We all have limited perceptions based on how we assemble them. Limited perceptions limit our understanding of situations and lead to subpar performances.

Don Juan discusses perceptions with Carlos Castaneda in The Power of Silence.

“The world of daily life consists of two points of reference. We have for example, here and there, in and out, up and down, good and evil, and so on and so forth. So, properly speaking, our perception of lives is two-dimensional.”

This dualistic orientation causes us to live in a world of subject and object. We lack the awareness of how subject and object blend into unity.

Carlos reflected on don Juan’s teaching stating:

“that in the normal perception, only ‘here‘ was perceived completely, instantaneously, and directly. Its twin referent, ‘there,’ lacked immediacy. It was inferred, deduced, expected, even assumed, but it was not apprehended directly with all the senses. When we perceived two places at once, total clarity was lost, but the immediate perception of ‘there‘ was gained.”

We’re partial to maintaining clarity of our immediate—“here”—circumstances. We lack awareness of how our lives impact others, over “there.” Focusing primarily on ourselves causes us to infer what is there; to deduce what is there; to create expectations of what is there; to make assumptions of what is there, based on our limited “here” knowledge.

Rather, to apprehend what is “there” we can use our senses to extend our attention beyond “here.” We can perceive “two places at once” because we’re able to connect and integrate here and there, us and the situation we’re engaged in.


Comfort & Stress Duality in Climbing

In climbing, we find ways to use our senses to extend beyond the limited perceptions of the mind, which tends to perceive situations dualistically: comfort and stress.

For example, we reach for a small hold out there, that’s stressful to hold, and react to the stress. Even before grasping the hold the mind rebels; the mind wants comfort.

So, the mind holds onto its perception we can’t hold such a small hold and “shops” for a bigger hold. Doing this shopping moves us away from trusting our engagement with the hold, the body, and the learning process. Our attention is shifted from stress to comfort.

But by engaging our attention in our senses, we project our attention out of the mind and into the situation, “out there“. We see the color and shape of the hold, and how our fingers connect with it. We also feel the texture of the hold. Sight and feeling connect here and there, us and the hold.

We expand what’s possible by assembling our perceptions differently; we connect here and there. We keep our attention from being distracted by the mind, dwelling on what it currently knows, and keeping it focused on connecting us with the world.

Doing this can cause us to lose clarity. But, that loss of clarity helps us gain a truer reality, one that connects here and there, us and the world. We shift dualistic perception to unity consciousness.


Practice Tip: Relax to Blend with Gravity

Don’t fight gravity; blend with it. Move in ways that allow the body to blend with the rock. Connect here (the body) and there (the rock) by relaxing. Relaxing allows your body’s center-of-gravity to be pulled down onto your feet.

Here is how to relax on the climb…

Set an intention to climb with a relaxed grip. Hold on loosely as possible, but don’t let go.

As you climb, notice how your hips shift in ways that balance them over your feet. Feel your legs do the work while your arms simply hold you to the wall.

Relaxing allows you to use gravity to blend with the rock.

You shift duality to unity; you become one with the rock.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Roxana

    Thank you for each reminder. those lessons are valuable for me. I no longer value only comfort and I do not chase for obtine it.. I am free even I still have fears. Also I deply value comfort and I am very grateful each I time I know I have comfort. Seem like a paradox.

    1. Arno

      Hi Roxana, Each day we have an opportunity to begin new, with a new attitude to value the struggles we have in life. Sending you attentive vibrations on your life journey. a

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