Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Positive Side of Negative Emotions

All emotions are part of being human. It's how we
use them that determines how they serve us.
There are some spiritual teachers who advocate what amounts to the suppression of emotion – or what was called by one man I once worked with, “going into observe mode” so that even when a seeker may have every right and reason to be angry, the result would be essentially standing to the side, observing the situation from a more detached perspective, with a more placid “acceptance” of “what is”.  I put several phrases in quote marks because these have come to sound like buzz words to me.  Something about this whole idea of "observe mode" just didn't feel right, but I believe I may have stumbled onto a partial explanation while working with a friend/apprentice recently.

Since I first embarked on this journey, I have encountered a lot of metaphysical teachers (from Toltec to Buddhist and everything in between) who essentially attempt to teach their “apprentices” that our “negative” emotions are somehow tantamount to evil itself, and must therefore be excised, or at the very least controlled to the point that the apprentice automatically goes into “observe mode” at the first sign of any negative emotion. In other words, one reaction is simply substituted for another, a different program is brought into play, but it's still a program. I’m going to use anger as the emotion du jour, but any of the traditional “negative” emotions could be substituted.

There have been several discussions about this, including the infamous thread, Kirks and Spocks and Klingons, oh my!* – and yet I still did not feel satisfied that I had really been able to isolate precisely why this idea of suppressing our emotions feels every bit as “wrong” to me as the idea of an extant deity on a golden throne answering to the name of “God”. And yet, every time I would hear a warrior say something to the effect of, “I was really pissed off that my husband kicked the dog, but I went into observe mode so as to remain detached,” I would be left with a feeling that said, quite simply, That ain’t right.

Being whole is a matter of integrating all aspects
of ourselves, not obliterating half of who we are.
Finally, I had what amounts to a personal epiphany which explains to me why these “observe mode” methods so highly touted by certain mystical teachers simply do not work in the big picture.  In a sense, it’s because teaching an apprentice to “go into observe mode” can end up being more like a bandaid over a gushing artery.  It stems the flow for awhile, but doesn't fix the underlying problem.  It's like teaching a child to say "darn" instead of "damn" - one may appear more acceptable, but the underlying problem still remains.  Teachers who employ such methods may help an apprentice identify the behavior and even suggest ways to "staunch" the behavior, such as “going into observe mode” or "become transparent", but what I've really observed is that this can end up replacing one pre-programmed response with another - i.e., you're only substituting "observe mode" for "anger mode", but the anger is still present.

A long time ago, Orlando said that if you're going to cut away diseased organs, you have to replace them with something lest the patient die on the table.  Problem is - can't replace a "heart" with a "liver"; can't replace a "stomach" with a "spleen".  To me, that's what happens with apprentices trained to go into “observe mode”.  I've seen it in apprentices who have worked with even some highly respected “naguals”.  The "cure" works for awhile, but when the apprentice starts to realize that their abilities haven't improved and they are still FEELING the anger (or jealousy or hurt), and that they're just replacing "anger mode" with "observe mode", they start falling back into the old patterns – and as a result, usually end up turning on their "master".  IOW, the cure is only temporary, because the disease still remains, and has only been masked by substituting a different extant behavior.  That's what I mean by "can't replace a heart with a liver."  One is for moving blood through the body, the other is for filtering toxins; and while both are necessary, neither can do the work of the other efficiently.

Please note:  I don't "blame" the teacher for this.  S/he can effectively bring an apprentice to the point where they really need to figure out for themselves what to Do with the so-called "negative emotion".  IOW, being able to drop into "observe mode" isn't enough in the long run.  It's just a starting point to break the old programs, to give the apprentice breathing room from the anger.  But it really does nothing to address the anger itself.  After that has been learned, the apprentice can then start learning how to re-channel the REAL human emotions into their daily life, as a matter of Intent.  I don't believe in trying to pretend I don't feel anger or hurt - I'm human, so that's a natural part of my being – and like my instinct to run from fire or to swim if thrown in water, I think our “darker” emotions are just tools to be used like any other instinct.

Trying to behave like a Vulcan is only another role-playing game - it's simply not real because we're not really Vulcans.  It's not in our nature. So what I've learned to do is to use my anger productively and ruthlessly - literally change the "molecular nature" of anger into creative godforce, for example.  Rather like using a propane-fed fire to power a refrigerator in your camper.  Using "negative" energy to create something positive, rather than just trying to squelch or ignore the negative energy because we’ve been programmed to think that anything “negative” or “dark” is something to be eradicated, when the truth is that it is just another tool once we strip away the assignations and stigma put onto it by our own human programming.

In the big picture, until we leave this earth, we're still human and that's just the way it is.  So where my "method" differs is that I don't try to teach people to be "peaceful warriors", but to use their emotions with awareness and ruthless impeccability. So-called spiritual people who talk about seeking wholeness and then fragment themselves into the good, the bad and the ugly need to seriously examine how that's really working for them.

If you really want to be whole, what you need to do is strangle your inner bliss ninny, stand naked in front of your own mirror, and see yourself for who you are. Chances are... it's not nearly as bad as you may think.

Condensed from a post to "The Shaman's Rattle"
May 4, 2005

*Kirks and Spocks and Klingons, oh my! refers to a discussion that was ongoing for several months on an old forum I once moderated entitled "The Shaman's Rattle." Anyone seriously interested in accessing it can hopefully find it here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"The Light On the Lake" (More Tales of Power)

It was a certain way the light hit the lake, the way the sun bounced off the little chops on the surface of the water. No way to describe it, really. A hundred different elements had all come into play with just the right timing. A pale silver mist, not quite fog, not quite cloud. Scent of cut grass. Hint of mystery on the wind.

Just words, meaning nothing.

What seemed to matter was the fact that it caused my breath to catch in my throat. Suddenly I was 17 again. Back on the shore of some half-remembered lake in Florida when I was still just a girl, chasing bullfrogs and courting the nagual without having a name for it.

It was an afternoon when I had cut school with one of the local boys. Doug, I think his name was. We snuck off to a lake that had no name, floated out to the center of the water on a cheap raft, and spent the day talking about whatever it is that teenage kids talk about.

