Brochure "Silent Knowledge", Carlos Castaneda (1996)
Brochure "Silent Knowledge", Carlos Castaneda (1996)
- 1 INTRODUCTION
- 2 THE MAGICAL PASSES
- 3 THE CENTER FOR DECISIONS
- 4 THE RECAPITULATION
- 5 DREAMING
- 6 INNER SILENCE
- 7 THE WESTWOOD SERIES
- 7.1 Magical Passes for Reinforcing the Decision-Making System
- 7.1.1 1. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot with a Back and Forth Motion of the Arms
- 7.1.2 2. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot with a Circular Motion of the Arms
- 7.1.3 3. Bringing Energy to the Decision-Making Center With a Back and Forth motion with the Palms Turned Upwards
- 7.1.4 4. Bringing Energy to the Decision-Making Center in a Circular Motion of the Arms with the Palms Turned Upwards
- 7.1.5 5. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot from the Midsection of the Body
- 7.1.6 6. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot from the Area of the Shoulder Blades
- 7.1.7 7. Stirring Energy Around the "V" Spot with a Bent Wrist
- 7.1.8 8. Transferring Energy from the Solar Plexus to the "V" Spot
- 7.1.9 9. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot from the Knees
- 7.1.10 10. Energy Going through the "V" Spot from the Front to the Back and from the Back to the front with Two Blows
- 7.1.11 11. Transferring Energy from the Front to the Back and From the Back to the Front with a Hook of the Arm
- 7.1.12 12. Transferring Energy from the Front to the Back and the Back to the Front with Three Blows
- 7.2 Magical Passes for Aiding the Recapitulation
- 7.2.1 1. Forging the Trunk of the Energy Body
- 7.2.2 2. Slapping the Energy Body
- 7.2.3 3. Spreading the Energy Body Laterally
- 7.2.4 4. Establishing the Core of the Energy Body
- 7.2.5 5. Forging the Heels and the Calves of the Energy Body
- 7.2.6 6. Forging the Knees of the Energy Body
- 7.2.7 7. Forging the Thighs of the Energy Body
- 7.2.8 8. Stirring Up the Personal History by Making it Flexible
- 7.2.9 9. Stirring Up the Personal History with the Heel to the Ground by Taping it Twenty Times
- 7.2.10 10. Stirring Up the Personal History with the Heel to the Ground by Holding it for a Count of Twenty
- 7.2.11 11. The Recapitulation Wings
- 7.2.12 12. The Window of Recapitulation
- 7.2.13 13. The Five Deep Breaths
- 7.2.14 14. Drawing Energy from our Fringe of Awareness
- 7.3 Magical Passes that Aid Dreaming
- 7.3.1 1. Getting the Assemblage Point Loose with a Movement that Places the Outer Edge of the Hand in Front of the Face
- 7.3.2 2. Forcing the Assemblage Point to Drop Down
- 7.3.3 3. Enticing the Assemblage Point to Drop by Drawing Energy from the Adrenals and Transferring it to the Front
- 7.3.4 4. Playing Out the "A" and "B" Types of Energy
- 7.3.5 5. Rolling Energy from the Assemblage Point and Projecting it Out with a Fist
- 7.3.6 7. Hurling the Assemblage Point Like a Knife from the Back by the Waist
- 7.3.7 8. Hurling the Assemblage Point Like a Disk from the Shoulder
- 7.4 Magical Passes that Aid the Attainment of Inner Silence
- 7.4.1 1. Drawing Two Half Circles with Each Foot
- 7.4.2 2. Drawing a Hall Moon with Each Foot
- 7.4.3 3. The Scarecrow in the Wind with the Arms Down
- 7.4.4 4. The Scarecrow in the Wind with the Arms Up
- 7.4.5 5. Pushing Energy Backwards with the Full Arm
- 7.4.6 6. Pivoting the Forearm
- 7.4.7 7. Moving Energy in a Ripple
- 7.4.8 8. The "T" Energy of the Hands
- 7.4.9 9. Pressing the Thumb Against the Curled-Up Finger
- 7.4.10 10. Drawing an Acute Angle with the Arms Between the Legs
- 7.4.11 11. Drawing an Acute Angle with the Arms in Front of the Face
- 7.4.12 12. Drawing a Circle of Energy Between the Legs and in Front of the Body
- 7.4.13 13. Three fingers on the floor
- 7.4.14 14. The Knuckles on the Toes
- 7.4.15 15. Drawing Energy from the Floor with the Breath
- 7.1 Magical Passes for Reinforcing the Decision-Making System
Silent knowledge was an entire facet of the lives and activities of the shamans or sorcerers who lived in Mexico in ancient times. According to don Juan Matus, the sorcerer-teacher who introduced me in the cognitive world of those sorcerers, silent knowledge was the most coveted end result they sought through every one of their actions and thoughts.
Don Juan defined silent knowledge as a state of human awareness in which everything pertinent to man is instantly revealed, not to the mind or the intellect, but to the entire being. He explained that there was a band of energy in the universe which sorcerers call the band of man, and that such a band was present in man. He assured me that for sorcerer-seers, who see energy directly as it flows in the universe, and who can see a human being as a conglomerate of energy fields in the form of a luminous sphere, the band of man is a fringe of compact luminosity that cuts across the luminous sphere at an angle from its left side to its right. The total luminous sphere is the width and the height of the extended arm, and in that luminous sphere, the band of man is perhaps around a foot wide. Silent knowledge, don Juan explained, is the interplay of energy within that band, an interplay which is instantly revealed to the shaman who has attained inner silence. Don Juan said that the average man had inklings of this energetic interplay.
Man intuits it, and gets busy deducing its workings, figuring out its permutations. A sorcerer, on the other hand, gets a blast of the totality of this interplay at any time that the rendition of this interplay is solicited.
Don Juan assured me that the prelude to silent knowledge was a state of human perception which sorcerers called inner silence, a state void of the silent verbalizations that sorcerers call the internal dialogue, or even void of thoughts.
No matter how hard don Juan Matus tried to make his definitions and explanations of silent knowledge available to me, they remained obscure, mysterious, inscrutable. In his effort to clarify his point further, don Juan gave me a series of concrete examples of silent knowledge.
The one I have liked the most, because of its scope and applicability, is something that he called readers of infinity.
Readers of infinity is something that, sounds like a metaphor, but it is rather, a phenomenological description that don Juan made of a shamanistic perceptual condition. He told me that this shamanistic condition conformed with the goals and expectations of modern man, and that the man of the twentieth century is a reader who reads written texts with a special predilection. Such a text could be in the form of a book, a computer printout, literature, a manual, technical descriptions, etc.
In their continuous search for solutions and answers to their probes, the sorcerers of ancient Mexico found out that from this condition of inner silence, the awareness of man can easily leap to the direct perception of energy against the background of any given horizon.
They used the sky as a horizon, as well as the mountains, or in a more reduced space, the walls of their dwelling. They were capable of seeing energy reflected on those horizons as if they were at the movies. They concisely described this phenomenon as the visualization of energy in the aspect of a hue - to be precise, a spot of redness on the horizon, a pomegranate red. They called it the blotch of pomegranate.
Those sorcerers claimed that that blotch of pomegranate erupted, at a given moment, into images which they saw as if they were veritably watching a movie. This perceptual attainment converted them into what they called viewers of infinity.
Don Juan believed that for me, it was more appropriate to consider that instead of viewing infinity, I should read it, since I was given to reading with the same, if not greater passion than the shamans of ancient Mexico were given to viewing. Don Juan made it very clear to me that to be a reader of infinity doesn't mean that one reads energy as if one were reading a newspaper, but that words become clearly formulated as one reads them, as if one word leads into another, forming whole concepts that are revealed and then vanish. The art of sorcerers is to have the prowess to gather and preserve them before they enter into oblivion by being replaced with the new words, the new concepts of a never-ending stream of graphic consciousness.
Don Juan further explained that the shamans who lived in Mexico in ancient times, and who established his lineage, were capable of reaching silent knowledge after entering its matrix: inner silence. He said that inner silence was an accomplishment or such tremendous importance for them that they set it up as the essential condition of shamanism.
Don Juan put such emphasis on silent knowledge that I coveted it.
I wanted to get right away to inner silence. I felt that I didn't have a moment to lose. When I asked don Juan to give me a succinct explanation of the procedures involved, he laughed at me.
"To venture into the world of sorcerers," he said, "is not like learning to drive a car. To drive a car, you need manuals and instructions. To enter into inner silence, you need to intend it.
"But how can I intend it?" I insisted.
"The only way you could intend it is by intending it," he declared.
One of the most diffi cult things for a man of our day to accept is the lack of procedure. Modern man seems to be in the throes of manuals, praxes, methods, steps leading to. Modern man is ceaselessly taking notes, making diagrams, deeply involved in the "know-how." But in the world of sorcerers, don Juan said, procedures and rituals are mere designs to attract and focus attention. They are devices used to force a focusing of interest and determination. They have no other value.
Don Juan believed that modern man is enchanted with the word, as if he retained a feeling that has survived to this day of what it was like to talk for the first time. This seems to account for the heavy emphasis on the word. Verbal incantations seem to be a throw back to that state of being enamored with the word. There must have been, sorcerers believe, a mesmeric power to a long series of voiced words.
Sorcerers, by the force of their practices and goals, refute the power of the word. They define themselves as navigators in the sea of the unknown. For them, navigation is a practicality, and navigation means to move from world to world, without losing, sobriety, without losing strength: and, to accomplish this feat of navigation, there cannot be procedures, or steps to be followed, but one single abstract act that defines it all: the act, of reinforcing our link with the force that permeates the universe, a force which sorcerers call intent. Since we are alive and conscious, we are already intimately related to intent. What we need, sorcerers say, is to make that link the realm of our conscious acts, and that act of becoming conscious of our link with intent is another way of defining silent knowledge.
In the course of my time with don Juan Matus, and in relation to procedures and methods, I learned one thing, however. If there is something that human beings need in order to claim silent knowledge, it is to reinforce their well being, their clarity, their determination. In order to intend, one must be the possessor of physical and mental prowess and a clear spirit.
According to don Juan, the sorcerers of ancient Mexico put an enormous emphasis on physical prowess and mental well-being, and the same emphasis prevailed with the sorcerers of the present day. I was able to corroborate the truth of his statements by observing him and his fifteen other sorcerer-companions.
Their superb state of physical and mental balance was the most obvious feature about them.
Don Juan's reply when I asked him directly why sorcerers put so much emphasis on the physical side of man was a total surprise to me.
In those years, I believed in the spiritual side of man; a side which I was, if not totally convinced of its existence, at least inclined to consider as a possibility, and don Juan was to me, a spiritual being.
"Sorcerers are not spiritual at all." he said. "They are very practical beings. It is a well-known fact, however, that sorcerers, or shamans, as they are called, are generally regarded as eccentric, or even insane.
Perhaps that is what makes you think that they are spiritual. They seem insane because they are always trying to explain things that cannot be explained. In the course of such attempts, they lose all coherence and say inanities which, if examined from the sorcerers' point of view, are not inanities at all, but futile attempts to give complete explanations that cannot be completed under any circumstances." Don Juan told me that those sorcerers of ancient Mexico discovered and developed a great number of procedures, which they called magical passes, for the attainment of physical and mental well-being.
He also said that the effect of the magical passes was so overwhelming for them that the passes became, as time went by, one of the most important components in the lives of those sorcerers. Don Juan explained that, given as they were to ritualistic behavior, they promptly hid the magical passes in the midst of rituals and veiled the act of teaching or practicing them with great secrecy. He maintained that these rituals were as nonsensical as anything could be, but that the more asinine they were, the greater their capacity to conceal something of such tremendous value.
The teaching and practice of magical passes were, at the time I entered don Juan's world, as secretive as they had always been, yet no longer excessively ritualistic. Don Juan's comments in this respect were that ritual had lost its impetus as new generations of practitioners became more interested in efficiency and functionalism. He recommended to me, however, that under no circumstances should I talk about the magical passes with any of his disciples or with people in general. His reasons were that the passes pertained exclusively to each person, and that their effect was so shattering that only those who had taken the warriors' path in true seriousness could practice them. Don Juan taught me and his other three disciples, Talsha Abelar, Florinda Donner-Grau and Carol Tiggs, a given number of magical passes, but along with that wealth of knowledge, he also left us with the certainty that we were the last members of hiss lineage.
The acceptance of this legacy implied automatically the task of finding new ways to disseminate the knowledge of his lineage, since its continuity was no longer an issue.
I need to clarify a very important point in this regard: don Juan Matus was not ever interested in teaching his knowledge. He was interested in perpetuating his lineage. We, his four disciples, were the elements, the means - chosen, he said, by the spirit itself, for he had no active part in it - that were going to ensure that perpetuation. Therefore, he engaged himself in a titanic effort to teach us all he knew about sorcery, or shamanism, and about the development of his lineage.
In the course of training me, he realized that my energetic configuration was, according to him, so vastly different than his own that it couldn't mean anything else but the end of his line. I told him that I resented enormously his interpretation of whatever invisible difference existed between us. I didn't like the burden of being the last of his line, nor did I understand his reasoning.
"Sorcerers, although they seem to make nothing else but decisions, make no decisions at all." he explained. "They have only realizations. I didn't decide to choose you, and I didn't decide that you would be the way you are. Since I couldn't choose to whom I would impart my knowledge, I had to accept whomever the spirit was offering me; and that person was you, and you are energetically capable only of ending, not of continuing.
He said that the ending of his line had nothing to do with him or his efforts, or with his success or failure as a sorcerer seeking total freedom. He understood it as something that had to do with a choice exercised beyond the human level, not by beings or entities, but by the impersonal forces of the universe.
In unanimous agreement, don Juan's three female disciples and I accepted what don Jan called our fate. Accepting it put us face to face with another issue that he referred to as locking the door behind us.
That is to say, we assumed the responsibility of deciding exactly what to do with everything he had taught us and carrying it out impeccably.
First of all, we asked ourselves the crucial question of what to do with the magical passes: the facet of don Juan's knowledge most im-bued with pragmatism and function. We decided to use the magical passes, and teach them to whomever wants to learn them. Our decision to end the secrecy that surrounded them for an undetermined length of time was naturally, the corollary of our total conviction that we are indeed the end of don Juan's lineage. It became inconceivable to us that we would carry secrets which are not even ours. To shroud the magical passes in secrecy was not our decision. It is our decision, however, to end such a condition.
All four of us then, endeavored to come up with an amalgamation of the four different lines of passes; passes which were taught to us separately and individually to fit our own particular physical and mental constitutions. We aimed at arriving at a generic form of each movement, a form suitable to everyone.
This amalgamation resulted in a configuration of slightly modified forms of each one of those passes taught to us. We have called this new configuration of movements Tensegrity, a term which belongs to architecture, where it means "the property of skeleton structures that employ continuous tension members and discontinuous compression members in such a way that each member operates with the maximum efficiency and economy." In order to explain what are the magical passes discovered by the sorcerers of ancient times, as don Juan called them, I would like to make a clarification: ancient times, for don Juan meant a time from 7.000 to 10.000 years ago; a figure that seems somehow incongruous, if it is examined from the point of view of the classificatory schemes of modern scholars. When I confronted don Juan with the discrepancy between his estimate and what I considered to be a more realistic one, he remained adamant in his conviction. He believed it to be a fact that people who lived in the New World from 7,000 to 10.000 years ago were deeply concerned with matters or the universe and perception that modern man has not even begun to fathom.
Regardless of our different opinions, the secrecy that has surrounded the magical passes for ages, and the directness of their effect on me, has had a deep influence on the way in which I deal with them.
What I am presenting in this work is an intimate reflection of that influence. I feel obligated to elucidate the subject strictly following the manner in which it was presented to me: to this effect, I need to go back to the beginning of my apprenticeship with don Juan Matus.
He began by making statements about the physical prowess of the sorcerers of ancient times. He endlessly emphasized the need for a pliable, agile body: he promoted its suppleness and strength as the surest means to reach the crowning attainment of a sorcerer's life: silent knowledge.
"Level-headedness and physical prowess were the most important issues in the lives of those men and women," he reiterated to me once, "sobriety and pragmatism are the only indispensable requisites for reaching silent knowledge - for entering into other realms of perception. To navigate, in a genuine way, in the unknown necessitates an altitude of daring, but not one of recklessness. In order to establish a balance between audacity and recklessness, a sorcerer has to be extremely sober, cautious, skillful, and in superb physical condition." Don Juan said that there were five issues in the lives of those sorcerers around which rotated the pursuit of silent knowledge.
These five topics were: 1 - The magical passes; 2 - The energetic center in the human body called the center for decisions; 3 - The Recapitulation, the means for enhancing the scope of human awareness; 4 Dreaming; the bona fide art of breaking the parameters of normal perception; 5 - Inner silence: the stage of human perception in which those sorcerers launched every one of their perceptual attainments. 9
THE MAGICAL PASSES
The first time Don Juan talked to me at length about magical passes was when he made a derogatory comment about my weight.
"You are way too chubby," he said looking at me from head to toe and shaking his head in disapproval. "You are one step from being fat. Wear and tear is beginning to show in you. Like any other member of your race, you are developing a lump of fat on your neck, like a bull.
It's time that you take seriously one of the sorcerers' greatest findings: the magical passes." Since he had mentioned magical passes so very lightly before, I didn't even remember at that moment what he had said about them.
"What magical passes are you talking about, don Juan?" I asked, really annoyed, "How can I take them seriously if I have never heard anything about them." You are playing possum with me now, aren't you," he said with a nasty smile. "Not only have I told you a great deal about magical passes, you know a great number of them already. I have been teaching I them to you all along." He was right in that I was being nasty with him. I had been surprised with a topic that I didn't expect, but it wasn't true that he had taught me any magical passes all along. I protested vehemently, as if his declarations meant my life or my death.
