Encounters with the Nagual, part 1 - Document Transcript
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Encounters with the Nagual, part 1 - Document Transcript
1. ENCOUNTERS WITH THE NAGUAL Conversations with Carlos Castaneda ARMANDO TORRES FIRST LIGHT PRESS FIRST EDITION, NOVEMBER, 2004 First published in Spanish, November 2002 ISBN:968-5671-04-4 Cover design: Luis Salgado Title: ENCOUNTERS WITH THE NAGUAL COPYRIGHT 2004 by Armando Torres. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication is allowed without written permission of the editors. Published by First Light Press E- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org I would like to express my gratitude to all those who have helped me on my path, and especially to Carlos Castaneda, for bringing a sense of beauty and purpose to my life. I dedicate this book to all those who know what am talking about. Armando Torres INDEX ENCOUNTERS WITH THE NAGUAL 1 Conversations with 1 Carlos Castaneda 1 ENCOUNTERS WITH THE NAGUAL 2 ARMANDO TORRES 2 FIRST LIGHT PRESS 2 INDEX 5 PREFACE 7 INTRODUCTION 8 PART I 9 A Romance with Knowledge 9 The Sorcerers' Revolution 1 Self-importance 7
2. The Path Of The Warrior 17 Awareness Of Death 23 Energetic Drainage 28 Recapitulation 35 The Threshold Of Silence 41 PART II 49 WARRIORS' DIALOGUE 49 Conceptual Saturation 50 An Inventory Of Beliefs 52 Believing Without Believing 54 Practicing Silence 57 The Minimal Chance 59 There Is No Need For Teachers 60 To Know Oneself 62 Power Plants 64 The Trap Of Fixation 66 Dreaming And Awakening 67 The Door Of Perception 71 The Dreaming Double 74 Teaching The Art Of Stalking 77 The Mark Of The Nagual 79 Stalking The Petty Tyrant 81 Perceptual Homogenization 84 Predators Of Awareness 86 Losing The Mind 90 The Movements Of The Assemblage Point 93 The Survival Of The Assemblage Point 96 Cyclical Beings 99 The Sorcerer's Alternative 101 The Final Choice 103 The Seers Of Ancient Mexico 104 A Journey To The Roots 106 The Antennas Of The Second Attention 110 8 113 Validating The Nagual 113 Return To The Essence 116 I Believe Because I Want To 120 A New Stage Of Knowledge 123 The Appointment Is With Dreaming 125 Bringing The Teachings To The Masses 128 The Magical Passes 130 10 132 The End Of The Lineage 132 The Evolution Of The Path 133 The Seers Of The New Era 136 Intellectual Preparation 139 The Task Of The Nagual 141 Encounter In The Crypt 144
3. PART III 146 THE RULE OF THE THREE- PRONGED NAGUAL 146 Introduction 147 The Omen 150 What Is The Rule? 151 The Origin Of The Rule 153 An Impersonal Organism 155 Assembling A Party 157 The Structure Of The Party 159 The Purpose Of The Rule 161 Three-Pronged Naguals 163 The Portion Of The Rule For 165 The Three-Pronged Nagual 165 The Task Of The Seers Of Today 167 PART IV 169 The World Of The Old Seers 170 Today 170 PREFACE I first got to know Armando when we met by chance in a place of power in the mountains of central Mexico. We felt an immediate, spontaneous friendship between us, and the subject of the conversation which ensued inspired me to tell him that I had had the privilege of knowing Carlos Castaneda. Armando told me that he also knew him, and that he had written a book about his teachings. I became very curious and asked him to tell me more about it. He seemed uninterested, saying that this was not the appropriate time. I didn't insist, since I was just getting to know him. In the course of many years of friendship, he mentioned the topic a few times, but always in reference to some other subject we were discussing. Even when I had made friends with \"those who walk over there\", it is only now that I have access to his work. When I read the manuscript for the first time, I became profoundly excited, since it allowed me to comprehend one of the most obscure premises in Carlos' teaching - what he called \"The Portion of the Rule for the Three- pronged Nagual\", a project for the renewal of the lineages of knowledge on a global scale. He assured me that Carlos had ordered him to make this information known, and asked me to support him in the execution of this task. However, since the manuscript was quite short (some thirty pages), I suggested that he supplement it with a description of some of the numerous lectures by Castaneda which Armando had attended. Agreeing to my proposal, he selected a selection of teachings which Carlos had presented, either in public lectures or in private conversations. To make them easier to read, he grouped them according to content rather than putting them in chronological
4. order. In some instances, he also had to reconstruct the conversations. Carlos had an extremely emphatic way of speaking and transmitted much of the information through gestures and facial expressions, and enjoyed mixing personal stories and all manner of observations with his teachings. As an extraordinary gift, at the end of the book Armando added a brief account of his own experience with another group of sorcery practitioners. Due to the simplicity and sincerity of its narrative, this book has a power that I have not found in any other work related to the subject. For that reason, it is a great pleasure for me to be able to help Armando in the task of publishing it. I am certain that it will be highly appreciated by all those who love the work of Carlos Castaneda. Juan Yoliliztli INTRODUCTION My name is Armando Torres. I have written this book in order to complete a task that was assigned to me years ago. In October 1984, I met Carlos Castaneda, a controversial anthropologist and a writer on the subject of sorcery. At the time I was still quite young. In my quest for answers, I had looked into various spiritual traditions and I wanted to find a teacher. But, from the very beginning, Carlos was very clear in this respect: \"I don't promise anything,\" he said; \"I am not a guru. Freedom is an individual choice, and each one of us must assume the responsibility of fighting for it.\" In one of the first talks that I attended, he severely criticized the kind of human idolatry that induces us to follow others, and to expect ready-made answers from them. He said that this attitude is a remnant of our herd mentality. \"Whoever sincerely wants to penetrate the teachings of sorcerers does not need guides. It is sufficient to have a genuine interest - and guts of steel. He will, by himself, find everything he needs through an unbending intent.\" It was on these premises that our relationship evolved. Therefore, I want to state very clearly that I am not Carlos' apprentice, in any formal sense of the word. All I did was talk with him from time to time. Yet that was enough to convince me that the true path consists of our determination to be impeccable. The main motivation for publishing some of the experiences I had by his side, is gratitude. Carlos was magnificent with everyone who had the good fortune of knowing him, since it is the nature of a nagual to bestow gifts of power. To be near him was to receive an abundance of inspiration and a wealth of stories, advice, and teachings of all kinds. It would be selfish then for one who has In my dealings with him and with other men of knowledge, I witnessed events that from a rational point of view could only be called extraordinary. For sorcerers, however, things like remote vision, knowledge of events before they happen, or journeying to parallel worlds, are normal experiences in the execution of their tasks. As long as we are incapable of verifying them for ourselves, we will inevitably take them to be fantasies, or, at best, to be metaphors. This is the nature of sorcerers' knowledge; take it or leave it. You cannot reason it out; it is not possible to \"verify it\" intellectually. The only thing we can do with it is to put it into practice, exploring the extraordinary possibilities within our being. Armando Torres PART I
5. A Romance with Knowledge The Sorcerers' Revolution We had gathered on the second floor of an elegant house in order to listen to a famous lecturer. We were a group of twelve people. I knew none of them, except the friend who had invited me. While we waited, we were chatting amicably among ourselves. Nearly two hours passed and our guest had not yet arrived. People's faces began to show signs of fatigue. Some despaired and left. At a certain moment, I had the impulse to lean out of a window. I saw him arrive, and our eyes met. Unexpectedly, a strong wind came into the room, making papers fly everywhere. As Carlos walked in, some of the people were still struggling to close the windows. His appearance was different from what I had expected. He was short but solid, with grayish hair, and dark skin which had begun to furrow with wrinkles. He was dressed in an informal way which made him look ten years younger. His face, funny and full of life, radiated sympathy. He seemed very happy to be with us, and it was a true pleasure to be near him. He greeted each of us with a handshake and said we had to use our time well, because he was expected somewhere else later that night. Then he made himself comfortable in an armchair and asked: \"What do you want to talk about?\" But before we had time to answer him, he took the initiative and flooded us with stories. His conversation was direct and absorbing, sprinkled with jokes that he finished off with expressive gestures. During this talk, he referred to nagualism as a body of practices and ideas, talked about its historical development,- and maintained that modern man has been granted an incredible opportunity through the revelations of the sorcerers. Later, he spoke of a complex maneuver of awareness to which seers devote themselves: The movement of the assemblage point. This topic was quite new to me, so I limited myself to listen and take notes. Fortunately, Carlos had a habit of repeating the main ideas, and this made it easy for me to follow him. Towards the end, he agreed to answer some questions. One of the people present wanted to know what the sorcerers' view on war was. Carlos looked annoyed.
6. \"What do you want me to say?\" he asked. \"That they are pacifists? Well, they are not! Our destiny as ordinary men doesn't concern them at all! You should understand this once and for all! A warrior is made for combat. When he is at war, he is comfortable.\" Judging from his reaction, it seemed that the question had touched on a sensitive spot. He took his time, explaining that, unlike the petty wars which we as humans constantly involve ourselves in because of social, religious, or economic reasons, the war of sorcerers is not directed against other people, but against their own weaknesses. By the same token, their peace is not the submissive condition to which modern man has been reduced; rather, it is an imperturbable state of internal silence and discipline. \"Passivity\", he said, \"is a violation of our nature, because, in essence, we are all formidable combatants. Every human being is, by right, a soldier who has achieved his place in the world in a battle of life and death.\" \"Look at it this way: At least once, as sperms, each one of us fought a battle for life - a unique struggle against millions of other competitors - and we won! And now the battle continues, since we are trapped by the forces of this world. One part of us is fighting to disintegrate and die, while another tries to maintain life and awareness at any cost. There is no peace! A warrior realizes this, and uses it to his advantage. His goal continues to be that which inspired the spark of life that created him: Access to a new level of awareness.\" He continued by saying that as we become socialized, human beings are tamed, just like an animal is domesticated, by the power of stimuli and punishments. \"We have been trained to live and die meekly, following unnatural codes of behavior which soften us and make us lose that initial impulse, until our spirit is hardly noticeable. We are born as a result of a fight. By denying our basic tendencies, the society we live in eradicates the warring heritage that transforms us into magical beings.\" He added that the only available way to change is to accept ourselves just as we are, and work from there. \"The warrior knows that he lives in a predatorial universe. He can never let his guard down. Wherever he looks, he sees an incessant fight, and he knows that it deserves his respect, because it is a fight to the death. Don Juan was always moving, coming or going, supporting this or rejecting that, provoking tensions or discharging them in a burst, shouting his intent or remaining silent; doing something. He was alive, and his life reflected the ebb and flow of the universe. \"He told me that, from the moment when the explosion which gave us origin occurred, until the moment of our death, we live within a flow. Those two episodes are unique, because they prepare us for the encounter of what lies further ahead. And what aligns us with that flow? An incessant battle, which only a warrior will attempt. Because of that, he lives in profound harmony with everything. \"For a warrior, to be harmonious is to flow, not to stop in the middle of the current and try to make a space of artificial and impossible peace. He knows that he can only give the very best of himself under conditions of maximum tension. For that reason, he seeks out his opponent the way a fighting rooster does - with avidity, with delight, knowing that the next step is decisive. His opponent is not his fellow man, but his own attachments and weaknesses, and his grand challenge is to compress the layers of his energy until they won't expand when his life ceases, so that his awareness does not die. \"Ask yourselves these questions: What am I doing with my life? Does it have a purpose? Is it tight enough? A warrior accepts his destiny, whatever it may be. However, he fights to change things, and he makes something exquisite of his passage on Earth. He tempers his will in such a way that nothing can deviate him from his purpose.\" Another of the people present raised his hand, and asked how sorcerers are able to reconcile the principles of the warrior's way with their duties to society. He answered: \"Sorcerers are free, they don't accept social obligations. The responsibility is to oneself, not to others. Do you know why you were given the power of perception? Have you discovered what purpose your life serves? Will
7. you cancel your animal destiny? Those are sorcerers' questions, the only ones that can seriously change anything. If you are interested in others, then answer that! \"A warrior knows that what gives sense to his life is the challenge of death, and death is a personal matter. It is a challenge for each one of us, and one which only sincere warriors accept. Seen from this point of view, the worries of ordinary people are just expressions of their egomania.\" Carlos insisted that we must not lose track of the fact that the commitment of a warrior is to what he called 'pure understanding' - a state of being that arises from internal silence - and not to the transient attachments of the modality of the era in which he happens to live. He maintained that our social concerns are a description which has been implanted in us. It does not stem from a natural development of our consciousness. Rather, it is a product of the collective mind, of emotional disarray, feelings of fear and guilt, of a desire to lead others or be led. \"Modern man does not fight his own battles. Instead, he enters into extraneous wars that have nothing to do with the spirit. Naturally, a sorcerer is not moved by this! \"My teacher used to say that he didn't honor agreements made in his absence: 'I was not present when they decreed that I had to be an imbecile!\" He was born into particularly difficult circumstances, but he had the courage to become something more than just a human reaction to those circumstances. He affirmed that humanity's situation in general is horrendous, and to put emphasis on any particular group is just a covert form of racism. \"He used to repeat that in this world, there are only two kinds of people: Those who have energy, and those who don't. He lived in a permanent fight against the blindness of his fellow men, yet he remained impeccable; he did not interfere with anybody. When I tried to explain my concern for people to him, he would point at my incipient double chin and tell me: \"Don't deceive yourself, Carlitos! If the human condition seriously interested you, you would not treat yourself like a pig.\" \"He taught me that to feel pity for others is inappropriate for a warrior, because pity for others always stems from concern for the self. He used to ask me, pointing at people we met on our way: Perhaps you believe yourself better than them?\" He helped me to understand that the solidarity of sorcerers towards the people around them comes from a supreme command, not from human sentiment. \"Mercilessly stalking my emotional reactions, he led me by the hand to the source of my preoccupations, and I was able to realize that my concern for people was a fraud. I was trying to escape from myself, by transferring my problems to others. He showed me how compassion, in the sense we use the word, is a mental illness - a psychosis that will just make us more and more powerfully entangled in our ego.\" It was obvious that remembering Don Juan had moved Carlos. I could see how a wave of affection overwhelmed him. One of the people present raised his hand and commented that, in contrast to what Carlos was saying, compassion towards one's neighbor is the essential idea of all religions. He made a gesture of waving away a fly. \"Forget all that! Notions based on pity are a fraud! By the power of telling ourselves the same ideas over and over, we have substituted a genuine interest in man's spirit with cheap sentimentality. We have become professionals at compassion. And so what? Has it changed anything? \"When you feel the collective mind putting its pressure on you, trying to convince you to concentrate on the appearances of the world, repeat this crushing truth to yourself: 'I am going to die, I am not important; nobody is!' Knowing that is the only thing that counts.\" As an example of misplaced effort, he described the situation of a donkey caught in the mire. The more it moves, the more difficult things become. Its only way out is to act with coldness, try to relieve itself of the load on its back, and concentrate on the immediacy of its problem. \"The same thing happens to us. We are beings who are going to die. We were programmed to live like beasts, carrying loads of customs and other people's beliefs until the very end; but we can change all that! The freedom which the warrior's way offers us is within the reach of your hand; take advantage of it!\"
8. He told us how, while he was an apprentice, he had a problem: He was addicted to cigarettes. He had tried to quit several times, but without success. \"One day, Don Juan told me that we were going to collect plants in a desert area and that the trip would last several days. He told me: 'you had better bring a whole carton of cigarettes! But make sure you wrap them very well, because the desert is full of animals that might steal them. \"I thanked him for his consideration and carefully did as he had suggested. But the following day, when I woke up in the middle of the chaparral, I discovered that the package had disappeared. \"I despaired; I knew that without cigarettes I would soon begin to feel bad. Don Juan blamed the loss on a coyote and helped me to look for it. After hours of anguish, he finally found the tracks of the animal, which we followed for the rest of the day, going further and further into the mountains. When night arrived, he admitted to me that we were completely lost. \"Without cigarettes and without knowing where I was, I felt miserable. To console me, he assured me that there had to be a town near by, it was just a matter of walking a little further and we would arrive someplace and be safe. But we spent the whole next day looking for a road, and then the next, and then another. We spent almost two weeks like this. \"A moment arrived when, almost dead from exhaustion, I let myself fall down in the sand and prepared to die. When he saw me in that state, he tried to cheer me up and make me keep going, asking: 'Aren't you interested in smoking anymore?' \"I looked at him with rage, berated him for his incredible irresponsibility, and turning a deaf ear to him, I said that all I wanted was to die. 'Very well!' he replied with indifference; 'then we can go back now. We had been a few meters from the highway, the whole time!\" The anecdote made the room explode with laughter. When we finally calmed down, Carlos remarked: \"The tragedy of today's man is not his social condition, but the lack of will to change himself. It is very easy to design collective revolutions, but to genuinely change, to put an end to self-pity, to erase the ego, to abandon our habits and whims... ah, that's something else entirely! Sorcerers say that true rebellion, and humanity's only way out as a species, is to stage a revolution against their own stupidity. As you can understand, this is solitary work. \"The goal of sorcerers is this sorcerers' revolution: The unrestricted unfolding of all our perceptual possibilities. I have never known a greater revolutionary than my teacher. He didn't just suggest changing tortillas for bread; oh no, he went straight to the core of the matter. He proposed a deadly somersault of thought to the unknown, the release from all ties. And he demonstrated that it is possible! \"He suggested that I fill my life with decisions of power, with strategies which, will bring me to awareness. He taught me that the order of the world doesn't have to be as we've been told; that I can toss it aside anytime. I am not obliged to uphold an image before others, or live in an inventory that doesn't suit me. My battle field is the path of the warrior!\" When the meeting was over, all his listeners gathered to exchange a few words with him and say their farewells. When it was my turn, Carlos looked me up and down. Then he asked me to tell him my name, and why I was there. I told him my name and explained that a friend, knowing my interest for the subject, had told me about this opportunity. His only comment was: \"I want to talk to you in private.\" I was a little confused by his words, but waited until the end of his round of greetings and followed him to a corner of the room. There he invited me to have breakfast at his hotel the following day.