What I remember about that day was looking toward the shore and noticing how the trees grew almost to the water's edge. The shadows. Thick and black and inviting - far more inviting, even, than the embrace of the handsome young man in whose arms I was lying. He was known somehow. No mystery. The shadows and the orange groves and the black bottom lake were the mystery, calling forth something in me that I had never felt before in quite that manner, until that afternoon on the lake.

I knew then, somehow, that I would never be completely content. No man would ever be enough. No friend would ever know me as I wanted to be known. And yet...

There was something in the shadows that knew me. There was something in the trees that was kindred.
And for a moment, today, I found myself back in that assemblage point... overwhelmed with that sense of wonder and awe and melancholy perfection which simply cannot be spoken of except in 3 a.m. campfire whispers. For a moment, the world stopped, and I was neither Della-the-girl, nor Della-the-woman. I was simply - somehow - the synapse of energy between the two assemblage points. I was the manifestation of the unknown, reaching across the void to BE the shadows which have drawn me to this moment, to become the light on the lake, reflecting back and forth between then and now and then and the infinite.

For that moment, I knew my name... written in a language of light on the lake, and the shadows that lie beyond.
Journal Entry, September 30, 2007
Copyright 2015, by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"We occupy the same space..."

More Tales of Power

A few years back, Wendy and I had gone out to dinner with some acquaintances, and I decided to return to the car to wait while they were reminiscing. Just felt a need to be solo for awhile.

I dozed intermittently, then opened my eyes into full awareness. My head happened to be turned toward a low-rise hotel,and I was completely aware of my surroundings. But instead of the hotel as it should have appeared, I realized I was looking at a very old building. It was the same building, but seriously aged, dilapidated.

Because I was keenly aware of my surroundings and knew I wasn't dreaming, I made the decision to maintain the vision/perception for as long as I could. I began studying the building, and observed that there were lights on inside the rooms, but the color and intensity said they were candles, like lanterns.

As I was studying this perception, an androgynous voice made the statement, "We occupy the same space, but not the same time."

I was filled with a sense of awe throughout the experience, which I was able to maintain for approximately 2 minutes.

What does it mean? Who's to say?

Just an unexpected but strangely pleasant encounter with the unknown.
If you enjoy this kind of anecdote, you might consider joining the Carlos Castaneda group on Facebook.

Or order one or both of my books...
Quantum Shaman: Diary of a Nagual Woman
Scrawls On the Walls of the Soul

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tales of Power - "42 Minutes"

Over the course of my life, I've had many unusual experiences. At some point, I have probably mentioned an incident that occurred back around ~1995, wherein I woke in the middle of the night (3:38 a.m. to be precise), and walked from one end of our old rambling house to the other, went into the bathroom in my office, then came back out and returned to the bedroom, only to discover that I had been gone for approximately 45 minutes. The clock which had read 3:38 a.m. when I left the room now read 4:22. I could account for perhaps 2-3 minutes, MAYBE 5 minutes if I really stretched it. But certainly not the 42 minute interval that had ensued.

In the grand tradition of humans, I tried to convince myself I had simply looked at the clock wrong, until Wendy rather sleepily asked me why I had been gone so long. So... to HER perceptions, time had passed, whereas to my perceptions, I could only account for the 3-5 minutes.

This has been an incident I have pondered often over the years, and through a couple of attempts at regression, I have been able to extract certain images of what might have occurred during that interval of missing time. Over the years since then, there have been at least a couple of other incidents of a similar nature -- I would look at the clock, walk across the room, for example, then look at the clock again... and 42 minutes would be missing. Again, I could account for perhaps 3 minutes, so a pattern was beginning to develop... intervals of almost exactly 42 minutes of missing time, occurring somewhat frequently. Not in any exact pattern I can discern, but at least once or twice a year THAT I WAS AWARE OF... and who knows how many times that I simply haven't noticed.

Then, just 2 nights ago, it happened again, with 100% certainty that I didn't simply glance at the clock wrong. Woke up in the middle of the night... glanced at the clock. 4:44 a.m. Got up, did the aforementioned procedure, looked out the window at the cloudy night (a beautiful rarity in the desert), took note of the fact that dawn was just beginning to break behind the clouds, then returned to bed. Again, I could account for approximately 2-4 minutes... and yet as I was climbing back into bed, I glanced at the clock. 5:29 a.m.

At first, I again tried convincing myself I had simply glanced at the clock wrong. (How adamantly we try to explain away the mysteries of life!) But as I glanced at the windows, I realized it was MUCH lighter than it had been when I gazed out the window in the bathroom. The horizon was now pure silver, the pre-dawn brightness which can be almost blinding at times. No doubt that approximately 42 minutes had indeed passed, for it was validated by the difference in light.
So... what is the significance of ~42 minutes? There is absolutely no sense of a "glitch" in my personal timeline. No sense of having dozed off (standing up? looking out the window? nah), no sense of having passed out, no evidence that ANYTHING is out of the ordinary... except that 42 minutes is missing from my life, and that this significant interval of missing time continues to occur somewhat frequently, without rhyme or reason that I can detect.

Is this some function of heightened awareness? And, if so, why 42 minutes? Is anyone out there aware of any special significance to that interval of time? Is it a biorhythm? A tick of the cosmic clock? And how often does it occur that I DON'T notice, simply because I don't happen to be aware of time. Not wearing a watch and not being a clock-watcher, I can't even begin to imagine.

I fully realize that "missing time" is a function of the so-called UFO experience, but that doesn't seem to "track" with my own perceptions and my own awareness. Just as Carlos Castaneda had absolutely no awareness of events taking place in heightened awareness until years later, I suspect this could be part of that same process. What's that old quote? "The world isn't only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine."
Journal entry, ~2002

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stopping the World

The day itself was an entity - a personality shrouded in grey and drifting clouds, misting rain that was cold but oddly unwet, and a pervading darkness that caused one to believe it was dusk even in the early afternoon of the Los Angeles pre-Christmas madhouse.

