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 Post subject: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:59 pm 
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MBT seems to be very much in line with some of the ideas presented in the works of Carlos Castanada. I would love to read and respond to any comments.


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:48 pm 
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There are some people here who think that Castaneda's work maps quite well to MBT. Specifically, the nagual and NPMR are conceptual perfect matches, along with the tonal and PMR. Tom has used the metaphor of the warrior several times in these groups in a way that matched Castaneda's. The path of the warrior and evolving the quality of one's consciousness by pulling oneself up one's bootstraps are similar enough to be the same, conceptually. Likewise, the warrior and an individuated consciousness can only be responsible for their own progress and can blame no one but themselves for their failures - they are paths of solitude surrounded by the doings of the universe with intent being the most important component of one's progress. The primary differences between the expressed solitude of Castaneda and the implied solitude of Tom is in their respective descriptive manifold. The warrior can take no one with him and so is alone, while Tom expresses the need to interect with one's fellow man (more like Castaneda's controlled folly) but also says explicitly that this path is strictly personal.

Castaneda's Don Juan would say that Castaneda's work is "crap" for the same reason that Tom says that not everyone will get something out of MBT. Both seem to draw people attracted to the doings they describe, but MBT has value in the sense that it is a scientific theory and so will be taken more seriously by the types needing those sorts of concepts for acceptance but also offers a process for verification, scrutiny, and methodical progress for the diligent while Castaneda appeals to a less "modern western" perspective where intuition is more acceptable and the work is either accepted or rejected offering little value for the latter. I see them as really only being different in this regard. One could counter that Castaneda's work is so finely crafted that it will stick with even the most dogmatic reader and offer a continual source of disonance, and I would not disagree. One only need peruse the volume of work meant to discredit him in order to understand the stick-to-the-ribs quality of Castaneda.

That's all I have to say for now. Hopefully others will weigh in. Specifically, Ted Vollers, an active participant here, has written his own theory and has a very interesting set of influences including Tom and Castaneda. If he types up something for this topic, it will most likely be very insightful and interesting. Let's hope he does.

His web site is http://www.active-mysticism.com/


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:33 pm 
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sallen,

On the question of Carlos Castanada, I highly recommend seeing a documentary titled, Enigma of a Sorcerer. There are places about the internet where you may find it for viewing. It's a good film. That would be an excellent starting point for discovery.


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:45 pm 
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MojiDoji,

I took Rolands suggestion and viewed the documentary, "Enigma of a Sorcerer". This explained many things I had only seen hints of regarding Castaneda's activities outside of his published books. I haven't read these books for over 20 years or more and must go from memory as I have no time to get new copies and re read them. While I think that the activities, the not doings, of Don Juan described by Castaneda are very explainable by MBT concepts, I don't accept the reasons given by Don Juan for doing them, their motivations, as a good reason for their actions and treatment of others. I hope that you are not too disappointed by the following as I wrote it at your instigation. I was more accepting of their world 30 years ago, although more puzzled by it.

I do think that much of what Castaneda describes regarding Don Juan's world of the Nagual and his lineage of Naguals dating from pre Colombian times is entirely possible in light of MBT cosmology, if not precisely true as stated. Compare this to the lineage of Zen masters, starting with Bodhidharma. While Zen is a serious part of Japanese, Chinese and other cultures at this time, it once was a matter of a few monks deliberately living in obscurity and their student followers maintaining an oral tradition. Things get hazy and drift into myth in these circumstances over centuries, but there clearly was a continuing tradition and a succession of Masters passing the robe and bowl symbolic of mastership by direct transmission down the generations. We know this lineage existed, so why not a lineage of Nagual masters of comparable length. In a virtual reality, people can and do encounter events that are not expected by those limited by the expectations of the Tonal, Don Juan's term for ordinary reality, PMR and the PMR viewpoint with language based limitations of our perceptions and understanding. It is very hard to see what your intellect tells you is impossible to exist. A secret group based on esoteric practices of Naguals could certainly exist over long periods of time with no notice by those limited by their immersion in the Tonal. And in the cosmology of MBT, people could certainly incarnate with the intent of participating in this continuing series of inter related experience packets.

That so many things about the non ordinary reality world of the Nagual that Castaneda described appear to be made up or less than fully factual should be no surprise. Repeatedly Don Juan tells Castaneda to maintain the secrets of his identity and actual area of operation and specific doings. He claimed to have enemies from whom he must keep the secrets of his activities and whereabouts. If someone existed who Castaneda chose to call Don Juan Matus, do you think he would be fully truthful about his identity when he was effectively sworn to secrecy and would have been cut off from the world of the Nagual and his apprenticeship with Don Juan if he had not proven himself to be reliable in keeping their secrets? Clearly from the books, those who knew Don Juan but were not insiders of the Nagual tradition, including his own relatives, were not permitted to have a clear understanding of the nature of his activities and abilities. And this was clearly a continuing tenet of the Naguals over the centuries. During pre Colombian times they were pictured as somewhat of an elite and powerful secret society, a priesthood, with many conflicts and internal aggressions. Secrecy was a necessary attribute when one had real enemies and competitors who would kill you or destroy or take your place in society. After the arrival of Columbus and the Catholic church and the policy of suppressing native spirituality and religion, secrecy was described as an absolute necessity if you didn't want to be tortured or killed by the local Inquisition for your non Catholic beliefs and activities. And since they were shamans/sorcerers, they would have been killed as doing the devil's work. I read recently that the first published mention of a shaman pictured him in his horned mask and regalia and described him as a devil worshiper. There can be no doubt that secrecy was inherent and necessary to the history of the lineage of Naguals leading up to Don Juan and Castaneda.

