Journey to Ixtlan | Part 3

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A warrior never turns his back to power without atoning for the favors received. When in places of power, you have to act as if nothing is out of the ordinary, because they have the potential of draining people who are disturbed.

You should try willing yourself to go to a specific place in dreaming while you take a nap during the daytime and find out if you can actually visualize the chosen place as it is at the time you are dreaming . Otherwise the visions you might have are not dreaming but ordinary dreams.

In order to help yourself you should pick a specific object that belongs to the place you want to go and focus your attention on it. It is easier to travel in dreaming when you can focus on a place of power. Perhaps the school where you go is a place of power for you. Use it. Focus your attention on any object there and then find it in dreaming . From the specific object you recall, you must go back to your hands and then to another object and so on.

It doesn't matter how one was brought up, what determines the way one does anything is personal power. A man is only the sum of his personal power, and that sum determines how he lives and how he dies.

Personal power is a feeling, something like being lucky. Or one may call it a mood. Personal power is something that one acquires regardless of one's origin. A warrior is a hunter of power. I am teaching you how to hunt and store it. The difficulty with you, which is the difficulty with all of us, is to be convinced. You need to believe that personal power can be used and that it is possible to store it. To be convinced means that you can act by yourself.

A man of knowledge is one who has followed truthfully the hardships of learning; a man who has, without rushing or faltering, gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of personal power. Only be concerned with the idea of storing personal power.

Hunting power is a peculiar event. It first has to be an idea, then it has to be set up, step by step, and then, bingo! It happens. Hunting power is a very strange affair. There is no way to plan it ahead of time. That's what's exciting about it. A warrior proceeds as if he had a plan though, because he trusts his personal power. He knows for a fact that it will make him act in the most appropriate fashion.

* * *

I treat myself very well, therefore, I have no reason to feel tired or ill at ease. The secret is not in what you do to yourself but rather in what you don't do.

* * *

This is a place of power. Find a place for us to camp here on this hilltop. This time just act for a change. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to find a suitable place to rest. It might take you all night. It is not important that you find the spot either; the important issue is that you try to find it. You have to look without focusing on any particular spot, squinting your eyes until your view is blurred, and don't let your preference for routines take over.

I screamed because abrupt noises scare away unpleasant spirits. Power does not belong to anyone. Some of us may gather it and then it could be given directly to someone else. You see, the key to stored power is that it can be used only to help someone else store power.

Everything a man does hinges on his personal power. Therefore, for one who doesn't have any, the deeds of a powerful man are incredible. It takes power to even conceive what power is. This is what I have been trying to tell you all along.

The world is a mystery and it is not at all as you picture it. Well, it is also as you picture it, but that's not all there is to the world; there is much more to it. You have been finding that out all along, and perhaps tonight you will add one more piece.

I don't plan anything. All is decided by the same power that allowed you to find this spot.

I'm checking your carrying net to see if the food gourds and your writing pads are secured. A warrior always makes sure that everything is in proper order, not because he believes that he is going to survive the ordeal he is about to undertake, but because that is part of his impeccable behavior.

Trust your personal power. That's all one has in this whole mysterious world. Get hold of yourself, because the darkness is like the wind, an unknown entity at large that could trick you if you are not careful, and you have to be perfectly calm in order to deal with it. You must let yourself go so your personal power will merge with the power of the night.

A warrior acts as if he knows what he is doing, when in effect he knows nothing. A warrior is acting impeccably when he trusts his personal power regardless of whether it is small or enormous.

* * *

I'm going to demonstrate a special way of walking in the darkness; the gait of power. My trunk is slightly bent forward, but my spine is straight. My knees are also slightly bent. Raise your knees almost to your chest every time you take a step.

The gait of power is for running at night, and it is completely safe. This is the night! And it is power!

At night the world is different. My ability to run in the darkness had nothing to do with my knowledge of these hills. The key to it is to let one's personal power flow out freely, so it could merge with the power of the night. Once that power takes over there is no chance for a slip-up.

You have to abandon yourself to the power of the night and trust the little bit of personal power that you have or you will never be able to move with freedom. The darkness is encumbering only because you rely on your sight for everything you do, not knowing that another way to move is to let power be the guide.

Keep on moving on the same spot and try to feel as if you are actually using the gait of power. First curl your fingers against your palms, stretching out the thumb and index of each hand.

You can always see fairly well, no matter how dark the night is, if you don't focus on anything but keep scanning the ground right in front of you. The gait of power is similar to finding a place to rest. Both entail a sense of abandon, and a sense of trust. The gait of power requires that one keep the eyes on the ground directly in front, because even a glance to either side will produce an alteration in the flow of movement. Bending the trunk forward is necessary in order to lower the eyes. The reason for lifting the knees up to the chest is because the steps have to be very short and safe. You are going to stumble a great deal at first but with practice you will be able to run as swiftly and as safely as you can in the daytime.

