To say that I am excited is to vastly understate the case. Before going to Teotihuacan, the ancient pyramid complex near Mexico City constructed by the Toltecs, I had been reading a book called “Boyd” by Robert Coram. It’s the story of Air Force colonel John Boyd, the most innovative military thinker since Clausewitz. I put Boyd aside to reread some of Don Miguel Ruiz’ material, and some of the Castaneda material on Toltec wisdom. Amid that, I took a break and finished Boyd. Then, yesterday, I reread my own edit of the teaching materials in the first four Castaneda books, which I call “The Warrior’s Way.” Then, this morning I started rereading Castaneda’s “The Wheel of Time.” In his commentary on his teacher, Don Juan Matus’, teachings, Castaneda explained that what Don Juan was really teaching was a different cognitive system, a way of seeing energy, as it moves and acts, directly. And it hit me, this is what Boyd had learned to do on his own. His energy-maneuverability theory, his OODA (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act) loops, and his amazing ability, in spite of a personality which flew counter to all principles of public relations, to navigate the halls of the Pentagon, and get the entire military bureaucracy, completely arrayed against him, to comply with his insights, were all examples of the fact that this guy, this foul-mouthed, cigar-waving, dressed like the worst sort of square john clown, spitting in the face of generals and secretaries of defense in his zeal to expound his ideas, had somehow learned to see in the Toltec sense.
Which offers a fascinating field of cross-fertilization. Boyd’s ideas were what led to the tactics which permitted his fighter squadron in Korea to achieve a 10 to 1 kill ratio against a superior aircraft, and the U.S. to successfully invade in Gulf War I & II, so easily, so quickly, and with such few casualties. This was so because the Marines had asked Boyd to collaborate in the writing of their tactics manual. But those ideas were abandoned for the occupation. There is way too much coincidence to be coincidence. There is no coincidence; there is synchronicity. “Boyd” was sent to me by Don Gluck, my first company commander. Gluck is a consummate warrior, at 23 he was First Sergeant of the Medical Detachment of the 2d Ranger Battalion during the Normandy Invasion, later Company Commander in the 3d Division in Korea, but more than that, a brilliant and empathetic man. As a provincial senior advisor in Vietnam he performed a time and motion study, deducing that if he fulfilled all the administrative duties thrust upon him by MACV there would be no time left to operate. So, he quit sending in most reports, and operated. In his year his province went from one of the least secure in Vietnam to the most secure. He courted being relieved and prevailed, but he retired as a lieutenant colonel.
He was a great mentor in all ways, but the main thing I learned from Gluck was to sort out the relevant facts in any situation and concentrate on the through line. That’s the way he ran everything, and our company had the highest average rifle score on post, maxed the AGI, and in the year he ran a basic training company he never opened the punishment book. This, in an army so consumed with irrelevance that it needs no enemy. It has itself. Truthfully, if anyone else had sent this book, I probably wouldn’t have read it. I had to shove a lot of stuff out of the way to read Boyd, and I had no objective reason to do so. But the fact that it came during my submersion in Toltec mysticism was synchronicity indeed. Boyd was hatching his ideas at the same time Castaneda first brought the concepts of Toltec “sorcery”, as anthropology, and later as personal experience, to a general public. But there is no indication that Boyd himself was ever aware of that. This seems to me at least a partial demonstration of Teilhard de Chardin’s idea of a noosphere, that there is a band or layer of collective thought above in the atmosphere, that certain people, in states of heightened awareness, can plug into.
Boyd was unaware of it, but in his aerial dogfights at the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, he practiced the Toltec disciplines: a) Lose self-importance, b) erase personal history, c) use death as an advisor, and d) accept responsibility for your own acts. Nothing else you can do in an aerial dogfight. And that frame of mind, in aerial combat, allowed him to start to perceive the flow of energy directly, and become “Forty-second Boyd”, the man who could flame anybody in forty seconds. The Toltec stuff was never “sorcery” or “shamanism”, it was science. Twenty-five hundred years ago, it was science, the same science that constructed Teotihuacan, and plugged into that noosphere, with effects deemed impossible by modern “science”. During the long years of the Conquest, passed down as an oral tradition, it was viewed by the Indians among whom it was practiced as “sorcery”, but it has a firm foundation in modern physics. I don’t know where these insights are leading, but, just for openers, they provide a strong link between my old world, the world of Special Operations — of warriors who actually fight the war at hand, not the last one or the one before — and my “new” one, the world of Toltec “sorcery”, which I will henceforth think of as Toltec Science. This leads to a recommendation, that warriors on the cutting edge of this thought put Castaneda’s “The Wheel of Time” and Miguel Ruiz’ “The Four Agreements” on their reading list, and that students of Toltec wisdom put Robert Coram’s “Boyd” on their reading lists. This also reinforces Don Miguel Ruiz’ belief that ink-blots of enlightenment are growing, spreading, merging, and leading toward a world in which war is irrelevant and obsolete. Boyd’s ideas have already cut casualty figures, at least for the good guys, by 90%. Pursued to their logical conclusion, they may eventually cut them 100% for both sides.
Featured Image: The Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan, México | Ricardo David Sánchez [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons