Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan's Teachings
The Art of Dreaming
Castaneda books Don Juan Castaneda Compilation
Carlos Castaneda books Stopping the World Teachings of Don Juan
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December 18th, 2018
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Sorcery is the act of embodying some specialized theoretical and practical premises about the nature and role of perception in molding the universe around us.
Our world is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. 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.
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, 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.
Believing that our energetic conditioning is correctable, sorcerers of ancient times developed a set of practices designed to recondition our energetic capabilities to perceive. They called this set of practices the art of dreaming. It's the gateway to infinity.
Through dreaming we can perceive other worlds, which we can certainly describe, but we can't describe what makes us perceive them. Yet we can feel how dreaming opens up those other realms. Dreaming seems to be a sensation--a process in our bodies, an awareness in our minds.
Dreaming instruction is divided into two parts. One is about dreaming procedures, the other about the purely abstract explanations of these procedures: an interplay between enticing one's intellectual curiosity with the abstract principles of dreaming and guiding one to seek an outlet in its practices.
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The human psyche is infinitely more complex than our mundane or academic reasoning has led us to believe.
* * *
The second attention is an energetic configuration of awareness.
In order to appreciate the position of dreamers and dreaming, one has to understand the struggle of modern-day sorcerers to steer sorcery away from concreteness toward the abstract.
Concreteness is the practical part of sorcery. The obsessive fixation of the mind on practices and techniques. And the unwarranted influence over people.
The abstract is the search for freedom, freedom to perceive, without obsessions, all that's humanly possible. Present-day sorcerers seek the abstract because they seek freedom; they have no interest in concrete gains.
After lifelong discipline and training, sorcerers acquire the capacity to perceive the essence of things, a capacity they call seeing.
To perceive the energetic essence of things means that you perceive energy directly. By separating the social part of perception, you'll perceive the essence of everything. Whatever we are perceiving is energy, but since we can't directly perceive energy, we process our perception to fit a mold. This mold is the social part of perception, which you have to separate.
You have to separate it because it deliberately reduces the scope of what can be perceived and makes us believe that the mold into which we fit our perception is all that exists. For man to survive now, his perception must change at its social base.
This social base of perception is the physical certainty that the world is made of concrete objects. I call this a social base because a serious and fierce effort is put out by everybody to guide us to perceive the world the way we do.
Everything is energy. The whole universe is energy. The social base of our perception should be the physical certainty that energy is all there is. A mighty effort should be made to guide us to perceive energy as energy. Then we would have both alternatives at our fingertips.
To train people in such a fashion is possible and this is precisely what I am doing with you. I am teaching you a new way of perceiving, first, by making you realize we process our perception to fit a mold and, second, by fiercely guiding you to perceive energy directly. This method is very much like the one used to teach us to perceive the world of daily affairs.
Our entrapment in processing our perception to fit a social mold loses its power when we realize we have accepted this mold, as an inheritance from our ancestors, without bothering to examine it.
To perceive a world of hard objects that had either a positive or a negative value must have been utterly necessary for our ancestors' survival. After ages of perceiving in such a manner, we are now forced to believe that the world is made up of objects.
It is unquestionably a world of objects. To prove it, all we have to do is bump into them. We are not arguing that. I am saying that this is first a world of energy; then it's 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. We'll always be stopped by the physical certainty of the hardness of objects.
Our way of perceiving is a predator's way. There is another mode, the one I am familiarizing you with: the act of perceiving the essence of everything, energy itself, directly.
To perceive the essence of everything will make us understand, classify, and describe the world in entirely new, more exciting, more sophisticated terms. Terms that correspond to sorcery truths, which have no rational foundation and no relation whatsoever to the facts of our daily world but which are self-evident truths for the sorcerers who perceive energy directly and see the essence of everything.
For such sorcerers, the most significant act of sorcery is to see the essence of the universe. The essence of the universe resembles incandescent threads stretched into infinity in every conceivable direction, luminous filaments that are conscious of themselves in ways impossible for the human mind to comprehend.
From seeing the essence of the universe, sorcerers go on to see the energy essence of human beings and depict human beings as bright shapes that resemble giant eggs and call them luminous eggs.
When sorcerers see a human being they see a giant, luminous shape that floats, making, as it moves, a deep furrow in the energy of the earth, just as if the luminous shape had a taproot that was dragging.
The decisive finding of the sorcerers of antiquity and the crucial feature of human beings as luminous balls, is 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.
The luminous ball is much larger than the human body. The spot of intense brilliance is part of this ball of energy, and it is located on a place at the height of the shoulder blades, an arm's length from a person's back. The old sorcerers named it the assemblage point after seeing what it does. It makes us perceive. In human beings, perception is assembled there, on that point. Seeing that all living beings have such a point of brilliance, the old sorcerers surmised that perception in general must take place on that spot, in whatever pertinent manner.
What they saw that made them conclude that perception takes place on the assemblage point was first, 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.
Next, they saw that a spherical extra glow, slightly bigger than the assemblage point, always surrounds it, greatly intensifying the luminosity of the filaments passing directly through that glow.
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 habitual 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.
The conclusion the old sorcerers drew from all this was that the greater the displacement of the assemblage point from its customary position, the more unusual the consequent behavior and, evidently, the consequent awareness and perception.
Notice that when I talk about seeing, I always say "having the appearance of" or "seemed like." Everything one sees is so unique that there is no way to talk about it except by comparing it to something known to us.
The most adequate example of this difficulty is the way sorcerers talk about the assemblage point and the glow that surrounds it. They describe them as brightness, yet it cannot be brightness, because seers see them without their eyes. They have to fill out the difference, however, and say that the assemblage point is a spot of light and that around it there is a halo, a glow. We are so visual, so ruled by our predator's perception, that everything we see must be rendered in terms of what the predator's eye normally sees.
After seeing what the assemblage point and its surrounding glow seemed to be doing, the old sorcerers advanced an explanation. They proposed that in human beings the assemblage point, by focusing its glowing sphere on the universe's filaments of energy that pass directly through it, automatically and without premeditation assembles those filaments into a steady perception of the world.
How those filaments are assembled into a steady perception of the world, no one can possibly know. Sorcerers see the movement of energy, but just seeing the movement of energy cannot tell them how or why energy moves.
Seeing that millions of conscious energy filaments pass through the assemblage point, the old sorcerers postulated that in passing through it they come together, amassed by the glow that surrounds it. After seeing that the glow is extremely dim in people who have been rendered unconscious or are about to die, and that it is totally absent from corpses, they were convinced that this glow is awareness.
The assemblage point and its surrounding glow are the mark of life and consciousness. The inescapable conclusion of the sorcerers of antiquity was that awareness and perception go together and are tied to the assemblage point and the glow that surrounds it.
I can't explain to you why, but there is no way sorcerers can be mistaken about their seeing. Now the conclusions they arrive at from their seeing might be wrong, but that would be because they are naive, uncultivated. In order to avoid this disaster, sorcerers have to cultivate their minds, in whatever form they can.
It certainly would be infinitely safer for sorcerers to remain solely at the level of describing what they see, but the temptation to conclude and explain, even if only to oneself, is far too great to resist.
When the assemblage point is displaced to another position, a new conglomerate of millions of luminous energy filaments come together on that point. The sorcerers of antiquity saw this and concluded that since the glow of awareness is always present wherever the assemblage point is, perception is automatically assembled there. Because of the different position of the assemblage point, the resulting world, however, cannot be our world of daily affairs.
The old sorcerers were capable of distinguishing two types of assemblage point displacement. One was a displacement to any position on the surface or in the interior of the luminous ball; this displacement they called a shift of the assemblage point. The other was a displacement to a position outside the luminous ball; they called this displacement a movement of the assemblage point. They found out that the difference between a shift and a movement was the nature of the perception each allows.
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. Perceiving such filaments engenders worlds that are beyond comprehension, inconceivable worlds with no trace of human antecedents in them.
This business of the assemblage point is an idea so farfetched, so inadmissible that there is only one thing for you to do. See the assemblage point! It isn't that difficult to see. The difficulty is in breaking the retaining wall we all have in our minds that holds us in place. To break it, all we need is energy. Once we have energy, seeing happens to us by itself. The trick is in abandoning our fort of self-complacency and false security.
It is just a matter of having energy. The hard part is convincing yourself that it can be done. For this, you need to trust the nagual. The marvel of sorcery is that every sorcerer has to prove everything with his own experience. I am telling you about the principles of sorcery not with the hope that you will memorize them but with the hope that you will practice them.
Our link is with the spirit itself and only incidentally with the man who brings us its message.
The assemblage point has nothing to do with what we normally perceive as the body. It's part of the luminous egg, which is our energy self.
It is displaced through energy currents. Jolts of energy, originating outside or inside our energy shape. These are usually unpredictable currents that happen randomly, but with sorcerers they are very predictable currents that obey the sorcerer's intent.
Every sorcerer feels them. Every human being does, for that matter, but average human beings are too busy with their own pursuits to pay any attention to feelings like that.
When the assemblage point moves outside the energy shape it pushes the contours of the energy shape out, without breaking its energy boundaries.
The end result of a movement of the assemblage point is a total change in the energy shape of a human being. Instead of a ball or an egg, he becomes something resembling a smoking pipe. The tip of the stem is the assemblage point, and the bowl of the pipe is what remains of the luminous ball. If the assemblage point keeps on moving, a moment comes when the luminous ball becomes a thin line of energy. What makes mankind homogeneous is the fact that we are all luminous balls.
Another topic of our explanations is the indispensability of energetic uniformity and cohesion for the purpose of perceiving. Mankind perceives the world we know, in the terms we do, only because we share energetic uniformity and cohesion. We automatically attain these two conditions of energy in the course of our rearing. They are so taken for granted we do not realize their vital importance until we are faced with the possibility of perceiving worlds other than the world we know. At those moments, it becomes evident that we need a new appropriate energetic uniformity and cohesion to perceive coherently and totally.
Man's energetic shape has uniformity in the sense that every human being on earth has the form of a ball or an egg. And the fact that man's energy holds itself together as a ball or an egg proves it has cohesion. An example of a new uniformity and cohesion is the old sorcerers' energetic shape when it became a line: every one of them uniformly became a line and cohesively remained a line. Uniformity and cohesion at a line level permitted those old sorcerers to perceive a homogeneous new world.
The key to acquiring uniformity and cohesion is the position of the assemblage point, or rather the fixation of the assemblage point.
