(Encounters With The Nagual by Armando Torres)
He continued by saying that what makes it possible for the world to exist just as we see it, is our attention and that of all our fellow men, focused simultaneously and connected in a tight net of interpretations, reinforced by agreement.
One of the present asked him to further clarify this topic.
“See, the domain of attention is of supreme importance in the path of sorcerers, because it is the primary matter of creation. In all worlds, degrees of evolution are measured by the ability to realize, to be aware.
“In order to manipulate and understand the emanations which arrive to our senses, sorcerers develop the power of their attention, sharpening it through discipline to exquisite levels, which allow them to transcend human limitations and to fulfill all the possibilities of perception. Their concentration is so intense that they can penetrate the thick armor of appearances, and expose the essence of things. Seers call that degree of increased awareness ‘seeing.’
“Even though such a fixed attention may seem like stubbornness, obsession, or fanaticism, for the practitioner it’s nothing but discipline.”
He warned us not to confuse the discipline of sorcerers with people’s repetitive routines.
“Discipline, as understood by a warrior, is creative, open, and produces freedom. It is the ability to face the unknown, transforming the feeling of knowing into reverent astonishment; of considering things that exceed the scope of our habits, and daring to face the only war that is worthwhile: The battle for awareness.”
“It is the courage to accept the consequences of our actions, whatever they may be, without self-pity or feelings of blame.”
“Having discipline is the key to handling attention, because it takes us to the will. And this allows us to modify the world until it becomes what we want it to be, and not like the one which was imposed on us from the outside. For this reason, will is the threshold of intent for warriors. Its power is so great that when it is focused on something, it can produce the most astonishing effects.”
As examples, he told us many stories about extraordinary events he had witnessed. He maintained that underlying each one of the prodigious actions of sorcerers, there is a whole life of discipline, sobriety, detachment, and analytical capability. Warriors place the highest value on these attributes, and together they constitute the state of being which they call impeccability.
He went on to explain that impeccability doesn’t have anything to do with an intellectual position, a belief, or anything like that. It is a consequence of saving energy.
“A warrior accepts with humility what he is, and he doesn’t squander his power on lamenting because things are not otherwise. If a door is closed, we don’t kick it and punch it! Instead, we attentively study the lock and figure out how to open it. In the same way, if his life is not satisfactory, the warrior is not offended, nor does he complain. On the contrary, he designs strategies to alter the course of his destiny.”
“If we learn how to curb our self-pity, and at the same time make room for the authentic ‘me’, we will become drivers of cosmic intent, and conduits for torrents of energy.”
“In order to flow in such a way, we must learn to trust our resources and to understand that we were born with everything we need for the extravagant adventure which is our life. As a warrior, each man or woman who has entered the path of sorcery knows that he or she is responsible for him/herself. He or she doesn’t look aside, seeking approval, or trying to discharge their frustrations on others.”
“Don Juan told me: “What you are looking for is within yourself. You have to struggle to make your actions final, and to achieve your own clarity. Commit yourself, before it’s too late!’
“The aspect of impeccability which particularly concerns our daily lives is knowing how exercising our freedom affects others, and avoiding the resulting friction at any cost. Occasionally, our relationships with others will generate friction and expectations. A fighting sorcerer pays close attention to his contacts, and becomes a hunter of signs. If there are no signs, he doesn’t interact with people; he is content to wait because, although he doesn’t have time, he has all the patience in the world. He knows that too much is at stake, and won’t risk ruining everything by one false move.”
“Since he is never desperate to achieve contact with anyone, the warrior can choose his affections with sobriety and detachment, taking care at all times that the people he consents to be with are compatible with his energy. The secret to achieving such clarity of vision consists in identifying oneself and not identifying oneself. A sorcerer identifies himself with the abstract, and not with the world. And that allows him to be independent and take care of himself.”
Then he told us a story about a guy who considered himself to be a great warrior, but every time he had problems at home and his wife didn’t make him dinner or didn’t wash or iron his clothes, he collapsed in chaos. After a long battle with that situation, the man decided to introduce a radical change in his life; but, instead of reforming his character, like he was supposed to, he changed his wife for another one.
“Realize that, face to face with our destiny, each one of us is alone. So take control of your own life. A warrior polishes details, develops his imagination and puts his ingenuity to the test by resolving situations. It’s inconceivable for him to feel destitute, because he has self-control and he doesn’t need anything from anybody. By concentrating on details, he learns how to cultivate delicacy, subtlety, and elegance.”
“Don Vicente Medrano said that the beauty of this struggle is shown in the invisible stitches. That is the sorcerer’s trademark, the fulfillment of intent.”
