by John Lash
from MetaHistory Website
The eleven books of Carlos Castaneda record his apprenticeship with a Yaqui Indian, Don Juan Matus, who plays Socratic mentor to Castaneda's skeptical anthropologist.
Over more than twenty years, Castaneda
learned the theory and practice of a new discipline proposed by his
mischievous and demanding teacher. The art of the "new seers"
involves revising ancient secrets of Toltec sorcery transmitted to
Don Juan through a late lineage dating from the 18th
Don Juan relates this blatant contradiction in human intelligence to what he calls "the topic of topics," "the most serious topic in sorcery." This topic is predation.
To the horrified astonishment of his apprentice, the elder sorcerer explains how the human mind has been infiltrated by an alien intelligence:
According to Don Juan, the sorcerers of ancient Mexico called the predator, the flyer,
description matches thousands of accounts of the bizarre jumping
movements, sometimes sideways, executed by
alien Greys who
accost people at random. Fleeting black shadows are less
often reported, but they play the major role in the long and
detailed report of alien activity by John Keel,
The Mothman Prophecies.
Could the Archons be compared to the "mud shadows" described by Don Juan?
This question raises the
general issue of parallels between Don Juan's Central American
Toltec shamanism and the shamanism of the Mystery Schools of
ancient Europe. Let's consider some of these parallels.
In The Active Side of Infinity, Don Juan tells Castaneda that,
This alarming statement suggests an immediate parallel to Gnostic teachings.
Gnostics, who directed the Mystery Schools of the Near East in antiquity, taught that the true mind of human beings, nous authenticos, is part of the cosmic intelligence that pervades nature, but due to the intrusion of the Archons, this "native mind" or "native genius" can be subverted and even occupied by another mind.
They warned that the
Archons invade the human psyche, they intrude mentally and
psychologically, although they may also confront us physically as
well. Their main impact, however, is in our mental syntax, in our
paradigms and beliefs, exactly as Don Juan says of the flyers.
This description fits the hive-mentality of the Archons.
Sorcerers call this uniform alien mind,
The foreign installation pulls us out of our syntax.
It deranges our indigenous abilities to
organize the world according to the language proper to our species.
The role of correct syntax in the sorcerer's mastery of intent is
one of the central factors in the later teachings of Don Juan. The
sorcerer's concern for deviation of syntax, and consequent derouting
of intent, parallels the importance of language and correct
definition emphasized in Gnostic teaching.
He says that the sorcerers of ancient times,
In other words, the realization that another mind can operate in our minds only becomes fully clear and certain when the foreign mind has been exposed and expelled.
Only then do we understand how "the real mind that belongs to us, the sum total of our experience, after a lifetime of domination has been rendered shy, insecure and shifty." The "real mind" of Castaneda can be equated to the nous authenticos of the Gnostics. The main effect of the flyers upon our mind is seen in mental conditioning, brainwashing.
This is also the main effect of
The usual tactic of the Greys is first to stun and then infiltrate the mind of the human subject. In the First Apocalypse of James, the Gnostic master instructs a student in how to confront the Archons.
These predatory entities are said to "abduct souls by night," a precise description of modern ET abductions. The adept in the Mysteries learns to repel the Archons with magical formulas (mantras) and magical passes or gestures of power (mudras). In some texts, the encounter with the Archons is structured according to the system of "planetary spheres."
The adept who practices
astral projection, lucid dreaming or "manipulations
of the double" (as in Castaneda) is said to face the
Archons in a kind of computer-game maze of seven levels,
corresponding to the seven planets. At each level, the adept is
unable to continue unless he confronts the "gatekeepers,"
using magical passes and words.
Don Juan does not use the seven-level scheme, but his description of the flyers can be fitted into that scheme. The correlation works especially well if we equate the "serpent worship" of certain Gnostic cults with Kundalini yoga practice, which may in turn be equated with "the fire from within" and the Plumed Serpent in several Castaneda books.
In short, the Toltec sorcerers would also have been adepts of Kundalini yoga, cultivating "the fire from within." Their encounters with the flyers might not have been formalized into a seven-level test-game, but the same experiences are indicated in all three instances: Toltec, yogic, and Gnostic.
The Toltec-Gnostic parallel may seem remote and improbable at first sight.
But if we assume that
shamanic experience is consistent and empirical (i.e., it can be
tested by experience), it would not be surprising to find consistent
reports in widely separate traditions.
According to the Gnostic critique of Christianity, salvationist ideology in its Judeo-Christian form (i.e., belief in a divine redeemer and a final apocalypse) is just such a virus. It is something implanted in the human mind by alien forces.
The Gnostic emphasis on
Judeo-Christianity (which can now be extended to Islam) gives a
strategic advantage in the detection of alien influences, because
the patriarchal/Salvationist religions have dominated the historical
narrative on our planet. This dominance is symptomatic of Archontic
deviance, Gnostics said.
