Carlos Castaneda

Peruvian-American author

Carlos Castaneda (December 25, 1925 – April 27, 1998) was a Peruvian-American author with a Ph.D. in anthropology. Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that purport to describe training in shamanism that he received under the tutelage of a Yaqui "Man of Knowledge" named don Juan Matus. Many consider Castenada's books to be fictional.

He belonged to a lineage of shamans that traced its origins all the way back to the shamans who lived in Mexico in ancient times.
In the most effective manner he could afford, don Juan Matus ushered me into his world, which was, naturally, the world of those shamans of antiquity.
The only thing that could be done was to follow the quotations, and let them create a sketch of the skeletal form of the thoughts and feelings that the shamans of ancient Mexico had about life, death, the universe, energy. They are reflections of how those shamans understood not only the universe, but the processes of living and coexisting in our world. And more important yet, they point out the possibility of handling two systems of cognition at once without any detriment to the self.
A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting... Thus a man of knowledge sweats and puffs and if one looks at him he is just like an ordinary man, except that the folly of his life is under his control.
Some men have the vanity to believe that they live in two worlds, but that is only their vanity. There is but one single world for us. We are men, and must follow the world of men contentedly.
The world is unfathomable. And so are we, and so is every being that exists in this world.
Power rests on the kind of knowledge that one holds. What is the sense of knowing things that are useless? They will not prepare us for our unavoidable encounter with the unknown.
A man has four natural enemies: fear, clarity, power, and old age. Fear, clarity and power can be overcome, but not old age. Its effect can be postponed, but it can never be overcome.
Nothing in this world is a gift. Whatever has to be learned must be learned the hard way.
There is a question that a warrior has to ask, mandatorily: Does this path have a heart?...a path without a heart is never enjoyable.
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda (1968)

QuotesEdit

  • A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting... Thus a man of knowledge sweats and puffs and if one looks at him he is just like an ordinary man, except that the folly of his life is under his control. Separate Reality: Conversations With Don Juan. (1971) p. 85; As cited in: Eugene Dupuis (2001) Time Shift: Managing Time to Create a Life You Love. Ch. 5: Self Management

The Wheel of Time: Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts About Life, Death and the Universe], (1998)Edit

(full text online)

  • This series of specially selected quotations was gathered from the first eight books that I wrote about the world of the shamans of ancient Mexico. The quotations were taken directly from the explanations given to me as an anthropologist by my teacher and mentor don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian shaman from Mexico. He belonged to a lineage of shamans that traced its origins all the way back to the shamans who lived in Mexico in ancient times.
    In the most effective manner he could afford, don Juan Matus ushered me into his world, which was, naturally, the world of those shamans of antiquity. Don Juan was, therefore, in a key position. He knew about the existence of another realm of reality, a realm which was neither illusory, nor the product of outbursts of fantasy. For don Juan and the rest of his shaman-companions - there were fifteen of them - the world of the shamans of antiquity was as real and as pragmatic as anything could be.
    This work started as a very simple attempt to collect a series of vignettes, sayings, and ideas from the lore of those shamans that would be interesting to read and think about. But after the work was in progress, an unforeseeable twist of direction took place: I realized that the quotations by themselves were imbued with an extraordinary impetus. They revealed a covert train of thought that had never been evident to me before. They were pointing out the direction that don Juan's explanations had taken over the thirteen years in which he guided me as an apprentice. (Introduction)
  • Better than any type of conceptualization, the quotations revealed an unsuspected and unwavering line of action that don Juan had followed in order to promote and facilitate my entrance into his world. It became something beyond a speculation to me that if don Juan had followed that line, this must have also been the way in which his own teacher had propelled him into the world of shamans.
    Under the impact of the "wheel of time," the aim of this book became, then, something that had not been part of the original plan. The quotations became the ruling factor, by themselves and in themselves, and the drive imposed on me by them was one of staying as close as I possibly could to the spirit in which the quotations were given. They were given in the spirit of frugality and ultimate directness. (Introduction)
  • The only thing that could be done was to follow the quotations, and let them create a sketch of the skeletal form of the thoughts and feelings that the shamans of ancient Mexico had about life, death, the universe, energy. They are reflections of how those shamans understood not only the universe, but the processes of living and coexisting in our world. And more important yet, they point out the possibility of handling two systems of cognition at once without any detriment to the self. (Introduction)

