You must understand that a warrior is not a fool. A warrior is an immaculate hunter who hunts power; he’s not drunk, or crazed, and he has neither the time nor the disposition to bluff, or to lie to himself, or to make a wrong move. The stakes are too high for that. The stakes are his trimmed orderly life which he has taken so long to tighten and perfect. He is not going to throw that away by making some stupid miscalculation, by mistaking something for something else.
It doesn’t matter how one was brought up, what determines the way one does anything is personal power. A man is only the sum of his personal power, and that sum determines how he lives and how he dies. Personal power is a feeling, something like being lucky. Or one may call it a mood. Solace, haven, fear, all of these are words which have created moods that one has learned to accept without ever questioning their value. The mood of a warrior calls for control over himself and at the same time it calls for abandoning himself. The hardest thing in the world is to assume the mood of a warrior. It is of no use to be sad and complain and feel justified in doing so, believing that someone is always doing something to us. Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior. Self-pity doesn’t jibe with power. Be fluid, at ease in whatever situation you find yourself. Your challenge is to deal with people with ease regardless of what they do to you.
Last night when the lion let out a scream, you moved very well. Everything you did then was done within a proper mood. You were controlled and at the same time abandoned. You were not paralyzed with fear. To climb that bluff as you did, in darkness, required that you hold on to yourself and let go of yourself at the same time, that’s what I call the mood of a warrior.
I wanted to show you that you can spur yourself beyond your limits if you are in the proper mood. A warrior makes his own mood. You didn’t know that. Fear got you into the mood of a warrior, but now that you know about it, anything can serve to get you into it.
It’s convenient to always act in such a mood, it cuts through the crap and leaves one purified. One needs the mood of a warrior for every single act, otherwise one becomes distorted and ugly. There is no power in a life that lacks this mood.
A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That’s control. But once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That’s abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.
A warrior could be injured but not offended. For a warrior there is nothing offensive about the acts of his fellow men as long as he himself is acting within the proper mood. The mood of a warrior is not so far-fetched for yours or anybody’s world. You need it in order to cut through all the guff. To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple matter. It is a revolution. To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of the warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.
Personal power is something that one acquires by means of a lifetime of struggle, regardless of one’s origin. Everybody has enough personal power for something. The trick for the warrior is to pull his personal power away from his weaknesses to his warrior’s purpose.
A warrior is a hunter of power. I am teaching you how to hunt and store it. The difficulty with you, which is the difficulty with all of us, is to be convinced. You need to believe that personal power can be used and that it is possible to store it. To be convinced means that you can act by yourself.
Any warrior could become a man of knowledge. As I told you, a warrior is an impeccable hunter that hunts power. If he succeeds in his hunting he can be a man of knowledge. A man of knowledge is one who has followed truthfully the hardships of learning; a man who has, without rushing or faltering, gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of personal power. Only be concerned with the idea of storing personal power.
Hunting power is a peculiar event. It first has to be an idea, then it has to be set up, step by step, and then, bingo! It happens. Hunting power is a very strange affair. There is no way to plan it ahead of time. That’s what’s exciting about it. A warrior proceeds as if he had a plan though, because he trusts his personal power. He knows for a fact that it will make him act in the most appropriate fashion.
A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That’s control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That’s abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgement. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.
I hunt in order to live. I can live off the land, anywhere. To be a hunter means that one can see the world in different ways. In order to be a hunter one must be in perfect balance with everything else, otherwise hunting would become a meaningless chore.
Today we took a little snake. I had to apologize to her for cutting her life off so suddenly and so definitely; I did what I did knowing that my own life will also be cut off someday in very much the same fashion, suddenly and definitely. So, all in all, we and the snakes are on a par. One of them fed us today.
Hunters must be exceptionally tight individuals. A hunter leaves very little to chance. For your purposes it doesn’t really matter whether you learn about plants or about hunting. I am a hunter. I leave very little to chance. Perhaps I should explain to you that I learned to be a hunter. I have not always lived the way I do now. At one point in my life I had to change. Now I’m pointing the direction to you. I’m guiding you. I know what I’m talking about; someone taught me all this. I didn’t figure it out for myself.
I’m having a gesture with you. Other people have had a similar gesture with you; someday you yourself will have the same gesture with others. Let’s say that it is my turn. One day I found out that if I wanted to be a hunter worthy of self-respect I had to change my way of life. I used to whine and complain a great deal. I had good reasons to feel shortchanged. I am an Indian and Indians are treated like dogs. There was nothing I could do to remedy that, so all I was left with was my sorrow. But then my good fortune spared me and someone taught me to hunt. And I realized that the way I lived was not worth living… so I changed it.