"Don't be so passionate about defending your wonderful self," he joked.
"I didn't mean to offend you." He made a ridiculous gesture of apology with his eyebrows. "What I meant to say is that you do imitate everything that I do, so I have been cashing in on your imitation capacity. I have shown you different magical passes, all along, and you have always taken them to be my delight in cracking my joints. I like the way you interpret them: cracking my joints! We are going to keep on referring to them in that manner.
"I have shown you ten different ways of cracking my joints. Each one of them is a magical pass that fits to perfection my body, and yours." The magical passes don Juan was referring to, as he himself had said, were ways in which I thought he cracked his joints. He used to move his arms, legs, torso and hips in specific ways, I thought, in order to create a maximum stretch of his muscles, bones, and ligaments. The result of these stretching movements, from my point of view, was a succession of cracking sounds which I always thought he was produc-ing for my amazement and amusement, and he indeed had asked me time and time again to imitate him.
In a challenging manner, he had even dared me to memorize the movements and repeat them at home until I could get my joints to make cracking noises, just like his. I had never succeeded in reproducing the sounds, yet I had definitely but unwittingly learned all the movements.
"Why are they called magical passes?" I asked.
"They are not just called magical passes," he said, "they are magical!" They produce an effect that cannot be accounted for by means of ordinary explanations. These movements are not physical exercises or mere postures of the body; they are real attempts at reaching an optimal state of being. The intent of thousands of sorcerers permeates these movements. Executing them, even in a casual way, makes the mind come to a halt."
"What do you mean that they make the mind come to a halt?”
"Everything that we do in the world," he said, "we recognize and identify by consenting it into lines of similarity." Don Juan seemed to be struggling to find the way of defining what he was saying. He paused for a long time as If searching for a proper word or a proper arrangement of thought. I remained quiet. I knew so little about the topic that I didn't dare even to think about it.
All I had was my curiosity to know what those mysterious magical passes were.
Don Juan stood up. He seemed to have had enough. We were sitting in the dining room of his house drinking some herb tea that he had made from an aromatic bush in his yard. He excused himself and said that it was lime for his nap. Don Juan took short naps all day and all night. His sleeping pattern was established on a mold that called for a maximum of two hours or sleep at a time. When he was extremely tired, he slept six hours in lapses of two hours, with a short period of vigil in between.
We didn't touch upon the subject of the magical passes for a long time. One day, he continued his explanation, out of the blue for me, but not for him, because he seemed to have been aware of our interruption, something which I had totally forgotten.
For human beings,
there are lines of similarity, as I told you,” he
said, "lines of things which are similar or strung together by purpose.
For example, if I say to you 'fork', you would immediately bring, to yourself the idea of spoon, knife, tablecloth, napkin, plate, cup and sau-cer, glass of wine, meatball soup, banquet, birthday, fiesta. You can certainly go on naming things strung together by purpose, nearly forever.
Everything we do is strung like this. The strange part for sorcerers is that they see that all these lines of affinity, all these lines of things strung together by purpose, are associated with man's idea that things
are unchangeable and forever, like the w ord of God.”
"I don't see, don Juan, why you bring the word of God into this elucidation. What does the word of God have to do with what you are trying to explain?"
“Everything! It seems to be that in our minds, the entire universe
is like the word of God: absolute and unchanging. This is the way we conduct ourselves; in the depths of our minds, there is a checking device that doesn't permit us to stop to examine that the word of God, as we accept it and believe it to be, pertains to a dead world. A live world, on the other hand, is in constant flux. It moves; it changes; it reverses itself.
“The sorcerers' magical passes are magical because in practicing
them, the body realizes that everything, instead being an unchangeable string of affinities, is a current, a flux. And if everything in the universe is a flux, a current, that current can be stopped. A dam can be put on it, and thus halt or deviate its flux." Dun Juan's words were eliciting a strange reaction in me. I felt strangely threatened, but the threat wasn't actually n threat to my person; it was more a threat to something that was imposed on me. I had the clear feeling for the first time ever that don Juan was deliberately exacerbating a part that seemed to be me but that really wasn't.
I became so utterly confused after a few moments in the throes of this contradiction that I heard myself speaking without any volition of my own. I heard myself saying. "But, don Juan, are you telling me that every time you crack your joints, or every time I try to imitate you. I am really changing things in me?”
"Ah, something in you that is not really you is angry now.” Don Juan retorted, laughing.
I had another moment of intense internal contradiction. Something in me was very angry, and yet it couldn't have been me. Don Juan shook me by the shoulders forcefully. I felt my neck wobbling back and forth under the impact of his grip. The maneuver calmed me down all at once. He made me sit down on a low retaining brick wall. There were always lines of ants crawling on it, and I never really liked to sit on that wall.
I would get ants on my clothes immediately. I was always deeply aware of ants crawling on me, but this time, however, the moment I sat down, the ants discontinued their line. I saw them milling around on each side of my body as if they were bewildered, uncertain. I became extremely curious at the possibility that they would detour to my back or to my front. I wanted to see which way they would go. But don Juan's words took all my attention and I forgot about the ants.
"Don`t worry about the ants," don Juan said, rending my thoughts.
"You are at this moment charged with an unusual energy, product of your internal dilemmas. The ants will find you impenetrable and dangerous, and they will mill around you on either side of your body until your energy becomes normal or until you get up and leave. And now, to answer your question that your mind intended as a nasty retort, I can tell you that it is true that every time we execute a magical pass, we are, indeed, altering the basic structures of our beings. We are putting a dam on a flow that we were taught to take as an inalterable string of things." In a faltering voice that didn't seem to be mine, I asked don Juan to give me an example of putting a dam on the flow he was talking about. I told him that I wanted to visualize it in my mind.
"In your mind? You had better learn to call things by their name.
What you call your mind is not your mind. Sorcerers are convinced that our minds are extraneous things that have been put on each one of us.
Accept it, without any further explanation at I his moment about who put it on us, or how it was put there." I had another wave of the same threatening sensation as before. I felt it this time more clearly. The wave didn't stem from me, yet it was attached to me. Don Juan was doing something, to me mysteriously positive and terribly negative at the same time. I sensed it as an attempt to cut a thin film that seemed to be glued to me. His eyes were fixed on mine with an unblinking stare.
He moved his eyes away and began to talk without looking at me anymore. "I'll give you an example," he said.
"For Instance, at my age, I should be prey to high blood pressure. If I went to see a doctor, the doctor, upon seeing me, would assume that I must be an old Indian, plagued with uncertainties, frustrations and bad diet, all of this, naturally, resulting in a most expected and predictable condition of high blood pressure: an acceptable corollary of my age.
"I don't have any problems with high blood pressure, not because I am stronger than the average man or because of my genetic frame, but because my magical passes have made my body break through any patterns of behavior that result in high blood pressure. I can truthfully say that every time I crack my joints, following the execution of a magical pass, I am blocking oft the flow of expectations and behavior that ordinarily result in high blood pressure at my age.
"Another example I can give you is the agility of my knees. Haven't you noticed how much more agile I am than you? When it comes to moving my knees, I'm a kid! With my magical passes, I put a dam on the current of behavior and physicality that makes the knees of people, men and women, stiff with age." One of the most annoying feelings I had ever experienced was for me the fact that don Juan Matus, although he could have been my grandfather, was infinitely younger than I. In comparison, I was stiff, opinionated, repetitious. I was senile. He, on the other hand, was fresh, inventive, agile, resourceful; in short, he possessed something which, although I was young, I did not: youth. He delighted in telling me repeatedly that youth was not in any way a deterrent to senility.
Following a burst of energy that seemed to explode inside me, I openly admitted my chagrin. "How is it possible, don Juan," I said, "that
you could be younger than I?”
"I have vanquished my mind." he said, opening his eyes wide to denote bewilderment. "I don't have a mind to tell me that it is time to be old. I don't honor agreements in which I didn't participate. Remember this: it is not a slogan for sorcerers to say that they do not honor agreements in which they did not participate. To be plagued by old age is one such agreement.”
We were silent for a long time. Don Juan seemed to be waiting, I thought, for the effect that his words might cause in me. What I thought to be my internal psychological unity was further ripped apart by a dearly dual response coming from me. On one level, I repudiated with all my might the nonsense that don Juan was verbalizing; on another level, however, I couldn't fail to notice how accurate his remarks were. Don Juan was old, and yet, he wasn't old at all. He was ages younger than I. He was free from encumbering thoughts and habit patterns. He was roaming at will in incredible worlds. He was free, while I was imprisoned by heavy patterns and habits, by petty and futile considerations about myself, which I felt on that occasion, for the first time ever, weren't even mine.
