“Therein lies the secret of great hunters. To be available and unavailable at the precise turn of the road.
You must learn to become deliberately available and unavailable. As your life goes now, you are unwittingly available at all times. To be unavailable does not mean to hide or to be secretive but to be inaccessible. It makes no difference to hide if everyone knows that you are hiding.
We are fools, all of us, and you cannot be different. At one time in my life I, like you, made myself available over and over again until there was nothing of me left for anything except perhaps crying. And that I did, just like yourself.
You must take yourself away. You must retrieve yourself from the middle of the road. Your whole being is there, thus it is of no use to hide; you would only imagine that you are hidden. Being in the middle of the road means that everyone passing by watches your comings and goings.
The art of a hunter is to become inaccessible. To be inaccessible means that you touch the world around you sparingly. You don’t expose yourself to the power of the wind unless it is mandatory. You don’t use and squeeze people until they have shriveled to nothing, especially the people you love.
To be unavailable means that you deliberately avoid exhausting yourself and others. It means that you are not hungry and desperate.
A hunter knows he will lure game into his traps over and over again, so he doesn’t worry. To worry is to become accessible, unwittingly accessible. And once you worry you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.
I’ve told you already that to be inaccessible does not mean to hide or to be secretive. It doesn’t mean that you cannot deal with people either. A hunter uses his world sparingly and with tenderness regardless of whether the world might be things, or plants, or animals, or people, or power. A hunter deals intimately with his world and yet he is inaccessible to that same world. He is inaccessible because he’s not squeezing his world out of shape. He taps it lightly, stays for as long as he needs to, and then swiftly moves away leaving hardly a mark.”
‘Journey to Ixtlan’ by Carlos Castaneda
A warrior hesitates by means of strategic necessity ~ knowing that he must retain his awareness through sobriety and detachment – in order to regain his balance and to determine his direction ~ a warrior considers the path with heart…
It is time now to tell you the “rule” as it pertains to the Nagual and his role, exactly as it was told to me. Being involved with the rule may be described as living a myth. In my case, a myth that caught me and made me the Nagual.
The power that governs the destiny of all living beings is called the Eagle, not because it is an eagle or has anything to do with an eagle, but because it appears to the seer as an immeasurable jet-black eagle, standing erect as an eagle stands, its height reaching to infinity.
As the seer gazes on the blackness that the Eagle is, four blazes of light reveal what the Eagle is like, The first blaze, which is like a bolt of lightning, helps the seer make out the contours of the Eagle’s body. There are patches of whiteness that look like an eagle’s feathers and talons. A second blaze of lightning reveals the flapping, wind-creating blackness that looks like an eagle’s wings. With the third blaze of lightning the seer beholds a piercing, inhuman eye. And the fourth and last blaze discloses what the Eagle is doing.
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.
The Eagle, that power that governs the destinies of all living things, reflects equally and at once all those living things. There is no way, therefore, for man to pray to the Eagle, to ask favors, to hope for grace. The human part of the Eagle is too insignificant to move the whole.
It is only from the Eagle’s actions that a seer can tell what it wants. The Eagle, although it is not moved by the circumstances of any living thing, has granted a gift to each of those beings. In its own way and right, any one of them, if it so desires, has the power to keep the flame of awareness, the power to disobey the summons to die and be consumed. Every living thing has been granted the power, if it so desires, to seek an opening to freedom and to go through it. It is evident to the seer who sees the opening, and to the creatures that go through it, that the Eagle has granted that gift in order to perpetuate awareness.
For the purpose of guiding living things to that opening, the Eagle created the Nagual. The Nagual is a double being to whom the rule has been revealed. Whether it be in the form of a human being, an animal, a plant, or anything else that lives, the Nagual by virtue of its doubleness is drawn to seek that hidden passageway.
The Nagual comes in pairs, male and female, A double man and a double woman become the Nagual only after the rule has been told to each of them, and each of them has understood it and accepted it in full.
To the eye of the seer, a Nagual man or Nagual woman appears as a luminous egg with four compartments. Unlike the average human being, who has two sides only, a left and a right, the Nagual has a left side divided into two long sections, and a right side equally divided in two.
The Eagle created the first Nagual man and Nagual woman as seers and immediately put them in the world to see. It provided them with four female warriors who were stalkers, three male warriors, and one male courier, whom they were to nourish, enhance, and lead to freedom.
The female warriors are called the four directions, the four corners of a square, the four moods, the four winds, the four different female personalities that exist in the human race.
The first is the east. She is called order. She is optimistic, lighthearted, smooth, persistent like a steady breeze.
The second is the north. She is called strength. She is resourceful, blunt, direct, tenacious like a hard wind.
