A good hunter knows one thing above all--he knows the routines of his prey. That's what makes him a good hunter. A hunter that is worth his salt does not catch game because he sets his traps, or because he knows the routines of his prey, but because he himself has no routines. He is free, fluid, unpredictable.
In order to be a hunter you must disrupt the routines of your life. I am concerned with the things animals do; the places they eat; the place, the manner, the time they sleep; where they nest; how they walk. These are the routines I am pointing out to you so you can become aware of them in your own being.
All of us behave like the prey we are after. That, of course, also makes us prey for something or someone else. Now, the concern of a hunter, who knows all this, is to stop being a prey himself. It takes time. You could begin by not eating lunch every single day at twelve o'clock.
A good hunter changes his ways as often as he needs. A hunter must not only know about the habits of his prey, he also must know that there are powers on this earth that guide men and animals and everything that is living. Powers that guide our lives and our deaths.
All of us are fools. You always feel compelled to explain your acts, as if you were the only man on earth who's wrong. It's your old feeling of importance. You have too much of it; you also have too much personal history. On the other hand, you don't assume responsibility for your acts; you're not using your death as an adviser, and above all you are too accessible.
One must assume responsibility for being in a weird world. For you the world is weird because if you're not bored with it you're at odds with it. For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.
Change! If you do not respond to that challenge you are as good as dead. You have never taken the responsibility for being in this unfathomable world. Therefore, you were never an artist, and perhaps you'll never be a hunter. There is one simple thing wrong with you--you think you have plenty of time. You think your life is going to last forever.
Now you're vehemently asserting some non-sense. You don't have time for this display. This, whatever you're doing now, may be your last act on earth. It may very well be your last battle. There is no power which could guarantee that you are going to live one more minute. If this were your last battle on earth, I would say that you are an idiot. You are wasting your last act on earth in some stupid mood.
You have no time, my friend, no time. None of us have time. Don't just agree with me. Act upon it. What I recommend you to do is to notice that we do not have any assurance that our lives will go on indefinitely. Change comes suddenly and unexpectedly, and so does death. There are some people who are very careful about the nature of their acts. Their happiness is to act with the full knowledge that they don't have time; therefore, their acts have a peculiar power.
Acts have power. Especially when the person acting knows that those acts are his last battle. There is a strange consuming happiness in acting with the full knowledge that whatever one is doing may very well be one's last act on earth. I recommend that you reconsider your life and bring your acts into that light.
You don't have time, my friend. That is the misfortune of human beings. None of us have sufficient time. Your acts cannot possibly have the flair, the power, the compelling force of the acts performed by a man who knows that he is fighting his last battle on earth.
We are all going to die. There is something out there waiting for me, for sure; and I will join it, also for sure. Use it. Focus your attention on the link between you and your death, without remorse or sadness or worrying. Focus your attention on the fact you don't have time and let your acts flow accordingly. Let each of your acts be your last battle on earth. Only under those conditions will your acts have their rightful power. Otherwise they will be, for as long as you live, the acts of a timid man. There is no time for timidity, simply because timidity makes you cling to something that exists only in your thoughts. It soothes you while everything is at a lull, but then the awesome, mysterious world will open its mouth for you, as it will open for every one of us, and then you will realize that your sure ways were not sure at all. Being timid prevents us from examining and exploiting our lot as men.
Our death is waiting and this very act we're performing now may well be our last battle on earth. I call it a battle because it is a struggle. Most people move from act to act without any struggle or thought. A hunter, on the contrary, assesses every act; and since he has an intimate knowledge of his death, he proceeds judiciously, as if every act were his last battle. Only a fool would fail to notice the advantage a hunter has over his fellow men. A hunter gives his last battle its due respect. It's only natural that his last act on earth should be the best of himself. It's pleasurable that way. It dulls the edge of his fright.
I've told you, this is a weird world. The forces that guide men are unpredictable, awesome, yet their splendor is something to witness. Call them forces, spirits, airs, winds, or anything like that.