I finally broke the silence when I had gained a modicum of control over my dual considerations. "How were those magical passes invented, don Juan?" I asked. "Nobody invented them." he said sternly. "To think that they were invented implies instantly the intervention of the mind, and this is not the case when it comes to those magical passes. Sorcerers of ancient times, through their dreaming practices, discovered that if they moved in a certain way, the flow of their thoughts and actions stopped.
"The magical passes are the result of a state of mindlessness. Or rather yet, the result of having disconnected the mind. In order to dream, practitioners must excrete such a tremendous discipline over themselves that the result is the fleeing of the mind."
"What is this, don Juan, that you are referring to as the fleeing of the mind?"
"The grand trick of those sorcerers of ancient times was to burden their minds with discipline. They found out that if they taxed their minds with attention, especially the kind of attention that sorcerers call dreaming attention, the mind flees, giving to any one of the practitioners involved in this maneuver the total certainty of the mind's foreign origin." I became genuinely agitated, I wanted to know more, and yet, a strange feeling in me clamored for me to stop. It alluded to dark results and punishment; something like the wrath of God descending on me for tampering with something veiled by God himself.
I made a supreme effort to allow my curiosity to win. "What do you mean?" What - what - what do you mean," I heard myself say, "by taxing the mind?"
"Discipline taxes the mind." he said, "but by discipline, I don't mean harsh routines. Sorcerers understand discipline as the capacity to face with serenity odds that are not included in our expectations. For them, discipline is a volitional act that enables them to intake anything that comes their way without regrets or expectations. For sorcerers, discipline is an art: the art of facing infinity without flinching, not because they are filled with toughness, but because they are filled with awe. Summing it all up, I would say that discipline is the art of feeling awe. So, through their discipline, sorcerers vanquish their minds: the foreign installation." Don Juan said that through their dreaming practices, the sorcerers of ancient Mexico discovered that certain movements fostered further silence, and created a peculiar sensation of plenitude and wellbeing.
They became so enthralled with this feeling that they struggled to repeat it in their hours of vigil. Don Juan explained that at first, they believed it was a mood of well-being that dreaming created, but that when they tried to repeat that mood, they found that it was impossible. Then they realized that in their dreaming, when that feeling of well-being occurred, they were always engaged in movement. Penuriously, they began to piece together the movements they remembered. Their efforts paid off.
They were capable of recreating movements that had seemed to them to be automatic reactions of the body in a state of dreaming. Don Juan said that the result was the magical passes.
Encouraged by their success, they were capable of recreating hundreds of movements, which they performed without ever even attempting to classify them into an understandable scheme. The idea was that in dreaming, the movements happened spontaneously, and that there was a force that guided their effect, without the intervention of their volition. They explained this force as an agglutinating factor that binds our fields of energy together to make us into a coherent unit.
In the realm of practicalities, the magical passes were, for those sorcerers of ancient Mexico, genuine avenues for preparing them for their navigation into the unknown. They established a basic criteria for practicing them, which is the criterion observed today in dealing with Tensegrity. That criterion is called saturation, meaning that they bombarded their bodies with a profusion of magical passes, in order to allow the force that binds us together to guide them for maximum overall effect. 17
THE CENTER FOR DECISIONS
The second topic of tremendous interest for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico was the center for decisions. Those sorcerers were convinced, by the practical results of their endeavors, that there was a spot on the human body that accounted for decision-
making: the “v”
spot on the crest of the sternum at the base of the neck. They claimed that it was a center of tremendous subtleness and that it stored a specific type of energy which they were incapable of defining, perhaps because it defied definition. Yet, they were utterly convinced that they could feel the effect of its energy, and its presence. They asserted that this special energy was pushed out of that center very early in the lives of human beings, and that it never returns to it, thus depriving human beings of something perhaps more important than all the energy of the other centers combined.
Shamans have pointed out, over the centuries, the incapacity of human beings to make decisions. They have pointed out that human beings have created gigantic Institutions that assumed responsibility for decision-making. Therefore, human beings don't decide for themselves, but let the social order decide for them, and they merely fulfill the decisions already made on their behalf.
The "v" spot at the base of the neck was for them a place of such importance that they rarely touched it, and if they did, the touch was ritualistic and always performed by someone else, with the aid of an object. Don Juan Matus told me that they used highly polished pieces of hard wood or polished bones of animals, or even human beings, and used the round head of the bone so as to have a perfectly round object the size of the hollow spot on the neck. They would press with those bones or pieces of wood to create pressure on the borders of that hollow spot. Don Juan said that those objects were also used, although rarely, for sell-application in the form of a massage, or in terms of what we understand nowadays as acupressure.
"How did they come to find out that that hollow spot is the center for decisions," I asked.
"Every center of energy in the body," he replied, "shows a concentration of energy; a sort of vortex of energy, like a funnel that actually seems to rotate counterclockwise, from the perspective of the seer who gazes into it. The strength of a particular center depends on the force of that movement. If it barely, barely moves, the center is exhausted, deplenished of energy." Don Juan explained that there were six enormous vortexes of energy in the human body that could be dealt with, or were accessible to being manipulated. The first was on the area of the liver and gallbladder: the second on the area of the pancreas and spleen; die third in the area of the kidneys and adrenals; and the fourth on the hollow spot at the base of the neck on the frontal part of the body, This center, he depicted as having a special energy, which appears to the eye of the seer as possessing a transparency, something that could he described as resembling water; energy so fluid that it is liquid. He also said that the liquid appearance of this special energy is the mark of a filter-like quality that screens any energy coming to it, and draws from it only the part that is liquid-like.
This quality of liquidness is a uniform and consistent feature of this center. A fifth center which was pertinent only to women, was the area of the womb. He said that in some women, there seems to exist a similar liquid energy in the womb, a natural filter that screens out superfluous energy, but that this feature was not present in every womb. And there was a center on top of the head, which was not dealt with at all by the sorcerers of ancient limes. Every one of their magical passes had something to do with those five centers, but not with the sixth one on the top of the head.
"Why this discrimination, don Juan?" I asked.
"That sixth center of energy," he said, "does not quite belong to man." We human beings are under siege, so to speak. It is as it that center has been taken over by an unseen enemy. And the only way to overcome this enemy is by fortifying all the other centers."
"Isn't it a bit paranoiac to feel that we are under siege, don Juan?”
"Well, maybe for you, but certainly not for me. I see energy, and I see that the energy over the center on the top of the head doesn`t fluctuate like the energy of the other centers. It has a back and forth movement, quite disgusting, and quite foreign. I also see that in a sorcerer who has been capable of vanquishing the mind, which sorcerers call a foreign installation, the fluctuation of that center has become exactly like the fluctuation of all the others. The rotation of the energy at the center for decisions is the weakest of them all. That's why man can rarely decide anything. Sorcerers see that after they practice certain magical passes, that center becomes active, and they can certainly make decisions to their heart`s content, while they couldn't even go to the corner before." Don Juan was quite emphatic about the fact that those shamans had an aversion that bordered on phobia about touching their own hollow spot at the base of the neck on the crest of the sternum. The only way in which they accepted any interference whatsoever with that spot was through the use of their magical passes, which were purported to reinforce it by bringing dispersed energy to it, clearing away, in this manner, any hesitation in decision-making borne out of the natural energy dispersion brought about by the wear and tear of everyday life.
The general idea which those sorcerers had was that the human body, viewed by seers, is a concrete and sealed unit of energy fields.
No energy could be injected into this sealed unit, and no energy could escape from it. For the shamans of don Juan's lineage, the feeling of losing energy, which all of us experience at one time or another, was the result of energy being dispersed or being chased away from the five natural centers of energy described before.
Energy, those shamans believed, is pushed out of those centers and dispersed toward the outer limits of our being.
When shamans of ancient Mexico referred to the outer limits of our being, they were speaking of human beings as they are perceived by shaman seers, that is to say, when they are perceived as a conglomerate of energy fields resembling a luminous sphere. They considered this sphere of energy to be our true self; true in the sense that it was irreducible for them in terms of energy.
In other words, they were capable of extending the limits of their perception to the point that they were able to perceive energy at large, as it flows in the universe. Under such conditions, human beings are luminous spheres, and this "vision" is irreducible because it seems that the totality of human potentials to perceive were played by those sorcerers, and perceiving a luminous sphere of pure energy was the end result of such a total play.
Any sense or gaining energy was understood by those sorcerers as the concentration of previously dispersed energy on the abovementioned centers of vitality. They called this maneuver "redistributing energy previously dispersed." In order to accomplish this redistribution, they used the magical passes which were proven, over the millennia, to be most effective. Tensegrity, the modern version of magical passes, accomplishes the same goal: it redeploys energy already dispersed, but without the shamans' ritualistic encumbrances. 21
The third subject of profound interest for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico was the Recapitulation. Those sorcerers believed that, just like the magical passes, it prepared the ground for silent knowledge. The Recapitulation was, for them, the act of reliving past experiences in order to achieve two transcendental goals. The first was an effort to conform with their overall view of the universe and life and awareness, and the other was the extremely pragmatical goal of acquiring perceptual fluidity.
