Quotes Warrior Path & Carlos Castaneda
[Don Juan is what he calls a Man of Knowledge. The most knowledgeable mystic available in writing through the work of Carlos Castaneda. Through him the The Assemblage Point was revealed to the world.]
See: Ego and Self Importance quotes Talking Types of petty tyrants found in people Intent The Assemblage Point
What a strange paradox! Every warrior on the path of knowledge thinks, at one time or another, that he's learning sorcery, but all he's doing is allowing himself to be convinced of the power hidden in his being, and that he can reach it.----Don Juan Matus, The Power of Silence
"The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or as a curse."--Don Juan
"A petty tyrant is a tormentor.......Someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction."--Don Juan
“He (Don Juan) said that a warrior had no compassion for anyone . For him, to have compassion meant that you wished the other person to be like you, to be in your shoes, and you lent a hand for that purpose. The hardest thing in the world is for a warrior to let others be. Only a sorcerer who sees and is formless can afford to help anyone——to his understanding every effort to help on our part was an arbitrary act guided by our self interest alone.”(271) La Gorda
"Self-importance is man's greatest enemy. What weakens him is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of his fellow men. Self-importance requires that one spend most of one's life offended by something or someone."--Don Juan
"My benefactor used to say that a warrior who stumbles on a petty tyrant is a lucky one."--Don Juan (The Fire From Within p34)
"A nagual never lets anyone know that he is in charge. A nagual comes and goes without leaving a trace. That freedom is what makes him a nagual."-----Don Juan
"The characteristic of miserable seers is that they are willing to forget the wonder of the world. They become overwhelmed by the fact that they see and believe that it's their genius that counts." ----Don Juan p58
"It's better to get something worthwhile done using deception than to fail to get something worthwhile done using truth."---Don Juan (Carlos Castaneda)
Inner silence works from the moment you begin to accrue it. What the old sorcerers were after was the final dramatic, end result of reaching that individual threshold of silence. Some very talented practitioners need only a few minutes of silence to reach that coveted goal. Others, less talented, need long periods of silence, perhaps more than one hour of quietude, before they reach the desired result. The desired result is what the old sorcerers called "stopping the world", the moment when everything around us ceases to be what it's always been. This is the moment when sorcerers return to the TRUE nature of man. The old sorcerers always called it "total freedom" ----Don Juan (Carlos Castanada)
Power always makes a cubic centimeter of chance available to a warrior. The warrior's art is to be perennially fluid in order to pluck it.
"There is something you ought to be aware of by now. I call it the cubic centimeter of chance. All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess to pick it up. Chance, good luck, personal power, or whatever you may call it, is a peculiar state of affairs. It is like a very small stick that comes out in front of us and invites us to pluck it. Usually we are too busy, or too preoccupied, or just too stupid and lazy to realize that that is our cubic centimeter of luck. A warrior, on the other hand, is always alert and tight and has the spring, the gumption necessary to grab it. "--Don Juan (Journey to Ixtlan)Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power. If we have enough of it, one word is enough to change the course of our lives. If we don't, the most magnificent piece of wisdom can be revealed to us and that revelation won't make a damn bit of difference. Do you know that at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know you can use that eternity, if you so desire? Do you know that you can extend yourself forever in any direction and use it to take the totality of yourself forever in any direction? Do you know that one moment can be eternity? If you had enough personal power, my words alone would serve as a means to round up the totality of yourself and get to the crucial part of it out of the boundaries in which it is contained.-From Tales of Power
Once inner silence is attained, everything is possible. The way to stop talking to ourselves is to use exactly the same method used to teach us to talk to ourselves; we were taught compulsively and unwaveringly, and this is the way we must stop it: compulsively and unwaveringly.
It doesn't matter how one was brought up. What determines the way one does anything is personal power.-From Journey To Ixtlan
"Churches are monuments to self importance."--Don Juan
THE WARRIOR SAYINGS OF DON JUAN
The following quote collection has been culled from the Casteneda books and represents a distillation of Don Juan's philosophy of the warrior. Regardless of what you may think of the literal veracity of these books, they were for many in our culture, including me, the first encounter with the philosophy of the warrior. Don Juan's teachings about the Warrior stance have the perfection of a Samurai sword or arrows shot by a master Zen archer. Their concise, penetrating power is unequaled, and they pierce ego illusions like diamond bullets. Taken together they amount to a Toltec Warrior Manifesto. Someone once defined stories as "equipment for living." Don Juan's warrior teachings are also equipment for living, something never to leave behind, like a blade of impervious metal, a powerful ally to accompany you into any sort of wilderness.
