Sunday, January 31, 2016

Life: Tragedy or Comedy?

Comment from a seeker:
Being in human form can be nothing but a tragedy. Or as Gautama put it, being human is suffering.

Sure, at a certain level, that is a true statement. Buddha was also depicted as laughing a lot. Rather like don Juan. If we are smart, we learn not only to see beyond the suffering, but to live beyond it. Buddha clearly managed that. As did "Jesus". As did don Juan. As does any man or woman of Knowledge.

This morning, I walked out onto our carport to fetch something-or-other and my eyes fell upon my mother's walker leaning up against the wall, gathering dust. It was one of those moments when I realized what a tragedy life is. The universe has holes in it, left by those who once walked the earth. That's a tragedy. Or is it? Is an empty nest left in the tree a tragedy or a triumph for the mama bird whose fledglings have flown away? Do we mourn the eggshell left behind when we emerge from it into a larger world?

Questions. No definitive answers, but is that what we're looking for? Or is it the questions themselves that form the path which we call the journey? Many are fond of saying that we cannot know for certain what lies beyond this life, and I have never disagreed with that. On the other hand, I think we can learn much from speculation-through-experience. The chick inside the egg may not be able to clearly see the world that lies beyond the shell, but there are flashes of light, moments of warmth and coolness...

And perhaps it isn't the Absolute Knowing that matters, but our ability to create possibilities with our thoughts. If I believe based on experience that the human organism projects the double and has the potential to inhabit that assemblage point as a singularity of consciousness for eternity, then perhaps that is the reality I create through the quantum manipulation of energy. Perhaps not... but there is at least joy and satisfaction in that journey, as opposed to the "tragedy" and "grief" I see in a lot of others who claim to be on a spiritual path.

So my point here is that if you believe that nothing can be known beyond this life, then do you take that as an excuse not to look? If you believe the double has no relevance for you, do you assign some different meaning to your own experiences as a way of keeping those experiences quantified within an existing parameter?

You say life is a tragedy. And so it shall be.

QUESTION/COMMENT:  Reach for the infinite all you want. Explore the reaches of third attention. Be taught by the mushroom ally. Learn to see through the little smoke ally. Experience power places in the lovely desert. Conjoin with your double. Conjure things, direct lightning, manipulate energy. You still come back to this reality, the tonal, and none of those experiences changes one iota of the tonal.

The purpose of experience is not to change the tonal but to shift the assemblage point of the Self. As a result of the things you have listed above, I am not the same person I was 25 years ago or even 25 minutes ago. When a warrior's energy becomes fluid, the warrior becomes the river rather than being merely a leaf carried along in the currents. That may not change "the tonal", but it changes everything - every thing - within the warrior herself.

The real purpose of walking with allies is not to just ride along like some lazy passenger, but to actually learn to drive the bus. The bus is yourself. If you treat the ally like a "carrier", then all you will come back with are memories of the experience. But if you approach the ally as a teacher, you come away with a shifted assemblage point. The world is no longer seen through the same eyes.

I once lamented precisely what you are saying here. Until the ally itself reached out to me long after the journey itself, and said, You can remember our time together or you can walk with me outside of time always. The experience is not something of the past. It is ongoing - because I consciously chose to "remember" the assemblage point of the mushroom ally in the Now and not just look back on some fading memory.

QUESTION/COMMENT:  Equate don Juan to Jesus. Equate Carlos Castaneda to say any of the apostles. I really don't give much of a shit what the apostles had to say or do. My only concern has been with what Jesus himself said and did.  I could care less about Castaneda, what he said or did. I'm interested in The Man, and that would be don Juan.

Keeping in mind that Carlos was a "trickster" who allegedly learned from don Juan, the possibility must be allowed that Carlos was don Juan. In fact, it almost cannot be otherwise.

Maybe a lot of puzzle pieces were taken from older paradigms - i.e., there are rumors that say Carlos patterned don Juan after a couple of shamans he met over the years - but ultimately Carlos wrote the books... and no one (no one) ever met don Juan other than Carlos, at least not that can be verified. Some of the women in Carlos's world claim they did, but did they really? Simply no way to know.

