Sorcerers’ aspirations are to reach infinity, and to be conscious of it. The task of sorcerers is to face infinity. They plunge into it daily, as a fisherman plunges into the sea. It is such an overwhelming task that sorcerers have to state their names before venturing into it. In this manner, they assert their individuality in front of the infinite.
What makes human beings into sorcerers is their capacity to perceive energy directly as it flows in the universe. Human beings are not only capable of seeing energy directly as it flows in the universe, but they actually do see it, although they are not deliberately conscious of seeing it.
“Awareness” is energy and “energy” is constant flux, a luminous vibration that is never stationary, but always moving of its own accord.
From “The Active Side of Infinity”
A number of years ago, I had a trip on Salvia Divinorum, that I was not likely to forget. I had been researching Salvia for some while. It is an entheogen, originally used by the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico, in healing and divination. Salvia is a member of the ‘sage’ family and is often loosely translated as “diviner’s sage” or “seer’s sage”. The main psychoactive ingredient is a diterpenoid called salvinorin A; which is a potent κ-opioid and D2 receptor agonist. Because of the legal status of this psychoactive substance Salvia Divinorum, is legal in the UK and can be purchased from head shops.
I bought an extract of Salvia, which was described as x50 strength. This was an elixir produced through the process of adding “salvinorin A” to the crush leaf of the plant making available something fifty times the strength of the leaf.
I sat down with a friend one night prepared to ingest this x50 extract. It is smoked in a bong or a pipe, and for my trip I borrowed a bubble bong – which looked something like this:
I warned my friend that it might be a strong trip as he was intending to have a go as well. I filled the bowl of the bong with the extract, lit it and drew back on the pipe. I never even got to finish the bowl. As soon as the smoke entered my lungs, the Salvia Divinorum, kicked in and took hold. I blacked out immediately – when I came to, I lunged and stood up. I was then standing over my friend staring at him wildly. At first I didn’t recognize him and then gradually his name returned to me. The problem was though, I had no idea who I was. Everything had gone – my name, my identity, everything about me had dissolved. I was stood there staring at him. I vocalized all this – to his great amusement. Eventually, my identity began to return and I started coming back to consciousness – at which point I felt a sharp pain in my thumb – I was still holding onto the smoldering bowl of the pipe. I lunged again falling over on the other side of the room while screaming in agony – the water and the contents of the burning bong spilling on the carpet. It took me a little while to recover – it had been an intense experience but only lasted a quarter of an hour.
After the experience had worn off sufficiently, I started discussing what had happened. It was a surprising event, to actually lose my name and with it my identity – it was horrifying. The trip felt like everything had been stripped away from me. Along with my internal dialogue – the description of who I was simply was not there. Don Juan in the books of Castaneda describes how our world and perceptions are created and upheld by an internal dialogue. He also considered everything in our world to have a proper name. The naming of things was intrinsic to upholding and maintaining this internal dialogue. So, for me when my name was no longer available neither was my identity.
When we are in the state of the unborn, we are without identity. When we enter the world we come with a gender. The first thing we are then given is our name. As life progresses, we are then subsequently given attributes as our roles develop. The imprinting continues all our lives and we become enmeshed in our world, indivisible from it. The stripping away that the Salvia, experience had on me was a returning me to this original state. This place of innocence was fundamentally without need for identity or labeling of any kind. For a brief moment I was in the place of pure consciousness and being. Considering its legality Salvia Divinorum, is a powerful drug and should be treated with respect. Having said that the plant showed me something of the truth about the nature of reality and about the nature of myself.
