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Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby Clockwork Ghost » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:17 pm

Before I post this, I just want to assure everyone that I fully understand that Carlos Castaneda was a fraud. That fact shouldn't detract from the fact that his books are full of incredible ideas and concepts regarding Toltec shamanism. I've spoken to people who have themselves studied this form of shamanism, or ones very similar to it, and they confirm that Castaneda's books faithfully describe the system. It's extremely sad that when Castaneda was 'outed' at having invented Don Juan people assumed that his books were just fantasy. If you wish to read more of the teachings of Don Juan, presented first person without Castaneda's commentary, then check out the site below.

http://www.prismagems.com/castaneda/

Below is an excerpt from 'The teachings of Don Juan' which describes the four stages, or 'enemies', that someone has to progress through and overcome in order to become a 'man of knowledge'. I know its really long, but it's worth a look if you have a moment.

Carlos Castaneda: The Four Natural Enemies of Knowledge
A man of knowledge is one who has followed truthfully the hardships of learning, a man who has, without rushing or without faltering, gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of power and knowledge. To become a man of knowledge one must challenge and defeat his four natural enemies.

When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning.

He slowly begins to learn--bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield.

And thus he has stumbled upon the first of his natural enemies: fear! A terrible enemy--treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting. And if the man, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy will have put an end to his quest and he will never learn. He will never become a man of knowledge. He will perhaps be a bully, or a harmless, scared man; at any rate, he will be a defeated man. His first enemy will have put an end to his cravings.

It is not possible for a man to abandon himself to fear for years, then finally conquer it. If he gives in to fear he will never conquer it, because he will shy away from learning and never try again. But if he tries to learn for years in the midst of his fear, he will eventually conquer it because he will never have really abandoned himself to it.

Therefore he must not run away. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid, and yet he must not stop. That is the rule! And a moment will come when his first enemy retreats. The man begins to feel sure of himself. His intent becomes stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task.

When this joyful moment comes, the man can say without hesitation that he has defeated his first natural enemy. It happens little by little, and yet the fear is vanquished suddenly and fast. Once a man has vanquished fear, he is free from it for the rest of his life because, instead of fear, he has acquired clarity--a clarity of mind which erases fear. By then a man knows his desires; he knows how to satisfy those desires. He can anticipate the new steps of learning and a sharp clarity surrounds everything. The man feels that nothing is concealed.

And thus he has encountered his second enemy: Clarity! That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds. It forces the man never to doubt himself. It gives him the assurance he can do anything he pleases, for he sees clearly into everything. And he is courageous because he is clear, and he stops at nothing because he is clear. But all that is a mistake; it is like something incomplete. If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy and will be patient when he should rush. And he will fumble with learning until he winds up incapable of learning anything more. His second enemy has just stopped him cold from trying to become a man of knowledge. Instead, the man may turn into a buoyant warrior, or a clown. Yet the clarity for which he has paid so dearly will never change to darkness and fear again. He will be clear as long as he lives, but he will no longer learn, or yearn for, anything.

He must do what he did with fear: he must defy his clarity and use it only to see, and wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps; he must think, above all, that his clarity is almost a mistake. And a moment will come when he will understand that his clarity was only a point before his eyes. And thus he will have overcome his second enemy, and will arrive at a position where nothing can harm him anymore. This will not be a mistake. It will not be only a point before his eyes. It will be true power.

He will know at this point that the power he has been pursuing for so long is finally his. He can do with it whatever he pleases. His ally is at his command. His wish is the rule. He sees all that is around him. But he has also come across his third enemy: Power!

Power is the strongest of all enemies. And naturally the easiest thing to do is to give in; after all, the man is truly invincible. He commands; he begins by taking calculated risks, and ends in making rules, because he is a master.

A man at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in on him. And suddenly, without knowing, he will certainly have lost the battle. His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man, but he will never lose his clarity or his power.

A man who is defeated by power dies without really knowing how to handle it. Power is only a burden upon his fate. Such a man has no command over himself, and cannot tell when or how to use his power.

Once one of these enemies overpowers a man there is nothing he can do. It is not possible, for instance, that a man who is defeated by power may see his error and mend his ways. Once a man gives in he is through. If, however, he is temporarily blinded by power, and then refuses it, his battle is still on. That means he is still trying to become a man of knowledge. A man is defeated only when he no longer tries, and abandons himself.

