Strange World

“For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”  

― Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan



Does that not sound wonderful? So far you have developed tremendous inner strength. You have, or are in the process of, having erased all your , “Not-OK” feelings, and you feel little, if any, anxiety or fear. So now it is the pursuit of absurdities that will prevent you from being your most superior self. The other six positions will make you superior, but this will take you beyond. 

You must be the fish who comprehends water, the walker who realizes that the walls of his maze are just wet toilet paper he can walk through. 

A different way to approach this is to ask, ” Do you love Big Brother?”  Seems like a nonsequiter doesn’t it?

You may not recall all of Winston  Smith’s 1984 struggles against a worldview created by totalitarianism, but that is okay because you are living some of that now. While Winston was crushed and learned to love “Big Brother,” this would not happen to our Ronin trained and formed by our system. 

But to defend yourself against a worldview two things are necessary. The first is to have a complete comprehension of “Worldview,” and then to have a better one. And this we will do.


Now it is time for the Cargo Cult. 

Our movie for Strange Land is the segment from the movie, Mondo Cane dealing with the Cargo Cult.




The Cargo Cult was formed during WWII by the aborigines of Papua New Guinea. Upon receiving much coveted cargo from our troops they tried to fit this incredible occurrence into their worldview. How could they not? In their worldview there are only two places, their island, and the realm of their departed ancestors. The planes were obviously sent by these ancestors for them, but the white men have tricked them with their fancy runways and towers. So those of the Cargo Cult build runways complete with decoy planes of bamboo, and wait. They have an air traffic control tower and on it sits a man with grass ear phones who speaks into a piece of bamboo summoning in the Cargo. 

Since you come from the culture that produced the planes and cargo you think yourself “superior,” no matter how deep into political correctness* you might be. And of course, materially you are, although I doubt that many of you could explain how an airplane flies, nor survive in the world of the Cargo Cult. 

Please consider, deeply, that you are a member of a different Cargo Cult wherein so very many are dreaming of Cargo they really don’t need, and are working hard to become a “Cargo Cult air traffic controller,” like the fellows in the video, sitting on top of their bamboo tower, grass ear phones on, and talking at a piece of wood, summoning the cargo. 

Our Cargo Cult air traffic controllers are on television constantly, and are quoted frequently in various news papers. They are recognizable by being always wrong, but never in doubt. There predictions are worthless, but they always have an explanation after the event.


You might begin to ask yourself, “Are we getting any cargo?”

Or when presented with a plan, “Where has this worked before?”


Imagine that one of those in the video did this and stopped working on the mock airstrip or the decoy planes. None would appreciate his intelligence and autonomy, rather they would mock him. When you practice the mnemonic, and come to Ronin, imagine being the autonomous individual with the strength to reject the career of Cargo Cult Air Traffic Controller. When you come to Strange Land, comprehend the cult about you. So there is the choice, and which will you choose for yourself.


You have a map of “reality,” in your head that if you keep following,  will take you over cliffs and into dead ends forever. This map is called “culture,” This inner world of yours, with its rules, expectations, and beliefs has evolved over thousands of years, is bone deep. Without it, you will be a stranger in a strange land. And that is exactly what you want. 

Imagine that on your desk, you have an aquarium with a solitary fish in it. One day you somehow develop a telepathic-conversational link with the fish, and you ask him, “How is the water in your aquarium?”

To which he answers, “What is water?”


Your exercise is to create a way of communicating to the fish what water is, and then applying it to yourself so that you can stand outside the common world view.