I have just been away camping, I hiked about 50 miles from Aviemore to Breamar, in the Scottish Highlands. While I was away, I camped one night by a Loch and took magic mushrooms (humito). I didn’t ingest a great deal as I didn’t take much with me. However it was prepared right; kept in a gourd for a couple of months to dry out and mixed with other herbs including Mary Jane. As I sat by the Loch with a fire blazing away, I smoked part of the mixture and ingested the rest. I felt the effects almost immediately, it wasn’t strong but there was a power in its subtlety. I stared at the moon hoping the trip would intensify. Suddenly in the clouds there appeared a message of sorts. I saw clearly emerging in the clouds the face of Terence McKenna. It was the typical image of Terence that we are familiar with. He had said before his death in the year 2000: “I’ll be around” – I presumed this was an indication of his presence. But the face then morphed into the face of Buddha. Things then got particularly funky. The cumulus lit up by the light of the moon turned into the enormous shape of a lotus seated Buddha. It seemed to move swaying and became alive. Then Quetzalcoatl, in the form of the Feathered Serpent from above came swooping in swallowing the whole scene as he went…devouring the Buddha.
My trips into the wilds are a Vision Quest, led and inspired by the wish for silent knowledge and a revealing from the spirit. So I was delighted to receive such a vision.
To me the interpretation was clear. The first part is a personal reference and an answer to a question I often wonder about Terence – in a sense; “did he make it?” And by that I mean did he burn with the fire from within and attain liberation – I know now he did. It was also a validation of the knowledge which was revealed during his lifetime. But the second part is a telling of the impending return of Quetzalcoatl and the devouring of the Earth.
This is the second time I have had a vision of Quetzalcoatl – the first was during dreaming and Quetzalcoatl was in the form of a man. Quetzalcoatl is the Feathered Serpent worshiped in many of the MesoAmerican cultures. He was born of a virgin, who had an appearance from the god ‘Onteol’ in a dream. He is associated with “the morning star” and his name also means: “lord of the star of the dawn.” He was also known to have been incarnated as a Toltec king, who is set to return; Quetzalcoatl is said to be the ruler of the coming Age of the fifth Son.
I am not yet fully aware of the implications of the Buddha, but I believe this Vision means Quetzalcoatl’s impending arrival is imminent. We will be caused to see the greatest increase of change and outpouring of energy and spirit this planet has ever seen. And of course this outpouring will continue to produce a massive increase in novelty; just as Terence McKenna suggested in his theory of timewave zero.
I had a dreamed experience quite a few years ago that pointed for me to the non-linear nature of time and reality.
When I was sixteen I went on a camping trip for a week with my brother. We got to a specific location and something weird happened. It got close to the gloaming and I ran into the woods. My brother came looking for me but said he couldn’t see me even when relatively close – I had become “Invisible” in his words; I had to shout to get his attention. Well we walked out of that area, and as we walked I remember cheerfully “twiddling” sticks at either side.
Well the dreamed experience came around three or four years ago…
I was in the throes of a full-scale lucid dream – having found my hands I was flying around to different locations. The dream then crashed as it sometimes does and I found myself walking along a path with complete clarity. Dim sunlight was coming through the trees. I realized then I was in the same location. I ran along up the path – to find myself walking behind someone who was “twiddling” sticks – dressed in combats as I had been. It was a stunning realization. I was now walking behind myself.. – ‘stalking myself’ through this dream. I had accessed something like a loop in reality and was dreaming a scene from the past.
In the dream I was also reminded of something I had intuited from that time …This thought came to me just as all thoughts do but stuck out from the rest as something of an anomaly – I was “told” I was a ‘pioneer’ And I heard it again when whispered by the voice of the Dreaming Emissary. Like a promise to an imagined future, I recognised this had now been fulfilled.
The becoming ‘invisible’ was no coincidence.
The strange recurrence of this situation seen from a totally different perspective – this echo in time – was I am sure due to the presence of “Inorganic Beings”. Don Juan said of these entities that they possess a Gap much smaller than that of man – which means they certainly live longer or at least without threat of immediate annihilation. Perhaps to some extent they are ‘without time’ and can move around freely within this plane of existence. But this would mean that the nature of time and reality is non-sequential to permit such a movement. All the evidence would suggests that time is instead a circular motion, a wheel of time, like a spiral that turns infinitely in space. Perhaps if you travel far enough you would eventually emerge back at the beginning. This loop in the fabric of time unleashes unlimited possibilities in my opinion. So, in dreaming it is certainly possible to meet yourself walking along a path you took many years before.
