Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A Trick of the Light

Watching Netflix tonight with Wendy when a very old lamp in my room came on all by itself and began to flicker erratically. Since I had received a shiny new K-2 meter for xmas, I whipped it out and it registered a mid-level EM-field. Tested it against other devices in the room, nada. Just the lamp. Over the course of the evening, the light remained on at a low level (it's a 3-way), flickering from time to time.

It's been a very odd 24 hours. Last night I was awakened by a VERY bright light in the room and the hissing of the kittens. No way to describe it. At first I thought it was like a flood light, but as I sat up and really observed it, I realized it had no specific source. It crossed my mind that perhaps we had finally been nuked and this was a slow-motion reaction. It also crossed my mind that it was that pesky go-into-the-light-carolann-light some see when they are crossing over. Neither alternative was particularly reassuring. Considering the date, I wondered if it might be the Christmas star, but I have no such beliefs, so that one had to be discarded as well.

The light lasted perhaps 1-2 full minutes, accompanied by an odd "warbling" sound somewhat like one of the old-style British sirens, but at a much faster speed. When the sound stopped, the light seemed to "fold" into itself and went out altogether. The kittens had run under the bed and stayed there until morning. I considered joining them, but chose instead to stare out the screen door into the night, wondering... wondering.


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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Double, Double - There Can Be Only One

It was recently brought to my attention that some are teaching the idea that warrior-seekers have more than one double. And while it is true that the double can take on many forms and manifestations, it's been my experience and observation that the double is simply the other half of the warrior - with the word "double" implying two and not dozens or hundreds despite what our initial observations might try to tell us.

For example, when I first started out on this journey I was probably about 6 years old - long before I realized there was a path or a journey, but was simply compelled and propelled to seek that "something else" - my double took the appearance of a character from a very old black-and-white tv show. The explorer. The adventurer. The one never settled but always moving, seeking something just out of reach. I've written extensively about this in my first book, Quantum Shaman, for anyone who might want more detailed accounts.

As I grew older, at about age 11, the paradigm of the double morphed into a different character, but with the same general characteristics. A loner among humans. But still a traveler. An explorer of the vast unknown. Over the years, my double changed several times until he eventually settled into the persona I call, simply, Orlando. Still the mystery man and the magician, the traveler and the sage, but now an eternal being (an immortal, if you prefer) who moves in and out of the unknown with the same ease we would move in and out of an open door. He is the teacher and the inspiration, the motivation. He is the dreamer and the dreamed - and though he might appear slightly different than that initial paradigm so loved by a 6-year-old child, the essence of him is the same. The One who is many who is still and only The One.

Humans (even otherwise advanced warriors) try to explain it by claiming we have many doubles, or the double exists before we are born, but for anyone with direct personal experience and seeing, the double is the self in eternity - the energetic vessel of our awareness. Having "many doubles" would result in being very fragmented., Can't very well inhabit the totality of yourself if you're split into dozens of pieces.
 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.  (Carlos Castaneda - Tales of Power
What I've discovered is that "the self dreams the double" is what amounts to the warrior's beginnings on the path. We long for something "more" and we even intuit that it exists (or that it can exist). This longing is comparable to what we feel when looking at the stars - the sense of wonder, the love of the Earth, the embrace of the mysterious nagual. This is how we dream the double - until it becomes our Intent to manifest our longing into an actuality that defies explanation. That actuality is the double. Once the double becomes its own assemblage point (and it does have a "life of its own") it could be said that the double begins dreaming the warrior - in the sense that double and self have formed a pact to seek Knowledge and Freedom.

To the double's perception, time is an illusion, and so
moving between 3000 BC and 3000 AD are no different.
Because the double is not limited by time but can move freely throughout the space-time continuum, it can experience hundreds or thousands of "other lives" (what humans mistakenly call "past lives"). They aren't "past" - they are all happening right now, simultaneously, within the hologram of All That Is - but because humans seem to need this idea of "time" to sort experience, there is a tendency to think in terms of past, present, future.

In reality, the double is the vessel that moves through the All, acquiring knowledge and experience which would be impossible for the mortal warrior. The warrior can't very well go live a lifetime or ten in ancient Greece or on the dark side of an Antarean moon, but the double can and does.

