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Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF

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Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/7/10 8:00 PM
I put it to anyone reading this that Nagualism, (or MesoAmerican Shamanism) is a superior practice to Buddhism and AF. In fact I believe AF is a re-hash of Nagualism.

My main objection to Buddhism is that it doesn't deal with "stuff", as it's called here. "Stuff" meaning uncomfortable emotions caused by (re-)activation of painful memories in the ego. The fact that you can be an arahat and still blow up in an emotional rage when critisized or cut off in traffic, says something. When I've asked what you actually do with the emotions, I'm normally told 'psychotherapy'. So Buddhism has no way of tackling the emotions? Fear and desire are the cornerstones of the ego, and yet we have no way of treating them directly? These same emotions are whats stopping us from experiencing the moment, living in the moment. They are whats driving our internal dialogues, yes? What about dealing with them directly instead of forcing the mind onto a distraction such as the breath? "What we resist, persists" - as the saying goes. No wonder the Dark Night creates havoc. Resist the ego for long enough and it's sure to come back and bite you....hard. Unnecessary, in my view.

While I generally agree with the content on the AF website, Richard seems like a verbose pedant, who revels in making things far more difficult than they need be. His website is like some horrific labyrinth. If you haven't yet tried to navigate it, prepare yourself for asking: "didn't I just read that 2 minutes ago on a different page?" over and over and over. But more likely you will ask yourself "why is Richard continually trying to impress me with fancy words? Does he not feel adequate as he is?" I've never seen a website with so many pages devoted to Commonly Raised Objections. In my view, the questioners have quite valid objections which only sometimes are answered in plain, easy-to-understand language. See here: http://actualfreedom.com.au/sundry/commonobjections/croindex.htm

Asked recently to explain why I thought AF was a re-hash of Nagualism I came up with a list of references, which you'll see further down the page. While it's not important *who came first*, it becomes important when you consider Richard considers himself *the first in the World*. That's a real problem right there, and it makes me very uncomfortable to hear anyone talk like that, because it suggests a basic lack of insight, or research or both. That's unfortunate because he has some good ideas amongst it all, IMO.

Here's some topics common to both AF and Nagualism.

Regarding self-immolation,

nagualism: "Seers who deliberately attain total awareness are a sight to behold. That is the moment when they burn from within. The fire from within consumes them. And in full awareness they fuse themselves to the emanations at large, and glide into eternity".


Regarding sentimental emotions and pity...

nagualism: "He taught me that to feel pity for others is inappropriate for a warrior, because pity for others always stems from concern for the self. He used to ask me, pointing at people we met on our way: 'Perhaps you believe yourself better than them?' He helped me to understand that the solidarity of sorcerers towards the people around them comes from a supreme command, not from human sentiment".


Regarding self-observation of one's emotions as a path to freedom:

nagualism: "Mercilessly stalking my emotional reactions, he led me by the hand to the source of my preoccupations, and I was able to realize that my concern for people was a fraud. I was trying to escape from myself, by transferring my problems to others. He showed me how compassion, in the sense we use the word, is a mental illness - a psychosis that will just make us more and more powerfully entangled in our ego."


Regarding joy/happiness/felicity..

nagualism: "He maintained that the exercise [of examining emotions] has two main effects. "The immediate effect is that it stops our internal dialogue. When a warrior is able to stop his dialogue, he tightens the relationship with his energy. It liberates him from the obligation of memory, and from the burden of feelings, and leaves a residual energy that he can invest in enlarging the frontiers of his perception. A warrior begins to appreciate the real thing, not the interpretation of it. For the first time, he comes into contact with the consensus of sorcerers, which is the description of a reality inconceivably integrated.

It's normal that a warrior at this stage begins to laugh at anything, because energy provides happiness. Thanks to his recapitulation, he is happy, overflowing, jumps like a child. On the other hand, he begins to become a fearsome person, since, having his luminosity intact and his life clean, decisions will no longer be an obstacle for him. He will decide what is necessary the moment he wants to, and that, to other people, is scary".

