The Tumbler; The Separation Between the Tumbling and the Circular Aspects; Aspects of Alignment: How Will Changes to Intent
(The Fire from Within by Carlos Castaneda)
Don Juan was about to start his explanation of the mastery of awareness, but he changed his mind and stood up. We had been sitting in the big room, observing a moment of quiet.
“I want you to try seeing the Eagle’s emanations,” he said. “For that you must first move your assemblage point until you see the cocoon of man.”
We walked from the house to the center of town. We sat down on an empty, worn park bench in front of the church, it was early afternoon; a sunny, windy day with lots of people milling around.
He repeated, as if he were trying to drill it into me, that alignment is a unique force because it either helps the assemblage point shift, or it keeps it glued to its customary position. The aspect of alignment that keeps the point stationary, he said, is will; and the aspect that makes it shift is intent. He remarked that one of the most haunting mysteries is how will, the impersonal force of alignment, changes into intent, the personalized force, which is at the service of each individual.
“The strangest part of this mystery is that the change is so easy to accomplish,” he went on. “But what is not so easy is to convince ourselves that it is possible. There, right there, is our safety catch. We have to be convinced. And none of us wants to be.”
He told me then that I was in my keenest state of awareness, and that it was possible for me to intend my assemblage point to shift deeper into my left side, to a dreaming position. He said that warriors should never attempt seeing unless they are aided by dreaming. I argued that to fall asleep in public was not one of my fortés. He clarified his statement, saying that to move the assemblage point away from its natural setting and to keep it fixed at a new location is to be asleep; with practice, seers learn to be asleep and yet behave as if nothing is happening to them.
After a moment’s pause he added that for purposes of seeing the cocoon of man, one has to gaze at people from behind, as they walk away. It is useless to gaze at people face to face, because the front of the egglike cocoon of man has a protective shield, which seers call the front plate, it is an almost impregnable, unyielding shield that protects us throughout our lives against the onslaught of a peculiar force that stems from the emanations themselves.
He also told me not to be surprised if my body was stiff, as though it were frozen; he said that I was going to feel very much like someone standing in the middle of a room looking at the street through a window, and that speed was of the essence, as people were going to move extremely fast by my seeing window. He told me then to relax my muscles, shut off my internal dialogue, and let my assemblage point drift away under the spell of inner silence. He urged me to smack myself gently but firmly on my right side, between my hipbone and my ribcage.
I did that three times and I was sound asleep. It was a most peculiar state of sleep. My body was dormant, but I was perfectly aware of everything that was taking place. I could hear don Juan talking to me and I could follow every one of his statements as if I were awake, yet I could not move my body at all.
Don Juan said that a man was going to walk by my seeing window and that I should try to see him. I unsuccessfully attempted to move my head and then a shiny egglike shape appeared, it was resplendent. I was awed by the sight and before I could recover from my surprise, it was gone. It floated away, bobbing up and down.
Everything had been so sudden and fast that it made me feel frustrated and impatient. I felt that I was beginning to wake up. Don Juan talked to me again and urged me to relax. He said that I had no right and no time to be impatient. Suddenly, another luminous being appeared and moved away. It seemed to be made of a white fluorescent shag.
Don Juan whispered in my ear that if I wanted to, my eyes were capable of slowing down everything they focused on. Then he warned me that another man was coming. I realized at that instant that there were two voices. The one I had just heard was the same one that had admonished me to be patient. That was don Juan’s. The other, the one that told me to use my eyes to slow down movement, was the voice of seeing.
That afternoon, I saw ten luminous beings in slow motion. The voice of seeing guided me to witness in them everything don Juan had told me about the glow of awareness. There was a vertical band with a stronger amber glow on the right side of those egglike luminous creatures, perhaps one-tenth of the total volume of the cocoon. The voice said that that was man’s band of awareness. The voice pointed out a dot on man’s band, a dot with an intense shine; it was high on the oblong shapes, almost on the crest of them, on the surface of the cocoon; the voice said that it was the assemblage point.
When I saw each luminous creature in profile, from the point of view of its body, its egglike shape was like a gigantic asymmetrical yoyo that was standing edgewise, or like an almost round pot that was resting on its side with its lid on. The part that looked like a lid was the front plate; it was perhaps one-fifth the thickness of the total cocoon.
I would have gone on seeing those creatures, but don Juan said that I should now gaze at people face to face and sustain my gaze until I had broken the barrier and I was seeing the emanations.
I followed his command. Almost instantaneously, I saw a most brilliant array of live, compelling fibers of light. It was a dazzling sight that immediately shattered my balance. I fell down on the cement walk on my side. From there, I saw the compelling fibers of light multiply themselves. They burst open and myriads of other fibers came out of them. But the fibers, compelling as they were, somehow did not interfere with my ordinary view. There were scores of people going into church. I was no longer seeing them. There were quite a few women and men just around the bench. I wanted to focus my eyes on them, but instead I noticed how one of those fibers of light bulged suddenly. It became like a ball of fire that was perhaps seven feet in diameter, it rolled on me. My first impulse was to roll out of its way. Before I could even move a muscle the ball had hit me. I felt it as clearly as if someone had punched me gently in the stomach. An instant later another ball of fire hit me, this time with considerably more strength, and then don Juan whacked me really hard on the cheek with his open hand. I jumped up involuntarily and lost sight of the fibers of light and the balloons that were hitting me.
Don Juan said that I had successfully endured my first brief encounter with the Eagle’s emanations, but that a couple of shoves from the tumbler had dangerously opened up my gap. He added that the balls that had hit me were called the rolling force, or the tumbler.
We had returned to his house, although I did not remember how or when. I had spent hours in a sort of semi-sleeping state. Don Juan and the other seers of his group had given me large amounts of water to drink. They had also submerged me in an ice-cold tub of water for short periods of time.
“Were those fibers I saw the Eagle’s emanations?” I asked don Juan.
“Yes. But you didn’t really see them,” he replied. “No sooner had you begun to see than the tumbler stopped you. If you had remained a moment longer it would have blasted you.”
“What exactly is the tumbler?” I asked.
“It is a force from the Eagle’s emanations,” he said. “A ceaseless force that strikes us every instant of our lives, it is lethal when seen, but otherwise we are oblivious to it, in our ordinary lives, because we have protective shields. We have consuming interests that engage all our awareness. We are permanently worried about our station, our possessions. These shields, however, do not keep the tumbler away, they simply keep us from seeing it directly, protecting us in this way from getting hurt by the fright of seeing the balls of fire hitting us. Shields are a great help and a great hindrance to us. They pacify us and at the same time fool us. They give us a false sense of security.”
