Celebrate the Tonal

Flower of Life

Flower of Life

“Tonal” as a word is amazingly beautiful. The root of the word in Nauhatl language comes from “tonalli” which means daylight or bright energy. Yet the synchronicity of the word’s alignment with music is just as amazing.

Tonal music is ancient music where composers created lines of rising and falling, (arsis and thesis) which intersect each other. When you have four voices or lines, occasionally they align and harmonize. This creates a resonance, which sings in the body and space in which the work is being performed. But between those moments of alignment are progressions, disharmonies, which “push” the work towards resolution or harmonic convergences. Thus tonal music is always falling forward or has a sense of moving forward towards….

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Questions and Answers

Thought and Memory

Thought and Memory

The modern trend is towards answers. Everyone has this great need to know everything, to be anything, to be everything. The net gives us access to information, thus we all know everything because we are constantly plugged into the common (miss)perception of the dominant position of the assemblage point. We have become people of answers. We all know it all.

The result is that the universe, the world, is boring. All we believe or know is the 5 second delay between posts we read everyday in social media, news and the approved Wikipedia post. What is truly important is lost in the detritus of the overwhelming input no one can handle. Like the old renaissance English saying about politics, “a whirlwind lasts only nine days”, today it lasts only as long as we can click the “like button” and move on.

Thus the general attitude among people is to be either knowing it all or keeping silent in the background of life. All of this is the result of raising children who have constant access to the answers even if they are completely wrong.

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Tradition and Traditionalists

So often when working with organizations, tribes, segments of society, they have traditions.  It takes time and a certain amount of finesse to begin working with any group or organization.  We have to be inculcated in their traditions.  Traditions are for lack of a better word, repetitive behaviors which give a sense of cohesion to the group.  They are passed along from generation to generation in large groups, religions, and tribes.  The generations will justify the reasons for a tradition often without knowing exactly where they come from or why these traditions occur within the tribe or group.  Traditions are tied to fuzzy memory lost in the programming of in our childhood.  A memory that runs deep within our being and speaks to our ultimate need, humans want to belong and feel safe.  So many traditions are there for the sake of this root value or drive.

But traditions can be the death call for fluidity and true survival.  Certain repetitive behaviors in every generation need to be carefully evaluated and changed or dropped all together.  Traditions are hidden contracts, binding alliances that can keep us from seeing what is really going on.  And many of them are unspoken, assumed and filled with hidden self-criticisms.  A warrior of freedom rejects any contract to which they were not actively part of creating.  It binds our energy and limits our discipline which kills our liberty.

We drive on a certain side of the road because of tradition.  There is certain logic to this: safety.  If a road is narrow, we look ahead and take the side that is traditional when we pass another person.  The right hand is traditionally the hand with the weapon.  When we pass each other, the right is far from the other person’s right.  We shake hands with the right hand because it traditionally represented that there is no gun in our hand, its open to receive.  All of this adds up to why we drive on the right side of the road.  Without these traditions we would in many ways be lost. But the roots, which are actually cultural, have been elevated to law and applied to other unconscious situations.  We sense the inherent logic of tradition, now law.  It just makes sense.  But travel to another culture and there are many things we will never understand because of unspoken traditions.

When one is standing before a fire in a traditional plains native ceremony, one should walk around the fire clockwise, or as they say, sun-wise.  Why?  This tradition is rooted in observations.  The sun goes from left to right when facing the south where the sun is in the northern hemisphere.  So natives at some point felt that this walking movement was a way to honor the sun.  But in reality the original reason for walking sun-wise around the fire is lost far in the past.  We keep doing it; we do so with all sorts of mythological reasons, which are often just superstition.  This is not to say that it is wrong to walk in this way, or for the tribe to share a similar action to honor the sun.  It’s all good.

Where we cross into territory that we question as warriors of freedom is when the tradition is a block to walking in freedom.  Traditionalists often beat up anyone for not doing it the right way for no other reason than that is the way they were taught.  They are fixated on the position of their traditional assemblage points.  Our fluidity is compromised when the traditionalist runs over others with the tradition, or worse judges those who do not know.

Intent is the power behind all things.  Intent has no direction or focal point until it is activated.  There is nothing wrong with right or left.  Yet at one time right, dexterous, was always associated with good while left, sinister, was associated with evil.  These traditions are sacred and held so stiffly that we may never change the words or the results.  But our goal as warriors of freedom is to discipline our lives so that we are not attached to left, right or the meanings therein.  We watch and observe.