Don Juan remains a mystery, but I am a believer in Occam's Razor. Carlos was don Juan - the man behind the curtain. But the wizard's magic remains real even if the wizard is seen to be "just a man". The wizard is spirit. The magic comes from spirit, channeled through our humanform at times, but remaining pure in and of itself.

A serious question: what would you lose if you let go of your beliefs (about anything - not just the current topic), and lived your life (even if for just one day) from a somewhat opposite perspective? I've done this as a matter of stalking from time to time - walked through the world with the "belief" that I am a 90 year old black woman (one experiment), or that I am invisible (another experiment), or that I am scheduled to be executed at midnight this very night.

The results are that when I shift my AP into an entirely "other" position, I actually see the world quite differently and sometimes that enables new windows to open, new cracks in the cosmic egg to become visible. Digging in my heels only means I then have to defend something, and we all know that leads nowhere with a giant lead weight around one's neck.

When I start stalking myself and asking where my opinions come from, I usually find that if they are only opinions, they do not come from my own life-experience, but from either "book learning" or second hand information. Not of much value in the nagual, nor even in the tonal, actually.

Just my opinions.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

I Can See Clearly Now...

A fellow seeker recently asked me to tell the tale of how I defeated the foreign installation**. What's funny to me is that there is no single definitive tale of power, but instead a cumulative effect. Although I had been on a path of heart since childhood (I might even say "I was born this way!"), it was late 1994 when I had what amounted to a spiritual awakening as a result of a sudden and acute awareness of mortality - not even a brush with death. Just an extreme awareness of what don Juan would have categorized as "You are a being who is going to die."

I didn't like that much. Life is good. I didn't want to die.  Hell, I wanted to live forever! I began to squirm inside my skin. Death as an inevitability seemed not only wrong, but sinister - an Agent Smith who had become a fixture of the consensus, a paid employee of The Machine. It wasn't a fear of dying - it was merely a sense of indignation that it has taken each of us at least 10 billion years of evolution to reach our present state of identity, and to have that suddenly and irreversibly ripped from us (for I do not believe in deities or reincarnation in the least) just seemed... absurd.

This is one thing I perceive as a huge problem in the human organism. We have been programmed to accept - even to believe, and to actually defend - this notion that "All things die." It is the mantra of the consensus, the prevailing belief system at the root of all religions and most political ideologies since long before the first chronicler picked up a Bic and started writing it all down as if it were absolute truth. Just because we perceive that some things die does not automatically mean all things die. I stress this because that was really the first step in stripping away the programming that enslaves us to our mortality and even causes most people to believe Death is somehow good and righteous - a doorway to heaven or at least an escape hatch from the horrors of old age. But if you take a step back and really look at that belief system, it's no less insane than the notion of reincarnating as a bird or a bee or somebody's Uncle Jane. Death is just another belief system - which is one reason figures like the vampire are so popular in literature throughout history. It isn't just that we want to live forever. It's that somewhere deep inside our DNA, far beyond the program and outside the Pandora's box of our self-imposed limitations, we know we can.

I'll avoid the deeper philosophical ramblings on the subject (and anyone who has read my books or even my website is probably aware of them anyway), except to say that this twisting and turning of my Spirit resulted in 1) a tremendous amount of energy roiling and churning and accumulating inside me as a powder keg of personal power, intent and will; and 2) a clear and concise connection to my double (whether you call it the higher self or the shaman's double or the dreaming body or the immortal Other).  It was through working directly and almost constantly (I'm talking 24/7 for a period of about 3-5 years) with my double that the programs began to crumble.  One or two at first, then another, until one day, it occurred to me that I had become a seer - what is defined as essentially someone who sees things as they are, not as we believe they are, or as we think they are, but the reality behind the reality, the man behind the curtain, the world outside the box.