Power is a very peculiar affair. It is impossible to pin it down and say what it really is. It is a feeling that one has about certain things. Power is personal. It belongs to oneself alone. A hunter of power entraps it and then stores it away as his personal finding. Thus, personal power grows, and you may have the case of a warrior who has so much personal power that he becomes a man of knowledge.
If you store power your body can perform unbelievable feats. On the other hand, if you dissipate power you’ll be a fat old man in no time at all. A hunter of power watches everything and everything tells him some secret. How can one be sure that things are telling secrets? you ask. The only way to be sure is by following all the instructions I have been giving you, starting from the first day you came to see me. In order to have power one must live with power.
There are worlds upon worlds, right here in front of us. And they are nothing to laugh at. Power commands you and yet it is at your command. A warrior follows the dictums of power. Power is a very weird affair. In order to have it and command it one must have power to begin with. It’s possible, however, to store it, little by little, until one has enough to sustain oneself in a battle of power.
The world is a mystery. This, what you’re looking at, is not all there is to it. There is much more to the world, so much more, in fact, that it is endless. So when you’re trying to figure it out, all you’re really doing is trying to make the world familiar. You and I are right here, in the world that you call real, simply because we both know it. You don’t know the world of power, therefore you cannot make it into a familiar scene.
Once you know what it is like to stop the world you realize there is a reason for it. You see, one of the arts of the warrior is to collapse the world for a specific reason and then restore it again in order to keep on living.
Someday you will live like a warrior, in spite of yourself. I have taught you nearly everything a warrior needs to know in order to start off in the world, storing power by himself. It takes a lifelong struggle to be by oneself in the world of power.
It isn’t that a warrior learns shamanism as time goes by; rather, what he learns as time goes by is to save energy. This energy will enable him to handle some of the energy fields which are ordinarily inaccessible to him. Shamanism is a state of awareness, the ability to use energy fields that are not employed in perceiving the everyday-life world that we know.
There is only one way to learn, and that way is to get down to business. To only talk about power is useless. If you want to know what power is, and if you want to stress it you must tackle everything yourself. The road to knowledge and power is very difficult and very long. Little by little you are plugging up all your points of drainage. You don’t have to be deliberate about it, because power always finds a way. Take me as an example. I didn’t know I was storing power when I first began to learn the ways of a warrior. Just like you, I thought I wasn’t doing anything in particular, but that was not so. Power has the peculiarity of being unnoticeable when it is being stored.
Power does not belong to anyone. Some of us may gather it and then it could be given directly to someone else. You see, the key to stored power is that it can be used only to help someone else store power.
Everything a man does hinges on his personal power. Therefore, for one who doesn’t have any, the deeds of a powerful man are incredible. It takes power to even conceive what power is. This is what I have been trying to tell you all along.
The world is a mystery and it is not at all as you picture it. Well, it is also as you picture it, but that’s not all there is to the world; there is much more to it. You have been finding that out all along, and perhaps tonight you will add one more piece. I don’t plan anything. All is decided by the same power that allowed you to find this spot.
It is getting dark. The world is very strange at this time of the day. We are very noticeable here and something is coming to us. It may seem to be wind to you, because wind is all you know. Here it comes. Look how it is searching for us. It’s something that hides in the wind and looks like a whorl, a cloud, a mist, a face that twirls around. It moves in a specific direction. It either tumbles or it twirls. A hunter must know all that in order to move correctly.
To believe that the world is only as you think it is, is stupid. The world is a mysterious place. Especially in the twilight. This can follow us. It can make us tired or it might even kill us. At this time of the day, in the twilight, there is no wind. At this time there is only power.
If you would live out here in the wilderness you would know that during the twilight the wind becomes power. A hunter that is worth his salt knows that, and acts accordingly. He uses the twilight and that power hidden in the wind. If it is convenient to him, the hunter hides from the power by covering himself and remaining motionless until the twilight is gone and the power has sealed him into its protection.
The protection of the power seals you like in a cocoon. A hunter can stay out in the open and no puma or coyote or slimy bug could bother him. A mountain lion could come up to the hunters nose and sniff him, and if the hunter does not move, the lion would leave. I can guarantee you that.
If the hunter, on the other hand, wants to be noticed all he has to do is to stand on a hilltop at the time of the twilight and the power will nag him and seek him all night. Therefore, if a hunter wants to travel at night or if he wants to be kept awake he must make himself available to the wind.
Therein lies the secret of great hunters. To be available and unavailable at the precise turn of the road. You must learn to become deliberately available and unavailable. As your life goes now, you are unwittingly available at all times. To be unavailable does not mean to hide or to be secretive but to be inaccessible. It makes no difference to hide if everyone knows that you are hiding.
