Advertisers scramble for it. Politicians pay and compete for it. Children crave it. All of us long for it. More valuable than money itself is the commodity of attention. More important than anything to the stock markets of the world, at the current moment, is where investors place their attention. Attention is the prime mover of humanity.
We enter the world at birth, archetypally programmed to receive attention. Attention is critical for us to, literally, come on line. Without the attention of good enough receivers we perish soon after entry.
With the outside validation of attention, good or bad, our attention is cultivated to fill out our personality, as our inner nature is sculpted through the process of socialization. Our attention is consolidated into an identity, a consistent sense of self. ‘I’ is molded through the solidification of our commodity of attention.
In school we are taught to cultivate our attention, to focus it upon the task of learning and creating. This training introduces us to the power of attention that we all possess. However, we are also heavily constricted by the rules of how attention should be practiced and upon what it should be focused.
Our freedom to exercise our attention is highly controlled by forces seeking the energy of our attention to uphold the primacy of their own belief systems. Without the mass attention of believers, belief systems have no currency to influence the world.
The consensus reality we live in requires a critical mass of attention to remain solid. This consensus means that we give our attention in support of its premises and leadership. If we withdraw that support it loses the commodity that upholds it, our attention.
Attention is more powerful than a vote or the ability to win an argument. Attention is focused energy, a powerful commodity. When we develop our dreaming attention, we develop the ability to explore and consciously exist as a substantial, multifaceted being in many dimensions of life.
When we are in command of our attention in waking life we can navigate the world with ease. Meditation is nothing other than full command of one’s attention. Intent is immediately drawn to the beacon of our attention. To command attention is to command intent.
To simply give one’s full attention to the meal one is eating, void of conversation, outside stimulation, and internal dialogue, connects one deeply to the needs and workings of the body. One remains in- body, knows how long to chew, when to swallow and when the body has had enough. The power of this attention reshapes the body and heals its ailments. Yes, the power of attention in such a simple task can radically change one’s state of health.
Come into your full power. Cultivate and store your precious commodity of attention. Be mindful not to spend it all on social media or obsession with world dramas seeking to bind and steal your attention.
No one can ever take away your freedom to place your attention where you want without your consent. And with that freedom, and a critical mass of the commodity of attention, the possibilities for life in all worlds is exponential.
Suspend judgment, and entertain this dream, the current consensus reality, with the Discipline of Awe:*
An incredibly aggressive, take no prisoners energy, has swept control of world leadership. Mightily, it rests the validity of its case upon the strength of its heated economy, the ultimate defense against want and need.
Meanwhile, the Earth heats up, as the oceans rise and the lands tremble. Denial is the proffered tool of this new consensus reality, promised to stave off all disruptions to normal life. Can that really work?
Enter stage East, the coronavirus, in the home of the heart of world manufacturing. Could a tiny virus seriously challenge the very financial order that upholds world leadership? Will aggression, denial, and science be able to circumvent collapse? What’s going to happen next?!!!!
The greatest defense against anxious infection from the dream we are in, our current consensus reality, is to rest upon the perch of Awe, which for shamans is the very definition of discipline. Awe is the calmness of Buddha, as he faced, without resistance, but also without attachment, all the extreme dreams of Maya, as they presented themselves to him.
The potential trapping generated by the dream of current reality lies in how powerfully it invites fear and offense. As soon as one succumbs to those emotions they lose their edge. To spend one’s emotional energy in bursts of extremes actually feeds the consensus reality of that dream, a dream dependent upon the energy of both unbridled and tortured emotion.
Yes, the dream we are in now may be experienced as utterly ruthless. Yet, as monstrous as that dream interpretation might be, the current dream’s medicinal value lies in its ability to test us; to drive us to greater awareness, if we refuse to relinquish our emotional energy to it.
Of course, this lands one in a lonely, inadequate position. Because, if one separates oneself from the tenets of the dream—the consensus reality it constructs—one is excommunicated from the safety of the party line. One is sentenced to think for oneself; an overwhelmingly lonely and fragile task.
