Monday, June 13, 2016

Are Most Hate Crimes Rooted in Religious Dogma?

In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings at the Pulse nightclub, questions have been raised on all levels - political, cultural, emotional, spiritual. Was it an act of terrorism? Was it a hate crime? Was it the work of a religious fanatic? 

When the event first happened, I read all I could, and posted the following to my Facebook page:

Since I'm not known for being politically correct, I'm going to say what I believe rather than what I'm supposta say when some asshat walks into a nightclub and slaughters 50+ people. The bottom line here is that most mass shootings nowadays are carried out by religious nutbags of one ilk or another. I don't care what your particular sect of crazy might be, but you need to understand that you are NOT doing the will of God. For starters, "God" doesn't exist, and even if s/he DID exist, keep in mind that s/he created ALL humans equally (according to myth) - gay, straight, black, white, brown, rainbow sprinkles That being the case, it's not up to YOU to decide who lives and who dies. It's not up to YOU to destroy "God's" creations - for isn't that flying in the face of whatever God you believe in? It's not up to YOU to come into a country that is a "melting pot" and decide that only YOUR beliefs are valid. 
Personally, I think ALL religious nutbags (no matter race, color or creed) should be shipped off to an island in the middle of the North Atlantic and forced to live with one another or die trying. (I'm talking about the real nut cases here - not someone with a "social" belief who goes to church for the cupcakes and camaraderie.) 
Why is it up to us (anyone!) to watch out for your sad little belief systems, lest you pick up an automatic weapon and start shooting because you are offended? Really? What a pathetic "god" you must worship who created you to be so frightened and absurdly arrogant at the same time. I'm glad the police shot you before you could do anymore damage. I hope you suffered. And I hope you rot in whatever hell you have made for yourself. 
Next time you are planning violence, be sure to shoot yourself first - fatally. Only afterward should you take out your petty fanaticism on others.

Most of the comments I received were positive, though a few of them called into question the idea that we all make our choices and must take responsibility for them at one level or another. Hmmm. While I don't disagree with that in the least, I do think it's important to make a distinction between what Carlos Castaneda referred to as "ordinary men" and a warrior or "man of Knowledge."

In his book, A SEPARATE REALITY, Carlos details a conversation with don Juan as follows:

 "All I can say to you," don Juan said, "is that a warrior is never available; never is he standing on the road waiting to be clobbered. Thus he cuts to a minimum his chances of the unforeseen. What you call accidents are, most of the time, very easy to avoid, except for fools who are living helter-skelter." 
"It is not possible to live strategically all the time," I said. "Imagine that someone is waiting for you with a powerful rifle with a telescopic sight; he could spot you accurately five hundred yards away. What would you do?" 
Don Juan looked at me with an air of disbelief and then broke into laughter. 
"What would you do?" I urged him. 
"If someone is waiting for me with a rifle with a telescopic sight?" he said, obviously
mocking me. 
"If someone is hiding out of sight, waiting for you. You won't have a chance. You can't stop a bullet." 
"No. I can't. But I still don't understand your point." 
"My point is that all your strategy cannot be of any help in a situation like that." 
"Oh, but it can. If someone is waiting for me with a powerful rifle with a telescopic sight I simply will not come around."
What needs to be understood here is that don Juan as he is portrayed in the books is a man of Knowledge - a Nagual, an enlightened being, a warrior and, yes, a "sorcerer".  As such, his awareness is far more keenly honed than that of an ordinary man, so while don Juan may be altogether capable of Knowing the sniper is present, the same cannot be said of humans in general. So when someone tries to argue that those present at the nightclub chose to be present there, and so knowingly chose their death, I would argue that those people were largely if not entirely "ordinary men and women" there to have a good time with friends, dance and drink, and maybe go home with a stranger or long-time companion. Not ours to judge, but also not wise from a spiritual perspective to attempt to draw an alignment between their choices as compared to the choices a man or woman of Knowledge might make.  Apples and oranges, people. Humans should be allowed to simply be humans - laughing and dancing and being alive - without having to worry that a crazed fanatic is going to storm the joint and start shooting.

