Categories
Stories of Power Tools and Tips

How My Life Changed After Reading My First Book by Carlos Castaneda

“For an average man, the world is weird because if he’s not bored with it, he’s at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable. A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous time.” – Carlos Castaneda

Hello, my name is Aerin Alexander and I am the founder and director of the Energy Life Sciences Institute and Being Energy® Methodology. Below I am sharing with you about the first moment I opened a book of Carlos Castaneda and the turn that took my life as a consequence.

was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1994 when I heard that Carlos Castaneda would be in town to give a talk to a select group of people. My first reaction was emotional. “What?” I thought. “He does exist? And he is in Buenos Aires? That is crazy!”

Carlos Castaneda was an anthropologist and visionary. His books centering on his apprenticeship with don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian from Sonora, Mexico, had catapulted him to fame in the 60’s and 70’s. The first time I opened Journey to Ixtlan, Castaneda’s third book, was by accident.

My mother’s older sister, Rosita, used to work for the Mexican publishing house that published Castaneda’s books in Spanish. No one in my family was an avid reader, including me, and I’d never noticed the book until one special day. 

Our family had just moved to an apartment above a chicken store, with old tile floors, broken windows and holes on the walls, from a nicer apartment, furnished with carpets and wall papers and a mortgage my parents could no longer afford. My dad was forced to quit his job—he refused to be fired—because of the restructuring taking place in the international company at which he worked for 15 years. It was a stressful moment: my dad was looking for a new job and my mother, as usual, was in charge of the family relocation. 

I was entering my first year of high-school and I was concerned about my weight. I was too skinny, and I feared I would end up in the hospital as it happened the year before, when I was hospitalized for a recurrence of rheumatic fever, my childhood disease. I was a picky eater, and under stress, I could not swallow. 

The new apartment was filled with boxes, and I was in charge of, amongst other things, organizing the books. As I lined up the few books we owned in our single bookshelf, Journey to Ixtlan escaped my fingers and fell to the ground, landing open on page 15. The text on that page began: PART ONE “Stopping the World.”

I flipped to the next page. It read:

“I understand you know a great deal about plants, Sr.” Castaneda said presenting himself to don Juan Matus. I randomly flipped ahead to page 110. 

Acts have power,” he said. “Specially when the person acting knows that those acts are his last battle. There is a strange consuming happiness in acting with the full knowledge that whatever one is doing may very well be one’s last act on earth.”

I straightened my back and inhaled; a chill ran up my spine. I sat down on top of the boxes I was emptying and flipped back to page 15 and started reading again from there. I was fourteen years old, and, unwillingly, this book grabbed full my attention. His writings described the world as mysterious and unfathomable and humans, as warriors with purpose and in relation to the vastness universe. Like a healthy food, each page filled empty spaces creating connections and aliveness inside me. 

Castaneda’s words sounded familiar somehow. I had never been to Mexico, but I did dream about the possibility of going some day. My birth name was Maria Guadalupe and, besides my mother’s devotion to the Virgin, I had also developed my own longing for Mexico. I had learned at school about Mesoamerica and knowledge of Toltecs and Mayans. It was the pyramid at Chichen Itza in Yucantán, with its precise number of steps representing each day of the year and exact orientation to the sun to reflect a shadow at each solstice, that I couldn’t stop thinking about. The Mayans lived in relationship to the stars, and don Juan was teaching Castaneda about his link with the invisible universe around. I thought I could also, somehow, I could feel my connection to all. 

That day something shifted in me and I felt the emergence of a purpose, meaning in my life. I was suddenly interested in books and went on to hungrily read not only more from Castaneda, but also Nietzsche, Borges, Neruda, Coelho. My timing was perfectly synchronized with the availability of books. Bookstores were opening their doors in Buenos Aires after a seven-year dictatorship that had prohibited books from being sold and many authors from publishing. Being a teen, not only was I hungry to learn, but I was also naturally delighted to access what had been forbidden. 

Almost 13 years later, I was studying the esoteric teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky with a group of friends, when the group’s coordinator suggested we read Carlos Castaneda. With the group, I reread Journey to Ixtlan, and I intended every night to connect deeper with myself to understand my own life. As if being called to an appointment, a few months later I met Castaneda in person in Los Angeles, and I entered into the sorcerers’ world.

Categories
Tools and Tips

Our New Step in Evolution: From homo sapiens to homo universalis

This is an exciting moment for us as human beings. Today, we are in a time that calls for a jump, for a rapid change, not just because we can but because we must.

This is not the time to sit on the sidelines, to be a passive traveler of life. Life on the planet is on the hot seat, beckoning us to get in, get on and get engaged. What comes to us, what life shows us, is defined by the questions we ask, and most often, the best way to boost our learning is to ask better questions; life indeed talks to us back by what kinds of things we ask. My teacher, Carlos Castaneda, called this intending. An evolutionary question has been with me over this past month: 

Where are we going? What is happening to our human species? What are our options moving forward? 