Quotations from The Teachings of Don Juan (Chapter 4)Edit

  • Power rests on the kind of knowledge that one holds. What is the sense of knowing things that are useless? They will not prepare us for our unavoidable encounter with the unknown.
  • Nothing in this world is a gift. Whatever has to be learned must be learned the hard way.
  • A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it might never live to regret it.
  • When a man has fulfilled all four of these requisites - to be wide awake, to have fear, respect, and absolute assurance - there are no mistakes for which he will have to account; under such conditions his actions lose the blundering quality of the acts of a fool. If such a man fails, or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that.
  • Dwelling upon the self too much produces a terrible fatigue. A man in that position is deaf and blind to everything else. The fatigue makes him cease to see the marvels all around him.
  • Every time a man sets himself to learn, he has to labor as hard as anyone can, and the limits of his learning are determined by his own nature. Therefore, there is no point in talking about knowledge. Fear of knowledge is natural; all of us experience it, and there is nothing we can do about it. But no matter how frightening learning is, it is more terrible to think of a man without knowledge.
  • To be angry at people means that one considers their acts to be important. It is imperative to cease to feel that way. The acts of men cannot be important enough to offset our only viable alternative: our unchangeable encounter with infinity.
  • Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore, a warrior must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if he feels that he should not follow it, he must not stay with it under any conditions. His decision to keep on that path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. He must look at every path closely and deliberately.
  • There is a question that a warrior has to ask, mandatorily: Does this path have a heart?
  • All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. However, a path without a heart is never enjoyable. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy - it does not make a warrior work at liking it; it makes for a joyful journey; as long as a man follows it, he is one with it.
  • There is a world of happiness where there is no difference between things because there is no one there to ask about the difference. But that is not the world of men. Some men have the vanity to believe that they live in two worlds, but that is only their vanity. There is but one single world for us. We are men, and must follow the world of men contentedly.
  • A man has four natural enemies: fear, clarity, power, and old age. Fear, clarity and power can be overcome, but not old age. Its effect can be postponed, but it can never be overcome.
  • For a warrior, to be inaccessible means that he touches the world around him sparingly. And above all, he deliberately avoids exhausting himself and others. He doesn’t use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people he loves.