At moments of power, the world of ordinary affairs does not exist and nothing can be taken for granted.
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I've told you never to carry anything in your hands when you walk. Get a knapsack.
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Now it's time for you to become accessible to power, and you are going to begin by tackling dreaming.
A warrior seeks power, and one of the avenues to power is dreaming . What you call dreams are real for a warrior. You must understand that a warrior is not a fool. A warrior is an immaculate hunter who hunts power; he's not drunk, or crazed, and he has neither the time nor the disposition to bluff, or to lie to himself, or to make a wrong move. The stakes are too high for that. The stakes are his trimmed orderly life which he has taken so long to tighten and perfect. He is not going to throw that away by making some stupid miscalculation, by taking something for being something else.
Dreaming is real for a warrior because in it he can act deliberately, he can choose and reject, he can select from a variety of items those which lead to power, and then he can manipulate them and use them, while in an ordinary dream he cannot act deliberately.
In dreaming you have power; you can change things; you may find out countless concealed facts; you can control whatever you want. YouÕre going to learn how to make yourself accessible to power.
Power is something a warrior deals with. At first it's an incredible, far-fetched affair; it is hard to even think about it. Then power becomes a serious matter; one may not have it, or one may not even fully realize that it exists, yet one knows that something is there, something which was not noticeable before. Next power is manifested as something uncontrollable that comes to oneself. It is not possible for me to say how it comes or what it really is. It is nothing and yet it makes marvels appear before your very eyes. And finally power is something in oneself, something that controls one's acts and yet obeys one's command.
I am going to teach you right here the first step to power. I am going to teach you how to set up dreaming. To set up dreaming means to have a concise and pragmatic control over the general situation of a dream, comparable to the control one has over any choice in the desert for instance, such as climbing up a hill or remaining in the shade of a water canyon. You must start by doing something very simple. Tonight in your dreams you must look at your hands.
Don't think it's a joke. Dreaming is as serious as seeing or dying or any other thing in this awesome, mysterious world. Think of it as something entertaining and don't get discouraged or stop trying if you don't succeed right away. Imagine all the inconceivable things you could accomplish. A man hunting for power has almost no limits in his dreaming. The trick in learning to set up dreaming is obviously not just to look at things but to sustain the sight of them. Dreaming is real when one has succeeded in bringing everything into focus. Then there is no difference between what you do when you sleep and what you do when you are not sleeping.
A warrior has to be perfect in order to deal with the powers he hunts. Look at your hands. When they begin to change shape you must move your sight away from them and pick something else, and then look at your hands again. It takes a long time to perfect this technique.
Any warrior could become a man of knowledge. As I told you, a warrior is an impeccable hunter that hunts power. If he succeeds in his hunting he can be a man of knowledge.
You are a man and like any man you deserve everything that is a man's lot--joy, pain, sadness and struggle. The nature of one's acts is unimportant as long as one acts as a warrior. If you really feel that your spirit is distorted you should simply fix it--purge it, make it perfect--because there is no other task in our entire lives which is more worthwhile. Not to fix the spirit is to seek death, and that is the same as to seek nothing, since death is going to overtake us regardless of anything. To seek the perfection of the warrior's spirit is the only task worthy of our manhood.
No matter how much you like to feel sorry for yourself, you have to change that. It doesn't jibe with the life of a warrior.
The hardest thing in the world is to assume the mood of a warrior. It is of no use to be sad and complain and feel justified in doing so, believing that someone is always doing something to us. Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior.
You are here, with me, because you want to be here. You should have assumed full responsibility by now, so the idea that you are at the mercy of the wind would be inadmissible.
Self-pity doesn't jibe with power. The mood of a warrior calls for control over himself and at the same time it calls for abandoning himself.
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Ordinary dreams get very vivid as soon as you begin to set up dreaming. That vividness and clarity is a formidable barrier. Don't be distracted from the purpose of dreaming , which is control and power.
