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

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What follows is an attempt to put into words what must simply be experienced by each warrior, throughout a lifetime of searching.  But on the off chance it might have value to someone as validation or cause for amusement, I offer it here as "the rear-view mirror"... a look backward.



By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired. 

~Nikos Kazantzakis


When I was 11 years old, I fell head-first into Star Trek, (the original series) and I attribute it with initially pointing me in the general direction I needed to go.  Star Trek addressed issues of human diversity, paranormal phenomenon, alien contact, etc.  I can honestly say that this electronic teacher was my first mentor.  It awakened within me a desire and a need-for-knowledge  – it filled me with a sense of longing & wonder that made me want to reach out to the stars themselves.  I knew – intuitively Knew  – that somewhere out there in the vast universe there were others like myself.  Even at that age, I had recognized that I was unlike classmates & teachers, almost a different species.  In school, I was a straight-A student without the benefit of ever having to crack a book.  I just knew stuff.  In hindsight, though I didn't have words for it then, it is clear to me now that this was my first introduction to gnosis -- the direct gleaning of information straight from the universe itself.


One night I had been watching Star Trek over at my grandmother's cabin.  (She lived on the property where I grew up – a 5-acre mini-motel in the middle of the swamplands of central Florida).  When I left her cabin to return to the main house – about 100 yards away – I just stopped in my tracks and stared up at the stars, filled with this terrible longing/ache/need, as if something had spoken to me in a language I could not understand.  I wanted to be part of that.   And without fully understanding what I was doing, I raised my fist to the sky and said with absolute intent/will:  "If I can't come to you, I'll bring you to me!"  With an 11 year old's perceptions, I couldn't say what I was even talking to.  And I couldn't know that I was speaking with my will/intent until years later when I understood the concept.  All I know is that – right then and there – the journey began for me.



Excerpt from a journal entry:

        "Consider a colony of black ants.  Nearby exists a colony of red ants, but the two are completely unaware of one another.  Physically, they are identical except for color.  But the black ants have telepathy, unconditional love, sentience, etc., whereas the red ants are ignorant dirt-movers, hunter-gatherers with an ability to speak; nothing more.  Occasionally mutations can occur, and a "black" ant is born with red skin.

 On the surface, I look exactly like a red ant – but it's only a color mutation.  I'm really a black ant more rightfully aligned to the colony next door, but of which I have no  direct personal knowledge, so all I could do was feel alienated among the other red ants; not a painful, psychological alienation – just a quiet and even peaceful sense of knowing I wasn't one of them.  A sense of waiting for the other black ants to find me, or for myself to develop the means to go looking for them.

So it is with humanity.  We all look more or less the same, but there would seem to be black ants & red ants -- two physically similar species who are altogether different beneath the skin..."


At 11, I began to actively function like a black ant.  There had been indicators prior, but this was when I had my first awakening of consciousness and acted upon it by avowing, "If I can't come to you, I'll bring you to me." 


 So, my awakening came through a process that began, perhaps, with this childhood experience.  Over the years, it has taken many manifestations – Orlando was certainly the major turning point.  It was shortly after meeting him that I began reading Castaneda for the first time – and even during first reading of the books, I began to experience many peculiar events.  One example:  when reading some passage about Carlos' encounter with a moth, and don Juan subsequently telling him the moth was a messenger of wisdom... That night, Wendy & I were sitting outside, and a huge moth began circling between us, even though there were not normally moths of this variety in the area.  Another night, many months later while still reading through the books, I had a "dreaming" experience wherein I awakened in the middle of the night to discover someone much like don Juan sitting on the foot of the bed, talking quietly as I slept.  I do not know what he said, but the messages penetrated deeper than conscious awareness at that time.  I feel this was an excursion into second or third attention, wherein I was literally interacting with an ally who took the form of don Juan because that's where my mind was at the time. 


There were many experiences of this nature ("coincidences" occurring as a result of these books), and my general interpretation of these omens of power was that the knowledge contained in the books was quite valid.  It occurred to me that perhaps Carlos was, himself, don Juan – the shaman acting in the guise of the fool in order to facilitate the Knowledge  that might not otherwise be accepted if delivered directly from the lips of the fool.  Human prejudice is a sad fact.  Because of our own self-importance, we won't easily accept "wisdom" from our fellow man, but we will accept it from religious icons, burning bushes, or the occasional passing "holy man", so... it has never mattered to me whether or not don Juan existed in the physical realm, or was only a tool Carlos used to get his ideas across.


