Art is intended to guide society. Our early development as a species was principally based upon art, language and imagination. To our ancestors there would have been no barrier between the real and the imagined.
In the first place ‘Art’ was our sacred science, and the guiding force of culture…
Let me explain….
Cave paintings are some of the oldest forms of art in the world. There are many beliefs as to what they represent; including ideas about hunting and ceremonial rites, to the depiction of contact with extraterrestrial species. However, I have had many remarkable experiences with cave paintings, megaliths and petroglyphs, and this has led me to a conclusion regarding the practical nature of these early means of communication.
While man was developing the power of speech and self-reflection – along side there would have been the development of a stronger need to communicate through other forms such as drumming. It is perfectly possible that cave painting developed out of verbalization
The early experience of man was ‘Band’ culture. This is the form of society that existed before tribal societies grew up. From the beginning these societies were hunter-gatherers, but primarily they would have been nomadic in nature. With the need to hunt comes the need to move around with your prey. In north-west Europe – it is a widely documented fact, that the tribes of the British Isles, had very pronounced migration routes. In particular between Ireland, the north of England and Scotland – the Picts, Celts and the Scots, occupying various different regions throughout history. The prehistory of Britain would likely have been no different. This idea of migration can be extended throughout Europe. During the period just after the building of Stonehenge, for instance it is documented that a culture arose of itinerant Magi. Travelling around Europe with brass conical hats (much like wizards hats) these druids, possessed information regarding the movement of the heavens – knowledge which prior to this point would have been built inherently into the megalithic structures. These events happened upon the entering of the agrarian age, where for the first time societies were focusing more on growing crops and as such had the need to settle in one place for the first time. Prior to this the tribes of north west europe would have been no strangers to migration. The megalithic structures that were built before this time were generally aligned with stars. In fact most ancient monuments have some connection with the heavens. But whatever the nature of the knowledge these Structures were a means of relaying information – art represented a means of communication. But communicating what exactly?
In the first place – the very earliest form of art were handprints on cave walls. These were dated to some 40,000 years ago. Hand stencils have been found in various parts of the world from, Timpuseng cave Sulawesi, Indonesia to Cueva de las Manos located Perito Moreno, Argentina. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals were at least 35,000 years old, these too found in caves in the district of Maros, located in Bantimurung district, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The earliest figurative paintings in Europe date back to the Aurignacian period, approximately 30,000 to 32,000 years ago, and are found in the Chauvet Cave in France, and in the Coliboaia Cave in Romania.
There are also similar later paintings in Africa, Australia and South America, continuing until recent times in some places. There is a tendency worldwide for open air rock art to supersede deep cave paintings.
However these hand stencils, were more than just a means of self-reflection and self-identification. Rather they were a means of identifying yourself to others. They were a signature to allow others to know who had been present at a specific place at a specific time. People who knew you, would have also know your handprint, and from this your whereabouts. Keeping track of each others movements in this early age would have been of vital importance. This information could have been mapped by leaving these markings. Also the movements and quantity of availability of game – marked in codes known only to the other members of the tribe. This would account for animal depictions seen in some of the earliest paintings.
To some extent there would have been a link to the spiritual side of the existence for the tribe. In as much as these stencils and paintings were a description of their outer world – they would have undoubtedly been also a representation of the inner world. Perhaps visions of prey, hunting and actual places or event were depicted as the same reality. For our ancestors there was no little or no separation from the spirit; very different from our postmodernist approach of seeing spiritual practice as something separate from the rest of your life. Early man would have lived in accordance with the spirit – an existence uncorrupted and undivided by the passage of time.
So knowing where your friends family and allies were – would been an essential strategy for survival. I have no doubt – that this ritual became quite a developed science and subsequently an “art”, to the people of the Neolithic period. It would have developed alongside the growth and development of their civilisation. Bringing in more elements of ritualistic practice into sacred space. Making it more a representation of the abstract rather than the physical world. The need to map the outer world becoming less important over time as the balance tipped towards the metaphysical, as man’s success was assured.
