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

To read similar anecdotes,
I hope you'll consider my books,
available through Quantum Shaman.com
or on Amazon.

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.


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

To read similar anecdotes...