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 Post subject: Death-Defiers
 Post Posted: Mon May 10, 2010 2:23 pm 
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from http://wanderling.tripod.com/death_defier.html

It has long come down to us from out of the ripples of shamanistic lore that the quasi or semi organaform-being called the Death Defier was a human from long ago who, on becoming a shaman-sorcerer, used his powers to try and escape death. He managed to alter his form so he would more closely resemble inorganic beings. However, in the process, he was trapped by the lure of power from those same inorganic beings. Eons later he managed to escape. Existing on a thin threshold between the not-fully human and the inorganic he couldn't eat, yet still needed energy. To evade his former captors and sustain his form, he needed to constantly search for energy. In the year 1725 AD the Death Defier, addicted to living and needing energy, down on power, in his last dying moments, cornered a then minor shaman from a long line of minor shamans by the name of Sebastian. In a noticable weakened state he was able to extort energy from him --- but only through a deal. To stay alive each generation of shaman-sorcerers in Sebastian's lineage would GIVE the Death Defier some of THEIR energy in exchange for knowledge --- knowledge and secrets gained or learned by the Death Defier over thousands and thousands of years. Thus the Death Defier "earned" the name tenant and by doing so, a new lineage was born. The secret is, in making the deal, the crafty Sebastian and those that followed, have given the the life-addicted Defier only enough energy to survive.

Some years before that 1725 meeting, at the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, the Spaniards, using their swords, guns, and cannons, all deployed under the flag of their religion, either destroyed or eliminated most of the ancient sorcerers the same way the shaman-sorcerers of the early European tribes in the Old World had been either destroyed or eliminated.[1] In spite of the sorcerers ability to turn into animals, birds or giant birds[2], harness the elements and the use of an Ally, their power was unable to withstand the continued and overwhelming onslaught of the ever increasing number of Spaniards. A turning point did not occur until 1725 when the Death Defier came into contact with Sebastian.


Two hunderd and thirty-five years later, sometime in the late summer of 1960, UCLA student-anthropologist and soon to be best selling author Carlos Castaneda crossed paths with a nearly white-haired Yaqui Indian he came to call Don Juan Matus at a Greyhound bus station in Nogales, Arizona.[3]- Although he had been told by his fellow colleague, a former onetime lowly Pothunter turned highly reputable amateur archaeologist and eventually to be called by the name of Bill in various Castaneda writings, that the old man was an expert on medicinal plants and such, unbeknownst to Castaneda at the time, Don Juan was also a powerful Shaman-sorcerer linking back in lineage to Sebastian.

Approximately one year after that initial meeting Castaneda began an apprenticeship under Don Juan, in turn learning a good portion of Don Juan's craft and eventually joining his lineage of Shaman-sorcerers. It is from that apprenticeship that Castaneda's series of twelve books sprang. As the chronology of the books unfold, Don Juan tells us through the words of Castaneda that EVERYTHING about himself --- that is, what Don Juan has ever learned or come to know and whatever he is/was or turned out to be --- was a direct legacy from his teacher, Julian Osorio. In turn Osorio had inherited everything from his teacher, Elias Ulloa. Elias had learned from Rosendo; he from Lujan; Lujan from Santisteban; and Santisteban from Sebastian. Before Sebastian there were eight others, but, according to Don Juan, they were quite different. They had a different attitude toward sorcery as well as a different concept of it, although they were still directly related to his line of sorcery. It wasn't until Sebastian's encounter and eventual alliance with the Death Defier, also sometimes called the tenant, rendered in the masculine in Spanish by Castaneda as el desafiante de la muerte and "the tenant" as el inquilino, that the lineage truly changed. That encounter dramatically altered their lineage and is considered the single most stringent tangent point that deliniates the "old" seers from the "new" seers.

It was from the downstream outflow of that lineage that Don Juan, in the early to mid-1960s, took Castaneda to meet the Death Defier for the very first time. Castaneda was introduced to a MAN, a strange Indian who was not old but not young either and very, very thin, almost emaciated. In Art of Dreaming (1993), Chapter 11, The Tenant, Castaneda remembered mostly the emaciated man's strange accent and his use of one odd metaphor when describing things he allegedly had seen: mis ojos se pasearon, my eyes walked on. For instance, he said, "My eyes walked on the helmets of the Spanish conquerors."


