From Tales of Power

I was looking over a book 'Tales of Power' written by Carlos Castaneda.  I remembered how many years ago i was inspired by the teachings of the Toltec seer don Juan as recorded in these writings.  So i thought i would write some things from this book that resonated with me and maybe somebody reading will find the value of it... When reference is made to being a warrior, it refers to a person on the path on knowledge.

Carlos asks, 'why did you make me take those power plants so many times?  And don Juan laughed and softly says, because you’re dumb.  You’re rather slow, and there was no other way to jolt you. (out of the box of his rational mind) Carlos asks, so none of that was absolutely necessary?  It was, in your case, there are other types of people, however, that do not seem to need them.

To be sensitive is a natural condition of certain people. You are not. But neither am I.  In the final analysis sensitivity matters very little.  So what's the thing that matters then? Carlos asks.  What matters is that a warrior be impeccable.

So i will say that what matters to a warrior is arriving at the totality of oneself.  It’s the responsibility of the warrior to gain enough personal power to tip the scales of understanding.  And Carlos says, tell me exactly what i should do, sometimes i think i know, but most of the time i have no self-confidence. 

And don Juan says, I am afraid you are confusing issues.  The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man.  The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence.  The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness.  The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to himself.  Perhaps you are chasing rainbows.  You are after the self-confidence of the average man, when you should be after the humbleness of a warrior.  The difference between the two is remarkable.  Self-confidence entails knowing something for sure; humbleness entails being impeccable in one's actions and feelings. You know enough of the warrior’s way to act accordingly, but your old habits and routines stand in your way. 

And Carlos later says that he has received many letters from people that he shouldn't write about his apprenticeship, saying that masters of eastern esoteric doctrines demand absolute secrecy about their teachings.  And don Juan replies, perhaps those masters are just indulging in being masters. I am not a master, I am only a warrior. So i really don't know what a master feels like.  It doesn't matter what one reveals or what one keeps to themselves.  Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power.  If we have enough of it, one word uttered to us might be sufficient to change the course of our lives.  But if we don't have enough personal power, the most magnificent piece of wisdom can be revealed to us and that revelation won't make a dam bit of difference.

A warrior takes his lot, whatever it may be, and accepts it in ultimate humbleness.  He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as grounds for regret but as a living challenge.  It takes time for every one of us to understand that point and fully live it.  I, for instance, hated the mere mention of the word humbleness.  I am an Indian and we Indians have always been humble and have done nothing but lower our heads.  I thought humbleness was not in the warrior's way.  I was wrong.  I know now that the humbleness of a warrior is not the humbleness of a beggar.  The warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn't permit anyone to lower his head to him.

The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor for anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him.  That’s why I told you earlier that i didn't understand what masters felt like.  I know only the humbleness of a warrior, and that will never permit me to be anyone's master.  I represent the warrior's freedom.

We have learned to relate ourselves to our description of the world in terms of our habits.  A warrior starts off with the certainty that his spirit is off balance; then by living in full control and awareness, but without hurry or compulsion, he does his ultimate best to gain this balance.  In your case, as in the case with every man, your imbalance was due to the sum total of all your actions.

Whenever one's internal dialogue stops, that is, when the thinking of the rationale mind becomes silent, the ordinary world collapses and extraordinary facets of ourselves surface, as though they had been heavily guarded by our thoughts.  You are like you are, because you tell yourself that you are that way.

There are three kinds of bad habits, which we use over and over when confronted with unusual life situations.  First, we may disregard what is happening or happened and feel as if it had never occurred.  That one is the bigot's way.  Second, we may accept everything at its face value and feel as if we know what's going on.  That's the pious man's way.  Third, we may become obsessed with an event because either we cannot disregard it, or we can't accept it wholeheartedly.  That's the fool's way.

There is a fourth way, the warrior's way.  The warrior accepts everything at face value.  He accepts without accepting and disregards without disregarding.  He perceives without thinking and acts as if he is in control, even though he might be shaking in his boots.  To act in such a manner dissipates obsession.

To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one.  It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the last moment of our lives.  Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born a reasonable being.  We make ourselves into one or the other.  Each of us is different, and thus the details of our struggles are different.  The steps that we follow to arrive at the mastery of consciousness are the same though.

This is the walking of the path of knowledge and power.  Men of knowledge have both.  And yet none of them could tell how they got to have them, except that they kept on acting like warriors and at a given moment everything changed.  A warrior must be calm and collected and must never lose his grip. 

I am going to utter perhaps the greatest piece of knowledge anyone can voice.  Do you know at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity?  And do you know that you can use that eternity, if you so desired?  There, eternity is there, he said pointing to the horizon.  Then he pointed to the Zenith.  Or there, or perhaps we can say that eternity is like this, and he extended his arms to the east and west.

Don Juan made me jog on the spot, facing the west.  He made me perform the same movements before on various occasions.  The idea was to draw power from the impending twilight by raising one's arms to the sky with the fingers stretched like a fan, and then clasp them forcefully when the arms were in the mid-point between the horizon and the zenith.  The exercise worked and i became almost instantly calm and collected, (after feeling extremely anxious)

So to bring this to a close, just like Carlos, we are facing eternity... the dream reality of our everyday world is on the verge of a quickening, a shift in consciousness.  It is time to awaken to the path of the spiritual warrior, and to find your path of heart.  To be impeccable means to be efficient with our energy; not indulging or clinging to that which we must let go of.  And to bring ourselves into balance with the cause and effect of our karma, so that we may be an open conduit for the love and creative flow of the Holy Spirit.  So be it..


The Toltec wisdom as presented by don Juan to Carlos is shamanic wisdom of an ancient lineage of seers from Mexico.  This knowledge has evolved over time, just as it is now taking on a new perspective for our modern times.  In these writings for lack of a better term, the person of knowledge is referred to as a sorcerer.  But that name has a negative connotation relative to our quest for spiritual enlightenment.  A more appropriate term that don Juan used is that they were 'warriors of total freedom'.   Their quest was to break free from the mistakes of their past.  And to awaken the 'fire from within' in order to transcend this world of duality.  Some of what their path entailed is not appropriate for those people awakening on the spiritual path.  But within the body of teachings don Juan has given, is outlined a very pragmatic understanding of the nature of consciousness and the path that leads to the mastery of awareness... 


My review of this Toltec wisdom is inspiring me to want to share more of my understanding and experience with these teachings. My path has been one that is a synthesis of many paths, and my goal is to show the unifying truth behind the major world religions and our roots in shamanic consciousness. May all beings awaken to the inspiration of their hearts...