Those old sorcerers could have reverted to being egglike but they did not. And then the line cohesion set in and made it impossible for them to go back. What really crystallized that line cohesion and prevented them but making the journey back was a matter of choice and greed. The scope of what those sorcerers were able to perceive and do as lines of energy was astronomically greater than what an average man or any average sorcerer can do or perceive.
The human domain when one is an energy ball is whatever energy filaments pass through the space within the ball's boundaries. Normally, we perceive not all the human domain but perhaps only one thousandth of it. If we take this into consideration, the enormity of what the old sorcerers did becomes apparent; they extended themselves into a line a thousand times the size of a man as an energy ball and perceived all the energy filaments that passed through that line.
Make a giant effort to understand the new model of energy configuration I am outlining for you.
To understand all this certainly isn't an exercise for your reason. I have no way of explaining what sorcerers mean by filaments inside and outside the human shape. When seers see the human energy shape, they see one single ball of energy. If there is another ball next to it, the other ball is seen again as a single ball of energy. The idea of a multitude of luminous balls comes from our knowledge of human crowds. In the universe of energy, there are only single individuals, alone, surrounded by the boundless. You must see that for yourself.
To rearrange uniformity and cohesion means to enter into the second attention by retaining the assemblage point on its new position and keeping it from sliding back to its original spot.
The old sorcerers called the result of fixing the assemblage point on new positions the second attention. And they treated the second attention as an area of all-inclusive activity, just as the attention of the daily world is. Sorcerers really have two complete areas for their endeavors: a small one, called the first attention or the awareness of our daily world or the fixation of the assemblage point on its habitual position; and a much larger area, the second attention or the awareness of other worlds or the fixation of the assemblage point on each of an enormous number of new positions.
Every time anyone enters into the second attention, the assemblage point is on a different position. To remember that experience, then, means to relocate the assemblage point on the exact position it occupied at the time those entrances into the second attention occurred. Not only do sorcerers have total and absolute recall but they relive every experience they had in the second attention by this act of returning their assemblage point to each of those specific positions. Sorcerers dedicate a lifetime to fulfilling this task of remembering.
Learning something in the second attention is just like learning when we were children. What we learn remains with us for life.
Entering into the second attention forces you to sustain, for long periods of time, new positions of your assemblage point and to perceive coherently in them, that is to say, it forces you to rearrange your uniformity and cohesion.
The assemblage point becomes very easily displaced during sleep. Dreams are totally associated with that displacement. The greater the displacement, the more unusual the dream or vice versa: the more unusual the dream, the greater the displacement.
Sorcerers view dreaming as an extremely sophisticated art; the art of displacing the assemblage point at will from its habitual position in order to enhance and enlarge the scope of what can be perceived.
The art of dreaming is anchored on five conditions in the energy flow of human beings.
- . Only the energy filaments that pass directly through the assemblage point can be assembled into coherent perception.
- If the assemblage point is displaced to another position, no matter how minute the displacement, different and unaccustomed energy filaments begin to pass through it, engaging awareness and forcing the assembling of these unaccustomed energy fields into a steady, coherent perception.
- In the course of ordinary dreams, the assemblage point becomes easily displaced by itself to another position on the surface or in the interior of the luminous egg.
- The assemblage point can be made to move to positions outside the luminous egg, into the energy filaments of the universe at large.
- Through discipline it is possible to cultivate and perform, in the course of sleep and ordinary dreams, a systematic displacement of the assemblage point.
As a preamble to the first lesson in dreaming, I will talk about the second attention as a progression: beginning as an idea that comes to us more like a curiosity than an actual possibility; turning into something that can only be felt, as a sensation is felt; and finally evolving into a state of being, or a realm of practicalities, or a preeminent force that opens for us worlds beyond our wildest fantasies.
Being a by-product of a displacement of the assemblage point, the second attention does not happen naturally but must be intended, beginning with intending it as an idea and ending up with intending it as a steady and controlled awareness of the assemblage points displacement.
The first step to power is to set up dreaming. To set up dreaming means to have a precise and practical command over the general situation of a dream.
This control is no different from the control we have over any situation in our daily lives. Sorcerers are used to it and get it every time they want or need to. In order for you to get used to it yourself I taught you to look at your hands while dreaming.
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Explanations always call for deep thought. But when you actually dream, be as light as a feather. Dreaming has to be performed with integrity and seriousness, but in the midst of laughter and with the confidence of someone who doesn't have a worry in the world. Only under these conditions can our dreams actually be turned into dreaming.
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I selected your hands as something to look for in your dreams because they will always be there. Looking for anything else is just as valid provided that you pick one thing in advance and stay with it night after night until you succeed in finding it. The goal of the exercise is not finding a specific thing but engaging your dreaming attention.
The dreaming attention is the control one acquires over one's dreams upon fixating the assemblage point on any new position to which it has been displaced during dreams. The dreaming attention is an incomprehensible facet of awareness that exists by itself, waiting for a moment when we would entice it, a moment when we would give it purpose; it is a veiled faculty that every one of us has in reserve but never has the opportunity to use in everyday life.
There are seven gates and dreamers have to open all seven of them, one at a time. There are entrances and exits in the energy flow of the universe. In the specific case of dreaming, there are seven entrances, experienced as obstacles, which sorcerers call the seven gates of dreaming.
The first gate is a threshold we must cross by becoming aware of a particular sensation before deep sleep. A sensation which is like a pleasant heaviness that doesn't let us open our eyes. We reach that gate the instant we become aware that we're falling asleep, suspended in darkness and heaviness. There are no steps to follow. One just intends to become aware of falling asleep.
Intent or intending is something very difficult to talk about. I or anyone else would sound idiotic trying to explain it. Bear that in mind when you hear what I have to say next: sorcerers intend anything they set themselves to intend, simply by intending it.
For sorcerers, because the statement I made pertains to intent and intending, understanding it pertains to the realm of energy. Sorcerers believe that if one would intend that statement for the energy body, the energy body would understand it in terms entirely different from those of the mind. The trick is to reach the energy body. For that you need energy.
The energy body would understand that statement in terms of a bodily feeling, which is hard to describe. You'll have to experience it to know what I mean.
Intending is a subject not for your reason but for your energy body. At this point, you can't yet comprehend the import of all this, not only because you don't have sufficient energy but because you're not intending anything. If you were, your energy body would comprehend immediately that the only way to intend is by focusing your intent on whatever you want to intend.
The goal of dreaming is to intend the energy body. In this particular instance, since we're talking about the first gate of dreaming, the goal of dreaming is to intend that your energy body becomes aware that you are falling asleep. Don't try to force yourself to be aware of falling asleep. Let your energy body do it. To intend is to wish without wishing, to do without doing.
Accept the challenge of intending. Put your silent determination, without a single thought, into convincing yourself that you have reached your energy body and that you are a dreamer. Doing this will automatically put you in the position to be aware that you are falling asleep.
When you hear that you have to convince yourself, you automatically become more rational. How can you convince yourself you are a dreamer when you know you are not? Intending is both: the act of convincing yourself you are indeed a dreamer, although you have never dreamt before, and the act of being convinced.
I don't mean you have to tell yourself you are a dreamer and try your best to believe it. It isn't that.
Intending is much simpler and, at the same time, infinitely more complex than that. It requires imagination, discipline, and purpose. In this case, to intend means that you get an unquestionable bodily knowledge that you are a dreamer. You feel you are a dreamer with all the cells of your body.
You must reach your energy body on your own. Intending the first gate of dreaming is one of the means discovered by the sorcerers of antiquity for reaching the second attention and the energy body.
To ask a dreamer to find a determined item in his dreams is a subterfuge. The real issue is to become aware that one is falling asleep. And, strange as it may seem, that doesn't happen by commanding oneself to be aware that one is falling asleep but by sustaining the sight of whatever one is looking at in a dream.
Dreamers take quick, deliberate glances at everything present in a dream. If they focus their dreaming attention on something specific, it is only as a point of departure. From there, dreamers move on to look at other items in the dream's content, returning to the point of departure as many times as possible.
All that is required is your awareness of falling asleep. 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.
The difference between the dreaming attention and the second attention is that 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.
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The dreaming attention is the key to every movement in the sorcerers' world. Among the multitude of items in our dreams, there exist real energetic interferences, things that have been put in our dreams extraneously, by an alien force. To be able to find them and follow them is sorcery.
Dreams are, if not a door, a hatch into other worlds. 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.
Those scouts are energy charges that get mixed with the items of our normal dreams. They are bursts of foreign energy that come into our dreams, and we interpret them as items familiar or unfamiliar to us.
Dreams are 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.
Sorcerers are aware of those currents of foreign energy. They notice them and strive to isolate them from the normal items of their dreams.
They isolate them because they come from other realms. If we follow them to their source, they serve us as guides into areas of such mystery that sorcerers shiver at the mere mention of such a possibility.
Sorcerers isolate them from the normal items of their dreams by the exercise and control of their dreaming attention. At one moment, our dreaming attention discovers them among the items of a dream and focuses on them, then the total dream collapses, leaving only the foreign energy.
I'm going to repeat what you must do in your dreams in order to pass the first gate of dreaming. First you must focus your gaze on your hands as the starting point. Then shift your gaze to other items and look at them in brief glances. Focus your gaze on as many things as you can. Remember that if you glance only briefly, then the images don't shift. Then go back to your hands.
To pass the first gate of dreaming means that, first of all, we have reached the first gate of dreaming by becoming aware that we are falling asleep, or by having a gigantically real dream, and second, that we have crossed it by being able to sustain the sight of any item of our dreams.
In order to offset the evanescent quality of dreams, sorcerers have devised the use of the starting point item. Every time you isolate it and look at it, you get a surge of energy. As soon as the images begin to shift and you feel you are losing control, go back to your starting point item and start all over again.
The most astounding thing that happens to dreamers is that, on reaching the first gate, they also reach the energy body.
The energy body is the counterpart of the physical body. A ghostlike configuration made of pure energy. The physical body also is made out of energy.
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; such as transporting itself in one instant to the ends of the universe. And 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.
That sphere is 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.
To perceive energy as it flows means to see. It means that the energy body sees energy directly as a light or as a vibrating current of sorts or as a disturbance. Or It feels it directly as a jolt or as a sensation that can even be pain.
Since energy is its sphere, it is no problem for the energy body to use currents of energy that exist in the universe to propel itself. All it has to do is isolate them, and off it goes with them.
