To become able to love the Creator - we must learn firstly to
love the Creation.
All Contents on this page are Copyright 2004-2008 by Vladimir Antonov
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with Permission
About Russian Scientific School of Spiritual
and Modern Advanced Hesychasm
Peace to you!
The Scientific-Spiritual Ecological Center "Swami" from Saint Petersburg, Russia, greets you.
We are about 10 specialists, including two with the Ph.D. degree (in biology and physics), all others — with higher education. We carry out research, issue new books, create films, develop methods of spiritual self-perfection.
Our activity is scientific research. We have created a new branch of science — Methodology of Spiritual Development.
- a perfect system of psychic self-regulation (which uses chakras and basic meridians of the organism) is developed and published,
- historical experience of peoples of different countries and cultures is investigated and generalized in the field of religious concepts and practices,
- for the first time, the structure of multidimensional space is practically investigated and described in our books — from the position of scientists; on the published scheme a logical place of both the Abode of the Creator (loka of the Primordial Consciousness), the hell, and "the dark matter" (about which physicists speak now much) is found, also the evolutionary processes inside the Universal Consciousness are shown,
- the new scientific direction — Methodology of Spiritual Development> — is created; among other thing, "stairs" of methods of spiritual self-perfection consisting of many steps are developed, which allow worthy people to achieve a direct personal cognition of God and "dissolution" by the advanced consciousness in the Creator's Abode (loka of the Primordial Consciousness) in Mergence with Him,
- among our publications there are the following: the book Original Teachings of Jesus Christ (where His Teachings for the first time are systematized — with use of the apocryphal Gospels — on thematic sections), the apocryphal Gospel of Phillip in a literary form and with comments, a selection of the basic citations from Sathya Sai Baba's books, an analysis of the Juan Matus' Teachings (from Carlos Castaneda's publications), the Bhagavad Gita in a new competent wording of translation and with comments, and also other books published on this site,
- educational-methodological video films are created (see information about them on this site).
These materials have not only ecological, aesthetic, and ethical orientation, but also philosophical-religious one representing the methodological direction which can be defined as modern developed Hesychasm. It includes such methods of self-perfection as regulation of emotions (easily getting rid of negative emotions and stresses, finding steady inner joyful calm), and — what is the main thing — development of the spiritual heart.
The word hesychasm (from the Greek word hesychia) means inner calm. Hesychasts find it by means of particular methods and also by work on opening and growing the spiritual heart — the "organ" of spiritual love.
"God is Love!" — God teaches us. Therefore, to come closer to Him we have to develop ourselves as Love and, at the same time, rid ourselves of the ability to such emotional states of consciousness as anger, annoyance, egocentric desires, also complacency, arrogance, etc.
To become able to love the Creator — we have to learn to love the Creation first.
One unique feature of our spiritual work consists in finding best, optimal places on the surface of the Earth (places of power) for every principle kind of meditation. This allows traversing the stages of the spiritual Path most conveniently, effectively, quickly. We have hundreds of such places.
A "byproduct effect" of mastering the practical methods of this system is a complete recovering from virtually all diseases. And the result of full mastering of many steps and stages of all this "stairs", created by us under a direct guidance of God, is personal cognition of God and the opportunity of easy discussing with Him all vital problems and private questions.
Our films can be used as manuals in education in natural sciences: biology, ecology, philosophy, and in religious studies. They also will help any person (both an adult, and a child) — if to watch them even every day — for resting after work or study, for replacing negative emotions with positive. But the main thing — these films are the manuals for spiritual self-perfection.
Most brightly it is illustrated in the poem of one of the greatest Russian poets N.A.Nekrasov, which is published in the book Spiritual Heart: The Path to the Creator:
Light of dawn reflected in birch fresh leaves,
And they shone in this subtle sunlight of morning...
I love this Earth beyond all measure, with tears!
Everything is on my palms; I am caressing all the living!
I am cherishing trees, kissing leaves and blossoms,
Embracing them warmly to give Loving sensation!
So, love dear nature with all heart to its bottom,
Being aware that all of this is God's Creation!
The ecology is a science about mutual relationships of an organism with its environment. It includes researches in such directions as ethics of mutual relationships of people among themselves, relationships of people — with other beings, also problems of nurtrition, some medical aspects of life, and also mutual relationships of a person with God.
And all ecological contacts of each advanced person can become spiritualized.
In particular, upbringing the young generation we shall provide with this knowledge and principles the most significant contribution to revival of the society as a whole — if to look in prospect. Let children grow, being guided by the true knowledge of God, Evolution, the meaning of our lives, the structure of our organisms, and about our human opportunities — instead of being confused between ideologies of atheism and variations of belief.
