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12: Dreaming is the Art of Waking up the Link with the Energy Body

(Santa Barbara Workshop Introduction – August, 2000)

“The energy body,” Carlos Castaneda told his apprentices, “is the twin of the physical body, made out of energy, and you need to create a dwelling for it to come.”

Carlos Castaneda told his apprentices that the seers of don Juan’s lineage were able to perceive beyond the ordinary parameters of our perception because they had brought the energy body and the physical body together.

“Seers,” he said, “call the energy body through abstract affection: affection free from vanity, self-absorption, or fixation.”

He said that dreaming is the art of waking up the link with the energy body. The seers of his lineage discovered that in both ordinary dreams, and in waking awareness, it was possible to hone the dreaming attention to the degree that we might enter other worlds of perception. Entering these states in our waking hours, they called heightened awareness, or dreaming-awake.

In this workshop, for both new and seasoned practitioners, the apprentices of don Juan’s four students will guide participants to learn and practice magical passes and other seers’ endeavors to wake up our affection for the energy body, and to entice the dreaming attention by entering into the awareness of the hue of amber.

Amber, according to the seers of don Juan’s lineage, is the color of the awareness of human beings of another time – a time when it was natural for them to dream, and dream-awake.


The View of the Energy Body

(Anaheim Workshop Introduction – February, 2001)

Carlos Castaneda said that our tendency, as human beings was to always be “on”-a state reflected in our breathing (we never fully exhale) and our actions: we attempt to control things outside our realm, and yet allow others to decide things that we could decide for ourselves. He said that this state kept us isolated from our surroundings, our fellow beings, and our own energy bodies-our energetic twin, the body that takes us into dreaming.

Dreaming, Carlos Castaneda told his apprentices, requires a different kind of control; it requires knowing when to act, and when to acquiesce.

Don Juan described the art of dreaming as volitionally shifting one’s usual perceptual orientation, in order to access other states of awareness. The key to gaining control in dreaming, he said, is knowing when to engage our attention, and when to release it. He said that the dreamer crosses what the seers of his lineage called the first threshold, or the first gate of dreaming when he is able to sustain his attention on the items of a dream. He takes quick, fleeting glances at everything, engaging the view of any item until that view begins to dissolve; then he releases his attention and engages another item.

This interaction of engagement and release is at play in the magical passes of Tensegrity. Carlos Castaneda said that the word Tensegrity is a functional description of this phenomenon. Tension is the engagement and release of the muscles and tendons of the body. Integrity is the overall unity of our structure, as both physical and energetic beings. For the forces of engagement and release to work together, he maintained, requires a fine calibration, so that all the elements of our being can cooperate.

He said that to calibrate these elements brings a moment of silence that stirs and warms the fibers in our luminous spheres, so that we may be aligned with the emanations of the earth, the stars, and the beings around us.

“The seer sees that every man is in touch with everything else,” don Juan said, “not through his hands, but through a bunch of long fibers at the center of his abdomen. Those fibers join a man to his surroundings; they keep his balance; they give him stability.”

In this workshop, apprentices of don Juan’s four students will guide participants to explore calibrating the elements of engagement and release as they relate to the first attention—the world of everyday life, and the second attention-the view we access when we release our every­day interpretations and engage another view-the view of the energy body.


Dreaming Aid to Facilitate Inner Silence

(Active Side of Infinity by Carlos Castaneda)

In order to facilitate the advent of inner silence, don Juan had taught me a way to sit down on my bed, with the knees bent and the soles of the feet touching, the hands pushing the feet together by holding the ankles. He had given me a thick dowel that I always kept at hand wherever I went. It was cut to a fourteen-inch length to support the weight of my head if I leaned over and put the dowel on the floor between my feet, and then placed the other end, which was cushioned, on the spot in the middle of my forehead. Every time I adopted this position, I fell sound asleep in a matter of seconds.


(Castaneda Evening Session Notes)

The dowel (stick) was about 1-3/8” (~ 35mm) diameter, anywhere from 13 to 16 inches long, depending on the height of one’s torso. The pad on the end was recommended to avoid creating an indentation on one’s forehead.

The correct dreaming position to be used with it was to place the bottoms of the feet close together and lean forward so one’s elbows rested in the little notch on the inside of each knee (near the back tendon), then hold loosely around the ankles with the thumb on the notch of the Achilles tendon. With the stick and arms this way, it formed a kind of tripod where one could sort of fall asleep while sitting up.


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