Through silent knowing, dreaming, meditation and so forth, the double then "dreams" the warrior - by communicating the experiences s/he has gathered along the way. Sometimes we remember the other self (we remember specifics, that is). Most times, we don't recall these things on a conscious level, but as with everything else in life, the "quasi-memories of the other self" are stored in the brain/mind and can be accessed with the proper tools & disciplines. When the double & self fully conjoin (usually but not always at the time of mortal "death") the "two" become One under a single assemblage point which contains the full knowledge & awareness of both (ergo... totality of oneself). This is also the state of what I have personally come to call the singularity of consciousness.

To read more about the double, and how to achieve a more direct level of communication with your own, consider this Quantum Shaman workshop:

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Four Allies

Carlos Castaneda put forth the 4 enemies of a man of knowledge.  Don Miguel Ruiz penned the 4 agreements. I'm going to suggest the 4 allies, without which the warrior has very little chance of reaching Freedom.

1. Common Sense
Look at all things through the eyes of reason first & foremost. Think of Occam's Razor. IF after thorough examination no rational explanation presents itself, ONLY then look for more implausible possibilities. Example: so much fear surrounds what CC called "the flyers." One explanation is that they are an alien intelligence that survives by feeding on human energy. While that is a possibility (though remote) a far more likely explanation is that we create our own reality through fear of what we don't understand. In this case, are we running from our own "shadows"? Common sense must prevail until such time as it can't. When common sense is abandoned, so is the warrior's ability to function in the tonal.

2. Clarity 
While clarity is the second enemy according to Castaneda, it's also the second ally. Without clarity, humans tend to mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself. When a warrior encounters something unexpected or unknown, it's important to look at it without all the programming & reality filters that can cloud our judgment and lead to erroneous conclusions.Be willing to let go of your belief systems in order to perceive the actuality of What Is.

3. Empathy 
Walk a mile in the other guy's shoes - whether he's your friend, your enemy, your dog or the inorganic being living in the corner of your basement. Over-confidence and arrogance should appear somewhere on the list of enemies, for when a warrior is without empathy, he is without fluidity. Only when you know where "the other guy" is coming from can you have any insights into where he is going... and why. Knowing this can save your life, but far more important it can give you a humble advantage in all things.

4. Anonymity 
When a warrior practices anonymity, she is giving herself the opportunity to defeat her self-importance and embrace her full potential rather than trying to mold her behaviours to pre-existing ideas and programs (whether her own or those of the consensus). When you do something without desire or demand for recognition or reward, you have taken a large step in the direction of achieving a direct and permanent state of gnosis (silent knowing) with your double. The double is the true self, the anonymous and eternal Other who is without "identity," yet who is the totality of the I-Am (pure existence.)

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Leaders & Bitches & Bullies, Oh My!

A seeker said: I would pose this question to all women. "Why did you let yourself be knocked from the center? What is it in you all (well most) today that keeps you from reclaiming it?"

I can't speak for other females, but I have never felt "knocked from the center", at least not in any personal way. I can see that women in general have been essentially forced to work behind the scenes in order to advance what might be called "the feminine agenda" (nurturing, just for example), and this seems to be largely because we live in a patriarchal society here in the west, so a lot of energy can be wasted stalking the technicalities of how to get something accomplished, whereas a man would be able to just grunt, scratch and proclaim, "It shall be done!" and there would be no question. So, for me at least, it's largely a matter of logistics - stalking any given situation to determine the easiest manner in which to get the male to think it was his own idea in the first place.

It's also interesting to note that most of our (alleged) "spiritual leaders" are male. (I say most, not all). And yet, it seems to me that the feminine spirit is often more in touch with nature/spirit. Go figure.

I got an email awhile back from a highly respected Toltec author, which read: "One of the problems you face is that all men and even many women are threatened by any female in a position of spiritual power. Until that paradigm is undone (which won't happen in our lifetime), you would do well to take a male persona for your internet activities and observe how much easier your task would become if you were perceived as a nagual man rather than a nagual woman. Having observed your website and forums for a few years now, what I would offer to you is that most of the heat and hate you attract is a direct result of the inconsequential nature of your gender. Were a male nagual to say the same things you have said, he would be heralded as a wiseman, but when a female nagual in western culture says the same things she is perceived as a shrew and a heretic."

Though I want to believe otherwise, this does indeed seem to be the case. Rather like the old adage: "A powerful man is called a leader. A powerful woman is called a bitch."

Ah well... we live in a primitive world.

