Carlos Castaneda coined the phrase ‘petty tyrant’ in his book The Fire From Within. A number of people have written about it, but they obviously have not undergone it themselves, so I have decided to discuss my own experiences.
To have a petty tyrant in one’s spiritual development is indeed a blessing, although this is not what it feels like at the time. To have a good petty tyrant is to experience on a daily basis the torments of Dante’s Hells. Life is on a perpetual state of fear, pain, worry, an exquisite torture the like of which you do not wish on your worst enemies. My teacher, Punditt, took me through this experience for many, many years. Every time I met him, which was on a daily basis, I never knew his moods, what he would say, what would happen. I did not know if he was God or the Devil. I could not tell. He threw me into situations that were bizarre, extreme, polarised, terrifying. I would be force to confront every inconsistency, every weakness, and every tiny detail of my belief frameworks. I remember him spending hours telling me I was racist, and at the point I started to think that maybe he was right, he suddenly relented, and said that I wasn’t. I was facing situations where I had to convince people black was white, and white was black – and they believed me. Remember the story of St Peter and the Cock crowing? That happened to me. Very early on I had to deny I had a teacher – to do otherwise would have created appalling situations in my life. There were so many events going on that those days were a blur; I remember very little of them. A very important aspect to learning the spiritual path is to spend time with your teacher. In my case, I had to go to his apartment around 10am every morning, and spend the day with him. If he didn’t go out, I didn’t either. Very often I was there from 10am to 10pm, when he would say that I could go. I went home, and next day the pattern was repeated.
Eventually I realised that rather than rely on him for every spiritual problem (and there were innumerable problems), I had to work out my solutions. At this point, he told me that if I made a mistake, he would fix it, which is what happened. I made terrible mistakes, particularly when he was not available – he knew when to disappear at moments of crisis in my life when I had to figure out what to do. Your petty tyrant knows exactly what to do and say to totally deconstruct your psyche, your personality, your spiritual makeup. Everything. Then these deconstructed aspects of your being, at all levels are patiently reconnected, reconfigured, upgraded, enhanced, purified. This is true alchemy at work, performed by the Master. For years I was tested on a continuous basis. Tests could happen at any time of the day or night, with never any warning. There was never a sign that a test was happening, while it was happening, or if I had passed! There were trick questions, false directions, all sorts of diversions, some from him, many from spirits trying to get me to fail. Throughout all these years of suffering, he never told me anything – except spiritually through the Silence. Whenever I questioned him on anything spiritual, he would say, “Spirit”. It didn’t matter if the experience or situation was good or bad, the reply was “Spirit”. If I asked what kind of spirit, he would say, “Spirit”.
This perfect, impeccable, sublime level of communication from the consciousness of the Master to the Student has its problems. Punditt could not, and did not ask for spiritual help, when in fact this is what I was supposed to do. For many years I laboured under the illusion that I was not qualified to help him, when in fact the reverse was the case. Punditt suffered for many years as a result. There are deeper and mysterious levels to this, in that what Punditt was doing was taking on my Karma – if he had not done this (and continues to this day), the suffering and misery I would have endured would have been indescribable.
“The man who knows the Unknown”, is a slogan Punditt used on his advertising. It sounds incredible and outrageous, even arrogant, but eventually I realised a deeper and more profound implication that would help me with my spiritual development. If he knew the Unknown, it means that nobody had told him what it was, because if they did, it would no longer be Unknown! Now I understood why he could not communicate any more than he did to me – I had to work it out myself. Ten years ago, he took to me to Faisalabad in Pakistan to meet his mysterious colleagues. I never met them, but I was taken to a shrine of a Sufi Saint. After the ‘holiday’ I felt that I had been through some kind of initiation, but it is only recently that it was confirmed that that was what had happened to me. You see, the most profound initiations do not have to be of significance to the person undergoing the process – flashy experiences are counterproductive.
Years later, I read Castaneda’s books, and I recognised that his experiences were in many ways similar to mine – there is universality to spiritual experience. Real spiritual power is only bestowed upon those who are ready and have worked for it, and the Master and Spirits have it in their gift to bestow those powers. There are no shortcuts, no cheats; the knowledge can not be stolen in anyway possible. However that does not stop frauds trying to do this.
The consequence of undergoing ordeals such as these for many, many years is a level of integration, power, spiritual insight, and serenity that is unobtainable in any other way. To have a petty tyrant is indeed a blessing. To have a petty tyrant with real power and spiritual ability is rare, sacred, an extraordinary gift, and I still do not understand what it was that singled me out for this experience. Even through the darkest days (and there were far too many of them), I knew I had to keep on going. The TINA doctrine (there is no alternative) was uppermost in my mind – where else could I go to? If he is who I think he is, I am truly blessed. If he isn’t, I am so far beyond redemption that I would have no idea where to get help from.
