At a lecture in a Pasadena bookstore in 1992, Taisha Abelar, a sorcerer in the same lineage as Carlos Castaneda, spoke of the graveyard of the failed sorcerers as the second gate of dreaming that Carlos wrote about in The Art of Dreaming. Dreaming, in the shaman’s world, is the act of gaining awareness, training with intent to hold onto that awareness no matter what world one enters.
This graveyard of failed sorcerers is a kind of shaman’s limbo, filled with journeyers who couldn’t release their attachment to this world upon dying. Those failed sorcerers continue to feed upon life in this world as the ghosts and vampires that both fascinate and terrify the living. Energetically, these inorganic beings continue to experience life in this world through the emotional roller coaster they induce in those who interact with them.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, through interaction with these inorganic beings, were able to venture deeper into the layers of the onion—into worlds of awareness beyond normal perception. But many were also destroyed by attachment to the “gifts” offered by these failed sorcerers.
Prominent among these gifts peddled by these inorganic beings are a variety of elixirs of immortality that allow those in human form to partake in the nectar of infinity. These elixirs come in a variety of flavors, such as the sweet perfume of timeless romance, the passion and dreams of alcohol, the soothing nursery of opiates and food, the adventures of psychedelics, the rush of possibility in the bet, the excitement of “more” material possessions, or the rapture of power.
These elixirs of immortality quickly transform into habitual bondage. That which once thrilled becomes the source of sustenance to merely maintain life. The thrill thrills less or is altogether gone, but the dependence on the habit takes center stage to life—freedom exchanged for dependence.
The failed sorcerers at the second gate of dreaming are gargoyles—guardians of deeper knowledge. To pass by the gate we must partake of the treats they offer. We all must interact with these sorcerers; stoicism is nothing but a dry drunk addicted to the self-importance of refusal and resentment. In one form or another we must all take our sensual journeys in this world. We are humans after all—why else would we be here! The challenge, however, is attachment. Can we let go when it’s time to move on, or will we insist on the addiction of MORE?
That is the trial of addiction, the refusal to move on when it’s time to leave. That’s the dilemma of the failed sorcerers parked at the second gate of dreaming—their refusal to relinquish attachment to life in this world and move on, yet a refusal as well to fully reincarnate. They are stuck with one eye looking forward, the other backward. It’s wanting the best of both worlds. They hold onto this world through their addiction to our energy, which in turn is caught in addiction to the elixirs they offer.
Nonetheless, these gatekeepers must allow those ready to refuse belabored attachment—addiction to their array of elixirs—to travel beyond their gate into the next layer of dreaming awareness. If we partake in the elixirs of life in this world and refuse MORE we advance. This is sobriety.
True freedom lies in sobriety. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico observed that humans who refuse the bait of self-importance change their energy state and the gatekeepers let them pass. Ultimately, self-importance is the trapping of addiction. Partaking on an ongoing basis of the nectars of immortality is treating oneself as if one were a god. Somewhere it was once written: Thou shalt not have false gods before me. The energy state of addiction is an inflated state of self-importance, a false god.
The ancient Hindus maintain that Brahman, the Atman, God, is indeed within everything. However, to be one with that true God is to peel away the layers of the onion, the trappings and wrappings of illusion. Illusions are the false gods, the elixirs peddled by the failed sorcerers.
The energy needed to find total freedom, union with Atman—the energy the failed sorcerers don’t touch—is sobriety. Sobriety is grounded energy that stays aligned with truth and fact on its path to divine union. This is the shaman’s path—sobriety.
Intending beyond the gate,