He has to come to realize that the power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. He must keep himself in line at all times, handling carefully and faithfully all that he has learned. If he can see that clarity and power, without his control over himself, are worse than mistakes, he will reach a point where everything is held in check. He will know then when and how to use his power. And thus he will have defeated his third enemy.

The man will be, by then, at the end of his journey of learning, and almost without warning he will come upon the last of his enemies: Old age! This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one he won't be able to defeat completely, but only fight away.

This is the time when a man has no more fears, no more impatient clarity of mind--a time when all his power is in check, but also the time when he has an unyielding desire to rest. If he gives in totally to his desire to lie down and forget, if he soothes himself in tiredness, he will have lost his last round, and his enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge.

But if the man sloughs off his tiredness, and lives his fate though, he can then be called a man of knowledge, if only for the brief moment when he succeeds in fighting off his last, invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power, and knowledge is enough.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:19 am

i started on two books of castaneda and didn't finish them (which is rather unusual, i'm a hungry reader). they just were too macho : D

i'm not too impressed by concepts which are all about fighting - it just leaves part of being human out of sight, in my opinion.

...although it a fantastic kick to feel real courage and experience the overcoming of some of my fears, i'm happy to welcome my little scarediepie side in my life as well.
i enjoy clarity of mind fiercely, but i embrace my stupidity, sit patiently down with it and try to find the core of what the rambling words want to explain me.
i love the heady feeling of power. things rushing towards me because i want it so - this is quite exhilarating. but i experience even deeper love when i take my weak, hysterical, impotent shadow with me on the ride.

so, when tiredness comes (which should happen about now, because it's two o'clock in the morning...), i want to be able to give my body up to it with a smile, having cared for it as best as i could during the long and crazy journey...

the whole person
the whole wo-man ; )

greetings

palindrom
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby Clockwork Ghost » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:10 am

palindrom wrote:i started on two books of castaneda and didn't finish them (which is rather unusual, i'm a hungry reader). they just were too macho : D


I know exactly what you mean. I've read all of the Don Juan books, but not all the material concerning Don Juan published by all the other authors. The thing that got to me the most about Castaneda's books wasn't so much the macho feel of them as the sheer stupidity Castaneda displays time and time again. He is constantly presented by a way of life completely alien to his own, and takes absolutely forever to immerse himself in it. I mean, he was supposedly an anthropologist, but all he ever does is complain about things.

palindrom wrote:i'm not too impressed by concepts which are all about fighting - it just leaves part of being human out of sight, in my opinion.


Yeah, definitely. The Toltec paradigm Castaneda descibes is extremely confrontational, but it stresses that all warriors must also be men of knowledge. You can be the most powerful warrior there is, but if that isn't backed by knowledge then you have nothing.

palindrom wrote:i enjoy clarity of mind fiercely, but i embrace my stupidity, sit patiently down with it and try to find the core of what the rambling words want to explain me.


You too? I'm very much the same. I'll post things on forums, then go back over and over and change little details about them. Sometimes I have to read things a few times before I'm absolutely sure I've written what I was trying to say. I find divination tools, like tarot cards, to be a good way to listen to myself - drawing a card and wondering what it means to me helps me hear the voice inside.

palindrom wrote:i love the heady feeling of power. things rushing towards me because i want it so - this is quite exhilarating. but i experience even deeper love when i take my weak, hysterical, impotent shadow with me on the ride.


I love the feeling of standing in before something so epically powerful and huge that you realise you are nothing to it, then actually being able to talk to it, and have it respond to you. I love the way that supernatural entities will play a game with you, even though they fully realise that you are human and they are not - the way that they take on human characteristics and flaws so that we can relate to them. Many a time I've thought 'I just spoke to a god! What the hell was I thinking?', only to spend the next half hour laughing my ass off.

palindrom wrote:so, when tiredness comes (which should happen about now, because it's two o'clock in the morning...), i want to be able to give my body up to it with a smile, having cared for it as best as i could during the long and crazy journey...


