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Castaneda’s Published Works
Castaneda, Carlos. 1968. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
Castaneda, Carlos. 1971. A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan
Castaneda, Carlos. 1972. Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan
Castaneda, Carlos. 1974. Tales of Power
Castaneda, Carlos. 1977. The Second Ring of Power
Castaneda, Carlos. 1981. The Eagle’s Gift
Castaneda, Carlos. 1984. The Fire from Within
Castaneda, Carlos. 1987. The Power of Silence
Castaneda, Carlos. 1993. The Art of Dreaming
Castaneda, Carlos. 1998. Magical Passes
Castaneda, Carlos. 1998. The Active Side of Infinity
Footnote 1, book 1, page 51
“A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it will live to regret his steps.”
Footnote 2, Book 1, page 107
“Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”
Footnote 3, Book 1, page 147-150
I said that I knew there was something amiss in my life and in my actions, but I could not find out what it was. I begged him to tell me what was wrong with me…
And gradually I lost the feeling of floating in a world undifferentiated, indifferent, and beautiful. The noises became gigantic steps. Something enormous was breathing and moving around me. I believed it was hunting for me.
I ran and hid under a boulder, and tried to determine from there what was following me. At one moment I crept out of my hiding place to look, and whoever was my pursuer came upon me. It was like sea kelp. It threw itself on me. I thought its weight was going to crush me, but I found myself inside a pipe or a cavity…I saw huge drops of liquid falling from the kelp. I “knew” it was secreting digestive acid in order to dissolve me.
Footnote 4, Book 2, page 34
“You’re a damn fool,” he said and looked stern for a moment. “He won’t cause you any harm by himself. But knowledge is power, and once a man embarks on the road of knowledge he’s no longer liable for those who come in contact with him. You should have paid him a visit when you knew enough to defend yourself; not from him, but from the power he has harnessed, which, by the way, is not his or anybody else’s. Upon hearing that you were my friend, Vicente assumed that you knew how to protect yourself, and then made you a gift.”
Footnote 5, Book 2, page 81
“We learn to think about everything,” he said, “and then we train our eyes to look as we think about the things we look at. We look at ourselves already thinking that we are important. And therefore we’ve got to feel important.”
Footnote 7, Book 2, page 148
“An average man can ‘grab’ the things of the world only with his hands, or his eyes, or his ears, but a sorcerer can grab them also with his nose, or his tongue, or his will, especially with his will. I cannot really describe how it is done, but you yourself, for instance, cannot describe to me how you hear. It happens that I am also capable of hearing, so we can talk about what we hear, but not about how we hear. A sorcerer uses his will to perceive the world. That perceiving, however, is not like hearing. When we look at the world or when we hear it, we have the impression that it is out there and that it is real. When we perceive the world with our will we know that it is not as ‘out there’ or ‘as real’ as we think.”
Footnote 8, Book 2, page 150
“A man who follows the paths of sorcery is confronted with imminent annihilation every turn of the way, and unavoidably he becomes keenly aware of his death. Without the awareness of his death he would be only an ordinary man involved in ordinary acts. He would lack the necessary potency, the necessary concentration that transforms one’s ordinary time on earth into magical power.”
Footnote 9, Book 2, page 214
“The world is indeed full of frightening things and we are helpless creatures surrounded by forces that are inexplicable and unbending. The average man, in ignorance, believes that those forces can be explained or changed; he doesn’t really know how to do that, but he expects that the actions of mankind will explain them or change them sooner or later.”
“By opening himself to knowledge a sorcerer becomes more vulnerable than the average man. On the one hand his fellow men hate him and fear him and will strive to end his life; on the other hand the inexplicable and unbending forces that surround every one of us, by right of our being alive, are for a sorcerer a source of even greater danger.”
“A sorcerer, by opening himself to knowledge, falls prey to such forces and has only one means of balancing himself, his will; thus he must feel and act like a warrior. I will repeat this once more: Only as a warrior can one survive the path of knowledge.”
Footnote 10, Book 2, page 216-217
“People are busy doing that which people do. Those are their shields. Whenever a sorcerer has an encounter with any of those inexplicable and unbending forces we have talked about, his gap opens, making him more susceptible to his death than he ordinarily is; I’ve told you that we die through that gap, therefore if it is open one should have his will ready to fill it; that is, if one is a warrior. If one is not a warrior, like yourself, then one has no other recourse but to use the activities of daily life to take one’s mind away from the fright of the encounter and thus to allow one’s gap to close.”
“A warrior encounters those inexplicable and unbending forces because he is deliberately seeking them, thus he is always prepared for the encounter. You, on the other hand, are never prepared for it. In fact if those forces come to you they will take you by surprise; the fright will open your gap and your life will irresistibly escape through it.”
Footnote 11, Book 2, page 218
“You think and talk too much. You must stop talking to yourself.”
“I’ll tell you what we talk to ourselves about. We talk about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk.”
“Whenever we finish talking to ourselves the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we kindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die.”
Footnote 12, Book 2, page 219
“How can I stop talking to myself?”
“First of all you must use your ears to take some of the burden from your eyes. We have been using our eyes to judge the world since the time we were born. We talk to others and to ourselves mainly about what we see.”
“A warrior is aware that the world will change as soon as he stops talking to himself,” he said’ “and he must be prepared for that monumental jolt.”
“The world is such-and-such or so-and-so only because we tell ourselves that that is the way it is. If we stop telling ourselves that the world is so-and-so, the world will stop being so-and-so.”
Footnote 13, Book 2, page 219
“Your problem is you confuse the world with what people do. Again you’re not unique in that. Every one of us does that. The things people do are the shields against the forces that surround us; what we do as people gives us comfort and makes us feel safe; what people do is rightfully very important, but only as a shield. We never learn that the things we do as people are only shields and we let them dominate and topple our lives.”
Footnote 14, Book 2, page 219-220
“In fact I could say that for mankind, what people do is greater and more important than the world itself.”
“What do you call the world?”
“The world is all that is encased here,” he said, and stomped the ground. “Life, death, people, the allies, and everything else that surrounds us. The world is incomprehensible. We won’t ever understand it; we won’t ever un-ravel its secrets. Thus we must treat it as it is, a sheer mystery!”
“An average man doesn’t do this, though. The world is never a mystery for him, and when he arrives at old age he is convinced he has nothing more to live for. An old man has not exhausted the world. He has exhausted only what people do. But in his stupid confusion he believes that the world has no more mysteries for him. What a wretched price to pay for our shields!”
“A warrior is aware of this confusion and learns to treat things properly. The things that people do cannot under any conditions be more important than the world. And thus a warrior treats the world as an endless mystery and what people do as an endless folly.”
Footnote 15, Book 2, page 225
At that crucial instant a thought came to my mind. I knew what don Juan meant when he spoke of the items of a “path with heart” being the shields. There was something I wanted to do in my life, something very consuming and intriguing, something that filled me with great peace and joy. I knew the ally could not overcome me. I moved my head away without any trouble before I could see his entire face.
Footnote 16, Book 2, page 258
He drew closer and repeated his movements, making eight points on the ground. He circled the first point.
“You are here,” he said. “We are all here; this is feeling, and we move from here to here.”
He circled the second, which he had drawn right above number one. He then moved his twig back and forth between the two points to portray a heavy traffic.
“There are, however, six more points a man is capable of handling,” he said. “Most men know nothing about them.”
He placed his twig between points one and two and pecked on the ground with it.
“To move between these two points you call understanding. You’ve been doing that all your life. If you say you understand my knowledge, you have done nothing new.”
He then joined some of the eight points to the others with lines; the result was a long trapezoid figure that had eight centers of uneven radiation.
“Each of these six remaining points is a world, just like feeling and understanding are two worlds for you,” he said.
“…there are eight points a man is capable of handling…..And I said handling, not understanding, did you get that?”
“Your problem is you want to understand everything, and that is not possible. If you insist on understanding you’re not considering your entire lot as a human being. Your stumbling block is intact.”
Footnote 17, Book 3, page viii
He said that for a sorcerer, the world of everyday life is not real, or out there, as we believe it is. For a sorcerer, reality, or the world we all know, is only a description.
…a description that had been pounded into me from the moment I was born.
He pointed out that everyone who comes into contact with a child is a teacher who incessantly describes the world to him, until the moment when the child is capable of perceiving the world as it is described. According to don Juan, we have no memory of that portentous moment, simply because none of could possibly have had any point of reference to compare it to anything else. From that moment on, however, the child is a member.
For don Juan, then, the reality of our day-to-day life consists of an endless flowof perceptual interpretations which we, the individuals who share a specific membership, have learned to make in common.
Footnote 18, Book 3, page 189
“That rock is a rock because of all the things you know how to do to it,” he said. “I call that doing.”
“The world is the world because you know the doing involved in making it so,” he said. “If you didn’t know its doing, the world would be different.”
Footnote 19, Book 4, page 24
“That’s the flaw with words,” he said in an assuring tone. “They always force us to feel enlightened, but when we turn around to face the world they always fail us and we always end up facing the world as we always have, without enlightenment. For this reason, a sorcerer seeks to act rather than talk and to this effect he gets a new description of the world – a new description where talking is not that important, and where new acts have new reflections.”
“Whenever the dialogue stops, the world collapses and extraordinary facets of ourselves surface, as though they had been kept heavily guarded by our words. You are like you are, because you tell yourself you are that way.”
Footnote 20, Book 4, page 47
“The world doesn’t yield to us directly, the description of the world stands in between. So, properly speaking, we are always one step removed and our experience of the world is always a recollection of the experience. We are perennially recollecting the instant that has just happened, just passed. We recollect, recollect, recollect.”
“If our entire experience of the world is recollection, then it’s not so outlandish to conclude that a sorcerer can be in two places at once. This is not the case from the point of view of his own perception, because in order to experience the world, a sorcerer, like every other man, has to recollect the act he has just performed, the event he has just witnessed, the experience he has just lived. In his awareness there is only a single recollection. But for an outsider looking at the sorcerer it may appear as if the sorcerer is acting two different episodes at once. The sorcerer, however, recollects two separate single instances, because the glue of the description of time is no longer binding him.”
“Solidity, corporealness are memories. Therefore, like everything else we feel about the world, they are memories we accumulate. Memories of the description. You have the memory of my solidity, the same way you have the memory of communicating through words. Thus, you talked with a coyote and you feel me as being solid.”
Footnote 21, Book 4, page 95-96
He drew a diagram with his fingers, a diagram that had eight points interconnected with lines. It was a geometrical figure.
The diagram in the ashes had two epicenters; one he called “reason,” the other “will.” “reason” was interconnected directly with a point he called “talking.” Through “talking,” “reason” was indirectly connected to three other points, “feeling,” “dreaming,” and “seeing.” The other epicenter, “will,” was directly connected to “feeling,” “dreaming,” and “seeing”; but only indirectly to “reason” and “talking.”
“These are eight points on the fibers of a luminous being…a human being is, first of all, will, because will is directly connected to three points, feeling, dreaming, and seeing; then next, a human being is reason. This is properly a center that is smaller than will; it is connected only with talking.”
“We may say that every one of us brings to the world eight points. Two of them, reason and talking, are known by everyone. Feeling is always vague but somehow familiar. But only in the world of sorcerers does one get fully acquainted with dreaming, seeing, and will. And finally, at the outer edge of that world one encounters the other two. The eight points make the totality of oneself.”
Footnote 22, Book 4, page 96-97
I asked him again about the two mysterious remaining points. He showed me that they were connected only to “will,” and that they were removed from “feeling,” “dreaming,” and “seeing,” and much more distant from “talking” and “reason.” He pointed with his finger to show that they were isolated from the rest and from each other.
“These two points will never yield to talking or to reason,” he said. “Only will can handle them. Reason is so removed from them that it is utterly useless to try figuring them out.”
“we are luminous beings. We are perceivers. We are an awareness; we are not objects; we have no solidity. We are boundless. The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description that was created to help us. We, or rather our reason, forget that the description is only a description and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in our lifetime.”
Footnote 23, Book 4, page 98
“We are perceivers,” he proceeded. “The world that we perceive, though, is an illusion. It was created by a description that was told to us since the moment we were born.”
“We, the luminous beings, are born with two rings of power, but we only use one to create the world. That ring, which is hooked very soon after we are born, is reason, and its companion is talking. Between the two they concoct and maintain the world.”
“So, in essence, the world that your reason wants to sustain is the world created by a description and its dogmatic and inviolable rules, which the reason learns to accept and defend.”
“The secret of the luminous beings is that they have another ring of power which is never used, the will. The trick of the sorcerer is the same trick of the average man. Both have a description; one, the average man, upholds it with his reason; the other, the sorcerer, upholds it with his will. Both descriptions have their rules and the rules are perceivable, but the advantage of the sorcerer is that will is more engulfing than reason.”
Footnote 24, Book 4, page 113
“The world upheld by reason makes this all into an event that we can watch for a moment on our way to more important things. All we can say about it is that a man is lying on the grass in the park, perhaps drunk.”
“The world upheld by will makes it into an act of power, which we can see. We can see death whirling around the man, setting its hooks deeper and deeper into his luminous fibers. We can see the luminous strings losing their tautness and vanishing one by one.”
“Those are the two possibilities open to us as luminous beings.”
Footnote 25, Book 4, page 121-123
“The tonal is everything we know,” he repeated slowly. “And that includes not only us, as persons, but everything in our world. It can be said that the tonal is everything that meets the eye.”
“The tonal begins at birth and ends at death.”
…he had already made the point that there was no world at large but only a description of the world which we had learned to visualize and take for granted.
“The tonal is everything we know,” he said. “I think this in itself is enough reason for the tonal to be such an overpowering affair.”
“The tonal is the organizer of the world,” he proceeded. “Perhaps the best way of describing its monumental work is to say that on its shoulders rests the task of setting the chaos of the world in order…everything we know and do as men is the work of the tonal.”
“At this moment, for instance, what is engaged in trying to make sense out of our conversation is your tonal; without it there would be only weird sounds and grimaces and you wouldn’t understand a thing of what I am saying.”
Footnote 26, Book 4, page 121
“I would say then that the tonal is a guardian that protects something priceless, our very being. Therefore, an inherent quality of the tonal is to be cagey and jealous of its doings. And since its doings are by far the most important part of our lives, it is no wonder that it eventually changes, in every one of us, from a guardian into a guard.”
“A guardian is broad-minded and understanding,” he explained. “A guard, on the other hand, is a vigilante, narrow-minded and most of the time despotic. I say, then, that the tonal in all of us has been made into a petty and despotic guard when it should be a broad-minded guardian.”
“The tonal makes the world only in a manner of speaking. It cannot create or change anything, and yet it makes the world because its function is to judge, and assess, and witness. I say that the tonal makes the world because it witnesses and assesses it according to tonal rules. In a very strange manner the tonal is a creator that doesn’t create a thing. In other words, the tonal makes up the rules by which it apprehends the world. So, in a manner of speaking, it creates the world.”
Footnote 27, Book 4, page 124
“The tonal is an island,” he explained. “The best way of describing it is to say that the tonal is this.”
He ran his hand over the table top.
“We can say that the tonal is like the top of this table. An island. And on this island we have everything. This island is, in fact, the world.”
“There is a personal tonal for every one of us, and there is a collective one for all of us at any given time, which we can call the tonal of the times.”
“We can say that the tonal of the times is what makes us alike, in the same way it makes all the tables in this restaurant alike. Each table, separately, nevertheless, is an individual case, just like the personal tonal of each of us. But the important factor to keep in mind is that everything we know about ourselves and about our world is on the island of the tonal.”
Footnote 28, Book 4, page 124-126
“If the tonal is everything we know about ourselves and our world, what, then, is the nagual?”
“The nagual is the part of us which we do not deal with at all.”
“The nagual is the part of us for which there is no description – no words, no names, no feelings, no knowledge.”
“Is the nagual the mind?”
“No, the mind is an item on the table. The mind is part of the tonal.”
“The soul is also on the table.”
“Thoughts are also on the table.”
“God is also on the table…”
“God is an item of our personal tonal and of the tonal of the times. The tonal is, as I’ve already said, everything we think the world is composed of, including God, of course.”
Footnote 29, Book 4, page 126-128
Don Juan made a sweeping gesture and pointed to the area beyond the boundaries of the table.
“The nagual is there,” he said. “There, surrounding the island. The nagual is there, where power hovers.
“We sense, from the moment we are born, that there are two parts to us. At the time of birth, and for a while after, we are all nagual. We sense, then, that in order to function we need a counterpart to what we have. The tonal is missing, and that gives us, from the very beginning, a feeling of incompleteness. Then the tonal starts to develop and it becomes utterly important to our functioning, so important that it opaques the shine of the nagual, it overwhelms it. From the moment we become all tonal we do nothing else but increment that old feeling of incompleteness which accompanies us from the moment of our birth, and which tells us constantly that there is another part to give us completeness.”
“From the moment we become all tonal we begin making pairs. We sense our two sides, but we always represent them with items of the tonal. We say that the two parts of us are the soul and the body. Or mind and matter. Or good and evil. God and Satan. We never realize, however, that we are merely pairing things on the island.”
“We sense that there is another side to us. But when we try to pin down that other side the tonal gets hold of the baton, and as a director it is quite petty and jealous. It dazzles us with its cunningness and forces us to obliterate the slightest inkling of the other part of the true pair, the nagual.”
“God cannot be witnessed at will, he can only be talked about. The nagual, on the other hand, is at the service of the warrior. It can be witnessed, but it cannot be talked about.”
Footnote 30, Book 4, page 135
“Youth is in no way a barrier against the deterioration of the tonal.”
“You thought there might be a great many reasons for that man’s condition. I find that there is only one, his tonal. It is not that his tonal is weak because he drinks; it is the other way around, he drinks because his tonal is weak. That weakness forces him to be what he is. But the same happens to all of us, in one form or another.”
Footnote 31, Book 4, page 252-253
“Sorcerers say that we are inside a bubble. It is a bubble into which we are placed at the moment of our birth. At first the bubble is open, but then it begins to close until it has sealed us in. That bubble is our perception. We live inside that bubble all of our lives. And what we witness on its round walls is our own reflection.”
“The thing reflected is our view of the world,” he said. “That view is first a description, which is given to us from the moment of our birth until all our attention is caught by it and the description becomes a view.”
“I have called that view the island of the tonal. I’ve said that everything that we are is on that island. The sorcerers’ explanation says that the island of the tonal is made by our perception, which has been trained to focus on certain elements; each of those elements and all of them together form our view of the world.
Footnote 32, Book 4, page 253
“The bubble is opened in order to allow the luminous being a view of his totality.”
“The job of a teacher, insofar as the apprentice’s perception is concerned, consists of reordering all the elements of the island on one half of the bubble. By now you must have realized that cleaning and reordering the island of the tonal means regrouping all its elements on the side of reason.”
He drew an imaginary circle on the rock and divided it in two along a vertical diameter. He said that the art of a teacher was to force his disciple to group his view of the world on the right half of the bubble.
“We can better explain this by saying that the task of the teacher is to wipe clean one half of the bubble and to reorder everything on the other half. The benefactor’s task then is to open the bubble on the side that has been cleaned. Once the seal is broken, the warrior is never the same. He has then the command of his totality. Half of his bubble is the ultimate center of reason, the tonal. The other half is the ultimate center of will, the nagual. That is the order that should prevail; any other arrangement is nonsensical and petty, because it goes against our nature; it robs us of our magical heritage and reduces us to nothing.”
Footnote 33, Book 4, page 255
“We men and all the other luminous beings on earth are perceivers. That is our trouble, the bubble of perception. Our mistake is to believe that the only perception worthy of acknowledgement is what goes through our reason. Sorcerers believe that reason is only one center and that it shouldn’t take so much for granted.”
“Genaro and I have taught you about the eight points that make the totality of our bubble of perception. You know six points. Today Genaro and I will further clean your bubble of perception and after that you will know the two remaining points.”
Footnote 34, Book 4, page 258
Their voices were synchronized. They were both repeating the same statements. They said that I should not be afraid, and that I had long powerful fibers, which were not there to protect me, for there was nothing to protect, or be protected from, but that they were there to guide my “nagual’s” perception in very much the same way my eyes guided my normal “tonal’s” perception. They told me that my fibers were all around me, that through them I could perceive everything at once, and that one single fiber was enough for a leap from the rock into the ravine, or up from the ravine to the rock.
Footnote 35, Book 3, page 272
“This is the sorcerers’ explanation. The nagual is the unspeakable. All the possible feelings and beings and selves float in it like barges, peaceful, unaltered, forever. Then the glue of life binds some of them together…When the glue of life binds those feelings together a being is created, a being that loses the sense of its true nature and becomes blinded by the glare and clamor of the area where beings hover, the tonal. The tonal is where all the unified organization exists. A being pops into the tonal once the force of life has bound all the needed feelings together. I said to you once that the tonal begins at birth and ends at death; I said that because I know that as soon as the force of life leaves the body all those single awarenesses disintegrate and go back again to where they came from, the nagual. What a warrior does in journeying into the unknown is very much like dying, except that his cluster of single feelings do not disintegrate but expand a bit without losing their togetherness. At death, however, they sink deeply and move independently as if they had never been a unit.
“There is no way to refer to the unknown,” he said. “One can only witness it. The sorcerers’ explanation says that each of us has a center from which the nagual can be witnessed, the will. Thus, a warrior can venture into the nagual and let his cluster arrange and rearrange itself in any way possible.”
Footnote 36, Book 4, page 276
“I’ve tricked your reason into believing that the tonal was accountable and predictable. Genaro and I have labored to give you the impression that only the nagual was beyond the scope of explanation; the proof that the tricking was successful is that at this moment it seems to you that in spite of everything you have gone through, there is still a core that you can claim as your own, your reason. That’s a mirage. Your precious reason is only a center of assemblage, a mirror that reflects something which is outside of it. Last night you witnessed not only the indescribable nagual but also the indescribable tonal.”
“The last piece of the sorcerers’ explanation says that reason is merely reflecting an outside order, and that reason knows nothing about that order; it cannot explain it, in the same way that it cannot explain the nagual. Reason can only witness the effects of the tonal, but never ever could it understand it, or unravel it. The very fact that we are thinking and talking points out an order that we follow without ever knowing how we do that, or what the order is.”
