Part 2: Stalking the Predator
by John Pateros
Imagine two creatures in a forest, one is a very skilled and experienced predator, and the other creature has just learned about the presence of the predator. The first thing the newly-aware creature will want to do is get out of the predator’s territory. For us, this is as easy (or difficult) as getting out of the mind, the cosmic predator’s home base.
(If you haven't already, check out Part One: ‘The Predator’ & Wholeness.)
In the final Carlos Castenada book, The Active Side of Infinity, don Juan horrifies Carlos by asking him, “Do you know how the predators conquered us?” After Carlos responds weakly, “No,” don Juan goes on to say, “They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, and filled with fear...”
So how can we get out of the territory of the predator, out of our own minds? Don Miguel Ruiz answers this simply in The Voice of Knowledge, “Don’t believe anything anyone else tells you. And don’t believe anything you tell yourself.” This is a seriously important caveat. Believing something, anything—is a quick way to go to sleep to whatever the other possibilities may be. And in a sleepy mental state, we are much more accessible to predation.
The quickest and simplest way I’ve found to get out of mind is to feel something—find a sensation in Body, any sensation, and focus on it with full attention. When attention is absorbed in exploring a feeling or sensation, we lose awareness of thoughts and beliefs. We effectively leave the mind—and enter the feeling world of Body. Being in my body and identified with feelings brings me right out of mind and out of identification with whatever beliefs or stories the lying storyteller was dishing out.
Being in my body also gives me access to another, much better source of information—my intuition. Intuition is a felt sense, and the predator has done whatever it can to convince us that the mind is where we should go for problem-solving—not to our feelings or intuition, where our deepest source of wisdom actually resides.
Making this shift from thinking for answers to feeling for them can also cause my inner identity to shift. Now, more as a feeler rather than a thinker, I am no longer who I have known (thought) myself to be. I'm now more of my deeper identity, more of who I really am. This paradigm shift can be a little disorientating at first, and still, it's well worth practicing. You'll find that your new inner identity is much more perceptive, aware and resourceful than your mind could have imagined.
Once safely out of the predator’s territory, our newly-aware forest creature will want to stalk the predator to learn as much as possible about its nature and how it operates. And like most ordinary predators, this inner predator of humans we’re trying to learn more about is very skilled at hiding itself and its actions. So we’ll want to begin by changing our habitual mode of observation.
Instead of looking for the predator in the light of conscious awareness as we would most anything else, we want to penetrate the unconscious darkness where it hides. This means becoming aware of its (previously unconscious) activity in the mind. There are several ways we can go about doing this...
Listen for the Voice in your Mind
The most obvious way to stalk the predator is to listen for any negative or judgmental statements coming either from inside yourself or from others. Noticing a negative thought gives you an opportunity to say, “Predator alert!” Simply noticing a negative thought about yourself (or another) is very often all that’s necessary to break the spell and send the predator packing (at least for now).
Feel the Effects of the Predator’s Words
Another way to stalk the predator is by feeling the effects of its words and judgments. This includes feelings of self-hatred, feeling self as a victim, feeling disempowered, feeling small, feeling the presence of denial energy, feeling glee at someone else's problems or having that 'good' feeling of hating someone or something.
Feel into where in Body (in which chakra) this kind of energy centers. And feeling as much of it as you can stand to feel, ask yourself, “What would this energy say if it could speak in words?”
The right answer will come quickly as an intuitive insight and will reveal what the predator had been saying to trigger the feelings. Here’s where knowing that this isn't me—this is a foreign installation makes all the difference.
Until learning about the predator, I had believed (assumed) that all my thoughts were my own. Now I know that any and all unloving or negative thoughts that just 'pop in' are coming from the predator in an effort to influence me to become afraid and/or feel hateful.
So when I ‘spot’ the predator, I want to be able to ‘hear’ what it has just said, hear the words that were being whispered in my mind. However, the sound of the predator’s voice is most often just like the familiar sound of my own inner voice, so I want to use discernment by asking myself, “Was that thought loving or unloving?” If it wasn’t loving, I assume it was the predator’s thought that was being silently spoken—and not my own.
