controlled folly


Finals are approaching and the air of stress is beginning to condense into a rain shower. 

A fellow student doctor was just sitting on my couch not five minutes ago, discussing with me her fears regarding the upcoming weeks. 

“I feel like I am in control and then I am not in control and then I force more control and then I lose more control,” she said. “It gets really bad and this has happened before.”

She is a good friend of mine now and I know her fairly well despite only having met her in August. She is a woman of sincere faith and a good Christian–full of love and acceptance of others. 

“When you think about it,” I replied, “There really is no control, ever. Everything is just happening and there is a divine movement behind it. The notion of control is a human folly. The best we can do is move with the movement, like riding a wave. Maybe we can ride it and go where we want. And maybe, at times, we will falter. But regardless the wave will sweep us along and take us where we are going to go, whether we want to or not.”

I feel the stress too but I know it is not me or mine. It is just part of the movement and I let it be. I know it will go the same way it came. 

She left my apartment feeling a bit better, I think. 



Allium: “When will you be home today?”

Folly: “Oh my God! Why are you so on to me? I’m nearly an adult, you don’t have to control my life! You’re not even my real dad!”

Allium: “That’s not how you’ll talk to me, Folly. Even though I’m not your real dad, I’m still an adult and I was justing asking when you would be home, I’m not controlling your life.”

Folly: “Ugh… Just get off me!”

Allium: “You are in so much trouble, young man!”

Thus a person of knowledge endeavours, and sweats, and puffs, and if one looks at her she is just like any ordinary person, except that the folly of her life is under control. Nothing being more important than anything else, a person of knowledge chooses any act, and acts it out as if it matters to her. Her controlled folly makes her say that what she does matters and makes her act as if it did, and yet she knows that it doesn’t; so when she fulfills her acts, she retreats in peace, and whether her acts were good or bad, or worked or didn’t, is in no way part of her concern. A warrior may choose to remain totally impassive and never act, and behave as if being impassive really mattered to her; she would be rightfully true at that too, because that would also be her controlled folly. A warrior takes responsibility for her acts, for the most trivial of her acts. An average man acts out his thoughts, and never takes responsibility for what he does.
—  Don Juan Matus, A Separate Reality
A game master or teacher who was primarily concerned with being close enough to the “innermost meaning” would be a very bad teacher. To be candid, I myself, for example, have never in my life said a word to my pupils about the “meaning” of music; if there is one it does not need my explanations. On the other hand I have always made a great point of having my pupils count their eighths and sixteenths nicely. Whatever you become, teacher, scholar, or musician, have respect for the “meaning” but do not imagine that it can be taught.

lookaflyingsaucer  asked:

Is folly an innate human attribute? I once came across a book called, The Hindu Quest for the Perfection of Man (or something like that). Some believe it is possible for a human to be perfect, act perfectly, perfect love, perfect judgment, perfect compassion. Although, I think perfection is sort of a myth, and the closest thing to it is total acceptance of folly. What do you think? "At least he will shed his gravity ... abandon his rockbound principles, and for a while be a silly fool" -Erasmus

Cannot folly itself be perfect? 

“Nothing being more important than anything else, a man of knowledge chooses any act, and acts it out as if it matters to him.  His controlled folly makes him say that what he does matters and makes him act as if it did, and yet he knows that it doesn’t; so when he fulfills his acts he retreats in peace, and whether his acts were good or bad, or worked or didn’t, is in no way part of his concern. 

A man of knowledge may choose, on the other hand, to remain totally impassive and never act, and behave as if to be impassive really matters to him; he will be rightfully true at that too, because that would also be his controlled folly.” ~ Carlos Castaneda 

The idea of perfection is very serious, very uptight. Those who are oriented toward perfection must be taking themselves and their circumstances too seriously. Perfection cannot be perfect because it is afraid of imperfection. 

Life, especially human life, is a folly, a game. Knowing this for one’s self, we can come to know that of which perfection is but a shadow. 

The attempt for perfection is the attempt to transcend human limitations. Does the perfect person with the perfect life have any worries? All is in its right place; all is peaceful. Yet if that perfection comes from their body, mind, or circumstances, then it is impermanent and therefore threatened by change. 

Humanity is a game being played by God the Self as you right now. A game is not a place for perfection, it is a place to enjoy ourselves, to give ourselves over to folly yet also play within the rules. This Castaneda called ‘controlled folly’. 

If being human is a divine game, a divine sport, then what place does perfection have? In playing a game, perfection is contrary to the idea of sporting. In sport, you let things get messy, you play around and have fun. Before scores and winners and losers mattered, sporting was a way of setting ourselves free from the context of society. 

From the perspective of absolute truth, we are not and never were humans. So taking ourselves to be human is innately folly—not the humanness itself but thinking it to be our one real existence. If perfection is what you really seek, where else will it be found but in awakening from the illusion of separation and realizing yourself as what you truly are?

Then perfection is not attained or forced or fixed. It is found to already be there as your eternal presence. 



Don’t let silence speak
to the third-dimensional you
that hides fears in shadows
instead of lighted dreams.
Don’t let silence fool you
into stumbling flighty falls
surrender your wings early
and take folly in control.
Don’t let silence remind you
of all the moments that are
gone…upon the wind they
vanished. Still, you carry on.
Don’t hide your face from silence
kiss her firmly on the lips
take her into your arms tonight
silence is also known as bliss.

Controlled Folly and design.

Today I’d like to look at the creation and design of an artistic venture and how we can handle the massive undertakings that we start with a project.

For example for some time I have been working on a film that would literally change peoples mind or introduce an idea into the mind that wasn’t at the forefront before the film.

You might say, “All films do that! If there is something in the film it will make you think about it!”, Fair enough but my idea is to go a step further and implant the idea in the mind itself, specifically in a part of the mind that is usually reserved for split second survival changes.

The idea of elucidating a supreme point that was overlooked by the onlooker is, for the most part, the idea behind art itself. But we also know the futility that comes with the idea of teaching something to another, it is an impossible task.

So it is the same with the best of teacher-student relationships, they feed off the idea that a direct transference of knowledge is impossible, while at the same time never giving up on the idea that some of the information they are expounding will get through.

Taking up a challenge like this while knowing that it is impossible is the essence of controlled folly. Without controlled folly everything is impossible and futile, with controlled folly everything is impossible and futile, but we act in such a way that everything meaningful and attainable.

So although I know the idea of directly introducing an idea or way of looking at the world into another mind is illogical or downright impossible, my controlled folly is to continue acting and creating like it is possible.

This helps to get rid of a lot of self importance, which can only clog the writing process and create narcissistic mirrors of ourselves on the page. As well as culminating in an approach that combines the two extremes of everything is impossible and everything is possible which means that the writer misses a lot less in their musings and understandings.

It is also an internal acknowledgement of the fact that as a human we will never truly and completely understand anything that we experience.

“… we must know first that our acts are useless and yet we must proceed as if we didn’t know it. That’s a sorcerer’s controlled folly.”

- Don Juan in Carlos Castaneda’s A Separate Reality

When beginning your project, such an outlook will be invaluable, it will allow you to look to any spectrum of the issue or facet of the world that you are exploring and allow for you  to embrace ideas that otherwise would have seemed impossible.