February 20, 2009 at 9:41 pm #30605
Below is an email I received. It goes into a small slice about part of what Castaneda was teaching. They ascribe recapitulation, the deliberate going over of your life experiences and removal of stuck energy from those experiences. (Sounds similar to Fusion of the Five Elements.) Through the recapitulation then losing the human form described in this email as being able give affection without investment.
I would like to hear other’s comments about what was said in the email. Does anyone else see a parallel with Taoist Alchemy?
…now you have perceived energy all by yourself…you experienced something which the seers of ancient Mexico called the clear view, or losing the human form: the time when human pettiness vanishes, as if it had been a patch of fog looming over us, a fog that slowly clears up and dissipates.
The Active Side of Infinity, “The Clear View”
The nagual Carlos Castaneda, Florinda Donner-Grau and two apprentices were at a local eatery having lunch. A romantic song, a ranchera was playing in the background and Carlos Castaneda, smiling, said: “Great omen! Let’s talk about love. That’s what all of us want, isn’t it? We want luuuuuuve.”
The apprentices giggled, and squirmed in their chairs.
“C’mon put it on the table,” the nagual continued. “You’ll never be free if you don’t. But first we have to know what our story is. We want to be free to feel what true love is, affection without investment.”
He turned to the young woman. “You’ve been recapitulating a great deal. What do you think is your story?”
“Well, I did all I could to try to please men, so they would love me. My mother did the same. One example was with one man, I did everything for him. I cooked for him, I did all the housecleaning, “I tried to please him sexually,” she said in a whisper to Florinda, then she raised her voice again. “I even paid some of his bills. And he left anyway…”
“That happened to me,” interrupted the young man.
“Really?” the nagual said. “Tell us.”
“Well, there was this woman; I realize now that we were really made for each other…I really loved her. I even showed my feelings to her; and it was not enough. She left me! I couldn’t believe it.”
“Why did she leave?” the nagual asked, eyes sparkling.
“I don’t really know…she never”-
Just then, there was a shattering sound behind the young man, the sound of glass breaking at a nearby table, and a woman’s voice: “You’ve got to be kidding! You’ve got another woman and you expect me to stay with you? When were you gonna tell me?”
The man who was sitting at the table with her responded defensively, “Look, you’ve got to understand, I didn’t tell you because I was thinking of you, I just wanted to protect you.”
Suddenly the woman realized the whole restaurant was looking, and rushed out crying.
The two apprentices were open-mouthed. Florinda’s eyes were beaming.
“Whoa,” the nagual said quietly, as the people in the restaurant tried to resume their lunches. “Fighting to defend our secrets. Whoo,”-he said, giving a shiver.
“So,” he said, returning his attention to the young male apprentice, “is there anything you are leaving out of your story?”
“Well, I had other women, but my girlfriend didn’t need to know that! “Hunh!” the nagual grunted. “And you call that love?”
The young man seemed not to hear. “My father did the same, and my grandfather before him! And my mother and grandmother seemed to accept it. It runs in the family! Anyway, nagual, isn’t that what freedom is about? Getting past the noxious aspects of socialization, not being tied down?”
“Ay, you’re very clever, caballero,” the nagual said. “Clever for yourself. Yes, freedom is getting past the noxious aspects of socialization, like hiding, or trying to manipulate other people, or assuming you’re entitled to get out of certain responsibilities because of your gender; if you perceive energy directly, which is what don Juan said that freedom is, it will lead you to perceive and participate in the evolutionary aspects of socialization, such as cultivating a finely tuned awareness of your impact on others.”
“How could freedom be self-serving?” he continued. “That’s slavery-a nightmare. Freedom is freedom from judgment, freedom from our socialized expectations, not freedom from responsibilities; in fact, I’m sorry to tell you, freedom brings new responsibilities-you are more aware, therefore you cannot hide from what you know-and integrity requires you to act on that new knowledge. A warrior-traveler is willing to put his life on the line to act and communicate in a way that honors the Spirit-in himself and in others.”
“What you were doing,” he continued, “is not freedom; it’s imitating the worst aspects of your lineage, such as keeping secrets to further your own agenda. And it’s not just men doing this; they find women who like to go along with this, even support it, true Florinda?”
“True!” Florinda said. “Women who cater to men who don’t want to commit, making excuses for them, settling for a few crumbs of affection, because they feel unworthy of real affection-like in your story, true?” she said to the young woman.
