Journals from an Indigenous Philippine Sorcerer “Invisible II; A Visit to Xagas”

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I always liked adventures with Arik, because it gave me long opportunities to talk to him during the voyage.  This week would be spent visiting one of Arik’s school brothers, Xagas. (Pronounced ‘Zagas’). We would be traveling from Cebu City to Sante Fe, Bantayan where Xagas was staying.  Also, it was nice to bring my wife along.  I may need her for translation purposes as well.  But, of course, she couldn’t speak native Manobo.  Ylime, Arik’s housekeeper, cook, and secretary, came as well.  She and my wife, Jocelyn were good friends.

My wife wasn’t much interested in Arik’s spirituality, being a good ‘old school’ Catholic girl, like most Filipinas.  A Filipina wife was a very nice event for me because she was lovely, respectful, sweet, super-kind, and pretty much allowed me to study anything I wished.  A jewel that was a gift.

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After a bruising divorce, I had met Jocelyn 8 years ago in the Philippines.  She was a breath of fresh air.  I was rather leery to get involved with another woman, especially another American women again at this stage of my life.  So this Filipina was a gift.  American ladies, for me, generally speaking, had endlessly complicated psychic systems, as did I.

I sat with Arik on the bus, and we’d catch a ferry to Bantayan Island when we arrived in Hagnaya Port, the northernmost tip of Cebu Island.  Bus rides in the Philippines were entertaining for me because I loved to watch the people.  The funky earthiness of the people, combined with their sweet essences always captivated me.

I began: “Arik?”  “Have you ever regretted things in your life.”  “I mean wished you had done something a different way.”

Arik replied, “Everyone acting in time has remorse about certain behaviors or actions, but these problems occur when not being Aware of being Aware.  Being honestly Aware of mistakes is a force one can use to not repeat them.  This sounds like common sense, but people really do not see mistakes clearly.  People act habitually or mechanically, like a wind-up mule, with self-interest only. People do not know they are numb and buried in illusion.  They cannot rise above their own level.

Arik went on, “Our lack of insight gets us into trouble.  People thru wrong education use counterfeit money, expecting a reward from it.  They get back the same quality money they invested.  Hostility or greed will always return a investment at the same level.  Men say they are happy ‘because of’,  -but a man with the blood of Life is only happy with the blood of Life.  He IS Happiness itself.  He IS the Life itself- he depends on nothing. 

“Authentic recreation is fine, but men are taken over.  He gets lost in entertainments, his thrills, his sports, and his false pleasures -only feed the false person.  This is counterfeit money.  A piece of gold will double itself, triple itself- if invested in what’s Real.  Truth understands everything that goes on in this world.  The world is mad and artificial, but the blood of Life is richer and richer every day with true teachings and abandonment of the false person.  Awareness grows, understanding grows, and this is all has nothing to do with this world.  Foolish children think they can get away with counterfeit money.  The costume of the king is child’s play.

“People ‘count their blessings’, as you Western people say sometimes.  This is very true, but I do not they understood the total truth of what they were saying.  They assume that they are already ok.  But, they’re not receptive.  It just takes a friendly attitude towards any problem.  For that problem or that enemy can be your best friend.  The blood of Life doesn’t recognize a problem, it ALWAYS has a friendly attitude towards everything.  It has no problems because it’s spiritual purity cannot create its own problems.  It’s not divided.  A great error and hoax have been perpetrated on our species.  Because of this artificial person, we try to steal one another’s attention.  We learn rightly at our school because we don’t allow jungle thinking.  People have been very damaged by the world they were born into .  Living in dreadful un-naturalness because of their false person.

“Unless you know you’re in a storm at all times, the blood of Life cannot circulate. Where am I staying in a dream?  The only way to get rid of the storm is to pass thru the Pit of pain and getting to the other side.  We all pay, Dong.

“When being Aware of being Aware- you just see the natural world as it is.  Quiet, slow, not trying to ‘do’ anything.  Nothing to want, except natural and practical  things.  When you work hard at what I’m teaching you, you will see the world in a brighter way.

We arrived at Hagnaya Port and awaited the ferry for Bantayan.  We dined at a funky eatery, all four of us ate very well for less than $10!  Arik and I shared our love of water-trips together.  The ocean was beautiful today in its vast expanse; I love the Philippines.  Jocelyn and Ylime were cheerfully chattering at the table behind us.

