Doing vs. Not Doing

….I was more nervous and incompetent than he thought (Carlos says to himself). “I’ve always been that way, and yet I want to change, but I don’t know how. I am so inadequate.”

“I already know that you think you are rotten,” he [Don Juan] said. “That’s your DOING. Now, in order to affect that DOING, I am going to recommend that you learn another DOING. From now on, and for a period of 8 days, I want you to lie to yourself. Instead of telling yourself the truth, that you are ugly, rotten, and inadequate, you will tell yourself that you are the complete opposite, knowing that you are lying and beyond hope.”

“But what would be the point of lying like that?” Carlos asked.

“It may hook you to another DOING and then you may realize that both DOINGS are lies, and unreal, and that to hinge yourself to either one is a waste of time, because the only thing that is real is the being in you….”

“The trick is in which one to emphasize,” he said. “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

(an excerpt from ‘Journey To Ixtlan’ by Carlos Castenada)