One of the training concepts taught to Castaneda over time was the practice of erasing personal history. He was to break off connections to old friends and family. Possibly not actually have no contact, but to compartmentalize past history and associations and obscure any links to present associates and activities. Obscure and compartmentalize everything, let no one know what you really did or who you did it with. What no one knew about you could not be used to pin you down or lock you in to confining mental concepts and behaviors. Activities within the Tonal locked you in to the Tonal and prevented you from accessing the Nagual. What people knew about you tied you down. Particularly if they knew your full history from childhood and all of the things you ever did, good or bad, trivial or not. No prophet is believed in his own country is an old saying. Do all of your friends, family and business or professional associates know about your personal interest in spirituality, MBT and the concepts and activities discussed in these forums? Why not? Are you ashamed of these activities or does the expectations of some of your family or other associates tie you down, inhibit you in some way? How many others do you know who have any clue that there is such a thing as PMR, NPMR, VRs and OOBE, etc. or would want to know? Most of you use avatar names rather than actual names on the forums. This is standard on the Internet. Secrecy within the group associated with Don Juan was also the standard operating procedure. Apprentices were told things on a need to know, developmental basis. Castaneda was not told about the other apprentices for years. Then he was not told any more than had to be or he could figure out for himself. Do you remember when Castaneda, by chance instead of design, ran into Don Juan in the city and wearing a business suit? Castaneda was totally taken aback. He just could not envision Don Juan, the poor, Yaqui, desert dwelling, peasant Nagual, wearing a business suit in the city and all that implied about aspects of his existence that Castaneda knew nothing about. But they were also described as a multi generational lineage of Naguals and their entourages/apprentices. They were heirs to a continually maintained and developed spiritual knowledge. They were described as owning houses in various locations, not just Don Juan's small desert house. They were not just spiritual heirs to each other, they were obviously material heirs to each other with absolute commitment to the world of the Nagual. I would not be surprised that they existed as either an informal trust or in fact a formal trust with lawyer generated documentation and ownership of real property and liquid assets. They were intelligent people and generated incomes that were to some extent shared or put into the ownership of and used for the lineage. The current Nagual functioning as the chief executive officer and potentially managing considerable accumulated property with their centuries of existence. They were a family of multiple generations with membership based upon spiritual knowledge and participation rather than genetic descent.

Don Juan was looking for his successor, a task repeated by and the responsibility of every Nagual in his lineage. When he first met Castaneda, he thought that he saw the signs of a Nagual. I find no surprise in being 'introduced' to someone by NPMR interaction or prearrangement and feeling yourself to be linked to them in some way. I have experienced this more than once and Tom has described it as happening to him. Later Castaneda's energy configuration was described as not fully meeting the requirements of Nagualship. But by then, Don Juan had invested years of training in Castaneda and in the meantime, had found no other apprentice with the full Nagual configuration as a replacement. Don Juan appeared to be indicating that he had failed in his Nagualship in later books by failing to find and train a proper Nagual successor and was basically stuck with Castaneda. Castaneda was sort of released, as I understood it, together with two or three of the other apprentices, women, to basically make their way in the world as best they could. Most of the apprentices joined with Don Juan, Don Genaro, the Nagual woman of Castaneda's generation, and the apprentices of Don Juan's and Don Genaro's generation and age to leave the earth together. A ceremony was described of their participating together and burning from within, leaving the earth and ending the lineage of Nagualship with Don Juan. That no one noticed the simultaneous disappearance of perhaps two dozen people in a rural area of Mexico is not surprising. Especially since they were mostly not local to the area, were secretive in their activities and there could well in fact have been no bodies to dispose of. It was up to Castaneda to establish a new lineage or whatever he could manage on his own. This is my understanding, not fact nor clearly stated in the published books as I understood them. But it seems to match what happened into the future. I have never seen any sign that Castaneda found or selected a successor or trained a successor Nagual. But I have not followed their adventures into the present. But it seems that the Nagual lineage either ended with Don Juan or changed totally in it's attributes.

