I most humbly and with deep gratitude borrow the title for this blog post—The End of an Era—from a section heading in Carlos Castaneda’s final work, The Active Side of Infinity. As I look about me and see the signs of endings everywhere the phrase “end of the story” comes to mind, but I refuse it. It’s not the end of our story; it’s the end of an era.
I have just finished reading to Jan the chapter entitled Death as an Advisor in Castaneda’s early work Journey to Ixtlan. As I look over my left shoulder—where death, our faithful companion sits perched about an arm’s length away—I don’t feel the chill up my spine, the sign death delivers to show us our time is up. The sign is neither there for myself nor the world, and so our story continues.
Nonetheless, death delivers many signs on the world stage, countless atrocities, beheadings and the like. With these signs death advises us to awaken from the daily trance we live in, generated by our complacent minds—the foreign installation the Shamans of Ancient Mexico taught us about—our true antagonist in this chapter of our world’s story.
The storyline of that foreign installation—our mind—is to focus on the pettiness of self-importance and greed, the matrix that keeps us distracted from the real precipice we are perched upon, our survival dangling in delicate balance.
Death broadcasts its message in dramatic voice. Yes, we are in the throes of transformation, one era melding into another. Death advises that we cut through to the bone of the illusions we have clung to, the cornerstone of the era we are leaving. That era has been dominated by the mind’s attachment to greed in all its myriad forms. Greed is a virus unsustainable in the New Era. Our next chapter is immune to the virus of greed.
I do not fault greed, the product of what don Juan called the Flyer’s mind, another term for the foreign installation that challenges us and has held us so tightly in its grasp. Don Juan states:
“We are energetic probes created by the universe…and it’s because we are possessors of energy that has awareness that we are the means by which the universe becomes aware of itself. The flyers are the implacable challengers…They are the means by which the universe tests us.” *
Here don Juan identifies our ultimate reason for being in this world. Through our journeys in this life we become the apparatuses of consciousness that enlighten our World Soul. We are the active side of infinity. The flyers, or foreign installation, that have taken root in our minds are the agents of greed. The dominance of greed has let us sit back in the Matrix** and pretend all is well. Death, our faithful advisor, shows us that the gig is up; wake up!
The flyers, monstrous as they may be, are the necessary antagonists that force us to shine a brighter and brighter light on the truth. This is how the universe challenges us to become aware of itself: The light of consciousness shines through all the veils of illusion to arrive at what really is. Evil—those flyers, the foreign installation that controls our mind—is actually challenging us to wake up, to burn through the illusions and deepen our alignment with the truth.
This is the basis of our New Era, a world that aligns itself with right action, a world that corrects its course and allows Earth’s story to continue in new balance. Of course, this New Era will have its own new antagonists to contend with. And someday this New Era will also end. But the truth is that this Earth story is such a good one that it’s just not allowed to end yet, though someday it will.
All things have their era and then they eventually end because that is the imperative of consciousness, to grow and adventure in this, the ever-deepening, active side of infinity.
World without end, Amen,
*Quote from: The Active Side of Infinity, p. 229
** Reference is made to the movie, The Matrix.
We also note the synchronicity of this day: today is Ash Wednesday, a New Moon phase, and the eve of the Chinese New Year, all endings, and beginnings of new eras.