100% behind you there. I work strange hours, and try to keep up with friends on-line too, so by the time I get to bed I'm completely buggered, only to wake up in a few short hours and do it all over again.

palindrom wrote:the whole person
the whole wo-man ; )


If you wish to, maybe consider checking out the Prismagems page I've linked above - it contains just the teachings of Don Juan, not the commentary. The guy who runs the page has taken out all the crap, and left just the key philosophy. It still talks about the same things, but it's much less confrontational.

Hope you have a good sleep [thumbup]
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:08 pm

hey Clockwork_Ghost : )

Yeah, definitely. The Toltec paradigm Castaneda descibes is extremely confrontational, but it stresses that all warriors must also be men of knowledge. You can be the most powerful warrior there is, but if that isn't backed by knowledge then you have nothing.


and vice versa, i'd say... i like the word "confrontational" instead of "macho" - it leaves, the gender-thingy out of the picture, thanks for giving me this "new" word.
(i'm getting into starhawks books at the moment, and i'm intrigued by her pointing out that certain ways of using words, which words you choose, can make it impossible to create really new scenarios - she talks especially about the language of violence. this only in brackets, but it is the point which drove me off castanedas books the most)

I find divination tools, like tarot cards, to be a good way to listen to myself - drawing a card and wondering what it means to me helps me hear the voice inside.


ja, tarot is really good to get yourself talking to your own deep layers...
although i enjoy also the "instant divination" - thinking something, and getting the commentary from the universe right away, in form of a person saying something in the train, a commercial i walk by, a bird flying, a book i open at random... it's fun [grin2]
but, as i wrote, it is really important to me to exercise patience and loving care with myself when i'm not getting the signs, when i don't want to get the signs and my head tells me really stupid stuff - that's the times i want to find the right mixture of being stern, a bit of humor, and lots of love and understanding.
castaneda writes of this too, as far as i remember, his teacher-persons have this kind of attitude. but i just don't really like his stile...

...you know what? i think i just don't really like people who are "playing teacher" : D
i love to learn, and i love to learn from people, but there is a certain twist that can happen between pupil and teacher which i try to avoid (i'm a singing-teacher myself). it's about the balance, i guess, being on the same level as humans, or as beings if the contact is with a non-human.
even if one is the pupil and the other the teacher...

the link you set is great. i didn't read it all by now of course, but the chapter "the power of silence" drew me in right away - thanx!

I love the feeling of standing in before something so epically powerful and huge that you realise you are nothing to it, then actually being able to talk to it, and have it respond to you. I love the way that supernatural entities will play a game with you, even though they fully realise that you are human and they are not - the way that they take on human characteristics and flaws so that we can relate to them. Many a time I've thought 'I just spoke to a god! What the hell was I thinking?', only to spend the next half hour laughing my ass off.


that's a great description, thank you for sharing it! : )
as i wrote in my introduction, it's not so long since i'm doing magic (conciously), and my main work apart from beginners-exercises has been with runes - and they simply are not gods/godesses (am still not entirely clear what they are, hehe, but they're fantastic, i love them)

I work strange hours, and try to keep up with friends on-line too, so by the time I get to bed I'm completely buggered, only to wake up in a few short hours and do it all over again.


...welcome to the club...

have a good day! [yay]

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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:52 pm

...i've been reading some more in the chapter "the power of silence", and i came across the very thing that i don't like about magick, never did, still don't.
it's the concept of ruthlessness. i simply can't stomach it.
the idea of being ruthless and pityless in order to have clear intention in order to bring my will to become reality - i just don't like it.

are there other ways to do magick?

what about, let's say, being guileless, with the least possible fetterings of real and unreal, unhampered by might- and ruling-ideas, in order to be able to imagine in wide open space so it might become true?

...i suppose this is what castaneda would call the art of dreaming. but all in all he seems to focus very much on this stalking-idea, which i frankly find too passive-aggressive.

i like it if the communication with the universe is a dialog, and i'm not in the least interested in seeing in death my only worthy opponent...
death can be my dancing partner - or better still: one of them ; )

greetings

palindrom

p.s.: i love the idea of the "assembling point" - that's great!
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby Clockwork Ghost » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:43 am

palindrom wrote:...i've been reading some more in the chapter "the power of silence", and i came across the very thing that i don't like about magick, never did, still don't.
it's the concept of ruthlessness. i simply can't stomach it.
the idea of being ruthless and pityless in order to have clear intention in order to bring my will to become reality - i just don't like it.