Whether some practice described by Castaneda is fully consistent with the practices of native hallucinogenic drug users is beyond my knowledge. Descriptions of the peyote cult and practices included. But that participants should interact with a consistent personification as Mescalito is not surprising. There is a world wide spectrum of evidence linking spiritual practices literally around the world as indicated by small figures that are consistent in appearance and found around the world. These small figures, clay or carved, represent ritual postures indicating the required positioning of one's body in order to participate in drum or rattle induced ecstatic trance states. The specific postures produce relatively consistent results belonging to a particular spectrum of experience to be expected when basing one's trance state on a particular posture. I will only mention Grandfather Bear that appears consistently related to shamanic initiation (which frequently involves healing the shaman to be from some illness that he suffers from) or healings in which the participant is rent asunder by Grandfather Bear and then reassembled in a better way, less their former disease. Other postures are for divination, less drastic healing, personal insight, learning new rituals and more. The origin of this present knowledge of ecstateic trance states originates with the work of Felicitas D. Goodman, Ph. D., a cultural anthropologist. See this web site for further and continuing information. http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/ So it is not surprising at all for peyote participants to consistently encounter a plant-man being as Mescalito who teaches them how to live. All of this is consistent with a VR generated by the VRRE.

Another of the not doings described in these books is the efforts of Don Juan and Don Genaro to introduce Castaneda to the concept of the dreamer and the dreamed. While out of body under the effects of the smoke from a hallucinogenic mushroom based mixture, they tried to show the Castaneda that was fumbling around out of his body that his body was lying asleep or comatose in his bed. While they could in some way manipulate and move Castaneda's dreaming body around, he had a tendency to fall out of their arms or through walls as he was not material. An apparent demonstration of NPMR interaction and reality as a virtual reality in which you can participate in more than one way. A dream in which you can dream of yourself or dream yourself. All a dream in a sense that The One is dreaming you while you are dreaming of dreaming . . .

While they spoke of intent in Castaneda's books, it was more a matter of a psi based ability resulting from accumulated personal power than Intent as considered in MBT. It was a developed ability to manipulate reality based on personal power rather than the quality and maturity of one's development in the way of MBT Intent. The accumulation of personal power was a primary concern within the world of the Nagual. It was a matter of intense, long term training and concentration and I believe that a factor in having your intent be able to produce non ordinary results was the fact that these things were done in secrecy. This permitted the psi uncertainty principle to allow these things to happen. No one would know except the participants in the world of the Nagual in general and your direct associates in particular. You learned to believe that something could be done and willed it intensely. Thus you were permitted after sufficient training and development of 'personal power' to create the desired results with NPMR approval and not violating the psi uncertainty principle by virtue of your secrecy.

The world of the Nagual included the concept of impeccability and impeccable behavior as part of living as a warrior. By the dictionary, flawless, faultless and not capable of sin. This was however never fully defined in the books by Castaneda so the dictionary definitions can only be assumed as opposed to some other specifc, esoteric meaning. I don't however take this as a statement on either conventional or MBT concepts of morality however as the amount of manipulation of the minds of the participants is questionable as a violation of their free will. They did recognize their apprenticeship as placing themselves in the hands of Don Juan and Don Genaro in something of a quid pro quo however so they can be taken to have acquiesced to their treatment in exchange for their training. At least Castaneda, if not other apprentices, also provided food and other purchased goods to Don Juan. What I have retained of the concept of living as a warrior was related to maintaining the awareness in your mind at all times that death was imminent, possibly seconds away. You were to use death as your adviser in making decisions, choosing your actions. This was to act as an agent to free you to act at any time upon the opportunities that presented themselves. I prefer the knowledge that this is a virtual reality, one of many, and that we are birthless and deathless beings and thus need not fear to act upon opportunities nor to leave at any time. We are in fact individually alone in our most basic nature and solely responsible for our own development although we do cooperate in the development of the whole of The Consciousness Reality. This is not however the goal of Nagualism.

The concept of entropy reduction and development of the quality of your being was not part of Nagualism. It was all about personal power and manipulating both your own mind and others. Nagualism in terms of practice is entirely a PMR matter. There was no concept of returning to a non physical reality or having a non physical life to which you returned. You were born and you died or you slipped past The Eagle to be free as a man or woman of knowledge. Able to explore at will with no responsibility to The Eagle or whatever it represented for future interaction. The task of the Nagual was to teach you, and learn himself, what was necessary to slip past The Eagle to freedom. The Eagle was the personification of whatever existed beyond the aperture into the next reality that periodically opened to permit the entry of those who had left their bodies at death. They eventually entered this aperture where they became food for The Eagle. I never understood any conceptualization of this beyond this bare statement. They knew that The Eagle was just a cultural metaphor based on superficial visual impressions but never explained it further. This is clearly the same aperture that Robert Monroe encountered when he traveled to the far side of reality. They also described the same apertures from which Robert Monroe stated that God's Love emanated and that Don Juan said was the source of The Eagles emanations upon which this reality was based. Symbolically these apertures would be PMR concepts of the passageway between PMR and NPMR where there is no concept of either PMR or NPMR being virtual realities within The One Consciousness. There was no conceptualization such as in MBT of what The Eagle was other than an enigma. There was no concept that The Eagles emanations were either the reality cells as the basis for consciousness reality or perhaps the incoming data stream from something like the VRRE to provide our PMR experience of consciousness. Thus no inclusion of these aspects of MBT nor any cosmology capable of explaining everything that is explained by MBT.

