“The high priests of the slave religions knew that for the human being to never be able to reclaim the magnificent vistas of the higher worlds, and for the human being to nevermore be able to satiate the yearning and the pain, they had to keep us ignorant.
They had to keep us ashamed of this force that rises from the loins, that inundates the body. They had to make us believe—really believe—that this force was only for procreation; and for those who rebelled, to make us believe that this force could also be used for fun. While both are true, they hid from us that these forces are not just for procreation or fun; they hid from us that the very force that creates a universe is hidden in our flesh.
From then on, all those who create churches or gods, families and groups; all those that divide us between genders, clans, politics, casts, nations and social class, are only working to keep us away from the true genius that lies dormant within the dark confines of the flesh.“––The Witches’ Sabbath
When I was in the fifth grade, I had a good friend named Lucía. I called her that because she was born when I was shinning a light behind her shell. It looked like the glow of life came from her as she was stirring alive and broke through this side of life.
My abuelita gave her to me to raise. I carried her warm fuzzy frailty in my hands for the 100 kilometers trip back to the city. She took residence in the small cement square we called a patio, where the water basin was.
I came to visit and speak with her every day after school. She didn’t like to play, but she enjoyed listening. She liked it when I’d tell the cats not to approach, and when I trained the dog to see her as my friend. I failed to train my aunt, who served Lucía to me one afternoon. My older brother laughed at the surprise on my face when I came to the patio after lunch and didn’t find my friend. “You just ate her!,” he mocked.
I covered the real feeling pulsating above my belly, under my heart. I didn’t want him to see. I masked my inner reality with rage, as if the mockery was the only thing I minded. The real feeling, I carried with me safely through life, holding its fuzzy fragility in a tiny square of my solar plexus where a glow of light forever listens and waits.
When a baby is born, they have a brain full of neural connections ready to take on the programming. The baby begins by not having a fixed world. It does have a Tonal but it is elusive, not fixed. The delimitations between the Tonal and the Nahual are ephemeral at best, and the child keeps moving between this world and other possible worlds. We begin to concentrate the attention of that child to this world with our teachings and what we allow the child to see, and the world is thus consolidated. The way this happens is physical, by pruning and by getting rid of neural connections. There is constant pruning for five to seven years. The baby begins to eliminate parts of his brain because he has to have what is necessary in this world. When you encounter a situation, or when you enter a room (this is how the brain works), your nervous system picks up on a few cues about the room, and that makes you realize which program you should be running. It’s an efficiency mechanism.
When you go home to your children, spouse, and parents, you find yourself in very familiar situations. The sets of programs you have for those situations are very limited. The triggers abound and the program runs automatically. You don’t need to decide what to do; you already know. When you see a face, you recognize it from just a few visual points within the face.
When we are in our office, and we see that face with certain similarities, we already know who it belongs to. Your nervous system, to save time and energy, does not bother with picking up the signals every single time. It just picks up a few, runs the program, and puts the familiar face in it. If you put all your attention into that face, the program is not running; you are receiving the data and it is completely new.
So, imagine that someone were to tell you that when you are born you easily stare into the face of God. To see that face now would require far too much attention. So instead, you run your program called “the world,” “reality,” “the Tonal.” This program allows you to act without being rendered incapable of acting due to the awe, the influx of infinite information.
To act in the face of the immensity of the real, we construct a world. To act, yes, but also to be able to adumbrate a piece of the infinite, and through that construct we hope to one day see the luminous truth beyond all appearances.
We tell a story of a sheepherder who happened to be a magician, and a very lazy one. He didn’t want to bother to build a fence to keep the sheep inside. The sheep were always escaping and exposing themselves to danger. The magician decided to employ his abilities to keep the sheep inside, hypnotizing them. He made them believe that they were free and safe inside the fence. In fact, he made them believe that whenever he fleeced them, that it was for their benefit. Once in a while, one would disappear, and the sheep were conditioned to believe that she had gone to a better place. In fact, he not only convinced them that he was acting for their benefit, but that they were not sheep at all, that they were human beings. Some thought that they were doctors, lawyers, priests, business people, seekers on a spiritual quest—all approved by the great magician, of course. They thought they were attaining powers and learning secrets. Of course, if they did not know that they were sheep, they would never try to change their situation for real; they would never try to escape; never attempt to evolve. Some even thought that they were magicians and knew the secrets; and all of them had the same fate.
Now, there were a few sheep whose fleece was not as valuable because they were black. Black wool was not as useful as white in the marketplace, so the magician did not pay as much attention to the black sheep, only the white. So, some of the black sheep woke up because the magician wasn’t making sure they remained hypnotized. They realized what they were and what they were doing there. If one black sheep knew the truth and tried to tell the others, the hundreds of white sheep would not listen. Why would they? After all, they were having good lives. They had their problems in their fake realities, but they were fine. Some black sheep managed to escape, and many of those succumbed to predators, but they were free.
