Sunday, January 11, 2015
Stalking the Authentic Self
When someone asks who you are, they generally want to know your name, whether you’re married or single, and if you might sleep with them. Or maybe they’re just being polite and really don’t give a damn. Most likely that’s the case. But let’s assume for a moment that you really want to answer the question – “Who am I?”
Where do you look for answers?
The obvious answer is too obvious: Look inside yourself, young Grasshopper.
And yet... how do you look inside yourself if you don’t know who you are?
Ain’t that annoying?
One of the hardest tasks we face as warriors involves coming face to face with the characters we play in our day to day lives. People who adopt roles without awareness usually find themselves in a heap of misery, because the role and reality usually don't go hand in hand.
Actors on Broadway who perform the same role for years have reported that eventually they start to lose the boundary between themselves and their character, and surely the same is true for humans in general. Live the lie long enough, and eventually the lie is all there is.
A warrior may adopt a role, but it is always done with awareness. This is the art of stalking as it was put forth by Carlos Castaneda. For example, there have been times at one of our events when I will quite happily play the role of The Dumb Blonde, because customers are less intimidated. Easiest way to explain it - when someone asks me, "So, how are you doing today?" my response is going to be what the person wants/needs to hear. "I'm great! You?" If I answered their questions truthfully, they would flee in terror. It might look something like this:
"How are you doing today?" Joe Bloke asks.
The more honest response might be... "Well, lemme see, Joe. We are, in theory, beings who are going to die, and short of taking responsibility for every moment we are alive, we will most likely fall into the abyss, experiencing the absolute annihilation of any awareness we ever possessed.The planet herself is in stage 4 terminal cancer and may be knocked out of orbit at any moment by a rogue comet, but other than that, I'm having a great day. You?"
All true, but inappropriate for the circumstances. So the stalker puts on her mask, plays her role, but always with the total knowledge that the mask is not the self. It is a tool – a survival mechanism. And yet, the moment we forget it’s a tool, we run the same risk as anyone else.
"Under no circumstances is it acceptable to put on the mask of a phantom, for all too often, what you do not realize is that the phantoms have lined the mask with glue that is anesthesia and pleasant amnesia." (Orlando – August 2001)
So what? “What does that have to do with me?” you ask.
Next time you find yourself in an intense situation arguing vehemently for your own point of view, stop for a moment and listen to your internal dialog. You will probably hear the voice of your character. You may even see him in his super hero costume, arguing for truth, justice and the Righteous Way.
Grab the nearest gun. Shoot the fucker. Then run like hell off the stage and out of the play.
The authentic self is the one standing in the shadows, waiting for you to wake up. No capes or masks. No magical weapons. No special abilities. Except one.
The authentic self is the most powerful being in the universe, because from the cohesive assemblage point of the authentic self, there is nothing you cannot do.
An abridged excerpt from "Scrawls On the Walls of the Soul" (Della Van Hise)
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