Over the past thirty days, I immersed myself in two almost back to back conferences that, coming from completely different contexts and styles, gave me each the information and the experience of what this can be. This question brought me back an incredible landscape of what is coming to us, a Wow! moment that I am so excited to share with you.  

I have just returned from a one of a kind conference in Brienz, Switzerland, called ‘Universal Spirituality’. Hosted by The Center for Unity, one of the longest successfully active spiritual communities in the world, and put together piece by piece over the past two years, it brought together twelve elders from different traditions around the world, such as a Maya Priestess from Mexico, a Qi Going master from China, a decades long Peace Envoy from the U.N, a 92 year old human rights leader from Ghana and a Sufi sacred musician from Iran, together with over one hundred leaders with decades of personal practice in peace and spirituality, for a sharing, discussion and inner silence practice experiment on the question of: What can be fundamental common elements of an Universal Spirituality?

What deeply committed individuals are in this world! What profound strength of spirit and heart do exist in people, regardless of culture and race! What a joy it is to feel safe, encouraged, and honored as a human being! I brought back from the conference hope, optimism and resolve. We can make it, we really CAN!

Here are 7 distinct shared elements that I found all spiritualties uphold universally:

  1.  An open heart, having our hearts as a reference point. Being open in our heart center to receive affection and to give love.
  2. Optimism as a choice. Choosing to be shiny and engaging and positive because that is the state of our psychology where doors open and the best outcomes come from.
  3. A practice of being in the present, fully; not partially but fully. This is not a given but something that is cultivated purposely. 
  4. Non-judgment towards differences in others, be it religion, race, capacities, predilections and all what is not like me or what I want.
  5. Actively allowing mystery in our life. The state of not knowing is intrinsic to the spiritual experience. Some things we will never know and that is not a threat, that is actually an awe-some, exciting feeling.
  6. Lightness, creativity and joy. Creativity feeds our non-linear self; it is a state of mind. The more detachment from our story we get, the more kid-like we become.
  7. An impulse to give, to help, to support others, to care for the planet. Feeling part of a bigger whole, feeling connected totally enhances our spirit and gives us meaning.

 Here is a powerful pair of questions you can ask yourself, to guide your awareness towards answers within you that can give new meaning and new direction to your spiritual life:

How do you connect to the divine? What are the particular ways, personal to you, in which you feel connected to spirit, to a higher order? Consider this and bring it more clearly into your daily life?

What is important to you, right now, for your spiritual journey? What are the lessons that life is presenting to you in this moment that you need to be aware of, open your eyes to, and embrace? Consider this and let this larger context completely change how you are relating to what is happening now in your life.

During the second day, during a deep meditation practice with all the participants, I could actually feel the silence pressing on my body. Silence had physicality, I could touch it and it enveloped me and everyone around me. In this state, there was no doubt in my body-mind that we all shared these seven traits, and the possibility of really living them. Barbara Marx Hubbard, one of the twelve elders and a leading voice in conscious evolution, stood up and said:

“Evolution is not only gradual, sometimes it also makes a jump. Today, I am convinced that what is happening here is a jump into the emergence of a new type of consciousness for our time, a homo universalis.”

My awareness shoot up high into the sky, into orbit, and as I looked down into the Earth I could see a bubble of light shining in the middle of Europe, a message of true peace expanding onto the rest of the people in the planet. 

I flashed back to my first first conference, two weeks before. It could not have been more different: Business Mastery, a mega event on steroids in Las Vegas, taught by life strategist Tony Robbins. Five days of complete 15-hours a day immersion into pragmatic tools, information and the necessary psychology to implement them and be on the cutting edge of our competitive world.

One of the guest speakers was Scott Klososky,  head of one of the leading consulting companies on technology. He gave a ‘state of the union’ account of what is already here in tech and a projection curve to what new realities technology and gene manipulation is taking us. The most eye popping is this: we are right now at the statistical inflection point of a huge acceleration in the speed of change in the implementation of technology into human biology. 

Data analytics and robotics are going to very soon completely change everything about how we live and what we can do. The projection is that, within 25 years, bio-enhancements to our body will be such that a new species of humans will be born: transhumans; that is, given the desire and financial means, we will be able to augment human function and integrate it with technology to the point that a person will no longer be comparable to a regular human as we have known it until now.

Throughout the weekend, as events unfolded and collective consciousness grew, an artist captured what was taking place into a gigantic art piece. We could all see how it was shaping, bit by bit, until but the last session it became a map, the map of the journey and a blueprint statement to the world of what an Universal Spirituality could be.

My teacher told me that having mastery of awareness mandated that we be in alignment with the mood and realities of the world we live in, what he called the tonal of our time. Being in alignment means we don’t resist it because we get tight and our functionality goes down; rather, we adapt to its presence and we take the best out of it, so we can dance with the world. Transhuman is coming, one hundred percent. It is a reality around the corner, for many of us within our lifetime. 