Once that occurred is when I finally understood that being a seer is really nothing more than being permanently outside the belief systems that otherwise hold the world together. Or, more precisely, the belief systems that create what is commonly called the foreign installation - the predominant series of beliefs and practices that influence, guide and ultimately control human behavior. The end result of being outside the box is that the world and everything in it becomes essentially transparent. That isn't to say I can tell you the winning lottery numbers or the precise date on which the collapse of civilization as we know it will occur. What it does mean is that it becomes possible to discern shit from shinola, truth from lies, seekers from pretenders, and on down the line.

Obviously this was a a complicated time in my life, but also a very simple and magnificent time. And yes, there were other factors involved in the ultimate defeat of the foreign installation - everything from half a dozen journeys with the mushroom ally over a period of 5 years, to intense and extended lucid dreaming with my double wherein I received large "downloads" of information and Knowledge that took another few years to process, to developing a discipline of meditation and contemplation that eventually led to a permanent connection to gnosis (silent knowing). Once that permanent connection to silent knowing is established, the foreign installation can no longer get a foothold in the shaman-sorcerer's awareness, for the foundation/frequency on which the foreign installation previously existed has been permanently obliterated.

The end result is a permanent shift of the assemblage point***.

** Foreign Installation: If it can be perceived that the consensual reality possesses a rudimentary “hive mind”, it then becomes possible to see that this hive mind is predatory in nature, in that it invades and usurps the individual unless the individual has mastered extreme awareness. In other words we may be “taken over” by the consensual hive, whose primary agenda is to preserve its static status quo. Other – more extreme – definitions have been offered for the predatory mind, and may in fact, have truth as well.

***Assemblage Point - The mindset from which one assembles their world, consisting of a cumulative set of experiences which form a reference point unique to the individual, yet shared in common (to a point) with other members of the same species.


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Thursday, January 14, 2016

I Rant In Your General Direction

I've toyed with the idea of creating a blog that would be totally truthful - not just with regard to this path but with regard to life, death, the universe and everything in between. Problem is - nobody is really interested in The Truth According to Me. Nobody is interested in much of anything, it seems. We no longer live in a world of curiosity and imagination, but a world of technological entitlement and instant gratification. Maybe some would consider that a forward step in evolution, but I don't see it that way.

As a child growing up in a rural environment, we had a little black and white tv that got 3 channels if somebody wanted to stand behind the box and hold the rabbit ears just-so, while simultaneously tap-dancing on one foot and praying to the weather gods to send a storm, because for some strange reason, reception was always better when it was raining. Go figure. It was a simpler time - when kids had no alternative but to use their imagination if they wanted to entertain themselves. So we read books and told made-up stories to our stuffed animals or baby dolls or teddy bears, or whatever we had that passed for friends to a kid growing up in the middle of bumphuk, geographical center of nowhere. In hindsight, even then we were summoning the twin (the shaman's double, the dreaming body, the higher self) - telling him or her who and what to be, filling them with all our wonder and inspiration and love of the unknown.

I honestly believe it was imagination and a longing for something outside myself (a reflection, a companion, a friend - even if invisible) that sparked my interest in the things that can't be found in an x-box or an app or a smart phone. We were forced to use our minds rather than just our organic brains. We were forced to create some manner of reality (even if "fantasy") - perhaps as a matter of simple emotional/spiritual/intellectual survival. Otherwise, life was an endless stream of dayshine demands - rattled out of bed at 7:05, dress for school, attend class where most of the other kids were already mouth-breathing little zombies absorbed by the clutches of religions or their parents' beliefs, a hearty school lunch at noon (gold star if you don't throw up), time in the yard at one, back to the confining cement block walls a bit later, then onto the vomit-scented yellow bus, home again home again jiggity jig, then supper and bed and do it all over again.

Whether school or job or simply the drudgery in any human life, makes little difference. Unless we use our imagination to break out of the prison, we are nothing more than nasty little turds stuck in the constipated asshole of The Machine. The Matrix. The Consensual Reality. Whatever you call it - we are its keepers and its slaves for as long as we agree to the agreement that holds us captive to our own self-limiting beliefs and practices.

