The character of a man is his daemon, said Heraclitus. This great sage of ancient Greece is one of my favorites. He belongs to the so-called pre-Socratic philosophers, because they taught before Plato. Socrates did not write anything himself; his disciple Plato took charge of it. Which raises two questions: what is daemon? And why is Heraclitus nicknamed the Obscure?
Daemon and Diamond
Daemon is the little demon who lives in us, the familiar genius. Mind! Demon is not evil. The word comes from Greek, it is also written daimon, and is spell like diamond. Interesting, uh? I had never thought of this homophony that suddenly dazzled me. Diamonds are forever … It makes me think of the magic weapon of the god Indra, the vajra, which translates as lightning-diamond. Lightning, for me, is the gift of Isis, the awakening. But the diamond? Would it be the inner diamond?
Would it be an allusion to the Freemasonic inscription V.I.T.R.I.O.L. ? This vitriol does not indicate poison, quite the opposite. It is a Latin acronym: Visitando Interiora Terrae Rectificandoque Invenia Occultum Lapidem ie: By visiting the interior of the Earth and correcting it, you will find the hidden stone. The Masonic tradition interprets it figuratively: the interior of the earth is a metaphor. It’s about ourselves. Seek in you, says the Greek aphorism. Know thyself.
And if it really was the earth? You know my distrust of symbols and their interpretation. I tend to favor the literal meaning, even – and above all – if it seems incredible. I think with Moebius see the illustration below that our planet is hollow and in its center shines a large transparent stone. Moebius calls it the crystal center. In the chapter titled Memories of the Earth Center, I tell how Aorn discovers this diamond heart. But this is another story…
Diamonds are eternal. And the daimon too? This demon is not demonic! Behind this misleading name hides several realities that have little connection between them.
Let’s see what Wikipedia says. “A familiar, familiar or simply familiar demon is, in many Western European beliefs, an entity, animal or spirit, sometimes imaginary and invisible, to which men turn to seek advice or obtain services , especially related to witchcraft.Families can serve their owners as servants, farmhands, spies or companions and help them bewitch their enemies, but not only since they are reputed to inspire scholars, artists and writers, like a tutelary spirit or a Muse. The best known of these familiar geniuses is Socrates’ dæmon (δαίμων / daímôn), but many scholars have, in the course of history, referred to entities of this type, sometimes under the name of good genius or guardian spirit.Families are today strongly related to the modern practice of witchcraft, especially in England where it is part integra practice in the United States, and its counterpart on the other side of the Atlantic is the nagual.” (source)
Very curious analysis in truth. Wikipedia never ceases to amaze with its laxity. In this case, approximations badly take on the appearance of untruths. To assimilate the Socratic daimon to the nagual of Castaneda, it is a little strong of coffee. To assimilate intuition to witchcraft is pure stupidity. Let’s take this skein and try to untangle the threads. Sorcery, muse, canal, guardian angel, devil, devil even, what indigestible salad! Too many notions are mixed up that have nothing to do together.
Here we touch the limits of Wikipedia. By imposing drastic constraints, those of dominant thought resolutely rational and hostile to any innovative interpretation, the online encyclopedia greatly limits its ability to identify the unthinkable. Our world is changing, and I’m not just talking about its climate. New paradigms are being put in place. All sciences, all beliefs, all areas of human activity are in the process of complete renewal. It’s as if the watches were not giving the time, but the place. The adaptation is obvious for the sensitives, impossible for conservatives and psycho-rigid. Wikipedia in mind.
We are from the Greeks and Descartes in a world governed by logic alone. The understanding of our environment and its mysteries is reduced to pure reason which is not the adapted tool. Our senses deceive us, said Descartes. Our brain too, but he did not know it. too bad for us. The Cartesian dictatorship forever marks Western thought. And globalization has extended it to the rest of humans.
The social and societal role of an encyclopedia is a counter-initiation. It does not aim to expand knowledge, especially not! It aims mainly to keep researchers under the logical straitjacket. But the daemon escapes all logic. That of Socrates like that of Heraclitus anyway. As for the “familiars” who serve the black wizard in his shady designs, they have nothing to do with that. We’ll see further who they are, and what they do.
Socrates speaks of his daimon exactly in the same sense that Heraclitus spoke of it a few centuries before. The character of a man is his daimon, says the Obscure. The intuition of a man is his daimon, replies Socrates. The difference lies in the thickness of the line. See instead.
The daemon and the double
Socrates names dæmon (of δαιμόνιον / daimonion) which gives him his answers when he expresses himself on a subject. Socrates claimed to be inspired by a particular genius, whom he named his daemon, and who suggested to him his resolutions, and especially what he ought not to do. This daimon would have advised him, one day, not to take a certain road. The philosopher followed his advice while his companions remained. A little later, they were blocked by a herd of pigs and arrived covered with mud.