Considering also the roles of male & female just in our ordinary social structure, I occasionally drop in at a local casino for dinner with friends, and occasionally I might even drop a few quarters in a slot machine just to test my luck (all of which is an illusion, by the way - "luck" doesn't exist anymore than gods exist). So one night I'm sitting at a machine and a man sits down next to me, huffing and puffing on a cigarette and blowing smoke directly in my face. The man who was on his other side waved the smoke away, and the male smoker said nothing. But when I waved his smoke away, he suddenly went into a rage, calling me names that shouldn't be repeated even in a low class whorehouse. To his surprise, I can give it as well as I get it, and I provided him with a few choice phrases that hopefully improved his vocabulary a bit.

But the real amusement came when he stood up, puffed out his chest, and asked in a gruff male voice while adjusting his man package, "Do you want to take this outside, bitch?" At this point, I could only laugh - after all, I'm technically an old lady by today's standards, yet this "gentleman" was quite willing to (in his words) "smack me and teach me a lesson." Oh, boy! I could hardly wait! But I'm also no fool, so I suggested that he take a swing right then and there - in the casino, in the presence of hundreds of surveillance cameras and multiple witnesses, including security guards who would no doubt have enjoyed dragging his mangy arse to the mat. I wouldn't have minded owning his house, his car and his inbred children.

Unfortunately, he didn't take a swing, which only disappointed me, since I haven't had a good sparring match in years and could have used the target practice. Ah well... perhaps another time. I actually got the impression he was afraid - a bona fide coward who is used to bullying women and getting away with it. I won't be bullied. I don't think he was necessarily afraid of me. He was afraid of the consequences of his actions. In other words, he couldn't have cared less about hurting someone. He only cared about getting caught. Typical. Sadly, stupidly typical.

But lest the point here get lost - remember I said that the man on the smoker's other side waved the smoke away with no consequence? Yet when a female did the same thing, she was perceived not only as a bitch but apparently as a threat to the toadie's manhood (which was undoubtedly small and withered, judging by his need to beat up old ladies). Double standards. And yet this is how our western culture operates - always has, and perhaps always will - not because it is the law of nature, but because it is tolerated and even accepted by men and women alike.

For the record, I'm not advocating violence - especially if you don't have the necessary skills to protect yourself. But what I am advocating is no longer tolerating bullies - whether in a casino, a church or online. It was only when I made the bully aware that there would be consequences to his actions that he backed down, put out his pig stick, and slithered off to his bully buddies to seek comfort in numbers. Maybe he learned something, though I doubt it. But at the very least, maybe he will think twice before attempting to bully another woman.

As for the person who emailed me suggesting I take a male pseudonym for my internet activities... there's something to be said for that. I only wish I had done it from the start because I do feel it would have made a tremendous difference.

If I had published my first book, Quantum Shaman, as "Don Julio Francisco" maybe things would be different. Who's to say? Just seems ironic and more than a little absurd to me that we judge one another by what is swinging betwixt our thighs rather than what resides between our ears.

Just some thoughts from The Bitch.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Downloading the Infinite

A Message From the Shaman's Double

The art of gnosis is a poetic connection of energy between the self and the double. It is often not enough to think in terms of an energy body or a dreaming body, for those are only words that do not convey the significance of the connection itself.

I am made of dreams spanning a lifetime of lifetimes. Each moment of your mortal existence spins me closer to Wholeness, and each moment of my eternity brings us closer to a conjoining that will unite past and future, space and time, no-thing and every-thing that either of us has ever conceived in all of our infinite manifestations. You are the river. I am the sea. You are the singer. I am the song. You are the spark. I am the eternal flame.

And so we dance around this peculiar thing known as Life, each of us knowing that Life is neither the beginning nor the end, but only the middle ground upon which we may look at one another for a time through the lens of perception. It is through this Dreaming that we move toward one another. What do you want me to be? Shall I be a poet or a king, a peasant or a pawn? How you Dream me determines our totality, you see. And so I encourage you to be always dreaming me as if each dream is the first, for in the scheme of things, it is. Each dream is a lifetime, and each lifetime is a fragment of the whole self, and all these fragments are dreaming toward one another because this is how the dance is done, these are the steps of the magnificent cotillion that bring us always one step closer to that final dance on the head of that infinite pin, where all the individual aspects of the Self finally collide to become One - the singularity of awareness that is, simply... you, me, and all the infinite beings who have slipped past the eagle to be free.