It’s not that one loses one’s connection to emotion through the discipline of awe, but one does lay claim to one’s emotional self. One is no longer a victim of the formula that siphons one’s energy, but instead becomes totally responsible for one’s own energy.
For example, when we watch a movie, we suspend judgment and temporarily enter the consensus reality of the story. While watching the movie, we will likely have the emotions prescribed by the archetypal theme being dramatized. However, generally, soon after we leave the movie, we are restored to our familiar selves, detached from the characters or emotions of the movie. We reclaim our emotional autonomy and reaffirm our interpretation of reality.
To take possession of one’s emotional self is to have one’s emotions, without subscribing to upholding the reality being presented. In this respect, one exercises one’s ability to have a romance with emotion, without attaching to the dream or story as my agreed-upon reality.
By grabbing onto one’s personalintent, one is freed from the framework and limitations ‘imposed’ by the consensus dream. With intent, one is freed to respectfully change dreams. This is in no way a denial of the consensus dream; it remains quite real. However, it is experienced as only one of many alternatives. There are other consensual realities to join, or perhaps just visit, as a warrior-traveler, embarked upon the definitive journey of freedom.
To remain fully in this consensus dream, the current reality, but to refuse an interpretation of it that renders one a depleted victim, is a form of changing dreams. To see its predatory dominance as an expression of the true condition of life, one that can be used to sharpen awareness by getting over self-importance, transforms the dream into an evolutionary opportunity.
One does not have to agree to attach to a glum interpretation of this consensus dream either; that’s the true course of freedom. That’s the real revolution: to refuse to be a victim of the consensus dream; to not attach and to not allow one’s emotional energy to be offended, thus sinking into a hopeless interpretation of reality.
The shift beyond this consensus dream is aided by using death as an advisor. Indeed, it is the ultimate shamanic maneuver. In the Tensegrity workshops I attended for many years, every speaker would introduce themselves by stating their name, followed by the qualifier, “…a being who is going to die.”
I have to admit that my own self-importance interfered with my being able to mimic this style of introduction. I never could do it; it seemed rather trite and morbid. However, like all things those shamans did, there was a truly pragmatic value to this ritual.
For one thing, shamans state their names to affirm their full presence in the reality or particular dream they are currently embodying. Secondly, when they remind themselves of their impending deaths, they are accessing being present to this living moment from the perspective of a dying being, a being who is transitioning into a new reality, seeing the ultimate relativity of the dream they are exiting.
From that perspective of relativity they are freed from an all-consuming attachment to present reality; as it is seen as just a moment—albeit significant, as all moments are—unfolding into the greater unfolding of oncoming time, that which is infinity and beyond! Such an encounter with infinity borrows a perspective from beyond this dream that tempers the emotional energy expended in holding onto, or compulsively needing to change, the outcome of the present dream.
Present reality is merely a dream that exists, with equanimity, among an infinity of dreams, all of which offer golden nuggets of awareness. Exploit the current opportunity to the fullest, regardless of outcome. Defeat and conquest are meaningless outcomes next to an infinity of dreams waiting to be lived.
With this expanded perspective, we’ve come full circle, back to awe, the coveted position from which to truly resume, unfettered, our magical journey, appreciative of all the gifts from our many, rich and colorful dreams.
beingINTENT upon AWE,
*As with all my blogs, my ideas presented here are deeply influenced by my experience and appreciation for the path of heart Carlos Castaneda gifted the world.
Carlos Castaneda faced the most ego-crushing fact. His role, as dictated by Spirit itself, was to end rather than continue his shamanic lineage, a lineage that had spanned twenty-seven generations.
Carlos’ dilemma mirrors the energetic configuration of our time, a time of endings.