But for the early ancestors looking to the stars for guidance – was also a cause and inspiration for how they decorated their world – perhaps they imagined messages from the gods written into the code of the celestial bodies and mapped the heavens as a direct guidance for their well-being and development too.
~ Toltec Warrior
A number of years ago, I had a trip on Salvia Divinorum, that I was not likely to forget. I had been researching Salvia for some while. It is an entheogen, originally used by the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico, in healing and divination. Salvia is a member of the ‘sage’ family and is often loosely translated as “diviner’s sage” or “seer’s sage”. The main psychoactive ingredient is a diterpenoid called salvinorin A; which is a potent κ-opioid and D2 receptor agonist. Because of the legal status of this psychoactive substance Salvia Divinorum, is legal in the UK and can be purchased from head shops.
I bought an extract of Salvia, which was described as x50 strength. This was an elixir produced through the process of adding “salvinorin A” to the crush leaf of the plant making available something fifty times the strength of the leaf.
I sat down with a friend one night prepared to ingest this x50 extract. It is smoked in a bong or a pipe, and for my trip I borrowed a bubble bong – which looked something like this:
I warned my friend that it might be a strong trip as he was intending to have a go as well. I filled the bowl of the bong with the extract, lit it and drew back on the pipe. I never even got to finish the bowl. As soon as the smoke entered my lungs, the Salvia Divinorum, kicked in and took hold. I blacked out immediately – when I came to, I lunged and stood up. I was then standing over my friend staring at him wildly. At first I didn’t recognize him and then gradually his name returned to me. The problem was though, I had no idea who I was. Everything had gone – my name, my identity, everything about me had dissolved. I was stood there staring at him. I vocalized all this – to his great amusement. Eventually, my identity began to return and I started coming back to consciousness – at which point I felt a sharp pain in my thumb – I was still holding onto the smoldering bowl of the pipe. I lunged again falling over on the other side of the room while screaming in agony – the water and the contents of the burning bong spilling on the carpet. It took me a little while to recover – it had been an intense experience but only lasted a quarter of an hour.
After the experience had worn off sufficiently, I started discussing what had happened. It was a surprising event, to actually lose my name and with it my identity – it was horrifying. The trip felt like everything had been stripped away from me. Along with my internal dialogue – the description of who I was simply was not there. Don Juan in the books of Castaneda describes how our world and perceptions are created and upheld by an internal dialogue. He also considered everything in our world to have a proper name. The naming of things was intrinsic to upholding and maintaining this internal dialogue. So, for me when my name was no longer available neither was my identity.
When we are in the state of the unborn, we are without identity. When we enter the world we come with a gender. The first thing we are then given is our name. As life progresses, we are then subsequently given attributes as our roles develop. The imprinting continues all our lives and we become enmeshed in our world, indivisible from it. The stripping away that the Salvia, experience had on me was a returning me to this original state. This place of innocence was fundamentally without need for identity or labeling of any kind. For a brief moment I was in the place of pure consciousness and being. Considering its legality Salvia Divinorum, is a powerful drug and should be treated with respect. Having said that the plant showed me something of the truth about the nature of reality and about the nature of myself.
I had a dreamed experience quite a few years ago that pointed for me to the non-linear nature of time and reality.
When I was sixteen I went on a camping trip for a week with my brother. We got to a specific location and something weird happened. It got close to the gloaming and I ran into the woods. My brother came looking for me but said he couldn’t see me even when relatively close – I had become “Invisible” in his words; I had to shout to get his attention. Well we walked out of that area, and as we walked I remember cheerfully “twiddling” sticks at either side.
