Introduction to The Crack Between the Worlds

Introduction to The Crack Between the Worlds

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Essential Zen In Prescott Arizona


Yes, yet another shameless plug for new sites I'm working on. Here is a new page, where I'm writing about what I call Essential Zen In Prescott Arizona to track my results for something MORE IMPORTANT, which would be working on the Wim Hof Method In Prescott Arizona. I have other 'zenny' posts on the page, but I'm really just using it to track my results for the Wim Hof Method. Essential Zen is just a term we used to throw around in chat back in the day, and I'm putting it to good use! So, come and visit my new blog and enjoy! (Feel free to comment as well.) 

Kris Kelley 

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Silver Bullet Talk

The Silver Bullet Talk

It is tradition that with the coming of a New Year we create in our minds a cross-road of introspection between the past and the future.  

It is therefore common that we reflect upon the unaccomplished resolutions to which we committed last year, and without greater self-analysis call ourselves `flakey' and `undisciplined' and continue to declare new resolutions for the following year, resolutions that will similarly remain unattained.  

It seems we can thus pass an entire lifetime without losing the weight we want to lose, without learning the new ‘latest and greatest’ we wish to learn, without playing the instrument of our dreams, without spending more time with our families, etc. 

As an existential strategist, father and friend I often find myself engaging individuals who, year after year, have seen their lives go by and (now desperate) wish me (or anyone) to rescue them with a few chosen words of solace or inspiration.  Now-a-days I dare not post about any ‘personal’ matters due to the fact that I’m asked a ton of questions looking for instant solutions. This is frequently when I offer my ‘Silver Bullet’ talk, which goes something like this: 

The European Medieval tradition relates that a gunshot with a silver bullet is the most certain and reliable method of killing a lycanthrope, that is, a `werewolf,' that diabolic figure that for centuries terrorized the existence of a superstitious people who believed in supernatural beings and therefore in magical solutions that would end the same. 

For most of us the days have passed in which we feared werewolves, placed gargoyles on our rooftops to ward off evil spirits, and lined the entrances of our homes with rings of garlic to fend off vampires.  Nonetheless, the concept of a `silver bullet' as a metaphor for a quick, effective, and effortless solution to a challenging and resilient problem remains.  

Logically the expression is often applied with skepticism, sarcasm, and irony:  although it is common that problems manifest that are as gloomy and overwhelming as werewolves,' rarely do they present with `silver bullets' as solutions. 

Nevertheless, in today's world this is what people seek most: an immediate solution with a minimum amount of inconvenience.  

We want to lose weight but continue eating sweets, drinking beer, ingesting fats, and only exercising from the couch to the bed, from the bed to the table, from the table to the car, from the car to the office, and from the office to the couch.  

We want our relationships with our significant others to improve, but without self-compromise and only as a result of indicating the improprieties and defects our partner exhibits as prerequisites to our relational bliss.  

We want our youth to stop taking drugs, but without our having to stop consuming alcohol or nicotine, which constitute, by far, the two drugs that cause the most social and economic damage.  

We want our societies to be safer, cleaner, more prosperous, even more beautiful, but we continue to delegate our civic duty to a class of professional politicians who year after year deceive us with words only to later disappoint us with deeds.  

We want to understand the self, personal power, ego, personal history and self importance, yet provide only a fleeting ‘goings over’ of attention to The Work that assists in this understanding.  

In short: We want the silver bullet that kills the `werewolves' of our existence and that changes our lives, our relationships, and our circumstances but without the effort of changing our own perspectives, attitudes, and behaviors. 

During these days of festivities, celebrations, promises and reflections, take a few moments to contemplate upon your lives, your families, your neighborhoods, your societies and countries, and if you find defects and problems therein, think about the following:  If you are not part of the solution you are the problem; and when you search for `silver bullets' to solve your problems know that you do not have to look beyond yourself to find the werewolves that terrorize your own existence. 

Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous Holiday Season and New Year, 


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Power Plants and Allies

The basic rule for this power plant (cannabis/marijuana) and the ally.

The basics of the rule were taught to me by grandfather Crowfoot (Blackfoot medicine man) when I was 14. The teacher instructs the apprentice in the basic rule, and then the ally continues to instruct the apprentice over the future years.

Read this completely before starting (start date is Oct. 15), and have all sacred items, containers, trowel, shovel, red cloth, large garbage bags, place of power for plants, fertilizer and white leather string, etc. to carry out the rule ready by this date. I will share with you the basics of the rule that I was provided with.

From that point on, after your first plants have been planted, grown, pick and cured, the ally in marijuana will instruct you directly. If you are first nations, most of what I write will make sense. If you are first nations, try and find a medicine man that has this plant as an ally, and see if he will teach you. If you are white, like me, then totally rely on intent, because it will all unfold if this ally is for you, and the ally will become another guardian and teacher for you.

All plants have allies. I have allies in tobacco, sage, cedar, sweet grass, marijuana, swamp mint and red willow. Each plant is unique and has its own rule. Although each rule when written out it seems long, to observe the rule will come naturally, just like breathing.

The first part of the rule is to "gain a home" for your plants. To "gain a home" for your plants requires the use of tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass, and must occur on the first nice day on or after Oct 15. To get tobacco, cedar, sage and a braid of sweet grass is accomplished in two ways. 

The traditional way - Take a few pouches of tobacco (its O.K. to buy pouch tobacco in a store) to a nearby first nations reservation. Go to the band office, explain that you are looking for a braid of sweet grass, cedar and sage for ceremonial purposes and could they direct you to an elder that would have these items. Offer a pouch of tobacco for being directed to said elder.

Don’t worry, nobody will ask you what you want these sacred items for. If somebody does get nosy, just tell them you have been instructed by a first nation friend to do this. When you meet the elder, give him/her a pouch of tobacco and explain you need a braid of sweet grass, a bundle of sage, and some cedar. Ask if you may come back when these sacred items are used up.

