dismayed by "so many anti-theism posts lately." It's not hard to guess why we're starting to see more people demanding not just freedom OF religion, but freedom FROM religion. So many radical acts have religion at their core and those who are not at all religious can't help but see it as a bit whacko - slaughtering people in the name of some god who may not even exist, and who certainly wouldn't condone their actions if he did. Additionally, religion has been at the heart of persecution since the dawn of time. The Crusades. The witch hunts. Every holy war ever fought. "Holy war." When I think about that, my widdle brain just wants to twist. What is the purpose of murdering people because they don't share one's belief systems? If that isn't the definition of insanity, I don't know what would qualify.

When I was growing up in central Florida, everybody I knew was a "christian" (or claimed to be out of fear). Even the kids in my class all went to church. I couldn't fathom it. Even though I was raised in a VERY religious environment (Southern Baptist), none of it ever made one lick of sense. I thought something was wrong with the adults who gathered in a hot building every Sunday morning to sing hymns to a ghost when they could have been at the beach or in the forest or anything more pleasant (and more in tune with spirit). It wasn't that I was bored. I was actually fascinated - but not in the way me mum and the church ladies might have wished. Kinda like watching a train wreck - it's a horror of epic proportions, but sometimes ya just can't look away.

My deeper disgust with "the church" (aka organized religion) came when my mother, who was 85 at the time and living on a fixed income of less than $700/month, told me she had just been visited by the pastor of her church. His sole reason for the visit? To encourage her to fill out a "Pledge to Tithe." IOW, give 10% of her very meager income to "god." At that point, I saw the true evil of that which claims to be "good." God doesn't need an old woman's money.

Most religions rob people of their personal power - not by accident, but with deliberate and malicious Intent to control. By always telling true believers to "let go and let god", organized religion takes control (or tries to) of free thinking. People find themselves shoved into all sorts of programmed beliefs, many of which are designed to be self-perpetuating. "If you don't believe this, you're going to hell!" "If you don't give God your money, you are giving it to Satan." The list is long. The manipulation is right up there with original sin - and in this way the church has become the very devil it so vilifies.

So my personal agenda is just to tell people - Take back your power! If someone wants to believe in God, that's all fine and good, so long as they aren't being coerced or threatened into believing it because they are told they "should"... or else. Of course... these are just my beliefs. I don't expect anyone to follow them, because that's just another manifestation of "religion". I just like to get people to question not only WHAT they believe, but WHY they believe it. Most times, a lot of religious beliefs are rooted in what they were told as children and what they were also told to never question.
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To learn more about taking back your power, visit our website at Quantum Shaman.

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Quantum Shaman (Diary of a Nagual Woman)
Scrawls On the Walls of the Soul


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Thou Art God (Create Yourself Accordingly)

My mentor was recently asked the question:  If there's no God what created the Universe, what created humanity, what gives us the power to transmogrify and, what is the force behind that power?
The answer given was from a journal entry of mine from 1998, and was coincidentally something I had been contemplating over the past few weeks. So the timing was fortuitous, and gave me the opportunity to revisit some thoughts about life, death, creation and extinction.
___________________

Before anything we currently think of as "the universe" existed, there was only an immense void - a nothingness which had gathered into itself all matter/energy. It was all there was. Yet from the nothing - literally a thought which created itself - the "universe" as we know it sprang into being - a thought creating itself because it wanted/needed to exist as an entity separate from the void. In essence, it demanded life, yet the only way for it to achieve life was to create itself from the nothing and hurl itself out in all directions. Because it was a thought/creation of will, it created itself with perfection - it gave itself all possibilities needed for survival and, even moreso, it gave itself and its creatures the ability to evolve in order to adapt to changing circumstances within its own continuum. This is the correlation to the Biblical "I-Am" - it is the All bringing itself into being. It is not an entity separate from Man, but an all-encompassing milieu of which Man and consciousness are but one small part.

If we think of the void as containing all of matter/energy, then the universe is the stage of time - and both together create the continuum of space/time and matter/energy. Before the universe existed, it was perhaps contained inside a single particle no larger than an atom - yet from that single "atom" sprang all of creation, willed into being because the entity we recognize as the universe had to expand beyond the sum of its individual parts - it had to evolve to be more than it was before.

In its creation, it gave all the beings within itself the ability to continue through evolution - for the ironic thing about the creation of the universe is that it gave all it had. It won't interfere in the affairs of man because it can't. There is nothing left of "it" except all these individual components that comprise the all - so, in other words, there is no intelligence sitting outside the universe who can intervene in its destiny. In its original creation, it used all its "parts" to create the whole - which also means that it used its full intelligence, its whole awareness, its absolute will, and in doing so, it automatically created each individual "cell" of itself with those qualities. For that reason, each of us - whether man, animal, stone, vegetable, air or distant sun - has the blueprint for our own unique evolution. In creating itself to survive, the universe gave us the ability to evolve.

The problem is that the universe and all its individual components are at constant war with "the void" in that it's the nature of the void to take back what came from it and it's in the nature of the universe to attempt to avoid being taken. The only way to avoid such a fate is for each individual creature to create its own continuity in the same way the universe created itself from the void. We must strive to become our own individual universe, expanding beyond the reach of the stage we currently inhabit - we must create our own continuity by saying "I Am", just as the universe itself originally detached itself from the void when it sprang into being from the nothingness.

It seems inconceivable that the universe came from anything but a thought, an incredible force of need/will breaking free of whatever "reality" held it together before its birth. Because we are part of that creation, we also possess that same strength of will within ourselves - the will to survive, to be more than mere "fate" has sanctioned us to be by virtue of existing within the known universe. Just as the known universe must have existed within whatever continuum previously held it, so do we exist within it, but just as the universe had to break free of the void in order to achieve its own separate continuity, so must we break free of the known universe if we intend to evolve/survive beyond it. (Della Van Hise, May 1998)

________________

"Since you are comprised of that All which the universe called into being, it stands to reason that you therefore have the power of the universe within you. You have the power to transmogrify or the apathy to die and be recycled. It's always up to you. And only you." (Mikal Nyght)
________________

The only thing I would like to add is self-evident...


Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Love Affair With the Unknown

While glancing over an old forum I moderated several years back, I came across this entry from 2007 - one year after the death of my mother. Since time marches by so quickly - well, not really by us as much as it marches over us - I had forgotten ever having written it. Upon reading it, I realized it still has relevance - perhaps not just to myself, but to anyone who has ever fallen in love with the unknown, to anyone who has ever taken time to reflect not only on where we have been, but where we are going.