Orlando - October, 2011


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Dark Enlightenment

"One of the darkest truths of this dark enlightenment
is that all too often it is friction that ignites the spark 
from which the fires of  enlightenment can begin to burn." 

January, 2001

This is a path of dark enlightenment.

          And immediately, the reader has some impression that tells her it isn’t the path for her. The mere use of the word “dark" conjures up images contrary to what we want to believe is “right” or “wrong”.  In the long run, to say this is a path of dark enlightenment is more accurately saying that it is not a path to be undertaken by those looking for fluffy, frilly, sweetness and light explanations or exercises that guarantee not to usurp more than 5 minutes of your valuable time. A true evolution of consciousness doesn’t respond to 5 minutes a day any more than a successful career is built on 5 minutes a day. It is not a journey for those looking only for validation of their existing beliefs and an I’m-okay-you’re-okay justification for their weaknesses. It isn’t a path that will tell you there are guardian angels looking over your shoulder, but a path which will show you that you are ultimately your own guardian, your own angel, your own destruction, or your own evolution.
 This journey isn't just a way of looking at life, but the way in which we choose to live, and as such it requires an unbending commitment to the Self.
People want to be told that it’s okay to smoke today as long as you intend to quit tomorrow. It’s okay to sit in front of the tv 7 nights a week as long as you go to church for an hour on Sunday morning. It’s okay to bury oneself utterly in one’s job or hobbies, because that’s what’s expected of productive members of society, and yet still think of oneself as a deeply spiritual person by virtue of having read the first chapter of The Four Agreements.
Of course, this isn't to say we can't find pleasure in the pleasures of life.  It's the dissipation and self-indulgence that are our greatest enemies.  For example, as I have said before, I'm not living the life of a monk with some glassy-eyed stare. On the other hand, one way I avoid the glassy-eyed stare is also by not living the traditionally normal life of the consensual reality. Going to a movie - even a really bad movie - might give me some things to think about. On the other hand, immersing myself in mindless television night after night would insure that I never think. So it's a matter of making the impeccable choice.

Knowing that we are creatures who thrive on pleasure and shun pain, it is our nature to feed the one and avoid all avenues leading to the other. And yet, what's important is not to confuse pain with hard work on the spiritual realm. It's our definitions that rule us every bit as much as how we apply ourselves to our individual journeys toward evolution. If we choose to define "pain" as anything requiring effort, we have fallen victim to the lowest common denominator of what it means to be human. While I generally have no use for slogans, there's something to be said for the idea of "no pain, no gain." We can no more expect our immortal "soul" to be healthy through neglect than we could expect our bodies to be healthy if we too much fast food, drink too much whiskey, and exercise only by raising the fork from the plate to the mouth.
We have to do the work, and it is a moment-to-moment, day-to-day mindset that guides us to always be making the choices that will further our cohesive consciousness instead of detracting from it.

Whenever we succumb to our lowest common denominator, whenever we decide, "Well, I'm only human," we have admitted defeat before ever taking the first step on the path. Whenever we decide to live down to that lowest common denominator instead of living up to our highest potential, we are consigning ourselves to the dust, and this is clearly not impeccable.

But impeccability requires hard work, and that's not what anybody wants to hear.  It wasn’t what I wanted to hear when I first talked to Orlando and he began by asking one simple question:  “Who are you?”

The answer I gave at the time was some pathetic recitation of what I believed to be a very impressive list.  “I’m a professional writer. I’m in a relationship that’s lasted for 20 years. I’m a martial artist and a horsewoman and a real estate agent.”

To which Orlando replied, “Yes, I’m sure all of those things are true, but they’re what you do. Who would you be if there were no more books to write, if your relationship were to end tomorrow, if you could no longer be involved in martial arts or horsemanship, if you did not define yourself by your job? Who are you, Della?”

I could not answer. And it was that single question which launched me on this dark and treacherous journey. I call it dark because it is not a traditional path. It cannot be called a path to enlightenment alone, for I’ve discovered that light can only be perceived from the darkness. Without the existence of the darkness, light itself would not exist.  And, ultimately, to deny the darkness within ourselves is to deny at least half of who we are. We are yin and we are yang, and another dark truth is that it will take both working together in balance and harmony to propel us into our evolution of consciousness. Why?  Because it is often from the so-called dark side of the human soul that our strongest motivation comes. If we are not hungry, we have no reason to hunt or farm and so we perish. If we do not experience fear when presented with danger, we fail to run or fight and so become prey for predators, whether human or otherwise.