Sorcerers isolate in their dreams scouts from other realms. 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 be that search.
Reaching, with deliberate control, the first gate of dreaming is a way of 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. 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.
That leaves us to scrounge energy for ourselves, wherever we can find it.
Sorcerers have a scrounging method. They intelligently redeploy their energy by cutting down anything they consider superfluous in their lives. They call this method the sorcerers' way. In essence, the sorcerers' way is a chain of behavioral choices for dealing with the world, choices much more intelligent than those our progenitors taught us. These sorcerers' choices are designed to revamp our lives by altering our basic reactions about being alive.
Those basic reactions are the two ways of facing our being alive. One is to surrender to it, either by acquiescing to its demands or by fighting those demands. The other is by molding our particular life situation to fit our own configurations.
One's particular life situation can be molded to fit one's specifications. Dreamers do that. A wild statement? Not really, if you consider how little we know about ourselves.
My interest, as a teacher, is to get you thoroughly involved with the themes of life and being alive; that is to say, with the difference between life, as a consequence of biological forces, and the act of being alive, as a matter of cognition.
When sorcerers talk about molding one's life situation they mean molding the awareness of being alive. Through molding this awareness, we can get enough energy to reach and sustain the energy body, and with it we can certainly mold the total direction and consequences of our lives.
* * *
Don't merely think about what I have told you. Turn my concepts into a viable way of life by a process of repetition. Everything new in our lives, such as the sorcerers' concepts I am teaching you, must be repeated to us to the point of exhaustion before we open ourselves to it. Repetition is the way our progenitors socialized us to function in the daily world.
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The reading of my compilation of Carlos Castaneda's books continues from here on this MP3
As we tighten the control over our dreams, we tighten the mastery over our dreaming attention. The dreaming attention comes into play when it is called, when it is given a purpose. Its coming into play is not really a process, as one would normally understand a process, that is as an ongoing system of operations or a series of actions or functions that bring about an end result. It is rather an awakening. Something dormant becomes suddenly functional.
A dreaming teacher must create a didactic synthesis in order to emphasize a given point. In essence, what I wanted with your first task was to exercise your dreaming attention by focusing it on the items of your dreams. To this effect I used as a spearhead the idea of being aware of falling asleep. My subterfuge was to say that the only way to be aware of falling asleep is to examine the elements of one's dreams.
Exercising the dreaming attention is the essential point in dreaming. To the mind, however, it seems impossible that one can train oneself to be aware at the level of dreams. The active element of such training is persistence. The mind and all its rational defenses cannot cope with persistence. Sooner or later, the mind's barriers fall, under its impact, and the dreaming attention blooms.
As you practice focusing and holding your dreaming attention on the items of your dreams your entering into the second attention. This calls for even more sobriety on your part. Go slowly, but don't stop, and about all, don't talk about it. Just do it.
If one takes short glances at everything in a dream, the images do not dissolve. The difficult part is to break the initial barrier that prevents us from bringing dreams to our conscious attention.
This barrier is in part a psychological one created by our socialization, which puts a premium on disregarding dreams. But the barrier is more than socialization. It's the first gate of dreaming. The first gate of dreaming has to do with the flow of energy in the universe. It's a natural obstacle.
The energy needed to release our dreaming attention from its socialization prison comes from redeploying our existing energy. The emergence of our dreaming attention is a direct corollary of revamping our lives. Since we have no way to plug into any external source for a boost of energy, we must redeploy our existing energy, by any means available.
The sorcerers' way is the best means to oil, so to speak, the wheels of energy redeployment. Of all the items in the sorcerers' way, the most effective is losing self-importance. This is indispensable for everything sorcerers do, and for this reason I put an enormous emphasis on guiding all my students to fulfill this requirement. Self-importance is not only the sorcerer's supreme enemy but the nemesis of mankind.
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. If we are capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things happen to us. One, we free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and, two, we provide ourselves with enough energy to enter into the second attention to catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe.
The capability of examining the contents of one's dreams is the product of a natural configuration of our being, similar to our capability of walking. We are physically conditioned to walk only in one manner, bipedally, yet it takes a monumental effort for us to learn to walk.
* * *
We are not alone in this world. There are other worlds available to dreamers, total worlds. From those other total worlds, energetic entities sometimes come to us.
You can't explain dreaming by way of things you know or suspect you know. Believe me, the most extravagant feature of sorcery is that configuration called out of this world.
* * *
You reach the second gate of dreaming when you wake up from a dream into another dream. You can have as many dreams as you want or as many as you are capable of, but you must exercise adequate control and not wake up in the world we know.
I'm not saying that you should never wake up in this world. But I have to tell you that that is an alternative. The sorcerers of antiquity used to do that, never wake up in the world we know. It certainly can be done, but I don't recommend it. What I want is for you to wake up naturally when you are through with dreaming, but while you are dreaming, I want you to dream that you wake up in another dream.
This control is no different from the control we have over any situation in our daily lives.
There's one problem with the second gate. It's a problem that can be serious, depending on one's bent of character. If our tendency is to indulge in clinging to things or situations, we are in for a sock in the jaw.
Imagine yourself going from dream to dream, watching everything, examining every detail. It's very easy to realize that one may sink to mortal depths. Especially if one is given to indulging.
Wouldn't the body or the brain naturally put a stop to it? Yes, if it's a natural sleeping situation, meaning normal. But this is not a normal situation. This is dreaming. A dreamer on crossing the first gate has already reached the energy body. So what is really going through the second gate, hopping from dream to dream, is the energy body.
The implication is that on crossing the second gate you must intend a greater and more sober control over your dreaming attention: the only safety valve for dreamers.
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.
Crossing the second gate is a very serious affair; it requires a most disciplined effort.
I told you that one has to wake up in another dream, but what I meant is that one has to change dreams in an orderly and precise manner.
There are two ways of properly crossing the second gate of dreaming. One is to wake up in another dream, that is to say, to dream that one is having a dream and then dream that one wakes up from it. The alternative is to use the items of a dream to trigger another dream; that is, zoom from a definite item accessible to your immediate dreaming attention to another one, not quite accessible. Or gaze at any item of a dream, maintaining the gaze until the item changes shape and, by changing shape, pulls you into another dream.
* * *
Life and consciousness, being exclusively a matter of energy, are not solely the property of organisms. Sorcerers have seen that there are two types of conscious beings roaming the earth, the organic and the inorganic. 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 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.
Sorcerers find no problem interacting with them. Inorganic beings possess the crucial ingredient for interaction, consciousness.
For sorcerers, having life means having consciousness. It means having an assemblage point and its surrounding glow of awareness, a condition that points out to sorcerers that the being in front of them, organic or inorganic, is thoroughly capable of perceiving. Perceiving is understood by sorcerers as the precondition of being alive.
The inorganic beings must also die. They lose their awareness just like we do, except that the length of their consciousness is staggering to the mind.
It's very difficult to tell what is what with them. Let's say that those beings are enticed by us or, better yet, compelled to interact with us.
The proper thing to do is to suspend judgment and let things take their course, meaning that you let the inorganic beings come to you.
The difficulty with inorganic beings is that their awareness is very slow in comparison with ours. It will take years for a sorcerer to be acknowledged by inorganic beings. So, it is advisable to have patience and wait. Sooner or later they show up. But not like you or I would show up. Theirs is a most peculiar way to make themselves known.
Sorcerers entice them in dreaming. What's involved, though, is more than enticing them; by the act of dreaming, sorcerers compel those beings to interact with them.
Dreaming is sustaining the position where the assemblage point has shifted in dreams. This act creates a distinctive energy charge, which attracts their attention. It's like bait to fish; they'll go for it. Sorcerers, by reaching and crossing the first two gates of dreaming, set bait for those beings and compel them to appear.
By going through the two gates, you make your bidding known to them. Then, you must wait for a sign from them; possibly the appearance of one of them, or simply some interference in your dreaming.
You must gauge your expectations. Our normal expectation when engaging in interaction with our fellow men or with other organic beings is to get an immediate reply to our solicitation. With inorganic beings, however, since they are separated from us by a most formidable barrier--energy that moves at a different speed--sorcerers must gauge their expectations and sustain the solicitation for as long as it takes to be acknowledged.
The solicitation is the same as the dreaming practices. But for a perfect result, you must add to your practices the intent of reaching those inorganic beings. Send a feeling of power and confidence to them, a feeling of strength, of detachment. Avoid at any cost sending a feeling of fear or morbidity. They are pretty morbid by themselves; to add your morbidity to them is unnecessary, to say the least.
They do, at times, materialize themselves in the daily world, right in front of us. Most of the time, though, their invisible presence is marked by a bodily jolt, a shiver of sorts that comes from the marrow of the bones.
In dreaming we have the total opposite. At times, we feel them as a jolt of fear. 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.
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.
What sorcerers do with the inorganic beings is mingle with them. They turn them into allies. They form associations, create extraordinary friendships. I call them vast enterprises, where perception plays the uppermost role. We are social beings. We unavoidably seek the company of consciousness.
With inorganic beings, the secret is not to fear them. And this must be done from the beginning. The intent one has to send out to them has to be of power and abandon. In that intent one must encode the message "I don't fear you. Come to see me. If you do, I'll welcome you. If you don't want to come, I'll miss you." With a message like this, they'll get so curious that they'll come for sure.
Why should they come to seek you, or why on earth should you seek them? Dreamers, whether they like it or not, in their dreaming seek associations with other beings. This may come to you as a shock, but dreamers automatically seek groups of beings, nexuses of inorganic beings in this case. Dreamers seek them avidly. Why would dreamers do that? The novelty for us is the inorganic beings. And the novelty for them is one of our kind crossing the boundaries of their realm. The thing you must bear in mind from now on is that inorganic beings with their superb consciousness exert a tremendous pull over dreamers and can easily transport them into worlds beyond description.
The sorcerers of antiquity used them, and they are the ones who coined the name allies. Their allies taught them to move the assemblage point out of the egg's boundaries into the nonhuman universe. So when they transport a sorcerer, they transport him to worlds beyond the human domain.
Think about dreaming in these terms: dreaming is perceiving more than what we believe it is possible to perceive.
The second attention is available to all of us, but, by willfully holding on to our half-cocked rationality, some of us more fiercely than others, we keep the second attention at arm's length. Dreaming brings down the barriers that surround and insulate the second attention.