Just a brief bit of background... My mother's name was Ruby, and she was considered by most to be a simple woman - generally happy and content, never complaining even when it might have been to her advantage to do so. She passed away on October 4, 2006, from colon cancer.

________________________________

October 4, 2007

It was a year ago tonight that my mother died.

I look at those words hanging in cyberspace, and ask myself if it is possible to even wrap my mind around such a thing. And at the same time, I *see* that it is such a simple thing that no understanding is possible, and perhaps not even desirable. Death simply is.

So as I sit here at my desk in the early morning stillness, I am comparing what I know now to what I knew a year ago at this time, and I find that not a lot has changed, yet everything has changed. And again, there is a peculiar sense of juxtaposition. I ask myself questions which are perhaps nothing more than markers on the hem of time. Was I happier then or now? Have I accomplished my goals for the tonal in this past year? Have I moved forward in my love affair with the nagual (the unknown)? Do I know anymore about myself than I did a year ago? Do I know anymore about this thing called death? Do any of us know anything about anything, or are we all just madly jabbering corpses who haven't yet fallen into our crypts?

Perhaps the most important thing about these time markers is that they compel us to reflect. And what I am seeing, generally, in my reflections this morning, is that I am essentially content, even "happy" (whatever that might mean) with regard to my path. And yet... there's that juxtaposition again. At the same time, my eye is drawn to those areas where I see work being required, and to the changes I would hope/need to make. There are those who would say that I tend to focus on the negative - but I have never really seen it that way. To me, attempting to sweep the negative under the rug only makes for a lump in the rug. So when I see areas where improvement is needed, I take on a warrior-stalker's perspective and begin to examine what is perceived to be "wrong" so that I might have a better opportunity of making it "right".

Lest anyone think I'm talking about changing the world, curing cancer or solving terrorism and global hunger, allow me to assure you that I am talking only about matters of Spirit - for ultimately it is the assemblage point of the self which determines our experience of the world.

So is it, then, a matter of simply moving the assemblage point into some "happy space", so as to experience only the so-called "positive" aspects of the world? Though there are many who might think so, that has not been my experience. To me, that only makes that lump under the rug grow larger and eventually one trips over it while ambling along skyclad with only rose-colored glasses for attire.

One thing my mentor-double, Orlando, has stressed emphatically over the years is the need to be *able* to ask the next question. Sounds simple. But something I have really observed over this past year is that most folks simply are not capable of thinking for themselves beyond the rudimentary levels of being able to feed themselves and tie their shoes in the morning. I've tested this with quite deliberate intent over the past year, sometimes even on this forum, by asking questions which require not a recitation of some rote memorization, but would require actual forward-thinking - which, to me, is one of the major cornerstones for the foundation of any evolution of consciousness.


Ask the next question. "When you find yourself at a crossroads in the jungle, the direction in which you proceed may not always be defined by the head, but far more often from the heart. What is your heart telling you now? What do you want to do? What would you change if you could?" Orlando's words to me, less than a month ago.

What's amusing is that the questions themselves usually reveal far more than we might realize at first glance. When my heart is telling me something, it is usually because I may not be particularly content with whatever is going on at the moment. When I ask myself what I want to do, the question itself reveals to me that perhaps some sort of change is not only desirable, but may be required in order for me to move forward. When I ask myself what I would change if I could... the implication is that the status quo may not be satisfactory... and so I must ask the next question...

What is the desired outcome and how might I best move toward that goal? Not with the head, but with the heart.

I look back on my mother's life. Simple things brought her the most pleasure. Raking leaves in her yard. Playing her organ for no one but herself and her dog. Savoring some chocolate thing. She once said that she never had any big dreams and so she never had any big disappointments.

When I think about that, I know it was her own philosophy of the right way to live. Whenever I would ask her about her philosophical beliefs, she would tell me that she placed her faith in God, and left the power-thinking to the pastors and priests and spiritual leaders of the world.

That, of course, is where we differed. And though we both came to be comfortable with that difference, I find that my own questions are not as easily answered. The only god I know is me, and the only faith I have ever known to be founded is the faith I place in myself. And as lonely as it may sound to some, I have truly found that it is a solitary path - a universe of one, yet a universe filled with all possibility, and that it is in asking the next question that we determine which of those possibilities we will fore to go through the motions of actually occurring.

What do I want to do now? When I look at the question with the right eye of the consensual world, there is no single answer that resonates. Many things. No one thing. When I look at the question from the left eye of the Spirit, however, I am immediately filled with a sense of magnificent exhilaration - the way one typically feels when anticipating a long-awaited consummation of a grand love affair. "Tonight is the night," the unseen muse whispers from the sharp edge of a shadow. "Tonight is the night when we will dance the stardust into manifestation and sing the spirit alive."

What I have come to realize is that every night is the night. And though the muse can never be caught, the love affair is in the chase and the unwritten steps of the dance, and the barely heard music of the nagual's one man band.

The magic is in the magician.

What do I want to do? Only that. Yet there is no defining "that". There is only the experience of it... the voice calling your name in a crowd, but when you turn to look, no one's there. The caress of a seductive hand at 3 am, but when you turn to embrace your lover, you find he has taken a step sideways in space/time, and all that remains is the sensation of having been touched by something other, something beyond the realm of human understanding. The scent of cologne - fresh and clean - in a room that has been unoccupied for months. Footprints in desert sand that lead to the middle of nowhere, and then abruptly and inexplicably stop.

The love affair with the nagual, the unknown, the unknowable.

Looking back on the events since the death of my mother, I find that virtually everything we engage in is folly. Perhaps it's a bit amusing to discover that what is the most real to me is what would be considered the most unreal by most allegedly "sane", normal human beings. But that's okay, too. When sanity is measured by the average human being, I am delighted to be considered mad.

And at least I think I have a somewhat better perspective on the next question. What do I want to do now?

The love affair with the unknown. There is nothing else. I do not believe there ever was.

_____________

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The Love Affair With the Nagual

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Waiting Room

It had been a long weekend, though not particularly eventful. After so many years of doing these renaissance faires as a merchant, it all starts to blend together, and at times I find myself not quite remembering what city we're in or what day it is. Most of the time, that's okay - it allows the internal dialogue to stop almost naturally, and quite often I realize I am simply gazing up at the sky or watching the wind stir the leaves of the trees. Unless something happens to disturb that assemblage point, I tend to exist in a state of almost perpetually heightened awareness - on the bridge between first & second attention. Prime real estate, if you ask me.

