Don Juan & "The Enemies of a Man of Knowledge"

Dylan

Jedi
Insightful! Thanks! Gives me some things to consider for my weekly curling match in which I find myself hopelessly lost in the clubhouse while the fellas discuss the latest sports info! I like the idea of focusing on being present and doin my best to engage people on their own terms, because, as you say, it may lead to some unexpected results.

I am usually considered pretty easy to get along with and do my best to be present and off the phone, but there is certainly room for improvement.
 

emmanuel

Jedi Master
Alada said:
panca kanga said:
Dylan said:
Isn't it the case that the STS nature of people is, in some instances destructive to our path regardless? Or is there a threshold where external consideration yields to self preservation?

I thought that a lot of the point of External Consideration was that it is a self protective strategy. In the same way as STO helps self by helping others so STO protects self by considering others - not imposing unwanted points of view or ways of behaviour upon the other. After all, if you try to impose some thing on someone that they do not want or are not interested, in they are quite likely react negatively and strike back in some way.

These are important points I think, external consideration is about being attentive to the needs of others, of considering them first and adapting our manner accordingly in order to help them – which in turn helps us. As others have stated there can be no hard and fast rules, and there will be pathological types from whom it is certainly best to get clear of, but the question should be always be approached carefully and things given due consideration. Networking helps.

Many people tend to consider the question of this or that person becoming an ‘enemy’ from completely the wrong angle, get into the wrong mode of thinking about it, an ‘us and them’ type of thing which helps no one. We forget or fail to even notice that it is not other people who have changed, but something in us that is now different. From this point of view it is we who have become the enemy. If we say or do silly things, change drastically overnight or whatever we only have ourselves to blame then if attack comes our way which might otherwise have been avoided.

[quote author=In Search of the Miraculous]
"General conditions at the beginning of the work are usually of the following kind. First of all it is explained to all the members of a group that they must keep secret everything they hear or learn in the group and not only while they are members of it but forever afterwards.

"This is an indispensable condition whose idea should be clear to them from the very beginning. In other words, it should be clear to them that in this there is no attempt whatever to make a secret of what is not essentially a secret, neither is there any deliberate intention to deprive them of the right to exchange views with those near to them or with their friends.

"The idea of this restriction consists in the fact that they are unable to transmit correctly what is said in the groups. They very soon begin to learn from their own personal experience how much effort, how much time, and how much explaining is necessary in order to grasp what is said in groups. It becomes clear to them that they are unable to give their friends a right idea of what they have learned themselves. At the same time also they begin to understand that by giving their friends wrong ideas they shut them off from any possibility of approaching the work at any time or of understanding anything in connection with the work, to say nothing of the fact that in this way they are creating very many difficulties and even very much unpleasantness for themselves in the future. If a man in spite of this tries to transmit what he hears in groups to his friends he will very quickly be convinced that attempts in this direction give entirely unexpected and undesirable results. Either people begin to argue with him and without wanting to listen to him expect him to listen to their theories, or they misinterpret everything he tells them, attach an entirely different meaning to everything they hear from him. In seeing this and understanding the uselessness of such attempts a man begins to see one aspect of this restriction.

"The other and no less important side consists in the fact that it is very difficult for a man to keep silent about things that interest him. He would like to speak about them to everyone with whom he is accustomed to share his thoughts, as he calls it. This is the most mechanical of all desires and in this case silence is the most difficult abstinence of all. But if a man understands this or, at least, if he follows this rule, it will constitute for him the best exercise possible for self-remembering and for the development of will. Only a man who can be silent when it is necessary can be master of himself.

"But for many people it is very difficult to reconcile themselves to the thought that one of their chief characteristics consists in undue talkativeness, especially for people who are accustomed to regard themselves as serious or sound persons, or for those who regard themselves as silent persons who are fond of solitude and reflection. And for this reason this demand is especially important. In remembering about this and in carrying it out, a man begins to see sides of himself which he never noticed before.”