If the inorganic beings single a dreamer out by reappearing over and over again in his dreaming, it means that they seek an association. I've mentioned to you that sorcerers form bonds of friendship with them. Such a friendship consists of a mutual exchange of energy. The inorganic beings supply their high awareness, and sorcerers supply their heightened awareness and high energy. The positive result is an even exchange. The negative one is dependency on both parties. Once they have singled a dreamer out the dreamer can summon them in his normal daily awareness, size them up, and then decide himself what to do.
You summon them by holding your dream view of them in your mind. The reason they would saturate a dreamer with their presence in his dreams is that they want to create a memory of their shape in his mind.
You can then use that memory by closing your eyes and visualize their shape until they are just like they are in your dreams. When you have them in focus, open your eyes, then get up and grab one of them and don't let go, no matter how it shakes you. You drop it and you're done for!
If you feel the inorganic being's energy like water you are not going to have helping friends among the inorganic beings, but relationships of annoying dependency. Be, in that case, extremely careful. Watery inorganic beings are more given to excesses. The old sorcerers believed that they were more loving, more capable of imitating, or perhaps even having feelings. As opposed to the other kind, the fiery ones, who were thought to be more serious, more contained than the others, but also more pompous.
My recommendation is that you vanquish fear from your dreams and from your life, in order to safeguard your unity.
In matters of the inorganic beings, I am nearly a novice. I refused that part of the sorcerers' knowledge on the ground that it is too cumbersome and capricious. I don't want to be at the mercy of any entity, organic or inorganic.
By means of their dreaming contacts with inorganic beings, the old sorcerers became immensely well-versed in the manipulation of the assemblage point, a vast and ominous subject.
The inorganic beings have never been my cup of tea. My reason for that is the best reason in the world: we are antithetical. They love slavery, and I love freedom. They love to buy, and I don't sell.
The best thing to do with inorganic beings is deny their existence but visit with them regularly and maintain that you are dreaming and in dreaming anything is possible. This way you don't commit yourself.
If one is to accept that inorganic beings are as real as people, where, in the physicality of the universe, is the realm in which they exist? That realm exists in a particular position of the assemblage point. Just like our world exists in the habitual position of the assemblage point.
Upon crossing the first or second gate of dreaming, dreamers reach a threshold of energy and begin to see things or to hear voices. Not really plural voices, but a singular voice. Sorcerers call it the voice of the dreaming emissary.
The dreaming emissary is alien energy that has conciseness. Alien energy that purports to aid dreamers by telling them things. The problem with the dreaming emissary is that it can tell only what the sorcerers already know or should know, were they worth their salt. It's alien energy. An impersonal force that we turn into a very personal one because it has a voice. Some sorcerers swear by it. They even see it.
We see it or hear it because we maintain our assemblage points fixed on a specific new position; the more intense this fixation, the more intense our experience of the emissary.
This force is capable of materializing itself. It all depends on how fixed the assemblage point is. But, rest assured, if you are capable of maintaining a degree of detachment, nothing happens. The emissary remains what it is: an impersonal force that acts on us because of the fixation of our assemblage points.
Is its advice safe and sound? It cannot be advice. It only tells us what's what, and then we draw the inferences ourselves.
It's just like I said, the emissary doesn't tell you anything new. Its statements are correct, but it only seems to be revealing things to you. What the emissary does is merely repeat what you already know.
You know now infinitely more about the mystery of the universe than what you rationally suspect. But that's our human malady, to know more about the mystery of the universe than we suspect.
The emissary tells me anything I focus my intent on, things I don't want to take the trouble of following up myself.
Let's say that the dreaming emissary is a force that comes from the realm of inorganic beings. This is the reason dreamers always encounter it. Every dreamer hears or sees the emissary though very few see it or feel it. I don't have any explanation for this, besides, I really don't care about the emissary. At one point in my life, I had to make a decision whether to concentrate on the inorganic beings and follow in the footsteps of the old sorcerers or to refuse it all. My teacher helped me make up my mind to refuse it. I've never regretted that decision.
The whole realm of inorganic beings is always poised to teach. Perhaps because inorganic beings have a deeper consciousness than ours, they feel compelled to take us under their wings. I didn't see any point in becoming their pupil--their price is too high--their price is our lives, our energy, our devotion to them. In other words, our freedom.
They teach things pertinent to their world. The same way we ourselves would teach them, if we were capable of teaching them, things pertinent to our world. Their method, however, is to take our basic self as a gauge of what we need and then teach us accordingly. A most dangerous affair.
If someone was going to take your basic self as a gauge, with all your fears and greed and envy, et cetera, et cetera, and teach you what fulfills that horrible state of being, what do you think the result would be?
The problem with the old sorcerers was that they learned wonderful things, but on the basis of their unadulterated lower selves. The inorganic beings became their allies, and, by means of deliberate examples, they taught the old sorcerers marvels. Their allies performed the actions, and the old sorcerers were guided step by step to copy those actions, without changing anything about their basic nature.
Involvements of this nature curtail our search for freedom by consuming all our available energy.
If a sorcerer wants to live in the realm of the inorganic beings, the emissary is the perfect bridge; it speaks, and its bent is to teach, to guide.
I neither approve of that realm nor like it. It belongs to another mood, the old sorcerers' mood. Besides, its teachings and guidance in our world are nonsense. And for that nonsense the emissary charges us enormities in terms of energy.
* * *
Just because we haven't been taught to emphasize dreams as a genuine field for exploration doesn't mean they are not one. Dreams are analyzed for their meaning or are taken as portents, but never are they taken as a realm of real events.
To my knowledge, only the old sorcerers did that. But at the end they flubbed it. They got greedy, and when they came to a crucial crossroads, they took the wrong fork. They put all their eggs in one basket: the fixation of the assemblage point on the thousands of positions it can adopt.
Out of all the marvelous things the old sorcerers learned exploring those thousands of positions, only the art of dreaming and the art of stalking remain. The art of dreaming is concerned with the displacement of the assemblage point. Stalking is the art that deals with the fixation of the assemblage point on any location to which it is displaced.
To fixate the assemblage point on any new spot means to acquire cohesion. An apprentice does just that in his dreaming practices. He is perfecting his energy body. He is doing that and much more; he is learning to have cohesion. Dreaming does it by forcing dreamers to fixate the assemblage point. The dreaming attention, the energy body, the second attention, the relationship with inorganic beings, the dreaming emissary are but by-products of acquiring cohesion; in other words, they are all by-products of fixating the assemblage point on a number of dreaming positions.
A dreaming position is any new position to which the assemblage point has been displaced during sleep. We fixate the assemblage point on a dreaming position by sustaining the view of any item in our dreams, or by changing dreams at will. Through his dreaming practices, an apprentice is really exercising his capacity to be cohesive; that is to say, he is exercising his capacity to maintain a new energy shape by holding the assemblage point fixed on the position of any particular dream he is having. While exercising his capacity to maintain a new energy shape, he isn't really maintaining a new energy shape yet, not exactly, and not because he can't but only because he is shifting the assemblage point instead of moving it. Shifts of the assemblage point give rise to minute changes, which are practically unnoticeable. The challenge of shifts is that they are so small and so numerous that to maintain cohesiveness in all of them is a triumph.
We know we are maintaining cohesion by the clarity of our perception. The clearer the view of our dreams, the greater our cohesion.
I'm going to tell you about a practical application of what an apprentice learns in dreaming. He focuses his attention, as if he is in a dream, on the foliage of a tree. He doesn't just gaze at it; he does something very special with the foliage. Remember, I've said that in dreaming, once you are able to hold the view of any item, you are really holding the dreaming position of your assemblage point. So then, an apprentice gazes at the leaves of a tree as if he is in a dream, but with a slight yet most meaningful variation: he holds his dreaming attention on the leaves of the tree in the awareness of our daily world.
By staring at the foliage, he accomplishes a minute displacement of his assemblage point. Then, by summoning his dreaming attention through staring at individual leaves, he actually fixates that minute displacement, and his cohesion makes him perceive in terms of the second attention. The process is so simple it is ridiculous.
Our speech faculty is extremely flimsy and attacks of muteness are common among sorcerers who venture this way, beyond the limits of normal perception.
It is not possible for one to rely on one's rationality to understand such an experience as summoning one's dreaming attention through staring at individual leaves. Not because our rationality is in any way impaired but because what takes place is a phenomenon outside the parameters of reason.
Reason is only a by-product of the habitual position of the assemblage point; therefore, knowing what is going to, 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.
What dreaming does is give us the fluidity to enter into other worlds by destroying our sense of knowing this world. Dreaming is a journey of unthinkable dimensions, a journey that, after making us perceive everything we can humanly perceive, makes the assemblage point jump outside the human domain and perceive the inconceivable.
We are back again, harping on the most important topic of the sorcerers' world; the position of the assemblage point. The old sorcerers' curse, as well as mankind's thorn in the side. I say that 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. And 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.
Different worlds exist in the position of the assemblage point. You will have two choices. One, to follow mankind's rationales and be faced with a predicament: your experience will tell you that other worlds exist, but your reason will say that such worlds do not and cannot exist. The other, to follow the old sorcerers' rationales, in which case you will automatically accept the existence of other worlds, and your greed alone will make your assemblage point hold on to the position that creates those worlds. The result would be another kind of predicament: that of having to move physically into visionlike realms, driven by expectations of power and gain.
* * *
The dreaming emissary's voice is an impersonal but constant force from the realm of inorganic beings; thus, every dreamer experiences it, in more or less the same terms. And if we choose to take its words as advice, we are incurable fools.
My interest in telling you about the old sorcerers is not to bad-mouth them but to pit them against you. Sooner or later, your assemblage point will be more fluid, but not fluid enough to offset the facility to be like them: righteous and hysterical.
There is only one way to avoid all that. Sorcerers call it sheer understanding. I call it a romance with knowledge. It's the drive sorcerers use to know, to discover, to be bewildered.
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 points 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 of perceiving becomes a system of interpreting sensory data.
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. Consequently, the old sorcerers were thoroughly right in believing that the act of countermanding it and perceiving energy directly is what transforms a person into a sorcerer.
I am in wonder at 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. Human perception is universally homogeneous, because the assemblage points of the whole human race are fixed on the same spot.
* * *
Sorcerers prove all this to themselves when they see that at the moment the assemblage point is displaced beyond a certain threshold, and new universal filaments of energy begin to be perceived, there is no sense to what we perceive. The immediate cause is that new sensory data has rendered our system inoperative; it can no longer be used to interpret what we are perceiving.
