To make room for the new, we must clear out the old. The challenge, in letting go, is the depth of our attachment to the familiar. The identity we have forged secures us within the safety of the known.
The known identity is often heavily laden with negative and limiting beliefs, which become the boundaries of the self. To find the self in new ways, we must venture beyond the comfort of the chrysalis that has provided stability, darting past the limitations it has imposed upon the unfolding of our fuller selves.
The internal dialogue, specifically, the words we say to ourselves and others, powerfully determines the self we know. St. John begins his Gospel: “en arche en o logos” (in the beginning was the word). And that spoken word became the flesh. Or, as the Shamans of Ancient Mexico put it: words are directly linked to intent, the key to manifestation. As Descartes put it, “I think therefore I am.”
Norman Vincent Peale highlighted The Power of Positive Thinking, as a practice to suspend the power of judging words to forestall the unfolding self. We are all programmable beings, much like the Artificial Intelligence (AI) of Siri and Alexa.
Our subconscious awaits commands in the form of the words we tell it we are. Those words manifest in the behavioral patterns, moods, and beliefs that we program ourselves to automatically enact. Change the words, change the mood and the outlook.
Would, of course, that change were so simple. And yet, in many ways it is that simple. Observe the power of a charismatic leader whose words galvanize the mood of the world. This is the action of mass hypnosis, and, at some level, we are all hypnotic subjects. Why not give ourselves positive, supportive, and encouraging messages?
Always forgive the self, for everything and anything. Rather than bemoan one’s weaknesses and limitations, validate the willingness to face the full truth, and move forward unburdened with negativity.
Observe and interrupt automatic conclusions about one’s abilities, such as, “I am a terrible writer.” Reframe it with, “I am a being learning to write.”
Treat words as power objects capable of casting spells. Cast only positive spells upon the self.
Try, “I am a being open to the magic and mystery of life.”
Or, “I am a caring being open to sharing myself with a compatible other.”
Beyond the words that we consciously state are experiences we may store unconsciously, beyond our awareness, that hold their own powerful words of influence. These are made known to us through the triggers of everyday life that suddenly transport us to dark, frozen places.
To neutralize the spells these triggers cast, we must take the journey of recapitulation. In recapitulation we relive and fully retrieve our lost selves, as we open to full acceptance of every aspect of life lived. With acceptance comes love. With love comes the energy to open to new life, with all our vulnerabilities.
Finding self is the journey of a lifetime. Carefully chosen, supportive words and ongoing recapitulation are the tools to achieve this wholeness of self. Exercise these tools! See what happens!
Detachment is a skill well worth learning and practicing. To be detached is to fully know the self, to fully feel and know where all attachments lie, and then to work through them so that they no longer hold charges of energy, so that they do not hold the self to old agreements no longer feasible, so that they do not eat up one’s energy, one’s life, or keep one from the pursuit of one’s dreams. Attachments are the keepers of energy, while detachment is energetic freedom. In detachment one fully acknowledges attachments and yet one does not allow those attachments to rule. One fully loves others and yet one is not a slave to those loved ones. One is free to live life while letting others also fully live life, aware that it is the goal, privilege, and right of all beings to live life without energetic attachments that bind, hold one back, or inhibit one. Detachment means loving freedom for all. Practice detachment, with love for self and other, and begin to see its winning rewards of growth, maturity, and prosperity, in one and all.
What are you holding onto? What have you encapsulated? Some thought, idea, perception that you think belongs to you when in fact it is not yours to carry? Perhaps you are unconsciously protecting someone else, burdening yourself out of fear for another, out of empathy, out of guilt? Everyone must live out their own life, their own mistakes, their own karma. Everyone carries something with them into life that defines them, something they alone must face and resolve. A true warrior attends to the personal karmic issues with unbending intent and reaches toward the personal potential with nerves of steel, simultaneously allowing others to do the same. This requires a certain degree of detachment, but it is detachment with utter dedication to a path of heart as the only true path. It involves awakening the deepest of love and kindness and the knowledge that the only way a warrior will achieve karmic resolve is by walking that personal path of heart and by facing those karmic issues personally. It involves knowing that everyone is a warrior and that life must be allowed to unfold along its karmic path in order for each warrior to resolve and evolve. But most importantly, do it all with love. That’s the warrior’s way.