The third is the west. She is called feeling. She is introspective, remorseful, cunning, sly, like a cold gust of wind.
The fourth is the south. She is called growth. She is nurturing, loud, shy, warm, like a hot wind.
The three male warriors and the courier are representative of the four types of male activity and temperament.
The first type is the knowledgeable man, the scholar; a noble, dependable, serene man, fully dedicated to accomplishing his task, whatever it may be.
The second type is the man of action, highly volatile, a great humorous fickle companion.
The third type is the organizer behind the scenes, the mysterious, unknowable man. Nothing can be said about him because he allows nothing about himself to slip out.
The courier is the fourth type. He is the assistant, a taciturn, somber man who does very well if properly directed but who cannot stand on his own.
In order to make things easier, the Eagle showed the Nagual man and Nagual woman that each of these types among men and woman of the earth has specific features in its luminous body.
The scholar has a sort of shallow dent, a bright depression at his solar plexus. In some men it appears as a pool of intense luminosity, sometimes smooth and shiny like a mirror without a reflection.
The Eagle’s Gift ~ Carlos Castaneda
“I never noticed the noise in my head, until it stopped”.
“Now let us call that spirit of the water hole,” he said.
I tried to turn my head to look at him. He held me vigorously by the hair and said that I was in a very vulnerable position and in a terribly weak physical state and had to remain quiet and motionless. He had put all those special branches on my belly to protect me and was going to remain next to me in case I could not take care of myself.
He was standing next to the top of my head, and if I rolled my eyes I could see him. He took his string and tensed it and then realized I was looking at him by rolling my eyes way into my forehead. He gave me a snappy tap on the head with his knuckles and ordered me to look at the sky, not to close my eyes, and to concentrate on the sound. He added, as if on second thought, that I should not hesitate to yell the word he had taught me if I felt something was coming at me.
Don Juan and his “spirit catcher” began with a low-tension twang. He slowly increased the tension, and I began to hear a sort of reverberation first, and then a definite echo which came consistently from a southeasterly direction. The tension increased. Don Juan and his “spirit catcher” were perfectly matched. The string produced a low-range note and don Juan magnified it, increasing its intensity until it was a penetrating cry, a howling call. The apex was an eerie shriek, inconceivable from the point of view of my own experience.
The sound reverberated in the mountains and echoed back to us. I fancied it was coming directly toward me. I felt it had something to do with the temperature of my body. Before don Juan started his calls I had been very warm and comfortable, but during the highest point of his calls I became chilled; my teeth chattered uncontrollably and I truly had the sensation that something was coming at me.
At one point I noticed that the sky had become very dark. I had not been aware of the sky although I was looking at it. I had a moment of intense panic and I yelled the word don Juan had taught me.
Don Juan immediately began to decrease the tension of his eerie calls, but that did not bring me any relief.
“Cover your ears,” don Juan mumbled imperatively.
I covered them with my hands.
After some minutes don Juan stopped altogether and came around to my side. After he had taken the branches and leaves off my belly, he helped me up and carefully put them on the rock where I had been lying. He made a fire with them, and while it burned he rubbed my stomach with other leaves from his pouch.
He put his hand on my mouth when I was about to tell him that I had a terrible headache.
We stayed there until all the leaves had burned. It was fairly dark by then. We walked down the hill and I got sick to my stomach.
A Separate Reality: Chapter 11. [Carlos Castaneda]
Our self reflection is literally a mirror through which we observe the soul; while we stare at our own reflection finding wonderment or disappointment with ourselves, the world is there just slightly out of our grasp….. Self reflection is our interpretation of world, it is our description of reality, but seeing the world as through a prism… With the light broken and the image distorted! When we learn to quieten our minds and stop the chattering, we will eventually learn to by-pass this self-reflective process and see the world for what it is, or rather for ‘how’ it is! The truths we find so solid and immovable are rooted in our perception which are in turn informed by our self-reflection!
Losing human form is the term for stepping beyond the bounds of one’s self importance. To be focused upon the self makes one heavy, clumsy, and vain. We always have self interest at the heart of every matter while we consider ourselves to be the most important “person” in the Universe, we will always be hurt, disappointed and abused. Self importance is easily damaged. And then we have to rush to re-establish our status. It’s like a balloon with a slow leak that you must constantly re-inflate and repeat (ad infinitum). It is possible to burst the balloon completely however. The means of eradicating it permanently is possible; but cannot be rushed. The warrior’s act of recapitulation is part of what is involved in eroding self importance. A warrior through the art of not-doing builds up personal power over the course of their lives. As personal power builds gradually throughout the life of the warrior, they will eventually reach one day a tipping point. Don Juan stated that the only resource available for gaining the extra energy needed to reach this escape velocity was through inorganic beings. This is why a warrior stalks his dreams, and the reason he scales the heights of altered consciousness. Dreaming is a gateway for the sorcerer, a place of higher meeting. The inorganic beings are capable of reaching into our dreams. They crave contact with those who choose impeccability. Heightened states of awareness through shamanic practices and the use of power plants; which are of course allies to the man of knowledge, are another means of making contact with the inorganic beings. So a man of knowledge occupies himself with these concepts during his lifetime and heads towards the show down that will ultimately mean the vanquishing of his self importance.