Knowing that it’s the predator speaking helps me quickly disidentify with it—know that it is not me or even a part of me thinking and saying these things. Probably the greatest advantage the predator has had over us is its ability to make us believe its thoughts are our thoughts.
When I see that it was the foreign installation’s thinking and not thoughts I was intentionally generating, I don’t have to believe those thoughts anymore. This renders the predator powerless. So when I spot anything amiss, I say to myself something like, “Ah, so that was the predator speaking! Ha, I see you now!” The next thing I experience is the sense of it (them) scurrying away.
Remember, the predator works under cover of darkness; it hides its activities in unconscious parts of the mind. It’s very stealthy and moves to deeper layers of the unconscious when it’s ‘spotted.’ But in the light of awareness—it’s busted. It becomes ineffective as soon as we’re conscious of it.
And wouldn’t you know, when we discover it in one layer of the mind, it very quickly moves to a deeper layer of unconsciousness. This is one advantage of stalking the predator, it can lead us to places in ourselves where we haven’t yet been aware—prompting us to unfold and explore ever deeper layers of our previous unconsciousness. (More on this huge advantage a little later in Part Three, Using the Predator for Healing.)
How to Mine the Past to Reveal the Predator
Another effective approach that can uncover the predator within is to go looking for it—in the past. If you can remember a time when things were going badly, you can revisit that time to Mine the Past. First, choose a moment of the ‘bad’ experience and see yourself as you were back in that moment, and also see any others who were there with you at the time.
Whenever you can see yourself in an internal scene, you are in Observer Position. From being the observer of the scene (including yourself), you can go into your own position in the scene. Be in your body just as you were at the time, looking out through your own eyes, and feeling now what you were feeling then. Here in your own Self position, you can feel what you were experiencing in that moment.
Now for even more awareness, go back to the Observer position. From here you can go into the position of anyone else involved and also feel what they were experiencing in the moment. By mining the past like this, you can retrieve very helpful sentient, feeling-based information (sensing) that was not available to you in the original experience. Fully re-experiencing a past event in this way will reveal the presence of the predator in that past moment.
In becoming aware now of the predator’s activities in the past, we can learn more about it and its ways. This approach is like the second one above in that we’re feeling into energies that have been polluted by the predator’s judgments and other unloving thoughts—so we can recognize how the predator got to us that time.
Traits, Aspects, Habits and Skills of the Predator
A good hunter wants to know everything they can about their prey. And now that we’re hunting the predator, this applies to us too. As mentioned earlier, there are many names for this virulent psychic virus that’s been infecting humanity. And like the six blind men with seemingly different descriptions of the same elephant, there are many descriptions of traits, habits, and skills that have been applied to the predator.
Reviewing the descriptions of others and documenting my own experiences, I’ve compiled a list of some of the more obvious traits, aspects, habits and skills of this transdimensional entity with many names that we’re calling ‘the predator.’ They are listed below. “Getting to know you...”
The predator has been quite good at hiding itself in unconscious layers of the mind, and when ‘spotted’ goes to ever deeper layers of unconsciousness. The presence (voice) of the predator can be very subtle, so it's good to feel for the deeper subtleties in 'bad' feelings. This practice can help.
The predator deceives us into believing that its thoughts are our own thoughts. It also tells us lies about ourselves and others, and even puts us up to speaking and acting deceitfully. The urge to fabricate (lie) is coming from the predator. For instance, the predator might whisper something like, “Better not mention this to anyone.” or “Better say I wasn’t there, or there’ll be trouble,” etc.
Like a virulent virus, the predator’s energy is extremely contagious. When we’re around someone who is infected with the predator and speaking or acting from there, we feel powerfully compelled to match that energy. This is where disagreements can quickly turn to arguments, and then fights. The destructive energy keeps getting passed around, getting deeper and more intense with each passing. Battlefields, domestic disputes, mass rallies, riots, and incidents of ‘crowd psychosis’ are examples of situations where the predator can most readily spread its contagion.
