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.”
“We are perceives,” 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 use only 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 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 epicentre, ‘will’, was directly connected to ‘feeling’, ‘dreaming’ and ‘seeing’; but only indirectly to ‘reason’ and ‘talking’. I remarked that the diagram was different from the one I had recorded years before. “The outer form is of no importance,” he said. “These points represent a human being and can be drawn in any way you want.” “Do they represent the body of a human being?” I asked. “Don’t call it the body,” he said. “These are eight points on the fibres of a luminous being.”
“A sorcerer says, as you can see in the diagram, that 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 centre that is smaller than will; it is connected only with talking.”
“What are the other two points don Juan”? “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”. He showed me in the diagram that in essence all the points could be made to connect with one another indirectly.
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. “Those two points will never yield to talking or to reason”, he said. “Only will can handle them”. “Reason is so far removed from them that it is utterly useless to try figuring them out”. He touched my head and said, that was the centre of reason and talking. The tip of my sternum was the centre of my feeling. The area below the naval was will. Dreaming was on the right side against the ribs. Seeing on the left. He said that sometimes in some warriors seeing and dreaming were on the right side. “We are perceiver. 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”.
Excerpt from “Tales of Power” by Carlos Castaneda
(Courtesy of Ken Eagle Feather)