The Eagle

A series of quotes from "The Eagle's Gift" as assembled by Carlos Castaneda in "The Wheel of Time"

The power that governs the destiny of all living beings is called the Eagle, not because it is an eagle or has anything to do with an eagle, but because it appears to the eye of the seer as an immeasurable jet-black eagle, standing erect as an eagle stands, its height reaching to infinity.
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The Eagle devours the awareness of all the creatures that, alive on earth a moment before and now dead, have floated to the Eagle's beak like a swarm of fireflies, to meet their owner, their reason for having had life.  The Eagle disentangles these tiny flames, lays them flat, as a tanner stretches out a hide, and then consumes them; for awareness is the Eagle's food.
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The Eagle, that power that governs the destinies of all living things, reflects equally, and at once all those living things.  There is no way, therefore, for man to pray to the Eagle, to ask favors, to hope for grace.  The human part of the Eagle is too insignificant to move the whole.
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Every living thing has been granted the power, if it so desires, to seek an opening to freedom and go through it.  It is evident to the seer who sees the opening, and to the creatures that go through it, that the Eagle has granted that gift in order to perpetuate awareness.
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To cross over to freedom does not mean eternal life as eternity is commonly understood - that is, as living forever.  Rather, warriors can keep their awareness, which is ordinarily relinquished at the moment of dying.  At the moment of crossing, the body in its entirety is kindled with knowledge.  Every cell at once becomes aware of itself and also aware of the totality of the body.
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The Eagle's gift of freedom is not a bestowal, but a chance to have a chance.