Though I did not particularly want to be there, there was a part of me that was secretly in love with the bleak nature of the storm and the face it had painted over the tall skyscrapers and crumbling gothic-style hotels that stand side by side in a landscape of dichotomous duality which occasionally looks more like a flat matte painting than anything remotely "real".

I wandered alone while my SO was busy in one of the shops. Familiar territory, but grim and cold now, streets flooded, and an odd scent permeating the damp air - the scent of human urine, street-vendor hot dogs and stale perfume wafting out from one of the nearby wholesale outlets.

The wind was cold against my cheeks, colder still against my bare shoulders and chest - for I had dressed for summer, knowing full well it would force me to experience the rain on my flesh - a sensation which can be discussed in words, but can only be experienced in the do-ing. A miasma of language swirled around me. Spanish. Korean. Chinese. Farsi. I thought of Bladerunner, and the futuristic world depicted in the film.

A pang of some unidentified emotion swept over me. For a moment, I remembered actually being at the premiere of Bladerunner. Sitting maybe 2 rows behind Harrison Ford, watching the movie unfold around those who had created it... and the dreams I had carried with me at the time. Dreams that I might write movies myself. Fantasies that I would wear a slinky black dress and sip cocktails with Ridley Scott while chatting about artistic trends in the realm of film noir.

I had been a writer back then. And yet... there came a day when I was talking to Wendy and I said with all the truth in my heart, "I don't want to be the one writing the books. I want to be the character in the book - the one on the grand adventure, hero or villain, both and neither, I want to be do-ing what writers only dream about on paper! I want to be the ghost hunter or the starship captain! I want to sit in that Bladerunner bar where nobody speaks English and the rain is cold and wet against my bare skin - and I want to feel all of that pain and the glory of the pain and the simple joy that there is anything at all to really feel in this crazy world!"

So I stopped for a moment on that rainy Los Angeles street, and realized yet again that I had gotten my wish. The power of my own intent had manifested it - even if not in the way I might have fantasized or imagined, it had nonetheless brought me to that one moment when I could stand at the crossroads of the past and the future, looking with wide-eyed wonder. The buildings where Bladerunner had been filmed were barely 2 blocks away, and the sheer irony of it all caused me to wonder yet again how real any of it is, and how much is only the Dream within the Dreamer's dreaming.

As I stood there surrounded by the madness of Christmas shoppers literally arguing over who would get the last Baby Betty or how much they were willing to pay for some cheap statuette of the Blessed Virgin, the world simply stopped. The writers went on strike. The dialogue turned to silence. The actors stopped in mid-stride, and for a split second I began to wonder if I had stepped onto the set of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

The world... stopped. 

"It'll be over soon, won't it?"

The voice came from my right, and as I turned my head, it was to see a paper-thin man in a rickety wheelchair, backed up into the shadowy recesses of a doorway to an abandoned storefront. As I met his eyes - haunted and full of sickness for which no cure existed, racked with the pain of his illness which went untreated as a result of his inability to pay for the continuity of his own life - I realized that he *saw* it, too. He saw that the world had stopped. He saw that the matrix had paused to take a breath.

Though there were many ways I could have chosen to interpret his question, I knew through my own *seeing* precisely what he meant. Though he knew he was dying and probably would not survive until Christmas, his question came from a position of the assemblage point that had nothing to do with himself. When he said, "It'll be over soon," it wasn't even a question.

I nodded without speaking, following his gaze up to where a small Asian man stood in a third floor window - broken and dusty - sipping coffee and gazing down at the chaos in the filthy streets below.

"You know who he is?" the old fellow in the wheelchair asked.

"I have no idea."

"That's God," the man told me. Then he laughed, though it came out as a cough. "Problem is - he don't know how to fix it either. So he just paces back and forth in front of that window all day, drinking his goddamn coffee." Another chuckle, another fit of coughing, then: "Fuck the son of a bitch. Who needs him?"

When I glanced back up at the window, God was gone. The world kick-started itself as if on the last breath of its own intent. Rain that had been paused in the air resumed its love affair with gravity, and began falling steadily. A baby screamed. And somehow I simply knew it was the birthcry of all the world.

The old fellow in the wheelchair had gone back to staring at his mismatched shoes, the gathering droplets of rain on his silver hair like diamonds on the crown of a fallen, forgotten king.

I touched his shoulder gently, though he never looked up.

"It'll be over soon," I told him, validating what he already knew.

He had fallen asleep there in the rain, in the shadows of the grey city, in a doorway, in December.

And for that one single moment outside of time, we had Dreamed together of a storm and a broken window, and God.
Journal Entry, December 19, 2007

Copyright by Della Van Hise, 2015
All Rights Reserved

To read more similar anecdotes...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Intent of the Speaker

[The following counseling was done in response to a seeker who had asked my double (aka Orlando), "Why am I not progressing on my own path? What is holding me back?" This came at a time when this seeker would literally argue every point Orlando attempted to make. If he said, "The sky is blue," a debate would ensue. "The sky isn't really blue. It only appears that way because of atmospheric gases." What follows is Orlando's response to the idea of knowing the intent of the speaker. Although this was originally gleaned in 1997, it clearly has relevance still... and probably always will.]


You have come to a point in your journey when it is necessary to know the difference between words, and the intent behind the words. If I say to you, "Our journey together is not a matter of the destination so much as it is an experience of mind, body and spirit along the way," I have communicated to you a concept which is larger than the words themselves, yes? What is hoped is that you will know the intent of the speaker, rather than attempting to vivisect the words themselves.

You could say to me in return, "Ah, but what do you mean by mind, body and spirit? You imply there is a destination, but where would that be and how would I get there?"

All of these questions would only indicate to me that you have missed the point entirely, and that you are attempting to use words to obfuscate meaning, semantics to distract from the intent of the speaker. And while this is to be expected from those new to the path, it is nothing less than disrespectful to yourself when it becomes a habit of a more advanced seeker. It is the chatter of your self-importance, operating on behalf of your ego.