The non-traditional way - find a store that deals with first nation items. These stores usually carry braids of sweet grass, bundles of sage, and cedar. Pay for the items, but make it clear that you are viewing payment as donations and are not buying these sacred items since sacred items cannot be bought or sold. Tell them to keep the bill and give a pouch of tobacco to the person at the till. After receiving the sacred items, next buy yourself a small frying pan, cast iron skillet type. Then get a bag of BBQ briquettes and BBQ fluid starter.

During the summer, find a place out in the country that is private and out of sight. It should be a place of power for you. Usually, a relatives place out in the country is fine, (tell them that you have an interest in communing with nature, and use your stalking abilities). Find a place that makes you feel good. Go to this place over the summer and visit it over a period of time to make sure it is indeed a place of power for you. This is called "testing your place of power".

Once you are certain of the fact that you have "gained a home" for your plants, take the iron frying pan, BBQ briquettes, BBQ fluid starter, tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass to your place of power. This should be done on Sept. 21 or the first nice day after that date. Go to this place and smudge exactly at the rising of the sun. Rising of the sun can be obtained from the local newspaper.

If you already know how to smudge then follow the direct knowledge you have from these plants. If you do not know how to smudge, I will teach you what has been given to me, then the allies in these plants will teach you from that point on. Your body will know the right way.

To smudge, place BBQ briquette in frying pan and soak with BBQ fluid starter. Light briquette. While briquette is getting hot, take a bit of tobacco, same amount of cedar, the same amount of sage and same amount of sweet grass and mix together. To take the sweet grass from the braid, place top (skinniest) part of braid between thumb and finger. With other thumb and finger just below top thumb and finger, rotate braid until skinniest portion is detaches from main braid. It may take a vigorous rotating.

Once all power plants are thoroughly mixed, place contents in your hand and face west. This is my direction, the direction of courage and power. Your starting direction will be revealed to you during your first smudge. From that point on you start in that direction. The west is the direction of the thunder beings. I am a thunderstorm gazer. In this direction say a pray for your place of power, your future plants and ally! And anything else that pertains to courage and power. Then face north, this is the direction of cleansing, the giant beings. Say another prayer pertaining to this direction. Then face east, this is the direction of wisdom and knowledge. Say another prayer pertaining to this direction. Then face south, this is the direction of warmth and love, the direction you plant ally requires. Next, lower your head and the mixture in your hands and give thanks to mother earth and pray that she will bless your efforts. Then look up (45-degree angle) to the sky, raise mixture to 45-degree angle and ask the eagles to guard your place of power, ask father sky to send rains, give thanks to grandmother moon. You will need her help later once the plants are full grown, and ask grandfather sun to help nourish your plants. Then look straight up and raise mixture above your head and give thanks to tune-can-Sheila (the Great Spirit’s helper) and wakan tune-ca (the Great Spirit) for your life, the life of all plants, and ask that the ally be kind and gentle with you.

Once your prayers are finished, take a little bit of tobacco and sprinkle it on the mother earth as a cleansing for your smudging area. Once the BBQ briquette is hot (a grey color) take the mixture you prayed with and place it on the BBQ briquette. The sacred plants will begin to smoke immediately. while on your knees facing your direction, bath yourself with the smoke by cupping your hands and directing the smoke to your hair, then your head, then your shoulders, then each arm, then your torso. Breathe in a tiny bit of the smoke and exhale it. Stay there and continue to place the unburnt portion of the mixture on the briquette until all the mixture is burnt. After smudging and while unburnt portion is smoking, sit back, relax and let the allies in these power plants take you away. It is sort of like daydreaming, or shifting your assemblage point. It is different for every person. Once the mixture is finished smoking, place used mixture on the ground in a clockwise direction, starting with the direction you started your pray with. You are now clean and your power plants home is now clean. You are ready for Oct 15.

On Oct 15, or the first nice day after, you are going to "start building a home" for your power plants. Why Oct. 15? On Oct 14, mother earth moves into her cleansing phase (winter), and for this plant you cannot "start building a home" for it until mother earth is in the cleansing phase.

To "start building a home" you will need one small cardboard box per plant site, lined with plastic inside, a shovel, and red cotton cloth (1 square yard per box). Before sunrise you must have completed the following. Do a smudge ceremony for yourself, as per earlier smudge ceremony, also smudge the box(es), shovel and pieces of red cloth. To smudge items, pass items through the smoke first west to east, then south to north. After this smudging is completed go to the specific place where you plan on planting your plants. Sprinkle tobacco around the area you are going to take soil from for your plant. Sprinkle in a clockwise fashion. All directional movement must be in a clockwise fashion. While you are sprinkling the tobacco, give thanks to mother earth and ask her to bless your plant. Then dig enough dirt for a medium size planter.

Number each dig site and box so you can return each plant to its specific site. I make a map and number my boxes, and place a numbered stake at each site. For each site you dig, you place tobacco, say your pray and number. After each digging, close the box and then wrap it up in the red cloth and place in the car. nothing rides in the trunk. you don't ask your friends to ride in the trunk; the allies neither.

When you get home place boxes in a private place, where wife, daughters, or other females cannot see boxes. The reason you do this is because females who are "on their moon" (monthly period) will take the spirit from the ceremonial dirt. Keep each box wrapped in the red cloth. If the gals should find the boxes it is not a big deal, as long as they are not having their period. If they find the boxes during their period, forget it and start over next year. Leave over the winter.

Feb. 15 is "introducing plant to new home" day. Take Feb. 15 off from work. This is a magical and mysterious day. Why Feb. 15? Because mother earth moves into her wisdom and knowledge phase. Plants start to grow on this day because the sun is high enough in the sky to give energy to plants started on this day.

