Breaking The Parameters Of Normal Perception: The Unavoidable Issue Of Mankind

(Magical Passes by Carlos Castaneda)

It was the belief of the sorcerers of don Juan’s lineage that there is an inherent amount of energy existing in each one of us, an amount which is not subject to the onslaughts of outside forces for augmenting it or for decreasing it. They believed that this quantity of energy was sufficient to accomplish something which those sorcerers deemed to be the obsession of every man on Earth: breaking the parameters of normal perception. Don Juan Matus was convinced that our incapacity to break those parameters was induced by our culture and social milieu. He maintained that our culture and social milieu deployed every bit of our inherent energy in fulfilling established behavioral patterns which didn’t allow us to break those parameters of normal perception.

“Why in the world would I, or anyone else, want to break those parameters?” I asked don Juan on one occasion.

“Breaking those parameters is the unavoidable issue of mankind,” he replied. “Breaking them means the entrance into unthinkable worlds of a pragmatic value in no way different from the value of our world of everyday life. Regardless of whether or not we accept this premise, we are obsessed with breaking those parameters, and we fail miserably at it, hence the profusion of drugs and stimulants and religious rituals and ceremonies among modem man.”

“Why do you think we have failed so miserably, don Juan?” I asked.

“Our failure to fulfill our subliminal wish, he said, “is due to the fact that we tackle it in a helter-skelter way. Our tools are too crude. They are equivalent to trying to bring down a wall by ramming it with the head. Man never considers this breakage in terms of energy. For sorcerers, success is determined only by the accessibility or the inaccessibility of energy.

“Since it is impossible,” he continued, “to augment our inherent energy, the only avenue open for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico was the redeployment of that energy. For them, this process of redeployment began with the magical passes, and the way they affected the physical body.”

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