He warned me that a moment would come in my life when I would be without any shields, uninterruptedly at the mercy of the tumbler. He said that it is an obligatory stage in the life of a warrior, known as losing the human form.
I asked him to explain to me once and for all what the human form is and what it means to lose it.
He replied that seers describe the human form as the compelling force of alignment of the emanations lit by the glow of awareness on the precise spot on which normally man’s assemblage point is fixated. It is the force that makes us into persons. Thus, to be a person is to be compelled to affiliate with that force of alignment and consequently to be affiliated with the precise spot where it originates.
By reason of their activities, at a given moment the assemblage points of warriors drift toward the left. It is a permanent move, which results in an uncommon sense of aloofness, or control, or even abandon. That drift of the assemblage point entails a new alignment of emanations. It is the beginning of a series of greater shifts. Seers very aptly called this initial shift losing the human form, because it marks an inexorable movement of the assemblage point away from its original setting, resulting in the irreversible loss of our affiliation to the force that makes us persons.
He asked me then to describe all the details I could remember about the balls of fire. I told him that I had seen them so briefly I was not sure I could describe them in detail.
He pointed out that seeing is an euphemism for moving the assemblage point, and that if I moved mine a fraction more to the left I would have a clear picture of the balls of fire, a picture which I could interpret then as having remembered them.
I tried to have a clear picture, but I couldn’t, so I described what I remembered.
He listened attentively and then urged me to recall if they were balls or circles of fire. I told him I didn’t remember.
He explained that those balls of fire are of crucial importance to human beings because they are the expression of a force that pertains to all details of life and death, something that the new seers call the rolling force.
I asked him to clarify what he meant by all the details of life and death.
“The rolling force is the means through which the Eagle distributes life and awareness for safekeeping,” he said. “But it also is the force that, let’s say, collects the rent. It makes all living beings die. What you saw today was called by the ancient seers the tumbler.”
He said that seers describe it as an eternal line of iridescent rings, or balls of fire, that roll onto living beings ceaselessly. Luminous organic beings meet the rolling force head on, until the day when the force proves to be too much for them and the creatures finally collapse. The old seers were mesmerized by seeing how the tumbler then tumbles them into the beak of the Eagle to be devoured. That was the reason they called it the tumbler.
“You said that it is a mesmerizing sight. Have you yourself seen it rolling human beings?” I asked.
“Certainly I’ve seen it,” he replied, and after a pause he added, “You and I saw it only a short while ago in Mexico City.”
His assertion was so farfetched that I felt obliged to tell him that this time he was wrong. He laughed and reminded me that on that occasion, while both of us were sitting on a bench in the Alameda Park in Mexico City, we had witnessed the death of a man. He said that I had recorded the event in my everyday-life memory as well as in my left-side emanations.
As don Juan spoke to me I had the sensation of something inside me becoming lucid by degrees, and I could visualize with uncanny clarity the whole scene in the park. The man was lying on the grass with three policemen standing by him to keep onlookers away. I distinctly remembered don Juan hitting me on my back to make me change levels of awareness. And then I saw. My seeing was imperfect. I was unable to shake off the sight of the world of everyday life.
What I ended up with was a composite of filaments of the most gorgeous colors superimposed on the buildings and the traffic. The filaments were actually lines of colored light that came from above. They had inner life; they were bright and bursting with energy.
When I looked at the dying man, I saw what don Juan was talking about; something that was at once like circles of fire, or iridescent tumbleweeds, was rolling everywhere I focused my eyes. The circles were rolling on people, on don Juan, on me. I felt them in my stomach and became ill.
Don Juan told me to focus my eyes on the dying man. I saw him at one moment curling up, just as a sowbug curls itself up upon being touched. The incandescent circles pushed him away, as if they were casting him aside, out of their majestic, inalterable path.
I had not liked the feeling. The circles of fire had not scared me; they were not awesome, or sinister. I did not feel morbid or somber. The circles rather had nauseated me. I’d felt them in the pit of my stomach. It was a revulsion that I’d felt that day.
Remembering them conjured up again the total feeling of discomfort I had experienced on that occasion. As I got ill, don Juan laughed until he was out of breath.
“You’re such an exaggerated fellow.” he said. “The rolling force is not that bad. It’s lovely, in fact. The new seers recommend that we open ourselves to it. The old seers also opened themselves to it, but for reasons and purposes guided mostly by self-importance and obsession.”
“The new seers, on the other hand, make friends with it. They become familiar with that force by handling it without any self-importance. The result is staggering in its consequences.”
He said that a shift of the assemblage point is all that is needed to open oneself to the rolling force. He added that if the force is seen in a deliberate manner, there is minimal danger. A situation that is extremely dangerous, however, is an involuntary shift of the assemblage point owing, perhaps, to physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion, disease, or simply a minor emotional or physical crisis, such as being frightened or being drunk.
“When the assemblage point shifts involuntarily, the rolling force cracks the cocoon,” he went on. “I’ve talked many times about a gap that man has below his navel. It’s not really below the navel itself, but in the cocoon, at the height of the navel. The gap is more like a dent, a natural flaw in the otherwise smooth cocoon. It is there where the tumbler hits us ceaselessly and where the cocoon cracks.”
He went on to explain that if it is a minor shift of the assemblage point, the crack is very small, the cocoon quickly repairs itself, and people experience what everybody has at one time or another: blotches of color and contorted shapes, which remain even if the eyes are closed.
If the shift is considerable, the crack also is extensive and it takes time for the cocoon to repair itself, as in the case of warriors who purposely use power plants to elicit that shift or people who take drugs and unwittingly do the same. In these cases men feel numb and cold; they have difficulty talking or even thinking; it is as if they have been frozen from inside.
Don Juan said that in cases in which the assemblage point shifts drastically because of the effects of trauma or of a mortal disease, the rolling force produces a crack the length of the cocoon; the cocoon collapses and curls in on itself, and the individual dies.
“Can a voluntary shift also produce a gap of that nature?” I asked.
“Sometimes,” he replied. “We’re really frail. As the tumbler hits us over and over, death comes to us through the gap. Death is the rolling force. When it finds weakness in the gap of a luminous being it automatically cracks it open and makes it collapse.”
“Does every living being have a gap?” I asked.
