Here it is then, my last blog post and podcast. Happy Spring Time!
I: Fathoming the Rule
I am in a dimly lit room discussing the Kennedy assassination with a second person. More than just discussing it, we are almost reliving it. The forces behind the assassination, dark sorcerers, are trying “to turn the abyss inside out.” They are attempting this “because it is impossible.”
I mention the play Macbeth, saying that it is a good parallel to the assassination (I remembered later that it was performed in the White House, just prior to Kennedy’s death). The other person thinks about it then disagrees. Macbeth was about slaying the king in order to become the king. “They” killed Kennedy for far more complex and less human reasons than mere worldly ambition. Yet the parallel does exist. I state that the emotions involved in the Kennedy assassination, ambition bordering on insanity, greed, envy, fear, hatred, remorse, despair, hunger for power, are similar to the emotions that run, like pigment, through Shakespeare’s darkest play.
I am discussing with someone Carlos Castaneda and his books. That someone is informing me there is a basic and profound flaw in the works (something about the Sun and the Eagle?), and that “they are not to be trusted.” My realizing and accepting this painful truth is a test of my warrior’s spirit. It is the equivalent of a religious man’s test of faith, or of the existential crisis of an atheist. It may in fact be somewhere between the two, since a sorcerer is neither religious nor atheistic. Perhaps it is akin to a Gnostic who must accept that he is really agnostic, i.e., does not know, as yet, and cannot take it on faith.
For over two decades, I have “followed” (attempted to live by) as rigorously as I have been able the teachings found in Castaneda’s books. It is perhaps only a slight exaggeration to say that they got me where I am today. Yet these books are not to be trusted? If so, this is true of all written works. This fact, or realization (that anything that can be written down is false), is doubly challenging to me as a writer.
Whatever I believe, and whatever I write (being founded in what I believe), is flawed, incomplete, potentially misleading at best, at worst counterproductive. At first this seems like a terrible truth. Then I realize that, “I have to write, I have no choice.” So it doesn’t really matter, does it? Well, does it?
Perhaps the danger is in believing in the sanctity and infallibility of my own words, thoughts, and intellect, as Castaneda apparently did, and so falling into “the pit of Because”? Another point that is raised is that “people read in order to relax.” This is what attracts people to books, and to written doctrine: the unconscious fact that, by engaging the intellect, they are able to relax and feel temporarily at peace. In a sense, we trick ourselves into believing, just as when we read a novel, in order to find comfort and solace in this abstract realm of thought and belief.
People read to relax. Some people even read Nietzsche to relax. (I was one of them.)
The fact is that (as I deduced later, in waking consciousness, not in the dream), the same formidable intellect that allowed Castaneda to communicate these energetic truths made him unable, finally, to grok them. Witness the first of his books, The Teachings of Don Juan, a third of which is devoted to an unreadable appendix called “A Structural Analysis,” in which Carlos attempts to wrestle the Imaginal realities he has just recounted so marvelously, down to the rubber mat of reason, or rational understanding. Exactly so far as he succeeds in this endeavor, so far does he strip the experiences of their magic, power, or meaning, in the process revealing himself as an unwitting clown, a dancing rational lunatic, with Infinity taking pot-shots at his feet.
I have no choice but to write. But I have a choice about what I believe.
The death defiers, old seers who would turn the Abyss in on itself, are driven by the terror and the hubris that comes from knowing that what they aspire to is impossible. This gives them a (false) sense of heroism, or romance, about what they are doing.
Their goal, their Opus Magnus, is the “Higher Identity” of individual Godhead.
What They cannot or will not accept or understand is that this can never be. There is and can never exist any such “higher identity.” It is a false goal, made real by a desperate hunger to attain it. It is an abstract falsehood.
The reason is this:
The Universe is designed to ensure that “personal intent” can never exist on the other side of the Abyss (or even once we are in it).
Personal intent relates to—stems from—personal history.
A Man of Knowledge (don Juan Matus, for example) is someone who has erased every last trace of personal history, and with it the personal self. There is no more nor less to it than this, and Castaneda may have unwittingly glorified and mystified what is really an incredibly simple, though monumentally hard, accomplishment. This is both why and because he could not attain it himself.
