(The Universal Spiderweb by Armando Torres)
While reviewing my tapes, I noticed that something had escaped my attention. During one of our conversations, he’d asserted, “We follow the mood that the ancients left to us.”
So, the next time I went to see him, I asked: “What did you mean by ‘mood,’ don Berna?”
He answered, “It’s a kind of language, an implicit acceptance of a world with no ordinary meanings. For outsiders, it seems like something absolutely incongruous, but for us who share the tradition, we understand each other perfectly. You know very well what I’m talking about!”
He was right. Right from the start, they’d been teaching me more with actions than with words, based on a tacit agreement that was assumed among them and that didn’t require bigger explanations; for example, instead of considering that things are material objects, sorcerers see them as different vibratory frequencies; a person is not a solid body, but a bubble of vibrant energy; dreams are not fantasies, but a real space where you can act in a conscious way.”
He said, “Our perception of reality, either mentally or physically, is just what we focus on. What really exists out there is a true perceptive chaos, from which we can choose from among an infinite number of skimmings. From that position, we can break the laws of action and reaction as easily as snapping your fingers… like this!”
“Does that mean that sorcerers deny the universal laws of causality?”
“No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that the laws of action and reaction, yes, they have validity, but only up to a certain point,” he said. “If, for example, you were to go to outer space or the nucleus of an atom, the laws that we’re familiar with are no longer valid there.”
“Sorcerers discovered that cause and effect is not something automatic or unavoidable. Its bond is the description that we make of the world, and what gives it validity is the will. So, yes, those laws that you speak of do exist, but only within the parameters that we’ve agreed to call ‘reality.’”
“This is a world of ‘doing.’ All you’d have to do is change some of its elements, and everything would fall apart.”
I asked him to speak more about doing and not- doing. He said, “Not-doing is the silence of the action. You already know that silence is of vital importance for the warrior; it’s his weapon, his tool.”
“Not-doing is the key to reaching silence. Sorcerers use not-doing as a dam in the current of their imminent destiny; they re-channel it, they reorder it, and they transform their fate into a challenge, which they consider as the only one worth going to battle for.”
“Accepting that the world is a mystery is basic to being able to keep going; otherwise, you would take the explanations as if they were ordinary rationalizations of the mind, and immediately transform them into doings.”
“The ticket of admission to the world of the nagual is internal silence. Each one possesses his own measure, his own personal threshold. When he accumulates enough and a critical quantity of silence is reached, a change happens in his habitual view of the world. Then he begins to perceive the flow of the energy as it really is.”
“The amount of silence necessary to reach that goal varies from one individual to another. Some get it after just a few minutes of sustained intent. Others, however, may never reach it. It has to do with a natural proclivity that manifests to different degrees in each person. The threshold of silence is the sorcerer’s measure.”
“To reach silence, it’s necessary to reach a level of determination that, in general, is beyond the reach of the common man who lives caught up in thousands of commitments, and doesn’t have the time, the disposition, or the energy to face such an abstract task.”
“Perhaps the most dramatic effect of reaching silence is that one suddenly gets disconnected from the parallel mind, and that’s quite a revelation.”
“When the image of oneself stops being so supremely important, then everything falls into place. You realize that you’re not who you thought you were. When you break free from the yoke of the parasitic mind, the idea of ‘doing’ is no longer so genuine; in its place, in a spontaneous way, not-doing emerges.”
“Could you give me some examples of not-doing that I can understand?” I asked.
“The examples won’t tell you much,” he answered, “because a trick of the mind is to transform everything into doing. To understand, you need to redefine your notion of ‘me.’ As long as you don’t put that aspect of your life in order, you’ll never understand it because everything you do will revert to an everyday action.”
“What do you mean by ‘redefining myself?’” I asked cautiously. I felt as if I was about to fall into a trap.
He told me, “You have something unresolved in your life. They’ve already told you before about this, but you always find a way to escape it. It’s a matter of mending the idea that you have about yourself.”
“That’s the twenty-four-hour battle that the nagual insists on so much: the war against the individual me. Not-doing momentarily interrupts the feeling of ‘I am,’ but it’s only an exercise, a preparation for the total collapse of the ego.”
Maybe noticing my expression of anguish, he said, “Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you’ll cease to exist; in fact, it’s just the opposite: it’s an awakening, in which the true ‘me’ takes control. The idea of ‘I am’ is a by-product of the parallel mind. It’s an absolutely pernicious sensation because it reinforces the ego and identifies with self-pity, which is the worst plague that has ever ravaged humanity, making us timidly accommodate a miserable life routine, meekly agreeing to the fate that they’ve imposed on us instead of fighting for freedom until death.”