I am already given to the power that rules my fate. And I cling to nothing, so I will have
nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, so I will see.
I fear nothing, so I will remember myself.
Detached and at ease, I will dart past the Eagle to be free.
Warriors have an ulterior purpose for their acts which has
nothing to do with personal gain. The average man acts only if
there is a chance for profit. Warriors act not for profit, but for
For the average man, the world is weird because if he's not
bored with it, he's at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is
weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable.
A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this
marvelous world, in this marvelous time.
Impeccability begins with a single act that has to be
deliberate, precise and sustained. If that act is repeated long
enough, one acquires a sense of unbending intent which can be
applied to anything else. If that is accomplished the road is
clear. One thing will lead to another until the warrior realizes
his full potential.
Any movement of the assemblage point means a movement away
from an excessive concern with the individual self. Shamans believe
it is the position of the assemblage point which makes modern man a
homicidal egoist, a being totally involved with his self-image.
Having lost hope of ever returning to the source of everything, the
average man seeks solace in his selfishness.
A warrior must cultivate the feeling that he has everything
needed for the extravagant journey that is his life. What counts
for a warrior is being alive. Life in itself is sufficient,
self-explanatory and complete.
Therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the
experience of experiences is being alive.
A warrior must focus his attention on the link between
himself and his death. Without remorse or sadness or worrying, he
must focus his attention on the fact that he does not have time and
let his acts flow accordingly. He must let each of his acts be his
last battle on earth. Only under those conditions will his acts
have their rightful power. Otherwise they will be, for as long as
he lives, the acts of a fool.
Note—Although the quotes use the default masculine pronoun "he," it is not assumed that warriors must be males. Many of the most powerful warriors in the Casteneda books are female.
Warriors compress time; this is the sixth principle of the
art of stalking. Even an instant counts. In a battle for your
life, a second is an eternity, an eternity that may decide the
outcome. Warriors aim at succeeding, therefore they compress time.
Warriors don't waste an instant.
A warrior acknowledges his pain but he doesn't indulge in it.
The mood of the warrior who enters into the unknown is not one of
sadness; on the contrary, he's joyful because he feels humbled by
his great fortune, confident that his spirit is impeccable, and
above all, fully aware of his efficiency. A warrior's joyfulness
comes from having accepted his fate, and from having truthfully
assessed what lies ahead of him.
The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is
that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary
man takes everything as a blessing or as a curse.
The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence
of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of
the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks
impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The
average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked
only to infinity.
It is much easier for warriors to fare well under conditions of
maximum stress than to be impeccable under normal circumstances.
What seems natural is to think that a warrior who can hold his
own in the face of the unknown can certainly face petty tyrants with
impunity. But that's not necessarily so. What destroyed the superb
warriors of ancient times was to rely on that assumption. Nothing
can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of
dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under
those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to
withstand the pressure of the unknowable.
Knowledge comes to a warrior, floating, like specks of gold
dust, the same dust that covers the wings of moths. So for a
warrior, knowledge is like taking a shower, or being rained on b
specks of dark gold dust.
A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's
control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go.
That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind.
No one can push him, no one can make him do things against himself
or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive and
he survives in the best of all possible fashions.
Acts have power. Especially when the warrior acting knows that
those acts are his last battle. There is a strange consuming
happiness in acting with the full knowledge that whatever he is
doing may very well be his last act on earth.
If a warrior is to succeed in anything, the success must come
gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.
Our fellow men are black magicians. And whoever is with them
is a black magician on the spot. Think for a moment, can you
deviate from the path that your fellow men have lined up for you?
And if you remain with them, your thoughts and your actions are
fixed forever in their terms. That is slavery. The warrior, on the
other hand, is free from all that. Freedom is expensive, but the
price is not impossible to pay. So, fear your captors, your
masters. Don't waste your time and your power fearing freedom.