If you know the intent behind the speaker's statement, yet you choose to engage in wordplay, then what you are really doing is diverting attention away from the subject at hand. There are many reasons to do so, but the most common is a laziness of mind. It is always easier to argue at the level of words than to engage openly at the level of intent and spirit and forward-thinking. The second most common reason to divert attention in this manner is - quite simply - one's own self-importance. Playing with words and being thought of as clever holds more value for some than an actual exploration of the speaker's original intent.

It will always be possible to split words and divide particles, for energy is infinite, even its smallness. And yet, is there anything to be gained by doing so, or would far greater value be found through hearing and *seeing* what the speaker intended, rather than immediately allowing the internal dialogue to begin looking for ways to dispute it? If you are still at the core and examine what is intended, you will often discover that you don't really 'disagree' at all. It is merely a habit to do so, rooted in some program still operating in the consensus.
It is not a matter of whether you agree with me or not. That is altogether irrelevant. And yet, if the disagreement resides wholly in a dispute of words or terminology, the point is lost and the status quo of the consensus is maintained and all is right with the world.

...or is it?

So it is time to choose and to make a commitment of awareness to yourself and your journey. Do you want to discuss ideas and concepts of the infinite and eternal, or do you want to infinitely and eternally debate the fallacies of language until all that remains is the psychobabble of language itself?

Make the impeccable choice.

What I've found in my own life and my work with seekers (and true dis-believers) is that this type of argumentative posturing is also a manifestation of what is commonly called passive-aggressive behavior. Wiki explains it like this:
"In conflict theory, passive resistance is a rational response to demands that may simply be disagreed with. Passive-aggressive behavior can resemble a behavior better described as catty, as it consists of deliberate, active, but carefully veiled hostile acts..."
In plain language, if you are the kind of person who plays coy games of "I don't understand what you're saying" (when you understand perfectly well) or asks questions like "Have you stopped beating your dog yet?" (not because you DO beat your dog, but because the person wants to IMPLY that you do), why not just ask direct questions or take a good long look in your own mirror to find out why you are so threatened or even offended by "the intent of the speaker."

As Orlando often says - "Make the impeccable choice."  It's up to you.
Copyright 2015, by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Magic is a Burden to Others

Sometimes we choose the magical world.
Other times it chooses us.
Most people don't really want magic in their lives.

What else can we call it? Supernatural phenomenon. Hauntings. Prophetic dreams. Visionary experiences. Intuitive knowing. Or simply: any inexplicable encounters with the unknown.

Whatever we call it, let's face it: magic is inconvenient to most folks, disrupts their daily routine, takes away from the enjoyment of a "happy" day (whatever that might be), and generally disturbs and confounds their belief systems upon which has been built the immovable foundation for A Normal Life. Anything that does not align with the traditional status quo is therefore a pain in the ass, a thorn in the side, a discrepancy in the matrix, and something to be avoided at all costs.

As a child, I had many magical experiences - I've written about some of them on my website. Not sure why the world of mysticism & magic seemed to single me out, except perhaps because I slipped through the cracks of traditional upbringing - or, put another way, I was spared the dubious benefits of a lot of the programming which most children endure just by virtue of being alive. Living in an isolated rural environment, with a mother who was at work from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., and a father who was less than attentive, I more or less ran wild in the neighborhood in a time before fences or pit bulls. The swamp, the lake, and the orange groves were my milieu, and as an only child, my so-called 'invisible friends' were my only friends.

It was idyllic.

Thing is... in hindsight, I can also clearly see that the lack of traditional programming allowed my mind/spirit to develop in what I would consider to be a more natural fashion than most kids growing up today. With no television in the house, no telephone, no video games, no VCR, no DVD or computer, and very little adult supervision, I was essentially forced into a bond with the natural world and, ultimately, the 'supernatural' world.

So the tales I tell here may sound like fanciful imaginings of an isolated little girl, remembered by an elder witch through the eyes of poetic license. If that's what makes you sleep better, then you are free to inject that belief into your own programming in the same way a doctor might inject morphine into the IV line of a patient experiencing a great deal of pain.The morphine doesn't really make the pain go away, of course. It only masks the symptoms, but for the most part, that's what patients are looking for. And it's what "most folks" are looking for in their day to day lives.

I'm reminded of Arnold Mindell's comments in his excellent book, THE SHAMAN'S BODY:
Is it your fault if you remind others of dreams they do not want? And who can blame the group, either for resistance to you or for the life-and-death struggle that ensues? These people are fighting for their lives, equilibrium, homeostasis - indeed, for the perpetuation of history. "Do not disturb us more than we can take," they say.  
From a global viewpoint, you disturb your organizational system, and history must fight for continuity. In this universal and fated interaction, the warrior's friends become the voices of the web. Their warmth turns to ice. They accuse you of unjustifiable behavior, egotism, and criminality as they become possessed by their lawmaker role in this eternal drama of human history.
The collective you live in must pursue you for what it experiences as criminal acts and bring you to trial, just as you have challenged other rule breakers in the past. Now it is you who enters into a life-and-death struggle with the universe..."
For those who have been engaging in the world of 'shamanic sorcery' for any length of time, it is almost a certainty that you, too, have been labeled as a pain in the collective ass of society, or even your own family & friends. If you have been on the path as long as I have, it is even a strong possibility that you are a lone practitioner now - for the ugly truth is that this path does not really make us many friends. Oh, we might connect from time to time with other warriors on a parallel path, but when we commit to this journey with the totality of mind/body/spirit, we quickly discover that in order to be true to ourselves, we can no longer uphold the expectations of others in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

What does that mean? "Surely you jest, Della!" someone is sure to say. "I have dozens of friends and a loving and supportive family, and I am still a warrior!"


My mantra is simple: IT. HAS. TO. BE. REAL. And it is when we begin to be absolutely true to the Self that we find ourselves out of step with the status quo.

What is the status quo? Greatly simplified, it is the consensual reality, in which there are rules and agreements we are all expected to live by. Which brings us to expectations, of course. What is expected of us by our friends? Our family? Other warriors? And if we find ourselves leaning toward wanting or needing to somehow satisfy those expectations, are we then attempting to mold ourselves into the consensual programs as a means to seek acceptance and that sense of well-being we are "supposta" experience when surrounded by family and friends?