This is a term Carlos Castaneda’s don Juan uses to make the point that the predator is like a machine that operates with computer-like programming. It/they have a 'Borg' or hive-like mentality, with each member of the collective sharing the knowledge and power to mine our feeling essence for its food and power.
This entity comes from another dimension beyond our accustomed four dimensions; it is simultaneously anywhere, everywhere, singular and plural. It accesses our local reality through our mind, which according to don Juan, is actually its mind.
The predator depletes our soul by converting our feeling awareness and the energies of our Will into its nourishment. It does this by convincing us that our mind is where we should go to solve ‘problems.’ However, the awful stories the predator tells us in our minds (when we believe them) compel us to feel afraid and upset, giving the predator lots of juicy Will essence to feed on. In The Active Side of Infinity don Juan tells Carlos, “They took us over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. Just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, gallineros, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros.”
The predators keep us locked in the mind as ‘humaneros’ in numerous ways. One way is by constantly and routinely avoiding feeling subtle fear (aka life force energy) in our bodies. Another way is by very often quietly whispering the question, “What’s next?” This causes us to unconsciously and routinely go searching for the answer in the immediate future, in the only place the future exists—the mind. And once in the mind, we can remain stuck there for quite some time. Okay, got it? Good. Now, what’s next?...
The predator causes us to forget and/or deny our true nature and goodness. By convincing us that our experience in the moment is somehow a ‘problem’ and that the mind is where we should turn for helpful information and analysis to solve the problem, we turn away from experience in the present moment, where we can be intuitive, connected and truly alive. And by the predator’s incessant ‘bad rapping’ us with its scary and maddening stories, we’re compelled to turn away from ourselves. And its negative stories about others make us want to turn away from them as well.
The predator feeds us a steady stream of judgments about ourselves, others and the world. Judgments are mental forms of negative energy that infect the feelings that are triggered by the judgments. Judgment Release is a very powerful tool and probably the most effective predator-busting practice you can use, once a feeling has been infected with the predator’s poisonous energy.
When we feel something edgy or unusual, the predators tell us to “think about this,” sending us into the mind instead of grounding in Body—when we could feel into the sensations with our sentient, feeling awareness (where our intuition resides)—and get a much better understanding of what’s up.
The predator keeps us from feeling our real feelings and staying connected with our life force energy by sending us into our minds with a story about who or what we’ve just experienced. The stories it tells are usually quite convincing because they typically take one bit of truth and embellish it into an exaggerated and distorted version of what actually happened—and of course with a negative spin. When we believe them, these made-up stories become our reality. The energy of the distressful feelings this triggers can then easily send us back into the mind, leaving Body and Will 'vacant' for the predator's occupation and consumption.
The predators intentionally try to trigger unpleasant energies in us for their food (“squeeze us mercilessly”). The feelings generated are story-based (triggered by the predator’s fearful, angry and sad stories). The more triggered we are, the juicier and more potent the energy the predator can feed on.
The predator can be very quick to pounce; its work is often done before we even notice it was here. This is where mining the past can be extremely helpful in spotting it retrospectively and then mitigating its effects on our feeling parts.
The predator has a short attention span and loses interest in us as soon as we spot it. Carlos Castaneda: "Don't worry," don Juan said calmly. "I know for a fact that those attacks wear off very quickly. The flyer's mind has no concentration whatsoever."
Since we’ve believed that the predator’s thoughts are our thoughts, we haven’t known who we truly are. The predator has often taken over my identity and left me believing that it is me—or that I am it. This may be the predator’s greatest feat of conquest, making us believe its hateful and destructive thoughts are our own.