Yes, we all have the potential to be like don Juan - to know when the sniper is present and therefore to choose not to come around - but we also have the potential to realize that don Juan may be a fictional character with super-powers above and beyond those of any ordinary man or woman. I'm not here to debate the veracity of Castaneda. Anyone who follows me knows I have ultimate respect for his works and his teachings, but that doesn't mean I accept them (or any other writings) as Absolute Truth.  And it also means, as my own mentor has pointed out countless times, every practitioner has the responsibility to take the Knowledge one step further than where you found it.

Point being - we all have a sixth sense that warns us of possible danger, but most simply don't listen to it (usually because they don't know how), and those who do may often choose to ignore it out of a sense of self-doubt and the social programming that whispers in our ear, "You're just being paranoid. That snake isn't poisonous and that apple looks yummy, so stop being a wuss and just do it!"  Unfortunately, whatever decision we make, there are consequences - some of them whimsical, others deadly.  But either way, unless someone is already a man or woman of Knowledge - a brujo, sorcerer, seer - those choices occur on a purely subliminal level and seldom at the level of conscious awareness.  So to those who would argue that "these people chose their time to die," I would say this is not only highly unlikely, but also a thinly veiled attempt to blame the victims for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sorry, but I don't buy into the "Your time has come" logic. These people were vital and alive 24 hours ago and now they are dead because some lunatic religious fanatic decided their time was over. It is not the doings of spirit. It is the doings of (crazy) men. The acts of a madman cannot be minimized in favor of some attempt at comforting oneself with the notion that "it was their choice". That's just an attempt to put one's emotional ducks in a row when what we really need to be doing is looking the snake in the eye and *seeing* it for what it is.

What we need to understand is that most "hate crimes" are actually rooted in religious dogma at some level. By nature, we don't hate gay people or green people or smart people just because of what they are. We learn to hate them by the subtle and not-so-subtle programming that is put onto us by the world at large - religion, politics, culture, etc. In that way, religion is still at the root of most hate crimes. While the Bible may be full of messages of love, it is just as full of messages of hate and fear - so it stands to reason that humans will tend to respond at the lowest common denominator (fear and hatred). Examine your programming. Ask yourself not just what you believe, but why you believe it. Only then will you start to *see* that most of your beliefs come from what you've been told to think rather than what you really know about the world and all those gay, green and other assorted "different" people.

Haters aren't born. They are created from fear and false beliefs. They are often created by well-meaning family members, friends and peers - and more often than not through the accumulation of centuries of religious dogma that hangs like an albatross around the world today.

Understanding that is the first step toward a truer and deeper understanding of why things are the way things are.  It is also the first step toward undoing the programs that only limit our unlimited potential.

I can only offer my heart-felt condolences to those who lost loved ones in the Orlando shootings, and my sincere hope that if anything good can come of this, it will be an increased Knowledge that fear, hatred and violence will never solve anything, but only deepen the rift between the self and the infinite. May all who died rest in peace. May the rest of us live with greater awareness and increased empathy for all living things.


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Friday, June 10, 2016

Of Don Juan, Dumbledore, and Captain Kirk

In the course of hosting and participating in forums for the past 15+ years, as well as working directly with others as a counselor, teacher, workshop leader and so on, it has come to my attention that many people place an expectation upon their teachers and mentors that is tantamount to some fantasy such as Kung Fu. But as I have spent a great deal of time and energy attempting to explain to a friend lately, there is a vast difference between fictional teachers (yes, including Don Juan), and actual human begins who walk the earth being human.
When I say don Juan is a fictional character, what I mean is that we only ever see of don Juan what Carlos allows or wants us to see. Whether don Juan ever walked the earth as a flesh-and-blood human being, who's to say? 
In our celluloid fantasies, we only ever see the "motivational" side of Dumbledore, or Kwai Chang Cain, or Master Po or Yoda or Captain Kirk. Put simply: we see only a 2-dimensional character who finds himself involved in situations which have already been pre-determined by the writer. We don't see don Juan having a bad day at the races and we don't see Captain Kirk when the Klingons win, and we don't see Yoda on a bender.

