The Loneliness of Eternity

“In the life of a Warrior, it is extremely natural to be sad for no overt reason. It is said that man as a luminous being senses his final destination whenever the boundaries of the known are broken.

A mere glimpse of the eternity outside the cocoon is enough to disrupt the coziness of our inventory. The resulting melancholy is so intense that it can bring about death.”

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“There is nothing more lonely than eternity. And nothing is more cozy for us than to be a human being. This indeed is another contradiction – how can man keep the bonds of his humanness, and still venture gladly and purposefully into the absolute loneliness of eternity? Whenever you resolve this riddle, you’ll be ready for the definitive journey.”

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“Who cares about sadness?  Think only of the mysteries; mystery is all that matters. We are living beings. We have to die and relinquish our awareness. But if we could change just a tinge of that, what mysteries must await us! What mysteries!”

– Don Juan Matus, The Fire From Within

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Benefactor vs Teacher

In the book, Tales of Power, Don Juan Matus reveals a significant truth in the roles that he and Don Genaro Flores were playing in Carlos Castaneda’s apprenticeship.  To understand the contrast of these two roles, one must first understand the concepts of first and second attention, and the juxtaposition of tonal and nagual.

In following Don Juan’s teachings through Castaneda’s 4 books – up to and including Tales of Power – one develops the understanding that Juan Matus is the main teacher and benefactor to Carlos.  Genaro is seen as somewhat of an oddity: one who is imbued with the 2nd attention, or permanently trapped in his dreaming body; and in being such an enigma – a constant source of terror and mystery to Carlos (and entertainment to us)!

So, halfway though the 4th book, Juan Matus drops this bombshell on Carlos: no, he is not the “benefactor”, he is a mere teacher – one who is cleaning and preparing the island of the tonal, for the ‘real’ lessons of the nagual himself, who happens to be Don Genaro.

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