Carlos Castaneda, according to the documentary, "Enigma of a Sorcerer", went on to set up an extensive cult organization in which he manipulated the lives and minds of the participants. He engaged in extensive sexual relations with the women within the group. He continued the practices of Don Juan in a sense as Don Juan engaged in extensive manipulations of the minds of his apprentices including Carlos Castaneda. It was never a matter of explaning how reality worked. It was always a matter of creating awe and bafflement. It appeared that Don Juan also maintained sexual relations with the women apprentices. At least his sleeping arrangements including these women apprentices was described.

But the Nagual lineage of Don Juan did display many evidences of NPMR and potential actions within PMR making use of NPMR and the VRRE. They did not go on as Tom Campbell has done to discover a metaphysics that can explain all of the above mentioned phenomena and much more. Castaneda's world was based largely upon psychedelic drug ingestion and thus is again different from, if not the antithesis of the discoveries of Tom Campbell resulting in MBT. I used Castaneda's books to think about possibilities and to try to understand reality because I gave them credence based largely on the agreement of some parts of the books and what Robert Monroe described in his books. Specifically the two apertures as the energy flux source and as the return point. I also encountered my own vision of the aperture and The Eagle. Clearly we had been to the same place. There are many tantalizing similarities between the reality described by Robert Monroe and Carlos Castaneda. But as a basis for understanding reality in any way comparable to MBT, Castaneda's books and the world of the Nagual is a dead end. I hope my comments and conclusions have not too much disappointed you. I can remember, and fondly, many other accounts in the books, but not useful to repeat or discuss here. And I doubt that I would ever read them again or attempt to visit the places in NPMR described in Castaneda's books. I did find them useful on the way to a bigger understanding however and remember them with pleasure.

Ted Vollers


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:17 pm 
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Ted Vollers
Hi. This is Bette aka 2banon, but that identity is simply related to my email address. Your post was rich. It "made me" go look for a book I believe is called The Secret of Light that I could not locate today in my various stacks. It was written about 100 years ago and if I recall correctly had a lineage chart concerning humans with special energy with the concept of reincarnation of the energy. Your post brought this to mind, and the search resulted in me grabbing several books that I thought you and the group(s) might find interesting. I will just list them.
The Cosmic Serpent DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, Jeremy Narby author-Tom communicated to me that you have an interest in this.
Life Between Life, Joel Whitton, Joe Fisher.
The Roots of Coincidence, Arthur Koester
TAO of Chaos, Katya Walter
Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal, Princeton edition
C.G. Jung Flying Saucers, Hull translation
The Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field: The Neurophysiology of Enlightenment, Robert Keith Wallace.

These are a few of my favorite things...
Love
Bette


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:50 am 
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Ted,

Based on the nature of your response, I can infer that you might be surprised that I am not disappointed in what you've said. Given this, you may not be surprised to find that I look at Castaneda's concepts differently than you. Rather than directly respond to your post, I'd like to try to feel around the differences a bit, so forgive me if I occasionally seem short, assumptive, or defensive.

I have no expectations regarding the quality of Castaneda or the literal accuracy of his books. The resonance I find with them is purely conceptual and so is not tied to the author, the book's characters, or the lineage of the Nagual and his party of warriors. It makes no difference to me whether it is an accurate portrayal or pure metaphor because I see the model from which it was derived as being in agreement with what I have observed (for the sake of completeness, I do like the books and the characters. From the time when I "knew" that it was literally true, I have been fond of the characters and Castaneda's writing style). So, I would like to dispense with talking about Castaneda because I think he is irrelevant aside from the fact that he wrote the books and was a character in them.

My focus of interest in Castaneda is not in the dogmatic doings but in the essence of the warrior's path. I view the actions which are seemingly required by students as being conveniences rather than actual requirements, similar to meditation not being a requirement for entropy reduction. For evidence, I offer up Eligio (I think his name was), who went into the second attention without Doing anything. Also, Don Juan mentions that many of the "sorcerer" activities to which you referred were not required to "see", nor did they guarantee success and that none of those things mattered to the "warrior" who was, in essence, above them in a practical sense. The sorcerer and the warrior differed in the source of their intent. The sorcerer's intent can be based in his indulgence, personal gain, and self importance while the warrior has none of those characteristics and so is "pure". The warrior's purity is based on non-attachment and it is this characteristic which is the source of the warrior's personal power. It is in this sense that I (and as Castaneda says directly (through Don Juan)) separate the doings of the sorcerer with the path of the warrior (which I think is in line with the concept of entropy reduction). The actions of apprentices were with the goal of removing indulgence and self-importance and once that state is reached, the activities are no longer important, nor were all apprentices required to do the same things to achieve some measure of success - they were all different (though similar), which indicates that no rigid set of activities was required; only that which brought success. Remember how Don Juan was always "seeing" Carlos to find out what to have him "do" to get him to "not do"?