This is also true when driving home from these long weekends, particularly when I find myself alone in the motorhome as I did on Monday morning. Because the motorhome is a noisy beast of burden, I don't tend to play music while driving, much preferring to let my mind create its own entertainment. So as we drove through north Escondido, through border patrol checkpoints and areas once-green, but now scarred with the signs of more and more new housing developments, I realized I was communing with Orlando (my double).

Can't really say what we were discussing, if anything - though the communion was pleasant and alluring. I was aware of other traffic moving past me as I crested a large hill outside of Escondido, when suddenly a small black boxy car - the type most preferred by shaved-headed rudesters in the age bracket of 21-30 - went zooming past me at such a high rate of speed I was instantly jolted back into hyper-awareness. Because he cut me off when he zipped in front of me, I was forced to slam on the brakes and swerve to the left to avoid smashing him like a bug on the windshield.

What I could not have seen was that ANOTHER rudester - probably "the other guy" with whom Rudester #1 was road-racing - was already moving into the same lane I had just swerved into, and the laws of physics being what they are (two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time), I was pretty certain Rudester #2 was going to end up as a greasy red smear on the side of the motorhome - a real bitch to clean.

Somehow, though, the collision didn't happen, and both rudesters went racing off in the direction of the wind when I suddenly found myself "out of body" in a manner that tends to happen in moments of great danger. Much to my surprise, it was not much different from this world. I was in a nondescript house, with a sense of being in an upstairs bedroom. The walls were grey-white, no decorations that I could discern, silver-grey carpets, and one window that seemed to face north. The only furniture was a king-size bed with a white chenille spread, and a single nightstand where a pile of old hardcover books were stacked at least 2 feet high.

All of this I observed in a split second, as I became aware that Orlando was standing next to the bed, dressed in jeans and a white long-sleeve shirt, arms folded over his chest as he regarded me with a knowing little smile that was almost sinister. Just seeing him in that manner brought my heart into my throat. I wondered briefly if that collision had happened after all - if not in ordinary awareness, then certainly in some parallel reality. Was this all there was? Just a nondescript room in a nondescript house on the edge of nowhere in particular? And the Nagual man standing there like some dark spirit of a night that never ends? Despite the fact that it had been daytime in the motorhome, it was night here - black like silk velvet, with a star hanging on a thin thread in the open window.

As if hearing my thoughts, Orlando laughed. "This is just the waiting room," he said with a shrug. "When I'm not manifesting as a little boy in Greece or a pirate on the old seas, or a prince in the leg irons of responsibility, this is as good a place to wait as any."

I didn't need to ask what he was waiting for. I had almost just experienced it - that last dance with the eagle that may come in the form of a car wreck or a heart attack or simply closing one's eyes and never waking up. I didn't bother asking if I were dead. Didn't seem to matter much, either way. To my amusement, I was okay with that.

"So what next?" I asked, sitting on the edge of the huge white bed. The chenille was soft against my palms, every bit as real as anything in first attention. He knew what was on my mind, but I spelled it out for him anyway. "Just seems these past few months haven't exactly gone according to plan. And frankly I've even started to question the path. We like to think things happen for a reason, but the only meaning is what we assign to it all, and the only path is the one behind us."

Though he had been standing by the bed, I realized he had moved to the window. I say "moved" because that's how my first attention mind defines the results, but the reality of it was that he had simply shifted his assemblage point from A to B. No real "movement" occurred in the traditional sense. It made me smile. So he stood there at the window with his back to me, gazing out at the vast expanse of infinity while his chest rose and fell as if he were just an ordinary man breathing in a slow, even manner.

What he said next rattled me to the core of my foundation. "You've come to the end of the path." Now he turned and met my eyes, and in his gaze were galaxies and universes and entire vistas of the nagual glittering like diamonds just out of reach.

I forced myself not to look away even though it was like gazing into the depth of the abyss itself. I was reminded of the first time I spoke to this "man" when he was in manifestation almost 20 years in the past. He had scared me then. He scared me a lot more now. And yet, at the same time and in the same breath, I was without fear, for none of it mattered anymore.

"Creation rises out of the nothing at the command of those who follow no path, you see. Every action you have taken on the journey has led you to this moment, when the road disappears beneath your feet and you realize it has led you to the source of all power... and that source is only yourself." Though his words held a twinge of melancholy, the irony appeared to amuse him. "What you do next is a matter of intent - but far more importantly, it is a movement of Will."

And then, before I could argue or agree or even think, I was back in the world of first attention, on a freeway that was too brightly lit and too noisy and far too coarse and vulgar somehow. The motorhome was still lumbering down the road, the rudesters were long gone, and for a strange moment outside of time, it was as if I were looking at a movie playing out on the windshield - two-dimensional, flat-line, unreal. A quick vision of The Matrix reminded me of the character who, after a lifetime of staring at it all, only saw the coding.

I realized that's how I have felt for quite some time. Having stripped away the illusions and the programs and the role-playing games, we are left with the code that runs it all, but appears to have no real source other than the code itself. Suffice it to say that the coding is every bit as visible as the sunrise, and every bit as predictable. It's why I have been able to predict every unpredictable turn of events that has occurred over the past few weeks - and it is in the coding itself that I begin to realize why I have felt powerless at times to alter the course of that coding in my own life.

"...what you do next... is a movement of Will..."

That movement of will has to do with operating at a level above or beyond or simply aside from the code - for as long as we are part of the code, as long as we are stuck on any "path", we are not truly free to create from the heart of the nagual. As long as we are part of the code, we are playthings of the eagle, extensions of the tonal.

Over the days that followed since this incident in the waiting room, I thought at length about Orlando's words. When we come to the end of the path, we begin to see that each of us is "the one."
What's next is always what we create.

____________________
copyright 2007-2015, by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved


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Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Singular Duality of the Warrior

In a recent discussion where the subject was touched upon, some of the comments put forth included: "I don't believe in the double." "The double doesn't exist except as a component of self." "The double can ONLY be like what Carlos described of Genaro's double. It's an exact duplicate of the warrior."

As I read the transcript of this discussion, where the conversation actually turned somewhat volatile, it occurred to me that a lot of the reactions I am seeing with regard to this subject are based almost wholly in the assemblage point of fear - a fear generated by 1) lack of comprehension; and 2) the insecurities of the ego as it resides in the tonal.