Well the dreamed experience came around three or four years ago…
I was in the throes of a full-scale lucid dream – having found my hands I was flying around to different locations. The dream then crashed as it sometimes does and I found myself walking along a path with complete clarity. Dim sunlight was coming through the trees. I realized then I was in the same location. I ran along up the path – to find myself walking behind someone who was “twiddling” sticks – dressed in combats as I had been. It was a stunning realization. I was now walking behind myself.. – ‘stalking myself’ through this dream. I had accessed something like a loop in reality and was dreaming a scene from the past.
In the dream I was also reminded of something I had intuited from that time …This thought came to me just as all thoughts do but stuck out from the rest as something of an anomaly – I was “told” I was a ‘pioneer’ And I heard it again when whispered by the voice of the Dreaming Emissary. Like a promise to an imagined future, I recognised this had now been fulfilled.
The becoming ‘invisible’ was no coincidence.
The strange recurrence of this situation seen from a totally different perspective – this echo in time – was I am sure due to the presence of “Inorganic Beings”. Don Juan said of these entities that they possess a Gap much smaller than that of man – which means they certainly live longer or at least without threat of immediate annihilation. Perhaps to some extent they are ‘without time’ and can move around freely within this plane of existence. But this would mean that the nature of time and reality is non-sequential to permit such a movement. All the evidence would suggests that time is instead a circular motion, a wheel of time, like a spiral that turns infinitely in space. Perhaps if you travel far enough you would eventually emerge back at the beginning. This loop in the fabric of time unleashes unlimited possibilities in my opinion. So, in dreaming it is certainly possible to meet yourself walking along a path you took many years before.
In the first place to see beyond the illusion, is to not trust perception. To understand that the world is a description; a form of language created by the thought of self-reflection. And knowing that by ending this internal dialogue, in order to enter into inner silence and create a shift in awareness, that gives rise to a new perspective and an altered consciousness is to break the ties with perception.
While I am capable of dreaming, stalking is my predilection. I have probably dreamed to the sixth gate of dreaming, in as much as I have woken up in a place I did not go to sleep. Waking up in broad day light some where you did not go to bed is a surprising act to say the least.
Within dreaming we learn much about ourselves and the world – the message as it is received is metaphorical, a reflection of our waking experience; a prognostication. The same being said of our waking experience of course. But only by bringing these worlds together can we hope to understand the message that nature sends…
..seeing energy as it flows through the universe
with the techniques that Don Juan taught this is all possible,
Don Juan stated that man exists within just one world; foolish to believe otherwise. And yet this world is constructed of many layers like an onion each layer an entirely separate world within itself. The “whole” is fragmented and broken down into myriad layers creating separate worlds of perception. And everything we experience is polar opposites – light and dark, night and day, male and female, waking and dreaming and so on.
This is the unravelling – the questioning of reality: are we experiencing duality or non-duality in actual fact? Well the trickster mind sees only a separation.
Everything is in reality is “ONE PARTICLE”- The original thought – the particle splits creating the infinite whole. Creation is a convergence and the splitting of the aspect of the ONE – ONE CONSCIOUSNESS so to speak, the ONE AWARENESS – broken down and fractured into myriad of layers – where ever you look the divergence occurs – the light is sent through a prism and we no longer experience everything as it is.
INTENT is the driving force of evolution, the unfolding of reality and the nature of the UNIVERSE/MULTI-VERSE
Once we start tapping into intent – we are twirled – picked up by the force of the Spirit and flung into entirely new worlds – a difference attention then with a changed awareness – this is the shift; the movement into the 2nd attention. For me the world of the “tonal” or 1st attention as it is called ceased at this point. It fell away became unfamiliar, no longer home. With this shift, I was then in the world of the ‘unknown’ the 2nd attention or the “nagual.” And this is the place one must make your stand! We are confronted with the thought – of arrival and no way back. Only by realizing this can we make a viable experience of our existence. And knowing this we must continue into the unknowable with a chance at freedom – the ultimate goal. So relentlessly we press on. Until there is another break and shift in reality – I found myself in the 3rd attention, the place of “silent knowledge” through stalking in the waking moment – as is my predilection.