“Of course,” he replied. “If it didn’t have one it wouldn’t die. The gaps are different, however, in size and configuration. Man’s gap is a bowl-like depression the size of a fist, a very frail vulnerable configuration. The gaps of other organic creatures are very much like man’s; some are stronger than ours and others are weaker. But the gap of inorganic beings is really different. It’s more like a long thread, a hair of luminosity; consequently, inorganic beings are infinitely more durable than we are.”
“There is something hauntingly appealing about the long life of those creatures, and the old seers could not resist being carried away by that appeal.”
He said that the same force can produce two effects that are diametrically opposed. The old seers were imprisoned by the rolling force, and the new seers are rewarded for their toils with the gift of freedom. By becoming familiar with the rolling force through the mastery of intent, the new seers, at a given moment, open their own cocoons and the force floods them rather than rolling them up like a curled-up sowbug. The final result is their total and instantaneous disintegration.
I asked him a lot of questions about the survival of awareness after the luminous being is consumed by the fire from within. He did not answer. He simply chuckled, shrugged his shoulders, and went on to say that the old seers’ obsession with the tumbler blinded them to the other side of that force. The new seers, with their usual thoroughness in refusing tradition, went to the other extreme. They were at first totally averse to focusing their seeing on the tumbler; they argued that they needed to understand the force of the emanations at large in its aspect of lifegiver and enhancer of awareness.
“They realized that it is infinitely easier to destroy something,” don Juan went on, “than it is to build it and maintain it. To roll life away is nothing compared to giving it and nourishing it. Of course, the new seers were wrong on this count, but in due course they corrected their mistake.”
“How were they wrong, don Juan?”
“It’s an error to isolate anything for seeing. At the beginning, the new seers did exactly the opposite from what their predecessors did. They focused with equal attention on the other side of the tumbler. What happened to them was as terrible as, if not worse than, what happened to the old seers. They died stupid deaths, just as the average man does. They didn’t have the mystery or the malignancy of the ancient seers, nor had they the quest for freedom of the seers of today.”
“Those first new seers served everybody. Because they were focusing their seeing on the lifegiving side of the emanations, they were filled with love and kindness. But that didn’t keep them from being tumbled. They were vulnerable, just as were the old seers who were filled with morbidity.”
He said that for the modern-day new seers, to be left stranded after a life of discipline and toil, just like men who have never had a purposeful moment in their lives, was intolerable. Don Juan said that these new seers realized, after they had readopted their tradition, that the old seers’ knowledge of the rolling force had been complete; at one point the old seers had concluded that there were, in effect, two different aspects of the same force. The tumbling aspect relates exclusively to destruction and death. The circular aspect, on the other hand, is what maintains life and awareness, fulfillment and purpose. They had chosen, however, to deal exclusively with the tumbling aspect.
“Gazing in teams, the new seers were able to see the separation between the tumbling and the circular aspects,” he explained. “They saw that both forces are fused, but are not the same. The circular force comes to us just before the tumbling force; they are so close to each other that they seem the same.”
“The reason it’s called the circular force is that it comes in rings, threadlike hoops of iridescence – a very delicate affair indeed. And just like the tumbling force, it strikes all living beings ceaselessly, but for a different purpose. It strikes them to give them strength, direction, awareness; to give them life.”
“What the new seers discovered is that the balance of the two forces in every living being is a very delicate one,” he continued, “if at any given time an individual feels that the tumbling force strikes harder than the circular one, that means the balance is upset; the tumbling force strikes harder and harder from then on, until it cracks the living being’s gap and makes it die.”
He added that out of what I had called balls of fire comes an iridescent hoop exactly the size of living beings, whether men, trees, microbes, or allies.
“Are there different-size circles?” I asked.
“Don’t take me so literally,” he protested. “There are no circles to speak of, just a circular force that gives seers, who are dreaming it, the feeling of rings. And there are no different sizes either. It’s one indivisible force that fits all living beings, organic and inorganic.”
“Why did the old seers focus on the tumbling aspect?” I asked.
“Because they believed that their lives depended on seeing it,” he replied. “They were sure that their seeing was going to give them answers to age-old questions. You see, they figured that if they unraveled the secrets of the rolling force they would be invulnerable and immortal. The sad part is that in one way or another, they did unravel the secrets and yet they were neither invulnerable nor immortal.”
“The new seers changed it all by realizing that there is no way to aspire to immortality as long as man has a cocoon.”
Don Juan explained that the old seers apparently never realized that the human cocoon is a receptacle and cannot sustain the onslaught of the rolling force forever. In spite of all the knowledge that they had accumulated, they were in the end certainly no better, and perhaps much worse, off than the average man.
“In what way were they left worse off than the average man?” I asked.
“Their tremendous knowledge forced them to take it for granted that their choices were infallible,” he said. “So they chose to live at any cost.”
Don Juan looked at me and smiled. With his theatrical pause he was telling me something I could not fathom.
“They chose to live,” he repeated. “Just as they chose to become trees in order to assemble worlds with those nearly unreachable great bands.”
“What do you mean by that, don Juan?”
“I mean that they used the rolling force to shift their assemblage points to unimaginable dreaming positions, instead of letting it roll them to the beak of the Eagle to be devoured.”
The Death Defiers
I arrived at Genaro’s house around 2:00 p. m. Don Juan and I became involved in conversation, and then don Juan made me shift into heightened awareness.
“Here we are again, the three of us, just as we were the day we went to that flat rock,” don Juan said. “And tonight we’re going to make another trip to that area.”
“You have enough knowledge now to draw very serious conclusions about that place and its effects on awareness.”
“What is it with that place, don Juan?”
“Tonight you’re going to find out some gruesome facts that the old seers collected about the rolling force; and you’re going to see what I meant when I told you that the old seers chose to live at any cost.”
Don Juan turned to Genaro, who was about to fall asleep. He nudged him.
“Wouldn’t you say, Genaro, that the old seers-were dreadful men?” don Juan asked.
“Absolutely,” Genaro said in a crisp tone and then seemed to succumb to fatigue.
He began to nod noticeably. In an instant he was sound asleep, his head resting on his chest with his chin tucked in. He snored.
I wanted to laugh out loud. But then I noticed that Genaro was staring at me, as if he were sleeping with his eyes open.
“They were such dreadful men that they even defied death,” Genaro added between snores.
“Aren’t you curious to know how those gruesome men defied death?” don Juan asked me.
He seemed to be urging me to ask for an example of their gruesomeness. He paused and looked at me with what I thought was a glint of expectation in his eyes.
“You’re waiting for me to ask for an example, aren’t you?” I said.