Personally, I have come to see the expectations of others rather like individual bars on a cage. How are you doing? Fine, thank you (the expected response, when in reality you have a painful hemorrhoid and your dog won't stop pooping on the rug). And how is your lovely wife today? She's doing well, thanks for asking (even though she's on anti-depressants as a result of catching you in bed with the pool boy twice last week). Would you like fries with that? No, I'd prefer a dinner salad, thank you. (But you're lying and you know it. You want the fries. Fries good. Salad bad. But you say the right thing because you're having lunch with your skinny friends who have been duly assimilated by the tao of lettuce.)

But I digress... Your painful hemorrhoid and your crapping dog and your inability to keep your pecker in your pants are still foibles which polite society will agree to overlook in order to maintain their illusion of normalcy. After all, the priest may tell you - we are only human with human shortcomings. Say a few Hail Marys, kick the dog out the back door, get some Preparation H, slap your errant prick into submission; and all will be right with the world. And who knows... in the world of matter & men, in the world of polite society, perhaps the preacher is right to the extent of his understanding of the agreement. You may be an asshole, but you're a normal asshole - a card-carrying member of The Human Agreement.

Ah, but what if you were to be sitting there at lunch with all those malnourished, well-to-do, normal friends of yours, and you just happen to casually mention during the appetizers that you were abducted by aliens last night. Everyone laughs it off, of course, because you are obviously joking around as you are wont to do, you little minx, but by the time that nasty-tasting dinner salad arrives, you've made a reference to a prophetic dream you had last week, and now the laughter is getting somewhat more nervous and your best friend's wife has dropped her fork with a loud clattering sound more than once.

When the main course is served, you turn the conversation toward the fact that your house seems to be haunted by the spirit of the former occupant, who appears in the mirror over your sink every other Thursday and whispers, "Cats really do go to heaven," in a melodic but androgynous voice. Now you're keeping in mind that these are your closest friends - maybe even people you grew up with, went to high school or college with, friends with whom you have discussed all manner of philosophy at one time or another. Is there life on other planets? Is religion a comfort or a crutch? Did don Juan really exist, or was Castaneda just stoned on mushrooms and made the whole thing up? Was Nietzsche onto something with nihilism or is nihilism just much ado about nothing?

To you, these things are just a part of your inventory now, maybe even the fuel that drives your imagination. So by the time dessert arrives, you're talking openly about the projection of the shaman's double as a quantum vessel of energetic awareness, replete with free will and the ability to transcend the space/time continuum.

But what you have perhaps failed to notice is that your friends left Neverland long, long ago. They went away and grew up and got married and had lots of babies, so by this time, their amusement has turned to outright discomfort, and the males at the table have turned to talk of Nascar and beer, while the females have retreated to The Ladies Powder Room to do whatever it is females do in the restroom that seems to require at least 30 minutes and the assistance of their 12 closest friends.

You are alone.

In the middle of friends, surrounded by those closest to you...

You are alone.

Magic is a burden to others. At some point, this becomes obvious. If you are extremely fortunate, you find yourself merely alone and not hanging from some makeshift cross or secured to a handsome pile of very dry kindling while the stuffy magistrate recites the charges against you.

This is where the journey takes a sharp and dangerous turn, and you have some decisions to make that are going to be painful.

Do you really want to be a sorcerer at all if this is where it leads?

But... far worse... do you have a choice anymore, or have you already wandered past the point of know return?

Journal entry - July 31, 2008

Copyright 2015 by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

Similar rants & observations may be found in...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Super-Position of the Assemblage Point

A Teaching From the Double

The super position of the assemblage point is nothing. And it is everything. It is nowhere. Yet it is everywhere. It does not exist within linear time. Yet it is the entirety of time as well as the absence of time. 

If you were to visualize the All as a marble which might be held in the palm of your hand, that would give you an idea of the super position of the assemblage point. The marble contains everything - all of space and time, all of the past and the future, all things that have happened, and (most importantly) all of the infinite possibilities which have NOT been forced to go through the motions of actually occurring. From the super position of the assemblage point - which might be described as non-local and ubiquitous - the entirety of the All is accessible as possibility, and yet only the do-ing (localizing) will result in experience. 

To those who would say that the double is therefore ominiscient, I would point out that this is really not the case. Though the All may be experienced as possibility, it is only through the actual do-ing (localizing) that 'history' is created in the form of experiential memory. 

It is from the super position of the assemblage point that the double functions. When I have said that I am the fire in the canyon or the intangible sparkle of light captured in a raindrop, those statements are not intended as metaphor or poetry, but as an actuality of experience. From the super position of the assemblage point, all things exist as potential for energy. It could not even be said that what is as yet unmanifested is "energy". It is, instead, the potential for energy, which is then made to manifest by intent and an application of Will. 

It is through the intent of the mortal self that the will of the double may be invoked. 

When you ask how this may impact a warrior in the now, consider that it is the mortal self who dreams the double. As I have said countless times: "You are the creator of reality. I am only its servant." Or as don Juan once said to Carlos, "I am at your service." 

It is when the mortal self summons intent (an active force of energetic creation) that it could be said, "The self is dreaming the double." To follow that thinking further, it is when the double localizes his energy and manifests experience through the application of Will, that it may be said, "The double is now dreaming you." 

The mortal self operates from a fixed position of the assemblage point (fixed, meaning from within a humanform lifetime), whereas the double is summoned from the super position of the assemblage point - which may manifest or localize anywhere within (or outside of) the space/time continuum. I have lived a thousand lifetimes and died a thousand deaths, and yet I am Whole and eternal because there is the awareness of free Will - and my Will is to remain I-Am regardless of where or when that I-Am manifests in the tonal. 

What most humans fail to recognize is that they themselves are the source. You are the creators of reality. Even if the double is Dreaming you, it is because you (and only you) have chosen through actions to Dream the double. If t here is an oversoul or a super position of the assemblage point, it is not because angels placed it there like stars in the heavens, but because you yourself placed it there through intent and the energetic force of self-awareness. 