Nothing here that I haven't said a thousand times before. My friends (if I have any left) would say that I'm preaching to the choir or jerking off to the same old porno mag, which is just an ugly reflection of all the things we pretend to desire, or even believe we desire, but which are nothing more than hollow placebos shoved down our throats by a society that worships YouTube and beautiful people and Facebook and shitty rap music and violence and hatred and drugs (whether street-grade or prescription makes no difference) and The Almighty Dick or The Sacred Pussy... and all of it is nothing more than the scribblings of the brute with the scythe, written on our headstones while we're jabbering and hammering our high and mighty worthless opinion to some total stranger on some social networking site, daring to think for a moment that any of it makes one iota of difference.

It doesn't. Never has. Never will. Just the background noise we hum to ourselves while waiting for It. What is "It?" Death, of course. The End. Cue the minor-keyed fanfare and release the hounds of hell. The problem is - "It" has been shoved under the rug and conveniently kept out of sight for so long that most humans in the west seldom if ever see "It" until "It" is staring them in the face. And yet, I ask myself if it would make any difference if they did see "It"... and the answer is always a resounding, "Nope! Are you kidding? We don't want to look at Death when we can be looking at celebrity foibles and who's fucking whom in the White House, and speculate as to what the final outcome of Breaking Bad will be. I mean - Walt White isn't really dead - can't be! - because I need my fucking fix just like all those blue meth junkies need their stuff, so somebody needs to get off their lily white ass and get me what I need and I mean right fucking now!"

But of course, all that is only the tip of the diseased dick. Let's talk about why I'm really in a rotten mood right now. And, yes, for the record, I know perfectly well that none of this matters, nobody is really listening, and if they are listening out of sheer boredom, nobody gives a rat's fried ass, and that is exactly as it should be. I'm not looking for answers or even helpful suggestions. I am already well-aware that this is a solitary journey, and that the journey will eventually cost the seeker everything. That, boys and girls, is a truth that is too true - and if you think it won't happen to you, you need to rethink your faulty thinking.

The reason this path costs you everything is because once you really see through all the bullshit, all the overlays and transparencies, and you actually see the world as it is, you alternate between laughing and crying and throwing fragile things against the walls of your cell (the one which is all around you, but has no bars or windows) just to see if you can break something sharp enough to use as a blade to cut your miserable wrists. But on the heels of that absurd notion comes the counterpoint, which makes you scoop up a stray kitten, clutch it to your chest, and weep with joy until your eyes bleed, because it is the most perfect and most vulnerable lifeform on the planet. It's just a creature struggling to get through its day (just like you), and if you disrespect that lifeform or its journey, then you are no better than a green shit floating on the putrid surface of the River Styx.

The other thing is this: once you really see through it all, nothing has any value anymore. There is nothing in the material world left to want, because it is all just heaps of garbage with one single mission – to distract you from whatever may exist that does have some meaning. And, of course, finding that is the quest for the holy grail. It's right in front of us, but we don't see it because we don't know how to look, or we're still locked into some belief system of what we think we're looking for, and so we fail to see that what we are craving with a crack addict's ferocity is love.

If you rolled your eyes or you mumbled to yourself, "Love doesn't exist," then you are in the wrong place. It's appalling to me that a lot of the current generation doesn't believe in love. They don't "make love." They "hook up." They don't "fall in love." They "get serious." They don't make loving commitments. They sign marriage contracts.

And then they wonder why they live in a world of hollow-eyed zombies who trample one another for a flat screen tv on Black Friday. They wonder why they have no real sense of happiness or even human contentment, but must  live vicariously through their children. Dance lessons. Piano lessons. Soccer practice. Little League. Girl Scouts. Boy Scouts. Church camps and smores and all the trappings of a normal life... but there is nothing normal about it because it isn't real.

Both the child and the parents lose all sense of imagination because there is nothing left to imagine, and all the participants have been reduced to the lowest common denominator of humanform existence, which might be best described as a living death. Where there is no love, where there is no passion, there is no Life.