For me, this comes down to the inherent differences between the Right Hand Path (RHP) and the Left Hand Path (LHP). LHP magick can be very confrontational by nature, as it involves actively going against societal norms, religious or spiritual dogma, and cultural taboos. LHP is ruthless in its approach, as it openly encourages direct rebellion. As Mogg Morgan wrote, the breaking of taboos can make magick more potent, and can lead to reintegration and liberation. A non-magickal example of this would be the eating of meat in a vegetarian community, or anal intercourse in a sexually inhibited straight society.

RHP magick, on the other hand, tends to adhere to some form of moral code, such as karma or the Threefold Law. The Threefold Law states that whenever you put out any form of energy, that energy will be returned to you three times. If you approach a situation in a ruthless manner, then the response to your actions will be more ruthless. If you fail to show pity, you will receive cruelty in response. The Abrahamic faiths, were they to be used solely in the way they are intended to be used (i.e. not for cruel purposes, only as expressions of compassion and love), could also be considered RHP, though not in a magickal sense.

palindrom wrote:are there other ways to do magick?


There have been quite a few occultists who have said that the RHP/LHP worldview is too simplistic. The Magistar of the Cultus Sabbati, Andrew D. Chumbley, stated that they were simply "theoretical constructs" that were "without definitive objectivity", and that both forms could be used by a magician - the magician not having to limit themselves based on whether they saw themselves as a RHP or LHP operator. Chumbley used the analogy of a person having two hands, a right and a left, both of which served the same master. Similar sentiments have been expressed by the Wiccan High Priest John Belham-Payne, who has stated that for him magick is magick.

I personally see Shamanism and some African Traditional Religion (ATR) styles of magick as embodying the concept that there is not a RHP/LHP division. Paradigms that both do not openly challenge societal and cultural norms, nor break the taboos of that culture, yet dont believe in direct causality. Any magickal system that taps directly into the subconscious in order to manifest change in accordance with the magicians application of will bypasses the need to express oneself in a rebellious way, while not requiring barriers based on good or bad deeds being reflected back, as the direct intent of the magician isn't to do harm or good, only to fully realise the inner self.

In Haitian Vodou, this search for the inner self involves the unification of the soul with the Lwa - an act that happens on a subconscious level, and therefore not one that relies on active intent. When a Vodouistant is 'ridden' by a Lwa, the act is one of full subconscious possession. The fact that the Vodouistant isn't acting outside of societal norms, is acting within their own cultural parameters, and the magick doesn't stem from rejection of religious or spiritual dogma makes Vodou not LHP. As it also doesnt serve to better the lives of anyone else other than the Vodouistant, unless the Lwa chooses to do so directly through its 'horse', and due to the fact that Vodou isn't using conscious actions, but is a subconscious act of full possession, means it isn't technically RHP either. This is only my view of such things - Vodou is much more complicated than simply possession and manifestation, and shamanism can take many forms, but I see both systems as incorporating a fully merged RHP/LHP as a whole. The over simplicity of the LHP/RHP worldview also becomes evident when you look at societal and cultural structures - Christianity can be seen as being strongly RHP as a concept, but if applied to repress the society within another country would be LHP by definition. Another example would be a lone LaVeyan Satanist - LHP Satanism is confrontational and anarchic by definition, but in isolation becomes a system of self-identification and personal growth through positive choices in relation to the self, this being a form of causality in its own right.

palindrom wrote:what about, let's say, being guileless, with the least possible fetterings of real and unreal, unhampered by might- and ruling-ideas, in order to be able to imagine in wide open space so it might become true?


You may wish to look into a form of shamanism, maybe. Toltec shamanism isn't the only option, and shamanic traditions don't have to draw from a culture, religion, or external worldview. Just listening to your own inner self and acting in accordance with what you believe your id to be telling you can be a very strong magickal experience. Becoming one with the universe through realising your own place within it doesn't require you to recognise all external factors - you can take a very nihilistic stance and see all things as an extension of Self, and therefore all magick as an extension of your own ego.

palindrom wrote:...i suppose this is what castaneda would call the art of dreaming. but all in all he seems to focus very much on this stalking-idea, which i frankly find too passive-aggressive.


