Balancing on the Tightrope Called Life

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Julian Rose
Activist Post

In Carlos Castaneda’s “Don Juan’s Teachings”, Don Juan reminds his pupil “I’ve told you that the true art of the warrior is to balance terror and wonder.”

Start by reflecting on this statement. But reflect without letting your mind interfere. Instead, reflect from the area around the solar plexus. Let an upwardly rising energy emanate from this region. Then let all the cells of your body also do some considering on these same words “I’ve told you that the true art of the warrior is to balance terror and wonder.”

Good…but don’t stop yet…keep going.

There’s a strong Yin Yang sign emerging in front of you. On the one side of the curving line which dissects the circle is darkness, on the other side is light. Let the light and the dark join-in our experiment. Let them oscillate slowly around each other in a region inside your body and somewhere a little above the solar plexus. The dark and the light: the essential duality of existence; inside and outside; night and day; male and female; positive and negative (charges); fear and wonder; Yin and Yang.

Now reflect particularly on Castaneda’s reference to ‘the art of the warrior’. Allow yourself to take on the mantle of this artful warrior. Be careful! Not in your head but in that area just above the solar plexus. In that place something is forming itself into “I, the warrior”.

Hmmm…quite powerful; quite strong this thing that’s forming. Also quite subtle, quite warm and calm; yes, and deep, very deep. Hmmm… Now, reflect on your breath. How are you breathing? Where are you directing the incoming pranic energy that comes with each breath. Yes, that’s an interesting question for us, because unless one is concentrated – and centred – one has virtually no control over this incoming energy. So my friend, let your breathing become deep and calm and take it down into that special place in, or just above, the plexus. Then offer this prana to the emerging presence of ‘the warrior’.

Add a little light to the mix. You know that nothing can grow without light. So send light to that place too. Oh yes, oh yes … the warrior is drinking-in this light and somehow, yes somehow, you are subtly changing. I can see you changing! You are metamorphosing from something rather ordinary to something rather extraordinary; from something rather indistinct to something rather distinct; from someone ‘scattered’ to someone ‘centred’.

Now if you are sitting, as I imagine you probably are, try slowly rising up into the standing position – but keep centred – don’t lose concentration. Once in the vertical, pull in gently at the solar plexus by taking in breath there. Hold that state. Let the energy radiate up from the plexus and into the chest and heart. Fill the heart with this upwardly rising breath. Now the warrior is birthing within you and wants to express this rising power. So allow this to happen! Take one step forward, throw your arms upward and head back and announce to the cosmos “The warrior is born! Dance with me! For we are free of fear and ready for whatever may come. Onward, onward, let Light and Love prevail!”

This little exercise may not suit everyone and if not then you can invent your own variations on the theme, or ignore it altogether of course. But central to our aim here is to free ourselves from the distortions and tricks that the mind plays with our lives, and to hear and realise the voice of our true selves. ‘Our true selves’ – a deeply mysterious force which emanates from every one of the millions of quivering, receptive cells that compose our physical state. We want to become an expression of those cells, to be who we really are . . . and then channel that expression into life-affirmative actions which will overcome all adversities, heal the arteries of our polluted planet and remove our barbaric oppressors from their sterile moneyed thrones.

Now to do that we need something more than prayer, more than meditation, more than personal purification. We need to call upon and to kindle the Spark of the Warrior that resides in each one of us. For to overcome the cowardly forces of darkness that depress us, we need to build-up strong reserves of courage and light. We will need to display some of the finesse of the Samuri and some of the bravery of the Sioux. We will need to recognise that friction is the perfect complement of peace. We cannot overcome external oppressors without first overcoming our internal oppressors and our pervasive inertia. The greatest of these two internal oppressors is ‘the mind’, it keeps telling us “there is only a very limited amount I can do – and anyhow what’s the use?”

Well doesn’t it? Yes, but its not really OUR mind which is delivering this message – it is an alien mind that we mistake for our own. So set it aside and be done with it.

By working ourselves free of this self-induced crippling of our creative powers, we surprise ourselves by finding that nothing really substantial blocks our way to the full realisation of our latent potential. ‘The full realisation of our latent potential’ – just what might such a state look like?

