In this system of knowledge there is a difference between seeing and looking. They are two distinct manners of perceiving. Looking refers to the ordinary way in which we are accustomed to perceiving the world of form, while seeing entails a process by virtue of which a man of knowledge perceives the essence of the things of the world.
Acquiring the necessary speed to catch a glimpse of that fleeting world of nonordinary reality is a goal of your training. You may call it a condition of inapplicability because what you will perceive when you acquire that necessary speed is incomprehensible and impossible to interpret by means of our everyday mode of understanding the world. In other words, the condition of inapplicability entails the cessation of the pertinence of our normal world view.
Obviously there has to be an endless number of possible sensible interpretations that are pertinent to sorcery that a sorcerer must learn to make. In our day-to-day life we are confronted with an endless number of sensible interpretations pertinent to it. A simple example could be the no longer deliberate interpretation, which we make scores of times every day, of the structure we call “room”. It is obvious that we have learned to interpret the structure we call room in terms of room; thus room is a sensible interpretation because it requires that at the time we make it we are cognizant, in one way or another, of all the elements that enter into its composition. A system of sensible interpretation is, in other words, the process by virtue of which a person is cognizant of all the units of meaning necessary to make assumptions, deductions, predictions, etc., about all the situations pertinent to his activity.
I am attempting to make my system of sensible interpretation accessible to you. Such an accessibility, in this case, is equivalent to a process of resocialization in which new ways of interpreting perceptual data are learned. You are the stranger, the one who lacks the capacity to make intelligent and congruous interpretations proper to sorcery. My task, as a teacher making my system accessible to you is to disarrange a particular certainty which you share with everyone else, the certainty that our “common-sense” views of the world are final. You will see that our ordinary view of the world cannot be final because it is only an interpretation.
Again, the eyes of man can perform two functions: one is seeing energy at large as it flows in the universe and the other is “looking at things in this world”. Neither of these functions is better than the other; however to train the eyes only to look is a shameful and unnecessary loss.
Seeing is really a bodily knowledge. The predominance of the visual sense in us influences this bodily knowledge and makes it seem to be eye-related. The reason why seeing seems to be visual is because we need the eyes to focus on intent. Our eyes can catch another aspect of intent and that’s called seeing. The true function of the eyes is to be the catchers of intent.
It takes an enormity of strength to let go of the intent of everyday life. One must place one’s attention on the luminous shell. A warrior must evoke intent. The glance is the secret. The eyes beckon intent.
The core of our being is the act of perceiving, and the magic of our being is the act of awareness. Perception and awareness are a single, functional, inextricable unit. Seeing is a special capacity that one can develop which allows one to apprehend the ultimate nature of things. Every human being has the potential to see energy directly. Every human being already sees energy directly but doesn’t know it. Everyone can see, and yet we choose not to remember what we see because we are trained to forget it in favour of the description of the world that we have learned. Seeing happens only when the warrior is capable of stopping the internal dialogue.
I am teaching you how to see as opposed to merely looking, and stopping the world is the first step to seeing. The sorcerer’s description of the world is perceivable. But our insistence on holding on to our standard version of reality renders us almost deaf and blind to it.
When you begin this teaching, there is another reality, that is to say, there is a sorcery description of the world, which you do not know. As a sorcerer and a teacher, I am teaching you that description. What I am doing with you consists, therefore, in setting up that unknown reality by unfolding its description, adding increasingly more complex parts as you go along.
In order to arrive at seeing one first has to stop the world. Stopping the world is indeed an appropriate rendition of certain states of awareness in which the reality of everyday life is altered because the flow of interpretation, which ordinarily runs uninterruptedly, has been stopped by a set of circumstances alien to that flow.
In this case the set of circumstances alien to our normal flow of interpretations is the sorcerer’s description of the world. The precondition for stopping the world is that one has to be convinced; in other words, one has to learn the new description in a total sense, for the purpose of pitting it against the old one, and in that way break the dogmatic certainty, which we all share, that the validity of our perceptions, or our reality of the world, is not to be questioned.
After stopping the world the next step is seeing. By that I mean what could be categorized as responding to the perceptual solicitations of a world outside the description we have learned to call reality. Seeing happens only when one sneaks between the worlds; the world of ordinary people and the world of sorcerers. The real thing is when the body realizes that it can see. Only then is one capable of knowing that the world we look at every day is only a description. My intent has been to show you that.
We learn to think about everything, and then we train our eyes to look as we think about the things we look at. We look at ourselves already thinking that we are important. And therefore we’ve got to feel important! But then when a man learns to see, he realizes that he can no longer think about the things he looks at, and if he cannot think about what he looks at everything becomes unimportant. Everything is equal and therefore unimportant.
