Contemporary knowledge about God, Evolution, and the meaning of human life.
Methodology of spiritual development.
How God Can Be Cognized/Don Juan
I did not understand even half of the written material by Castaneda, but I saw the Great and Wonderful Power, That was behind every line of those books. I fell in love with It!
And, perhaps, Don Juan heard my despairing cry: “Take me with You! Take me into Your world!” Only now I realize that it was He Who was engaged in my upbringing at that time and began to guide me, prepare me for the meeting with the real spiritual work — because such as I was, I was not suitable for spiritual work. I was an ecstatic…, but a lazy dreamer… But only a spiritual warrior can survive on this difficult Path.
By means of various sorts of cunning ways, Don Juan began forcing me to start changing myself — step by step.
For example, I was making a list of rules that had to be strictly followed every day. I was never breaking these rules! It was something like a vow taken by me in the face of Power.
Of course, in the beginning, my relationships with Power were very similar to trade deals: “you give me — I give you”. In order for me “to sign in blood” under every new rule, Don Juan had to scare me with something or promise me something…
In general, He was raising me using the method of “a carrot and stick” — as there was no other way to make such a lazy being as I was — to commit to initial efforts in self-perfection.
Only now I realize how great God’s willingness is to lend “a helping hand” to anyone in whom there is the desire to stand on “the path of the heart”, who understands the necessity to change themselves! In order to help us in this, — He uses every opportunity and any way.
Two-thirds of my “rules” were composed of various nonsense, but nevertheless, these rules have taught me discipline and implementation of my decisions, at any cost.
Terrible laziness was one of my major drawbacks. I was even proud that I was “an owl”: “Well, I thought! I am — an artist-designer, I revolve around esthetes and intellectuals! And I have every right to follow a sort of lazy-bohemian way of life!”
One of “the medicines” for this “disease” which was prescribed to me by Don Juan, was that I had to jump out of bed on the first wake-up call of the alarm clock, rush to the bathroom and pour a bucket of cold water on myself. At first I was waking up each time with a cry: “How could I agree with this — to do such painful things to myself?!”
But, fortunately, I had no choice already.
Another of His rules for me was the complete exclusion of alcohol from the nutrition (even alcohol-filled chocolate sweets!). Such a strict measure seemed strange to me at that time: 2-3 glasses of wine in the company of guests could not be described as alcohol dependence.
When I had written this rule on my list, I found out with horror that the New Year would be in a week!
I was lamenting: “O God!… What have I done?… How will I meet the New Year without champagne?”
But no big deal… I have met it — with a glass of yogurt. And I swear, it was amazingly delicious!
Another important point was elimination of irritability. There were a few people in my environment who could easily “make me hopping mad”. The rule was to remain in complete peace, not to react to nonsense and bothersomeness… I had to learn self-control!
The practice bore its fruit surprisingly quick. I was shocked by the results! As soon as I had learned to control myself — attempts of harassment stopped! This became disinteresting for them!
Through this way, I succeeded also in pacifying my “sense of self-importance”.
I began to look at all events in my life as lessons that Power was presenting me with, — these were lessons in ethics, love and compassion.
… So passed a few years. Of course, I did not become a spiritual warrior during that time. I continued to be an ordinary human, a prisoner of the conventionalities and stereotypes of behavior.
Nevertheless, Don Juan “stirred me up” at that time, “pushed me apart”, taught me “to step over myself”, and because of this, when the time had come for me to throw off part of “the human form”, — I could do it.