(many of these passages are from Carlos Castaneda's work, also Armando Torres 'Encounters with the Nagual').

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/7/10 11:50 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Nagualism vs hoax vs descent into lunacy

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2398/did-carlos-castaneda-hallucinate-that-stuff-in-the-don-juan-books-or-make-it-up

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread470093/pg1 which refers to the following article

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/04/12/castaneda/print.html

Discuss!

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/8/10 1:05 AM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
I'm aware of all that. It's been discussed on here before whether it's all real, half fiction or all fiction. You're missing the point. All you've done is become offended because I pointed out the weakness in your leader's character. Rather than using AF as a technique, you have attached your identity (ego) to it, and now it's using you. Why adhere your identity to a method or group of people? All it does is make you feel safe in a world where you feel you need allies to survive. I'm pointing out that CC's stuff looks a better option than both Buddhism and AF, but when his stuff no longer serves me, or I find something better, I toss it aside and do something else. Richard has the very same method as Don Juan Matus, and yet Richard claims to be the first in the history of the entire World, which makes me wonder about him as a person. Castaneda is known world wide, whereas AF is known to a handful of people.

:few edits

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/8/10 3:59 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
I hope that this stuff brings some contentment for you. Let us know what you find out.

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/8/10 3:49 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
I'm aware of all that. It's been discussed on here before whether it's all real, half fiction or all fiction. You're missing the point. All you've done is become offended because I pointed out the weakness in your leader's character. Rather than using AF as a technique, you have attached your identity (ego) to it, and now it's using you. Why adhere your identity to a method or group of people? All it does is make you feel safe in a world where you feel you need allies to survive. I'm pointing out that CC's stuff looks a better option than both Buddhism and AF, but when his stuff no longer serves me, or I find something better, I toss it aside and do something else. Richard has the very same method as Don Juan Matus, and yet Richard claims to be the first in the history of the entire World, which makes me wonder about him as a person. Castaneda is known world wide, whereas AF is known to a handful of people.

:few edits


I wasn't actually offended before (I thought it was rather amusing), but I am offended now that you can claim to already know "all that" - i.e. he was shown repeatedly to be a fraud, a con man and a lunatic cult leader yet you still mention his name here and expect us to take you seriously.

Reading that Salon article should be enough for anyone to never bring up the name Carlos Castaneda again except as an example of psychopaths masquerading as saints and the destruction they can wreak upon the lives of aspirants (as well as their families and friends) who fall under their spell.

Actualism is about naivety, not gullibility.

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/8/10 9:30 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Hey C C C,
I had a question, and hope you take it in the spirit of curiosity that's intended. How is it that you would like this conversation to go? Do you want people to agree with you? Do you want to change people's minds? Do you want someone to be like "Oh, wow... he's right, and that's awesome and now I'm gonna practice Castaneda's stuff, and this is awesome"? Do you want to be right? Do you want other's to be wrong? Do you want to help people get enlightened? or become men of knowledge? Do you want peace on earth? Do you want Castaneda to be the underdog who comes from behind? Do you want to take down the Authority? Do you want someone to prove you wrong? Do you want to spark a lively discussion which leads to knew ideas and insights for all? Do you want us to agree that "it's all been done before"? I really have no idea, I'm just throwing ideas out there.

Anyway, take care and enjoy your weekend.

- Daniel

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/8/10 11:50 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
The fact that you can be an arahat and still blow up in an emotional rage when critisized or cut off in traffic, says something.


That's a fact? I'm not sure what model of Arhatship you are using, but the one taught by the Buddha is very clear about the Arhat not having any negative emotions.The source of those emotions has been cut for an arhat.

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/9/10 2:51 AM as a reply to Michael Zaurov.
Michael, the only arahat I know of in here is Daniel Ingram, whose dedication, honesty and attainments I admire and recognize. But he is certainly capable of anger and has said words to the effect of: "you can be an arahat and still be an arsehole". I couldn't possibly consider putting in that same amount of work as him without some expectation that it would get me beyond the source of personal suffering (ego), or at least have it diminished significantly. The other problem I briefly mentioned was all those people who seem to get stuck in Dark Night. Maybe Buddhahood fixes all that, but what a hell of a ride. And how many get stuck in hell?