Earth herself is in a time of major reshaping as she violently shakes free of the shackles of inertia that have bound her in place. Shamans would call the place of her frozen fixation, the world’s assemblage point, the place where the Earth’s energy is assembled into a consensus reality, the everyday world as we have known it.
The Earth abounds now with dismantling events, be they earthquakes, Senate trials, or viruses. Reality, as we have known it, is being rocked at its core. Institutions are falling like dominoes. Many dreams are vying to become the new consensus reality, the world’s new position of the assemblage point.
As I see it, the destructive phase of now will not be of short duration. The dream currently dominating is the ultimate completion of a one-sided American dream. That dream demands full expression. Perhaps that is the true contribution of our time, to not suppress and pass along that unfulfilled dream for future generations to have to complete. I believe this current dream has been long in the making. That dream spares not even a brush with apocalypse to fulfill its hunger for power and domination.
More comprehensively put, America is completing the ultimate ego over everything dream. This is actually a universal dream, not just America’s. The universality of that dream reflects a world developmental process that tests the viability of fixation at the level of total narcissism.
The current strain of the coronavirus has presented a most interesting challenge to the most populated country on Earth, China, the ancient home of the Book of Changes, the I Ching. Could an alternative dream be unfolding where China shakes off its materialistic dew and gets down to its Taoist roots, action in accordance with Inner Truth (hexagram #61)?
A totalitarian regime has chosen to lose face. No hiding its blemish; it is currently the home of a deadly virus. Superhuman efforts are being made to construct necessary hospitals, isolate large masses of people, and provide accurate safety precaution to all. Economic considerations pale next to the cooperative needs of survival.
Who knows what will happen, but at present this unfolding dream appears to attempt to stalk a position beyond the narcissism of damage control to face the actual danger, with rationality untempered by narcissism. Planet Earth is steadily insisting on a movement that assembles such a reality.
More dreams will fill the world stage in the coming months; these are the trials of transformation. When Carlos Castaneda was confronted with deciding what to do with the hidden knowledge of his shamanic lineage, as he closed its door, he dreamed forward Tensegrity, offering anyone who wanted it the practical knowledge of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico.
Carlos, while still in this world, would marvel at Tensegrity workshops, that he was able to observe perhaps a thousand people practicing in unison the Magical Passes of his lineage. This was a sight no other Nagual—the shamanic leader of a group of no greater than 16 apprentices in each generation—had ever witnessed: the power of the mass impact of these Magical Passes performed in unison.
Carlos Castaneda believed that the time had arrived where a newpower of the mass, spirit warriors from all nations and traditions, would energetically combine their forces of intent to shift the world’s assemblage point to a new, more comprehensive position to ensure a solid foundation for survival.
The ending of Carlos’ line marked the end of the self-importance of any one tradition holding the exclusive keys to the kingdom. The mass movement of this growing collective intent is fueled by truth, love, and pragmatism. It includes movements such as minimalism, clean energy, small cooperative organic farming communities, respect for the Earth as a living planetary being, as well as the all-inclusive values and practices of all spiritual traditions, none excluded.
The traumas upon the face of the Earth now, though tragic, reflect a shaking loose of the current heavy inert fixation of the assemblage point that has long been preparing for a necessary move. Carlos demonstrated the necessity of letting go of old ways, particularly the dominance of the narcissism of self-importance, to make room for a new position grounded in the greater common good.
We are lured to give over our attention, our hopes and fears, to quick fixes or idealistic dreams that could stem the tide of this destruction. Best to do this with what shamans call controlled folly: detached passion; rather than deplete one’s energy through futility and defeat. Much more important is to place one’s intent upon joining with the Earth’s intent, as she aggressively shifts her own body to a new and necessary position of the assemblage point.
May all beings join in the intent of this new position of the assemblage point, where reason is stripped of its narcissistic veils and applies itself wholeheartedly to the pragmatism of world survival.
A shamanic journey is one that ventures beyond the crust of the known world into the heart of darkness where hidden influences upon ordinary life are revealed. The journey is initiated through a breakdown of the dominant normal perceptions and expectations of the world that then opens the door to the fuller reality underlying the prevailing worldview.