To quote Don Juan:
The art of stalking is the riddle of the heart; the puzzlement sorcerers feel upon becoming aware of two things: first that the world appears to us to be unalterably objective and factual, because of peculiarities of our awareness and perception; second, that if different peculiarities of perception come into play, the very things about the world that seem so unalterably objective and factual change.


Yeah, I can see how that could be interpreted as an indirect expression of hostility through stubbornness, especially due to the fact that it says that the world is 'unalterably objective and factual'. It does say however that we can change reality through the way we view it. A common thread in Don Juan's teachings is that people cannot change objective reality - objective reality is fixed and unchangeable. This doesn't stop people from trying though, and a true warior should always try to change objective reality, even though it is impossible to do so. I don't really know if such a thing can be considered passive-aggressive; I guess it depends on what the approach of the Toltec shaman is. Do they think 'reality cannot be changed, I cannot change reality, therefore I'll simply make it look like I'm trying, but will ultimately fail'? If this is the case, then it's definitely passive-aggressive. If the shaman thinks 'Reality is unchangeable, but I can change it' then maybe it's just stubbornness and an inability to accept true objectivism.

palindrom wrote:i like it if the communication with the universe is a dialog, and i'm not in the least interested in seeing in death my only worthy opponent...
death can be my dancing partner - or better still: one of them ; )


Yeah, that sounds like lots of fun. Have you ever read Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' graphic novels? He has a very interesting approach to things such as death, desire, delirium etc. He fully personifies them, and turns them into anthropomorphic representations. Very good books, you should check them out if you haven’t done so already.

palindrom wrote:p.s.: i love the idea of the "assembling point" - that's great!


Definitely - it's a concept used over and over again in the books.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Sat Feb 07, 2015 1:34 pm

For me, this comes down to the inherent differences between the Right Hand Path (RHP) and the Left Hand Path (LHP). LHP magick can be very confrontational by nature, as it involves actively going against societal norms, religious or spiritual dogma, and cultural taboos. LHP is ruthless in its approach, as it openly encourages direct rebellion. As Mogg Morgan wrote, the breaking of taboos can make magick more potent, and can lead to reintegration and liberation. A non-magickal example of this would be the eating of meat in a vegetarian community, or anal intercourse in a sexually inhibited straight society.
RHP magick, on the other hand, tends to adhere to some form of moral code, such as karma or the Threefold Law. The Threefold Law states that whenever you put out any form of energy, that energy will be returned to you three times. If you approach a situation in a ruthless manner, then the response to your actions will be more ruthless. If you fail to show pity, you will receive cruelty in response. The Abrahamic faiths, were they to be used solely in the way they are intended to be used (i.e. not for cruel purposes, only as expressions of compassion and love), could also be considered RHP, though not in a magickal sense.


...i just feel that, if you're going against a dogma, you're still inside it.
it doesn't convince me as a way to free myself of the whole system. why should i go against a system, if i just end up being it's shadow?

but i think, inside castanedas work there is also more than just what the LHP-fans take out of it. there is this intention of crashing your own believes in order to get a free (or so it might seem) view, in order for impossible things to happen (i remember one scene in a castaneda-book where a guy walks up a tree like walking down a road).
and this, i like, very much.
i just want the revolution to happen purely inside me.

Chumbley used the analogy of a person having two hands, a right and a left, both of which served the same master.


...and two feet, and knees and elbows, and hips, and eyes and ears and lots of hair : D

i'd love to do magick with all of me

I personally see Shamanism and some African Traditional Religion (ATR) styles of magick as embodying the concept that there is not a RHP/LHP division. Paradigms that both do not openly challenge societal and cultural norms, nor break the taboos of that culture, yet dont believe in direct causality. Any magickal system that taps directly into the subconscious in order to manifest change in accordance with the magicians application of will bypasses the need to express oneself in a rebellious way, while not requiring barriers based on good or bad deeds being reflected back, as the direct intent of the magician isn't to do harm or good, only to fully realise the inner self.


huh, that sounds really good to me. perhaps i shoud read some more about shamanism and ATR, didn't go there yet...

