Quantum Shaman: Castaneda, Shamanism. The Quest for Immortality Begins Here!

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Quantum Shaman: The quest for immortality begins here. Shamanism, Castaneda, Immortality

   Don't take things so seriously. I've told you time and time again that the world is unfathomable, and so are we, and so is every being that exists in this world. It is impossible, therefore, to reason out the double.
(Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda)




This page is a compilation of quotes, essays, journal entries, and posts to The Sorcerer's World... all having to do with the concept of the shaman's double.  Read gently,  from the corner of the Mind's Eye... and See as much what lies between the lines as what is on them...

...For the double is a shadow that takes on substance, a substance that is eternal, an eternity that is the Self reflecting on the surface of the Infinite and casting itself into matter as the mortal Self.  There is no straightforward way to speak of the double... and so we speak in metaphor, painting the edges of the shadow to reveal that which is casting the shadow.

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     From my own personal experience, any warrior can develop his/her double - sometimes by conscious decision to do so, other times it is seemingly a natural extension of oneself that occurs quite easily as the warrior engages the path of Knowledge.

    Though words will always limit the concept, it is helpful to think of "the double" as the energy body - though as it is developed and nurtured with Intent, it becomes considerably more than that.  Some people call it "the dreaming body", and again that is accurate, but limiting.  In essence, the double is more like the warrior himself, and if one wanted to visualize it, the double would be a perfected mirror image of the warrior in most cases.  Clearly, the double can be projected as any image the warrior would choose, but normally it has the residual-body-image (to borrow a term from THE MATRIX) of how the warrior appears in life.

"No sorcerer knows where his Other is. A sorcerer has no notion that he is in two places at once. To be aware of that would be the equivalent of facing his double, and the sorcerer that finds himself face to face with himself is a dead sorcerer. That is the rule. That is the way power has set things up. No one knows why."
(Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda)

     All ordinary human beings have an energy body, but unless it is actively nurtured, it does not become what shamans think of as "the double".  Unnurtured, it simply exists as an accidental extension of the person - like a vestigial organ.  But when the warrior begins to engage the path and nurtures that dreaming body into a more conscious extension of himself, the double can seemingly take on a life of its own.

"By the time a warrior has conquered dreaming and seeing and has developed a double, he must have also succeeded in erasing personal history, self-importance, and routines. So doing is the means for removing the impracticality of having a double in the ordinary world, by making the self and the world fluid, and by placing them outside the bounds of prediction."
(Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda)


     A double being, on the other hand, is something which one either is or isn't.  I've always thought of it like being with blonde hair and blue eyes.  One either has those attributes, or one doesn't.  Granted, one could wave one's arms about and proclaim that technology now makes it possible for brown-eyed brunettes to become green-eyed blondes, but we're not talking about technology.  We're talking about one's nature.

"To the eye of the seer, a Nagual man or Nagual woman appears as a luminous egg with four compartments.  Unlike the average human being, who has two sides only, a left and a right, the Nagual has a left side divided into two long sections, and a right side equally divided in two."
(Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda)

     The critical difference between the double and the double-being is very succinctly illustrated in the quote above.  I would be a double being, a nagual, whether or not I ever engaged on this path. Double beings are simply born that way, and have no more say in the matter than they have a say in eye and hair color from a genetic perspective.  Indeed, had I never engaged on the path, it is altogether possible that the other "half" of myself simply would have atrophied and disappeared altogether, though there is no way to be sure.  Carlos Castaneda discovered himself to be what was referred to as a "three-prong nagual", and nearly as I have been able to determine, this is the result of what amounts to an improper "division", and so an extant Nagual woman was introduced.  To his perceptions, this was simply "the way", and so he wrote as if all Naguals were "two" beings, when in most cases, they are a single being that divides. And just for the record, I do not mean this in any symbolic psychological manner, but it is meant literally.  The energetic being divides like a cell dividing.


     So, what Castaneda never addressed, either because he himself never gained the Knowledge, or because he intentionally chose not to reveal this aspect publicly, is that the Nagual man and Nagual woman are not two "separate" beings, but they are the same being that splits at a certain point in life.  That split is when one or the other (Nagual man or Nagual woman) goes into the "otherworld" to serve as a beacon, guiding the party to the opening. This is the whole point of the double-being.  Once that split occurs and the other half of oneself leaves this world, the gravity exerted on the one remaining is beyond any force that can be described.  As a result of that pull, the one remaining in the mortal world is driven  to seek the opening into the Otherworld, so as to reunite with him/herself (i.e., "inhabiting the totality of oneself").


