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The Abstract Cores; The Edifice of Intent, or The Silent Voice of the Spirit

(The Power of Silence by Carlos Castaneda)

The First Set of Six

  1. The Manifestations of the Spirit
  2. The Knock Of The Spirit
  3. The Trickery of the Spirit
  4. The Descent of the Spirit
  5. The Requirements of Intent
  6. Handling Intent

Whatever I have written about my sorcery apprenticeship, up to now, has been a recounting of how don Juan taught me the mastery of awareness. I have not yet described the art of stalking or the mastery of intent.

Don Juan taught me their principles and applications with the help of two of his companions: a sorcerer named Vicente Medrano and another named Silvio Manuel, but whatever I learned from them still remains clouded in what Don Juan called the intricacies of heightened awareness. Until now it has been impossible for me to write or even to think coherently about the art of stalking and the mastery of intent. My mistake has been to regard them as subjects for normal memory and recollection. They are, but at the same time they are not. In order to resolve this contradiction, I have not pursued the subjects directly – a virtual impossibility – but have dealt with them indirectly through the concluding topic of don Juan’s instruction: the stories of the sorcerers of the past.

He recounted these stories to make evident what he called the abstract cores of his lessons. But I was incapable of grasping the nature of the abstract cores despite his comprehensive explanations, which, I know now, were intended more to open my mind than to explain anything in a rational manner. His way of talking made me believe for many years that his explanations of the abstract cores were like academic dissertations; and all I was able to do, under these circumstances, was to take his explanations as given. They became part of my tacit acceptance of his teachings, but without the thorough assessment on my part that was essential to understanding them.

Don Juan presented three sets of six abstract cores each, arranged in an increasing level of complexity. I have dealt here with the first set, which is composed of the following: the manifestations of the spirit, the knock of the spirit, the trickery of the spirit, the descent of the spirit, the requirements of intent, and handling intent.

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