But perhaps most importantly, if we do not feel real grief when we stare our own mortality in the face, we have absolutely no reason to want to live forever - if not in physical manifestation, then through the energetic vessel of the double, as a singularity of consciousness. Unconditional love is the primary motivating force behind this journey. The love I have for life, for all its beauty, and for the ones with whom I share this journey is so profound that I am compelled to turn over every proverbial rock in search of an answer that might allow us to continue this wondrous existence into infinity. So in that way, it is truly love which motivates the journey, yet without turning to face the opposite side of love (loss), we live in a false and an all too temporal garden.

Sadly, most people simply will not look at the darkness at all, and it's interesting to note that one of the primary programs currently being uploaded into all of us in this Western culture teaches us to live for the right now, grab what pleasure we can, to hell with the environment, to hell with tomorrow. The results of this are obvious. We live in a fast food world of indescribable pollution, irreparable damage to the planet, destruction of the rain forests, the extinction of thousands of species due to Man's greed, and horrors so heinous no sane individual can look at them head on and not feel outraged, horrified and overwhelmed. We've lost respect for ourselves as a species, and so most people don't even look at what they're doing or what they can do, turning instead to the false security of inane sitcoms or organized religions.  (Is there really any difference?)

What can we do about it? On an individual everyday level, we have to acknowledge the problems before we can even begin to solve them, and that's a matter of each and every person making a commitment to themselves in whatever manner they feel appropriate. On a more spiritual level, we have to turn and see the darkness before we can even begin to realize what's at stake. We have to acknowledge that we can lose the very air we breathe before we have any real motivation to change our behavior. But more than that, on a far, far deeper level, we have to acknowledge that we can lose the Self - the very I-Am consciousness - before we will find any reason to turn off the t.v., get up off the church pew, turn off the computer, and go take a long look in our own mirror, asking ourselves the first question:

"Who are you, Self?"

I once said to a fellow traveler that it has taken 10 billion years of collective evolution for the atoms of my being to come together in exactly this manner which I recognize as "Della". I have no conscious awareness of having existed before, and though I realize a great many people subscribe to the ideas of "reincarnation," I see little evidence for its existence beyond a mere molecular level. Yes, the "molecules" of Marie Antoinnette and the Marquis de Sade are still here. They have always been here and always will be. Perhaps there are even ingrams of sentience still attached to some of those energetic molecules, thus we might have a "feeling" that we were once part of Marie Antoinnette and mistake that feeling for some sort of proof that we live again, when in actuality it's only a recurrence of the molecules and not a recurrence of old Marie herself.
Each of us has within ourselves the molecules of eternity. We might just as well say we were once a tyrannosaurus rex as to say we were once Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth I. Both are equally true. Both are equally irrelevant to the survival of our individual consciousness, the "I Am" we are right now.
I offer these ideas not to open a debate, for those who Truly Believe in reincarnation will not be swayed from that belief system any more than a true Christian can acknowledge that perhaps Jesus found the way, the truth and the life, but he himself was not the way, the truth and the life for anyone aside from himself. I offer these ideas, instead, in the hopes of encouraging every seeker to turn and really look into their own mirror and see what will be lost if we don't evolve. It's you. All that you are. All that you love. All that you have ever seen or experienced or known.

In the movie, Blade Runner, Roy Batty makes an incredible speech as he sits poised on the rooftop, on the edge of the abyss, knowing he is about to die.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Time to die.
-Blade Runner, copyright © 1982, Warner Bros. Pictures

This is the voice of consciousness railing at its own mortality, and until each of us turns and looks in our mirror to confront what will be lost like tears in the rain, perhaps we are depriving ourselves of our strongest human potential - the potential to choose and embrace our own evolution of consciousness into eternity.

How is this done? That's the question and that's the journey. But without first asking that question, without first confronting that the thing we stand to lose is the Self, no journey is possible. Until we grieve our own mortality and go to our own funeral, we exist in the comfortable world of illusions, safe in our individual temporal garden. So in that way, the old legends of being thrown out of Eden might have some value as allegory. Until we stand naked before ourselves, tiny insignificant creatures looking out at a vast and infinite void, we simply have no reason to take action.