Quotations from A Separate Reality (Chapter 6)Edit

  • A warrior knows that he is only a man. His only regret is that his life is so short that he can't grab onto all the things that he would like to. But for him, this is not an issue; it's only a pity. Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy and vain. To be a warrior one needs to be light and fluid.
  • When they are "seen" as fields of energy, human beings appear to be like fibers of light, like white cobwebs, very fine threads that circulate from the head to the toes. Thus to the eye of a seer, a man looks like an egg of circulating fibers. And his arms and legs are like luminous bristles, bursting out in all directions.
  • The seer "sees" that every man is in touch with everything else, not through his hands, but through a bunch of long fibers that shoot out in all directions from the center of his abdomen. Those fibers join a man to his surroundings; they keep his balance; they give him stability.
  • When a warrior learns to "see" he "sees" that a man is a luminous egg whether he's a beggar or a king and there's no way to change anything; or rather, what could be changed in that luminous egg? What?
  • A warrior never worries about his fear. Instead, he thinks about the wonders of "seeing" the flow of energy! The rest is frills, unimportant frills.
  • Only a crackpot would undertake the task of becoming a man of knowledge of his own accord. A sober-headed man has to be tricked into doing it. There are scores of people who would gladly undertake the task, but those don't count. They are usually cracked. They are like gourds that look fine from the outside and yet they would leak the minute you put pressure on them, the minute you filled them with water.
  • When a man is not concerned with "seeing," things look very much the same to him every time he looks at the world. When he learns to "see," on the other hand, nothing is ever the same every time he "sees" it, and yet it is the same. To the eye of a seer, a man is like an egg. Every time he "sees" the same man he "sees" a luminous egg, yet it is not the same luminous egg.
  • The shamans of ancient Mexico gave the name "allies" to inexplicable forces that acted upon them. They called them "allies" because they thought they could use them to their hearts' content, a notion that proved nearly fatal to those shamans, because what they called an "ally" is a being without corporeal essence that exists in the universe. Modern-day shamans call them "inorganic beings."
  • To ask what function the allies have is like asking what we men do in the world. We are here, that's all. And the allies are here like us; and maybe they were here before us.
  • The most effective way to live is as a warrior. A warrior may worry and think before making any decision, but once he makes it, he goes on his way, free from worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still awaiting him. That's the warriors' way.
  • A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit.
  • Death is everywhere. It may be the headlights of a car on a hilltop in the distance behind. They may remain visible for a while, and disappear into the darkness as if they had been scooped away; only to appear on another hilltop, and then disappear again.
  • Those are the lights on the head of death. Death puts them on like a hat and then shoots off on a gallop, gaining on us, getting closer and closer. Sometimes it turns off its lights. But death never stops.
  • A warrior must know first that his acts are useless, and yet, he must proceed as if he didn't know it. That's a shaman's "controlled folly."
  • The eyes of man can perform two functions: one is "seeing" energy at large as it flows in the universe and the other is "looking at things in this world." Neither of these functions is better than the other; however to train the eyes only to look is a shameful and unnecessary loss.
  • A warrior lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting.
  • A warrior chooses a path with heart, any path with heart, and follows it; and then he rejoices and laughs. He knows because he "sees" that his life will be over altogether too soon. He "sees" that nothing is more important that anything else.
  • A warrior has no honor, no dignity, no family, no name, no country; he has only life to be lived, and under these circumstances, his only tie to his fellow men is his controlled folly.
  • Nothing being more important than anything else, a warrior chooses any act, and acts it out as if it mattered to him. His controlled folly makes him say that what he does matters and makes him act as if it did, and yet he knows that it doesn't; so when he fulfills his acts, he retreats in peace, and whether his acts were good or bad, or worked or didn't, is in no way part of his concern.
  • A warrior may choose to remain totally impassive and never act, and behave as if being impassive really mattered to him; he would be rightfully true at that too, because that would also be his controlled folly.
  • There's no emptiness in the life of a warrior. Everything is filled to the brim. Everything is filled to the brim, and everything is equal.
  • An average man is too concerned with liking people or with being liked himself. A warrior likes, that's all. He likes whatever or whomever he wants for the hell of it.
  • A warrior takes responsibility for his acts, for the most trivial of his acts. An average man acts out his thoughts, and never takes responsibility for what he does.
  • The average man is either victorious or defeated and, depending on that, he becomes a persecutor or a victim. These two conditions are prevalent as long as one does not "see." "Seeing" dispels the illusion of victory, or defeat, or suffering.
  • A warrior knows that he is waiting and what he is waiting for; and while he waits he wants nothing and thus whatever little thing he gets is more than he can take. If he needs to eat he finds a way, because he is not hungry; if something hurts his body he finds a way to stop it, because he is not in pain. To be hungry or to be in pain means that the man is not a warrior; and the forces of his hunger and pain will destroy him.
  • Denying oneself is an indulgence. The indulgence of denying is by far the worst; it forces us to believe that we are doing great things, when in effect we are only fixed within ourselves.
  • "Intent" is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. "Intent" is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior's indulgence. "Intent" is what makes him invulnerable. "Intent" is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.
  • When a man embarks on the warriors' path he becomes aware, in a gradual manner, that ordinary life has been left forever behind. The means of the ordinary world are no longer a buffer for him; and he must adopt a new way of life if he is going to survive.
  • The things that people do cannot under any conditions be more important than the world. And thus a warrior treats the world as an endless mystery and what people do as an endless folly.