     The warrior's party begins to form most often in modern times by association with a nagual rather than through any ritualistic assembling of "north, south, east, west, courier", etc.  While that system undoubtedly had validity for Castaneda and the ancient Toltecs, I do think there was validity to a statement made by Carlos that he perceived his party to be the last of that lineage.  Probably true.  The lineage may have been lost, but the System of Knowledge has simply evolved, partially as a result of the information Castaneda and others who have followed made available to the world.  I grew up not having the Knowledge of who and what I am, and only after finding CC's books did I begin to fully comprehend my own nature and the rule of the nagual. 


     So, in the same way I accept that rule, I also accept that one uses the tools at one's disposal.  I don't go out actively looking for other warriors roaming around the desert, but when I find them (whether with the tools of the internet or the tools of perception in a crowd), it is my responsibility to the Rule to make available to them certain information - which they may or may not choose to utilize in their own journey.  Being a somewhat efficiency-oriented individual, I have chosen to make much of that information available through this website.


      "A sorcerer may certainly notice afterwards that he has been in two places at once. But this is only bookkeeping and has no bearing on the fact that while he's acting he has no notion of his duality."
(Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda)


     The statement by don Juan directly above applies both to the double AND to double beings.  Once the nagual man or woman goes into the third attention to serve as a beacon to the one left behind, the mortal sorcerer has no direct knowledge of that duality unless it is intentionally invoked.  When in gnosis,  communication on a certain level becomes possible and even an actual conjoining of energies.  But because the Nagual man, Orlando*, is on "that" side of the Eagle and I am on "this" side of the Eagle, the final and complete conjoining cannot occur until mortal death or burning with the fire from within.  That is my present understanding through my own experiences.


*  *  *

*Orlando is the Nagual man, the other half of my double-being.  For those who have not read THE CRYSTAL AND THE NAGUAL, it offers further explanation of this idea.


Quantum Shaman, 2003

From a post to The Sorcerer's World 


Does the double have corporealness? Certainly. Solidity, corporealness are memories. Therefore, like everything else we feel about the world, they are memories we accumulate, memories of the description.
(Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda)

     The difference between those who fly and those who die in the fall is the strength of the bond between the self of the here-and-now and the wholeness of the double within the here-ever-after.  And so we come to the inevitable questions which have no direct answer, yet those questions that must be answered if you are to succeed in your bid for eternity.  It is one thing to ask how the double is created, but another matter entirely to live within the framework of that answer.  Think on those words:  to live within the framework of perpetual, moment-to-moment self-creation that does not allow for going back to sleep, even if only for a moment.


Mortal mystics have said the double is created through the process of living impeccably, and though this is undeniably true, it is attempting to define what that means that requires a deeper level of commitment.  In essence, it could be stated that the double is created through Intent, but I fear that is too easy an answer and that passive thinking can be mistaken for active magick, and let there be no misunderstanding: if the double is created passively, he will not possess the strength to rescue you from oblivion, for he will be made of your weaknesses instead of your strengths.  And so he must be constructed of unbending intent, but again I hear you whispering and moaning, “Yeah, but what the fuck does that mean, and isn’t it just words rattling like old bones in the sand?”


Here is where you must stop and think.  Meditate on the idea itself until you begin to see what it really means.  It is the force of creation itself, this thing called unbending intent that originates within the mortal self as a thought-form of eternal continuity, stretches outward to affect and generate itself through the manifestation of energy in order to begin re-creating the mortal self in eternity, and finally reflects back as that immortal other begins to embody the attributes and extended ubiquitous consciousness of its mortal creator.


Some might call it creative visualization, though it is not something that can be done ritualistically with candles and props and all the trappings of magick, if the magick itself is not fully integrated into the magician’s unbroken intent.  Unbroken intent: a force of energy that never wavers and can always be accessed and identified with a thought; a background light never turned off, fueled by the Realization that to fail is to face utter oblivion; the steady weaving of the warrior’s vision into the cloth of eternity; the pen of will writing your identity in indelible ink so that not even death can erase it; the decision to always make the impeccable choice even when it is not necessarily the comfortable or pleasant alternative.


Orlando, 2000


     Don Juan said "The double is created through dreaming."  Not meaning only while we're asleep, but with the Intent of dreaming as well.  Dreaming awake.  Dreaming the world into being.  Dreaming as an act of Creation.

     My own take on it is:  "The double is created through Intent."  But, again, not necessarily the direct intent to create a double.  Many times, shamanism and sorcery are back-door visitors - meaning that they must be viewed in little glances, from the corner of the third eye.  Try to look at it head-on and it will vanish.  Try to comprehend it before experiencing it, it may elude you. 

     For that reason, when I say creating the double is a matter of Intent, I'm not saying that we set out to create the double like baking a cake, go through a process, and when we're done, the double is standing before us.  Instead, the intent which creates the double is not the intent TO create the double.  My own processes have worked something like this, though in no particular order.  I'm only numbering them to point out that they are separate actions/intentions, but all interconnected.

