(Readers of Infinity – A Journal of Applied Hermeneutics by Carlos Castaneda)
Don Juan Matus explained that, since time immemorial, sorcerers have given the name of energy body to a special configuration of energy which belongs to each human being individually. He also called this configuration the dreaming body, or the double or the other. His preference, in accordance with a sorcerers’ agreement to emphasize abstract concepts, was to call it the energy body. But he also told me about a secret fun name for the energy body, which was used as a euphemism, a nickname, a term of endearment, a friendly reference to something incomprehensible and veiled: que ni te jodan — which in English means, “they shouldn’t bother you, energy body, or else.”
Don Juan formally explained the energy body as a conglomerate of energy fields which are the mirror image of the energy fields that make up the human body when it is seen directly as energy. Don Juan said that for sorcerers, the physical body and the energy body are one single unit. He further explained that sorcerers believe that the physical body involves both the body and the mind as we know them, and that the physical body and the energy body are the only counterbalanced energy configurations in our human realm. Since there is no such thing as a dualism between body and mind, the only possible dualism that exists is between the physical body and the energy body.
The contention of sorcerers is that perceiving is a process of interpreting sensory data, but that every human being has the capacity to perceive energy directly, that is to say, without processing it through an interpretation system. As it has already been stated, when human beings are perceived in this fashion, they have the appearance of a sphere of luminosity. Sorcerers affirm that this sphere of luminosity is a conglomerate of energy fields held together by a mysterious binding force.
“What do you mean by a conglomerate of energy fields?” I asked don Juan when he first told me about this.
“Energy fields compressed together by some strange agglutinating force,” he replied. “One of the arts of sorcerers is to beckon the energy body, which is ordinarily very far away from its counterpart, the physical body, and bring it closer so it can begin to preside energetically over everything the physical body does.”
“if you want to be very exact,” don Juan went on, “you can say that when the energy body is very close to the physical body, a sorcerer sees two luminous spheres, almost superimposed on each other. To have our energy twin close by would be our natural state, were it not for the fact that something pushes our energy body away from our physical body, starting at the very moment of our birth.”
The sorcerers of don Juan’s lineage put an enormous emphasis on the discipline required to bring the energy body closer to the physical body. Don Juan explained that once the energy body is within a certain energetic range, which varies for each individual, its proximity allows sorcerers the opportunity of forging the energy body into the other or the double: another being, solid and three-dimensional, exactly like themselves.
Following the same practices, sorcerers can change their solid, three-dimensional physical bodies into a perfect replica of the energy body; that is to say, a conglomerate of pure energy fields which are invisible to the normal eye, as all energy is; an ethereal charge of energy capable of going, for example, through a wall.
“Is it possible to transform the body to such an extent, don Juan? Or are you merely describing a mythical proposition?” I asked, amazed and bewildered when I heard these statements.
“There’s nothing mythical about sorcerers,” he responded. “Sorcerers are pragmatic beings, and what they describe is always something quite sober and down-to-earth. Our handicap is to be unwilling to stray away from our linearity. This makes us into disbelievers who are killing themselves to believe the damnedest things one can imagine.”
“When you talk like this, don Juan, you always mean me,” I said. “What am I killing myself to believe?”
“You are killing yourself to believe, for instance, that anthropology is meaningful or that it exists. Just like a religious man kills himself to believe that God is a man who resides up in heaven and that the devil is a cosmic evildoer who has taken residence down in hell.”
It was don Juan’s style to make cutting but astoundingly accurate remarks about my person in the world. The more cutting and direct they were, the greater their effect on me and the greater my chagrin upon hearing them. Another of his didactic devices was to give extremely pertinent information about sorcerers’ concepts in a mood that was light, but deeply critical of my compulsion to commit him to linear explanations. I asked him once, while discussing the topic of the energy body, one of my convoluted questions:
“Through what processes,” I said, “can sorcerers transform their ethereal energy bodies into solid, three-dimensional bodies, and their physical bodies into ethereal energy, capable of going through a wall?”
Don Juan, adopting a professorial seriousness, raised his finger and said : “Through the volitional — although not always conscious — yet quite within our capabilities, but not altogether within our immediate ability — use of the binding force that ties the physical and the energy bodies together, as two conglomerates of energy fields.”
Stated in the vein of teasing, his explanation was nonetheless an extremely accurate phenomenological description of processes inconceivable to our linear minds, yet continually accomplished by our hidden energetic resources. Sorcerers maintain that the link between the physical body and the energy body is a mysterious agglutinating force which we use incessantly without ever being aware of it.
It has been stated that when sorcerers perceive the body as a conglomerate of luminous energy fields, they perceive a sphere the size of both arms extended laterally and the height of the arms extended upwardly. They also perceive that in this sphere exists something they call the assemblage point ; a spot of even more intense luminosity, the size of a tennis ball, located towards the back, at the height of the shoulder blades, at an arm’s length away from them.
Sorcerers consider the assemblage point to be the place where the flow of direct energy is turned into sensory data and interpreted as the world of everyday life. Don Juan said that the assemblage point, aside from doing all this, also has a most important secondary function: it is the linking connection between the physical body and the assemblage point of the energy body. He described such a connection as being analogous to two magnetized circles, each the size of a tennis ball, coming together, attracted by forces of intent.
He also said that when the physical body and the energy body are not joined, the connection between them is an ethereal line, which sometimes is so tenuous that it seems not to exist. Don Juan was certain that the energy body is pushed farther and farther away as one grows older, and that death comes as the result of the severance of that tenuous connection.