Its back to the Yin Yang motif. Can you put it up again? See that rather seductive curve which conjoins the dark with the the light side? Well, it is an invisible spine around which spin the twin forces of attraction and repulsion; it is the pivotal point “between terror and wonder”, dark and light, male and female, positive and negative. It is an electromagnetic gluing agent binding these two opposing yet complementary forces around its Divine dynamic resonance. It is the very same invisible matter that the scientists are trying to pinpoint by bashing atoms into each other at the speed of light: they call it the ‘Higgs Boson’ (after the name of an early exponent of this research) and it has taken on the further name of ‘the God particle’. There they are, these scientists, peering into their computer screens looking for the God particle! Well, its very hard to look outside for something that’s actually inside. Hmmm. But that’s what the quantum physicists started to realise as they peered into their microscopes in search of their particular ‘particle’.. that it didn’t conform to their scrutiny … it danced instead … and told them something about themselves instead of them telling something about ‘it’!

So we begin to see something very interesting, that duality is at the core of everything that lives … and what doesn’t live? Your desk is a swirling mass of atoms – are you going to tell me it isn’t alive?The state of duality is indivisible. One is always two. And two is movement. Male and female entwined in an integrated polarity … the very integrated polarity which is now rising up from your solar region … So search no more on your computer screen dear scientists – for here is your Higgs Boson!

“Okay, okay, don’t get so carried away – can you be a little more explicit?”

Probably not. Explicitness is not always the best aid to ‘getting it’. But let us just say … IT is the warrior ‘balancing terror and wonder’. We are the balancers. We are a place where the friction brought about by two equal and opposite dynamics pivot upwards in a state of pure balance; of equipoise. A state of Art. ‘A realised’ us balancing on the tightrope called life.

It’s a dangerous place. Falling off can be painful and getting back on can be a slow and arduous process. So do not pretend that ‘terror’ (I would possibly prefer a translation that described this as ‘fear’ or even ‘awe’, but terror is more poetic) does not exist. Accept it, and then use its energetic presence to ultimately go beyond that which overwhelms you. Joy rides right alongside fear. The moment we acknowledge it, the fear looses its potential to hurt.

Now relax, relax. Even our ‘realised’ lives vaccilate in and out of states of genuine awareness. It requires many years of persistent struggle to find that dynamic point of balance and then to hold onto it!

Don Juan: “We are a feeling and what we call our body is a cluster of luminous fibres that have awareness. As long as you think you are a solid body, you cannot conceive what I am talking about.”

But we are all in the process of exploring this unfathomable journey called Life. And as we inch our way along the thin vibrating line that dissects the Yin Yang symbol, our balancing pole extending out to ether side of us, we keep our eyes on that which is straight ahead of us.

However, our awareness also takes-in that which is behind us. Our concentration is similar to that employed in deep meditation. We are holding onto an invisible point with our minds and steering with our solar plexus. Our hearts are full. In this state we vibrate at a Universal frequency. Our fibres luminous, our awareness full.

All that’s left is to channel this newfound energy and awareness into actions that are intent upon lifting and dissolving the fog of non-awareness which is the prime cause of our desultry planetary condition. That is why we came back … to fulfill our quest … to lift the fog. We will recall, through the sense called memory, a time when we were all warriors. When all our instincts were directed towards the goal of attaining a Shaman like grasp of the essential life force. We lived lightly and walked barefoot; we saw the stars very clearly and felt the heartbeat of the Universe in our veins and in the earth under our feet.

That Shaman is still alive. This force was not exterminated by the invader’s guns or by devious political attempts to coral it into submission. Now we call it out again, to rise up and play its particular part in ensuring that the physical and the spiritual are forever conjoined in the one great push for the emancipation of this jewel called Earth.

Julian is a British pioneer organic farmer, writer and activist. He is currently president of the ‘International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside’ which is leading the fight against GMO in Poland. He is author of “Changing Course for Life – Local Solutions to Global Problems”

Read other articles by Julian Rose here.

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