HOW THE DEATH DEFIER RELATES TO DIABLERO:

In his first book, THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968), Castaneda writes that Don Juan Matus learned his craft from a Diablero:


"In describing his teacher, Don Juan used the word diablero. Later (Castaneda) learned diablero is a term used ONLY by the Sonoran Indians. It refers to an evil person who practises black sorcery and is capable of transforming himself into an animal - a bird, a dog, a coyote, or any other creature."


As for Don Juan's teacher being a diablero and being in his lineage, none of the teachers named, from Sebastian on, seem to fit that description. However, regardless of the names, Osorio and Ulloa included, it still seems the true indentity of Don Juan's actual REAL LIFE teacher was never discovered. Both Osorio and Ulloa, as well as the others, although perhaps "real" and perhaps shaman-sorcerers in a lineage as Castaneda says they are, as I see it, are really no more than stand-ins. It was when Don Juan LEFT Osorio in 1925 that the diablero and his true teacher comes comes into play.[4]

The shaman-sorcerers, or man of knowledge as Castaneda calls them, were, for all practical purposes, purged or wiped out by the Spanish Conquistadors. The actions by the Conquistadors is not totally dissimilar to what happened to the African priests and tribal spritual elders that were brought to the New World via the slave trade. Although haphazardly eliminated rather than in a methodical fashion by the power of a sovereign nation, those that made it alive, young or old, experienced or beginner, used their knowledge as their only way to gain the upper hand or power over their slave masters. In the process the strengths of their religious beliefs eventually diverged. They became magnified by time and place, existing side-by-side and sometimes overlapping. One branch veered toward what one might consider more coventional shamanism with some minor tribal sorcerey while the other branch increasingly went more and more underground, manifesting itself toward the occult and cloaking itself in the ever more secret as found now in, for example, on the African-Caribbean side of things, Obeah and on the Spanish-Mexican-Indian side of things, diablero.

Added to the mix as well, on the Mexican-Indian side of things, at the time of the conquest the Aztecs and others in the region (and in their historical past) practiced human sacrifice, a total antithesis to the religion promulgated at the end of the sword by Cortez and his ilk. The indigenous Mesoamerican religious class was divided between the ruling class priests in the major civilization centers with their sacrifices and that of the more simple religious practices as found amongst the regular hinterland folk with their more-or-less general Shamans, spiritual elders, and root doctors. On the human sacrafice side of things, whether a layperson or priest in acceptance with the rituals or not, there is a sort of underlying evilness that the practice carries ahead of itself. That split, between the onetime sacrifice adherents and it's innate connotation of evilness and the practices of the healers, is what drove the early shaman-sorcerer atmosphere at the time of the conquest --- to a point where eventually there existed a dual or double branch, of which one ended being diableros. The Spanish overlords blanketed both with the same heavy hand, but it is easy to see that regular folk would have a tendency to seek out, use, support, and if need be cover up or hide the healer types, while the opposite would be true for the others. It probably ran deep that it wasn't too many years before the priestly class were raiding their villages for sacrifices. More than likely individuals of that branch found themselves isolated, shunned and ostracized, all the while facing the clear probability that they could be turned in or exposed. Like the Obeah spellmasters that would come a few years after them in the Caribbean they found themselves going more and more into hiding and underground to practice their craft, increasingly concentrating and embracing the power while letting evaporate any semblance of the other branch.

As stated above, in the lineage before Sebastian there were eight others, but, according to Don Juan, they were quite different. It is my belief that the original eight in lineage were from the general healer side of shaman-sorcerers and that the Death Defier was from the yet unnamed other branch. Sebastian liked the power and knowledge of the Defier all right, but not what backed it up. So in a sense, with the alliance formed between Sebastian and the Death Defier there became a sort of combined synthesis of branches, with the power of the unnamed branch muted. It wasn't until Don Juan came upon the scene and liked the power as well, that in 1925 he decided to leave Osorio and seek out a teacher on the pure, now named, diablero side of things. For more on the Death Defier please see Julian Osorio. Equally as interesting and continuing in a similar vein, The Sun Dagger.