...at the moment i'm doing this impossible split with rune-magick and northern teachings parallel to learning about kabbalah, and it helps me freeing my mind because the two streams are just so very different. and both are actually great, deep and age-old, and full of wisdom

In Haitian Vodou, this search for the inner self involves the unification of the soul with the Lwa - an act that happens on a subconscious level, and therefore not one that relies on active intent. When a Vodouistant is 'ridden' by a Lwa, the act is one of full subconscious possession. The fact that the Vodouistant isn't acting outside of societal norms, is acting within their own cultural parameters, and the magick doesn't stem from rejection of religious or spiritual dogma makes Vodou not LHP. As it also doesnt serve to better the lives of anyone else other than the Vodouistant, unless the Lwa chooses to do so directly through its 'horse', and due to the fact that Vodou isn't using conscious actions, but is a subconscious act of full possession, means it isn't technically RHP either.


would you say that the northern fylgia is the equivalent of a lwa?

This is only my view of such things - Vodou is much more complicated than simply possession and manifestation, and shamanism can take many forms, but I see both systems as incorporating a fully merged RHP/LHP as a whole. The over simplicity of the LHP/RHP worldview also becomes evident when you look at societal and cultural structures - Christianity can be seen as being strongly RHP as a concept, but if applied to repress the society within another country would be LHP by definition. Another example would be a lone LaVeyan Satanist - LHP Satanism is confrontational and anarchic by definition, but in isolation becomes a system of self-identification and personal growth through positive choices in relation to the self, this being a form of causality in its own right.


yes, that's how i perceive it too. for me, a system never is ment to be something absolute, simply because it depends so much on how you use it as an indiviual.

Just listening to your own inner self and acting in accordance with what you believe your id to be telling you can be a very strong magickal experience. Becoming one with the universe through realising your own place within it doesn't require you to recognise all external factors - you can take a very nihilistic stance and see all things as an extension of Self, and therefore all magick as an extension of your own ego.


or see me, assembling point, as a dancing speck of dust in the fabric of universe's coat

A common thread in Don Juan's teachings is that people cannot change objective reality - objective reality is fixed and unchangeable.


ja, i think there don juan's got a very good point, and i understand why he wants to shake people out of hanging on to their believes of what reality is forever.

the passive-aggressive stream i perceive in the castaneda-books might come from stuff like this here (out of the webpage you linked):

"Each nagual develops a brand of ruthlessness specific to him alone. Naguals mask their ruthlessness automatically, even against their will. I'm not a rational man, I only appear to be because my mask is so effective. What you perceive as reasonableness is my lack of pity, because that's what ruthlessness is: a total lack of pity."

and

"Warriors are incapable of feeling compassion because they no longer feel sorry for themselves. Without the driving force of self-pity, compassion is meaningless.
For a warrior everything begins and ends with himself. However, his contact with the abstract causes him to overcome his feeling of self-importance. Then the self becomes abstract and impersonal".

i'm just uncomfortable if a person shows, for instance, reasonableness if in truth he is just cold. or if i perceive perfectly clear that a person shows me just a mask.
this predatorlike lurking in the back of the eyes, that's passive-aggessive to me.
to me, it doesn't seem honest.

...and, that losing one's self-pity equals losing the ability for compassion simply doesn't convince me. why should losing self-pity end in losing the compassion for others? i just don't get this one. for compassion you need love and understanding, to get rid of self-pity you need sternness and - love and understanding. otherwise you just beat yourself up, and that never makes sense, in my opinion.

so, all you need to do is to be really stern with yourself, so you lose your self-pity.
and still you can practise to be loving and understanding and so on, with everybody, including yourself.

Yeah, that sounds like lots of fun. Have you ever read Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' graphic novels? He has a very interesting approach to things such as death, desire, delirium etc. He fully personifies them, and turns them into anthropomorphic representations. Very good books, you should check them out if you haven’t done so already.


i don't now neil gaiman, thank you for the recommendation.

...by the way, that's what i love about the nordthern tradition (i suppose polytheism is always like that), that death, love, strenght and so on appear as persons, as gods, or elves or dwarfes and so on...

i wish you a good weekend : )

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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby RoseRed » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:55 pm

I don't agree that all warriors lose their compassion or with his reasoning as a hard and fast rule. There are Warrior Currents that do follow that course but not the whole of them.