I'm going to remind you of all the techniques you must practice. First you must focus your gaze on your hands as the starting point. Then shift your gaze to other items and look at them in brief glances. Focus your gaze on as many things as you can. Remember that if you only glance briefly the images do not shift. Then go back to your hands.
Every time you look at your hands you renew the power needed for dreaming , so in the beginning don't look at too many things. Four items will suffice every time. Later on you may enlarge the scope until you can cover all you want, but as soon as the images begin to shift and you feel you are losing control go back to your hands.
When you feel you can gaze at things indefinitely you will be ready for a new technique. I'm going to teach you this new technique now, but I expect you to put it to use only when you are ready.
The next step in setting up dreaming is to learn to travel. The same way you have learned to look at your hands you can will yourself to move, to go places. First you have to establish a place you want to go to. Pick a well-known spot--perhaps your school, or a park, a friend's house--then, will yourself to go there.
This technique is very difficult. You must perform two tasks: you must will yourself to go to the specific locale; and then, when you have mastered that technique, you have to learn to control the exact time of your traveling. You are making yourself accessible to power; you're hunting it and I'm just guiding you.
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Last night when the lion let out a scream, you moved very well. Everything you did then was done within a proper mood. You were controlled and at the same time abandoned. You were not paralyzed with fear. To climb that bluff as you did, in darkness, required that you hold on to yourself and let go of yourself at the same time, that's what I call the mood of a warrior.
I wanted to show you that you can spur yourself beyond your limits if you are in the proper mood. A warrior makes his own mood. You didn't know that. Fear got you into the mood of a warrior, but now that you know about it, anything can serve to get you into it.
It's convenient to always act in such a mood, it cuts through the crap and leaves one purified. One needs the mood of a warrior for every single act, otherwise one becomes distorted and ugly. There is no power in a life that lacks this mood.
A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. But once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.
A warrior could be injured but not offended. For a warrior there is nothing offensive about the acts of his fellow men as long as he himself is acting within the proper mood.
The mood of a warrior is not so far-fetched for yours or anybody's world. You need it in order to cut through all the guff. To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of the warrior's spirit. It takes power to do that.
There's no plan when it comes to hunting power. Hunting power or hunting game is the same. A hunter hunts whatever presents itself to him. Thus he must always be in a state of readiness. You know about the wind, and now you may hunt power in the wind by yourself. But there are other things you don't know about which are, like the wind, the center of power at certain times and at certain places.
Power is a very peculiar affair. It is impossible to pin it down and say what it really is. It is a feeling that one has about certain things. Power is personal. It belongs to oneself alone. A hunter of power entraps it and then stores it away as his personal finding. Thus, personal power grows, and you may have the case of a warrior who has so much personal power that he becomes a man of knowledge.
If you store power your body can perform unbelievable feats. On the other hand, if you dissipate power you'll be a fat old man in no time at all. A hunter of power watches everything and everything tells him some secret. How can one be sure that things are telling secrets? you ask. The only way to be sure is by following all the instructions I have been giving you, starting from the first day you came to see me. In order to have power one must live with power.
There are worlds upon worlds, right here in front of us. And they are nothing to laugh at. Power commands you and yet it is at your command.
Power is a very weird affair. In order to have it and command it one must have power to begin with. It's possible, however, to store it, little by little, until one has enough to sustain oneself in a battle of power.
The world is a mystery. This, what you're looking at, is not all there is to it. There is much more to the world, so much more, in fact, that it is endless. So when you're trying to figure it out, all you're really doing is trying to make the world familiar. You and I are right here, in the world that you call real, simply because we both know it. You don't know the world of power, therefore you cannot make it into a familiar scene.
Once you know what it is like to stop the world you realize there is a reason for it. You see, one of the arts of the warrior is to collapse the world for a specific reason and then restore it again in order to keep on living.
Someday you will live like a warrior, in spite of yourself. I have taught you nearly everything a warrior needs to know in order to start off in the world, storing power by himself. It takes a lifelong struggle to be by oneself in the world of power.
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