For this day you will need smudge materials, medium size planters, seeds, and a small trowel. How you get the seeds is your business. Do not smoke mixture you get seeds from if seeds come from street purchase. If you have a friend or acquaintance, have them save you seeds. I usually plant 9 growing sites, as each plant produces around 1-2 pounds of smoke and around 50 seeds for the following grow times. This is your smoke with your ally and is not for sale or for you to give away!

You can smoke with other warriors after a smudging ceremony for both of you. Everything must be completed by sunrise on Feb. 15. To start the day, you smudge exactly as before, except you start the BBQ briquette outside! Once fire is out and briquette grey, you can bring the iron skillet in and place on top of a large metal tin, or something that will not transmit heat. You smudge indoors this time in the room you will be starting your plants in. This room must be facing south or southwest. The smudging will consist of you, each box (still wrapped in red cloth), medium size planters, small trowel and seeds.

After you and all items have been smudged remove red cloth from the specific box and number each cloth and each medium size planter (each will match each dig site). You only need to smudge once. Each box is smudged, each planter is smudge and the trowel is smudged. Remove red cloth and place on floor. Then the box is opened, using the red cloth as an altar, the dirt is removed from the box into the planter. Plant seeds about ½ to 3/4 inch below compressed soil surface and place each planter on top of its respective red cloth so it can have sunlight as long as possible... I usually plant 2 seeds per planter, about a thumb length apart. Use water and outdoor plant fertilizer to nourish plants until "taking plant home" day. "Taking plant home" day occurs on May 24, or first nice day after. Why May 24, because father frost goes away on May 23 and does not return until Oct. 14.

On May 24, or first nice day after, before sunrise, all plants and ceremony must be completed. This means getting out of bed really early. On this day take out to your place of power your smudging materials, potted plants (they should be 1-2 feet high by now), small trowel, shovel and respective red cloths, water and fertilizer mixture. Light up BBQ briquette in iron skillet and prepare smudging material. Remember everything must be completed by sunrise. Smudge yourself, the plants, small trowel, shovel, water fertilizer mixture, and red cloths. Once you and items are smudged then take each respective plant to its home (site). Sprinkle tobacco around each specific site, say a prayer to mother earth and each plant then plant each planter (soil and all) as a one whole plant in the hole dug in the ground the previous fall. Each plant and soil must return to its specific hole. Do one plant at a time in the same order that you dug the holes. Clean material out of hole, pour in a generous amount of water/fertilizer mixture, and then place complete contents of planter into hole. I usually have two plants per hole. Number each respective cloths again and save at home for "vacate the house" day.

During the "growing in house" period, go to see your plants as needed. This is usually when they need the watering/fertilizer mixture. Each time you go to see your plants is after sunset. After the sunsets, during twilight, smudge yourself, and the water/fertilizer mixture. Water plants in the same order you planted them. Before watering them, sprinkle tobacco and say a prayer to mother earth and your plant. Remember sprinkle tobacco in clockwise fashion.

Each plant has a name just like you and me. The plant will give its name as direct knowledge. Once you know each plants name then you know you and the ally are starting to bond. On or before Oct. 14, it is time to "vacate the house". Watch the weather reports. The day before the first predicted frost is when your plants want to "vacate the house". It is this frost date or Oct. 14. No later than Oct. 14.

On "vacate the house" day, get smudge material ready, large plastic bags, and red cloths. After sunset, smudge yourself, the plastic bags, and red cloths. Then go to each plant in order of planting, and sprinkle tobacco around plant, giving thanks to mother earth, and offering a prayer to your plant and ally. If you start to feel a presence at your place of power, or you see your ally, do not die of fright < evil grin>. Take the plant by the stem, right near the ground and pull up gently. Immediately turn the plant upside down. The plant must stay in this position from now on. Place each plant(s) in a respective garbage bag. Around each root cover with its respective red cloth. Take plant in garbage bag back home. Plants do not ride in the trunk.

When you get home place plants where no female on her moon can take the spirit of your plant away. Once per week, on “vacating the house" day, smudging yourself and each plant (each plant remains in the garbage bag), in the order that you picked them. Do this four times. On the fifth week after smudging, (remember all these parts of the ceremonies are conducted after sunset), unfold the red cloth from the root system, and place on the floor. Sprinkle tobacco around each red cloth. Do one plant at a time. Take plant out of garbage bag, above red cloth and take leaves and small stems off of plant stem and branches. Large branches and main stem are not used for smoking. All leaves and small stems should fall on red cloth. Next take material out of garbage bag and place on red cloth. Place used branches and main stem back in respective garbage bag. Tie up each red cloth with a white leather string. This is the new home for the ally of your plant. With the remaining plant parts in respective garbage bags, take this out next time you go to the Oct. 15 ceremony "gain a home". Following the smudging part of the ceremony, return these parts to their respective site, after sprinkling tobacco and saying a thanks giving prayer. The new holes to be dug will be in the same area, but do not use the same hole twice.

Thus, you can see the full circle nature of the ally involved with this power plant. With the amount you have grown, you shouldn't need to plant every year unless you need to. Depends on how often you and the ally want to get together. After thirty years I do not even need to smoke to reach my ally. I usually only smoke if I need a major shift in my assemblage point to a very deep level. This is just the basic rule involved with marijuana. It will teach you much more as you become more acquainted.

It is so much easier just to buy it from a dealer, but you will never meet the ally contained in this plant smoking store bought stuff. Before smoking this ally, smudge, as it is very particular about cleanliness as you can gather with all the smudging involved. Believe me it is worth it. It is a gentle ally, ready to teach and impart knowledge. It will also allow you to dream or divine on any subject or person. Caught my first wife cheating and "saw" it was with my best friend. Heard them say when their next meeting would be, told my lawyer and we nabbed her and him cold. As for your previous use who can say. Give this a try, if you can, and see what the ally says. Once the rule has been provided the ally will decide what is in your heart. Remember path with a heart.

Search terms: ally, allies, ally in cannabis, ally in marijuana, ally and power plants, allies and power plants, allies in cannabis, allies in marijuana, allies in power plants. 


Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Art of Stalking by Carlos Castaneda

The Art of Stalking as described by Carlos Castaneda. 

The art of stalking was introduced to me as a set of procedures and attitudes that enabled one to get the best out of any conceivable situation. 

The stalkers are the ones who take the brunt of the daily world. They are the business managers, the ones who deal with people. Everything that has to do with the world of ordinary affairs goes through them. The stalkers are the practitioners of controlled folly, just as the dreamers are the practitioners of dreaming. In other words, controlled folly is the basis for stalking, as dreams are the basis for dreaming. Don Juan said that, generally speaking, a warrior's greatest accomplishment in the second attention is dreaming, and in the first attention his greatest accomplishment is stalking.

Don Juan said that his benefactor had taken extra time and care with him and his warriors in everything that pertained to their mastering the art of stalking. He used complex ploys to create an appropriate context for a counterpoint between the dictums of the rule and the behavior of the warriors in the daily world as they interacted with people. He believed that that was the way to convince them that, in the absence of self-importance, a warrior's only way of dealing with the social milieu is in terms of controlled folly. 

Don Juan said that the force with which his benefactor carried out his designs originated from his knowledge that the Eagle is real and final, and that what people do is utter folly. The two together gave rise to controlled folly, which don Juan's benefactor described as the only bridge between the folly of people and the finality of the Eagle's dictums. 

I asked her how she expected me to address her.  "Just Florinda will do," she said.  "Insofar as to who I am, I can tell you right off that I am a woman warrior who knows the secrets of stalking. And insofar as that I am supposed to do for you, I can tell you that I am going to teach you the first seven principles of stalking, the first three principles of the rule for stalkers, and the first three maneuvers of stalking." 

"The first principle of the art of stalking is that warriors choose their battleground," she said.  "A warrior never goes into battle without knowing what the surroundings are”. 

"To discard everything that is unnecessary is the second principle of the art of stalking”. 

Florinda said that Celestino's anger had also permitted the curer to point out, not to her reason, but to her body, the first three precepts of the rule for stalkers. Although her mind was focused entirely on herself, since nothing else existed for her outside her physical pain and the anguish of losing her beauty, still her body had acknowledged what had happened, and needed later on only a reminder in order to put everything in place. 

"Warriors don't have the world to cushion them, so they must have the rule," she went on.  "Yet the rule of stalkers applies to everyone. 

"Celestino's arrogance was his undoing and the beginning of my instruction and liberation. His self-importance, which was also mine, forced us both to believe that we were above practically everybody. The curer brought us down to what we really are - nothing. 

"The first precept of the rule is that everything that surrounds us is an unfathomable mystery. 

"The second precept of the rule is that we must try to unravel these mysteries, but without ever hoping to accomplish this. 

"The third, that a warrior, aware of the unfathomable mystery that surrounds him and aware of his duty to try to unravel it, takes his rightful place among mysteries and regards himself as one. 

Consequently, for a warrior there is no end to the mystery of being, whether being means being a pebble, or an ant, or oneself. That is a warrior's humbleness. One is equal to everything." 

"Don't complicate things," she said in a tone of command. "Aim at being simple. Apply all the concentration you have to decide whether or not to enter into battle, for any battle is a battle for one's life. 

This is the third principle of the art of stalking; A warrior must be willing and ready to make his last stand here and now. But not in a helter-skelter way." 

Without knowing I had used the third principle of the art of stalking. I had put my life, or what was left of it, on the line. I was willing and ready to die. It wasn't such a great decision for me, I was dying anyway. It is a fact that when one is half dead, as in my case, not with great pain but with great discomfort, the tendency is to get so lazy and weak that no effort is possible. 

"Good," Florinda said. "I see that you're applying the fourth principle of the art of stalking. 

Relax, abandon yourself, fear nothing. Only then will the powers that guide us open the road and aid us. Only then." 

"You've correctly applied the fifth principle of the art of stalking" she said. "Don't let yourself wander away." 

"What is the fifth principle?" I asked. 

"When faced with odds that cannot be dealt with, warriors retreat for a moment," she said.  "They let their minds meander. They occupy their time with something else. Anything would do. 

"You've done just that. But now that you've accomplished it, you must apply the sixth principle: Warriors compress time; even an instant counts. In a battle for your life, a second is an eternity; an eternity that may decide the outcome. Warriors aim at succeeding, therefore they compress time. Warriors don't waste an instant." 

She explained that a recapitulation is the forte of stalkers as the dreaming body is the forte of dreamers. It consisted of recollecting one's life down to the most insignificant detail. Thus her benefactor had given her that crate as a tool and a symbol. It was a tool that would permit her to learn concentration, for she would have to sit in there for years, until all of her life had passed in front of her eyes. And it was a symbol of the narrow boundaries of our person. Her benefactor told her that whenever she had finished her recapitulation, she would break the crate to symbolize that she no longer abided by the limitations of her person. 

She said that stalkers use crates or earth coffins in order to seal themselves in while they are reliving, more than merely recollecting, every moment of their lives. The reason why stalkers must recapitulate their lives in such a thorough manner is that the Eagle's gift to man includes its willingness to accept a surrogate instead of genuine awareness, if such a surrogate be a perfect replica. Florinda explained that since awareness is the Eagle's food, the Eagle can be satisfied with a perfect recapitulation in place of consciousness. 

Florinda gave me then the fundamentals of recapitulating. She said that the first stage is a brief recounting of all the incidents in our lives that in an obvious manner stand out for examination. 

The second stage is a more detailed recollection, which starts systematically at a point that could be the moment prior to the stalker sitting in the crate, and theoretically could extend to the moment of birth. 

She assured me that a perfect recapitulation could change a warrior as much, if not more, than the total control of the dreaming body. In this respect, dreaming and stalking led to the same end, the entering into the third attention. It was important for a warrior, however, to know and practice both. She said that for women it took different configurations in the luminous body to master one or the other. Men, on the other hand, could do both with a degree of ease, yet they could never get to the level of proficiency that the women attained in each art. 