At this moment the world finds itself in the midst of the breakdown phase of a collective shamanic journey. The shaman responsible for catalyzing this phase of the journey is the president of the United States, Donald Trump. Wikipedia defines a shaman as “someone who is regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.” Donald Trump’s ritualistic trancelike tweets and the influences he exposes the world to qualify him as a shaman.
I would argue that Donald Trump has opened the porthole to “other worldly spirits” by systematically breaking down the agreed upon decorum that has for a long time ruled the central office of world power, the United State’s presidency. In prior administrations a high values decorum of behavior set a leadership standard agreed upon by a majority of the world’s nations and populations that generated a strong border wall to fend off possession by malevolent spirits. That wall has been completely shattered with the “shithole” adjective President Trump has applied to some other nations.
Rather than debate the ethics of Donald Trump’s behavior I focus on the disintegrating influence his actions accelerate upon our long held consensus reality. In shamanic terms, the rigid fixation of our collective agreed-upon world reality is currently in free fall. On an individual level basic security is severely threatened and has given rise to a host of acute psychiatric disturbances.
Though many might point to the removal or defeat of Donald Trump as an antidote to the current madness, and this may be a necessary or helpful action, I think he is a representative or a pawn of a much greater process of transformation.
The world prior to Donald Trump’s presidency was unsustainable. Human population with its ever expanding needs can no longer be accommodated within the confines of balance upon this planet. Donald Trump did not cause climate change, though he certainly has made every effort to undue efforts to address the crisis it has generated. The reality that our consensus world needs reconfiguring transcends who the current leaders of the world are. This reconfiguring involves all of nature, which is, quite independently of human action, molding a new world.
The dependence upon a world leader to mesmerically fixate human consciousness upon an agreed upon reality is an outdated technology. Carlos Castaneda was the last shaman leader of a shamanic line that extended back 16 generations. His teacher, the nagual don Juan Matus made it abundantly clear to him that infinity had determined that Carlos was the end of the line, that there would be no new nagual, or shamanic leader, to direct the future for his shamanic line.
With that, Carlos and his shamanic party altered the course of future direction of the line by birthing a virtual internet of shamanism. All the secrets were revealed, all the shamanic technology to journey beyond the confines of ordinary reality was made available to everyone, regardless of age, race, sex, creed or color. All that is required to initiate the journey is the intent to evolve. And that journey is an individual experiential journey, available to all who live in this world.
That intent to evolve is the intent for total freedom unfettered by the materialistic preoccupation of our current old world consensus reality. The technology of this shamanic perspective frees its energy from being offended by world tyrants and instead deploys it in the exploration of the much broader world of energy and the possibilities there that facilitate a new balance within each individual and here upon the earth as a whole.
Donald Trump’s behavior leads us to the same shamanic reality: we all must assume responsibility for our own journeys, the era of paternalistic security is over. We have all been launched on a collective shamanic journey and must decide individually what spirits, benevolent or malevolent, will influence our present lives. Though malevolent spirits have a definite role in the breakdown phase of change, they are not the foundation of a sustainable new balance.
For that we need both our intent to evolve and the support of benevolent spirits.
Beliefs originate in the mind. The mind is the outermost wrapping of the spiritual plane in human beings. In Hindu science the spiritual plane has many increasingly subtle dimensions or sheaths.
Using the Hindu analogy, we can compare the familiar mind that we call the ego to a rocket booster of a spaceship, which propels the spaceship, but as it rises higher in the atmosphere sheds itself of the outer layers or sheaths surrounding its core. Hence, when we depart from this world at death, on our definitive journey into infinity, we will shed the outer wrapping, the ego mind we operated with in this world, and open to the more subtle, spiritual dimensions at our core. At this point we will become fully energetic beings, no longer sporting the outer casings of the human form. This is the energetic body from which Jeanne communicates her wisdom to Jan in daily Soulbytes.