It’s a mistake I’ve made myself, and goes something like this... When you begin to talk to others about ideas which to them have suddenly appeared completely out of nowhere (and in which they have no interest), to them it is as if a small spot has suddenly appeared on your forehead. The more we talk, the more we start to act differently towards others (lack of external consideration), the more the spot grows becoming larger by the day. It begins to irritate people, while we on the other hand are completely oblivious to it’s appearance, and so we carry on.

Finally we can talk so much (nonsense) that the little annoying spot grows into a huge target, now folk have something to aim for! It’s like the playground joke of sticking a note on someones back reading “kick me”, only we attach the note on ourselves. If things get hooked up to an us/them, everyone else is an ‘enemy’ attitude, then that shows through loud and clear to others as well I think in aloof/standoffish/condescending way. By that point, not only have we placed the target on our head, we’re leaving arrows around the place too.

“Always expect attack! Especially if it will cause problems later on” as the Cs put it. From this point of view we can become our own worst enemy. The best line of defence against ourselves while working out with whom we wish to spend time with and whom we’d rather not, is (as much as is sensible) not outwardly to not change anything about us form other’s point of view. And certainly not to waffle on about matters in which they have zero interest.

Stick with whatever worked before, but do it consciously, learn play a role. If Bob always liked to talk with you about football, then talk about football. If Mary likes to make small talk and gossip, then do that – whatever it takes! Whatever works for them, works for us. If we’re more attentive to the needs of others, do everything we can to make their lives easier, make them more comfortable and feel at ease around is, then we’re far less likely to make ourselves their enemy.

Worth remembering at this time of year as many of us head off for family get-togethers. Much energy can be conserved!
[/quote]

Very, very insightful. Thank you Alada for this wise words...
 

patty2292

Jedi Master
Much food for thought has been supplied by this thread!
Exactly what was needed, at precisely the right time, for myself as slowly overcoming the first enemy: Fear.
Amazing insight on how the four enemy's can portray themselves as companions when overcoming the previous one.

Personally i have experienced the illusion of Clarity and Power without fully being rid of my Fear. Is this possible? Could it be said that the grandiose self masks the fear, thus creating the illusion of Clarity and in turn creates a false sense of Power, without actually getting past the first hurdle?

Having this now three story layered illusion, seemingly makes it harder to take the first stage of fear by the horns, so to speak. As first, one must now rid himself of the superficial power, which in turn leads to understanding that he has little clarity and now sets him back to the increased build up of fear that was at the route of it all.

Also alot of clarity has been shown on how external consideration can be implemented into ones life for me, to make the day easier at work or social/family events. Upon reading i was able to recap on times i have failed at externally considering, while thinking i was doing it fully.
Very insightful read for the morning! Will be adding to my favorites to continue re evaluating myself as i progress more deeply into the work!
 

riclapaz

Dagobah Resident
Hello, recently I finished reading two books of Carlos Castaneda "The Teachings of Don Juan" and "Silent knowledge" even have to read "The Fire" and "The Active Side of Infinity" I confess that I am pleasantly surprised by the similarities I have found with the books of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky in controlling the false perosonalidad and prepare the way for the so take real self control, Don Juan mentions as the descent of spirit, also tells us that every apprentice "brujo "need to save energy for the development of self, and this is the main problem we have the most people give energy to the things of everyday life and ended without the energy needed to do the work, another interesting point is the heightened awareness mentioned Don Juan this is achieved after making several conscious effort, situations that cause shock and make you look beyond the senses, if I remember correctly (someone can correct me please) Gurdjieff said in this regard:

"The more a man understands what he is doing, the greater will be the results of his efforts. This is a fundamental principle of the Fourth Way"

Regarding the silencionsos enemies of a man of knowledge (fear, clarity, power and age) understand that man will always be constantly learning and each new day would be a challenge to overcome and never think you know everything.

:read:
 

patty2292

Jedi Master
I felt a surge of energy and reassurance to continue the push after re-reading this after completely forgetting it for half a year.

Thinking of it so simply and seeing the stages, trying to perceive what one you are in is, for me, extremely useful when self observing and looking back to the state of mind you have recently been in.

It is a hard fight, and as I mentioned in my previous post, that I thought I was drifting through some stages again and again, it's now clear that I was just going through one stage that was shadowed by others. Fear. Dissociation and any mask to cover this fear up was rampant.