The Eagle

The Eagle was explicitly a metaphor (as stated by Castaneda through Don Juan (the old warriors saw it as an eagle, but it others might see it as something else), which represented the consumer of the "food" of experience and also the source of reality (emanations). To me, this metaphor represents the action of AUM (experiential) as well as its substance as the source of everything. Freedom from becoming "food" for the Eagle (something the Eagle allowed, rather than just an exploited opportunity) meant the PMR being become operative in the larger reality rather than just a set of experiences or results from a life in PMR - a being that moved on to become fully operative in the third attention (NPMR). The goal of the Nagual was to gain this freedom within his lifetime. The warrior's path was not the only way - just a more efficient way. This can be compared to the Christian stance on reincarnation where every Soul gets one chance. While it is not necessarily true that a Christian Soul only has one go-around (it does, after all enter Heaven or Hell), it is commonly accepted that reincarnation isn't a second chance (the former "person" is now historical record or just the uploaded results to the next higher level) because the PMR person does not continue on (a new one is created). In this sense, it is literally true that every person is responsible for their one chance to enter Heaven - one must muster their courage and pull themselves up by their bootstraps in this lifetime because now is the best time to act. This is just a perspective, however (though now really is the best time). Reincarnation offers the opportunity (or excuse) for procrastination, but reduces the possibility of fear of inaction and the corresponding reduction of the likelihood of "doing" dogma.

I disagree with your assertion that "There was no concept that The Eagles emanations were either the reality cells as the basis for consciousness reality or perhaps the incoming data stream from something like the VRRE to provide our PMR experience of consciousness". The Eagle's emanations were explicitly the incoming data (packets) entering the assemblage point (which itself comes from the emanations). A shift of the assemblage point resulted in a shift of awareness to a different reality "frame". Warriors could willfully shift their assemblage point and enter a different reality frame, which was the expressed purpose of the use of hallucinogens in apprentices so that they could temporarily experience what they could not experience on their own, the purpose of which was to guide them into the second attention (a PMR being experiencing NMPR).

A common theme to Castaneda's "Nagualism" is efficiency. The warriors of old found more efficient ways to become better warriors (the lineage evolves to lower entropy) and apprentices were directed to do all manner of activities based on what was most efficient on the path of knowledge and then told to drop them so that they did not become a part of their personal inventory. That not all apprentices did the same activities nor got the same results from a given activity indicates that the process was fluid and only important to achieve a goal - the goal of becoming a warrior with personal power (lower entropy/the ability to do work) which is derived from their impeccability. In this sense, impeccability is synonymous with low-entropy - both increase one's capacity to carry out their free-will intent and at the extremes, require deposing the ego (and only using it as a tool for carrying on with the rest of the world). Controlled folly is the use of the ego in carrying on with one's fellow man such that one doesn't become too weird to function in that capacity (Tom's "Is this kid weird or what?" chapter). Nothing about Castaneda's books indicates the manner in which one lives in or interacts with the world, other than that a warrior does it impeccably. It is the choice of the warrior once he has dropped his attachment to the world and removed indulgence to do so as seems best to him. The fact that the story took place in Mexico with Mexican and Indian characters is more important to the "hows" of their ways than that of the path of the warrior, which was expressed to be pretty much whatever the warrior is driven to do (internal factors have an impact on the expression of "warrior").

Castaneda does not have a theory (at least his work isn't expressed as one) that one can grasp intellectually and so avoids some of the pitfalls associated with intellectual simplicity. His work is focused on becoming a warrior who "knows" by virtue of being a warrior because a warrior can "see". The warrior experiences directly - he strips away what isn't essential and in the process "opens his eyes". The difference between the warrior's path and MBT is that the warrior's path starts the apprentice with no theory, only the process of discovery - of beginning to peel away the layers of belief. However, where MBT gives a theory which can appeal to the intellect (and in so doing, appeal to the ego), Castaneda makes a promise about another world and power (appealing to the ego as well), though neither is immune from the potential drawbacks of the other. Many people come to MBT in search of another world and are drawn to special knowledge or the comfort of having special knowledge - of being different.

Of course, I don't see the world of the Nagual as a dead end because I can see the correspondence between it and MBT. If I were a warrior, I would "see" and I would be humble, unattached, fearless, and live every moment as if it were my last. A warrior is a low-entropy being, by definition; not because of these characteristics but because he has removed all of the clutter from his mind and his life. He is left with his essence, which is free from ego and full of purpose.

I'll have to give this some more thought. There is an essential argument that I would like to make, but I can not find the words for it. I hope my sloppy talking around the edges of this issue brings out something useful, but I can't be sure that it will. If not, perhaps, I'll have to wait until my description gels.