9. I assured him that it would be my pleasure. He gave me the address, and told me: \"We'll meet tomorrow at nine o'clock.\" He added that I should not tell anybody about our encounter, and that I should be punctual. Self-importance I arrived in the hotel lobby at the agreed time, and had barely waited one minute when I saw him coming down from the rooms upstairs. We greeted each other and went into the restaurant, where a delicious breakfast was served. At one point, I wanted to ask him something, but he made a gesture that I should shut my mouth. We ate in silence. When we were done, we left to walk down to Donceles street, towards the Zocalo. While we browsed through the second hand bookstores, he told me that he generally did not speak privately with people, but that my case was different because he had received an indication about it. I didn't know what he was talking about, and preferred to stay quiet, since any comment I might make would only show my ignorance. He added that I shouldn't confuse his deference with a personal concern. \"I have said many times that my energetic condition prevents me from taking pupils. People are disappointed with me because of that, but there is no way!\" We talked about all kinds of things. He asked me many questions about my life, asked for my phone number, and told me that he was giving a talk at a friend's house the following night. I was invited to attend, but our relationship should remain secret. I replied that I would love to be there and he gave me the address and the schedule. In one of the bookstores we visited, we came across a copy of one of his books, called \"A Separate Reality\". It was on the fiction shelf, which annoyed him a lot. He commented that people are so wrapped up in their everyday existence that they cannot even conceive of the mystery that surrounds us. When we encounter something unknown, we automatically classify it in a comfortable category and then we forget it. I noticed that he thumbed through the books with great interest and that he would sometimes fondly and respectfully brush his hand over them. He said that they were more than just books, they were storage rooms of knowledge, and that one should surrender to knowledge, no matter in what form it was presented. He added that the information we need in order to increase our awareness hides in places we rarely think of, and if we were not so rigid, everything in our surroundings would tell us incredible secrets. \"All we need to do is open ourselves to knowledge, and it will come rushing to us like an avalanche.\" While studying a table of books that were so cheap they were almost free, he was struck by how cheap used books were, compared to new ones. In his opinion, it proved that people are not really looking for information. What they look for is achieving the status of a buyer. I asked him what kind of reading he preferred and he answered that he would like to know everything. However, today he was looking for a certain book of poetry, a particular, old edition which had never been printed again. He asked me to help him find it. For a long time, we leafed through heaps of books. At the end, he went out with a package of them, but not the one he was looking for. With a guilty smile, he admitted:
10. \"This always happens to me!\" Near noon, we sat down to rest on a bench in a square where various printers were offering their services. I took the opportunity to confess that his statements of the previous night had left me perplexed, and asked him to explain in more detail what 'the war of the sorcerers' was about. He explained, in a very kind way, that it was natural that the topic should affect me, since like all human beings I had been taught from birth to perceive the world in much the same way as a flock of sheep. He told me stories of his cohorts, and how after many years of tenaciously fighting their weaknesses they had finally overcome this collective coercion. He advised me to be patient, and in due course things would become clear to me. After a while of relaxed conversation, he shook my hand in what was clearly a gesture of farewell. I could not contain my curiosity and asked him what he had meant when he said he had had 'an indication' about my person. Instead of responding, he looked attentively at a point above my left shoulder. Immediately my ear became hot and began to hum. After a while, he told me that he didn't know the answer himself, because he had not been able to read the nature of the sign. But it had been something so clear that he was obliged to pay attention. He added: \"I cannot guide you, but I can put you in front of an abyss which will test all your abilities. It depends on you, whether you hurl yourself off it to fly, or run to hide in the security of your routines.\" His words made me even more curious. I asked him which abyss he was talking about. He told me it was my own dream. The answer shocked me. Somehow, Carlos had noticed my internal dilemma. It was a quarter to seven when I arrived at a nice house near Coyoacan. A pleasant girl who seemed to be the owner of the house received me. I explained that I had been invited to the talk that Carlos was going to give, and she let me enter. We introduced ourselves; she told me her name was Martha. There were eight people in the room. Then another two guests arrived, and after them Carlos appeared. As usual, he greeted us effusively. This time, he was dressed in a very formal manner, with a tie and a vest, and he was carrying a briefcase which gave him an intellectual look. He began to talk about many topics and, almost unnoticeably, he introduced the main subject of this talk: How to erase self-importance. As a preamble, he stated that the significant role we grant ourselves in everything we do, say, or think, constitutes a kind of 'cognitive dissonance' which clouds our senses and prevents us from seeing things clearly and objectively. \"We are like atrophied birds. We were born with everything necessary to fly; however, we are permanently forced to fly in tight circles around our own self. The chain that ties us down is self-importance. \"The path which transforms an ordinary human being into a warrior is very arduous. Our sensation of being at the center of everything, and the need to always have the last word, is forever getting in the way. We feel important. And when one is important, any intent to change is a slow, complicated and painful process. \"That feeling isolates us. If not for that feeling, we would all flow in the sea of awareness and we would know that the self doesn't exist for its own sake, its destiny is to feed the Eagle. \"The sense of importance grows in a child while he is perfecting his social comprehension. We have been trained to construct a world of agreements that we can refer to, in order to communicate with each other. But this gift included an annoying attachment: Our idea of 'me'. The self is a mental construction, it came from outside, and its time for us to get rid of it.\" Carlos said that all the mistakes that occur when we communicate are living proof that the agreement we have received is completely artificial. \"After experimenting for millennia with situations that alter our ways of perceiving the world, the sorcerers from ancient Mexico discovered a portentous fact: We are not forced to live in a single reality, because the universe is constructed according to very fluid principles which can accommodate almost infinite forms, producing countless ranges of perception. \"Starting from this verification, they deduced that what human beings actually receive from outside is the ability to fix our attention in one of those ranges, in order to explore and recognize it. We mold ourselves to it and learn
11. how to perceive it as something unique. This is how the idea that\" we live in an exclusive world arose, and the feeling of being an individual self was generated in consequence. \"There is no doubt that the description we have received is a valuable possession, similar to the rigid stake that is tied to a tender sapling to strengthen and guide it. It allows us to grow up as normal people, within a society that is molded to that rigidity. To achieve it, we had to learn how to 'skim' - that is, how to make selective readings from the enormous volume of data that arrives to our senses. But once those readings are converted into 'reality', the rigidity of our attention works as an anchor, because it prevents us from becoming aware of our incredible possibilities. \"Don Juan claimed that what limits human perception is timidity. To be able to manage the world which surrounds us, we have had to give up our perceptual gift; that is, the possibility of witnessing everything. We sacrifice the flight of awareness in exchange for the security of the known. We can live strong, audacious, healthy lives; we can be impeccable warriors; but we don't dare! \"Our heritage is a stable house where we can live, but we have transformed it into a fort for the defense of the self; or rather, into a jail, where we condemn our energy to weaken in lifelong imprisonment. Our best years, feelings, and forces are wasted in forever repairing and bolstering that house, because we have wound up identifying ourselves with it. \"In the process of becoming a social being, a growing child acquires a false conviction of his own importance, and what was a healthy feeling of self-preservation in the beginning, ends up transformed into a selfish clamor for attention. \"Of all the gifts we have received, self-importance is the cruelest. It converts a magical, vivid creature into a poor, arrogant, graceless devil.\" Pointing at his feet, he said that feeling important forces us to do absurd things. \"Look at me! Once I bought a pair of very fine shoes, which weighed almost a kilo each. I wasted five hundred dollars for the privilege of dragging these big shoes around! \"Because of our self-importance, we are stuffed to the point of bitterness, envy, and frustration. We allow ourselves to be guided by feelings of complacency, and we escape from the task of knowing ourselves with pretexts like 'I can't be bothered' or \"how tiring!'. Behind all that, there is an anxiety which we try to silence with an internal dialogue increasingly more dense and less natural.\" At this point of his talk, Carlos took a pause in order to respond to some questions. He took the opportunity to tell us several stories illustrating the way self-importance deforms human beings, transforming them into rigid shells. Confronted with them, a warrior doesn't know whether to laugh or to cry. \"After many years of studying with Don Juan, I became so frightened of his practices that I went away for a while. I could not accept what he and my benefactor were doing to me. It seemed inhuman, unnecessary. I yearned for sweeter treatment! I took the opportunity to visit various spiritual teachers from all over the world, hoping to find some knowledge in their doctrines that would justify my desertion. \"Once, I met a Californian guru who considered himself the real McCoy. He accepted me as his pupil, and gave me the task of begging for charitable alms in a public square. Thinking that this was a new experience for me, and probably would teach me an important lesson, I mustered my courage and did what he requested. When I returned to him, I said: 'Now you do it!'. He became angry with me and expelled me from the class. \"On another trip, I went to see a well-known Hindu teacher. I went to his house early in the morning, and stood in line with others. However, this gentleman kept us waiting for hours. When he appeared at the top of a stairway, he had a condescending air, as if granting us a great favor by admitting us. He began to descend the steps in a very dignified manner, but his feet got entangled in his ample tunic, and he fell to the floor and cracked his head. He died there, right in front of us.\"
12. On another occasion, Carlos told us that the demon of self- importance does not only affect those who believe themselves to be masters. It is a general problem. One of the strongest ramparts of self-importance is the concern with one's personal appearance. \"That was always a sore spot for me. Don Juan used to stoke the fire of my resentment by making fun of my stature. He used to tell me: 'the shorter you are, the more egomaniac! You are small, and ugly as a bedbug; your only option is to be famous, because otherwise you don't exist!' He claimed that the mere sight of me made him want to vomit - for which he was infinitely grateful to me. \"I was offended by his comments, since I was convinced that he exaggerated my defects. But one day I came into a store in Los Angeles, and I realized that he was right. I heard someone beside me saying: 'Short!' and I felt so irritated that, without stopping to think, I turned • around and punched him furiously in the face. Afterwards, I realized that the man had not made the comment about me at all. He had just been short of money. \"One piece of advice Don Juan gave us was that, during our training as warriors, we should abstain from using what he called 'tools for the perpetuation of the self. This category included such objects as mirrors, the exhibition of academic titles, and albums of pictures with our personal history. The sorcerers of his group took this advice literally, but we, the apprentices, didn't care. However, for some reason, I interpreted his command in an extreme way, and from then on I did not even allow anyone to take pictures of me. \"Once, during a lecture, I explained that pictures are a perpetuation of self-concern, and that the purpose behind my reluctance was to maintain a measure of doubt about my person. Later, I found out that a certain lady among the public, who believed herself to be a spiritual guide, had commented that if she had had the face of a Mexican waiter, she wouldn't allow herself to be photographed either. \"While observing the quirks of self-importance, and the homogeneous way it contaminates absolutely everybody, the seers have divided human beings into three categories, which Don Juan gave the most ridiculous names he could think of: the urines, the farts, and the vomits. We all fit into one of them. \"The urines are characterized by their servility; they are toady, sticky, and cloying. They are the people who always want to do you a favor; they take care of you, they hold you back, they pamper you; they have so much compassion! In that way they hide the underlying reality: They are incapable of taking an initiative, and can never do anything by themselves. They need another person's command to feel that they are doing something. And, unfortunately for them, they assume that others are as kind as they are; and because of that they are always hurt, disappointed, and tearful. \"The farts, on the other hand, are the opposite. Irritating, mean and self-sufficient, they constantly impose themselves and interfere. Once they get hold of you, they won't leave you alone. They are the most unpleasant people you'll ever meet. If you are calm, the fart will arrive and wind you up and pull you in, and use you as much as possible. They have a natural gift as teachers and humanity's leaders. They are the kind who will kill to stay in power. \"The vomits are in-between these two categories. As neutrals, they are neither imposing nor will they be led. They are show-offs, ostentatious, and exhibitionistic. They give you the impression that they are something great, but in actual fact they are nothing. It's all boast. They are caricatures of people who believe too much in themselves, but, if you don't pay any attention to them, they are undone by their insignificance.\"
Numero di messaggi : 2141
Data d'iscrizione : 04.02.09
Età : 37
Località : Roma
|Oggetto: Re: Encounters with the Nagual, part 1 - Document Transcript Lun 19 Apr 2010 - 15:10|| |
13. Somebody in the audience asked him if belonging to one of those categories is an obligatory characteristic, that is to say, an innate condition of our luminosity. He answered: \"Nobody is born like this, we make ourselves this way! We get into one or the other of those categories because of some tiny incident that marked us in childhood, whether it is pressure from our parents or other imponderable factors. It starts there, and as we grow up, we become so involved in the defense of the self that at some point we can no longer remember the day we stopped being authentic, and became actors instead. When an apprentice enters the world of sorcerers, his basic personality is already formed, and nothing can cancel it out. The only option left to him is to laugh at it all. \"But, although it is not our congenital condition, sorcerers can detect what type of importance we grant ourselves through their seeing, because the molding of our nature over the years produces permanent deformities in the energetic field that surrounds us.\" Carlos went on to explain that self-importance feeds on the same kind of energy that lets us dream. Therefore, to lose it is the basic condition of nagualism, because it liberates an energy surplus for our use; and also because, without that precaution, the warrior's path could turn us into aberrations. \"That is what has happened to many apprentices. They began well, saving their energy and developing their potential. But they didn't realize that, as they gained power, they were also nurturing a parasite within themselves. If we are going to give in to the pressures of the ego, it is preferable that we do it as ordinary men, because a sorcerer who considers himself important is the saddest thing there is. \"Keep in mind that self-importance is treacherous; it can be disguised behind a facade of almost impeccable humility, because it is not in a hurry. After an entire life of practicing, it only takes a minimum of negligence, a tiny mistake - and there it is again, like a virus that was incubated in silence, or like those frogs that wait for years under the sand of the desert, and with the first raindrops wake up from their lethargy and reproduce. \"Considering its nature, it is a benefactor's duty to attack the apprentices' self- importance until it explodes. He cannot feel pity. A warrior must learn to be humble in preparation for the arduous path ahead, or he won't have the smallest chance facing the darts of the unknown. \"Don Juan whipped his pupils to the point of cruelty. He recommended a twenty-four hour vigil to control the octopus of the self. Of course, we paid no attention to him! Except for Eligio, the most advanced of the apprentices, the rest of us surrendered in the most shameful way to our propensities. In the case of la Gorda, it was fatal.\" He told us the story of Maria Elena, an advanced pupil of Don Juan, who had developed great power as a warrior but didn't know how to control the bad habits of her human stage. \"She thought that she had it all under control, but that was not the case. A very selfish concern, a personal attachment, remained in her; she expected things from the group of warriors, and that finished her. \"La Gorda felt offended with me, because she considered me unable to lead the apprentices to freedom, and she never accepted me as the new nagual. Once Don Juan's directive force disappeared, she began to reproach me for my inadequacy, or rather my energetic anomaly, without keeping in mind that that, too, was a command of the spirit. Soon after, she allied herself with the Genaros and the Sisters and began to behave as if she were the
14. leader of the party. But what exasperated her most of all was the public success of my books. \"One day, in an outburst of self-sufficiency, she gathered us all together, stood in front of us and screamed: Bunch of Suckers! I'm leaving!' \"She knew the exercise of the fire from within, by means of which she could move the assemblage point to the world of the nagual and meet up with Don Juan and Don Genaro. But that afternoon she was very agitated. Some of the apprentices tried to calm her, and that infuriated her even more. I could not do anything; the situation inhibited my power. After a brutal effort, anything but impeccable, she had a stroke and fell down dead. What killed her was her egomania.\" As a moral of this strange story, Carlos added that a warrior never allows himself to reach the point of madness, because to die from an ego attack is the stupidest way to die. \"Self-importance is deadly, it stops the free flow of the energy and that is fatal. It is responsible for our end as individuals, and one day it will finish us as a species. When a warrior learns how to toss it aside, his spirit unfolds, jubilant, like a wild animal liberated from its cage and set free. \"Self-importance can be fought in various ways, but first of all it is necessary to know that it's there. If you have a defect and you recognize it, half the work is done already! \"So, above all, realize it. Take a board and write on it: 'Self- importance kills', and hang it in the most visible spot in the house. Read that sentence every day, try to remember it while you work, meditate about it. Maybe the moment in which it's meaning penetrates your interior will arrive, and you decide to do something. To realize it is, by and of itself, a great help, because the fight against the self generates its own impetus. \"Ordinarily, self-importance feeds on our feelings, ranging from the desire to get along with people and be accepted by others, to arrogance and sarcasm. But its favorite area of action is pity, for oneself and for those who surround us. In order to stalk it, above all we have to deconstruct our emotions into their smallest particles, and detect the sources that nurture them. \"Feelings rarely present themselves in a pure form. They disguise themselves. To hunt them down like rabbits, we have to proceed very delicately and strategically, because they are quick and we cannot reason with them. \"We begin with the most obvious things, like: How seriously do I take myself? How attached am I? To what do I dedicate my time? These are things that we can begin to change, accumulating enough energy to liberate a little bit of attention that in turn will allow us to go deeper into the exercise. \"For example, instead of spending hours watching television, going shopping or talking to our friends about stupid stuff, we could dedicate a small part of that time to do physical exercises, to recapitulate our history, or go alone to a park, take our shoes off and walk barefoot on the grass. It seems simple, but with those practices our sensorial panorama changes. We recover something that was always there, which we had given up for lost. \"Starting from those small changes, we can analyze elements more difficult to detect, where our vanity is projected into insanity. For example, what are my convictions? Do I consider myself immortal? Am I special? Do I deserve to be noticed? This kind of analysis enters into the field of beliefs - the very core of our feelings - so you should undertake
15. it through internal silence, and make a very fervent commitment to honesty. Otherwise, the mind will have its own way, and use all kind of justifications.\" Carlos added that these exercises should be made with a sense of alarm, because it truly is about surviving a powerful attack. \"Realize that self-importance is an implacable poison. We have no time left; urgency is what we need. It is now or never! \"Once you have dissected your feelings, you should learn how to fechannel your efforts beyond human concerns, to the place of no pity. For seers, that place is an area in our luminosity, every bit as functional as the area of rationality. We can learn how to evaluate the world from a detached point of view, just as we learned, as children, to judge it from the point of view of reason. The only difference is that detachment as a focal point is much closer to the warrior's temper. \"Without that precaution, the emotional turbulence stirred up by the exercise of stalking our self-importance can be so painful that we may turn to suicide or insanity. When the apprentice learns how to contemplate the world from the position of no pity, perceiving that behind all situations which imply an energetic drain there is an impersonal universe, he stops being just a knot of feelings and becomes a fluid being. \"The problem with compassion is that it forces us to see the world through self- indulgence. A warrior without compassion is a person who has located his will at the center of indifference, and he doesn't soothe himself by saying 'poor me'. He is an individual who feels no pity for his weaknesses, and he has learned to laugh at himself. \"A way to define self-importance, is to understand it as the projection of our weaknesses through social interaction. It is like the screams and threatening postures some small animals adopt, to hide the fact that they don't really have any defenses. We are important because we are afraid, and the more fear, the more ego. \"However, and fortunately for warriors, self-importance has a weak point: It depends on recognition to maintain itself. It's like a kite that needs a current of air to ascend and to stay high; otherwise, it will fall down and break. If we don't grant any importance to the importance, it's finished. \"Knowing this, an apprentice renovates his relationships. He learns how to escape those who confirm his self, and frequents those who don't care about anything human. He looks for criticism, not flattery. Every so often, he starts a new life, erases his history, changes his name, explores new personalities, and annuls the suffocating persistence of his ego. He puts himself in situations where his authentic self is forced to take control. A power hunter doesn't have pity; he doesn't look for recognition in anybody else's eyes. \"The state of no pity is surprising. One attempts to reach it step by step, through years of continuous pressure, but it happens suddenly, like an instantaneous vibration that breaks our mold and allows us to look at the world with a serene smile. For the first time in many years, we feel free of the terrible weight of being ourselves, and we see the reality that surrounds us. Once there, we are not alone. An incredible push awaits us, help which comes from the core of the Eagle and transports us in a microsecond to universes of sobriety and sanity. \"When we don't have any pity for ourselves, we can face the impact of our personal extinction with elegance. Death is the force that gives the warrior value and moderation. Only by looking through the eyes of death can we notice that we are not important. Then death comes to live by our side, and begins to tell us its secrets.