A Nagual’s dream ~ The Warrior’s Journey – The quest for knowledge leading into the heart of the unknown. A visual and auditory landscape – a dedication to all those who faithfully follow the path with heart without rushing or faltering.
The most demanding aspect of the teachings of Don Juan Matus, is in regard to the duality of the warrior; how is it possible to reconcile the two halves of our double nature that comprise the whole.
Our dual nature is at best both an advantage and something of a burden… it can inhibit our actions and cloud our judgement at times.
The balancing of the two sides of our being is the answer to this dilemma.
Don Juan makes it clear that all that remains of the Toltec teachings is in a sense ‘stalking’ and its counterpart ‘dreaming’.
“Stalkers deal with people, with the world of ordinary affairs. Stalkers are the practitioners of controlled folly as the dreamers are the practitioners of dreaming. Controlled folly is the basis for stalking, as dreams are the basis for dreaming. Generally speaking, a warrior’s greatest accomplishment in the second attention is dreaming, and in the first attention his greatest accomplishment is stalking. In the absence of self-importance, a warrior’s only way of dealing with the social milieu is in terms of controlled folly.”
A warrior follows the rule of the stalkers. The Rule applies to everyone but the stalker takes it on as the only means of buffering the onslaughts of power that come in the pursuit of knowledge. The rule is that a warrior has essentially given up the concerns of his everyday life in the pursuit of knowledge. He is only interested in unravelling the mysteries of the universe. He must come to the understanding that this mystery is infinite, and as such this is a hopeless task but he must proceed anyway. In doing so the warrior becomes a part of the mystery themselves – everything within his universe becomes equal unimportant and as to nothing. This principle is the Rule of stalkers.
Don Juan lays out the principles for the warrior in regard to stalking:
- To choose the battlefield
- To discard everything which is unnecessary
- To choose your battles with care
- To relax, abandon yourself and to fear nothing
- When faced with odds that cannot be dealt with, warriors retreat for a moment
- A warrior compresses time – making every moment count, aiming at success and ready to make his last stand at any moment
- A stalker never Pushes himself to the front – this last principle can only be applied with the implementation of the former six principles
The application of these principles results in three things:-
“The first is that stalkers learn never to take themselves seriously; they learn to laugh at themselves. If they’re not afraid of being a fool, they can fool anyone. The second is that stalkers learn to have endless patience. Stalkers are never in a hurry; they never fret. And the third is that stalkers learn to have an endless capacity to improvise.”
Don Juan also outlined the mood for stalking this being:- Ruthlessness, Cunning, Patience and Sweetness. This is the guiding attitude a warrior needs to adopt to stalk effectively.
One of the principle tools of stalking is recapitulation. This comprises the stalkers ‘sweeping breath’, the purpose of which is to free the warrior from the bonds of energetic filaments that become attached to them though energetic exchanges. The breath itself gives the life-giving healing force needed to purge the luminous being.
The aim of a stalker is to lose human form. This is can be achieved through a powerful recapitulation followed by implementation of the not-doings of the self such as erasing personal history, losing self-importance and breaking of routines.
The stalker is the epitome of a warrior in this way is both light and fluid. Free of human form the stalker is also unpredictable, deliberate in action, patient, not concerned about being understood nor concerned about the self-reflection of others – but instead this state allows the individual to be light-hearted and jovial and they truly enjoy their lives.
Dreaming is built on the premise that there is something called the ‘double’ or the ‘other’ and this is a replica of the warrior themselves. The important aspect of this concept is in being able to comprehend such idea. ‘Will’ is how the dreaming double is accessed and channelled and through ‘Will’ the dreaming double can become anything. The knowledge of this opens us to the concept that what we are in fact is an energetic configuration of energy fields or indeed as Don Juan called it ~ the luminous being.