* * *

There are entities which are in the world, and which act on people. They are here, around us at all times. In daylight, however, it is more difficult to perceive them, simply because the world is familiar to us, and that which is familiar takes precedence. In the darkness, on the other hand, everything is equally strange and very few things take precedence, so we are more susceptible to those entities at night.

There is only one way to learn, and that way is to get down to business. To only talk about power is useless. If you want to know what power is, and if you want to stress it you must tackle everything yourself.

The road to knowledge and power is very difficult and very long. Little by little you are plugging up all your points of drainage. You don't have to be deliberate about it, because power always finds a way. Take me as an example. I didn't know I was storing power when I first began to learn the ways of a warrior. Just like you, I thought I wasn't doing anything in particular, but that was not so. Power has the peculiarity of being unnoticeable when it is being stored.

* * *

You must stretch your body many times during the day. The more times the better, but only after a long period of work or a long period of rest.

* * *

Your body needs fright. It likes it. Your body needs the darkness and the wind. Your body now knows the gait of power and can't wait to try it.

I've told you that the secret of a strong body is not in what you do to it but what you don't do. Now it is time for you not to do what you always do.

Practice not-doing by looking at a tree or bush; fix your attention not on the leaves but on the shadows of the leaves. Running in the darkness does not have to be spurred by fear but can be a very natural reaction of a jubilant body that knows how to not-do.

To not-do what you know how to do is the key to power. In the case of looking at a tree or bush, what you know how to do is to focus immediately on the foliage. The shadows of the leaves or the spaces in between the leaves are never your concern. Start focusing on the shadows of the leaves on one single branch and then eventually work your way to the whole tree, and don't let your eyes go back to the leaves, because the first deliberate step to storing personal power is to allow the body to not-do. The body likes things like this. You can stop the world using this technique. Once you have succeeded, you must work as if nothing has happened to you and don't mention or even be concerned with any of the events you have experienced.

* * *

You should not have remorse for anything you have done, because to isolate one's acts as being mean, or ugly, or evil is to place an unwarranted importance on the self. Well-being is a condition one has to groom, a condition one has to become acquainted with in order to seek it. You don't know what well-being is, because you have never experienced it. Well-being is an achievement one has to deliberately seek.

In order to accomplish the feat of making yourself miserable you have to work in a most intense fashion. It is absurd you have never realized you could work just the same in making yourself complete and strong. The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

* * *

Today you must be perfectly calm and restored, because you are going to learn not-doing in spite of the fact that there is no way to talk about it, because it is the body that does it.

That rock over there is a rock because of doing. You say that you don't understand what I mean. Your saying that is doing. Doing is what makes that rock a rock and that bush a bush. Doing is what makes you yourself and me myself. Take that rock for instance. To look at it is doing , but to see it is not-doing. You say my words are not making sense to you. Oh yes they do. But you are convinced that they don't because that is your doing. That is the way you act towards me and the world.

That rock is a rock because of all the things you know how to do to it. I call that doing. A man of knowledge, for instance, knows that the rock is a rock only because of doing , so if he doesn't want the rock to be a rock all he has to do is not-doing.

The world is the world because you know the doing involved in making it so. If you didn't know its doing , the world would be different. Without that certain doing there would be nothing familiar in the surroundings. This is a pebble because you know the doing involved in making it into a pebble. Now, in order to stop the world you must stop doing. In the case of this little rock, the first thing which doing does to it is to shrink it to this size. So the proper thing to do, which a warrior does if he wants to stop the world , is to enlarge a little rock, or any other thing, by not-doing.

Look at the holes and depressions in the pebble and try to pick out the minute detail in them. If you can pick out the detail, the holes and depressions will disappear and you will understand what not-doing means.

Doing makes you separate the pebble from the larger boulder. If you want to learn not-doing , let's say that you have to join them. See the small shadow that the pebble cast on the boulder. It is not a shadow but a glue which binds them together. A warrior can tell all kinds of things from the shadows.

A warrior always tries to affect the force of doing by changing it into not-doing . Doing would be to leave the pebble lying around because it is merely a small rock. Not-doing would be to proceed with that pebble as if it were something far beyond a mere rock.

Is all this true? To say yes or no to that question is doing. But since you are learning not-doing I have to tell you that it really doesn't matter whether or not all this is true. It is here that a warrior has a point of advantage over the average man.

An average man cares that things are either true or false, but a warrior doesn't. An average man proceeds in a specific way with things that he knows are true, and in a different way with things that he knows are not true. If things are said to be true, he acts and believes in what he does. But if things are said to be untrue, he doesn't care to act, or he doesn't believe in what he does. A warrior, on the other hand, acts in both instances. If things are said to be true, he would act in order to do doing . If things are said to be untrue, he still would act in order to do not-doing . Not-doing is only for very strong warriors.

* * *

There are infinite numbers of lines that join us to things. They are real lines. You can feel them. The most difficult part about the warrior's way is to realize that the world is a feeling. When one is not-doing , one is feeling the world, and one feels the world through its lines.