I reviewed what notes I could remember and reviewed them with Arik.  I wanted to do his book right, and he was gracious enough to help me with this, though he didn’t want me writing while he was talking.  I understood this because when he looked in my eyes, I remembered to write down what he said correctly.

We were watching a young Filipina waitress move to the radio music thru the speakers.  Another song that she recognized began to play and she suddenly began to move differently to that music. It was a sweet thing to see, the spontaneity of the waitress, as she moved about the tables.

A man was obviously and unabashedly urinating on a wall across the street.  His cheeks were exposed as he dropped his shorts.

Arik laughed, “We must see how easily offended we are by people.  The counterfeit person creates the crab and the pouncer in a deluded man.  It is very low-level to look for faults to pounce on in others.  And, many spend their whole lives like this and develop hardened critical crab– like natures.  That doesn’t mean that one is not open to right correction, instruction and discipline.

“You tell these truths to other people, you’ll see how easily they repel you or dismiss you.  You see now these are special teachings, and they’re not intimidating truths.  Few can hear them; do not waste time not them.  They are the only thing in life worth working for.  This is how the Touched person becomes invisible.

We boarded the ferry.  Jocelyn and Ylime were cheerfully sharing their recipes and spice usage.  I sat next to Arik on the bench.

“Arik”, I asked, “Why can’t the truth reach ALL human beings?  I mean why cannot the truth cut thru their delusions and make it easier?  Why is it so difficult for us to see?  No one is normal!  You had said that hardly anyone seems to be sane- and all of us are crazy-lost?  When I hear you talk, and I’m reviewing my notes of your talks—I want to BE those words your saying and I’m writing!  They offer a freedom I do not presently have.  I feel the truth of your lectures, and it is refreshing, but I feel so powerless and stuck, Arik.”

“There is no free lunch, Nino. I will give you a great Secret.  People ask “Where can I get help?  Where is a School?  That is why I want you to write freely in your journals of these teachings.  They’re not ‘Arik’s teachings’ per se.  But, I have diamonds to give away.  Nobody wants the Truth!  Maybe one in a million.

“What if I told you- you have never had a problem in your whole life?  Just ‘me’ thoughts, ‘I’ thoughts.  If I’m the worrier, I’m somebody- so pattern continues to find endless ways to keep these pseudo-‘me’s and the false person’s escapades going.  An unseen conspiracy to keep this false person telling you how to feel..  YOU PAY ITS ROOM AND BOARD!  Did you ever think of housing your false person in that way? Collaborating with your enemy because you think it’s you!  That is Crazy-lost.  A false life you thought was true life.”

“Arik!”, I exclaimed, “I just can’t get it!  I understand you, but I cannot LIVE what you are saying! I keep getting swallowed up and identified with this false person! I see I’m trapped by an artificial, memorized entity, but it seems to have my entire psychic system at its mercy!  How can I possibly be invisible, Arik! It seems all I can see -everywhere I look -is this false person?”

Arik continued. “Where do people get their sense of ‘I’?  A thought ? A description?   An Interpretation?  Don’t you realize you can be in charge of the whole world?  The blood of Life is!  Get out of the way and flow with it.

“Your Jesus Christ said it to you quite clearly in your New Testament. “Be of good cheer, for I have conquered the world.”  Beautiful!  But nobody understood him.  He was telling you how to be invisible.  He had found his true “I”, which not the man at all, but the Everything behind it.  He had squeezed out the false person completely, and was telling his students that they also could do this.

“There really is no ‘me’ to hold in place. When you get that – that will be the RELIEF of your life.  The only thing you need to get authority over, is yourself. There is no ‘me’ to have power over anyone or anything.  No one, nobody.  There is nobody there! Nothing…but that Nothing is Everything!

“Come on Arik!”, what the hell are you talking about!, I exclaimed.  “If there’s nobody there, what is there?”

“There you go again!”, Arik interrupted, “in jungle logic!  You must disappear, that’s the whole point of our work!  You cannot bring you with you to be invisible!