The predators take over the rule of our lives, just like the Archons (‘rulers’ in ancient Greek) as described in Gnostic texts. The ancient Gnostics knew about this foreign installation and wrote about it 1,700 years ago in the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts that were unearthed in Egypt in 1945. Archons are famous in Gnostic circles as the foreign tyrants that rule our lives. And this still seems very true today—whether you call them 'predators' or 'archons.'
The predators trigger our fears, making us into petty, little beings that take things personally. When infected, we become just like them—mean-spirited, cowardly, petty, simplistic and binary (black/white thinking). The energy of the triggered fear is deep in our bodies, but the predator mind keeps us away from fully feeling that energy by enticing us to use the mind to think of a solution to the ‘problem’ of the triggered fear.
One of the predator’s favorite tactics is to set me up as a victim. The predator whispers in my own voice, “I could have_____, but_____ prevented me.” Now every time I ‘catch’ myself identifying as a victim of someone or something, I catch the predator that had just set that up. Also, the predator often had me believing many of the stories of my childhood where I was the victim. Believing these victim stories had cut me the grownup off from the blessing that I would have otherwise had as the hero who survived.
The predator loves to make things into problems and bring them to us with a question like, “Okay, now what am I going to do about this?” A problem, like the future, can exist only in the mind—and of course, it can be ‘solved’ only in the mind. This is one of the predator’s favorite tactics—to get us into the mind and keep us there trying to ‘uncover’ and solve problems that it has made up out of life circumstances that in their essence—just are whatever they are. Instead of simply accepting that something or other is just what is happening now, the predator mind makes something or other into a problem that needs serious mental attention to resolve—producing ongoing full employment for the predator mind.
The predator loves to tell us how good we are doing at something, getting us to identify in egoic parts of ourselves. This is a very tricky tactic and a setup for then criticizing us when we aren’t performing ‘up to snuff.’ Neither side of this seesaw is who we truly are. It’s as if the predator is playing with its prey before eating it. It also gives us the ego stroke of telling us “I’ve got it! I understand now!” This lulls us into a sense of superiority, no longer being a learner, no longer being as loving, open and present with ourselves, with others and with the continually unfolding Universe.
Another way the predator sets us up is by getting us to expect something in the future to happen, not happen or be a certain way. There are two ways the predator gets us with this tactic. First, we leave the present moment and go into the mind whenever we remember what we're expecting for the future. And second, we get triggered when our expectations don't happen.
The predator is really good at using hypnotic ‘indirect suggestions’ to motivate us toward division and hatred without our noticing this is happening. Examples of predatory indirect suggestions: “When are you (am I) going to let that person know how annoying they are?” (Question with embedded suggestion) “Do I want to tell him right now, or wait until he gets even more annoying?” (Double bind) “As I sit here listening to this, I feel like hitting him.” (Linking) “This reminds me of how it went with that other guy who turned out to be a real bummer.” (Metaphor)
The predators automatically attach themselves to people having high-intensity negative experiences, and especially traumatic ones. Olga Kharitidi, a Russian psychiatrist working in a remote Mongolian institution for the criminally insane found the predator running rampant on her ward. She discovered that the traumas her patients experienced in their childhoods had taken up permanent residence in them as what Siberian shamans call ‘spirits of trauma.'
In their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, her patients had been acting out their otherwise hidden traumas. So ‘spirits of trauma’ is another to add to ‘the predator,’ ‘wetiko,’ etc. Kharitidi also discovered a way of healing the effects of these destructive spirits with a uniquely powerful form of lucid dreaming.
In my own inner experiments, I’ve found that lucid dreaming while awake can be used for deep healing. This is much easier to do than I’d first imagined. An awake dreaming state, as in ‘light hypnosis’ is all that’s necessary to work with deep traumas—along with the direct access to the trauma that the predator can provide, and some specific trauma-healing tools and perspectives.
Please feel free to comment below with any traits or other predator mind phenomena that you’ve noticed. It'll be good to build a more complete library of the predator's antics. And of course, any other pertinent comments or questions are also very welcome.