If you were to ask the rhetorical question: "Which came first, the self or the double?" the answer is simple to one who sees. The self is the source, though many would tell you otherwise, because it is easier to believe in some already-immortal overmind than it is to take upon yourself the heavy responsibility for creating that force as a singularity of consciousness. 

Put another way: the gods exist, but only if the one true god creates them. There is only one true god, and that is the one for which humans have been searching for centuries, but always manage to overlook when gazing at the reflection over the bathroom sink. And for as long as one searches externally for what is internal, one will find ways to convince oneself that one is an impotent sloth, when in reality, each one of you contains the full and complete power of all of the universe in a single thought. 

Having awareness of this enables the warrior in the now to more effectively direct the power of her own intent, which in turn Dreams a more cohesive double. 

Intent is the architect. Will is the power to manifest the architect's Dreaming. 

Orlando - December 22, 2007
Copyright 2015, by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"The Destruction of Faith is the Beginning of Evolution"

"The Destruction of Faith is the Beginning of Evolution."

My mentor said those words to me more than 20 years ago, and I have found them to be one of the most valuable lessons I've ever learned. What I've also discovered is that the word "faith" can just as easily be replaced with the word "belief" or "programs" - and for anyone serious about nagualism, it's really where the journey has to start.

What is seemingly not understood by many is that most if not all "beliefs" stem directly from fear - and fear is the first enemy of a wo/man of Knowledge, the first enemy of any true seeker. There is an ongoing disagreement in the Carlos Castaneda group on Facebook regarding the idea of "god" or a "creator" - right down to the point where some want to argue that they aren't the same thing. To which I would reply - Semantics don't alter the bottom line. Any intrinsic belief in a god or creator implies that there is something "out there" greater and more powerful than oneself. And if you believe that, you are disempowering yourself at the core level - not out of any "respect" for this entity, but out of fear that you yourself are not capable of facilitating your own evolution. If you believe there is a "god" watching over you, then you have automatically placed yourself into some sort of pre-existing hierarchy that would make you "lesser than" your god/creator.

It may also be considered that the foreign installation has programmed humans to find false beliefs not only comforting, but downright addictive. Believing in a "savior" for example is highly appealing to many - because it abdicates all responsibility for the self, and one need only ask "forgiveness" for all manner of "sin" in order to be granted admittance to some paradise over the rainbow of reason. Believing in "karma" allows the true believer to think that "He'll get his!" when the reality is that good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people, and the only "justice" in the universe is what we believe (and our beliefs usually have very little basis in reality). These are just 2 brief examples, but the list is long - and it's why I encourage all seekers to question everything, all the time, including and especially their own beliefs. Don't just ask yourself what you believe, but take the time to seriously examine why you believe it. Is it something you know to be true through direct personal experience, or is it something you believe because you've believed it for so long that you probably don't even remember why you believe it?

Some may think it arrogant to suggest that you are the most powerful being in the universe - but unless and until you accept that responsibility, you will automatically be governed by fear and robbed of clarity because belief systems such as this blind the seeker to his own limitless Will. What created you was the Will of the fastest sperm and the will of the strongest egg. The spark of consciousness that looks out through your eyes is the result of that spontaneous parthenogenesis, and the instinct to SURVIVE (to slip past the eagle to be free) is the creative extension of that will in action.

It isn't my intent here to rob anyone of their religion. If you are a religious person, you probably don't belong in this group in the first place - because nagualism (or quantum shamanism) is not a religion, it is a practice, a way of life, and a manner of traveling. It is not a belief system, but a methodology through which seekers can unravel their own false belief systems  and programs and lose their "faith" AND their fear (no matter how comforting or intrinsic those beliefs may be!) - so that they may emerge on the other side of it all having lost all spiritual, emotional and mental dependencies. In fact, this is at the very heart of "losing the human form."

"What's in the cave?"
Only what you bring with you.

My mentor pushed me to the edge of the abyss, and then he shoved me in head first. What I found in there and out there and everywhere in between... was only my Self. In my opinion, it is only from that "clean slate" that seekers can begin to embrace the infinite and create the eternal.

I realize this is not what many people want to hear. It wasn't what I wanted to hear when my mentor revealed it to me. But if I were here for a popularity contest, I'd be just one more bliss ninny telling you you're watched over by guardian angels and all of us are going to some version of heaven when we die. Unfortunately, those kinds of belief systems belong in a book of fairy tales and not in the realm of nagualism or quantum shamanism. What we believe (or want to believe) is usually what blinds us to what we might otherwise come to Know through experience and assimilated awareness.

I'm not asking you to defend your belief. I'm asking you to examine it even if it hurts.
Copyright 2015 by Della Van Hise

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Stalking Core Beliefs

(A teaching from the double)

The machine's fundamental function is to protect itself by keeping its subjects mindlessly serving it even though the mechanism itself has long since forgotten its primary programming.

Man is a chrysalis you see, containing all the secrets to growing immortal wings capable of taking him beyond death, an evolution dependent entirely on him and having nothing to do with eons of mutations or nebulous resurrections requiring prayer and prostration before the very mechanism bent on killing him. But because metamorphosis is a full time occupation, to pursue it impeccably means rejecting the machine and that's a terrifying thing, because the very nature of it is to program you to think "It matters." So way back when in nether-yesteryears, a few frightened humans began programming the thing to program them to thrive on distraction and drama, and as a reward it even reprogrammed Man to love the illusions, just the eagle manifesting inside the machine itself, his favorite playground, yes? So now the sorcerer's trick is two-fold: first to recognize that the programs exist, and secondly to dismantle them from within.