Their overall view of the universe and life and awareness was that there existed an indescribable force which they metaphorically called the Eagle, and which they understood as the force that lends awareness to all living beings, from viruses to men. They believed that the Eagle lends awareness to a newborn being, and that this being enhances that awareness by means of its life experiences until a moment in which the force demands its return. All living beings die, in the understanding of those sorcerers, because they are forced to return the awareness lent to them. This enriched awareness returns to the giver.
Don Juan said that there was no way for our linear mode of thinking to explain such a thing, because there was no explanation for why awareness was lent, or why it was taken back; it was a fact in the universe, and not all the facts in the universe could be explained in terms of cause and effect, or a purpose which can be determined a priori.
The sorcerers of ancient Mexico believed that to recapitulate meant to give to this force, the Eagle, what it was seeking: our life experiences, but to give them under a degree of control that permitted those sorcerers to separate awareness from life. They claimed that awareness and life are not inextricably intertwined, but that they are joined only circumstantially. The y affirmed that the Eagle doesn't want to take our lives; it wants only our life experiences. But lack of discipline in human beings doesn't permit them to separate their life force from the force of their life experiences, and they lose their lives, when it was meant that they would lose only the force of their life experiences. The recapitulation is the procedure by which sorcerers give the Eagle a substitute for their lives. They give the Eagle their life experiences by recounting them, but they retain their lif e force.
The perceptual claims of sorcerers, when examined in terms of the linear concepts of our world, make no sense whatsoever. Western man abandoned any attempt at a serious philosophical discourse based on statements made by the shamans of the New World. For in-stance, the idea of the Recapitulation seems to us something more congruous with psychoanalysts. Any scholar faced with this might be willing to think of the Recapitulation as a psychological procedure, a sort of self help technique. According to don Juan Matus, man always loses by default. Don Juan believed that there are alternative ways of relating ourselves to the universe, life, awareness, and perception because the way in which we do, at present, is only one of a multiplicity of options.
To recapitulate, for shaman practitioners, means to give to an incomprehensible force - the Eagle - the very thing it seems to be looking for: their life experiences, that is to say, the awareness that they have enhanced through those very life experiences. Don Juan could not explain these phenomena to me in terms of standard logic or in terms of the need to seek explainable causation. He said that all of this was in the realm of practicalities, and that all we could aspire to do was to accomplish the feat without dispensing explanations. He also said that there were thousands of sorcerers who had accomplished the feat of retaining their life force after they had given the Eagle the force of their life experiences. This meant to don Juan that those sorcerers didn't die in the usual sense in which we understand death, but that they transcended it by retaining their life force and vanishing from the face of the earth, embarked on a definitive journey of perception.
The belief of sorcerers is that when death takes place in this fashion, all of our being is turned into energy, but a special kind of energy that retains the mark of our individuality. He tried to explain this in a metaphorical sense, saying that during the course of our lives, we are composed of quite a number of "single nations." He said that we have the nation of the lungs, the nation of the heart, the nation of the stomach, the nation of the kidneys, etc., and that each of those nations sometimes works independently from the rest, but that at the moment of death, all of them are unified into one single entity. He called that state total freedom, and he said that a human being freed from socialization and the dominion of syntax and transformed into a portion of unified purified energy, flies, evaporates, evanesces, whatever, into the unknown, into infinity, transformed into an inorganic being, one that possesses awareness but not an organism.
I asked him if this was immortality. He said that not in any way was this immortality; it was merely the entrance into an evolutionary process, using the only medium for evolution that man has: awareness.
Sorcerers are convinced that man cannot evolve biologically any more; therefore, they consider man's awareness as the only medium for evolution. To be transformed into an inorganic being is evolution for sorcerers: and for them, it means, don Juan said, that a new, indescribable type of awareness is lent to them, an awareness that lasts veritably millions of years, but that someday, it would have to be returned to the giver: the Eagle.
I asked Don Juan if the inorganic beings that, according to sorcerers, populate the twin world of ours, were evolved beings that had been human once. He said that they were intrinsically inorganic beings the same way that we were intrinsically organic ones; they were beings whose consciousness could evolve just like ours, and that it doubtlessly did, but that he had no firsthand knowledge of how this happened.
What he did know, however, was that a human being whose awareness had evolved was an inorganic being of a special kind.
Don Juan gave me a series of descriptions of this evolution, which I always took to be poetic metaphors. I singled out the one that pleased me the most, which was total freedom. I fancied a human being that enters into that state to be the most courageous, the most imaginative being possible. Don Juan said that I was not fancying anything at all - that to enter into that stale, a human being must appeal to his or her sublime side, which, he said, human beings have, but it never occurred to them to use it.
Don Juan stated that the second aspect of the Recapitulation was the acquisition of fluidity. He told me that the sorcerers' rationale behind this had to do with one of the most elusive subjects of sorcery: the assemblage point, a point of intense luminosity the size of a tennis ball, perceivable to sorcerers who are capable of seeing energy directly as it flows in the universe. As previously stated, a human being, as viewed by the eye of the seer, appears as a ball of luminosity; in the back of this ball of luminosity, seers find a point of more intense brilliance yet.
They call it the assemblage point, because they see that zillions of energy fields in the form of filaments of light from the universe at large converge on that point and go through it. This confluence of filaments gives the assemblage point its brilliancy.
The assemblage point makes it possible for a human being to perceive energy by turning it into sensorial data, which the assemblage point interprets as the world of everyday life; this interpretation is made in terms of human socialization and human potentials.
Don Juan said that to recapitulate was to relive every, or nearly every experience that one had, and that in doing so, the assemblage point was displaced, ever to slightly, or a great deal, propelled by the force of memory to adapt the position it had when the event being recapitulated took place. This act of going back and forth from previous positions to the one which is current gives the practitioner the necessary fluidity to withstand unusual odds in their journey into infinity; odds which are not in any way part of a practitioner's habitual cognition.
The Recapitulation as a formal procedure was done in ancient times by recollecting every person the practitioners knew and every experience in which they took part. Don Juan suggested that I make written list of all the persons that I had met in my life, as a mnemonic device. Once I had written that list, he proceeded to tell me how to use it. He guided me to take the first person on the list, which went back from the present to the past, and set up, in my memory, my last interaction with that person. He called this act arranging the event to be recapitulated.
A detailed recollection of minutiae was requested by don
Juan as the proper means to hone one's capacity to remember. He said that this recollection entailed getting all the pertinent physical details, such as the surroundings where the event being recollected took place.
Once the event was arranged, he stated that one should enter into the locale itself, as one were actually going into it, paying special attention to any relevant physical configuration. If, for instance, the interaction took place in an office, one must remember the floor, the doors, the walls, the pictures, the windows, the desks, the objects on the desks, everything that one may have gathered in a glance and forgotten all about.
Don Joan assured me that the Recapitulation as a formal procedure must begin by the recounting of events that had just taken place.
In this fashion, the primacy of the experience look precedence; something that just happened is something one can remember with great accuracy. He claimed that one is capable of storing detailed information one is not aware of, and that that detail is for the Eagle.
The actual recapitulation of the event requires that one breathe deeply, fanning the head, so to speak, from right to left, then from left to right again, as many times as needed, while remembering all the details accessible. Don Juan said that sorcerers talk about this act as breathing in all of one's feelings spent in the event being recollected, and expelling all the unwanted moods and feelings that were left with us. In the act of inhaling and exhaling, sorcerers believe, lies the mystery of the recapitulation: since breathing is a life-sustaining function, sorcerers believe that one could also deliver this facsimile of one`s life experience to the force that lends us consciousness. When I pressed him for a rational explanation, his position was that things like the Recapitulation could only be experienced, not explained. In the act of doing, sorcerers find liberation. To explain it is to dissipate the energy in fruitless efforts. His invitation was congruous with everything related to his knowledge, the invitation to take action.
The list with the names of people is used then, as a mnemonic device which propels memory into an inconceivable journey. The sorcerers' logic is that remembering events that just took place prepares the ground for remembering events more distant in time with the same clarity and immediacy. Sorcerers consider recollection of this sort as reliving experiences already lived and drawing from this recollection an extraordinary force, an extraordinary impetus that stirs energy dispersed from our centers of action, and returns it to them, energy which is accumulated on the periphery of the luminous spheres of energy that we are. They refer to this redeployment of energy that the recapitulation causes as gaining fluidity after giving the Eagle what it is looking for.
On a more mundane level, the Recapitulation gives one the capacity to examine the repetition in one's life. Recapitulating convinces one, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that one is at the mercy of forces which ultimately make no sense, although at first sight they seem perfectly reasonable. Sorcerers affirm that if any behavioral change is going to be accomplished, it has to be done through the Recapitulation as the only vehicle that can enhance awareness by liberating one from the unvoiced demands of socialization, something so automatic that it cannot be examined; it can only be viewed. This is the reason why sorcerers call the Recapitulation a view from the bridge. It takes a long time to exhaust the list of people, because it is intimately related to events sometimes by sheer osmosis, persons are related in impersonal events in which no people were involved, but which happened around the time that one knew the person being recapitulated. In such cases, the event should be recollected by itself.