Not-doing is very simple but very difficult. It is not a matter of understanding but of mastering it. Seeing , of course, is the final accomplishment of a man of knowledge, and seeing is attained only when one has stopped the world through the technique of not-doing .

Shadows are peculiar affairs. Look at the shadow of that boulder. The shadow is the boulder, and yet it isn't. To observe the boulder in order to know what the boulder is, is doing , but to observe its shadow is not-doing .

Shadows are like doors, the doors of not-doing . A man of knowledge, for example, can tell the innermost feelings of men by watching their shadows. You may say that there is movement in them, or you may say that the lines of the world are shown in them, or you may say that feelings come from them. To believe that shadows are just shadows is doing. That belief is somehow stupid. Think about it this way: there is so much more to everything in the world that obviously there must be more to shadows too. After all, what makes them shadows is merely our doing.

When searching for a resting place one has to look without focusing but in observing shadows one has to cross the eyes and yet keep a sharp image in focus. The idea is to let one shadow be superimposed on the other by crossing the eyes. Through this process one can ascertain a certain feeling which emanates from shadows.

Dreaming is the not-doing of dreams, and as you progress in your not-doing you will also progress in dreaming. The trick is not to stop looking for your hands, even if you don't believe that what you are doing has any meaning. In fact, as I have told you before, a warrior doesn't need do believe, because as long as he keeps on acting without believing he is not-doing .

If you tackle not-doing directly, you yourself will know what to do in dreaming .

During the day shadows are the doors of not-doing , but at night, since very little doing prevails in the dark, everything is a shadow. I've already told you about this when I taught you the gait of power.

Everything I have taught you so far has been an aspect of not-doing . A warrior applies not-doing to everything in the world, and yet I can't tell you more about it than what I have said today. You must let your own body discover the power and the feeling of not-doing .

* * *

It is stupid for you to scorn the mysteries of the world simply because you know the doing of scorn.

* * *

The only thing that is real is the being in you that is going to die. To arrive at that being is the not-doing of the self.

When every one of us is born we bring with us a little ring of power. That little ring is almost immediately put to use. So every one of us is already hooked from birth and our rings of power are joined to everyone else's. In other words, our rings of power are hooked to the doing of the world in order to make the world.

For instance, our rings of power, yours and mine, are hooked right now to the doing in this room. We are making this room. Our rings of power are spinning this room into being at this very moment.

A man of knowledge develops another ring of power. I would call it the ring of not-doing , because it is hooked to not-doing . With that ring, therefore, he can spin another world.

Your difficulty is that you haven't yet developed your extra ring of power and your body doesn't know not-doing . We all have been taught to agree about doing . You don't have any idea of the power that that agreement brings with it. But, fortunately, not-doing is equally miraculous, and powerful.

There is no way to escape the doing of our world, so what a warrior does is to turn his world into his hunting ground. As a hunter, a warrior knows that the world is made to be used. So he uses every bit of it. A warrior is like a pirate that has no qualms in taking and using anything he wants, except that the warrior doesn't mind or he doesn't feel insulted when he is used and taken himself.

The instant one begins to live like a warrior, one is no longer ordinary. It is meaningless to complain. What's important from this point on is the strategy of your life.

You may go any place you wish, but if you do, you must assume the full responsibility for that act. A warrior lives his life strategically. When he has to act with his fellow men, a warrior follows the doing of strategy, and in that doing there are no victories or defeats. In that doing there are only actions. The doing of strategy entails that one is not at the mercy of people.

There is something you ought to be aware of by now. I call it the cubic centimeter of chance. All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess to pick it up.

Chance, good luck, personal power, or whatever you may call it, is a peculiar state of affairs. It is like a very small stick that comes out in front of us and invites us to pluck it. Usually we are too busy, or too preoccupied, or just too stupid and lazy to realize that that is our cubic centimeter of luck. A warrior, on the other hand, is always alert and tight and has the spring, the gumption necessary to grab it.

You maintain that your insistence on finding explanations for everything is something so deeply ingrained in you that it overrules every other consideration, that it's like a disease. There are no diseases, there is only indulging. And you indulge yourself in trying to explain everything.

We both are beings who are going to die. There is no more time for what we used to do. Now you must employ all the not-doing I have taught you and stop the world.

* * *

People tell us from the time we are born that the world is such and such and so and so, and naturally we have no choice but to see the world the way people have been telling us it is. Seeing happens only when one sneaks between the worlds; the world of ordinary people and the world of sorcerers.

The real thing is when the body realizes that it can see. Only then is one capable of knowing that the world we look at every day is only a description. My intent has been to show you that.

Only as a warrior can one survive the path of knowledge, because the art of a warrior is to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man.

* * *

Nothing is gained by forcing an issue. If you want to survive you must be crystal clear and deadly sure of yourself.