Probably one of the most difficult current trends in symbolic art and spirituality is the vast number of modern spiritualities that refer to the Chakras. There are 7, and they relate to areas of the body which hold emotional energy, memory, trauma and of course healing and vision. This is actually a current modern interpretation. There are very specific descriptions of what they look like. Go to any spiritually minded bookstore or gift shop, and you will see them hanging as individual units or as banners around the store. Everyone knows they are rainbow structured, and sacred geometry is within each diagram and description of their forms. If we study them, we find out the spiritual, healing, emotional and physical significance of each chakra. There are gods and goddesses associated with each of them and if not gods, spiritual divine energies. We are possessed by the spiritual materialism of these derivate forms and functions.
This is, for me as a Toltec artist, ripe for recapitulation. The very fact that it is a pattern and a structure that was laid down before I ever got here, makes me demand to recapitulate the whole downloaded program. Thus have I spent years meditating and connecting to this system of symbols, sounds and patterns. What I found out is that like all religions, philosophies and cultural spiritual traditions, this one has been co-opted, simplified and is working very hard to distract the original intent and lineage to which the ancient seers created them to be.
String Theory, or the essential structure
The deep sea of awareness, the boundless, that which surrounds, the space between, these and more are attributed to this Nahuatl word about the world that is not tonal. Its origins are deeply connected to the practice of shape shifting in a shamanic sense where ones nagual was the animal one became in the dream time. The ancients were masters of projecting their awareness into the “other world” and flying, hunting, or seeking the necessities for the tribe. If the tonal is the bright vibrational energies of all we know, the nagual is that which surrounds the tonal and more.
Where the tonal is easy to define, because it is the essence of the defined, the nagual has become in this tradition a most elusive word. At times it is used to denote a place beyond. At times it is used to denote a person. At times it is used to denote energy. At times it is used to denote the indefineable. In all cases it has an air of mystery. Its elusiveness seems beyond grasp, quicksand in the dreaming of our nighttime places.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.