But we occupy only one world. Dreaming then is an extension of the waking reality and only by merging these experiencing into ONE is there a way to continue back into the light of being. Reversing the prism, working back through to the beginning – sending the dreaming double the other way!
It is in dreaming that we discover our potential – and so in dreaming we realize the infinite nature of our being. But waking reality is the place where we stop the world – through a repeated breaking down and reconstituting of our existence. By collapsing the world – stopping the internal dialogue – smashing the mirror of our self-reflection and a great deal of recapitulation – we break the ties with perception. With detachment and sobriety we push on; personal power lending the force required to bring ourselves back together again. The waking and dreaming experience merge as we remember – recapitulating the whole of our being into the one. Creating an existence in both places. And bringing back integrity to the self.
The road is long and hard, and as with any long journey the only way is to put your head down and keep going. Perhaps with an initial burst of energy in the beginning – a blessing from the earth; a wishing you well and on your way to the place of infinity.
The ally is the spirit – the force that comes out at times of great stress in the life of the individual. The spirit can be beckoned and brought to the aid of a warrior in order for him to learn and to gain knowledge.
The ally can be thought of as a spirit helper.
The ally is an impersonal force; definitively a part of what is termed the ‘nagual’ – the second attention of awareness, or that which is ‘unknown’.
Connection with the ally involves a ‘crack’ developing in the shell of man’s luminosity. The crack appears and at this time the ally steps through.
The spirit is revealed to the warrior as the gap between the worlds opens and the path becomes apparent.
Don Juan spoke of the ally as the power that originated in the plants he ingested. Among these was ‘Peyote’ whom he referred to as “Mescalito”. Mescalito however was not considered an ally but a power; a deity. There was ‘Datura'(jimson weed) also known as “yerba Del Diablo”, the second portion of which enabled the warrior to fly. And then there was the “little smoke” or ‘Humito’, psilocybin mushrooms which were ingested and smoked as a powder.
Don Juan named Mescalito as his teacher, protector, adviser and friend, while the allies he said were something that should be commanded. Humito was Don Juan’s preferred ally, he said that the effect was easier to handle as opposed to Datura which was more unpredictable.
These allies are a power a force to be reckoned with and respected and which were neither good nor bad.
The allies are formless, they are part of the abstract and as such are an invisible entity
The objective of the warrior is to tackle the ally – by adopting a fighting form, holding the earth with the feet and then jumping the ally bringing them to the earth. A characteristic of the allies is that they cannot ‘hang on’ and will relinquish their energy to the warrior eventually if he holds on.
The Allies are different in the respect that the warrior is seeking freedom, while the allies look to become enslaved and actually enjoy their captivity.
Warriors need a colossal amount of energy to sustain their world and the only available source of energy is that of the inorganic beings, so for this purpose an agreement can be struck with the allies/inorganic beings and the warrior gains the energy necessary.
The allies crave human awareness and so the trade is made, their energy for the awareness of the warrior. This bargain is a lifetime commitment however and the warrior will have to face his death in the knowledge that the ally looks on. This is the sorcerer’s agreement. It was also the agreement of the “tenant”(the sorcerer of antiquity who became trapped within the world of the inorganic beings and who attached himself to Don Juan’s lineage of sorcerers in a bid for freedom). It was the practice of the old seers to ‘dole out love to the allies. They also envisaged them somewhat aberrantly and believed the allies were human in characteristics, where as they are in fact totally alien to human energetic configurations, and possess an entirely different form of consciousness. However the allies are capable of great love and in response to the assistance they provide a warrior; they demand greater love in return.
Gaining an ally enables the warrior to stop the world, to see and provides him with the power required to travel to places never before dreamed of.
These beings also known as the ‘inorganic beings’ originate from another dimension. The realm of the ‘inorganic beings’ is said to be the world of “Sulphur” or the yellow world but the allies also have access to our dreams. They are the true sorcerers but their teachings are hard to master.