Castaneda’s works are his attempt to erase personal history by writing (and reinventing) it. But since he failed at this, they remain contaminated by that history, as pure water that has passed through a dirty filter.
I am discussing this now with Lyn Birkbeck, fellow warrior-traveler.
If there is even one scrap of personal history left the moment a sorcerer attempts to cross the Abyss, the “Eagle” rejects the sorcerer and spits him out. He may be destroyed or he may be given a second chance, depending on factors beyond my understanding at this time (Matus, in Power of Silence, was given a second chance. He died but the “Eagle” rejected him, so he began a new cycle of life. All this is very unclear.)
That single scrap of personal history could be anything at all: the way a piece of candy tasted, the memory of a breeze on a summer’s day, it doesn’t matter. That one tiny scrap of memory (attachment?) will destroy everything, and the warrior’s bid for freedom will either be delayed, or end in destruction.
“For one kiss wilt thou then be willing to give all; but whoso gives one particle of dust shall lose all in that hour.” (Book of the Law)
(Apparently this relates to the body in some way, and the idea that even the slightest thought, pertaining to self-consciousness, at the Crossing of the Abyss will be magnified to Infinity. It will cause a blockage in the circuit and the entire organism will “short.”)
There is an odd interlude in the dream in which I am a Sherlock Holmes type character, sneaking into the sleeping quarters of the old seers (the dark side sorcerers), and carrying the leader out while he sleeps, laying him down in the middle of a trafficked highway so that he is rudely awoken by the sound of traffic. He then realizes he has literally been “caught napping.”
The head sorcerer takes it well, however, as do his cohorts. They seem to have no problem admitting that “Sherlock” has got the better of them. Yet nor do they cease their efforts to find a loophole in space-time (a glitch in “the Rule”), by which they can cheat Death, the Universe, Karma, divine law. In the dream this is represented by their trying to get a TV to pass whole through the Abyss, and failing every time (the TV gets bounced back).
In the most obscure, intense, and mysterious part of the dream, I am with don Juan and Carlos for a time. We are in a large mansion, belonging to some rich friends of Carlos, where he stays sometimes, mooching. Carlos takes notes about everything.
Then he leaves, and I am alone with don Juan. The telephone rings, he gets it. It is Carlos, collect-calling from some distant place. I ask don Juan if this is the first time he has done this, don Juan shakes his head, no. He accepts the charges, explaining to me that, though extremely annoying, Carlos is also very useful. He always asks the right questions.
Apparently they (the new seers) are using Carlos to get their doctrine out. I suspect that Carlos himself either never suspects or is unable to accept it, but the fact is that he is only allowed to spend time with the seers so that he can write it all down. Otherwise, he would be unwelcome in their world. It may be this basic, incontrovertible fact that accounts for the “flaw” in his writing. Then again, it may not.
Don Juan is extremely crude with Carlos, seeming to take pleasure in shocking him. Carlos makes some realization about the body, and don Juan replies curtly, “the fucking body is for fucking, yes.”
This statement, so far as I can glean later, relates to organic existence. The actual reason for bodies to exist is in order to engage in carnal experience, yes; but this is not simply for the bodies’ satisfaction. It is rather that bodies, our bodies, are created by the Universe/Eagle in order to perpetuate Itself. The goal of the Universe (and of the body) is to create perfect vessels for its awareness to reside in (the awareness of the Universe, as opposed to the personal self).
There is a profound and obscure point that Matus makes here, with the words: “The original sin was death.”
So far as I can deduce from this, it implies that man did not come to know death because he sinned, but that dying—or perhaps the sense of a separate self that can die—is itself synonymous with and indistinguishable from “sin.”
For this reason, death is the ultimate mark of “failure” for the Man of Knowledge. If he truly be a man of knowledge, death is the ultimate impossibility.