Eventually, you had some spotted sheep. With those you could never tell: sometimes they would learn their nature and sometimes not. Of those who knew, some would decide to stay with the white sheep and become completely white.
Most of us are spotted. Part of us wants to be free; part of us wants to be taken care of by the Great Magician. That’s why I say, be careful with your gifts. Some of those are fake, given by the Great Magician. Someone said to me, upon hearing this story, “Be careful with your words because they can get you in trouble.”
I make my words so they get me in trouble. I am at war with the Great Magician. I am the black sheep. I am black, all black. My wool is not for the marketplace. My wool is the obsidian black of the eternal night sky, and its shine is the silence of the endless.
The institution of slavery has not ended yet. It has always been part of our civilization. The institution of slavery as it existed at a particular time here in America is not legal anymore, but that’s an instantiation. Slavery, the forceful use of people for labor, continues. It’s just changed from physical chains to psychological chains. It affects almost everyone. In order to participate in this society, you are forced to conform to certain things. By labor, I don’t just mean that you have to find a job and go to work. I mean that you have to produce, in your body, certain substances that are created by negative emotions and secreted from the pores and glands. In addition, your body is made to transmit signals to each other to create these substances. These signals are communicated through the masses by facial expressions, speech, and lately through memes and short thoughts and phrases. We are made to mass produce a limited number of reactions of anger, frustration, and mockery—all for the benefit, not of you, but of the Great Magician. I’m not just talking about socially negative emotions; what you would call “hope,” “love,” and anything else that is automatically produced in you—adrenaline, anxiety, fear—all these are called negative emotions.
If you begin to look at your education, and how we went from a moment from high anxiety before tests to the relief of anxiety after the test, only to come back to more anxiety, then you will notice that the higher you go up in your profession, the more you continue with that, fear–anxiety release–fear, over and over until your whole being is a machine to manufacture that state. What does the Great Magician get from that? Power, energy, control over the masses. At this point, the Great Magician is not interested in controlling the individual. If you set up a small shop selling vacuum cleaners, you will want to go door to door. But if you have a product like Coca Cola, you don’t sell to a person—you sell to demographics. “We have young, African American males.” “We have old second- and third-generation Latinos. How do we get new ones?” The Magician is thinking bigger than that, and not of countries anymore, but of corporations.
The fleece of the sheep the Great Magician is whatever makes up your identity, your emotions, and the output of your machines: the adrenaline, fear, and paranoia prevalent in society. A few can escape, because the Great Magician doesn’t even want to control small groups. He is not interested in the few black sheep. If you create a liberating movement with several million people trying to be free, he will crush it down. Either he will introduce something seemingly innocuous that will end up diluting the essence of the movement, or he will give you drugs or sex or something to weaken you; and if that doesn’t work, he will come down on you with strength.
What are the consequences of liberation? You are free from the support of the Great Magician as well, so when you free yourself, you find yourself in the jungle, and there are other dangers out there. Therefore, you have to become a warrior, and you have to become a hunter of power, and you have to know that death can come at any moment.
One of the first barriers in the spiritual path is being stuck in the way in which we see ourselves, begining with our own body and sexual force.
The notion of original sin was invented and used to enslave humanity. Once you feel something that is intrinsically part of you is your enemy, that it is shameful, and that it can only be exercised with permission of the elite, then they got you.
You live as a slave to someone else’s ideals and judgements. Especially when you internalize this belief, when you make it your own, and when you yourself begin to censor your expression, to censor your force. Then, everything that you do is already controlled by those who control your moral center.
From the point of view of neurology, as soon as the baby begins to acquire motor skills and focus their eyes, their brain begins to trim. There are neural connections that cut themselves off. In that cutting off, we begin to bring our attention into this world; to be able to perceive things as separate and distinguish shapes, heights, duration, space, color. Without that trimming, everything that the organism can perceive would be perceived and nothing will be distinguished. So, there is a trimming that happens there, and part of that trimming of our neural system is what culture does with language.
Then, over that language, many things are programmed: like belief systems, like agreements of what is good and what is bad, what is acceptable and what is not. And then over that series of values we build identities: democrat, republican, Argentinian, Mexican. From those we define our personal identity: “This is me,” “That’s not my family,” “I am not like that,” “I am like this.” But we don’t realize the layers of soil that we use to build that sense of self.
This brain of yours is, right now, creating the world. It is, at the same time, forming scientific hypotheses about the universe. It is doing this not only at the social level, but also at the natural and even the spiritual level.