What sorcerers seek avidly in the Recapitulation is the memory of interaction, because in interaction, they discover the deep effects of socialization, which they try to overcome by any means available. 27
The fourth topic on the priority list of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico was dreaming, the art of breaking the parameters of normal perception. For those sorcerers and the members of their modern lineages, to travel in the unknown was indeed the driving force of sorcery.
Dun Juan demonstrated to me countless times that everything he and his companions did was funneled into that drive. The two arts on which they based their journeys were two tremendously sophisticated lines or activity: the art of dreaming and the art of stalking.
The art of stalking was for don Juan the other side of the coin, in relation in the art of dreaming. To make the two arts explicit to me, he first presented what he said was the cornerstone of sorcery: the possibility of perceiving energy directly, as it flows in the universe.
He explained that what human beings ordinarily take for perceiving is rather the act of interpreting sensory data. He maintained that from the moment of birth, everything around us supplies us with a possibility of interpretation. This possibility turns in time into a full system by means of which we conduct all of our perceptual transactions in the world. He was convinced that not for an instant do we have the opportunity to conceive the possibility of perceiving the flow of energy directly. For don Juan, and other sorcerers like him, what transforms an average man into a sorcerer is the act of canceling out the effect of our interpretation system and perceiving energy directly.
Don Juan explained that human beings appear as luminous spheres when they are perceived directly as energy. He referred to seeing energy directly as the articulation point of sorcery. He assured me that everything sorcerers do rotate around it, or originates from it, and that the two main currents of activity stemming from seeing energy directly are the art of dreaming and the art of stalking.
Another issue that he elucidated at length was the assemblage point. He said that when sorcerers are capable of seeing human beings as luminous spheres, they also see, the epicenter of sorcery: a point the size of a tennis ball, more intensely luminous than the rest of the luminous sphere. Don Juan called it the assemblage point, and said that it is precisely there, on that point, that perception is assembled.
"The art of dreaming," he said to me once, "consists of purposely displacing the assemblage point from its habitual position. The art of stalking consists in volitionally making it stay fixed on the new position to which it has been displaced." According to don Juan's explanation, these two arts are cushioned in a philosophical framework called the warriors' way, or the sorcerers' path: a set of premises by means of which sorcerers live and act in the world. To follow the premises of the warriors' way was for don Juan and his, companions the crowning achievement of sorcery. Don Juan believed that only by strictly adhering to the warriors' way can sorcerers find the energy and determination for journeying in the unknown.
Don Juan stressed, in every way he was able, the value of a pragmatic attitude on the part of the practitioners for dreaming and stalking. He defined a pragmatic altitude as the capacity of absorbing any contingency that may appear along the warriors' way. He himself was, to me, the living example of such an attitude. There wasn't any uncertainty or liability that his mere presence would not dispel.
He pointed out that in order to arrive at this desirable pragmatic attitude, a practitioner has to have a superbly pliable, agile, strong body. He said that for sorcerers, the physical body is the only entity that makes any sense to them, and that there is no such thing as a dualism between body and mind. Sorcerers believe that the physical body involves both the body and the mind as we know them. He told me that in order to counterbalance the physical body as a holistic unit, sorcerers consider another configuration of energy: the energy body, also known as the other, the double, the dreaming body.
Don Juan described the art of dreaming as the possibility to use normal dreams as a bona fide entrance for human awareness into other realms of perceiving. He claimed that ordinary dreams could be used as a hatchet that leads into other regions of energy different than the energy of the world of everyday life, and yet utterly similar to it at a basic core. He said that the result of such an entrance was, the perception of veritable worlds where one can live or die, just like the one in which we live, but worlds which are astounding different than ours, and yet, utterly similar. Pressed for a linear explanation of this seeming contradiction, don Juan Matus reiterated his standard position: that the answers to all those questions were in the practice, not in the intellectual inquiry. In order to talk about such possibilities, one has to use the syntax of language, whatever language one speaks and that syntax, by the force of usage, limits the possibilities of expression. The syntax of any language refers only to perceptual possibilities found in the world in which we live. Don Juan made a significant differentiation in Spanish, between two verbs; one was to dream, soñar, and the other was ensoñar, which is to dream the way sorcerers dream. In English, there is no clear distinction between these two states: the normal dreaming. sueño, and the more complex state that sorcerers call ensueño. Don Juan also described dreaming as a state of profound meditation in which a shift of perception plays a key role.
Don Juan explained that the art of dreaming originated in a very casual observation that the sorcerers of ancient Mexico made when they saw people that were asleep. They noticed that during sleep the assemblage point is displaced in a very natural, easy way from its habitual position, and it moves anywhere along the periphery of the luminous sphere, or to any place in the interior of it. Correlating their seeing with the reports of the people that had been asleep, they realized that the greater the observed displacement of the assemblage point, the more astounding the reports of things and scenes experienced in dreams.
Those sorcerers avidly looked for opportunities to displace their own assemblage points, and they ended up using psychotropic plants to accomplish this. Soon, they realized that the displacement brought about by using these plants was erratic, forced, and out of control. Don Juan said that in the midst of this failure, they discovered one thing of great value. The sorcerers of ancient times called it dreaming attention, or the capacity that practitioners acquire to maintain their awareness unwaveringly on the items of their dreams.
The end result of those sorcerers' new endeavors was the art of dreaming as it stands today. Through discipline, they succeeded in developing their dreaming attention to an extraordinary degree. They were able to focus it on any element of their dreams, and found out, in this fashion, that there were two kinds of dreams. One was the dreams that we are all familiar with, in which phantasmagorical elements come into play, something which we could categorize as the product of our mentality, our psyche; perhaps something that has to do with our neurological makeup. The other kind of dreams, they called energygenerating dreams. Don Juan said that those sorcerers of ancient times found themselves in dreams that were not dreams, but actual visitations made in a dream-like state to bona fide places other than this world - real places, just like the world in which we live: places where the objects of the dream generated energy, just like trees, or animals, or even rocks generate energy in our dally world. Their visions of such places, were, however, too fleeting, too temporary, to be of any value to them. They attributed this flaw to the fact that their assemblage points could not be held, for any considerable time, fixed at the position to which they had been displaced. Their attempts to remedy the situation resulted in the other high art of sorcery: the art of stalking, or the feat of holding the assemblage point fixed at the position to which it had been displaced. This fixation allowed them the opportunity to witness that world in its full extent. Don Juan said that some of those sorcerers never returned from their journeys. In other words, they opted for staying there, wherever "there" was.
Don Juan said that in mapping human beings as luminous spheres, those sorcerers at ancient times discovered six hundred spots in the total luminous sphere which give, as a result, if the assemblage point happened to be fixed at any of them, the entrance into a total new world. His answer to my unavoidable question, "But where are those worlds" was "in the position of the assemblage point." Nothing could be truer than that statement, and yet, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to us.
However, if it is examined in the light of the sorcerers' capacity to see energy as it flows in the universe, it makes sense for them. Their position is that the assemblage point at its habitual location receives an inflow of energy fields from the universe at large in the form of luminous energy filaments. Consistently, the same filaments, numbering in the billions, go through the assemblage point, giving as a result the world that we know. If the assemblage point is displaced to another position, another set of energy filaments goes through. Sorcerers feel that this new set of energy filaments cannot possibly give a view of the same world; that by definition that world has to be different from the world of everyday life. Since the assemblage point is not only the center where perception is assembled, but the center where interpretation of sensory data is accomplished, sorcerers feel that it will interpret the new influx of energy fields in very much the same terms in which it interprets the world of everyday life. The result of this new interpretation is the view of a world which is strangely similar to ours, and yet intrinsically different. Don Juan said that it is only the interpretation of the assemblage point which accounts for the sense of similarity, and that energetically, other worlds are as different from ours as they could possibly be.
In order to express this wondrous quality of the assemblage point and the possibilities of perception brought about by dreaming, a new syntax is needed; or perhaps the same syntax of our language could cover it if this experience made available to any one of us, and not merely to shaman initiates.
Another thing which was of tremendous interest to me, but which bewildered me to no end, was don Juan's statement that there was really no procedure to speak of that would teach anyone how to dream; that more than anything else, dreaming was a penurious effort on the part of the practitioners to put themselves in contact with the indescribable perennial force that sorcerers call intent. Once this link was established, dreaming also mysteriously became established. Don Juan asserted that this linkage could be accomplished following any pattern that implied discipline.