When an otherwise advanced warrior proclaims, "I don't believe in the double," to me it's usually a signal that some old program is running in the background, which is distorting one's perception of oneself. One warrior whom I questioned about this recently told me, "The double is just a myth, isn't it? It's just a way of explaining a feeling - like Santa Claus being used to promote some essence of Christmas."

Another warrior friend once asked me, "If you had to define the double in 5 minutes or less, what would you say?"

My response: "The double is the evolved self, projected initially by the mortal warrior as a manifestation of the intent to preserve awareness beyond the threshold of 'death'. It is created from the energy of the warrior, literally, but takes on a life of its own as a projection of the warrior's Will. We give the double 'life'. When the warrior puts forth the intent which says, "Teach me," or "Make me whole," the double is the teacher who then begins 'dreaming the warrior'. In this manner, the warrior is able to perceive well beyond the assemblage point of the tonal, and actually begins to utilize information and Knowledge gleaned directly from the assemblage point of the double - which might also be termed the AP of the nagual. As the warrior progresses on her path, the two assemblage points begin moving closer together, so that when the warrior's tonal is vacated at death, the dual assemblage points conjoin to create 'the totality of oneself' - or what I have come to call 'a singularity of consciousness'." (Yes, this is a MUCH simplified definition.)

Carlos Castaneda wrote:

"The self dreams the double. Once it has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that it is the double who dreams the self. Your double is dreaming you. No one knows how it happens. We only know that it does happen. That's the mystery of us as luminous beings. You can awaken in either one." (Don Juan, TALES OF POWER)

Though these words have been perceived as a riddle by many over the years, my own work has shown that CC was speaking in a very literal sense here - but our own understanding will be either limited or enhanced, depending entirely on the preconceived notions we bring to the table. Put another way: if someone has already determined that they don't "believe" in the double, or that the double is "only a component of self", then

that is the colored filter through which the words will be viewed, and from that filter, the warrior's own understanding will be limited at best, and often even thwarted altogether. Why? Because when we do not allow ourselves to even consider what might lie beyond what we already "believe", we have closed off the energetic connection to the realm of all possibility, and have confined ourselves to our own narrow and rigid belief systems.

The double is not a theory. It is not a religion. And it is not a belief system. To the warrior who has experienced her double, it is simply what-is. To the warrior who has not experienced her double, it remains as an energetic potential in the realm of all possibility which must be forced to go through the motions of actually occurring.

So much of this Toltec path (or any serious path of Knowledge) lies within our ability to set aside what we "believe" and deal instead with what we have never even considered - those concepts and otherworlds which exist beyond the worlds and in the realm of actual experience. But that's where the ego can become fragile and fearful and slam on the brakes with blanket statements such as, "I don't believe in the double." Obviously, the ego may not want to believe in the double, for the simple reason that the double tends to represent something "larger" than the sum of our human parts - and the ego is not particularly forgiving of anything which it may perceive as "greater" than itself.

I mention this primarily as a tool for our own awareness, and it is a tool I use ruthlessly in my own journey. If I find myself recoiling and stating, "I don't believe in this or that!" it is often helpful to turn and look the demon in the face and ask oneself why I am so closed to the possibility which elicits such a response in the first place. Most often, I will discover that my "beliefs" are generated as a comfort zone for the ego, rather than based in any sort of actuality. And, of course, once this is *seen* and acknowledged, it is a relatively simple matter to put the ego aside, shift awareness to a more fluid position, and look at the whole concept from an entirely different point of view. So, it's awareness OF the ego that essentially enables us to BYPASS the ego when dealing with matters of the double, the nagual, or any other unknown which may be frightening to our animal-humanform awareness.

To limit the double is to limit the self. To limit the self is to defeat the purpose of the double. To see and acknowledge only the tonal self is nothing more than a manifestation of the ego's insecurities. Please consider that - for it is ultimately the insecurities of the ego which have the greatest potential to derail the warrior entirely. If you are given to meditation, this is a topic which almost always yields new insights & perspectives. What do we have the potential to BE when we set aside ego and belief, and open the door to the manifestation of "all possibility"?

So ultimately, the double represents the other half of the dual assemblage point of man. We perceive the tonal with our 5 ordinary senses. We perceive the nagual with the *other* senses (no way to know how many) which are inherent in the energetic construct of the double. When these assemblage points overlap (through dreaming, meditation or gnosis/silent knowing), the warrior gains glimpses of her connection to the infinite. When the two assemblage points conjoin at death, the warrior may be said to inhabit the totality of herself, achieving what some have referred to as "ultimate freedom."

Of course... my personal sense is that the ultimate freedom of our totality is most likely only one more step in an infinite journey. From the wholeness of our totality, we embrace the first step of the next evolution.
____________
To learn more about the double, visit my website at...


Saturday, July 04, 2015

The Eagle & the Warrior

Once upon an eagle there was time, and so once upon a time there was an eagle.  He wondered how he had come to be an eagle, for he could not see his reflection in a mirror - largely because there were no mirrors in the land where he simply found himself as a tiny speck of awareness one day. Was it day? It must have been, for the sun was shining brightly in his eyes. Bright, so bright.  Surely all things must come from the sun and return to it, for its splendor was beyond question. Yes, that was the answer.All life came from the light and returned to it, where it would begin again. It was as good an explanation as any, and so he chose to Believe it with all his heart, even though it was really only the sun.

So, since there were no other theories, the eagle decided that 1) he was an eagle; and 2) the light at the end of the tunnel of darkness from whence he had come was the giver and taker of all life.

For awhile - who's to say how long? - the eagle roamed the void looking for others like himself, but because he could not see his own reflection, he could not really know what he was looking for. When he came upon a frog sitting quietly at the edge of the dark sea of awareness, the eagle was ecstatic and embraced the frog with such fierce affection that the frog was obliterated instantly - even before the eagle could ask his questions. The eagle was devastated - because the frog was quite a beautiful little thing, yet now the eagle could see that he was not like the frog, and that he had made a terrible mistake. Not knowing what else to do, he took the frog into his mouth and swallowed it whole - so that he might understand it better and honor its death by giving it continuity within his own body... which he could see now was quite different from the frog. Why does it take death to show me this? the eagle wondered.  It must be that all things die, and only by drinking the awareness of what it was to be a frog will I ever understand what it is to be myself.

That was his next belief – which, although it had no basis in actual events, made a good story for Eagle to tell himself in his increasing despair.

