“Human beings are on a journey of awareness, which has momentarily been interrupted by extraneous forces.”
“One must understand the stupidity of his contradictory behavior.”
“The most serious topic in sorcery is predation.”
To the horrified astonishment of his apprentice, the elder sorcerer explains how the human mind has been infiltrated by an alien intelligence: We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don’t do so…Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of beliefs, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores.
Gnostic writings contain descriptions of alien predators called Archons, Arkontai in Greek. The texts from Nag Hammadi describe them as heavy, elusive, shadowy creatures. The most common name for them is “beings of the likeness, shadow-creatures.” Could the Archons be compared to the “mud shadows” described by Don Juan?
This question raises the general issue of parallels between Don Juan’s Central American Toltec shamanism and the shamanism of the Mystery Schools of ancient Europe. Let’s consider some of these parallels.
First, there is the matter of the influence of the predators or flyers on humanity.
In The Active Side of Infinity, Don Juan tells Castaneda that,
“the predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind.”
This alarming statement suggests an immediate parallel to Gnostic teachings.
Gnostics, who directed the Mystery Schools of the Near East in antiquity, taught that the true mind of human beings, nous authenticos, is part of the cosmic intelligence that pervades nature, but due to the intrusion of the Archons, this “native mind” or “native genius” can be subverted and even occupied by another mind.
Gnostic texts describe direct, physical confrontations with Archons of two kinds, an embryonic or foetal type – hence, the Greys of modern UFO lore – and a reptilian type. The usual tactic of the Greys is first to stun and then infiltrate the mind of the human subject. In the First Apocalypse of James, the Gnostic master instructs a student in how to confront the Archons.
These predatory entities are said to “abduct souls by night,” a precise description of modern ET abductions. The adept in the Mysteries learns to repel the Archons with magical formulas (mantras) and magical passes or gestures of power (mudras).
The adept who practices astral projection, lucid dreaming or “manipulations of the double” (as in Castaneda) is said to face the Archons in a kind of computer-game maze of seven levels, corresponding to the seven planets. At each level, the adept is unable to continue unless he confronts the “gatekeepers,” using magical passes and words.
The human character-traits attributed by Don Juan to deviation by the foreign installation are identical to those ascribed to the Archons in Gnostic writings: envy (covetousness) and arrogance (egomania) are said to be their primary features, while their behavior demonstrates that they are mindless drones (routinary), greedy for power over us and too cowardly to come out in the open and reveal themselves.
The Foreign Installation
The idea of a foreign installation is extremely instructive. It immediately recalls metallic or crystalline implants said to be used by the Greys (and their human accomplices) to track human subjects.
In another, less technological sense, it suggests an ideological virus implanted in our minds by non-human entities.
According to the Gnostic critique of Christianity, salvationist ideology in its Judeo-Christian form (i.e., belief in a divine redeemer and a final apocalypse) is just such a virus. It is something implanted in the human mind by alien forces.
Both in Toltec and Gnostic terms, the ultimate liberation for humanity may come through facing the alien predators. They are not here to advance or assist us, but in confronting and overcoming them we may gain a vital boost toward another level of consciousness.
Some points of commonality between Gnosticism and the Toltec-derived neo-shamanism of Castaneda are:
the Toltec exposure of an alien mind or foreign installation that makes us less and other than we humanly are: comparable to the Gnostic idea of a dehumanizing ideological virus implanted in our minds by the Alien/Archons.
the importance for the sorcerer of mastering intent: comparable to Gnostic emphasis on ennoia, intentionality, which aligns us with the Gods and elevates us above the Archons.
The Toltec assertion that predation is “the topic of topics”: comparable to the Gnostic emphasis on the intrusion of the Archons. Facing intrusion is essential, because if we cannot see how we are deviated, we cannot find our true path in the cosmos.
Don Juan stressed the need to confront this inorganic being to experience “the total certainty of the mind’s foreign origin.” The “predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives” may certainly be equated to the Archons of Gnostic teachings. Don Juan describes Alien intrusion and its main consequence, behavioral modification, in a most vivid manner. The old sorcerer also makes a striking comment on what might be gained from our encounter with these entities. “The flyers are an essential part of the universe… and they must be taken as what they really are – awesome, monstrous. They are the means by which the universe tests us.”
What can we do about the topic of topics, predation “All we can do is discipline ourselves to the point where they will not touch us,” Don Juan advises.