For the record, it is not just Death Defier-like inorganic beings that are known for "staying alive" over long periods of time. Some seemingly normal organic beings such as a variety of swamis, gurus, and teachers that have come to be known in the west, but originally said to have been associated with the mysterious hermitage somewhere in Tibet called Gyanganj --- a secret place of great masters said to be hidden in a valley high in the mountains of the Himalayas or possibly on on the flatlands to the north of Kailash-Mansarovar --- are reported to have had extremely long life spans. Trailanga Swami lived 300 years while the highly venerated and mysterious Indian sage Mahavatar Babaji is rumored to still be alive after 1800 years. Equally of interest is the digambara monk that contributed to Sri Ramakrishna's full Awakening, Totapuri. Totapuri, like Trailanga Swami, is said to have lived 300 years as well. Gyanganj, the home of immortals, is known throughout western cultures mostly as Shangri La, but generally in history and Buddhist lore as Shambhala.


Quote:
from http://meltingpot.fortunecity.com/estonia/516/intvwmblend40-93ta.html

Another turning point occurred within Don Juan's lineage in 1725 when an entity came into contact with the Nagual, Sebastian.

Who was that entity?

Taisha: We call him the Death-defier. He is really one of the ancient sorcerers who had survived many hundreds of years by being entrapped behind one of the Gates of Dreaming. His consciousness was still intact, but there was no way that he could escape because of his training. We learned that inorganic beings who inhabit certain realms of dreaming entrapped the male sorcerers who entered because they preyed on their energy. The only way the Death-defier could escape was by making a pact with different Naguals in Don Juan's lineage. From that point on, he merged with our lineage and gave gifts of power in exchange for their energy.

What kind of gifts did the Death-defier give?

Taisha: He gave different positions of what we call the Assemblage Point. We see that there is a place on the luminous cocoon or energetic body that is very bright. That place we call the Assemblage Point because it lights up filaments on lines of energy upon the energetic body. We have seen that when certain fibers light up, an alignment takes place with similar fibers outside the energetic body within the universe at large, that in turn, causes perception to occur. Sorcerers see that in order to perceive reality, this matching of the energetic filaments within and without the luminous cocoon always takes place. The Death-defier gave to this lineage the different positions of this Assemblage Point or the ability to perceive different realities, for each position lights up inconceivable possibilities. He gave each Nagual a different number of possible points, and these were handed down. The new sorcerers coming from this transition stage realized that sorcery really is a question of perception. A definition of sorcery is the ability to perceive more than the average human being, whose perception of the universe is limited because s/he has only one place of the Assemblage Point: the one into which s/he is born. As the seers became more experienced, they realized that any of these other positions were just as limiting as the reality to which man was born into. This had led us to realize that our goal is not to fix ourselves at any permanent position. This is what happened to the Death-defier; he was trapped at a certain position of the Assemblage Point.

How do you keep from being trapped?

Taisha: Our practices are geared toward not becoming fixated at any one particular position. The recapitulation is one such method. All of the ancients' practices enhanced the elf to such an extent that they were no longer able to move or be fluid. This was one of the principle reasons why they were trapped in the different realms. So now we seek fluidity.


After reading this from the works of Carlos Castaneda, I am truly intrigued. My question is: how does a shaman cheat death and become immortal.

Yours,
--Teopiltzin


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 Post Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 7:06 am 
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Mortality is a dream created by those wishing to control life,as the larvae leaves the egg he starts dreaming the world,as he grows skin is shed and knowledge is gained,entering the cocoon he leaves the earth dream and dreams of the sky,where his wings bring change to the world,for someone craving power the humble butterfly says your just dreaming the world,but when you dream the sky you will know that you've always had the power,you just crave the ability,and what is the secret shaman word for ability,Practice Practice Practice.


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 Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 9:03 am 
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Well put.

When one truly comes to accept that flesh is temporary and spirit is indestructable, one also comes to realize there is truly no such thing as "death". There is simply a "dropping of the robe". Along with this robe goes the ego. The ego doesn't care for that reality, as it seeks to protect itself by any means necessary. It tricks us into thinking that the flesh (which is merely its vehicle) can last forever, and cheat "death". I couldn't help feeling that so much of what I read in Castaneda's work was motivated by fear. The idea of slipping by the Eagle and retaining one's essence really struck me as the preservation of Ego, as did the idea of the Death-defiers. Husks of bodies left behind while the sirit wanders, still enchained to them by the very concept of their existence.

I owe a lot to these books. They led me to the pathway I now follow. And I return to them from time to time because of the wisdom they contain and the enchanting way in which they're written. But I can never fully shake the feeling that Coyote's looking over my shoulder and laughing to himself whenever I read them...