Florinda explained that the key element in recapitulating was breathing. Breath for her was magical, because it was a life-giving function. She said that recollecting was easy if one could reduce the area of stimulation around the body. This was the reason for the crate; then breathing would foster deeper and deeper memories. Theoretically, stalkers have to remember every feeling that they have had in their lives, and this process begins with a breath. She warned me that the things she was teaching me were only preliminaries, that at a later time, in a different setting she would teach me the intricacies. 

Florinda said that her benefactor directed her to write down a list of the events to be relived. 

He told her that the procedure starts with an initial breath. Stalkers begin with their chin on the right shoulder and slowly inhale as they move their head over a hundred and eighty degree arc. 

The breath terminates on the left shoulder. Once the inhalation ends, the head goes back to a relaxed position. They exhale looking straight ahead. The stalker then takes the event at the top of the list and remains with it until all the feelings expended in it have been recounted. As stalkers remember the feelings they invested in whatever it is that they are remembering, they inhale slowly, moving their heads from the right shoulder to the left. The function of this breathing is to restore energy. Florinda claimed that the luminous body is constantly creating cob-weblike filaments, which are projected out of the luminous mass, propelled by emotions of any sort. Therefore, every situation of interaction, or every situation where feelings are involved, is potentially draining to the luminous body. By breathing from right to left while remembering a feeling, stalkers, through the magic of breathing, pick up the filaments they left behind. The next immediate breath is from left to right and it is an exhalation. With it stalkers eject filaments left in them by other luminous bodies involved in the event being recollected. 

She stated that these were the mandatory preliminaries of stalking, which all the members of her party went through as an introduction to the more demanding exercises of the art. Unless stalkers have gone through the preliminaries in order to retrieve the filaments they have left in the world, and particularly in order to reject those that others have left in them, there is no possibility of handling controlled folly, because those foreign filaments are the basis of one's limitless capacity for self-importance. 

In order to practice controlled folly, since it is not a way to fool or chastise people or feel superior to them, one has to be capable of laughing at oneself. Florinda said that one of the results of a detailed recapitulation is genuine laughter upon coming face to face with the boring repetition of one's self-esteem, which is at the core of all human interaction. 

Florinda emphasized that the rule defined stalking and dreaming as arts; therefore they are something that one performs. She said that the life-giving nature of breath is what also gives it its cleansing capacity. It is this capacity that makes a recapitulation into a practical matter. 

Florinda said that her benefactor considered the three basic techniques of stalking - the crate, the list of events to be recapitulated, and the stalker's breath - to be about the most important tasks a warrior can fulfill. Her benefactor thought that a profound recapitulation is the most expedient means to lose the human form. Thus it is easier for stalkers, after recapitulating their lives, to make use of all the not-doings of the self, such as erasing personal history, losing self importance, breaking routines and so forth. 

Florinda said that her benefactor gave all of them the example of what he meant, first by acting out his premises, and then by giving them the warrior's rationales for his actions. 

In her own case, he, being a master of the art of stalking, acted out the ploy of her disease and cure which not only was congruous with the warrior's way, but was a masterful introduction to the seven basic principles of the art of stalking. He first drew Florinda to his own battleground where she was at his mercy; he forced her to discard what was not essential; he taught her to put her life on the line with a decision; he taught her how to relax; in order to help her regroup her resources, he made her enter into a new arid different mood of optimism and self-confidence; he taught her to compress time; and finally he showed her that a stalker never pushes himself to the front. 

Florinda was most impressed by the last principle. To her it summarized everything she wanted to tell me in her last-minute instructions. 

"My benefactor was the chief," Florinda said. "And yet, looking at him, no one would've ever believed it. He always had one of his female warriors as a front, while he freely mingled with the patients, pretending to be one of them, or he posed as an old fool who was constantly sweeping dry leaves with a handmade broom." 

Florinda explained that in order to apply the seventh principle of the art of stalking, one has to apply the other six. Thus her benefactor was always looking on from behind the scenes. Thanks to that he was capable of avoiding or parrying conflicts. If there was strife, it was never directed toward him, but towards his front, the female warrior. 

"I hope that you have realized by now," she went on, "that only a master stalker can be a master of controlled folly. Controlled folly doesn't mean to con people. It means, as my benefactor explained it, that warriors apply the seven basic principles of the art of stalking to whatever they do, from the most trivial acts to life and death situations. 

"Applying these principles brings about three results. The first is that stalkers learn never to take themselves seriously; they learn to laugh at themselves. If they're not afraid of being a fool, they can fool anyone. The second is that stalkers learn to have endless patience. Stalkers are never in a hurry; they never fret. And the third is that stalkers learn to have an endless capacity to improvise." 

She explained that stalkers are inherently different than dreamers in the way they use the world around them, and that what dona Soledad was doing was trying to help me to turn my head. 

When don Juan had described the concept of turning a warrior's head to face a new direction, I had understood it as a metaphor that depicted a change in attitude. Florinda said that that description was true, but it was no metaphor. It was true that stalkers turn their heads; however, they do not turn them to face a new direction, but to face time in a different way. 

Stalkers face the oncoming time. Normally we face time as it recedes from us. Only stalkers can change that and face time as it advances on them. 

He said that the most effective strategy was worked out by the seers of the Conquest, the unquestionable masters of stalking. It consists of six elements that interplay with one another. 

Five of them are called the attributes of warriorship: control, discipline, forbearance, timing, and will. They pertain to the world of the warrior who is fighting to lose self-importance. The sixth element, which is perhaps the most important of all, pertains to the outside world and is called the petty tyrant. 

Don Juan stopped talking and stared at me fixedly. There was an awkward silence; then he started to talk about stalking. He said that it had very humble and fortuitous origins. It started from an observation the new seers made that when warriors steadily behave in ways not customary for them, the unused emanations inside their cocoons begin to glow. And their assemblage points shift in a mild, harmonious, barely noticeable fashion. 

