Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession

Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession
“Sophilos Dinos” (wine-bowl) showing guests arriving at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. In the first car -Zeus and Hera, 2nd-Poseidon and Amphitrite. Source: British Museum (Wikicommons)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Old age delusion

When you hear "old people" talk it sounds like this:

When I was in my 30s  I had so much_______fill in the blanks: ambition, fearlessness, stamina, strength.

But then even guys in their 30s "feel old" when  comparing themselves with how they were in their 20s. WTF ?

"If I had the energy I had 10 years ago...

"Time is wasted on the youth." -You've heard those before...

I used to recommend comparing yourself to your earlier self (one, three. ten years ago) but this is just getting ridiculous.

What exactly separates the old from the young ? Is is the number of years since birth ?  Or is it lamenting ?

People that lament (feel sorry for advancing in age, for the passage of time) are suffering from a delusion: The delusion of the linear time. They are sheep, not master. Being a master warrior means eradicating time. Eradicating your illusions.

One becomes old when he stops learning. Period.

If you consider yourself a worthy man, if you are an alpha male not cattle which most men are, I recommend you read  Carlos Castaneda's summary of writings (I believe there are 12). This is not Lord of the Rings fiction. This is not some psychedelic punch. I'm not looking for the latest nootropic here. I am looking to disassemble the reality I was made to ingest, and, following that, make my own reality, free of delusion, including the delusion of age.
"A warrior cannot complain or regret anything."
 So you have it right upfront that "my 30s were better than my 50s" is nonsense.
So what does it take to be a warrior ?

There are four main things, according to the shamans:

1. Erasing personal history
2. Losing self-importance
3. Assuming responsibility for your decisions: Nothing is more or less important than anything else. There is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions.
4. The Four natural enemies that a man must defeat are: fear, clarity, power and our favorite subject of the day, old age. The Shaman view old age, the desire to rest, as mostly a desire "not to be bothered". Don't fall for it.

As far as clarity and power there's more about putting limits on them so they don't  not obscure development.

"Little by little you must create a fog around yourself; you must erase everything around you until nothing can be taken for granted, until nothing is any longer for sure, or real. Your problem now is that you’re too real. Your endeavors are too real; your moods are too real. Don’t take things so for granted."

"The warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn’t permit anyone to lower his head to him. The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor for anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him."
More on leaving your friends and old persona behind:
"I think everything boils down to one act: you must leave your friends. You must say good-bye to them, for good. It’s not possible for you to continue on the warrior’s path carrying your personal history with you." Essential knowledge of the Shamans
More quotes that point to certain conduct and plain of reality:
"Inner silence is the avenue that leads to a true suspension of judgment – to a moment when sensory data emanation from the universe at large ceases to be interpreted by the senses; a moment when cognition ceases to be the force which, through usage and repetition, decides the nature of the world.
"Sorcerers need a breaking point for the workings of inner silence to set in. The breaking point is like the mortar that a mason puts between bricks. It’s only when the mortar hardens that the loose bricks become a structure." -Essential knowledge of the shamans
"Your friends are your family, they are your points of reference. Therefore, they have to go. Sorcerers have only one point of reference: infinity. You must simply leave, leave any way you can. You have never been alone in your life. This is the time to do it. I don’t want your body to die physically. I want your person to die. The two are very different affairs. In essence, your person has very little to do with your body. Your person is your mind, and believe you me, your mind is not yours."
"I am teaching you how to see as opposed to merely looking, and stopping the world is the first step to seeing."
The difference between a man who sees and ordinary folk is the man who sees controls his folly."
"We learn to think about everything, and then we train our eyes to look as we think about the things we look at."
"The average man is either victorious or defeated and, depending on that, he becomes a persecutor or a victim. These two conditions are prevalent as long as one does not see. Seeing dispels the illusion of victory, or defeat, or suffering."
"There’s no emptiness in the life of a warrior. Everything is filled to the brim, and everything is equal."
So there's no more "doing better than I was when I was 20, or 30, or whatever age we consider the best. "When a sorcerer attempts to see, he attempts to gain power."

