Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Four Natural Enemies of a Man of Knowledge

As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to ask him once more about the enemies of a man of knowledge. I argued that I could not return for some time, and it would be a good idea to write down what he had to say and then think about it while I was away. He hesitated for a while, but then began to talk.

"When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize, for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning. "He slowly begins to learn... bit by bit at first, then in big chunks. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Learning is never what one expects. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield.

"And thus he has tumbled upon the first of his natural enemies: Fear!

A terrible enemy... treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling... waiting. And if the man, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy will have put an end to his quest."
"What will happen to the man if he runs away in fear?"
"Nothing happens to him except that he will never learn. He will never become a man of knowledge. He will perhaps be a bully or a harmless, scared man; at any rate, he will be a defeated man. His first enemy will have put an end to his cravings."
"And what can he do to overcome fear?"
"The answer is very simple. He must not run away. He must defy his fear, and in spite of it he must take the next step in learning, and the next, and the next. He must be fully afraid, and yet he must not stop. That is the rule! And a moment will come when his first enemy retreats. The man begins to feel sure of himself. His intent becomes stronger. Learning is no longer a terrifying task. "When this joyful moment comes, the man can say without hesitation that he has defeated his first natural enemy."

"Does it happen at once, don Juan, or little by little?"
"It happens little by little, and yet the fear is vanquished suddenly and fast."
"But won’t the man be afraid again if something new happens to him?"
"No. Once a man has vanquished fear, he is free from it for the rest of his life because, instead of fear, he has acquired clarity... a clarity of mind which erases fear. By then a man knows his desires; he knows how to satisfy those desires. He can anticipate the new steps of learning, and a sharp clarity surrounds everything. The man feels that nothing is concealed.

"And thus he has encountered his second enemy: Clarity!

That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds. "It forces the man never to doubt himself. It gives him the assurance he can do anything he pleases, for he sees clearly into everything. And he is courageous because he is clear, and he stops at nothing because he is clear. But all that is a mistake; it is like something incomplete. If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy and will fumble with learning. He will rush when he should be patient, or he will be patient when he should rush. And he will fumble with learning until he winds up incapable of learning anything more."

"What becomes of a man who is defeated in that way, don Juan? Does he die as a result?"
"No, he doesn’t die. His second enemy has just stopped him cold from trying to become a man of knowledge; instead, the man may turn into a buoyant warrior, or a clown. Yet the clarity for which he has paid so dearly will never change to darkness and fear again. He will be clear as long as he lives, but he will no longer learn, or yearn for, anything."

"But what does he have to do to avoid being defeated?"
"He must do what he did with fear: he must defy his clarity and use it only to see, and wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps; he must think, above all, that his clarity is almost a mistake. And a moment will come when he will understand that his clarity was only a point before his eyes. And thus he will have overcome his second enemy, and will arrive at a position where nothing can harm him any more. This will not be a mistake. It will not be only a point before his eyes. It will be true power. "He will know at this point that the power he has been pursuing for so long is finally his. He can do with it whatever he pleases. His ally is at his command. His wish is the rule. He sees all that is around him.

But he has also come across his third enemy: Power!

"Power is the strongest of all enemies. And naturally the easiest thing to do is to give in; after all, the man is truly invincible. He commands; he begins by taking calculated risks, and ends in making rules, because he is a master. "A man at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in on him. And suddenly, without knowing, he will certainly have lost the battle. His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man."

"Will he lose his power?"
"No, he will never lose his clarity or his power."
"What then will distinguish him from a man of knowledge?"
"A man who is defeated by power dies without really knowing how to handle it. Power is only a burden upon his fate. Such a man has no command over himself, and cannot tell when or how to use his power."
"Is the defeat by any of these enemies a final defeat?"
"Of course it is final. Once one of these enemies overpowers a man there is nothing he can do."
"Is it possible, for instance, that the man who is defeated by power may see his error and mend his ways?"
"No. Once a man gives in he is through."