In our books and films
- We explain to all people in a simple language the true meaning of our lives and the ways of it realization. And, in fact, the understanding of it is a radical way of struggling against drug addiction, alcoholism, against suicides, aggressiveness and criminality, mental frustration and diseases, many conflicts between people — on interpersonal and international scales,
- We promote the ideas of careful, harmonious relationships with nature,
- An important part in our program of self-perfection is played by meditative training on natural zones on the surface of the Earth, which are of energetical significance for man (places of power); the emphasis is put on "opening" and development of spiritual heart — the bioenergetic "organ" responsible for production of the emotions of love (certainly, not in the sexual sense of this word); we consider this work, as it was said above, a development and scientific representation of the ancient Christian tradition known under the term Hesychasm; self-perfection with use of these methods results, in particular, in radical improvement of the health.
The main line of our work, as it was already said, is the methodology of spiritual development. We, for the first time in the history, formulated in quite simple and clear language the essence of the nature of God, of the meaning of our lives and lives of all other beings — as participants of Great Universal Evolutionary Process. Also the structure of the Absolute and all "stairs" of techniques of spiritual development, which lead to the direct cognition of the Creator, was described. Thus our wide experience of spiritual help to people and observation of the efforts and mistakes of other people in this direction — allowed us to describe a set of nuances of spiritual advancement and features of teaching, and also to differentiate precisely between true spiritual Schools and directions — and false sects.
All this was done for the first time. It was possible to do thanks to, first of all, a direct guidance of God. The manuals created by us (books and films) suit to people of very different levels of development: everyone may take from them what he or she is capable to contain now. We have helped to find the Way to ethical purity, to spiritual perfection, to God — very many Russians. Some our books are translated from Russian — into a number of other languages, they are published in press and in the Internet — and serve people of many other countries. We carry out active help to people of all planet through the Internet, informing about the results of our researches, helping by consulting spiritual seekers and teachers. We have a lot of thanks for the materials of our web site — from experts of some countries, first of all, USA and Canada.
Our activity could be much more successful if we would have:
- The opportunity to distribute our knowledge on the scale of the whole planet — through republishing our books, showing our films on TV of different countries,
- A base for preparation — internationally — specialists in modern Hesychasm who could assist then other people in "opening" their spiritual hearts and in spiritual growth on the principles and with the help of the methods of spiritual ecology.
- A financial opportunity for organizing our trips to other countries with the purpose of transferring our experience to foreign colleagues,
- Any forms of material support (now — during years — we have no those at all).
With best regards,
Vladimir Antonov, Ph.D. (in Biology), Russia, and collaborators
E-mail: [email protected]
A lecture by V.Antonov, Translated by T. Danilevich
Now we are going to deal with a very interesting ecological phenomenon
having great significance for spiritual work. This is so called "places of
The given term initially appeared in speech of Juan Matus whose
teaching will be dealt with in one of my next talks.
"Places of power" are geographical zones, sometimes large, sometimes
small, possessing energy fields that are of importance for people.
It should be noted at the beginning that there exists a similar and
sometimes closely related phenomenon-energy fields created by plants and
technical devices (transformers, electric wires of high voltage and so
"Places of power" may be found on the surface of earth, underground
(for example, in metro), above it, as well as by water reservoirs.
The nature of major part of "places of power" can be explained as
follows. Earth (as a planet) is a multidimensional structure. In it there
exist all manifestations of multidimensional space - from the rude
physical plane up to the plane of Ishvara. Depending on structure of
crystalline grate of Earth as a whole or of separate parts of its crust,
energy fields of these or those space dimensions may dominate in certain
places or, the other way round, may be weaker. So some "places of power"
look like "holes" in dense space dimensions "filled" with the energy of
this or that thin layer of energy. There are also "places of power" where
in such a way are manifested even the supreme space dimensions - there
Brahman or Ishvara dominate.
According to Juan Matus "places of power" are divided into positive and
negative ones. To the first ones belong places that give their energy away
to people, to the latter - places taking it away. However our experience
reveal that the first ones are not necessarily favorable and the latter -
unfavorable. For example, there are "places of power" that "suck out" the
energy and that can be used for purging organism from rude, pathogenic
energies that is for healing. And vice versa, some "places of power"
possessing an excess of energy may be detrimental rather than beneficial
in case their energy is rude or contains undesirable informative
characteristics, inducing, for instance, alarm, depression and so on.
That is why it is better to subdivide "places of power" into positive
and negative according to the criterion of their emotional evaluation. In
this case places with excess of unfavorable energies will belong to the
group of negative "places of power". But one should keep in mind that this
criterion is also relative. So, places with rude energies may prove useful
It is necessary to point out that lately some authors sometimes try to
define "places of power" through the terms "abnormal" or "geo-pathogenic"
zones. This is not right. They are not "abnormal" that is "incorrect". And
all the more the term "pathogenic" zones that is "zones, inherent to
Earth, causing illnesses" does not fit all "places of power".