Footnote 37, Book 4, page 278
“We have arrived at the last part of the sorcerers’ explanation,” he said. “Last night Genaro and I showed you the last two points that make up the totality of man, the nagual and the tonal. I once told you that those two points were outside of oneself and yet they were not. That is the paradox of the luminous beings. The tonal of every one of us is but a reflection of that indescribable unknown filled with order; the nagual of every one of us is but a reflection of that indescribable void that contains everything.”
“As you sit here now, you have nothing except the force of your life that binds that cluster of feelings.”
Footnote 38, Book 5, page 138
“The double is white, yellowish white, like the sun.”
“we are pieces of the sun. That is why we are luminous beings. But our eyes can’t see that luminosity because it is very faint. Only the eyes of a sorcerer can see it,”
Footnote 39, Book 5, page 156-157
The mold of men was definitely an entity, and entity which could be seen by some of us at certain times when we are embued with power, and by all of us for sure at the moment of our death. He described the mold as being the source, the origin of man, since, without the mold to group together the force of life, there was no way for that force to assemble itself into the shape of man.
It was a radiant, luminous being. I could not look at it. It blinded me…sometimes if we have enough personal power we can catch a glimpse of the mold even though we are not sorcerers; when that happens we say that we have seen God. He said that if we call it God it is the truth. The mold is God.
Footnote 40, Book 5, page 163
“He said that the art of the dreamer is to hold the image of his dream. Because that’s what we do anyway during all our lives.”
“Our art as ordinary people is that we know how to hold the image of what we are looking at….we do that but we don’t know how. We just do it; that is, our bodies just do it. In dreaming we have to do the same thing, except that in dreaming we have to learn how to do it. We have to struggle not to look but merely to glance and yet hold the image.”
Footnote 41, Book 5, page 164
“during our menstrual periods dreaming becomes power.”
“During that time a woman, if she wants to, can let go of the images of the world.”
“Well, it was during my periods that I learned in dreaming…”
Footnote 42, Book 5, page 184
“we are Toltecs. All of us are Toltecs. He said that a Toltec is the receiver and holder of mysteries.”
“Instead of saying that we are sorcerers or witches, he said that we are Toltecs.”
Footnote 43, Book 5, page 226
She said that the tonal which is in everything could be easily apprehended by our senses, while the nagual which is in everything manifested itself only to the eye of the sorcerer. She added that we could stumble upon the most outlandish sights of the tonal and be scared of them, or awed by them, or be indifferent to them, because all of us could view those sights. A sight of the nagual, on the other hand, needed the specialized senses of a sorcerer in order to be seen at all. And yet, both the tonal and the nagual were present in everything at all times. It was appropriate, therefore, for a sorcerer to say that “looking” consisted in viewing the tonal which is in everything, and “seeing,” on the other hand, consisted in viewing the nagual which also is in everything.
Footnote 44, Book 5, page 243
“It doesn’t matter what anybody says or does,” he said. “You must be an impeccable man yourself. The fight is right here in this chest.”
“It takes all the time and all the energy we have to conquer the idiocy in us. And that’s what matters. The rest is of no importance. Nothing of what your grandfather or father said about the Church gave them well-being. To be an impeccable warrior, on the other hand, will give you vigor and youth and power. So, it is proper for you to choose wisely.”
Footnote 45, Book 5, page 247
“We hold the images of the world with our attention.”
“When a woman menstruates she cannot focus her attention.”
Footnote 46, Book 5, page 273
…I was too lazy to remember what I had “seen”; therefore I only bothered with what I had looked at.
Is it possible, I thought to myself, that I am unconsciously selecting what I recall?….If it was true that I had selected my recall at first and then released what I had censored, then it also had to be true that I must have perceived much more of don Juan’s and don genaro’s actions, and yet I could only recall a selective part of my total perception of those events.”
“The Nagual said that everyone can see, and yet we choose not to remember what we see,” she said.”
Footnote 47, Book 5, page 274-275
“…with our attention we can hold the images of a dream in the same way we hold the images of the world,” la Gorda said. “The art of the dreamer is the art of attention.”
I knew then that don Juan had told me and showed me everything he could. I had not been able, however, to realize the premises of his knowledge in my body while he was around. He had said that my reason was the demon that kept me chained.
From what la Gorda had said, I knew that to him reason meant attention.
What don Juan had struggled to vanquish, or rather suppress in me, was not my reason as the capacity for rational thought, but my “attention of the tonal,” or my awareness of the world of common sense.
Footnote 48, Book 5, page 274-275
Don Juan said that the core of our being was the act of perceiving, and that the magic of our being was the act of awareness. For him perception and awareness were a single, functional, inextricable unit, a unit which had two domains. The first one ws the “attention of the tonal,” that is to say, the capacity of average people to perceive and place their awareness on the world of everyday life. Don Juan also called this form of attention our “first ring of power,” and described it as our awesome but taken-for-granted ability to impart order to our perception of our daily world.
The second domain was the “attention of the nagual”; that is to say, the capacity of sorcerers to place their awareness on the non-ordinary world. He called this domain of perception the “second ring of power,” or the altogether portentous ability that all of us have, but only sorcerers use, to impart order to the nonordinary world.
…in demonstrating to me that the art of dreamers was to hold the images of their dreams with their attention….they had to make use of their “second ring of power,” or the “attention of the nagual.” In order for me to witness their art, I had to do the same. In fact it was evident I had placed my attention on both domains. Perhaps all of us are continuously perceiving in both fashions but choose to isolate one for recollection and discard the other, or perhaps we file it away, as I myself had done. Under certain conditions of stress or acquiescence, the censored memory surfaces and we can then have two distinct memories of one event.
Footnote 49, Book 5, page277-278
Don Juan had said that our “first ring of power” is engaged very early in our lives and that we live under the impression that that is all there is to us.
Our “second ring of power,” the “attention of the nagual,” remains hidden for the immense majority of us, and only at the moment of our death is it revealed to us.
There is a pathway to reach it, however, which is available to every one of us, but which only sorcerers take, and that pathway is through “dreaming.”
“Dreaming” was in essence the transformation of ordinary dreams into affairs involving volition. Dreamers. By engaging their “attention of the nagual” and focusing it on the items and events of their ordinary dreams, change those dreams into “dreaming.”
Footnote 50, Book 5, page 278
The result of engaging the “attention of the nagual” and developing it to the height and sophistication of our daily attention of the world was, in don Juan’s scheme, the other self, an identical being as oneself, but made in “dreaming.”
Don Juan had told me that there are no definite standard steps for teaching that double, as there are no definite steps for us to reach our daily awareness. We simply do it by practicing.
Footnote 51, Book 5, page 285
Dreaming is the only way to gather the second attention without injuring it, without making it menacing and awesome.
Footnote 52, Book 5, page 292
He told them that the tonal was the order that we are aware of in our daily world and also the personal order that we carry through life on our shoulders, like they had carried the table and the bundle. The personal tonal of each of us was like the table in that valley, a tiny island filled with the things we are familiar with. The nagual, on the other hand, was the inexplicable source that held that table in place and was like the vastness of that deserted valley.
He explained to them that for a sorcerer the nagual was the area just underneath the table. Since it was unthinkable to tackle the immensity of the nagual, as exemplified by that vast, desolate place, sorcerers took as the domain of their activity the area directly below the island of the tonal, as graphically shown by what was underneath that table. That area was the domain of what he called the second attention, or the attention of the nagual, or the attention under the table.
Footnote 53, Book 5, page 324
“There are no hallucinations,” la Gorda said in a firm tone. “If anybody suddenly sees something different, something that was not there before, it is because that person’s second attention has been gathered and that person is focusing it on something. Now, whatever is gathering that person’s attention might be anything, maybe it’s liquor, or maybe it’s madness…..”
Footnote 54, Book 6, page 18
In order to explain these concepts, don Juan made a three-part, uneven division of our consciousness. He called the smallest the first attention, and said that it is the consciousness that every normal person has developed in order to deal with the daily world; it encompasses the awareness of the physical body. Another larger portion he called the second attention, and described it as the awareness we need in order to perceive our luminous cocoon and to act as luminous beings. He said that the second attention remains in the background for the duration of our lives, unless it is brought forth by deliberate training or by an accidental trauma, and that it encompasses the awareness of the luminous body. He called the last portion, which was the largest, the third attention – an immeasurable consciousness which engages undefinable aspects of the awareness of the physical and the luminous bodies.
Footnote 55, Book 6, page 23
Don Juan had explained to me that the dreaming body is sometimes called the “double” or the “other,” because it is a perfect replica of the dreamer’s body. It is inherently the energy of a luminous being, a whitish, phantomlike emanation, which is projected by the fixation of the second attention into a three-dimensional image of the body. Don Juan explained that the dreaming body is not a ghost, but as real as anything we deal with in the world. He said that the second attention is unavoidably drawn to focus on our total being as a field of energy, and transforms that energy into anything suitable. The easiest thing is of course the physical body, with which we are already thoroughly familiar from our daily lives and the use of our first attention. What channels the energy of our total being to produce anything that might be within the boundaries of possibility is known as will. Don Juan could not say what those boundaries were, except that at the level of luminous beings the range is so broad that it is futile to try to establish limits – thus, the energy of a luminous being can be transformed through will into anything.
Footnote 56, Book 6, page 37
I had rallied some knowledge I was not aware of. If that was called seeing, the logical conclusion for my intellect would be to say that seeing is a bodily knowledge. The predominance of the visual sense in us influences tis bodily knowledge and makes it seem to be eye-related. What I experienced was not altogether visual. I saw the blobs of light with something else besides my eyes, since I was conscious that the four women were in my field of vision during the entire time I dealt with them. The blobs of light were not even superimposed on them. The two sets of images were separate. What complicated the issue for me was the matter of time. Everything was compressed into a few seconds. If I did shift from one scene to the other, the shift must have been so fast that it became meaningless, thus I can only recall perceiving two separate scenes simultaneously.
Footnote 57, Book 6, page 113
I speculated with la Gorda that the concept of losing the human form refers to a bodily condition that besets the apprentice upon his reaching a certain threshold in the course of training. Be that as it may, the end result of losing the human form for la Gorda and myself, oddly enough, was not only the sought-after and coveted sense of detachment, but also the fulfillment of our elusive task of remembering. And again in this case, the intellect played a minimal part.
Footnote 58, Book 6, page 126
La Gorda and I went through a period of tremendous confusion and doubt. In our case, being formless meant to be ravaged by the worst distrust imaginable. We felt that we were guinea pigs in the hands of don Juan, a being supposedly familiar to us, but about whom in reality we knew nothing.
Footnote 59, Book 6, page 138
Another topic of great significance was the time to do dreaming. Don Juan had told us that the late night or early morning hours were by far the best.
He said that since one has to do dreaming in a social milieu, one has to seek the best possible conditions of solitude and lack of interference. The interference he was referring to had to do with the attention of people, and not their physical presence. For Don Juan it was meaningless to retreat from the world and hide, for even if one were alone in an isolated, deserted place, the interference of our fellow men is prevalent because the fixation of their first attention cannot be shut off. Only locally, at the hours when most people are asleep, can one avert part of that fixation for a short period of time. It is at those times that the first attention of those around us is dormant.
Footnote 60, Book 6, page 139
He explained, furthermore, that in dreaming one has to use the same mechanisms of attention as in everyday life, that our first attention had been taught to focus on the items of the world with great force in order to turn the amorphous and chaotic realm of perception into the orderly world of awareness.
Don Juan also told us that the second attention served the function of a beckoner, a caller of chances. The more it is exercised, the greater the possibility of getting the desired result. But that was also the function of attention in general, a function so taken for granted in our daily life that it has become unnoticeable; if we encounter a fortuitous occurrence, we talk about it in terms of accident or coincidence, rather than in terms of our attention having beckoned the event.
Footnote 61, Book 6, page 145
“Holy Jesus! We are remembering the other self!” she exclaimed, her voice almost bordering on hysteria. Then she calmed down and went on talking in a subdued tone. “Evidently we’ve already been there and the only way of remembering it is the way we’re doing it, by shooting off our dreaming bodies while dreaming together.”
Footnote 62, Book 6, page 148
“The Nagual said that intent is present everywhere,” la Gorda said all of a sudden.
“The Nagual also said that intent is what makes the world.”
“people, and all other living creatures for that matter, are the slaves of intent. We are in its clutches. It makes us do whatever it wants. It makes us act in the world. It even makes us die.”
Footnote 63, Book 6, page 165-166
La Gorda and I discerned at one moment that the richness of our perception on the left side was a post-facto realization. Our interaction appeared to be rich in the light of our capacity to remember it. We became cognizant then that in these states of heightened awareness we had perceived everything in one clump, one bulky mass of inextricable detail. We called this ability to perceive everything at once intensity. For years we had found it impossible to examine the separate constituent parts of those chunks of experience; we had been unable to synthesize those parts into a sequence that would make sense to the intellect. Since we were incapable of those syntheses, we could not remember. Our incapacity to remember was in reality an incapacity to put the memory of our perception on a linear basis. We could not lay our experiences flat, so to speak, and arrange them in a sequential order. The experiences were available to us, but at the same time they were impossible to retrieve, for they were blocked by a wall of intensity.
The task of remembering, then, was properly the task of joining our left and right sides, of reconciling those two distinct forms of perception into a unified whole. It was the task of consolidating the totality of oneself by rearranging intensity into a linear sequence.
Footnote 64, Book 6, page 166
It occurred to us that the activities that we remembered taking part in might not have taken long to perform, in terms of time measured by the clock. B reason of our capacity to perceive in terms of intensity, we may have had only a subliminal sensation of lengthy passages of time. :a Gorda felt that if we could rearrange intensity into a linear sequence, we would honestly believe that we had lived a thousand years.
Footnote 65, Book 6, page 172
The power that governs the destiny of all living beings is called the Eagle…
The Eagle is devouring the awareness of all the creatures that, alive on earth a moment before and now dead, have floated to the Eagle’s beak, like a ceaseless swarm of fireflies, to meet their owner, their reason for having had life. The Eagle disentangles these tiny flames, lays them flat, as a tanner stretches out a hide, and then consumes them; for awareness is the Eagle’s food.
Footnote 66, Book 6, page 187
The second topic was the cultural context of don Juan’s knowledge. He did not know that himself. He viewed it as the product of a sort of Pan-Indianism. His conjecture about its origin was that at one time, in the Indian world prior to the Conquest, the handling of the second attention became vitiated.
Then the Spanish invaders came, and with their superior technology, destroyed the Indian world. Don Juan said that his benefactor was convinced that only a handful of those warriors survived and were capable of reassembling their knowledge and redirecting their path. Whatever don Juan and his benefactor knew about the second attention was the restructured version, a new version that had built-in restraints because it had been forged under the harshest conditions of suppression.
Footnote 67, Book 6, page 279
“The first precept of the rule is that everything that surrounds us is an unfathomable mystery.”
“The second precept of the rule is that we must try to unravel these mysteries, but without ever hoping to accomplish this.”
“The third, that a warrior, aware of the unfathomable mystery that surrounds him and aware of his duty to try to unravel it, takes his rightful place among mysteries and regards himself as one. Consequently, for a warrior there is no end to the mystery of being, whether being means a pebble, or an ant, or oneself. That is a warrior’s humbleness. One is equal to everything.”
Footnote 68, Book 6, page 299
He warned me repeatedly that to be in the left side awareness is an advantage only in the sense that our grasp of things is accelerated. It is a disadvantage because it allows us to focus with inconceivable lucidity only on one thing at a time; this renders us dependent and vulnerable. We cannot be on our own while being in the left side awareness…
Footnote 69, Book 6, page 305
Florinda explained that when she or her peers talked about time, they were not referring to something which could be measured by the movement of a clock. Time is the essence of attention: the Eagle’s emanations are made out of time; and properly, when one enters into any aspect of the other self, one is becoming acquainted with time.
Florinda assured me that that very night, while we sat in formation, they had had their last chance to help me and the apprentices to face the wheel of time. She said that the wheel of time is like a state of heightened awareness which is part of the other self, as the left side awareness is part of the awareness of everyday life, and that it could physically be described as a tunnel of infinite length and width; a tunnel with reflective furrows. Every furrow is infinite, and there are infinite numbers of them. Living creatures are compulsorily made, by the force of life, to gaze into one furrow. To gaze into it means to be trapped by it, to live that furrow.
To be trapped compulsorily in one furrow of time entails seeing the images of that furrow only as they recede. To be free from the spellbinding force of those grooves means that one can look in either direction, as images recede or as they approach.
Footnote 70, Book 6, page 308
He said that it took an enormity of strength to let go of the intent of everyday life. The secret that he had just revealed, was how to expedite letting go of that intent. In order to do what he had done, one must place one’s attention on the luminous shell.
…a warrior must evoke intent. The glance is the secret. The eyes beckon intent.
I was at long last capable of thinking about something I knew without really knowing. The reason why seeing seems to be visual is because we need the eyes to focus on intent.
What Silvio Manuel had shown me was the true function of the eyes, the catchers of intent.
Footnote 71, Book 6, page 311
Don Juan had told me that on the left side there are no tears, that a warrior can no longer weep, and that the only expression of anguish is a shiver that comes from the very depths of the universe. It is as if one of the Eagle’s emanations is anguish. The warrior’s shiver is infinite.
Footnote 72, Book 6, page 312
Don Juan also told me that the act of remembering is thoroughly incomprehensible. In actuality it is the act of remembering oneself, which does not stop at recollecting the interaction warriors perform in their left side awareness, but goes on to recollect every memory that the luminous body has stored from the moment of birth.
The systematic interaction warriors go through in states of heightened consciousness is only a device to entice the other self to reveal itself in terms of memories. The act of remembering, although it seems to be only associated with warriors, is something that is within the realm of every human being; every one of us can go directly to the memories of our luminosity with unfathomable results.
Footnote 73, Book 7, page 2
“The Toltec seers were extraordinary men – powerful sorcerers, somber, driven men who unraveled mysteries and possessed secret knowledge that they used to influence and victimize people by fixating the awareness of their victims on whatever they chose.”
“I have to emphasize an important fact,” he continued, “the fact that those sorcerers knew how to fixate the awareness of their victims….One of the hardest things to acknowledge is that awareness can be manipulated.”
“The Toltec seers knew the art of handling awareness…they knew how to fixate the awareness of their victims, I mean that their secret knowledge and secret practices allowed them to pry open the mysteries of being aware….those activities, as I will explain, did not lead the ancient Toltec seers to freedom, but to their doom.”
Footnote 74, Book 7, page 4-6
He said that in the time that he was referring to, centuries or perhaps even millennia before the Spanish Conquest, all such men of knowledge lived within a vast geographical area, north and south of the valley of Mexico.
“But the seers who could only see were fiascos, and when the land where they lived was invaded by a conquering people they were as defenseless as everyone else.”
“Who were those conquerors, don Juan?”
“Other Indians,” he said. “When the Spaniards came, the old seers had been gone for centuries, but there was a new breed of seers who were starting to secure their place in a new cycle.”
“Were there a great many new seers during the Conquest?” I asked.
“At the beginning there were. Near the end there were only a handful. The rest had been exterminated.”
“What about in our day, don Juan?” I asked.
“There are a few. They are scattered all over, you understand.”
Footnote 75, Book 7, page 9
“The new seers corrected the mistakes of the old seers, but the basis of what we know and do is lost in Toltec time.”
He explained. One of the simplest and yet most important findings, from the point of view of instruction, he said, is the knowledge that man has two types of awareness. The old seers called them the right and the left side of man.
“The old seers figured out,” he went on, “ that the best way to teach their knowledge was to make their apprentices shift to their left side, to a state of heightened awareness. Real learning takes place there.”
…by making him shift back and forth from one type of awareness to the other. He said that the clarity and freedom he experienced in heightened awareness were in total contrast to the rationalizations, the defenses, the anger, and the fear of his normal state of awareness.
The old seers used to create this polarity to suit their own particular purposes; with it, they forced their apprentices to achieve the concentration needed to learn sorcery techniques. But the new seers, he said, use it to lead their apprentices to the conviction that there are unrealized possibilities in man.
Footnote 76, Book 7, page 32-33
He said that there were a series of truths that seers, old and new, had discovered about awareness, and that such truths had been arranged in a specific sequence for purposes of comprehension.
He explained that the mastery of awareness consisted in internalizing the total sequence of such truths. The first truth, he said, was that our familiarity with the world we perceive compels us to believe that we are surrounded by objects, existing by themselves and as themselves, just as we perceive them, whereas, in fact, there is no world of objects, but a universe of Eagle’s emanations.
Footnote 77, Book 7, page 33
He told me then that before he could explain the Eagle’s emanations, he had to talk about the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.
Footnote 78, Book 7, page 37
“The first truth is that the world is as it looks and yet it isn’t,” he went on. “It’s not as solid and real as our perception has been led to believe, but it isn’t a mirage either. The world is not an illusion, as it has been said to be; it’s real on the one hand, and unreal on the other.
“We perceive. This is a hard fact. But what we perceive is not a fact of the same kind, because we learn what to perceive.”
“Something out there is affecting our senses. This is the part that is real. The unreal part is what our senses tell us is there.”
“Our senses perceive the way they do because a specific feature of our awareness forces them to do so.”
“Seers say that we think there is a world of objects out there only because of our awareness. But what’s really out there are the Eagle’s emanations, fluid, forever in motion, and yet unchanged, eternal.”
Footnote 79, Book 7, page 38
He explained that one of the most dramatic legacies the old seers had left to us was their discovery that the reason for the existence of all sentient beings is to enhance awareness.
“our rationality alone cannot come up with an answer about the reason for our existence. Every time it tries, the answer turns into a matter of beliefs.
Footnote 80, Book 7, page 42
“We are stuck with their vision of an Eagle that rules us and devours us at the moment of our death.”
He said that there was a definite laxness in that version, and that personally he did not appreciate the idea of something devouring us. For him, it would be more accurate to say that there is a force that attracts our consciousness, much as a magnet attracts iron shavings. At the moment of dying, all of our being disintegrates under the attraction of that immense force.
Footnote 81, Book 7, page 42-43
“Seers who see the Eagle’s emanations often call them commands,” don Juan said.
…all living creatures are forced to employ the Eagle’s emanations without ever knowing what they are….organisms are constructed to grasp a certain range of those emanations and that every species has a definite range. The emanations exert great pressure on organisms, and through that pressure organisms construct their perceivable world.”