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 Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 10:24 am 
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I read the first paragraph of the story and then your part at the end... you don't need to cheat death, if you try to cheat death you're going to end up a very bitter and twisted being. By trying to cheat death you're cheating life, you won't be able to pass on and you'll be stuck between realms. You will always live forever in one way or another passing through the realms in a cycle, those who try to upset the cycle often pay for it in unimaginable ways.


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 Post Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 7:23 pm 
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There is one thing that has remained constant with humans, and that is death. All religions, shamanic included embrace death as ascension. True ascension cannot be obtained through death of the body. The body nurtures the soul through life, it is what provides the soul the means to grow. If the body dies the growth of the soul ceases, ascension cannot be obtained. This is the kingdom of god, the kingdom of death. The body is "required" for spiritual growth. This goes against eveyrthing we have been taught, and it is for this reason, I believe it to be true. It goes against the kingdom of he who demands to called god.

If what you say about death is true, then what is the point to life. Why not just commit suicide to get on with the glory you embrace in death.


Last edited by ojibway on Wed May 19, 2010 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 2:33 am 
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ojibway wrote:
If what you say about death is true, then what is the point to life. Why not just commit suicide to get on with the glory you embrace in death.


DUDE! Think before you talk, you have no idea whether or not someone is going to do that or not and i've had to stop one of my closest friends from doing it TWICE in 2 years.


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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 2:56 am 
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standingwest wrote:
I owe a lot to these books. They led me to the pathway I now follow. And I return to them from time to time because of the wisdom they contain and the enchanting way in which they're written. But I can never fully shake the feeling that Coyote's looking over my shoulder and laughing to himself whenever I read them...


Obviously you have the feeling, because all of Castaneda's work is made up crap.
http://newspaperrock.bluecorncomics.com ... ndian.html
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 315AAVu5Z0
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/arch ... _don_juan/

But even it is fictionary, it is possible find wisdom, words which speaks to you and vitalize imagination. Books are entertaining and there is humor, but still those are fiction. Nothing of them ever really happened. There is no apprenticeship, no Yagui indian don Juan and trips to mexico, but just a motel room, wild imagination and good talent for writing. So do not go to gather peyote in Sonora-desert, they do not grow there.

Longer story of secrecy and abysal.
http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007 ... castaneda/


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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 6:30 am 
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I remember reading a lot of stuff citing the apparent fraud. Thousands of wayward kids heading off into the dessert to find Don Juan and his cohorts. Still, there are some gems buried in there. Castaneda drops some pretty big hints along the way that trickery's afoot. I'm ok with that. If it's allegorical, or if it's total bs, what it did was get me to pay attention.

I remember a friend of mine who was raised on a reservation and trained as a medicine woman saying that a lot of the stuff in those books was there to confuse the white man. Apparently, she was pretty dead on about that. We discussed the material quite a bit, and the second time I read the series, I was able to walk away with a better understanding.


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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:18 am 
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ojibway Posted: Wed May 12, 2010 11:23 pm
There is one thing that has remained constant with humans, and that is death. All religions, shamanic included embrace death as ascension. True ascension cannot be obtained through death of the body. The body nurtures the soul through life, it is what provides the soul the means to grow. If the body dies the growth of the soul ceases, ascension cannot be obtained. This is the kingdom of god, the kingdom of death. The body is "required" for spiritual growth. This goes against eveyrthing we have been taught, and it is for this reason, I believe it to be true. It goes against the kingdom of he who demands to called god.

If what you say about death is true, then what is the point to life. Why not just commit suicide to get on with the glory you embrace in death.


