Making the Leap
There follows an excerpt from The Lucid View: Investigations into Occultism, Ufology, and Paranoid Awareness
Consensus Reality is the ultimate secret society. It is a society so secret that even its members are unaware of its existence. Consensus Reality is a conspiracy to uphold the world; it is the means by which we communicate and agree upon the way things are, and the way they must be. So far as it is a functioning model, such a Consensus is valid. Insofar as it is not a functioning model, and is, as in the present case, on the verge of breakdown, then such a Consensus is, by definition, invalid. It therefore becomes the right and responsibility of every thinking member of such a Consensus to cancel his membership, and to option a new, higher or broader concept of “reality.”
Paranoid awareness is the means to disengaging from Consensus. Paranoid awareness is a leap of the imagination, a leap that we are all preparing (or not, as the case may be) to take. Like everything else however, only more so, paranoid awareness is not what it appears to be to the uninitiated. For example, when I use the word magik, I refer not to spells or incantations, healing balms or lethal broths, night flights or animal transformations. These are no more what define magik than the contents of a laboratory define science. By magik, I refer rather to a shift in perception, a shift from one Consensus to another, a shift of the race assemblage point to a new position. (For a fuller description of the assemblage point, see the Appendix.) This preliminary goal of magik is termed by Castaneda “stopping the world,” and at this point, there can be little doubt that the world must be stopped.
Caught in a Consensus only partially of our own making, we are faced with a system of symbols, metaphors that serve only as “leads” or pointers by which to access a greater, mythic reality. Human beings partake of the lesser myth (with a small “m”) of illusory, Consensus reality, and this is the stone from which we must carve our personal myth our “belief system.” It is then up to us to use this belief system as a means to prepare for death.
The paranoid knows we can’t just make the leap over the Abyss of death. It is too wide for that. Instead, we have to build a bridge, even if we know that this bridge will never actually get us over the Abyss. Since death is a complete unknown, and therefore anything is possible, there remains the chance that we may arrive far enough to reach a point from which to make the leap into Eternity.