This application for the Parallel Perception Scholarship Program was submitted by Chris D. If you would like to vote for Chris please leave a comment at the end of this blog post.
Not too long ago a man who did healing work asked me a profound question which left me speechless. He asked, “Who are you?” The question struck me with its full force, including its powerful implication.
Of course, I could have answered the question in any number of ways. I might have told him that my identity is defined by my profession; or perhaps, I might have told him about my relationships, but I suspected that neither of these ways of-being-in-the-world would articulate the heart of his question.
I read my first Castaneda book while a soldier many years ago shortly after A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was published. The book grabbed me so completely that it led me on a life-long quest that has never let me go. Along the way, I read just about every book I could lay my hands on that described the propositions Castaneda so eloquently spoke about: his and everyone who came after him.
In my investigations over the years, I began to pick up the work of other authors who were pushing the envelope on Castaneda’s body of work. Those authors included a small group of thoughtful people like Victor Sanchez, James Endredy, Tomas, Eagle Feather, Jessica Dawn, and, of course, Lujan Matus. I also read most of Miguel Ruiz’s books and found them interesting, but they left me feeling incomplete and unsatisfied.
My engagement with Castaneda’s propositions was taking me into altered states of consciousness; and the propositions of those who used Castaneda’s made him more accessible and practical.
Sanchez provided the first clear unwrapping of Castaneda’s ideas by offering powerful tools. I started to use his methods and things started to happen. Later, I ended up working with Tom Brown the naturalist and discovered that his methods shared a great deal of confluence with Castaneda even though his teacher was a Lipan Apache elder who lived his life entirely in the old way.
The publication of Lujan’s book, The Art of Stalking Parallel Perception, was the first book outside of Ruiz and Castaneda which asserted a direct apprenticeship. When this book came out in 2005, I was taken with its message, and read it a few times. I was not sure I got the entire scope of its visionary praxis. Then when Lujan’s other book was published last year, the entire scope of his system began to seep in. Even still, I cannot say that I’ve grasped it all in its significance.
My intent in submitting this essay, like others, is the hope to train with Lujan directly and get more insight on the practices.
I noted at the beginning of this essay that I was unsure of who I am. Over the years, I’ve caught glimpses of an energy body quite different from all the ego manifestations that go into the attributes of my identity. But I am always amazed and completely astonished when the magical side reveals itself. This side is very authentic and unpredictable. It is playful, alert, and humorous. It sees things while finding no desire to attach to anything. It is free and childlike. These attributes are what I take out of Lujan’s books.
Even though I’ve been on this path a long time, I am not sure to have progressed far upon it. My intent is to deepen this encounter with Power, and to reach the precipice that invites all transformation.
One of my favorite quotes is from a poem by Christopher Logue which tells us that our unity is a matter of risk and courage when he notes the invitation, “Come to the edge/We might fall/ Come to the edge/It is too high/COME TO THE EDGE/and they came, and he pushed them, and they flew.”
If you would like to vote for Chris please leave a comment at the end of this blog post.
Photo courtesy of Sanctuary Photography.