“The Power of Silence” Carlos Castanda – Quotable Quotes

During our active lives we never have the chance to go beyond the level of mere preoccupation, because since time immemorial the lull of daily affairs has made us drowsy. It is only when our lives are nearly over that our hereditary preoccupation with fate beings to take on different character. It begins to make us see through the fog of our daily affairs. Unfortunately, this awakening always comes hand in hand with loss of energy caused by aging, when we have no more strength left to turn our preoccupation into a pragmatic and positive discovery. At this point, all there is left is an amorphous, piercing, anguish, a longing for something indescribable, and simple anger at having missed out.

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Perception is the hinge for everything man is or does and the perception is ruled by the location of the assemblage point. Therefore, if the point changes positions, man’s perception of the world changes accordingly. One who knew where to place his assemblage point could become anything he wanted.

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Transformations were strategical. They are determined by the need of time.

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I was young and stupid that only the obvious had value for me.

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Wisdom always comes to us painfully and in driblets.

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Plans of action is appropriate only if one were dealing with average human beings. In the human context, we can plan and plot and depending on luck, plus our cunning and dedication can succeed. But in the face of the unknown, the only hope of survival was to acquiesce and understand.

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Stalking was an art applicable to everything and that there were four steps to learning it; ruthlessness, cunning, patience and sweetness. And ruthlessness should not be harshness, cunning should not be cruelty, patience should not be negligence and sweetness should not be foolishness. And these four steps should be practiced and perfected until they were so smooth that they were unnoticeable.

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Women are natural stalkers. And only in a woman’s disguise could any man learn the art of stalking it is about being ruthless but charming, cunning but nice, patient but active, and sweet but lethal.

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People have no idea of the strange power we carry within ourselves. At this moment for instance you have the means to reach infinity.

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Words are tremendously powerful and important and are the magical property of whoever has them.

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The very first principle of stalking is that a warrior stalks himself. He stalks himself ruthlessly, cunningly, patiently and sweetly. Very succinctly stalking is the art of using behavior in novel ways for specific purposes. Normal human behavior in the world of everyday life is routine. Any behavior that broke from routine caused an unusual effect on our total being. The unusual effect was what sorcerers sought because it was cumulative.  The seers of ancient times, through their seeing, had first noticed that unusual behavior produced a tremor in the assemblage point. And if unusual behavior was practiced systematically and directed wisely, it eventually forced the assemblage point to move.

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The real challenge for those sorcerer seers, was finding a system of behavior that was neither petty nor capricious, but that combined the morality and the sense of beauty which differentiates seers from witches.

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Heightened awareness – what would the survival value be. Would one be able to assess the situations better? Be quicker than the average man or perhaps be intelligent? Heightened awareness was the entrance to the portal of intent.

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The knowledge was there for everyone. It was there to be felt, to be used but not to be explained. One could come into it by changing levels of awareness and therefore heightened awareness was entrance. But even the entrance could not be explained. One could only make use of it. The natural knowledge of intent was available to anyone, but command of it belonged to those who probed it.

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Thinking and saying exactly what you want to say requires untold amounts of energy.

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Cutting our chains is marvelous, but also very undesirable for nobody wants to be free. The chains imprison us, but by keeping us pinned down on our comfortable spot of self reflection, they defend us from the onslaughts of the unknown. Once our chains are cut we are no longer bound by the concerns of daily world. We are still in the daily world, but wo don’t belong there anymore. In order to belong we must share the concerns of people and without chains we can’t.

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Normal people share a metaphorical dagger; the concerns of our self-reflection. With this dagger, we cut ourselves and bleed; and the job of our chains of self-reflection is to give us the feeling that we are bleeding together, that we are sharing something wonderful; our humanity. But if we were to examine it, we would discover that we are bleeding alone; that we are not sharing anything; that all we are doing is toying with our manageable, unreal, manmade reflection. Seers are no longer in the world of daily affairs for they are no longer prey to their self reflection.

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Extraordinary perception, seeing occurs when by the force of intent a different cluster of energy fields energizes and lights up both within us and outside us. And awareness takes place when the energy fields inside us were aligned with the same energy fields outside. Thu alignment of energy sources is the source of heightened awareness. Awareness was the glow of energy fields being lighten up and the force that did that is called will.