“The gift of independence and the control of details produce the capacity to persist where other people would desist. When arriving at this point, the warrior is barely a step away from impeccable conduct.
“Impeccability is born of a delicate balance between our internal being and the forces of the external world. It is an achievement that requires effort, time, dedication, and being permanently attentive to the objective, so that the final purpose is never lost from sight. But, mainly, it requires persistence. Persistence defeats apathy, it is as simple as that.”
“The threshold of magic is an intent sustained beyond what seems possible, desirable, or reasonable. It is a mental leap, to become tuned to the will of the Eagle’s emanations, and to allow their command to loosen the rigidity of our limits. But few are willing to pay the price, to walk the extra mile.”
He admitted that, on several occasions, he was about to abandon his teacher, oppressed by the magnitude of the task he was given. What saved him in the end, and gave him a second wind, was a wave of energy that the warrior finds within himself when everything seems lost.
“Many apprentices, after searching for years and not finding anything to satisfy their expectations, retire disappointed without knowing that maybe they were just a few steps from their goal.”
He shook his head and commented sadly:
“We should not die on the beach after swimming so far…”
“Once he has gained flexibility, humility, a sense of independence, control of details, and persistence, a warrior in search of impeccability knows that he has gained the power of his decisions. He is authorized to do or not do, according to what suits him, and nobody can force him to do anything. It is at this point that he needs, more than ever, to be the owner of his emotions and of his mind, because clarity joined with power make an explosive mixture. It can easily make a man reckless.”
“The path of the warrior consists of saving energy; everything that goes against that threatens his intent to be impeccable. But sometimes, because of the surplus of power which has accumulated in his luminosity, circumstances can take a particularly hard turn for him.”
“His dilemma is the same which faces a hang-glider who, after struggling for hours to get up to the mountaintop carrying his heavy equipment, finds that weather conditions are no longer right for the flight. In a situation like that, it is easier for the athlete to decide to jump anyway, than decide to remain on the ground. If he hasn’t learned to control his decisions appropriately, the most probable outcome is that he jumps to his death.”
“In the same way, there will be times when the apprentice forgets that his objective is not to nourish his ego, and he enters into situations which are stronger than him. Not only can this be fatal, but it constitutes a serious breach of discipline that will plug him into the labyrinths of power. In these cases, power becomes his executioner.”
“A warrior of knowledge does not senselessly surrender to the excitement of war. First he observes the conditions, gauges his possibilities, and establishes his support points. Then, depending on this evaluation, he will rush forth or retreat without the slightest hesitation. He does not deal his blows out blindly, but turns every step into an immaculate exercise of strategy.”
“The apprentice who does not learn in time to decide how, when, and with whom he must enter into battle, is removed. Either because someone kills him, or because he is defeated so many times that he cannot rise again.”
“The warrior’s final challenge is to balance all the attributes of his path. Once he does that, his purpose becomes inflexible. He is no longer moved by a desperate desire for gain. He is the owner of his will, and can put it to his personal service. When he arrives at that point, the warrior has learned how to be impeccable. And for him to continue being impeccable depends totally on the energy he has accumulated.”
He gave as an example an apprentice who uses his recently won powers to become rich. He then comes to a forked road, either entering into the mindset of ‘I want this’, ‘I want that’, or to cultivate intent. If he chooses the first option, he has arrived at the end of his path, because no matter how much energy he dedicates to them, the yearnings of the ego are never really satisfied. In the second option, on the other hand, he has found his route to freedom.
“Intent is the tuning of our attention to cosmic awareness, which transforms our volition into commands of the Eagle. We must be daring to attempt it deliberately, but, once there, everything becomes possible. Intent allows sorcerers to live in a non-ordinary world, and to intend a destiny of freedom. For them, freedom is a fact, not just a Utopia.”
“By ignoring the principles of the warrior’s way, modern man has wound up in a diabolical trap, made up of family, religious and social concerns. He works eight hours a day in order to maintain his way of life. Then he returns home, where the wife of always awaits him, and his children, identical to any other of a billion children, will demand things from him and force him to continue in his chains, until his powers are drained and he becomes a useless object who sits meditating over his memories in a corner of the house. They told him that this is happiness, but he doesn’t feel happy, he feels shackled. Be Warriors, stop that! Realize your potential and free yourselves from whatever! Don’t impose limits on yourselves. If you can defy the force of gravity and fly, that’s great! And if you still have the impetus to challenge death and buy a ticket to eternity, that is tremendous!”
“Take a risk! Get out of the trap of self-reflection and dare to perceive all that is humanly possible! A warrior of knowledge makes an effort to be authentic, and he won’t accept any compromises, because the object of his fight is total freedom.”