Is it diabolical that a mosquito, tick, bacteria, or virus feeds upon the matter and substance of our physical bodies? A nuisance, and in some cases a lethal nuisance indeed, yet, we begrudgingly accept this negative symbiotic reality as a feature of our physical world.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico concur that our universe is a predatory universe. They describe this dynamic as operational at an even more subtle energetic level as well, that of an inorganic yet living entity that feeds upon the human energy produced by human emotion. Although negative in its draining of human energy, it also serves as a teacher that helps humans evolutionarily advance, if they can learn how to master its parasitic onslaught.
This opportunity, and the need for mastery over it, is ever so obvious in the conditions of our current world predicament. Outwardly, we are bombarded daily with the most outrageous of words and behaviors, incessantly taxing our emotional reserves, resulting in extreme volatility and emotional exhaustion.
These onslaughts fill the airwaves and social media, captivating modern life. Closer to home, beyond the politics of now, are our own personal longings for attention and validation, our own deepest needs compulsively seeking to bind us to screens.
Inwardly, we too are prey to the promptings of self-importance and self-pity, seeking outlet in an upward spiral of ecstatic inflation, or in a downward vortex, sending us into a bottomless pit of tortured longing and sadness. These volatile tendencies within ourselves often manifest in cycles of addictive attachments.
Shamans maintain that these various pathways of emotional activation are generated by an inorganic entity, which they have dubbed the flyer, through the judgments of offense that our internal dialogue incessantly broadcasts. Those judgements are directed toward self and other. They, in turn, generate a wave of emotional energy, the food for the flyer.
To free the self of this depleting symbiotic trap, shamans recommend a furtive effort of detachment, which they call the warrior’s way. The goal of the warrior’s way is to gain freedom from the bindings of attachment, first and foremost to being offended. If one can remain sober and detached in the face of offensive words and behaviors, none of one’s energy is lost in the encounter.
To accomplish this, one must lose one’s attachment to self-importance. Self-importance is generally garnered through validation by others, a highly dependent and vulnerable position, which leads to endless emotional strife. Rather than turn over one’s power to another’s validation, the guidance is to face the truth of one’s self within. Acceptance of, and the ability to laugh at, one’s self, goes a long way in cancelling out the impact of the judgments of others.
Self-esteem becomes acceptance of the whole truth of one’s actual self, good and bad. Inappropriate behavior by others is properly placed as their problem to face and resolve, and not as offense to one’s own self. This does not mean that we don’t strategically decide how to manage inappropriate behavior, however, we do so with truthful sobriety rather than with offense.
Freed of the emotional activation generated by judgments within and without, we advance in maturity. We accrue the energy that grants us the power to act decisively, with precision. No energy is wasted in feeding the predator. The predator is defeated when we deny it the energy of our emotional disgust and defeat.
In this time of flagrant predatory human behavior, we are all offered the opportunity to advance beyond the narcissistic emotional web of the predator, who constantly stirs up and then feeds upon our emotional turmoil. We don’t have to keep playing that game.
I prefer to punctuate the positive opportunity of this seemingly depressed and depressing time. I envision the predator as our ultimate teacher.
The predator, as teacher, shines the spotlight upon our attachment to self-importance, showing us the emotional trap where the greatest work needs to be done, and where the largest storehouse of our energy lies, waiting to be retrieved. Once we close this emotional trap drain, we open ourselves to a whole new world of freedom. Freedom to be.
We live in the most spirited of times! Exhilaration is thrilling yet energetically exhausting, and as current events highlight, potentially perilous. Conserving and accruing energy is key to longevity and full self-realization in human form.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico developed a practice they called controlled folly to conserve energy, through tempering the human spirit. The human spirit is actually the ego-Soul portion of one’s greater SOUL. The two are connected, but it is the ego-Soul that lives and acts upon the world stage in our current sojourn in human form. It is the ego-Soul that grasps at life and wants more. Our greater SOUL lives as our silent partner, in infinity, the more comprehensive context of the human life we are currently in.
Controlled folly is engaging one’s ego-Soul in one’s chosen path of heart in this world, with great earnestness, like a true warrior and yet, having NO attachment to the outcome of one’s actions. This detached edge is possible because one never loses touch with the fuller backdrop of one’s surrounding life in infinity.
The Shamans cite three essential facts, gifts of wisdom from the greater SOUL, as the foundation of controlled folly: (1) All life in human form is transitory and terminal, hence, (2) regardless of the role we play, or story we live, all roads lead to the exact same ending: death in human form, therefore, (3) the greater backdrop of all human life is our full transition into infinity, the ultimate destination of our definitive journey.