And so the eagle continued his journey through the world, looking for others like himself, but encountering only a myriad of lifeforms who ultimately bore no resemblance whatsoever. The eagle perceived himself to be alone - and in his loneliness, he became angry and vindictive. Trying to hold the hummingbird in his hand, she died, fluttering wings going still, until the eagle could only devour her tiny little body in an effort to consume the unique essence which had been She-Who-Floats-In-Air. When the eagle encountered the coyote, and thought once again that he had found another like himself, he was dismayed to discover that Brother Coyote had no wings, and liked to whisper in strange tongues about secrets and mysteries which only other coyotes would understand. Other coyotes. The eagle heard these words and was outraged. The coyote had kindred families. The coyote was not alone in the void. And so the eagle - having learned his strengths - embraced all the rabbits and ground rats and field mice in Mr. Coyote's territory, until coyote himself was consumed by the eagle's wrath and starved to death in the desert.

Death. Though the eagle had come to see that all things were filled with Life until he embraced them, it was only when all the world became permeated with the stench of death and the awareness of the eagle's power that he began to catch glimpses of himself in the dying eyes of all those beings he had embraced. In coyote's glazing eyes, the eagle saw that his own eyes were not so different. He concluded, therefore, that he must simply be another form of coyote with feathers instead of fur, with wings instead of forelegs.  Surely that was the answer - but because coyote was dead, the eagle could not ask him what he saw.  In the eyes of Sister Rabbit, eagle saw fear, and recognized it in himself, though he was loathe to admit it.  So eagle wondered then if he were prey, just another insignificant creature running for its life in the miasma of Chaos Incarnate.

Eagle continued his search far and wide, but found nothing like himself in all the lands both terran and spreading to the far reaches of the farthest galaxies.  Eagle was alone. And he wept for that, and in his grief and his anger, he hid behind the bright light - knowing its beauty would draw all things to it in the end, where he would be waiting. Waiting. Hungry. Angry. Alone.  And all things came to him, as he had hoped. The essence of the baboon sought the light at its death, and the eagle was fed, though still hungry, for the baboon did not contain eagle’s answers. The sparrow came as well, and was received by the hungry eagle as a morsel that might tell him something about himself... but ultimately told him nothing. The sparrow was not himself. There was no reflection.  There was no resonance. There was no love.

Love.

Eagle had heard the word carried on the lips of many beings. The hawk had spoken of love when he fell from the sky, leaving his mate to mourn his passing from desolate snow-laden treetops with a cry that would go forevermore unheard by the beloved for whom it was intended. Baby squirrel had whispered of love when plucked from his mother’s breast – but eagle did not know of this thing, this “love”, and so he devoured the baby squirrel anyway, ignoring the mama squirrel’s cries of grief.

In his despair for what he did Not-Know, eagle wept with such a mournful wail that the world was split by the sound into day and night – the darkness and the light.  Eagle himself determined that he would walk the crack between the worlds, for he seemed to be at home in neither place, and no matter how many creatures he consumed, there were no answers for him. He did not die, yet he could not seem to live as the other creatures lived either. He was utterly alone even though some of the 2-legged beings would smile and nod at him as they passed him on a busy street corner somewhere in the neighborhood of New York or Los Angeles or London or Rome.

“How odd,” the eagle mused, “that these fragile beings pretend to know me, and even seem to like me! Do they not realize I will devour them soon enough? Any one of them may contain my answer – and if I must devour all of them to get to it, that is what I will do!”

And so eagle went right on devouring everything in his path, then spitting it back out as its dis-integrated fragments of energy so that it could go seek some other manifestation that might bring more Knowledge to Eagle. But no matter how many creatures Eagle consumed, it was all only a hopeless and endless stream of memories which, in the end, did not seem to have any ability to hold themselves intact once the physical shell which had housed the creature had returned to the dust.

Then one day, for no reason Eagle could determine, he came upon a young woman sitting on a bridge at the crack between the worlds.  The beautiful light had faded below the horizon.  The moon mistress had not yet shown her face. The two worlds were colliding.  Eagle could sense the young woman’s melancholy but not the reason for it, and as he gazed upon her, he realized she did not even look the same as the other 2-leggers upon whom he had been feeding for eons. Whereas most of the others were luminous reflections of the Great Light, this one was like a black egg which held her light and her secrets to herself. So because he was curious and bored and despairing, he flew down out of the self-perpetuating shadows and sat down on the bridge, next to the woman’s left shoulder.  Far below, the dark sea of awareness glistened, reflecting starlight and the face of the young woman… but not the eagle.  After all this once upon a Time, he still could not find his own reflection.

Though she clearly knew he was there, the young woman did not turn her eyes upon Eagle. Instead, she gazed into the depths of  the sea of awareness, saying nothing. Tilting his head, eagle glanced at the woman, then at the dark sea, then at the woman again. He could not explain what he saw, but it was clear to eagle that her silence came from the dark sea and would return to it.  This perplexed eagle, causing him to speak before he even realized he had a voice.

“You do not seek the light,” eagle said to the woman. “You sit here at the edge of this vast and foreboding sea of awareness, and turn you back on the light?  Why is this?”

The woman did not turn toward him, though legend says she may have smiled just a little. “My reflection is not in the light or the darkness.”

Eagle did not understand her words, but something in him stirred. A deeper sadness interrupted his lonesome journey. “I have no reflection,” he said, mostly to himself. And the sadness magnified tenfold as he looked at this woman on the bridge between the worlds. It occurred to him to simply devour her and be done with it – for she was an irritation to his well-ordered routines – and yet there was something about her that caused him to hesitate.

As if sensing that hesitation, the woman laughed, swinging her legs back and forth as they dangled over the side of the bridge. She seemed so young, eagle thought, yet she was clearly a wise old crone behind the eyes.  She seemed so unafraid and completely unconcerned.

 “Silly bird, you’re looking in all the wrong places for your answers. You’re believing one thing now and another thing tomorrow, and in your dissatisfaction with yourSelf, you destroy everything that crosses your path instead of looking to see that your reflection is right in front of you.”  The fact that she said these things to Eagle – He-Who-Destroys-All – without any shred of fear or respect caused his shiny feathers to ruffle for a moment.

He leaned forward, ominously, close to the young woman’s throat. But she didn’t withdraw or shriek or throw herself at his mercy, as so many had done over the centuries. She just went right on gazing into the dark sea – and that outraged him all the more.