"Places of power" can, in principle, be found with the help of dowsing
rods and pendulums. But, unlike developed consciousness they provide very
poor impression of this phenomenon. With the help of a dowsing rod or
pendulum one can only say, that here is a "place of power", that "there is
something over here". Biolocation method in the given case is akin to the
situation where a poor-sighted person defines whether it is light or dark
here. But a person with normal vision perceives the whole gamut of colors,
and not only colors, but also emotional quality of their combinations and
iridescence, he sees their life. That is the difference between
mechanical, through devices, determination of energy gradients
accompanying "places of power" and their perception directly with one's
own organism through attunement of one's developed consciousness with
their multidimensional manifestations.
"Places of power" are, truly, most varied.
There are such ones that selectively activate anahata or vishudha, or
jen-mo meridian, granting us bliss.
While there are those that bring about "hypertrophied" feeling of one's
"I" bloated and arrogant.
There are also such places that produce "groundless" joy, laughter in
everyone present there.
Also there exist those that devastate people energetically which can
result in "deadly" tiredness and diseases, if one settles there to live or
just to take a rest.
While at the expense of other places it is possible to heal oneself and
to restore one's strength.
Still other "places of power" generate alarm, fear. A person who is
aware of the reason just makes a few steps backwards. But an ignorant one
can easily become a prey to mystical dread.
There also exist places that cause aggressiveness, a state of "drunken
animosity". And so forth.
So we see that this knowledge can make the life of each of us easier
while ignorance can result in a lot of unnecessary hardships.
Knowledge allows to use favorably negative "places of power" as well.
One example was given above. There is another one. The place of
"loneliness and anguish" we used in our work to know the state of being
solitary. Not loneliness of one's being separated from other people but a
state of being alone in the whole Universe before God - that is detachment
from everything earthly when I remain with Him in private in the Ocean of
In such a way negative "places of power" can be subdivided into two
- taking energy away;
- creating undesirable (in usual conditions) psychic states.
Now - concerning the variants of positive "places of power".
The first group compose the "places of power" containing the excess of
favorable energy which they give away to people easily. This energy can be
more rude in one case and subtler in another. Sometimes the narrow range
of energies dominates which differs along the criterion of
"subtlety-rudeness", sometimes the wide range dominates. Energy, which is
not sufficiently subtle, can be used by means of passing it along
"microcosmic orbit" and sublimating it in such a way into subtler
energies. As to filling one's organism with subtle energies this can be
done through "crystallization". That is "crystallization" can be performed
not only at the expense of energy extracted from food, but also getting it
directly from space at the "places of power".
The second group of positive "places of power" compose those that
activate some energy structure of organism (chakra, meridian and others),
creating thus a certain state of emotional sphere.
In the third group there are "places of power" giving this or that form
to consciousness (or, in words of Juan Matus, shifting the location of
"assemblage point"). This quality of theirs allows to train mobility,
"elasticity" of consciousness developing it, as well as train sensing
oneself to be consciousness - active and strong.
"Places of power" of the fourth group transfer consciousness (provided
it is sufficiently developed) into this or that space dimension. This is
also a kind of gymnastics for consciousness. Juan Matus said that prior to
starting a really big, serious work, an adept has to preliminarily to
transfer the "assemblage point" tens of thousands times. Consciousness
must become mobile, easily flowing along the whole scale of "emanations
range" within multidimensional space, be able of acting at any distances.
This is what "crystallized" consciousness is.
Into the fifth group such "places of power" can be included that
imprint in themselves a state of a person (or people). Such are, for
instance, "places of power" formed in places of meditations or on the
graves of highly advanced in spirituality people.
"Places of power" exist everywhere. I came across them in Moscow, St.
Petersburg, Warsaw, Prague, in towns, in the woods, on swamps, in
A question naturally arises: how can one find them by himself?
The first thing required for this is to take consciousness out of the
head; mind must be silent.
Secondly, we must search for God at this time, the Path to Him rather
than solve earthly problems.
Thirdly, at the outset of this practice the following technique may
prove to be helpful. One should feel himself to be clad in wide,
bell-formed skirts, which start right from the neck. Then one has to fill
the whole of the space under this skirt by himself. Draw your head into
there. And in this state roll easily along the surface of Earth, among
fields, meadows, woods... Feel Earth...
This is it - a wonderful lesson in ecology of multidimensional space!