So what the path really ends up costing the seeker is any illusion of meaning – which is perhaps more easily recognized during the holidays, when all the little 2-legged animals are rushing about, going through the motions of happiness, yet completely oblivious to the fact that they died a long time ago, when they bought into the dominant paradigm and sold their soul to the dayshine world and went back to the matrix for nothing more than that juicy steak.

There is no purpose to this rant. It exists only because I chose to call it into being – for my own satisfaction, an attempt to scratch that impossible itch which every seeker knows all too well. It's only the tip of that fatal iceberg, scrawled in blood on the surface of the ocean, quickly disappearing and altogether insignificant.

So, knowing all of this, why would the seeker want to live forever?

The answer is simple – for those who choose to see it. I could tell you, but I'm going to leave it to your imagination.

Copyright 2016, by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Leaving Plato's Cave

On the various forums and groups I frequent, we've talked about enlightenment, the matrix, Plato's cave, transmogrification, vampires, empires, con jobs, snow jobs, hand jobs, and the meaning of life.  Sometimes our talks have been pleasant and reasonable. Other times, not so. And at times of late, I find myself asking... Where are we going with this? What do we hope to accomplish here? Even if we were all to come to a single agreement - God is a giant potato and we will all be freedom fries in the afterlife which is promised to us by The Great Spud - so what?  Really. So what? Where does the agreement get us?  What does it do for us? Does it advance us, or does it actually limit us? Are we here seeking freedom, or just arguing for our limitations?

When I initially opened my first forum it was largely for my own assimilation, a place where I could bounce my ideas off of others on a similar journey - challenge my beliefs to the core through direct interaction with others who were wrestling with the same concepts and essentially form a foundation of my own Knowledge. Not for any great purpose. Just to see if I know, even remotely, who I am.

What I found over the years was that the foundation not only held - though it went through several modifications & structural changes, which I see as an ongoing evolution - but it gave me a far deeper understanding of the workings of "life" than I ever would have believed possible. Understanding "the double" led to a much broader understanding of how the energy of consciousness functions, for example, and with that understanding, I was able to formulate what amounts to a personal "plan" for burning with the fire from within, slipping past the eagle, and all those other tired old cliches which have run the high risk of becoming "just words" due to overexposure. But no matter. We all know what we're talking about. Experience>Assimilation>Knowledge>New Experience>Deeper Assimilation>Evolving Knowledge. And so the cycle goes. And all plans are subject to last minute revisions.

Lately, however, I've found myself facing some rather serious dilemmas in this whole thing. Nowhere to start except in the middle. I get about 20 emails per day on an average, most coming through the Quantum Shaman website.  While most are simple in the sense that they may be someone just looking for a word of encouragement, or some acknowledgement from a stranger on the internet that they aren't alone in their experiences, there are some that are of a far more serious nature. I've gotten emails from one person who is at the brink of despair with health issues; another from a young man who has lost everything - home, family, career - and wants to know how he may apply his path to regaining his balance; another from someone having what she herself described as "a crisis of faith regarding the Toltec path"; another from someone wanting to come live at my house and be my apprentice; and dozens more from people with issues that may appear far less serious to me, but are obviously every bit as serious to them.

Aside from ascertaining that these folks had exhausted all normal channels first (doctors, psychologists, or what-have-you), I used to ask myself what I could do to help them. Now, I just write to them and hope that spirit/gnosis/nagual will open whatever connection is required so that my words might point them in the direction of whatever tool or understanding they are seeking. I never know, of course. All I can do is share my knowledge, share whatever tools I've found, and make sure the person I'm talking to knows that whatever path they are on is their path. "Here - take these tools, do what you Will with them - just don't try to recreate my path (or anyone else's) because then all you're doing is building sets on the stage of the play." Frustrating thing is, even when I have said to some of them, "I can't help you - I don't have the knowledge you're looking for," many will come back with something along the lines of, "Then help me to get to the place where you can help me. Do I need to take a workshop? Do I need to read any particular books, attend any particular seminars?"

