(The Art of Dreaming)
Another topic of don Juan’s explanations was the indispensability of energetic uniformity and cohesion for the purpose of perceiving. His contention was that mankind perceives the world we know, in the terms we do, only because we share energetic uniformity and cohesion. He said that we automatically attain these two conditions of energy in the course of our rearing and that 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.
I asked him what uniformity and cohesion were, and he explained that 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. He said that an example of a new uniformity and cohesion was 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.
“How are uniformity and cohesion acquired?” I asked.
“The key is the position of the assemblage point, or rather the fixation of the assemblage point,” he said.
He did not want to elaborate any further at that time, so I asked him if those old sorcerers could have reverted to being egg-like. He replied that at one point they could have, but that they did not. And then the line cohesion set in and made it impossible for them to go back. He believed that what really crystallized that line cohesion and prevented them from 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.
He remarked that I was not ready yet to comprehend any unusual perception I might have had. “I made your assemblage point shift,” he went on, “and for an instant you were dreaming the filaments of the universe. But you don’t yet have the discipline or the energy to rearrange your uniformity and cohesion. The old sorcerers were the consummate masters of that rearranging. That was how they saw everything that can be seen by man.”
“What does it mean to rearrange uniformity and cohesion?”
“It 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.”
Judging from where I stand today, I realize that don Juan made me enter, as many times as he could, into the second attention in order to force me to sustain, for long periods of time, new positions of my assemblage point and to perceive coherently in them, that is to say, he aimed at forcing me to rearrange my uniformity and cohesion.
“No. That’s not the case. Now you want to reduce something transcendental to something mundane. You can’t do that. That journey was real. You saw it as a city. I saw it as energy. Neither of us is right or wrong.”
“My confusion comes when you talk about things being real. You said before that we reached a real place. But if it was real, how can we have two versions of it?”
“Very simple. We have two versions because we had, at that time, two different rates of uniformity and cohesion. I have explained to you that those two attributes are the key to perceiving.”
“To fixate the assemblage point on any new spot means to acquire cohesion,” he said. “You have been doing just that in your dreaming practices.”
“I thought I was perfecting my energy body,” I said, somehow surprised at his statement.
“You are doing that and much more; you are 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.”
“What is a dreaming position, don Juan?”
“Any new position to which the assemblage point has been displaced during sleep.”
“How do we fixate the assemblage point on a dreaming position?”
“By sustaining the view of any item in your dreams, or by changing dreams at will. Through your dreaming practices, you are really exercising your capacity to be cohesive; that is to say, you are exercising your capacity to maintain a new energy shape by holding the assemblage point fixed on the position of any particular dream you are having.”
“Do I really maintain a new energy shape?”
“Not exactly, and not because you can’t but only because you are 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.”
“How do we know we are maintaining cohesion?”
“We know it by the clarity of our perception. The clearer the view of our dreams, the greater our cohesion.”
He said then that it was time for me to have a practical application of what I had learned in dreaming. Without giving me a chance to ask anything, he urged me to focus my attention, as if I were in a dream, on the foliage of a desert tree growing nearby a mesquite tree.
“Do you want me to just gaze at it?” I asked.
“I don’t want you to just gaze at it; I want you to do something very special with that foliage,” he said. “Remember that, in your dreams, once you are able to hold the view of any item, you are really holding the dreaming position of your assemblage point. Now, gaze at those leaves as if you were in a dream, but with a slight yet most meaningful variation you are going to hold your dreaming attention on the leaves of the mesquite tree in the awareness of our daily world.”
My nervousness made it impossible for me to follow his line of thought. He patiently explained that by staring at the foliage, would accomplish a minute displacement of my assemblage Dint. Then, by summoning my dreaming attention through staring at individual leaves, I would actually fixate that minute displacement, and my cohesion would make me perceive in terms of the second attention. He added, with a chuckle, that the process was so simple it was ridiculous.
“We certainly are back, and the answer is still the same. It exists in the precise position your assemblage point was at that moment. In order to perceive it, you needed cohesion, that is, you needed to maintain your assemblage point fixed on that position, which you did. The result was that you totally perceived a new world for a while.”
“But would others perceive that same world?”
“If they had uniformity and cohesion, they would. Uniformity 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,” he continued, “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.”
He explained that 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.
“What were those activities, don Juan?”
“The old sorcerers called them the intricacies of the second attention or the grand adventure of the unknown.”
Don Juan said that 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.
“What was the benefit of that, don Juan?”
“We can’t talk about benefits. We can talk only about end results.”
He explained that 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, he said, all the details of perception involved in becoming, for example, a jaguar, a bird, an insect, et cetera, et cetera.
He explained that the tenant, being a sorcerer from the old school, had learned from his teachers all the intricacies of shifting his assemblage point. Since he had perhaps thousands of years of strange life and awareness – ample time to perfect anything – he knew now how to reach and hold hundreds, if not thousands, of positions of the assemblage point. His gifts were like both maps for shifting the assemblage point to specific spots and manuals on how to immobilize it on any of those positions and thus acquire cohesion.
“They are called gifts of power because they are products of the specialized knowledge of the sorcerers of antiquity,” he said. “The mystery about the gifts is that no one on this earth, with the exception of the death defier, can give us a sample of that knowledge. And, of course, I can displace my assemblage point to whatever spot I want, inside or outside man’s energy shape. But what I can’t do, and only the death defier can, is to know what to do with my energy body in each one of those spots in order to get total perception, total cohesion.”
He explained, then, that modern-day sorcerers do not know the details of the thousands upon thousands of possible positions of the assemblage point.
“What do you mean by details?” I asked.
“Particular ways of treating the energy body in order to maintain the assemblage point fixed on specific positions,” he replied.
He took himself as an example. He said that the death defier’s gift of power to him had been the position of the assemblage point of a crow and the procedures to manipulate his energy body to get the total perception of a crow.
Don Juan explained that total perception, total cohesion was what the old sorcerers sought at any cost, and that, in the case of his own gift of power, total perception came to him by means of a deliberate process he had to learn, step by step, as one learns to work a very complex machine.
Don Juan further explained that 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.
“The inorganic beings tricked you and Carol Tiggs in your last journey by helping you two to get total cohesion on a grand shift,” don Juan said. “They displaced your assemblage points to the farthest possible spot, then helped you perceive there as if you were in your daily world. A nearly impossible thing. To do that type of perceiving a sorcerer needs pragmatic knowledge, or influential friends.”