Stimulated by this observation, the new seers began to practice the systematic control of their behavior. They called this practice the art of stalking. Don Juan remarked that the name, although objectionable, was appropriate, because stalking entailed a specific kind of behavior with people, behavior that could be categorized as surreptitious. 

The new seers, armed with this technique, tackled the known in a sober and fruitful way. 

By continual practice, they made their assemblage points move steadily. 

"Stalking is one of the two greatest accomplishments of the new seers." he said. "The new seers decided that it should be taught to a modern-day nagual when his assemblage point has moved quite deep into the left side. The reason for this decision is that a nagual must learn the principles of stalking without the encumbrance of the human inventory. After all, the nagual is the leader of a group, and to lead them he has to act quickly without first having to think about it. 

"Other warriors can learn stalking in their normal awareness, although it is advisable that they do it in heightened awareness - not so much because of the value of heightened awareness, but because it imbues stalking with a mystery that it doesn't really have; stalking is merely behavior with people." 

He said that I could now understand that shifting the assemblage point was the reason why the new seers placed such a high value on the interaction with petty tyrants. Petty tyrants forced seers to use the principles of stalking and, in doing so, helped seers to move their assemblage points. 

I asked him if the old seers knew anything at all about the principles of stalking. 

"Stalking belongs exclusively to the new seers," he said, smiling. "They are the only seers who had to deal with people. The old ones were so wrapped up in their sense of power that they didn't even know that people existed, until people started clobbering them on the head. But you already know all this." 

He said that as time passed and the new seers established their practices, they realized that under the prevailing conditions of life, stalking only moved the assemblage points minimally. For maximum effect, stalking needed an ideal setting; it needed petty tyrants in positions of great authority and power.  It became increasingly difficult for the new seers to place themselves in such situations; the task of improvising them or seeking them out became an unbearable burden. 

He explained that stalking practices are not something one can rejoice in; in fact, they are downright objectionable. Knowing this, the new seers realize that it would be against everybody's interest to discuss or practice the principles of stalking in normal awareness. 

I pointed out to him an incongruity. He had said that there is no way for warriors to act in the world while they are in heightened awareness, and he had also said that stalking is simply behaving with people in specific ways. The two statements contradicted each other. 

"By not teaching it in normal awareness I was referring only to teaching it to a nagual," he said. "The purpose of stalking is twofold: first, to move the assemblage point as steadily and safely as possible, and nothing can do the job as well as stalking: second, to imprint its principles at such a deep level that the human inventory is bypassed, as is the natural reaction of refusing and judging something that may be offensive to reason." 

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

"We are going to talk now about the third abstract core," don Juan said. "It is called the trickery of the spirit, or the trickery of the abstract, or stalking oneself, or dusting the link." 

"The art of stalking is learning all the quirks of your disguise," Belisario said, paying no attention to what don Juan was telling him. "And it is to learn them so well no one will know you are disguised. For that you need to be ruthless, cunning, patient, and sweet." 

He made don Juan practice his womanly behavior skills in every town they passed through. 

And don Juan honestly believed he was teaching him to be an actor. But Belisario insisted that he was teaching him the art of stalking. He told don Juan that stalking was an art applicable to everything, and that there were four steps to learning it: ruthlessness, cunning, patience, and sweetness. 

I felt compelled to interrupt his account once more. 

"But isn't stalking taught in deep, heightened awareness?" I asked. 

"Of course," he replied with a grin. "But you have to understand that for some men wearing women's clothes is the door into heightened awareness. In fact, such means are more effective than pushing the assemblage point, but are very difficult to arrange." 

Don Juan said that his benefactor drilled him daily in the four moods of stalking and insisted that don Juan understand that ruthlessness should not be harshness, cunning should not be cruelty, patience should not be negligence, and sweetness should not be foolishness. 

He taught him that these four steps had to be practiced and perfected until they were so smooth they were unnoticeable. He believed women to be natural stalkers. And his conviction was so strong he maintained that only in a woman's disguise could any man really learn the art of stalking. 

"I went with him to every market in every town we passed and haggled with everyone," don Juan went on. "My benefactor used to stay to one side watching me. 'Be ruthless but charming,' he used to say. 'Be cunning but nice. Be patient but active. Be sweet but lethal. Only women can do it. If a man acts this way he's being prissy.' " 

Don Juan explained to me that ruthlessness, cunning, patience, and sweetness were the essence of stalking. They were the basics that with all their ramifications had to be taught in careful, meticulous steps. 

He stressed repeatedly that teaching stalking was one of the most difficult things sorcerers did.  And he insisted that no matter what they themselves did to teach me stalking, and no matter what I believed to the contrary, it was impeccability which dictated their acts. 

He asserted that stalking was the beginning, and that before anything could be attempted on the warrior's path, warriors must learn to stalk; next they must learn to intend, and only then could they move their assemblage point at will. 

"The very first principle of stalking is that a warrior stalks himself," he said. "He stalks himself ruthlessly, cunningly, patiently, and sweetly." 

I wanted to laugh, but he did not give me time. Very succinctly he defined stalking as the art of using behavior in novel ways for specific purposes. He said that normal human behavior in the world of everyday life was routine. Any behavior that broke from routine caused an unusual effect on our total being. That unusual effect was what sorcerers sought, because it was cumulative. 

"The real challenge for those sorcerer seers," don Juan went on, "was finding a system of behavior that was neither petty nor capricious, but that combined the morality and the sense of beauty which differentiates sorcerer seers from plain witches." 

He said that for sorcerers stalking was the foundation on which everything else they did was built. 

"Some sorcerers object to the term stalking," he went on, "but the name came about because it entails surreptitious behavior. 