"But what if he is temporarily blinded by power, and then refuses it?"
"That means his battle is still on. That means he is still trying to become a man of knowledge. A man is defeated only when he no longer tries, and abandons himself."
"But then, don Juan, it is possible that a man may abandon himself to fear for years, but finally conquer it?"
"No, that is not true. If he gives in to fear he will never conquer it, because he will shy away from learning and never try again. But if he tries to learn for years in the midst of his fear, he will eventually conquer it because he will never have really abandoned himself to it."

"How can he defeat his third enemy, don Juan?"
"He has to defy it, deliberately. He has to come to realize the power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. He must keep himself in line at all times, handling carefully and faithfully all that he has learned. If he can see that clarity and power, without his control over himself, are worse than mistakes, he will reach a point where everything is held in check. He will know then when and how to use his power. And thus he will have defeated his third enemy.

"The man will be, by then, at the end of his journey of learning... and almost without warning he will come upon the last of his enemies: Old age!

This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one he won’t be able to defeat completely, but only fight away. "This is the time when a man has no more fears, no more impatient clarity of mind... a time when all his power is in check, but also the time when he has an unyielding desire to rest. If he gives in totally to his desire to lie down and forget, if he soothes himself in tiredness, he will have lost his last round, and his enemy will cut him down into a feeble old creature. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge.

"But if the man sloughs off his tiredness, and lives his fate through, he can then be called a man of knowledge, if only for the brief moment when he succeeds in fighting off his last, invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power, and knowledge is enough."


You have to be aware of the uselessness of your self-importance and of your personal history.

Your death can give you a little warning, it always comes as a chill. Death is our eternal companion, it is always to our left, at an arm's length.

How can anyone feel so important when we know that death is stalking us. The thing to do when you're impatient is to turn to your left and ask advice from your death. An immense amount of pettiness is dropped if your death makes a gesture to you, or if you catch a glimpse of it, or if you just have the feeling that your companion is there watching you.

The issue of our death is never pressed far enough. Death is the only wise adviser that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you're wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, "I haven't touched you yet."

One of us here has to change, and fast. One of us here has to learn again that death is the hunter, and that it is always to one's left. One of us here has to ask deaths advice and drop the cursed pettiness that belongs to men that live their lives as if death will never tap them.

Think of your death now. It is at arm's length. It may tap you any moment, so really you have no time for crappy thoughts and moods. None of us have time for that. The only thing that counts is action, acting instead of talking.  source


 A warrior takes responsibility for his acts; for the most trivial of his acts. He waits patiently, knowing that he is waiting, and knowing what he is waiting for. That is the warrior's way.

What makes us unhappy is to want. Yet if we would learn to cut our wants to nothing, the smallest thing we'd get would be a true gift. To be poor or wanting is only a thought; and so is to hate, or to be hungry, or to be in pain. They are only thoughts for me now, I have accomplished that feat. The power to do that is all we have, mind you, to oppose the forces of our lives; without that power we are dregs, dust in the wind.

It is up to us as single individuals to oppose the forces of our lives. Only a warrior can survive. A warrior knows that he is waiting and what he is waiting for; and while he waits he wants nothing and thus whatever little thing he gets is more than he can take. If he needs to eat he finds a way, because he is not hungry; if something hurts his body he finds a way to stop it, because he is not in pain. To be hungry or to be in pain means that the man has abandoned himself and is no longer a warrior; and the forces of his hunger and pain will destroy him. source


"The only thing we all have in common is that we play tricks in order to force ourselves to abandon the quest. The counter-measure is to persist in spite of all the barriers and disappointments."

“A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use.”  

“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.” 

“For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”  

“You have little time left, and none of it for crap. A fine state. I would say that the best of us always comes out when we are against the wall, when we feel the sword dangling overhead. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.” 

“Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it - what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.” 

“The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue”  
"You must stop talking to yourself. Every one of us does that. We carry on an internal talk. We talk about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. Whenever we finish talking to ourselves the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we kindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die.

