(Encounters with the Nagual by Armando Torres)
One time, while we drank coffee in a restaurant in the center of the city, I told him that I got confused by his enthusiasm when he spoke of ancient Mexico, in contrast with the warning made in one of his books about the dangers of visiting ruins or picking up objects from that time. I was referring to the thrilling stories he wrote about some of his fellow apprentices, who got into serious trouble due to their habit of prowling around archaeological sites.
He replied that I had misunderstood.
“What happens is that I don’t confuse the abstract knowledge of the new seers with the cultural focus of the seers of antiquity, because they are not the same thing. The old seers lived in the second attention, they were fascinated with its intricate details and they tried to reproduce them in their daily life by means of their sculptures and buildings. In that way, they put big chunks of that dark fascination within reach of the masses.”
“But Don Juan said that any form of representing knowledge is a subterfuge, it shuts you off from true, silent knowledge. In spite of the prodigious quantity of information that they were able to extract from the other side, the old seers ended up paying a high price for their propensity: Their freedom.”
“Therefore, one of the priorities of a modern nagual is to direct his apprentices, at least during the first stages of the path, so that they are not trapped by the external side of knowledge.”
“Also, there was another reason why Don Juan insisted to some of us that we must not waste our time trying to make sense of something that has none. At that time, most of his apprentices had still not lost their human form, which meant that we felt impelled to classify knowledge, systematizing it as quickly as possible. That is not valid with the artifacts of ancient Mexico, because what has come down to us is too fragmented. There is still a lot of work to be done, and it is risky work, which can turn against the investigator.”
“As I have already told you, these creations are not innocent. The problem with them is the passion they stir up. The old seers were masters of obsession. Their works are full of tricks, and all of it continues operating today with the same vigor as on the very first day, because the fixation of a sorcerer’s attention doesn’t wear away with time.”
He added that the Mexican tradition of wisdom was designed by men of power in a supreme act of altruism. The intent was to rescue our essential freedom, but it only worked for a short time. And because they were steeped in rituals and superfluous beliefs, in the end their creations became means of fixating the assemblage point of that society.
“Those works are enormous concentrations of intent, but the teachings they guard are not pure, they are blended with the self- importance of their creators, and to focus on them should only be done through stalking. Pyramids are particularly powerful captors of attention. They can bring us quickly to states of inner silence, but they can also turn against us. There comes a point when it is preferable to abstain from them rather than venture without defenses into the domain of the old seers.”
“Keeping in mind my morbid inclinations, Don Juan had forbidden me to go to museums or archaeological sites on my own. He said that those places were only to be trusted when in the company of sorcerers. One day, while walking through the ruins of Tula, I had a truly unpleasant experience and began to change my opinion.”
“What happened to you?” I asked him.
“Something that made me tremble with fear,” he answered. “I could see that the pyramids exuded enormous energy fields, undulating like a bottomless sea, completely wrapped around the visitors. A very enjoyable condition for certain sorcerers, but not for us.”
I asked him if that phenomenon is only linked to Mexican pyramids, or if it can be seen in other parts of the world, too.
He answered that fixation is not a local phenomenon, it is universal. It appears wherever awareness strives to exist. But on Earth, only the human society invests a considerable part of its energy in creating symbolic objects of no utilitarian value, whose exclusive purpose is to generate states of attention.
“In fact, if they did not have this characteristic quality of being extraordinary energy accumulators, those objects and monuments would not exist. They are in this world, but they are not from here. They are agents from the other side, antennas of the second attention. Their design and construction were personally directed by inorganic beings in every latitude and era.”
“Once, while traveling through Italy, I went to see a famous sculpture. I hardly dared to get up close, I was so captivated by its beauty. I observed that people passing by could not help projecting their feelings towards the image. The emotional climate was so powerful that I could easily perceive how those feelings elongated in the shape of fibers towards a shadow which was vibrating behind the sculpture. And I was not the only one who realized the phenomenon. There was a tourist there who, when he was ‘attacked’, took a stone and threw it against the statue. I applauded! Those things are centers of humanity’s fixation. They condition the attention, they bind it.”
I commented that it seemed pitiful that the most magnificent creations of humans were in fact vehicles of their fixation.
Carlos replied that I had it backwards. He said that the problem is not in the monuments, or in the intent that gave them existence, or even in the inorganic entities who use them as traps, but in ourselves.
“Those works belong to another modality of attention; they have the ability to move the assemblage point, and that gives a rest to our fixation. But there is nothing more obsessive than the second attention, and to feed it with unrestrained enthusiasm can put us in a state of total energetic submission.”
“However, that doesn’t mean you cannot defend against those places. There are two ways by means of which we can counteract their heavy intent: turning away from them, or cultivating impeccability.”
“A warrior is able to emerge intact from any conceivable situation. When we cut our ties with our human form, nothing external can affect us any more. Then the monuments of old Mexico are revealed in all their splendor and, at the same time, they take up position where they really belong: The place of silent understanding.”