In a startling remark, Don Juan asserts ,
This remark recalls the Gnostic assertion that the Archons have no ennoia, no will of their own, no intentionality. Concentration might be defined as the coordination of attention and intention. To concentrate is to bring a certain depth of attention (Bythos) to intent (Ennoia).
In Gnostic teachings, Bythos and Ennoia are cosmic deities or principles of the Pleroma, the Wholeness, and they are also attributes of the human mind. They are symbolized as two spheres. To concentrate is to bring the two spheres together at a single, unifying point, a common center.
We do this constantly when we focus our attention upon a certain intention or goal, but the Archons are incapable of anything like this because they have,
They have no concentrating power, no innate faculty that would unite intention with attention. Human resistance to their intrusion depends on inner composure and mental discipline, the sobriety of the warrior.
Juan's counsels on the warrior's tests with the flyers seem to
present a Toltec version of Gnostic strategies for resisting the
The new sorcery introduced by Castaneda is an extension and make-over of traditional knowledge of the "old seers" of the Toltec tradition of ancient Mexico. It differs from the old sorcery largely in its lack of concern for intricate power-games, feuds, sinister pacts with non-human powers, and control over others. Its aim is freedom for the spiritual warrior, rather than control over anyone or anything.
Both in Toltec and Gnostic terms, the ultimate liberation for humanity may come through facing the alien predators. They are not here to advance or assist us, but in confronting and overcoming them we may gain a vital boost toward another level of consciousness.
Some points of commonality between Gnosticism and the Toltec-derived neo-shamanism of Castaneda are:
It would take an entire
book to develop these parallels at length. Three factors out of the
ten are of particular importance. These factors are the luminous
egg, the great bands of emanations, and the role of certain
inorganic beings as allies.
In several books we are told that the luminous egg surrounding a human being is attached to the physical body by an odd mechanism called the assemblage point. The location of the point is high behind the right shoulder.
Apparently, at that point in the
body, the luminous egg exerts a kind of pressure, forming a dimple
or depression. As long as the force of the egg stays in the dimple,
the assemblage point is stable and the human being perceives reality
in a predetermined way. By shifting the assemblage point, sorcerers
are able to change their perception of reality, or actually
deconstruct and reconstruct reality at will.
Isadorus' original work is lost, but it was paraphrased by another writer, Damascius, so a few faint indications of his teachings can be surmised. Isadorus is said to have described the augoeides, "golden aura," comparable to the luminous egg of Castaneda.
The nature and operation
of the augoiedes, also called the auric egg, was one of the deepest
secrets of the Mysteries. Apparently, a lost treatise of Isadorus
stated that the augoeides surrounds the human being like an oval
membrane, in such a way that the physical body floats in the oval.
This is precisely how Castaneda describes the luminous egg. The
Gnostic teacher also said that the luminous oval is connected or
locked into the physical body at a point in the back, high up on the
right shoulder blade.
(The sun is not of course a planet, but a star, the central body of the planetary system, and the moon is a satellite of the earth. In some ancient systems, these two bodies are excluded from the seven and replaced by the lunar nodes.)
This situation recalls Castaneda's description of the organic and inorganic structure of the "great bands of emanation" that compose the universe.
If we set the earth
apart from the other planets, the "seven inorganic bands" could well
be correlated to the "seven planets," known to be realms that do not
support organic life as the Earth does. Gnostics taught that the
earth does not belong to the planetary system, but is merely
captured in it. They called the planetary system apart from earth
the Hebdomad , the Sevenfold. This terminology may be compared to
the Gnostic description of the realm of the Archons, who are
inorganic beings. The "seven inorganic bands" in Castaneda's scheme
may be different language for the same model.
Castaneda indicate that the predatory entities come from these seven
bands, but the conclusion is obvious. He does say explicitly that
the flyers are inorganic beings, so the conclusion is not only
obvious but consistent with his syntax, his system of description.
A great deal of the activity described in Castaneda's work consists of forays into the other worlds contingent to ours.
These allies can be deviating or even deadly, but mastering them is one of the primary tasks of the new sorcery.
There are numerous
allies in the cosmos at large. According to many indigenous
traditions, earth is visited by many kinds of other-dimensional
beings who serve as allies and guides to humanity. The dark, shadowy
predator would seem to be a unique category of inorganic beings who
is perhaps not an ally at all, or else a particularly difficult ally
The old sorcerer also makes a striking comment on what might be gained from our encounter with these entities.
The parallels between Gnostic materials and the new Toltec sorcery of Carlos Castaneda are striking and present sobering insights on the human condition, if nothing else.
What can we do about the topic of topics, predation?
Significantly, he says will not, not can not. He also says that the alien predators are the way the universe tests us, as just noted.
follows that the intent to arrange our minds and lives so that the flyers/Archons are not willing to intrude on us is the capital
exercise, the primary test in progress for humanity.