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


  Quantum Shaman: Site Contents Quantum Shaman: Shamanism, Castaneda, Life after Death, Immortality!



Where the journey began

Meeting the Mirror

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Who is the Quantum Shaman?
Magic, Sorcery & Quantum Shamans
The Medicine Witch
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PARALLEL PATHWAYS
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THE LIFE & DEATH DIALOGUES
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CONTEMPLATING CASTANEDA
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" The medicine witch is duality's paradox, existing simultaneously as nurturing spirit-mother and visionary madwoman, slipping into the underworld to trade souls with the immortal twin, then returning to the world above to teach others how to follow even when it seems no one's listening.  Ah, but while you have the strength and intuition to exist as one form of bridge betwixt consensual world and the seventh sense, what's yet to be seen is the willful persistence to infuse others with that complex comprehension. The test is whether you'll utilize the quantum awareness which is an endowment of the twin's  immortal eyes or let the frustration eat you alive until you go psychically blind."
                                                          
-Orlando - December 25, 1997


 

"What is a curiosa?"  I asked.  She regarded me cheerfully and
explained that curiosas were witches who were no longer concerned with the obvious aspects of sorcery: symbolic paraphenalia, rituals, and incantations. "Curiosas," she whispered, "are beings preoccupied with things of the eternal. They are like spiders, spinning fine, invisible threads between the known and the unknown.  
The Witch's Dream
Florinda Donner-Grau

~


Quantum Shaman's Blog

   How does one explain the journey of a lifetime in a few short pages, particularly when that journey is neither traditional nor acceptable in the eyes of the vast majority of people living inside their comfortable Western society?  To say this is a journey I have been on all my life would be a foolish understatement, for that’s true of all of us.  To call myself a shaman would be to invite misunderstanding, though shamanism in its purest form comes closest to explaining the nature of this quest than almost any other word.

 

It is a journey of the heart, involving all aspects of the Self – the intellect, the body and the spirit.  Several years ago, Orlando called me a “medicine witch”, and I’ve found this to be the best job description for myself, if one must accept roles or titles at all.  The medicine witch is part magickal practitioner, part healer, part visionary madwoman.  The medicine witch is part heretic, part quantum thinker, part dancer on the tightrope between two worlds.

        

  The medicine witch is the enlightened crone of the future whispering into the ear of her own bumbling fool as that fool stumbles through the linear now.

  I could attempt to tell you about myself, but that would only paint a picture of my past – the self of the known world, the self who has gone here or there, who has accomplished this or that, who is really only the mechanism and not the ghost inside the machine.

 

 I could tell you, for example, that I grew up in central Florida with a strict, abusive father and a loving but often absent mother, but that would only give rise to speculation that this account is nothing more than the delusions of an abused child.  Or I could tell you that I overcame my tumultuous childhood through an intense involvement in martial arts, the philosophies of the 60s, and an even deeper preoccupation with the underground community associated with the original Star Trek, and that it was through that part of my past that I came to write my first published novel, Killing Time.

 

I could even venture to tell you that I was never satisfied being "just" the writer, and that I would often tell Wendy, "I don't want to be the writer, I want to be the character in the book, living the grand adventure instead of only writing about it."  Ah, be careful what you wish for!   But to tell you that would be to color your opinions in another direction, perhaps, causing you to see me as a science fiction writer.  Therefore, you might conclude, this is only another work of fiction, perhaps cleverly disguised as truth, but fiction nonetheless.

 

Many people would feel better if that were so.  And so that conclusion will become their perception, their reality.  Just as Whitley Strieber’s experiences related in his book, Communion (and many subsequent works) were widely dismissed because he was also a horror writer, or In Pursuit of Valis (aka The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick)  is widely considered to be nothing more than story ideas – fiction disguised as fact – so it may be with this undertaking as well.  Just as many so-called scholars would dismiss the phenomenally insightful works of Terence McKenna or Carlos Castaneda because of their admitted use of hallucinogens, so will people always struggle to preserve and protect the status quo of what they consider to be Reality.

 

         In reality, of course, there’s no such thing as Reality.  There are only our separate realities – our personal notions of what’s right and wrong, our personal interpretations of religion and politics, for example  – yet wars are fought in the name of ideology and heads severed from necks in the name of God in an attempt to protect these status quo beliefs which have little if anything to do with real Truth.