16. \"The contact with death's unchangeable nature leaves an indelible mark on the character of the apprentice. He understands, once and for all, that all the energy of the universe is connected. There is no world of objects, related to each other through physical laws. What exists is a panorama of luminous emanations, inextricably bundled together, within which we can make interpretations as far as the power of our attention will allow. All our actions count, because they release avalanches in the infinite. For that reason, none is worth more than any other, none is more important than any other. \"That vision destroys the tendency we have to be indulgent with ourselves. Witnessing this universal bond, the warrior is prey to contradictory feelings. On the one hand, indescribable joy and a supreme and impersonal reverence toward all that exists. On the other, a sense of the inevitable, and a deep sadness that has nothing to do with self- pity; a sadness that comes from the breast of infinity, a blast of solitude which will never leave him again. \"That purified feeling gives the warrior the sobriety, the subtlety, and the silence that he needs to venture there, where all human reasoning fail. Under such conditions, self- importance can't sustain itself.\" The Path Of The Warrior One morning I received a phone call, and to my surprise it was Carlos. He told me that he would arrive at the airport in Mexico City in four hours, and asked if I could pick him up. I told him it would be a pleasure. He gave me the number of his flight, and I figured that he was calling from the airport in Los Angeles, since that would fit the time required for the trip. When he arrived, I accompanied him on some errands related to the printing of his book. Afterwards, we went to a cafe for a chat. Before saying goodbye, we agreed to meet at the place where he was giving a lecture that night. The weather was terrible; perhaps that was why, when I arrived at the house where the appointment was, I found that just a few people had arrived. I placed my coat, sopping wet, over the back of a seat, and sat down in a corner near Carlos. The core of his statements that evening was that the universe in its great entirety is feminine, and of a predatory nature, and there is a tenacious battle of consciousness going on, where, as always, the strongest absorbs the weakest.
17. \"On the cosmic scale, the strength of a being is not measured by its physical capability, but by its capacity to manipulate awareness. It follows that if we are to take the next evolutionary step, it must be done by means of discipline, determination, and strategy. Those are our weapons. \"Through their seeing, sorcerers witness that struggle, and they take their place in it, ready for the worst and without complaining about the result. For their ever-ready disposition for combat, they have won the title of 'warriors'. \"A warrior considers the world we live in to be a great mystery, and he knows that the mystery is there to be revealed to those who deliberately look for it. That attitude of audacity will occasionally move the tentacles of the unknown, making the spirit manifest itself.\" He explained to us that the warrior's audacity is born out of the contact with his imminent death. He told us the story of a girl who one day arrived at his editor's office, put a small mat down on the floor, sat down on it, and told the editor: 'I won't leave until I speak to Carlos Castaneda!' All attempts to discourage her were useless; the girl remained inflexible. Finally, the editor called Carlos and told him that a crazy girl demanded his presence. \"What could I do? I went there and met her. When I asked her the reason for her strange behavior, she told me that, being deadly sick, she had gone to the desert to die. But, while she meditated in solitude, she understood that she had still not tried everything, and she decided to play her last card. For her, that meant to know the nagual in person. \"Impressed by her story, I made her a unique proposition: 'Leave everything and come to the world of the sorcerers'. She answered at once: 'I'm game!' When I heard her answer, my hair stood on end, because Don Juan used to say the same thing to me: 'If we're going to play, then let's play! But we play to the death'. \"That is the sorcerer's feeling in front of his destiny: 'I bet my life on this intent, nothing less. I know that my end could be waiting for me anywhere, and there isn't anything I can do to avoid it. I will walk down my path with utmost concentration, I accept the responsibility of living fully, I will risk everything on a single hand'. \"A warrior knows that no victory is guaranteed when faced with death. Even so, he freely enters into his battle, not because he believes he will win, but for the excitement of his war. For him, entering the war is already a victory. And while he fights, he is happy - because, for one who is already dead, every second of life is a gift.\" He continued by saying that what makes it possible for the world to exist just as we see it, is our attention and that of all our fellow men, focused simultaneously and connected in a tight net of interpretations, reinforced by agreement. One of the present asked him to further clarify this topic. He explained: \"See, the domain of attention is of supreme importance in the path of sorcerers, because it is the primary matter of creation. In all worlds, degrees of evolution are measured by the ability to realize, to be aware. \"In order to manipulate and understand the emanations which arrive to our senses, sorcerers develop the power of their attention, sharpening it through discipline to exquisite levels, which allow them to transcend human limitations and to fulfill all the possibilities of perception. Their concentration is so intense that they can penetrate the
18. thick armor of appearances, and expose the essence of things. Seers call that degree of increased awareness 'seeing. \"Even though such a fixed attention may seem like stubbornness, obsession, or fanaticism, for the practitioner it's nothing but discipline.\" He warned us not to confuse the discipline of sorcerers with people's repetitive routines. \"Discipline, as understood by a warrior, is creative, open, and produces freedom. It is the ability to face the unknown, transforming the feeling of knowing into reverent astonishment; of considering things that exceed the scope of our habits, and daring to face the only war that is worthwhile: The battle for awareness. It is the courage to accept the consequences of our actions, whatever they may be, without self-pity or feelings of blame. \"Having discipline is the key to handling attention, because it takes us to the will. And this allows us to modify the world until it becomes what we want it to be, and not like the one which was imposed on us from the outside. For this reason, will is the threshold of intent for warriors. Its power is so great that when it is focused on something, it can produce the most astonishing effects.\" As examples, he told us many stories about extraordinary events he had witnessed. He maintained that underlying each one of the prodigious actions of sorcerers, there is a whole life of discipline, sobriety, detachment, and analytical capability. Warriors place the highest value on these attributes, and together they constitute the state of being which they call impeccability. He went on to explain that impeccability doesn't have anything to do with an intellectual position, a belief, or anything like that. It is a consequence of saving energy. \"A warrior accepts with humility what he is, and he doesn't squander his power on lamenting because things are not otherwise. If a door is closed, we don't kick it and punch it! Instead, we attentively study the lock and figure out how to open it. In the same way, if his life is not satisfactory, the warrior is not offended, nor does he complain. On the contrary, he designs strategies to alter the course of his destiny. \"If we learn how to curb our self-pity, and at the same time make room for the authentic 'me, we will become drivers of cosmic intent, and conduits for torrents of energy. \"In order to flow in such a way, we must learn to trust our resources and to understand that we were born with everything we need for the extravagant adventure which is our life. As a warrior, each man or woman who has entered the path of sorcery knows that he or she is responsible for him/herself. He or she doesn't look aside, seeking approval, or trying to discharge their frustrations on others. \"Don Juan told me: \"What you are looking for is within yourself. You have to struggle to make your actions final, and to achieve your own clarity. Commit yourself, before it's too late!' \"The aspect of impeccability which particularly concerns our daily lives is knowing how exercising our freedom affects others, and avoiding the resulting friction at any cost. Occasionally, our relationships with others will generate friction and expectations. A fighting sorcerer pays close attention to his contacts, and becomes a hunter of signs. If there are no signs, he doesn't interact with people; he is content to wait because, although he doesn't have time, he has all the patience in the world. He knows that too much is at stake, and won't risk ruining everything by one false move.
19. \"Since he is never desperate to achieve contact with anyone, the warrior can choose his affections with sobriety and detachment, taking care at all times that the people he consents to be with are compatible with his energy. The secret to achieving such clarity of vision consists in identifying oneself and not identifying oneself. A sorcerer identifies himself with the abstract, and not with the world. And that allows him to be independent and take care of himself.\" Then he told us a story about a guy who considered himself to be a great warrior, but every time he had problems at home and his wife didn't make him dinner or didn't wash or iron his clothes, he collapsed in chaos. After a long battle with that situation, the man decided to introduce a radical change in his life; but, instead of reforming his character, like he was supposed to, he changed his wife for another one. \"Realize that, face to face with our destiny, each one of us is alone. So take control of your own life. A warrior polishes details, develops his imagination and puts his ingenuity to the test by resolving situations. It's inconceivable for him to feel destitute, because he has self-control and he doesn't need anything from anybody. By concentrating on details, he learns how to cultivate delicacy, subtlety, and elegance. \"Don Vicente Medrano said that the beauty of this struggle is shown in the invisible stitches. That is the sorcerer's trademark, the fulfillment of intent. \"The gift of independence and the control of details produce the capacity to persist where other people would desist. When arriving at this point, the warrior is barely a step away from impeccable conduct. \"Impeccability is born of a delicate balance between our internal being and the forces of the external world. It is an achievement that requires effort, time, dedication, and being permanently attentive to the objective, so that the final purpose is never lost from sight. But, mainly, it requires persistence. Persistence defeats apathy, it is as simple as that. \"The threshold of magic is an intent sustained beyond what seems possible, desirable, or reasonable. It is a mental leap, to become tuned to the will of the Eagle's emanations, and to allow their command to loosen the rigidity of our limits. But few are willing to pay the price, to walk the extra mile.\" He admitted that, on several occasions, he was about to abandon his teacher, oppressed by the magnitude of the task he was given. What saved him in the end, and gave him 'a second wind, was a wave of energy that the warrior finds within himself when everything seems lost. \"Many apprentices, after searching for years and not finding anything to satisfy their expectations, retire disappointed without knowing that maybe they were just a few steps from their goal.\" He shook his head and commented sadly: \"We should not die on the beach after swimming so far...\" \"Once he has gained flexibility, humility, a sense of independence, control of details, and persistence, a warrior in search of impeccability knows that he has gained the power of his decisions. He is authorized to do or not do, according to what suits him, and nobody can force him to do anything. It is at this point that he needs, more than ever, to be the owner of his emotions and of his mind, because clarity joined with power make an explosive mixture. It can easily make a man reckless.
20. \"The path of the warrior consists of saving energy; everything that goes against that threatens his intent to be impeccable. But sometimes, because of the surplus of power which has accumulated in his luminosity, circumstances can take a particularly hard turn for him. \"His dilemma is the same which faces a hang-glider who, after struggling for hours to get up to the mountaintop carrying his heavy equipment, finds that weather conditions are no longer right for the flight. In a situation like that, it is easier for the athlete to decide to jump anyway, than decide to remain on the ground. If he hasn't learned to control his decisions appropriately, the most probable outcome is that he jumps to his death. \"In the same way, there will be times when the apprentice forgets that his objective is not to nourish his ego, and he enters into situations which are stronger than him. Not only can this be fatal, but it constitutes a serious breach of discipline that will plug him into the labyrinths of power. In these cases, power becomes his executioner. \"A warrior of knowledge does not senselessly surrender to the excitement of war. First he observes the conditions, gauges his possibilities, and establishes his support points. Then, depending on this evaluation, he will rush forth or retreat without the slightest hesitation. He does not deal his blows out blindly, but turns every step into an immaculate exercise of strategy. \"The apprentice who does not learn in time to decide how, when, and with whom he must enter into battle, is removed. Either because someone kills him, or because he is defeated so many times that he cannot rise again. \"The warrior's final challenge is to balance all the attributes of his path. Once he does that, his purpose becomes inflexible. He is no longer moved by a desperate desire for gain. He is the owner of his will, and can put it to his personal service. When he arrives at that point, the warrior has learned how to be impeccable. And for him to continue being impeccable depends totally on the energy he has accumulated.\" He gave as an example an apprentice who uses his recently won powers to become rich. He then comes to a forked road, either entering into the mindset of 'I want this', 'I want that', or to cultivate intent. If he chooses the first option, he has arrived at the end of his path, because no matter how much energy he dedicates to them, the yearnings of the ego are never really satisfied. In the second option, on the other hand, he has found his route to freedom. \"Intent is the tuning of our attention to cosmic awareness, which transforms our volition into commands of the Eagle. We must be daring to attempt it deliberately, but, once there, everything becomes possible. Intent allows sorcerers to live in a non-ordinary world, and to intend a destiny of freedom. For them, freedom is a fact, not just a Utopia. \"By ignoring the principles of the warrior's way, modern man has wound up in a diabolical trap, made up of family, religious and social concerns. He works eight hours a day in order to maintain his way of life. Then he returns home, where the wife of always awaits him, and his children, identical to any other of a billion children, will demand things from him and force him to continue in his chains, until his powers are drained and he becomes a useless object who sits meditating over his memories in a corner of the house. They told him that this is happiness, but he doesn't feel happy, he feels shackled.
