Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Positive Side of Negative Emotions (Part 2)

This entry being a follow-up and perhaps a reiteration of a previous blog entry, "The Positive Side of Negative Emotions." Consider this version 2.0  💁

I see more and more new age gurus advocating "the elimination of negative emotions." And while that may look good as a book blurb, the reality is that seeking to eliminate emotions (whether positive or negative) is like attempting to grow a pair of wings or poop rainbow sherbet. Stalkers (in the Toltec/nagualism tradition) understand that it is how we use our emotions that determines their value or their liability.

If we eliminate all fear, for example, there's nothing to keep us from wandering blind and blissful into dangerous situations unnecessarily. Without fear, we might pick up a rattlesnake or leap into shark-infested waters. In fact, many Christian cultists have done such things to prove their faith (and their lack of common sense), and seldom if ever does it end well. Some will argue that reason and intellect can replace fear, and while that may be true to a minor degree, it is fear that has kept the species alive and allowed us to develop background instincts which operate often without our conscious awareness. And, for that matter, who's to say that common sense, reason and even intellect are not simply the evolved manifestations of fear?

If we eliminate anger, for another example, we may lose the ability to protect ourselves or those we love if we come under attack. There are plenty of reasons why martial arts masters teach their students to fight... and then teach them how not to fight, though the foundation of self-defense remains whole and intact in the event it is ever needed.

It is often a very real sense of anger that motivates humans to get off their arses, engage their prehensile tails, and actually do something about whatever it is that's pissing them off. The situation at Standing Rock is just one current example - where enough people got angry enough to take a stand. How it ends, no one knows at this point in time. But it is an example of something positive that can happen when anger becomes manifest through action.

Please know, I'm not advocating using anger to justify outright violence. If you're pissed off at your neighbor because his dog craps on your lawn, diplomacy and negotiation would be the first line of action, but taking the law into your own hands would never be an option. So, yes, common sense and intellect play a role in how we learn to use our emotions to our advantage, and also to insure those same emotions don't become a liability that lands one in the slammer or on the receiving end of a lethal injection.

In another example, the recent travesty of an election has riled up the United States in a way I haven't witnessed since the civil rights movement and, later, the "hippie" movement of the 1960s. At this moment in time, we are faced with a president-elect who defines the wind as "deceitful" (yes, the wind!) and encourages his followers to perpetrate violence and racist segregation against those who are different from themselves (LGBT, Muslims, Mexicans, immigrants of all description, women, and only the sleeping gods know what else). The KKK is marching in the street, and redneck homophobes have perpetrated heinous and even murderous acts against gays. If it isn't his ignorance that kills us all, it will be his arrogance.

 But the thing is... on the other side of that mindless violence and hatred, a significantly large number of the American people have become angry enough ("outraged" would be a better word) to take to the streets in (mostly) peaceful protests, initiate petitions to demand a recount, other petitions to encourage the Electoral College members to reconsider their final vote in December, and a host of other potential "alternatives to Agent Orange" with which I am not familiar.

It wasn't passive acceptance that brought about this cry for change. It was anger - and without it, humans would sit quietly in their Lazy Boys and welcome the zombie apocalypse with open arms and a plate full of vegan cookies and soy milk.

What I've observed is that even our dark emotions are part of our warrior's armor and arsenal. Sure, you can say it's common sense that replaces fear and impeccability that takes the place of anger, but any of those things alone may not be enough. It is the whole being - guided by impeccability and intent - who learns to control and direct her emotions appropriately.

We are yin and yang, dark and light. That isn't going to change. As the old saying goes... "The one who wins is the one you feed."

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Define 'Real.'

In a discussion awhile back, a comment was made by a seeker, "I prefer to believe don Juan was real". My response was... "Define real."  The following is what ensued...


My reason for asking you to "define real" was to determine where your own thoughts lie with regard to the definition itself. The thing is... it was only when I began wrestling myself free of these confining definitions that I began to achieve what my heart had always desired: contact with the infinite, direct interaction with the nagual, personal Knowledge that the world is nothing like we have been taught to believe. So when you said you chose to believe don Juan was real... it just seemed to me your own parameters may be determining what you are seeing.

"The core of your belief determines the realities you see
and obliterates those you choose to ignore."

This was a statement made by Orlando when I was relatively new to the journey, and it has changed the manner in which I choose to believe, the manner in which I see the world. If I already believe that we live on a flat earth, then I have absolutely no incentive or motivation to move my mind into a round earth mindset. In other words, I remain stuck in my status quo based on what I believe - which often isn't at all true with regard to the bigger picture of what-is.

I see a lot of folks so busily looking for the man behind the curtain - trying to prove that don Juan was "real" or "not real" - that they miss out altogether on the magic the wizard is performing. So I prefer to look at it this way: the magic is quite real even if the magician was only a figment of Carlos Castaneda's imagination. But the magic may be far more significantly real (to myself and others walking a similar path) if it can be perceived that maybe (just maybe...) Carlos-the-Buffoon was really the man behind the curtain all along. In other words - just maybe Carlos figured it out for himself, but projected the Knowledge outside of himself into the manifestation of a Yaqui Indian in Old Mexico, to provide a milieu for his own learning, and simultaneously to provide a teacher with whom he could interact. Without that juxtaposition, it is possible to achieve the same results, though it usually takes a lot longer and has the distinct disadvantage of appearing to work in a vacuum.