A warrior is never under siege. To be under siege implies that
one has personal possessions that could be blockaded. A warrior has
nothing in the world except his impeccability, and impeccability
cannot be threatened.
To discard everything that is unnecessary is the second
principle of the art of stalking. A warrior doesn't complicate
things. He aims at being simple. He applies all the concentration
he has to decide whether or not to enter into battle, for any battle
is a battle for his life. This is the third principle of the art of
stalking. A warrior must be willing and ready to make his last
stand here and now. But not in a helter-skelter way.
The flaw with words is that they always make us feel
enlightened, but when we turn around to face the world they always
fail us and we end up facing the world as we always have, without
enlightenment. For this reason, a warrior seeks to act rather than
to talk, and to this effect, he gets a new description of the
world—a new description where talking is not that important, and
where new acts have new reflections.
Applying these principles brings about three results. The
first is that stalkers learn never to take themselves seriously;
they learn to laugh at themselves. If they are not afraid of being
a fool, they can fool anyone. The second is that stalkers learn to
have endless patience. Stalkers are never in a hurry; they never
fret. And the third is that stalkers learn to have an endless
capacity to improvise.
Only as a warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge. A
warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless
challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad.
Challenges are simple challenges.
The recommendation for warriors is not to have any material
things on which to focus their power, but to focus it on the spirit,
on the true flight into the unknown, not on trivialities.
Everyone who wants to follow the warrior's path has to rid
himself of the compulsion to possess and hold onto things.
Self-importance is man's greatest enemy. What weakens him is
feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of his fellow men.
Self-importance requires that one spend most of one's life offended
by something or someone.
The hardest thing in the world is to assume the mood of a
warrior. It is of no use to be sad and complain and feel justified
in doing so, believing that someone is always doing something to us.
Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior.
A warrior takes his lot, whatever it amy be, and accepts it in
ultimate humbleness. He accepts in humbleness what he is, not as
grounds for regret but as a living challenge.
By the way, Casteneda, just before he died, published an entire book of Don Juan quotations entitled The Arrow of Time.
When nothing is for sure we remain alert, perennially on our
toes. It is more exciting not to know which bush the rabbit is
hiding behind than to behave as though we knew everything.
As long as a man feels that he is the most important thing in
the world, he cannot really appreciate the world around him. He is
like a horse with blinders; all he sees is himself, apart from
There is no completeness without sadness and longing, for
without them there is no sobriety, no kindness. Wisdom without
kindness and knowledge without sobriety are useless.
Everything that warriors do is done as a consequence of a
movement of their assemblage points, and such movements are ruled by
the amount of energy warriors have at their command.
Power always makes a cubic centimeter of chance available to a
warrior. The warrior's art is to be perennially fluid in order to
The worst that could happen to us is that we have to die, and
since that is already our unalterable fate, we are free; those who
have lost everything no longer have anything to fear.
What we need to do to allow magic to get hold of us is to
banish doubts from our minds. Once doubts are banished anything is
A warrior must learn to make every act count, since he is going
to be here in this world for only a short while, in fact, too short
for witnessing all the marvels of it.
Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy and vain. To be a warrior one needs to be light and fluid.
Dwelling upon the self too much produces a terrible fatigue. A man in that position is deaf and blind to everything else. The fatigue itself makes him cease to see the marvels all around him.
When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous. We are timid only when there is something we can still cling to.
For a seer, the truth is that all living beings are struggling to die. What stops death is awareness.
The only freedom warriors have is to behave impeccably. Not only is impeccability freedom; it is the only way to straighten out
the human form.
The flyers of the sorcerers' tradition are black shadows that we sometimes detect and explain away as floaters in the retina. Sorcerers know for a fact, by means of their capacity to see energy directly, that those shadows are predatorial and that they keep us alive in order to devour our awareness. Sorcerers say that our awareness is like a sheen around our total field of energy that looks to them like a luminous ball. To them, this sheen of awareness is like a plastic cover that would make the luminous ball shine even more if it were not for the fact that it has been eaten away down to the level of our heels.