 

Barring cosmic catastrophe or destruction of the planet, Man will evolve – and the beginning of that evolution within an intelligent species will be a thought, a concept, the idea that we can change through the application of our will.

 

And yet, what each of us must understand is that our individual evolution is entirely our own responsibility.  No one is going to save us.  No one can do it for us.  So when psychics or mystics or religious teachers try to tell us our salvation or our evolution is "automatic", we need to seriously call into question the belief systems that would propagate such wishful-thinking fantasies.  Unpopular as it is to say so, we aren't necessarily born with an immortal soul just by virtue of being human.  Instead, through the process of living, through the application of unbending intent toward our own individual evolution, we develop the spirit - the anima - which could be defined as the ghost inside the machine, or in shamanic terms, the Double.  The other self whispered of in mysticism for centuries.  The self in eternity.  It isn't our automatic birthright, but it is within our ability.

 

We are born with the spark, but without genuine effort on our own part, there will never be an eternal flame.  That flame is the personal cohesion of identity developed to a point at which it is no longer merely individual molecules of energy attached to our organic form.  It is the I-Am, the Self made whole. 

 

Through gathering our cohesion, through learning the answer to the first question - Who Are You? - a Whole Self is gradually carved apart from the abyss, an island in the stream that can stand alone as a sentient point of view throughout eternity.  None of us can remember where we came from before we entered this life.  But if we are impeccable, we can choose where we go, and we can retain the self-identity rather than merely discorporating into stray fragments of molecular energy. This is the nature of evolution.

 

Our minds are vast, untapped sources of information  and power – and if we are fulfilling our potential as humans, surely we are striving to become more than human.  We are no longer at the mercy of random biological anomalies to force our evolution.  We can force it for ourselves.  We can choose it.  And it begins with a thought.

 

These are the types of messages being presented by Terence McKenna, Jacques Vallee, Robert Anton Wilson, and scores of others like them.  They are the same types of messages once touted by great forward thinkers of the past such as Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare and Ouspensky.  Yet it’s clear to see how history has painted Crowley, and even easier to speculate how it might paint these others.

 

Sadly, it’s human nature to discredit the messenger instead of trying to understand the message.  Philip Klass of the UFO community made a second career of it.  Richard de Mille, the most persistent detractor of Carlos Castaneda, at one time appeared to be almost obsessed with uncovering the truth about Castaneda rather than looking at the truths of Castaneda. Now a new group, Sustained Action, has taken up the torch in an attempt to discredit and symbolically crucify the messenger instead of looking for even a moment at the veracity of the message.

 

Any messenger is only human and can always be discredited if it is your intention to do it.  If it makes you sleep better at night to think Strieber’s works are only fiction, you’ll find a way to believe it.  If it shores up the foundation of your personal belief system to call Carlos Castaneda a crackpot, that’s what you’ll do.  We are lazy, static creatures by nature.  We don’t want to give that up.  We’ll kill to protect it.  And in some cases, we’ll even kill the messenger so we don’t have to hear the message, so we don’t have to see what is uncomfortable or inconvenient for us to see.

 

Galileo and Copernicus were persecuted for going against the consensus reality of their day.  Marco Polo was persecuted by the church to renounce what he had seen in China, forced essentially to recreate his own personal experience to be more in keeping with the consensual reality of his Catholic peers. These men were tortured because they were right, not because they were wrong.  When anything threatens our concept of reality, we will fight it tooth and nail out of habit and programming rather than even considering that perhaps it is our own definition of reality that could stand some redefining.  Easier to say Joan of Arc was a witch than to wonder what great source of Knowledge she had tied into.  Easier to stomach the milk-toast explanations for life and death with which we’ve all been inundated than to go on that great inward spirit quest to determine that we’re living on the flat earth of our own perceptual limitations.

 

In his book The Shaman's Body, Arnold Mindell offers one of the greatest insights into the nature of a shamanic personality I have ever encountered:

 

Is it your fault if you remind others of dreams they do not want?  And who can blame the group, either for resistance to you or for the life-and-death struggle that ensues? These people are fighting for their lives, equilibrium, homeostasis - indeed, for the perpetuation of history.  "Do not disturb us more than we can take," they say.