Seeing it now, it is an overwhelming experience to plunge into The Work and Trying to be all macho bravodo with it - thinking you can take on the world, is just a scared man's defense mechanism. A defense against the unknown!
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Merci pour tous vos partages instructifs... Depuis que j'ai découvert les livres de Laura, Sott (presse) et votre forum, j'ai fait parvenir les titres des livres aux personnes qui me sont proches sans recevoir un grand enthousiasme, ils n'ont pas le temps, trop impliqués dans leur vie quotidienne... Je pense ainsi avoir fait mon travail SDA sans insister davantage pour respecter leur libre arbitre... Qu'en pensez vous ?...

Sauf avec Jacques Dorval "La Grande Révélation" qui sait de quoi il s'agit, j'ai parlé de vous Laura sur son forum et je me suis permis de répondre à certains commentaires car mon message avait été mal interprété...
http://www.la-grande-revelation.com/la-terre-creuse-une-theorie-censuree-a1784466



Thank you for all your informative sharing ... Since I discovered the books of Laura, Sott (press) and your board, I sent the book titles to people who are close to me without receiving great enthusiasm, they do not have the time, too involved in their daily lives ... I think have done my job without SDA emphasis to respect their free will ... What do you think? ...

Except with Jacques Dorval 'The Great Revelation' who knows what it is, I told you Laura on his forum and I allowed myself to address some comments because my message was misinterpreted ...
http://www.la-grande-revelation.com/la-terre-creuse-une-theorie-censuree-a1784466
 

okiron

Padawan Learner
An incident happen to me not long ago and I think it falls into "enemies of a man of knowledge".
Now it has been a very long time since I felt my life was in danger, and so here comes this situation that took me to the point of confrontation. It was between myself and my younger brother whose mentally ill and has issues with drugs and alcohol. Well I live with my elderly parents and when my brother comes around he creates all kind of chaos, and the next thing you know he's staying longer and longer, and than one day he just moves in without permission.
Now my parents did not have the energy to argue with him and to deal with his moods and his outburst of anger. Me on the other hand, tried to talk to him, to reason with him, and to teach him about his inappropriate behavior,...etc. it worked for little awhile but his personality would change so suddenly, that it makes me think he might have multiple personality disorder or something like that , I don't know. But I can see that it was wearing me down, draining the life out of me, so what did I do, I would meditate about the situation and ask for some guidance. And what came to mind was Don Juan's "petty tyrant" . I thought about that and realized that this was an opportunity. I did not have to seek for a petty tyrant it came to me.
It was difficult at first but the changes were so subtle, I focused on remembering myself and fill my thoughts on the fourth way and what it all means and how to apply it etc. naturally I would fall and find myself forgetting and become angry and bitter but than I would try again and again. Well to shorten the story without much more detail, the day had come, the blow out between my brother and I.
I was sitting in the dinning table watching TV when my brother stomps in and starts to rant all kinds of nonsense, naming calling and throwing false accusation at me. But he's been doing that, the longer he stayed but on that day it was different. He became this person that I did not recognize! I then, sort of enter this state where i was Observant and aware of his every move, while remaining silent and just sat there, pretending to ignore him by keeping my eyes on the TV. He would tried to move in the direction to make eye contact but i would not. He even threw a can of soda at me which fell to the ground splattered all over the floor, and than, he came creeping behind me and whispered "Your gonna get yours". which send chills up my spine. My whole body was telling me "danger, danger" and my heart was beating so fast.
It was at this point, i found myself asking, " do you have the destiny of a mouse and something about a lion, I couldn't remember the exact quote that I read somewhere in the C's transcript, but anyways, somewhere within me, understood it, and made a choice. And so, I stood my ground no matter what and awaited for his next move. But he did nothing more and just walked away.
So in a way, I think at that moment is where I confronted my Fear? And also, i was no longer fearful about confronting my parents to decide once in for all; either my brother moves out or I will. They hesitated to give me an answer so, I packed my belonging and moved out.
Now you must understand the circumstance of the situation, my mother is in a wheelchair can barely stand and she knows she needs help from me, but she refuse to let go of her son and my father stays in his room, not much help to my mother, keeping himself in denial from his environment. So these building up of this type of friction within me, in whether or not to stay, suddenly became very clear to me.
To make it short, went through more drama after that, but the family finally got together and through team effort decided what would be the best for everyone.
I hope this relates to the topic and please excuse my lack of skillful writing.
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Quelle expérience difficile vous devez vivre... Je vous envoie beaucoup de courage...