Quotations from "Journey to Ixtlan" (Chapter 8)Edit

  • We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.
  • One shouldn't worry about taking pictures or making tape recordings. Those are superfluities of sedate lives. One should worry about the spirit, which is always receding.
  • A warrior doesn't need personal history. One day, he finds it is no longer necessary for him, and he drops it.
  • Personal history must constantly be renewed by telling parents, relatives, and friends everything one does. On the other hand, for the warrior who has no personal history, no explanations are needed; nobody is angry or disillusioned with his acts. And above all, no one pins him down with their thoughts and their expectations.
  • When nothing is for sure we remain alert, perennially on our toes. It is more exciting not to know which bush the rabbit is hiding behind that to behave as though we knew everything.
  • As long as man feels that he is the most important thing in the world, he cannot really appreciate the world around him. He is like a horse with blinders; all he sees is himself, apart from everything else.
  • Death is our eternal companion. It is always to our left, an arm's length behind us. Death is the only wise adviser that a warrior has. Whenever he feels that everything is going wrong and he's about to be annihilated, he can turn to his death and ask if that is so. His death will tell him that he is wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. His death will tell him, "I haven't touched you yet."
  • Whenever a warrior decides to do something he must go all the way, but he must take responsibility for what he does. No matter what he does, he must know first why he is doing it, and then he must proceed with his actions without having doubts or remorse about them.
  • In a world where death is the hunter, there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions. It doesn't matter what the decisions are. Nothing could be more or less serious than anything else. In a world where death is the hunter, there are no small or big decisions. There are only decisions that a warrior makes in the face of his inevitable death.
  • A warrior must learn to be available and unavailable at the precise turn of the read. It is useless for a warrior to be unwittingly available at all times, as it is useless for him to hide when everybody knows that he is hiding.
  • For a warrior, to be inaccessible means that he touches the world around him sparingly. And above all, he deliberately avoids exhausting himself and others. He doesn't use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people he loves.
  • Once a man worries, he clings to anything out of desperation; and once he clings he is bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whomever or whatever he is clinging to. A warrior-hunter, on the other hand, knows he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he doesn't worry. To worry is to become accessible, unwittingly accessible.
  • A warrior-hunter deals intimately with his world, and yet he is inaccessible to that same world. He taps it lightly, stays for as long as he needs to, and then swiftly moves away, leaving hardly a mark.
  • For an average man, the world is weird because if he's not bored with it, he's at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous time.
  • A warrior must learn to make every act count, since he is going to be here in this world for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.
  • A warrior acts as if he knows what he is doing, when in effect he knows nothing.
  • A warrior doesn't know remorse for anything he has done, because to isolate one's acts as being mean, or ugly, or evil is to place an unwarranted importance on the self.
  • The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.


Quotations from "Tales of Power" (Chapter 10)Edit

  • The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks "impeccability" in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity.
  • There are lots of things a warrior can do at a certain time which he couldn't do years before. Those things themselves did not change; what changed was his idea of himself.
  • The only possible course that a warrior has is to act consistently and without reservations. At a certain moment, he knows enough of the warriors' way to act accordingly, but his old habits and routines may stand in his way.
  • If a warrior is to succeed in anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.
  • The "internal dialogue" is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such or so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue.
  • To change our idea of the world is the crux of shamanism. And stopping the internal dialogue is the only way to accomplish it.
  • When a warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable.
  • A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge.
  • The humbleness of a warrior is not the humbleness of a beggar. The warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn't permit anyone to lower his head to him. The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor for anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him.
  • Solace, haven, fear, all of these are words which have created moods that one has learned to accept without ever questioning their value.
  • The flaw with words is that they always make us feel enlightened, but when we turn around to face the world they always fail us and we end up facing the world as we always have, without enlightenment. For this reason, a warrior seeks to act rather than to talk, and to this effect, he gets a new description of the world - a new description where talking is not that important, and where new acts have new reflections.
  • A warrior considers himself already dead, so there is nothing for him to lose. The worst has already happened to him, therefore he's clear and calm; judging him by his acts or by his words, one would never suspect that he has witnessed everything.
  • Knowledge is a most peculiar affair, especially for a warrior. Knowledge for a warrior is something that comes at once, engulfs him, and passes on.
  • Knowledge comes to a warrior, floating, like specks of gold dust, the same dust that covers the wings of moths. So for a warrior, knowledge is like taking a shower, or being rained on by specks of dark gold dust.
  • Whenever the internal dialogue stops, the world collapses, and extraordinary facets of ourselves surface, as though they had been kept heavily guarded by our words.
  • The world is unfathomable. And so are we, and so is every being that exists in this world.
  • Warriors do not win victories by beating their heads against walls, but by overtaking the walls. Warriors jump over walls; they don't demolish them.
  • A warrior must cultivate the feeling that he has everything needed for the extravagant journey that is his life. What counts for a warrior is being alive. Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete.
  • Therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the experience of experiences is being alive.