I find the above to be quite honest. How many people tell you flat out that you can't see through their mask? That's an invite to See what's behind it. Not everyone can.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:24 pm

hey RoseRed : )

I don't agree that all warriors lose their compassion or with his reasoning as a hard and fast rule. There are Warrior Currents that do follow that course but not the whole of them.


ja, i think, as with perhaps every way of contacting the world, one can also take the warrior-attitude in different ways. the idea of shaking one's believes and fight yourself free of what you think is "truth" counts as a warrior-attitude as well in my books.

I find the above to be quite honest. How many people tell you flat out that you can't see through their mask? That's an invite to See what's behind it. Not everyone can.


personally, i'm not a fan of dealing with myself using masks. a mask to me means an unmoving thing which i pull over me, and which is not connected with me.
i like to be connected with all that i am, though, and i don't want to hide.

...now, when i write this, i pause and think, "yes, there are parts of me which are happy to hide" : D

so perhaps i want to have hidden aspects, but i don't want to cover them with masks... it's more like i turn my inner sphere so the extroverted parts of me look out, and the others are in the back. but there is no disconnection between me and my surface.

i just think you can see it in people's eyes, how they handle themselves, how "together" they are. i definitely see in in my own eyes when i look into the mirror. they changed a lot over the last two years.

what i still want to learn better is, to let people handle this mask-or-not, be-open-or-not, be-"together"-or-not as they want, and to keep my own style at the same time.

after all, diversity is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

i wish you a good sunday : )

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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby RoseRed » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:40 pm

Ahhhh, but Casstenada is talking about his own mask in that quote. You don't have to wear one if you don't want to.

But let's be honest - we all have our masks. The parts of ourselves which get neatly tucked away when in 'polite company'. The entirety of who and what I am is not open to the masses. If some call that a mask - so be it. I call it privacy and respecting my boundaries.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:09 pm

RoseRed wrote:Ahhhh, but Casstenada is talking about his own mask in that quote. You don't have to wear one if you don't want to.

But let's be honest - we all have our masks. The parts of ourselves which get neatly tucked away when in 'polite company'. The entirety of who and what I am is not open to the masses. If some call that a mask - so be it. I call it privacy and respecting my boundaries.


...perhaps i'm just never in polite company [grin]

i don't believe in "masses". i never met anyone in my life who was "the mass". and i'm not protecting anything because of the people around me, but because of my own vulnerability - to me, this makes a real difference.

what i wanted to say in my previous post is, that for me to feel well i need to be connected with all of me as much as possible. and that when reading castaneda i saw quite a few things he, in my perception, doesn't take on board...
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby RoseRed » Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:41 pm

I haven't read Castaneda - except for whatever's been quoted here.

I believe in the masses - it's everyone else outside my front door.

I lived way out in the country in the bible belt. I learned the value of privacy and discretion. When you have a child in the local school system and your beliefs and practices are not 'acceptable' in the community you reside in - you protect those you love (including yourself). You also have to remember that I lived in a very scary place where the churches were able to rile up the masses to vandalize and trash the home of someone who's only 'crime' was overdecorating for Halloween. They called in the state police because the Bumfuck, Nowhere sheriffs deputies didn't do a damned thing about it.

There is still massive religious persecution going on in the States. You're fortunate if you haven't lived in an area like that.


The masses - the mob - every been to a stadium concert? The people are hooting and hollaring and singing along with their arms waving in the air, heads banging or bouncing in place? If you have - you've experienced mob mentality. It's not very different from the revolt I witnessed at motor vehicle one time. After waiting for hours and hours, the people in the packed waiting room were a giant ball of angst and irritation waiting to explode. One guy went off and started yelling and carrying on. The next thing I knew - about 100 got up and swarmed the desk. People were starting to climb on the counter. One person set off what could've been a firekeg.

It took one little old lady who came walking up from the back, took the microphone and DEMANDED that they all sit the hell down and knock it off. That woman had a spine of steel and stared them all down. I grabbed the kid next to me, told them to stay the hell out of it and plastered ourselves against the wall in full view of the cameras. I had no part in that.

By the time that everyone sat down, 10 cops come running in with their guns drawn. That little old lady with the spine of steel did more with her Will and Voice than 10 cops with guns did. And no one got hurt.