I’ll call it a boost from the double. What is the double? This is another myself who is not a prisoner of this plan. The double is not material, but if I can hear it, its action will be on the subject. Few of us take into account the precious information that the double slips into the pipe of the ear when they sleep, when they daydream, when they perform a repetitive task that empties their heads. The double expresses itself in the inner silence. Few of us remember their dreams. Even less know the inner silence.
The omnipresent noise keeps us on the surface of ourselves. Tobacco is a great way to hide dreams and deprive humans of this immeasurable source of wisdom. Who smokes no longer dreams. Or rather, he dreams again, because not dreaming anymore means death. The smoker dreams all night but does not remember anything when he wakes up.
This is the main misdeed of nicotine, that’s why so-called dangerous tobacco is not banned by our leaders. They multiply the warnings, suppress the ad for tobacco, display horrible cancers on packets of cigarettes, but they abstain from the most obvious action: prohibit it.
Tobacco hides dreams. Tobacco makes con on a large scale. Con ie submitted. Lobotomized. Or worse, zombified. Under the castrating action that tobacco, we give up the precious help of the double, the daemon. It is not a demon in the Christian sense – or moron – of the term. The double is another myself. At the moment of awakening, the being is sucked with its kundalini along the central channel of energy, which in India is called sushumna, and that the initiatory tarot represents in the form of a tower in the XVI arcana The Tower. Being merges with the mind in a flash of white light. Then he is spat out in his physical body. Otherwise he would be dead.
When he returns to his physical body, he is no longer alone. His double accompanies him. He will never be alone again. On either side of the tower of XVI House God, we see two acrobats who fall on the hands. They make the tree straight, like Hangman of the XII arcane. The following arcana shows the omnipresence of the double. The two jugs at the hands of the star, the two dogs howling at the moon, the two children naked in the sun, the two acolytes who proceed to the Judgment, the two sexes fused for the androgyne of the world. Awakening brings about the beneficial fusion of the awakened and his double.
A clairvoyant, a prophet, is someone who has a special relationship with his double. No magic in there, witchcraft even less. Our subtle powers are a reality for those who use them, an aberration for those who are afraid of them. Wikipedia is one of them.
The familiar and the ally
The familiar demon Wikipedia talks about is of a different nature. The familiar is a helper, an ally. But the help he brings is very different from that of the double. If one wanted to register with all force the daemon in the Castanedian universe, it is with the allies that it looks, much more than with nagual.
The confusion comes from one word: demon. The very negative meaning that this word has taken is absolutely not that which the ancient Greeks gave him, Socrates in particular. “All that is demonic is intermediate between what is mortal and immortal.” wrote Plato. (source) The Banquet, dialogue of Plato According to him, the angels and the dead are demons. Or rather they are demonic, but they have nothing demonic. Thanks to the daimon “it is realized for the gods the possibility to enter into relations with men and to converse with them, either during the watch or during sleep.” (source)
The ally is of a different nature. Castaneda is often confronted with these strange and repulsive beings. They do not serve as intermediaries between the gods and we, they bring their unconditional help to the wizard who harnessed them. That is, who defeated them in singular combat.
My benefactor, the one who made me enter the other world, had several allies. One of them lived in Val Sans Retour en Brocéliande. The clan warriors called him the gray man. A pale gray, vaporous silhouette that accompanied us when we went for a walk in the famous valley at full moon nights.
The death of my benefactor did not make it disappear. When by chance I return to Mother Forest,Dark Forest nickname I sometimes see it. As soon as eye contact is established, Gray Man follows me like a little dog. He is not aggressive, just wanting to be harnessed by another wizard. It’s not my cup of green tea.
Yet many wizards of my clan maintain that I have allies. One of them is a dangerous beast. He wears a necklace that I hold firmly near my right side to control the subtle animal. I have a hard time imagining myself in such a role. But since they tell me, I want to believe them. The morbid influence of my benefactor is the cause. Every apprentice, whether he likes it or not, is permanently branded by his benefactor. He reproduces qualities as well as defects.
I crossed the flames of hell and stayed among the devils of the underworld for many years. In the eyes of people of reason, I was seriously depressed. It was the work of black – in the sense of working on oneself and not on metals. I am not an alchemist, unless it is an inner gold. This heavy work belongs to the past. I am relieved. It may be, however, that this unreal, trying, terrible period has left me with stigmata. Like the presence of allies without my knowledge …
The world is an unfathomable mystery, far removed from the image we have of it. And the greatest mystery is itself.