The Teachings of Don Juan Matus
by Vladimir Antonov
Translated from Russian by Mikhail Nikolenko and Tatiana Danilevich
© Antonov V.V., 2007
The Teachings of Juan Matus were described in detail by Carlos Castaneda — our contemporary from Los Angeles. His books known to us were published in the period from 1966 to 1987. We also know the book by D.C.Noel Seeing Castaneda, which contains interviews with him.
It must be noted right away that in his books Castaneda describes the period of his relationship with don Juan that lasted for about three decades. Over this period, it was not only Castaneda who advanced in his development but also don Juan himself. Reading Castaneda's books, one can see both the early and the later personal spiritual quest of don Juan, which was not free from mistakes. This is why the spiritual concept of the School must be evaluated not based on what don Juan spoke and did over these decades, but on what he attained by the end of his earthly life.
So, the future author of bestsellers about the School of Juan Matus, Carlos Castaneda was an undergraduate student of a university in USA, majoring in anthropology. He had to collect material for his thesis, so he went to Mexico to study the experience of Indians in using medicinal and psychotropic plants. Upon arrival to Mexico, he started searching for people competent in this issue. He was introduced to an Indian, whose name was Juan Matus and who agreed to provide Castaneda with the data he needed free of charge.
So, they got acquainted, and their joint work began. In due course, Castaneda discovered that don Juan possessed the knowledge not only about the qualities of plants but also about the ancient art of Toltec Indians' sorcery. Moreover, don Juan turned out to be a sorcerer himself. For the first time in his life, Castaneda came across phenomena that were absolutely beyond the scope of his usual secular and religious notions. For example, it turned out that lizards could speak with human voices, people could fly with their bodies, extract various things "out of nowhere", and so on. Castaneda found himself captivated by all these and interested as a scientist in this, new for him, area of knowledge.
Once don Juan invited Castaneda to a meeting where his associates were taking self-made psychedelics. Castaneda tried them as well. And then happened that which for the first time made don Juan to view Castaneda as a promising disciple.
Don Juan was a mystic, and he perceived the whole world in a mystical way. In particular, he attached great importance to so-called signs coming to him from the separate reality.
It happened that Castaneda, upon swallowing a few pills of peyote, started playing a strange game with a dog. They began to urinate on each other... It was the dog's behavior, absolutely unusual for a dog, that was of significance there. It was interpreted by don Juan as a sign from God (Who was called the Power in this School) indicating the significance of non-Indian Castaneda for the School. Since that moment, Castaneda became a member of the party (that is, the group) of don Juan's disciples. And don Juan started to initiate him gradually into the secret knowledge of his School.
So what was the conceptual outlook of the School?
The universe consists of two "parallel" worlds; the first of them is called the tonal (that is, the world of material things) and the second — the nagual (the non-material world).
We communicate with the world of matter through the so-called first attention, i.e. that carried out through the organs of sense of the physical body.
To become able of cognizing the nagual, one has to develop the second attention, that is, clairvoyance.
There is also the third attention, by means of which one perceives the Creator and His Manifestation, which don Juan referred to as the Fire.
According to the mythology shared by don Juan's predecessors, the world is governed by the universal divine Eagle. This was their concept of God. However fantastic it seems, it is monotheistic.
This Eagle feeds on souls that leave human bodies. But the Eagle also confers the chance on some people to "skip" past His beak after death and to achieve immortality, provided that during the life in the body they acquired skills necessary for this, developed themselves as consciousnesses to the required degree, and gained the required power.
This concept contained a frightening element, which was supposed to force a person to make efforts on self-perfection. But, like Jesus Christ, don Juan strongly opposed this attitude toward God, which was based on fear. He said that in order to approach God, one has to take the path of heart — that is the path of Love. It is interesting that don Juan came to this understanding independently of the influence of other spiritual traditions. He was not familiar with the Teachings of either Krishna or Jesus Christ, nor has he ever read Sufi or Taoist books. It is evident that he did not read the New Testament; otherwise he would quote it for sure.
A person resolved to achieve immortality, first, has to become a "hunter". Not a hunter who kills game, but that for knowledge, who walks the path of heart — caring, loving both the Earth and beings that live on it.
Having mastered the stage of spiritual "hunter", he can become a spiritual "warrior" — that is the one who "traces" Power (God), striving to "stalk" and cognize It.
Don Juan often taught Castaneda and his other apprentices when they walked in the desert and in the mountains — in most natural conditions of direct contact with the world that surrounds us.
For instance, once they caught a wild rabbit. Don Juan knew that the life of this rabbit on the Earth was coming to an end, according to its destiny. And he suggested that Castaneda killed this rabbit with his own hands. Castaneda exclaimed, "I cannot do this!" Don Juan objected, "But you have killed animals before!" Castaneda replied, "But I killed them with my rifle, from a distance, without having to see them die..."