Real teachers are real people who are, in the end, really human.

There have been incidents in Toltec chatrooms over the years wherein  members lost their temper and ended up in a shouting match. Now, some might say that this completely invalidates those people as warriors or especially as teachers, but I am really curious as to why that kind of judgment would be leveled when each and every one of us knows in our hearts that - despite all that we have learned or experienced - we are still human beings at the core. Yes, even those who have lost their human form are still human, and that being the case, they will have human feelings, human reactions, human passions.

It is only this strangely prevalent Toltec fantasy largely present on the internet that tries to tell us that "losing the human form" means becoming some disassociated, unemotional, unfeeling robot who moves through life feeling nothing, reacting to nothing. Er - folks - that's actually called a Vulcan, and it has nothing to do with this path because (now hear me), it is fiction. Sure, it made a great metaphor, an excellent allegory, maybe even a fine role model for some of us growing up in troubled times. But it is still fiction.

When we are dealing with a paradigm for a teacher that we found in a book or on the television, it's vitally important to remember that the teachers we encounter in the real world are going to be a bit more 3-dimensional and real. So you have to make a decision. You have to decide whether you can accept these people for who they are - foibles, faults and all - or whether you are going to hold them to some impossible standard of excellence, in which case it has been my general observation that you will be setting yourself up for one major disappointment after another.

As I was saying to another warrior in email, who was criticizing me heavily for my human foibles...
Quantum Shaman wrote:
The mistake I made with you was allowing you to know my human half. Now, it is all you can see of me. That's okay. You can invalidate me all you want. But the work I have done and the truths I have given you remain. You will have to decide whether you want to invalidate the messenger or deal with the messages. It's up to you.
What many warriors simply do not understand  is that when a wo/man of Knowledge moves their assemblage point beyond a certain 'safety' point, not only is there no going back, but there is also no desire to conceal the fact that one is, frankly, a wee bit to the left of what is considered "socially normal." It goes with the territory of being a seer, alone in the world of folly. And if you were to ask most shamans or medicine people, you would find that it is because of their abilities to move outside of the world that, in many ways, they are no longer even a part of the world. Doesn't make them better or worse... just makes them somewhat different by definition.

Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to see a one-man play by Leonard Nimoy, entitled Theo - in which Nimoy played the role of Theo Van Gogh, Vincent's older brother. The play consisted of a passionate discourse by Theo with regard to Vincent, mostly communicated through actual letters which had been exchanged between them, and are preserved in a museum somewhere.

At one point, when Theo is attempting to intercede with some art critics at a gallery, he is faced with the fact that they find Vincent to be strange, inappropriate, and even mad. They tell Theo that they adore Vincent's work, but they cannot abide Vincent himself. At this point, Theo is moved to tears, and in an impassioned cry, says to the art critics (I'm paraphrasing), "Can you look at the beauty of his work and deny its worth? Why must the man fit into your social circles, too? And do you not see that if he did, he would no longer be the artist he is?"

Those words have always stuck with me, and I return to them whenever I find myself feeling judgmental or critical of someone whom I might expect to be held to some higher standard. The reality is that most artists who are genuinely talented are also genuinely at least one step removed from this world. And so it is with teachers, shamans, and even truly devoted monks seeking enlightenment.

Expecting a flagellist monk to be an appropriate dinner guest would cause me to question the host's expectations far more than the monk's behavior. Why would we expect anyone to live up (or down) to our own definitions of what they "should" be? That, to me, is the real madness.

No one (and I mean no one) can truly take this journey and not be changed forever - and I am referring to the kind of change that is unpredictable, energetically visible, and irreversible. One cannot travel into the heart of the nagual, be embraced by it (even though one cannot entirely wrap one's mind around it), and not be forever altered. To read about it in Carlos Castaneda's books is one thing. To do it is another.

One major aspect of this path, therefore, is centered around examining our own expectations of others. Yoda, Kwai Chang Cain, Dumbledore, don Juan and the rest, are fictional characters controlled entirely by the writer. We see only what the writer wants us to see... and so to build expectations onto real human beings based on fictional characters is altogether ludicrous - rather like certain sects of Christianity who take the Bible literally. In reality, we saw relatively little of Jesus - but we did see that he got pissed off one day and wreaked havoc on some money changers at a temple... and we saw that he felt betrayed by God when he was hanging on the cross (for those who believe in that particular allegorical fiction, I mean).