21. Be Warriors, stop that! Realize your potential and free yourselves free yourselves from whatever! Don't impose limits on yourselves. If you can defy the force of gravity and fly, that's great! And if you still have the I impetus to challenge death and buy a ticket to eternity, that is |; tremendous! £¦'¦ \"Take a risk! Get out of the trap of self-reflexion and dare to $'¦: perceive all that is humanly possible! A warrior of knowledge £;>¦ makes an effort to be authentic, and he won't accept any compromises, because the object of his fight is total freedom.\" Awareness Of Death Over the years, the need to understand the world had led me to store a lot of scientific or religious explanations on almost everything, which all had one common denominator: A great trust in the continuity of man. By helping me to see the universe with the eyes of a sorcerer, Carlos destroyed that sensation in me. He made me see that death is an irrevocable reality, and that to avoid acknowledging it by applying second-hand beliefs is shameful. On one occasion, somebody asked him: \"Carlos, what expectations do you have for the future?\" He jumped: \"There are no expectations! Sorcerers don't have a tomorrow!\" --------------------------------------------------------------- That night, a large group of interested people had gathered in the auditorium of a private residence, near the area of San Jeronimo. When I arrived, Carlos was already there. He was smiling, busily answering questions. His initial topic was what he called 'not-doing', an activity specially designed to banish any trace of every-day habits from our lives. He affirmed that not-doing is the favorite exercise of apprentices, because it introduces them to a marvelous environment and creates a very refreshing bewilderment for one's energy. The effect this has on one's awareness they call 'stopping the world.' In response to some questions, he explained that not-doing cannot be reasoned out. Any effort applied towards understanding it, is in fact an interpretation of the teaching - and goes automatically into the field of 'doing'. \"The premise of sorcerers for dealing with this kind of practice is inner silence, and the quality of silence required for something so enormous as stopping the world can only come from direct contact with the great truth of our existence: That we are all going to die.\" He advised us:
22. \"If you want to know yourselves, be aware of your personal death. It's not negotiable, it is the only thing that you can seriously own. Everything else may fail, but not death, you can take that as a fact. Learn how to use it to produce real effects in your lives. \"Also, stop believing in fairy tales. Nobody needs you out there. None of us is so important that it justifies inventing something as fantastic as immortality. A humble sorcerer knows that his destiny is the same as that of any other living being on Earth. So, instead of having false hopes, he works concretely and with great effort to escape the human condition, and to reach the only exit we have: The breaking of our perceptual barrier. \"While you listen to death's advice, make yourself responsible for your lives, for the totality of your actions. Explore yourself, recognize yourself, and live intensely, like sorcerers live. Intensity is the only tiling that can save us from boredom. \"Once aligned with death, you will be able to take the next step: Reducing your baggage to a minimum. This is a prison world, and we must leave it as fugitives; we can't take anything with us. Human beings are travelers by nature. To fly and to know other horizons is our destiny. Do you take your bed or your dining table with you on a trip? Synthesize your life!\" He made the comment that humanity in our time has acquired a strange habit that is symptomatic of the mental state we live in. When we travel, we buy all kinds of useless devices in other countries, things that we certainly would never buy in our own country. Once we return home, we store them in a comer and end up forgetting their existence - until one day we notice them by chance, and toss them in the garbage. \"And we behave this way on the journey that is our life. We are like donkeys carrying a bale of useless sniff, there is nothing valuable there. Everything we did, at the end, when old age assaults us, only serves to endlessly repeat some sentence or other, like a scratched record. \"A sorcerer asks himself: What is the sense of all this? Why invest my resources in something which won't help me at all? The appointment of a sorcerer is with the unknown, he cannot commit his energy to nonsense. While you walk the Earth, collect something of true value from it, otherwise it wasn't worth it. \"The power that governs us has granted us a choice. Either we spend life prowling around our familiar habits, or we encourage ourselves to get to know other worlds. The only thing which can give us the necessary jolt is the awareness of death. \"An ordinary person spends his whole existence without ever stopping to reflect, because he thinks that death is at the end of life; after all, we will always have time for it! But a warrior
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|Oggetto: Re: Encounters with the Nagual, part 1 - Document Transcript Lun 19 Apr 2010 - 15:10|| |
1. has discovered that this is not true. Death lives beside us, an arm's length away, permanently alert, looking at us, ready to jump at the smallest provocation. The warrior transforms his animal fear of extinction into an opportunity for joy. because he knows that ail he has is this moment. Think as warriors. we are all going to die!\" One of the present asked him: \"Carlos, in another lecture you told us that having the spirit of a warrior means seeing death as a privilege. What does that mean?\" He answered: \"It means to leave our mental habits behind.\"
2. \"We are so accustomed to coexistence that, even face to face with death, we continue thinking in group terms. Religions don't tell us about the individual in contact with the absolute, but of flocks of sheep and goats, who go to heaven or to hell according to their fortune. Even if we are atheists and don't believe that anything happens after death, that 'anything' is generic, we assume it is the same for everybody. We cannot conceive of the idea that the power of an impeccable life can change things. \"In the view of such ignorance, it is normal for an ordinary man to feel panic regarding his end, and try to deal with it with prayers and medicines, or confuse himself with the noise of the world. \"Human beings have an egocentric and extremely simplistic vision of the universe. We never stop to consider our destiny as transitory beings. However, our obsession with the future betrays us. \"The sincerity or cynicism of our convictions makes no difference, because deep down we all know what is going to happen. That's why we all leave signs behind. We build pyramids, skyscrapers, make children, write books, or, at the very least, we draw our initials in the bark of a tree. It is the ancestral fear, the silent knowledge of death, which is behind that subconscious impulse. \"But there is one group of human beings who have been able to face that fear. As opposed to ordinary people, sorcerers eagerly seek out any situation that will take them beyond social interpretations. What better opportunity than their own extinction! Thanks to their frequent excursions into the unknown, they know that death is not natural; it is magical. Natural things are subject to laws, but death is not. To die is always a personal event, and for that sole reason,' it is an act of power. \"Death is the gateway to infinity. A door made to the exact measure of each of us, which we will all pass through someday, returning to our origin. Our lack of understanding impels us to see it as a common reducer. But no, there is nothing common about it; A girl who took part in this conversation was clearly affected by his words, and commented that the obsessive presence of death in his teachings was a detail that contributed to darken them. She would have liked a more optimistic emphasis, more focused on life and its accomplishments. Carlos smiled and replied: \"Oh sweetheart! Your words show a lack of deep experience with life. Sorcerers are not negative, they don't seek the end. But they know that what gives value to life is having an objective worth dying for. \"The future is unpredictable and inevitable. Some day you won't be here anymore, like this, you will be gone. Do you know that the tree for your coffin has probably been cut already? \"For the warrior and for an ordinary man, the urgency of living is the same, because neither knows when they will take the last step. For that reason we have to be attentive to death, it can jump at us from any corner. I knew a guy who went up on a bridge and urinated above a passing electric train. The urine touched the high voltage cables, which gave him an electrical shock and burned him to cinders on the spot. \"Death is not a game, it is reality Without death, there would not be any power in what sorcerers do. It involves you personally, whether you want it to or not. You can be so cynical that you
3. discard other topics of these teachings, but you cannot make fun of your end, because it is beyond your power to decide, and it is implacable. \"Destiny's coach will take all of us, without distinction. But there are two kinds of travelers: warriors who can leave with the totality of themselves, because they have fine- tuned every detail of their lives, and ordinary people, with boring existences, without creativity, whose only hope is in the repetition of their stereotypes until the end; people whose end won't make any difference, whether this end happens today or in thirty years. We are all there, waiting on the platform of eternity, but not everyone knows it. Awareness of death is a great art. \"When a warrior has put an end to his routines, when he doesn't care anymore whether he has company or is alone, because he has heard the silent whisper of the spirit; then you can say that, truly, he has died. From that point on, even the simplest things in life become extraordinary for him. \"For this, a sorcerer learns how to live again. He tastes each moment as if it were the last one. He doesn't waste any effort on feeling dissatisfied, nor does he throw away his energy. He doesn't wait until he becomes old to ponder the mysteries of the world. He is ahead, he explores, he knows and marvels. \"If you want to make space for the unknown, you must be aware of your personal extinction. Accept your destiny as the unavoidable fact that it is. Purify that feeling, become responsible for the incredible event of being alive. Don't beg in the presence of death; it will not condescend to those who give in. Invoke it, aware that you came to this world to know it. Challenge it, even knowing that whatever we do, we don't have the smallest chance of conquering it. She is as gentle with the warrior as it is merciless with the ordinary man.\" After this lecture, Carlos gave us an exercise. \"It concerns an inventory of your loved ones, of everybody who concerns you. Once you have classified them according to the degree of feeling that you have for each, you will take them, one by one, and pass them through death.\" A murmur of consternation rippled through the listeners. Making a soothing gesture, Carlos added: \"Don't get scared! There is nothing macabre about death. What is macabre is that we cannot face it with deliberation,. \"You should do this exercise at midnight, when the fixation of our assemblage point is loosened and we are willing to believe in ghosts. It is very simple; you will evoke your dear beings through their inevitable end. Don't think about how or when they will die. Simply make yourself aware that some day they won't be there anymore. One by one they will leave, God knows in which order, and it doesn't matter what you try to do to avoid it. \"When evoking them in this way, you won't harm them; on the contrary! You will be seeing them in the appropriate perspective. The focal point of death is prodigious, it restores the true values of life.\" Energetic Drainage
4. On many occasions when I listened to Carlos, he referred to the topic of energy. Each time, he would explain different aspects of it. I have gathered some of them in this chapter, to give the reader a more coherent view. His teachings, or rather the teachings of the tradition of seers to which he belonged, begin with the fact that the universe is dual. It is formed by two forces which the old seers symbolized by means of two snakes that are intertwined. But those forces have nothing to do with the dualities we call good and bad, God and Devil, positive and negative, or any other kind of opposing pairs we can think of coherently. Rather, they constitute an inexplicable wave of energy which the Toltecs called the tonal and the nagual. In an axiomatic way, they established that everything we can interpret or imagine in any way is the tonal, and the rest, which we cannot categorize, is the nagual. To emphasize that they are not two antagonistic realities, but rather two complementary aspects of one unique force, which they nicknamed 'the Eagle', the seers compared the tonal and the nagual with the two sides of our physical body, the right side and the left side. And they saw that, just as the basic configuration of organisms is almost totally structured from a bilateral symmetry, these are also the forms in which energy manifests itself in the Cosmos, and with it, the way we perceive. Life is formed when a portion of the free energy of infinity - which the old seers called 'the emanations of the Eagle' - is encapsulated by an external force, becoming a new individual being, aware of himself. And they saw that the perception of the world happens when something they called 'the assemblage point of perception' comes into play. Although that center of selection is in operation in every living being in the universe, the deliberate awareness of oneself, on this Earth, can only be achieved by human beings and a group of species lacking physical organization, whom the seers of antiquity called 'allies'. Interaction between man and these beings is not only feasible, it is something that frequently happens in our dreams. Sorcerers cultivate it, since the consciousness of inorganic beings, which are much older than us, is filled with something that we all covet: Knowledge. Having taken on the work of investigating the modes of energy, the sages from old Mexico were urged to describe to their contemporaries what they had discovered. In their effort to find the most appropriate terms, they said that all that exists is divided into light and dark, like day and night. And from there they derived every thinkable binary description. It is a command which reflects the great cosmic duality. Through their seeing, they discovered that the world of energy is made up of extensive areas of darkness, sprinkled with tiny points of light, and they perceived that the dark areas correspond to the feminine part of the energy, while bright areas correspond to the masculine. They arrived at the inevitable conclusion that the universe is almost in its entirety feminine, and that the bright energy, the masculine, is rare. By definition, they associated darkness with the left side, the nagual, the unknown, and the feminine; and luminosity with the right side, the tonal, the known, and the masculine.
5. Continuing their observations, they saw that the act of galactic creation happens when the cosmic darkness contracts itself, and from it arises an explosion of light, a spark that expands, giving origin to the order of time and space. The law of this order is that things always have an end, which again implies that the unique and perennial principle of the universe is the dark energy; feminine, creative, and eternal. Likewise, man is divided into the tonal, represented by his daytime vigil, and the nagual, by his dreams at night. From these observations, the rest of the wisdom of the naguals is derived. They teach that dreams are a doorway to power because, ultimately, what sustains us is the dark energy, to which we go periodically to be renewed. Consequently, they directed all their power towards perfecting the art of becoming conscious while in the state of dreaming. They called that special kind of attention 'dreaming', and they used it to deliberately explore the dark energy and come into contact with the source of the universe. In that way, the initial observation of the wise Toltecs became a practical knowledge. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of Carlos' more frequent statements was that the opinions that we form about everything transform our world into something more and more predictable, until the possibility of visiting other worlds becomes a fairy tale. \"For modern man\", he said on one occasion, \"absolutely everything that exists is put into definite categories. We are labeling machines. We classify the world, and the world classifies us. If once you killed a dog, you are the dog-killer for the rest of your life, even if you never touched another one. And those classifications are inherited!\" He mentioned a series of funny and expressive last names that were related to the characteristics of a particular person, but then the names were bequeathed as an imposition on their descendants. It went to show that, energetically, people are marked. He asserted that the greatest example of that absurd propensity to classify us is what believers call 'original sin', the sin of Adam and Eve, which-makes us all forever sinful and also, makes us all behave as sinners. \"We have become perceptual jailers of each other. The chain of human thought is powerful. \"Even our deepest feelings are classified and ordered so that nothing can escape. One example is the way we alienate ourselves from the actual time we are living in, in order to mindlessly go around repeating stereotypes. We have a collection of preset days: Mother's Day, All Saints' Day, Valentine Day, birthday anniversaries and weddings... They are like stakes we tie our life to so we won't get lost, and thus we walk the Earth, revolving around our descriptions like beasts tied by the neck.\" He told us about when he and Don Juan once traveled to a small town in the north of Mexico, and sat down to rest on a bench in the church square. Suddenly, ten or twelve youths came carrying a Judas figure made of cloth and canes. It was dressed in a blanket and sandals, like an Indian. They installed it in the town square, and that night there
6. was a public burning. Everybody drank, and everybody took turns insulting the puppet as part of the ritual. \"With customs like that, people keep Judas alive. They remember him, they sustain him, they keep him in a true hell with their memories. And, after burning him, next year they resuscitate him, and kill him again. The rigidity of human behavior is revealed in those routines.\" A person in the audience requested permission to speak and asked him whether his statement regarding how, by remembering him, the town keeps Judas alive, was meant literally or was just a metaphor. He answered: \"Sorcerers affirm that as long as there is memory, there is awareness of being, since the current of thought is an injection of life. True death is oblivion. \"The idea that time moves in a straight line from past to future is completely primitive, something that goes against the experience of sorcerers and even of modern science. Due to that limited interpretation, most of humanity is kept prisoner in a tunnel of time, where their destiny becomes an infinite repetition of the same. \"The reality of our condition is that we are energetically blocked, due to what sorcerers call 'the collective fixation of the assemblage point.' \"A remarkable consequence of that fixation is the way we specialize. When preparing for a profession, for example, instead of widening our scope, we usually end up becoming sedentary, boring individuals, without creativity and without motivation. In a few years, our life becomes tedious, but, far from taking responsibility and changing ourselves, we blame our circumstances. \"One of the most serious habits that shape our inventory, is the habit of telling others everything we do, or stop doing. It is an important part of socialization. We want to generate an exclusive image of ourselves, but the image ends up molding itself to other people's expectations, and we become imitations of what we could be. Once they consider us as facts, we have to follow certain behavioral patterns, even when we are sick of them or even if we don't believe in them, because any intent to change puts us up against the wall. \"Most people feel empty when they don't have love or friends, because they have built their life on a superficial base of relationships and they don't have any time left to ponder their destiny. Unfortunately, friendship is generally based on an exchange of intimacies, while a basic premise of mundane relationships is that everything we say some day will be used against us. It's a sad fact that the ones we care about the most, are also our worst headaches! \"Sorcerers maintain that talking about ourselves makes us accessible and weak, while learning how to be quiet fills us with power. A principle of the path of knowledge is to turn your own life into something so unpredictable that not even you yourself knows what's going to happen. \"The only way of leaving the collective inventory is moving away from those who know us well. After a time, mental walls that trap us become a little softer and they start to give in. That's when genuine opportunities for change appear and we can take control of our lives. \"If we were able to transcend interpretation and face pure perception without prejudice, the impression of a world of objects would vanish. In its place, we would witness energy
7. as it flows in the universe. Under such conditions, the chain of other people's thoughts would no longer have the smallest effect on us and we would not feel obliged to be or do anything. Then our senses would have no limits. That's seeing.\" He defined it further: \"The sorcerer's objective is to break the fixation of social interpretations, and to see energy directly. To see is a total perceptual experience.\" \"Seeing energy as it flows is an imperious need on the path of knowledge. Ultimately, all the effort of sorcerers is guided to that end. It is not enough for a warrior to know that the universe is energy; he has to verify it for himself.\" \"Seeing is a practical matter which has immediate consequences and far-reaching effects on our lives. The most dramatic of them is that sorcerers learn to see time, as an objective dimension.\" He continued by saying that energy is distributed through the universe in layers. All conscious beings belong to one of these Everyday love ends up becoming a debt, when others claim from us the same attention they gave us. And a debt of feelings is something fatal! \"For these reasons, one of priorities of a teacher is to destroy the apprentice's sexual patterns. This is a crucial matter that requires lifelong work, but it is necessary to begin from the first moment, because becoming a member of a party of sorcerers cannot be used as a pretext for sexual deficiencies. If we don't solve that matter as ordinary men and women, our chances to advance on the warrior's path are very slim. \"Sorcerers have many ways of correcting an apprentice. Some don't have any scruples and subject the pupil to real tortures, attacking his weaknesses until he gets cured or he cracks. Others, like my teacher, are extremely delicate on this point and prefer to work with the energy from inside, making the apprentice become aware of himself and react. Any method is legitimate, as long as it produces the results desired. \"The nagual Julian, for example, combined a merciless efficiency with a tremendous ability to become what he wanted - it is not that he acted; rather, he genuinely transformed himself, moving his assemblage point to the position corresponding to the form of an animal or another person. One of his favorites was the form of a woman. Once, in the shape of a beautiful girl, he seduced his apprentice Juan Matus, who at that time was barely twenty years old, and hot as a young bull. When they were both in bed, he moved his assemblage point back to its habitual position and was a man again, which made the youth run terrified from the room. \"For a mentality like the one Juan Matus had at that time, the impact was devastating. It demolished his stereotypes. It was a grotesque joke, but uniquely effective. In one slash, it broke his inclination to surrender to the first female who made herself available. \"Don Juan never forgave his teacher for the joke, but as time passed, he learned how to laugh at the story.\" At this point, Carlos allowed a small round of questions. One of the present interrogated him regarding celibacy; whether it was indispensable or not for sorcerers, and what the advantages were. He answered: \"A priori, sorcerers are neither for nor against anything. They see that everything .depends on the congenital disposition of energy. There are some who are born with the necessary passion to make love every day, while others don't even have enough for a masturbation. Some recover their luminous totality by means of discipline, others have the
8. appearance of strainers and will die incomplete. All these factors modify and determine the behavior of sorcerers regarding sex. \"What characterizes sorcerers is their refusal to be victims of the collective reproductive command, and their ability to choose a responsible use for their energy. Also, none of them can be trapped in any sexual category. They are free, they proceed every moment according to what power indicates to them. To have that vision, they cultivate a sobriety that the ordinary person doesn't know.\" He explained that, in general, the new seers opt for a position of celibacy and self- sufficiency, because they are very greedy with their energy and they prefer to dedicate it to the expansion of their awareness. They have witnessed worlds on their journeys into infinity that make all other things seem pale and without attraction, even the sexual act. \"Don Juan said that making love is for those who don't have attachments.\" Responding to another question, he said that there is no such thing as 'a sexual problem', only individuals with their own and very particular dilemmas to solve. \"To see it in a generic form is a trap, because it makes us dilute our responsibility and excuse ourselves with the notion that everybody else is the same as we are. Like birth and death, to procreate is an individual act, a gift which the Eagle has granted us. What sorcerers demand is something very simple: Responsibility. \"The society in which we live is a school where they force us to comply with astonishingly cruel orders. We become old, and making love turns into a grotesque parody. Society imposes a drainage on us, a preset behavior that doesn't stop until there is not a single blink of light left in us. \"I had an example of this in my grandfather. The old man used to say: 'You cannot fuck them all, but you have to try!' He already had one foot in the grave, and still kept reacting the way they had taught him. He spent half his time getting a woman and the other half working to maintain her, and he never realized that he had never been shown \"Finally, on his deathbed, the old man became bitter with the idea that his lovers didn't want him for his manliness anymore, but for his money. 'She doesn't love me!' he whimpered, and his grandsons assured him: 'She does love you, grandpa!' The stupid man died this way, screaming: 'Here I come, mommy!' \"Is it necessary to be a sorcerer to grasp that this is not all we can have as human beings?\" He admitted that, before deciding to practice the warrior's way, he believed he was a seductive man and he behaved as one, driven by the latin male stereotype, \"Once I seduced a girl and brought her to my car. We both got so horny that the windshield got all steamed up with all the kisses and hugs we gave each other. When I was most turned on, I discovered that the supposed girl was a man! \"Another time I fell sincerely in love with a young girl, but eventually I began to suspect that she cheated on me. I changed my car and stayed watching from the corner of her house. The other one arrived. When I asked her to explain, she told me: 'With you, it's love, and with him it's just sex!' \"This kind of encounters made me decide to behave with more moderation in my love affairs. But the pressure of my stereotype was too strong. I continued to spend my energy on sex according to the pattern of my race, until Don Juan gave me the choice: Either I had to calm down, or abandon the apprenticeship.\"