Of course, part of the journey is coming to recognize that we are really not the tiny, insignificant creatures we have been programmed to think. For on the other side of that "dark" molecular structure is the realization that we are far more than any tyrannosaurus rex or Marie Antoinnette or QEII. We are the entire universe, for the simple reason that we are comprised of exactly the same star stuff as the universe itself, and the universe is imbued with sentience. We can become eternally conscious if we can figure out the puzzle. Or we can surrender our atoms - but far more horrifically, we will surrender our very consciousness - back into that void if we don't evolve.
The sentient universe is neither loving nor hateful.  It is neither god nor devil. It simply exists, containing all possibilities. What determines which of those possibilities actually go through the formality of actually occurring is entirely up to the Creator.  There is only One Creator.
 You are The One.

While this is an intriguing thought, we don't achieve a state
of perfection by default. We achieve it by doing The Work.
New age enthusiasts like to refer to humans as “beings of light”. And yet, these are only hollow words, for as much as we are moved by beauty or art, we are equally as affected, perhaps even thrilled in a negative sense by extreme ugliness or the human capacity for destruction. In fact, we are far more likely as a species to watch the latest video of the bombing of (fill in the blank) than we would be to tune in to PBS to see the collected works of the great masters simulcast with Mozart or even Pink Floyd. In short, we are creatures of darkness every bit as much as we long to be “beings of light”, and it is the two halves of our souls working in creative balance that will eventually enable us to answer that question: Who are you?

That isn’t to say this is a path that promotes negativity or dark thoughts. But neither does it attempt to downplay those parts of ourselves by pretending they don’t exist, or by trying to disguise them as flaws to be overcome. We are human, and as such we are as much enthralled by an airplane crash as by the flight of the eagle, and there is a very good reason for this. We perceive in opposites - light/dark, good/evil, black/white, on/off, true/false, life/death, pain/pleasure. Without juxtaposition of perception, we cannot begin any real exploration. So to those so-called "wisdom methods" coming into current popularity which teach "only the light" or encourage participants to "banish the darkness" within themselves... I would advise you to run like hell, for the bottom line is that any teaching which encourages us to ignore literally half of our perceptions is not a teaching we can afford, for it is a method that is attempting to re-program us into acknowledging half of what we truly are. Without friction, the wheel still won't turn.

Though I once thought myself rather odd and even completely out of step with my fellow humans, I have come to realize that many, many people in this world are simply “plugged in” to a leaning toward autumn over spring, a love of night over day, a preference for the minor-keyed melodies over Sousa marches, a case of  feeling more alive on a rainy night than a sunny afternoon. And since researching shamanism, I have come to understand that some of these tendencies are simply part of what is referred to by Arnold Mindell, Michael Harner and others as a “shamanic personality” or “shamanic initiate."

It is a case of hearing a different drummer, and many of us who choose to dance to his rhythm often find ourselves in the position of being seen as witches, heathen, devil-worshippers, or simply “weirdos” in the eyes of our consensual society peers. In reality, of course, it’s all a matter of perception. A witch is nothing more than a healer or someone who seeks to use all the tools of perception with which the human organism has been gifted – call it magic or sorcery or simply self-empowerment.A heathen is only someone with whom we ourselves do not agree as to ideology. And in order to worship the “devil” I would have to believe in the traditional version of “god”, so to my perceptions, assigning such labels to someone drawn to the shamanic path is ludicrous.

 Reality is perception.  The world will see us how it will. We will see the world through the eyes of our own perception. They will seldom if ever be in agreement.

I walk this darker path because it is the only road to enlightenment I have ever seen.  I was raised in a strict Southern Baptist environment, and as a result was exposed to Christian philosophy and theology all my life. Two of my uncles were ministers. And despite all of this, despite my (somewhat unwilling) baptism at age 7 and my wholehearted attempts to believe in God as a means to salvation, I suspect that the brains this so-called “god” gave me prevented such a system of blind faith from ever taking hold because it is counter-productive to self-survival.

I’ve often said to my Christian friends that if god exists, surely he gave us this grand computer on our shoulders to use in order to better ourselves, in order to evolve to be more than we were when we came into this world, to become more than the sum of our chemical and mental processes. In short, if god exists at all, he gave us the ability to evolve – not by waiting for him to save us, but so that we could save ourselves.

