The academic shaman that shocked America
Carlos Castaneda was a mysterious figure of the 19th century, an Ucla anthropologist and a shaman, a real one. He was studying medical plants for his thesis in the New Mexico desert, and he was introduced to a local expert, Don Juan: he captured the young Carlos with his piercing eyes, and with the excuse of helping him in his research he initiated him to his knowledge, making Castaneda his pupil and successor of his lineage. But why this strange and controverse teaching will drastically change your vision of life?
Your world is an illusion
Literally. «Our world is the way it is because we sustain it every moment of our life with our belief, actions and thoughts. A rock is a rock because we have a fixed idea about it and we are damn sure about its nature. But if we only loosen our prejudice about it, the rock will become something else, something mysterious and unknown». The world is energy in vibration, everything we see as a thing it is not, it’s out perception that fixes that process as an object, but in reality it’s only energy; this resembles dramatically the string theory, the aspirant point of junction between general relativity and quantum mechanics. The theory declares that vibrating strings create particles, like vibrating strings on a guitar produce musical notes. Following Castaneda and theoretical physics the world is an immense symphony of energy, and we think that we know everything about our life, from the cup of tea next to us while we’re reading this article to our cat napping on our ankle. But how can we know reality for what it is?
The key to open the essence of reality is silence, the mental one. If we suspend to judge everything that we perceive a whole world of possibilities opens up: things are free to be as they are, like an old lion in chains for years and finally set free, he stretches his legs and make a wild roar imbued with all the energy retained in a lifetime. Is it possible to be completely silent in our mind? Yes, and the technique he uses consist of watching the environment with a wide sight, without focusing anything, just watching loosely everything that crosses our eyes. After a bit of training, a new perception of things comes in, you’ll see things alive and vibrant, like they’ve always been, but you were too occupied in judging them to let them space. I wonder if the same approach comes into relationships, seeing other people for what they are, instead of what we think about them; letting them space to be, without expectations or projections, just leaving their essence silently shine through.