No. No. And no.

Sure, I have workshops available on my website. They may even be helpful in overcoming some programs, or gaining some new techniques for stalking oneself, but ultimately no workshop or seminar is going to instill in anybody any real Knowledge. These are just tools. Take all the workshops you like. Go to all the seminars you want. But at the end of the day, if it doesn't assimilate into your life - if it isn't who you are - then it's all just fingerpainting on the deck of Titanic while the boat is going down fast. Amusement. Entertainment. A do-ing that cannot substitute for simply being present in one's life from moment to moment - aware, awake, filled with simply the love of being alive.

And yet...  "So how do I wake myself up?" many ask. "How do I stay awake? How can I do with my  double what you've done with yours?"

Maybe you can't. That's my journey.  Maybe it isn't your destiny at all. If it were, I suspect you'd be do-ing it - manifesting it, creating it, experiencing it - instead of looking for it. So all I can say in that regard is the same thing that's been oft-repeated here over the years. There is no path to follow. There are no gurus who can show you the way to enlightenment. All you really need to do is ask yourself one question: What does your heart want to do? I'm not talking about the frilly emotional baggage that often gets associated with the phrase "path of heart". I'm talking about the nitty-gritty confrontation one does in one's own mirror. Do you want to be a stock broker or do you want to be a rock star? If you do want to be a rock star - now here's where it gets tricky - do you have the ability, the commitment, and a sufficient presence of Will to actually bring this into being?

Ain't easy.

So what does that mean in the big picture?  If our heart wants to be a rock star, but we have a voice like Alvin the Chipmunk, what to do? How do we apply the path of heart to our day to day lives? Do we work as a stock broker in the day and sing karaoke in the local pub at night? Maybe. If that's what satisfies your heart, then why not?

I always wanted to be a writer. Never was able to make a reasonable living at it for many reasons, but because it is the path of my heart, I write anyway. Too much for some to handle, I'm told. But ya know what?  I ain't writing ANY of it for you. This is my journey and my path... get it? I started writing when I was about 11, on an old Royal typewriter that would cut your fingers to the bone if they slipped between the keys and down into the inner gazurkis. And in so many ways, that is how I created my double. That is how I summoned my own muse, and breathed him into being over the years. I don't expect anyone to understand that - and I certainly don't expect anyone to try to do it in the same way. Wouldn't work anyway, because it would be a recreation of someone else's path, rather than a crying out of the human heart into the void.  If you want to meet your double - if that is truly the path of your heart - then you will do what it takes to manifest that reality. For me, it was Star Trek and sci-fi and going out into the night and shaking my fist at the sky, saying to the empty place in my spirit, "If I can't come to you, I'll bring you to me!" 

Shake your fist at the sky! Howl and dance! Do whatever it takes to manifest your dream, but for the love of life, don't try to manifest someone else's! Castaneda didn't hold the patent on awakening. It's been going on for thousands of years and has taken as many forms. And I dare say that those who do awaken will do it on their own terms, and not at the hands of any extant guru, yogi, swami, holyman or the like. Sure, those folk have some great tools to offer, but there comes that critical point when you have to hear the beat of your heart and no one else's. Then, and only then, will you have the ability to be the journey, instead of seeing yourself as some being on a journey.

At least several times a month, I have someone say they want to "walk the magical path" - but ultimately I have found that really isn't so. Not really. What they usually want is to sit at the gates and peer in at whatever magical kingdom they believe they want, but most simply are not willing to take even the first step toward manifesting the desires of their own heart. Why? Many reasons. Too many to list, but just to name the most prominent, I would say the mundane hive mind itself stops them at the threshold just by saying to them, "That's crazy! It's okay to dream it, but if you ever try to be it, they'll lock you up & throw away the key!"

Fear, in other words. Fear of losing one's sanity. Fear of a permanent displacement of the assemblage point. Fear of loneliness. Whatever it is...  it is fear. The internal dialogue. The consensus reality. The agreement. All of it. The checks & balances that hold us in stasis unless and until we simply decide to wake up.

