One of a million paths, Don Juan

Anything is one of a million paths [un camino entre cantidades de caminos].
Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path;
if you feel you should not follow it,
you must not stay with it under any conditions.

To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life.
Only then will you know that any path is only a path,
and there is no affront, to oneself or to others,
in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do.
But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it
must be free of fear or ambition.

I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately.
Try it as many times as you think necessary.
This question is one that only a very old man asks.
My benefactor told me about it once when I was young,
and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it.
Now I do understand it.
I will tell you what it is:
Does this path have a heart?

All paths are the same: they lead nowhere.
They are paths going through the bush or into the bush.
In my own life I could say that I have traversed long, long paths,
but I am not anywhere.
My benefactor\’s question has meaning now.
Does this path have a heart?
If it does, the path is good; if it doesn\’t, it is of no use.
Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart and the other doesn\’t.
One makes for a joyful journey;
as long as you follow it you are one with it.

The other will make you curse your life.
One makes you strong; the other weakens you.

The Teachings of Don Juan

parting the waves, Don Juan

“When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning.

He slowly begins to learn–bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield. And thus he has stumbled upon the first of his natural enemies: Fear! A terrible enemy–treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting. And if the man, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy would have put an end to his quest.

…He must not run away. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid, and yet he must not stop. That is the rule! And a moment will come when his first enemy retreats. The man begins to feel sure of himself. His intent becomes stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task.

When this joyful moment comes, the man can say without hesitation that he has defeated his first natural enemy.”

-The Teachings of Don Juan

rivers in veins on leaf island

I feel the river course through my veins. It’s rush, thrush, pressing down in intensity. The residual vibrations of years, as they grow. I cry it pours out of me- this energy pulsing into, through me, connecting me to intersecting vibrations. Ripples of energy overlapping, pressing outward, maintaining their perfect circle, a reflection. All of us mean something to each other, this unspoken connection takes different form, but life comes out of me relentlessly (i.e. I communicate) in ways I can’t totally understand, but springs from a well deep within. Ants crawling all over me, tiny little traveling tickles, and I let them tread their path. Sometimes their tickle is unbearable, but other times it is all but forgotten in the contrast of another moment. I know I must let it all go, for the fate of the world is change. The cat drinks and chews on oat grass. Bob lays it down full of love. My body clenched itself, tightening around the rock in my stomach and gasping. But I am aware, at the time. In the torrent of this divine love and sadness, compassion and suffering- wonder. I am overcome with the purrr of that river, the thrashing, powerful, gentle, fluid push of that flow and being free enough to go go go with it. Everything and nothing is still buggin’ me today. It’ll still be buggin’ me tmrw! For today I’ve let go of spelling, to dos or picking up. I am in heaven. I sit here in my gym shorts soaking in the peace after a rainstorm. There’s water in my window screens.