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Quote Of The Week – 2/10/10

February 10, 2010

Here’s a couple from Carlos Castaneda. If you’re not familiar with Castaneda (or the Teachings of Don Juan among others), you probably should be (or not, it’s up to you…).

Personal history must be constantly 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.

~ Carlos Castaneda from Journey to Ixtlan

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

~ Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan


2 Comments leave one →
  1. clarkscottroger permalink
    February 21, 2010 9:27 am

    Oh man, how did I miss this one! I totally love Castaneda.

    Granted the secret of the universe is a function of one’s ‘state’, or as Castaneda expressses it, your ‘personal power’.
    At one point, in one of the books, Carlos presses don Juan to simply tell him the key/secret/sorcerer’s explanation to which don Juan replies that even if he did, without personal power the knowledge would be meaningless.
    (Which reminds me of one of those ‘old master quotes’ that we come across in this area of learning; it goes ‘if you have to ask the question, you cannot understand the answer’.
    Eiyee! I used to get crazy when confronted with that, rip my hair out and bang my head against the wall kind of response. I am happy to report that I have reached such a state of enlightenment that now when confronting this, I no longer rip my hair out…)

    The effort to cloud one’s personal history is one of those things where we learn about others as much as about ourselves.
    Try not giving information (that would be expected), at first the response is simply “you must not have heard me…where did you say you went to school…how many in your family…”
    Persisting in ‘not defining yourself’ results in an excalation approaching only what can be described as hostility…”what are you trying to hide?”

    To me the ‘validation’ of the value of clouding one’s personal history is found in the level of demand made by the world, demands that we ‘account for/define ourselves’ in order to be entitled to the benefits of membership in the local society.


    • February 24, 2010 10:40 am

      I actually thought of you when I selected these quotes….

      Personal power is such an important part of this whole process (in my estimation). And it is amazing to me just how much personal power we give away to lamentation of the past, worry of the future, justification of who we are to others around us, judgment of others for what they choose to do.

      We have this portion of “power”, essence, being, etc. and we partition it out, divide it up, to all these different places, giving it away, some here, some there, a little bit over there, they need some, that needs some, and then we sit, tired, depressed, unsure, unstable, confused, because our power is everywhere but “here”.

      How we use that power, the intentions with which we go forth, that “emphasizing” that makes us strong or miserable, is one of the grand “keys” to living a life where our personal potential is made manifest and realized in its fullest essence.

      It is true that without the personal power, the knowledge is meaningless. It’s like the body existing without the soul, dead, a bag of bones. But when injected with that essence, with life, it becomes a truly miraculous thing. Just as the knowledge, when imbued with that personal power, becomes true meaning.

      I guess for me, we seek so much validation from others, from our family, from the world, in some constant quest for a power, feeling, purpose, that will never come from that outside validation. Where I have stumbled is when I have compromised my self, my own personal power, for the benefits of “membership” into a society that I really have little interest in, outside of some perverse sense of “self-protection” that stems from fear, fear of rejection, fear of upsetting somebody, fear of blah, blah, blah.

      What it comes down to for me is that there is no power in fear, no power in compromising true self for membership, no power “out there” when the power is “in hear”, uncompromising, and fearless.

      And when I breath that in…I quit wanting to rip my hair out!

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