“True,” she replied.
“Or women who expect the man to take care of them,” Florinda continued, “because they think they’re not capable of doing that themselves-and then they want to blame the man for not making them happy! Or we have women who are trying to act like men, making conquests. Or trying to steal someone else’s man. And in all these cases, they are giving their power away to men, and fighting to defend their right to do so!”
“Does any of this sound like freedom to you?” the nagual asked.
“No it doesn’t,” the apprentices mumbled.
“Freedom is our birthright,” the nagual continued, “and yet it has to be earned, by polishing our links with our lineage, so that we can embody and evolve its excellent parts. As it is, you’re trapped in the fixed assemblage point of the human form: the glossed-over parts of your inheritance.”
“Don Juan told me that if we want to get out of this fixation, we have to stop wasting the best energy we have, energy from here,” the nagual said, making a sweeping gesture that indicated the area below his navel all the way down to his feet. “The lower disks! We use this energy to hide, to seek comfort, to struggle for power, or to feel overpowered-whatever is familiar, whatever makes us feel certain, or secure-and above all, whatever keeps us from questioning our acts.”
He paused and looked at the apprentices intently.
“Don Juan said that a thorough recapitulation of our stories related to the area of the lower disks can free us from the human form, and lead us instead to embody human possibility-the sublime essence of our lineage, of human beings,” he continued. “It can bring us the energy and the awareness to ask, without judging anybody: ‘Am I living the dream, or the nightmare, of my lineage? Am I nightmaring alone? Or am I dreaming with it-with infinity, with the Spirit.'”
* * *
In the workshop entitled “Is There Anybody Out There Who Really Loves Me” given in Amsterdam in October of last year, we identified some specific ways in which we can move past the habit of looking for someone or something outside of us to complete us, and to move toward our own energy bodies, and finding our own completeness in ourselves.
In this workshop, which has traveled and gathered breadth and depth on its journey from Los Angeles, to Barcelona to Moscow. Participants will be guided towards an in-depth examination of how we may be carrying both helpful and not-so-helpful patterns of our culture and lineage-specifically those related to our center of balance and creativity, our base of support, and how we handle ourselves as sexual beings, and in sexual interactions and relationships, and what is our intent, and our impact in those interactions-and how we might better use and integrate that energy, which don Juan described as life-bestowing-an energy that guides what we dream, nurture and give vitality to in every aspect of our lives.
Please note: Full participation is key.
Further note: This particular workshop is not appropriate for children or teenagers.February 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm #30606
Thanks for your reply. I understand what you mean, more upgrades, etc and agree with you. Not to make your comments unimportant, but there is a saying something like no temple is big enough for god. Or maybe a more modern version, like no library contains all information. A question in a more direct way, was there anything else from Castaneda’s teachings that you have found useful?
userFebruary 24, 2009 at 6:26 am #30608
mental wondering makes new insight
but should not be sonfused with speaking
one can study the nature of many projected systems
but be only one
for he is the act of creation
however teeth bearing should compliment wondering
if it has a mouth, it feeds
so somebody must be food
living is true recapitulationFebruary 28, 2009 at 11:35 pm #30610
I was into Carlos’ techniques for about 10 years and did lots of recapitulation. It was pretty cool to see how the more that I did it the easier and faster it was to get into it. However, I would say that it wasn’t until I got into the Daoist practices, particularly the fusion, that I really began to feel that there were some very tangible energetic resolutions within me.
The one thing that I didn’t like about Carlos’ stuff was the denial of the past and erasing the personal history stuff. I kind of see his point, which I believe was to work towards some sort of freedom. But as I also learned through some my experiences with Indian meditation practices, denial is not freedom. Why try to get rid of energy within that is merely in an unresolved state?