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Our great collective flaw is that we live our lives completely disregarding that connection. The busyness our lives, our relentless interests, concerns, hopes, frustrations and fears take precedence and on a day to day basis we are unaware of being linked to everything else.

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It did not matter what out specific fate is as long as we faced it with ultimate abandon. If we had to go under it should be fighting, not apologizing or feeling sorry for oneself.

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Stalking is a procedure, a special behavior that  is secretive furtive, deceptive and is designed to deliver a jolt. And when you stalk yourself your jolt yourself using your own behavior in a ruthless, cunning way.

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The idea of death is of monumental importance in life. The knowledge of our impending and unavoidable end is what gives us sobriety. Our most costly mistake as average men are indulging in a sense of immortality it is as thought we believe that if we don’t think about death we can protect ourselves from it. Not thinking about death certainly protects us from worrying about it but that purpose is an unworthy one for average man a travesty for seers. Without a clear view of death, there is no order, no sobriety, no beauty.  This crucial insight is needed to help us realise that the life will continue beyond the moment. This realisation gives one the courage to be patient and yet take action, courage to be acquiescent without being stupid.

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Death is not an enemy as though it appears to be. Death is our challenger. Death is the only worthy opponent we have and we are born to take that challenge. Life is the process by means of which death challenges us. Death is the active fore. Life is the arena. And in that arena there are only two contenders at any time. Oneself and death. If we move it is only when we feel the pressure of death. Death sets the pace for our actions and feelings and pushes us relentlessly until it breaks us and wins the bout or else we rise above all possibilities and defeat death.

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What we need to do to allow magic to get hold of us to banish doubt from our minds, once doubts are banished anything is possible.

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The place of not pity is the site of ruthlessness.

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I had learned through life fearful experience that nothing in life is free.

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Silent knowledge is something that all of us have. Something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything, but it cannot think, therefore, it cannot speak of what it knows. When man became aware that he knew and wanted to be conscious of what he knew he lost sight of what he knew. This silent knowledge which you can not describe is of course intent – the spirit, the abstract. Mans error was to want to know it directly the way he knew everyday life. the more he wanted, the more ephemeral it became meaning that the more he clings to the world of reason the more ephemeral intent becomes.

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What is continuity – the idea that we are a solid block. In our minds what sustains our world is the certainty that we are unchangeable. We may accept that our behavior can be modified that our reactions and opinions can be modified  but the idea that we are malleable to the point of changing appearances, to the point of being someone else, is not part of the underlying order of our self reflection. Then that order is interrupted the world of reason stops.

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Human being are creators of inventory. Knowing the ins and outs of a particular inventory is what makes a man a scholar or an expert in his field. When an average persons inventory fails the person either enlarges his inventory or his world of self reflection collapses. The average person is willing to introduce new items into his inventory if they don’t contradict the inventory’s underlying order. But if the items contradict that order, the persons mind collapses. The inventory is the mind.

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Continuity is so important in our lives that if it breaks it always instantly repaired. If there is break uncertainty is to be expected till a new continuity is established.

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If you think of life in terms of hours instead of years, our lives are immensely long. Even if you think in terms of days life is still interminable.

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My benefactor did not believe in handing down knowledge. He thought that knowledge imparted that way lacked effectiveness. It was never there one needed it. On the other hand if knowledge was only insinuated the person who was interested would devise ways to claim that knowledge.

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Way of Intelligent Life – Sankhya yoga – Gita II

In Gita, second chapter, Krishna after listening to the lamentation of Arjuna arising out of his fear, attachment, worry that makes him weak and ready to leave the battle field, shows him the glimpses of life and how one has to face it valiantly.

We are all like Arjuna, in dire need of guidance, redemption from the conflict, sorrow and having to fight every step of the life and for us Knowledge is the only way out. Understanding, knowledge and action is that which can pull up the man from misery. The person who fights, gets up every time falls, bold, gives up cowardice is respected. Weakness is never appreciated. This and other world is for the one who is strong, fights a righteous war, strong of body, mind and intellect. Strength is life and weakness is death. Weak cannot achieve anything in this life and bold person can do wonders.

Grief is Meaningless:

Grief is meaningless. Keeping mind constant in all eventualities is the way of wise.  Wise are not tossed by the ups and downs of life. He who harmonizes his thoughts, word and deed is able to maintain his integrity and character. These are necessary quality to avoid conflict and disharmony.

