Chuck’s Place: The Way of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice

He slipped through a crack...

Don Juan never would have chosen Carlos Castaneda as his apprentice. Carlos slipped through a crack in the wall of impeccability that don Juan, a master shaman, a nagual, had crafted to shield his energy from unnecessary encounters in the ordinary world.

Don Juan realized that his initial encounter with Castaneda had to be the work of the spirit and could only mean one thing: he was obliged to train an “imbecile,” as he saw Carlos, to become his successor. He acquiesced to this knock from the spirit and Carlos Castaneda became the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Don Juan, like all naguals of his lineage, knew that apprentices entered the shaman’s world with an interpretation system—a world view—wholly inadequate for understanding the shaman’s world of non-ordinary reality. There is no fault in this; we interpret the world as we have been conditioned and socialized—we know no other way. Shamans take advantage of this condition in their apprentices, systematically trapping their awareness around issues those apprentices believe to be important, indulging them, but really intent upon moving them along to perceiving the world in a vastly new and expanded way.

For example, don Juan knew that Carlos copied everything he did, and so he taught him many magical passes— movements from the shaman’s world used to recondition one’s energy—without Carlos being aware that he was actually learning these magical passes. In Carlos’s cognitive system he was simply doing “exercises,” while in the meantime he was unknowingly expanding his energetic capabilities.

Don Juan knew that if he told Carlos directly that he was teaching him magical passes, Carlos’s cognitive system would have been offended and he would invariably have argued and rejected the practice on rational grounds. Don Juan already knew that it was far more efficient to not challenge cognitive attachments directly, but instead to use them to move the trainee along.

Our spirit operates like don Juan, like a master shaman, as it nudges us along in our growth. When we set out intent to grow, we sign up to become the sorcerer’s apprentice.

As apprentices, we will be nudged along to discover the full truth of who we are, where we come from, and why—all that has happened to us in this life and perhaps beyond it. Like Carlos we enter this apprenticeship in good faith, but suffer from ignorance and a good deal of defensiveness. We naturally defend our sense of self, the self we know; after all, we’ve built our security upon it.

A gentle sign...

The spirit sets to work to move us along by trapping our awareness, sometimes gently, sometimes intensely. Examples of gentleness are signs and synchronicities placed before us daily, designed to awaken our awareness to a greater reality, one that exists beyond the limits of our rational interpretation of the world. More intense knocks of the spirit are the triggers that seize our awareness, immobilizing it, beckoning us to take the journeys into the realm of non-ordinary reality where we discover locked-away truths of our lives.

In such moments of trigger, fear dominates as we misinterpret a benign event as a mortal danger. Our awareness is completely trapped. Here begins the journey of recapitulation, as our current self is nudged to take the plunge into the world where the trigger originates from. On a recapitulation journey we face our hidden truths as we discover worlds within ourselves previously unknown to our conscious awareness.

An intense knock on the door...

As we accept the full truth and impact of the worlds we enter in recapitulation, we free our energy that has been locked away in those hidden worlds, perhaps for decades. We become revitalized, energetic beings, as we recapitulate; magical beings capable of experiencing the world in ways we never dreamed possible. We become capable of fulfillment in this life, no matter what age we are!

The path of the sorcerer’s apprentice is deeply challenging, but it is guided by the spirit, the master shaman within us all that nudges us onward—sometimes gently, sometimes in great haste and intensity—to the full realization of our intent for fulfillment and completion. And, in the end, it all makes sense in ways we simply couldn’t know when we began the journey as humble, eager, but necessarily ignorant apprentices.

Trust your spirit. Continue the journey and know you are being taken where you need to go,

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