We are fools, all of us, and you cannot be different. At one time in my life I, like you, made myself available over and over again until there was nothing of me left for anything except perhaps crying. And that I did, just like yourself.
You must take yourself away. You must retrieve yourself from the middle of the road. Your whole being is there, thus it is of no use to hide; you would only imagine that you are hidden. Being in the middle of the road means that everyone passing by watches your comings and goings.
The art of a hunter is to become inaccessible. To be inaccessible means that you touch the world around you sparingly. You don’t expose yourself to the power of the wind unless it is mandatory. You don’t use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people you love.
To be unavailable means that you deliberately avoid exhausting yourself and others. It means that you are not hungry and desperate. A hunter knows he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he doesn’t worry. To worry is to become accessible, unwittingly accessible. And once you worry you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.
I’ve told you already that to be inaccessible does not mean to hide or to be secretive. It doesn’t mean that you cannot deal with people either. A hunter uses his world sparingly and with tenderness regardless of whether the world might be things, or plants, or animals, or people, or power. A hunter deals intimately with his world and yet he is inaccessible to that same world. He is inaccessible because he’s not squeezing his world out of shape. He taps it lightly, stays for as long as he needs to, and then swiftly moves away leaving hardly a mark.
There’s no plan when it comes to hunting power. Hunting power or hunting game is the same. There are no steps to anything a warrior does. There is only personal power. A hunter hunts whatever presents itself to him. Thus he must always be in a state of readiness. You know about the wind, and now you may hunt power in the wind by yourself. But there are other things you don’t know about which are, like the wind, the center of power at certain times and at certain places.
A good hunter knows one thing above all – he knows the routines of his prey. That’s what makes him a good hunter. A hunter that is worth his salt does not catch game because he sets his traps, or because he knows the routines of his prey, but because he himself has no routines. He is free, fluid, unpredictable.
In order to be a hunter you must disrupt the routines of your life. I am concerned with the things animals do; the places they eat; the place, the manner, the time they sleep; where they nest; how they walk. These are the routines I am pointing out to you so you can become aware of them in your own being.
All of us behave like the prey we are after. That, of course, also makes us prey for something or someone else. Now, the concern of a hunter, who knows all this, is to stop being a prey himself. It takes time. You could begin by not eating lunch every single day at twelve o’clock.
A good hunter changes his ways as often as he needs. A hunter must not only know about the habits of his prey, he also must know that there are powers on this earth that guide men and animals and everything that is living. Powers that guide our lives and our deaths.
All of us are fools. You always feel compelled to explain your acts, as if you were the only man on earth who’s wrong. It’s your old feeling of importance. You have too much of it; you also have too much personal history. On the other hand, you don’t assume responsibility for your acts; you’re not using your death as an adviser, and above all you are too accessible.
Trust your personal power. That’s all one has in this whole mysterious world. Get hold of yourself, because the darkness is like the wind, an unknown entity at large that could trick you if you are not careful, and you have to be perfectly calm in order to deal with it. You must let yourself go so your personal power will merge with the power of the night.
A warrior acts as if he knows what he is doing, when in effect he knows nothing. A warrior is acting impeccably when he trusts his personal power regardless of whether it is small or enormous.
All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess to pick it up.
Chance, good luck, personal power, or whatever you may call it, is a peculiar state of affairs. It is like a very small stick that comes out in front of us and invites us to pluck it. Usually we are too busy, or too preoccupied, or just too stupid and lazy to realize that that is our cubic centimeter of luck. A warrior, on the other hand, is always alert and tight and has the spring, the gumption necessary to grab it. Power always makes a cubic centimeter of chance available to a warrior. The warrior’s art is to be perennially fluid in order to pluck it.
Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power. It doesn’t matter what one reveals or what one keeps to oneself. If we have enough of it, one word uttered to us might be sufficient to change the course of our lives. But if we don’t have enough personal power, the most magnificent piece of wisdom can be revealed to us and that revelation won’t make a damn bit of difference.
I’m going to utter perhaps the greatest piece of knowledge anyone can voice. Let me see what you can do with it. Do you know that at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity, if you so desire?
There! Eternity is there! All around! Do you know that you can extend yourself forever in any of the directions I have pointed to? Do you know that one moment can be eternity? This is not a riddle; it’s a fact, but only if you mount that moment and use it to take the totality of yourself forever in any direction.
You didn’t have this knowledge before, now you do. I have revealed it to you, but it doesn’t make a bit of difference, because you don’t have enough personal power to utilize my revelation. Yet if you did have enough power, my words alone would serve as the means for you to round up the totality of yourself and to get the crucial part of it out of the boundaries in which it is contained. One can get out of those boundaries. We are a feeling, an awareness encased here. We are luminous beings and for a luminous being only personal power matters.
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