Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences!
Don Juan maintained that we live in a predatory universe. Life feeds upon life. Human beings are not exempt from being food for another awareness. However, in our case, as humans, the predator feeds upon our awareness, not our physicality. This siphoning of our awareness renders us incapable of growing beyond our obsessive worries about the self. Don Juan suggested that our awareness rarely grows beyond our feet, and at that level we are fixated on self-importance.
Carlos Castaneda was repulsed at the notion of a predatory entity feasting upon his awareness. Don Juan suggested that he view the predatory dynamic as a test. Growing awareness always requires mastering skills and passing tests to advance, hence, in this context, the predator is actually a necessary aid.
When Carlos inquired as to how we might defend ourselves from the predator, don Juan proposed that we defend ourselves through discipline. When Carlos questioned what he meant by discipline, don Juan answered that it had nothing to do with stringent routines or sacrifice. Don Juan defined discipline as AWE.
Awe is awareness of the magical dimension of everything. Life is magic, consciousness is magic, we are magic! When we stay in the place of awe our awareness repels the predator because we are no longer tasty, unaware fodder or complacent meat, fattening ourselves in self-indulgent bliss, willingly and unconsciously surrendering our awesomeness to another entity.
To stay in the place of awe requires discipline. Discipline in this case means a consistent effort to stay in the magic. We are so easily seduced into the poppy field of the mundane. In that place, we worry, we obsess about appearances, we strive to be valued, acknowledged, recognized, appreciated, wanted, loved, etc. We lament and agonize over being treated so unfairly, being owed, screwed, cheated, rejected, etc. When our awareness is consumed in that world we take our eye off the ball of awe. We slip deeper into self-obsession, self-pity, self-importance, and our awareness tenderizes, becoming quite delectable to the predator. This is why don Juan defined awe as discipline.
To remain in awe requires that we constantly wake ourselves up to the magic. Remember that we are magical beings on our way to dying. Keeping death as our advisor relativizes our heightened concerns about our status, possessions, physical survival, and, oh yes, our love relationships. We are travelers on this awesome journey in infinity, now. From this place, does it really matter what the scale says, who is calling or not calling, whether we are accepted or rejected, valued or glossed over? These are the concerns that the predator distracts us with. If we fall for the predator’s trick, we fall asleep in the poppy field, content with a life of slavery, allowing ourselves to be fed upon with delight, like victims of the vampire.
How do we remain in awe? First of all, realize that awe is a deeply personal experience. Do not fall for the trap of convincing anyone of anything. We are socialized into complacency with the illusion of self-fulfillment through self-importance. Break the chains of that socialization in every moment through the discipline of shifting into the awe of the magic of life.
Wake up, walk out of the poppy field, and immediately suspend judgment, because judgment is the root of self-obsession. Stay with the reality that we are magical beings on a journey of awareness. Refuse the predator’s world, which is nothing other than an interruption of that journey. That interrupted journey, without awe, fixates our awareness on our ability to accumulate and become important; a mediocre substitute for the real magic. Practice the discipline of awe! Resume the real journey.
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