Art is intended to guide society. Our early development as a species was principally based upon art, language and imagination. To our ancestors there would have been no barrier between the real and the imagined.
In the first place ‘Art’ was our sacred science, and the guiding force of culture…
Let me explain….
Cave paintings are some of the oldest forms of art in the world. There are many beliefs as to what they represent; including ideas about hunting and ceremonial rites, to the depiction of contact with extraterrestrial species. However, I have had many remarkable experiences with cave paintings, megaliths and petroglyphs, and this has led me to a conclusion regarding the practical nature of these early means of communication.
While man was developing the power of speech and self-reflection – along side there would have been the development of a stronger need to communicate through other forms such as drumming. It is perfectly possible that cave painting developed out of verbalization
The early experience of man was ‘Band’ culture. This is the form of society that existed before tribal societies grew up. From the beginning these societies were hunter-gatherers, but primarily they would have been nomadic in nature. With the need to hunt comes the need to move around with your prey. In north-west Europe – it is a widely documented fact, that the tribes of the British Isles, had very pronounced migration routes. In particular between Ireland, the north of England and Scotland – the Picts, Celts and the Scots, occupying various different regions throughout history. The prehistory of Britain would likely have been no different. This idea of migration can be extended throughout Europe. During the period just after the building of Stonehenge, for instance it is documented that a culture arose of itinerant Magi. Travelling around Europe with brass conical hats (much like wizards hats) these druids, possessed information regarding the movement of the heavens – knowledge which prior to this point would have been built inherently into the megalithic structures. These events happened upon the entering of the agrarian age, where for the first time societies were focusing more on growing crops and as such had the need to settle in one place for the first time. Prior to this the tribes of north west europe would have been no strangers to migration. The megalithic structures that were built before this time were generally aligned with stars. In fact most ancient monuments have some connection with the heavens. But whatever the nature of the knowledge these Structures were a means of relaying information – art represented a means of communication. But communicating what exactly?
In the first place – the very earliest form of art were handprints on cave walls. These were dated to some 40,000 years ago. Hand stencils have been found in various parts of the world from, Timpuseng cave Sulawesi, Indonesia to Cueva de las Manos located Perito Moreno, Argentina. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals were at least 35,000 years old, these too found in caves in the district of Maros, located in Bantimurung district, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The earliest figurative paintings in Europe date back to the Aurignacian period, approximately 30,000 to 32,000 years ago, and are found in the Chauvet Cave in France, and in the Coliboaia Cave in Romania.
There are also similar later paintings in Africa, Australia and South America, continuing until recent times in some places. There is a tendency worldwide for open air rock art to supersede deep cave paintings.
However these hand stencils, were more than just a means of self-reflection and self-identification. Rather they were a means of identifying yourself to others. They were a signature to allow others to know who had been present at a specific place at a specific time. People who knew you, would have also know your handprint, and from this your whereabouts. Keeping track of each others movements in this early age would have been of vital importance. This information could have been mapped by leaving these markings. Also the movements and quantity of availability of game – marked in codes known only to the other members of the tribe. This would account for animal depictions seen in some of the earliest paintings.
To some extent there would have been a link to the spiritual side of the existence for the tribe. In as much as these stencils and paintings were a description of their outer world – they would have undoubtedly been also a representation of the inner world. Perhaps visions of prey, hunting and actual places or event were depicted as the same reality. For our ancestors there was little or no separation from the spirit; very different from our postmodernist approach of seeing spiritual practice as something separate from the rest of your life. Early man would have lived in accordance with the spirit – an existence uncorrupted and undivided by the passage of time.
So knowing where your friends family and allies were – would been an essential strategy for survival. I have no doubt – that this ritual became quite a developed science and subsequently an “art”, to the people of the Neolithic period. It would have developed alongside the growth and development of their civilisation. Bringing in more elements of ritualistic practice into sacred space. Making it more a representation of the abstract rather than the physical world. The need to map the outer world becoming less important over time as the balance tipped towards the metaphysical, as man’s success was assured.
But for the early ancestors looking to the stars for guidance – was also a cause and inspiration for how they decorated their world – perhaps they imagined messages from the gods written into the code of the celestial bodies and mapped the heavens as a direct guidance for their well-being and development too.