Perceiving without our system is, of course, chaotic. But strangely enough, when we think we have truly lost our bearings, our old system rallies; it comes to our rescue and transforms our new incomprehensible perception into a thoroughly comprehensible new world. Just like what happens to an apprentice when he gazes at the leaves of a tree and his dreaming attention comes forth. His perception is chaotic for a while; everything comes to him at once, and his system for interpreting the world doesn't function. Then, the chaos clears up and there he is, in front of a new world.
That world exists in the precise position of his assemblage point at that moment. In order to perceive it, he needs cohesion, that is, he needs to maintain his assemblage point fixed on that position. The result is that he totally perceives a new world for a while.
Others would perceive that same world if they had uniformity and cohesion. Uniformity and cohesion is to hold, in unison, the same position of the assemblage point. The old sorcerers called the entire act of acquiring uniformity and cohesion outside the normal world "stalking perception."
The art of stalking, as I have already said, deals with the fixation of the assemblage point. The old sorcerers discovered, through practice, that important as it is to displace the assemblage point, it is even more important to make it stay fixed on its new position, wherever that new position might be.
If the assemblage point does not become stationary, there is no way that we can perceive coherently. We would experience then a kaleidoscope of disassociated images. This is the reason the old sorcerers put as much emphasis on dreaming as they did on stalking. One art cannot exist without the other, especially for the kinds of activities in which the old sorcerers were involved.
The old sorcerers called them the intricacies of the second attention or the grand adventure of the unknown. These activities stem from the displacements of the assemblage point. Not only had the old sorcerers learned to displace their assemblage points to thousands of positions on the surface or on the inside of their energy masses but they had also learned to fixate their assemblage points on those positions, and thus retain their cohesiveness, indefinitely. We can't talk about the benefits of that, we can talk only about end results.
The cohesiveness of the old sorcerers was such that it allowed them to become perceptually and physically everything the specific position of their assemblage points dictated. They could transform themselves into anything for which they had a specific inventory. An inventory is all the details of perception involved in becoming, for example, a jaguar, a bird, an insect, et cetera, et cetera. It is possible, not so much for you and me, but for them. For them, it was nothing.
The old sorcerers had superb fluidity. All they needed was the slightest shift of their assemblage points, the slightest perceptual cue from their dreaming, and they would instantaneously stalk their perception, rearrange their cohesiveness to fit their new state of awareness, and be an animal, another person, a bird, or anything.
Sorcerers bring order to the chaos. Their preconceived, transcendental purpose is to free their perception. Sorcerers don't make up the world they are perceiving; they perceive energy directly, and then they discover that what they are perceiving is an unknown new world, which can swallow them whole, because it is as real as anything we know to be real.
What happens as an apprentice gazes at the leaves of a tree is that he began by perceiving the energy of the tree. On the subjective level, however, he believes he is dreaming because he employs dreaming techniques to perceive energy. To use dreaming techniques in the world of everyday life was one of the old sorcerers' most effective devices. It made perceiving energy directly dreamlike, instead of totally chaotic, until a moment when something rearranged perception and the sorcerer found himself facing a new world. The scenery one views in that case is not a dream, nor is it our daily world.
I've been saying this to you over and over, and you think that I am merely repeating myself. I know how difficult it is for the mind to allow mindless possibilities to become real. But new worlds exist! They are wrapped one around the other, like the skins of an onion. The world we exist in is but one of those skins.
So then, is the goal of my teaching to prepare you to go into those worlds? No. I don't mean that. We go into those worlds only as an exercise. Those journeys are the antecedents of the sorcerers of today. We do the same dreaming that the old sorcerers used to do, but at one moment we deviate into new ground. The old sorcerers preferred the shifts of the assemblage point, so they were always on more or less known, predictable ground. We prefer the movements of the assemblage point. The old sorcerers were after the human unknown. We are after the nonhuman unknown. You haven't gotten to that yet. You are only beginning. And at the beginning everyone has to go through the old sorcerers' steps. After all, they were the ones who invented dreaming.
When dreaming is too easy for you it can be a damnation if you don't watch it. It leads to the human unknown. As I said to you, modern-day sorcerers strive to get to the nonhuman unknown; that is, freedom from being human. Inconceivable worlds that are outside the band of man but that we still can perceive. This is where modern sorcerers take the side road. Their predilection is what's outside the human domain. And what are outside that domain are all-inclusive worlds, not merely the realm of birds or the realm of animals or the realm of man, even if it be the unknown man. What I am talking about are worlds, like the one where we live; total worlds with endless realms.
Those worlds are in different positions of the assemblage point. But positions sorcerers arrive at with a movement of the assemblage point, not a shift. Entering into those worlds is the type of dreaming only sorcerers of today do. The old sorcerers stayed away from it, because it requires a great deal of detachment and no self-importance whatsoever. A price they couldn't afford to pay.
For the sorcerers who practice dreaming today, dreaming is freedom to perceive worlds beyond the imagination. Freedom is an adventure with no end, in which we risk our lives and much more for a few moments of something beyond words, beyond thoughts or feelings.
What can be the driving force to do all this? To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there. Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up against the light of a billion stars, remains intact, because it never pretended to be more than what it is: a mere candle.
To suspend judgment and let the inorganic beings come, was in fact, the very procedure used by the sorcerers of antiquity to attract them. It is very difficult to make the self give up its strongholds except through practice. One of the self's strongest lines of defense is indeed our rationality, and this is not only the most durable line of defense when it comes to sorcery actions and explanations but also the most threatened. The existence of inorganic beings is a foremost assailant of our rationality.
From time to time a projection from the realm of the inorganic beings, a current of foreign energy, a scout, will be injected into your dreams. So after you have crossed the first gate of dreaming, adjust your dreaming attention and be on the alert.
Scouts are more numerous when our dreams are average, normal ones. The dreams of dreamers are strangely free from scouts. When they appear, they are identifiable by the strangeness and incongruity surrounding them. Their presence doesn't make any sense.
Only in average dreams are things nonsensical. I would say that this is so because more scouts are injected then, because average people are subject to a greater barrage from the unknown.
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.
Dreamers, by contrast, have fewer barriers and fewer scouts in their dreams. It seems that in dreamers' dreams nonsensical things disappear, perhaps to ensure that dreamers catch the presence of scouts.
In dreaming, some items are of key importance because they are associated with the spirit. Others are entirely unimportant by reason of being associated with our indulging personality.
The first scout you isolate will always be present, in any form. Incongruous items are foreign invaders of your dreams. Upon isolating them, your dreaming attention always focuses on them with an intensity that does not occur under any other circumstances.
At that point in your dreaming, scouts are reconnoiterers sent by the inorganic realm. They are very fast, meaning that they don't stay long.
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. The inner speed of trees and inorganic beings is incomprehensible to us because it is infinitely slower than ours.
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. Inorganic beings are stationary like trees. What one sees in dreaming as bright or dark sticks are their projections. What one hears as the voice of the dreaming emissary is equally their projection. And so are their scouts.
Trees also have projections like that. 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.
Remember, the realm of inorganic beings was the old sorcerers' field. To get there, they tenaciously fixed their dreaming attention on the items of their dreams. In that fashion, they were able to isolate the scouts. And when they had the scouts in focus, they voiced their intent to follow them. The instant the old sorcerers voiced that intent, off they went, pulled by that foreign energy.
* * *
Only follow the dreaming emissary's guidance when it refers to dreaming.
* * *
The dreaming attention comes from behind the roof of the mouth. Feel in dreaming that you are pressing the roof of your mouth with the tip of your tongue.
* * *
By living up to my standards of self-examination with no indulgence, the emissary's voice and what it says will become a superchallenge for you. You have to avoid, at all cost, succumbing to the temptation of the emissary's promise of knowledge, and you have to do this all by yourself.
The diabolical nature of the inorganic beings' realm is that it might very well be the only sanctuary dreamers have in a hostile universe.
It really is a haven for some dreamers. Not for me. I don't need props or railings. I know what I am. I am alone in a hostile universe, and I have learned to say, So be it!
* * *
Under the influence of dreaming, reality suffers a metamorphosis. Two options are faced by all dreamers: either we carefully revamp or we completely disregard our system of sensory input interpretation.
To revamp our interpretation system means to intend its reconditioning. It means that one deliberately and carefully attempts to enlarge its capabilities. By living in accordance with the sorcerers' way, dreamers save and store the necessary energy to suspend judgment and thus facilitate that intended revamping. If we choose to recondition our interpretation system, reality becomes fluid, and the scope of what can be real is enhanced without endangering the integrity of reality. Dreaming, then, indeed opens the door into other aspects of what is real.
If we choose to disregard our system, the scope of what can be perceived without interpretation grows inordinately. The expansion of our perception is so gigantic that we are left with very few tools for sensory interpretation and, thus, a sense of an infinite realness that is unreal or an infinite unrealness that could very well be real but is not.
The existence of inorganic beings is the foremost assailant of our rationality. Only after you have really suspended judgment will you get any relief.
* * *
An apprentice's energy level, which steadily grows, one day reaches a threshold that allows him to disregard assumptions and prejudgments about the nature of man, reality, and perception. That day he becomes enamored with knowledge, regardless of logic or functional value, and, above all, regardless of personal convenience.
* * *
The inorganic beings are after our awareness. They'll give us knowledge, but they'll extract a payment: our total being.
Inorganic beings can't force anyone to stay with them. 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.
Inorganic beings hook onto dreamers' innermost feelings and play them mercilessly. They create phantoms to please dreamers or frighten them. Inorganic beings are superb projectionists, who delight in projecting themselves like pictures on the wall.
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. Every dreamer sees that world in the same terms; as it is.
The inorganic beings create for dreamers the sense of being unique, exclusive; plus a more pernicious sense yet: the sense of having power. Power and uniqueness are unbeatable as corrupting forces. Watch out!
You can avoid that danger by going to that world a few times, and then never going back. 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. Consciousness is intrinsically compelled to grow, and the only way it can grow is through strife, through life-or-death confrontations.
The reading of my compilation of Carlos Castaneda's books continues from here on this MP3
The awareness of sorcerers grows when they do dreaming. And the moment it grows, something out there acknowledges its growth, recognizes it and makes a bid for it. The inorganic 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 in that predatorial universe. To be safe, you must be on your toes every second! Don't let anything or anybody decide for you. That is to say, go to the inorganic beings' world only when you want to go.