“In our case, as human beings,” don Juan said, “we employ those emanations and interpret them as reality. But what man senses is such a small portion of the Eagle’s emanations that it’s ridiculous to put much stock in our perceptions, and yet it isn’t possible for us to disregard our perceptions.
Footnote 82, Book 7, page 43
…everything is made out of the Eagle’s emanations. Only a small portion of those emanations is within reach of human awareness, and that small portion is still further reduced, to a minute fraction, by the constraints of our daily lives. That minute fraction of the Eagle’s emanations is the known; the small portion within possible reach of human awareness is the unknown, and the incalculable rest is the unknowable.
Footnote 83, Book 7, page 45-46
…to see a flux of emanations and to see how man and other living beings utilize them to construct their perceivable world.
“How are those emanations utilized by man, don Juan?”
“It’s so simple it sounds idiotic. For a seer, men are luminous beings. Our luminosity is made up of that portion of the Eagle’s emanations which is encased in our egglike cocoon. That particular portion, that handful of emanations that is encased, is what makes us men. To perceive is to match the emanations contained inside our cocoon with those that are outside.”
“Seers can see, for instance, the emanations inside any living creature and can tell which of the outside emanations would match them.
“Are the emanations like beams of light?” I asked.
“No. Not at all. That would be too simple. They are something indescribable. And yet, my personal comment would be to say that they are like filaments of light. What’s incomprehensible to normal awareness is that the filaments are aware. I can’t tell you what that means, because I don’t know what I am saying. All I can tell you with my personal comments is that the filaments are aware of themselves, alive and vibrating, that there are so many of them that numbers have no meaning and that each of them is an eternity in itself.
Footnote 84, Book 7, page 49
“For instance, as the new nagual, you’d have to say that awareness gives rise to perception.”
…”perception is a condition of alignment; the emanations inside the cocoon become aligned with those outside that fit them. Alignment is what allows awareness to be cultivated by every living creature.
“The emanations inside and the emanations outside,” he said, “are the same filaments of light. Sentient beings are minute bubbles, made out of those filaments, microscopic points of light, attached to the infinite emanations.”
Footnote 85, Book 7, page 50
He went on to explain that the luminosity of living beings is made by the particular portion of the Eagle’s emanations they happen to have inside their luminous cocoons. When seers see perception, they witness that the luminosity of the Eagle’s emanations outside those creatures’ cocoons brightens the luminosity of the emanations inside their cocoons. The outside luminosity attracts the inside one; it traps it, so to speak, and fixes it. That fixation s the awareness of every specific being.
Footnote 86, Book 7, page 50
Seers can also see how the emanations outside the cocoon exert a particular pressure on the portion of emanations inside. This pressure determines the degree of awareness that every living being has.
I asked him to clarify how the Eagle’s emanations outside the cocoon exert pressure on those inside.
“The Eagle’s emanations are more than filaments of light,” he replied. “Each one of them is a source of boundless energy. Thinks of it this way: since some of the emanations outside the cocoon are the same as the emanations inside, their energies are like a continuous pressure. But the cocoon isolates the emanations that are inside its web and thereby directs the pressure.”
Footnote 87, Book 7, page 50
“the old seers were masters of the art of handling awareness,” he went on.
“because they learned to manipulate the structure of man’s cocoon.”
“they saw and realized that awareness is a glow in the cocoon of living beings. They rightly called it the glow of awareness.”
Man’s awareness is a glow of amber luminosity more intense than the rest of the cocoon. That glow is on a narrow, vertical band on the extreme right side of the cocoon, running along its entire length. The mastery of the old seers was to move that glow, to make it spread from its original setting on the surface of the cocoon inward across its width.
Footnote 88, Book 7, page 56
Don Juan said that the pressure that the emanations outside the cocoon, which are called emanations at large, exert on the emanations inside the cocoon is the same in all sentient beings. Yet the results of that pressure are vastly different among them, because their cocoons react to that pressure in every conceivable way. There are, however, degrees of uniformity within certain boundaries.
“Now,” he went on, “when seers see that the pressure of the emanations at large bears down on the emanations inside, which are always in motion, and makes them stop moving, they know that the luminous being at that moment is fixated by awareness.
…awareness always comes from outside us, that the real mystery is not inside us. Since by nature the emanations at large are made to fixate what is inside the cocoon, the trick of awareness is to let the fixating emanations merge with what is inside us. Seers believe that if we let that happen we become what we really are – fluid, forever in motion, eternal.
“The degree of awareness of every individual sentient being,” he continued, “depends on the degree to which it is capable of letting the pressure of the emanations at large carry it.”
Footnote 89, Book 7, page 57, page 59
“Awareness develops from the moment of conception.”
…”sexual energy is something of ultimate importance and has to be controlled and used with great care.”
“Sexual intercourse is always a bestowal of awareness even though the bestowal may not be consolidated.
The fallacy of man is to act with total disregard for the mystery of existence and to believe that such a sublime act of bestowing lie and awareness is merely a physical drive that one can twist at will.
Footnote 90, Book 7, page 64
…the consciousness of adult human beings, matured by the process of growth, can no longer be called awareness, because it has been modified into something more intense and complex, which seers call attention.
He said that at a given time in the growth of human beings a band of the emanations inside their cocoons becomes very bright; as human beings accumulate experience, it begins to glow. In some instances, the glow of this band of emanations increases so dramatically that it fuses with the emanations from the outside.
…awareness is the raw material and attention the end product of maturation.
…”attention is the harnessing and enhancing of awareness through the process of being alive.”
…in defining attention, one runs the risk of transforming a magical, miraculous accomplishment into something commonplace. Attention is man’s greatest single accomplishment.
Footnote 91, Book 7, page 65
He explained that the first attention in man is animal awareness, which has been developed, through the process of experience, into a complex, intricate, and extremely fragile faculty that takes care of the day-to-day world in all its innumerable aspects. In other words, everything that one can think about is part of the first attention.
“The first attention is everything we are as average men,” he continued. By virtue of such an absolute rule over our lives, the first attention is the most valuable asset that the average man has. Perhaps it is even our only asset.
Footnote 92, Book 7, page 66
“ In terms of what seers see, the first attention is the glow of awareness developed to an ultra shine,” he continued. “But it is a glow fixed to the surface of the cocoon, so to speak. It is a glow that covers the known.
“The second attention, on the other hand, is a more complex and specialized state of the glow of awareness. It has to do with the unknown. It comes about when unused emanations inside man’s cocoon are utilized.
“”in order to utilize those unused emanations, one needs uncommon, elaborate tactics.”
…the concentration needed to be aware that one is having a dream is the forerunner of the second attention. That concentration is a form of consciousness that is not in the same category as the consciousness needed to deal with the daily world.
He said that the second attention is also called the left-side awareness, and it is the vastest field that one can imagine, so vast in fact that it seems limitless.
“I wouldn’t stray into it for anything in this world, he went on. “It is a quagmire so complex and bizarre that sober seers go into it only under the strictest conditions.
“The great difficulty is that the entrance into the second attention is utterly easy and its lure nearly irresistible.”
…becoming imprisoned in the quagmire of the second attention.
Footnote 93, Book 7, page 72
“You don’t remember now. You will, however, when you rekindle the emanations that were glowing when you witnessed the mystery of awareness I’m referring to.
He reiterated that awareness begins with the permanent pressure that the emanations at large exert on the ones trapped inside the cocoon. This pressure produces the first act of consciousness; it stops the motion of the trapped emanations, which are fighting to break the cocoon, fighting to die.
“For a seer, the truth is that all living beings are struggling to die,” he went on. “What stops death is awareness.”
Footnote 94, Book 7, page 73-74
…all organic beings, except man, quiet down their trapped emanations so that those emanations can align themselves with their matching ones outside. Human beings do not do that; instead, their first attention takes an inventory of the Eagle’s emanations inside their cocoons.
“Human beings take notice of the emanations they have inside their cocoons,” he replied. “No other creatures do that. The moment the pressure from the emanations at large fixates the emanations inside, the first attention begins to watch itself.
To take an inventory is the Eagle’s command.
“The emanations inside the cocoon of man are not quieted down for purposes of matching them with those outside,” he replied. “This is evident after seeing what other creatures do.
“But human beings quiet down their emanations and then reflect on them. The emanations focus on themselves.”
Footnote 95, Book 7, page 74-75
He said that human beings carry the command of taking an inventory to its logical extreme and disregard everything else. Once they are deeply involved in the inventory, two things may happen. They may ignore the impulses of the emanations at large, or they may use them in a very specialized way.
The end result of ignoring those impulses after taking an inventory is a unique state known as reason. The result of using every impulse in a specialized way is known as self-absorption.
Human reason appears to a seer as an unusually homogeneous dull glow that rarely if ever responds to the constant pressure from the emanations at large – a glow that makes the egglike shell become tougher, but more brittle.
Don Juan remarked that reason in the human species should be bountiful, but that in actuality it is very rare. The majority of human beings turn to self-absorption.
Footnote 96, Book 7, page 75
He asserted that the awareness of all living beings has a degree of self-reflection in order for them to interact. But none except man’s first attention has such a degree of self-absorption. Contrary to men of reason, who ignore the impulse of the emanations at large, the self-absorbed individuals use every impulse and turn them all into a force to stir the trapped emanations inside their cocoons.
…men of reason are bound to live longer, because by disregarding the impulse of the emanations at large, they quiet down the natural agitation inside their cocoons. The self-absorbed individuals, on the other hand, by using the impulse of the emanations at large to create more agitation, shorten their lives.
Footnote 97, Book 7, page 76
“The first attention works only with the known,” Genaro said.” It isn’t worth two plugged nickels with the unknown.
“That is not quite right,” don Juan retorted. “The first attention works very well with the unknown. It blocks it; it denies it so fiercely that in the end, the unknown doesn’t exist for the first attention.
Footnote 98, Book 7, page 79
“the first attention consumes all of the glow of awareness that human beings have, and not an iota of energy is left free. That’s your problem now. So, the new seers proposed that warriors, since they have to enter into the unknown, have to save their energy. But where are they going to get energy, if all of it is taken? They’ll get it, the new seers say, from eradicating unnecessary habits.
He said that it detaches awareness from self-reflection and allows it the freedom to focus on something else.
“The unknown is forever present,” he continued. “but it is outside the possibility of our normal awareness.
“After all the time you’ve spent in the warrior’s path, you have enough free energy to grasp the unknown, but not enough energy to understand it or even to remember it.”
Footnote 99, Book 7, page 80
“The new seers were simply terrified by the knowledge that the old seers had accumulated over the years,” don Juan said. “It’s understandable. The new seers knew that that knowledge leads only to total destruction. Yet they were also fascinated by it – especially by the practices.”
“What kind of practices are they, don Juan?”
“They are very obscure formulas, incantations, lengthy procedures that have to do with the handling of a very mysterious force.
“It is a force that is present throughout everything there is…the will of the Eagle’s emanations, or intent.
Footnote 100, Book 7, page 82
“Organic living beings have a cocoon that encloses the emanations. But there are other creatures whose receptacles don’t look like a cocoon to a seer. Yet they have the emanations of awareness in them and characteristics of life other than metabolism and reproduction.”
“If these beings are alive, why don’t they make themselves known to man?” I asked.
“They do, all the time. And not only to seers but also to the average man. The problem is that all the energy available is consumed by the first attention. Man’s inventory not only takes it all, but it also toughens the cocoon to the point of making it inflexible. Under those circumstances there is no possible interaction.
Footnote 101, Book 7, page 91
“But I heard a voice in my ear saying that I was dying,” I said.
“The voice was right. You were dying, and you would have if I hadn’t been there. That is the danger of practicing the Toltecs’ techniques. They are extremely effective but most of the time they are deadly.
Footnote 102, Book 7, page 100
“Once an ally catches you, you either have a heart attack and die or you wrestle with it. The after a moment f thrashing around in sham ferocity, the ally’s energy wanes. There is nothing an ally can do to us, or vice versa. We are separated by an abyss.
…”allies are totally barred from the world of the right-side awareness..”
Footnote 103, Book 7, page 108
He then began his explanation. He briefly outlined the truths about awareness he had discussed; that there is no objective world, but only a universe of energy fields which seers call the Eagle’s emanations. That human beings are made of the Eagle’s emanations, and are in essence bubbles of luminescent energy; each of us is wrapped in a cocoon that encloses a small portion of these emanations. That awareness is achieved by the constant pressure that the emanations outside our cocoons, which are called emanations at large, exert on those inside our cocoons. That awareness gives rise to perception, which happens when the emanations inside our cocoons align themselves with the corresponding emanations at large.
“The next truth is that perception takes place,” he went on, “because there is in each of us an agent called the assemblage point that selects internal and external emanations for alignment. The particular alignment that we perceive as the world is the product of the specific spot where our assemblage point is located on our cocoon.”
Footnote 104, Book 7, page 109
…in order for our first attention to bring into focus the world that we perceive, it has to emphasize certain emanations selected from the narrow band of emanations where man’s awareness is located. The discarded emanations are still within our reach but remain dormant, unknown to us for the duration of our lives.
The new seers call the emphasized emanations the right side, normal awareness, the tonal, this world, the known, the first attention. The average man calls it reality, rationality, common sense.
The emphasized emanations compose a large portion of man’s band of awareness, but a very small piece of the total spectrum of emanations present inside the cocoon of man. The disregarded emanations within man’s band are thought of as a sort of preamble to the unknown, the unknown proper consisting of the bulk of emanations which are not part of the human band and which are never emphasized. Seers call them the left-side awareness, the nagual, the other world, the unknown, the second attention.
Footnote 105, Book 7, page 111
He explained that usually a luminous cocoon hardened by self-reflection is not affected at all by the nagual’s blow. Sometimes, however, the cocoon of man is very pliable and the smallest force creates a bowl-like dent ranging in size from a small depression to one that a third the size of the total cocoon; or it creates a crevice that may run across the width of the egglike shell, or along its length, making the cocoon look as if it has curled in on itself.
Don Juan further said that the dent acts on the first attention by displacing the glow of awareness.
The dent, by displacing the Eagle’s emanations inside the cocoon, makes the glow of awareness fall on other emanations from areas that are ordinarily inaccessible to the first attention.
Footnote 106, Book 7, page 112-113
“In some inexplicable way, it is a matter of a glow that creates a dent in another glow,” he replied. “Your flaw is to remain glued to the inventory of reason. Reason doesn’t deal with man as energy. Reason deals with instruments that create energy, but it has never seriously occurred to reason that we are better than instruments; we are organisms that create energy. We are a bubble of energy. It isn’t farfetched, then, that a bubble of energy would make a dent in another bubble of energy.”
He said that the glow of awareness created by the dent should rightfully be called temporary heightened attention, because it emphasizes emanations that are so proximal to the habitual ones that the change is minimal, yet the shift produces a greater capacity to inderstand and to concentrate and, above all, a greater capacity to forget.
…while being in a state of heightened attention, human beings could work as if they were in the world of everyday life.
“Why does one have to forget?”
“Because the emanations that account for greater clarity cease to be emphasized once warriors are out of heightened awareness,” he replied. “Without that emphasis whatever they experience or witness vanishes.”
Don Juan said that one of the tasks the new seers had devised for their students was to force them to remember, that is, to reemphasize for themselves, at a later time, those emanations used during states of heightened awareness.
Footnote 107, Book 7, page 117-118
He explained that human beings repeatedly choose the same emanations for perceiving because of two reasons. First, and most important, because we have been taught that those emanations are perceivable, and second because our assemblage points select and prepare those emanations for being used.
“Every living being has an assemblage point,” he went on,” which selects emanations for emphasis.
…the spot where that point is located on the cocoon of all living creatures is not a permanent feature, but is established on that specific spot by habit. Hence the tremendous stress the new seers put on new actions, on new practicalities. They want desperately to arrive at new usages, new habits.
… “the point can be moved from within. The unfortunate truth is that human beings always lose by default. The simply don’t know about their possibilities.”
“How can one accomplish that change from within?” I asked.
“The new seers say that realization is the technique,” he said. They say that, first of all, one must become aware that the world we perceive is the result of our assemblage points’ being located on a specific spot on the cocoon. Once that is understood, the assemblage point can move almost at will, as a consequence of new habi
Footnote 108, Book 7, page 119
“The assemblage point of man appears around a definite area of the cocoon, because the eagle commands it,” he said. “But the precise spot is determined by habit, by repetitious acts. First we learn that it can be placed there and then we ourselves command it to be there. Our command becomes the Eagle’s command and that point is fixated at that spot.
He stated once again that the old seers had concentrated exclusively on developing thousands of the most complex techniques of sorcery. He added that what they never realized was that their intricate devices, as bizarre as they were, had no other value than being the means to break the fixation of their assemblage points and make them move.
Footnote 109, Book 7, page119
“I’ve mentioned to you that sorcery is something like entering a dead-end street,” he replied. “What I meant was that sorcery practices have no intrinsic value. Their worth is indirect, for their real function is to make the assemblage point shift by making the first attention release its control on that point.
He added that the obsessive entanglement of the first attention in self-absorption or reason is a powerful binding force, and that ritual behavior, because it is repetitive, forces the first attention to free some energy from watching the inventory, as a consequence of which the assemblage point loses its rigidity.
Footnote 110, Book 7, page 120
“What happens to the persons whose assemblage points lose rigidity?” I asked.
“If they’re not warriors, they think they’re losing their minds,” he said, smiling.
“You see, to be healthy and sane means that the assemblage point is immovable. When it shifts, it literally means that one is deranged.”
“What if the assemblage point doesn’t return to its original position?” I asked.
“Then those people are lost,” he said. “They are either incurably crazy, because their assemblage points could never assemble the world as we know it, or else they are peerless seers wo have begun their movement toward the unknown.
Footnote 111, Book 7, page 121
“By all ordinary measures, you were indeed losing your mind,” he said, “but in the seers’ view, if you had lost it, you wouldn’t have lost much. The mind, for a seer, is nothing but the self-reflection of the inventory of man. If you lose that self-reflection, but don’t lose your underpinnings, you actually live an infinitely stronger life than if you had kept it.”
Footnote 112, Book 7, page 121
He remarked that my flaw was my emotional reaction, which prevented me from realizing that the oddity of my sensorial experiences was determined by the depth to which my assemblage point had moved into man’s band of emanations.
He drew an egglike shape and divided it into four longitudinal sections….he then drew a thick band at the line between the first and second sections and erased the division lines. He explained that the band was like a disk of cheddar cheese that had been inserted into the ball of jack cheese.
“Now if that ball of jack cheese were transparent,” he went on, “you would have the perfect replica of man’s cocoon. The cheddar cheese goes all the way inside the ball of jack cheese. It’s a disk that goes from the surface on one side all the way to the surface on the other side.”
“The assemblage point of man is located high up, three fourths of the way toward the top of the egg on the surface of the cocoon. When a nagual presses on that point of intense luminosity, the point moves into the disk of the cheddar cheese. Heightened awareness comes about when the intense glow of the assemblage point lights up dormant emanations way inside the disk of cheddar cheese. To see the glow of the assemblage point moving inside that disk gives the feeling that it is shifting toward the left on the surface of the cocoon.
Footnote 113, Book 7, page 123
“When the nagual pushes that point,” he went on, “the point ends up any which way along man’s band, but it absolutely doesn’t matter where, because wherever it ends up is always virgin ground.
“The grand test that the new seers developed for their warrior-apprentices is to retrace the journey that their assemblage points took under the influence of the nagual. This retracing, wen it is completed, is called regaining the totality of oneself.”
Footnote 114, Book 7, page 123
In the course of our growth, once the glow of awareness focuses on man’s band of emanations and selects some of them for emphasis, it enters into a vicious circle. The more it emphasizes certain emanations, the more stable the assemblage point gets to be. This is equivalent to saying that our command becomes the eagle’s command.
Don Juan said that the assemblage point is also responsible for making the first attention perceive in terms of clusters.
…the assemblage point radiates a glow that groups together bundles of encased emanations. These bundles then become aligned, as bundles, with the emanations at large.
Footnote 115, Book 7, page 131
He stressed over and over that the internal dialogue is what keeps the assemblage point fixed to its original position.
“Once silence is attained, everything is possible,” he said.
I told him I was very conscious of the fact that in general I had stopped talking to myself, but did not know how I had done it. If asked to explain the procedure I would not know what to say.
“The explanation is simplicity itself,” he said. “You willed it, and thus you set a new intent, a new command. Then your command became the Eagle’s command.”
“Our command can become the Eagle’s command. The internal dialogue stops in the same way it begins: by an act of will. After all, we are forced to start talking to ourselves by those who teach us. As they teach us, they engage their will and we engage ours, both without knowing it. As we learn to talk to ourselves, we learn to handle will. We will ourselves to talk to ourselves. The way to stop talking to ourselves is to use exactly the same method: we must will it, we must intend it.
Footnote 116, Book 7, page 132
Infants have no fixed assemblage point at first. Their encased emanations are in a state of great turmoil, and their assemblage points shift everywhere in the band of man, giving children a great capacity to focus on emanations that later will be thoroughly disregarded. Then, as they grow, the older humans around them, through their considerable power over them, force the children’s assemblage points to become more steady by means of an increasingly complex internal dialogue. The internal dialogue is a process that constantly strengthens the position of the assemblage point, because that position is an arbitrary one and needs steady reinforcement.
“But would it be possible to encourage children to keep their assemblage points more fluid?” I asked.
“Only if they live among the new seers,” he said. “Otherwise they would get entrapped, as the old seers did, in the intricacies of the silent side of man. And, believe me, that’s worse than being caught in the clutches of rationality.”
He went on to express his profound admiration for the human capacity to impart order to the chaos of the Eagle’s emanations. He maintained that every one of us, in his own right, is a masterful magician and our magic is to keep our assemblage point unwaveringly fixed.
Footnote 117, Book 7, page 137
“If you think about scary things,” he continued, “about something unnamable lurking in the darkness, you’re thinking, without knowing it, about a woman seer holding a position in the immeasurable area below. True horror lies right there.
Footnote 118, Book 7, page 138
“Is the assemblage points of other organisms also trained to appear where it does?” I asked.