The shift is always a different matter for everyone depending on their predilection. It is rather like trying to crack a rock with water. Ice will do it, it gets into the cracks of the rock, freezes and expands, shattering the rocks solidity. Rushing water will do it, depending on how fast the river is. And dripping water will eventually erode the rock, it is just a matter of time. In the same way self importance holds out and will only be relinquished after a fight. So there are many factors that determine how a warrior will be able to deal self-importance the fatal blow.
It comes down to a moment of transcendence; if you will. A place where personal power has build to such an extent that to all intensive purposes, a warrior is no longer human – hence losing human form! The inorganic energy that a warrior builds up gradually throughout their life, tips the scales. He possess more inorganic energy than human energy, making him something other than human. The luminous cocoon cracks for the third time and he becomes a formless man. Entering into silent knowledge. This term means ultimately having outrun his habits, routines and personal history. At this moment the internal dialogue takes on a different shape. The bias changes. Away from constantly having to work to shut down the internal dialogue to instead internal silence becoming predominate. The internal dialogue collapses, as does the sorcerer’s explanation. At this point – everything will go. The weight of ones Self importance is too great to sustain the description of the world and it collapses.
When this happened to me, I was in a hotel room in Istanbul. Having taken flight across Europe. Through Holland, France, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Greece and then finally via a train to Turkey, I arrived at a ‘fait accompli’. I had no more options left! All the struggles i had endured for a decade had mounted upon me, I felt heavy. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. I could no longer fight. No longer could I go forward and nowhere to go back. All the things I was running from at that time seemed a million miles away and yet there I was on the brink of death once again. Ready to put myself out on the boarder between Syria and Turkey – a badlands where terrorists hide out from the security forces. My fate was sealed!
I had no alternative, no more options left. Then suddenly I ‘saw‘. It is always better to be alive than dead, once your dead you have no options left at all. But what could I do? And then it came to me like upon on a wave. I realised there was nothing left I could do but “surrender“. On the train coming into Istanbul I had been held up in a carriage with several other people. I had heard the ally, he spoke to me and said: “you do still consider me an ally don’t you?” and that was all he said. But from this moment I knew something tumultuous was coming. The event descended upon me as I sat in this hotel room several thousand miles away from all my problems…. And yet there it was – everything still haunting me. But the distance had given me insight, I suddenly saw again that it gave me a chance, a cubic square of opportunity. Which seemed to hover in front of my eyes. I Seized the opportunity. I gave into the moment “ I Surrendered to everything“. I broke into floods of tears, and then I was immediately comforted by a gentle invisible golden rain. I could clearly see falling all around me like a shower of golden speckles.
I sobbed for almost an hour and a half until all my tears seemed to have all been cried. With a renewed vigor, I left the hotel room and set out for the airport. I got my money back off the coach ticket for the journey to Damascus, that I had bought without being able afford the visa ….. this played an important role in the decision I was able to make. So I caught a tram with the money I now had from the ticket and went to the airport with the hope of contacting someone who might be able to assist me with a flight home to face the music. I had a Divorce to go through, I had abandoned my flat and I had a court case pending. But I had transcended everything. Surrendered. I had accepted my fate. I was released from the self importance, that had plagued me for so long. Once this Moment occurs there is no turning back. My integrity returned to me and I was reconstructed. My luminous being for the first time in years was en-tact. I thought I had done all the crying I was going to do, but instead I would uncontrollably burst into tears at the drop of a hat. This was pretty awkward for me as I had to stay four days in the airport, till I summoned up the courage to phone someone, I knew to beg for money for the flight home. I cried much of the plane ride home as well, staring out the windows as to not attract attention to my self. To remain unavailable, you understand.
“Knowledge comes to a warrior, floating, like specks of gold dust, the same dust that covers the wings of moths. So for a warrior, knowledge is like taking a shower, or being rained on by specks of dark gold dust.” Don Juan Matus
At various times I’ve attempted to name my knowledge for your benefit. I’ve said that the most appropriate name is nagualism, but that that term is too obscure. Calling it simply “knowledge” makes it too vague, and to call it “witchcraft” is debasing. “The mastery of intent ” is too abstract, and “the search for total freedom” too long and metaphorical. Finally, because I’ve been unable to find a more appropriate name, I’ve called it “sorcery.” You consider if it is accurate or not.