Daniel, I understand what you're getting at with all those questions. You're asking me to look at my motivations for posting, because in doing so I will realise I am motivated by my ego and fall over. But I already know I'm an ego - that's my identity until the day I extinguish or transcend it. So anything I do must necessarily be motivated by my ego. But we're all in the same boat here (excepting those who say they have achieved ego-extinction through AF). So almost every time you see a post in here, it's someone's ego speaking - that's fine, it's where we are at. They might be pleasant sounding posts like yours, prickly, like mine, or anything in between. But let's be real. All I'm doing is saying I have found what I consider to be major problems with AF and Buddhism, and I've presented what I think is a better approach. Any holes you pick in CC's work are things that I have already looked at and considered carefully. So far, none of the objections concerns me, but I am open to that happening. If you want me to explain why I'm not bothered by the objections, I can. Not that long ago I held up AF as being a great method. Nowadays I just can't say that, despite the good stuff on their website.

My motivations shouldn't matter too much, but I'll answer since you want to know. There's no business/financial/media type motivation. There's an element of anger at Richard, who has signs of not having achieved what he says he's achieved (as explained in my first post). There's also anger at his very poor method of explaining his technique. There's disappointment that the most advanced practitioner of Buddhism on this website has not transcended his ego. All these negative emotions have motivated a desire to seek, and then pass on what I understand to be a better method. I want this for myself, so that I can have people to bounce ideas off and enhance my learning through feedback. If it turns out that next week/month/year I find major problems with it, or perhaps something better, I'll drop CC like a hot potato.

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/9/10 3:29 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Just a couple of points.

But I already know I'm an ego - that's my identity until the day I extinguish or transcend it.


Is there any reason for you to believe that such a thing is possible (permanently extinguishing the ego)? What would be left if your ego was not there? And perhaps more importantly, why is your ego a problem? Also, taking into an account that you know that you have an 'ego', why do you think that it is you (why should that be your identity)? (An interesting effect of my insight practice has been the realization that I am not my ego, despite being identified with such things previously; making this supposed problem more or less irrelevant - ie. I still have an ego, whose workings I now see a bit more clearly, it poses no real problems for me, even if there are many unskillful habits, attitudes and such which deserve attention and work)

All I'm doing is saying I have found what I consider to be major problems with AF and Buddhism, and I've presented what I think is a better approach.


I think that it would be better to leave such claims until an adequate level of mastery was achieved in one or both of those disciplines, stream entry being an absolute minimum in Buddhist practice. It seems to me that any understanding of the Dharma which is not based on ones own experience is more or less worthless and the Dharma only really makes sense when one perceives whatever it is thats being talked about. What this means is that only an Arahat has any chance of understanding what it means to be an arahat, there simply is no way to express the knowledge of these things in a way that would make sense to people who do not already perceive it (which is why I would not presume to write about what it may be like to be an arahat, not really having the ability to understand something that I have not experienced).

If it turns out that next week/month/year I find major problems with it, or perhaps something better, I'll drop CC like a hot potato.

The problem is that there will be many periods in one's practice where it seems like the practice is not working, getting through these is one of the major obstacles to doing this sort of work. Changing seats every time this happens would prevent one from achieving anything in their practice me thinks. When the going gets tough, when the doubt sets in, thats when it matters the most to just go through it and have faith in what one is doing.

In a way I am kind of sad to be writing all this to you because I suspect that you will simply keep on coming back, replaying the same dramas that you have done in the past, looking for attention and reaction, expressing the same discontented and angry sentiment over and over. I do sincerely wish that you find something worth investing yourself in and that some contentment starts seeping in.

All the best to you, CCC.

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/10/10 5:07 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
"So Buddhism has no way of tackling the emotions?"