But we also saw that he went into the desert for 40 days and nights, and came back changed forever. Changed. Forever. By Do-ing the work.

It's easy to see someone as a saint until you have lived with them. It's easy for someone to let you see only their good side, and that is usually the case when dealing with modern-day new age teachers who lead their apprentices on expensive excursions to Mexico and Peru. I'm not really sure how honest that is. I'm not sure it doesn't just promote the false expectations of the public, with the bottom line of money being the bottom line while the sheeple stand in line to stand in line at the feet of the master they have created in their own mind, and who will inevitably disappoint them when he falls from grace in their adoring eyes.

Sure, I offer counseling services, workshops and the like. But on forums and online groups, I make myself available. Nothing is concealed because 1) I do not choose to conceal my authenticity; and 2) it would be virtually impossible to maintain that facade of "sweetness & light" which so many new age teachers carry around with them and which, to me, is a quick and sure sign of false pretenses.

The reality of it is that I am here because it benefits my own assimilation to actually be wholly real with people, even when that means they will see a side of me they might not want to see. Do I care if anyone loses respect for me? Absolutely not. That's their issue to deal with. Do I care if someone sits in the shadows judging me for my human qualities, usually because they are too conflicted to take the journey for themselves? No, but I do find it sadly annoying that anyone would waste so much time and energy trying to discredit me when they could be using that same time and energy to advance their own path.

Bottom line: if you are expecting your teachers to be larger than life or other than human, go back to your books or watch a good movie. Invalidate all of your teachers, discredit all of your mentors, and you can sleep better at night. But you will still be left with the question or your own journey and what you hope to get out of it.

Instead of asking, "Who is Della?" Or "Who is Castaneda?" Or "Who is don Juan?" The question remains: "Who are you?"

Simple stuff.

Originally Posted to "The Sorcerer's World"
December, 2007


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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Time, Light & the Fluid Will

by Mikal Nyght
Excerpted with the author's permission, from Teachings of the Immortals

Time and light are irrevocably interconnected. From the human perspective, it is virtually impossible to wrap one's mind around this, because the nature of your programming is such that you have been taught to see time as an effect rather than a cause, as a reflection rather than a substance.

The truth about light is that it is the generator and progenitor of time. Remove light and time will stop. You will become immortal. Eternal. Whole. Einstein knew this in theory. Evolved beings know it through experience. Ah, but you will say that no creature can live in darkness. And that is true to a point. But again, what must change is the manner in which you view light - for how one views something determines one's experience of it, far more than you know.

The sorcerer's trick is twofold, each half of the equation fueled by a different intent. First, a sorcerer may learn to move with the light, to manifest oneself as light manifests - both wave and particle, both substance and reflection - and in doing so, one essentially becomes what is commonly (but perhaps mistakenly) referred to as a being-of-light; not in any connotation of sweetness and light, but in a literal and quantum manifestation of awareness. Since awareness itself travels at well beyond the speed of light - a thought is instanteneous, manifesting from the Nothing into a full-blown concept - it is not difficult to go one step further in altering one's paradigm, to realize that awareness travels in the same manner as light, and so to become a 'being of light' is to move one's assemblage point into a position of pure and whole awareness.

Though it is impossible to put words around such a vast alteration of your existing paradigm, it could be envisioned that the result would be a being who is comprised of the substance of light itself, and could therefore move in and out of corporeality, just as light itself may shift between wave and particle. One might also say that the sorcerer has then become an energy being, and yet in the strictest sense, we are all energy beings, whether we are comprised of light or organic matter.

The other option sorcerers may choose is to move one's awareness between the quanta of light itself. If a being of light might be likened to a yang manifestation, moving between the molecules of light would be a yin manifestation. At the level of the yin experience, the sorcerer moving between the quanta of light could be said to have entered "the night that never ends" - moving essentially with the light, but for the sake of simple explanations, traveling in the opposite direction, and therefore propelled by the gravity of light itself. Simply put: the effects would be the same, but the experience would be different with regard to perception; and either would be a matter of the sorcerer's intent.