Quotations from "The Power of Silence" (Chapter 18)Edit

 
Shamanism is a journey of return. A warrior returns victorious to the spirit, having descended into hell. And from hell he brings trophies. Understanding is one of his trophies.
  • It isn't that a warrior learns shamanism as time goes by; rather, what he learns as time goes by is to save energy. This energy will enable him to handle some of the energy fields which are ordinarily inaccessible to him. Shamanism is a state of awareness, the ability to use energy fields that are not employed in perceiving the everyday-life world that we know.
  • In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call "intent," and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to "intent" by a connecting link. Warriors are concerned with discussing, understanding, and employing that connecting link. They are especially concerned with cleaning it of the numbing effects brought about by the ordinary concerns of their everyday lives. Shamanism at this level can be defined as the procedure of cleaning one's connecting link to "intent."
  • Shamans are vitally concerned with their past, but not their personal past. For shamans, their past is what other shamans in bygone days have accomplished. They consult their past in order to obtain a point of reference. Only shamans genuinely seek a point of reference in their past. For them, establishing a point of reference means a chance to examine "intent."
  • The average man also examines the past. But it's his personal past he examines, for personal reasons. He measures himself against the past, whether his personal past or the past knowledge of his time, in order to find justifications for his present or future behavior, or to establish a model for himself.
  • The spirit manifests itself to a warrior at every turn. However, this is not the entire truth. The entire truth is that the spirit reveals itself to everyone with the same intensity and consistency, but only warriors are consistently attuned to such revelations.
  • Warriors speak of shamanism as a magical, mysterious bird which has paused in its flight for a moment in order to give man hope and purpose; warriors live under the wind of that bird, which they call the "bird of wisdom," the "bird of freedom."
  • For a warrior, the spirit is an abstract only because he knows it without words or even thoughts. It's an abstract because he can't conceive what the spirit is. Yet, without the slightest chance or desire to understand it, a warrior handles the spirit. He recognizes it, beckons it, entices it, becomes familiar with it, and expresses it with his acts.
  • Warriors have an ulterior purpose for their acts, which has nothing to do with personal gain. The average man acts only if there is the chance for profit. Warriors act not for profit, but for the spirit.
  • The shaman seers of ancient times, through their "seeing," first noticed that any unusual behavior produced a tremor in the assemblage point. They soon discovered that if unusual behavior is practiced systematically and directed wisely, it eventually forces the assemblage point to move.
  • "Silent knowledge" is nothing but direct contact with "intent."
  • Shamanism is a journey of return. A warrior returns victorious to the spirit, having descended into hell. And from hell he brings trophies. Understanding is one of his trophies.
  • Man's predicament is that he intuits his hidden resources, but he does not dare use them. This is why warriors say that man's plight is the counterpoint between his stupidity and his ignorance. Man needs now, more than ever, to be taught new ideas that have to do exclusively with his inner world - shamans' ideas, not social ideas, ideas pertaining to man facing the unknown, facing his personal death. Now, more than anything else, he needs to be taught the secrets of the assemblage point.

The Eagle's Gift, (1981)Edit

(Full text online)

 
Be fluid, at ease in whatever situation you find yourself. Your challenge is to deal with people with ease regardless of what they do to you.
 
Remember what I have said, that it is of no use to be sad and complain and feel justified in doing so, believing that someone is always doing something to us. Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior.
 