Ah, but remember this: those who don't march obsequiously to their death are tagged as crazy and "innocently" willed to death by well-meaning fiends who reprogram your reality under the guise of caring:

"There must be something wrong with her, some malady, some madness, some pestilence that's eaten her reason and left her worshiping the quantum singularity, who's plainly a manifestation of a midlife crisis posing as a quest for evolution and immortality. Poppycock and peanuts! Yes, nuts, she is! But why? It's a brain tumor, I'm sure, malignant and festering, psychosis and neurosis brought on by the company she keeps and the schemes she weaves to avoid an honest day's work. It's phobic, it's schizo, 'the twin' just a metaphor for the cancer within, 'seventh sense' a delusional symptom of some rare blood disease that's sure to kill her soon. Oh, how we love her, how we miss her. If only she'd listen and come home with us, home to Ixtlan."

Ah, the voice of reason, killing you in effigy. Do you have the strength to stand against the diseases the machine will heap upon you in its attempt to destroy that which it cannot control? I urge you to look beyond the programs to see their more sinister meaning. The core of your belief determines the realities you see and obliterates those you choose to ignore.

How do your automatic belief systems manifest your reality, and how can you get beyond them for the time it will take to pull their plug? Ah, but the darker question is this: do you even want to? Or are you comfortable and secure within the illusions?

Here is where the work of stalking yourself begins.

Excerpted from Quantum Shaman: Diary of a Nagual Woman

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Flight to Freedom

(A message from the double)

This is a path most often walked alone in the dark, with only the silence for company - that is the way of the warrior, and though it is lonesome at times it is nonetheless what the warrior who is seeking freedom does, because that is his nature.

Perhaps the warrior becomes a sorcerer and seer, and then the path might appear to broaden to include others with similar interests, fellow travelers with whom the warrior/sorcerer may share fine red wine and a campfire in the desert where tales of power are told in the night that never ends. And for a time, this is what the warrior/sorcerer does, because this has become his new nature.

For those who become women and men of Knowledge, it may appear that one is surrounded by friends and allies, apprentices and mentors - the fullness of life. It may appear that the campfires of exploration have burned to the softer embers of lasting wisdom, and that those around you will share the path at your side until the eagle descends to challenge you one by one. And for a time, this is how a man of knowledge experiences his life, for now this has become his new nature, seeking inward what was once sought outward, assimilating experience into Knowledge and knowledge into manifestation.

And yet, in all the roads I have walked and all the warriors and sorcerers and men of Knowledge I have known, only one thing is constant.

There will come a day when those closest to you will turn their backs, when your apprentices may draw a blade and your mentors may shun you and your allies may abandon you and you may find yourself at the edge of the abyss with an army eager to push you over the edge, and if you look closely, you will see that it is because you will not be what they want you to be (for to do so would invalidate who you are) you cannot walk to their drummer's beat (for to do so would drown out your own), or in some manner you are said to have turned your back on the eclectic collective which embraced you for a time, and so you are perceived as a heretic and an ingrate and a fraud and a cheat. "Come back to us or else!" they may cry. "We love you and that is reason enough!" And yet to the seer who *sees*, that 'love' will be seen as an attachment of need, and the finest gift you can give to them and to yourself is to cut that umbilical and take a cleansing breath which is the birth of the emerging self.

If you listen with spirit, if you look with your third eye, what you will *see* is that this is the finest and best moment of your life, for this is the moment when you will simply Know that you have found your freedom. You will realize as if for the first time that the truth of your path is of far greater value than the approval or even the love of your mortal friends and family, and that it is only by remaining true to yourSelf in the darkest night that you enable yourself to emerge into the light of the singularity of your totality. It is only then that you may gaze into the infinite and finally *see* that your cohesion is comprised of your own experience and not based in any manner on what any other living being may want or need or hope for you to be.

This is the day when you will answer the first question. This is the moment you will know who you are. When the world is at its coldest and the fires have burnt to ash and all the mirrors have been shattered by your own hand, this is the moment when you will embrace your freedom. And this is the time when you will bow graciously to the world of matter and men, and rather than allowing them to push you into the abyss, you will fall willingly and with perfect trust into the totality of yourSelf, and fly.
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Act Like A Lady!

"Act like a lady!" "Act like a warrior!" "Act like a nagual!" 


When I was a little girl and my mother told me to "act like a lady" in church, I wondered if that meant I would have to douse myself in cheap perfume, put on a flowered dress that stank of stale beer, wear blue eye shadow so thick it would cake & crack, and give blow jobs to bald deacons in the dressing room of the choir loft - because that was my perception of how "ladies" acted in the church where I grew up, and so I could not imagine why my mother would wish a similar fate on me, since I had never perceived her to behave in such a manner, nor to admire such behavior in others. 

When I asked her one day why she wanted me to "act like a lady in church," she bean explaining the attributes of a lady. A lady walks with good posture and always smiles when meeting eyes with someone. A lady wears her best dress on Sunday, and never speaks to a gentleman unless he speaks first. A lady does not run through the cemetery with her friends after Sunday School, nor does a lady talk above the volume of a soft murmur. And above all else, a lady never asks questions - for to do so implies a masculine curiosity that is not becoming to a lady. 

I was very young at the time these rules were laid down to me, and suffice it to say I found them bizarre and constrictive at best, and I was never much of a lady, nor did I ever want to be. Secretly, I suspect my mother was proud of the fact that I was a tomboy with a penchant for bringing home stray cats, and for driving the preacher and all those fine "church ladies" crazy with all my questions that couldn't be answered. 

But there were those words, which she repeated nonetheless. "Act like a lady." Act. 

As I grew older, I understood what was intended by the words, but it didn't make the sentiment itself any less insane in my book. While my art teacher was fond of saying, "Think for yourself and paint what is in your heart's eye," my home economics teacher would spew forth such platitudes as, "Learn all you can in my class, girls, so that you will be able to attract a good man, and cook a decent meal for your husband and children." And, of course, this was often accompanied by the suggestion: "And don't forget to act like ladies around the boys!" 

Maybe I was born with an assemblage point that was never quite plugged into this world, but I often found myself wondering even as far back as early childhood why such an emphasis was placed on attempting to convince others that we were somehow different than we actually are. On the one hand, well-meaning teachers & parents would say, "Just be yourself." On the other hand, there was that warcry: "Act like a lady! Act like a winner! Act like a Christian! Act like an American!" 