The masses/mob mentality - it's out there everywhere - for anyone who is not strong enough to resist it.

Going back to the thread title - I can see those as the 4 enemies of the practitioner. I don't know that I would go so far as to say mankind. Whether we like his personality or not, approve of his writings, etc is a beyond the point. The man makes some excellent points and has some incredible insights into people. I think part of why he makes so many uncomfortable is because he talks about uncomfortable things.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:30 pm

I believe in the masses - it's everyone else outside my front door.

I lived way out in the country in the bible belt. I learned the value of privacy and discretion. When you have a child in the local school system and your beliefs and practices are not 'acceptable' in the community you reside in - you protect those you love (including yourself). You also have to remember that I lived in a very scary place where the churches were able to rile up the masses to vandalize and trash the home of someone who's only 'crime' was overdecorating for Halloween. They called in the state police because the Bumfuck, Nowhere sheriffs deputies didn't do a damned thing about it.

There is still massive religious persecution going on in the States. You're fortunate if you haven't lived in an area like that.


i'm sorry to hear that - i'm swiss, living in switzerland, and in my opinion the tradition of direct democray is really grounded quite well here; everything is discussed over and over again, compromise is the way to live here...
it's not all perfect, but it's quite stable, and that's a lot as a background to live in.

and i got no children, so i don't have to put my loved ones into the supervision of people who don't share my ideas. anyway, here your kids aren't beaten up for different ways of life, but psychologically checked for their mental health and then medicated - as far as i hear...

The masses - the mob - every been to a stadium concert? The people are hooting and hollaring and singing along with their arms waving in the air, heads banging or bouncing in place? If you have - you've experienced mob mentality. It's not very different from the revolt I witnessed at motor vehicle one time. After waiting for hours and hours, the people in the packed waiting room were a giant ball of angst and irritation waiting to explode. One guy went off and started yelling and carrying on. The next thing I knew - about 100 got up and swarmed the desk. People were starting to climb on the counter. One person set off what could've been a firekeg.


ja, sure. there is this field of energy going from one to another, sweeping like a big wave if you're in a situation with many people. nevertheless, they are all individuals, we are all individuals.

naturally, i want to be like the little old lady you wrote about (i love her [grin] ). but chances are, that sometimes i will be swept away - it depends on the right trigger, and my reason gets lost. i speak out of experience.
so, i just think that all the people who freak out, they have their triggers too...

it never is an excuse for what you're doing when your'e freaking out, but there is always a reason, and it's, for your personal system, always the best solution it can find.

Going back to the thread title - I can see those as the 4 enemies of the practitioner. I don't know that I would go so far as to say mankind. Whether we like his personality or not, approve of his writings, etc is a beyond the point. The man makes some excellent points and has some incredible insights into people. I think part of why he makes so many uncomfortable is because he talks about uncomfortable things.


naturally [grin]

being pityless makes me uncomfortable - my ex did this, and i reacted to it with becoming a true devil... it was a pretty crap experience.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby RoseRed » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:37 pm

It sounds like you learned quite a bit during that time - including what you don't want to be. It may have been crap but it's part of what makes us who we are.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby palindrom » Sun Feb 08, 2015 9:13 pm

RoseRed wrote:It sounds like you learned quite a bit during that time - including what you don't want to be. It may have been crap but it's part of what makes us who we are.


yup

i learned also not to understimate the power of the word. spiritual literature is not to be taken lightly... it might lead to consequences.

have a good evening (or afternoon?)

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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby RoseRed » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:04 pm

You and me both.

Afternoon for me and you, too.
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Re: Castaneda - Four Enemies of Mankind

Postby Yeshai » Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:14 am

Before I post this, I just want to assure everyone that I fully understand that Carlos Castaneda was a fraud.


I don't believe Castaneda was a fraud. An idiot? Yes. A fraud? No. It's his teachers we are to focus on, not the reckless and idiotic life of Carlos, especially his later years.
I believe his books are legit, and it's wrong for the occult community to be so quick to dismiss such gems as fiction.
My teacher (RIP) experienced much of what Castaneda wrote about first hand. Not longer after studying under my teacher, the first thing he recommended to me was to read Castanedas books.
My life has since changed, dramatically.
Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
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