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.