A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his talking. This is the last point you have to know if you want to live like a warrior."
“Man lives only to learn. And if he learns it is because it is the nature of his lot, for good or bad.” 

“The most effective way to live is as a warrior. A warrior may worry and think before making any decision, but once he makes it, he goes his way, free from worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still awaiting him. That's the warrior's way.”  

“Nothing can temper the spirit of a warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to withstand the pressure of the unknowable.” 

"A warrior is never idle and never in a hurry."  
― Carlos Castaneda

Carlos Castaneda – All Books In One - PDF


  1. Hi Kenny, I watched a fascinating documentary about flight 800 on Netflix. Have you written about it? If so perhaps you could post a link. Thanks, man!

    1. I haven't seen it but Aris posted a comment about the doc after he watched it. Here

  2. Bravo on the post Kenny! Very timely for me.. thanks.

  3. Anon @4:33

    Here are the two producers on the Opie and Anthony Show I referenced in a follow up comment. (Remember the Harley Guy from Bldg 7 plays Psycho Mark on the radio show as well as doing gigs for Fox News.) This and their appearance on Democracy Now makes me really have my doubts about their agenda.


  4. Kenny

    Thanks for posting this. Good stuff.


  5. Been awhile since I read Castenada, back in the 'shrooms day of exploring.

    Both were a real eye-opener.

  6. I'll just add my voice to those thanking you for putting this up.....good timing for many of us.

  7. Thanks to everyone for the kind words. Sometimes I drift off into 'philosophy' when words fail me on current events.

    The debate on whether Castaneda actually experienced what he wrote about has been going on for over 40 years but as with many other things, we can pick and choose certain aspects that we feel ring true.

  8. thank you, kenny
    for the video and the pdf

    i learned that carlos was spanish
    not mexican/american, as i believed

    fascinating to hear him speak
    this was a journey, many us took

    and now i am reminded of a line
    in 'journey to ixtlan' where carlos

    realizes 'they were all phantoms', even the
    young boy who offered him food and shelter

    this was a very bittersweet moment
    in the books and the teachings, for me

    1. One of the teachings that stuck with me and mentioned in quotes above is control of the internal dialog. Backed up by some eastern thought, it is not the easiest thing to accomplish but I've reminded myself countless times of the importance when unnecessary thoughts are spinning around.

    2. I like that one about the internal dialogue. It is hard to stop, but clearly an affliction that torments all people to some degree. Makes me wonder about 'archons'. Not sure what I think of that idea, but they are somewhat similar concepts.
      I have almost given up on quieting the talk, instead opting to rigidly adhere to only allowing positive thoughts where enemies become friends etc. When negative thoughts 'show up" I allow them only a few seconds to live and then convert them to something good. Where do they come from? How much of it is just part of life, and how much is a result of media and other diabolical high tech trips run by our spooks?

      I only read two books by Carlos Castaneda, but reread them both several times and have several quotes highlighted. The one about ordinary men, taking everything as a blessing or curse is one of my favorites too. I also liked the story about Max the cat and 'having to believe'.

      To what degree it is all fiction doesn't matter much to me. The wisdom, emphasis on kindness and courage in his books make it all worthwhile.
      It also reminds me of a time when a lot of young men were not afraid to read trippy books about the meaning of life and to openly admit that they were searching for something bigger. Born in 61, I feel that people of that time were very fortunate to have access to alternative philosophical views from Castaneda and many others. We had a few awesome teachers and got to read a few great books in school, and were encouraged to think occasionally. We had access to mushrooms, cannabis etc. and if we were lucky or smart enough to not do much other junk, we benefited. We had access to grand parents born in the nineteenth century, wow! What a treasure they were to me.
      We lived in a relatively free society just before commercialism went to the next level. And now we seemingly make up a fairly large percentage of the 'truth movement' or whatever people call it.
      Good on all of us!