The process of awakening has to do with taking these processes of the brain and bring them to a conscious level. It is about becoming conscious of the assumptions that you are making when you are defining yourself, and the assumptions that you are making when you are face to face with the infinite.
The brain is doing all this in a mater that is unconscious to you. Automatic. Make them conscious, and voluntary.
Your family, your tribe, takes care of giving you the assumptions, the foundations, and principles that let you navigate the world.
Eventually, society takes over and provides you with the stories, the narratives, that allow you to know what group to identify with, what beliefs to hold, how to behave with other people, and how to behave when you are alone.
Then, religion takes over to tell you how to think about god, and how to behave in the face of the infinite
The Great Work is, in a way, a work of heresy where you begin to discard what religion tells you.
You begin to set aside all the identities and assumptions that the social group has given you: all the identifications with a race, a nation, a religion. All identifications with a human group being to be set aside as programs that have invaded your system. A lot of these programs have kept you trapped in a form that is limited, and are not your real self.
Even the way that we perceive nature has to be questioned, analyzed, and reformed in a conscious manner, so that what we are, what the world is, and what the universe is can be approached as a great mystery—as a unique path that will lead us to a lifelong adventure of discovery. To know thyself, as the oracle of Delphi commanded, and as socrates told his students, is not only to know your identity—with all its preferences and histories—but to know that you are not that at all. It is to know the limits you have imposed on yourself. To know that manner in which you were educated by family, culture, country, and religion; and how they have provided limits for yourself, because they has created an avatar that functions on behalf of those religions, countries, and artificial human groups.
This great work is an ultimate act of rebellion where you dare to stand alone, to disrobe yourself of all your programs and all your identities, and to face the empty void only as a silent presence. Then you can look at everything again, from this perspective, and pick and choose your experiences, your hypothesis, your assumptions. Pick them consciously, and they’ll go from being unconscious assumptions to being tools for you to use; as a carpenter uses and chooses a hammer, a saw, a nail.
Ultimately, there is beyond the center of centers, there, at the origin of your attention, beyond the sense of self, the origin of all you are. This is the God that creates the world that you perceive. This is the God that sustains the life of the one that says ”I Am”. This god within has been considered the greatest of heresies of all the religions that have made a world of worship, the have created a culture that sees them, and only them, as the true intermediaries between you and god. Their success, strength and wealth has depended on you believing that you are not god; that you are only a limited ego that is a suffering fool whose only possibility of happiness depends on the graces of an external, remote god, and whose only intermediary is the church.
In this unholy trinity, a tyranny of a remote father and a tyrannical mother, are placed the only source of redemption for a child that never grows. But the truth is that the Holy Father is you, not your ego, not your identity, not even your memories, but you—the one behind the curtains of perception. You are the true God, and this vessel of flesh and mind that contains the history of humanity, that contains all knowledge and experiences, that contains the good and the bad, that contains all the teachings, and all the words of all the masters is the true church.
The marriage between God and the church produces, outside of you, the kingdom of heaven—always new, always created, always reflecting the will of god. In this Kingdom outside, the world created anew, is a true reflection of the inner marriage between the true God and the true church. This union is the true wine of ecstasy that brings the satiation of our deepest aspirations. Those who would keep humanity enslaved will tell you that it is a great heresy to believe in this God within. And I tell you that you have nothing to believe. No belief is necessary. You have to approach this as a true scientist, a true explorer of the inner spaces, and seek for yourself the knowledge of your true essence, of that which is silence and infinite, of that which is true beyond all forms, beyond all time—the center of yourself.
Seek within your heart, not the emotional or physical heart, but the center of yourself. There, you will find it. Silent. Vastly infinitesimal. All knower. Creator. Maintainer. Destroyer of all worlds. Look for the god within. Commit the ultimate heresy, and make contact with your true self.
When we come into this world, we find ourselves open to the environment, with no shields other than those provided by family and inheritance. We are there, exposed to predators and to influences. We are open to receive the programming of our nervous system. At that time there is no division between self and environment; no distinction between the center of the circle—the source of our attention—and the circumference which is the perceived universe around us.
Everything belongs to the same flux. There is hunger and the satisfying feeling of being nurtured. There is no inside, and no outside; just a constant back and forth of consciousness, impressions, and expressions. No difference is made between any two things.
We begin life from a state that is unified, yet quite vulnerable.
Very close to death, we begin life.
The division between life and death at the beginning
is a thin, invisible membrane,
like the rainbow walls of a bubble made of soap,
floating in midair,
going up into the morning sun
and popping out
right at the same moment
that it disappears.
Such is the consciousness
with which we come to this world.