(The Universal Spiderweb by Armando Torres)
Carlos used to tell endless stories about his personal history. He changed details blatantly every time that he told them to different audiences, no matter if there was anyone present who had already heard that same story told differently. The result of using this strategy was sometimes fun, sometimes disastrous, since it generated in some of his listeners the conviction that he was an inveterate liar who only sought to deceive people.
He even used to give information about the teachings that seemed contradictory, in a way that made many people feel confused. For example, if when recapitulating one should breathe from right to left, or from left to right. Also, whenever we practiced the exercises, he sometimes changed movements; besides not following a very strict order, he did more or less the same regarding his age and nationality to the extent that nobody ever knew for sure if he was Mexican-American, Brazilian or Peruvian.
Today we know that in different places he was known by different names; he used to live alternating lives in which he exercised other professions, different from anthropologist or famous writer. With all these, Carlos wanted to show us that we should fight to be free from social conventions.
In a cycle of talks that he gave in Mexico City, I heard how people commented on how the nagual repeated himself. When I had an opportunity, I asked him about it. He said he had been doing it deliberately, that it was a strategy of the spirit to record certain concepts in people’s minds.
That day he was unusually quiet; he seemed annoyed about something. To break the ice and start a conversation, I asked him why he maintained such a system of tricks. It had been a long time that I’d wanted to ask him about it. He answered dryly that everything was part of the training received from don Juan, then he made up an excuse and said goodbye. He left me with the sensation that by asking him about that matter, I had done something inappropriate. However, on the following occasion that we met, he brought up the matter himself, and said that all those procedures were part of the art of stalking, just as don Juan had taught him.
“If one is not so rigid and does not take himself too seriously, certainly he can enjoy a lot more in his life,” he said with a tone of confidence. When I asked him, half-joking, how he felt frying hamburgers, he told me how he got to do the most bizarre jobs: “Frying burgers was nothing, once I was even living as a beggar,” he said with a broad smile.
Carlos was an excellent storyteller; he had a gift for keeping his listeners magnetized for hours with his talks. But on several occasions, he told stories that contradicted what he had written or said before. In addition, there were rumors among those who were the closest to the nagual. They commented about details of teachings that they allegedly received from him directly, and they were remarkably different from what had been publicly disclosed.
I had also witnessed this. He told me stories in our conversations which I had no idea how to categorize, since they often contradicted the official version that he’d said or written previously.
For example, there’s the story of how he really met don Juan Matus. In one of our conversations, Carlos told me that don Juan himself was the one who gave him the task to write about the knowledge, and that was the reason why he went to study at the university.
I interrupted him: “I’m sorry, I thought that you met don Juan just because of your academic activities.” He took a moment before answering:
“For some reason that I didn’t understand back then, don Juan made me slightly change the story of our meeting. I’ve only told a part of what really happened. Basically, the version in the books is correct, but he didn’t let me mention something at that time that would have seemed crazy: our encounter in the interstate bus station was not accidental; he himself had instructed me in a state of heightened awareness about the circumstances in which I had to be involved in order to get to know him in the daily world.”
“And what about your anthropologist friend, the one who was with you at the bus station?” I asked.
“Do you mean Bill? He served as a witness to the nagual’s plan, and just for that, he earned a true gift of power.”
“So, how did you really get to know don Juan?” I asked full of curiosity.
He said that, before meeting don Juan, he had been part of a squad of the US army. On one occasion, when they were carrying out military exercises in a lonely area of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, he got wrapped up in a problem which put his life at serious risk. As a consequence of a misunderstanding he had with other soldiers, they had shot him in the abdomen. His assailants drove him in a jeep and threw him into a gap between the stones in the middle of nowhere and left him there to die; then they fled. This was the place where don Juan Matus, an old shaman that wandered around that solitary area, found him. In his words: “Years passed before I could remember what really happened to me those days. In my delirium, I thought that I was dead. I saw, as if I was in the middle of a dream, an old Indian who treated my wound. The days that followed were like a hallucination; at that time, I knew nothing about heightened awareness.”
“When I woke up, I was lying on a pile of herbs inside a cave. The stranger introduced himself as a sorcerer, and said that his name was Juan Matus, and that he was going to try to fix me, but he couldn’t guarantee anything because my condition had been serious and that my chances were slim.”
“My recovery was slow. During that period don Juan maintained me exclusively at levels of heightened awareness. He said that finding me in such a condition was an omen that indicated to him that he should take charge of me, and that for that reason, he was going to teach me his secrets. Then he explained to me who he was, and what he intended to do with me. Incredibly, I understood everything he said, and, without thinking twice, I accepted his offer of freedom.
When I asked him why he was helping me, he told me that he was doing it because it was a command of the spirit, since both of us were the same. I said nothing; however, in my mind, I considered myself more important than an Indian. As if he could read my mind, he told me amid laughter that he was was a seer, and that we were equal in the sense that sorcerers form lineages and that a lineage is made up of cyclic beings whose energy presents similar patterns, and that was the reason why we were the same.”
“That doesn’t mean in any way that those who arrive are reincarnations of warriors of other times, but rather, they present the same energy patterns as those, meaning that they have the same energy configuration as their predecessors.”
If we observe carefully, we can see that this is not such a crazy idea after all, since we can attest to that, in fact, there are similar people in the world. That is an effect of the rule of the nagual.
“Later on, don Juan realized that my luminous structure was actually different from his. When he saw that I had only three compartments in my luminosity while he had four, he realized that he had made a mistake. He deduced that the failure had been a design of power, and that meant something of supreme importance.”
“Don Juan interpreted that mistake as a sign to make the knowledge of the sorcerers public, so, master strategist that he was, he designed the perfect plan to bring that knowledge to light. He did it this way because he knew that my energy configuration predicted change.”
Carlos said that when he returned home, he felt a deep shudder throughout his whole being that shook him profoundly. Suddenly, he concluded his military affairs, and his ambition of becoming a fine artist was put on hold. His attention became more focused on studies in the field of sociology, and he ended up studying anthropology at UCLA.
“Without even realizing it, I kept following step by step the strategy designed by don Juan, until the time when I “accidentally” met him in that bus station. So, when I wrote my thesis for the doctorate at the university, I was in fact following the plan elaborated by don Juan, since, according to him, nobody would pay much attention if his message were exposed in a novel format, or in an esoteric presentation.”