The Allies are guided by the rule, the same rule which the warrior is to fully comprehend if they are to become a man/woman of knowledge. The rule is an inviolable set of directives that the warrior much acquiesce to in order to pursue the path with heart.
A warrior will never become a man of knowledge without the aid of the ally, but through it he may learn to “see”. The relationship with the ally is everything to the warrior, and the ally provides the warrior with everything he requires. The warrior is capable of nothing without the ally – but with their help a warrior is able to transport himself through dreaming to inexplicable new worlds.
The ally is the voice that speaks to the warrior in dreaming and in waking life, it is the whispering guide.
The Second attention or Nagual is the battleground of the warrior – the place where one discovers ones ‘allies’, so to speak.
And the Nagual is the world into which the warrior is hurdled, the place where he finds himself when he tackles the ally and flies.
The Sabre-toothed tiger, for the seers of ancient Mexico, embodies the passion of the warrior-traveller-the navigator in the sea of awareness. The sabre-tooth roamed from the valley of Mexico all the way along the western coast and into southern and central California, the areas from which the magical passes originate. We may think of the sabre-tooth as a creature from another time, a museum piece; and from our linear perspective, this is true. In the view of the seers of don Juan’s lineage, however, the other time of the Sabre-tooth is not the past, but another layer of awareness. They propose that perhaps, in terms of energetic facts, it would be more accurate to say that we are caught in the museum case, and the Sabre-tooth is roaming free, moving from dream to dream. We can adopt the fluid dreaming ability of the Sabre-tooth by practising the magical passes of the form known as the Sabre-toothed Tiger of Intent.The intent of the Sabre-tooth, according to seers, is to dream-to move its assemblage point. This means it embodies pure perception, and fluid, alert action. In adopting the Sabre-tooth’s deep full breathing, we enter new areas of breath, which for seers means new areas of perception. Engaging the muscles in the area of the pelvis and the diaphragm in every motion and breath, as the Sabre-tooth does, can help us to cultivate the guts of steel needed for navigating. The rippling motion of the Sabre-tooth’s shoulders as it walks and moves renders its assemblage point fluid. Its assemblage point doesn’t stay fixed behind the shoulder blades, as with human beings; it moves, giving the Sabre-tooth, and practitioners of its form the possibility of perennially new perceptions.
Practising the Sabre-tooth form can move us out of the static position of contemporary man-slouching in front of a computer screen in an airless room, or hunched over a cell phone-into a more vast and open state of awareness. It can allow us to see our prey-our own habits and routines-on the horizon, and to tear them down, so that we might roam onward to face new challenges, new dreams. Magical Passes: The Sabre-tooth builds its powerful stance: Its palms slide down the fronts of the thighs, over the feet and to the ground with an exhalation. The head is down. The Sabre-tooth pants, squeezing all the muscles of the stomach with each exhalation. It leans forward with an inhalation, putting its weight on its front paws. It leans backward with an exhalation, shifting its weight to its back paws. It inhales, pulling its claws along the ground and up its back paws to its ankles, pausing there to exhale fully. The head is down It inhales again, pulling its claws to its knees, pausing to exhale once more. Its knees remain bent. Its hind legs are firmly on the ground. It inhales again and straightens, rippling its assemblage point. As it straightens, it pulls its claws up the thighs to the waist, straightening the knees only slightly, and bending them again as an exhalation is made, and the bent claws are momentarily opened. The Sabre-tooth’s vision is clear, and its hearing is keen.
It is ready for action…
The pelvis is held straight, tilting neither forward nor backward, so that energy flows through the area of the midsection to the upper body, rather than stopping at the hips. Its stance firmly established, the Sabre-tooth begins to move very silently. It inhales, clawing at the sides of the body, gripping the ground with its paws. It exhales and claws in front of its body, moving slowly from the waist.