The aim of the dreamer is to find themselves in dreaming. He achieves this with a simple manoeuvre; this is to find the hands in dreaming – which is to look down at the hands while asleep and to realize the dream state. The dreamer also hopes to actually see themselves dreaming. In this instant it is important to avoid the shock of experiencing such a thing. As with all things in dreaming the dreamer takes nonchalantly whatever he sees. The way anything is achieved in dreaming is through the volition of the dreamer. Once the dreamer has found their hands they next attempt to find a location within dreaming and with practice this can then be found in the waking experience.
There are as in all things various stages within dreaming. Don Juan sited these as:
- “Restful vigil is the preliminary state, a state in which the senses become dormant and yet one is aware.”
- “The second state is dynamic vigil. In this state one is left looking at a scene, a tableau of sorts, which is static. One sees a three-dimensional picture, a frozen bit of something – a landscape, a street, a house, a person, a face, anything.”
- “The third state is passive witnessing. In it the dreamer is no longer viewing a frozen bit of the world but is observing, eye witnessing, an event as it occurs. It is as if the primacy of the visual and auditory senses makes this state of dreaming mainly an affair of the eyes and ears.”
- “The fourth state is the one in which you are drawn to act. In it one is compelled to enterprise, to take steps, to make the most of one’s time. This state is called dynamic initiative.”
Quote from “The Eageles Gift”
As with all aspects of Don Juan’s teachings “stopping the internal dialogue” through the process of Not-doing is a vital component of dreaming. Dreaming requires then a quickened mind and the energy saved from talking to oneself allows one to dream.
Don Juan states also:
“The best way to enter into dreaming is to concentrate on the area just at the tip of the sternum, at the top of the belly. The attention needed for dreaming stems from that area. The energy needed in order to move and to seek in dreaming stems from the area an inch or two below the belly button. That energy is the will, or the power to select, to assemble. In a woman both the attention and the energy for dreaming originate from the womb.”
What one seeks in dreaming is not what one would pay attention to in everyday life. The shift into dreaming is achieved by anchoring the double to the second attention that being the attention of the nagual, The assemblage point makes a natural shift into this left side of awareness when one sleeps. The trick being to store attention in dreaming ~ this is to become totally immersed in the dream to the extent that one is totally detached from the waking experience.
There are seven gates of dreaming that must be crossed for the dreamer to gain mastery over their dreaming.
- The first gate of dreaming is to gain control of ones attention in dreaming. The easiest way of doing this is through finding the hands in dreaming, this anchors the double in the second attention.
- The second gate of dreaming is to learn how to wake up in the dream into yet another dream – enabling the dreamer to change dreaming locations entirely.
- The third gate of dreaming is reached when you find yourself staring at someone in a dream and that someone turns out to be you. There are two stages to this gate. The first stage, is to arrive at the gate; the second is to cross it. By dreaming that you see yourself asleep, you arrive at the third gate. The second phase is to move around once you’ve seen yourself asleep.
- The fourth gate of dreaming involves learning to use the energy body as a means of travel. This then be used to travel to “firstly concrete places in this world; two, to travel to concrete places out of this world; and, three, to travel to places that exist only in the intent of others.”
- The Fifth gate of dreaming is to be able to bring out the dreaming double in everyday life.
- The sixth is to be able to transport the physical body to another location entirely
- And the seventh is to be able to transcend the world entirely and to step beyond this world with the totality of oneself.