And here's the thing.  For those people who do only want to sit at the gates... That's okay. But if you truly want to live in what we've come to call "The Sorcerer's World" - you Will. Nothing and no one will be able to stop you, for that is the path of your heart. That is where your world will come alive and fill every aspect of your life - no longer any division between your "spirituality" and your "real life persona." They will become one and the same - or that hollow, empty place will remain and you will continue to be just an actor in your own drama. And that, too, is okay... if it's what you choose.
But if you want to find that wholeness, that "awakening" into "the sorcerer's world", you will risk everything. Maybe you will even lose everything.

When I first started this journey, Orlando warned that it would cost me my friends, my family, and any sense of belonging to the so-called "real world", and that has certainly turned out to be the case. Not because he said it would be so, but because that is where the journey has led over many years of experience and, at times, exhaustive effort on my part to prove him wrong! But, in the end, it is what it is.

Eyebrows raise, perhaps.  "Is Della saying we should leave our families and join a cult?"

No.  No.  And no. If you think that, you need to clean out your ears.

What I am saying is that in my own personal experience, I have not found it possible (nor desirable) to attempt to maintain the polite facades required for "a normal life" - and that includes interaction with those who have tried to say to me over the years, "Can't you just be more positive? Can't you just be my friend and, by the way, here's the script for what I want you to say on any given occasion. Can't you just nod politely and pretend you agree with me? Can't you just be one of the guys? Can't you be this way or that way?  Can't you be who I want you to be instead of who you are?"


That's the price.  And for most, it is too high. "Well, I want freedom, but if it means having to give up my family and friends, then I have to find some other way." Good - do so. Find another way! By all means! You have to do the path of your heart! When Orlando said this journey would cost me everything, what he meant was that it would become a choice for me - because, ultimately, the journey itself holds far more value to me than family gatherings and polite dinners with old friends to discuss who's fucking whom and the proper care and feeding of rugrats. Don't get me wrong - those things are of ultimate value to some. Maybe to most. But to me, I just keep finding too many "Smiths" taking on the mantra of the consensus reality, striving as always to drag us back into the programs. Phantoms on the road to Ixtlan, we call them in Toltec terms. Rest assured - they are very real, and the lure is a phenomenal force. A sense of belonging. Even love.

"Just let go of all of this silly stuff you write about, Della, and you can be one of us. We'll love you and warm you and give you milk and cookies before you go to bed, and we'll all be together like a big, happy family." Anybody here ever seen a happy family? I haven't. Oh, I've seen a lot of pageants and pretenses, but in my neck of the woods, most families aren't really happy nearly as much as they are stuck with one another by default. But no matter. That's my experience. It doesn't have to be yours.

I've had a strange and wonderful life. Hope it continues for a long, long time to come. Over the years, I've had some friends who have gazed in at my strange life, and wanted to be a part of it in some deeper way (whatever that means). They want to have the experiences I've had. Or they want me to produce Orlando for their amusement. Or they want to be "along for the ride" when I side-step this reality and enter a world where time goes missing and inorganic beings hold tea parties at the edge of the abyss. Yes, I've done these things. Yes, some of them are even documented. And yet... so what? They are, quite simply, my experiences. Yes, I do believe others can have similar experiences, but those experiences have to be the ones you create - not anything that has been created for you in books, or tales by the fires of eternity. Your experiences.  Yours alone.

And, yes, I will tell you that the price is high.

And yet...

If it is who you are, no force in the universe can stop you. If it is who you are, there is no price at all. You will follow your heart even if it leads you into hell, because what you will find is that you are perhaps happiest when battling the forces of hell, rather than sitting around the fire toasting marshmallows with all your personal demons.

Find your voice.  Even if you sing like Alvin, it will be your song. Maybe nobody will love you for it.  Maybe nobody will hate you for it. Doesn't matter. It's still your song, and there is not another one like it in all the universe.

Be the journey.

Copyright 2016 by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

To read similar anecdotes, consider my new book, 
Questions Along the Way
Available in print or digital format