“Do you not know to whom you are speaking?” eagle demanded. “Do you not know who I am, what I will eventually do to you?”

The young woman sighed softly and, to eagle’s surprise, reached out to caress his feathers in a gesture that caused him to tremble and weep. Then, for the first time, she turned her head and looked him straight in the eye – something no other living creature had ever done.

“I know who you are,” the warrior woman told him with a certainty that rendered him altogether spellbound, for it was a confidence and a stability that went beyond fear of him and instead told him that he was accepted.  He was loved.

But then she shattered his world.  “I know exactly who you are,” she repeated, looking deeply into Eagle’s stillwater eyes.  “Do you?”

Because eagle could not answer that question, he knew he could not destroy this peculiar young woman sitting on the bridge at the crack between the worlds. So when she got up and continued her journey toward the distant stars rather than the blinding light, Eagle could only gaze after her in wonder and awe and an odd feeling of familiarity.

“Who am I?” he called after her.

She did not turn to look at him, but held out her left arm and gave a soft, loving whistle. “Come on, pretty bird,” she said as the stars were coming into view. “I’ll show you. In the end, you may not like the answer anymore than I do, but the journey itself will be phenomenal.”

“But I am alone!” eagle protested. “It is my nature to be alone, to devour all things, to be feared.”

The woman never looked back, just laughed softly into the gathering dusk.  “You’re not alone.  You’re unique.  The reason you can’t find others like yourself is because we are the only One.”

Eagle was spellbound. His attention was hooked. Seeing the woman retreating, he knew he would be left behind if he waited. And so,  he hesitated for only a moment. Casting a look over his shoulder toward the dark sea of awareness, and another in the direction of his fading past, he spread his wings and went to land on the warrior woman’s left shoulder, where he felt a most unusual sense of familiarity, as if he had been there all along.

And though he still did not know precisely who he was – for the warrior woman was clever enough stalk her mirror with impeccable intent and unconditional love - he had a most peculiar feeling that he was much closer to an answer, much closer to seeing the reflection  he had been searching for since he first discovered himself as a tiny speck of awareness. Soon, Eagle thought, he would see himself in the warrior woman’s eyes. Soon.

It was a new beginning somewhere at the edge of once upon a Time.


Della Van Hise
January 25, 2006

_________________
Copyright  © 2015
All Rights Reserved

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Life, Death and Freedom

At a recent cybergathering, a seeker asked me the following question:

Do you believe that if you do not have a shamanic death, you will be not be immortal?

My response was as follows...

Basically, I think a lot of folks will make it past the eagle, into some form of "immortality", but I've *seen* that there is "existence" (a form of awareness without much ability to do or to evolve beyond that point), or there is an actual evolution of consciousness into what don Juan called the "state of freedom".

The path of the warrior is largely about acquiring and developing the ability to evolve into that state of freedom where one would be not only ubiquitously aware, but also possessing sufficient power & individuality to maintain what we think of as an "identity" that is both a part of and yet distinguishable from All sentience. My personal understanding of the "state of freedom" is that one would have ubiquitous immortality (existing in all places and times simultaneously), but at the same time would maintain one's own individual cohesion. One would be "I Am" rather than "it is" or "we are".

As for the idea of a shamanic death.. I think all creatures have it within themselves to live a shamanic life, even if they have never heard the word 'shamanism'. At the core of every living thing, there is what don Juan called "the right way to live" -- an instinct that brings us into alignment with the evolutionary mindset of the sentient all. So, in that regard, the old adage of "there are many pathways to the bardo" is very true. But at the core level, I think each individual either does the work of spiritual evolution, or doesn't do it. If it isn't done, then the "individual" is most likely discorporated after death. The energy would remain, of course, as part of the universal sentience, but the I-Am would most likely be lost, dissolved into information (impersonal) as opposed to Knowledge (Knowledge itself implying there is an I-Am based in experience - iow, there is "one-who-knows").

For obvious reasons, this isn't a particularly popular opinion, which is why most organized religions take the more palatable approach that the "soul" is immortal no matter what. While that is true at the level of energy, most shamanic cultures recognize that the individual's life and how it is lived have a direct influence on how one spends eternity. From personal vision quests, I have come to See that Christianity's concept of Hell undoubtedly originated from the same basic core realization that, without some form of "redemption", the soul is cast into limbo after death. Unfortunately, all too many religions seek to place the idea of "redemption" into the hands of an external deity, whereas shamanism (and nagualism in particular) recognizes that the evolution of the Self is the only possibility for redemption from that discorporated awareness-without-identity (aka "limbo").

I've been to both "places" in vision quests - the place of sentient awareness without identity, and the state of ultimate freedom. While words cannot describe either one adequately, one thing I'm sure of is that without the I-Am, there is only a sense of eternal "limbo" -- awareness without cohesion. Personally, I found that discorporated state of ubiquitous observer to be less than desirable because there was no sense of differentiation - and without that, all is virtually sameness, the universe looking at itself through its own eyes and finding nothing new under the suns. It is the I-Am which gives meaning and enables the love affair between Self and Spirit.
_____________
Copyright 2015, by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Shaman's Double: Dispelling the Myths

"All things exist within the realm of possibility, but only some things will be forced to go through the motions of actually occurring." (Quantum theory)

As a result of participating in forums for the past 15+ years, and particularly in the course of presenting my own work on the subject of the double, one thing continues to amaze and amuse me, and it is essentially the reaction some people have to the mere concept of "the double".

In an online chat where the subject was touched upon, some of the comments put forth included:

"I don't believe in the double."

"The double doesn't exist except as a component of self."

"The double can ONLY be like what Carlos described of Genaro's double. It's an exact duplicate of the warrior."

As I read the transcript of this chat, where the conversation actually turned somewhat volatile, it occurred to me that a lot of the reactions I am seeing with regard to this subject are based almost wholly in the assemblage point of fear - a fear generated by 1) lack of comprehension; and 2) the insecurities of the ego as it resides in the tonal.

When an otherwise advanced warrior proclaims, "I don't believe in the double," to me it's usually a signal that some old program is running in the background which is distorting one's perception of oneself. One warrior whom I questioned about this recently told me, "The double is just a myth, isn't it? It's just a way of explaining a feeling - like Santa Claus being used to promote some essence of Christmas."