9. Responding to another question, he maintained that the best way of stopping the energy drainage that takes place through sexuality, is learning how to make magnanimous gestures which counter and loosen the fixation of our attention. \"We have received life as a cosmic gift, and it is our privilege to reflect that gesture with total detachment. Thanks to his indifference, the warrior is in the position of turning his love into a blank check, unconditional, an abstract affection, because it does not start from desire. What a marvelous thing! \"Contrary to what a man in the street thinks, the nature of sorcerers is telluric, passionate. But the object of their passion is no longer carnal. They have seen the glue that ties all things together, a wave of passion that floods the universe and cannot be stopped, because, should that happen, everything would be reduced to nothing. \"Through their seeing, they have established their base on the cornerstone of awareness, the most powerful state of individual attention. Their love is an overpowering reality that vibrates in every breath, is expressed in every gesture, and given meaning in every word; it is a force which impels them to explore, to take risks, and to evolve, constantly bringing out the best of themselves. \"Sorcerers have discovered the most refined form of love, because they love themselves. They know that all we give out is a reflection of what we have inside. They have put the power of passion to the service of being, and it gives them the necessary impulse to undertake the only quest that counts: The quest for oneself.\" Recapitulation When revising my notes, I discovered that another topic Carlos repeatedly referred to in his talks was the concept of recapitulation. He claimed that it is the exercise to which sorcerers dedicate most of their time. Once he remarked that, in spite of the energy drainage we are subjected to through social interaction, we all have an option, because the sealed nature of our luminous configuration allows us to restart from zero any time, and to recover our totality. \"It is never too late\", he said. \"While we are alive, there is always a way of conquering any kind of blockage. The best way to recover the luminous fibers we have lost is by calling our energy back. The most important part is to take the first step. For those who are interested in saving and recovering their energy, the only way open to us is the recapitulation. \"A sorcerer knows that if we don't go for our ghosts, they will come for us. For that reason he leaves nothing unresolved. He recounts his past, looks for the magical joint -
10. the exact moment when he was involved in somebody's destiny - and applies all his concentration to that point, and unties the knots of intent. \"Sorcerers say that we live our life from a distance, as if it were a memory. We spend life hooked, hurt by something that happened thirty years ago and carrying a burden that doesn't make sense anymore. 'I don't forgive it!' we scream, but it is not true, it is ourselves we don't forgive! \"The emotional commitments we make with people are like investments we have made along the way. We must be completely insane to leave our heritage thrown away like that! \"The only way we can become complete again, is by picking up that investment, reconciling ourselves with our energy, and dissipating the heavy burden of feelings. The best method the sorcerers have discovered for this is to remember the events of our personal history until we have completely digested them. Recapitulation takes you out of the past, and inserts you into the now. \"We cannot escape having been born as bored fucks, nor having invested most of our luminosity in making children or in maintaining tiring relationships. But we can recapitulate; it cancels out the energetic effects of those acts. \"Fortunately, in the realm of energy, things like time and space don't exist. So it is possible to return to the place and to the same moment when the events happened, and relive them. It is not very difficult, since we all know very well where we are hurting. \"To recapitulate is to stalk our routines, subjecting them to a systematic and merciless scrutiny. It is an activity that allows us to visualize our life as a totality, and not just as a succession of moments. However, and although this may seem strange, only sorcerers recapitulate as an exercise; other people only happen to do it by chance. \"Recapitulation is the heritage of the old seers, the basic practice, the essence of sorcery. Without it, there is no path. Don Juan used to disparagingly refer to apprentices who had not recapitulated as 'radioactive'. Don Genaro would not even shake hands with me, and if I touched him accidentally, he would run to wash himself as if I had infected him. He said I was full of dirt and it was seeping out through every pore of my skin. With that comedy routine, he installed in me the idea that recapitulating is an elementary act of hygiene.\" In another lecture, Carlos referred to a kind of luminous Stagnation, which he described as a fixation of our attention that blocks the flow of energy. He said that this happens when we refuse to face facts and try to protect ourselves by hiding behind evasive actions. Also, when we leave pending matters unresolved, or make commitments that tie us down. The consequence of that kind of stagnation is that the person ceases to be himself. When being pressured by the chain of decisions that he has made during his life, he can no longer act in a deliberate manner and he becomes entangled in the circumstances, This situation can escalate to the point of mental or physical illness, and can only be resolved through recapitulation. He maintained that, in essence, to recapitulate consists of making a list of wounds caused by our interactions. The next step is to travel back to the moment when the events took place, in order to reabsorb what belongs to us, and return what belongs to others. \"The warrior begins rewinding his day. He reconstructs conversations, deciphers meanings, remembers faces and names, looks for shades and insinuations, dissects his own emotional
reactions and those of others. He doesn't leave anything to chance, grabs the memories of the day one by one and cleans them through his breathing. \"He also examines entire chapters and categories of his life. For example, partners he has had, houses he has lived in, schools, work places, friends and enemies, fights and happy moments, and so on. The ideal thing is to attack the task in chronological order, from the most recent memory until the most distant that it is possible to evoke. But in the beginning it is easier to do it by topics. \"A very profitable form of the exercise, accessible to all of us, is the fortuitous recapitulation. If you think about it, we are constantly recapitulating. All memories which conform to our internal dialogue can be called that. However, we evoke them in an involuntary way. Instead of stalking them in silence, we judge them and interact with them viscerally. That is pitiful. A warrior takes advantage of the opportunity, because those memories, seemingly random, are warnings from our silent side.\" He pointed out that to recapitulate, no special conditions are necessary. We can try the exercise any time, any place; wherever we feel moved to do it. \"Warriors recapitulate when they are walking down the road, in the bathroom, when working or when eating; whenever it is possiblel The important thing is to do it.\" He added that it takes no definite posture. The only requirement is to be comfortable, so the physical body doesn't demand attention or interfere with the memories. \"However, sorcerers take the exercise very seriously. Some use wooden boxes, raised sleeping platforms, closets, or caves. Others build a seat in the highest branches of a big tree, or dig a hole in the ground and cover it with branches. A good practice is to recapitulate sitting on the bed, in darkness, before lying down to sleep. Any means that isolates us from the environment is good for formal recapitulation. \"Once we have located an event and recreated each of its parts, we have to inhale to recover the energy that we left behind and exhale fibers that others deposited in us. Breathing is magical, because it is a
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|Oggetto: Re: Encounters with the Nagual, part 1 - Document Transcript Lun 19 Apr 2010 - 15:11|| |
function that gives life.\" Carlos explained that this kind of breathing should be accompanied by a lateral movement of the head, which sorcerers call 'to fan the event.' Somebody asked him if it is necessary to breathe from right to left or vice versa. He answered: \"What does it matter? It is energy work; there is no fixed pattern. What counts is the intent. Breathe in when you try to recover something, and blow back all that doesn't belong to you. If you do that with the totality of your history, you will stop living entangled in a chain of memories and instead, you will be focused in the present. Seers describe that effect as facing facts as they are, or seeing time objectively.\" They asked him what we have to do with our memories once we locate them; whether it means to examine them with some psychoanalytical method or something like that. He answered: \"It is not necessary to do anything in particular. Memories will find their own course, and luminosity is reordered by itself through the breathing. Just try it, make yourself available; the spirit will tell you how to do it. \"Recapitulation starts from inside and sustains itself. It is matter of silencing the mind, and our energy body will take control, doing what is a delight for it to do. You feel well, comforted; far from draining you, it gives you rest. Your body perceives it as an inexplicable energy bath.
33. \"But you should have the correct attitude. Don't confuse the exercise with a psychological question. If what you need is interpretations, go to the psychiatrist! He will tell you what to do, to continue being the idiot that you are. Neither should you try to find a 'lesson'. Stories with a moral only exist in children's books. \"Recapitulation is a specialized form of stalking, and should be undertaken with a high sense of strategy. It is about understanding and putting our existence in order, seeing it as it is, without remorse, reproaches, or congratulations, with total indifference and in a spirit of fluidity, even of humor, because nothing in our history is more important than anything else, and all relationships, in the end, are ephemeral. \"The important thing is to begin, because the energy we recover from the first intent will give us the power to continue recapitulating more and more intricate aspects of our lives. First, it is necessary to go for the strongest investments, which are the most harrowing feelings. Then we go for those memories that are buried so deeply that we thought we had forgotten them, but they are there. \"In the beginning, recapitulating can be hard work, because our mind is not accustomed to that discipline. But, after closing the most painful wounds, energy will recognize itself and we become addicted to the exercise. In that way, each particle of light, which we recover, helps us to gain more. \"The moment you begin to prepare to voluntarily unravel the plots of your personal history, you will be taking a decisive step.\" Responding to another question, he said that recapitulation doesn't have an end; it should last until the end of our days and beyond. \"I stretch my fibers every night while remembering what happened during the day. This way, my list of events stays updated. But once a year, I give myself over to a more complete and total exercise, for which I move away from everything for several weeks.\" He warned us that, just because it's a daily practice, we must not see the exercise as a routine. \"If we don't recover the totality of our energy, we will never achieve the power of our decisions; there will always be a background noise, a foreign command. And without the power of his decisions, a man is nothing. \"Reliving events is ideal, because it cleans the wounds of the past and clears up any congestion of the energy conduits. In this way, you break the fixation of other people's gaze, you expose the patterns of people's behavior, and nothing can hook you again. You become a sovereign being; you decide what you want to make of yourself.\" Another question concerned the effects of recapitulation on awareness. He maintained that the exercise has two main effects. \"The immediate effect is that it stops our internal dialogue. When a warrior is able to stop his dialogue, he tightens the relationship with his energy. It liberates him from the obligation of memory, and from the burden of feelings, and leaves a residual energy that he can invest in enlarging the frontiers of his perception. A warrior begins to appreciate the real thing, not the interpretation of it. For the first time, he comes into contact with the consensus of sorcerers, which is the description of a reality inconceivably integrated. \"It's normal that a warrior at this stage begins to laugh at anything, because energy provides happiness. Thanks to his recapitulation, he is happy, overflowing, jumps like a child. On the other hand, he begins to become a fearsome person, since, having his
34. luminosity intact and his life clean, decisions will no longer be an obstacle for him. He will decide what is necessary the moment he wants to, and that, to other people, is scary. \"This is also the time when the warrior requires an extra dose of sobriety and sanity, because without it he would take unnecessary risks, endangering both his own security and the security of others. \"Another effect of recapitulation is that it works as an invitation to the spirit, and makes it want to come and live with us. In other words: To remember our past is the most effective method to unite the physical body and the energy body, which have been separated for years.\" He went on to say that the sorcerer who has managed to compress the thickest part of his energy is in a state where he may intend a feat of perceptual prowess: Intending a copy of his life experience, in order to deceive death. \"That is the final objective of recapitulation: To create a double, and get ready to leave. You don't have to be a sorcerer to understand the importance of all this. To die in debt is a pitiful way of dying. On the other hand, to have a double to offer the Eagle guarantees that you will be able to continue ahead. \"The fight of sorcerers is heroic. Recapitulating impeccably the content of their lives, they pick up the fibers which drained their attention, and return to those they have known all the attention they have given them. In that way, they arrive at a state of balance which allows them to leave with all their awareness. Their memories, coherent, refined, and integrated, work as an independent being, which serves as a ticket they hand over in exchange for their awareness. The Eagle accepts that effort as a payment, and steps aside. Our replica is sufficient to satisfy its demand. \"Seers see that moment as an explosion of energy which aligns their encapsulated awareness with the totality of emanations out there, and their assemblage point expands infinitely, like a vortex of light.\" In another talk, he referred to a method designed by the new seers, which can be helpful in the exercise of recapitulation. Me stated: \"One of the tasks of sorcerers is to constantly analyze the insinuations of the spirit. For this purpose, they often use a book of memorable events, a map of those occasions when the spirit intervened in their lives, forcing them to make decisions - voluntarily or involuntarily.\" He explained that the advantage of this technique is that when we write, we detach ourselves from things and events, at least to a minimal extent, and thus we are able to focus on them with more objectivity. \"It is not about describing our daily routines, but of being attentive to the strange moments in which intent is manifested. Those are magical junctures, because they produce changes and they put us face to face with the meaning of our existence.\" As requested, he gave us some examples of this kind of events. \"Although signs of the spirit are a personal matter, there are ordinary events that in general mark people's life, like being born, choosing a career, intertwining your destiny with another person, or having children. Also illnesses and serious accidents, because they establish a nexus with death. For those who have the fortune of finding a conduit of spirit in the shape of a nagual, this is, certainly, the most memorable event of all.
35. \"The interventions of intent are precursors, very significant memories for a warrior, and they can be used as reference points of where to start when one is exploring episodes of personal history. It requires speed and clarity to select them and to synthesize them, extracting the personal stuff and leaving the magical essence. When properly done, they become what the new seers call abstract centers of perception, a matrix of intent, which a warrior has the duty of deciphering.\" The Threshold Of Silence One of Carlos' characteristics was that he was unpredictable. Sometimes he arrived on time to his appointments, other times he was an hour late. The system had its advantages; it made the less interested stand up and leave, and forced the more committed to cultivate patience. That afternoon the appointment was at the University of Mexico. Among many other questions, he was asked if he believed in God. In answering, Carlos asked us not to confuse his words with a religious message. \"Sorcerers,\" he said, \"abide by their experience. They have changed 'believing' for seeing. They speak of the spirit, not because they believe in its existence, but because they have seen it. But they don't see it as a loving father who watches over us from up above. For them, the spirit is something much more direct and immediate, a state of awareness which transcends reason. \"Everything that reaches our senses is a sign. The only thing you need to have is the necessary speed to silence your mind and capture the message. By means of these indications, spirit talks to us in a very clear voice.\" One of the people present remarked that, even taken as a metaphor, the idea of listening to the spirit or speaking with it had an excessively religious air. But Carlos was adamant in his definition: \"That voice is not a metaphor! It is literal! Sometimes it speaks in words, other times it just whispers, or presents a scene before our eyes, like a movie. In that way, the spirit transmits its commands to us, which can be summarized in a single expression: 'Intent, intent!'. \"The voice of the spirit speaks equally to everyone, but we don't realize it. We are so preoccupied with our thoughts that instead of making silence and listening, we prefer all kinds of subterfuges. That's why the reminding voice exist.\" They asked him what the reminding voice was. He answered: \"It's a resource of attention, a way of accessing another level of awareness. We can use almost anything to tune in to the spirit, because, finally, it is behind all that exists. But certain things attract us more than others.
36. \"In general, people have their prayers, their amulets, or elaborate rituals, private and collective. The ancient sorcerers were prone to mysticism; they used astrology, oracles and incantations, magical sticks, anything that could deceive the vigilance of reason. \"But for the new seers, those resources are a waste and they hide a danger: They can deviate a person's attention so that, instead of focusing on his immediate bond with the spirit, he becomes addicted to symbols. Today's warriors prefer less ostentatious methods. Don Juan recommended intending inner silence directly.\" Emphasizing the words, he specified that sorcery is the art of silence. \"Silence is a passageway between worlds. When our mind stays silent, incredible aspects of our being emerge. Starting from that moment, a person becomes a vehicle of intent, and all his acts begin to ooze power. \"During my apprenticeship, my benefactor showed me inexplicable feats which frightened me, but at the same time stirred up my ambition; I wanted to be as powerful as he was! I often asked him how I could learn his tricks, but he placed a finger on his lips and stared at me. It took years before I could appreciate the magnificent lesson of his answer. The key to sorcery is silence.\" One of the present asked him to define that concept. He answered: \"It is not definable. When you practice it, you perceive it. If you try to understand it, you block it. Don't see it as something difficult or complex, because it is not something from another world; it is just silencing the mind. \"I could tell you that silence is like a dock where ships arrive; if the dock is occupied, there is no space for anything new. That's my image of the matter, but the truth is I don't know how to speak about it.\" He explained that inner silence is not only the absence of thoughts. Rather, it is about suspending judgment, witnessing without interpreting. He maintained that entering silence could be defined, in the typically contradictory way of sorcerers, as learning 'how to think without words.' \"For many of you, what I am saying doesn't make sense, because you are accustomed to consult your mind about everything. The ironic thing is that, for starters, our thoughts are not even ours. They sound through us, which is different. And since they have been pestering us ever since we learnt to use our reason, we have ended up getting used to them. \"If you ask the mind, it will tell you that the purpose of sorcerers is nonsense, because it cannot be rationally demonstrated. Instead of advising you to go and verify that purpose honestly, it will order you to hide behind a solid block of interpretations. Therefore, if you want to have a chance, there is only one possible way out: Disconnect the mind! Freedom is achieved without thinking. \"I know people who were able to stop their internal dialogue, and they no longer interpret, they are pure perception; they are never disappointed or regretful, because everything they do starts from the center for decisions. They have learned to deal with their mind in terms of authority, and they live in the most authentic state of freedom.\" He continued by saying that silence is our natural condition.
37. \"We were born from silence and there we will return. What contaminate us are all the superfluous ideas that percolate through us, due to our collective way of living. \"Our relatives, the primates, have very ingrained social customs whose objective is to diminish the levels of tension inside the group. For example, they dedicate much of their time to caressing each other, smelling each other, or picking each other's lice. \"Those customs are genetic, so they have not died; they are here inside, within you and within me. It's just that human beings have learned how to substitute them with the exchange of words. Every time we have an opportunity, we tranquillize each other by talking about something. After millennia of coexistence, we have internalized these exchanges to the point that, whether we are asleep or awake, our mind is never quiet, it is always talking to itself. \"Don Juan affirmed that we are predatory animals who, by the power of domestication, have been converted into grass-eaters. We spend our lives regurgitating an endless list of opinions on almost everything. We receive thoughts in clusters; one connects with the other one, until the entire space of the mind is packed full. That noise has no use, because, practically in its entirety, it is devoted to the enlargement of the ego. \"Because it goes against everything that we've been taught since we were children, silence should be attempted in a spirit of combat. At this time you have a great advantage: The experience of stalkers. Sorcerers nowadays recommend that we pass through the world without getting any attention, treating everything equally. A warrior stalker becomes the owner of the situation - for better or for worse, because there is something terribly effective about acting without the mind.\" They asked him to give us some practical exercises to achieve silence. He answered that that was a very private matter, because the sources of the internal dialogue are fed by our personal history. \"However, through millennia of practice, sorcerers have observed that, deep down, we are very similar. And there are situations that have the effect of silencing all of us. \"My teacher gave me various techniques to silence my mind which, well understood, can be reduced to one: Intent. Silence is intended crudely: making the effort. It is about insisting, over and over again. It does not mean to repress our thoughts, but rather learning how to control them. \"Silence begins with a command, an act of will, which becomes the command of the Eagle. However, we must keep in mind that as long as we impose silence on ourselves, we will never truly be there, but in the imposition. We have to learn to transform will into intent. \"Silence is calm, it is to yield, to let yourself go. It produces a sensation of absence, like the one a child feels when he stares at fire. How wonderful to remember that feeling, and know that it can be evoked again! \"Silence is the fundamental condition of the path. I spent a lot of years battling to achieve it, but all I did was get entangled in my own attempt. In addition to the habitual conversation that was always going on in my mind, I began to blame myself for not being able to understand what it was that Don Juan expected from me. Everything changed one day, while I was absent- mindedly contemplating some trees; silence came rushing from them like a wild beast, stopping my world and hurtling me into a paradoxical state, for it was new and at the same time well-known.