How difficult experience you have to live ... I send you a lot of courage ...
 

zak

The Living Force
PERLOU said:
Merci pour tous vos partages instructifs... Depuis que j'ai découvert les livres de Laura, Sott (presse) et votre forum, j'ai fait parvenir les titres des livres aux personnes qui me sont proches sans recevoir un grand enthousiasme, ils n'ont pas le temps, trop impliqués dans leur vie quotidienne... Je pense ainsi avoir fait mon travail SDA sans insister davantage pour respecter leur libre arbitre... Qu'en pensez vous ?...

Sauf avec Jacques Dorval "La Grande Révélation" qui sait de quoi il s'agit, j'ai parlé de vous Laura sur son forum et je me suis permis de répondre à certains commentaires car mon message avait été mal interprété...
http://www.la-grande-revelation.com/la-terre-creuse-une-theorie-censuree-a1784466



Thank you for all your informative sharing ... Since I discovered the books of Laura, Sott (press) and your board, I sent the book titles to people who are close to me without receiving great enthusiasm, they do not have the time, too involved in their daily lives ... I think have done my job without SDA emphasis to respect their free will ... What do you think? ...

Except with Jacques Dorval 'The Great Revelation' who knows what it is, I told you Laura on his forum and I allowed myself to address some comments because my message was misinterpreted ...
http://www.la-grande-revelation.com/la-terre-creuse-une-theorie-censuree-a1784466
I passed too by this experience, and i think it's better to focus on your own learning, to assimilate it, and live your life trough,
and the people who are really interested will come to talk with you or not.
I think the most of the members of the forum were in this case, so that's why this window giving by Laura is so important.
 

Jones

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Sunday, 15 April 1962

As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to ask him once more about the enemies of a man of knowledge. I argued that I could not return for some time, and it would be a good idea to write down what he had to say and then think about it while I was away.

He hesitated for a while, but then began to talk.

"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 tumbled 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 will have put an end to his quest."

"What will happen to the man if he runs away in fear?"

"Nothing happens to him except that he will never learn. He will never become a man of knowledge. He will perhaps be a bully or a harmless, scared man; at any rate, he will be a defeated man. His first enemy will have put an end to his cravings."

"And what can he do to overcome fear?"

"The answer is very simple. 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."

"Does it happen at once, don Juan, or little by little?"

"It happens little by little, and yet the fear is vanquished suddenly and fast."

"But won't the man be afraid again if something new happens to him?"

"No. Once a man has vanquished fear, he is free from it for the rest of his life because, instead of fear, he has acquired clarity - a clarity of mind which erases fear. By then a man knows his desires; he knows how to satisfy those desires. He can anticipate the new steps of learning, and a sharp clarity surrounds everything. The man feels that nothing is concealed. And thus he has encountered his second enemy: Clarity!

"That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds. It forces the man never to doubt himself. It gives him the assurance he can do anything he pleases, for he sees clearly into everything. And he is courageous because he is clear, and he stops at nothing because he is clear. But all that is a mistake; it is like something incomplete. If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy and will fumble with learning. He will rush when he should be patient, or he will be patient when he should rush. And he will fumble with learning until he winds up incapable of learning anything more."

"What becomes of a man who is defeated in that way, don Juan? Does he die as a result?"

"No, he doesn't die. His second enemy has just stopped him cold from trying to become a man of knowledge; instead, the man may turn into a buoyant warrior, or a clown. Yet the clarity for which he has paid so dearly will never change to darkness and fear again. He will be clear as long as he lives, but he will no longer
learn, or yearn for anything."

"But what does he have to do to avoid being defeated?"