Regarding death, people come and go but the atman/soul is eternal. Like a baby is born, becomes youth, then middle age, old age follows ending in death. During these times the body changes – baby dies, youth is born and so on at every stage. But the identity of the person remains the same. The change is to the body and not to the atman. Thus, birth and death is for the body only and atman is eternal.

Sense organs are the organs of pleasure and pain and that originates from what one sees, hears, eats, does, smells and understands with mind. These pleasures of bodily origin start and ends with body. And they also change with time, and place that what is enjoyable once many not be other times. And the fact that body is perishable so also joy and sorrow. understanding this and training the mind to treat both equally is what makes one healthy and competent.

Correspond this with soul the indweller in the body. It is eternal. Was there before we were born and will be there after our death. And through birth, childhood, youth, middle age, old age and death it remains unchanged and unaffected. It has taken this body to experience this world made of sense objects and body. Understanding this and leading the life removes one from ignorance and pain and pleasure. Life is a series of experiments where we are born again and again to learn until our liberation.

Body is only an agglomeration of elements hence as good as nonexistent. It is like water that remain in states of water, waves in ocean, ice berg, vapor, rain clouds and so on. But the wateriness is common. So change is natural. And what changes cannot give everlasting pleasure. What is born is sure to die. So grieve not. And as one discard the old cloth and gets a new one, atman acquires bodies.

Atman is awareness. Pure consciousness, it is untouched by time, space and causation, states of mind such as sleep, dream, wakefulness are beyond it. Consciousness is ultimate reality. It is unaffected by all changes that happen to the body. The body changes but atman does not. This is similar to the sky that remains unaffected by all the movement of clouds, electricity in it. Atman is unborn, eternal, constant and ancient. It is not killed when the body is slain. Weapons do not cleave the atman, fire burn it not, water does not wet it and so does wind not dry it. Essentially meaning that it is beyond elements. Hence it is eternal. Hence unmanifested, unthinkable and immutable. Therefore Grieve not. Many people come in to our life midway and go away some time same way. Hence, no point in lamenting for the changes that are bound to happen.

Death is certain of Birth and birth of that which is dead. Do your duty. Like Warriors is to fight a rightful war. And fighting war, being your duty is better than renouncing and walking off.

Grieve not for death. one has to do his duty to the best of his ability. While doing his duty thus, time comes when he becomes successful. When the time is right little effort becomes appropriate and leads to great results. No matter what, diffidence and despondency should be avoided. Pursue the right course of action. Between what one likes and what is good, and when they are contradictory, follow what is good. For the tide of fortune and the opportune time comes to one and all consistent with law of growth and evolution. Fame and honor are for those who lead a righteous life in this world. So also, that ill will, misfortune and dishonor comes to those who forsake their duty.  And dishonor and ill-fame is worse than death. So withdrawing from war front is not advisable for generations will talk ill about this and there is no way that can be remedied.

Be fearless. Don’t Be a weakling:

A man given to fear does not achieve anything in this world and any deed done out of fear will cause the need for repentance in future. If you avoid fight now, you will be scorned as one who ran out of fear. And your enemies will slander and ridicule you which could be worse than fighting the war and facing the consequences thereof. To explain further, people who have been praising one hitherto for valour, courage, strength, capability, achievement, success etc., when find that one has withdrawn fearing setbacks will talk ill about the same person at the back.  So, don’t give into this. Either way, if you win you will enjoy this earth and if you perish fighting then will reach heaven. So, get up and fight.

In pain and pleasure, gain and loss, victory and defeat engage in work be equipoised that way you would be successful. Not to rejoice in pleasure, gain, victory as it is done in the mundane world and on the contrary slump when things do not go in one’s way. Doing work during all times, is the way to prosperity.

Be firm of mind. Be concentrated. Don’t dissipate energy in multiple directions. Understand the purpose of life is not to enjoy life but attain perfection. Be beyond the three Gunas that favor knowledge seeking, action orientation and languishing in darkness. Be free from the pairs of opposites, ever balanced, unconcerned with getting and keeping and centered in the self.