Here is where the sorcerers description gets very disturbing to us; sorcerers say that the only sheen of awareness left in us by our eaters is the awareness of self-reflection. Therefore, all we are left with is the concern with me, myself and I. In our personal lives we have corroborated that the only force left in the immediate world around us is the force of self-importance, which comes disguised in the form of humility, compassion, altruism, kindness, you name it.
This sorcerer's description is of course our ultimate nemesis; we don't want to believe that we are being raised for food. In this sense, naturally, the sorcerers' tradition is at total variance with any other kind of spiritual tradition. Sorcerers say, and believe me, not out of cynicism, that every ideal we deal with in terms of spiritual traditions, religions, etc, is a device concocted by the flyers to keep us in a lull. Imagine our disquietude upon examining, weighing and pondering this proposition.
through recapitulating we can acquire a hard discipline which is the only means by which we can make ourselves unpalatable to the flyers. Sorcerers assert that the only awareness which cannot be eaten is the awareness produced by iron-handed discipline. The recapitulation seems to create a condition of fluidity and determination which is the discipline that sorcerers talk about, not the discipline of compulsive, routinary behavior. http://www.nagual.net/ixtlan/interviews/kindred1.html
'We are perceivers,' he proceeded. 'The world that we perceive, though, is an illusion. It was created by a description that was told to us since the moment we were born. 'We, the luminous beings, are born with two rings of power, but we use only one to create the world. That ring, which is hooked very soon after we are born, is reason, and its companion is talking. Between the two they concoct and maintain the world. 'So, in essence, the world that your reason wants to sustain is ' the world created by a description and its dogmatic and inviolable rules, which the reason learns to accept and defend.
'The secret of the luminous beings is that they have another ring of power which is never used, the will. The trick of the sorcerer is the same trick of the average man. Both have a description; one, the average man, upholds it with his reason; the other, the sorcerer, upholds it with his will. Both descriptions have their rules and the rules are perceivable, but the advantage of the sorcerer is that will is more engulfing than reason
The diagram in the ashes had two epicentres; one he called 'reason',
the other, 'will'. 'Reason' was interconnected directly with a
point he called 'talking'. Through 'talking', 'reason' was
indirectly connected to three other points, 'feeling', 'dreaming' and 'seeing'.
The other epicentre, 'will', was directly connected to 'feeling',
'dreaming' and 'seeing'; but only indirectly to 'reason' and
I remarked that the diagram was different from the one I had recorded years before.
'The outer form is of no importance,' he said. 'These points represent a human being and can be drawn in any way you want.'
'Do they represent the body of a human being?' I asked.
'Don't call it the body,' he said. 'These are eight points on the fibres of a luminous being. A sorcerer says, as you can see in the diagram, that a human being is, first of all, will, because will is directly connected to three points, feeling, dreaming and seeing; then next, a human being is reason. This is properly a centre that is smaller than will; it is connected only with talking.'
"What are the other two points, don Juan?'.....'We may say that every one of us brings to the world eight points. Two of them, reason and talking, are known by everyone. Feeling is always vague but somehow familiar. But only in the world of sorcerers does one get fully acquainted with dreaming, seeing and will. And finally, at the outer edge of that world one encounters the other two. The eight points make the totality of oneself.'
He showed me in the diagram that in essence all the points could be made to
connect with one another indirectly.
I asked him again about the two mysterious remaining points. He showed me that they were connected only to 'will' and that they were removed from 'feeling', 'dreaming* and 'seeing", and much more distant from 'talking' and 'reason'. He pointed with his finger to show that they were isolated from the rest and from each other.
'Those two points will never yield to talking or to reason,' he said. 'Only will can handle them. Reason is so removed from them that it is utterly useless to try figuring them out.
He touched my head and said that that was the centre off 'reason' and 'talking'. The tip of my sternum was the centre of I 'feeling'. The area below the navel was 'will'. 'Dreaming' was on the right side against the ribs. 'Seeing' on the left. He said that sometimes in some warriors 'seeing' and 'dreaming' were on the right side.
We are perceivers. We are an awareness; we are not objects; we have no solidity. We are boundless. The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description that was created to help us. We, or rather our reason, forget that the description is only a description and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in our lifetime.