(The Eagles Gift by Carlos Castaneda)
“Your compulsion to possess and hold on to things is not unique,” he said. “Everyone who wants to follow the warrior’s path, the sorcerer’s way, has to rid himself of this fixation.”
“My benefactor told me that there was a time when warriors did have material objects on which they placed their obsession. And that gave rise to the question of whose object would be more powerful, or the most powerful of them all. Remnants of those objects still remain in the world, the leftovers of that race for power. No one can tell what kind of fixation those objects must have received. Men infinitely more powerful than you poured all the facets of their attention on them. You have merely begun to pour your puny worry on your notes. You haven’t gotten yet to other levels of attention. Think how horrible it would be if you would find yourself at the end of your trail as a warrior, still carrying your bundles of notes on your back. By that time the notes will be alive, especially if you learn to write with your fingertip and still have to pile up sheets. Under those conditions it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if someone found your bundles walking around.”
“It is easy for me to understand why the Nagual Juan Matus didn’t want us to have possessions,” Nestor said after I had finished talking. “We are all dreamers. He didn’t want us to focus our dreaming body on the weak face of the second attention.”
“I didn’t understand his maneuvers at the time. I resented the fact that he made me get rid of everything I had. I thought he was being unfair. My belief was that he was trying to keep Pablito and Benigno from envying me, because they had nothing themselves. I was well-off in comparison. At the time, I had no idea that he was protecting my dreaming body.“
Don Juan had described dreaming to me in various ways. The most obscure of them all now appears to me as being the one that defines it best. He said that dreaming is intrinsically the not- doing of sleep. And as such, dreaming affords practitioners the use of that portion of their lives spent in slumber. It is as if the dreamers no longer sleep. Yet no illness results from it. The dreamers do not lack sleep, but the effect of dreaming seems to be an increase of waking time, owing to the use of an alleged extra body, the dreaming body.
Don Juan had explained to me that the dreaming body is sometimes called the “double” or the “other,” because it is a perfect replica of the dreamer’s body. It is inherently the energy of a luminous being, a whitish, phantomlike emanation, which is projected by the fixation of the second attention into a three-dimensional image of the body. Don Juan explained that the dreaming body is not a ghost, but as real as anything we deal with in the world. He said that the second attention is unavoidably drawn to focus on our total being as a field of energy, and transforms that energy into anything suitable. The easiest thing is of course the image of the physical body, with-which we are already thoroughly familiar from our daily lives and the use of our first attention. What channels the energy of our total being to produce anything that might be within the boundaries of possibility is known as will. Don Juan could not say what those boundaries were, except that at the level of luminous beings the range is so broad that it is futile to try to establish limits – thus, the energy of a luminous being can be transformed through will into anything.
“The Nagual said that the dreaming body gets involved and attaches itself to anything,” Benigno said. “It doesn’t have sense. He told me that men are weaker than women because a man’s dreaming body is more possessive.”
The little sisters agreed in unison with a movement of their heads. La Gorda looked at me and smiled.
“The Nagual told me that you’re the king of possessiveness,” she said to me. “Genaro said that you even say goodbye to your turds before you flush them down.”
The little sisters rolled down on their sides laughing. The Genaros made obvious efforts to contain themselves. Nestor, w ho was sitting by my side, patted my knee.
The Nagual and Genaro used to tell great stories about you,” he said. “They entertained us for years with tales about a weird guy they knew. We know now that it was you.”