The (un) conditions of the lone bird of Carlos Castaneda

Approaches to a psychological praxis of Castaneda's work: The solitary bird, colorless, without imprint, symbolic of the man who leaves the world to be himself and thus become everything.

Carlos Castaneda cites San Juan de la Cruz, the Spanish mystical poet as an epigraph to his book Tales of Power . The quotation is important since in some way, as a symbol, it synthesizes a whole body of knowledge:

The conditions of the solitary bird are five. The first, which goes to the top; the second, which does not suffer company even if it is of its nature; the third, which puts the peak in the air; the fourth, which does not have a certain color; the fifth, who sings softly.

The men of knowledge of the tradition taught by Don Juan Matus, the mythical sorcerer who takes Castaneda "under his wing, " literally and metaphorically become that solitary bird. The flight is abstract but needs the example of concretion to rise to the heights of the metaphysical skies.

Although Castaneda's work poses an extraordinary discipline (impeccable in his words), almost impracticable for a common man embedded in the cultural paradigm we suffer, the fundamental idea of ​​the solitary bird contains a teaching to some extent accessible and, above all, extremely relevant to our daily experience. It admits a reading within a framework of existential psychology, where one does not necessarily have to belong to and practice a hidden tradition, such as the so-called path of the nagual. Basically: the deconditioning or deprogramming of the community for the emergence of individuality. The maxim that we have all heard to the point of the commonplace: be yourself.

If there is an alien spirit within us and above all the illusion of the ego and the linguistic construction of the ego (of that internal dialogue that models a boundary world), then the way to access or, rather, to be possessed by the spirit it is to abandon the cultural programming to which we are subject. "Culture is your operating system, " said Terence Mckenna using cyber language, and within that code there are only certain possibilities of execution: we cannot fly if we are men like men. But if we are a lonely man, "who does not suffer company even if it is of his nature" we may not have "certain color" and rise to untouched heights. Paradoxically, the lonely bird-man is the one who is most united with all existence, being united with himself. The word alone comes from all-one : all one.

It is not necessary to invoke spiritual gifts of transcendental mysticism to assimilate this and bear fruit. The real currency of the universe is energy; We live in a voracious market - vampiric in your unconsciousness - of energy flows, devouring and being devoured by our fellow men and possibly by invisible forces and entities. All our relationships are transfers of energy, but within this maelstrom in which we rarely have control, it is possible to find a balance that is also an ethic. From the beginning, feeding on oneself (of that Atman that is also Brahman ) in such a way that we do not need to connect permanently to the energetic current of the collective and cultural system of our fellow men, that is, of the consumerist society. I guess that, and this is an optimistic theory, only then would it be possible to establish a non-predatorial energy circulation. Perhaps this is the enlightened physics of love: a winged relationship in which energy is not consumed, is created. And by creating more energy the universe celebrates and smiles at you. That is the aspect of the "star dust" that we are, which ignites in its original spark, the dust in love beyond death.

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