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:26 pm 
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MojiDoji,

I too will have to think over the things that your comments made me partially remember that I did not remember when I was writing my first comments. The sorcerer's world had a great appeal for me once upon a time. But I think that I never focused in on the warrior's path as you did. I don't think in terms of ego as you are describing nor even to the extent and in the way that Tom does. I see it in terms of learning both who and what you are not and who and what you really are. Ego as egotism is replaced by ego as true knowledge of yourself and in relation to all and everyone else that exists. My focus has always been a matter of understanding what reality is and how it functions. Not as an intellectual understanding but as participating in a gestalt. A cross between an engineer and a mystic, as I seem to be, as opposed to a physicist and true scientist.

The value that I did and do place on the world according to Don Juan Matus was that it reflected in so many ways the Reality Based On Consciousness that MBT describes. That the plant-man Mescalito fits into the same reality that the ecstatic trance states pointed to by ancient figures from all around the world. That the Yaqui sorcerers were very much in the shamanic mold of all the world, whether called clever men, wise men or kahunas or whatever. That they discovered aspects of the Nagual that were congruent with the observations of Robert Monroe. That they saw the energy of everything, just as Tom Campbell did. That in 'seeing' they made contact with the same kind of things that we obtain from NPMR in such a wide range of ways, from visions to length information packages to instantaneous feedback from small and subtle things to how could I ever close this list.

It just has no more special appeal to me now than any of the so many other things I have looked into and place value upon from Christian contemplative mysticism to Taoism to Zen Buddhism and onwards. I look for the moon and leave the water behind. I am satisfied that they can all be encompassed within the metaphysics of MBT and pleased at the opportunity to add slightly to the extent or clarity of the model.

Ted Vollers


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:08 pm 
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Ted,

I had thought that the sorcerer/warrior difference might be a large part of the whatI had perceived as a difference of perspective. If the sorcerer/Nagual were the only part of Castaneda's books, I would not have had much interest in them. It was the warrior with which I identified - the man of knowledge. Though I had originally believed Castaneda's account to be factual, I later came to accept it as a potential prop for the larger concepts of which I had begun to fathom the meaning. As with the Bible, the historiocity of it is irrelevent unless one is an historian because the meaning derived from it is all that matters. As you have probably surmised, I find Castaneda's implicit description of reality to be immensely useful.

It is likely that our coneptualizations of ego are a large part in our differences of perspectives and in communication, but since I see myself as a mystic as well, I think there is probably more to it than that. Perhaps it would be fun to have an ego thread some time and see what the differences are. Tom and I have talked about it a lot and I think I am on the same page as he. My assumption has been that Tom would like Castaneda's books very much because I thought that he would identify with it in the way that I do. Perhaps because I like Tom I think he is a lot like me, but perhaps he's far too fluid for me to know what he's really like. Who knows. At any rate, I would be happy to keep this thread going if the conversation continues. If not...


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:06 pm 
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MojiDoji,

I don't think we need another thread to talk about ego as the warrior links to that concept. The purely imaginary literary character that I think of in terms of discussing ego, as I have mentioned before, is Tom Bombadil, the quirky companion of hobbits with the blue hat and jacket, yellow feather and hot chick at home under the hill. Clearly a man of knowledge, a warrior in his way and his magic was that he was subject to no enchantment but his own. A man of wisdom that talked to wizards, trees, ents, and hobbits of perception like old farmer Cotton. That no being ever caught asleep and trapped in their own song. None of the great among the counselors dared to put on the ring of power which he slipped on with a laugh and was totally untouched. He knew who and what he was within himself and among other beings, however powerful. His knowledge of himself, alone and within himself, was such that he knew no fear. And we, if we know who and what we truly are within The One Consciousness, need fear nothing unless we 'turn to the dark side' to the point that we totally wear out our welcome within Indra's Net. None the less a powerful image than that he is purely imaginary. Now whether this makes any sense or has any appeal to anyone else is a different matter. There is a large element of personal predilection here. His knowledge was from the inside and underneath. Not a matter of implication of superficiality by comparison, but rather by being total knowledge, inside and out, nothing too small to be acknowledged.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:31 pm 
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Ted,
That's amazing that you mentioned Tom Bombadil. Just a few hours ago I was reading about him on Wikipedia. I love the Lord of The Rings movies and, for some strange reason, haven't read the books yet though I have always wanted to and love to read. It's next on my list of books to read. Tolkien had a brilliant consciousness and Tom Bombadil is an interesting character. I hate that he was left out of the movies but it was because of time restraints that he was ommitted.
He could still see Frodo even while wearing the Ring and didn't turn invisible himself when wearing it. He was totally above its power. This definitely seems to be similar to someone above the ego needs of the common man.
Thanks,
Ramon


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:04 pm 
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Hi all. I haven't read but a little of Castaneda and am not knowledgeable enough to discuss his work, but I do have something about the warrior's path. I have a document written of an profound experience I had in my twenties that began my journey to my current small understanding. I wrote it down about ten years ago so I wouldn't forget or add details in memory as time went by. This was written as exactly as I could describe it and the dream had the clarity of direct experience. It was well before MBT gave me tools to analyze it and has never been totally clear. Everything was related as best I understood it at that time, and I always considered much of it symbolic rather than literal. How it relates to this thread is that I was given the understanding that I was a spirit warrior and was to follow the warrior's path. At the time I had never heard this phrase or read it in any book, but accepted it as my path and have tried to live up to it. Feel free to dissect it for links to MBT or just read it for enjoyment, to me it simply was. I haven't changed any words in the original document to fit current understanding.