It may be that the death defiers seek to defy the Universe by gaining personal immortality (“higher identity”), and that, over time, as they realize the folly of this, they gradually “evolve” into beings who seek to defy the Universe by being erased, by “dying.” Both these things are forbidden, are in fact the only two impossibles, in a Universe of possibilities.
“Death is forbidden, o man, unto thee.” (Book of the Law)
Again talking with astrologer Lyn.
This is how the Universe is arranged, and the Eagle’s gift to the warrior:
A warrior continues for an indeterminate time on his or her path with a heart. During this period (which is the exact duration of the warrior’s life as an individual self), he or she remains as if within an isolated space, a kind of cosmic quarantine. While s/he slogs away, keeping to the path of freedom, increasingly doubtful of ever attaining it, the only thing that keeps the warrior on this path—continuously focused on both the end, freedom, and the means, discipline—is his or her “personal intent,” or will.
At a given point, however, a point which none but the Universe can determine, something gives. A bubble bursts, a lid is lifted, the Universe quite “literally’ (energetically speaking!) lets the warrior “out of the bag.” Once s/he is removed from the isolated space or “quarantine,” the warrior is then drawn inexorably through the “portal,” to freedom. In this final phase, no volition or personal intent is required on the part of the warrior. In fact, it is not even possible.
I deduce from this that the Universe does indeed apply a kind of quarantine, which ensures two things. Firstly, that no individual may attain freedom—i.e. become a vessel for divine consciousness, a Son of God—through will or desire alone. They must in effect be selected, by the Universe, to receive this breathtaking gift.
This prevents the possibility of unscrupulous sorcerers, driven by superhuman thirst for power, attaining “higher identity” and becoming, as it were, fickle gods. It may easily be seen how this would quickly bring about the end, not only of the Universe, but of the Multiverse and of “God” Itself. (This may indeed be the ultimate goal and abstract falsehood of the death defiers, but let’s not go there!)
Secondly, and more directly pertinent to our concerns, this quarantine measure ensures that every warrior who remains on the path-with-a-heart for the necessary duration, will attain freedom, through no specific act or achievement of their own, merely by virtue of endurance, persistence, and, if you will, faith.
This is a necessary rule. If personal volition had anything at all to do with those all-decisive moments in which a warrior makes the final bid for freedom, it would be impossible, utterly impossible, for the fear of failure not to bring about such failure. The personal self, Poe’s imp of the perverse, being what it is, there would be no way to override the contrary impulse, and will ourselves to fail. Out of sheer desire for freedom, our fear of not attaining it would invariably win out (the greater the desire, the greater the fear).
Another way of saying this is that the personal self cannot ever will its own erasure. It must be tricked into surrendering. But the governing power is not the warrior’s but the Universe; as such, the Universe always gets its way and the warrior, provided he hang in there long enough, invariably attains freedom.
Having thought about it since the dream, I intuit that there are three basic options for the individual who has embarked upon the warrior’s way, or path with a heart, and three alone. They are these.
1) To persist in the warrior’s way (a.k.a. “the path of righteousness,” “service of Spirit,” etc), and endure the time of “incubation” or quarantine, until such a time as the Universe breaks the seal and we return to our True Selves. (“A warrior is waiting and a warrior knows what he is waiting for.”)
2) To tire of and lose faith in the warrior’s way, and return to the heartless path of an unexamined life, complete with personal history, personal self-ness (everything is personal for the ordinary man), and a final, very personal death. This is by far the most common “failure” for the warrior—giving up.
3) Finally, there is the fool’s option, to defy the Rule. This is the way of the old seers (and presumably some new ones), by which they opted neither to persist in the warrior’s way, nor to return to the ranks of ordinary ignorant humanity. Instead, they chose to forge their own path against the current, attempting to “turn the abyss inside out” and so escape the inexorable Law of Karma. This is the uncommon route to failure, and leads to such dire consequences that “failure” can hardly be considered the word. Damnation might really be more accurate.
In all cases, note that CHOICE is involved. This is the final beauty and power of the warrior’s way. Warriors take responsibility for the choices open to them, and make their choices accordingly. This is why there is no reason for fear on a path with a heart. Only that can befall us which we consciously elect to experience.
