(Encounters with the Nagual by Armando Torres)
In another conversation, Carlos said that our reason is a byproduct of the foreign mind,
and that we shouldn’t trust it. For someone with my mental make-up, this was very difficult to accept.
When I asked him about this, he explained that what sorcerers reject is not the capacity of reason to reach conclusions, but the way it is imposed on our life as if it is the only alternative.
“Rationality makes us feel like a solid block, and we begin to grant the greatest importance to concepts like ‘reality’. When we face unusual situations, like those which assault the sorcerer, we tell ourselves: ‘It is not reasonable’, and it seems we have said everything there is to say.”
“The world of our mind is dictatorial, but fragile. After some years of continuous use, the self becomes so heavy that it is just common sense to give it a rest in order to continue ahead.”
“A warrior fights to break the description of the world which has been injected into him, in order to open up a space for new things. His war is against the self. For that purpose, he tries to be permanently aware of his potential. Since the content of perception depends on the position of the assemblage point, a warrior tries with all his might to loosen the fixation of that point. Instead of creating a cult out of his speculations, he pays attention to certain premises of the path of sorcerers.”
“Those premises say that, in the first place, only a high level of energy can enable one to deal adequately with the world. And second: Rationality is a consequence of the fixation of the assemblage point in the position of reason, and that point moves when we achieve internal silence. Third: In our luminous field, there are other positions every bit as pragmatic as rationality. Fourth: When we achieve a point of view which includes reason as well as its twin center, silent knowledge, concepts like truth and lies stop being operative, and it becomes patently clear that man’s true dilemma is to have energy, or not have it.”
“Sorcerers reason in a different way to ordinary people. For them, to anchor attention is insanity, and to make it flow is common sense. They call the fixing of the assemblage point in non-habitual areas ‘seeing ‘. Staying sane is imperative, but they have found out that rationality is not always sane. To stay sane is a voluntary act, while to be reasonable is just to fix our attention on an area of collective consent.”
“Are sorcerers opposed to reason, then?”
“I have already told you: They are opposed to its dictatorship. They know the center of reason can take us very far. Absolute reason is merciless, it doesn’t stop halfway; that’s why people are afraid of it. When we are able to focus on it with inflexibility, it generates an obligation to be impeccable, because not to be so is not reasonable. To do things with impeccability is to do all that is humanly possible, and a little more. Therefore, reason also takes you to a movement of the assemblage point.”
“To act within the precepts of the warrior’s path, you need clarity of purpose, the courage to take on the task, and an unbending intent. If you look around, you will see that most people ‘of reason’ are not, in fact, located in that center, but on its periphery.”
“Because they lack energy. Their holes prevent them from having any objectivity. Their attention always fluctuates, and because of that their perception is hybrid, it is ambiguous. They drift like a rudderless boat in the current, at the mercy of their emotions and without a clear view of either shore – the bank of pure reasoning on one side, the bank of the abstract on the other.”
“What is required of a modern warrior is a condition of sustained energy gain, until his attention can flow between reason and silent knowledge. When moving in that way, he is more sane than ever, and yet he is not a rational being. From whichever position he assumes, he will always be sighting the other side, and his vision acquires perspective and depth. Sorcerers describe this condition as ‘being double1 or ‘losing the mind’.”
“We can arrive at silent knowledge in exactly the same way as our teachers taught us to arrive at reason: By induction. It is like controlling both sides of a bridge. From one side, you can see reason like a net of agreements, which transforms collective interpretations into common sense through the customs of concern. From the other side, you can sense silent knowledge as an unfathomable, creative darkness which extends beyond the threshold of non-pity. Upon crossing this threshold, the ancient sorcerers arrived at the source of pure understanding.
“To be double is to make a connection with oneself, to flow between two points. It is something practically indescribable, but an apprentice experiences it as soon as he saves enough energy. Starting from there, he learns how to deal with reason like a free being, neither reverent nor abject. He acquires what Don Juan called ‘intensity’; that is, the capacity to store information in a perceptual block.”
I found the concept of ‘intensity’ totally obscure. I asked him to explain it further.
He answered that perception is composed of content and intensity. Extreme situations, like a sharp awareness of danger, proximity of death, or the effect of power plants, generate great intensity. A sorcerer learns how to store those experiences in the movement of the assemblage point.
He added that what is proposed by the way of knowledge is a change of values in how we understand our social interaction as a species, pulling our energy out from everyday life and concentrating it on situations which require that intensive way of living.