John


Spirit Warrior's Dream
In 1986 I still ran over the road in Dad's tractor trailer. I often worked 18 or 20 hours a day back then. It was the family business and I did whatever it took. It happened one night in the middle of the week, in the Fall I think. Often I would find the place I would deliver to very early in the AM so I wouldn't fight morning traffic. I rolled into Kokomo, IN about 4 am and found the little factory I had freight for. I backed up to the deserted dock and crawled back on the sleeper for a few hours sleep before they opened. It wasn't long before I was deep in sleep and the dream began.

I was in a small northern town walking down the street. It was an overcast day and there was no one else anywhere in sight. I was looking up wondering if the sun would ever break through and feeling how un natural it all felt. At the end of the street I walked by a big wrought iron fence along the edge of a cemetery. It had the feel of great age even though I knew there weren't any towns in that area over 150 years old. I walked by the big iron gate with points on top and I heard a frantic scratching and strange sounds coming from inside the cemetery. I felt it was my duty to go find out what it was so I could warn the townspeople.
Down the hill into the graveyard I went, noticing that my feelings of wrongness in the energy patterns were coming to a point. A huge black demon dog erupted from the earth. He had fire eyes and steel teeth and he was laughing as he came for me. I turned and ran for the gate and watched it swing shut by an unseen hand. Just as I turned to fight to a certain death, I heard a diesel engine winding up and coming around the corner fast.
A lady was driving and honking the horn, and she crashed at full speed into the iron gates breaking them open. She flew into the air from the impact and landed on the fence, impaling her side on a spike. The devil dog changed his stride to go after the girl and I understood in a flash. This girl was the intended prey all along and she had come to save me because I wasn't supposed to be there. I knew if I fought I would die a horrible death, but I couldn't turn my back.
I picked up a piece of iron fence and began to fight for both our lives, knowing I would lose, but I could not leave her to that black dog. I fought so hard that I kept him away. He was tearing me to bloody ribbons but I would not give up. We were each looking at each other and I could see the surprise and anger in his face, smell the blood and the burning rig behind me. I heard a cough and she told me to go, to leave her but still I would not. My honor won't allow it.

I faced the dog and saw my shadow as the sun suddenly came out. As the light got brighter the devil dog began to look uneasy. From over my shoulder an angelic being drifted into view. He came to rest between me and the dog.
"Sorry I'm late. Thank you. I'll take it from here." he said and the fight was on. The fight became intense then. I saw the power and confidence of the angel and the hatred and arrogance of the black dog, when a white devil dog showed up and joined the fight. The angel wasn't even breaking a sweat! He looked over his shoulder to check on the lady and realized I was still there. "Go" he said and I woke up crying and soaked in sweat.

It was 5:30 am and there was no way I could go back to sleep. When the factory opened for business I went into the shipping office and sat down.
Everyone was angry and upset and ignoring me so I waited until I was spoken to. A man finally said " Sorry for ignoring you but we're all in shock. The lady who runs our receiving was found murdered in her home this morning." He pointed to an empty desk and her picture was on it.

It was the lady in my dream! All the hidden meanings crashed down on me and swept my mind away for a while. The next few days will never be clear because of the shock. I knew what it all meant, what I fought and what it was to be a spirit warrior. I see now it was all in things I could relate to at the time, the symbols and patterns. It doesn't change the message any, or the burden.  We are all one, and when spirits talks it is just me talking to me remembering things I'd forgotten. We are who we choose to be. If we are lucky and tough enough, we can be what we were chosen to be. Like you and me. Ain't we lucky?

_________________
always, John


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:02 pm 
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Ted, Moji -- On ego:

My notion of ego is closely related to the notion of detachment, or non-attachment as you say. Ego is the mechanism of attachment. One becomes attached because one has ego. It is the ego that creates the attachment. If you have no attachments then you have no ego and vise versa. There is no conflict between having no ego and knowing exactly what and who you are. Indeed, you cannot know exactly what and who you are until you have no ego. Not having ego does not make you stupid (unknowledgeable) or unaware of your identity, it just offloads all the fear, needs, wants, and expectations that cloud your identity. Ego is self-referential, all about you, about serving self, protecting self, looking out for self within a hostile world; it is about your needs, your wants, your desires, your expectations being met. Ego is not at all related to awareness of self. Self awareness is simply knowledge of self. To be sentient one must be self aware. Having no attachments, no ego is not in conflict with being sentient. One is most aware of self and others when one has no ego.