“This is a great moment,” he said, patting me on the back and laughing. “My benefactor had me on the edge of my seat at this point. I asked him to give me an example, and he did; now I’m going to give you one whether you ask for it or not.”
“What are you going to do?” I asked, so frightened that my stomach was tied in knots and my voice cracked.
It took quite a while for don Juan to stop laughing. Every time he started to speak, he’d get an attack of coughing laughter.
“As Genaro told you, the old seers were dreadful men,” he said, rubbing his eyes. “There was something they tried to avoid at all costs: they didn’t want to die. You may say that the average man doesn’t want to die either, but the advantage that the old seers had over the average man was that they had the concentration and the discipline to intend things away; and they actually intended death away.”
He paused and looked at me with raised eyebrows. He said that I was falling behind, that I was not asking my usual questions. I remarked that it was plain to me that he was leading me to ask if the old seers had succeeded in intending death away, but he himself had already told me that their knowledge about the tumbler had not saved them from dying.
“They succeeded in intending death away,” he said, pronouncing his words with extra care. “But they still had to die.”
“How did they intend death away?” I asked.
“They observed their allies,” he said, “and seeing that they were living beings with a much greater resilience to the rolling force, the seers patterned themselves on their allies.”
“The old seers realized,” don Juan explained, “that only organic beings have a gap that resembles a bowl. Its size and shape and its brittleness make it the ideal configuration to hasten the cracking and collapsing of the luminous shell under the onslaughts of the tumbling force. The allies, on the other hand, who have only a line for a gap, present such a small surface to the rolling force as to be practically immortal. Their cocoons can sustain the onslaughts of the tumbler indefinitely, because hairline gaps offer no ideal configuration to it.”
“The old seers developed the most bizarre techniques for closing their gaps,” don Juan continued. “They were essentially correct in assuming that a hairline gap is more durable than a bowl-like one.”
“Are those techniques still in existence?” I asked.
“No, they are not,” he said. “But some of the seers who practiced them are.”
For reasons unknown to me, his statement caused a reaction of sheer terror in me. My breathing was altered instantly, and I couldn’t control its rapid pace.
“They’re still alive to this day, isn’t that so, Genaro?” don Juan asked.
“Absolutely,” Genaro muttered from an apparent state of deep sleep.
I asked don Juan if he knew the reason for my being so frightened. He reminded me about a previous occasion in that very room when they had asked me if I had noticed the weird creatures that had come in the moment Genaro opened the door.
“That day your assemblage point went very deep into the left side and assembled a frightening world,” he went on. “But I have already said that to you; what you don’t remember is that you went directly to a very remote world and scared yourself pissless there.”
Don Juan turned to Genaro, who was snoring peacefully with his legs stretched out in front of him.
“Wasn’t he scared pissless, Genaro?” he asked.
“Absolutely pissless,” Genaro muttered, and don Juan laughed.
“I want you to know that we don’t blame you for being scared,” don Juan continued. “We, ourselves, are revolted by some of the actions of the old seers. I’m sure that you have realized by now that what you can’t remember about that night is that you saw the old seers who are still alive.”
I wanted to protest that I had realized nothing, but I could not voice my words. I had to clear my throat over and over before I could articulate a word. Genaro had stood up and was gently patting my upper back, by my neck, as if I were choking.
“You have a frog in your throat,” he said.
I thanked him in a high squeaky voice.
“No, I think you have a chicken there,” he added and sat down to sleep.
Don Juan said that the new seers had rebelled against all the bizarre practices of the old seers and declared them not only useless but injurious to our total being. They even went so far as to ban those techniques from whatever was taught to new warriors; and for generations there was no mention of those practices at all.
It was in the early part of the eighteenth century that the nagual Sebastian, a member of don Juan’s direct line of naguals, rediscovered the existence of those techniques.
“How did he rediscover them?” I asked.
“He was a superb stalker, and because of his impeccability he got a chance to learn marvels,” don Juan replied.
He said that one day as the nagual Sebastian was about to start his daily routines – he was the sexton at the cathedral in the city where he lived – he found a middle-aged Indian man who seemed to be in a quandary at the door of the church.
The nagual Sebastian went to the man’s side and asked him if he needed help.
“I need a bit of energy to close my gap,” the man said to him in a loud clear voice. “Would you give me some of your energy?”
Don Juan said that according to the story, the nagual Sebastian was dumbfounded. He did not know what the man was talking about. He offered to take the Indian to see the parish priest. The man lost his patience and angrily accused the nagual Sebastian of stalling.
“I need your energy because you’re a nagual,” he said. “Let’s go quietly.”
The nagual Sebastian succumbed to the magnetic power of the stranger and meekly went with him into the mountains. He was gone for many days. When he came back he not only had a new outlook about the ancient seers, but detailed knowledge of their techniques. The stranger was an ancient Toltec. One of the last survivors.
“The nagual Sebastian found out marvels about the old seers,” don Juan went on. “He was the one who first knew how grotesque and aberrant they really were. Before him, that knowledge was only hearsay.”
“One night my benefactor and the nagual Elias gave me a sample of those aberrations. They really showed it to Genaro and me together, so it’s only proper that we both show you the same sample.”
I wanted to talk in order to stall; I needed time to calm down, to think things out. But before I could say anything, don Juan and Genaro were practically dragging me out of the house. They headed for the same eroded hills we had visited before.
We stopped at the bottom of a large barren hill. Don Juan pointed toward some distant mountains to the south, and said that between the place where we stood and a natural cut in one of those mountains, a cut that looked like an open mouth, there were at least seven sites where the ancient seers had focused all the power of their awareness.
Don Juan said that those seers had not only been knowledgeable and daring but downright successful. He added that his benefactor had showed him and Genaro a site where the old seers, driven by their love for life, had buried themselves alive and actually intended the rolling force away.
“There is nothing that would catch the eye in those places,” he went on. “The old seers were careful not to leave marks. It is just a landscape. One has to see to know where those places are.”
He said that he did not want to walk to the faraway sites, but would take me to the one that was nearest. I insisted on knowing what we were after. He said that we were going to see the buried seers, and that for that we had to stay until it got dark under the cover of some green bushes. He pointed them out; they were perhaps half a mile away, up a steep slope.
We reached the patch of bushes and sat down as comfortably as we could. He began then to explain in a very low voice that in order to get energy from the earth, ancient seers used to bury themselves for periods of time, depending on what they wanted to accomplish. The more difficult their task, the longer their burial period.
Don Juan stood up and in a melodramatic way showed me a spot a few yards from where we were.
