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 Post subject: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:47 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Charlotte, NC
2 years ago I began reading spiritual books. One book in particular triggered a dream more intense than any before. After years of lucid dreaming this particular dream caught my attention and generated interest in dreaming. I set up to order a good book on dreaming, and through a simple search Carlos Castaneda's "The Art of Dreaming" was the one I chose. I expected simple exercises and practical strategies. What I got was far from what I expected, but.. I couldn't put it down.

Every page spoke to me and my jaw dropped time and time again. Immediately after I finished it a well respected friend mentioned that something I had said sounded like Castaneda, and mentioned he had ALL his books from 20 years ago, and would be glad to give them to me. I tore through every book, with my dreams increasing in intensity all the while. The dreams weren't just intense, they were so different from anything I had ever experienced.. new sensations, new visuals, no visuals and just feelings, unique places that I just can't explain, and so on.

I now have lucid dreams every night, and sometimes I even lay down with the intention of dreaming, and begin dreaming without ever losing my awareness. What a thing! :)

I see an energy all around us, something I had seen since I was 7 years old, but it's become more vivid with yoga practice, and with meditation. It's this energy that appears to become the dream. I recently had a experience in a state between waking and dreaming that was as if i was in an intense flow of energy, like standing under a water fall, i could move my body and feel it hit different parts, it felt great! I didn't see it, I only felt it, but the feeling was so intense!

I am at the point where I am conquering fears in the dreams, and learning to remain calm in situations that would other wise terrify me to awaken. Periodically I see (or rather not see at all, but feel) a dark presence in a room with me. I can only describe it as a shadow that I can pin down. I used to freak out, and finally last night I was able to restrain my fear and remain with it for a short time.

I am trying to find path as so many others are, but more importantly I am worried that I may do something unsafe, and when I start to let go during these experiences and 'go with the flow' I worry that I may be letting go of my physical body and thus letting go of my life to never return. I am trying to figure out if letting go is what I need to do to progress, or if it's an appropriate reaction to hesitate and is keeping me safe.

Any insight is appreciated, especially since by now you've read my story :)


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 Post subject: Re: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:51 am
Posts: 32
I humbly suggest you read this before continuing to read Castanega books. This may not be the kind of energy you want to get mixed up in.

http://www.salon.com/2007/04/12/castaneda/singleton/?mobile.html


The dark legacy of Carlos Castaneda
The godfather of the New Age led a secretive group of devoted followers in the last decade of his life. His closest "witches" remain missing, and former insiders, offering new details, believe the women took their own lives.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:47 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Charlotte, NC
Hi North, I appreciate your response. I've actually read that entire article in the past. I agree that some of the events that took place are concerning. Whether or not he and his followers found what they were looking for may never be known. The stories in the books may or may not be real, but the underlying lessons taught appears to be true. His behavior in this world was certainly eccentric.

I've read every book that he is written, and I have the books from 'the witches' on my shelf waiting to be read. The books have helped me sustain my lucid dreams and increase the clarity within them. Some nights I dream through the entire night, and wake up in the mornings so excited about the things I had seen and felt, as the constructs of that reality were completely foreign to me until I had experienced them. I am the kind of person that only believes what I see. I demand proof at all times. What I have seen and felt is substantial proof.

It seems that the big picture of what Castaneda teaches is that we can gain significant knowledge through contacting other forms of awareness in our dreams, but that those other awareness may ultimately have bad intentions, so we must proceed carefully and always remember that we should never desire to stay with them permanently, and to only use their knowledge to learn to navigate the various layers of our dreams.

I know to some what I say may sound ludicrous, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, even if you disagree with my opinions. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:28 pm 
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No, it's cool that you're reading other things. I guess I'm just all about being authentic in what you do and what you learn. It's sad to think (IMHO) what kind of damage fraudsters do to authentic learning streams of knowledge.

For me, it's a poison tree, thus poison fruit kinda thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:47 pm
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Location: Charlotte, NC
What would be the most authentic material one could find?


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 Post subject: Re: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:16 pm
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Location: NW UK
Reading is great but only takes us so far. Ask your Spirits to guide you to authentic sources of wisdom. The stark difference between information and wisdom is perhaps where North is coming from. Castenada was good in so much as it started a ball rolling for people to stretch their beliefs outside of mainstream Monotheism, however much of it is groundless stuff and would make a poor foundation for further study.

Everything around you is a teacher and sitting out in nature, listening, watching and getting oneself out of the way (ego) to be humble and grateful to the Universe which is so much bigger than we are is a great start.

Some books by western authors:

Singing the Soul back Home - Caitlin Mathews
Fire in the Head - Tom Cowan
Dreamgates - Robert Moss

But if you want books specifically about Native Americans:
http://www.native-languages.org/books.htm

Mongolian Shamanism:
Shanar: Dedication Ritual of a Buryat Shaman in Siberia by Wanda Phipps, Dashinima Dugarov and V. Tkacz
Riding Wind Horses - Sarangarel
Chosen by the Spirits - Sarangarel

The list is endless . . . Reading between the lines is often what is required and that is where a real life teacher comes in.

Honestly - read lots by all means but more importantly DO things. For example, the Singing the Soul back Home book is filled with exercises, don't just read through them and think that you understand them, actually do each exercise (put the work in) and you will immediately see the difference between reading about and experiencing these things.

I'm not saying you should set up a sweat lodge in your back garden on your own, of course not, but the simple yet profound experience of sitting out around a sacred fire for several days and nights cannot be put into words. The learning gained is unique and individual, it simply can't be contained within the confines of book covers.

This is where an authentic, real life teacher becomes so important, not to dictate or stroke their ego but to guide you through YOUR experiences, not re-living theirs or visualising someone elses through their writing.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Dream/vision work is very important, too.

But a caution if you might indulge me, while I know it's human nature to want to interpret your own dreams, it might be a good idea to schedule a visit with someone experienced in doing dream interpretation.

I thought I had one of my dreams/visions locked down and analyzed but there was something knawing at me. I scheduled a visit with an elder who gave me an interpretation of my vision that absolutely blew my mind and opened up an amazing new awareness in me.

I guess what I am hinting to here is, from what I understand of things, this kind of work that should not be done alone or in isolation. To do so is to remove the critical community and historical context that is crucial to the integrity of the work.


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 Post subject: Re: Do I belong here?
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:19 pm 
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Of authentic writing, I would suggest to read an author indigenous to the subject knowledge you are seeking to learn from (even if dutifully and ethically translated from the original). For example, I would never read a text of First Nation culture written by a white person. I don't care if they have been adopted by some nameless, faceless, "medicine man").

There are a few different lists floating around the Internet that identify frauds and guide you to authentic work.

I do want to echo what was been very smartly said that you must at some point move beyond what you learn in books to real living learning situations and actually do the work.

Find what culture you belong to (we all belong somewhere, a lot of the typical white/blond people out there can trace their lineage and culture back to Celts or Goths or Vikings) and then seek out an elder or knowledge keeper from that community. Don't try and be something that you're not (if you're not Native, you're just not) and embrace the wonderful culture you do belong to! Authenticity is key!

Good luck!


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