    3. Thanks for the very articulate confirmation. Although I'm a little older, we share a very similar history and viewpoints. Yes, we weren't afraid to to explore outside the conventional norms the meaning of life. I'm glad we had that opportunity.

    4. Being creative in non-fiction does not mean concocting falsehoods but seeing the deeper truths behind the surface truths and being able to describe things in a way that a multi-layered but surprisingly balanced and logically consistent reality is revealed. All chaos and irrationality is thus put in the context and perspective of what it deviated from. Non-fiction is interpreting the narratives or the implications of moves made on the chessboard on which you are also a pawn being moved by forces often beyond your control; fiction is using the little free-will you have to set the board yourself in a way that will result in one group of movements and conflicts and thus serve to reveal certain layered truths and graces. Your way of revealing these, if significantly unique, becomes your style. A realistic fiction is a hypothesis that can be tested in reality if the same or similar circumstances are repeated. Thus life imitates art which imitates life which imitates art, etc., but as Wilde wrote "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.".

      I was re-reading some parts of "Pity the Nation, the Abduction of Lebanon" by Robert Fisk recently and it is so well-written that it makes no difference if the events he describes actually happened or not. It could be "War & Peace" for all I care. The fact that most of the things he describes happened is just icing on the cake. It is the creative way he interprets the basic facts he reports which puts everything in context and reveals deeper truths of the human condition, that makes his book valuable, not the simple reportage aspects of it and not his attempts at "even-handedness" and neutrality.

      "If telling the truth marginalizes you, then that is the place to be. After all, if enough people are willing to be marginalized, then before you know it, society has developed a different center. This is the politics of truth." -- E. Martin Schotz

      On Belief Versus Knowledge

      "It is so important to understand that one of the primary means of immobilizing the American people politically today is to hold them in a state of confusion in which anything can be believed but nothing can be known, nothing of significance that is.

      And the American people are more than willing to be held in this state because to know the truth — as opposed to only believe the truth — is to face an awful terror and to be no longer able to evade responsibility. It is precisely in moving from belief to knowledge that the citizen moves from irresponsibility to responsibility, from helplessness and hopelessness to action, with the ultimate aim of being empowered and confident in one's rational powers."

      -- Unpublished letter, E. Martin Schotz to
      Vincent J. Salandria, May 14, 1992

      "The English are always degrading truths into facts. When a truth becomes a fact it loses all its intellectual value." -- Oscar Wilde

      "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth." -- Oscar Wilde

      ~ Negentropic MK I

  9. Interesting stuff, as usual, Ken, though I'm not a big Castaneda reader or fan. I'll have to come back here and spend some time. But I do know that, as a result of my intense readings in performance psychology, the idea of being in control of one's self-talk is critical. Performance psychology usually focuses on eliminating negative self-talk (I still do it when I call myself names and use expletives -- usually "Jees, Louise!" -- as a result of my frustrations with post-stroke finger dexterity and the like), and then replacing them with affirmations. Your sub-conscious mind takes what you tell it and turns it into an actuating program. The best, as noted above, is the meditation and the pureness of its undirected flight.

  10. you inspire many, and provide ample room for advancement even for the handicapped

    good on you, some more.

    many happy celestial events



    1. My humble thanks... I just came back from a major check-up with my electrophysiologist and he informs me I still have some fuel in the tank. Watch for more stuff coming... Gotta "ship it" before they come for me.

  11. A natural enemy of anyone is sickness, especially a deadly one for which there is no prevention or of cure. A knowledge person (or persons) is capable of creating a deadly sickness which is known as a biological weapon. Remember the global SARS fear which was a DNA specific sickness aimed at those of Asian ethnicity. It made people afraid to travel by plane from country to country. Then came "the flu" to create the same fear. Now has it become Ebola to do the same thing, weaponized by the same US/Israeli biological criminals? Its timing is for what purpose? And what DNA specifics are the targets this time? I wonder if Jim Stone is on to exposing this along with his exposees on the US Military piracy and hijacking of Flt. 370 to Diego Garcia? Anyone else clued into this US/Israeli bio-weapon warfare?