"It's also called the art of stealth, but that term is equally unfortunate. We ourselves, because of our nonmilitant temperament, call it the art of controlled folly. You can call it anything you wish. We, however, will continue with the term stalking since it's so easy to say stalker and, as my benefactor used to say, so awkward to say controlled folly maker." 

"When the pressure of their connecting link is too great, sorcerers relieve it by stalking themselves." 

"I still don't think I understand what you mean by stalking" I said. "But at a certain level I think I know exactly what you mean." 

"I'll try to help you clarify what you know, then," he said. "Stalking is a procedure, a very simple one. Stalking is special behavior that follows certain principles. It is secretive, furtive, deceptive behavior designed to deliver a jolt. And, when you stalk yourself you jolt yourself, using your own behavior in a ruthless, cunning way." 

He explained that when a sorcerer's awareness became bogged down with the weight of his perceptual input, which was what was happening to me, the best, or even perhaps the only remedy was to use the idea of death to deliver that stalking jolt. 

"Your problem is very simple," he said. "You become easily obsessed. I have been telling you that sorcerers stalk themselves in order to break the power of their obsessions. There are many ways of stalking oneself. If you don't want to use the idea of your death, use the poems you read me to stalk yourself." 

"As I hear the words," don Juan said when I had finished reading, "I feel that that man is seeing the essence of things and I can see with him. I don't care what the poem is about. I care only about the feeling the poet's longing brings me. I borrow his longing, and with it I borrow the beauty. And marvel at the fact that he, like a true warrior, lavishes it on the recipients, the beholders, retaining for himself only his longing. This jolt, this shock of beauty, is stalking." 

"In order to protect themselves from that immensity," don Juan said, "sorcerers learn to maintain a perfect blend of ruthlessness, cunning, patience, and sweetness. These four bases are inextricably bound together. Sorcerers cultivate them by intending them. These bases are, naturally, positions of the assemblage point." 

He went on to say that every act performed by any sorcerer was by definition governed by these four principles. So, properly speaking, every sorcerer's every action is deliberate in thought and realization, and has the specific blend of the four foundations of stalking. 

"Sorcerers use the four moods of stalking as guides," he continued. "These are four different frames of mind, four different brands of intensity that sorcerers can use to induce their assemblage points to move to specific positions." 

He smiled, his eyes shining like two spots of light. He said that sorcerers, in an effort to protect themselves from the overwhelming effect of silent knowledge, developed the art of stalking. Stalking moves the assemblage point minutely but steadily, thus giving sorcerers time and therefore the possibility of buttressing themselves. 

"Within the art of stalking," don Juan continued, "there is a technique which sorcerers use a great deal: controlled folly. Sorcerers claim that controlled folly is the only way they have of dealing with themselves - in their state of expanded awareness and perception - and with everybody and everything in the world of daily affairs." 

Don Juan had explained controlled folly as the art of controlled deception or the art of pretending to be thoroughly immersed in the action at hand - pretending so well no one could tell it from the real thing. Controlled folly is not an outright deception, he had told me, but a sophisticated, artistic way of being separated from everything while remaining an integral part of everything. 

"Controlled folly is an art," don Juan continued. "A very bothersome art, and a difficult one to learn. Many sorcerers don't have the stomach for it, not because there is anything inherently wrong with the art, but because it takes a lot of energy to exercise it." 

Don Juan admitted that he practiced it conscientiously, although he was not particularly fond of doing so, perhaps because his benefactor had been so adept at it. Or, perhaps it was because his personality - which he said was basically devious and petty - simply did not have the agility needed to practice controlled folly. 

"What was the nagual Elias's reason for training the Tulios as he did?" I asked. 

Don Juan peered at me and laughed loudly. At that instant the lights of the plaza were turned on. He got up from his favorite bench and rubbed it with the palm of his hand, as if it were a pet. 

"Freedom," he said. "He wanted their freedom from perceptual convention. And he taught them to be artists. Stalking is an art. For a sorcerer, since he's not a patron or a seller of art, the only thing of importance about a work of art is that it can be accomplished." 

Don Juan expressed his bewilderment at the fact that out of all the marvelous things the old sorcerers learned exploring those thousands of positions, only the art of dreaming and the art of stalking remain. 

He reiterated that the art of dreaming is concerned with the displacement of the assemblage point. Then he defined stalking as the art that deals with the fixation of the assemblage point on any location to which it is displaced. 

"To fixate the assemblage point on any new spot means to acquire cohesion," he said. "You have been doing just that in your dreaming practices." 

The old sorcerers called the entire act of acquiring uniformity and cohesion outside the normal world stalking perception. 

"The art of stalking," he continued, "as I have already said, deals with the fixation of the assemblage point. The old sorcerers discovered, through practice, that important as it is to displace the assemblage point, it is even more important to make it stay fixed on its new position, wherever that new position might be." 

He explained that if the assemblage point does not become stationary, there is no way that we can perceive coherently. We would experience then a kaleidoscope of disassociated images. This is the reason the old sorcerers put as much emphasis on dreaming as they did on stalking. 

One art cannot exist without the other, especially for the kinds of activities in which the old sorcerers were involved. 

"Let your energy body intend to reach the optimum dreaming position," he explained. 

"Then, let your energy body intend to stay at that position and you will be stalking." 

"We can't have dealings with them [IB’s]," he answered, "and yet we can't stay away from them. My solution has been to take their energy but not give in to their influence. This is known as the ultimate stalking. 

"I'm going to propose a line of action for you," he said in a curt tone when we had finished our lunch. "It's the last task of the third gate of dreaming, and it consists of stalking the stalkers, a most mysterious maneuver. To stalk the stalkers means to deliberately draw energy from the inorganic beings' realm in order to perform a sorcery feat." 

"I want you two to break the boundaries of the normal world and, using awareness as an energetic element, enter into another," he said. "This breaking and entering amounts to stalking the stalkers. Using awareness as an element of the environment bypasses the influence of the inorganic beings, but it still uses their energy." 