I’ve given you different definitions of sorcery, but I have always maintained that definitions change as knowledge increases. Now you are in a position to appreciate a clearer definition.
* * *
From where the average man stands, sorcery is nonsense or an ominous mystery beyond his reach. And he is right–not because this is an absolute fact, but because the average man lacks the energy to deal with sorcery.
Human beings are born with a finite amount of energy, 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. 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.
* * *
The average man, if he uses only the energy he has, 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.
Think of it this way. It isn’t that as time goes by you’re learning sorcery; rather, what you’re learning is to save energy. And this energy will enable you to handle some of the energy fields which are inaccessible to you now. And that is sorcery: the ability to use energy fields that are not employed in perceiving the ordinary world we know. Sorcery is a state of awareness. Sorcery is the ability to perceive something which ordinary perception cannot.
* * *
Everything a teacher puts his apprentice through, each of the things he shows him is only a device to convince him that there’s more to us than meets the eye.
We don’t need anyone to teach us sorcery, because there is really nothing to learn. What we need is a teacher to convince us that there is incalculable power at our fingertips. What a strange paradox! Every warrior on the path of knowledge thinks, at one time or another, that he’s learning sorcery, but all he’s doing is allowing himself to be convinced of the power hidden in his being, and that he can reach it.
I’m trying to convince you that you can reach that power. I went through the same thing. And I was as hard to convince as you are. 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.
* * *
Now, I’m going to give you a different and more precise definition of sorcery.
In the universe there is an unmeasurable, indescribable force which sorcerers call intent. Absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached tointent by a connecting link. Sorcerers, warriors, are concerned with discussing, understanding, and employing that connecting link. They are especially concerned with cleaning it of the numbing effects brought about by the ordinary concerns of their everyday lives. Sorcery at this level could be defined as the procedure of cleaning one’s connecting link to intent.
The task of sorcery is to take this seemingly incomprehensible knowledge and make it understandable by the standards of awareness of everyday life.
The guide in the lives of sorcerers is called “the nagual.” The nagual is a man or a woman with extraordinary energy, a teacher who has sobriety, endurance, stability; someone seers see as a luminous sphere having four compartments, as if four luminous balls have been compressed together. Naguals are responsible for supplying what sorcerers call “the minimal chance”: the awareness of one’s connection with intent.
* * *
Naguals school their apprentices toward three areas of expertise: the mastery of awareness, the art of stalking , and the mastery of intent . These three areas of expertise are the three riddles sorcerers encounter in their search for knowledge.
The mastery of awareness is the riddle of the mind; the perplexity sorcerers experience when they recognize the astounding mystery and scope of awareness and perception.
The art of stalking is the riddle of the heart; the puzzlement sorcerers feel upon becoming aware of two things: first that the world appears to us to be unalterably objective and factual, because of peculiarities of our awareness and perception; second, that if different peculiarities of perception come into play, the very things about the world that seem so unalterably objective and factual change.
The mastery of intent is the riddle of the spirit, or the paradox of the abstract–sorcerers’ thoughts and actions projected beyond our human condition.
The art of stalking and the mastery of intent depend upon instruction on the mastery of awareness, which consists of the following basic premises:
- The universe is an infinite agglomeration of energy fields, resembling threads of light.
- These energy fields, called the Eagle’s, or the Indescribable Force ‘s emanations, radiate from a source of inconceivable proportions metaphorically called the Eagle–the Indescribable Force .
- Human beings are also composed of an incalculable number of the same threadlike energy fields. These Indescribable Force ‘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.
- 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.
- Perception occurs when the energy fields in that small group immediately surrounding the point of brilliance extent 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.”
- 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 .
- 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.
- 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 .
- 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 even implies an alternative way of dying.
* * *
A level of practical knowledge is included as part of teaching the mastery of awareness. On this practical level are taught the procedures necessary to move the assemblage point. The two great systems devised by the sorcerer seers of ancient times to accomplish this are dreaming , the control and utilization of dreams; and stalking , the control of behavior.
Moving one’s assemblage point is an essential maneuver that every sorcerer has to learn.
Sorcerers consult their past in order to obtain a point of reference. Establishing a point of reference means getting a chance to examine intent and nothing can give sorcerers a better view of intent than examining stories of other sorcerers battling to understand the same force.
* * *
In sorcery there are abstract cores, and then, based on those abstract cores, there are scores of sorcery stories about the naguals of our lineage battling to understand the spirit.
The only way to know intent is to know it directly through a living connection that exists between intent and all sentient beings. Sorcerers call intent the indescribable, the spirit, the abstract.