Carlos Castaneda & Soft Eyes

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Seeing Anew: Exploring Perception

Carlos Castaneda & Seeing

Carlos Castaneda, in THE SECOND RING OF POWER, wrote that his teacher, Don Juan, instructed him, "Instead of teaching me to focus my view, as gazers did, he taught me to open it, to flood my awareness by not focusing my sight on anything. I had to sort of feel with my eyes everything in the 180-degree range in front of me, while I kept my eyes unfocused just above the line of the horizon."

An Unknown Student of Castaneda on seeing
..."The third item is the key to the entire process. It is a way of using the eyes, of using vision in a different way to that which constitutes the norm. In everyday usage the eyes tend to employ foveal vision; the aspect of vision where we focus upon specifics, and out of these build and maintain our perceptual model of the world. Of course a certain amount of peripheral vision is employed in the process of seeing, yet by comparison to foveal vision it is minimal, we open peripheral vision by:

1) Gently resting the gaze upon a distant fixed point.
2) Without moving the eyes becoming aware of what is above, below and to the left and right.

We effectively open the eyes in such a way that the rods and cones upon the surface of the eyes are saturated with information from the world. The result of this influx of information is saturation of the conscious mind, which can only process a limited amount of information simultaneously. The conscious mind checks out, as it were. What arises is communication of this information in the direction of Second Attention. This is evidence by the state of utilizing See/Feel neurological circuitry which cuts in directly as a result of the process.

Having arrived at this state, it is to be noted that with all the components deeply and congruently in place, the cessation of internal dialogue is effectively cessation of the conscious process of maintaining our model of the world. We experience the world through new eyes. It is from this state of Stopping the World that we have the opportunity to assemble new worlds, to shift the Assemblage Point to new locations and experience and explore these worlds.

Exercise
1) Whilst walking rest your gaze gently on the horizon point and curl your fingertips, as if you were holding cylinders in each of your hands, this is done in a relaxed way.
2) Without moving the eyes and gently resting your gaze become aware of what is present in your peripheral vision, above you, beneath you, to your right and to your left.
3) Continue this until such a time as the State deepens and settles."
(Author Unknown)

From Magical Passes by Carlos Castaneda

"Ancient masters believed there is an inherent amount of energy existing in each one of us, an amount which is not subject to the onslaughts of outside forces augmenting it or decreasing it. They believed that the quantity of energy was sufficient to accomplish something which those sources deemed to be the obsession of every man on Earth: breaking the parameters of normal perception don Juan Marcos was convinced that our incapacity to break those parameters was induced by our culture and social milieu. He maintained that our culture and social milieu deployed every bit of our inherent energy in fulfilling established behavioral patterns which didn't allow us to break those parameters of normal perception."

"Why in the world would I, or anyone else, want to break those parameters? I asked don Juan on one occasion."

"Breaking those parameters is the unavoidable issue of mankind,” he replied. “Breaking them means the entrance into unthinkable worlds of a pragmatic value in no way different from the value of our world of everyday life. Regardless of whether or not we accept this premise, we are obsessed with breaking these parameters, and we fail miserably at it, hence the profusion of drugs and stimulants and religious rituals and ceremonies among modern man..."  (Magical Passes by Carlos Castaneda)

From William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven & Hell

"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern."

Aldous Huxley - The Doors of Perception

"To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large — this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual." 






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