However, what was of supreme importance for don Juan in order to accomplish the feat of dreaming was to follow the warriors' path, or the philosophical construct which sorcerers use to buttress their actions, wherever they happen to be, in this world, or in any other world besides this one. Following the warriors' path brought about a homogeneity of results in the absence of any precise patterning. The devices that sorcerers of ancient times used to aid the displacement of the assemblage point were the magical passes, which purported to give them the stability necessary to call forth dreaming attention, without which there is no possibility of dreaming in the fashion of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico without the aid of dreaming attention, practitioners could aspire at best, to have lucid dreams about phantasmagorical worlds, or even perhaps views of worlds that generate energy, but which made no sense whatsoever in the absence of an all-inclusive rationale that would properly categorize them. 33
The fifth topic, which is the culmination of the other four, and which was most avidly sought by the sorcerers of ancient Mexico, is inner silence. Inner silence was defined by don Juan as a natural state of human perception in which thoughts are blocked off and all of man's faculties function from a level of awareness which doesn't require the functioning of our daily cognitive system.
Don Juan associated inner silence with darkness because human perception, deprived of us habitual companion - the internal dialogue, that is to say, a silent verbal rendition of cognitive processes - falls into something that resembles a dark pit. The body functions as usual, but awareness becomes sharper. Decisions are instantaneous, and they seem to stem from a special sort of knowledge which is deprived of thought-verbalizations.
The shamans of ancient Mexico, who discovered and used the magical passes that are the core of Tensegrity, believed that human perception functioning in a condition of inner silence is capable of reaching indescribable levels. They even maintained that some of those levels of perception pertained to other worlds, which they believed to coexist with our own: worlds that are as inclusive as the one in which we live; worlds in which we could live or die, but that are inexplicable in terms of the linear paradigms that the habitual state of human perception employs for explaining the universe.
Inner silence, in the understanding of the sorcerers of don Juan's lineage, is the matrix for a gigantic step of evolution; the sorcerers of ancient Mexico called this gigantic step of evolution silent knowledge.
Silent knowledge is a state of human awareness where knowing is automatic and instantaneous. Knowledge in this state is not the product of cerebral cogitations or logical inductions and deductions, or of generalizations based on similarities and dissimilarities. In silent knowledge, there is nothing a priori, nothing that could constitute a body of knowledge. For silent knowledge, everything is imminently now. Complex pieces of information can be grasped without any preliminaries.
Don Juan believed that silent knowledge was insinuated to early man, but that early man was not really the possessor of silent knowledge. He said that such an insinuation was infinitely stronger than what man experiences nowadays, where the bulk of knowledge, is the product of rote learning. He believed that although we have lost the insinuation, the avenue that leads to silent knowledge will always be open to man, and that it stems from the matrix of inner silence. The attainment of inner silence is the prerequisite for all of the things that we have delineated in this elucidation. Don Juan taught that inner silence must be gained by a consistent pressure of discipline. He said that it has to be accrued, or that it has to be stored, bit by bit, second by second. In other words, one has to force oneself to be silent, if it is only for a few seconds. Don Juan claimed that if one is persistent, persistence overcomes habit, and thus, one arrives at a threshold of accrued seconds or minutes, a threshold which varies from person to person. If, for instance, the threshold of inner silence is for any given individual, ten minutes, once this mark is reached, inner silence happens by itself, by its own accord, so to speak.
There is no possible way of knowing what our individual threshold might be. The only way to find out is by trying. This is for instance, what happened to me. Following don Juan's suggestion, I persisted in forcing myself to remain silent, and one day, while walking at UCLA from the anthropology department to the cafeteria, I reached my mysterious threshold. I knew I had reached it, because in one instant, I experienced something don Juan had described at length to me: he had called it stopping the world. In one instant, the world stopped being what it was, and for the first time in my life, I became conscious that I was seeing energy as it flows in the universe. I had to sit down on some brick steps. I knew that wherever I was sitting, there were some brick steps, but I knew it only intellectually, through memory, experientially. I was resting on energy, I was myself energy, and so was everything around me.
I realized then something which became the horror of my day, something that no one could explain to me except don Juan; I became conscious that although I was seeing for the first time in my life, I had been seeing energy as it flows in the universe all my life, but I had not been conscious of it. To get energy as it flows in the universe was not the novelty. The novelty was the query that arose with such fury that it made me surface back into the world of everyday life. "What has been keeping me from realizing that I have seen energy as it flows in the universe all my life?" I asked myself.
Don Juan explained it to me, making a distinction between general awareness and being deliberately conscious of something. He said that our human condition is to have this deep awareness, but that all the instances of this deep awareness are not at the level of being deliberately conscious of them. He said that inner silence had bridged the gap, as was its function, and had allowed me to become conscious of things I had only been aware of in a general sense. 37
THE WESTWOOD SERIES
The aim of this elucidation has been to present what don Juan Matus called the five concerns of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico. He presented to his disciples these five concerns: the magical passes, the center for decisions, the Recapitulation, dreaming, and inner silence in the order in which I have explain them. He said that this sequence was an arrangement made by those ancient sorcerers patterning themselves on the understanding that they had of the world around them.
Don Juan explained that one of the astounding findings of those sorcerers was the existence of an agglutinating force that binds energy fields together into concrete, functional units. He said that those sorcerers described this force as a vibration, or a vibratory condition that permeated groups of energy fields and glued them together by saturating them. He stated that the magical passes fulfilled the function of this vibratory condition, and he aimed to saturate his disciples with them, following the same pattern used by the sorcerers of ancient times.
Don Juan said that when those sorcerers put together this shamanistic group of five concerns, they copied the patterning of energy that was revealed to them when they were capable of seeing energy as it flows in the universe. The binding force was the magical passes, and the magical passes were what permeated through the four remaining units and grouped them together into a functional unit: five energy fields glued together by one of them.
In the times of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico, the same magical passes, which were taught only to shaman initiates, and which saturated the other four units, are the same as the magical passes of Tensegrity. In a modern setting, these magical passes of Tensegrity can be used by anyone, and still agglutinate those four energy fields into a concrete and functional unit.
The group of magical passes that fulfill the function of agglutinating the other four units has been called The Westwood Series.
The Westwood Series is divided into four sections. The first section, and the most important, comprises magical passes that expedite decision-making. The second in order of importance is the one related to the Recapitulation. The third is related to dreaming, and the fourth is constituted of magical passes directly connected to the preparation tor inner silence.
The Westwood Series will be emphasized in all the workshops given in the present year, here in the United States and abroad.
Magical Passes for Reinforcing the Decision-Making System
The goal of this group of magical passes is to activate the hollow spot in the form of a "v" at the base of the neck on the crest of the sternum with a special kind of energy, which shamans or ancient Mexico believed accounts for decision-making.
1. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot with a Back and Forth Motion of the Arms
In this magical pass, the arms shoot out to the front at a forty-five degree angle with an exhalation. Then they are retrieved with an inhalation, with the shoulders raised high, in order to maintain the same degree of inclination. In the second facet of this movement, the arms are extended downward with an inhalation, and pulled back with an exhalation.
2. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot with a Circular Motion of the Arms
Energy is brought to the center of decision by two circles drawn with the hands and arms, which are kept at the same forty-five-degree inclination. Full circles are drawn by moving the hands outward laterally, and the movements consist of two facets. In the first, air is exhaled as the circles are drawn, and air is inhaled as the arms retrieve backwards.
In the second facet, air is inhaled as the hands and arms draw the circles and exhaled as the arms retrieve.
3. Bringing Energy to the Decision-Making Center With a Back and Forth motion with the Palms Turned Upwards
This movement is like the first one, and it is executed in exactly the same fashion, except that it is done with the palms of the hands turned upwards. The inhalations and exhalations are also exactly as in the first movement: air is exhaled as the hands and arms move forward at a forty-five degree level of inclination, and it is inhaled as the arms move backwards. Then air is inhaled as the hands and arms move downward and exhaled as the hands and arms retrieve.
4. Bringing Energy to the Decision-Making Center in a Circular Motion of the Arms with the Palms Turned Upwards
Again, this magical pass is exactly like the second, with the same two facets of inhalation and exhalation, but the two circles are drawn by the hands and arms with the palms of the hands turned upward. In the first facet, air is exhaled as the hands and arms move, and inhaled as the arms retrieve. In the second facet, air is inhaled as the hands and arms move, and exhaled as the arms move back towards the shoulders.
5. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot from the Midsection of the Body
In this magical pass, the arms are bent at the elbows and kept high at the same line of the shoulders. The hands are held in a fist without touching. The fists are turned slightly upwards to get a better leverage to the arms, which move in a titter-totter fashion from right to left and left to right. The motion is not accomplished by moving the shoulders but by moving the midsection to the right and to the left and the right again, and so on. In order to stir up the energy that will go in the center of decisions for a count of twenty times.
6. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot from the Area of the Shoulder Blades
The arms are bent, as in the previous movement, and they are heavily drawn towards the front. The right fist crosses over the left one.
The bent elbows are pushed forward, extending the shoulder blades, one at a time, to the maximum. Energy is purported to be stirred at that level and transferred to the base of the neck at the front of the body.
7. Stirring Energy Around the "V" Spot with a Bent Wrist
Energy is stirred around the "v" spot with a gentle movement of each hand. Then it is projected out with a series of forceful blows delivered by the extended arms, one at a time, with the hands bent inward at the wrist.