Castaneda refused to commit killing; for the first time he thought about his ethic right to do this, about the suffering of the creature being killed.
However, the rabbit died by itself before Castaneda's eyes, because the time of its stay on the Earth had really run out.
Once don Juan and Castaneda were walking down the street and saw a snail crossing the road. And don Juan used this example to explain the philosophy of the role of a person in the destinies of other creatures.
In such a way Castaneda, who at the beginning was very proud of his being a learned and civilized person, became increasingly convinced that true wisdom belongs not to him, but to this old Indian, a great spiritual Seeker and Teacher, who lived the life of a hunter and a warrior in harmony with the world around him.
... After his disciples had mastered the basics of ethics and wisdom, don Juan would proceed to teaching them psychoenergetical methods.
It should be noted here that only a very limited number of students were accepted into the don Juan's School. The criterion of selection was the level of development of the energy structures of the organism — the chakras. Of course, Indians did not use such words as chakras and dantyans. But they spoke of segments in the energy cocoon of man. And only disciples with developed chakras were considered to be promising and able to withstand on the path of a hunter and warrior.
So, those enrolled in the School had a big experience in psychoenergetical work acquired in their previous lives on the Earth. That is, they were ready for serious work from the psychoenergetical standpoint.
This allowed them to start psychoenergetical training not with cleansing and development of the meridians and chakras, but immediately with development of the main power structure of the organism — hara (the lower dantyan).
When the work with hara was completed, the next stage followed: the division of the cocoon into two parts: the upper and the lower bubbles of perception. It is from these bubbles that one perceives the tonal and the nagual, respectively.
Division of the cocoon into two bubbles of perception was regarded as an important transitional step toward further stages of psychoenergetical self-perfection. One had to master concentration of the consciousness in both "poles" of the cocoon divided in such a way.
Then, further work was performed in order to develop the lower bubble of perception. But it was started only after the consciousness had been properly refined, or, as it was called in the don Juan's School, after the luminosity of the cocoon had been cleansed.
That is, as in all other advanced spiritual Schools, the techniques aimed at the refinement of consciousness preceded the large-scale process of its crystallization. However, Castaneda does not describe the methods of "cleansing the luminosity" except the one, which can be viewed only as a joke, namely — inhaling the smoke of a fire.
Thanks to the refinement of consciousness and the work with the lower bubble of perception, disciples attained the state of Nirvana (though, they did not use this term). First, they mastered the static variation of Nirvana in Brahman, and after this — the dynamic one.
Once don Juan slapped Castaneda on the back with his hand (he often used this technique to shift the assemblage point, that is the zone of distribution of disciple's consciousness) — and Castaneda, prepared for this by preceding exercises, entered the static variation of Nirvana in one of the Brahmanic states. At that moment, he for the first time experienced the state of deep peace; for the first time he perceived God; he perceived that God is Love indeed...
But suddenly he heard the voice of don Juan saying that this state was, though fine, — not that to which he had to aspire now. You have to advance further! Do not think that this is the limit of your abilities... With these words don Juan suggested to Castaneda, who had cognized the supreme bliss of Nirvana, not to "get attached" to this bliss, but to keep on going further... At first, Castaneda felt offended and angry with don Juan, but the latter was unbending: one must advance further!...
And what is further? It is the dynamic aspect of Nirvana when the crystallized consciousness acts in the subtle eons. In this state, one can touch with the consciousness any being within the Earth and around it; in order to do this, one needs just to have information about this being.
Then the disciples of Juan Matus mastered the state of Nirodhi, known in all developed Schools of buddhi yoga. Don Juan described this state also in endemic terms specific to his School. Disciples were taught that there exist energy waves, which constantly roll on all living creatures and from which we are shielded by our cocoons. And that one can use the power of these waves for transferring oneself with their help into unknown worlds. These unknown worlds are other spatial dimensions. To make it happen, one has to allow the rolling force to flood the cocoon. Then one turns into "nothing"; one's "I" dies.
It is only after attaining the state of disappearance in Brahman that it became possible to cognize Ishvara — and to disappear in Him forever, having conquered death. That is, as don Juan understood, one must not "skip past the Eagle's beak" but to merge into the universal God-Power.
It should be noted that with the help of the Fire it is possible to master dematerialization of the physical body. Juan Matus and his companions performed this.
... So, we have considered the principal stages of work in the buddhi yoga School of Juan Matus. They turn out to be common for all Schools of buddhi yoga, regardless of the location of these Schools on the Earth's surface or whether they are connected with each other or not, and regardless the languages spoken in these Schools and the terms used in them. It is so due to the fact that God guides the people who devoted their lives to Him according to the same laws of spiritual development.