Once you isolate a scout, a tremendous pull may be exerted on you to go to the inorganic beings' world. You can consciously stop that pull of the scouts. Always remember, you can change the course of your dreaming by intending that course.
With practice, your capacity to intend journeys into the inorganic beings' realm will become extraordinarily keen. An increased capacity to intend brings forth an increased control over your dreaming attention. This additional control makes one more daring. Such confidence is very scary because it is the confidence of a fool.
To be transported bodily is possible. We are energy that is kept in a specific shape and position by the fixation of the assemblage point 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.
It is absurd to trust the inorganic beings. They have their own rhythm, and it isn't human. Sorcerers' maneuvers are deadly. I beseech you to be extraordinarily aware. Don't get involved in having some idiotic confidence in yourself.
One must seriously consider that the inorganic beings have astounding means at their disposal. Their awareness is superb. In comparison, we are children, children with a lot of energy, which the inorganic beings covet.
You already understand that the gates of dreaming are specific obstacles, but you haven't understood yet that whatever is given as the exercise to reach and cross a gate is not really what that gate is all about.
I mean that it's not true to say, for example, that the second gate is reached and crossed when a dreamer learns to wake up in another dream, or when a dreamer learns to change dreams without waking up in the world of daily life. The second gate of dreaming is reached and crossed only when a dreamer learns to isolate and follow the foreign energy scouts.
Waking up in another dream or changing dreams is the drill devised by the old sorcerers to exercise a dreamer's capacity to isolate and follow a scout.
Following a scout is a high accomplishment and when dreamers are able to perform it, the second gate is flung open and the universe that exists behind it becomes accessible to them. This universe is there all the time but we cannot go into it because we lack energetic prowess, and in essence, the second gate of dreaming is the door into the inorganic beings' world, and dreaming is the key that opens that door.
The rule of the second gate can be described in terms of a series of three steps: one, through practicing the drill of changing dreams, dreamers find out about the scouts; two, by following the scouts, they enter into another veritable universe; and three, in that universe, by means of their actions, dreamers find out, on their own, the governing laws and regulations of that universe.
The unavoidable reaction on the part of the inorganic beings is the attempt to keep the dreamer in their world. The inorganic beings don't let anyone go, not without a real fight.
You have to continue your dreaming until you have gone through the universe behind the second gate. I mean that you alone must either accept or reject the lure of the inorganic beings.
I was forced to teach you dreaming 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.
Those pitfalls are the result of succumbing to adulation or to promises of power. And not only succumbing to those, but succumbing to anything offered by the inorganic beings. There is no way for sorcerers to accept anything offered by them, beyond a certain point.
That point depends on us as individuals. The challenge is for each of us to take only what is needed from that world, nothing more. To know what's needed is the virtuosity of sorcerers, but to take only what's needed is their highest accomplishment. To fail to understand this simple rule is the surest way of plummeting into a pitfall.
If you fall, you pay the price, and the price depends on the circumstances and the depth of the fall. But there is really 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 hundred fold.
You may come to think you are extremely disciplined and conscientious with your dreaming practices. That's the time for you to be even more disciplined and handle everything related to dreaming with kid gloves. Be, above all, vigilant, one can't foretell where the attack will come from.
The universe behind the second gate is the closest to our own, and our own universe is pretty crafty and heartless. So the two can't be that different.
The universe of the inorganic beings is always ready to strike. 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.
I don't mean that dreamers always have to be afraid of that world. 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.
Only then are dreamers free to continue. 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; it they do not, they remain forever trapped in that universe.
For dreamers, their feelings alone can stop their dreaming. Once they have formulated the thought of reentering dreaming, their practices will continue as if they had never been interrupted.
If dreaming is overemphasized, it becomes what it was for the old sorcerers: a source of inexhaustible indulging. You must exercise all the care you are able to muster up. The old sorcerers' flaw was that they took to the inorganic beings' realm like fish take to water. When dreamers realize that the inorganic beings have no appeal it is usually too late for them, because by then the inorganic beings have them in the bag. The inorganic beings are like fishermen; they attract and catch awareness.
You are suffering from anxiety, you say. That means nothing. Gain back your energy, and don't worry about nonsense.
* * *
The inorganic beings are forever in search of awareness and energy. The inorganic beings cannot lie.
The third gate of dreaming is reached when you find yourself in a dream, staring at someone else who is asleep. And that someone else turns out to be you.
There are two phases to each of the gates of dreaming. The first, 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.
At the third gate of dreaming you begin to deliberately merge your dreaming reality with the reality of the daily world. This is the drill, and sorcerers call it completing the energy body. The merge between the two realities has to be so thorough that you need to be more fluid than ever. Examine everything at the third gate with great care and curiosity.
Our tendency at the third gate is to get lost in detail. To view things with great care and curiosity means to resist the nearly irresistible temptation to plunge into detail.
The given drill, at the third gate, is to consolidate the energy body. Dreamers begin forging the energy body by fulfilling the drills of the first and second gates. When they reach the third gate, the energy body is ready to come out, or perhaps it would be better to say that it is ready to act. Unfortunately, this also means that it's ready to be mesmerized by detail.
The energy body is like a child who's been imprisoned all its life. The moment it is free, it soaks up everything it can find, and I mean everything. Every irrelevant, minute detail totally absorbs the energy body.
The most asinine detail becomes a world for the energy body. The effort that dreamers have to make to direct the energy body is staggering. I know that it sounds awkward to tell you to view things with care and curiosity, but that is the best way to describe what you should do. At the third gate, dreamers have to avoid a nearly irresistible impulse to plunge into everything, and they avoid it by being so curious, so desperate to get into everything that they don't let any particular thing imprison them.
My recommendations, which I know sound absurd to the mind, are directly aimed at your energy body. Your energy body has to unite all its resources in order to act.
Your entire energy body has to be engaged to perform the drill of the third gate. Therefore, to make things easier for your energy body, you must hold back your rationality.
At the third gate, rationality is responsible for the insistence of our energy bodies on being obsessed with superfluous detail. At the third gate, then, we need irrational fluidity, irrational abandon to counteract that insistence.
* * *
The position of the assemblage point is like a vault where sorcerers keep their records. Sorcerers are capable of leaving accurate records of their findings in the position of the assemblage point. 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 into 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.
* * *
With the inorganic beings, once you get to play with them, you are hooked. They'll always be after you. Or, what's worse yet, you'll always be after them.
* * *
To be ready for a true merging of your dreaming reality and your daily reality you must recapitulate your life further.
The recapitulation of our lives never ends, no matter how well we've done it once. 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, fears, et cetera, et cetera.
Sorcerers, in contrast, are relatively free from heavy, binding emotions, because of their recapitulation. And if something stops them, the assumption is that there still is something in them that is not quite clear.
Recapitulating and dreaming go hand in hand. As we regurgitate our lives, we get more and more airborne.
The recapitulation consists of reliving the totality of one's life experiences by remembering every possible minute detail of them. It's 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.
Make a list of all the people you have met in your life, starting at the present. Arrange your list in an orderly fashion, breaking it down into areas of activity, such as jobs you have had, schools you have attended. Then go, without deviation, from the first person on your list to the last one, reliving every one of your interactions with them.
Recapitulating an event starts with one's mind arranging everything pertinent to what is being recapitulated. Arranging means reconstructing the event, piece by piece, starting by recollecting the physical details of the surroundings, then going to the person with whom one shared the interaction, and then going to oneself, to the examination of one's feelings.
The recapitulation is coupled with a natural, rhythmical breathing. Long exhalations are performed as the head moves gently and slowly from right to left; and long inhalations are taken as the head moves back from left to right. This act of moving the head from side to side is called "fanning the event." The mind examines the event from beginning to end while the body fans, on and on, everything the mind focuses on.
The sorcerers of antiquity, the inventors of the recapitulation, 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.
It is more involved than an intellectual psychoanalysis. The recapitulation is a sorcerer's ploy to induce a minute but steady displacement of the assemblage point. 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.
The old sorcerers' rationale behind the recapitulation was their conviction that there is an inconceivable dissolving force in the universe, which makes organisms live by lending them awareness. That force also makes organisms die, in order to extract the same lent awareness, which organisms have enhanced through their life experiences. The old sorcerers believed that since it is our life experience this force is after, it is of supreme importance that it can be satisfied with a facsimile of our life experience: the recapitulation. Having had what it seeks, the dissolving force then lets sorcerers go, free to expand their capacity to perceive and reach with it the confines of time and space.
Dreaming requires every bit of our available energy. If there is a deep preoccupation in our life, there is no possibility of dreaming. If you think you are deeply preoccupied and your practices are not interrupted, it would be that you are only egomaniacally disturbed. To be preoccupied, for sorcerers, means that all your energy sources are taken on.
There is a second round of the recapitulation. It consists of a new recapitulation pattern. Construct a jigsaw puzzle by recapitulating, without any apparent order, different events of your life.
It'll be a mess if you let your pettiness choose the events you are going to recapitulate. Instead, let the spirit decide. Be silent, and then get to the event the spirit points out.
There are two basic rounds to the recapitulation, the first is called formality and rigidity, and the second fluidity.
* * *
When dreaming you are seeing your body you have to establish some valid guide to find out whether you are actually seeing your body asleep in your bed. Remember, you must be in your actual room, seeing your actual body. Otherwise, what you are having is merely a dream. If that's the case, control that dream, either by observing its detail or by changing it. Figure out a way to validate the fact that you are looking at yourself. Use your own judgment.
Dreamers have to be imaginative to move their energy bodies. Sorcerers say that at the third gate the entire energy body can move like energy moves: fast and directly. Their energy bodies know exactly how to move. They can move as they move in the inorganic beings' world. When your energy body learns to move by itself, you'll be thoroughly out of the inorganic beings' reach.
* * *
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 lot 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.
* * *
Instead of struggling to walk in dreaming, one wills oneself to move. It takes sorcerers forever to learn to move the energy body with their own volition. Once you've learned how to move your energy body by yourself, you should continue moving. Moving your energy body opens up a new area of extraordinary exploration.
Again, one must come up with an idea to validate the faithfulness of one's dreams.
To be transported by a scout is the real dreaming task of the second gate. It is a very serious matter, but not as serious as forging and moving the energy body. Therefore, when the time comes, you have to make sure, by some means of your own, whether you are actually seeing yourself asleep or whether you are merely dreaming that you're seeing yourself asleep. One's new extraordinary exploration hinges on really seeing oneself asleep.