“It is about returning man to marvel, to power, to what he has dreamt about; to reconnect him with astonishment and the capacity to create. That rupture is the only thing which can liberate our luminosity from our perceptual uniformity.”
On another occasion, talking to a small group of friends, Carlos explained that another effect of the movement of the assemblage point is that things acquire new forms, the clarity of appearances gives way to a deeper and more essential clarity, and live beings adopt the form of enormous, round fields of light.
He said that the luminous configuration of a man or woman is a portrait of their existence. Seers look at each detail, and in that way they determine whether a person is prepared for apprenticeship or not.
“Most people mistreat their tonal; in consequence, their fibers fall like the pleats of an old curtain. Those ‘tired’ fibers work as a kind of glue, blocking the natural course of energy. Don Juan called them ‘tonal bells’, because they are shaped like that; they are dark and give the impression of a heavy weight. When moving, those fields slither or give brief jumps, as if they are dragging something, or as if the person has put on a bear suit too big for him.”
“In warriors, on the other hand, the pleats have tension. Their cocoons are almost spherical and they overflow with vigor; the lower part is compact like a solid rubber ball and it bounces, lifting off from the ground. When they advance, these globes don’t slither sorely, but rather jump with joy and sometimes drift over a long distance. Don Juan called them precisely that, ‘the planers’, and said it was a pleasure to bump into one of them on the street.”
“But only seers are able to redesign their luminosity in such a way that they can take completely off from the Earth, and fly. Some are able to break their limits, which is perceived as if those warriors have ruptured the skin which imprisoned their energy, exposing the radiant central core. They are traveling sorcerers, and they don’t depend on their physical body to be aware and to act anymore.”
“The task of an apprentice is to re-center his energy body through acts of impeccability and force that lead to the movement of the assemblage point. Above all, he should achieve mobility for his energy, making it flow in a natural way. In that way, his fibers stretch out and begin to shine with an amber shade.”
“Perception takes place in a point of intense white light that is generally rigidly fixed inside a very specific area, which sorcerers call ‘the human band’. That point aligns emanations we receive from the outside with those which are found inside our luminous field, similar to the way an antenna picks up radio waves and transforms them into sound.”
To our surprise, he assured us that to see that point is a relatively simple matter, which happens already in the early stages of the path.
“It’s enough to suggest it in the appropriate way. An apprentice should never say: ‘I am useless, I don’t see anything’, but the opposite: ‘I might see it… yes, there it is!’ If we repeat that intent over and over, sooner or later the assemblage point will enter into our perceptive field, and that is the first step towards moving it deliberately.”
One in the group asked him how we could witness our own perception.
He explained that, since we have no way of perceiving anything if it does not pass through the assemblage point, the only way of understanding this matter is to say that the point perceives itself. Whatever we see is the result of its operation. Because of that, we have the sensation of a flame burning where our emanations join with those from the outside. He said that we might equally well describe the phenomenon in auditory terms, or as an electric crack that signals alignment.
“The important thing is to verify it for yourselves, because that will put you beyond the mind, it will fill you with silent knowledge. The mere act of seeing it has an impact which moves the fixation of the assemblage point.”
He continued by saying that an experienced sorcerer is able to displace his attention very far from the human band. This enlarges the reach of his perception considerably.
“Some go on a trip to the realm of the inorganic beings; that alignment is very gratifying for his energy, and the traveler returns home renewed. Others have an inclination to go to the lower area, the area of the beast, the most sordid corner of awareness. For human beings, that is a dangerous place, because to remain there for a long period can produce physical lesions.”
They asked him where the self stays while the assemblage point moves to the low area. He answered:
“It seems you are thinking that the assemblage point fits inside your inventory of reasonable things, but that’s not so. Don’t see it as a solid object or as another part of your body. We don’t have an assemblage point, we are it!”
“While a warrior is imprisoned within the limits of the human form, the furthest place he can transfer his assemblage point is to an area of interpretive vacuum, which new seers call ‘limbo’. That is a real space on the frontier of the other world, a transition area on the periphery of the other attention.”
“These movements accumulate and serve to condense our personal power, until they finally crystallize in a kind of luminous matrix that Don Juan called ‘the dreaming positions’. Through exploration of those positions, the individual experience of a sorcerer leaves the human groove and becomes practically limitless.”
