Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences! Many of the shamanic and psychological terms used in Chuck’s essays are defined in Tools & Definitions on our Psychotherapy website.
When Carlos Castaneda wrote The Wheel of Time he discovered that the quotes he had selected from his prior works were meaningfully chosen, not by his conscious knowing, but by the intent of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico. He thought he was choosing them, but they were chosen by a force independent of himself that worked through him. Anyone who aligns personal intent with the intent of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico will indeed be swept away by their intent. I can acknowledge that I personally identify with this intent. This is not a frightening predicament for me because the intent of those ancient shamans is indeed evolutionary, continually striving to break rank with the comfort of the known by lifting the veils in an infinite journey of adventure, which I have sought my entire life.
Shamans of subsequent generations have always granted themselves permission to adjust the practices and intent of sorcery to fit changing times and new discoveries. The shamans of don Juan’s generation lifted the heaviness of ritual from shamanic practice settling on transmitting knowledge through direct practical exercises that enable apprentices to see for themselves how to lift the veils, to perceive and live in expanded awareness. Modern sorcerers, in general, shifted their intent to total freedom to evolve beyond this world, rather than staying bound to the ability to manipulate and elongate their lives in order to remain attached to life in this world without dying as many of the old sorcerers did. Carlos and his cohorts eliminated all the hierarchy and the old roles; there is no nagual in the present generation, all are equal. In fact, Carlos eliminated all secrecy by making available all the knowledge of his line to anyone who wants it. One need only pick up his book Magical Passes to find all the pragmatic tools necessary to reach the energy body and journey in infinity. When he introduced these passes in a workshop he stated bluntly, “this is all you need.” Everyone is in a position to be a nagual to themselves in their evolutionary development if they intend it and are willing to engage in a practice that lifts the veils.
Jeanne traveled into infinity on the wings of the intent of those ancient sorcerers. I like to think of her as a nagual woman who leads the way by continually and redundantly offering a set of practical messages intended to offer everyone tools to lift the veils, so simple in their exposition that they may escape our higher sensibilities. We tend to be suckers for new fads, which burn out quickly. Redundant messages may not appeal to the hungry imagination seeking to be fed exotic new paths to truth. The shamans would argue that we get trapped by the cogitations of the mind. They focus instead on practice and experience. They are clear that we need repetition and perseverance to develop new skills, much the same as we were exposed to in our early education, learning by rote. They encourage suspending judgment. Ultimately what that means is to remove the walls created by the mind’s tendency to construct and create constructs that block action based on reason. Instead, they suggest simply doing and seeing what happens.
How do we practice intent? Don Juan’s answer to this query was, essentially, we intend by intending. There is no rational process to engage intent. Intent is not part of the mind. We intend by calling intent, literally: “Intent!” Actually, it is important to intend clearly after deep introspective reflection. However, when we release our intent to engage intent it is important to remain calm and carefree, with joy and abandon. Intent is light, not heavy. Intent defies the mind’s timetables and expectations. Intent is not a bargaining prayer to God. Intent is an inner certainty let go to the wind, an awareness of a future without attachment.
Intent has no use for the big baby. No victims welcome. In fact, the big baby wastes its intent by intending victimhood for itself. Commanding intent requires adult awareness and responsibility. There may be many steps to arrive at our intended destination. We are challenged to discover why we encounter the things we do as stepping stones toward the realization of our intent. This requires patience and trust in the process. I suggest keeping a journal such as an Awareness Log that can help track the process of intent.
As always, should anyone wish to write, I can be reached at: email@example.com or feel free to post a comment.
Until we meet again,