It takes years to master the arts of stalking and dreaming – it requires perseverance and only then comes about by practicing the disciplines that Don Juan prescribed. I have found that remembering direction is a key element. Not only in terms of a long perspective but on the basis of moment to moment orientation (in all planes of being simultaneously). Balancing ourselves and the forces in our world is also of prime importance. Understanding the relativistic and dualistic nature of reality. And coming to an understanding that nothing essentially matters except perhaps the rule. Once we set out on this path there really is little alternative – when one begins to comprehend the knowledge it cannot then be unlearned, only expanded upon. One may run away but this is not the path with heart and ultimately you will have to pay for this. Understanding the concepts of control folly and controlled abandonment is key. In regard to stalking controlled folly is our shield and guards us against the rigors of power. Control abandonment Don Juan describes as being something simple and ‘there being nothing to it’. But controlled abandonment is in principle the art of sorcery specifically in the application of dreaming – the ability to acquiesce to the situation – to know how and in what proportion. We require both Controlled abandonment and controlled folly in both waking and dreaming – being able to give ourselves to the moment and in the same instance able to act to produce the best possible outcome. A life lived like a warrior is unsurpassed – one becomes the master of oneself – the ego being defeated along the way. But as Don Juan says this can only be achieved without either rushing or faltering. The abstract will be achieved in time if one holds firm to the path with heart. But in the end reaching the spirit means there are really no devices one can cling to, no object, and no person. We have in the final outcome the say over our lives – it is our decision.
I am already given to the power that rules my fate.
And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, so I will see.
I fear nothing, so I will remember myself.
Detached and at ease,
I will dart past the Eagle
To be free
I first found my hands in dreaming about 12 years ago. It was not for a want of trying that it took me so long to achieve. I would practice setting up dreaming before falling asleep most nights, I would remind myself that the purpose of my dreaming was to find my hands, I would often wear a dreaming headband, and attempt to watch myself falling asleep. I invested in a Spirit Catcher and kitted it out with a Quartz, I even tried attaching a quartz crystal to the top of my head while sleeping, as recommended by Don Juan.
The results were pitiful however. Nightly I would fall asleep and enter dreaming. I was dreaming frequently and fairly lucidly at the time, but at no point would I remember the instruction to find my hands. It seems I would never become aware enough that I was actually within a dream. I was getting close however I felt a tension was starting to build within my dreaming experience.
There was one dreamscape/location, I kept returning to. I would be standing outside of a house, aware vegetation was growing out of it; perhaps a plant or tree, something that seemed very familiar to me. I would be standing on a path that led past the bay windows of the house, I even remember looking in on one occasion. I could not make it any further up the path however, something would end the dream. But it was in this location that I eventually managed to realise that I was asleep which prompted me to act – and I found my hands. The process was initially that I looked straight ahead – in awe of the fact that I had managed to realise I was dreaming. I felt very alive at that point, I could even feel the gravel of the path beneath my feet and realise I was somewhere else altogether. I then immediately looked down at my hands, inspecting them – the lines on my hands seemed to jump out at me. I became engrossed in studying my palms then turned them over….
At that moment the dream location changed. I cannot recall how many locations I travelled to. I seemed to be flying from one to another. Various things were happening at each location I found myself in, but I was limited by the amount of time I was there to how much I could recall. The general theme was that I was on a ‘night out’. I do remember going with friends to a bar, being thrown out then stumbling away down the street. But with this like all the locations I travelled to, I would suddenly be whipped away and would ‘fly’ somewhere else. I ended up in an alley, looking down at myself from above, but aware at the same time that it was myself I was looking at. Presumably exhausted by my night-time aeronautics I sat there till the friends I had been drinking with turned up to collect me. At which point I awoke, in astonishment and particularly happy with my success.
“Journey to Ixtlan”
“I am going to teach you how to set up dreaming.”
“You must start by doing something very simple,” he said. “Tonight in your dreams you must look at your hands.” I laughed out loud. His tone was so factual that it was as if he were telling me to do something commonplace. “Why do you laugh?” he asked with surprise. “How can I look at my hands in my dreams?”..
“Very simple, focus your eyes on them just like this.” He bent his head forward and stared at his hands with his mouth open. His gesture was so comical that I had to laugh. “Seriously, how can you expect me to do that?” I asked “The way I’ve told you,” he snapped. “You can, of course, look at whatever you goddamn please…
…I asked him to give me some pointers. “There aren’t any pointers,” he said. “Just look at your hands.”
“When they begin to change shape you must move your sight away from them and pick something else, and then look at your hands again. It takes a long time to perfect this technique.”