“The movement of the assemblage point is not just propelled by an interest in accessing astonishing visions, but is above all directed by the fact that each controlled displacement liberates enormous quantities of energy. Ideally, the warrior applies his unbending intent and lights up his energy field as if he becomes one gigantic assemblage point, to witness everything once and for all. In that case, the point shoots out and up, the traveler becomes a blast of light, and he never recovers his form again. This is the greatest challenge, the union of our awareness with infinity.”
Although Carlos frequently mentioned the topic of death, he avoided talking about what happens after a person dies. This occasion seemed like a good opportunity to investigate his opinion on it.
“Carlos,” I asked him, “what happens to us when we die?”
“It depends,” he answered. “Death touches us all, but it is not the same for all. Everything depends on one’s energy level.”
He assured me that the death of an ordinary person is the end of his journey, the moment when he has to return to the Eagle all the awareness he obtained while alive.
“If we don’t have anything else than our life force to offer it, we will be finished. That kind of death erases any feeling of unity.”
I asked him if that was his particular opinion, or part of the traditional knowledge of seers.
“It is not an opinion; I have been on the other side and I know. I have seen children and adults wandering over there and I have observed their efforts to remember themselves. For those who dissipated their energy, death is like a fleeting dream, filled with bubbles of steadily fading memories, and then nothing.”
“Do you mean that when we dream, we approach the state of the dead?”
“We don’t just approach it, we are there! But since the vitality of our body remains intact, we can return. To die is literally a dream.”
“You see, when an ordinary person dreams, he is not able to focus his attention on anything; he doesn’t have anything but his fragmented memories, fed with experiences he has accumulated in the course of his life. If that person dies, the difference is that his dream lengthens and he doesn’t wake up again. It is the dream of death.”
“The journey of death can take him to a virtual world of appearances, where he will contemplate the materialization of his beliefs, of his heavens and private hells, but nothing else. Such visions start disappearing in time, as the impulses of memory wear out.”
“And what happens to the souls of those who die?”
“The soul doesn’t exist, what exists is energy. Once the physical body disappears, the only thing left is an energy entity fed by memory.”
“Some individuals are so oblivious of themselves that they die almost without realizing it. They are like people with amnesia, people who have a blockage of the assemblage point and can no longer align memories, they don’t have any continuity; as such , they feel permanently on the brink of oblivion. When they die, those people disintegrate almost instantaneously; the impulse of their lives only lasts for a few years at the most.”
“However, most people take a little longer disintegrating, between one hundred and two hundred years. The ones who had lives full of meaning can resist for half a millennium. The range expands even more for those who were able to create bonds with masses of people; they can retain their awareness during entire millennia.”
“How do they achieve that?”
“Through the attention of their followers. Memory creates bonds among live beings and those who have left. That’s how they stay aware. And that’s why cults of historical personalities are so pernicious. That was the intent of those who, in the past, were mummified: To preserve their name in history. Ironically, it is the greatest damage that can be inflicted on energy. If you seriously want to punish a person, bury him in a lead casket; his confusion never ends.”
“It doesn’t matter what he does or how he has lived; an ordinary person doesn’t have the smallest chance of continuing ahead. For sorcerers who live facing eternity, five years or five millennia are nothing. That’s why they say that death is instantaneous disintegration.”
I wanted to know if dead people can return to contact the living. He answered:
“Relationships among residents of various spheres of awareness can only be made through the alignment of the assemblage point. Death is a final perceptive barrier. Living people can go to the realm of the dead through dreams, but that is the kind of thing a warrior won’t enter into, because it only wears away his energy. Something very different, on the other hand, it is to contact sorcerers who have left.”
“Because they were able to reach their energy double, and retained their individuality through their techniques.”
“How can we enter into relationships with that kind of awareness?”
“In dreaming. However, it is very difficult for a sorcerer who has already left to fix his attention on this world, unless he has some specific task to complete, and it is even more difficult for an ordinary man to support that contact.”
“Interaction with these beings is gratifying for warriors, but terrifying for others, because an inorganic sorcerer is not a ghost, but an intense source of aware and implacable energy, able to damage those who come near him through recklessness. That kind of contact can be even more dangerous than an exchange with a live sorcerer.”
“What does the danger consist of?”
“It is the nature of energy. If you believe sorcerers are friendly people, you are mistaken; they are naguals!”
“There is a very morbid feature in our constitution that impels us to use any means necessary. It is something natural, we cannot avoid it. That feature is exacerbated in a sorcerer, and magnified after his departure, because there are no longer any inhibitions to counteract it. When the sorcerer becomes inorganic, he returns to what he always was: A cosmic, predatory emanation.”