~ Toltec Warrior
They say think positively, always try and see the positive side of every situation! But its hard when disaster hits and all you can see, feel or hope to know is the pain of the misfortune that the circumstances have caused you… But it’s true there is a positive side to every negative situation, a plus hiding within every negation. If only we could see it…and in as much as this is always an opportunity to learn, to transcend oneself and launch into Superconsciousness… then the willingness to learn from the mistake, to disregard the misfortune and take understanding from it instead, and speak positively into every situation – there is the ability right there. A chance to turn the world around. To see from a whole new perspective! And Turn the curse into a blessing!
~ Toltec Warrior
“Now let us call that spirit of the water hole,” he said.
I tried to turn my head to look at him. He held me vigorously by the hair and said that I was in a very vulnerable position and in a terribly weak physical state and had to remain quiet and motionless. He had put all those special branches on my belly to protect me and was going to remain next to me in case I could not take care of myself.
He was standing next to the top of my head, and if I rolled my eyes I could see him. He took his string and tensed it and then realized I was looking at him by rolling my eyes way into my forehead. He gave me a snappy tap on the head with his knuckles and ordered me to look at the sky, not to close my eyes, and to concentrate on the sound. He added, as if on second thought, that I should not hesitate to yell the word he had taught me if I felt something was coming at me.
Don Juan and his “spirit catcher” began with a low-tension twang. He slowly increased the tension, and I began to hear a sort of reverberation first, and then a definite echo which came consistently from a southeasterly direction. The tension increased. Don Juan and his “spirit catcher” were perfectly matched. The string produced a low-range note and don Juan magnified it, increasing its intensity until it was a penetrating cry, a howling call. The apex was an eerie shriek, inconceivable from the point of view of my own experience.
The sound reverberated in the mountains and echoed back to us. I fancied it was coming directly toward me. I felt it had something to do with the temperature of my body. Before don Juan started his calls I had been very warm and comfortable, but during the highest point of his calls I became chilled; my teeth chattered uncontrollably and I truly had the sensation that something was coming at me.
At one point I noticed that the sky had become very dark. I had not been aware of the sky although I was looking at it. I had a moment of intense panic and I yelled the word don Juan had taught me.
Don Juan immediately began to decrease the tension of his eerie calls, but that did not bring me any relief.
“Cover your ears,” don Juan mumbled imperatively.
I covered them with my hands.
After some minutes don Juan stopped altogether and came around to my side. After he had taken the branches and leaves off my belly, he helped me up and carefully put them on the rock where I had been lying. He made a fire with them, and while it burned he rubbed my stomach with other leaves from his pouch.
He put his hand on my mouth when I was about to tell him that I had a terrible headache.
We stayed there until all the leaves had burned. It was fairly dark by then. We walked down the hill and I got sick to my stomach.
A Separate Reality: Chapter 11. [Carlos Castaneda]
“The nature of ruthlessness is that it is the opposite of self-pity. All sorcerers are ruthless.”
“As I have said, the fourth abstract core of the sorcery stories is called the descent of the spirit, or being moved by intent . In order to let the mysteries of sorcery reveal themselves it is necessary for the spirit to descend. The spirit chooses a moment when a man is distracted, unguarded, and, showing no pity, the spirit lets its presence by itself move the man’s assemblage point to a specific position. This spot is known to sorcerers as the place of no pity. Ruthlessness becomes, in this way, the first principle of sorcery.”
“The place of no pity is the site of ruthlessness. Let’s say that ruthlessness, being a specific position of the assemblage point, is shown in the eyes of sorcerers. It’s like a shimmering film over the eyes. The eyes of sorcerers are brilliant. The greater the shine, the more ruthless the sorcerer is.
When the assemblage point moves to the place of no pity, the eyes begin to shine. The firmer the grip of the assemblage point on its new position, the more the eyes shine.”
“For sorcerers to use the shine of their eyes to move their own or anyone else’s assemblage point they have to be ruthless. That is, they have to be familiar with that specific position of the assemblage point called the place of no pity. This is especially true for the naguals.”
“When the assemblage point moves and reaches the place of no pity, the position of rationality and common sense becomes weak.