The hips remain forward It inhales, clawing one more time. It advances, the opposite arm and leg moving at once. It flexes its claws with fast strokes. It slashes suddenly to the left. (SOUND), stunning its prey. With a quick strike, it turns again. (SOUND) Its claws sweep slowly across the view of the horizon. (SOUND) Then quickly, in short energetic strokes. (SOUNDS) The body turns on. The Sabre-tooth pants, (PANTING) squeezing the entire torso with each exhalation. It claws, (SOUNDS) and pushes the hind legs forward one at a time. (SOUNDS) It claws again (SOUNDS), and strikes with its back legs (SOUNDS). It pauses, then leaps in the opposite direction. It steps forward very fast and retreats [QUICK FORWARD/BACK].
Leaning on its back leg, it curls its paws for a moment, preparing to strike. It advances and strikes. (SOUND) It leans in, seizes its prey, and balanced by the enormous strength of its legs, flings the prey behind it. (SOUND) The Sabre-tooth turns without hesitation, to face another prey. It jumps back, fully alert The Sabre-tooth runs and leaps, grabbing its prey and bringing it down. (SOUND) It steps back. (SOUND) (SOUND) and breathes deeply, crouching quietly in the shadows. It reaches high and claws downward, as its prey takes its last breath. (SOUND)
I first found my hands in dreaming about 12 years ago. It was not for a want of trying that it took me so long to achieve. I would practice setting up dreaming before falling asleep most nights, I would remind myself that the purpose of my dreaming was to find my hands, I would often wear a dreaming headband, and attempt to watch myself falling asleep. I invested in a Spirit Catcher and kitted it out with a Quartz, I even tried attaching a quartz crystal to the top of my head while sleeping, as recommended by Don Juan.
The results were pitiful however. Nightly I would fall asleep and enter dreaming. I was dreaming frequently and fairly lucidly at the time, but at no point would I remember the instruction to find my hands. It seems I would never become aware enough that I was actually within a dream. I was getting close however I felt a tension was starting to build within my dreaming experience.
There was one dreamscape/location, I kept returning to. I would be standing outside of a house, aware vegetation was growing out of it; perhaps a plant or tree, something that seemed very familiar to me. I would be standing on a path that led past the bay windows of the house, I even remember looking in on one occasion. I could not make it any further up the path however, something would end the dream. But it was in this location that I eventually managed to realise that I was asleep which prompted me to act – and I found my hands. The process was initially that I looked straight ahead – in awe of the fact that I had managed to realise I was dreaming. I felt very alive at that point, I could even feel the gravel of the path beneath my feet and realise I was somewhere else altogether. I then immediately looked down at my hands, inspecting them – the lines on my hands seemed to jump out at me. I became engrossed in studying my palms then turned them over….
At that moment the dream location changed. I cannot recall how many locations I travelled to. I seemed to be flying from one to another. Various things were happening at each location I found myself in, but I was limited by the amount of time I was there to how much I could recall. The general theme was that I was on a ‘night out’. I do remember going with friends to a bar, being thrown out then stumbling away down the street. But with this like all the locations I travelled to, I would suddenly be whipped away and would ‘fly’ somewhere else. I ended up in an alley, looking down at myself from above, but aware at the same time that it was myself I was looking at. Presumably exhausted by my night-time aeronautics I sat there till the friends I had been drinking with turned up to collect me. At which point I awoke, in astonishment and particularly happy with my success.
“Journey to Ixtlan”
“I am going to teach you how to set up dreaming.”
“You must start by doing something very simple,” he said. “Tonight in your dreams you must look at your hands.” I laughed out loud. His tone was so factual that it was as if he were telling me to do something commonplace. “Why do you laugh?” he asked with surprise. “How can I look at my hands in my dreams?”..
“Very simple, focus your eyes on them just like this.” He bent his head forward and stared at his hands with his mouth open. His gesture was so comical that I had to laugh. “Seriously, how can you expect me to do that?” I asked “The way I’ve told you,” he snapped. “You can, of course, look at whatever you goddamn please…
…I asked him to give me some pointers. “There aren’t any pointers,” he said. “Just 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.”