Whether physical or not, don Juan Matus was most definitely "real", most definitely Carlos' teacher, benefactor and nagual.  This is why attempts at debunking Castaneda have never been effective with me, despite several attempts by friends & colleagues.  The concepts are valid when one begins doing the work, and therefore direct knowledge based on experience can never be debunked.


When I realized that is when  I learned to change my mindset from rigid to fluid.  I began to base opinions on direct personal knowledge/experience rather than on what I had been taught, and this was my first step toward increasing my own "personal power". 


About this same time, Wendy had a profound experience wherein she was quite literally yanked out of her body by an ally & taken to the third attention.  This occurred while in a dream state, but was no dream.  She was yanked out of herself and essentially dangled over the abyss itself while this ally held onto her wrists to keep her from literally blowing away in this fierce, howling, horrific wind.  He kept telling her, "Take the fire.  Take the fire."  She was holding onto his wrists to keep from being blown away into absolute nothingness by this fierce wind, yet she knew that if she didn't trust him and do as he said, she would  be obliterated utterly.  So she released her hold on him and took the fire, at which point, she & the teacher were once again in a stable environment. He said, "Good.  There will be those who believe you and those who do not.  You must never trust them."  It is believed the "fire" was the will/identity/intent to do this journey... though interpretation of this event is ever-changing.  This was a life-changing event for her, and, as a byproduct, for me.  When she told me, it was as if I had been there, too.


The next major event in this process occurred in 1994, when I saw the movie, Interview With the Vampire.  It's been pointed out to me that I talk a lot about movies, I think it's because this particular medium has the ability to address aspects of the human condition which are normally  ignored  within the everyday machinations of the consensual reality.


With THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, there was a ring of truth to the ideas of magick – which was actually manifestations of will & intent.  In a recent movie, THE MATRIX, I have a very strong identification with the notion that the "reality" with which we are presented is, in a word, bullshit. Any warrior knows this to be true, yet the ordinary man on the street seems to have no idea whatsoever, and goes through life asleep in the matrix.


In the guise of "fiction"writers & filmmakers can directly address those things considered in polite consensual society to be poppycock, fantasy, delusion, etc.  Movies can give us a glimpse of our more-than-human potential, but it's a safe glimpse in that we have the option to see only the "fictional" movie or to see the deeper intent behind it – the man behind the curtain, as it were.


Interview With the Vampire is where I began to see a connection between several concepts that had persisted throughout my life.  When one of the main characters (Louis) awakens from the dead in his creator's arms (Lestat), and into his immortality, Lestat tells him, "Open your vampire eyes."  Louis does this, then goes on to narrate, "Might as well ask heaven what it sees. The world had changed, yet stayed the same.  The statue appeared to move, yet did not.  I was a newborn vampire, weeping at the beauty of the night." 



Louis & Lestat - The Lure of Immortality
Interview With the Vampire
Photo copyright © Geffen Pictures




In short, this character was seeing in the Castaneda sense, but with the added advantage of immortality.  In interviews, Anne Rice has admitted to an intense fascination with Castaneda, and so it stands to reason that these concepts are reflected in her work.   So – yet again – I was brought back to the same concepts, except now they had connected not only to seeing, but to ideas of immortality itself.  In the film, these immortals had achieved permanent sentience which was based partially in seeing and altogether in perception.  They were immortal because not only had the structure of their body been altered down to a molecular level, but so had their perceptions.  They had gained the personal power necessary to perceive eternity and withstand the forces of the Infinite.


A strange fire had been lit inside me.  Driven by this idea of immortality being connected to eternal perception, I began looking into everything I could on the subject .  Everything from the Nag Hammadi Library to Eliade's research into shamanism. Something was beginning to click, though I had neither the language nor the scientific background to fully comprehend it.  I knew that I needed to see, and that there was far more beneath the surface than I could access on my own, and so I made a sacred pact with the organic ally, psilocybin, for this purpose.


 I am attempting to be as open as I possibly can be, since these concepts have been intrinsic to my coming to the conclusions I presently hold – the notion of "installing oneself into the eternal structure of the universe, as sentience."  Perhaps it would suffice for now to say that the ideas of Star Trek, the erotic allure of the vampire’s immortality, and the ongoing mystery of Orlando have all served as my muses throughout the years – mentors & allies trance-dancing with this mortal woman-girl-child to bring her to this moment, this "now".