“Every newborn organism is trained, one way or another,” he replied. “We may not understand how their training is done – after all we don’t even understand how it is done to us – but seers see that the newborn are coaxed to do what their kind does. That’s exactly what happens to human infants: seers see their assemblage points shifting every which way and then they see how the presence of adults fastens each point to one spot. The same happens to every other organism.
Footnote 119, Book 7, page 138
He said that the assemblage point not only effects the alignment needed for perception, but also obliterates the alignment of certain emanations in order to arrive at a greater refinement of perception, a skimming, a tricky human construct with no parallel.
Only human beings were capable of further clustering the clusters of emanations.
Man’s assemblage point takes some part of the emanations already selected for alignment and makes a more palatable construct with it.
“The skimmings of men,” don Juan continued, “are more real than what other creatures perceive. That is our pitfall. They are so real to us that we forget we have constructed them by commanding our assemblage points to appear where they do. We forget they are real to us only because it is our command to perceive them as real. We have the power to skim the top off the alignments, but we don’t have the power to protect ourselves from our own commands. That has to be learned. To give our skimmings a free hand, as we do, is an error of judgement for which we pay as dearly as the old seers paid for theirs.
Footnote 120, Book 7, page 141
“I’ve explained to you that man has an assemblage point,” he went on, “and that that assemblage point aligns emanations for perception. We’ve also discussed that that point moves from its fixed position. Now, the last truth is that once that assemblage point moves beyond a certain limit, it can assemble worlds entirely different from the world we know.”
Footnote 121, Book 7, page 145
“I once told you that the nagual Julian recommended to us not to waste our sexual energy,” Genaro went on. “He meant that for the assemblage point to shift, one needs energy. If one doesn’t have it, the nagual’s blow is not the blow of freedom, but the blow of death.”
“Without enough energy,” don Juan said, “the force of alignment is crushing. You have to have energy to sustain the pressure of alignments which never take place under ordinary circumstances.”
Footnote 122, Book 7, page 153
“What’s happening to you is what happens to anyone who stores enough energy to catch a glimpse of the unknown.”
“Your new level of energy will create a new spot to house your assemblage point. And the warriors’ dialogue you carry on with us every time we get together will solidify that new position.
“The position of the assemblage point on man’s cocoon,” don Juan explained, “is maintained by the internal dialogue, and because of that, it is a flimsy position at best. That’s why men and women lose their minds so easily, especially those whose interior dialogue is repetitious, boring, and without any depth.
“The new seers say that the more resilient human beings are those whose internal dialogue is more fluid and varied.”
Footnote 123, Book 7, page 170
They knew that their predecessors had accomplished extraordinary feats by manipulating a mysterious and miraculous force…
They discovered that the energy of alignment is that force.
They saw that alignment is ceaselessly renewed in order to imbue perception with continuity. To renew alignment every time with the freshness that it needs to make up a living world, the burst of energy that comes out of those very alignments is automatically rerouted to reinforce some choice alignments.
This new observation served the new seers as another springboard that helped them reach the third basis of the set. They called it intent, and they described it as the purposeful guiding of will, the energy of alignment.
Footnote 124, Book 7, page 183
“You see, the nagual Julian made my assemblage point shift countless times, just as I have made yours shift. Then he left me the task of realigning all those emanations which he had helped me align through those shifts. That is the task that every nagual is left to do.”
“At any rate, the job of realigning all those emanations paves the way for the peculiar maneuver of lighting up all the emanations inside the cocoon. I am about to reach my maximum. Since I am the nagual, once I do light up all the emanations inside my cocoon we will all be gone in an instant.”
Footnote 125, Book 7, page 184
Don Juan began his elucidation by commenting that the difficulty in remembering what takes place in heightened awareness is due to the infinitude of positions that the assemblage point can adopt after being loosened from its normal setting. Facility in remembering everything that takes place in normal awareness, on the other hand, has to do with the fixity of the assemblage point on one spot, the spot where it normally sets.
Footnote 126, Book 7, page 195
“The most difficult thing in the warrior’s path is to make the assemblage point move,” don Juan said.
He repeated that in the warriors’ way, the shift of the assemblage point is everything. The old seers absolutely failed to realize this truth. They thought the movement of the point was like a marker that determined their positions on a scale of worth. They never conceived that it was that very position which determined what they perceived
Footnote 127, Book 7, page 199
“the position of the assemblage point dictates how we behave and how we feel.”
“my great flaw at that time was that I could not understand this principle. I was raw. I lived through self-importance, just as you do, because that was where my assemblage point was lodged. You see, I hadn’t learned yet that the way to move that point is to establish new habits, to will it to move.
He said that realizations are of two kinds. One is just pep talk, great outbursts of emotion and nothing more. The other is the product of a shift of the assemblage point; it is not coupled with an emotional outburst but with action. The emotional realizations come years later after warriors have solidified, by usage, the new position of their assemblage points.
Footnote 128, Book 7, page 203
“I’ve been telling you all along about the great findings that the old seers made,” he said. “Just as they found out that organic life is not the only life present on earth, they also discovered that the earth itself is a living being.”
“The old seers saw that the earth has a cocoon,” he went on. “They saw that there is a ball encasing the earth, a luminous cocoon that entraps the Eagle’s emanations. The earth is a gigantic sentient being subjected to the same forces we are.”
They considered the earth to be the ultimate source of everything we are.
Footnote 129, Book 7, page 205
He explained that what he called the key to everything was the firsthand knowledge that the earth is a sentient being and as such can give warriors a tremendous boost; it is an impulse that comes from the awareness of the earth itself at the instant in which the emanations inside warriors’ cocoons are aligned with the appropriate emanations inside the earth’s cocoon. Since both the earth and man are sentient beings, their emanations coincide, or rather, the earth has all the emanations present in man and all the emanations that are present in all sentient beings, organic and inorganic for that matter. When a moment of alignment takes place, sentient beings use that alignment in a limited way and perceive their world. Warriors can use that alignment either to perceive, like everyone else, or as a boost that allows them to enter unimaginable worlds.
Footnote 130, Book 7, page 206
“The unknown is not really inside the cocoon of man in the emanations untouched by awareness, and yet it is there, in a manner of speaking. This is the point you haven’t understood. When I told you that we can assemble seven worlds besides the one we know, you took it as being an internal affair, because your total bias is to believe that you are only imagining everything you do with us. Therefore, you have never asked me where the unknown really is. For years I have circled with my hand to point to everything around us and I have told you that the unknown is there. You never made the connection.
Don Juan restated over and over that the portion of emanations inside man’s cocoon is in there only for awareness, and that awareness is matching that portion of emanations with the same portion of emanations at large. They are called emanations at large because they are immense; and to say that outside man’s cocoon is the unknowable is to say that within the earth’s cocoon is the unknowable. However, inside the earth’s cocoon is also the unknown, and inside man’s cocoon the unknown is the emanations untouched by awareness. When the glow of awareness touches them, they become active and can be aligned with the corresponding emanations at large. Once that happens the unknown is perceived and becomes the known.
Footnote 131, Book 7, page 213
“I mean that when man’s assemblage point moves beyond a crucial limit, the results are always the same for every man. The techniques for making it move may be as different as they can be, but the results are always the same, meaning that the assemblage point assembles other worlds, aided by the boost from the earth.
…the supreme awareness of the earth is what makes it possible for us to change into other great bands of emanations.
“We living beings are perceivers,” he said. “And we perceive because some emanations inside man’s cocoon become aligned with some emanations outside. Alignment, therefore, is the secret passageway, and the earth’s boost is the key.
Footnote 132, Book 7, page 216
…the position of the assemblage point is everything, and that the world it makes us perceive is so real that it does not leave room for anything except realness.
“the force of his perception will leave room for nothing else.”
“Genaro is separated from us at this moment by the force of perception,” don Juan said quietly. “When the assemblage point assembles a world, that world is total.
“the awareness of the earth can give us a boost to align other great bands of emanations, and the force of that new alignment makes the world vanish.
Footnote 133, Book 7, page 218
Alignment is a unique force because it either helps the assemblage point shift, or it keeps it glued to its customary position. The aspect of alignment that keeps the point, stationery, he said, is will; and the aspect that makes it shift is intent. He remarked that one of the most haunting mysteries is how will, the impersonal force of alignment, changes into intent, the personalized force, which is at the service of each individual.
“The strangest part of this mystery is that the change is so easy to accomplish,” he went on. “But what is not so easy is to convince ourselves that it is possible. There, right there, is our safety catch. We have to be convinced. And none of us wants to be.
Footnote 134, Book 7, page 219
He said that warriors should never attempt seeing unless they were aided by dreaming.
He clarified his statement, saying that to move the assemblage point away from its natural setting and to keep it fixed at a new location is to be asleep; seers learn to be asleep and yet behave as if nothing is happening to them.
Footnote 135, Book 7, page 219
The front of the egglike cocoon of man has a protective shield, which seers call the front plate. It is an almost impregnable, unyielding shield that protects us throughout our lives against the onslaughts of a peculiar force that stems from the emanations themselves.
Footnote 136, Book 7, page 220
There was a vertical band with a stronger amber glow of the right side of those egglike luminous creatures, perhaps one-tenth of the total volume of the cocoon. The voice said that that was man’s band of awareness. The voice pointed out a dot on man’s band, a dot with an intense shine; it was high on the oblong shapes, almost on the crest of them, on the surface of the cocoon; the voice said that it was the assemblage point.
When I saw each luminous creature in profile, from the point of view of its body, its egglike shape was like a gigantic asymmetrical yo-yo that was standing edgewise, or like an almost round pot that was resting on its side with its lid on. The part that looked like a lid was the front plate; it was perhaps one-fifth the thickness of the total cocoon.
Footnote 137, Book 7, page 221
Don Juan said that I should now gaze at people face to face and sustain my gaze until I had broken the barrier and I was seeing the emanations.
I followed his command. Almost instantaneously, I saw a most brilliant array of live, compelling fibers of light. It was a dazzling sight that immediately shattered my balance. I fell down on the cement walk on my side. From there I saw the compelling fibers of light multiply themselves. They burst open and myriads of other fibers came out of them.
But the fibers, compelling as they were, somehow did not interfere with my ordinary view. There were scores of people going into church. I was no longer seeing them.
I wanted to focus my eyes on them, but instead I noticed how one of those fibers of light bulged suddenly. It became like a ball of fire that was perhaps seven feet in diameter. It rolled on me. My first impulse was to roll out of its way. Before I could even move a muscle the ball had hit me. I felt it as clearly as if someone had punched me gently in the stomach. An instane later another ball of fire hit me, this time with considerably more strength, and the don Juan whacked me really hard on the cheek with his open hand. I jumped up involuntarily and lost sight of the fibers of light and the balloons that were hitting me.
Don Juan said that I had successfully endured my first brief encounter with the Eagle’s emanations, but that a couple of shoves from the tumbler had dangerously opened my gap. He added that the balls that had hit me were called the rolling force, or the tumbler.
Footnote 138, Book 7, page 222
“Were those fibers I saw the Eagle’s emanations?” I asked don Juan.
“Yes. But you didn’t really see them,” he replied. “No sooner had you begun to see than the tumbler stopped you. If you had remained a moment longer it would have blasted you.
“What exactly is the tumbler?” I asked.
“It is a force from the Eagle’s emanations,” he said. “A ceaseless force that strikes us every instant of our lives. It is lethal when seen, but otherwise we are oblivious to it, in our ordinary lives, because we have protective shields. We have consuming interests that engage all our awareness. We are permanently worried about our station, our possessions. These shields, however, do not keep the tumbler away, they simply keep us from seeing it directly, protecting us in this way from getting hurt by the fright of seeing the balls of fire hitting us.
Footnote 139, Book 7, page 222-223
“Shields are a great help and a great hindrance to us. They pacify us and at the same time fool us. They give us a false sense of security.”
He warned me that a moment would come in my life when I would be without any shields, uninterruptedly at the mercy of the tumbler. He said that it is an obligatory stage in the life of a warrior, known as losing the human form.
The human form is the compelling force of alignment of the emanations lit by the glow of awareness on the precise spot on which normally man’s assemblage point is fixated. It is the force that makes us into persons.
Thus, to be a person is to be compelled to affiliate with that force of alignment and consequently to be affiliated with the precise spot where it originates.
Footnote 140, Book 7, page 223
He explained that those balls of fire are of crucial importance to human beings because they are an expression of a force that pertains to all details of life and death.
“The rolling force is the means through which the Eagle distributes life and awareness for safekeeping,” he said. “But it also is the force that, let’s say, collects the rent. It makes all living beings die.
He said that seers describe it as an eternal line of iridescent rings, or balls of fire, that roll onto living beings ceaselessly. Luminous organic beings meet the rolling force head on, until the day when the force proves to be too much for them and the creatures finally collapse. The old seers were mesmerized by seeing how the tumbler then tumbles them into the beak of the Eagle to be devoured.
Footnote 141, Book 7, page 224
“Have you yourself seen it rolling human beings?” I asked.
“Certainly, I’ve seen it,” he replied, and after a pause he added, “You and I saw it only a short while ago in Mexico City.”
His assertion was so farfetched that I felt obliged to tell him that this time he was wrong. He laughed and reminded me that on that occasion, while both of us were sitting on a bench in the Alameda park in Mexico City, we had witnessed the death of a man. He said that I had recorded the event in my everyday-life memory as well as in my left-side emanations.
Footnote 142, Book 7, page 225-226
“The new seers, on the other hand, make friends with it. They become familiar with that force by handling it without any self-importance. The result is staggering in its consequences.”
He said that a shift of the assemblage point is all that is needed to open oneself to the rolling force. He added that if the force is seen in a deliberate manner, there is minimal danger. A situation that is extremely dangerous, however, is an involuntary shift of the assemblage point owing, perhaps, to physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion, disease, or simply a minor emotional or physical crisis, such as being frightened or being drunk.
“When the assemblage point shifts involuntarily, the rolling force cracks the cocoon,” he went on. “I’ve talked many times about a gap that man has below his navel…in the cocoon…It is there where the tumbler hits us ceaselessly and where the cocoon cracks.
If the shift is considerable, the crack also is extensive and it takes time for the cocoon to repair itself.
Don Juan said that in cases in which the assemblage point shifts drastically because of the effects of trauma or of a mortal disease, the rolling force produces a crack the length of the cocoon; the cocoon collapses and curls in on itself, and the individual dies.
“Can a voluntary shift also produce a gap of that nature?” I asked.
Footnote 143, Book 7, page 228
There were, in effect, two different aspects of the same force. The tumbling aspect relates exclusively to destruction and death. The circular aspect, on the other hand, is what maintains life and awareness, fulfillment and purpose.
“Gazing in teams, the new seers were able to see the separation between the tumbling and the circular aspects,” he explained. “They saw that both forces are fused, but are not the same. The circular force comes to us just before the tumbling force; they are so close to each other that they seem the same.
“The reason it’s called the circular force is that it comes in rings, threadlike hoops of iridescence – a very delicate affair indeed. And just like the tumbling force, it strikes all living beings ceaselessly, but for a different purpose. It strikes them to give them strength, direction, awareness; to give them life.
“the balance of the two forces in every living being is a very delicate one,” he continued.
Footnote 144, Book 7, page 250
Don Juan said that, technically, as soon as the assemblage point shifts, we are asleep. I wondered, for instance, if I was sound asleep from the stand of an onlooker, just as Genaro had been asleep to me.
“You are absolutely asleep without having to be stretched out,” he replied. “ If people in a normal state of awareness saw you now, you would appear to them to be a bit dizzy, even drunk.”
He explained that during normal sleep, the shift of the assemblage point runs along either edge of man’s band. Such shifts are always coupled with slumber. Shifts that are induced by practice occur along the midsection of man’s band and are not coupled with slumber, yet a dreamer is asleep.
Footnote 145, Book 7, page 154
What takes place during the borrowing of energy is that the old sorcerer moves the nagual’s assemblage point to emphasize the ally’s emanations inside the nagual’s cocoon. He then uses the great jolt of energy produced by those emanations that suddenly become aligned after being so deeply dormant.
He said that the energy locked within us, in the dormant emanations, has a tremendous force and an incalculable scope. We can only vaguely assess the scope of that tremendous force, if we consider that the energy involved in perceiving and acting in the world of everyday life is the product of the alignment of hardly one-tenth of the emanations encased in man’s cocoon.
“What happens at the moment of death is that all that energy is released at once,” he continued. “Living beings at that moment become flooded by the most inconceivable force. It is not the rolling force that has cracked their gaps, because that force never enters inside the cocoon; it only makes it collapse. What floods them is the force of all the emanations that are suddenly aligned after being dormant for a lifetime. There is no outlet for such a giant force except to escape through the gap.
Footnote 146, Book 7, page 257
He explained that when the assemblage point is moving away from its customary position and reaches a certain depth, it breaks a barrier that momentarily disrupts its capacity to align emanations. We experience it as a moment of perceptual blankness…a wall of fog.
Footnote 147, Book 7, page 258
Don Juan had told me that exercises of assembling other worlds allowed the assemblage point to gain experience in shifting. I had always wondered, however, how to get the initial boost to dislodge my assemblage point from its usual position. When I’d questioned him about it in the past he’d pointed out that since alignment is the force that is involved in everything, intent is what makes the assemblage point move.
“The mastery of awareness is what gives the assemblage point its boost. After all, there is really very little to us human beings; we are, in essence, an assemblage point fixed at a certain position. Our enemy and at the same time our friend is our internal dialogue, our inventory. Be a warrior; shut off your internal dialogue; make your inventory and then throw it away. The new seers make accurate inventories and then laugh at them. Without the inventory the assemblage point becomes free.”
Footnote 148, Book 7, page 258-259
Don Juan reminded me that he had talked a great deal about one of the most sturdy aspects of our inventory: our idea of God. That aspect, he said, was like a powerful glue that bound the assemblage point to its original position. If I were going to assemble another true world with another great band of emanations, I had to take an obligatory step in order to release all ties from my assemblage point.
“The mold of man is a huge cluster of emanations in the great band of organic life,” he said. “It is called the mold of man because the cluster appears only inside the cocoon of man.”
“The mold of man is the portion of the Eagle’s emanations that seers can see directly without any danger to themselves.”
“To break the barrier of perception is the last task of the mastery of awareness.”
Footnote 149, Book 7, page 260
“It will be a long time before you can apply the principle that your command is the Eagle’s command,” he said. That’s the essence of the mastery of intent. In the meantime, make a command now not to fret, not even at the worst moments of doubt. It will be a slow process until that command is he
Footnote 150, Book 7, page 261
A pattern of energy that serves to stamp the qualities of humanness on an amorphous blob of biological matter…he said that it was like a gigantic die that stamps out human beings endlessly.
He also said that every species has a mold of its own, and every individual of every species molded by the process shows characteristics particular to its own kind.
Mystics, throughout the centuries, have given us moving accounts of their experiences. But these accounts, however beautiful, are flawed by the gross and despairing mistake of believing the mold of man to be an omnipotent, omniscient creator; and so is the interpretation of the old seers, who called the mold of man a friendly spirit, a protector of man.
The mold of man is not a creator, but the pattern of every human attribute…the mold is our God because we are what it stamps us with and not because it has created us from nothing and made us in its image and likeness. Don Juan said that in his opinion to fall on our knees in the presence of the mold of man reeks of arrogance and human self-centeredness.
Footnote 151, Book 7, page 263
He assured me that even if I was able to see, I was bound to make the same misjudgment that mystics have made. Anyone who sees the mold of man automatically assumes that it is God.
He called the mystical experience a chance seeing, a one-shot affair that has no significance whatsoever because it is the result of a random movement of the assemblage point.
They have seen, therefore, that what we call God is a static prototype of humanness, without any power.
The mold of man is exactly what its name tells us it is, a pattern, a form, a cast that groups together a particular bunch of fiberlike elements, which we call man.
Footnote 152, Book 7, page 264
He said that I had to go beyond the mold, that the mold was merely a stage, a stopover that brought temporary peace and serenity to those who journey into the unknown, but that it was sterile, static. It was at the same time a flat reflected image in a mirror and the mirror itself. And the image was man’s image.
Footnote 153, Book 7, page 266
To see the mold of man, I had obviously gone through a shift of my assemblage point. The recollection of the feelings and realizations I had had then was so vivid that it gave me a sense of utter futility. Everything I had done and felt at that time I was feeling now. I asked him how it was possible that having had such a clear comprehension, I could have forgotten it so completely.
“Whatever you did years ago is solidly enclosed in some unused emanations.”
There is no way to speed up understanding and that to dislodge the assemblage point is not enough.
Since the assemblage point normally shifts during dreams, sometimes to extraordinarily distant positions, whenever we undergo an induced shift we are all experts at immediately compensating for it. We rebalance ourselves constantly and activity goes on as if nothing has happened to us.
The new seers said that what counts in this respect is the effort to reinforce the stability of the assemblage point in its new position.
Footnote 154, Book 7, page 272
He repeated over and over that at the stage where I was, no rational assumptions should interfere with my actions. He said that the dreaming body and the barrier of perception are positions of the assemblage point, and that that knowledge is as vital to seers as knowing how to read and write is to modern man. Both are accomplishments attained after years of practice.
Footnote 155, Book 7, page 282
He said that I had to understand that rationality is a condition of alignment, merely the result of the position of the assemblage point.
Footnote 156, Book 7, page 283
“How does a journey like that take place? I asked.
“There is no way of knowing how it is done,” he said. “Strong emotion, or unbending intent, or great interest serves as a guide; then the assemblage point gets powerfully fixed at the dreaming position, long enough to drag there all the emanations that are inside the cocoon.”
Footnote 157, Book 7, page 283
Everything in the world we have learned to perceive is inextricably tied to the position where the assemblage point is located. If the assemblage point is displaced from that position, the world will cease to be what it is to us.
Don Juan said that a displacement of the assemblage point beyond the midline of the cocoon of man makes the entire world we know vanish from our view in one instant, as if it had been erased – for the stability, the substantiality, that seems to belong to our perceivable world is just the force of alignment. Certain emanations are routinely aligned because of the fixation of the assemblage point on one specific spot; that is all there is to our world.
Footnote 158, Book 7 , page 284
“the soundness of the world is not the mirage,” he continued, “the mirage is the fixation of the assemblage point on any spot. When seers shift their assemblage points, they are not confronted with an illusion, they are confronted with another world; that new world is as real as the one we are watching now, but the new fixation of their assemblage points, which produces that new world, is as much of a mirage as the old fixation.