“Two old seers are buried there,” he said. “They buried themselves about two thousand years ago to escape death, not in the spirit of running away from it but in the spirit of defying it.”
Don Juan asked Genaro to show me the exact spot where the old seers were buried. I turned to look at Genaro and realized that he was sitting by my side sound asleep again. But to my utter amazement, he jumped up and barked like a dog and ran on all fours to the spot don Juan was pointing out. There he ran around the place in a perfect mime of a small dog.
I found his performance hilarious. Don Juan was nearly on the ground laughing.
“Genaro has shown you something extraordinary,” don Juan said, after Genaro had returned to where we were and had gone back to sleep. “He has shown you something about the assemblage point and dreaming. He’s dreaming now, but he can act as if he were fully awake and he can hear everything you say. From that position he can do more than if he were awake.”
He was silent for a moment as if assessing what to say next. Genaro snored rhythmically. Don Juan remarked how easy it was for him to find flaws with what the old seers had done, yet, in all fairness, he never tired of repeating how wonderful their accomplishments were. He said that they understood the earth to perfection. Not only did they discover and use the boost from the earth, but they also discovered that if they remained buried, their assemblage points aligned emanations that were ordinarily inaccessible, and that such an alignment engaged the earth’s strange, inexplicable capacity to deflect the ceaseless strikes of the rolling force.
Consequently, they developed the most astounding and complex techniques for burying themselves for extremely long periods of time without any detriment to themselves. In their fight against death, they learned how to elongate those periods to cover millennia.
It was a cloudy day, and night fell quickly. In no time at all, everything was in darkness. Don Juan stood up and guided me and the sleepwalker Genaro to an enormous flat oval rock that had caught my eye the moment we got to that place. It was similar to the flat rock we had visited before, but bigger. It occurred to me that the rock, enormous as it was, had deliberately been placed there.
“This is another site,” don Juan said. “This huge rock was placed here as a trap, to attract people. Soon you’ll know why.”
I felt a shiver run through my body. I thought I was going to faint. I knew that I was definitely overreacting and wanted to say something about it, but don Juan kept on talking in a hoarse whisper. He said that Genaro, since he was dreaming, had enough control over his assemblage point to move it until he could reach the specific emanations that would wake up whatever was around that rock. He recommended that I try to move my assemblage point, and follow Genaro’s.
He said that I could do it, first by setting up my unbending intent to move it, and second by letting the context of the situation dictate where it should move.
After a moment’s thought he whispered in my ear not to worry about procedures, because most of the really unusual things that happen to seers, or to the average man for that matter, happen by themselves, with only the intervention of intent.
He was silent for a moment and then added that the danger for me was going to be the buried seers’ inevitable attempt to scare me to death. He exhorted me to keep myself calm and not to succumb to fear, but follow Genaro’s movements.
I fought desperately not to be sick. Don Juan patted me on the back and said that I was an old pro at playing an innocent bystander. He assured me that I was not consciously refusing to let my assemblage point move, but that every human being does it automatically.
“Something is going to scare the living daylights out of you,” he whispered. “Don’t give up, because if you do, you’ll die and the old vultures around here are going to feast on your energy.”
“Let’s get out of here,” I pleaded. “I really don’t give a damn about getting an example of the old seers’ grotesqueness.”
“It’s too late,” Genaro said, fully awake now, standing by my side. “Even if we try to get away, the two seers and their allies on the other spot will cut you down. They have already made a circle around us. There are as many as sixteen awarenesses focused on you right now.”
“Who are they?” I whispered in Genaro’s ear.
“The four seers and their court,” he replied. “They’ve been aware of us since we got here.”
I wanted to turn tail and run for dear life, but don Juan held my arm and pointed to the sky. I noticed that a remarkable change in visibility had taken place. Instead of the pitch-black darkness that had prevailed, there was a pleasant dawn twilight. I made a quick assessment of the cardinal points. The sky was definitely lighter toward the east.
I felt a strange pressure around my head. My ears were buzzing. I felt cold and feverish at the same time. I was scared as I had never been before, but what bothered me was a nagging sensation of defeat, of being a coward. I felt nauseated and miserable.
Don Juan whispered in my ear. He said that I had to be on the alert, that the onslaught of the old seers would be felt by all three of us at any moment.
“You can grab on to me if you want to,” Genaro said in a fast whisper as if something were prodding him.
I hesitated for an instant. I did not want don Juan to believe that I was so scared I needed to hold on to Genaro.
“Here they come!” Genaro said in a loud whisper.
The world turned upside down instantaneously for me when something gripped me by my left ankle. I felt the coldness of death on my entire body. I knew I had stepped on an iron clamp, maybe a bear trap. That all flashed through my mind before I let out a piercing scream, as intense as my fright.
Don Juan and Genaro laughed out loud. They were flanking me no more than three feet away, but I was so terrified I did not even notice them.
“Sing! Sing for dear life!” I heard don Juan ordering me under his breath.
I tried to pull my foot loose. I felt then a sting, as if needles were piercing my skin. Don Juan insisted over and over that I sing. He and Genaro started to sing a popular song. Genaro spoke the lyrics as he looked at me from hardly two inches away. They sang off-key in raspy voices, getting so completely out of breath and so high out of the range of their voices that I ended up laughing.
“Sing, or you’re going to perish,” don Juan said to me.
“Let’s make a trio,” Genaro said, “We’ll sing a bolero.”
I joined them in an off-key trio. We sang for quite a while at the top of our voices, like drunkards. I felt that the iron grip on my leg was gradually letting go of me. I had not dared to look down at my ankle. At one moment I did and I realized then that there was no trap clutching me. A dark, headlike shape was biting me!
Only a supreme effort kept me from fainting. I felt I was getting sick and automatically tried to bend over, but somebody with superhuman strength grabbed me painlessly by the elbows and the nape of my neck and did not let me move. I got sick all over my clothes.
My revulsion was so complete that I began to fall in a faint. Don Juan sprinkled my face with some water from the small gourd he always carried when we went into the mountains. The water slid under my collar. The coldness restored my physical balance, but it did not affect the force that was holding me by my elbows and neck.
“I think you are going too far with your fright,” don Juan said loudly and in such a matter-of fact tone that he created an immediate feeling of order.
“Let’s sing again,” he added. “Let’s sing a song with substance – I don’t want any more boleros.”
I silently thanked him for his sobriety and for his grand style. I was so moved as I heard them singing “La Valentina” that I began to weep.
Because of my passion, they say
that ill fortune is on my way.