38. \"The technique of observation - that is, of contemplating the world without preconceived ideas - works very well with the elements. For example with flames, running water, cloud formations, or the sunset. The new seers call it 'to deceive the machine1, because, in essence, it consists of learning to intend a new description. \"We have to fight boldly to get it, but, after it happens, the new state of awareness is sustained naturally. You have a foot inside the door, the door is already open, and it is just a matter of accumulating enough energy to pass through to the other side. \"It's important that our intent is intelligent. The effort it takes to achieve silence would count for nothing, if we didn't first create conditions favorable to sustaining it. Therefore, besides the training in observation of the elements, a warrior is forced to do something very simple, but very difficult: Ordering his life. \"We all live in a chain of intensity which we call 'time'. Since we can't see its source, we never stop to think of its end. While we are young we feel eternal, and when we grow old, the only thing left is to complain about the 'wasted time'. But that is an illusion, time is not wasted, we waste ourselves! \"The idea that we have time is a misunderstanding that makes us waste energy on all kinds of commitments. When a man connects with inner silence, he puts a new value on his time. So another way to define it would be to say that silence is an acute awareness of the present. \"An infallible method for reaching silence is not-doing, an activity that we program with our mind, but which has the virtue of silencing our thoughts once it is in motion. Don Juan called that kind of technique 'to remove one thorn with another'.\" As examples of not-doings, he mentioned listening in the dark, changing the priority of our senses and the command that compels us to fall asleep as soon as we close our eyes. Also, to talk with plants, to stand on our heads, to walk backwards, to observe the shadows and the distance or spaces between the leaves of trees. \"All those activities are among the most effective to silence our internal dialogue, but they have a defect: We cannot sustain them for a long time. After a while, we are forced to return to our routines. A not-doing that is exaggerated will automatically lose its power and become a doing. \"If what we want is to accumulate deep silence with a lasting effect, the best not-doing is solitude. Together with energy saving and abandoning those who consider us 'facts', learning how to be alone is the third practical principle of the path. \"The warrior's world is the most solitary thing there is. Even when several apprentices unite to travel the routes of power together, each one knows that he is alone, that he cannot expect anything from the others, nor can he depend on anybody. The only thing he can do is to share his path with those who accompany him. \"To be alone requires a great effort, because we haven't learned how to overcome the genetic command of socialization yet. In the beginning, an apprentice should be forced by his teacher, through traps if necessary. But after a while he learns how to enjoy it. It is normal that sorcerers look for silence in the solitude of mountains or in the desert, and that they live alone during long periods.\" Somebody commented that this was 'a hideous perspective'.
39. Carlos replied: \"Hideous is to spend our old age like weeping children! \"One of the ironies of modern life is that the more communication increases, the more solitary we feel. Ordinary man's existence is one of harrowing loneliness. He looks for company, but cannot find himself. His love has been devaluated; his dream is pure fantasy. His natural curiosity has become a strictly personal concern, and the only thing he has left is his attachments. \"On the other hand, the warrior's solitude is like a lovers' retreat, a place for those who seek a remote niche to write poems to their love. And the warrior's love is everywhere, because it is this Earth, where he will wander for such a brief time. So, wherever he goes, the warrior surrenders to his romance. Naturally, he will sometimes avoid dealing with the world; inner silence is solitary.\" Carlos went on to say that the sorcerers of antiquity used power plants to stop the internal dialogue. But today's warriors prefer less risky and more controlled conditions. \"The same results produced by power plants can be obtained when we are up against the wall. Facing extreme situations, like danger, fear, sensorial saturation, and aggression, something in us reacts and takes control: the mind becomes alert and automatically suspends its chatter. Deliberately creating that situation is called stalking. \"However, the favorite method of warriors is recapitulation. Recapitulation stops the mind in a natural way. \"The main detonators of our thoughts are pending matters, expectations, and defense of the ego. It is very difficult to find a person whose internal dialogue is sincere; usually, we hide our frustrations and go to the opposite extreme: The content of our mind turns into an ode to 'me'. \"To recapitulate puts an end to all that. After a time of sustained effort, something crystallizes there inside. The habitual dialogue becomes incoherent, uncomfortable; the only remedy is to stop it. \"An apprentice in this phase will normally find himself facing a gross-fire. On the one hand is the homogenization of his Assemblage point; and on the other, some enormous parentheses of silence which strain through his mind, breaking it into fragments. \"When the inertia of the internal dialogue is broken, the world is made over and becomes new. The wave of energy feels like an unbearable vacuum opening under his feet. Because of this, a warrior may spend years in an unstable state of mind. The only thing that comforts him in such a situation is to keep the purpose of his path clear to himself, and not lose, under any circumstances, his perspective of freedom. An impeccable warrior never loses his sanity. \"If, when applying some of these techniques, warriors feel that their minds shiver, and a voice that is not the habitual one begins to whisper things to them, that is normal and they should not be scared. They are not going mad, they are entering into the consensus of sorcerers.\" They asked him if moving the assemblage point also attracts silence. He answered: \"It is the opposite. Inner silence induces displacements of the assemblage point, and these displacements are cumulative. Once a certain threshold is reached, silence can move the point a great distance by itself, but not before.\" He explained that the force of collective consent creates a certain inertia that varies from person to person, according to their energetic characteristics. Resistance to the
40. world's description can vary from some seconds to one hour, or more, but it is not eternal. To conquer it by means of a sustained intent is what sorcerers call 'arriving at the threshold of silence.' \"That rupture is felt physically, as a crack in the base of the skull or as the sound of a bell. From that starting point, it becomes a matter of how much power has been accumulated. \"There are those who have stopped their dialogue for some seconds and immediately get scared, begin to wonder about things or describe what they feel to themselves. Others learn how to remain in that state for hours or days, and they even use it for useful activities. For example, there you have my books; on Don Juan's demand, I have written them from a basic state of silence. But experienced sorcerers go even further than that: They can enter the other world in a definite form. \"I met a warrior who lived there almost permanently. When I asked him something, he answered by telling me what he was seeing, without caring if that answer was coherent with my question. He lived beyond my syntax. From my apprentice point of view, of course he was crazy I \"In spite of its indefinable nature, we can measure silence through its results. Its final effect, the one that sorcerers look for with avidity, is that it brings us in tune with a magnificent dimension of our being, where we have access to an instantaneous and total knowledge that is not composed of reasons, but of certainties. Old traditions describe that state as 'the kingdom of Heaven', but sorcerers prefer to give it a less personal name: Silent knowledge. \"You can say that a man who controls silence has cleansed his bond with the spirit, and power rains down on him in streams. A snap of the fingers, pow!, and the world is another. Don Juan referred to that state as 'the deadly somersault of thought1, because we begin in the everyday world, but we never return there again.\" The strange power of fascination that Carlos' talks had on me, made the mere idea of missing one of those encounters unbearably painful. I. remarked on it once, and he responded: \"You are already hooked! Don Juan always incited everyone who surrounded him to have a romance with knowledge.\" I asked him what he meant. He explained: \"It is the pure desire to know, not to feel apathy, to be vividly interested in what the spirit comes to tell you, without expecting anything from it. Having a passionate romance with knowledge is the only thing that can give us the power we need not to falter, when signs are pointing in the direction of the unknown. \"When his path no longer corresponds to human expectations, when it takes him to situations that challenge his reason, then we can say that a warrior has begun an intimate relationship with knowledge. \"You have had extraordinary luck silencing your mind for a moment and allowing power to point you out. But that is not enough; now you have to adjust yourself to its message, so
41. that your life becomes the life of a warrior. From now on, your work will consist on cultivating an honest and clean bond with infinity.\" PART II WARRIORS' DIALOGUE Conceptual Saturation I once told Carlos once how difficult it was for me to understand the postulates of sorcery, and asked him for some definitions which could guide my rationality. But he told me that this was neither possible nor useful, since he didn't live in a reality of ordinary consensus. \"Not even I understand myself,\" he assured me with absolute seriousness. He maintained that 'to comprehend' is to fix our attention on a specific point, from where things can be explained. The more accepted that point is by people in general, the truer we find it. \"But the universe is not reasonable, its essence is beyond all description. Security and common sense are islands floating around in a bottomless sea, and we only cling to them out of fear. \"If you continue on the path of knowledge, you will soon discover that explanations are placebos, since they never fulfill what they promise. For each thing they clarify, they generate a trail of contradictions. In fact, we never understand anything; true teaching is physical and we only get it after years of fighting. That is the nature of the lessons of the nagual. \"However, sorcerers have found that it is possible to understand things without reasoning them out, and that has led them to practice. An hour of practice can sweep years of
42. explanations off the table, and real results appear, results that stay with you forever. As you turn yourself into a witness of power, the obsessive pressure of your mind to be in charge will be cancelled out, and in its place the childlike spirit of adventure and discovery will be reborn in you. In that state you don't think anymore, you act.\" Then he asked me to what extent my interest in the knowledge of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico was honest. I assured him that there could be no doubts about my sincerity, and that I was willing to make any effort, except to transgress my principles concerning honesty and charity. He shook my hand effusively. \"You are the ideal candidate!\" he exclaimed, I don't know whether he was joking or sincere. To my surprise, he stated that my principles - which were not mine, but those of any intelligent and normal person - were a very good base to work from. \"They are your basic materials. But now you have to transform them into an unbending intent, because as long as they just remain 'good intentions', they won't serve you in any way.\" After a pause, he added: \"I can help you to elucidate the beliefs of the seers of ancient Mexico by means of a combination of studies and experiences.\" Interpreting my silence as agreement, he continued by describing an action program that I should incorporate in my daily life, based on three points stopping my internal dialogue with the help of pure intent, compacting my energy by means of rearranging my way of life, and loosening the bounds of my mind in order to dream. He said the program was designed to help me loosen a little the collective fixations, and encourage me to enter into a practical commitment with the postulates of sorcerers. I accepted his proposal and prepared to listen. But Carlos was anything but a good instructor. When I read his books, at least I had the opportunity to pause, to reread a sentence or to leave everything for later. But when I was right there beside him, his impatience and his uncontainable torrent of words overwhelmed me. Also, he gave the impression that he was avoiding, in every possible way, establishing a human relationship. When I pointed out to him that his method didn't work, he told me that it was a deliberate hunting strategy. Apparently, he was stalking the routines of my mind through what he called 'conceptual saturation.' I asked him what he meant by that, and he explained: \"Reason becomes saturated when you give to it too much content to work with. Don Juan used to say that strange concepts, like those sorcerers deal with, should be repeated to the point of fatigue. That way, they gain a definite place in our awareness, burdened by the weight of so many trivial matters. \"What scares us in front of a sorcerers' lesson is thatt even if we don't want to, we are constantly evaluating everything that comes to us. When the object of that analysis is an irrational proposition, it requires a lot of power to avoid prejudice. \"If
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|Oggetto: Re: Encounters with the Nagual, part 1 - Document Transcript Lun 19 Apr 2010 - 15:11|| |
you want to know the magical side of the world, be implacable with your reason. Don't let it make itself comfortable; take your rational thoughts to their limit, to the point
43. of rupture. Under such circumstances, your mind will only have two options: to impose itself, forcing you to abandon the apprenticeship, or to be quiet, leaving you alone.\" An Inventory Of Beliefs \"How is your recapitulation going?\" His question caught me unaware. I answered that I had still not tried the exercise, because I was waiting for conditions at home to be favorable. He gave me a very serious, almost reproachful look and commented that, for sorcerers, the totality of a path can be summed up in its first step. \"That means that the ideal conditions are here and now.\" Softening the tone of his voice, he granted: \"It happens to everyone at first. To observe our life is an agitating exercise, because to get to the bottom of things scares us, and it is easy to postpone it from one day to the next. But, if we insist, after a time of scrutiny we begin to discover that what we always found to be obvious and correct ways of thinking are in fact implanted beliefs. \"The ideas we become addicted to are made up of the densest matter in our mental contamination. In general, they all start from a defect of syntax. If the way we speak changes, they stop making sense and are substituted by new ideas. That's why there are so many belief systems in the world. \"From the center of silent knowledge we all know that, that's why we are so rarely willing to practice our beliefs. We can spend a lifetime speaking of loving our fellow man, or turning the other cheek, but who dares to actually do it? There you have the wars for religion motives, where people are killed because of the peculiar way they pronounce God's name. \"Sorcerers know that beliefs based on ideas are false.\" He explained to me that the starting point of our convictions is usually something that someone told us in an imperative or persuasive tone when we were children, before we had our own inventory of experiences for comparison. Or it is one of the effects of the massive and subliminal propaganda to which modern man is subjected. Frequently, they come from a sudden and deep emotional outburst, like that suffered by those who allow themselves to be swept away by religious hysteria. That modality of belief is merely associative. \"At the core of each one of our actions, customs, or reactions, there is a hidden belief. Therefore, the initial task on the path of knowledge is to make an inventory of all those things we have placed our faith in.\" He suggested that I dedicate a new notebook to that exercise, where I should write down all my beliefs. He assured me that this practice would help to make a map of my motivations and attachments. \"In each case,\" he said, \"you should look for the source of your beliefs, and make a profound analysis of each one. Determine when and why it arose, what was there before
44. that, how you felt, and how much your faith has changed over the years. The intention is not to justify anything, but rather simply to get things clear. This exercise is called 'stalking the believer'.\" He predicted that the result of the practice would be to liberate me of my second-hand convictions, and emphasized that in the world of sorcerers, only direct experimentation is valid. Believing Without Believing I accepted the exercise because I found it inoffensive. For a couple of weeks, I was devoted to classifying everything with which I felt mentally identified. I hoped my inventory would be simple and clear, but I was soon surprised to find that an endless list of thought patterns appeared, sometimes not very coherent in relation to each other. For example, one of my beliefs was that only when something can be proven and demonstrated can it be called 'certain'. At the same time, another of my beliefs was that a supreme reality, a divine being beyond all experimentation, exists. No matter how much I tried, I could not resolve that contradiction. In the field of non-beliefs I also had my surprises. The most unpleasant was to discover the way a simple suggestion had blocked an enormous area of possibilities for me. When I began to investigate why it was not honestly possible for me to accept Carlos' statements regarding how, through dreams, you can access other real and complete worlds, I remembered that when I was a child and had a nightmare, my mother used to repeat the refrain of a children's story which said: \"Dreams are just dreams.\" When we met again, I gave him a superficial account of the results of my investigations. Carlos told me that it was enough; there was already sufficient material to attack the second part of the exercise. Then he suggested that I select the most important one of my beliefs, which served as a base to all the other ones, and stop believing it for a moment. I should do this with each one of them, according to their degree of importance. \"I assure you that it is not difficult!\" he added, seeing my bewildered face. \"And above all, it won't harm your faith. Remember, it is only an exercise.\" I protested. In a decisive tone, I told him that the basis of my principles was my certainty that God exists, and that I was not willing to question it or even analyze that point. \"It is not true!\" he screamed. \"Your most ingrained conviction is that you are sinful and for that reason you are justified! You can make mistakes, squander your energy, and give in to anger, lasciviousness, whims and fear; after all, you are human, and God always forgives you! \"Don't fool yourself. Either you choose your belief, or it chooses you. In the first case, it is authentic, it is your ally, it sustains you, and it allows you to manipulate it at will. In the second case, it is an imposition and not worthwhile.\"
45. I replied that the exercise that he proposed - treating my faith as casually as a man changing his shirt - was not only blasphemous and mercenary, but the practice would probably end up throwing me into a state of internal confusion. He observed: \"You don't have to be clear to enter the world of sorcerers! \"Our idea that truth goes hand-in-hand with clarity is a trap, because the spirit is too inaccessible to be understood with our fragile human mind. As you well know, the essence of religion is not clarity, but faith. But faith is worth nothing in comparison with experience! \"Sorcerers are practical; from their point of view, what we believe or stop believing is absolutely irrelevant. The stories that we tell ourselves don't matter in the least; what matters is the spirit. When there's power, the content of the mind is something secondary. A sorcerer can be an atheist or a believer, Buddhist, Muslim or Christian, and yet cultivate impeccability - which automatically brings him to power.\" His words irritated me beyond reason. When I realized it, I was surprised to find how deeply the Catholic doctrines I learned during my childhood had penetrated. Now that Carlos questioned them, it felt as if he was unfairly robbing me of something very valuable. He noticed my dilemma and began to laugh. \"Don't confuse things,\" he told me. \"Religions are not remedies, but consequences of the pitiful state of awareness man is in. They are replete with good intentions, but very few people are prepared to fulfill them. If their commitment meant anything of real value, the world would be full of saints, not sinners! \"The moment ideologies - including nagualism - become widespread, they become cultural mafias, schools to make people sleepy. No matter how subtle their postulates are, and no matter how much they try to validate them with personal corroboration, they end up conditioning our actions according to some form of reward or punishment, and by doing that, they pervert the very essence of the search. If the pillar of my faith is a salary, what merit does it have? \"Sorcerers love the purity of the abstract. For them, the value of the path with heart is not so much where it takes us but how intensely we enjoy it. Faith certainly has value in an ordinary life, but it is useless against death. Our only hope when facing the inevitable is the warrior's path. \"Sorcerers call the ability to manipulate their mental attachments ' believing without believing'. They have perfected that art to the point where they can identify sincerely with any idea, live it, love it, and discard it if it comes to that, without remorse. And inside that freedom of choice, they ask sorcerers' questions. For example, why accept myself as a sinner, if I can be impeccable?\" After some resistance, I agreed with Carlos that there could not be anything wrong with subjecting my beliefs to a shake. What I found to be the main effect of the technique of \"believing without believing,\" was that it showed how incredibly fragile my catalog of ideas was. It was prone to disintegrate at the slightest blow. I understood why Don Juan claimed that the world we live in is a magic fabric, the magic of 'the first ring of power'.