One of my most profound shamanic visions came one night in meditation. It revealed to me that the Universe (what some would call "god" or "nature" or "the all") gave all she had when she sprang into being in the first place. Nothing was withheld. The Universe gave us the blueprint for eternity, for the Universe herself is struggling to evolve in all possible ways - to become greater than the sum of her parts, greater than the combined consciousness of all her individual lifeforms stretching backward and forward into infinity. The Universe is struggling for eternal cohesion of consciousness, just as those of us on this journey are.

And in her bid to evolve, she gave each of us our highest potential, building it into us through the molecular structure of "reality" itself.  It was crystal clear to me - the Universe withheld nothing. What this means, quite simply, is that we are on our own, but with all the power of the Universe imprinted onto us down to a sub-atomic level. In other words, in that grand burst of energy that caused the very Universe to spring into existence out of whatever nothingness had existed before, everything was used.  No sentience was withheld to function as "god".

May 25, 1998

Nothing was withheld at the moment of creation.
The universe won't interfere in the affairs of man...
because it can't. 
        Before anything we currently think of as being part of the universe existed, there was only an immense void – a nothingness, the abyss, a black hole which had gathered into itself all matter and energy.  It was all there was.  Yet from the nothing – literally a thought which created itself in an act of spontaneous parthenogenesis – the “universe” sprang into being.  A thought creating itself because it wanted/needed to exist as an entity separate from the void.  It required identity. In essence, it demanded life, yet the only way for it to achieve life was to create itself from the nothing and hurl itself out in all directions, a sudden sentience breaking apart from whatever non-reality had held it previously.  Because it was a thought/creation of will, it created itself with perfection – i.e., it gave itself all possibilities needed for survival and, even moreso, it gave itself and its component parts (all of those parts, including us)  the ability to evolve in order to adapt to changing circumstances within its own continuum.

        If we think of the void as containing all of matter/energy, then the universe is the stage of time – and both together create the continuum of space/time and matter/energy.  Before the universe existed, it was perhaps contained inside a single particle no larger than an atom – yet from that single component sprang all of creation, willed into being because the “entity” we recognize as the universe had to expand beyond the sum of its individual parts – i.e., it had to evolve to be more than it was before, much like an infant being born.

         In its creation, it gave all the beings who would eventually exist within itself the ability to continue through evolution – for the ironic thing about the creation of the universe is that it gave all it had.  It won’t interfere in the affairs of man because it can’t. There is nothing left of “it” except all these individual components that comprise the all – so, in other words, there is no “intelligence” sitting outside the universe who can intervene in its destiny.  In its original creation, it used all its “parts” to create the whole – which also means that it used its full intelligence, its whole awareness, its absolute will, and in doing so, it automatically created each individual “cell” of itself with those qualities. For that reason, each of us – whether man, animal, stone, vegetable, air or distant sun – has the “blueprint” for our own unique evolution.  In creating itself to survive, the universe gave us the ability to evolve.

         The problem is that the universe and all its individual components are at constant war with the void in that it’s the nature of the void to take back what came from it and it’s in the nature of the universe to avoid being taken.  For example, through death, man is returned to the void. His consciousness would appear to be obliterated from this universe and, in time, even the flesh and bone turns to ash and the ash deteriorates to atoms. Beyond that, Man cannot perceive.

         The only way to avoid such a fate is for each individual creature to create its own continuity in the same way the universe seemingly created itself from the void. We must strive to become our own individual continuum, expanding beyond the reach of the stage we currently inhabit – i.e., we must create our own continuity by saying – willing  “I Am”, just as the universe itself originally detached itself from the void when it sprang into being from the nothingness.

      It seems inconceivable that the universe came from anything but a thought, an incredible force of need/will breaking free of whatever “reality” held it together before its “birth”.  Because we are part of that creation springing from the same exact molecular “source”, we also possess that same strength of will within ourselves – the will to survive, to be more than mere “fate” has sanctioned us to be by virtue of existing within the known universe. Just as the known universe must have existed within whatever continuum previously held it, so do we exist within it, but just as the universe had to break free of the void in order to achieve its own separate continuity, so must we break free of the known universe if we intend to evolve/survive beyond it.
As parents, we teach our children survival skills. We don’t tell them to jump in the river without knowing how to swim, and rely on mommie and daddy to save them, or to carry them to heaven after they are dead. If we are truly loving parents, we teach the children to swim so that they can save themselves. Surely the Universe would do no less for her children.

Evolution through intent and will is the swimming lesson.


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