As I grew older and eventually embarked on this path, I began to realize just how disassociated most people really are from their own authenticity - largely as a direct result of the fact that most of them seem to spend their lives "acting" and pretending. But even more curious to me is the fact that there seems to come a point when the actors forget they are acting, and start to believe it is somehow real... and worse STILL, is when their own expectations begin to manifest in the very same words they may have shunned as children, and they start telling others to "Act like a lady!" Chances are, they don't even hear themselves, or if they do, they have simply bought into the program that was put onto them by their parents, and their parents before them. Ignorance is also a lineage, when one really examines it. 

Okay, I can write a lot of that off to the inexplicable behavior of phantoms, and think nothing of it. Those who choose to walk through life without ever recognizing the base programs or the presence of the social matrix really aren't responsible for their belief systems, even though they COULD be... but that's another story for another day. Point is - when I am dealing with phantoms, it is a given that they will behave as phantoms and hold the values of phantoms. 

But when I am dealing with people who profess to be warriors, and I hear that type of program coming out of their mouth, I am amazed that they do not hear their own rhetoric. Recently, during an otherwise neutral conversation with a man I've known for years, he began saying to me, "Act like a nagual, Della! If you don't act like a nagual, then you're not one!" 

Well... what does a nagual act like? I wondered. Not that I had any intention of taking acting lessons from Carlos or Genaro or even don Juan himself, but it caused me to stop and ask myself - Upon what is this man basing his demands that I should "act like a nagual"? If I were to act like don Juan, I would be a fraud, for I do not have Juan's patience. If I were to act like Genaro, I would be out of character, for it is not my nature to be quite so playful in the manner Genaro exhibited in CC's books. If I were to act like the nagual Julian, perhaps I would be closer to my true authenticity, for of all the naguals described by Carlos, I would have to say that I identify the strongest with Julian... and yet... to act like Julian would be Della-acting-like-Julian, and not Della at all. 

So what does a nagual "act" like? Does s/he walk around all day spouting great wisdom and smacking others on the back in an attempt to shift their assemblage point? Does a nagual sit by a campfire in the desert eating peyote buttons and doling out mushrooms to would-be apprentices? Does a nagual put on some mysterious facade under the guise of "being unknown" such as Carlos seemingly did for a time? 

What does a nagual act like? 

What a lot of people fail to recognize is that a nagual is not automatically a wise man or a sage. A nagual is simply a double being - someone with "extra" energy that may be viewed by a seer as being comprised of four compartments rather than the usual two. There are thousands of naguals on this earth, but I would hazard a guess that less than a thousand of them are even aware of their nature, and far less than that will ever embark on the journey to become wo/men of Knowledge. 

So, first of all, to say one is a nagual is not to say they are enlightened, and even if they are, I have yet to find any set of rules that might define how a nagual (or even a wo/man of Knowledge, for that matter) might be expected to "act." How does a brunette act? How does a man with green eyes act? How does a black man act? How does an Asian woman act? 

Once we break free of our expectations and our self-imposed stereotypes, we will generally find (delightfully so!) that most people have at their core an authenticity which has nothing to do with *what* they are, but with *who* they are - and this is especially true with warriors who have begun the move toward 'losing the human form'. The key to recognizing that authenticity in others is learning to recognize it in ourselves - and that's one of the hardest tasks warriors will face, for it involves the willingness to let go of belief systems and expectations which are directly and deeply related to one's own ego and need to feel "right". 

What needs to be recognized is that so much of what we think we know is really only what we have come to believe - and when we are willing to examine our own expectations and belief systems is when we have a prime opportunity to expand our awareness in multiple directions through a simple act of letting go of some idea about someone else that has absolutely nothing to do with the person whatsoever. Not all naguals are going to live up to your expectations of don Juan, and not all blondes are dumb. Those are nothing more than belief systems, and ONLY when they are released does the warrior engage with the opportunity to really SEE what-is, instead of only BELIEVING in his own pre-existing notions of what something *should* be. If you spend your whole life looking for don Juan, you may miss out on the man or woman of knowledge who is sitting next to you on the bus because they don't live up to what you *think* they *should* be. 

And then, of course, there's the secondary programs running in the background which support the primary program. For example, dontcha just love the logic when someone says, "If you say you are a teacher, then you aren't. If you say you are a nagual, you obviously aren't!" 

Er... if I claim to be blonde, then I must be lying. If I claim to have green eyes, I am obfuscating. And if I put forth that I am a writer, I am certainly a fraud. Of course, if I say I am NOT blonde, then I have BECOME a liar. If I put blue contacts in my eyes to conceal their greenness, then I really AM obfuscating. And if I say I am NOT a writer, it is pointed out to me that I write volumes every day! The ultimate no-win scenario, the kobayashi-maru of the century.

Kinda like the old Monty Python logic of LIFE OF BRIAN. Having been mistaken for Christ, Brian adamantly protests to a large crowd of followers, saying, "I am NOT the messiah!" And, from deep in the crowd, a little voice says, "Only the true messiah denies his divinity!" Can't win. 

So what does any of this have to do with being a warrior? Simply this: whenever you find yourself having negative or doubtful thoughts about someone else, stop and ask yourself, "How much of this is based on what I know of this situation through my own experience, and how much is based on my idea-matrix of what *should* be?" In other words - how much is valid through your own direct experience, and how much is nothing more than some expectation that has taken up residence in your head as a result of some book you read or something someone else told you? 

What my mother saw as a lady was certainly not the same thing I saw as a lady - and what someone else defines as a nagual is all but irrelevant to me. As I said to my friend lately - I'm not here to live up to anyone else's expectations, nor am I interested in attempting to 'prove' something which is, in essence, non-provable. Rather like trying to prove there is a god. Or prove their isn't. The evidence for either argument is all around us, so it is up to each of us to decide how we will engage with the question. Oh, I could "act" like someone else might want me to be, but ultimately that would only prove to them and to myself that I am not authentic... so I ask again... 

What does a nagual act like? 

The answer is simple: a nagual does not act. A nagual simply is. 

And it is in the uniqueness of being that a nagual finds her power. 

There is no act.