Unsure of what to write about today, I opened The Wheel of Time by Carlos Castaneda, a great resource, full of quotes from his books about his thirteen-year apprenticeship with don Juan Matus. I knew I wanted to continue writing about recapitulation, that most important aspect of a shamanic journey, the one that starts us on our true journey when we are ready to take it. Here is the first quote I read on the left hand side of the pages I opened to, excerpted from The Second Ring of Power:
The warrior’s way offers a man a new life and that life has to be completely new. He can’t bring to that new life his ugly old ways.
On the right hand page I found this quote, also from The Second Ring of Power:
Warriors always take a first event of any series as the blueprint or the map of what is going to develop for them subsequently.
Both of these quotes are right in line with embarking on a recapitulation journey, as from the first step we are invited to leave our old ways behind and begin not only a new journey but a new way of perceiving and interpreting the world we live in, as well as the world we are leaving behind, while preparing for the world we are about to enter. Because, in essence, a recapitulation journey requires that we leave behind our old selves, shedding them like well worn rags, no longer useful in the new world we are entering. In fact, our old selves, our old voices, and our old ways just don’t seem to fit in that new world, no matter how hard we might try to make them. Eventually we learn that we must totally acquiesce to that new world and find new means of behaving, thinking, and seeing, for without acquiescing we will never fully emerge from the old world and never fully enter the new one, but remain caught somewhere in between, and that is quite a challenging place to be.
During my recapitulation journey I spent many weeks caught between those two worlds as I struggled to make sense of where I was. In finally discovering the meaning of the event that led me into that between-worlds place, in accepting the “blueprint,” as Carlos writes in the above quote, the blueprint itself became clearer. In acquiescing to the inevitable unfolding of the events that would lead me out of that between-worlds state and into the new world, I began to see the greater meaning of my past but also my future. Each blueprint, each series of recapitulation events, became another step forward, allowing me to break through the murky past now made clear and into the present moment, also made clear by the process of recapitulation and learning to see the world differently.
At one point, towards the end of my intensive three year recapitulation, I was aware that I was going to have to reach, yet again, another breaking point, but this time I knew it would be the final one. How I knew this I don’t really know, except to say that I saw the blueprint and knew I just had to await the unfolding of the process. In essence, I understood, because of all the other series of unfolding blueprints that I had already experienced, that it was already laid out and I just had to acquiesce to taking this final leg of my long and arduous journey. Here is a description of the event that precipitated that final breaking point.
I was taking a walk along a path in the woods, slowly strolling along in the shade of the trees on a hot and humid day. At one point I tripped over a root and suddenly lost sight of the path. For a split second it disappeared, and even though I had been on that path a hundred times and knew every root and turn I suddenly became disoriented. In that second of disorientation, a curtain ripped open in the universe and, in the momentum of that trip over the root, I fell through that curtain into nothingness, suddenly lost, fearful and almost panicking. Then I took another step, regained my balance, and seemed to be back on the familiar path again, but everything had changed. I felt like I was now in a dream world.
From having already experienced many such shamanic twists of reality during my recapitulation I was fully aware that something was happening out of the ordinary. I saw it for what it was, a glitch in the universe. It was as if I was looking at everything from a slightly different angle and I couldn’t shake it back into normality again; try as I might. I had inadvertently, without having a choice in the matter, walked right through that glitch into another world and everything had changed.
This was the first time I did not have a choice in the matter, because there had been many other times when I saw the curtain ripping open and was offered the choice of going through it or not, but this was different. This time I was going whether I wanted to or not and that was how I knew I was going to have some pretty bizarre experiences in the days to come. This was the moment of the blueprint.
Whatever the glitch meant, I took it as a gift, thanking infinity for showing me that things could change in an instant, when I least anticipated them, and for pointing out to me not to expect things to always stay the same; even the familiar becomes unfamiliar in the blink of an eye. I knew from that moment on to expect the unexpected.
As I continued walking that day, I immediately recapitulated the moment when I had tripped over the root. I wondered what I had been thinking about when it happened. I also questioned my feelings of fear and panic, wondering if they were related to my past. I had been abused in the woods as a child and I wondered if a memory was being presented to me of something that had happened to me a long time ago in another woods. I also reestablished with my psyche that I was ready to confront whatever came to greet me because I was determined to stick with my recapitulation process, to keep making progress towards a new life. As in the first quote from The Wheel of Time that I present today: I knew my new life had to be completely new, and totally free of everything that represented the old me.
As I recapitulated that moment I realized I had been thinking about some press releases I’d been writing when I suddenly thought: “Don’t! Not now! Don’t think of work; this time is for myself!” I pulled my eyes back from gazing out over the woods and focused down on the path in front of me and that was when I tripped and the curtain wrenched open and I was lost, hurtling in momentary blackness. I felt my heart lurch as if I had suddenly seen something frightening, when all that really happened was that my view of the world before me changed and I became suddenly aware. “Oh,” I thought, “this is awareness; this is having awareness of all that is around me.”
All of a sudden I had utter clarity, I could see everything in glistening sharpness, but it was so unfamiliar that I wanted to shake it away. But try as I might, by shaking my head and trying to clear my sight, I could not. I was caught in heightened awareness, perceiving reality differently for some reason that was as yet unknown. I knew that it was important not to focus on why the event frightened me but instead to find out why the fear still resided inside me. I knew that I was about to embark on another leg of my inner journey and I was ready for it.
What happened subsequent to that event was exactly as I had predicted, I embarked on the final breaking point of my old self, my old ways of thinking, acting, reacting, and being in the world. Over the next month I acquiesced to the culmination of my recapitulation as one event after another occurred, without my say-so, just as laid out in the moment I fell through that curtain. The blueprint for this final phase was that I was going on the journey and I had no choice in the matter.
In another reality I did have a choice in the matter because I had made the decision to begin the recapitulation journey a long time ago. I had already been learning how to accept, how to acquiesce, and how to let go as events unfolded. I had already chosen to change and change I did, sometimes by choice and sometimes without having a say in the matter, but I always knew I was on the journey of a lifetime and I was going to savor every minute of it and accept what came to guide me.
I admit; I was not always so acquiescent. Sometimes I whined and kicked and protested vehemently, but in the end I knew that everything that had happened to me in the past and everything that was happening during my recapitulation was laid out for my benefit and all I had to do was take responsibility for getting myself to the starting point of each event. From there it was just a matter of following the signs and waking up to the truths of who I was, who I had been, and who I had the possibility to become, and sometimes that was just enough to keep me going.
The blueprint of recapitulation events can happen at any moment, especially when we least expect them. As I learned that day when I went for a stroll in the woods and tripped over a root: Expect the unexpected!
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Sending you all love and good wishes for good recapitulation experiences,
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