The process beginning with the healing sounds, the microcosmic orbit, fusion, and kan and li help that unresolved energy to begin resolving. My experience is that it is like making friends with a long lost friend who becomes your ally and merges into you, making you stronger, more aware, and connected more deeply within and without. I believe that Carlos and some of his followers left this world with many incompletions and left behind many incomplete experimental practices about which they themselves did not know the end result. I would advise against following his practies. Just my opinion.March 8, 2009 at 8:55 am #30612
Tezcatlipoca (Smoking Mirror) had several facets to his personality, but I believe him to have been originally and most persuasively modeled on the American Indian shaman. The accretions of centuries have naturally obscured this shamanic archetype to some extent. But he is still there, behind the scenes. By any analysis Tezcatlipoca was an invisible and omniextensive god, a sorcerer, a trickster, a manic, a seer, and a shapeshifter-all these pertain to his shamanic origins and they are still crucial elements in his later appearances. He does not , however, function as a socially cohesive force or as areassurance to his people-as did the typical shaman in the primitive band or tribe-rather he deals mockingly and menacingly with men. He was almost exclusively the practitioner of black magic, as one might guess from the fact that he was left-handed. If the nodal being upon which Tezcatlipoca was modeled was indeed the shaman, it was not that shaman who was accustomed to mediate between the people and the supernatural but the sorcerer of disruptive magic and furtive mind.
The Aztecs commonly knew Tezcatlipoca by the date-name of One Death. In a similar vein we find that one of his best-known transfigurations was that of Yaotl, the Enemy. This form in fact makes quite clear to us that which was basic in his nature: his role as a sower of discord among men and cities. Whenever great men humiliated others in debate, scorned them in embassy, or demeaned them in anger, thus making war inevitable, Tezcatlipoca was responsible for the provocation. In further clarification of this role, we note that he was also called the Enemy of the Both Sides, which stressed his single-minded concentration on discord itself, not on the victory of any one faction. He consistently stirred up rancor so that peace should depart from cities and war should overrun the land. At such times blood flowed, prisoners were taken , and the gods feasted. Without the Enemy to induce men to engage in war the service of the gods might falter. A further extension of this transfiguration is Tezcatlipoca’s occasional appearance as Itztli, the deified obsidian knife of sacrife.
-BURR CARTWRIGHT BRUNDAGE, The Fifth Sun-Aztec Gods, Aztec World
It’s clear that what comes to Castanedas texts there are much darkness (burzum) since the beginning.
Recapitulation is very important exercise, but of course it works from the complete different direction than Fusion of the Five Elements. Castaneda shows it in my opinion well enough in the books so there is no reason really to go to any course to learn it (first time in “The Eagle’s Gift”). There are some traditions where this exercise has been well promoted. Rudolf Steiner called it RUCKSHAU, and he cleared it’s intricacies in one of his best lecture series (in my opinion) called “The True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation.” Swami Shivananda also regarded it very important (his student Swami Satyananda Saraswati has been the only one as far as I know who has taught in books some of those quite precious kriya yoga exercises, which Michael Winn has several times remarked to have similitudes with Daoist neidan). Buddhist small-vehicle practitioners should do it but it seems that most tantric practitioners don’t know it or they completely despise it.
There are some quite practical reasons why some practitioners maybe should consider erasing their personal history,becoming unavailable, losing self-importance etc. (these are chapter names in Castanedas third book called “Journey to Ixtlan”). It’s hard to see where there are not any tension between people. If one is old enough one has seen quite much arrogance, jealousity, gluttony, any possible stupidy and indulgence in all it’s variations whether one is Canadian, Japanese, Zulu or Finnish. Single Daoist hermit or yoga school which prefers hermit like practice is not known because they are so charming socialites.
Person stalking various kinds of tyrants and not any more doing it as exercise is nothing else than spy (somehow dangerous)…
Se HehellureiMarch 8, 2009 at 9:50 pm #30614
The are similarities with the dream practice. Carlos was taught the recapitulation and dreaming from the begining. (A very similar recapitulation technique was mentioned in Wang Li Ping’s book, something like ‘returning to the begining’.) You could say recapitulation a method seeking similar results as fusion of the five elements, working with emotions. Trying to free up energy to dream with. And just like Taoist dream practice using your will to enter into dreaming. But as with both teachings you need both practices helping each other to succeed.
I also use a petty tyrant. It is a useful method of seeing what still bothers you.March 8, 2009 at 10:03 pm #30616
Thanks for your post.
Erasing personal history was an act of not having routines which meant keeping life fresh and not tied down in someone’s mind, ie freedom. I agree with you denial is not freedom and using the Taoist practices to resolve your energy issues is the best way. Though I see erasing personal history not in the same denial light, because using the recapitulation if done well enough there was no sticky emotional stuff to deny, thereby not causing an energetic freedom issue.
You may be right, the big question is who, when, where, how, and why he left, not to mention how completed they were.
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