It doesn’t matter
that it might be the devil himself.
I do know how to die
I throw myself in your way.
If I am going to die tomorrow,
why not, once and for all, today?
All of my being staggered under the impact of that inconceivable juxtaposition of values. Never had a song meant so much to me. As I heard them sing those lyrics, which I ordinarily considered reeking with cheap sentimentalism, I thought I understood the ethos of the warrior.
Don Juan had drilled into me that warriors live with death at their side, and from the knowledge that death is with them they draw the courage to face anything. Don Juan had said that the worst that could happen to us is that we have to die, and since that is already our unalterable fate, we are free; those who have lost everything no longer have anything to fear.
I walked to don Juan and Genaro and embraced them to express my boundless gratitude and admiration for them.
Then I realized that nothing was holding me any longer. Without a word don Juan took my arm and guided me to sit on the flat rock.
“The show is just about to begin now,” Genaro said in a jovial tone as he tried to find a comfortable position to sit. “You’ve just paid your admission ticket. It’s all over your chest.”
He looked at me, and both of them began to laugh.
“Don’t sit too close to me,” Genaro said. “I don’t appreciate pukers. But don’t go too far, either. The old seers are not yet through with their tricks.”
I moved as close to them as politeness permitted. I was concerned about my fate for an instant, and then all my qualms became nonsense, for I noticed that some people were coming toward us. I could not make out their shapes clearly but I distinguished a mass of human figures moving in the semidarkness. They did not carry lanterns or flashlights with them, which at that hour they would still have needed. Somehow that detail worried me. I did not want to focus on it and I deliberately began to think rationally. I figured that we must have attracted attention with our loud singing and they were coming to investigate. Don Juan tapped me on the shoulder. He pointed with a movement of his chin to the men in front of the group of others.
“Those four are the old seers,” he said. “The rest are their allies.”
Before I could remark that they were just local peasants, I heard a swishing sound right behind me. I quickly turned around in a state of total alarm. My movement was so sudden that don Juan’s warning came too late.
“Don’t turn around!” I heard him yell.
His words were only background; they did not mean anything to me. On turning around, I saw that three grotesquely deformed men had climbed up on the rock right behind me; they were crawling toward me, with their mouths open in a nightmarish grimace and their arms outstretched to grab me.
I intended to scream at the top of my lungs, but what came out was an agonizing croak, as if something were obstructing my windpipe. I automatically rolled out of their reach and onto the ground.
As I stood up, don Juan jumped to my side, at the very same moment that a horde of men, led by those don Juan had pointed out, descended on me like vultures. They were actually squeaking like bats or rats. I yelled in terror. This time I was able to let out a piercing cry.
Don Juan, as nimbly as an athlete in top form, pulled me out of their clutches onto the rock. He told me in a stern voice not to turn around to look, no matter how scared I was. He said that the allies cannot push at all, but that they certainly could scare me and make me fall to the ground. On the ground, however, the allies could hold anybody down. If I were to fall on the ground by the place where the seers were buried, I would be at their mercy. They would rip me apart while their allies held me. He added that he had not told me all that before because he had hoped I would be forced to see and understand it by myself. His decision had nearly cost me my life. The sensation that the grotesque men were just behind me was nearly unbearable. Don Juan forcefully ordered me to keep calm and focus my attention on four men at the head of a crowd of perhaps ten or twelve. The instant I focused my eyes on them, as if on cue, they all advanced to the edge of the flat rock. They stopped there and began hissing like serpents. They walked back and forth. Their movement seemed to be synchronized. It was so consistent and orderly that it seemed to be mechanical. It was as if they were following a repetitive pattern, aimed at mesmerizing me.
“Don’t gaze at them, dear,” Genaro said to me as if he were talking to a child.
The laughter that followed was as hysterical as my fear. I laughed so hard that the sound reverberated on the surrounding hills.
The men stopped at once and seemed to be perplexed. I could distinguish the shapes of their heads bobbing up and down as if they were talking, deliberating among themselves. Then one of them jumped onto the rock.
“Watch out! That one is a seer!” Genaro exclaimed.
“What are we going to do?” I shouted.
“We could start singing again,” don Juan replied matter-of-factly.
My fear reached its apex then. I began to jump up and down and to roar like an animal. The man jumped down to the ground.
“Don’t pay any more attention to those clowns,” don Juan said. “Let’s talk as usual.”
He said that we had gone there for my enlightenment, and that I was failing miserably. I had to reorganize myself. The first thing to do was to realize that my assemblage point had moved and was now making obscure emanations glow. To carry the feelings from my usual state of awareness into the world I had assembled was indeed a travesty, for fear is only prevalent among the emanations of daily life.
I told him that if my assemblage point had shifted as he was saying it had, I had news for him. My fear was infinitely greater and more devastating than anything I had ever experienced in my daily life.
“You’re wrong,” he said. “Your first attention is confused and doesn’t want to give up control, that’s all. I have the feeling that you could walk right up to those creatures and face them and they wouldn’t do a thing to you.”
I insisted that I was definitely in no condition to test such a preposterous thing as that.
He laughed at me. He said that sooner or later I had to cure myself of my madness, and that to take the initiative and face up to those four seers was infinitely less preposterous than the idea that I was seeing them at all. He said that to him madness was to be confronted by men who had been buried for two thousand years and were still alive, and not to think that that was the epitome of preposterousness.
I heard everything he said with clarity, but I was not really paying attention to him. I was terrified of the men around the rock. They seemed to be preparing to jump us, to jump me really. They were fixed on me. My right arm began to shake as if I were stricken by some muscular disorder. Then I became aware that the light in the sky had changed. I had not noticed before that it was already dawn. The strange thing was that an uncontrollable urge made me stand up and run to the group of men.
I had at that moment two completely different feelings about the same event. The minor one was of sheer terror. The other, the major one, was of total indifference. I could not have cared less. When I reached the group I realized that don Juan was right; they were not really men. Only four of them had any resemblance to men, but they were not men either; they were strange creatures with huge yellow eyes. The others were just shapes that were propelled by the four that resembled men.
I felt extraordinarily sad for those creatures with yellow eyes. I tried to touch them, but I could not find them. Some sort of wind scooped them away.
I looked for don Juan and Genaro. They were not there. It was pitch-black again. I called out their names over and over again. I thrashed around in darkness for a few minutes. Don Juan came to my side and startled me. I did not see Genaro.
“Let’s go home,” he said. “We have a long walk.”