“Take yourself, for example; you are now in a state of heightened awareness. Whatever you are capable of doing in such a state is not an illusion; it is as real as the world you will face tomorrow in your daily life, and yet tomorrow the world you are witnessing now won’t exist. It exists only when your assemblage point moves to the particular spot where you are now.
Footnote 159, Book 7, page 285
He doubted then as he doubted now that there is a way to soothe anyone who realizes the journey of the dreaming body.
During the years I had spent with don Juan, I had had lapses of continuity in my memory. My being in Tucson with him on that day was one of those lapses. I remembered not being able to recall how I had gotten to Tucson. I did not pay any attention to it, however. I thought the lapse was the result of my activities with don Juan.
I told don Juan that since both of us had ended up that day in the same place, I wondered whether it was possible for two or more people to wake up at the same dreaming position.
“Of course,” he said. “That’s the way the old Toltec sorcerers took off into the unknown in packs. They followed one another. There is no way of knowing how one follows someone else. It’s just done. The dreaming body just does it. The presence of another dreamer spurs it to do it. That day you pulled me with you. And I followed because I wanted to be with you.”
Footnote 160, Book 7, page 288
“We’ve come to the end of my explanation of awareness,” he said. “And today you are going to assemble another world by yourself and leave all doubts behind forever.
“There must be no mistake about what you are going to do. Today, from the vantage point of heightened awareness, you are going to make your assemblage point move and in one instant you are going to align the emanations of another world.
“In a few days, when Genaro and I meet you on a mountaintop, you are going to do the same from the disadvantage of normal awareness. You will have to align the emanations of another world on a moment’s notice; if you don’t you will die the death of an average man who falls from a precipice.”
Footnote 161, Book 7, page 289
Warriors ended their training when they were capable of breaking the barrier of perception, unaided, starting from a normal state of awareness.
“The only force that can temporarily cancel out alignment is alignment,” he continued. “You will have to cancel the alignment that keeps you perceiving the world of daily affairs. By intending a new position for your assemblage point and by intending to keep it fixed there long enough, you will assemble another world and escape this one.
“The old seers are still defying death, to this day, by doing just that, intending their assemblage points to remain fixed on positions that place them in any of the seven worlds
Footnote 162, Book 7, page 289
“What will happen if I succeed in aligning another world? I asked.
“You will go to it,” he replied, “as Genaro did, one night in this very place when he was showing you the mystery of alignment.
“Where will I be, don Juan?”
“In another world, of course. Where else?”
“What about the people around me, and the buildings, and the mountains, and everything else?”
“You’ll be separated from all that by the very barrier that you have broken; the barrier of perception. And just like the seers who have buried themselves to defy death, you won’t be in this world.”
I asked him what would happen if I moved my assemblage point while I was in the street, in the middle of traffic in Los Angeles.
“Los Angeles will vanish, like a puff of air,” he replied with a serious expression. “But you will remain.
“This is the mystery that I’ve been trying to explain to you.
Footnote 163, Book 7, page 290
I found myself walking with don Juan in a place that was by then very familiar to me: a deserted plain with yellow dunes of what appeared to be sulfur.
I recalled then that don Juan had made me perceive that world hundreds of times. I also recalled that beyond the desolate landscape of the dunes there was another world shining with an exquisite, uniform, pure white light.
When don Juan and I entered into it this time, I sensed that the light, which came from every direction, was not an invigorating light, but was so soothing that it gave me the feeling that it was sacred.
I thought it was quite possible that mystics had made this journey of the assemblage point. They had seen God in the mold of man. They had seen hell in the sulfur dunes. And then they had seen the glory of heaven in the diaphanous light.
Footnote 164, Book 7, page 293
I asked him about the black world.
“It’s the easiest world to assemble,” he said. “And of all you’ve experienced, only the black world is worth considering. It’s the only true alignment of another great band you have ever made. Everything else has been a lateral shift along man’s band, but still within the same great band. The wall of fog, the plain with yellow dunes, the world of the apparitions – all are lateral alignments that our assemblage points make as they approach a crucial position.
“The black world is dreadful world because it ages the body,” he said emphatically.
Footnote 165, Book 7, page 295
He said that breaking the barrier of perception is the culmination of everything seers do. From the moment that barrier is broken, man and his fate take on a different meaning for warriors.
Footnote 166, Book 7, page 298
“The old seers used to say that if warriors are going to have an interior dialogue, they should have the proper dialogue. For the old seers that meant a dialogue about sorcery and the enhancement of their self-reflection. For the new seers, it doesn’t mean dialogue, but the detached manipulation of intent through sober commands.”
He said over and over again that the manipulation of intent begins with a command given to oneself; the command is then repeated until it becomes the Eagle’s command, and then the assemblage point shifts, accordingly, the moment the warriors reach inner silence.
Footnote 167, Book 7, page 157
“The Eagle’s emanations are always grouped in clusters,” he went on. “The old seers called those clusters the great bands of emanations. They aren’t really bands, but the name stuck.”
“For instance, there is an immeasurable cluster that produces organic beings. The emanations of that organic band have a sort of fluffiness. They are transparent and have a unique light of their own, a peculiar energy. They are aware, they jump. That’s the reason why all organic beings are filled with a peculiar consuming energy. The other bands are darker, less fluffy. Some of them have no light at all, but a quality of opaqueness.”
In the earth, there are only forty-eight such bands.
“…forty-eight types of organizations on the earth, forty-eight types of clusters or structures. Organic life is one of them.”
“The old seers counted seven bands that produced inorganic bubbles of awareness. In other words, there are forty bands that produce bubbles without awareness; those are bands that generate only organization.
Footnote 168, Book 7, page 163
“The total world is made of the forty-eight bands,” he said. “The world that our assemblage point assembles for our normal perception is made up of two bands; one is the organic band, the other is a band that has only structure, but no awareness. The other forty-six great bands are not part of the world we normally perceive.”
“There are other complete worlds that our assemblage points can assemble,” he went on. “The old seers counted seven such worlds, one for each band of awareness. I’ll add that two of those worlds, besides the world of everyday life, are easy to assemble; the other five are something else.”
Footnote 169, Book 8, page x
“Human being are born with a finite amount of energy,” don Juan said,” an energy that is systematically deployed, beginning at the moment of birth, in order that it may be used most advantageously by the modality of the time.”
“The modality of the time is the precise bundle of energy fields being perceived,” he answered. “I believe man’s perception has changed through the ages. The actual time decides the mode; the time decides which precise bundle of energy fields, out of an incalculable number, are to be used. And handling the modality of the time – those few, selected energy fields – takes all our available energy, leaving us nothing that would help us use any of the other energy fields.”
“If he uses only the energy he has, he can’t perceive the worlds sorcerers do. To perceive them, sorcerers need to use a cluster of energy fields not ordinarily used. Naturally, if the average man is to perceive those worlds and understand sorcerers’ perception he must use the same cluster they have used. And this is just not possible, because all his energy is already deployed.”
Footnote 170, Book 8, page xi
“all he’s doing is allowing himself to be convinced of the power hidden in his being, and that he can reach it.”
“Once we have reached it, it will, by itself, make use of energy fields which are available to us but inaccessible. And that, as I have said, is sorcery. We begin, then, to see – that is, to perceive – something else; not as imagination, but as real and concrete. And then we begin to know without having to use words. And what any of us does with that increased perception, with that silent knowledge, depends on our own temperament.”
Footnote 171, Book 8, page xii
He said that in the universe there is an unmeasurable, indescribable force which sorcerers call intent, and that absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link. Sorcerers, or warriors, as he called them, were concerned with discussing, understanding, and employing that connecting link. They were especially concerned with cleaning it of the numbing effects brought about by the ordinary concerns of their everyday lives.
Footnote 172, Book 8, page xv
…the mastery of awareness, which was the cornerstone of his teachings, and which consist of the following basic premises:
1. The universe if an infinite agglomeration of energy fields, resembling threads of light.
2. These energy fields, called the eagle’s emanations, radiate from a source of inconceivable proportions metaphorically called the Eagle.
3. Human beings are also composed of an incalculable number of the same threadlike energy fields. These eagle’s emanations form an encased agglomeration that manifests itself as a ball of light the size of the person’s body with the arms extended laterally, like a giant luminous egg.
4. Only a very small group of the energy fields inside this luminous ball are lit up by a point of intense brilliance located on the ball’s surface.
5. Perception occurs when the energy fields in that small group immediately surrounding the point of brilliance extend their light to illuminate identical energy fields outside the ball. Since the only energy fields perceivable are those lit by the point of brilliance, that point is named “the point where perception is assembled” or simply “the assemblage point.”
6. The assemblage point can be moved from its usual position on the surface of the luminous ball to another position on the surface, or into the interior. Since the brilliance of the assemblage point can light up whatever energy field it comes in contact with, when it moves to a new position it immediately brightens up new energy fields, making them perceivable. This perception is known as seeing.
7. When the assemblage point shifts, it makes possible the perception of an entirely different world – as objective and factual as the one we normally perceive. Sorcerers go into that other world to get energy, power, solutions to general and particular problems, or to face the unimaginable.
8. Intent is the pervasive force that causes us to perceive. We do not become aware because we perceive; rather, we perceive as a result of the pressure and intrusion of intent.
9. The aim of sorcerers is to reach a state of total awareness in order to experience all the possibilities of perception available to man. This state of awareness evern implies an alternative way of dying.
Footnote 173, Book 8, page xvi
A level of practical knowledge was included as part of teaching the mastery of awareness. On that practical level don Juan taught the procedures necessary to move the assemblage point. The two great systems devised by the sorcerer seers of ancient times to accomplish this were: dreaming, the control and utilization of dreams; and stalking, the control of behavior.
Footnote 174, Book 8, page xvii
In those unique states of awareness my capabilities for understanding the instruction were unbelievably enhanced, but at the same time my capabilities for describing or even remembering it were impaired. I could function inn those states with proficiency and assuredness, but I could not recollect anything about them once I returned to my normal consciousness.
I took me years to be able to make the crucial conversion of my enhanced awareness into plain memory. My reason and common sense delayed this moment because they were colliding head-on with the preposterous, unthinkable reality of heightened awareness and direct knowledge. For years the resulting cognitive disarrangement forced me to avoid te issue by not thinking about it.
Whatever I have written about my sorcery apprenticeship up to now, has been a recounting of how don Juan taught me the mastery of awareness. I have not yet described the art of stalking or the mastery of intent.
Footnote 175, Book 8, page xvii
Until now it has been impossible for me to write or even think coherently about the art of stalking and the mastery of intent. My mistake has been to regard them as subjects for normal memory and recollection. They are, but at the same time they are not. In order to resolve this contradiction, I have not pursued the subjects directly – a virtual impossibility – but have dealt with them indirectly through the concluding topic of don Juan’s instruction: the stories of the sorcerers of the past.
Footnote 176, Book 8, page xix
Don Juan presented three sets of six abstract cores each, arranged in an increasing level of complexity. I have dealt here with the first set, which is composed of the following: the manifestations of the spirit, the knock of the spirit, the trickery of the spirit the descent of the spirit, the requirements of intent, and handling intent.
Footnote 177, Book 8, page 4
I had tried unsuccessfully to recreate, by myself, the effect of his ministrations. He told me it was not the ministrations but his inner silence that kept me warm, and the branches or stones or leaves were merely devices to trap my attention and maintain it in focus.
Footnote 178, Book 8, page 7
“If any warrior is aware of his stories, it’s you,” he replied. “After all, you’ve been writing about them for years. But you didn’t notice the abstract cores because you are a practical man. You do everything only for the purpose of enhancing your practicality. Although you handled your stories to exhaustion you had no idea that there was an abstract core in them. Everything I’ve done appears to you, therefore, as an often-whimsical practical activity: teaching sorcery to a reluctant and, most of the time, stupid, apprentice. As long as you see it in those terms, the abstract cores will elude you.”
Footnote 179, Book 8, page 14
Then he answered my question about whether or not sorcerers could misinterpret omens. He explained that when a sorcerer interpreted an omen he knew its exact meaning without having any notion of how he knew it. This was one of the bewildering effects of the connecting link with intent. Sorcerers had a sense of knowing things directly. How sure they were depended on the strength and clarity of their connecting link.
He said that the feeling everyone knows as “intuition” is the activation of our link with intent.
Footnote 180, Book 8, page 27
“Intent creates edifices before us and invites us to enter them. This is the way sorcerers understand what is happening around them.
Footnote 181, Book 8, page 35
“while we dream the assemblage point moves very gently and naturally. Mental balance is nothing but the fixing of the assemblage point on one spot we’re accustomed to. If dreams make that point move, and dreaming is used to control that natural movement, and sexual energy is needed for dreaming, the result is sometimes disastrous when sexual energy is dissipated in sex instead of dreaming. Then dreamers move their assemblage points erratically and lose their minds.”
“If you’re not careful with your sexual energy, you might as well get used to the idea of erratic shifts of your assemblage point. A moment ago you were bewildered by your reactions. Well, your assemblage point moves most erratically, because your sexual energy is not in balance.
Footnote 182, Book 8, page 37
“the whole of humanity has moved away from the abstract, although at one time we must have been close to it. It must have been our sustaining force. And then something happened and pulled us away from the abstract. Now we can’t get back to it. He used to say that it takes years for an apprentice to be able to go back to the abstract, that is, to know that knowledge and language can exist independent of each other.”
Don Juan repeated that the crux of our difficulty in going back to the abstract was our refusal to accept that we could know without words or even without thoughts.
“Knowledge and language are separate,” he repeated softly.
Footnote 183, Book 8, page 46
What he was saying was that the power of man was incalculable, that death existed only because we had intended it since the moment of our birth, that the intent of death could be suspended by making the assemblage point change positions.
Footnote 184, Book 8, page 53
“The story says that the spirit cajoled the man by making him shift back and forth between levels of awareness to show him how to save energy needed to strengthen his connecting link.”
Footnote 185, book 8 page 57
Don Juan said that perception is the hinge for everything man is or does, and that perception is ruled by the location of the assemblage point. Therefore, if that point changes positions, man’s perception of the world changes accordingly. The sorcerer who knew exactly where to place his assemblage point could become anything he wanted.
Footnote 186, Book 8, page 80
He asserted that stalking was the beginning, and before anything could be attempted on the warrior’s path, warriors must learn to stalk; next they must learn to intend, and only then could they move their assemblage point at will.
Footnote 187, Book 8, page 84
The sensation I was experiencing was more than just being unable to voice my thoughts; it was like reliving something I had forgotten ages ago: not to know what I felt because I had not yet learned to speak, and therefore lacked the resources to translate my feelings into thoughts.
“Thinking and saying exactly what you want to say requires untold amounts of energy,” don Juan said and broke into my feelings.
Footnote 188, Book 8, page 90
“Sorcerers say that the fourth abstract core happens when the spirit cuts our chains of self-reflection,” he said. “Cutting our chains is marvelous, but also very undesirable, for nobody wants to be free.”
“What a strange feeling: to realize that everything we think, everything we say depends on the position of the assemblage point,” he remarked.
“you have understood the secret of our chains. They imprison us, but by keeping us pinned down on our comfortable spot of self-reflection, they defend us from the onslaughts of the unknown.”
…we share a metaphorical dagger: the concerns of our self-reflection. With this dagger, we cut ourselves and bleed; and the job of our chains of self-reflection is to give us the feeling that we are bleeding together, that we are sharing something wonderful: our humanity. But if we were to examine it, we would discover tat we are bleeding alone; that we are not sharing anything; that all we are doing is toying with our manageable, unreal, mad-made reflection.
Footnote 189, Book 8, page 97
We were on a mountaintop looking down over exquisite flatlands with mountains in the distance. This beautiful prairie was bathed in a glow that, like rays of light, emanated from the land itself. Wherever I looked, I saw familiar features: rocks, hills, rivers, forests, canyons, enhanced and transformed by their inner vibration, their inner glow. This glow that was so pleasing to my eyes also tingled out of my very being.
As I stared at the wondrous sight, filaments of light began to radiate from everything on that prairie. At first it was like the explosion of an infinite number of short fibers, then the fibers became long threadlike strands of luminosity bundled together into beams of vibrating light that reached infinity. There was really no way for me to make sense of what I was seeing, or to describe it, except as filaments of vibrating light. The filaments were not intermingled or entwined. Althought they sprang, and continued to spring, in every direction, each one was separate, and yet all of them were inextricably bundled together.
“You are seeing the Eagle’s emanations and the force that keeps them apart and bundles them together,” don Juan thought.
Footnote 190, Book 8, page 99
In that cave his benefactor saw the same prairie we had just seen, a vision that gave him the idea of describing the spirit as the flow of things.
…what he had seen and described as the flow of things was intent, the force that permeates everything.
Footnote 191, Book 8, page 100
He said that thousands of years ago, by means of seeing, sorcerers became aware that the earth was sentient and that its awareness could affect the awareness of humans. They tried to find a way to use the earth’s influence on human awareness and they discovered that certain caves were most effective…the only result pertinent to us was this particular cave and its capacity to move the assemblage point until it reached a lull of perception.
Footnote 192, Book 8, page 101
I had just seen the Eagle’s emanations, and don Juan had said that it was impossible for sorcerers to have a sustained view of the Eagle’s emanations in any way except in dreaming, therefore I had to be dreaming.
Footnote 193, Book 8, page 101
Don Juan had explained that the universe is made up of energy fields which defy description or scrutiny. He had said that they resembled filaments of ordinary light, except that light is lifeless compared to the Eagle’s emanations, which exude awareness….and indeed they were made out of a light that was alive
Footnote 194, Book 8, page 101-102
Don Juan had maintained in the past that my knowledge and control of intent were not adequate to withstand the impact of that sight. He had explained that normal perception occurs when intent, which is pure energy, lights up a portion of the luminous filaments inside our cocoon, and at the same time brightens a long extension of the same luminous filaments extending into infinity outside our cocoon. Extraordinary perception, seeing, occurs when by the force of intent, a different cluster of energy fields energizes and lights up. He had said that when a crucial number of energy fields are lit up inside the luminous cocoon, a sorcerer is able to see the energy fields themselves.
Footnote 195, Book 8, page 102
They realized that awareness took place when the energy fields inside our luminous cocoon were aligned with the same energy fields outside. And they believed they had discovered alignment as the source of awareness.
Upon close examination, however, it became evident that what they had called alignment of the Eagle’s emanations did not entirely explain what they were seeing. They had noticed that only a very small portion of the total number of luminous filaments inside the cocoon was energized while the rest remained unaltered. Seeing these few filaments energized had created a false discovery. The filaments did not need to be aligned to be lit up, because the ones inside our cocoon were the same as those outside. Whatever energized them was definitely an independent force. They felt they could not continue to call it awareness, because awareness was the glow of the energy fields being lit up. So the force that lit up the fields was called will.
Don Juan had said that when their seeing became still more sophisticated and effective, they realized that will was the force that kept the Eagle’s emanations separated and was not only responsible for our awareness, but also for everything in the universe. They saw that this force ad total consciousness and that it sprang from the very fields of energy that made the universe. They decided then that intent was a more appropriate name for it than will
Footnote 197, Book 8, page 124-126
“By intending the movement of your assemblage point,” he said. “Intent is beckoned with the eyes.”
“Our assemblage points are constantly shifting,” he explained, “imperceptible shifts. Sorcerers believe that in order to make their assemblage points shift to precise spots we must engage intent. Since there is no way of knowing what intent is, sorcerers let their eyes beckon it.”
Footnote 198, Book 8, page 124
He tried to put me at ease, explaining that my instability was caused by a slight fluctuation of my assemblage point, which had not stabilized in the new position it had reached some years earlier. The fluctuation was the result of leftover feelings of self-pity.
“The place of no pity is the site of ruthlessness,” he said. Bt you know all this. For the time being, though, until you recollect, let’s say that ruthlessness, being a specific position of the assemblage point, is shown in the eyes of sorcerers. It’s like a shimmering film over the eyes.
He explained that when the assemblage point moved to the place of no pity, the eyes began to shine. The firmer the grip of the assemblage point on its new position, the more the eyes shone.
Footnote 199, Book 8, page 124-125
“recollecting is not the same as remembering,” he continued. “Remembering is dictated by the day-to-day type of thinking, while recollecting is dictated by the movement of the assemblage point. A recapitulation of their lives, which sorcerers do, is the key to moving their assemblage points. Sorcerers start their recollection by thinking, by remembering the most important acts of their lives. From merely thinking about them they move on to actually being at the site of the event. When they can do that – be at the site of the event – they have successfully shifted their assemblage point to the precise spot it was when the event took place. Bringing back the total event by means of shifting the assemblage point is known as sorcerers’ recollection
Footnote 200, Book 8, page 126
“Ruthlessness makes sorcerers’ eyes shine, and that shine beckons intent. Each spot to which their assemblage points move is indicated by a specific shine of their eyes. Since their eyes have their own memory, they can call up the recollection of any spot by calling up the specific shine associated with that spot.”
…the eyes are directly connected to intent…the eyes are only superficially connected to the world of everyday life. Their deeper connection is to the abstract.
“The average man knows the same thing about his eyes, but he has even less energy than you. The only advantages sorcerers may have over average men is that they have stored their energy, which means a more precise, clearer connecting link with intent. Naturally, it also means they can recollect at will, using the shine of their eyes to move their assemblage points.”
Footnote 201, Book 8, page 129
“You are petty, wasteful, opinionated, coercive, short-tempered, conceited. You are morose, ponderous, and ungrateful. You have an inexhaustible capacity for self-indulgence. And worst of all, you have an exalted idea of yourself, with nothing whatever to back it up.”
Footnote 202, Book 8, page 130
“I moved your assemblage point with the shine of my eyes,” he said matter-of-factly. “The nagual’s eyes can do that. It’s not difficult. After all, the eyes of all living beings can move someone else’s assemblage point, especially if their eyes are focused on intent. Under normal conditions, however, people’s eyes are focused on the world, looking for food…looking for shelter…
“A good hunter mesmerizes his prey with his eyes,” he went on. “With his gaze he moves the assemblage point of his prey, and yet his eyes are on the world, looking for food.”