And now, let us consider in more detail the specific methods of work in the School of Juan Matus, which have been described by Castaneda and which we can apply to ourselves.
They can be divided into two groups: preliminary and basic ones.
The first of the preliminary methods is the recapitulation. In essence, this is the same as repentance, which is one of the major practices in all major religions. Disciples had to recall — mainly in seclusion that lasted for several days — all the mistakes they had made in their lives, and to re-live those situations anew, this time correctly. So that disciples be more "interested" in this very hard work, they were told that during recapitulation they regain the energy wasted as a result of their incorrect emotional reactions. The quality of the penitential work did not deteriorate because of this trick, since its major goal — to learn to react in the ethically correct way and to avoid sinning — was achieved with due efforts.
They also had to destroy the feeling of self-importance and self-pity — since these qualities result in tremendous waste of one's personal energy. Indeed, if one views oneself very important and someone else encroaches on this importance with their disrespectful attitude, one reacts with emotional outburst of resentment, anger, and so forth. In this process, the energy of the organism is intensively wasted.
Here is an interesting fact of the Castaneda's biography: when his study in don Juan's School came to an end, he and his closest companion, la Gorda — though Castaneda became a millionaire thanks to his books and could live a life free from material concerns — in spite of this, he and la Gords got hired under different names as servants to a rich man and suffered humiliations from rudeness and treachery of other servants. They resorted to this in order to destroy completely the feeling of self-importance, to erase from their memories their own "personal history"— so that to attain humility. Since everything that happens to the warrior on the physical plane, as Castaneda put it, does not matter; the only thing that matters is the state of the consciousness.
And it is of no importance indeed, compared to the Supreme Goal! That which is of principal importance is the ability to be naught, the ability not to defend yourself when someone is unjust to you, but to be protected — so taught don Juan. And the state of being protected comes only when "there is no myself", when there is only God.
One of the most essential preparatory elements of the work in the School of Juan Matus was "sweeping of the tonal", which is called observance of aparigraha in the ethics of Hindu yoga.
We have already mentioned wise don Juan's ability to explain the most complicated philosophical matters in an easy to understand manner using natural examples from the everyday life. He did it, for example, when explaining this principle to his disciples.
Once don Juan assembled the disciples, took a sack and put into it a radio, a tape recorder, and several other things that he found in the house of one of the disciples. Then he gave this sack to one disciple to carry, gave a table to another disciple to carry, and took them to the mountains. In the middle of a valley, he told them to put the table down and emptied the contents of the sack onto it. Then he took the disciples at some distance from the table and asked them what they see?
They told that they see a radio ... and so on and so forth...
Then don Juan came to the table and whisked everything off it. "Take another look and tell me what do you see now?", he said. Only then the disciples understood don Juan: he wanted them to see not only the things on the table, but the table itself and more — the space around the table. But the things on the table prevented disciples from seeing this by drawing the attention to themselves.
In this way don Juan demonstrated to his disciples that in order to cognize the nagual, and then — God, one has to cleanse the tonal around oneself.
Perhaps, it is appropriate to recall the example of observance of the same principle in the history of Christianity: monks had in their cells, beside icons and a few books, a coffin, in which they slept — so that to constantly remember of the inevitable death, which urges those who remember about it to intensify their spiritual efforts.
Also, don Juan taught to destroy stiff patterns of material life, as for instance, strict observance of one's routines. For what purpose? In order to attain freedom. The destruction of unreasonable patterns of behavior, thinking, and reacting, instilled in us in the process of our upbringing, must result in the "loss of the human form", that is, in attaining the state when we learn to act not according to our reflexes or because it is customary to act so, but in accordance with advisability. The "loss of the human form" is not a short-term mechanic action, as some disciples of don Juan fantasized, but a prolonged process, accompanying the man's gradual approaching God. This process comes to an end when the seeker learns to look at all situations with the eyes of the Creator.
But attaining the "loss of the human form" does not mean that man starts to behave "not like everyone else" in the society, because, first, inevitable conflicts with other people would prevent him from fulfilling his main duty. Second, the conduct, which is "defiant" by form, in many cases turns out to be a breach of the basic laws of objective ethics — the non-harming of other living beings. This is why disciples were prescribed to observe conventional norms of behavior, sometimes secretly ridiculing them and resorting to the so-called "controlled folly".
To illustrate this, don Juan once astounded Castaneda by taking off his usual Indian garment and putting on an immaculate modern suit for his trip to the town!
In connection with this, don Juan also taught his disciples to talk to people in the language people can understand. For example, once he and Castaneda were sitting on a bench near a church and saw how two not very old ladies came out from the church and hesitate about descending a few steps. Then don Juan came and helped them to go down, and advised them that if they fall, they should not move until the doctor arrives. The ladies were sincerely grateful to him for this advice.
