Carlos Casteneda was asked if there was a quick way/practice to freedom. His answer was that a warrior struggles every day and endures, but if he could sum up everything that Don Juan said in one practice, it would be saying every day of every hour to ourselves, “I take responsibility for my death.” Even just a brief period of meditation practice can loosen up energies that can be better used for anything.
We are creative beings of pure energy, but life is expensive. Everything, and I do mean everything, costs in energy. We don’t get out alive. But so often we play a shell game with death. We enjoy and escape into all sorts of things, never knowing nor acknowledging the simple aspects of that cost. When we take responsibility for our death, we are facing forward into whatever is is.
The simplest reason is awareness has a cost, self-awareness an extreme one, and physical awareness a terminal one. Because we manifest form from awareness, not the other way around, it is not, and never will be, permanent. Rather it is at all times temporary and fluid, constantly changing and growing and shaping. If it were not, then we would not be able to explore the full range of the now. But the package is temporary even if the contents are eternal.
When we emerge into this form and become self-aware, aka aware that this form is holding awareness, a strange and terrifying thing occurs. There is a fixation of the assemblage point in time and space. This occurs as a contract, an energetic one, from which emerges a mechanism to preserve self-awareness… mind you awareness needs no preservation. It just is, it is eternal, it is knowledgeable and it is enduringly infinite. It is the sum total knowledge and active side of the universe as it evolves every day. For the universe is a being of vast information, knowledge and awareness.
But self-awareness is temporary, singular in focus and driven to preserve its reflexive process. It is obsessive and obtuse, it is vain and maniacal, and it is a demon living within our minds. It emerges from the infinite when the child becomes aware that the form that awareness has taken will not last. Most people do not recall this first moment for it is forever buried under the stories of their lives, the repetitions of behaviors and the insanity which self-awareness works hard to run from, its contract with death. It is rooted in every cell of the body and in every movement of our physical being.
No one gets out alive. And no matter what fantastical stories we create to ease the contract with death, it is ever-present. The only thing we can control in the contract is our awareness of death. Self-awareness, shall say ego, takes us away from pure awareness. When we take responsibility for our death every day, every second and every breath, death becomes an advisor. And in advising it can teach us the ultimate lessons of living life and being aware in this position or any position of the assemblage point throughout eternity.
Each person’s initial response to that awesome awakening as a child sets a pattern in motion. For me the moment was in the dark, in bed, as a very young child. But unlike others, I could, no matter what I did in life, never forget that moment. Feeling became encapsulated in form and this bizarre sense of illusion of separation has been my guide every day of my life.
Almost everyone chooses something to obsess on and to distract that emergent moment of death. The overwhelming burden on the psyche is immense. We attempt for much of our lives to fill that moment with anything, everything. You would think that knowing that moment so totally as I do, staring at it every day of my life, and wandering with it every step has made me unique or special. Far from it. There is nothing unique in any life except that we all live it and make the best of it. We are, no matter what our self-aggrandizing reflections say, just humans in this band of awareness. We get to create whatever we wish.
I chose to explore conscious awareness and all the variations of religious and spiritual experience that one can have in a life. Self-important in the extreme! What I learned was we humans have an amazing way of fooling ourselves with belief. Which is not all bad. Don Quixote said, “I never had the courage to believe in nothing.” Ain’t that the truth. There is so much we can do with belief. We can create, or we can destroy.
The human record is not very good over the last 10,000 years. More often we have chosen to destroy. It still shocks me the lengths to which we will run from death, destroy the world and others with only one final realization…ego, self-reflection kills. Taking responsibility for our deaths and looking deep into the pit every moment, creates miracles. I have seen them. And they were not the result of any one belief system or ideology. Rather they were a direct link to the energy we have in just being human, alive, expressions of infinity. No matter what story we surround death with; it is all the same story.
Remember, there is nothing special in being alive, except being so. No one has any better answer to the existential questions and most of them are myth and fantasy anyway. Rather, what we do with our words and deeds for and with each other endures from generation to generation because it has a rippling affect on the energy around us. And that energy creates form and more patterns. We can either hold onto all the stories and patterns, or treat them, as we should, amazing moving shadow pictures on the cave wall of our bondage.
The truth is, death is the only advisor, and we get to choose every single thing along the way. Peace and gratitude to all my warrior friends out there. The only real battle is within. The only separation, what we have created. The only truth, infinity.