The ego and higher levels of spiritual agency represent the Yang or thought dimension of human existence. The body and all material manifestations in the world represent the Yin or material dimension of human existence.
Ideas, thoughts, beliefs, or intents are all non-substantial possibilities issuing from the spiritual dimension that require physical substance to become what we might call real, substantial, or manifested. Thus, spirit Yang lacking union with material Yin is simply a hot air possibility lacking substance.
Limitations are the necessary boundaries that birth a spirit into substantial reality. Thus, if I have an image in my mind it exists only as a spirit entity, a potential lacking substance. If I then draw and color the idea on paper, my spirit and physical selves have united to create a definite impression. Yang and Yin are conjoined in the process of creative manifestation.
For a Yang impulse to become real it must accept the limiting containment of physical reality. Without limits we don’t exist in a substantial, time and space, way. An idea lacking written or verbal expression is just a roaming, floating thought, a seed seeking earth to germinate in and become real.
Limiting beliefs are the basic building blocks of our world. If we did not collectively agree to believe similar things we could not manifest such a cohesive reality, i.e., the world as we know it. From a shamanic perspective all worlds are consensus realities. Consensus, meaning shared beliefs, is the intent that congeals matter into a specific world.
By exercising the shamanic technology of intent we can shift the world we live in, literally, into a new consensus reality or, put differently, into a whole new world. However, that new world also requires a new set of limiting beliefs to achieve the consistency necessary to become a substantial reality.
If I pick up my metal spoon and it suddenly bends in half my belief in the solidity of the world may be greatly assaulted, sending me into quite a spin. Fortunately, the very powerful belief that the world is rational might quickly reassert itself, providing probable explanations for the bent spoon that can then shore up the shaky assault to my sanity!
Of course, as much as we enjoy the calmness of a predictable world, well-constructed by limiting beliefs, the downside of limitation is limitation. Many more options of experience and manifestation may be available to us that might much more fully allow us to experience both our spiritual and material potential; things that we simply can’t access, as the guardians of our sanity that maintain the consistency of the world as we have known it vigorously encourage us not to stray beyond the boundaries of our limiting beliefs.
It really is a profound consideration to stray beyond the boundaries of rationality, which is currently (though greatly challenged by world events this past year) the major building block of human stability. In general, mental health has been predicated upon the security of a predictable world constructed by agreed upon limiting beliefs. Nonetheless, often at the spirit’s insistence to open to possibilities beyond the known, or as a matter of material necessity, we are compelled to take new spiritual/physical adventures beyond the known dimensions into the deeper interior of our fuller selves.
In fact, one thing is clear about the present state of reality in the world: the limiting beliefs that have defined the world at the highest levels are currently crumbling in full public view. Rather than calming and solidifying the basic tenets of our consensus reality, our leaders function like tricksters shifting gears with pure abandon.
The deeper reason for this dissolution is that our world is in the midst of major transformation. Fear not the transitory extreme new worlds we are confronted with daily; they are untenable as they do not support the deepest needs of our world as it undergoes its very deep and necessary transformation.
We are being pushed into a world that opens us up to our greater energetic potential, a world which greatly expands the limiting beliefs that have so long defined what we believe and experience as reality. This new world of greater entrée into our energetic potential frees us from the limiting beliefs of fixation on materialism as the source for fulfillment. The technology of that limiting belief has clearly exhausted the planet and, despite its current escalation, has little future.
The new technology of a metaphysical world, a world of energy beyond strict rationality, utilizes psychic powers, intent, inter-dimensional exploration and the experience of love as its guiding limiting beliefs. This is a far more stable and exciting consensus reality in the making. That is the New Frontier we are privileged to participate in beyond the boredom, frustration, depression, and hardship of this tumultuous time of transition.
The limits of that New Frontier are the kind of limiting beliefs I can sign up for!!!