You ask me how to do these things? The answer is not something that can be put to words or musical notes or quantum equations. Instead, it is a mindset, an understanding at the core level of awareness. Stalk it as a hunter would stalk his prey, and one day you will simply *see* the turn alongside the road, and you will take it quite naturally and without conscious effort. You will become The Way instead of trying to find The Way. You will be the immortal other, you will be Whole, with the totality of yourself intricately woven into the energetic structure of what you have become. This is the nature of time, light and energy.

When you understand it through do-ing, you will be at the assemblage point of eternity - beyond the ability of death to undo. Try to understand it with your intellect, it will elude you. Try to talk about it with words, they will strangle you.

This is the Stalker's Dreaming. This is the Dreamer's Stalking.

Only from inside the do-ing will you be able to *see* how the do-ing is done through the not-doing of the fluid will, which operates outside of time, beyond the light, and one step to the left of the darkness.

September 1, 2008

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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Letters to the Double, Written on the Wind

There is a certain sound the wind makes in the night. I cannot call it a voice or even a whisper, just a murmuring of some ancient memory that stirs me awake from a fitful, fevered sleep to find myself sitting up in bed, legs crossed, head tilted forward, pillow clutched to my chest, and the scent of you sketched on the cold, cold air of the darkness as if you were standing there in some otherrealm of the multiverse, in some reality where we were just children on the beach together, then sweethearts, then an old married couple rocking on a wooden porch held together by the gossamer filaments of a love that transcends all reason in order to become the reason itself.

Sometimes you have even encouraged me to play with such thoughts, and in fact I recall you once scolded me for daring to call them 'fantasies'. "Everything begins with a thought," you said, and I heard the words as if for the first time.  "Think of me as a fantasy and that is all I will ever be. Dream me with the force of your unreasonable longing, and I cannot help but be everything you want me to be, for that is the nature of energy in motion, the manifestation of creation through the relentless application of Intent."

I remember the night long ago when we had that conversation, and now it comes again, still riding on the broomstick of the wind, no doubt, returning to my haunted room at a time when I need to hear it most. Nothing is impossible except what we determine to be impossible, and even then the determination itself is only a thought which may be eliminated with another thought that whispers in your voice, "All things are possible."

I wonder at times where it is all heading, and why the journey seems so fast, just a drop of mortal blood on the vast canvas of the infinite, but even as that thought finds its way to the surface again, I can almost see you like some illumined portal set against the shadows - an outline of light in the shape of a man through which the entire scope of all things may be accessed. The stars are only grains of finite dust against that mind-boggling tapestry, and all things that can be imagined only a thimble-full of wine in the bottomless cup of all possibility.

The wind stills, gusts again, and seems to be laughing. The scent of you presses closer. The totality of myself embraces me, and I hear my heartbeat like a tiny fluttering of wings somewhere in the night that never ends.

"By allowing the impossible, you discover what is real," you tell me, like a lover whispering secrets.

So said the wind in the middle of the night. And so it shall be.

Journal Entry - February 27, 2007

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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Death: A Position of the Assemblage Point

An excerpt from "Questions Along the Way"
September 24, 2007

In Dreaming...
I am standing face to face with Orlando (my double), but he has taken my own face and form.  My sense is that this is to avoid the paradox of "the sorcerer who comes face to face with his double is a dead sorcerer." 

He says to me, "Death is a position of the assemblage point."

This seems obvious to me, yet I realize there is an entire world of Knowledge being downloaded in that statement.  A simple, straightforward statement, yet embedded with layers upon layers of data which can barely be conceived by the brain/mind of ordinary awareness.

The dream shifts, and I am "Della" again.  I am telling Wendy about this dream I had.  I say to her, "Orlando was telling me that death is a position of the assemblage point - and as he spoke those words, he took both hands, palms open, and shoved me at the shoulders - the way kids on a playground might shove one another in a form of mock-battle."  As I tell her this, I demonstrate by performing the shove on her shoulders. Then, as I push her shoulders, I repeat once again, "Death is a position of the assemblage point."