I asked him if sorcerers could mesmerize people with their gaze. He chuckled and said that what I really wanted to know was if I could mesmerize women with my gaze, in spite of the fact my eyes were focused on the world, looking for love. He added, seriously, that the sorcerers safety valve was that by the time their eyes were really focused on intent, they were no longer interested in mesmerizing anyone.
Footnote 203, Book 8, page 131 and 133
“But, for sorcerers to use the shine of their eyes to move their own or anyone else’s assemblage point,” he continued, “they have to be ruthless. That is, they have to be familiar with that specific position of the assemblage point called the place of no pity.”
“In your case, since you mask your lack of pity with generosity, you appear at ease, open. But actually you are as generous as I am reasonable. We are both fakes. We have perfected the art of disguising the fact that we feel no pity.
Footnote 204, Book 8, page 145
Two obviously separate parts were within my being. One was extremely old, at ease, indifferent. It was heavy, dark, and connected to everything else. It was the part of me that did not care, because it was equal to anything. It enjoyed things with no expectation.
The other part was light, new, fluffy, agitated. It was nervous, fast. It cared about itself because it was insecure and did not enjoy anything, simply because it lacked the capacity to connect itself to anything. It was alone, on the surface, vulnerable. That was the part with which I looked at the world.
Footnote 205, Book 8, page 146 – 147
He said that when the assemblage point moves and reaches the place of no pity, the position of rationality and common sense becomes weak. The sensation I was having of an older,dark, silent side was a view of the antecedents of reason.
“What you are experiencing and call dualism is a view from another position of your assemblage point. From that position, you can feel the older side of man. And what the older side of man knows is called silent knowledge. It’s a knowledge which you cannot yet voice.
“Silent knowledge is something that all of us have,” he went on. “Something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything. But it cannot think, therefore, it cannot speak of what it knows.
Footnote 206, Book 8, page 147
“Sorcerers believe that when man became aware that he knew, and wanted to be conscious of what he knew, he lost sight of what he knew. This silent knowledge, which you cannot describe, is, of course, intent – the spirit, the abstract. Man’s error was to want to know it directly, the way he knew everyday life. The more he wanted, the more ephemeral it became.”
“It means that man gave up silent knowledge for the world of reason,” he replied. “The more he clings to the world of reason, the more ephemeral intent becomes.”
Footnote 207, Book 8, page 149
“Any movement of the assemblage point is like dying,” he said. “Everything in us gets disconnected, then reconnected again to a source of much greater power. That amplification of energy is felt as a killing anxiety.”
“What am I to do when this happens?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he said. “Just wait. The outburst of energy will pass. What’s dangerous is not knowing what is happening to you. Once you know, there is no real danger.”
Footnote 208, Book 8, page 149
He said that ancient man knew, in the most direct fashion, what to do and how best to do it. But, because he performed so well, he started to develop a sense of selfness, which gave him the feeling that he could predict and plan the actions he was used to performing. And thus the idea of an individual “self” appeared; an individual self which began to dictate the nature and scope of man’s actions.
Footnote 209, Book 8, page 149
As the feeling of the individual self became stronger, man lost his natural connection to silent knowledge. Modern man, being heir to that development, therefore finds himself so hopelessly removed from the source of everything that all he can do is express his despair in violent and cynical acts of self-destruction.
Don Juan asserted that the reason for man’s cynicism and despair is the bit of silent knowledge left in him, which does two things: one, it gives man an inkling of his ancient connection to the source of everything; and two, it makes man feel that without this connection, he has no hope of peace, of satisfaction, of attainment
Footnote 210, Book 8, page150
Any movement of the assemblage point meant a movement away from the obsessive concern with that individual self which was the mark of modern man. He went on to say that sorcerers believed it was the position of the assemblage point which made modern man a homicidal egotist, a being totally involved with his self-image. Having lost hope of ever returning to the source of everything, man sought solace in his selfness. And, in doing so, he succeeded in fixing his assemblage point in the exact position to perpetuate his self-image.
It is therefore safe to say that any movement of the assemblage point away from its customary position resulted in a movement away from man’s self-reflection and its concomitant: self-importance.
Footnote 211, Book 8, page 150
Don Juan described self-importance as the force generated by man’s self-image. He reiterated that it is that force which keeps the assemblage point fixed where it is at present. For this reason, the thrust of the warrior’s way is to dethrone self-importance.
Footnote 212, Book 8, page 151
He explained that sorcerers had unmasked self-importance and found that it is self-pity masquerading as something else.
“Self-pity is the real enemy and the source of man’s misery. Without a degree of pity for himself, man could not afford to be as self-important as he is. However, once the force of self-importance is engaged, it develops its own momentum. And it is this seemingly independent nature of self-importance which gives it its fake sense of worth.
Footnote 213, Book 8, page 151
…by moving our assemblage points away from their customary position we achieve a state of being which could only be called ruthlessness…
as soon as their assemblage points move, their self-importance crumbles. Without the customary position of their assemblage points, their self-image can no longer be sustained. And without the heavy focus on that self-image, they lose their self-compassion, and with it their self-importance.
…self-importance is merely self-pity in disguise.
Footnote 214, Book 8, page 154
And my assemblage point reached the place of no pity, when, under the stress of his transformation, it was forced to abandon its customary place of self-reflection.
“The position of self-reflection,” don Juan went on, “forces the assemblage point to assemble a world of sham compassion, but of very real cruelty and self-centeredness. In that world the only real feelings are those convenient for the one who feels them.”
“For a sorcerer, ruthlessness is not cruelty. Ruthlessness is the opposite of self-pity of self-importance. Ruthlessness is sobriety.”
Footnote 215, Book 8, page 158
“I’ve been trying to make clear to you that the only worthwhile course of action, whether for sorcerers or average men, is to restrict our involvement with our self-image,” he continued. “What a nagual aims for with his apprentices is the shattering of their mirror of self-reflection.”
“Each of us has a different degree of attachment to his self-reflection,” he went on. “And that attachment is felt as need.”
Footnote 216, Book 8, page 159
He said that any human being who would follow a specific and simple sequence of actions can learn to move his assemblage point.
He explained that the specific sequence he had in mind called for being aware that self-importance is the force which keeps the assemblage point fixed. When self-importance is curtailed, the energy it requires is no longer expended. That increased energy then serves as the springboard that launches the assemblage point, automatically and without premeditation, into an inconceivable journey.
Footnote 217, Book 8, page 159
Once the assemblage point has moved, the movement itself entails moving from self-reflection, and this, in turn, assures a clear connecting link with the spirit. He commented that, after all, it was self-reflection that had disconnected man from the spirit in the first place.
“As I have already said to you,” don Juan went on, “sorcery is a journey of return. We return victorious to the spirit, having descended into hell. And from hell we bring trophies. Understanding is one of our trophies.”
Footnote 218, Book 8, page 161
“Then who moves the assemblage point, don Juan?” I asked.
“The spirit does it,” he replied
“There are no procedures in sorcery.” He went on. “There are no methods, no steps. The only thing that matters is the movement of the assemblage point. And no procedure can cause that. It’s an effect that happens all by itself.
Footnote 219, Book 8, page 162
“The nagual moves the assemblage point, and yet it is not he himself who does the actual moving,” don Juan said. “Or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that the spirit expresses itself in accordance with the nagual’s impeccabililty. The spirit can move the assemblage point with the mere presence of an impeccable nagual.”
He said that he had wanted to clarify this point, because, if it was misunderstood, it led an nagual back to self-importance and thus to his destruc
Footnote 220, Book 8, page 198
…silent knowledge was a general position of the assemblage point, that ages ago it had been man’s normal position, but that, for reasons which would be impossible to determine, man’s assemblage point had moved away from that specific location and adopted a new one called “reason.”
Don Juan remarked that not every human being was a representative of this new position. The assemblage points of the majority of us were not placed squarely on the location of reason itself, but in its immediate vicinity. The same thing had been the case with silent knowledge: not every human being’s assemblage point ad been squarely on that location either.
He also said that “the place of no pity,” being another position of the assemblage point, was the forerunner of silent knowledge, and that yet another position of the assemblage point called “the place of concern,” was the forerunner of reason.
Footnote 221, Book 8, page 210-211
He said that possibly every human being under normal living conditions had had at one time or another the opportunity to break away from…the conventions binding our perception. A moment of elation would suffice to move our assemblage points and break our conventions. So, too, a moment of fright, ill health, anger, or grief. But, ordinarily, whenever we had the chance to move our assemblage points we became frightened. Our religious, academic, social backgrounds would come into play. They would assure our safe return to the flock; the return of our assemblage points to the prescribed position of normal living.
He told me that all the mystics and spiritual teachers I knew of had done just that: their assemblage points moved, either through discipline or accident, to a certain point; and then they returned to normalcy carrying a memory that lasted them a lifetime.
“Turn everything into what it really is: the abstract, the spirit, the nagual. There is no witchcraft, no evil, no devil. There is only perception.
Footnote 222, Book 8, page 216
He said that one way to talk about the perception attained in the place of silent knowledge was to call it “here and here.”
Footnote 223, Book 8, page 238
The old nagual explained that the position of silent knowledge was called the third point because in order to get to it one had to pass the second point, the place of no pity.
He said that don Juan’s assemblage point had acquired sufficient fluidity for him to be double, which had allowed him to be in both the place of reason and in the place of silent knowledge, either alternately or at the same time.
…don Juan, inspite of not knowing anything – or maybe because of not knowing anything – had transferred his total energy from one place to the other. Which meant to the nagual that don Juan’s assemblage point had a most propitious, natural fluidity.
He said to don Juan that every human being had a capacity for that fluidity. For most of us, however, it was stored away and we never used it, except on rare occasions which were brought about by sorcerers, such as the experience he had just had, or by dramatic natural circumstances, such as a life-or-death struggle.
Footnote 224, Book 8, page 239
…humanity was on the first point, reason, but not every human being’s assemblage point was squarely on the position of reason. Those who were on the spot itself were the true leaders of mankind. Most of the time they were unknown people whose genius was the exercising of their reason.
The nagual said that there had been another time, when mankind had been on the third point, which, of course, had been the first point then. But after that, mankind moved to the place of reason.
When silent knowledge was the first point the same condition prevailed. Not every human being’s assemblage point was squarely on that position either. This meant that the true leaders of manknd had always been the few human beings whose assemblage points happened to be either on the exact point of reason or of silent knowledge. The rest of humanity, the old nagual told don Juan, was merely the audience.
…mankind had spent the longer part of its history in the position of silent knowledge, and this explained our great longing for it.
Footnote 225, Book 8, page 240
He said that the nagual Julian was coaching don Juan, enticing his assemblage point to the position of reason, so he could be a thinker rather than merely part of an unsophisticated but emotionally charged audience that loved the orderly works of reason. At the same time, the nagual was coaching don Juan to be a true abstract sorcerer instead of merely part of a morbid and ignorant audience of lovers of the unknown.
Footnote 226, Book 8, page 240
…only a human being who was a paragon of reason could move his assemblage point easily and be a paragon of silent knowledge. He said that only those who were squarely in either position could see the other position clearly, and that that had been the way the age of reason came to being. The position of reason was clearly seen from the position of silent knowledge.
…the one-way bridge from silent knowledge to reason was called “concern.” That is, the concern that true men of silent knowledge had about the source of what they knew.
And the other one-way bridge, from reason to silent knowledge, was called “pure understanding.” That is, the recognition that told the man of reason that reason was only one island in an endless sea of islands.
The nagal added that a human being who had both one-way bridges working was a sorcerer in direct contact with the spirit, the vital force that made both positions possible.
Footnote 227, Book 8, page 242
“The assemblage point, with even the most minute shifting, creates totally isolated islands of perception,” don Juan said. “Information, in the form of experiences in the complexity of awareness, can be stored there.”
“But how can information be stored in something so vague? I asked.
“The mind is equally vague, and still you trust it because you’re familiar with it,” he retorted.
“the information is stored in the experience itself,” he explained. “Later, when a sorcerer moves his assemblage point to the exact spot where it was, he relives the total experience. The sorcerers’ recollection is the way to get back all the information stored in the movement of the assemblage point.
Footnote 228, Book 8, page 243
“Intensity is an automatic result of the movement of the assemblage point,” he continued.
“How can one deliberately manage to recollect? I asked.
“Intensity, being an aspect of intent, is connected naturally to the shine of the sorcerers’ eyes,” he explained. “In order to recall those isolated islands of perception sorcerers need only intend the particular shine of their eyes associated with whichever spot they want to return to.”
Footnote 229, Book 8, page 259
The nagual Julian explained that the human eye was trained to focus only on the most salient features of anything, and that those salient features were known beforehand. Thus the stalkers’ art was to create an impression by presenting the features they chose, features they knew the eyes of the onlookers were bound to notice. By artfully reinforcing certain impressions, stalkers were able to create on the part of the onlooker an unchallengeable conviction as to what their eyes had perceived.
Footnote 230, Book 9, page viii
Don Juan contended that our world, which we believe to be unique and absolute, is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. He asserted that even though we have been energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world, we still have the capability of entering into those other realms, which are as real, unique, absolute, and engulfing as our own world is.
Don Juan explained to me that, for us to perceive those other realms, not only do we have to covet them but we need to have sufficient energy to seize them. Their existence is constant and independent of our awareness, he said, but their inaccessibility is entirely a consequence of our energetic conditioning. In other words, simply and solely because of that conditioning, we are compelled to assume that the world of daily life is the one and only possible world.
Footnote 231, Book 9, page 4
“To perceive a world of hard objects that had either a positive or negative value must have been utterly necessary for our ancestors’ survival,” don Juan said. “After ages of perceiving in such a manner, we are now forced to believe that the world is made up of objects.”
“I’m saying that this is first a world of energy; then it is a world of objects. If we don’t start with the premise that it is a world of energy, we’ll never be able to perceive energy directly
“Our way of perceiving is a predator’s way,” he said to me on one occasion. “A very efficient manner of appraising and classifying food and danger. But this is not the only way we are able to perceive.
Footnote 232, Bok 9, page 6
He called it the crucial feature of human beings as luminous balls: a round spot of intense brilliance, the size of a tennis ball, permanently lodged inside the luminous ball, flush with its surface, about two feet back from the crest of a person’s right shoulder blade.
“What did the old sorcerers see that made them conclude that perception takes place on the assemblage point,” I asked.
He answered that, first, they saw that out of the millions of the universe’s luminous energy filaments passing through the entire luminous ball, only a small number pass directly through the assemblage point, as should be expected since it is small in comparison with the whole.
Finally, they saw two things. One, that the assemblage points of human beings can dislodge themselves from the spot where they are usually located. And two, that when the assemblage point is on its usual position, perception and awareness seem to be normal, judging by the normal behavior of the subjects being observed. But when their assemblage points and surrounding glowing spheres are on a different position than the habitual one, their unusual behavior seems to be the proof that their awareness is different, that they are perceiving in an unfamiliar manner.
Footnote 233, Book 9, page 9
Since the shifts of the assemblage point are displacements within the luminous ball, the worlds engendered by them, no matter how bizarre or wondrous or unbelievable they might be, are still worlds within the human domain. The human domain is the energy filaments that pass through the entire luminous ball. By contrast, movements of the assemblage point, since they are displacements to positions outside the luminous ball, engage filaments of energy that are beyond the human realm.
Footnote 234, Book 9, page 21
“To set up dreaming means to have a precise and practical command over the general situation of a dream…you don’t let the dream slip into something else…In other words, you control the view of the classroom and don’t let it go until you want to.
“This control is no different from the control we have over any situation in our daily lives.”
Footnote 235, Book 9, page 28
“Is it dangerous?”
“And how! Dreaming has to be a very sober affair. No false movement can be afforded. Dreaming is a process of awakening, of gaining control. Our dreaming attention must be systematically exercised, for it is the door to the second attention.
Footnote 236, Book 9, page 29
“The second attention is like an ocean, and the dreaming attention is like a river feeding into it. The second attention is the condition of being aware of total worlds, total like our world is total, while the dreaming attention is the condition of being aware of the items of our dreams.
Footnote 237, Book 9, page 29
“Dreams are, if not a door, a hatch into other worlds,” he began. “As such, dreams are a two-way street. Our awareness goes through that hatch into other realms, and those other realms send scouts into our dreams.”
You’re insisting on thinking about dreams in terms known to you: what occurs to us during sleep. And I am insisting on giving you another version: a hatch into other realms of perception. Through that hatch, currents of unfamiliar energy seep in. Then the mind or the brain or whatever takes those currents of energy and turns them into parts of our dreams.”
Footnote 238, Book 9, page 31
“The most astounding thing that happens to dreamers,” he said, “is that, on reaching the first gate, they also reach the energy body.”
“What exactly is the energy body?”
“It’s the counterpart of the physical body. A ghostlike configuration made of pure energy.”
“But isn’t the physical body also made out of energy?”
“Of course it is. The difference is that the energy body has only appearance but no mass. Since it’s pure energy, it can perform acts that are beyond the possibilities of the physical body.”
Footnote 239, Book 8, page 31
“Dreaming is the art of tempering the energy body, of making it supple and coherent by gradually exercising it.”
“Through dreaming we condense the energy body until it’s a unit capable of perceiving. Its perception, although affected by our normal way of perceiving the daily world, is an independent perception. It has its own sphere.”
“What is that sphere, don Juan?”
“Energy. The energy body deals with energy in terms of energy. There are three ways in which it deals with energy in dreaming: it can perceive energy as it flows, or it can use energy to boost itself like a rocket into unexpected areas, or it can perceive as we ordinarily perceive the world.”
Footnote 240, Book 9, page 32
“I’ve mentioned to you before that sorcerers isolate in their dreams scouts from other realms,” he said. “Their energy bodies do that. They recognize energy and go for it. But it isn’t desirable for dreamers to indulge in searching for scouts. I was reluctant to tell you about it, because of the facility with which one can get swayed by that search.”
Footnote 241, Book 9, page 33
He reiterated that reaching, with deliberate control, the first gate of dreaming is a way at arriving at the energy body. But to maintain that gain is predicated on energy alone. Sorcerers get that energy by redeploying, in a more intelligent manner, the energy they have and use for perceiving the daily world.
…we all have a determined quantity of basic energy. That quantity is all the energy we have, and we use all of it for perceiving and dealing with our engulfing world. He repeated various times, to emphasize it, that there is no more energy for us anywhere and, since our available energy is already engaged, there is not a single bit left in us for any extraordinary perception, such as dreaming.
They intelligently redeploy their energy by cutting down anything they consider superfluous in their lives.
Footnote 242, Book 9, page 37
Since we have, as don Juan said, no way to plug into any external source for a boost of energy, we must redeploy or existing energy, by any means available.
He was of the opinion that self-importance is not only the sorcerers’ supreme enemy bt the nemesis of mankind.
Don Juan’s argument was that most of our energy goes into upholding our importance. This is most obvious in our endless worry about the presentation of the self, about whether or not we are admired or liked or acknowledged. He reasoned that if we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen to us. One, we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and, two, we would provide ourselves with enough energy to enter into the second attention to catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe.
Footnote 243, Book 9, page 42
“You will find out for yourself that the true goal of dreaming is to perfect the energy body. A perfect energy body, among other things of course, has such a control over the dreaming attention that it makes it stop when needed. This is the safety valve dreamers have. No matter how indulging they might be, at a given time, their dreaming attention must make them surface.”
Footnote 244, Book 9, page 45
“You have entered now into the most dangerous facet of the sorcerers’ knowledge,” he began. “It is sheer dread, a veritable nightmare. I could joke with you and say that I didn’t mention this possibility to you out of regard for your cherished rationality, but I can’t. Every sorcerer has to face it. Here is where, I fear, you might very well think you’re going off the deep end.”
Don Juan very solemnly explained that life and consciousness, being exclusively a matter of energy, are not solely the property of organisms. He said that sorcerers have seen that there are two types of conscious beings roaming the earth, the organic and the inorganic, and in comparing one with the other, they have seen that both are luminous masses crossed from every imaginable angle by millions of the universe’s energy filaments. They are different from each other in their shape and in their degree of brightness. Inorganic beings are long and candlelike but opaque, whereas organic beings are round and by far the brighter. Another noteworthy difference, which don Juan said sorcerers have seen, is that the life and consciousness of organic beings is short-lived, because they are made to hurry, whereas the life of inorganic beings is infinitely longer and their consciousness infinitely more calm and deeper.
“inorganic beings possess the crucial ingredient for interaction, consciousness.”
Footnote 245, Book 9, page 48
“In dreaming…most of the time, they materialize themselves right in front of us. Since at the beginning of dreaming we have no experience whatsoever with them, they might imbue us with fear beyond measure. That is a real danger to us. Through the channel of fear, they can follow us to the daily world, with disastrous results for us.”
“In what way, don Juan?”
“Fear can settle down in our lives, and we would have to be mavericks to deal with it. Inorganic beings can be worse than a pest. Through fear they can easily drive us raving mad.”
Footnote 246, Book 9, page69
“You have your knowledge and I have mine,” he said. “My knowledge is that the old sorcerers ruled for four thousand years, from seven thousand to three thousand years ago. Three thousand years ago, they went to nothing. And from then on, sorcerers have been regrouping, restructuring, what was left of the old ones.”
Footnote 247, Book 9, page 71
He patiently explained that by staring at the foliage, I would accomplish a minute displacement of my assemblage point. Then, by summoning my dreaming attention through staring at individual leaves, I would actually fixate that minute displacement, and my cohesion would make me perceive in terms of the second attention. He added, with a chuckle, that the process was so simple it was ridiculous.
Don Juan was right. All I needed was to focus my sight on the leaves, maintain it, and in one instant I was drawn into a vortex-like sensation, extremely like the vortexes in my dreams.
My dreaming attention was multisensorial instead of solely visual, as in my regular dreaming.
Footnote 248, Book 9, page 72
I instantly realized I had entered again into a state in which could think coherently, but I could not talk. Don Juan told me not to worry. He said that our speech faculty is extremely flimsy and attacks of muteness are common among sorcerers who venture beyond the limits of normal perception.
Footnote 249, Book 9, page 73
Reason is only a by-product of the habitual position of the assemblage point; therefore, knowing what is going on, being of sound mind, having our feet on the ground – sources of great pride to us and assumed to be a natural consequence of our worth – are merely the result of the fixation of the assemblage point on its habitual place. The more rigid and stationary it is, the greater our confidence in ourselves, the greater our feeling of knowing the world, of being able to predict.