Buddhism is vast and complex, extraordinarily extensive, preposterously multi-faceted, and has nearly endless teachings on emotions and ways to deal with them. The stripped down and pure-insight focused take you see here is a very small fraction of the amazingly large body of Buddhist teachings.

AF puts a substantially different take on all that from anything else I have ever seen, in all honesty, and I have read a ton of Buddhist material, much of which is quite helpful regarding emotions from a relative and Buddhist Ultimate point of view. I think that comparisons with the writings of Castaneda will be difficult and fraught with political, historical and conceptual complexities, not that there aren't some interesting things in his writings, however fanciful.

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/13/10 2:09 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Daniel, I understand what you're getting at with all those questions. You're asking me to look at my motivations for posting, because in doing so I will realise I am motivated by my ego and fall over.


Actually, that's not really what I was getting at, but I did enjoy reading your response. So, thanks for taking the time to write what you did.

What I think I was getting at was really just wanting to know how you wanted this conversation to go. And, now I'm wondering if it has gone the way you wanted it to go?

I still don't know what specifically you wanted out of this specific thread. Did you just want to pass on what you understood to be a better method? Did you want us to bounce ideas with you? Did you want to enhance your learning through feedback? Did you want to find other like-minded individuals who may be into nagualism? Did you want (as suggested by Pavel) attention and reaction?

If you do have some experience from your own practice and your own attempts to implement these three methods which may be helpful for others in their attempts to practice the methods, I would love to hear. Or from your own experience practicing the methods, what has led you to deem nagualism as superior?

take care,

Daniel

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
10/14/10 4:27 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Hi CCC,

If you found similarities between AF and Nagualism, you will turn crazy after you read any book from Mr. Ouspensky* (a dissident from the Fourth Way, not the "Third Alternative" of course). I recommend to start with "Conscience: The Search for Truth"**.
Enjoy the reading,

Luciano

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._D._Ouspensky

** Conscience: the search for truth

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
8/16/11 8:59 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Arhants due to concentration are the only who can have such mistakes and outbursts. Those enlightened through wisdom do not. Nagarjuna also said that through the former can turn back while the latter cannot. Low-level bodhisattvas do not experience such outbursts either. Tantric masters usually achieve many types of enlightenment and meditative fruits so again no outbursts. Strawman galore, and please don't point to those who pretend to practice the buddhist way. They do not represent the fruits of the precious teachings you foolish man. The Buddha called those worthy of being called fools what they were. He did not say this to someone stupid, rather letting the stupid man slander him while the Tathagata remained silent. You are not stupid so you may be called foolish!

RE: Nagualism vs Buddhism vs AF
Answer
8/16/11 9:13 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
Understanding emptiness allows one direct insight to the nature of emotions. Much more so than psychotherapy could possibly offer. Stop asking foolish Buddhist wannabes questions like this and maybe you will get real answers.
If one practices Buddhism, one understands that emotions, just like all other sensory, is like an empty box. Our mind fills this empty box, then becomes confused, thinking the content is somehow part of the box, thinking it came with such a box. We then judge the box based off this confusion... If one understands this isn't the reality & the mind generates the content COUPLED WITH a high refocus rate on the object in question (as in rapidly refocusing on the emotion itself, even when the concentration isn't being lost, try to refocus as rapidly as one can), such as an afflictive emotion, then the box empties and one is left with a mental impression but no conceptual referent or label. It becomes free of thoughts, images, all trichotomies such as pleasant/unpleasant/neutral, it becomes free of all this or that referents, all expectations, all grasping at anything being truly their, and the subject/object/both/neither/other divisions. So the emotions ceases to have any content and thus effect at all. Moreover, if one can refocus quickly enough on the mind while applying the same principle, then one can cease even the registering of the emotion to begin with. As in, one can bring a complete end to emotions with this technique. Loving-Kindness & compassion do not have to cease, as these are virtues, not emotions.
Moreover if one can refocus rapidly on the movement of the mind, then one can achieve samadhi and the mind & body will fall away.