Hmmm.
____________________


While most of what I am going to say here may be repetitious to some, it seems that if the understanding of the double is so limited and distorted, perhaps more work is required. To me, it is simply obvious. But perhaps I am taking for granted that my own path has been blessed with a powerful communion with the nagual for as far back as I can remember. Perhaps what is obvious to me is Greek to someone else, and vice versa.

Another warrior friend once asked me, "If you had to define the double in 5 minutes or less, what would you say?"

My response: "The double is the evolved self, projected initially by the mortal warrior as a manifestation of the intent to preserve awareness beyond the threshold of 'death'. It is created from the energy of the warrior, literally, but takes on a life of its own as a projection of the warrior's Will. We give the double 'life'. When the warrior puts forth the intent which says, "Teach me," or "Make me whole," the double is the teacher who then begins 'dreaming the warrior'*. In this manner, the warrior is able to perceive well beyond the assemblage point of the tonal, and actually begins to utilize information and Knowledge gleaned directly from the assemblage point of the double - which might also be termed the AP of the nagual. As the warrior progresses on her path, the two assemblage points begin moving closer together, so that when the warrior's tonal is vacated at death, the dual assemblage points conjoin to create 'the totality of oneself' - or what I have come to call 'a singularity of consciousness'." 

Carlos Castaneda wrote: "The self dreams the double. Once it has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that it is the double who dreams the self. Your double is dreaming you. No one knows how it happens. We only know that it does happen. That's the mystery of us as luminous beings. You can awaken in either one." (Don Juan, TALES OF POWER)
Though these words have been perceived as a riddle by many over the years, my own work has shown that CC was speaking in a very literal sense here - but our own understanding will be either limited or enhanced, depending entirely on the preconceived notions we bring to the table. Put another way: ir someone has already determined that they don't "believe" in the double, or that the double is "only a component of self", then that is the colored filter through which the words will be viewed, and from that filter, the warrior's own understanding will be limited at best, and often even thwarted altogether. Why? Because when we do not allow ourselves to even consider what might lie beyond what we already believe, we have closed off the energetic connection to the realm of all possibility, and have confined ourselves to our own narrow and rigid belief systems.

The double is not a theory. It is not a religion. And it is not a belief system. To the warrior who has experienced her double, it is simply what-is. To the warrior who has not experienced her double, it remains as an energetic potential in the realm of all possibility which must be forced to go through the motions of actually occurring.

So much of this Toltec path (or any serious path of Knowledge) lies within our ability to set aside what we believe and deal instead with what we have never even considered - those concepts and other worlds which exist beyond the worlds and in the realm of actual experience. But that's where the ego can become fragile and fearful and slam on the brakes with blanket statements such as, "I don't believe in the double." Obviously, the ego may not want to believe in the double, for the simple reason that the double tends to represent something "larger" than the sum of our human parts - and the ego is not particularly forgiving of anything which it may perceive as "greater" than itself.

To limit the double is to limit the self. To limit the self is to defeat the purpose of the double. To see and acknowledge only the tonal self is nothing more than a manifestation of the ego's insecurities. Please consider that - for it is ultimately the insecurities of the ego which have the greatest potential to derail the warrior entirely. If you are given to meditation, this is a topic which almost always yields new insights & perspectives. What do we have the potential to BE when we set aside ego and belief, and open the door to the manifestation of "all possibility"?

So ultimately, the double represents the other half of the dual assemblage point of man. We perceive the tonal with our 5 ordinary senses. We perceive the nagual with the *other* senses (no way to know how many) which are inherent in the energetic construct of the double. When these assemblage points overlap (through dreaming, meditation or gnosis/silent knowing), the warrior gains glimpses of her connection to the infinite. When the 2 assemblage points conjoin at death (or at the moment of transmogrification, in the case of "death-defiers"), the warrior may be said to inhabit the totality of herself, achieving what some have referred to as "ultimate freedom."

Of course... my personal sense is that the ultimate freedom of our totality is most likely only one more step in an infinite journey. From the wholeness of our totality, we embrace the first step of the next evolution.

____________
Della Van Hise, copyright 2015
All Rights Reserved

The double only exists when we do the work to create it.

Friday, June 05, 2015

The Sorcerer and the Ordinary Man

(A message from the double, via silent knowing)

It is easier for a sorcerer to perform the chores of an ordinary man than it is for an ordinary man to comprehend the ways of the sorcerer. You are skating on the edge of two different worlds, which are nonetheless the same world, the only world. The trick is learning to See that, and to be neither the sorcerer nor the ordinary man, but the cohesive I-Am which is both.

Then, when the two become one, there is no longer any sense of urgency or conflict, for then you will always be doing sorcery even in ordinary actions, and ordinary acts will become enhanced with magic, and only then will you start to remember that it isn't the destination that matters nearly as much as the manner in which you travel that long dirt road on the outskirts of time, yes?

Orlando (November 25, 2003)

_______________


Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Warrior's Party - Reality or Myth?

Since the topic of a "warrior's party" has come up in several threads on the Carlos Castaneda FB group recently, I'd like to open a discussion on the subject. I'll offer some of my own opinions, which anyone is free to disagree with - though I'm hoping for some genuinely authentic forward thinking here.

From my own experience and Knowledge, I'd have to say that the idea of a warrior's party as it was described by Carlos is probably not as viable in today's world as it was when Carlos was roaming the desert with Don Juan Matus (and that's IF those events really happened as they are described, vs. whether they may be allegorical). Though they are valid either way it is my opinion that IF the events as described are accurate, what Carlos left us with is what amounts to a road map to freedom. Both Carlos and don Juan made comments which implied that the old lineages were ending. That being the case, it is also my contention that Carlos was "selected" (whether by DJM or by Spirit) to chronicle some of the Toltec wisdom and the ways of nagualism - not just as field notes for an anthropology thesis, but for future generations.

If read as a whole unit, CC's books (as well as the writings of many other Toltec/nagualism authors) provide the seeker with various techniques, as well as with the suggestion that any REAL change has to come from the Self. No teacher, no other warriors, no nagual man or nagual woman is going to take you to Freedom. If you're going there, it's a one-way trip and a one-person ticket. The idea of a warrior's party (in my opinion) is more of an allegory than a fact - so for those who are actually looking for a warrior's party... I think you would have better luck looking for leprechauns or Lilliputians.

This isn't to say that warrior's parties don't exist. They probably do. But I'm not sure they are what a lot of seekers imagine them to be. So many seekers I've worked with over the years have an idea in their head that a warrior's party means gathering in the desert to participate in mitotes, to argue vehemently with other warriors, and to sit at the feet of some don Juan character who exists solely in their own head.