 Arik shook his shoulders, and lowered his voice, “What I called “I” was my problem. The false person is our ONLY problem.  The false person makes people ‘visible’.  It is illusion, made up, imagination.  Not only practical common sense, but deep psychology.  But it IS common sense to get off your foot, if you’re standing on it, and it hurts. Right?  Foot hurt? Get off it.  Me hurt?  Get off it.  I hurt? SEPARATE from it.  Separate to advance.  Do not fall in love with your pet pains and sufferings!  Your Free spirit depends on this!  People want to change their natures without changing their natures!

“Why do you think people suffer?  That psychic suffering and dullness is pain.  Pain is pain.  Why do you think the mule feels pain? What do you think it is FOR?  It is telling you to WAKE THE HELL UP!  Get out of your dreams and imaginations!  You are not it!  Unfortunately, people succumb to it and give up defeated.  Just look at their hardened faces.

“You can either build your own world with the spirit of Life, or you can accept the one handed you by society and your so-called teachers, so which one do you really want?  This work is not for the ones who wish to stay crazy-lost.

“The miracle is when you discover- to look at throbbing heartache, or whatever your favorite pain is. THAT IS NOT YOU!  It has nothing to do with who you really are.  You are who you are, when you don’t think of who you are!  Go beyond the ordinary.  This is hard work, but you might as well get after it.  You must transform all psychological “problems” through your voyage across the Pit of pain to see who you Really are.  You see you were invisible all along!  You see that that ‘nothing’ you feared so much—was EVERYTHING.  This is invisible.

“You see the folly of what you loved and clung to so desperately.  Just because you were born, a chunk of meat- a mule- doesn’t make you an ‘I, me, my’.  That mule of a body is not a you.  Just a chunk of meat containing Life blood energy for a limited time -a vehicle for the potentiality of growth for the spirit of Life.

“When that’s clear to your mind—there is no problem.  But, hard work is necessary to unravel this dense crazy-lost the false person has woven thru out your system these many years.

After a lively boat ride discussion, our ferry docked at Bantayan Island.  The four of us loaded our bags onto a tricycle.  Arik told the driver where to go, and he understood immediately.  This was very typical because Filipinos used businesses and landmarks, rather than numbered addresses on streets.

We arrived at Xagas place near the beach, and followed a path thru the trees.  An older woman very cordially and sweetly greeted us at the door.  It was a simple concrete house painted a coral pink, with a white tiled floor and mahogany furnishings. There were gorgeous, colorful textiles on all the walls.

From another room, an very short, stocky gentleman appeared with copious black hair combed straight back.  He was shockingly short, maybe 5 feet at most, wearing what appeared to be a red indigenous tribal shirt.  He had a matter-of-fact expression on his face and seemed very serious. He spoke loudly, his voice quite strong and sonorous, he said in perfect English , “I am Xagas.  Welcome to my house.  What did you bring me, Arik?”

(To be continued)

Max Woodside

I’m a retired psychologist and college professor. I moved here because of the incredible sweetness of essence I noticed in my Filipino students. While retired, I’ve been talking to and chronicling an indigenous Philippine sorcerer. We had been excellent friends for almost 7 years. Now, he has since left Cebu City for Mindanao as of August 2017, and I miss him. But, I’m hopeful he’ll return. I have many notebooks full of his material, a vast teaching, and I’m trying to connect it all accurately in accordance to what he meant to say. He spoke good English but took a long time for me to understand his terminology in relation to his spirituality. His name is Arik (pronounced Aur-rik) from the Manobo tribe of Mindanao. I met him here in Cebu City, Philippines. We had been meeting 3 or 4 times a week at our houses and restaurants, parks, and beaches. He has profound insights into people as a result of his tribal and spiritual school’s teachings and traditions. His insight into human psychology was totally new to me in its revelations and mind-blowing -miraculous to me in its depth and weight. I thought I’d humbly share it with all of you. Arik asked me publish his teachings so it will be a book soon.

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Tony Keller
Tony Keller
3 years ago

Hi Max,

Thanks for sharing Arik’s thoughts. While some what esoteric and beyond my ken, some of it made perfect sense. I especially got into the thought “people want to change without changing”. Took me a long time to see that in myself. Have you seen any of the Jordan Peterson videos or read his books?



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