In other words, it is altogether likely that don Juan was Carlos Castaneda's double in the truest possible sense of the word:  energetically, intellectually, spiritually, infinitely. Whether Carlos himself ever knew this or not, who's to say? The double is the trickster, leaving it up to the mortal self in the Now to dig deeper into the quantum layers, or simply assign the lowest common denominator explanation and take the world on face value.

Any buffoon wandering through the desert may (or may not) have the good fortune to encounter a don Juan. But what if - what if? - what if any of us can be our own don Juan simply by allowing a shift of the assemblage point that sets us outside of what we already think and believe? Then it's a whole other ballgame. Then it is the Self with the power, and not some chance-fate factor which would determine whether or not we ever "meet the master". The "master" is inside us all along - but only manifests if we summon it. And there is the advantage of free will. It's entirely up to you to be don Juan or to be Carlos.

It seems to me at times that many young or inexperienced seekers tend to base their conclusions on narrow parameters within the ordinary world - i.e., they are accepting on Carlos' word that the double could not be verified with tactile sensation, just for one example. If that was your experience, I might tend to take it a bit more seriously, but it is only your belief based on someone else's experience, which may or may not have been "real", and which may or may not have been accurately recorded as it filtered through his own perceptions.

Why does any of this matter? Only for one reason: for as long as you base what you will accept on the past-tense definitions provided for you by someone else, you are living in an "unreal" world out of fear or habit. For as long as I truly believed I knew what was "real", my experience was limited to my own inner agreement of what I would allow myself to perceive.

We are all like this, for we are all human. The trick is getting past our beliefs and into the realm of actually seeing through the eyes of our own unique experiences.


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Friday, November 11, 2016

You Say You Want A Revolution?

In response to the recent "election" here in the US...

I was having a conversation with a fellow seeker, and made the comment that it would require another Revolution to bring this country back to the Intent once held by its founders. Truth aside, this raised in my own mind the realization that I am not at all interested in starting that revolution, nor leading it, nor even really having much concern about it one way or the other.

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out...
(The Beatles)

For nagualists and anyone else seeking a true evolution of consciousness, the agenda is freedom. A word much bandied about, but seldom truly understood. Some would argue that freedom can only be obtained through conflict, war, etc., using the logic that "Freedom isn't free." On the other hand, I might argue that freedom from conflict, war, etc is more accurately the definition of freedom. I can't imagine that don Juan would have paraded around waving a flag - for, after all, what flag would he have waved? Mexico? Sonora? Yaqui? I can only imagine don Juan would have taken a look at the situation (whatever it may be), and then broken into a howl of laughter with don Genaro at his side, two old brujos crowing with amusement at the pointless shennanigans of foolish humans.

It's folly. All of it. We may tell ourselves it matters because we perceive some threat to our way of life (and admittedly that can be true in certain circumstances); but the ultimate reality is that it is folly. And the current situation is folly on such a huge stage that trying to fix it is even greater folly. Might as well stick one's finger in a dike to stem the great flood.

Knowing that doesn't necessarily solve the problem. But hopefully it helps to regain a perspective of detachment. I'm reminded of don Juan's conversation with Carlos about living strategically...

"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."  
Carlos Castaneda - A Separate Reality

Therefore, my Intent in the aftermath of this "election" is simply this. If the government or its minions come to my door to hang me for daring to exist... I simply will not be there.

Folly. A good word to remember.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Heart-Tongue (The Art of Non-violent Communication)

In his dealings with myself & others, Orlando relies heavily on a form of communication which he has referred to as “mindspeak” or “heart-tongue” – a method of communicating which has the effect of bypassing our day-to-day resistances and speaking directly to the mind/body/spirit connection. Put another way, it is a form of non-violent communication which enables those who master it to essentially become the problem solver rather than the creator of one’s own negative reality.

While it would be impossible to really teach this method of communicating in a single blog entry, I would at least like to draw attention to a few major points of “mind-speak” at a time when it has become obvious that non-violent communication is really the only tool we have for resolving our differences in any manner that will be lasting, healing, and beneficial to all concerned.

Perhaps the first thing I notice in working with others to resolve conflicts is the method of speaking. If every sentence starts with “You…” chances are the speaker has already made up his/her mind, and the sentence will proceed to describe some action (real or imagined) in the mind of the speaker, which has in some manner wronged or inconvenienced him/her. Example: “You didn’t close the door this morning when you left for work.”

In and of itself, there is no real harm in this, except that if it is one’s habit to communicate in such a manner, it may be perceived by the other party that s/he is constantly coming under attack or criticism. What is heard, therefore, often translates to: “You screwed up again.” And automatically a right/wrong scenario is created which is perceived to require some manner of defense… and the result in the big picture is that a conflict is created where one may not have existed previously. Would it be less accusatory, perhaps, to phrase the question differently: “Did you intend to leave the door open this morning when you left for work?”