"He must do what he did with fear: he must defy his clarity and use it only to see, and wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps; he must think, above all, that his clarity is almost a mistake. And a moment will come when he will understand that his clarity was only a point before his eyes. And thus he will
have overcome his second enemy, and will arrive at a position where nothing can harm him any more. This will not be a mistake. It will not be only a point before his eyes. It will be true power. He will know at this point that the power he has been pursuing for so long is finally his. He can do with it whatever he pleases. His ally is at his command. His wish is the rule. He sees all that is around him. But he has also come across his third enemy: Power!

"Power is the strongest of all enemies. And naturally the easiest thing to do is to give in; after all, the man is truly invincible. He commands; he begins by taking calculated risks, and ends in making rules, because he is a master.

"A man at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in on him. And suddenly, without knowing, he will certainly have lost the battle. His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man."

"Will he lose his power?"

"No, he will never lose his clarity or his power."

"What then will distinguish him from a man of knowledge?"

"A man who is defeated by power dies without really knowing how to handle it. Power is only a burden upon his fate. Such a man has no command over himself, and cannot tell when or how to use his power."

"Is the defeat by any of these enemies a final defeat?"

"Of course it is final. Once one of these enemies overpowers a man there is nothing he can do."

"Is it possible, for instance, that the man who is defeated by power may see his error and mend his ways?"

"No. Once a man gives in he is through."

"But what if he is temporarily blinded by power, and then refuses it?"

"That means his battle is still on. That means he is still trying to become a man of knowledge. A man is defeated only when he no longer tries, and abandons himself."

"But then, don Juan, it is possible that a man may abandon himself to fear for years, but finally conquer it."

"No, that is not true. If he gives in to fear he will never conquer it, because he will shy away from learning and never try again. But if he tries to learn for years in the midst of his fear, he will eventually conquer it because he will never have really abandoned himself to it."

"How can he defeat his third enemy, don Juan?"

"He has to defy it, deliberately. He has to come to realize the power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. He must keep himself in line at all times, handling carefully and faithfully all that he has learned. If he can see that clarity and power, without his control over himself, are worse than mistakes, he will reach a point where everything is held in check. He will know then when and how to use his power. And thus he will have defeated his third enemy.

"The man will be, by then, at the end of his journey of learning, and almost without warning he will come upon the last of his enemies: Old age! This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one he won't be able to defeat completely, but only fight away.

"This is the time when a man has no more fears, no more impatient clarity of mind - a time when all his power is in check, but also the time when he has an unyielding desire to rest. If he gives in totally to his desire to lie down and forget, if he soothes himself in tiredness, he will have lost his last round, and his enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge.

"But if the man sloughs off his tiredness, and lives his fate through, he can then be called a man of knowledge, if only for the brief moment when he succeeds in fighting off his last, invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power, and knowledge is enough."

Been thinking about the above with Iain McGilchrists The Matter with Things and The Master and His Emissary in mind. Since the indication is that new learning is right hemisphere and once practiced it's typically handed over to left hemisphere then overcoming each of the enemies of a man of knowledge might represent the point at which there is danger of the learning becoming left hemisphere dominant- black and white or algorothmic with focus on limited details, rigid and lacking nuance - if care isn't taken to preserve a flexible, holistic and nuanced overview.
 

Wandering Star

The Living Force
Been thinking about the above with Iain McGilchrists The Matter with Things and The Master and His Emissary in mind. Since the indication is that new learning is right hemisphere and once practiced it's typically handed over to left hemisphere then overcoming each of the enemies of a man of knowledge might represent the point at which there is danger of the learning becoming left hemisphere dominant- black and white or algorothmic with focus on limited details, rigid and lacking nuance - if care isn't taken to preserve a flexible, holistic and nuanced overview.
What an important text this is from "The Teachings of Don Juan."

I have thought about it for a while and I am going to give a schematic summary that of course can be wrong.

"How to be afraid if the important thing is the Soul and not the body".

"Laura and the C's have given us clarity by teaching the 'truth'.

"Who wants power, when we can use power to help."

"Why give in to fatigue, when we are "children" with a huge universe to play with".

Personally, the text provided has made me reflect a lot.
 
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