This past week I found myself contemplating evil. Two weeks ago I explored the role of evil in the shaman’s world as a necessary encounter that advances seekers on their evolutionary journeys. Last week I delved into evil from a strictly human perspective, exploring the role of evil in the collective psyche of the human race. I am continually drawn back to the shaman’s world where I find the tools and pragmatism of their discoveries most helpful in dealing with the affairs of this world in preparation for journeys in all worlds. I decided to be guided by synchronicity for this blog today and opened The Wheel of Time to the following quote taken from Carlos Castaneda’s The Second Ring of Power.
“A warrior knows that he cannot change, and yet he makes it his business to try to change, nevertheless. The warrior is never disappointed when he fails to change. That’s the only advantage a warrior has over the average man.” (p. 166)
It’s not really that a warrior knows he cannot change; it’s more that a warrior does not attach to the outcome of his actions. In psychological terms, this represents the egoless ego. A warrior’s ego is neither willful nor inflated, but focused and pragmatic. The ego is a functional unit, not an identity. A warrior intends an outcome and acts impeccably in accordance with that intent. That is all that matters. The outcomes of actions merely present the circumstances for the next decision, the next action. Disappointment is a direct function of identification of ego, with accumulated deeds, such as merit badges or detention slips. I succeeded, I’m a success; I failed, I’m a failure: Me, Me, Me. A warrior suspends judgment. Judgment casts value upon the ego. The warrior seeks freedom from an ego identity, from judgment, from the human form.
I turn now to the opposite page in the same book for the following quote:
“Warriors must be impeccable in their effort to change, in order to scare the human form and shake it away. After years of impeccability, a moment will come when the human form cannot stand it any longer and leaves. That is to say, a moment will come when the energy fields contorted by a lifetime of habit are straightened out. A warrior gets deeply affected, and can even die as a result of this straightening out of energy fields, but an impeccable warrior always survives.” (p. 167)
The human form is the unique configuration that our inherent energy is funneled into by what C. G. Jung called the archetypal patterns of the collective unconscious. The human form, from a shamanic perspective, refers to a specific interpretation of energy, not to be confused with our physical bodies. Actually, shamans have discovered that the human body, or solid reality, is an interpretation of energy. This is not all that radical, as even mainstream physics can demonstrate that, at its core, everything is energy. The shamans highlight the role of socialization to create the interpretation of energy they call the human form. The repetitive behavioral patterns we are taught from infancy by older, socialized members of the human community shape our energy into a uniform set of habitual behaviors recognizable to all humans, creating a uniform consensus reality we call Our world.
Shamans have determined that the lion’s share of our inherent energy, in the human form, is spent on habitual behaviors focused on self-importance and self-pity. In our human form we can spend a lifetime in either self-doubt or self-pity over our failures to meet expectations. We can become obsessed with self-motivation, trying to conquer the world or our own inertia to prove ourselves: to make something of our lives, to produce something to leave behind or to bask in during our golden years. We can become obsessed with becoming good, becoming great, becoming selfless, etc. All of these strivings, from a shamanic perspective, are variations of self-importance. In a nutshell, the shamans see the human form as an energetic entity completely consumed in a narcissistic bubble of self-involvement, totally incapable of fighting its way out of this self-absorption. If you stay in the human form mold you live and die in it, closed to the possibility of evolution. In Buddhist terms, your destiny is reincarnation, another opportunity to awaken to energetic reality.
The human form, in this socialized and narcissistic state, cannot be sustained without a high degree of energy being dedicated to upholding this ego-self identity. Warriors strive to store the energy usually expended on upholding this ego-self identity by interrupting the habitual behavioral patterns of self-absorption, i.e., by not attaching or becoming identified with the outcomes of their actions. The human form, denied this energetic sustenance, eventually leaves, with the result that energy is now freed for other possibilities, which naturally transcend the human form.
This shift, this abandonment by the human form is shattering. Picture the scene in The Matrix where Neo is unplugged from his habitual illusory programs, i.e., his hard drive is wiped clean and he nearly goes into shock under the impact. An impeccable warrior is well prepared for this blow, having spent a lifetime interrupting the flow of habitual patterns, using petty tyrants to free awareness from a self that requires judgment to exist, using recapitulation to free energy formerly attached to interpretations feeding self-absorption.
Energy, freed from the human form? Then what! Picture Neo, as the bullets merely bounce off him and he flows, as he no longer participates in that interpretation of reality; he has lost his human form. Let’s see what happens!
If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.
Until we meet again,