Footnote 250, Book 9, page 73
“We are back again, harping on the most important topic of the sorcerers’ world,” he went on, “the position of the assemblage point. The old sorcerers’ curse, as well as mankind’s thorn in the side.”
Because both, mankind in general and the old sorcerers, fell prey to the position of the assemblage point: mankind, because by not knowing that the assemblage point exists we are obliged to take the by-product of its habitual position as something final and indisputable. Ad the old sorcerers because, although they knew all about the assemblage point, they fell for its facility to be manipulated.
“You must avoid falling into those traps,” he continued. “It’d be really disgusting if you sided with mankind, as if you didn’t know about the existence of the assemblage point. But it’d be even more insidious if you sided with the old sorcerers and cynically manipulate the assemblage point for gain.”
Footnote 251, Book 9, page 76
He said that seeing children’s assemblage points constantly fluttering, as if moved by tremors, changing their place with ease, the old sorcerers came to the conclusion that the assemblage point’s habitual location is not innate but brought about by habituation. Seeing also that only in adults is it fixed on one spot, they surmised that the specific location of the assemblage point fosters a specific way of perceiving. Through usage, this specific way becomes a system of interpreting sensory data.
Don Juan pointed out that, since we are drafted into that system by being born into it, from the moment of our birth we imperatively strive to adjust our perceiving to conform to the demands of this system, a system that rules us for life.
Don Juan expressed wonder at what he called the greatest accomplishment of our human upbringing: to lock our assemblage point on its habitual position. For once it is immobilized there, our perception can be coached and guided to interpret what we perceive. In other words, we can then be guided to perceive more in terms of our system than in terms of our senses. He assured me that human perception is universally homogeneous, because the assemblage points of the whole human race are fixed on the same spot.
Footnote 252, Book 9, page 85
“Very few things make sense in a dream.”
“Only in average dreams are things nonsensical. I would say that this is so because more scouts are injected then, because average people are subjected to a greater barrage from the unknown.”
“Do you know why that is so, don Juan?”
“In my opinion, what takes place is a balance of forces. Average people have stupendously strong barriers to protect themselves against those onslaughts. Barriers such as worries about the self. The stronger the barrier, the greater the attack
Footnote 253, Book 9, page 86
“scouts are reconnoiterers sent by the inorganic realm.”
“They come in search of potential awareness. They have consciousness and purpose, although it is incomprehensible to our minds, comparable perhaps to the consciousness and purpose of trees. Te inner speed of trees and inorganic beings is incomprehensible to us because it is infinitely slower than ours.”
“What makes you say that, don Juan?”
“Both trees and inorganic beings last longer than we do. They are made to stay put. They are immobile, yet they make everything move around them.”
“Do you mean, don Juan, that inorganic beings are stationary like trees?”
“Certainly. What we see in dreaming as bright or dark sticks are their projections. What you hear as the voice of the dreaming emissary is equally their projection. And so are their scouts.”
Footnote 254, Book 9, page 87
I asked don Juan if trees also had projections like that.
“They do,” he said. “Their projections are, however, even less friendly to us than those of the inorganic beings. Dreamers never seek them, unless they are in a state of profound amenity with trees, which is a very difficult state to attain. We have no friends on this earth, you know.” He chuckled and added, “It’s no mystery why.”
“We are destructive. We have antagonized every living being on this earth. That’s why we have no friends.”
Footnote 255, Book 9, page 88
I instantly knew it was a scout. A second later, when the fish-bird turned into a point of light, I shouted my intent to follow it, and, just as don Juan had said, off I went into another world
Footnote 256, Book 9, page 89-90
What I was viewing looked very much like a gigantic sponge. It was porous and cavernous…I had the complete impression of something real but stationary; it was planted somewhere.
The first thing it did was to push me through a huge cavern or opening into the physical mass I had been facing. Once I was inside that mass, I realized that the inside was as homogeneously porous as the outside but much softer looking, as if the roughness had been sanded down. What I was facing was a structure that looked something like the enlarged picture of a beehive. There were countless geometric-shaped tunnels going in every direction.
The tunnels seemed to be alive and conscious; they sizzled.
Footnote 259, Book 9, page 90
The emissary modulated its voice and said, “You are inside an organic being. Choose a tunnel and you can even live in it.” The voice stopped for an instant, then added, “That is, if you want to do it.”
“There are endless advantages for you,” the emissary’s voice continued. “You can live in as many tunnels as you want. And each one of them will teach something different. The sorcerers of antiquity lived in this manner and learned marvelous things.”
“You are practically one of us now. If you want to stay here, just voice your intent.”
Footnote 260, Book 9, page 92
“You are completely by yourself in this case. I have said to you that organic beings are real. You are finding out how real they are. But what you do with this finding is your business, yours alone. Someday you’ll see the reason for my staying away.”
“But isn’t there something you can tell me about that dream?” I insisted.
“What I can say is that it wasn’t a dream. It was a journey into the unknown. A necessary journey, I may add, and an ultrapersonal one.”
Footnote 261, Book 9, page 95
It did not take much for me to deduce how deep must have been the involvement of the old sorcerers with the inorganic beings. Don Juan’s commentaries and warnings about the danger of such an involvement became more vital than ever. I tried my best to live up to his standards of self-examination with no indulgence. Thus, the emissary’s voice and what it said became a superchallenge for me. I had to avoid, at all cost, succumbing to the temptation of the emissary’s promise of knowledge, and I had to do this all by myself since don Juan continued to refuse to listen to my accounts.
Footnote 262, Book 9, page 96
“You want me to tell you that it is all right to live in one of those tunnels, if for no other reason than to just know what the emissary’s voice is talking about.”
I admitted that this was exactly my dilemma. If nothing else, I wanted to know what was implied in the statement that one can live inside those tunnels.
“I went through the same turmoil myself,” don Juan went on, “and no one could help me, because this is a superpersonal and final decision, a final decision made the instant you voice your desire to live in that world. In order to get you to voice that desire, the inorganic beings are going to cater to your most secret wishes.”
“This is really diabolical, don Juan.”
“You can say that again. But not just because of what you are thinking. For you, the diabolical part is the temptation to give in, especially when such great rewards are at stake. For me, the diabolical nature of the inorganic beings’ realm is that it might very well be the only sanctuary dreamers have in a hostile universe.”
“Not for me…I know what I am. I am alone in a hostile universe, and I have learned to say, So be it!”
Footnote 263, Book 9, page 98
The unavoidable consequence for me was the development of a dual stand. On the one hand, I knew I was dreaming a dream; on the other, I knew I was involved in a pragmatic journey, as real as any journey in the world. This bona fide split was a corroboration of what don Juan had said: that the existence of organic beings is the foremost assailant of our rationality.
…my energy level, which had been steadily growing, one day reached a threshold that allowed me to disregard assumptions and prejudgments about the nature of man, reality, and perception. That day I became enamored with knowledge, regardless of logic or functional value, and, above all, regardless of personal convenience.
Footnote 264, Book 9, page 99
“It’s the nature of that realm to foster secretiveness. Inorganic beings veil themselves in mystery, darkness. Think about their world: stationary, fixed like moths to draw us to a light or a fire.
“There is something the emissary hasn’t dared to tell you so far: that the inorganic beings are after our awareness or the awareness of any being that falls into their nets. They’ll give us knowledge, but they’ll extract a payment: our total being.”
“At one moment, the emissary will show you men who got caught in there or other beings that are not human that also got caught in there.”
Footnote 265, Book 9, page 100
“To live in their world is a voluntary affair. Yet they are capable of imprisoning any one of us by catering to our desires, by pampering and indulging us. Beware of awareness that is immobile. Awareness like that has to seek movement, and it does this, as I’ve told you, by creating projections, phantasmagorical projections at times.”
He said that inorganic beings hook onto dreamers’ innermost feelings and play them mercilessly. They create phantoms to please dreamers or frighten them. He reminded me that I had wrestled with one of those phantoms. He explained that inorganic beings are superb projectionists, who delight in projecting themselves like pictures on the wall.”
“The old sorcerers were brought down by their inane trust in those projections,” he continued. “The old sorcerers believed their allies had power. They overlooked the fact their allies were tenuous energy projected through worlds, like in a cosmic movie.”
Footnote 266, Book 9, page 100
“You yourself said that the organic beings are real. Now you tell me that they are mere pictures.”
“I meant to say that the inorganic beings, in our world, are like moving pictures projected on a screen; and I may even add that they are like moving pictures of rarefied energy projected through the boundaries of two worlds.”
“But what about inorganic beings in their world? Are they also like moving pictures?”
“Not a chance. That world is as real as our world. The old sorcerers portrayed the inorganic beings’ world as a blob of caverns and pores floating in some dark space. And they portrayed the inorganic beings as hollow canes bound together, like the cells of our bodies. The old sorcerers called that immense bundle the labyrinth of penumbra.”
“Then every dreamer sees that world in the same terms, right?”
“Of course. Every dreamer sees it as it is.”
Footnote 267, Book 9, page 101
Don Juan explained that in the opinion of sorcerers, the universe is predatorial, and sorcerers more than anyone else have to take this into account in their daily sorcery activities. His idea is that consciousness is intrinsically compelled to grow, and the only way it can grow if through strife, through life-or-death confrontations.
“The awareness of sorcerers grows when they do dreaming,” he went on. “And the moment it grows, something out there acknowledges its growth, recognizes it and makes a bid for it. The organic beings are the bidders for that new, enhanced awareness. Dreamers have to be forever on their toes. They are prey the moment they venture out into that predatorial universe.
Footnote 268, Book 9, page 103
…guided by the sorcerers’ knowledge that the universe is markedly female and that maleness, being an offshoot of femaleness, is almost scarce, thus, coveted.
Don Juan made a digression and commented that perhaps the scarcity of males is the reason for men’s unwarranted dominion on or planet.
Footnote 269, Book 9, page 103
“We are energy that is kept in a specific shape and position by the fixation of the assemblage pint on one location. If that location is changed, the shape and position of that energy will change accordingly. All the inorganic beings have to do is to place our assemblage point on the right location, and off we go, like a bullet, shoes, hat, and all.”
Don Juan explained that making gifts of their disciples to the inorganic beings was precisely what the old sorcerers used to do.
“Sorcerers maneuvers are deadly.”
Footnote 270, Book 9, page 106-109
“You must be extremely careful, for you are about to fall prey to the organic beings.”
“The organic beings are plotting.” He said. “I sense that, and I can’t console myself by saying that they set traps at the beginning and, in this manner, undesirable dreamers are effectively and permanently screened out.”
“You must seriously consider that the organic beings have astounding means at their disposal,” he went on. “Their awareness is superb. In comparison, we are children, children with a lot of energy, which the inorganic beings covet.”
“The inorganic beings don’t let anyone g, not without a real fight.”
“you lone must either accept or reject the lure of the inorganic beings.”
Footnote 271, Book 9, page 109-110
“I was forced to teach you dreaming,” he said, “only because that is the pattern set out by the old sorcerers. The path of dreaming is filled with pitfalls, and to avoid those pitfalls or to fall into them is the personal and individual affair of each dreamer, and I may add that it is a final affair.”
“If you fall, you pay the price, and the price depends on the circumstances and the depth of the fall. But there is no way of talking about an eventuality of this sort, because we are not facing a problem of punishment. Energetic currents are at stake here, energetic currents which create circumstances that are more dreadful than death. Everything in the sorcerers’ path is a matter of life or death, but in the path of dreaming this matter is enhanced a hundredfold.”
“the universe behind the second gate is closest to our own, and our own universe is pretty crafty and heartless.”
“The universe of the inorganic beings is always ready to strike,” he went on. “But so is our own universe. That’s why you have to go into their realm exactly as if you were venturing into a war zone.”
Footnote 272, Book 9, page 111
“Once a dreamer goes through the universe behind the second gate, or once a dreamer refuses to consider it as a viable option, there are no more headaches.”
Don Juan stated that only then are dreamers free to continue. I was not sure what he meant; he explained that the universe behind the second gate is so powerful and aggressive that it serves as a natural screen or a testing ground where dreamers are probed for their weaknesses. If they survive the tests, they can proceed to the next gate; if they do not, they remain forever trapped in that universe.
Footnote 273, Book 9 , page 114
“I cannot lie to you, because a lie doesn’t exist,” the emissary said, intruding into my thoughts. “I can tell you only about what exists. In my world, only intent exists; a lie has no intent behind it; therefore, it has no existence.”
Footnote 274, Book 9, page 116
It said that for me the only difference between perceiving my world and perceiving theirs was that perceiving their world started and ended in the blink of an eye; perceiving mine did not, because my awareness – together with the awareness of an immense number of beings like me, who held my world in place with their intent – was fixed on my world. The emissary added that perceiving my world started and ended the same way for the inorganic beings, in the blink of an eye, but perceiving their world did not, because there were immense numbers of them holding it in place with their intent.
Footnote 275, Book 9, page 116
“Size here is not like size in your world,” the emissary said. “The energy of this world is a different kind of energy; its features don’t coincide with the features of the energy of your world, yet this world is as real as your own.”
Footnote 276, Book 9, page 117
“Dreaming is the vehicle that brings dreamers to this world,” the emissary said, “and everything sorcerers know about dreaming was taught to them by us. Our world is connected to yours by a door called dreams. We know how to go through that door, but men don’t. They have to learn it.
Footnote 277, Book 9, page 138
“Do you mean I can remember everything if I want to?”
“Not quite. You may want as much as you like, but if your energy level is not on a par with the importance of what you know, you might as well kiss your knowledge good-bye: it’ll never be available to you.”
“So what’s the thing to do, don Juan?”
“Energy tends to be cumulative; if you follow the warrior’s way impeccably, a moment will come when your memory opens up.”
Footnote 278, Book 9, page144
“My intention was to explain to you that the position of the assemblage point is like a vault where sorcerers keep their records,” he added….”The energy body knows immensities.”
He instructed me to enter into total silence. He reminded me that I was already in a special state of awareness, because my assemblage point had been made to shift by his presence. He assured me that entering into total silence was going to allow the sculptures in that room to make me see and hear inconceivable things. He added, apparently to increase my confusion, that some of the archaeological pieces in that room had the capacity to produce, by themselves, a shift of the assemblage point, and that is I reached a state of total silence I would be actually witnessing scenes pertaining to the lives of the people who made those pieces.
Footnote 279, Book 9, page 145
He patiently explained to me that sorcerers were capable of leaving accurate records of their findings in the position of the assemblage point. He maintained that when it comes to getting to the essence of a written account, we have to use our sense of sympathetic or imaginative participation to go beyond the mere page to the experience itself. However, in the sorcerers’ world, since there are no written pages, total records, which can be relived instead of read, are left in the position of the assemblage point.
To illustrate his argument, don Juan talked about the sorcerers’ teachings for the second attention. He said that they are given when the apprentice’s assemblage point is on a place other than the normal one. The position of the assemblage point becomes, in this manner, the record of the lesson. In order to play the lesson back, the apprentice has to return his assemblage point to the position it occupied when the lesson was given. Don Juan concluded his remarks by reiterating that to return the assemblage point to all the positions it occupied when the lessons were given is an accomplishment of the highest magnitude.
Footnote 280, Book 9, page 147
“The reason average people lack volition in their dreams is that they have never recapitulated and their lives are filled to capacity with heavily loaded emotions like memories, hopes, and fears.”
“Sorcerers, in contrast, are relatively free from heavy, binding emotions, because of their recapitulation. And f something stops them, as it has stopped you at this moment, the assumption is that there is still something in them that is not quite clear.”
He saw the recapitulation as the essential factor in a dreamer’s redefinition and redeployment of energy. “The recapitulation sets free energy imprisoned within us, and without this liberated energy dreaming is not possible.”
Footnote 281, Book 9, page 149
…viewed breathing as a magical, life-giving act, and used it, accordingly, as a magical vehicle; the exhalation, to eject the foreign energy left in them during the interaction being recapitulated and the inhalation to pull back the energy that they themselves left behind during the interaction.
…more than an intellectual psychanalysis. He postulated the recapitulation as a sorcerers’ ploy to induce a minute but steady displacement of the assemblage point. He said that the assemblage point, under the impact of reviewing past actions and feelings, goes back and forth between its present site and the site it occupied when the event being recapitulated took place.
Footnote 282, Book 9, page 154-155
“You don’t have any suicidal tendency,” he said. “What you have is a total disbelief that you were near death. Since you were not in physical pain, you can’t quite convince yourself you were in mortal danger.”
“Be impeccable. I have told you this dozens of times. To be impeccable means to put your life on the line in order to back up your decisions, and then to do quite a lt more than your best to realize those decisions. When you are not deciding anything, you are merely playing roulette with your life in a helter-skelter way.”
Footnote 283, Book 9, page 164
“What is a real world, don Juan?”
“A world that generates energy; the opposite of a phantom world of projections, where nothing generates energy, like most of our dreams, where nothing has an energetic effect.”
He explained that the energy body is also capable of perceiving energy that is quite different from the energy of our own world, as in the case of items in the inorganic beings’ realm, which the energy body perceives as sizzling energy. He added that nothing in our world sizzles; everything here wavers.
“From now on,” he said, “the issue of your dreaming is going to be to determine whether the items on which you focus your dreaming attention are energy generating, mere phantom projections, or generators of foreign energy.”
Footnote 284, Book 9, page 169
“Your energy body moved,” he said. “It journeyed, by itself. That kind of journeying is beyond your abilities at this moment, and something attacked you.”
“Wat do you think it was, don Juan?”
“This is a predatorial universe. It could have been one of thousands of things existing out there.”
“Why do you think it attacked me?”
“For the same reason the inorganic beings attacked you: because you made yourself available.”
“Is it that clear-cut, don Juan?”
“Certainly, it’s as clear-cut as what you would so if a strange-looking spider crept across your desk while you were writing. You’d squash it, out of fright, rather than admire it or examine it.”
Footnote 285, Book 9, page 174
“Since you believe you are just dreaming, you take blind chances. Your faulty reasoning tells you that no matter what happens, at a given moment the dream will be over and you will wake up.”
“I am talking to you about the views of men of antiquity and the views of modern man,” don Juan went on, “because your awareness, which is the awareness of modern man, prefers to deal with an unfamiliar concept as if it were an empty ideality.”
He warned me that, since dreamers touch and enter real worlds of all-inclusive effects, they ought to be in a permanent state of the most intense and sustained alertness; any deviation from total alertness imperils the dreamer in ways more than dreadful.
Footnote 286, Book 9, page 178
“Scouts are always very aggressive and extremely daring,” he said. “They have to be that way in order to prevail in their explorations. Sustaining our dreaming attention on them is tantamount to soliciting their awareness to focus on us. Once they focus their attention on us, we are compelled to go with them. And that, of course, is the danger. We may end up in morlds beyond our energetic possibilities.”
Footnote 287, Book 9, page 180
“Their world is sealed. No one can enter or leave without the consent of the inorganic beings. The only thing you can do by yourself once you are inside is, of course voice your intent to stay. To say it out loud means to set in motion currents of energy that are irreversible. In olden times, words were incredibly powerful. Now they are not. In the inorganic beings’ realm, they haven’t lost their power.”
Footnote 288, Book 9, page 180
“In the final analysis,” he began, “my aversion to the old sorcerers’ activities is very personal. As a nagual, I detest what they did. They cowardly sought refuge in the inorganic beings’ world. They argued that in a predatorial universe, poised to rip us apart, the only possible haven for us is in that realm.”
“Because it’s true,” he said. “Since the inorganic beings can’t lie, the sales pitch of the dreaming emissary is all true. That world can give us shelter and prolong our awareness for nearly an eternity.”
Footnote 289, Book 9, page 181
“The energy necessary to move the assemblage points of sorcerers comes from the realm of the inorganic beings,” he said.
“There is no other viable energy for sorcerers. In order to maneuver the assemblage point in the manner they do, sorcerers need an inordinate amount of energy.”
I reminded him of his own statement: that a redeployment of energy is necessary in order to do dreaming.
“That is correct,” he replied. “To start dreaming, sorcerers need to redefine their premises and save their energy, but that redefining is valid only to have the necessary energy to set up dreaming. To fly into other realms, to see energy, to forge the energy body, is another matter. For those maneuvers, sorcerers need loads of dark, alien energy.”
Footnote 290, Book 9, page 185
“In the world of daily life, water is an element of the environment that we use for traveling. Imagine awareness being a similar element that can be used for traveling. Through the medium of awareness, scouts from all over the universe come to us, and vice versa, via awareness, sorcerers go to the ends of the universe.”
Don Juan explained that the use of awareness as an energetic element of our environment is the essence of sorcery, that in terms of practicalities, the trajectory of sorcery is, first, to free the existing energy in us by impeccably following the sorcerers’ path; second, to use that energy to develop the energy body by means of dreaming; and, third, to use awareness as an element of the environment in order to enter with the energy body and all our physicality into other worlds.
Footnote 291, Book 9, page 193-197
Perceiving is an all-inclusive act when the assemblage point has been immobilized on one position. She reminded me that don Juan had told us that the power our daily world has over us is a result of the fact that our assemblage point is immobile on its habitual position. This immobility is what makes our perception of the world so inclusive and overpowering that we cannot escape from it.
…the fixation of our assemblage points on the position preselected by the inorganic beings was so overpowering that it created a sort of fog that obliterated any memory of the world we came from. He added that the natural consequence of such an immobility, as in the case of the sorcerers of antiquity, is that the dreamer’s assemblage point cannot return to its habitual position.
“Think about this,” he urged us. “Perhaps this is exactly what is happening to all of us in the world of daily life. We are here, and the fixation of our assemblage point is so overpowering that it has made us forget where we came from, and what our purpose was in coming here.”
Footnote 292, Book 9, page 239
As a result of all those years on the sorcerers’ path, I knew without the shadow of a doubt that in the universe only energy exists; evil is merely a concatenation of the human mind, overwhelmed by the fixation of the assemblage point on its habitual position.
Footnote 293, Book 9, page 245
Every sorcerer of antiquity fell, inescapably, prey to the inorganic beings. The inorganic beings, after capturing tem, gave them power to be the intermediaries between our world and their realm, which people called the netherworld.
Footnote 294, Book 9, page 248
“There is no past or future in the universe. There is only the moment.”