46. Practicing Silence As a base for inner silence, Carlos suggested that I fight against what he called my 'domestic condition'; that is, my membership in a social group. He referred to it as a first step toward freedom. \"To put our interactions on trial means to analyze all over again a heap of things we have always considered as facts, beginning with our sexual role, and ending with family obligations and the religious and civic commitments we usually involve ourselves in. The purpose is not to judge or to subvert anything, but to observe. Observing, in itself, has an effect on things.\" I asked him to explain how the passive act of witnessing can modify anything. He answered that attention, however tenuous, is never passive, because it is made from the same matter which makes up the universe. Even the mere act of exercising the attention implies an energy transfer. \"It is like the velocity which when being applied to an object, adds mass to it. Likewise, the focus of attention adds reality to things, and that reality has a limit. Beyond that limit, the world we know disintegrates. \"The secret of the sorcerers' marvels is the channeling of attention. It doesn't matter how they apply it, for good or for bad; what changes is the intention, not the force of the focus. For new seers, the magic of sorcery is not in its results, but in the ways we get to them. Therefore, your best intent as an apprentice is to silence your mind.\" When I returned to see him I admitted that, although I had spent much time trying to follow his advice, I didn't notice any substantial advance in my struggle to achieve inner silence. On the contrary, I had noticed that my thoughts were more agitated and more confused than ever. He explained that this sensation is a normal consequence of the practice. \"Like all beginners, you are trying to classify silence like another element in your inventory of beliefs. \"The objective of your inventory was to make you aware of the weight of our prejudices. We use almost all our available energy on maintaining an image of the world, and we do it by means of conscious or unconscious suggestions.
47. When an apprentice is liberated from that jail, he has the sensation that he has had fallen into an ocean of peace and silence. It doesn't matter if he speaks, sings, cries, or meditates, that sensation remains. \"In the first stages of the path, it's very difficult to handle silence as a practice, because as soon as we detect an absence of thoughts, a mischievous little voice congratulates us for it. And that automatically breaks the state. \"The problem happens because you confuse the objective of sorcerers with an ideal. The concept of 'silence' is too delicate for a mind like yours, accustomed to classifications. It is obvious that you have thought about the exercise in auditory terms, as a lack of sound. But that's not what it is about. \"What sorcerers want is something simpler. They try to resist the suggestions, and that's all. If you are able to make yourself the owner of your mind, and to think properly, without prejudice or false convictions, you will be able to cancel out the domesticated part of your nature, a supreme achievement. Otherwise, you will not even understand what the exercise is about. \"Once we learn how to prevent them, without being offended by them nor giving them any kind of attention, the commands of the mind will stay in our interior for some time, but eventually they will leave. So it is not a question of getting rid of them, but rather killing them with boredom. \"To reach that state, you have to rattle your inventory of ideas. I asked you to begin with your beliefs, but it would have worked equally well if, for example, you had listed all your relationships and affections, or the most attractive elements in your personal history, or your- hopes, goals, and concerns,. or your likes, preferences, and aversions. The important thing is that you become aware of your thought patterns. \"The magic of all inventories is based in the order of its components. When we rattle that order, when it lacks some of the pieces that we gave it, the whole pattern begins to crumble. This is the way it is with routines of the mind; you change one parameter - suddenly there is an open door where it should be a wall - and that changes everything. The mind trembles! \"That is what you have been experiencing as an extraordinary activation of your interior dialogue. You didn't even notice it before, but now you know it is there. Some day that presence will be so heavy that you will do something about it. That day you will stop being an ordinary man and will become a sorcerer.\" The Minimal Chance In a lecture in which he was explaining to us various methods naguals used to help their apprentices, one of the present, interrupting him, threw this at him: \"Carlos, you always say that without the nagual there is no freedom, but that's because you had a teacher! What can we do, those of us who weren't so lucky?\"
48. He exploded: \"It is not true, you have all the information you need! What more do you want? Do you hope to get everything for free, without any effort? If you believe that somebody else will do the work for you, you are fucked up!\" In a reproachful tone, he made fun of the human laziness which makes us hope that others will do things and give us the greatest possible advantage. He called this 'the antithesis of a warrior's behavior.\" \"All that a man needs is the minimal chance: To be made aware of the possibilities discovered by sorcerers. A warrior doesn't go around hoping they will come and kick him in the butt to make him move; he is ahead and he says: 'I can do it! And I can do it alone!'\" There Is No Need For Teachers Another time, I asked him: \"Carlos, what determines an ordinary man's access to the sorcerers' knowledge?\" \"Intent,\" he answered. \"Man's intent has to make an offer to the spirit, and spirit must accept it, putting the means of evolution in his path. In other times, the only available way was to be directly pointed out to a nagual. Nowadays, an ordinary man has the opportunity to be guided through publications. \"When seeking access to the world of sorcerers, one must be prepared. An accidental encounter with power won't lead to anything, except to a brutal fright for the seeker who, from then on, will swear that sorcery is demon's work, or that everything is sheer falsehood. \"But a poorly conducted preparation, one which foments self- importance instead of increasing wonder and a desire to learn, becomes a near total obstacle for the apprentice. One who comes to the nagual saturated with beliefs on almost everything won't get the chance to continue. \"Therefore, the next requirement before entering the path of knowledge is a profound honesty. It is necessary to empty the harbor to make room for the new ship arriving, and to recognize that when it comes down to it, we don't know anything. Once that degree of preparation has been reached, the rest is a matter of luck. The spirit determines who will be chosen and who won't. \"The answer of the spirit is inscrutable. It happens in unexpected ways and in terms that are almost always incomprehensible to our reason. All we can do is be attentive to the
49. signs, placing ourselves deliberately in their path. When man's intent seals an alliance with the spirit, it is unavoidable that the teacher appears.\" I asked him if the nagual could be considered a teacher in the same way as the oriental instructors. He answered emphatically: \"No! There is no comparison for a very simple reason: A nagual never chooses his apprentices. The spirit is the one who determines through omens who can and who can't be part of a lineage. \"A real teacher is an impeccable warrior who has lost his human form and has a very clear bond with the abstract. So, he doesn't accept volunteers. \"Education systems based on the seeker's spontaneous desire don't get very far, because they are not geared towards realization, but towards the concerns of the ego. All the followers do is to imitate and that doesn't lead anywhere. Therefore, there is no need for teachers. \"After years of learning, I am convinced that all a seeker needs is the opportunity to be made aware of his possibilities, and a commitment to the death with his purpose.\" I observed that his statements were contradicting his repeated statements about how, without Don Juan, he would not have achieved anything. He replied: \"Sorcerers make a clear distinction between the concepts of 'spiritual guide' and 'nagual teacher1. The first is an individual who specializes in directing flocks, and the other is an impeccable warrior who knows that his role is limited to serving as a connection with the spirit. The first one will tell you what you want to hear and he will give you the miracles that you want to see, because you interest him as an acolyte; while the second will be guided by commands of an impersonal power. His help is not altruistic, but a way of paying his old debt with the spirit of man. \"The nagual is not a benevolent type; he doesn't come to please us, but to wake us up, and he will do it with a stick if necessary, because he doesn't feel any compassion. When intervening in the life of his apprentices, he can produce a condition of such agitation in them that their latent energies are activated.\" To Know Oneself The conversation turned to the tendency that human beings have of behaving in imitative ways, something that he categorized as
50. 'the behavior of primates.\" \"Our great opportunity and at the same time our great anxiety, is an abyss of silent knowledge which is still inside each one of us. Below the noise of the mind, we all have the sensation that there is something indefinite, something that makes us grab anything which will alleviate this pressure of the unknown. Frequently, that feeling takes us to fanaticism, and there are always those willing to profit from other people's faith.\" \"Are all teachers frauds, then?\" \"What I have seen is that most of them are as asleep as their followers, but they have learned how to hide it. Imagine a planet where all the residents are blind; among them circulates the myth that it is possible to see, but no one has verified it. One day someone arrives and says: 'I can see!' What can they do? Either believe, or not believe, and there will always be some who hope. It doesn't matter if the teacher is also blind; it's very easy for him to take advantage of the situation. \"The Eagle doesn't demand that you revere it, only that you fill yourself with awareness. To fall on your knees before the unknown is totally useless, but to do it before another human being is the pinnacle of idiocy. \"The ape that we have inside yearns to have someone to guide him, he needs to believe that there are superior entities who can magically solve his problems. As children, we are always hoping that somebody will show up and take care of the situation. From this, cults are born that, in essence, are ways of leaving the responsibility for one's own growth in other people's hands. \"We have been deceived. We have been told that we are special because we are rational, but that is not true. The human being wants desperately to obey, and dies from fear when his valuable beliefs are removed. We are like the fish that clean fish tanks, always with the mouth open, devouring any debris that is thrown to us. Meanwhile, we ignore the source of life and knowledge that we have inside. \"I am going to tell you a very old and well-known, but always new story. The gods were wondering where to hide wisdom, to get it out of man's reach. In the mountains? He would climb them. In the ocean? He would find it. Space, the moon and stars were equally discarded; some day they would be explored. Finally, the gods came to the conclusion that the best place to hide it was inside man, because that's one place he will never look for it. \"And what did man do? Instead of examining himself with total honesty, he looked for a teacher. \"To become responsible for one's own existence is an anomaly, a violation of laws, a state of passion out of the ordinary, a fight that demands your entire life. It is the only procedure that will renew our energy. I don't know if you will be able to understand this detail: To know yourself is an intent of warriors. Nobody can intend it for you!\"
51. Power Plants A man was sitting on a bench, almost hidden behind a newspaper stand. I noticed him, but in such a subconscious way that I had walked some twenty meters past him before it struck me. I turned; the man looked at me smiling. It was Carlos. He hugged me effusively and remarked that an encounter of that nature had to be taken as an omen. \"Now, I am all yours,\" he exclaimed. \"Ask!\" I saw my opportunity. In various conversations, Carlos had categorically stated that hallucinogenic plants are not advisable for a seeker of knowledge. However, in his first books he had written exactly the opposite, and he even gave extensive exercises on their use, presenting himself as an example of the power of those plants. This was a matter that interested me intensely, I had never experienced in my own body the incredible forms of perception that he described and I felt a great curiosity. So, taking advantage of his good mood, I asked him to clear up the contradiction. When he heard my question, his enthusiasm cooled down. The topic seemed to affect him deeply. After a few seconds of reflection he told me that a sign from the spirit had determined the change in his perspective. \"In 1971, after publishing my second book, I received an uncomfortable visit. United States government agents came to one of my presentations and they informed me that I was becoming an idol of juvenile drug addicts, and that they would expel me from the country unless I modified my attitude. \"At first I didn't see any reason to concern myself with these threats. But later I investigated a little, and the situation made an impression on me. Many students were taking Don Juan's teachings as an academic permission to get high. My name was mentioned everywhere as an authority on drugs. But I didn't want to be the patron saint of anything! \"I took my dilemma to Don Juan, who laughed at the whole thing and told me that a principle of stalkers is not to confront anybody, and certainly not people more powerful than themselves. 'You have blundered in among the hooves of horses, and you have to get yourself out of there. I suggest you take care of your learning; the rest, what does it matter?' That advice made me decide to have a more cautious-attitude in my next publications. \"Personally, I neither approve nor disapprove of anything, since I am not one to judge in the matter and, also, my learning was a result of such techniques. However, in public I cannot encourage use of the plants, because my books are read by all kinds of people and everyone interprets them in their own way.
52. \"Without qualified supervision, power plants can produce regrettable results, since they move the assemblage point abruptly and erratically, and in the long term, they take their toll on a person's health and sanity, and sometimes they will take a practitioner's life. On one occasion, they warned me that the father of a student was looking for me with a gun to kill me, because he blamed me for his son's death after experimenting with drugs. \"It is a very delicate matter, all this about power plants. Jf you want to understand it, you have to abandon the folkloric vision that almost everybody has of sorcerers. True Toltec warriors are not fanatical about dope or about anything else; their behavior is strictly dictated by impeccability. \"I have already explained to you that Don Juan only used plants with me in the beginning of my apprenticeship, and only because I was exceptionally fixed in my routines. The more obstinate I got, the more plants he gave me. In that way he was able to loosen my assemblage point the minimum necessary for me to grasp the premises of his teachings. However, in spite of his careful conduct, it had a high cost for me and it's one of the main reasons why today my health is so deteriorated. \"Power plants have a limit and a sorcerer finds it very soon. They are an initial stimulus, but they cannot become a base to work from, because they don't have the capacity to take us to complete worlds, which is what a seer looks for.\" \"Do you mean that the movement they induce in the assemblage point is not sufficiently great?\" \"It's the opposite, they produce a deep and unpredictable shake. A real sorcerer can manage that, but not an apprentice. If he uses them to break his perceptual limits, the beginner will be tempted to classify everything he is witnessing as hallucinations; after all, everything started from a plant! In that way, he will never reach the degree of commitment needed to fix his assemblage point in a new position. Plants take you quickly and easily to another world, but they don't allow you to stalk it; that is their limitation. \"The best way of deploying our perception is through dreaming. As a method, dreaming is just as simple but less risky, more comprehensive and, above all, much more natural. \"The goal of an apprentice is to take the reins of his assemblage point. Once he is able to displace it, he has to repeat those movements without external help, by force of discipline and impeccability. Then we can say the warrior has found an ally.\" The Trap Of Fixation In one of his lectures, Carlos explained that nothing is as fragile as the fixation of the assemblage point. He maintained that the art of agreeing is so special that we spend twenty years of daily training to achieve it. Those who do achieve it, we call 'adults', and those who don't are 'crazy'. \"However, nothing is easier for us than moving to new universes. To do it, we just have to return to what we were.\"
53. He explained that the fixation of the assemblage point consumes enormous quantities of energy, and produces a static vision of the world. The energy used in that way is dispersed all through our luminosity and it winds up crammed in along its borders, where it forms dense masses that create a reflection of the self. Under these circumstances, to change the fixation becomes an exhausting task. \"To break the trap of fixation, one should try any recourse. In most cases, only a push coming from the outside can cause the movement of a person's assemblage point. When we have a great, great deal of luck, we receive that push through the blow of a nagual. \"Once the initial displacement is achieved, the warrior should fight for control of his attention, by means of exercises of intent and practicing dreaming. Dreaming is the escape door for the human race, and it is the only thing that can give our existence its appropriate dimension.\" Dreaming And Awakening Carlos had a great ability to turn conversations towards the practical side of things. In spite of the extraordinary sharpness of his intellect, he hated it if conversations sank to the level of mere speculations. I often watched how he in an ingenious but firm manner would unravel the argumentation of the most rigid speakers, confronting them with the topic of results. In my case, his method for silencing my attacks of rationality consisted of reducing everything to an immediate proposition and, according to him, something not very difficult: The control of dreams. However, for me dreaming was the hardest aspect of his teaching. First, because I could not distinguish the concept of 'dreaming' from ordinary dreams, which are two totally different things for a sorcerer. Second, because the idea of focusing my attention on sleeping instead of on awakening was contrary to everything that I had learned in my philosophical search. Both these considerations very quickly made me avoid dreaming, without ever accepting it as an authentic and reachable possibility. Whenever I listened to him talking about it, I was filled with apprehension. And I justified all this by saying to myself that such an irrational topic wasn't even worth the pain of trying to analyze it. That afternoon he asked how my practice was going. I admitted that my prejudices had prevented me from making a serious decision and, not surprisingly, I had not obtained any positive result. He commented: \"Maybe you just haven't been lucky. My teacher said that each human being brings his basic inclination with him at birth. Not everybody can be a good dreamer, some find stalking easier. The important thing is that you insist.\"
54. But his words didn't console me. I began explaining to him that my incredulity seemed to be the result of some mental block, implanted in my earliest childhood. He didn't allow me to finish. Making an imperative gesture with his hand, he replied: \"You have not done enough. If you promise yourself that you will not eat, or pronounce a single word, until you dream, you will see what happens! Something in your interior becomes soft, the dialogue gives in and... kaboom! \"Keep in mind that, for you, dreaming is not just an option, it's something basic. If you don't accomplish it, you cannot continue on the path.\" Alarmed by his words, I asked: \"But what do I have to do to achieve it?\" \"You must want to do it!\" he answered. \"It is as simple as that. You are exaggerating the difficulty of this exercise. Dreaming is open to everybody, because to start, it barely requires the minimum of deliberation that is necessary to learn how to type or to drive a car.\" I commented that it was very difficult for me to understand how the handling of dreams could take us to internal awakening. He observed: \"You are confused by the words. When sorcerers speak of dreaming and awakening, the terms don't have anything to do with the physical states you know. I don't have any choice but to use your language, because otherwise you would not understand me at all. But if you don't do your part, and put aside everyday meanings and try to penetrate the meaning of what I'm telling you, you will never get out of this state of mistrust. \"I can only guarantee you that, once you discard the laziness that prevents you from facing the challenge, and attack dreaming directly and without hesitations, your mental mess will clear up by itself.\" I apologized for my stubbornness and asked him to elucidate the meaning of dreaming once more. Instead of getting involved in a theoretical explanation, which was what I wanted, Carlos gave me an illustration. \"Imagine a confirmed believer, one of those who cannot do anything without requesting permission from his god beforehand. Once he falls asleep, what happens with his convictions, where
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do they go?\" I didn't know what to answer. He continued: \"They turn off, like the flame of a candle in the wind. When you dream, you are not the owner of yourself. Your visions are isolated bubbles, without connections to each other and without memory of the self. Of course, the force of habit will almost always take you to dreams where you are yourself, but you might be brave or a coward, young or old, man or woman. Truly, you are only an assemblage point which moves at random, nothing personal. \"For the ordinary man, the difference between being awake and dreaming is that in the first state his attention flows with continuity, and in the second it flows in a disordered manner; but in both experiences, the degree of participation from the will is minimal. A person will wake up in the place where, as always, he puts on his personality like a shirt and goes out to fulfill his routine tasks. Upon falling asleep, gets disconnected again, because he doesn't know he can do something else.