The next very important methodical technique is remembering about one's own death.
The majority of people today are accustomed to banishing the thought of their death. And even when we come across the facts of other people passing away, we never try to imagine ourselves in their place. We assure ourselves that even if this is going to happen to us, it is a very long time ahead.
If each of us asks oneself now: "When will I die?" — the dates will be very distant, though theoretically everyone knows that people die at any age.
So, don Juan suggested that we imagine that our personified death is always with us. And if one looks quickly back over the left shoulder, then it is possible to catch a glimpse of the death. "At that moment, death is sitting next to you on the same mat, waiting for your mistake", he said to Castaneda. And no one is aware of the moment when he or she is going to die; this is why we should not have any unfinished works.
Let me cite these remarkable words of don Juan, for it is one of his best theoretical developments:
"... How can anyone feel so important when we know that death is stalking us?
"... The thing to do when you are impatient is turn to your left and ask advice from your death. An immense amount of pettiness is dropped if your death makes a gesture to you, or if you catch a glimpse of it, or if you just have the feeling that your companion is there watching you.
"Death is a wise adviser that we have... One... has to ask death's advice and drop the cursed pettiness that belongs to men that live their lives as if death will never tap them!
"If you do not think of your death, all your life will be just personal chaos!
"(The warrior) knows his death is stalking him and won't give him time to cling to anything... And thus with an awareness of his death,... and with the power of his decisions a warrior sets his life in a strategic manner... and what he chooses is always strategically the best; and so he performs everything he has to with gusto and lusty efficiency!
"Life for a warrior is an exercise in strategy.
"Without the awareness of death everything is ordinary, trivial. It is only because death is stalking us that the world is an unfathomable mystery.
"You have little time and no time for crap. A wonderful state! The best of us always comes out when we are against the wall, when we feel the sword dangling overhead. ...I wouldn't have it any other way."
Another important aspect of the work with disciples was mastering the mental pause or, in other words, stoppage of "inner dialogue" (the first term is preferable because besides "inner dialogues" there are also "inner monologues").
This is an absolutely necessary prerequisite for mastering the nagual, because the nagual is mastered by means of meditation, and meditation, as Rajneesh put it nicely, is the state of non-mind. That is, to learn to immerse the consciousness into the nagual, one has to learn to stop, to switch off the mind.
For the purpose of attaining the mental pause, don Juan used the following techniques:
1. Psychedelics. It should be noted, however, that don Juan used this method only in the very beginning of their joint work, and later on he gave it up. Second, Castaneda complained afterwards that though he was immensely grateful to don Juan for everything that he had done for him, but nonetheless his (Castaneda's) liver was still marked with scars. Hence, it is absolutely unadvisable to follow this example as to using psychedelics. All the more, there is other, far more effective and harmless means of mastering the mental pause at our disposal.
2. "Gazing". One had to look at some object for a long time and in fixed manner, for example, at a ravine, flowing water, and so on. As a result, the first attention got exhausted and switched off leaving room for the second attention.
3. Prolonged suspension of one's body on devices like a swing.
The training mentioned above resulted in attaining the state that in Chinese yoga is called wu-wei — non-doing, that is non-doing on the physical plane, when the mind (manas) stops, and we get the opportunity for directed meditation, for activity of the buddhi. Manas and buddhi are in reciprocal relations: they cannot act simultaneously; at any point in time only one of them operates. (That does not mean that a person without a body or in the state of meditation loses reason. No. A developed crystallized consciousness thinks. But it thinks in another way, not in the "earthly" manner).
Another unique technique that was developed in this School by don Juan's predecessors is intentional interaction with people-tyrants. The technique was employed for attainment of "impeccability of warrior", that is the ability to follow ethical principles and adhere to strategy of objectively valid behavior in situations of urgency. Some time in the past don Juan himself was sent by his teacher to a fierce foreman-tyrant for such training. In Mexico such people were considered very rare, and to find one was regarded a big luck by warriors.
... Now let us list the methods of psychoenergetical work used in the don Juan's School:
1. Cleansing of the inner luminosity (i.e. the refinement of consciousness).
2. Use of places of power — energetically significant zones favorable for mastering particular meditations.
3. Dreaming given much attention in the work of the School. What is it? Many people, having read Castaneda's books, try to use their night sleep for this purpose without success. No, this is not the way it must be done. Dreaming is a synonym of the word meditation. Due to being unfamiliar with the terms commonly accepted in other countries, Central American Indians had to find their own words to denote techniques, phenomena, and objects of spiritual practice. This is how the term dreaming was born, since meditative images sometimes really bear similarity to the images one sees in dreams.