Silent knowledge is something that all of us have, something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything. But it cannot think, therefore, it cannot speak of what is know.”
“Continuity is so important in our lives that if it breaks it’s always instantly repaired. In the case of sorcerers, however, once their assemblage points reach the place of no pity, continuity is never the same.”
“The place of no pity is a position of the assemblage point, a position which renders self-pity inoperative.”
Don Juan Matus (The Power of Silence)
Derangement in my opinion is the worst thing that can be set a warrior. A man of knowledge is only such for a fleeting moment then he must return again to the world of ordinary affairs ~ knowledge is a crashing wave and as it breaks upon the shores of knowing – Only then does a warrior understand and perhaps see
The spirit tests us in order to learn…. The teaching of the spirit is hard but forces us to bring forth the understanding that will counter-act the derangement we experience at that moment
The spirit is inescapable and on the path with heart there is no turning back from the lessons that are taught. It is only through our ability to acquiesce to the spirit, that we can overcome the concepts and ideas that plague us while we are deranged….
…. these are aspects of human form are what Don Juan described as illusory ~ they are what has been taught to us through the description of the world… This anxiety will fade over time as personal power grows and awareness becomes sharper and with a greater ability to handle the gift which is given.
It is important to have a perspective then ~ only through seeing the world is it possible to transcend ideas such as the Flyers, and other aberrant thought forms. With ruthlessness, cunning patience and sweetness, it can be cracked ~
To arrive at intent is the greatest achievement of the warrior ~ to have recapitulated to such a degree that none of these things any longer matter ~ To have the power in themselves to handle intent ~ this is the NAGUAL the true SEER!!
Artwork : http://almanegra.deviantart.com/
In the first place to see beyond the illusion, is to not trust perception. To understand that the world is a description; a form of language created by the thought of self-reflection. And knowing that by ending this internal dialogue, in order to enter into inner silence and create a shift in awareness, that gives rise to a new perspective and an altered consciousness is to break the ties with perception.
While I am capable of dreaming, stalking is my predilection. I have probably dreamed to the sixth gate of dreaming, in as much as I have woken up in a place I did not go to sleep. Waking up in broad day light some where you did not go to bed is a surprising act to say the least.
Within dreaming we learn much about ourselves and the world – the message as it is received is metaphorical, a reflection of our waking experience; a prognostication. The same being said of our waking experience of course. But only by bringing these worlds together can we hope to understand the message that nature sends…
..seeing energy as it flows through the universe
with the techniques that Don Juan taught this is all possible,
Don Juan stated that man exists within just one world; foolish to believe otherwise. And yet this world is constructed of many layers like an onion each layer an entirely separate world within itself. The “whole” is fragmented and broken down into myriad layers creating separate worlds of perception. And everything we experience is polar opposites – light and dark, night and day, male and female, waking and dreaming and so on.
This is the unravelling – the questioning of reality: are we experiencing duality or non-duality in actual fact? Well the trickster mind sees only a separation.
Everything is in reality is “ONE PARTICLE”- The original thought – the particle splits creating the infinite whole. Creation is a convergence and the splitting of the aspect of the ONE – ONE CONSCIOUSNESS so to speak, the ONE AWARENESS – broken down and fractured into myriad of layers – where ever you look the divergence occurs – the light is sent through a prism and we no longer experience everything as it is.
INTENT is the driving force of evolution, the unfolding of reality and the nature of the UNIVERSE/MULTI-VERSE
Once we start tapping into intent – we are twirled – picked up by the force of the Spirit and flung into entirely new worlds – a difference attention then with a changed awareness – this is the shift; the movement into the 2nd attention. For me the world of the “tonal” or 1st attention as it is called ceased at this point. It fell away became unfamiliar, no longer home. With this shift, I was then in the world of the ‘unknown’ the 2nd attention or the “nagual.” And this is the place one must make your stand! We are confronted with the thought – of arrival and no way back. Only by realizing this can we make a viable experience of our existence. And knowing this we must continue into the unknowable with a chance at freedom – the ultimate goal. So relentlessly we press on. Until there is another break and shift in reality – I found myself in the 3rd attention, the place of “silent knowledge” through stalking in the waking moment – as is my predilection.