"Your total physical mass has to be added to your energy body," don Juan replied, looking into her eyes. "The great difficulty of this maneuver is to discipline the energy body, a thing the two of you have already done. Lack of discipline is the only reason the two of you may fail in performing this feat of ultimate stalking. Sometimes, as a fluke, an average person ends up performing it and entering into another world. But this is immediately explained away as insanity or hallucination."

To be continued...


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Death is an Advisor

"A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear."  

"That's even harder, don Juan. For most people death is very vague and remote.  We never think of it."  

"Why not?"  

"Why should we?"  

"Very simple," he said.  "Because the idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit."  

"By the time knowledge becomes a frightening affair the man also realizes that death is the irreplaceable partner that sits next to him on the mat.  Every bit of knowledge that becomes power has death as its central force.  Death lends the ultimate touch, and whatever is touched by death indeed becomes power.  

"A man who follows the paths of sorcery is confronted with imminent annihilation every turn of the way, and unavoidably he becomes keenly aware of his death.  Without the awareness of death he would be only an ordinary man involved in ordinary acts.  He would lack the necessary potency, the necessary concentration that transforms one's ordinary time on earth into magical power.”  

"Thus to be a warrior a man has to be, first of all, and rightfully so, keenly aware of his own death.  But to be concerned with death would force any one of us to focus on the self and that would be debilitating.  So the next thing one needs to be a warrior is detachment.  The idea of imminent death, instead of becoming an obsession, becomes an indifference."  

Don Juan stopped talking and looked at me.  He seemed to be waiting for a comment.  

"Do you understand?" he asked.  

I understood what he had said but I personally could not see how anyone could arrive at a sense of detachment.  I said that from the point of view of my own apprenticeship I had already experienced the moment when knowledge became such a frightening affair.  I could also truthfully say that I no longer found support in the ordinary premises of my daily life.  And I wanted, or perhaps even more than wanted, I needed, to live like a warrior.  

"Now you must detach yourself," he said.  

"From what?"  

"Detach yourself from everything."  

"That's impossible.  I don't want to be a hermit."  

"To be a hermit is an indulgence and I never meant that.  A hermit is not detached, for he willfully abandons himself to being a hermit.  

"Only the idea of death makes a man sufficiently detached so he is incapable of abandoning himself to anything.  Only the idea of death makes a man sufficiently detached so he can't deny himself anything.  A man of that sort, however, does not crave, for he has acquired a silent lust for life and for all things of life.  He knows his death is stalking him and won't give him time to cling to anything, so he tries, without craving, all of everything.  

"A detached man, who knows he has no possibility of fencing off his death, has only one thing to back himself with: the power of his decisions.  He has to be, so to speak, the master of his choices.  He must fully understand that his choice is his responsibility and once he makes it there is no longer time for regrets or recriminations.  His decisions are final, simply because his death does not permit him time to cling to anything.  

"And thus with an awareness of his death, with his detachment, and with the power of his decisions a warrior sets his life in a strategical manner.  The knowledge of his death guides him and makes him detached and silently lusty; the power of his final decisions makes him able to choose without regrets and what he chooses is always strategically the best; and so he performs everything he has to with gusto and lusty efficiency. 

"When a man behaves in such a manner one may rightfully say that he is a warrior and has acquired patience!"  

"When a warrior has acquired patience he is on his way to will.  He knows how to wait.  His death sits with him on his mat, they are friends.  His death advises him, in mysterious ways, how to choose, how to live strategically.  And the warrior waits!  I would say that the warrior learns without any hurry because he knows he is waiting for his will; and one day he succeeds in performing something ordinarily quite impossible to accomplish. 

He may not even notice his extraordinary deed.  But as he keeps on performing impossible acts, or as impossible things keep on happening to him, he becomes aware that a sort of power is emerging.  A power that conies out of his body as he progresses on the path of knowledge.  At first it is like an itching on the belly, or a warm spot that cannot be soothed; then it becomes a pain, a great discomfort.  Sometimes the pain and discomfort are so great that the warrior has convulsions for months, the more severe the convulsions the better for him. A fine power is always heralded by great pain.  

"Death is the only wise adviser that we have.  Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so.  Your death will tell you that you're wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch.  Your death will tell you, "I haven't touched you yet".  

"One of us here has to change, and fast.  One of us here has to learn again that death is the hunter, and that it is always to one's left.  One of us here has to ask death's advice and drop the cursed pettiness that belongs to men that live their lives as if death will never tap them."  

"You, on the other hand, feel that you are immortal, and the decisions of an immortal man can be cancelled or regretted or doubted. In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regrets or doubts.  There is only time for decisions."  

"It doesn't matter what the decision is," he said.  "Nothing could be more or less serious than anything else.  Don't you see?  In a world where death is the hunter there are no small or big decisions.  There are only decisions that we make in the face of our inevitable death."  

"You always feel compelled to explain your acts, as if you were the only man on earth who's wrong," he said.  "It's your old feeling of importance.  You have too much of it; you also have too much personal history.  On the other hand, you don't assume responsibility for your acts; you're not using your death as an adviser, and above all, you are too accessible.  In other words, your life is as messy as it was before I met you."  

"Use it. Focus your attention on the link between you and your death, without remorse or sadness or worrying.  Focus your attention on the fact you don't have time and let your acts flow accordingly.  Let each of your acts be your last battle on earth.  Only under those conditions will your acts have their rightful power.  Otherwise they will be, for as long as you live, the acts of a timid man."  

"What an exquisite omen this is!" he went on.  "And all for you.  Power is showing you that death is the indispensable ingredient in having to believe.  Without the awareness of death everything is ordinary, trivial.  It is only because death is stalking us that the world is an unfathomable mystery.  Power has shown you that.  All I have done myself is to round up the details of the omen, so the direction would be clear to you; but in rounding up the details, I have also shown you that everything I have said to you today is what I have to believe myself, because that is the predilection of my spirit."

To be continued...