This may or may not help you,The vision of God you see is my visions greatest enemy,We are here to learn,this life is a gift,everything you were taught goes against everything I have learned,what can be written can be written wrong,I dont presume to give the spirit human limitations,the spirit walks with me around me and through me every day,I dont have to shed this mortal coil to go to he that demands to be called god,as you say,all these religions that you know so well,what do they have in common?And why are you so angry?Your beliefs are not the only beliefs.Whyare you threatened by different opinions about religion,Are you entreanched in Dogma?This is a world forum sir or Maam and your knowledge of any beliefs but your own are extremely limited,who would be so presumptiouse as to put words in Gods mouth,it seems to me that your more worried about losing fear of death,christianity has been a tool of the conquerer throughout history,First come the traders that learn the language,then the pios missionaries that teach god is good and god is great and thou shalt not kill,then we built some roads,to bring quiker aid to the poor unfortunate heathens,then we invaded,this is the truth behind your religion,the highest are the first ones to disregard the tennants of their own beliefs,its a bloody tool and anyone who can study world history in any translation will know that,I believe that we have twisted the original tenants of this religion to suit ourselves over the centuries,not the will of God,most of us believe in God,the names are inconsiquential,different cultures will have their own way of naming god,for thousands of years people have been dying over the name of God,the same god that says thou nshalt not kill,not thou shalt not kill unless,how hard of a tenant is that,why do we not kill each other?Because if you kill them they wont learn nothing.Pretty complicated I know.Please dont be offended,I am not a threat to your death or life,Please continue the discussion.


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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:36 am 
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I defy death everyday......

I'm still alive and posting this reply. So I must be a Death Defier!


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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 1:39 pm 
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The difficult messages to get across are always the most simpliest. Death is the one thing embraced by all humans. We have accepted it as part of life. Simple logic says that our spirit needs our body in order to grow, this is why we live. If the spirit is dependent on the body, simple logic says, that if the body dies, the soul ceases growing.

We humans accept our demise. We stand tall and say to ourselves that death is not the end. Does the spirit continue to live after the body is gone, yes. Does the spirit continue to grow after the body is gone, no. You can somewhat think of the spirits life as the alphabet. Z is where the spirit came from and where the spirit wants to go, but the spirit is stuck at A, the starting point. B is the point where the spirit begins growth in the body. In order to get to C the spirit will still require the body to get there. If the body dies, does the spirit go on to C?, no, it cannot without the body. The spirit is sent back to A, the starting point. This is a perpetual cycle, a cycle in which we cannot escape, as long as we accept death, as life.


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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 2:04 pm 
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Well if spirit is living there is no chance of evolment? What does it matter, if body is dead or alive? Guess, there is a number of theories, and not many can say what it was like at other side and did they learn something or not. What I've heard usually they did. Some say death is illusion, if that is so death does not change anything... but who knows and all believe as they like.


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 Post Posted: Thu May 13, 2010 4:41 pm 
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If the body is required in order for the spirit to evolve, and this is the entire point of life, then it matters a great deal if the body is dead or alive. And yes, everyone will think as they like. The mainstay is to accept death as part of life. Everyone does it, even me for most of my life. But things are not right in this world, and we are far to accepting of this. Does one sit in the box with everyone else, watching and accepting, or does one step outside of the box and venture to where no one as ventured before.

The meaning of the tree of life is knowledge that we know not of. But the gods have told us if we eat of the tree of life, we will be as the gods and live forever. We accept that death is part of the tree of life, but we do not seem to see anyone living forever when the body dies. Would it not make more sense to have our spirit evolve our body so that it too can grow right along with the spirit. Each part caressing the other. Each part evolving the other. Each part living.

Food for thought

The Teachings of the Great Abala were based upon the most ancient shamanic ways – the ancient magical ways – that allowed an individual to interact with the world in a manner that can be described as nothing less than god-like. In fact, in the times of the ancient Greeks, the Great Abala would become known as the God Apollo.

Fundamental to the Teachings of the Great Abala was the idea that mortal beings could make a connection with the Ultimate Divine. If that link was not made, mortals would be locked into the mortal realm and would never be able to leave. With each demise came a re-birth and with each re-birth into the mortal world, the soul would become more and more comfortable and more attached to the realm of mortality. Only through the connection to the Ultimate Divine could a mortal hope to escape the bondage of ‘reality’.

And the Ultimate Divine is a Goddess.

From Robert Morning Sky
http://www.ecstasyshamanism.com/page3.html#top


Last edited by ojibway on Wed May 19, 2010 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:26 am 
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Excellent philosophical debate my friends :)

Theories are everywhere though, and everybody has their own.

I believe the answer is simply though.

We all defy death until we die, we are alive and defying death's definition everyday, until the moment we cross the threshold into another existence.


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 Post Posted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:58 am 
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Yep, we have all the theories. We may even start thinking, are we really, fully alive or sleeping or even in static death-mode, where life just flows past us, and we just watch it without ever even thinking jumping into it, into unknown.

There is philospohy, that heaven and hell are in this moment and as well living and dying.


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