1.  "The hurt is what will make you hunt a cure."  The double is created through longing, ache, hurt, want, need, the desire to conjoin with the infinite, with the unknown, with some eternal "other" which has been spoken of in shamanism since the dawn of time.  At the stage of longing, the double may be experienced only as the longing itself, what some have called the call of the unknown, the call of the wild.

2.  The double CAN be strengthened through imagination.  Having been a professional fiction writer for many years, I "created" many characters who have attributes of my double.  This act of imagination is part of a creative process which some may be inclined to pursue, others not at all.  For myself, I think my writing helped me to form the paradigm of the double, and may indeed be one reason Orlando manifested in the flesh - though not until many, many, many years later.  The act of imagination could be described also as the thoughtform from which reality flows if that is the intent of the sorcerer.  And, indeed, at the time I was writing, I had no idea about any of this.  It was simply a natural step for me, and part of how I earned my Indian name:  Thinks-on-Paper.

3.  The double may be experienced and expressed through gnosis, though for myself that was a process which came into being LONG after all of the above.  Perhaps it could be said that I only learned how to hear it and express it without my own agendas and self-importance getting in the way after many years of working with the warrior's path. 

4.  The double is a self-resolving paradox, which is directly connected to #3 above.  What most warriors fail to grasp, and where quantum shamanism provides a much clearer opportunity for direct comprehension as an enhancement to intuitive awareness, is this:  when you begin to follow the path and do the work required to gather your cohesion (the great work, the work of evolution, the path), you are actually going through the process which re-defines you as an eternal being.  That eternal being is the double -- and once it takes its symbolic first breath, it is alive ubiquitously throughout the space-time continuum, simultaneously in every molecule or speck of dark matter scattered throughout all of creation and beyond.  Of course, what that means is that at THAT point, the double is also within YOU -- FROM THE MOMENT YOU WERE CONCEIVED, and even before that.  BUT... it is only by going through the Doings that you learn how to see that, how to communicate with it, how to listen so that you might actually learn HOW to create it so that it can exist in the first place.  At that point, it is said, "The double is now dreaming you."  But again I think some terminology can get in the way, so let's use the terms, "The double is teaching you what you need to know to become an eternal being."

Quantum Shaman, 2003
From a post to
The Shaman's Rattle


      I do think that Castaneda simply did not have the full story when he wrote THE EAGLE'S GIFT, in that he was still describing the Nagual (double-being) as two separate individuals, when my own experience has been that this is probably not accurate.  My take on it is that because Carlos himself was described as a 3-pronged nagual, his own "division" was somehow thwarted or he only partially divided, and so the other "part" of himself was either lost entirely, or perhaps never made it to third attention and became trapped in some other realm.  No way to know.  Another Nagual woman was presented to him (Carol), but though she was *a* Nagual woman, she was not *the* Nagual woman specifically-matched to Carlos.  Again, tip of the iceberg, and the wabbit hole goes plenty deep, but suffice it to say she was her own person, and not the other half of Carlos's double-beingness.

     But from my own experience, or at least my perceptions, Orlando and I did not start out as two separate individuals.  It is only perceived that way because we humans are creatures in the gravity of Time.  As don Juan said, "it is impossible to try to reason out the double", and yet, I'm not so sure it's impossible as much as it requires re-writing the paradigm of our belief systems about the nature of reality itself.  Though I cannot explain in scientific terms how the double being divides, I think there will come a time in the future when it can be understood.  In so many ways, our present mode of thinking is still at the level of "flies cause garbage”, and because it's what we've always believed, we have no easy way to see it from a completely different angle.

     Of course... I can also argue the other side, where CC is coming from, because in many ways that is more rational.  Easier to think that two separate beings could come together than to think a single being divides for the purpose of coming together again in what amounts to a different space-time continuum.  But I think the easier explanation which CC offers is limited.  In my experience, the whole point of the double being is that one half of that being is predisposed to exist in the conditions of third attention, and the other half is predisposed to exist as a mortal human.  And words gather like storm clouds, obliterating the sky...

     I think it's important for warriors, and especially important for those who may discover themselves to be double beings, to have as clear an understanding as possible.  I think CC was right in baseline theory, but he simply never revealed the whole picture.  My suspicion is that if he ever did realize the deeper secrets about the Nagual, he simply chose not to write about it, because as I have discovered through experience, there is no way, really, to explain any of this rationally.  So we have a tendency to simplify, to say "two separate beings", when in actuality, it is a single being that splits in two for the purpose of serving as its own guide.

     First shaman created the world, and when she realized she was lonely, she tore out half her heart and put it into her own dreaming body so she would never be alone.  Because the double was made of spirit, though, it left her all too soon and went to dwell in eternity, where its siren cries call her back into the Infinite.  This is why the heart has two chambers and why the shaman walks the earth with one eye on the world and the other focused on that which has no name.

Quantum Shaman, 2003
From a post to The Sorcerer's World

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