A warrior knows that he is waiting and knows also what he is waiting for, and while he waits he feasts his eyes on the world. The ultimate accomplishment of a warrior is joy.
  • Our total being consists of two perceivable segments. The first is the familiar physical body, which all of us can perceive; the second is the luminous body, which is a cocoon that only seers can perceive, a cocoon that gives us the appearance of giant luminous eggs. One of the most important goals of sorcery is to reach the luminous cocoon; a goal which is fulfilled through the sophisticated use of dreaming and through a rigorous, systematic exertion called not-doing. I've defined not-doing as an unfamiliar act which engages our total being by forcing it to become conscious of its luminous segment.
  • To explain these concepts I've made a three-part, uneven division of our consciousness. The smallest, the first attention, or the consciousness that every normal person has developed in order to deal with the daily world, encompasses the awareness of the physical body. Another larger portion, the second attention, is the awareness we need in order to perceive our luminous cocoon and to act as luminous beings. The second attention is brought forth through deliberate training or by an accidental trauma, and it encompasses the awareness of the luminous body. The last portion, which is the largest, is the third attention. It's an immeasurable consciousness which engages undefinable aspects of the awareness of the physical and the luminous bodies. The battlefield of warriors is the second attention, which is something like a training ground for reaching the third attention.
  • The compulsion to possess and hold on to things is not unique. Everyone who wants to follow the warrior's path has to rid himself of this fixation in order not to focus our dreaming body on the weak face of the second attention.
  • The dreaming body, sometimes called the "double" or the "Other," because it is a perfect replica of the dreamer's body, is inherently the energy of a luminous being, a whitish, phantomlike emanation, which is projected by the fixation of the second attention into a three-dimensional image of the body.
  • The dreaming body is as real as anything we deal with in the world. The second attention is unavoidably drawn to focus on our total being as a field of energy, and transforms that energy into anything suitable. The easiest thing is, of course, the image of the physical body, with which we are already thoroughly familiar from our daily lives and the use of our first attention.
  • What channels the energy of our total being to produce anything that might be within the boundaries of possibility is known as will.
  • At the level of luminous beings the range is so broad that it is futile to try to establish limits--thus, the energy of a luminous being can be transformed through will into anything.
  • We are not merely whatever our common sense requires us to believe we are. We are in actuality luminous beings, capable of becoming aware of our luminosity. As luminous beings aware of our luminosity, we are capable of unravelling different facets of our awareness, or our attention. That unravelling could be brought about by a deliberate effort, as we are doing ourselves, or accidentally, through a bodily trauma.
  • The old sorcerers deliberately placed different facets of their attention on material objects. By unravelling another facet of our attention we might become receptors for the projections of ancient sorcerers' second attention. Those sorcerers were impeccable practitioners with no limit to what they could accomplish with the fixation of their second attention.
  • Be fluid, at ease in whatever situation you find yourself. Your challenge is to deal with people with ease regardless of what they do to you. Remember what I have said, that it is of no use to be sad and complain and feel justified in doing so, believing that someone is always doing something to us. Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior.
  • You must let go of your desire to cling. The very same thing happened to me. I held on to things, such as the food I liked, the mountains where I lived, the people I used to enjoy talking to. But most of all I clung to the desire to be liked. Those things are our barriers to losing our human form. Our attention is trained to focus doggedly. That is the way we maintain the world. Now is the time to let go of all that. In order to lose your human form you should let go of all that ballast.
  • Dissipating a mood through overanalyzing it wastes our power.
  • If you have the same vision in dreaming three times, pay extraordinary attention to it. When a dreamer dreams that he sees himself asleep he must avoid sudden jolts or surprises, and take everything with a grain of salt. The dreamer has to get involved in dispassionate experimentations. Rather than examining his sleeping body, the dreamer walks out of the room.
  • In dreaming what matters is volition, the corporeality of the body has no significance. It is simply a memory that slows down the dreamer. If you do not stare at things but only glance at them, just as you do in the daily world, you can arrange your perception. That is, by taking your dreaming for granted, you then can use the perceptual biases of your everyday life.
  • Wait before revealing a finding. Wait for the most appropriate time to let go of something that you hold.
  • Losing the human form brings the freedom to remember your self. Losing the human form is like a spiral. It gives you the freedom to remember and this in turn makes you even freer.
  • A warrior knows that he is waiting and knows also what he is waiting for, and while he waits he feasts his eyes on the world. The ultimate accomplishment of a warrior is joy.
  • Accept your fate in humbleness. The course of a warrior's destiny is unalterable. The challenge is how far he can go within those rigid bounds, how impeccable he can be within those rigid bounds. If there are obstacles in his path, the warrior strives impeccably to overcome them. If he finds unbearable hardship and pain on his path, he weeps, but all his tears put together could not move the line of his destiny the breadth of one hair. Fulfill your fate as a warrior not as a petty person.
  • Detachment does not automatically mean wisdom, but it is nonetheless, an advantage because it allows the warrior to pause momentarily to reassess situations, to reconsider positions. In order to use that extra moment consistently and correctly, however, a warrior has to struggle unyieldingly for a lifetime.
  • A warrior is someone who seeks freedom. Sadness is not freedom. We must snap out of it. Having a sense of detachment entails having a moment's pause to reassess situations.
  • Formlessness is, if anything, a detriment to sobriety and levelheadedness. An aspect of being detached, the capacity to become immersed in whatever one is doing, naturally extends to everything one does, including being inconsistent, and outright petty. The advantage of being formless is that it allows us a moment's pause, providing that we have the self-discipline and courage to utilize it.
  • We unwittingly focus on fear and distrust, as if those were the only possible options available to us, while all along we have the alternative of deliberately centering our attention on the opposite, the mystery, the wonder of what is happening to us.

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