I see her "change" - as if understanding something at a very deep level.

Dream ends...

As I woke from this dream, the words continued to rattle through my mind.  Death is a position of the assemblage point.  And something inside me began to turn, to *see* something which is still in the infancy of being *seen*.  The push on the shoulders, I simply Knew, was a push to the dual positions of the assemblage point - the tonal & nagual.

I've been toying with trying to write an article for awhile about the dual assemblage point which I have *seen* when working with warriors who have been on the path for any length of time.  Most often, people whom I might categorize as "ordinary folk" (not warriors or wo/men of Knowledge, in other words) have what amounts to a single assemblage point that is often fractured & fragmented - non-cohesive.  Warriors who have been on the path for a short time will often show a more focused AP.  And wo/men of Knowledge will quite often have what I have come to call "a dual assemblage point". The way I have begun to interpret this is that one assemblage point might be described as the tonal self, and the other assemblage point would be the AP of the nagual (or the AP of the double).

When working with this path at a quantum level, it even makes sense why this would be. The energy body may appear to act separately from our human awareness, so it stands to reason that it would possess what amounts to an individual AP.  Another way to look at it (in Toltec terms) would be to say that the nagual self goes into third attention to serve as the beacon to the mortal self who remains in first attention (see THE EAGLE'S GIFT by Carlos Castaneda). Carlos stated that the nagual man & nagual woman were two separate beings. My own experience is that this was probably his own experience because he described himself as a "3-prong nagual". Other manifestations of a so-called nagual appear to have different experiences - myself included. Orlando was not an extant or separate being.  We are the same being, divided as a matter of facilitating the evolution of both toward the One - i.e., "the totality of oneself".

Anyone coming into this fresh will have virtually no idea what I'm talking about, so my comments here are primarily for my own assimilation, and for anyone who already has some background of my workings with the double.

My current work involves a thorough examination of the dual assemblage point.  And my sense from the highlighted dreaming ("death is a position of the assemblage point") is that "death" may be a world most humans assemble "naturally" at the end of their life cycle, but for sorcerers or wo/men of Knowledge, death is nothing more than a position of the assemblage point which may be bypassed through the merging of the dual assemblage points - either at the moment of physical cessation, or perhaps altogether unrelated to the point of physical "death".

We talk about embracing the totality of ourselves, and though I have explained that sufficiently for my own understanding, I nonetheless feel compelled to further this exploration for reasons I have chosen to trust even though I do not entirely understand them.  Sometimes I find that when I proceed in this manner, I may be putting out something that someone else needs - which, also, is part of my own assimilation.  Other times, I may just be writing my own mythology on the fabric of the universe, and that's okay, too.

But no matter...  The thoughts that come to me on the heels of the highlighted dreaming download revolve around the interconnected ideas of burning with the fire from within, and embracing the totality of oneself.  Is this accomplished by a merger of the dual assemblage points into what I have come to call a "singularity of consciousness"?

It is simply known to me through my own awareness and experiences that if/when I "die" in this earthly form, I will essentially step out of Della and into Orlando - which is a merger of the dual assemblage points into a singularity, an emergence into the totality of myself.  Others will say that this cannot be known, but can only be speculated.  And to those people, I would say... you're absolutely right.  (For you.)

For myself, I continue to be fascinated with the being referred to by CC as "the tenant" - an organic being who essentially defied "death" and became what I would describe as a "singularity" while still in some manner of corporeal manifestation.  DJM referred to this being as an aberration, but... is that really the case?  Who's to say?  And to NOT ask the question seems to be succumbing to some superstitious fear that may have no basis in reality whatsoever.

Just some rambling thoughts, riding in on the wave of a powerful Dreaming.

"Death is a position of the assemblage point."

Is it an assemblage point we naturally choose?  Is it an assemblage point we MUST choose?  What are the implications of this knowledge?


This blog entry is excerpted in part from
Questions Along the Way - the third book in the Quantum Shaman series.

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