Don Juan commented on how well I had performed at the site of the buried seers, especially during the last part of our encounter with them. He said that a shift of the assemblage point is marked by a change in light. In the daytime, light becomes very dark; at night, darkness becomes twilight. He added that I had performed two shifts by myself, aided only by animal fright. The only thing he found objectionable was my indulging in fear, especially after I had realized that warriors have nothing to fear.
“How do you know I had realized that?” I asked.
“Because you were free. When fear disappears all the ties that bind us dissolve,” he said. “An ally was gripping your foot because it was attracted by your animal terror.”
I told him how sorry I was for not being able to uphold my realizations.
“Don’t concern yourself with that.” He laughed. “You know that such realizations are a dime a dozen; they don’t amount to anything in the life of warriors, because they are canceled out as the assemblage point shifts.”
“What Genaro and I wanted to do was to make you shift very deeply. This time Genaro was there simply to entice the old seers. He did it once already, and you went so far into the left side that it will take quite a while for you to remember it. Your fright tonight was just as intense as it was that first time when the seers and their allies followed you to this very room, but your sturdy first attention wouldn’t let you be aware of them.”
“Explain to me what happened at the site of the seers,” I asked.
“The allies came out to see you,” he replied. “Since they have very low energy, they always need the help of men. The four seers have collected twelve allies.
“The countryside in Mexico and also certain cities are dangerous. What happened to you can happen to any man or woman. If they bump into that tomb, they may even see the seers and their allies, if they are pliable enough to let their fear make their assemblage points shift; but one thing is for sure: they can die of fright.”
“But do you honestly believe that those Toltec seers are still alive?” I asked.
He laughed and shook his head in disbelief.
“It’s time for you to shift that assemblage point of yours just a bit,” he said. “I can’t talk to you when you are in your idiot’s stage.”
He smacked me with the palm of his hand on three spots: right on the crest of my right hipbone, on the center of my back below my shoulder blades, and on the upper part of my right pectoral muscle.
My ears immediately began to buzz. A trickle of blood ran out of my right nostril, and something inside me became unplugged. It was as if some flow of energy had been blocked and suddenly began to move again.
“What were those seers and their allies after?” I asked.
“Nothing,” he replied. “We were the ones who were after them. The seers, of course, had already noticed your field of energy the first time you saw them; when you came back, they were set to feast on you.”
“You claim that they are alive, don Juan,” I said. “You must mean that they are alive as allies are alive, is that so?”
“That’s exactly right,” he said. “They cannot possibly be alive as you and I are. That would be preposterous.”
He went on to explain that the ancient seers’ concern with death made them look into the most bizarre possibilities. The ones who opted for the allies’ pattern had in mind, doubtless, a desire for a haven. And they found it, at a fixed position in one of the seven bands of inorganic awareness.
The seers felt that they were relatively safe there. After all, they were separated from the daily world by a nearly insurmountable barrier, the barrier of perception set by the assemblage point.
“When the four seers saw that you could shift your assemblage point they took off like bats out of hell,” he said and laughed.
“Do you mean that I assembled one of the seven worlds?” I asked.
“No, you didn’t,” he replied. “But you have done it before, when the seers and their allies chased you. That day you went all the way to their world. The problem is that you love to act stupid, so you can’t remember it at all.
“I’m sure that it is the nagual’s presence,” he continued, “that sometimes makes people act dumb. When the nagual Julian was still around, I was dumber than I am now. I am convinced that when I’m no longer here, you’ll be capable of remembering everything.”
Don Juan explained that since he needed to show me the death defiers, he and Genaro had lured them to the outskirts of our world. What I had done at first was a deep lateral shift, which allowed me to see them as people, but at the end I had correctly made the shift that allowed me to see the death defiers and their allies as they are.
Very early the next morning, at Silvio Manuel’s house, don Juan called me to the big room to discuss the events of the previous night. I felt exhausted and wanted to rest, to sleep, but don Juan was pressed for time. He immediately started his explanation. He said that the old seers had found out a way to utilize the rolling force and be propelled by it. Instead of succumbing to the onslaughts of the tumbler they rode with it and let it move their assemblage points to the confines of human possibilities.
Don Juan expressed unbiased admiration for such an accomplishment. He admitted that nothing else could give the assemblage point the boost that the tumbler gives.
I asked him about the difference between the earth’s boost and the tumbler’s boost. He explained that the earth’s boost is the force of alignment of only the amber emanations, it is a boost that heightens awareness to unthinkable degrees. To the new seers it is a blast of unlimited consciousness, which they call total freedom.
He said that the tumbler’s boost, on the other hand, is the force of death. Under the impact of the tumbler, the assemblage point moves to new, unpredictable positions. Thus, the old seers were always alone in their journeys, although the enterprise they were involved in was always communal. The company of other seers on their journeys was fortuitous and usually meant struggle for supremacy.
I confessed to don Juan that the concerns of the old seers, whatever they may have been, were worse than morbid horror tales to me. He laughed uproariously. He seemed to be enjoying himself.
“You have to admit, no matter how disgusted you feel, that those devils were very daring,” he went on. “I never liked them myself, as you know, but I can’t help admiring them. Their love for life is truly beyond me.”
“How can that be love for life, don Juan? It’s something nauseating,” I said.
“What else could push a man to those extremes if it is not love for life?” he asked. “They loved life so intensely that they were not willing to give it up. That’s the way I have seen it. My benefactor saw something else. He believed that they were afraid to die, which is not the same as loving life. I say that they were afraid to die because they loved life and because they had seen marvels, and not because they were greedy little monsters. No. They were aberrant because nobody ever challenged them and they were spoiled like rotten children, but their daring was impeccable and so was their courage.”
“Would you venture into the unknown out of greed? No way. Greed works only in the world of ordinary affairs. To venture into that terrifying loneliness one must have something greater than greed. Love, one needs love for life, for intrigue, for mystery. One needs unquenching curiosity and guts galore. So don’t give me this nonsense about your being revolted. It’s embarrassing!”
Don Juan’s eyes were shining with contained laughter. He was putting me in my place, but he was laughing at it.
Don Juan left me alone in the room for perhaps an hour. I wanted to organize my thoughts and feelings. I had no way to do that. I knew without any doubt that my assemblage point was at a position where reasoning does not prevail, yet I was moved by reasonable concerns. Don Juan had said that technically, as soon as the assemblage point shifts, we are asleep. I wondered, for instance, if I was sound asleep from the stand of an onlooker, just as Genaro had been asleep to me.
I asked don Juan about it as soon as he returned.