Sitting in meditation at the Center of Unity, I could see the landscape of transhuman and homo universalis playing out in front of my field of consciousness. One is inevitable, the other one is a potential we can become. As early humans, we did a jump in evolution and began developing our brain until we could think. We became sapiens and, as engineers, we have gone far and will continue to soar, through transhuman all the way to other solar systems and space civilizations. But we also need to become universalis to reach our real potential, and save ourselves from ourselves. It is so scary in its implications, but, as homo universalis, it is also exciting galore, and I can’t wait. I am all in.

Categories
Tools and Tips

6 Windows to Perception: Overcome Sensory Overload and Optimize Your Awareness

It’s almost here! Being Energy’s next Nutrition class—all about the senses. I invite you to join me live, online on Saturday, October 3rd. We’ll explore the importance of the five senses and how to optimize them, and even give you an exercise for activating your 6th sense for expanded perception. (NOTE: The live class already took place, but you can watch it on demand, along with many other classes, by subscribing to our Feed Your Body & Soul Video Library)

So why are we doing a class all about the senses? The senses are our windows to the world. They give us information that we use to stay safe, interact with others, experience our world and understand life (the hallmark of our species).

The challenge is that we’re so constantly bombarded with a stunning array of input, that most of us suffer from sensory overload. What we register consciously at any given moment is but a fraction of what is coming at us. So what should we pay attention to? How do we prioritize? How can we focus on what is important and ignore the rest?

The art of developing our attention is perhaps more important than ever before in human history because we are faced with more sensory information than ever before.

We do have a natural filter, the reticular activating system (RAS), that enables us to sort out what information to pay attention to and what to prune so that we don’t go crazy. Moreover, it is a filter that is trainable. We can consciously engage our awareness to manage our sensory perceptions.

An important thing to understand is that our beliefs and past experiences shape how we filter sensory input. The great news about this is that we can focus on the senses to quiet the mind (and vice versa) to affect our interpretation of what we are sensing. We can free ourselves from belief systems that don’t serve our overall wellness to activate a greater awareness of what is both seeable and un-seeable around us.

The eyes are especially important. They are often more fatigued by overstimulation than any other sense organ. We make countless decisions each day based on what our eyes are telling us. There is a voluminous amount of information to process. Computers, smart phones and TVs vie for our attention and cloud our visual sensibilities.

In the Being Energy Nutrition class on Saturday, I’ll teach a technique to soften the eyes, and relax and release the eye muscles to open up your perception.

Relaxing is a key thing for all of our senses, in fact. When we can quiet down the way we normally use our senses, we make way for opening to a more expansive way of interpreting sensory data. When you relax your eyes, for example, you’re able to see other aspects of the world. When your eyes become silent, you can see silence. This is true of all five senses. It is also a key for waking up the 6th sense.

When we activate our 6th sense, we have the capacity to apprehend what isn’t commonly available to us—something that we sometimes feel in our gut or our heart.

I’ll talk more about the 6th sense and how to cultivate it on Saturday. I hope you can join me!

Categories
Tools and Tips

Sexual Energy – How can you nourish your body and mind with sexual energy?

Dear BE Community,

There is much taboo and ignorance on the topic of sex. We live in a world where prostitution and visual sexual stimulation as a lucrative global business market is in the top 3. Sex becomes a “visual” thing that doesn’t involve the totality of the self.

Sex, as a product for immediate pleasure and gratification, only leads to more depletion of energy. It may sound like “grandma” talking, but it is something you can verify for yourself.

Because of beliefs and traumas hidden in the physical body, some individuals are scared of physical contact, let alone sexual interaction.  We would like to start with ourselves first, by reviewing our ideas and our own taboos, to broaden our perception and consciousness on the topic of sex.

When you hear the word sex, what do you think?  What are your judgments about it?  We often respond in a way that describes instant gratification and satisfaction.  We want energy, and yet we use sexual energy without realizing that unconscious behavioral responses may ultimately deplete our vitality.

For those of us on a path of awareness sexual energy is access to life force that is meant for our spiritual evolutionary journey.

In the Nutrition class this month on Saturday, April 19, we will learn ways to nurture and nourish sexual energy and to reinforce and maintain a healthy balance of our sexual hormones.  We will learn practical ways to foster the shine in the eyes and a mood of curiosity and presence, indicators of strong sexual energy.

We will use a loofah scrub or glove in class to learn to move energy through the largest organ of the body, the skin.  We will learn how to bring energy up from areas of the sexual organs and bring it to the throat, the thyroid, where we lose a great deal of energy as we age.

Please join us!

In our first class on January 25 we presented a 21-day detox program that helps to eliminate toxins and revitalize your body.

In our second class of March 8 we focused on the many reasons for weight differences and fluctuations and how to find your ideal body weight.  If you missed these classes you can still subscribe to our Feed You Body & Soul Video Library to watch many past classes on demand.

Have a healthy and joyful week.