I’ve been totally fascinated by Carlos Casteneda’s books recently. They are accounts of dreams; of a sorcerer’s learning to dream. Carlos Casteneda begins his learning with Jimson Weed- datura- the sort of thing one ought not to experiment with, and at the very least not without your own Don Juan to manage it. Without the know-how, how is one going to catch the right two lizards to speak with?
And after reading this not quite fiction account of dreams, one wants to dream one’s own dreams. Yes I do.
And I do dream. And so I can experiment with dreams, because I have neither datura nor a laughing shaman handy.
Whatever I may dream about at night, I can’t get hurt the same way I can if I take drugs when I’m awake. And so experimenting with my own dreams is a totally reasonable thing to do and cheap and also a great use of time.Exercise #1: To Stare At My Hands While DreamingObjective: To Realize Dream-Attention; the ability to watch oneself ‘
Completed: Yes. Twice I have looked at my hands. The first time I couldn’t manage to hold my attention on them. The second time I could – and I watched my fingers multiply, to grow leaves like branches. I was able to look away and then look back. In previous lucid dreams, I start to fly as soon as I realize I’m flying, but if I ‘forget’ I’m flying, the lucidity is over. So I consider this a success; albeit one I haven’t been able to replicate recently. The real key is being able to realize I’m dreaming and this is still hit or miss.
Next exercise #2: To transition between dreams by focusing attention as the dream changes.
“Occult” means ‘hidden knowledge’ and it comes from the Latin Word Occultus. Therefore, it is impossible to determine the motives of someone – whether they are a good or bad person- simply because they have some hidden knowledge. In fact, the Christian Church might be called occultist – Jesus taught in metaphor, and his meanings are often hidden – especially with the well-known shortcomings of translation. Although the pastor of the church I attended when I was a teenager attempted to do a good job of translating the original text, a few words could take up the whole sermon. So the knowledge he had of the original meaning and text could fall under the heading “occult.” Oh, but what a loaded word – that statement may make a few people upset.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky is often called an occultist- she was a teacher of Theosophy as “the archaic Wisdom-Religion, the esoteric doctrine once known in every ancient country having claims to civilization.” Her writings draw on spiritual texts that are widely unavailable to us today. Her writings included more knowledge in the Victorian era than is commonly available now. She used vocabulary directly from the tradition it was drawn from; so reading her writing requires a little research and making effort into finding correct pronunciation for the vocabulary of esoteric philosophy.
You may determine for yourself whether erring on the side of mercy and the light of daring burning in your heart are qualities you would like to have in yourself. Shockingly, you may also be an occultist! (Unfortunately, this does not grant access into any secret societies. Those are a different bird altogether)