 Since 1994,  I have done little but pursue this evolution.  Aside from running our business, most of my  time is devoted to this assimilation, this process of  transforming belief into knowledge and knowledge into experience.  As a result of this level of commitment, I have gone through periods of material poverty, but counter-balanced with the greatest wealth of experience and spiritual enlightenment imaginable. Once all these elements mentioned above had been brought into play, I essentially immersed myself in the "doing".


More than just reading, meditating etc., I began keeping a personal journal.  In these journals, I can retrace my own steps and even right myself when I start to get lost in the consensual reality.  Writing in my journals is normally when I go into the true state of gnosis – deeper than simple meditation, it is a place where it is possible for me to literally extract information from the sentient fabric of the universe.  Yet I could not do this had I not built this foundation – it all had to come together in the mosaic.   I have come to call this sentient structure "the non-local web of all information" – a term from THE HOLOGRAPHIC UNIVERSE (by Michael Talbot).   And it is through this connection that many of my revelatory quantum leaps have come.  One such revelation is excerpted below, and perhaps represents the precise moment I began putting the pieces together:


[["7-10-97: Last night as I sat meditating in bed, the non-local web of information was trying to show me something to do with time & space.  Likening both to a filament like a spider's web, the image was that immortals somehow enter into the web and resurface at different places & times.  They don't move along the web as the spider does, but can actually become the web.  By altering their molecular structure to match the web, they can then appear at any point along the web - sort of like a transporter mechanism for immortals, I suspect.]] 

 {NOTE:  Notice the limited initial understanding.  This was the "zip" file.  This is where we have the choice to "extract" further information through ongoing deep meditation, or not.  Entirely up to us.}  


Having made the decision to do that deeper meditation, the following was "extracted" the next night:


7-11-97 "Further thoughts on the spider's web.  It seems that by "becoming" the web & then re-corporealizing in another location, the body would always be self-renewing, i.e., immortal, an indestructible energy form.  This is simply the nature of the beast, the nature of immortality.  Just as humans seem to begin self-destructing at the moment of puberty, immortals would be always self-renewing - not even as a conscious thought, perhaps, but once one becomes "eternal" one assumes the "nature" of being a part of this energy web. As a result, the immortal would be able to assume any physical shape s/he chooses, depending on its needs at the time.  Most of the time, it would probably appear as its "comfortable" form...


"I can see this all quite clearly, though I'm not sure what to Do about it - to become immortal would seem to be a matter of reversing one's very nature, to the point of becoming self-renewing energy instead of aging into self-destruction.  Is this, too, just a matter of perceptions?  Maybe, but how to alter perceptions sufficiently to Do this reversal-of-nature automatically so that it's more than just words.


"At some point, the ape changed his nature by coming down out of the trees.  Perhaps that was, at one moment, a single choice by a single ape - the choice to change his nature by evolving."


  Since then, I have come to see this energy web also as analogous to water – a continual, eternal ocean in which all sentient immortality has its basis.  Again to refer to a movie, there's a scene in THE ABYSS where an entity uses water as a means to create for itself a body – it rises up out of the water, but it is the water, taking on physical shape only to get the attention of the oblivious humans nearby.  In this journal entry excerpted above, what I was being shown was that this is how the immortals not only project the image of a body, but why they are immortal in the first place.


Instead of being comprised of organic matter (such as the spider running on the web), they are comprised of the same "stuff" as the web itself, so any body they would manifest or project is, by virtue of its molecular construct, also immortal. 


Though, of course, it could be shed and re-formed at will instantaneously – either "here" or in Greece, in the year 2000 or the year 2500 b.c.  Timeless.  Formless.  The evolved self.  The difference between this and some traditional idea of reincarnation is that there would be no breaks in continuity of identity.  The I-Am would remain completely intact, no loss of memory or identity.  Continuity as opposed to mere molecular recurrence.


So... that's the basic linear-map of how I came to these conclusions.  Since this initial revelation in 1997 regarding the need/ideal to become part of the same "stuff" as the web itself, the idea has become refined, and I am again and again led back to the concepts & ideas conveyed in the Castaneda books.


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