The true, Spiritual, Petty Tyrant is indispensible to the true Spiritual Path. The pace of evolution is incredible – you can barely gather your breath sometimes in the face of so much change. Every blemish, every obstacle, every imperfection is blown up in your face – you cannot escape anything. Until those imperfections have been eradicated your Petty Tyrant will haunt you. As part of the knowledge, you will even have to know the false petty tyrants and deal with them.
We all have them. Petty Tyrants exist at all levels of society. They are there whether we invite them into our life or not. We have inner petty tyrants, those who say we are inadequate, that we are a failure, we will never find happiness. When you say or think “So and So made me do it…” you have a petty tyrant at work Those thoughts have to be worked upon and eradicated. Mothers in Law, parents, colleagues, siblings, traffic wardens can all be petty tyrants – if we allow them to, and most of us do. Petty Tyrants appear in group consciousness, such as lawlessness, petty rules, fear of crime. The Bush family has several petty tyrants, centred on Iraq and Osama Bin Laden. President George Bush will be haunted forever by the abortive eradication of his petty tyrants by invading Iraq. The USA maintains its identity and control of the population by invoking the petty tyrants of fear from other countries, particularly Islamic countries. The petty tyrant is invisible, but the sufferer cannot understand why nobody else can see it. The UK has two petty tyrants – the USA and the European Union, and so the UK government swings between trying to simultaneously appease either, or use them to terrify the population. Petty tyrants exist in group consciousness as memes, and as such we have the choice to indulge those memes, or ignore them altogether. The Catholic Church is particularly adept at petty tyranny, using a heady mix of guilt, conscience and taboo.
The function of the petty tyrant is to remove the arrogance, self conceit, self-importance, that we all have in one way or another. If you are on the spiritual path, this particularly important, but herein lies the paradox. Self importance has to be defeated, but it is also the mechanism for achieving spiritual power! I wrestled with this one for many years when I was suffering in those early days with Punditt. Then I had the realisation. You have to have the arrogance and self belief to know that you can do it, but the humility to know that it is not you that does it. Let me explain. ‘I’ does nothing, even though it believes it does. It is not the ‘I’, but the Ego or personality that does the acting. ‘I’ is impersonal, ‘beyond the three gunas’. Now this in no way abnegates the Doer from responsibility – done properly, the responsibility is heightened. This is the safety net that has to be invoked, otherwise you are doomed.
At the centre of Castaneda’s views on the petty tyrant is a contradiction, as he says that the petty tyrant is not spiritual, and yet Castaneda’s petty tyrant is not La Gorda, but Genaro, who scares him shitless – I know the experience well.
Thus far, we have looked at what the petty tyrant does, and what benefits we can expect, after all the pain and hurt and humiliation subside, sometimes after many years. The vast majority of petty tyrants are
“Someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction”
Castaneda, The Fire from Within
Castaneda goes onto to the subclassifications, which he acknowledges are somewhat absurd – after all the only way to deal with petty tyrants is with humour, in much the same way the British dealt with the Nazi threat in World War II. Petty tyrants teach self-detachment. Castaneda points out that self-importance consumes vast amounts of energy, which could be better employed elsewhere.
“One of the first concerns of warriors is to free the energy in order to fact the unknown with it… the act of rechannelling that energy is impeccability”
Here is what Punditt was doing for me, teaching me how to rechannell that energy into finding the Unknown. Castaneda lists six elements of stalking to achieve this goal with a petty tyrant:
Did I have to learn how to fight! Never fisticuffs, but I had to learn to fight spirits, demons, ignorance, despotism; injustice… the list is endless. Control was exemplified in many ways. For example, it didn’t matter how much alcohol I had to consume, I still had to act and deport myself with dignity – I could not act drunk. I had to master my emotions, my feelings, and spirits. I had to be disciplined and controlled at all times, despite the constant feeling that my life was totally outside of my control. Forbearance and timing are interlinked. Many times the extreme discomfiture I was experiencing had to continue until Punditt said the time was right to remove the pain. Bizarrely, whenever he said things would improve, invariably they got worse. The result of all these elements is Will, Will to face Punditt’s formidable Will, Will to conquer and reshape my own Will, the Will to continue in the face of all adversity, when I really thought I had lost the plot, and was going to be defeated. All these elements are interlinked and are simultaneously cause and effect in ongoing melee or soup that constantly changes vicariously. As Castaneda says, Will belongs to the Unknown:
“… if seers can hold their own in facing petty tyrants, they can certainly face the unknown with impunity, and then they can even stand the presence of the unknowable.”
This website concerned with uncovering and working with the Unknown – it exists because of my struggles with my powerful Spiritual Teacher who had to take the place of the other petty tyrants in my life. Thus far, we have dealt with that rarity, a spiritual petty tyrant, but what of those who think they are petty tyrants? Castaneda has the answer:
“In fact, what turns human beings into petty tyrants is precisely the obsessive manipulation of the known.”
This kind of petty tyrant believes he or she has power over life and death. The ego inflates to extraordinary levels, and as Castaneda describes, any revelation of the hidden always involves the known, and its obsessive manipulation.
It so happened that shortly after Punditt no longer needed to be my petty tyrant; another petty tyrant came into my life. At the time it did not seem like he was, but I began to recognise his behaviour as acting like a parody of a petty tyrant. After some months of indulgence, I got bored of it, and told him that I was fully aware of what he was up to, I wasn’t impressed, and could he stop. Bad habits take a long time to resolve. I was there to learn from him, which means taking a slightly subservient position. Unfortunately, he thought I should become his student. You would think that it is not possible to have two masters, and it is true. However, needs must and I resolved to learn his techniques, which were not in the usual cannon of magical and spiritual methods. He never ‘taught’ me how to program crystals, but a year or two into my association with him, and a month after set up RVMagic as the magical half of RVScience, at his suggestion, I suddenly found I could program crystals, much to his surprise and chagrin. He gave me several crystals, one in particular, which he would not tell me what it did. Some months later as we were sitting in a pub in Brighton, having dodged the microwaving backpacks of the Security Services, I told him exactly what that crystal did. His jaw dropped. I was not supposed to know. He might know the civilian uses (the known) of military remote viewing and sensing, but he could not know the unknown uses, even if they came from Carlos Castaneda. I, however, did know the unknown, and as a result I could know what he thought I would never find out. The work of a petty tyrant is to distort the truth in order to find and resolve new and deeper truths, which only work if the petty tyrant knows the truth to start with. However when all the problems are externalised (Blamer strategy), this backfires spectacularly. When paranoia is at work, the externalised problems expand to include anyone who appears to be in the way. I was that person. He had been trying to remote view Punditt, and was telling me about his experiences. I was naturally interested since Punditt had (and still is) a closed book to me. I never had any idea of who Punditt really was, or what he was doing, or how he was doing it. Punditt was seen as beyond not just Kether, but beyond AYN SVP AVR, which is very flattering, but at the time I had already came to the realisation that the Tree of Life was limited. He also told me that I was not far behind Punditt. Much later I realised he was using me to ‘steal’ Punditt’s knowledge. Impossible, but when obsessive manipulation of the known is going on, it still creates problems in the known. His problem was compounded by the belief that he already knew the Unknown, conceptualised by the ‘far future’. Hey, as a physicist, he should know that the future does not exist, only the present.
The magnification of these paranoias exults the problem, me, into exulted circles, so that I am the prime focus of his website, right at the top of his homepage, where he is supposed to be selling his crystals. The manipulation of the known is evident in using old information (loads of people know my real name and address – it isn’t a secret; you need to be honest about your address when using ecommerce) along with the ‘revelation’ that I am the owner of three websites. Wow. People in glasshouses should never throw stones.
It was my suggestion that he set up rvscience, and since he is also computer phobic (microwave and thought control energies can be beamed through the monitor), I had to register the domain name and do all the rest, based upon my experience of setting up Supertarot so many years ago. Sorry Turan. Tim returned the compliment much later, after I had made rvscience so successful – he suggested I set up RVMagic. It was a brilliant idea. He is the scientist, I am the magician; a perfect match. And so it was for time. Until greed got in the way. Tim wanted everything for himself, which is reasonable if you are that egotistical. His beef about the 7 Power Crystal set is bizarre if you think about it. There is no science in the 7 Power Crystal set, only magic and mysticism; right from the use of the number 7 (this numerology continues with the other sets of crystals), to the names and uses of the crystals. In fact, as I worked more with the 7 Power Crystal set, I discovered that they are profoundly connected to seven of the appropriate 22 Major Tarot cards, and you can read more about it on my websites.
So, in my time with Tim, did I evolve? No. Did I learn new techniques? Yes. If that sounds a contradiction, it isn’t, because if I had used Tim/Turan’s techniques, I would have become him, which is what he wanted. What happened instead is that eventually I was put to work to right the wrongs perpetrated by these techniques, which I would have never known if he hadn’t shown me. There is nothing like experience for education!
Tim made a big mistake. He told me his techniques in the mistaken belief that I would become like him. I never became my teacher Punditt, so why should I become like Tim? The whole point of engaging a petty tyrant is to become Yourself, to realise your own power, not that of someone elses.
There was a bizarre synergy where we both learnt from each other, and grew in knowledge, but while he wanted to be my pettty tyrant, I had no such interest in reciprocating. Reciprocation would have been pointless in any case… a petty tyrant for the petty tyrant. Besides, in Tim’s world, there is only the way of Carlos Castaneda. There is humility in Tim. Many times I would tell about how something was, or the way it worked. He would argue against it, but the next time we met, often a week or two later, he would say, “You were right what you said about …” Tim had to know I was genuine, and he would test me, which is quite right.
There is a curious fact, which he probably does not appreciate. Despite all the problems he creates, I have never heard anyone be angry about him. They all feel sorry for him, and there is a tremendous sense of loss as to what he could have become. Maybe there is redemption after all.
What I did do, was rediscover ancient methods of programming crystals that come from Punditt’s tradition, even though as you are aware of by now, we never actually discussed programming crystals, not even with Turan.