Warriors drive on the right side of the road, at least here in America, for the simple fact that it is easy to go with the flow.  Why question it?  It would cause too much distress and warrior choses his battlefields wisely.  But many traditions are silly and filled with fallacies that are keeping us trapped.  Think about it.  Make a list.  Recapitulate!  Then walk around the fire sun-wise because it goes with the group flow.  But leave judgment far from the beauty of the ceremony.  The thing that is killing the fluid traditions is the traditionalists.  The thing killing humanity is the fixation of our assemblage points.


Character Development

Character Development

What is a warrior’s humility? For Don Juan the universe is full of unfathomable mystery. The warrior’s commitment is to unravel that mystery as best he can knowing that he will never be able to completely do so. In making such a commitment, the warrior sets himself up not as less than nor greater than everything around, but rather equal to everything for everything is ultimately unfathomable mystery. Humility is equality.

The foundation of a humble life is silence. As warriors not of conquest or conflict but rather awareness, freedom and knowledge we practice the same principles that any warrior does. We discipline our beings. We eliminate that which is unnecessary. We wait for the perfect moment. We know that a second can change the direction of history. We gather energy and personal power. But none of these disciplines is as great as the practice of silence. For the first and foremost intense battle is within and before anything can or will occur in the universe at large.

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The Most Sacred Thing

Road Man Print Ready

The Road Man

Humans have become obsessed with objects. For good reason, their ancestors migrated suddenly away from this plane of existence. Thus leaving those that were behind distressed beyond their imaginings. Those humans had become so good at shifting to other worlds that this world was no longer necessary to stabilize their perceptions. Thus those left behind began to create objects and items to fixate the assemblage points here.

At first these focal points allowed the trained eye to see beyond and within. This benefited their abilities to maintain connection through dreaming to what their forefathers had taught and learned. These channels also maintained connections to history and to each other across vast distances. One could think of it as a spiritual/mental Internet. But with time, and continued power struggles from the predator, the object became more important than the energy it held.

Dreaming took on a morbid obsession with creating. What we saw within the dream, we demanded to create in reality. Great cities and structures to say nothing of alters and focal points were created. We elevated the past stories to the level of gods. Where the ancients understood the mystery and the unknown without words honoring the mother as the creator of life, these twisted seers became obsessed with technologies of spirit and specific manifestations of the unknown, not the unknown.

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Center Figure

Center Figure, Mescalito Spirals

As a Toltec, we use the term warrior to define the path that we are on daily. The warrior’s way, the spiritual warrior, the warrior of intent, these are some of the qualifiers that are present to soften the term warrior. The term in English goes back to a time of great conflict in Europe between tribes. Warriors were active participants in the act of war, conflict, and aggression. In the east, the term for warrior actually meant to serve or attend to a leader. The term from many indigenous tribes meant to provide and is more in kind with hunter. So how does this stack up with the Toltec path?

After years of walking the path, there is just no better term for the process of becoming a Toltec. A person passes from childhood, a time of receiving the programming of our culture, to adulthood with a significant emotional event. The pain of that event ties the individual to their path, their purpose. For many traditions, this time of passage was related to a quest. The individual looks carefully at the sum total of what they have received and choses what they are going to become. So often the purpose of this passage is to diminish the self-importance typical in childhood and train the attention to commit to something greater than the self.

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And the Takers have it

The Bear Spiral

The Bear Spiral

If I were to boil down all of the issues I see in the world today it would come down to the taker mentality. This is a pervasive and total infection in the human band of awareness. Though I have written about this before, it bears repeating.

Initially introduced to this in a work by Daniel Quinn, Ishmael, along with My Ishmael and The Story of B… Daniel managed to nail down an historical theme which underlays the whole of civilization.   The taker mentality is the mentality of ownership. It is the, “this is mine and not yours” energy which sits within our being. While initially human bands gave up their roaming ways and chose to farm in a single area because it produced more garneted food, the problem became one of environmental adjustments and imbedded mythologies around control of the seeds of production.

Scarcity is the key to all economic systems. You can’t charge for air, cause you can’t control it. Initially we could not charge for water, but now we can because it must be cleansed and transported. But the first scarce thing we could charge for was food. The seeds of production created farming. Hunting was given up for animal husbandry, or control of the animals. As we learned and grew our mythology we completely forgot any other way to live. Lost in the mire of imagination along the lineages of the mad the hunter-gatherers were cursed for their lack of culture and civilization.

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