    1. Interesting question... I am a long-time student of biowarfare. I come at the issue from the other side, having been professionally interested and employed in the field of emergency management and emergency health. I don't know about the MH 370 connection, and Jim Stone is held at arms' length by many as to validity, but I'll put aside that issue and assume that he is. I was one of the first to ask whether Diego Garcia wasn't the destination. Now I just sit and listen for pings. But the presence and emergence of Ebola on the African continent could be (and has been) predicted [in the movie "Contagion", for example] as something which will induce chaos and upheaval -- something the US/Israeli system likes -- on a continent rich with mineral and water resources, as well as scads of arable land for agriculture, cattle, etc. It's part of the grand die-off predicted in so many places [Kissinger's NSSM memo 200, for openers]. Watch for forthcoming major article, maybe in a week if all goes well.

    2. It isn't just the US, it's been the UK, too! Bio-weaponry has been an Israeli specialty for years. Remember a few years ago when micro-biologists were in a great die-off? Race specific biologicals were their specialty .
      "THE ART OF WAR"
      Israel’s secret NBC weapons
      by Manlio Dinucci
      Microbiologists With Link to Race-Based Weapon Turning Up Dead
      American Free Press
      By Gordon Thomas
      "Dr. David Kelly.the biological warfare weapons specialist at the heart of the continuing political crisis for the British government.had links to three other top microbiologists whose deaths have left unanswered questions.
      The 59-year-old British scientist was involved with ultra secret work at Israel.s Institute for Biological Re search. Israeli sources claim Kelly met institute scientists several times in London in the past two years."
      UK, Israel seeking to develop SARS-like race-specific bio-weapon
      "British and Zionist health experts are working on a SARS-like race-specific bio-weapon, which could be capable of creating a global threat through triggering a massive ethnic cleansing, it has been claimed.
      The claim was made following the identification by the World Health Organization (WHO) of a new SARS-like race-specific virus that targets people of Middle Eastern decent. The original SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) resulted in the death of numerous people in Hong Kong. "
      "The symptoms of the new SARS-like virus have been said to be fever, cough and other respiratory signals. "
      "SARS suddenly surfaced between November 2002 and July 2003. An estimated 8,098 people of Asian descent were infected and 774 of them succumbed to the race-specific virus."
      Microbiologists Murdered
      Eleven Microbiologists Mysteriously Dead or Murdered in Five Months
      Scientists' deaths are under the microscope
      By Alanna Mitchell, Simon Cooper And Carolyn Abraham
      Saturday, May 4, 2002

  12. is no longer available.

    This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014
    Aletho News Wordpress Suspension
    Aletho News will be updated at for the time being.

    1. What is heck is going on? I feel confident in saying there were no violations of terms of service. The take down is definitely a violation of free speech though and we can all guess who is behind it.
      If this comment is from Aletho, please keep me informed of any more changes.

  13. Off topic.

    This comment is to inform the webmaster that Aletho News has been suspended by Wordpress and that updates will be appearing at:

    Thanks in advance for taking the trouble to update your blogroll.

    1. Done. Blogroll updated.

      Last week it was aangirfan, locked out, probably due to a hack. That was blogger. Now Altheo at wordpress. Is the censorship being sped up.

  14. I looked at your Stephan Lendman sidebar article and read it:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014
    Obama's War on Immigrants
    by Stephen Lendman

    At first I thought it was supposed to be satire. It is not! He sounds like a Jewish political voice advocating more destruction of America. What gives here?

    1. As far as I know, Lendman is jewish and can be all over the map in his articles. One day we're nodding in agreement with what he says, the next saying WTF. Make of him what you will.

  15. Ancient America warrior device is depicted here is an issue of color = energy = power,. Essentially the ancient ones found internal access to DMT rather than dependance on plant material that alters the human condition.

    An ancient abstraction denoting some of the perceptual activities of the above image going through some of its transformations.