Conclusion 

" A warrior treats the world as an endless mystery and what people do as an endless folly." This world view has commonalities with the Eastern traditions (with non-attachment and the like) but otherwise is fundamentally different because,the warrior exists through his actions. Yes, the world is no longer solid, but unlike Buddhists and their emptiness, the world is full of wonder and miracles. A warrior is never bored, which is a common complain of retired people.

For me youth has no special virtue or quality, and neither does old age, middle age, or any age.

The secret fire of youth "risking it for the basic reason of having nothing to lose" can be had at any age, because you should not put your faith in your position and possessions.

You must establish your own truth. The universe is fluid, no matter how solid it "looks" to your eyes- Max Cantor maxim #31

Older people distinguish themselves from younger people because they have personal stories they like to tell. Memory is like a "container" that fills up over the years. Not for the warriors: they have relinquished their personal history. There is no "how I was in my 20s". Each day is the best day on the battlefield.






14 comments :

  1. "You must understand that a warrior is not a fool. A warrior is an immaculate hunter who hunts power; he’s not drunk, or crazed, and he has neither the time nor the disposition to bluff, or to lie to himself, or to make a wrong move." -C. Castaneda.

    Be fluid, at ease in whatever situation you find yourself. Your challenge is to deal with people with ease regardless of what they do to you.

    Max, I was wondering: about about God ? Your take on the Big G

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew,

      How do we get things wrong in life ? A lot of times, it is by asking the wrong questions.

      God is part of your societal conditioning. I think it is a far less important question to ask.

      Let say you are in a meeting at the business you work at. It's an important meeting. Let's say there are eight people yourself included, the marketing director, the sales manager, the patent applications person, the controller of the company, etc. Who I am most concerned with are the people at the table, not the ones that are missing, are out of the office or for whatever reason are not around.

      If this guy [God] is not around, I wouldn't be concerned much. I am focused on the people who've made it to the meeting.

      Delete
  2. For those who have a hard time figuring Castaneda out, the bottom lie is the warrior finds his truth in action, not in thinking about action. But then again, most people are sheep, not warriors.

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  3. I can see a link between old men memory full and what Castaneda describes the Eagle who wants our memories at the moment of death. He says the the dark sea of awareness (Eagle) doesn't want the life-force of the person, but rather his memories.

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  4. Technically, the mind chatter stops at moments of heightened danger (loosing control of the vehicle is an example). However, those moments are far and between in life.

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  5. "For seers, to be alive means to be aware."- Don Juan (The Fire Within, C.C, page 81) It's all about stopping the internal dialogue.

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  6. It seems that the internal dialogue stops in the same way it begins: by an act of will.

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    Replies
    1. I know. Castaneda talks about moving the assemblage point from the right to the left. Here's the biggest tip yet, accessible to all: no need for hallucinogenic plants. Hunger, tiredness, fever do the SAME.

      Delete
  7. Interesting dialogue. I can see it relates to a newer post on being an Alpha. https://wallstreetfinancier.blogspot.com/2017/07/alpha-vs-beta-is-new-vs-old-where-old.html

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  8. Exactly. The paradox : being in dire need and living a life of deprivation (hunger, fever are part of that) is the key to change yourself. Dimwits pay thousands of dollars to hear how to get better, and learn from a guy who got where he is because of deprivation. The stupidity of people: it never ends.

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  9. Jose, thanks for your thoughts. Be mindful that after living o life of comfort and relative abundance where the basics are met, people will have a hard time living on 10 dollars a week. It's just not realistic.

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  10. There is a large group of numskulls that think being around poverty and neediness will do something for them. Those are the ones that take a trip to the impoverished villages in Africa and Vietnam. It doesn't work like that. It's your own skin or nothing.

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  11. Yes, but realistically travel changes a man. For those that work to improve those impoverished conditions it helps them too. That is not easy work.

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  12. "The new seers recommend a very simple act when impatience, despair, sadness or anger comes their way. They recommend warrior roll their eyes. Any direction will do. The movement of the eyes makes their assemblage point shift momentarily. In that moment, you will find relief. This is in lieu of true mastery of intent." -Don Juan

    ReplyDelete

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