Thursday, March 24, 2016

THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN

Some of you may be familiar with Don Juan, but in case he is not known to you please allow me to introduce you to some of his teachings. Don Juan Matus was  a Yaqui Indian shaman from Mexico. Carlos Castaneda was mentored by Don Juan and wrote several books based on what he learned from Don Juan. The ancient shamans were taught to see the world we live in as only an illusionary experience. They claimed to be able to see a ball of energy in each human being they met. According to them we are all connected by strands of energy that radiate outward from us to connect with all. If you have never read any of Castaneda's books I think you may like them. But again, maybe not. I have been rereading one of the books titled The Wheel of Time. In this book Castaneda shares some quotes from books published. I plan on sharing some of his work with all of you in the following weeks. First, I will write the quote and then explain what it means to me. Again this will only be my opinion and nothing else. But I do hope you will get some good out of Don Juan's teachings like I have. Don Juan called the shaman's path  those of a warrior. To the ancient shamans one must strive to take the path of a warrior if one is to be free from all the illusions of this 3d world of ours. I'll begin with the following quote which comes from The Wheel of Time.


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.




My thoughts on this is a s follows. Nothing is a gift. How right is that! We humans often times receive something and call it a gift. But I believe that somewhere along the line the recipient of the gift has earned it in some way. I also have come to see that some of the gifts we do receive come to us in a way we do not like to see. At first glance that is. Most of my dearest "gifts" have come when I am suffering in some way. The suffering I despise turns out to be one of the biggest lessons, which in turn help me as I try to become the best human being I possible can. Sadly, lots of us had rather be in anguish over some event in our lives, than to accept that anguish as just an opportunity to learn. I have found that the harder the suffering , the greater it turns out to be. Yes, it takes me time to see and fully understand why I am plagued with what seems to be turmoil. As always, this turmoil turns out to teach me my greatest lessons. As for going for knowledge, we all must learn who we are and what we are supposed to be doing. O ne must have a reverent awe about this life and must constantly be alert to what he or she is thinking. I don't believe that Don Juan was speaking of fear in the way we sense fear most of the time. To me, it means not to be afraid to seek knowledge but to use the fear in a positive way. Kind of like when I am faced with a big decision about something, I have to realize I may be fearful of the outcome but that I still have to face that fear head on. And also to give that decision all the respect it deserves. And when I make that decision being wide awake, having fear and respect for the outcome, and having assurance that the outcome will be as it is supposed to be, even if it is not the result I was seeking, then things are as they should be. If my decision turns out to be a not so good one I will only have lost that battle, and I will not carry regret around with me like old baggage. As Don Juan taught, a warrior must be light and never look back at his actions. He knows his actions were everything but also they were nothing. That will be a subject I hope to talk about later. To the uninitiated  a lot of Don Juan's teachings might sound quite contradictory, but when one becomes enlightened it becomes quite clear. I now leave all of you with thoughts of pure unconditional love, perfect peace, and understanding. Be good to yourself and even better to others!



2 comments:

Christopher Dos Santos said...

Namaste brother Ron, interesting post here. You are reading quotes from Carlos's twelfth and final book. I am wondering if you have read the other eleven? If not, then I sure will be interested to learn how your perspectives change.

There is great value, incredible pleasure, in reading all twelve in the order they were written. After all, this is a tale of a journey. If you do not own all Castaneda's books, it would be my esteemed pleasure to gift you the ones you do not possess. All I require is you current mailing address. Telephone, or email the list of what is missing from your library, as well, your address, then I will commence to furnishing you with the entire Castaneda library.

Before you say not to worry, or assure me you will track down the missing books. Let me remind you brother Ron, it is not socially acceptable to refuse a gift from a good friend. I will await your favourable response.

Now the quote, which originates from his first book 1968, The Teachings of Don Juan.

We find the quote near the end of the book as Carlos has expressed his fears/misgivings of using Don Juan's hallucinogenic concoction of peyote and 'mesqualito' for taking his first shamanic journey. Additionally, Carlos has great fear of what he will experience on his shamanic journey. Juan has already opened the door to another world for Carlos, a world where ones safety is by no means guaranteed. Carlos is mostly afraid of "La Catalina" whom is a nemesis of don Juan, also a woman who, from the beginning, has her eyes set upon Carlos who she sees as an easy target.

don Juan, in this quote is trying to remind Carlos that the path of a warrior must be impeccable. He reminds Carlos, the four traits of impeccability (wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance) are essential if the warrior is to survive a battle.

don Juan, in knowing this is Carlos's first foray into the shamanic dream state, will mean that it is very likely "La Catalina" will make a move on Carlos. don Juan knows Carlos needs to take this inevitable confrontation seriously, therefore he reminds Carlos both what is at stake, as well, what he MUST do if he is to mentally/physically survive the dream journey.

In the quote, he reminds Carlos, nothing is free, a warrior must pay a price for each step he takes along the path to becoming an impeccable warrior. This little talk don Juan had with Carlos, scared the shit out of him, so much so, he almost did not proceed with the ceremony.

In the end, Carlos buckled down, took the drug and went to battle. La Catalina did come after Carlos while he was stumbling through the dream world. However, Carlos did equip himself well. Still, as expected, he was an awkward, blundering, complaining, fool.

One of the challenges the reader faces when following along with the journey Carlos takes in becoming a shamanic warrior of impeccable substance is in just how much of an idiot, ass, Carlos was.

Excellent post brother, it makes me feel like rereading the series from start to finish again. I think I will! It will be my fifth time through the series, yet, as with the other four treks, I am sure I will learn a great deal.

In Lak' ech, brother Ron, prosper with impeccability... live life as a warrior...

captron52 said...

Brother Christopher. Thank you for the very generous offer which I of course gladly accept! I've been meaning to call as you have been on my mind very much here lately. I have read just a few of the books by Castaneda. I read the first one years ago when a friend turned me on to it. Over the years I read just one or two in the series. The Wheel of Time is one I purchased several years ago. Don Juan's teachings have, and are still helping me to learn much about myself. I accept your generous gift and will be looking forward to reading all of the books. Thank you for being such a dear friend and for helping me to become the man I wish to be. I will call soon. Much love to you my friend!