“In the universe there is only energy, and energy has only a here and now, an endless and ever-present here and now.”
Footnote 295, Book 10, page 1
This collection of memorable events as a bona fide device to stir caches of energy that exist within the self. They explained these caches as being composed of energy that originates in the body itself and becomes displaced, pushed out of reach by the circumstances of our daily lives. In this sense, the collection of memorable events was, for don Juan and the shamans of his lineage, the means for redeploying their unused energy.
Footnote 296, Book 10, page 7
“It, the conflict or whatever, was the result of the battle between my two minds. Every one of us human beings has two minds. One is totally ours, and it is like a faint voice that always brings us order, directness, purpose. The other mind is a foreign installation. It brings us conflict, self-assertion, doubts, hopelessness.”
Footnote 297, Book 10, page 9
“No, we are not naturally petty and contradictory,” he replied. “Our pettiness and contradictions are, rather, the result of a transcendental conflict that afflicts every one of us, but of which only sorcerers are painfully and hopelessly aware: the conflict of our two minds.”
“One is our true mind, the product of all our life experiences, the one that rarely speaks because it has been defeated and relegated to obscurity. The other, the mind we use daily for everything we do, is a foreign installation.”
Footnote 298, Book 10, page 70
…what made human beings into sorcerers was their capacity to perceive energy directly as it flows in the universe, and that when sorcerers perceive a human being in this fashion, they see a luminous ball, or a luminous egg-shaped figure. His contention was that human beings are not only capable of seeing energy directly as it flows in the universe, but that they actually do see it, although they are not deliberately conscious of seeing it.
He categorized all human beings as possessing awareness, in a general sense, which permits them to see energy directly, and he categorized sorcerers as the only human beings who were deliberately conscious of seeing energy directly.
He then defined “awareness” as energy and “energy” as constant flux, a luminous vibration that was never stationary, but always moving of its own accord
Footnote 299, Book 10, page 103
Don Juan defined inner silence as a peculiar state of being in which thoughts were cancelled out and one could function from a level other than that of daily awareness. He stressed that inner silence meant the suspension of the internal dialogue – the perennial companion of thoughts – and was therefore a state of profound quietude.
“The old sorcerers,” don Juan said, “called it inner silence because it is a state in which perception doesn’t depend on the senses. What is at work during inner silence is another faculty that man has, the faculty that makes him a magical being, the very faculty that has been curtailed, not by man himself but by some extraneous influence.”
Footnote 300, Book 10, page 105
Don Juan assured me that inner silence is the avenue that leads to a true suspension of judgment – to a moment when sensory data emanating from the universe at large ceases to be interpreted by the senses; a moment when cognition ceases to be the force which, through usage and repetition, decides the nature of the world.
Footnote 301, Book 10, page 147
…the universe at large is composed of energy fields in the form of luminous filaments. They saw zillions of them, wherever they turned to see. They also saw that those energy fields arrange themselves into currents of luminous fibers, streams that are constant, perennial forces in the universe, and that the current or stream of filaments that is related to the recapitulation was named by those sorcerers the dark sea of awareness, and also the Eagle.
…every creature in the universe is attached to the dark sea of awareness at a round point of luminosity that was apparent when those creatures were perceived as energy. On that point of luminosity…called the assemblage point,…perception was assembled by a mysterious aspect of the dark sea of awareness.
Footnote 302, Book 10, page 147-148
Don Juan asserted that on the assemblage point of human beings, zillions of energy fields from the universe at large, in the form of luminous filaments, converge and go through it. These energy fields are converted into sensory data, and the sensory data is then interpreted and perceived as the world we know. Don Juan further explained that what turns the luminous fibers into sensory data is the dark sea of awareness. Sorcerers see this transformation and call it the glow of awareness, a sheen that extends like a halo around the assemblage point.
…what we call the senses in organisms is nothing but degrees of awareness. He maintained that if we accept that the senses are the dark sea of awareness, we have to admit that the interpretation that the senses make of sensory data is also the dark sea of awareness. He explained at length that to face the world around us in the terms that we do is the result of the interpretation system of mankind with which every human being is equipped. He also said that every organism in existence has to have an interpretation system that permits it to function in its surroundings.
Footnote 303, Book 10, page 148
“The sorcerers who came after the apocalyptic upheavals I told you about,” he continued, “saw that at the moment of death, the dark sea of awareness sucked in, so to speak, through the assemblage point, the awareness of living creatures. They also saw that the dark sea of awareness had a moment’s, let’s say, hesitation when it was faced with sorcerers who had done a recounting of their lives. Unbeknownst to them, some had done it so thoroughly that the dark sea of awareness took their awareness in the form of their life experiences, but didn’t touch their life force. Sorcerers had found out a gigantic truth about the forces of the universe. The dark sea of awareness wants only our experiences, not our life force.”
Footnote 304, Book 10, page 168
“In the case of the recapitulation, the secret option that only sorcerers take is to choose to enhance their true minds.”
“The haunting memory of your recollections,” he went on, “could come only from your true mind. The other mind that we all have and share is, I would say, a cheap model: economy strength, one size fits all.
What is at stake now is the advent of a disintegrating force…it is disintegrating what the sorcerers call the foreign installation, which exists in you and in every other human being. The effect of the force that is descending on you, which is disintegrating the foreign installation, is that it pulls sorcerers ot of their syntax.
Footnote 305, Book 10, page 177
“In your terms, which are the terms of the average man, it was a dream-fantasy in both instances. You had a dream-fantasy that I came to your place without knowing the address, and then you had a dream-fantasy that you went to see me. As far as I’m concerned, what you consider your dream-fantasy of meeting me in that town was as real as the two of us talking here today.”
Footnote 306, Book 10, page 178
“Dreaming is the act of changing the point of attachment with the dark sea of awareness.”
“Dreaming is a term that has always bugged the hell out of me,” he continued, “because it weakens a very powerful act. It makes it sound arbitrary; it gives it a sense of being a fantasy, and this is the only thing it is not.
Footnote 307, Book 10, page 178
…dreaming was an art, discovered by the sorcerers of ancient Mexico, by means of which ordinary dreams were transformed into bona-fide entrances to other worlds of perception. He advocated, in any way he could, the advent of something he called dreaming attention, which was the capacity to pay a special kind of attention, or to place a special kind of awareness on the elements of an ordinary dream.
The idea that don Juan proposed was not to set out deliberately to have a desired dream, but to fix one’s attention on the component elements of whatever dream presented itself.
Footnote 308, Book 10, page 181
He had asserted that an accurate definition of sorcery as a practice would be to say that sorcery is the manipulation of the assemblage point for purposes of changing its focal point of contact with the dark sea of awareness, thus making it possible to perceive other worlds.
Don Juan had said that the art of the stalkers enters into play after the assemblage point has been displaced. Maintaining the assemblage point fixed in its new position assures sorcerers that they will perceive whatever new world they enter in its absolute completeness, exactly as we do in the world of ordinary affairs. For the sorcerers of don Juan’s lineage, the world of everyday life was but one fold of a total world consisting of at least six hundred folds.
Footnote 309, Book 10, page 180
I knew that he was asleep because the ball of energy that human beings ordinarily are was a little bit flat; it was expanded laterally.
And then I saw the assemblage point at a position different from the habitual one, which is right behind the shoulder blades. In this instance, it had been displaced to the right of where it should have been, and a bit lower. I calculated that in this case it had moved to the side of the ribs. Another thing that I noticed that there was no stability to it. It fluctuated erratically and then abruptly went back to its normal position. I had the clear sensation that, obviously, my presence, and don Juan’s, had awakened the individual.
Footnote 310, Book 10, page 180
…the displacement and the fixation of the assemblage point could be realized at will by means of the sorcerers’ iron-handed discipline. He said that the sorcerers of his lineage believed that there were at least six hundred points within the luminous sphere that we are, that when reached at will by the assemblage point, can each give us a totally inclusive world; meaning that, if our assemblage point is displaced to any of those points and remains fixed on it, we will perceive a world as inclusive and total as the world of everyday life, but a different world nevertheless.
Don Juan had further explained that the art of sorcery is to manipulate the assemblage point and make it change positions at will on the luminous spheres that human beings are. The result of this manipulation is a shift in the point of contact with the dark sea of awareness, which brings as its concomitant a different bundle of zillions of energy fields in the form of luminous filaments that converge on the assemblage point. The consequence of new energy fields converging on the assemblage point is that awareness of a different sort than that which is necessary for perceiving the world of everyday life enters into action, turning the new energy fields into sensory data, sensory data that is interpreted and perceived as a different world because the energy fields that engender it are different from the habitual ones.
Footnote 311, Book 10, page 181
…what I had done from my inner silence was very similar to what is done in dreaming when one is asleep. However, when journeying through the dark sea of awareness, there is no interruption of any sort caused by going to sleep, nor was there any attempt whatsoever at controlling one’s attention while having a dream. The journey through the dark sea of awareness entailed an immediate response.
Footnote 312, Book 10, page 184
Those people were indeed warlike. They were not Western men at all. Their propositions were propositions of strife, warfare, strategy. They were measuring their strength, their striking resources, and lamenting the fact that they had no power to deliver their blows. I registered in my body the anguish of their impotence. All they had were sticks and stones to fight high-technology weapons. They mourned the fact that they had no leaders. They coveted, more than anything else one could imagine, the rise of some charismatic fighter who could galvanize them.
I heard then the voice of cynicism; one of them expressed a thought that seemed to devastate everyone equally, including me, for I seemed to be an indivisible part of them. He said that they were defeated beyond salvation, because if at a given moment one of them had the charisma to rise up and rally them, he would be betrayed because of envy and jealousy and hurt feelings.
“The Yaguis are not unique in their pettiness,” he said in my ear. “It is a condition in which human beings are trapped, a condition that is not even human, but imposed from the outside.”
Footnote 313, Book 10, page 189
“They saw that the dark sea of awareness is responsible not only for the awareness of organisms, but also for the awareness of entities that don’t have an organism.”
“The old shamans discovered that the entire universe is composed of twin forces,” he began, “forces that are at the same time opposed and complimentary to each other. It is inescapable that our world is a twin world. Its opposite and complementary world is one populated by beings that have awareness, but not an organism. For this reason, the old sorcerers called them inorganic beings.”
“And where is this world, don Juan?” I asked.
“Here, where you and I are sitting.”
“Two types of awareness coexist without every impinging on each other, because each type is entirely different from the other.
“fantasies have their origin in a subliminal knowledge that all of us have: that we are not alone.”
Footnote 314, Book 10, page 190
“The difficulty with your facing things in term of time and space,” he continued, “is that you only notice if something has landed in the space and time at your disposal, which is very limited. Sorcerers, on the other hand, have a vast field on which they can notice if something extraneous has landed. Lots of entities from the universe at large, entities that possess awareness but not an organism, land in the field of awareness of our world, or the field of awareness of its twin world, without an average human being every noticing them. The entities that land on our field of awareness, or the field of awareness of our twin world, belong to other worlds that exist besides our world and its twin. The universe at large is crammed to the brim with worlds of awareness, organic and inorganic.”
Footnote 315, Book 10, page 192
“What happens to sorcerers, when they pick up that hidden option of death, is that they turn into inorganic beings, very specialized, high-speed inorganic beings, beings capable of stupendous maneuvers of perception. Sorcerers enter then into what the shamans of ancient Mexico called their definitive journey. Infinity becomes their realm of action.”
“The old sorcerers believed that the awareness of this type of inorganic being would last as long as the earth is alive.”
Footnote 316, Book 10, page 199
“Today you found inorganic awareness, and then you saw it as it really is,” he said. “Energy is the irreducible residue of everything. As far as we are concerned, to see energy directly is the bottom line for a human being.”
Don Juan explained to me that I had succeeded that day in transforming the anthropomorphic shape of the inorganic beings into their essence: impersonal energy aware of itself.
Footnote 317, Book 10, page 211
I saw a succession of luminous spheres walking toward me or away from me. I saw them one at a time, as don Juan had always told me one sees them. I knew they were different individuals because of their differences in size. I examined the details of their structures. Their luminosity and their roundness were made of fibers that seemed to be stuck together. They were thin or thick fibers. Every one of those luminous figures had a thick, shaggy covering. They looked like some strange, luminous, furry animals, or gigantic round insects covered with luminous hair.
What was the most shocking thing to me was the realization that I had seen those furry insects all my life. Every occasion on which don Juan had made me deliberately see them seemed to me at that moment to be like a detour that I had taken with him. I remembered every instance of his help in making me see people as luminous spheres, and all of those instances were set apart from the bulk of seeing to which I was having access now. I knew then, beyond te shadow of a doubt, that I had perceived energy as it flows in the universe all my life, on my own, without anybody’s help.
Footnote 318, Book 10, page 213
“What you did was to stop the world, and then you realized that you have always seen energy as it flows in the universe, as every human being does, but without knowing it deliberately.”
“The second part of this twofold matte is that you experienced the most maddening question for the hearts of human beings. You expressed it yourself when you asked yourself the questions: ‘How in the world could it have been possible that I didn’t know that I had perceived energy directly all my life? What had been preventing me from gaining access to that aspect of my being?’”
Footnote 319, Book 10, page 215-216
He had described the energy body to me countless times, saying that it was a conglomerate of energy fields, the mirror image of the conglomerate of energy fields that make up the physical body when it is seen as energy that flows in the universe. He had said that it was smaller, more compact, and of heavier appearance than the luminous sphere of the physical body.
Don Juan had explained that the body and the energy body were two conglomerates of energy fields compressed together by some strange agglutinizing force. …the force that binds that group of energy fields together was…the most mysterious force in the universe….it was the pure essence of the entire cosmos, the sum total of everything there is.
Footnote 320, Book 10, page 216
He had asserted that the physical body and the energy body were the only counterbalanced energy configurations in our realm as human beings. He accepted, therefore, no other dualism than the one between these two. The dualism between body and mind, spirit and flesh, he considered to be a mere concatenation of the mind, emanating from it without any energetic foundation.
Footnote 321, Book 10, page 216
Don Juan had said that by means of discipline it is possible for anyone to bring the energy body closer to the physical body. Normally, the distance between the two is enormous.
Once the energy body is within a certain range…anyone, through discipline, can forge it into the exact replica of the physical body – that is to say, a three-dimensional, solid being. Hence the sorcerers’ idea of the other or the double.
By the same token, through the same processes of discipline, anyone can forge their three-dimensional, solid physical body to be a perfect replica of their energy body – that is to say, an ethereal charge of energy invisible to the human eye, as all energy is.
Footnote 322, Book 10, page 218
“Ah, that’s the universe at large,” he said, “incommensurable, nonlinear, outside the realm of syntax. The sorcerers of ancient Mexico were the first ones to see those fleeting shadows, so they followed them around. They saw them as you’re seeing them, and they saw them as energy that flows in the universe. And they did discover something transcendental.”
“They saw that we have a companion for life,” he said, as clearly as he could. “We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don’t do so.”
“They took over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. Just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, gallineros, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros. Therefore, their food is always available to them.”
Footnote 323, Book 10, page 220
“Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradiction between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behavior. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of beliefs, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed, and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal.”
Footnote 324, Book 10, page 220
“In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous maneuver…They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators’ mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now.
“you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its maneuver is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied.”
“Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they insure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear.”
Footnote 325, Book 10, page 220
Don Juan had a broad smile on his face. He was as pleased as punch.
Footnote 326, Book 10, page 221
He explained that sorcerers see infant human beings as strange, luminous balls of energy, covered from the top to the bottom with a glowing coat, something like a plastic cover that is adjusted tightly over their cocoon of energy. He said that that glowing coat of awareness was what the predators consumed, and that when a human being reached adulthood, all that was left of that glowing coat of awareness was a narrow fringe that went from the ground to the top of the toes. That fringe permitted mankind to continue living, but only barely.
He said that this narrow fringe of awareness was the epicenter of self-reflection, where man was irremediably caught. By playing on our self-reflection, which is the only point of awareness left to us, the predators create flares of awareness that they proceed to consume in a ruthless, predatory fashion. They give us inane problems that force those flares of awareness to rise, and in this manner they keep us alive in order for them to be fed with the energetic flare of our pseudoconcerns.
Footnote 327, Book 10, page 221
I heard don Juan Matus explaining that to his knowledge, man was the only species that had the glowing coat of awareness outside that luminous cocoon. Therefore, he became easy prey for an awareness of a different order, such as the heavy awareness of the predator.
Footnote 328, Book 10, page 223
“The sorcerers of ancient Mexico,” he said, “saw the predator. They called it the flyer because it leaps through the air. It is not a pretty sight. It is a big shadow, impenetrably dark, a black shadow that jumps through the air. Then it lands flat on the ground. The sorcerers of ancient Mexico were quite ill at ease with the idea of when it made its appearance on Earth. They reasoned that man must have been a complete being at one point, with stupendous insights, feats of awareness that are mythological legends nowadays. And then everything seems to disappear, and we have now a sedated man.
“It’s very smart, and organized. It follows a methodical system to render us useless. Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He’s an average piece of meat. There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.”
Footnote 329, Book 10, page 224
“The predator,” don Juan said, “which, of course, is an inorganic being, is not altogether invisible to us, as other inorganic beings are. I think as children we do see it and decide it’s so horrific that we don’t want to think about it. Children, of course, could insist on focusing on the sight, but everybody else around them dissuades them from doing so.”
Footnote 330, Book 10, page 224
“The only alternative left for mankind,” he continued, “is discipline.”
“Sorcerers understand discipline as the capacity to face with serenity odds that are not included in our expectations. For them, discipline is an art: the art of facing infinity without flinching, not because they are strong and tough but because they are filled with awe.”
Footnote 331, Book 10, page 224
“Sorcerers say that discipline makes the glowing coat of awareness unpalatable to the flyer, don Juan said…”The result is that the predators become bewildered. An inedible glowing coat of awareness is not part of their cognition, I suppose. After being bewildered, they don’t have any recourse other than refraining from continuing their nefarious task.
“If the predators don’t eat our glowing coat of awareness for a while,: he went on, “it’ll keep on growing….the glowing coat of awareness is like a tree. If it is not pruned, it grows to its natural size and volume.”
Footnote 332, Book 10, page 225
“The grand trick of those sorcerers of ancient times,” don Juan continued, “was to burden the flyer’s mind with discipline. They found out that if they taxed the flyer’s mind with inner silence, the foreign installation would flee, giving to any one of the practitioners involved in this maneuver the total certainty of the mind’s foreign origin. The foreign installation comes back, I assure you, but not as strong, and a process begins in which the fleeing of the flyer’s mind becomes routine, until one day it flees permanently. A sad day indeed! That’s the day when you have to rely on your own devices, which are nearly zero. There’s no one to tell you what to do. There’s no mind of foreign origin to dictate the imbecilities you’re accustomed to.”
“the real mind that belongs to us, the sum total of our experience, after a lifetime of domination has been rendered shy, insecure, and shifty. Personally I would say that the real battle of sorcerers begins at that moment. The rest is merely preparation.”
Footnote 333, Book 10, page 226
“The flyer’s mind flees forever,” he said, “when a sorcerer succeeds in grabbing on to the vibrating force that holds us together as a conglomerate of energy fields. If a sorcerer maintains that pressure long enough, the flyer’s mind flees in defeat.”
“You’re fearing the wrath of God, aren’t you?” he said. “Rest assured, that’s not your fear. It’s the flyer’s fear, because it knows that you will do exactly as I’m telling you.”
Footnote 334, Book 10, page 231
“The weird idea,” he said slowly, measuring the effect of his words, “is that every human being on this earth seems to have exactly the same reactions, the same thoughts, the same feelings. They seem to respond in more or less the same way to the same stimuli. Those reactions seem to be sort of fogged up by the language they speak, but if we scrape that off, they are exactly the same reactions that besiege every human being on Earth.”
Footnote 335, Book 10, page 234
The predator don Juan had described was not something benevolent. It was enormously heavy, gross, indifferent. I felt its disregard for us. Doubtless, it had crushed us ages ago, making us, as don Juan had said, weak, vulnerable, and docile.
I had my wrath, my unbending intent, not to let them eat me. I wept for my fellow men, especially for my father.
Footnote 336, Book 10, page 256
My grandmother, of course, would not hear of her son’s misbehavior. She explained it all as a case of profound envy. Every one of those people in that town was envious of the elegance, the style of her son. They were envious of his personality, of his wit. Indeed, he was the personification of elegance and savoir faire. But he was a plagiarist for sure; there was no doubt about it.
Thanks for what seems to be a very informative, insightful, and even-handed explanation of Castaneda’s books and controversies. I’ve been interested in this myself for many decades, and now, out of necessity, find myself trying to cope with Life After Castaneda, i.e. trying to go beyond the constant re-readings of these books. I’ve spend many years corroborating anything possible with world mythology and with science, learning some interesting things along the way.
In light of the latter (science; and I hope this isn’t too nitpicking), I just wanted to point out that on pp. 37-38, the text seems a little unclear about cocoons, organic, “physical organisms,” and “nonorganic entities” (not inorganic?). As I understand it, beings that we don’t perceive as having a [material] organism can be either organic or inorganic; the latter have no cocoons, being described as tubular or cylindrical or filiform. Organic means “having a cocoon,” not necessarily having a physical body that we can detect, while inorganic refers to beings with a different configuration. Both types can project other forms, as we can in certain kinds of dreaming. Despite being a cocoon, it’s debatable whether we have “organisms” in dreaming.
Furthermore, to say (on p. 37) that they don’t “breathe, eat, and reproduce” is very misleading; they surely must reproduce, and while they don’t metabolize in a way that we can measure (i.e. through the use of carbon, or “organically”), you yourself quoted a scene describing the flyers (or something) as sea kelp with digestive enzymes. I know, it’s not meant to be literal, but if they’re alive and aware, then they do very literally consume!
Sometimes we’re stuck with the categories provided by mainstream science, but in fact these categories break down, even in investigating things in our “known” world. Exceptions to the categories are swept under that rug, and that’s where we can find the most interesting things (under the rug) if we dare to look there.
Anyway, thanks for the book.
Thanks for your interesting questions. Inorganic beings do have cocoons, but not organisms. And it’s not directly discussed but my deduction is they do not reproduce, but they populate their area by recruiting beings from other areas. The flyer consumes our awareness, not our physical bodies.
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