Dreamers take a very long time to perfect their energy bodies. And this is exactly what's at stake here: perfecting your energy body. The reason the energy body is compelled to examine detail and get inextricably stuck in it is its inexperience, its incompleteness. Sorcerers spend a lifetime consolidating the energy body by letting it sponge up everything possible.
Until the energy body is complete and mature, it is self-absorbed. It can't get free from the compulsion to be absorbed by everything. But if one takes this into consideration, instead of fighting the energy body, one can lend it a hand by directing its behavior, that is to say, by stalking it.
Since everything related to the energy body depends on the appropriate position of the assemblage point, and since dreaming is nothing else but the means to displace it, stalking is, consequently, the way to make the assemblage point stay put on the perfect position, in this case, the position where the energy body can become consolidated and from which it can finally emerge.
The moment the energy body can move on its own, sorcerers assume that the optimum position of the assemblage point has been reached. The next step is to stalk it, that is, to fixate it on that position in order to complete the energy body. The procedure is simplicity itself. One intends to stalk it.
Let your energy body intend to reach the optimum dreaming position. Then, let your energy body intend to stay at that position and you will be stalking.
Intending is the secret. Sorcerers displace their assemblage points through intending and fixate them, equally, through intending. And there is no technique for intending. One intends through usage.
The ideal spot and the fixation of the assemblage point are metaphors. They have nothing to do with the words used to describe them.
What comes next is a sorcerer's gem, the real task; seeing energy in your dreaming with your energy body.
Dreamers have a rule of thumb. If their energy body is complete, they see energy every time they gaze at an item in the daily world. In dreams, if they see the energy of an item, they know they are dealing with a real world, no matter how distorted that world may appear to their dreaming attention. If they can't see the energy of an item, they are in an ordinary dream and not in a real world.
What is a real world? 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.
Another definition of dreaming is: a process by which dreamers isolate dream conditions in which they can find energy-generating elements. Dreaming is the process by which we intend to find adequate positions of the assemblage point, positions that permit us to perceive energy-generating items in dreamlike states.
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 of the inorganic beings' realm, which the energy body perceives as sizzling energy. In our world nothing sizzles; everything here wavers.
From a certain point the issue of your dreaming will be to determine whether the items on which you focus your dreaming attention are energy generating, mere phantom projections, or generators of foreign energy.
Seeing energy is the gauge to determine whether or not you are observing your real body asleep.
In order to see in dreaming not only do you have to intend seeing but you have to put your intent into words. You have to speak up. There are other means to accomplish the same result, but voicing one's intent is one of the simplest and most direct way.
You need to have patience. You are learning to do something extraordinary, you are learning to intend to see in your dreams. Someday you will not have to voice your intent; you'll simply will it, silently.
If nothing happens when you voice your intent to see it means that your dream is an ordinary dream; phantom projections; images that have life only in your dreaming attention.
Don't give up or get discouraged. Keep on trying. Sooner or later, you'll hit the right note.
The drill for the third gate of dreaming is to make the energy body move on its own.
In special dreams, our dreaming attention focuses on the daily world, and it moves instantly from one real object to another in the world. What makes this movement possible is that the assemblage point is on the proper dreaming position. From that position, the assemblage point gives the dreaming attention such fluidity that it can move in a split second over incredible distances, and in doing so it produces a perception so fast, so fleeting that it resembles an ordinary dream.
When your energy body is complete and functioning, the implication that you see energy in your dream is that you are perceiving a real world, through the veil of a dream.
Unless we see in dreaming, we can't tell a real, energy-generating thing from a phantom projection.
* * *
The world is like an onion, it has many skins. The world we know is but one of them. Sometimes, we cross boundaries and enter into another skin: another world, very much like this one, but not the same.
In the view of sorcerers, the universe is constructed in layers, which the energy body can cross. Do you know where the old sorcerers are still existing to this day? In another layer, in another skin of the onion.
The idea of a real, pragmatic journey, taken in dreams, is very difficult to understand or to accept. The journey of the energy body depends exclusively on the position of the assemblage point.
Our problem is our cynicism. Cynicism doesn't allow us to make drastic changes in our understanding of the world. It also forces us to feel that we are always right.
I propose that you do one nonsensical thing that might turn the tide. Repeat to yourself incessantly that the hinge of sorcery is the mystery of the assemblage point. If you repeat this to yourself long enough, some unseen force takes over and makes the appropriate changes in you.
Cut your cynical attitude! Repeat this in a bona fide manner. The mystery of the assemblage point is everything in sorcery. Or rather, everything in sorcery rests on the manipulation of the assemblage point. You may know all this, but you have to repeat it.
* * *
There is an enormous difference between the thoughts and deeds of the men of antiquity and those of modern men. The men of ancient times had a very realistic view of perception and awareness because their view stemmed from their observations of the universe around them. Modern men, in contrast, have an absurdly unrealistic view of perception and awareness because their view stems from their observations of the social order and from their dealings with it.
You are a modern man involved with the views and observations of men of antiquity. And none of those views and observations are familiar to you. Now more than ever you need sobriety and aplomb. I am trying to make a solid bridge, a bridge you can walk on, between the views of men of ancient times and those of modern men.
Of all the transcendental observations of the men of ancient times, the only one with which you are familiar, because it has filtered down to our day, is the idea of selling our souls to the devil in exchange for immortality, which sounds to me like something coming straight out of the relationship of the old sorcerers with the inorganic beings.
Succumbing to the lure of the inorganic beings is not just an idea; it's real. Dreaming, likewise, is real; it is an energy-generating condition. You hear my statements and you may understand what I mean, but your awareness hasn't caught up with the total implication of it yet.
When you are fully aware of what an energy-generating condition means you will measure dreaming with the greatest care and deliberation. When you believe you are just dreaming, you take blind chances. 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 because your awareness, which is the awareness of modern man, prefers to deal with an unfamiliar concept as if it were an empty ideality.
If I left it up to you, you'd regard dreaming as an idea. Of course, I'm sure you take dreaming seriously, but you don't quite believe in the reality of dreaming.
I am saying all this because the time will come when you are in the proper position to understand that dreaming is an energy-generating condition. Then, you will understand that ordinary dreams are the honing devices used to train the assemblage point to reach the position that creates this energy-generating condition we call dreaming.
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.
Regard dreaming as something extremely dangerous. And begin that now.
When you can displace your assemblage point quickly and easily that ease can have the tendency to make the displacement erratic. Then you must bring that ease to order. And don't allow yourself even a fraction of an inch leeway.
Faithfully and daily repeat what I asked you to repeat, that everything in sorcery rests on the manipulation of the assemblage point. The results of your litany-like invocation will be incredible. It has the same effect on one's awareness that exercise has on the muscles of the body. Your assemblage point becomes more agile, which means that seeing energy in dreaming becomes the sole goal of your practices. A moment then comes when you are able just to intend seeing, without saying a word, and actually experience the same result as when you voice out loud your intent to see.
The energy of our world wavers. It scintillates. Not only living beings but everything in our world glimmers with an inner light of its own. The energy of our world consists of layers of shimmering hues. The top layer is whitish; another, immediately adjacent to it, is chartreuse; and another one, more distant yet, is amber. You will see glimmers of them whenever items that you encounter in your dreamlike states change shapes. However, a whitish glow is always the initial impact of seeing anything that generates energy.
There is an endless number of different hues, but for the purposes of a beginning order, you should be concerned with those three. Later on, you can get as sophisticated as you want and isolate dozens of hues, if you are able to do it.
The whitish layer is the hue of the present position of mankind's assemblage point. Let's say that it is a modern hue. Sorcerers believe that everything man does nowadays is tinted with that whitish glow. At another time, more distant yet, it made it amber. The color of sorcerers' energy is amber, which means that they are energetically associated with the men who existed in a distant past.
The present whitish hue may change someday if man is capable of evolving. The grand task of sorcerers is to bring forth the idea that, in order to evolve, man must first free his awareness from its bindings to the social order. Once awareness is free, intent will redirect it into a new evolutionary path.
Sorcerers have succeeded in that task. They themselves are the proof. To convince others of the value and import of evolving is another matter.
The other kind of energy present in our world but alien to it is the scouts' energy, the energy that sizzles.
Bear in mind that not every scout you are going to find belongs to the realm of inorganic beings. Some of the scouts you will encounter are going to be not from the inorganic beings' realm but from other, even more distant levels of awareness.
Since scouts are aware of themselves, they make contact with us when we are awake. But our great misfortune is to have our consciousness so fully engaged that we don't have time to pay attention. In our sleep, however, the two-way-traffic trapdoor opens: we dream. And in our dreams, we make contact.
The way to tell whether the scouts are from a level besides the inorganic beings' world is: the greater their sizzling, the farther they come from. It sounds simplistic, but you have to let your energy body tell you what is what. I assure you, it'll make very fine distinctions and unerring judgments when faced with alien energy.
Unless you know exactly what you are doing and what you want out of alien energy, you have to be content with a brief glance. Anything beyond a glance is as dangerous and as stupid as petting a rattlesnake.
Scouts are always very aggressive and extremely daring. 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 worlds beyond our energetic possibilities.
There are many types of scouts, but at a beginning level of energy one can only focus on three. The first two types are the easiest to spot. Their disguises in our dreams are so outlandish, that they immediately attract our dreaming attention. The scouts of the third type are the most dangerous, in terms of aggressiveness and power, and because they hide behind subtle disguises.
One of the strangest things dreamers find, which you yourself will find, is this third type of scout. The most ferocious scout hides behind people in our dreams. It's annoying that they are always associated with the dream images of our parents or close friends. Perhaps that's why we often feel ill at ease when we dream of them. A rule of thumb for dreamers is to assume that the third type of scout is present whenever they feel perturbed by their parents or friends in a dream. Sound advice is to avoid those dream images. They are sheer poison.
Blue energy doesn't sizzle. It is like ours; it wavers, but it is blue instead of white. Blue energy doesn't exist in a natural state in our world.
The deadly scouts of the third type are bright orange.
* * *
The inorganic beings only show themselves at the beginning. After their scouts take us to their world, there is no necessity for the inorganic beings' projections. If we want to see the inorganic beings, a scout takes us there. For no one, and I mean no one, can journey by himself to their realm.
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.
There is one last issue related to that world that we haven't discussed. In the final analysis 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.