We need to look with our eyes to laugh. When our eyes see, everything is so equal that nothing is funny. My laughter, as well as everything I do is real but it also is controlled folly because it is useless; it changes nothing and yet I still do it. I laugh a great deal because I like to laugh, yet everything I say is deadly serious. One must always choose the path with heart in order to be at one’s best, perhaps so one can always laugh.
You don’t understand me now because of your habit of thinking as you look and thinking as you think. By “thinking” I mean the constant idea that we have of everything in the world. Seeing dispels that habit and until you learn to see you will not really understand what I mean.
Upon learning to see a man no longer needs to live like a warrior, nor be a sorcerer. Upon learning to see a man becomes everything by becoming nothing. He, so to speak, vanishes and yet he’s there. I would say that this is the time when a man can be or can get anything he desires. But he desires nothing, and instead of playing with his fellow men like they were toys, he meets them in the midst of their folly. The only difference between them is that a man who sees controls his folly, while his fellow men can’t. A man who sees has no longer an active interest in his fellow men. Seeing has already detached him from absolutely everything he knew before.
Don’t let the idea of being detached from everything you know give you the chills. The thing which should give you the chills is not to have anything to look forward to but a lifetime of doing that which you have always done. Think of the man who plants corn year after year until he’s too old and tired to get up, so he lies around like an old dog. His thoughts and feelings, the best of him, ramble aimlessly to the only things he has ever done, to plant corn. For me that is the most frightening waste there is.
We are warriors and our lot is to learn and to be hurled into inconceivable new worlds. Seeing is for impeccable warriors. Temper your spirit now, become a warrior, learn to see, and then you’ll know that there is no end to the new worlds for our vision. When you see there are no longer familiar features in the world. Everything is new. Everything has never happened before. The world is incredible! Everything you gaze at becomes nothing!
Things don’t disappear, they don’t vanish, they simply become nothing and yet they are still there. Seeing makes one realize the unimportance of everything. When a man learns to see, not a single thing he knows prevails. Not a single one. Nothing is known; nothing remains as we used to know it when we didn’t see.
The average man is either victorious or defeated and, depending on that, he becomes a persecutor or a victim. These two conditions are prevalent as long as one does not see. Seeing dispels the illusion of victory, or defeat, or suffering.
Seeing is a peculiar feeling of knowing, of knowing something without a shadow of doubt. Seeing must be direct, for a warrior can’t use his time to unravel what he himself is seeing. Seeing is seeing because it cuts through all that nonsense. In the beginning seeing is confusing and it’s easy to get lost in it. As the warrior gets tighter, however, his seeing becomes what it should be, a direct knowing. A warrior asks a question, and through his seeing he gets an answer, but the answer is simple.
Seeing is to lay bare the core of everything, to witness the unknown and to glimpse into the unknowable. As such, it doesn’t bring one solace. Seers ordinarily go to pieces on finding out that existence is incomprehensibly complex and that our normal awareness maligns it with its limitations.
The deepest flaw of unseasoned warriors is that they are willing to forget the wonder of what they see. They become overwhelmed by the fact that they see and believe that it’s their genius that counts. A seasoned warrior must be a paragon of discipline in order to override the nearly invincible laxness of our human condition. More important than seeing itself is what warriors do with what they see.
A warrior knows that he is only a man. He knows because he sees that his life will be over altogether too soon. He sees that nothing is more important that anything else. His only regret is that his life is so short that he can’t grab onto all the things that he would like to. But for him, this is not an issue; it’s only a pity. Instead, it is this knowledge that allows him to live to the full what he can. There’s no emptiness in the life of a warrior. Everything is filled to the brim. Everything is filled to the brim, and everything is equal.
When a man is not concerned with seeing, things look very much the same to him every time he looks at the world. When he learns to see, on the other hand, nothing is ever the same every time he sees it, and yet it is the same. To the eye of a seer, a man is like an egg. Every time he sees the same man he sees a luminous egg, yet it is not the same luminous egg.
When they are seen as fields of energy, human beings appear to be like fibers of light, like white cobwebs, very fine threads that circulate from the head to the toes. Thus to the eye of a seer, a man looks like an egg of circulating fibers. And his arms and legs are like luminous bristles, bursting out in all directions.
The seer sees that every man is in touch with everything else, not through his hands, but through a bunch of long fibers that shoot out in all directions from the center of his abdomen. Those fibers join a man to his surroundings; they keep his balance; they give him stability. When a warrior learns to see he sees that a man is a luminous egg whether he’s a beggar or a king and there’s no way to change anything; or rather, what could be changed in that luminous egg? What?
When a sorcerer attempts to see, he attempts to gain power. A warrior never worries about his fear. Instead, he thinks about the wonders of seeing the flow of energy! The rest is frills, unimportant frills.
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