“You are absolutely asleep without having to be stretched out,” he replied. “If people in a normal state of awareness saw you now, you would appear to them to be a bit dizzy, even drunk.”
He explained that during normal sleep, the shift of the assemblage point runs along either edge of man’s band. Such shifts are always coupled with slumber. Shifts that are induced by practice occur along the midsection of man’s band and are not coupled with slumber, yet a dreamer is asleep.
“Right at this juncture is where the new and the old seers made their separate bids for power,” he went on. “The old seers wanted a replica of the body, but with more physical strength, so they made their assemblage points slide along the right edge of man’s band. The deeper they moved along the right edge the more bizarre their dreaming body became. You, yourself, witnessed last night the monstrous result of a deep shift along the right edge.”
He said that the new seers were completely different, that they maintain their assemblage points along the midsection of man’s band. If the shift is a shallow one, like the shift into heightened awareness, the dreamer is almost like anyone else in the street, except for a slight vulnerability to emotions, such as fear and doubt. But at a certain degree of depth, the dreamer who is shifting along the midsection becomes a blob of light. A blob of light is the dreaming body of the new seers.
He also said that such an impersonal dreaming body is more conducive to understanding and examination, which are the basis of all the new seers do. The intensely humanized dreaming body of the old seers drove them to look for answers that were equally personal, humanized.
Don Juan suddenly seemed to be groping for words.
“There is another death defier,” he said curtly, “so unlike the four you’ve seen that he’s indistinguishable from the average man in the street. He’s accomplished this unique feat by being able to open and close his gap whenever he wants.”
He played with his fingers almost nervously.
“The ancient seer that the nagual Sebastian found in 1723 is that death defier,” he went on. “We count that day as the beginning of our line, the second beginning. That death defier, who’s been on the earth for hundreds of years, has changed the lives of every nagual he met, some more profoundly than others. And he has met every single nagual of our line since that day in 1723.”
Don Juan looked fixedly at me. I got strangely embarrassed. I thought my embarrassment was the result of a dilemma. I had very serious doubts about the content of the story, and at the same time I had the most disconcerting trust that everything he had said was true. I expressed my quandary to him.
“The problem of rational disbelief is not yours alone,” don Juan said. “My benefactor was at first plagued by the same question. Of course, later on he remembered everything. But it took him a long time to do so. When I met him he had already recollected everything, so I never witnessed his doubts. I only heard about them.”
“The weird part is that people who have never set eyes on the man have less difficulty accepting that he’s one of the original seers. My benefactor said that his quandaries stemmed from the fact that the shock of meeting such a creature had lumped together a number of emanations. It takes time for those emanations to separate themselves.”
Don Juan went on to explain that as my assemblage point kept on shifting, a moment would come when it would hit the proper combination of emanations; at that moment the proof of the existence of that man would become overwhelmingly evident to me.
I felt compelled to talk again about my ambivalence.
“We’re deviating from our subject,” he said. “It may seem that I’m trying to convince you of the existence of that man; and what I meant to talk about is the fact that the old seer knows how to handle the rolling force. Whether or not you believe that he exists is not important. Someday you’ll know for a fact that he certainly succeeded in closing his gap. The energy that he borrows from the nagual every generation he uses exclusively to close his gap.”
“How did he succeed in closing it?” I asked.
“There is no way of knowing that,” he replied. “I’ve talked to two other naguals who saw that man face to face, the nagual Julian and the nagual Elias. Neither of them knew how. The man never revealed how he closes that opening, which I suppose begins to expand after a time. The nagual Sebastian said that when he first saw the old seer, the man was very weak, actually dying. But my benefactor found him prancing vigorously, like a young man.”
Don Juan said that the nagual Sebastian nicknamed that nameless man “the tenant,” for they struck an arrangement by which the man was given energy, lodging so to speak, and he paid rent in the form of favors and knowledge.
“Did anybody ever get hurt in the exchange?” I asked.
“None of the naguals who exchanged energy with him was injured,” he replied. “The man’s commitment was that he’d only take a bit of superfluous energy from the nagual in exchange for gifts, for extraordinary abilities. For instance, the nagual Julian got the gait of power. With it, he could activate or make dormant the emanations inside his cocoon in order to look young or old at will.”
Don Juan explained that the death defiers in general went as far as rendering dormant all the emanations inside their cocoons, except those that matched the emanations of the allies. In this fashion they were able to imitate the allies in some form.
Each of the death defiers we had encountered at the rock, don Juan said, had been able to move his assemblage point to a precise spot on his cocoon in order to emphasize the emanations shared with the allies and to interact with them. But they were all unable to move it back to its usual position and interact with people. The tenant, on the other hand, is capable of shifting his assemblage point to assemble the everyday world as if nothing had ever happened.
Don Juan also said that his benefactor was convinced – and he fully agreed with him – that what takes place during the borrowing of energy is that the old sorcerer moves the nagual’s assemblage point to emphasize the ally’s emanations inside the nagual’s cocoon. He then uses the great jolt of energy produced by those emanations that suddenly become aligned after being so deeply dormant.
He said that the energy locked within us, in the dormant emanations, has a tremendous force and an incalculable scope. We can only vaguely assess the scope of that tremendous force, if we consider that the energy involved in perceiving and acting in the world of everyday life is a product of the alignment of hardly one-tenth of the emanations encased in man’s cocoon.
“What happens at the moment of death is that all that energy is released at once,” he continued. “Living beings at that moment become flooded by the most inconceivable force. It is not the rolling force that has cracked their gaps, because that force never enters inside the cocoon; it only makes it collapse. What floods them is the force of all the emanations that are suddenly aligned after being dormant for a lifetime. There is no outlet for such a giant force except to escape through the gap.”
He added that the old sorcerer has found a way to tap that energy. By aligning a limited and very specific spectrum of the dormant emanations inside the nagual’s cocoon, the old seer taps a limited but gigantic jolt.
“How do you think he takes that energy into his own body?” I asked.
“By cracking the nagual’s gap,” he replied. “He moves the nagual’s assemblage point until the gap opens a little. When the energy of newly aligned emanations is released through that opening, he takes it into his own gap.”
“Why is that old seer doing what he’s doing?” I asked.
“My opinion is that he’s caught in a circle he can’t break,” he replied. “We got into an agreement with him. He’s doing his best to keep it, and so are we. We can’t judge him, yet we have to know that his path doesn’t lead to freedom. He knows that, and he also knows he can’t change it; he’s trapped in a situation of his own making. The only thing he can do is to prolong his ally-like existence as long as he possibly can.”