They believed that because it's true. 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.
When the emissary's sales pitch, even if it's the truth, has no appeal to you, and you are ready to chance a road that might rip you apart, you will be ready for this one final statement about that world. The most dreadful statement I can make.
The energy necessary to move the assemblage points of sorcerers comes from the realm of inorganic beings.
This is the truth and the legacy of the old sorcerers to us. The inorganic beings have us pinned down to this day. This is the reason I don't like them. I resent having to dip into one source alone. Personally, I refuse to do it. And I am trying to steer you away from it.
We can't have dealings with them. And yet we can't stay away from them. My solution has been to take their energy but not give into their influence. This is known as the ultimate stalking. It is done by sustaining the unbending intent of freedom, even though no sorcerer knows what freedom really is.
The reason sorcerers have to take energy from the realm of inorganic beings is because 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. As I've said, a redeployment of energy is necessary in order to do dreaming. 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, et cetera, et cetera, is another matter. For those maneuvers, sorcerers need loads of dark, alien energy.
They take it from the inorganic beings' world by the mere act of going to that world. All the sorcerers of our line have to do this.
Awareness is an endless area of exploration for sorcerers and man in general. In order to enhance awareness, there is no risk we should not run, no means we should refuse. Bear in mind, however, that only in soundness of mind can awareness be enhanced.
I'm going to propose a line of action for you. It's the last task of the third gate of dreaming, and it consists of stalking the stalkers, a most mysterious maneuver. To stalk the stalkers means to deliberately draw energy from the inorganic beings' realm in order to perform a sorcery feat. A journey--a journey that uses awareness as an element of the environment.
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.
Awareness is an energetic element. You have to make that distinction. For sorcerers who see, awareness is a glow. They can hitch their energy body to that glow and go with it.
The difference between a physical and an energetic element is that physical elements are part of our interpretation system, and energetic elements are not. Energetic elements, like awareness, exist in our universe. But we, as average people, perceive only the physical elements because we were taught to do so. Sorcerers perceive the energetic elements for the same reason: they were taught to do so.
The use of awareness as an energetic element of our environment is the essence of sorcery. 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.
There are two kinds of energy journeys into other worlds. One is when awareness picks up the sorcerer's energy body and takes it wherever it may, and the other is when the sorcerer decides, in full consciousness, to use the avenue of awareness to make a journey. It takes an enormous discipline to do the second.
In the life of sorcerers there are issues that require masterful handling, and dealing with awareness, as an energetic element open to the energy body, is the most important, vital, and dangerous of those issues.
With enough energy you can perform the last task of the third gate of dreaming: to break the boundaries of the normal world and, using awareness as an energetic element, enter into another. This breaking and entering amounts to stalking the stalkers. Using awareness as an element of the environment bypasses the influence of the inorganic beings, but it still uses their energy.
* * *
In a pinch, your energy body is perfectly capable of taking care of itself.
* * *
After getting into a state of total inner silence, slip gently into dreaming, voicing your intent to go to the realm of the inorganic beings. Once you are in the world of the inorganic beings, you have to voice your intent to transfer your normal awareness to your energy body. What is important is that you intend the transfer of the total awareness of your daily world to your energy body.
Transferring awareness is purely a matter of voicing your intent and having the necessary amount of energy to tip the scales. That means to be able to add one's total physical mass to the energy body. Using awareness as a medium to make the journey into another world is not the result of applying any techniques but is the corollary of intending and having enough energy to be energetically capable of pulling our physicality and placing it on the energy body in order to make that journey.
In order to enter into that other world your total physical mass has to be added to your energy body. The great difficulty of this maneuver is to discipline the energy body. Lack of discipline is the only reason you may fail in performing this feat of ultimate stalking. Sometimes, as a fluke, an average person ends up performing it and entering into another world. But this is immediately explained away as insanity or hallucination.
* * *
Forget the self and you will fear nothing.
* * *
During an experience of stalking the stalkers one realizes that perceiving is an all-inclusive act when the assemblage point has been immobilized on one position. I have told you 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. If you want to break this totally inclusive force, all you have to do is dispel the fog, that is to say, displace the assemblage point by intending its displacement.
You yourself will understand what I mean the moment you have to bring your assemblage point to another position in order to dispel that world's fog which will begin to swallow you during a maneuver of stalking the stalkers. The reentry into our world is automatic if we don't let the fog set in.
Ordinarily dreamers experience the whole maneuver as a series of slow transitions, and they have to voice their intent to use awareness as an element. Ordinarily, dreamers are merely voyeurs.
The old sorcerers' damnation was that the inorganic beings took them to worlds from which they could not return.
Since they entered into that world with all their physicality, the fixation of their 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 they came from. The natural consequence of such an immobility, is that the dreamer's assemblage point cannot return to its habitual position.
Think about this. 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 for coming here. The task is to sneak by the inorganic beings, not be run by them.
Perhaps you will stalk the stalkers when you have the strength. Or perhaps you'll never accomplish it. It doesn't really matter; if one thing doesn't work, another will. sorcery is an endless challenge.
In order to use awareness as an element of the environment, dreamers first have to make a journey to the inorganic beings' realm. Then they have to use that journey as a springboard, and, while they are in possession of the necessary dark energy, they have to intend to be hurled through the medium of awareness into another world.
In your dreaming practices, see energy in energy-generating dreamlike states. When you are able to see everything that presents itself to you, you may become incapable of rendering intelligently what you see. It may be then, as though you have reached states of perception for which you have no lexicon.
Such incomprehensible and indescribable visions would be your energy body using awareness as an element not for journeying, because you wouldn't yet have enough energy, but for entering into the energy fields of inanimate matter or of living beings.
At the fourth gate of dreaming, the energy body travels to specific, concrete places. There are three ways of using the fourth gate: one, to travel to 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. Whether or not you can cross the fourth gate by yourself is up to the spirit.
Modern-day sorcerers have realized that only if they remain totally detached can they have the energy to be free. Theirs is a peculiar type of detachment, which is born not out of fear or indolence but out of conviction.
* * *
Stretch your arms in front of you, to the sides, and then behind you. It relaxes the body.
* * *
For modern-day sorcerers to perceive energy directly is a matter of personal attainment. We maneuver the assemblage point through self-discipline.
Your energy body has endless resources. Modern-day sorcerers do not know the details of the thousands of possible positions of the assemblage point. By details I mean particular ways of treating the energy body in order to maintain the assemblage point fixed on specific positions.
Most of the shifts modern-day sorcerers experience are mild shifts within a thin bundle of energetic luminous filaments inside the luminous egg, a bundle called the band of man, or the purely human aspect of the universe's energy. Beyond that band, but still within the luminous egg, lies the realm of the grand shifts. When the assemblage point shifts to any spot on that area, perception is still comprehensible to us, but extremely detailed procedures are required for perception to be total.
Every grand shift has different inner workings which modern sorcerers could learn if they knew how to fixate the assemblage point long enough at any grand shift.
By inducing a systematic displacement of the assemblage point, dreaming liberates perception, enlarging the scope of what can be perceived.
The reading of my compilation of Carlos Castaneda's books continues from here on this MP3
For the sorcerers of my party, dreaming has not only opened the doors of other perceivable worlds but prepared us for entering into those realms in full awareness.
The second attention has endless treasures to be discovered. The initial position in which the dreamer places his body is of key importance. The old sorcerers used to call this the twin positions. The initial position in which a dreamer holds his physical body to begin dreaming is mirrored by the position in which he holds his energy body, in dreams, to fixate his assemblage point on any spot of his choosing. The two positions make a unit.
The position in which one places the body is of utmost importance. Start your dreaming by lying on your right side, with your knees a bit bent. The discipline is to maintain that position and fall asleep in it. In dreaming, then, the exercise is to dream that you lie down in exactly the same position and fall asleep again.
It makes the assemblage point stay put, and I mean really stay put, in whatever position it is at the instant of that second falling asleep. The result of this exercise is total perception.
The four variations of the exercise are to fall asleep lying on the right side, the left, the back, and the stomach. Then in dreaming the exercise is to dream of falling asleep a second time in the same position as the dreaming had been started.
I came from a line of sorcerers who knew how to move about in the second attention by projecting their intent. They practiced the art of projecting their thoughts in dreaming in order to accomplish the truthful reproduction of any object or structure or landmark or scenery of their choice.
The sorcerers of my line used to start by gazing at a simple object and memorizing every detail of it. They would then close their eyes and visualize the object and correct their visualization against the true object until they could see it, in its completeness, with their eyes shut.
The next thing in their developing scheme was to dream with the object and create in the dream, from the point of view of their own perception, a total materialization of the object. This act is called the first step to total perception.
From a simple object, those sorcerers went on to take more and more complex items. Their final aim was for all of them together to visualize a total world, then dream that world and thus re-create a totally veritable realm where they could exist.
When any of the sorcerers of my line were able to do that they could easily pull anyone into their intent, into their dream.
Whole populations disappeared dreaming like that. It's possible because they visualized and then re-created in dreaming the same scenery.
To cross the fourth gate and travel to places that exist only in someone else's intent is perilous, since every item in such a dream has to be an ultimately personal item.
The essence of my explanation is that if you were, for instance, dreaming of your hometown and your dream had started when you lay down on your right side, you could very easily stay in the town of your dream if you would lie on your right side, in the dream, and dream that you had fallen asleep. The second dream not only would necessarily be a dream of your hometown, but would be the most concrete dream one can imagine.
The only way to have absolute control of dreams is to use the technique of the twin positions. And don't ask me why. It just happens. Like everything else.
* * *
The thought of evil cannot withstand examination. 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. Logically, there is really nothing to be afraid of.
There is no past or future in the universe. There is only the moment. Think for a moment, in the universe there is only energy, and energy has only a here and now, an endless and ever-present here and now.
* * *
The secret of the twin positions is that the second dream is intending in the second attention: the only way to cross the fourth gate of dreaming.
To make a dream an all-inclusive reality is the art of the old sorcerers. This is dreaming. You should know by now that its transactions are final.
* * *
You have been given an abstract gift: the possibility of flying on the wings of intent.
1. The Teachings of don Juan
2. A Separate Reality
3. Journey to Ixtlan
4. Tales Of Power
5. The Second Ring of Power
6. The Eagle's Gift
7. The Fire From Within
8. The Power of Silence
9. The Art of Dreaming
12. The Active Side of Infinity
13. Appendix A thru E
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