At that level of communication, a more level foundation is created – there is no automatic assumption of guilt (you left the door open), nor is there any need for the other person to defend their actions. Instead, a window of opportunity for more impeccable communication opens – and it is that window which is critical to consider in resolving conflicts at deeper levels.

It is also crucial in the art of nonviolent communication for someone who finds him/herself in a conflict to really stop and think before speaking. To speak from an assemblage point of anger is to automatically and unavoidably imbue one’s words with conflict – even if that may not be the intent. And if one cannot avoid speaking in anger (if one is angry and must confront some pre-existing conflict immediately), then it becomes even more imperative for the warrior to remember the first agreement: Always be impeccable with your word.

If you must speak during a time when you are angry, at least employ impeccability and consider your words with some manner of care. Bridges burned today do not magically reconstruct themselves in the light of day, and speaking with a forked tongue is usually a sure way to click off a spark that will ignite that dry kindling underneath the bridge’s foundation. So when I find myself in a position of being forced to respond to a situation at a time when I am perhaps angry, my first responsibility is to remember that my anger does not belong to the person to whom I am speaking – in other words, I do not have the automatic right to direct my anger onto another person anymore than I have the right to intentionally cough on a stranger in public if I know I have the flu.

This is the point where a lot of people have the tendency to close off to the possibility of non-violent communication, because it is recognized that there may be what Orlando has come to call “negative pleasantries” associated with the state of being angry. Put another way – it is entirely possible (and we all know this) to actually enjoy being angry at someone because we feel our anger somehow validates us. It has become an icon of self-righteousness – a banner we may carry around like a soldier waving a flag. “Look at what you have done to me!” we proclaim. “You have made me angry!”

And yet…  No one has the ability to make us one way or the other. Through our interactions with others, we may become angry or frustrated, or we may laugh and fall in love. This is not the other person’s doing, but a movement of our own assemblage point. Can someone else shift your assemblage point? Sure – but the secret is that you yourself have to allow it to be shifted. Seekers may choose to allow their AP to be shifted into all sorts of positions: anger, self-righteousness, love, hate, bliss, ecstasy, jealousy, hurt, fear – but a seeker does so with total awareness the resulting emotions which accompany such a shift are not particularly real. Like stepping into a play, the seeker with awareness realizes that his character may be passionately in love, but the actor himself may go home alone to an empty house.

The risk a seeker runs is when s/he forgets s/he is in a play. When the emotions become real as a result of something you may perceive someone did to you, it is time to go back to basics and remind oneself utterly and ruthlessly that what is real is the Self and not the attachments to which the self may adhere from time to time. In almost every case I have encountered, jealousy is a projection of fear. Anger is an expansion of self-importance. Hatred is a manifestation of greed at some level. And so on. It is human nature to attach to the emotion because it can be easily understood and experienced, whereas to really release that attachment usually requires understanding why one feels such a need to attach to the emotion in the first place. What is missing in one’s life, for example, that may cause one to feel “righteous anger” to such an extent that what would otherwise have been a minor infraction may be elevated into an outright war?

Nonviolent communication. How does it work? First and foremost, it requires at first a somewhat constant monitoring and observation of the manner in which one communicates naturally. We are all programmed to speak and to perceive in a certain manner. But when we can actually stop and hear ourselves – really listen to how our speech comes across – we begin to see ways in which we might improve our communication skills, and in doing so, actually improve the quality of our lives.

I am always suspicious, as mentioned above, of any sentence that begins with “You.” By the same token, it is important to be keenly aware of any sentence that begins with “Why?” To ask someone, “Why did you leave the door open when you left for work this morning?” automatically implies that 1) the other person intended to do it; and 2) at a subliminal level of communication, it is transmitted that this was wrong. Accusation and conflict are automatically created in the words themselves, when it would have been just as easy to stalk one’s method of speaking before speaking, and to simply reword it. “Were you aware the door was open when you left this morning?”

The other side of that rephrased question is being open to really listening to the answer that comes back. Even when/if you learn to communicate in a non-violent manner, there are no guarantees that someone else will do the same – but the chances are much higher that conflicts can be resolved peacefully and less painfully if at least one party stalks the fine art of listening, rather than just automatically launching into the internal dialogue of what you intend to say next.

Nonviolent communication is a two-way street when it works best – and often that is going to require an impeccable warrior to make the first move in that direction, and to truly think about what is meant by projecting his/her words in a non-aggressive manner, and being open to really listening to the responses that are generated by the other party. Too often, until a warrior becomes a master of awareness, s/he may fall into the same old traps that any ordinary human being would: the trap of belief=projection=manifestation. Put another way: if I already believe you have stolen something from me, and I say to you, “Why did you steal that trinket?”, I am going to literally manifest a conflict, particularly if I am not able to listen/hear what the other person is going to say in response. If my mind is already made up, perception is reality, in other words. So no matter what the other person may say, it is entirely up to me to listen and to further the dialogue from there, rather than escalate the argument.

The finest warriors I have ever known are those who are the finest diplomats.

May 13, 2007
From a conversation at
"The Front Porch Gatherings"

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