55. \"The everyday wakefulness doesn't leave us room to stop and wonder if this world that we are perceiving now is as real as it seems. And the same thing must be said of any ordinary dream; while it lasts, we accept it as an unquestionable fact, we never judge it; or, to put it in more practical terms, we never intend to remember, while inside the dream, some command or agreement made while awake. \"But there is another way of directing attention, and the result of that can neither be called 'dreaming' nor 'awake', because it starts from a deliberate use of intent. What happens there is that we take charge of our awareness, and it is the same whether we are sleeping or awake, because it is something that transcends both states. That is the true awakening, to take charge of our attention! \"The Toltec teachings emphasize dreaming. It doesn't matter how it is described, the result is that the perceptive chaos of an ordinary dream is transformed into a practical space, where we can act intelligently.\" \"A practical space?\" \"That's right. A dreamer can remember himself under any circumstance. He always has a password on hand, a pact he has made with his will, which lets him align with the warrior's intent in a microsecond. He can sustain the vision of his dream, whatever it may be, and return to it as many times as he wants, to explore and analyze it. And better still, within that vision, he can meet other warriors; that is what sorcerers call 'stalking in dreaming'. \"This technique allows us to intend objectives and pursue actions, just as we do in the daily world. We can solve problems and learn things. What you learn there is coherent; it works. Maybe you cannot explain how you received that knowledge, but you won't forget it.\" I asked him what kind of knowledge he was talking about. He answered: \"Life is learned by living it. The same happens in dreams, but there we learn how to dream. But those on the path sometimes hit upon other abilities. Don Juan, for example, used to use his dreaming body to look for hidden treasures, buried things from the war. The products of those operations were invested in various things, like petroleum, plantations of tobacco...\" My face must have shown the mixture of astonishment and incredulity I felt, because he exclaimed: \"It is not so extraordinary! We can all carry out similar feats; it is not even difficult to understand how it happens! Imagine somebody teaches you a new language while you sleep; the result is that you learn that language and you can remember it when you wake up. In the same way, if you witness something in that state, like a lost object or an event that is happening somewhere else, you can go and verify it later; if it is just as you dreamt it, then it was a dream. \"Learning in dreaming is a resource much used by sorcerers. I learned much about plants in that way and I still remember all of it. \"Don't underestimate your resources. Everything the spirit has put inside us has a transcendent meaning. It means dreams are there to be used; if it were not so, they would not exist. The techniques I have described to you are not speculations; I have personally checked them out. The art of dreaming is my message to people, but nobody pays any attention!\"
56. When I heard the sad tone of this last observation, I was suddenly struck by the unbearable timidity of my imagination. For years and years, without fail, he had encouraged us to expand our vision, not out of any selfish concern on his part, but for the sheer pleasure of transmitting to us his superior state of awareness. And here I was, wallowing in my second-hand beliefs and my habitual doubts! I wanted to be on his side in the world. I got up from the bench with the intention of shaking his hand to show my gratitude. I was about to promise him something, but he stopped me. \"Better don't say anything, don't waste your time! Maybe it's not your destiny to be a brilliant flying warrior, but you don't have any excuses. Like everyone, you too are splendidly equipped for dreaming. If you don't get it, it is because you don't want to.\" The Door Of Perception In another of his conversations, he explained that any state of awareness that involves an unusual position of the assemblage point is technically a dream. He said that the advantage of dreams over everyday states of attention, is that they allow us to cover a wider sensory spectrum, and to better synthesize the information we receive. In other words, we learn how to live with more intensity. The result: Greater clarity in our perceptual processes. \"Above all,\" he said, \"dreaming gives us access to critical events in our past, such as our birth and early childhood, and it illuminates traumatic situations and altered states of awareness in our past. A sorcerer cannot leave aside his most harrowing experiences!\" Towards the end of his lecture he gave a definition that I considered very important, because he touched on what I felt was a sensitive topic. He said: \"Dreaming is not something impossible, it is just a kind of deep meditation.\" For years, I had been doing some spiritual exercises called 'meditation'. These practices were quite different from what Carlos was proposing, both regarding their form and their results. As soon as I had an opportunity, I asked him to clarify the distinctions between the concept of dreaming, and meditation. He answered: \"What you're asking is difficult, because there is no way of meditating without dreaming, both terms describe the same phenomenon.\" \"Then why haven't my exercises produced any of the things you talk about?\"
57. \"You had belter answer that yourself. In my opinion, what you have practiced up to now has not been meditation, but some kind of autosuggestion. It is common for people to confuse both things that, for a sorcerer, are not the same. \"Pacifying the mind is not meditation, but drowsiness. On the other hand, dreaming is something dynamic; it is the consequence of a process of sustained concentration, which implies a veritable battle against our lack of attention. If it were just the result of a dulling of the senses, practitioners would not call themselves 'warriors'. \"A dreamer can be the very incarnation of ferocity or seem profoundly calm, but none of that has any real importance, because he does not identify himself with his mental states. He knows that any definite sensation is nothing but a fixation of the assemblage point. \"Dreaming happens when we achieve a certain balance in our daily life, and only after silencing the internal dialogue. The term 'dreaming' is not the most appropriate to describe an exercise of awareness which has nothing to do with the content of the mind. I use it out of respect for the tradition of my lineage, but the ancient seers called it something else. \"Expert sorcerers dream, starting from their state of vigil as easily as from sleeping, because for them is not about to close the eyes and snore, but to witness other worlds which are out there. \"From the point of view of the will, what distinguishes a dream from the daytime vigil of a sorcerer, is that the energy body obeys other laws, he can carry out incredible feats like passing through a wall or moving to the ends of the universe in the blink of an eye. Such experiences are complete and accumulative, and only somebody who has not lived them himself would cling to logical categories to explain them. \"But that kind of manifestations, however valuable, are not the objective of dreaming. To dream is essential for you, because access to the nagual happens almost exclusively in that state.\" I asked him why this was so. He answered: \"The reason is evident. People who have a natural tendency to dream, and a surplus of energy, qualify to find other, more advanced dreamers, either accidentally or because they deliberately look for them. Occasionally, these traveling companions accept to take charge of instructing them more deeply in the art. Once an apprentice begins to shine, it is inevitable that he will attract the attention of a nagual. \"Naguals are like Eagles, constantly stalking. As soon as they detect an increment of awareness, they swoop in, because a voluntary dreamer is a rarity. For a teacher, it is much easier to stimulate an effort that has already begun, than creating one from nothing.\" Carlos told me that he maintained contact with many warriors from various parts of the world through dreaming. He went on to say that another reason why dreaming is a door to knowledge, is that its practice allows you to resolve a thousand problems derived from learning, like the lack of clarity and attention in a beginner, his mistrust regarding his instructor's activities, and the intrinsic danger of some of the techniques. \"This art softens the obsessive nature of the emanations of the Eagle, which could otherwise destroy the psychological balance and the will of an apprentice.\"
58. \"Then,\" I asked him, \"what can those of us who don't dream do, in order to gain access to these teachings?\" He seemed bothered by my question. He grunted: \"You have the wrong focus! The true question would be: What should I do to dream? \"A warrior cannot walk around in the world leaving loose ends with every step. If you genuinely cannot consider your dreams a part of your life; if you cannot visualize them as what they are - avenues to power -; if you do not even understand what they are or what purpose they serve; well, then you have a lot of work before you.\" The Dreaming Double \"Within our sphere of perception, there is a force separated from what we call 'oneself, which is detectable through dreaming. That force can be made aware of itself, absorbing the principles of our personality, and behaving with independence. The sensation that dealing with it produces in us is unspeakable, because it is an inorganic being.\" \"Inorganic?\" \"Of course! We call our everyday attention 'organic' because it depends on a body made up of organs, right?\" I agreed. \"Then what would you call the body with which you perceive and act when you dream?\" \"I would say that it is an apparition,\" I answered cautiously. \"I agree! It is an inorganic being; it has appearance, but no mass. For you, it is only a mental projection. However, from that being's point of view, it is our physical body that lives in an imaginary world. If you had the energy and the necessary concentration to become aware of your other self, and you asked that being what it thinks of your everyday world, he would answer that he considers it quite unreal, almost a myth. And, you know what? It would be right! \"Our dreaming body has many uses. It can move in no time to whatever place you want and discover things. It can even be materialized, creating a visual double, something that other people can see, whether they are sleeping or awake. However, it continues being a mere appearance, it does not have any bodily functions. A human being sees it as person, but an animal would see it differently.\" I interrupted him: \"How do you know all that?\" \"It is so simple! I verify it permanently, because my dreaming double receives all my attention. When I want to know something from it or about the world where it moves, I ask it and it tells me. You can also do it; it is not that difficult. You can contact your energy this very night, as soon as you fall asleep.\" \"How?\"
59. \"There are many ways. For example, look for a mirror in your dreams, lean towards it and look yourself in the eyes; you'll see what a surprise awaits you!\" I had read something about the double in his books, but my prejudices prevented me from approaching that matter with an open mind, and in my mind there was a great confusion about concepts like the 'luminous egg' or magnetic field that surrounds living beings, the 'energy body', and the 'dreaming double'. I asked him if they were the same thing or if there was some difference between them. He was surprised by my question. \"But haven't you understood anything? We are speaking of awareness, not of physical objects. Those entities, even the perceptive unit we call 'the physical body', are descriptions of the same thing, because there are not two of you. You are you! You don't 'have' an energy body, you are energy, you are an assemblage point that assembles emanations; and you are only one! You can have various dreams and have a different appearance in each one, either human, animal, or inorganic, or you can even dream that you are several people at the same time, but you cannot fragment your being aware.\" He told me that confusing the description of our various vehicles of awareness with our sense of being is common, particularly for people who have a robust and intellectual internal dialogue. \"Once I went to see an oriental teacher, and our conversation relapsed into dreaming. The man called himself an expert, he showed off to me: 'I have seven dreaming bodies!' Overwhelmed by this revelation, I didn't know what to answer. I admitted: 'Don Juan only taught me one1.\" When he said this, Carlos pulled his head down between his shoulders, as if he was very shy, but was hiding a cynical giggle. I asked: \"So when you speak of the dreaming double and of the energy body, you are talking about the same thing?\" \"Practically. The first one can be reached through dreaming and the second by means of stalking. Or put in another way, the energy body is the dreaming double with voluntary control on the part of the dreamer; but both are one and the same thing. The difference lies in the way one reaches it. \"The ancient sorcerers molded their dreaming by the power of their will, and tried to reproduce the physical body down to the smallest detail. Calling it a 'double' stems from that tradition. The idea makes practical sense, since we are so accustomed to see ourselves in a certain way and only that way. In the beginning, it is very comfortable for the dreamer to consider himself in physical terms. But the new seers say that taking this intent to its furthest consequences is a useless waste, because it forces us to dedicate huge quantities of attention to details that will never have any practical use. They have learned to see ourselves as what we really are, bubbles of light.\" I asked him if, in the classic nagualism of prehispanic people, sorcerers' ability to become animals consisted of trying to see themselves with animal bodies. He looked at me as if saying: \"Elementary!\" \"Dreaming is the deliberate use of the energy body. Energy is plastic, and if you apply a constant pressure to it, it will eventually adopt the form you want. The double is the nagual, the 'other', the stamp of nagualism. When you control it, you are on the road to become whatever you want, from a free being to a beast.
60. \"Of course, to achieve something so specialized as becoming an animal can't just be improvised, there are procedures. The double is managed through the fixation of the assemblage point in new positions. Such a fixation has an obsessive nature, and it should be evoked with sorcerers' methods. For example, if your yearning is to be a hawk and you attempt it with inflexibility, you will end up becoming one! Each one of us will achieve what we look for. That is the trick of the nagual, to manage his obsessions. \"However, you should know that people who focus on objectives that are not exclusively those of freedom and sobriety, become blocked, which can take them to madness, or to the most crass ordinariness. Truly, that is what we all do: We choose to be men, and we are! Any obsession not properly managed means slavery. \"The problem with many naguals of modern Mexico is that they have forgotten the abstract possibilities. There are sorcerers who prefer to become turkeys, and they don't come out of there. What's more, many don't have any idea that they can do something more with their energy than pursue strong sensations and scare others. \"That decadence of the teachings is what moved seers of Don Juan's lineage to attempt freedom in the most impersonal way possible, abandoning all the capricious positions of the assemblage point which they had inherited from their ancestors. The purpose of freedom is absolutely clean and displaces all others. By attempting it, new seers have restored the purity of nagualism.\" I asked him about the enormous effort which is undoubtedly required, in order to prepare a double in the environment of dreaming. He answered: \"For most sorcerers, that effort is the other option, the door to another realm of awareness, an awareness which will allow them, at the proper moment, to intend the definitive step into the third attention. By providing autonomy and purpose to their double, they are preparing to remain conscious after death. When that body is complete and the moment arrives, their awareness abandons the human shell for good, the physical body withers and dies, but the sense of being continues.\" Teaching The Art Of Stalking Little by little, Carlos' stories had had their effect on me. One day, I sat down to seriously consider the amount of effort I invested in sustaining my self-importance. Not in the coarse and common forms it usually shows itself, like self-sufficiency, or whining for attention, but in its more subtle aspects, linked to fundamental ideas that I had about the world. These reflections didn't bring me any certainty. On the contrary, I began to notice how the enormity of the ideological framework in which I lived, and which I had always taken for granted, trembled. When I told Carlos this, he saw it as something quite natural. \"You are learning how to stalk yourself,\" he told me. \"It is what you should have done ever since you learnt to use your reason.\" I had already read about the art of stalking, a hunting strategy which consists of using your prey's own habits and routines to catch it. We can apply this strategy to ordinary
61. life, for example, to business. But we can also project it against our internal demons, like doubt, laziness, and self-indulgence. Taking advantage of this opportunity - we had some free time before his lecture began - I asked him to tell me more about this. But, to my complete astonishment, he told me that he could not do it as long as I wasn't committed to the point of death to the teachings. \"Why?\" \"Because you would wind up turning against me. Learning about dreaming doesn't offend anyone, the worst you can do is not believe that such a thing is possible. Stalking, on the other hand, the way sorcerers practice it, is very offensive to reason. Many warriors avoid speaking about it, because they don't have the stomach for it. In the initial phase, the apprentice is under crossfire and is very frustrated, not able to let go of his ego. \"Like a coin, stalking has two faces. On the one hand, it is the easiest thing in the world; on the other, it is a very difficult technique, not because it's complex, but because it deals with aspects of oneself that people usually don't want to deal with. \"Stalking induces minuscule, but very solid movements of the assemblage point; not like dreaming, which moves you deeply, but bounces you like a rubber ball and returns you immediately to what you were. When you look around, you see everything the same way as you always did, so you will continue to use your everyday approach to things. If, in this situation, you are forced to make some change by your instructor, I'll bet you anything that you will leave offended, or wounded in your pride, and quit the teaching.\" I asked him how, then, sorcerers taught this art. He answered that, traditionally, it is taught in state of heightened awareness, and it is left until the end. \"It is not something that's openly talked about, one must read between the lines. This part of the knowledge belongs to the teachings for the left side. It takes many years to remember what it is all about, and many more to become able to practice it. \"On the level where you are now, the only thing that allows you to handle stalking is to approach it with dreaming methods. If at any point you should feel that I am touching on topics that are too personal, or you have an attack of suspicions, look at your hands or use any other reminder you have chosen. The dreaming attention will help you break your fixation.\" The Mark Of The Nagual
62. In spite of his reticence, on another occasion Carlos himself accepted answering my questions on the topic of stalking, as long as we kept to theoretical considerations. Taking advantage of his goodwill, I asked him to explain the practical uses of the art of stalking. He explained: \"Stalking is the central activity of an energy tracker. Although it can be applied with astonishing results to our dealings with people, it is designed mainly to tune the practitioner. Manipulating and controlling others is an arduous task, but it is incomparably more difficult to control ourselves. For that reason, stalking is the technique that distinguishes the nagual. \"Stalking can be defined as the ability to fix the assemblage point in new positions. \"The warrior who is stalking is a hunter. But, as opposed to an ordinary hunter who has his mind set on his material interests, the warrior pursues a bigger prey: His self- importance. That prepares him to face the challenge of dealing with his fellow men - something that dreaming by itself cannot resolve. Sorcerers who don't learn how to stalk, turn into grumpy people.\" \"Why?\" \"Because they don't have the patience to tolerate people's stupidity. \"Stalking is natural to us, due to a characteristic of our animal heritage: To survive, we have all developed habits of behavior which mold our energy and help us adapt. By studying those routines, an attentive observer can accurately predict the behavior of an animal or a human being at any given moment. \"Warriors know that any habit is an addiction. It can tie you to the consumption of drugs, or going to church every Sunday; the difference is in form, not in essence. In the same way, when we get used to thinking that the world is reasonable or that the things we believe in are the only reality, we are victims of a habit which clouds our senses, and makes us see only what's familiar to us. \"Routines are templates of behavior, which we mechanically follow even when they don't make sense anymore. To be a stalker, you must have freed yourself from these imperatives of survival. \"Because he is the owner of his decisions, a warrior stalker is a person who has banished from his life all vestiges of addiction. He only has to recover his energetic integrity to be free. And since he has freedom of choice, he can be involved in calculated forms of behavior, either to deal with people or with other conscious entities. \"The result of this maneuver is not a routine participation, but stalking, because it consists of studying the behaviors of others.\" \"What is the sense of all this?\" He answered: \"From your point of view, none. Freedom doesn't obey reasons. However, your entire being shakes when you break your routines, because it exposes the myth of immortality.\" Pointing at people returning from work, he told me: \"What do you believe they went out to do? These people went out to live their last day! The sad thing is that probably very few of them know it. Every day is unique, and the
63. world is not the way everyone has told us it is. To cancel the force of habit is a decision that you make once and for all. Starting from that act, a warrior becomes a stalker.\" \"And couldn't it happen that the warrior may end up making of his purpose something ordinary\" \"No. This is something that you have to understand, because otherwise your search for impeccability will lose its freshness and you will end up betraying it. To break routines is not the purpose of the path; it is only one of its means. The goal is to be aware. Keeping that in mind, another definition of stalking is 'an unbending attention on a total result'. \"That kind of attention applied to an animal results in a hunting piece. If we apply it to another person, it produces a client, a pupil, or a romantic relationship. And applied to an inorganic being, it provides what sorcerers call 'an ally'. But only if we apply stalking to ourselves, can it be considered a Toltec art, because it produces something precious: Awareness.\"
|Oggetto: Re: Encounters with the Nagual, part 1 - Document Transcript || |
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