The Fourth Group:
(see Shambhavopaya for an additional perspective @ http://universalshaivafellowship.org/usf/teachings_01ch05.html)
Don Juan said that inner silence was the state most avidly sought by the humans of ancient Mexico. He defined it asa natural state of human perception in which thoughts are blocked off and all of man's faculties operate from a levelof awareness which doesn't require the utilization of our daily cognitive system.Inner silence has always been associated with darkness, for the shamans of don Juan's lineage, perhaps becausehuman perception, deprived of its habitual companion, the internal dialogue, falls into something that resembles adark pit. He said that the body functions as usual, but awareness becomes sharper. Decisions are instantaneous, andseem
o stem from a special sort of knowledge which is deprived of thought, verbalizations.Human perception functioning in a condition of inner silence, according to don Juan, is capable of reachingindescribable levels. Some of
hose levels of perception are worlds in themselves, and not at all like he worldsreached through dreaming. They are indescribable states, inexplicable in terms of the linear paradigms that thehabitual state of human perception employs for explaining the universe.Inner silence, in don Juan's understanding, is the matrix for a gigantic step of evolution: silent knowledge, or thelevel of human awareness where knowing is automatic and instantaneous. Knowledge at this level is not the productof cerebral cogitation or logical induction and deduction, or of generalizations based on similarities anddissimilarities. There is nothing a priori at the level of silent knowledge, nothing that could constitute a body of knowledge, for everything is imminently now. Complex pieces of information could be grasped without anycognitive preliminaries.Don Juan believed that silent knowledge was insinuated to early man, but that early man was not really thepossessor of silent knowledge. Such an insinuation was infinitely stronger than what modern man experiences,where the bulk of knowledge is the product of rote learning. It is a sorcerers' axiom that although we have lost thatinsinuation, the avenue that leads to silent knowledge will always be open to man by means of inner silence.Don Juan Matus taught the hard line of his lineage: that inner silence must be gained by a consistent pressure of discipline. It has to be accrued or stored, bit by bit, second by second. In other words, one has to force oneself to besilent, even if it is only for a few seconds. According to don Juan, it was common knowledge among sorcerers that if one persists in this, persistence overcomes habit, and thus, it is possible to arrive at a threshold of accrued seconds orminutes, which differs from person to person. If the threshold of inner silence is ten minutes for a given individual,for instance, then once this threshold is reached, inner silence happens by itself, of its own accord, so to speak.
was warned beforehand that there was no possible way of knowing what my individual threshold might be., andthat the only way of finding this out was through direct experience. This is exactly what happened to me. Followingdon Juan's suggestion, I had persisted in forcing myself to remain silent, and one day, while walking at UCLA, Ireached my mysterious threshold. I knew I had reached it because in one instant, I experienced something don Juanhad described at length to me. He had called it stopping the world. In the blink of an eye, the world ceased to bewhat it was, and for the first time in my life, I became conscious that I was seeing energy as it flowed in theuniverse. I had to sit down on some brick steps. I knew that I was sitting on some brick steps, but I knew it onlyintellectually, through memory. Experientially I was resting on energy. I myself was energy, and so was everythingaround me. I had cancelled out my interpretation system.