Special training in dreaming allowed the disciples, in the state of being detached from the body, to run on the walls, to climb along energy beams (the lines of the world), and so on.
4. Learning to act in extreme magic situations, created by the preceptor on purpose. For this purpose, ethical vices of disciples were used. For example, when a disciple still had an inclination toward selfish attacks on other people, he was suggested to take part in a deliberately losing magic fight, which turned out beneficial for all its participants.
5. The technique of shifting the assemblage point as a result of energetic impact of the preceptor (this was called the nagual's blow; the term nagual had another meaning in this case: a leader who has mastered the nagual and is capable of acting in it and from it).
6. Practice of meditative leveling-off of the energetic emanations inside the cocoon in accordance with outer emanations of the highest spatial dimensions.
7. Work with hara aimed at development of the power aspect.
8. Use of allies (that is, spirits). This was done in two variants.
The first one — "taming" of spirits who had to, according to the plan, become assistants and protectors of the sorcerer. Both don Juan and his friend Genaro had such allies in the beginning of their spiritual quest.
But everyone must be warned that this is an erroneous and dangerous practice, which we in no way should try imitating. By the way, both don Juan and Genaro gave up this practice later on.
The other variant of the work with allies consisted in hunting them. No wonder that such tendency was invented by Indians who lived in a constant contact with wildlife. So, disciples were told that at some moment they were sure to come across some ally in the male human form who would challenge them to a combat. One can lose in this combat, giving way to fear, or one can win. In the latter case, the warrior acquires the power of that spirit.
And disciples prepared themselves for such a fight, which could take place any moment, by developing alertness (readiness) and other necessary qualities of warriors.
On the basis of this educational game, disciples performed, in particular, the work on development the lower bubble of perception.
... To sum up the above said, let us consider the basic aspects of these Teachings, which are exceptionally rich of most valuable theoretical and practical elements.
Don Juan pointed out three directions in the Teachings: a) the art of stalking, b) the art of intent, and c) the art of consciousness.
In the history of this Indian spiritual tradition, the art of stalking initially consisted in the ability to sneak, to stalk unnoticed among the people who do not understand you (that is, people of lower stages of psychogenesis) — and to achieve your Goal.
But later on, owing, in particular, to personal contribution of don Juan, this trend was significantly expanded and included also the stalking of one's own vices. We have discussed this enough. Let me just quote one brilliant formula, given by don Juan: God (in his parlance, Power) provides according to our impeccability. That is, God gives us an opportunity to approach Him, to immerse into increasing happiness of Mergence with Him — as we perfect ourselves ethically.
The second section — the art of intent. Intent, in this context, is the same as aspiration to the Supreme Goal. A true warrior, in don Juan's meaning of this word, is a person with the correctly developed intent.
The lifestyle of the warrior brought him or her to the "totality" of himself/herself, that is to the state of being "non-split" regarding the major and the minor things, the "integrity" in devoting oneself only to the Supreme Goal.
The third aspect is the art of consciousness — it is what buddhi yoga is.
So, we could see once again, that God leads all people who have attained a certain level of maturity in their psychogenesis, irrespective of the country and religious culture they live in, using the common methodological pattern. We should study these principles and trends and apply them to ourselves and to the people who follow us.
See more on this subject at www.native-american-spirituality.info.
Carlos Castaneda - The Teaching of Don Juan. N.Y., "Pocket books",
Carlos Castaneda - A Separate Reality. N.Y., "Pocket books", 1973.
Carlos Castaneda - Journey to Ixtlan. N.Y., "Pocket books", 1976.
Carlos Castaneda - Tales of Power. N.Y., "Pocket books", 1978.
Carlos Castaneda - The Second Ring of Power. N.Y., "Pocket books",
Carlos Castaneda - The Eagle's Gift. N.Y. "Pocket books", ", 1982.
Carlos Castaneda - The Fire From Within. N.Y. "Simon & Schuster",
Carlos Castaneda - The Power of Silence. N.Y. "Simon & Schuster",
Noel D.C. - Seeing Castaneda: Reactions to the "Don Juan" Writings of
Carlos Castaneda. N.Y., "Putnam", 1976.
Uspensky P.D. - In Search of the Miraculous. N.Y. "Harcourt", 1949.
Spiritual Practices: Training Aid
by Vladimir Antonov (Author)
In this book the author expounds a system of
practical methods of the spiritual self-perfection: starting from
the entry level up to the highest ones, which lead to the complete
spiritual Self-Realization through cognizing God in His Abode and
Merging with Him. The book is addressed to those who want to know
and to realize the meaning of their lives, to attain the ultimate
happiness, to find God, and to immerse in the Embraces of His
Copyright © 2004 by Vladimir Antonov
All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with Permission