I protested! I absolutely didn’t agree with it. For years, my search had been to define and polish my sense of ‘I am.’ For a while I’d even used it as my meditation mantra. But he wasn’t willing to let it go. Parodying the words of a classic of literature, he asked me who I was.
“I don’t know,” I responded, willing to fight. “But ‘I am.’”
“The problem is that you don’t know it because, if you came to know it, you surely wouldn’t like it, since you’re a jumble of feelings that fight hopelessly to find a center of equilibrium. But that secondary center that you call ‘me,’ in fact doesn’t exist, it’s only an illusion, a descriptive assemblage that creates the illusion of ‘me.’ Our true being is in silence and it doesn’t require bigger explanations.”
“The goal of the warriors is to perceive directly, without having to pass through the customs of reason, where the fact, after going through the filter of interpretation, loses its true meaning.”
“Humans are the only ones who have to appeal to words to establish the feeling of being. Animals don’t have that problem. What should be something simple and natural has become a crossword puzzle, a parody. To constantly repeat ‘I am’ like a parrot may seem like an innocent thing, but when you realize that you’re lost in a labyrinth of the ego, not knowing who you are and not being able to find a meaning for your own existence, many prefer to commit suicide.”
“‘I am’ is a command; with those words you program yourself to avoid any state of consciousness or perception in which the image of yourself doesn’t play a clear and dominant role. That phrase exacerbates personal importance. Do you realize how much passion you defended your precious ‘me’ with?” he asked me with a mocking smile. I remained quiet; I didn’t understand the reason, but I felt threatened.
“That command makes you heavy; it quells any attempt to give fluidity to the assemblage point. So for you, all those exercises of ‘not doing’ you’ve practiced become useless. The identification with ‘me’ is what keeps you anchored to the world of reason.”
“Sorcerers compare human beings to ruminants that, by fixing the attention only in specific areas, tear out and chew up mouthfuls of the world that surrounds them, ignoring all the rest. Then they regurgitate those mouthfuls of perceptions, to ruminate them through the ‘me,’ where everything becomes a reasoned interpretation, so that the perceptive entity becomes an interpretive identity, and their testimony becomes a reflection.”
“So, in fact, that second center for assembling the information works as an anchor that maintains the assemblage point lodged in its habitual position. It rectifies and adjusts the direct reading that we unceasingly make of reality, transforming it into something convenient or acceptable, according to the parameters that we’ve learned.”
“As soon as the thoughts are silenced, one recovers the ecstasy of existing, and copies of any nature are no longer accepted.”
“After a life of learned submission to reason, the rigidity of perception becomes predominant to such a point that it obscures all other centers of perception. A moment comes in which one no longer gives credit to any perception that has not previously gone through the censorship of reason, and anything that is seen as a threat to that fixed position is bad or simply doesn’t exist, or both things at the same time. It’s for this reason that common people have such conflicting feelings about the sorcerer’s idea.”
“What centers are you talking about?” I asked, hoping to take a break from the topic that we were discussing that caused me so much anxiety.
“As they’ve already explained to you, the human being has eight main centers, each one with its own perceptive function. In ordinary people, only two of those centers are functioning, while for them, the other ones are just vague sensations. In the sorcerer, all the centers have to be integrated and working fully; only then can he can claim the totality of himself. When he achieves such a feat, words are no longer necessary because he can perceive with the whole body without the necessity of explaining to himself rationally what he’s perceiving.”
“Could you give me an example?” I grumbled from my seat.
“Each one of those energy centers is related to a specific organ; for example, reason is connected with the brain, and feeling corresponds to the heart. The heart is a sensitive organ that requires care; it’s necessary to treat it kindly. Bad treatment of that center is the main cause of heart attacks. The same happens with all the other organs. The sexual organ, for instance, perceives intensely and it knows a lot, but, once those perceptions go through the interpretive filter of the brain, the sensations are given names and labels.”
“This is this how original perceptions get filled with prejudices and fade away, leaving only a copy of low quality, full of words that try to explain things verbally even though they can’t be explained.”
“Maybe words are the main cause of misunderstandings among people since, on many occasions, they don’t express correctly what one is trying to explain, creating confusions that end up destroying relationships, and even starting wars between nations.”
“How can someone activate the other centers?” I asked, full of curiosity.
“The cures, massages and exercises that you’ve been practicing are the means to achieve that. When working a certain organ, it’s revitalized and begins to send stronger signals that the warrior learns how to perceive and interpret.”