The path must evolve - and I feel that it has since CC wrote his books, and it will continue to evolve and adapt because that is simply the way of Spirit. It approaches us on the level where we presently exist, and encourages us to advance, grow and evolve. I'm sure there was a time when actual warrior parties were the way of things. But that is no longer the world in which most of us live, and yet I know from direct experience (with myself and many, many others) that Spirit still calls to us and gives us the means whereby to reach Freedom. No warrior's party necessary. What is necessary is "The Work", but also the willingness to let go of the "ideas" in our head which try to tell us - "It can only be this way and no other way." As long as seekers cling to such fixed and inflexible ideas, they are probably not in service to themselves, but to the Program, and to the Eagle.

The idea of a warrior's party is extremely appealing, even romantic in many ways (spiritually romantic, not necessarily sexually romantic, just for clarification). And yet... I don't perceive it to be a realistic goal in the context of the world we live in today. Most of all, a warrior/seeker has to be adaptable and forward-thinking at all times (fluid, in other words). Spirit and the nagual are all around us, and when we learn to connect to them through the power of silence (gnosis or silent-knowing) we have the library of the Infinite at our fingertips. The warrior's party is inside each and every one of us. Learning to recognize and identify the various "characters" within our own skin is just part of the journey. You are already don Juan, don Genaro, dona Soledad, La Gorda, the witches, Silvio Manuel... and all the rest.

Do you want to be hooked to your fellow men, or to infinity? Take back your power - that's where you'll find the warrior's party.

Della Van Hise
June, 2015

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First Shaman, First Nagual

(A "silent knowing" from the double)

A teacher is a necessary thing, but first one must decide what makes a teacher. Is it a human being who stands before you with rigid lessons or facts to be memorized? Or is it a drop of rain falling onto the surface of a still pond and the ripples that flow outward? Most often, those who are ready, those who have learned to See, begin to engage with the teacher within almost from the start – even if it is only the voice of the mortal self at first, asking questions of the spirit which only the spirit can answer. Ah, and can you see that it is the questioning and the answering, the give and take between the spirit and the self, which is the first step in the creation of the double, and once this process is internalized, it creates a link to the infinite which no earth-bound teacher could ever match?

And yet, to others, perhaps an external teacher is required in the beginning – someone to teach the apprentice how to undo the world of matter and men, how to hear her own voices, how to see with the inner eye, how to listen with the heart, how to speak to the spirit and be heard by the infinite. Learning these things may take a year, a decade, or a lifetime. To some, the lessons are never finished, and so they remain at the level of apprentice forever. But to the warrior who Sees, once the techniques are learned, it becomes almost a compulsion to seek the inner silence, listening only to the inner teacher, which is the act of beginning to embrace the double as the sentient, Whole Self outside of time, who knows you better than you know yourself and therefore is most qualified to teach you how to be who and what you already Are, but have only briefly forgotten. When that occurs, when the warrior begins to live with the totality of herself, the student becomes the teacher, and in some cases, even the new nagual - whether it is her conscious desire or not. Such is the evolution of the nagual. Such is the manner in which the Knowledge self-perpetuates even after lying dormant for centuries, for it is not stored in the fabric of space-time, but within the energetic sentience of the universe itself, within the Be-ing of every nagual who has ever been or ever will be. It is a living energy and as such can never be destroyed.

Each nagual is the first nagual. Each shaman is the first shaman. It cannot be otherwise. All that is ever really handed across generations is information: techniques, concepts, ideas. You are an infinite being, and as such you are comprised of infinite Knowledge. All that is required to embrace it is Intent.

(Orlando, April 1, 2003)
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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Benefactors, Teachers & the Shaman's Double

One thing I've always found interesting about the photo on the left
is that the characters of don Juan and the Eagle are both
 inside the head of the apprentice. To me, this indicates
that our greatest teachers and our greatest fears are reflection
 of the Self - the ability to create ourselves Whole, or the ability
 to destroy ourselves completely. "Look within," as the old saying goes.
If one happens upon a teacher or benefactor with whom one can personally connect, then they might consider themselves truly fortunate. But I do not for a moment think an extant teacher is necessary, for the simple reason that the first knowledge had to come from somewhere.

Who was the first Zen master?

Who was the first Toltec benefactor?

Who is The One?

It is always and only the Self - connecting with the infinite through gnosis (silent knowing). I did not gain my experiences sitting at the feet of any guru, nor uploading the belief systems of any religion, nor analyzing my reflexive behaviors through the prodding of any human being. Human beings have agendas. There can be no exceptions, for that is the nature of being in human form. Psychiatrists have a vested interest in keeping their patients coming back, so they aren't going to offer a "cure" right away unless they themselves are truly evolved, and most simply aren't. The same is true for spiritual teachers, psychics and the like. Unless they are spiritually evolved themselves (and most aren't), they have a powerful interest in keeping the hook in the student, and so even if they have their finger on the pulse of All Knowledge, they aren't going to reveal it in a single setting because it isn't profitable to do so (nor is it possible). Even those who offer their services and advice for free are often feeding on the adulation and dependencies of their apprentices, so there is ALWAYS an agenda from ANYONE in human form.

Not all agendas are bad, but to think they don't exist is foolhardy. What matters is having sufficient AWARENESS to *see* this. This was addressed briefly in one of the CC books, when don Juan was talking about how everything we do is "self-centered" in one way or another. Even if we give money to a homeless guy with no strings attached, somewhere inside ourselves our agenda involves making ourselves "feel better" - not just about the homeless man, but most of all, about the self.

Each of us has to do the work of our own evolution, and it's always the self/double at the helm. A really good extant benefactor can point out our weaknesses and strengths, and maybe even provide advice or working with both, but all too often the student gets ensnared in the process to the point that the process can take the place of actual evolution. The double will not allow this to happen, because it isn't in his/her own best interest, and so it's like a constant "push" once we set our intent and begin opening to our own gnosis - which really is the only "guide" we ever need, because it is the direct interface between the Self and the Infinite.

Put simply, any warrior who has come far enough on the path to recognize the need for a benefactor is rather like Dorothy in Oz. The ruby slippers were right there all along, but Dorothy had externalized her salvation to "the wizard"... who... in the end... couldn't save her at all.
Click your heels together. Meet your double in the mirror. Take back your own power. Within that equation lies the single centimeter of chance that leads to Freedom.

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