Shamans see, in some form, their energetic interconnectedness with everything, glimpses of infinity. Shamans read their journeys in dreaming, and the synchronicities in everyday life, as revelations and promptings from their greater SOUL to wake up to the fuller storyline of their ongoing life in infinity. By inviting the full awareness of ultimate death into their current incarnation, they transform an ordinary life into a magical life.
From this seemingly morbid perspective an individual can recognize that indeed, all the world’s a stage. And, as Carlos Castaneda once recommended, be the best actor you can be in the role you’ve chosen during your present time on the human world stage. Live the life you’ve chosen to the fullest, yet don’t get too attached to its significance; it’s not the main event or the only event.
Practicing controlled folly does not absent us from expressing human emotion. What great actor has not fully lived and expressed the true emotions of their role. Nonetheless, when the show is over the actor disengages from the role and shifts to their true human identity.
Controlled folly allows us to live with passion while knowing that, in the ultimate sense, none of it really matters. Thus, we can simultaneously be incredibly engaged in all that life offers, with utter seriousness, yet ultimately, be completely detached. This dual focus is how we temper our passionate spirit and how we are able to let go when what we have fought for doesn’t come to pass.
Similar to the message of the Bhagavad Gita, Carlos deemphasized the morality of the role you play. No one role is more important than another. To judge harshly another’s role is to get caught in the self-importance of overvaluing the particular play you are in. All roles are parts of the play, angels and demons alike, creating a complete cast. To remember this is how to temper our own extreme emotional reactions to the dance of now, that which is taking place upon our world stage. All spirits are equal actors in the play, and yes, Marianne Williamson, though some are dark psychic forces, they nonetheless have critical parts in the play.
Life in this world is extremely important, why live it as a failed play? But at the same time, it’s all relative when contrasted with forever, the greater reality we will all return to when this play is done. Nonetheless, this is our play now, our moment in time to experience this drama to the fullest, and that matters; and yet, at the same time, it doesn’t. This moment is assured its place in infinity’s ultimate historical record, the Akashic record. It will never be erased, no fake news in infinity’s library. Nonetheless, it is only one moment among infinite moments.
The significance of the play we are currently in is the completion of Kali Yuga, the utter destruction and disintegration of civilization’s highest achievements. But what is the reality that lies beneath civilization’s false self? Freud really did call it accurately when he called civilization a sublimated id. What has emerged from the depths of the collective human shadow now is the repressed ancient rivalries and conundrums that have never been resolved in our revolving human dream. We’ve all acted in plays together before; this is just one more show. And yet we have an opportunity to finally resolve some things that we’ve left hanging from previous lives.
Where, for instance, on the globe is the core center of volatile unrest? In the lands of the Middle East, of course, where ancient issues have yet to be resolved. Who’s entitled to the land? How does one protect what they feel is their’s? Simple questions, ancient, never-solved dilemmas. We all have them.
And yet, these ancient core dilemmas are impacting the safety of the globe, and they are being mirrored in the dominant politics and daily atrocities in most countries throughout the world, impacting us all. We are coming frightfully close to absolute rulers, outright racism, nuclear winter, concentration camps, and flirtations with final solutions. We’ve lost our perspective on the greater reality we all face.
As the Shamans codified, it is our awareness of death that elevates our time in this world from ordinary life to magical power. Why settle for a redundant, mediocre play when we can elevate our time here to a Tony award performance! Why not let all the actors stand on center stage to deliver their best performances? Why settle for world neurosis as the best compromised dream we can deliver? There is so much more.
Woodstock 50 is cancelled, no time for hallucinogenic reruns, but alas, Marianne Williamson has entered center stage! She is indeed the ticket to call out the dark side of the force. The play we are now in would best be played by such a rivalry; Donald Trump requires such an opponent as Marianne Williamson. He gets bored, and rightfully so, without a worthy opponent to challenge him.
We must all call upon controlled folly here to temper the spirit. We are all here for such a brief moment, such a brief appearance on the world stage. At the end of the day, the curtain falls and it’s the end of an era; this play is over. All of us will exit the stage, where we will shake hands with our fellow cast members, all rivalries dissolved. Only self-importance, the seed of reincarnation, will keep us replaying the same drama.
Controlled folly offers us the opportunity to truly advance the issues that have thwarted humankind for eons. Imagine Marianne’s Department of Peace. Imagine hugs in the Middle East. Yes, John, we can still Imagine, but with the edge of controlled folly we can do it with no attachment to the outcome.
Live the dream, intend it forward, and when it’s time to go, exit the stage, in love with it all.