From a global viewpoint, you disturb your organizational system, and history must fight for continuity.  In this universal and fated interaction, the warrior's friends become the voices of the web.  Their warmth turns to ice.  They accuse you of unjustifiable behavior, egotism, and criminality as they become possessed by their lawmaker role in this eternal drama of human history.

 

The collective you live in must pursue you for what it experiences as criminal acts and bring you to trial, just as you have challenged other rule breakers in the past.  Now it is you who enters into a life-and-death struggle with the universe..."
   
                                   Arnold Mindell - The Shaman's Body

 

Such is the nature of the shaman - to be at odds with a world which insists on maintaining its status quo at all costs.  So rather than trying to lead the reader to believe I am a monk-like scholar of mysticism, I will say up front that I am nothing of the sort.  I’ve lived as weird a life as anyone ever has.  If you dig into my past, you can easily find fodder to discredit me a hundred times over.  If it would make you sleep better, that's what you'll do.

 

 

In the beginning of this journey, I desperately wanted to sleep better.  I didn’t want to believe what Orlando was showing me, so I went through a period of trying to invalidate his teachings by attempting to invalidate him I tried to convince myself it was all some sort of hoax, that he knew these things about my innermost thoughts because someone somewhere had told him, or that it was only my imagination, some dark delusion.  In the end (though this journey is far from over and, if I am successful, will never end), I had to make a decision of the heart and soul:  did I want to learn from this man or did I only want to learn about the man himself?  Did I want to put aside my preconceived notions about the nature of reality and try to see what might lie beyond, or did I want to cling tenaciously to The Real World because it enabled me to sleep better?

 

Did I want to go on believing the world was flat or did I have the courage and flexibility to try to wrap my mind around a globe?

 

 Each of you has to answer those questions for yourself.  You can go back to sleep or you can strip away the blinders we’re all born with as a mere result of being human, and stare into the face of your own potential evolution.  If you take the journey for yourself – in whatever manner it comes to you – it’s the scariest thing you’ll ever do, because you will come to truly see that the world we live in is truly a lie.  And once the blinders are gone, there’s no putting them back on, so I will give you the same warning I was given in the beginning Be very sure this is where you want to go, because there is no going back once the quest begins.

 

  Ultimately, I can only tell you about the journey itself and how it has affected me, how it has taught me to see the world, ourselves, life and death.  I can tell you what I have seen but only you can learn to see it if you find it worthy of exploration.  One of the best places to start would be with The Quantum Shaman's RECOMMENDED READING list, for it was through many of these books that my own struggle for evolution and enlightenment initially began. 

 

 If I have any regrets on this journey, the main one would be that I did not begin keeping a journal until 1995.  And as I have proven to myself , the things we forget far outnumber the things we remember.  Though I could legitimately say I have been involved in this journey most of my adult life, this intensive phase of quantum discovery began for me in November of 1994, yet the only notes I kept until December of 1995 were in the form of a dream journal.  It figures that when the impetus was at its strongest, many of the ideas that were flying wildly between those of us who had become wrapped up in this thing have been lost in the void of time.  During that first year, we barely slept we were so taken by this thing.

 

What is this thing?  Ah, that’s the question.  What is the nature of this journey?  The best I can say is that it is a quest for an evolution of consciousness – not only spiritual enlightenment, but a genuine evolution of consciousness that would make us “other than human”.  Maybe it will give us the ability to transcend the threshold of death with our consciousness intact, creating a continuity of Self into whatever might naturally come next.  And if nothing comes next, perhaps it will enable us to create an afterlife, whether corporeal or non-corporeal remains to be seen.  That’s one possibility, and though it might sound far-fetched and even impossible to you now, I ask only that you keep an open mind.

 

Remember:  there was one moment in all of ancient history when one single ape looked beyond the trees and realized he could be more than what nature had dealt him.  Perhaps it was a need for warmth that caused him to take up tools and build shelter.  Perhaps it was hunger that taught him to hunt, gather and, eventually, to farm.  Whatever it was, it began with a thought and with a need.

 

That one ape embraced evolution and fathered the human race.  Those who chose to remain behind are still in the trees.  And now it's time to look beyond the trees again.

 

It's time for the next evolution.

 

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