Work, Not in anticipation of results:

The most repeated, famous and misunderstood verse of Gita – You have right to your duty and not to the fruits there off. Be you not the producer of action so also of inaction. Work has multiple aspects and participants to it. One cannot control every aspect of it. You can do your duty to the best of your ability according to the prevailing circumstances. Having done that whatever be the result, you would not be affected by it. So also by not focusing on the results, not worried about it you can gather all his energy and focus it on the execution. Clarity, understanding and efficiency increased there by producing superior results inevitably.   So be active. Shun inaction. And when you work, work righteously without worrying about the fruits of action.

When work is done despite ones likes and dislikes of a mind in equilibrium new Karma does not accrue to him and old bad karma vanishes. And one who works likes that acquires perfection in mind. Slowly indifference to the world of actions sets in. and when ones intellect, till then tossed about various dualities of pain and pleasure, likes and dislikes, conflict of ideas and opinions has become poised and reaches equilibrium such a man reaches yoga and nearer to godhead.

Being  a steadfast man

Arjuna asks Krishna about the quality of man who is steadfast, wise, and in Samadhi. How does one with these attributes walk, sit and speak. How does one understand the eternal consciousness. Self on its own, when contented gives one happiness. However when a man reaches outside for sense objects and presumes that it gives him happiness, he needs to understand that it is verily the self, the atman, the indweller in every one that gives happiness. Thus shunning desire helps one to avoid pain and related pleasure that accrues from it. Remaining self satisfied and not running after world outside is the first step towards steady state of mind.

A man of steadiness is of calm mind where all his sorrows have been destroyed. He is in a state of equilibrium, unaffected by joys and sorrows and anchored in intellect.

Pacifying the mind

He whose mind is not perturbed by adversity, who does not crave for happiness, free from attachment, fear and anger is the man of constant wisdom. One has to face endless problems, trials, tribulations, adversities, untoward events in life. some have it more and some are lucky to have their life untouched by these events. The man of wisdom is one who remains unperturbed by these happening, view them as unavoidable and ignore them. If not ignored then man ends up adding fuel to the fire and worsens the scene and ends up increasing the volume and intensity thereby getting affected more.

Detrimental Effect of Anger

Once senses are brought under control, conflicting thoughts are arrested in its initiation state itself and thus mind is subjugated. Then focusing on eternal power, leads to wisdom. Alternatively giving way to sensual pressures leads to attachment to them and from the attachment comes the desire to have more and when the desire leads to expectation and the failure of fulfilling it leads to anger. From anger arises delusion, which in turn results in confused memory which becomes the cause of ruin and one’s ultimate fall. Two things that are noteworthy. Anger. Anger is temporary insanity. When the mind is occasionally upset it results in anger and when permanently affected it is lunacy. Both results in delusion. State of mind given to anger obscures thought, reasoning and vision resulting feeling is confusion.one loses the power of discriminating good from the bad resulting in delusion leading to indiscriminate violence  paving way for self-destruction.

Control Mind for Peace:

There is no wisdom in fickle minded, nor is quietness. To the unmeditative mind there is no peace and without peace no joy or happiness. Hence disciplining the mind becomes essential.  Uncontrolled mind, the mind that runs after sense objects results in lack of discrimination and dispersion of mind power. Like a rudderless ship we cannot predict where the mind would take one to. Thus the mind that follows sense objects leads one to astray away from desired result. To avoid this use of senses should be under the control of mind rather than mind running behind the senses. Rather than man who desires desire, the one who works with equanimity would attain peace. When the sense organs brings contact with the outside world the man of steadfastness, is able to work on them consciously thereby preventing the changes to the desire from resulting in unwanted feelings, longings, aversion etc. and does not allow them to affect his mind. This steady state of mind leads to liberation. His state of mind produces peacefulness on those who come in contact with them. Thus the man who lives devoid of “I”, and “Mine”, free from desires is said to live a peaceful life.

Viewed from worldly point:

Chapter II of Gita that proposes the way to intelligent life is makes an interesting reading, profound in its impact. Yet if one is to ask a question, is it practical, implementable the answer would be easier said than done. While it is difficult but not impossible. And all things that are said impossible at one time, it means it takes longer time to accomplish.  The first step in any redemption effort is the knowledge of how it is done. once the understanding is reached, constant contemplation will pave way for actionizing and that we start following it. To start with may be one out of ten time you remember and that is o.k., to start with.  both in sorrow and joy I should be same and maintain my equanimity, that would be successful. Then slowly by discipline, practice, constant repetition in mind one start internalizing it and follow the teachings of Gita. Therein lies the way to freedom.

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