The beautiful paradox of this is that, in the end, a warrior has no choice. He or she has accepted that the only possible freedom comes from surrendering the personal self to the “Rule,” God’s Will, the Law of the Divine.
II: A Glimpse of the Map
If enough books were written to fill the world, they would tell but a small part of all the things our Lord has said and done. Words to this effect are written by John, in his Gospel, regarding the life and Ministry of Christ.
The night after the above revelation, I dream again, so extensively as to wake thinking of these words of John.
To survive this apotheosis now occurring, the first thing I will have to let slide is my need to write it all down! My secret life is unfolding faster and more vastly than I can ever hope to chronicle, without driving myself insane in the attempt (viz a viz, Carlos Castaneda!).
This is not what it seems. Nothing is.
Suppose you were to begin tapping into the awareness—the memories—of the Universe? Starting with those closest to us, our ancestors? Is this how it would feel?
I have just lived a lifetime—maybe more—in a single night’s dreaming. Woken half a dozen times throughout the experience, soaked in sweat, each time with a new fragment, what Castaneda called “a block of intensity,” to assimilate. No time to assimilate, back to sleep I go, on to the next block.
They are all tied together, these memories. This is surely considerably stranger—more bizarre, maddening, and self-transforming—that any so-called “past-life” recall. That at least would still be linear. This is not a linear remembering. These memories are of people, places, events, times gone and times yet to come, and they are all happening right now.
Something has been lifted, some seal broken. The human form, perhaps—finally slipping away? I can only pray. It is like a flood gate lifted, for a moment, then lowered again. And in that moment, the waters of my individual consciousness have risen: there is more, so much more now; but at the same time, since a flood also submerges, there is less. Less of an “I” to remember this.
“I” is becoming a multiplicity, an intricate, beautiful tapestry of memory, of souls interwoven into a single unfolding, a universal life, the life of a Universe. It is sweet, but devastating.
“The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold and it’s overturned the order of the soul.”
—Cohen, “The Future.”
Towards the end of the night (it is dawn as I write this), I dreamed of explaining to a group of people—players in the dream remembrance, characters whom I see aging, growing old as life passes and is done—that three generations of my family went to that park bench. My father, to meet my mother there. Myself to visit that place. And my son, for the same reason. The pilgrimage of the generations.
The “fact” that I do not have a son and that the park bench is now gone, along with the rest of that city (and how fittingly “apocalyptic”!), matters not. This is a symbolic description of a magikal truth, no more.
We live out our individual threads within a cosmic weaving. We are a single strand in a collective DNA, “individual” only so far as the strand cannot be divided, is a whole, unique strand unto itself, yes; but no more separate than the cells of the body are separate.
Also towards the end of the night, I am in this same “room,” seemingly filled with all the people who appeared and reappeared throughout the dreaming (dozens, perhaps hundreds of them). An old man comes from elsewhere to show me a small scrap of paper, a map, including two particular stars that I am to “keep before my eyes” at all times.
I don’t recognize the names of the stars, and the man is pushed or pulled away before he can do more than point them out to me (on the scrap of paper).
I suspect that this man was also among my ancestors, yet he seemed to pertain to another realm than the rest, and even to be somewhat unwelcome among them. He was pulled away by a kind of vortex.
A storm is coming, to wipe clean the world. I see the beginning of that storm, the vortex. Everyone there knows it (perhaps this is why they dislike the man?).
Our collective madness cannot shield us from the elements, because the storm is within us, as well as without. It is the unfolding of our secret souls.
We are all of us unimaginably huge, vast beyond our imagining, perhaps even beyond our capacity to imagine. This is not some mystic truth. This is a practical, individual reality; it is happening—to us and through us—right now.
The consciousness (body) that presently contains an incomplete fragment of our personal history is built to hold the memories of Infinity.
Before I wake I raise my arms in front of me in response to the crushing force of this revelation as it is both bearing down on me and, conversely, bursting out of me. It is close now, close to the time.
Anamnesis. Nothing will ever be the same.
The deluge is upon us.