Origins of the word "ego": Freud broke the mind into three categories: Freud's Id was the part of the psyche that is unconscious [beneath the intellect] and the source of primitive instinctive impulses and drives. Freud's ego contained consciousness and memory [the aware intellect] and was involved with control, planning, and conforming to [dealing with the challenges and demands of physical] reality. Freud's superego was the part of the mind that acts as a conscience to the ego [above the intellect], developing moral standards and rules through contact with parents and society. I added the words in brackets for clarity the rest came out of the dictionary. Note that Freud did not use the word ego to mean self-awareness (knowing who and what you are).

My use of the word ego very closely lines up with Freud's - control, planning, and manipulating the beings and stuff of PMR for benefit of self. Ego is the expression of fear in the face of a hostile reality that does not praise, nurture or cuddle -- it is reactive. You cannot become fearless if you retain ego (i.e., attachment). Ego is the mechanism of attachment. In a world that runs on ego, psychologists will tell you that a "healthy" ego is a necessary and good thing - one needs to be able to stand up for one's self. They are wrong but have that belief because they must justify their own egos. Without ego one is fearless; the fearless have no trouble standing up for themselves or for others, or knowing who, what, and why they are. The egoless have the great power of a low entropy consciousness - they are not weak or wimpy, they are warriors. Ego and self-esteem can be two different things entirely. Positive Self-esteem can be defined as self awareness when the result is positive. A warrior has perfectly balanced self-esteem.
-------------------------------------

Stroker,

Was your purpose in that experience to fend off the beast - at least until help came?

How many times since have you been similarly called to duty?

Tom C


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:39 pm 
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The construct of "I" instead of ego is what Freud had in mind when he developed his big theory of id, ego, and superego. He used the German words for "it" Es, "I" Ich, and "above-I" Uber-Ich that were mistranslated into Latin using the Latin equivalence, culturally formed of course, for those German words which ended up as id instead of it, ego instead of I, and superego instead of Freud's intended above-I. You can find this referenced in Bruno Bettelheim's Freud and Man's Soul, 1982 . Since Jung worked alongside Freud the mistranslation did not affect the concepts they had, just the Western view of Freud was misrepresented by the mistranslation.
Just some trivia.
Love
Bette


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:58 pm 
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MojiDoji: The Eagle's emanations were explicitly the incoming data (packets) entering the assemblage point (which itself comes from the emanations). A shift of the assemblage point resulted in a shift of awareness to a different reality "frame". Warriors could willfully shift their assemblage point and enter a different reality frame, which was the expressed purpose of the use of hallucinogens in apprentices so that they could temporarily experience what they could not experience on their own, the purpose of which was to guide them into the second attention (a PMR being experiencing NMPR).

Ted: I never caught on to this. I got too lost in the language of 'assemblage point' and haven't read these books since long before I read MBT. I didn't even remember this.

2banon: The construct of "I" instead of ego is what Freud had in mind when he developed his big theory of id, ego, and superego. He used the German words for "it" Es, "I" Ich, and "above-I" Uber-Ich that were mistranslated into Latin using the Latin equivalence, culturally formed of course, for those German words which ended up as id instead of it, ego instead of I, and superego instead of Freud's intended above-I.

Ted: Thank you for noting this. I had heard something about this but never exactly what the error was. I am unfortunately not enough the scholar to have studied this or many things adequately. Perhaps we do need an ego forum and to include your contributions.

Tom: I apologize for focusing on too simplistic a perception of ego in your usage. My perception is too simplistic. Not your usage. I have been immersed for a decade in 'I want', 'I have', 'I control', 'I demand' from dementia on to literally 'It's all about me', 'what I deserve', 'what you owe and should do for me' from somewhere in the schizophrenia to bipolar spectrum to focus on a more subtle usage. I needed the Georgia Mule treatment to refocus out of the extreme to the subtle. I appreciate your short discussion above as an excellent lesson. Perhaps you should repeat and expand it as the start of such a forum on ego where it is clarified in more depth as MojiDoji suggested. A step in the direction of entropy reduction from the information side to clarify language as used here in the MBT forums. Unless it is already there in the forums and I haven't seen it, this should go into the Archives once the forum is completed, sight unseen. Perhaps MojiDoji and you could contribute some extract from your prior discussion?

To all: You are all the most amazing assemblage of people I have ever encountered in my life. Thank you for putting up with me and my limitations.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: MBT and Castanada
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:24 am 
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Was your purpose in that experience to fend off the beast - at least until help came?

How many times since have you been similarly called to duty?

Tom C

At the time I realized it was given to me as a test in images that would have the strongest effect with my midwest christian background. I was in my twenties and it was very confusing. Interesting to me seeing my understanding then, and the expansion of it using the framework of MBT.

Sorry all if it was inappropriate to share a past dream in this thread. That experience was my beginning on what I see as the warrior's path. I can understand Castaneda's stories from this viewpoint.

I believe the purpose was a test. Facing and overcoming such fear showed me there was more in me than I knew. It was meant to shake me up and make me think.

I've been called to duty in ways large and small all my life. Mostly service to others both here and in NPMR.
I follow my heart and intuition and try to do it without fear. My life is much richer for it. Understanding is not always necessary.

_________________
always, John


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