But we occupy only one world. Dreaming then is an extension of the waking reality and only by merging these experiencing into ONE is there a way to continue back into the light of being. Reversing the prism, working back through to the beginning – sending the dreaming double the other way!
It is in dreaming that we discover our potential – and so in dreaming we realize the infinite nature of our being. But waking reality is the place where we stop the world – through a repeated breaking down and reconstituting of our existence. By collapsing the world – stopping the internal dialogue – smashing the mirror of our self-reflection and a great deal of recapitulation – we break the ties with perception. With detachment and sobriety we push on; personal power lending the force required to bring ourselves back together again. The waking and dreaming experience merge as we remember – recapitulating the whole of our being into the one. Creating an existence in both places. And bringing back integrity to the self.
The road is long and hard, and as with any long journey the only way is to put your head down and keep going. Perhaps with an initial burst of energy in the beginning – a blessing from the earth; a wishing you well and on your way to the place of infinity.
Excerpt from Journey to Ixtlan: Lessons of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda
“What do you mean by my last dance don Juan?”
“This is the site of your last stand, ” he said. “You will; die here no matter where you are. Every warrior has a place to die. A place of his predilection which is soaked with unforgettable memories, where powerful events left their mark, a place where he has witnessed marvels, where secrets have been revealed to him, a place where he has stored his personal power.
“A warrior has the obligation to go back to that place of his predilection every time he taps power in order to store it there. He either goes there by means of walking or by means of dreaming.
“And finally, one day when his time on earth is up and he feels the tap of his death: on his left shoulder his spirit, which is always ready, flies to the place of his predilection and there the warrior dances to his death.
“Every warrior has a specific form, a specific posture of power, which he develops throughout his life. It is a sort of dance. A movement that he does under the influence of his personal power.
“If a dying warrior has limited power, his dance is short; if his power is grandiose, his dance is magnificent. But regardless of whether his power is small or magnificent, death must stop to witness his last stand on earth. Death cannot overtake the warrior who is recounting the toil of his life for the last time until he has finished his dance.”
Don Juan’s words made me shiver. The quietness, the twilight, the magnificent scenery, all seemed to have been placed there as props for the image of a warrior’s last dance of power.
“Can you teach me that dance even though I am not a warrior?” I asked.
“Any man that hunts power has to learn that dance, ” he said. “Yet I cannot teach you now. Soon you may have a worthy opponent and I will show you then the first movement of power. You must add the other movements yourself as you go on living. Every new one must be obtained during a struggle of power. So, properly speaking, the posture, the form of a warrior, is the story of his life, a dance that grows as he grows in personal power.”
“Does death really stop to see a warrior dance?”
“A warrior is only a man. A humble man. He cannot change the designs of his death. But his impeccable spirit, which has stored power after stupendous hardships, can certainly hold his death for a moment, a moment long enough to let him rejoice for the last time in recalling his power. We may say that is a gesture which death has with those who have an impeccable spirit.”
I experienced an overwhelming anxiety and I talked just to alleviate it. I asked him if he had known warriors that had died, and in what way their last dance had affected their dying.
“Cut it out, ” he said dryly. “Dying is a monumental affair. It is more than kicking your legs and becoming stiff.”
“Will I too dance to my death don Juan?”
“Certainly. You are hunting personal power even though you don’t live like a warrior yet. Today the sun gave you an omen. Your best production in your life’s work will be done towards the end of the day. Obviously you don’t like the youthful brilliancy of early light. Journeying in the morning doesn’t appeal to you. But your cup of tea is the dying sun, old yellowish, and mellow. You don’t like the heat, you like the glow.
“And thus you will dance to your death here, on this hilltop, at the end of the day.
And in your last dance you will tell of your struggle, of the battles you have won and of those you have lost; you will tell of your joys and bewilderment upon encountering personal power. Your dance will tell about the secrets and about the marvels you have stored. And your death will sit here and watch you.
“The dying sun will glow on you without burning, as it has done today. The wind will be soft and mellow and your hilltop will tremble. As you reach the end of your dance you will look at the sun, for you will never see it again in waking or in dreaming, and then your death will point to the south. To the vastness.