8. Transferring Energy from the Solar Plexus to the "V" Spot
Energy is stirred twice around the solar plexus area with a circular motion of the each hand with the palm turned upwards, and it is projected out with the other arm, the hand striking edgewise.
9. Bringing Energy to the "V" Spot from the Knees
This pass consists of a series of singular movements, the first of which stirs energy around the center of decisions by striking it as if holding a whip that lashes at it with each hand. The whip moves twice around the head before it strikes out. Then, a deep inhalation is taken, and an exhalation follows by sliding the hands and arms downward until they hit the top of the knees. A deep inhalation is taken there, and the arms are raised with the left arm in the lead; they go over the head to the back of the neck. The breath is held as the top of the trunk moves three times from right to left and left to right. The air is exhaled then, as the arms and hands move back downward to the top of the knees.
A deep inhalation is taken, and then the air is exhaled as the arms are crossed at the wrists and raised to the level of the "v" spot. The left arm is closer to the body. This inhalation and exhalation is repeated two more times. The sorcerers who discovered this pass used the exhalations to ensure this transfer of energy.
The next group of three magical passes purports to transfer energy, which belongs only to the center of decisions, from the frontal edge of the luminous sphere, where it has been accumulated over the years, to the back, and then from the back of the luminous sphere to the front. This transferred energy is believed to go through the "v" spot, which acts as a filter, utilizing only the energy that is proper to it and discarding the rest.
It is of interest to note here that, because of this selective process of the "v" spot, it is essential to perform this series of passes as many times as possible.
10. Energy Going through the "V" Spot from the Front to the Back and from the Back to the front with Two Blows
This magical pass begins with a deep inhalation; then the air is exhaled slowly as the left arm strikes out at the level of the solar plexus with the palm of the hand turned upward. Energy is crabbed there with a quick clasp of the hand. The hand moves back as if to strike with a backhand blow. The exhalation ends as the hand opens, releasing the clasped energy.
A deep inhalation is taken. The energy is tapped ten times with the palm of the open hand as the exhalation slowly begins. Then the energy is clasped before the arm moves to the front and ends up in front of the "v" spot, in a punch-like movement. The hand opens, releasing the energy. The arm moves backward and then over the head and strikes the energy with the palm as if the energy were a bubble that breaks with the force of the blow, right in front of the decisionmaking center; the exhalation ends there.
The same movement is repeated with the right arm.
11. Transferring Energy from the Front to the Back and From the Back to the Front with a Hook of the Arm
This magical pass begins also with a deep inhalation. Then the air is slowly exhaled as the left arm moves forward with the palm of the hand turned upward. Energy is quickly grasped. The hand now in a fist, rotates until the back of the hand is upward and strikes over the shoulder to the back. The hand opens to release the trapped energy and the exhalation ends.
A deep inhalation is taken. Then, a slow exhalation begins as the hand, bent downward, scoops the energy three limes, as if to roll it into a ball. The ball is tossed upward, and quickly grabbed with the hand bent at the wrist like a hook. The arm moves to the front to the right shoulder and strikes forward as if holding the ball of energy on the bent wrist, between the hand and the forearm. The hand then opens to release the trapped ball of energy, and the arm moves back and over the head and strikes it with the palm, with great force, in order to break the ball of energy right in front of the decision making center. The exhalation ends as the whole body shakes with the force of the strike.
The same movement is repeated with the other arm.
12. Transferring Energy from the Front to the Back and the Back to the Front with Three Blows
This magical pass also begins with a deep inhalation. A slow exhalation follows as the left arm strikes forward with the open hand, palm turned upwards. Energy is quickly clasped, and the arm retrieves as if to deliver an elbow blow to the back. Then it moves laterally to the right and delivers a side punch. The arm is moved to the left side and to the back, delivering the third blow as if with the back hand. The exhalation ends as the hand opens and releases the trapped energy.
A deep inhalation is taken. A slow exhalation follows as the hand with a bent wrist scoops the energy three times. This energy is grabbed with a blow-like grasp. The arm moves to the front at the level of the decision-making center in a swing-like punch. It draws a half circle in front of the body and moves back to come over the shoulder and deliver a back-fist blow right at the level of the center for decisions. The exhalation ends as the left hand moves to the back over the shoulders and the head to strike the released energy with an open palm.
Repeat the same movement with the other arm.
Magical Passes for Aiding the Recapitulation
The recapitulation is intimately related to breathing. Sorcerers affirm that breath, being a magical, life-sustaining function, also helps to expedite the Recapitulation. The core of the magical passes that aid the recapitulation is breath.
cause it calls all the forces available. The energy body is essential for the recapitulation
1. Forging the Trunk of the Energy Body
The trunk of the energy body is forged with three strikes delivered with the palms of the hands. The first strike defines the shoulders of the energy body. The hands are held at the level of the ears with the palms facing outward, and from that position they strike forward at the level of the shoulders, as if they were striking the shoulders of a well developed body. The hands move then back to their original position around the ears, with the palms facing onward, and strike the midtrunk of that imaginary body at the level of the chest. The second strike is not as wide as the first one, and the third strike is much narrower, because- it purports to strike the waistline of a triangular shaped trunk.
2. Slapping the Energy Body
This magical pass is purported to define the arms and forearms, especially the hands, of the energy body. The left and the right hands come down from above the head. The palm of each hand bears down, creating a current of energy that defines each arm, forearm, and hand of the energy body. The left arm hits across the body to strike the left arm of the energy body and then the right arm does the same: It hits across the body to strike the right arm of the energy body.
3. Spreading the Energy Body Laterally
This magical pass delineates the width of the energy body as a conglomerate of energy fields. The shamans that lived in Mexico in ancient times asserted that the energy body in Its natural form was a bit looser than the physical body "seen" as a luminous sphere, or a conglomerate of energy fields. While the physical body as a luminous sphere has super-defined boundaries, the energy body lacks that consistency. "Spreading the Energy Body Laterally" is purported to give it defined boundaries.
4. Establishing the Core of the Energy Body
The sorcerers of don Juan's lineage maintained that the human body "seen" as a conglomerate of energy fields, does have not only super-defined boundaries, but a core of compact luminosity, which is known by sorcerers as "the band of man." or the energy fields with which man is most familiar. The idea was that within the luminous sphere, which is also the totality of man, there are areas of energy unknown to our familiar level of awareness. Those are the energy fields that are distant from this "band of man."
To execute this magical pass the forearms are held in a perfectly vertical position at the level of the chest, with the elbows kept in close to the body, at the width of the trunk. The wrists are snapped back gently, and then forward with great force, without moving the forearms.
5. Forging the Heels and the Calves of the Energy Body
The left loot is held in front of the body with the heel raised in mid-calf. The heel is turned out to a position perpendicular to the other leg. Then the left heel strikes to the right as if a kick with the heel were being delivered.
The same movement is executed with the right heel.
6. Forging the Knees of the Energy Body
In this magical pass, the total weight of the body is placed on one foot. This pass begins with the bent knee raised to the level of the hips, if possible, or even higher. Three swings are executed, moving the knee as if drawing an inward circle.
The same movement is repeated with the right leg, and then it is repeated again with each leg, but this time the knee draws an outward circle. The supporting leg stands with the knee slightly bent forward.
7. Forging the Thighs of the Energy Body
The body bends slightly at the knees as the hands go down the thighs. The hands stop on top of the kneecaps, and then they are pulled back on the thighs with an inhalation, as if they were dragging the energy.
There is a slight quality of a claw to each hand.
The movement is repeated, exhaling as the knees bend, and the hands go down to the top of the kneecap, and inhaling as they are pulled back.
8. Stirring Up the Personal History by Making it Flexible
This magical pass stretches the hamstring and relaxes it by bringing each leg, one at a time, bent at the knee, to strike the buttocks with a gentle tap of the heel. The left heel strikes the left buttock, the right heel strikes the right.
9. Stirring Up the Personal History with the Heel to the Ground by Taping it Twenty Times
The right leg is set with the foot aligned with the shoulders. The left foot is placed as far as possible in front of the body as the body almost sits on the right leg. The tension and contraction of the right leg, are maximum. The left leg kicks the ground twenty times with the heel.
The same movement is executed with the other leg.
10. Stirring Up the Personal History with the Heel to the Ground by Holding it for a Count of Twenty
The same movement is executed in this pass, but instead of tapping with the heel, the body is kept at an even tension by holding that stretch for a count of twenty.
The same Movement is executed with the other leg.
The following four magical passes are so intimately joined to breathing that they have to be done sparingly - once a day.
11. The Recapitulation Wings
This magical pass begins with a deep inhalation as both forearms are raised to the level of the shoulders, with the hands at the level of the ears. The forearms are kept vertical and equidistant from each other. An exhalation follows as the forearms are pulled back as far as possible without slanting them in any direction. A deep inhalation follows, and the left arm draws a semi-circle that starts at the level of the shoulder and goes forward as far as the arm can be extended and then laterally, drawing a semi-circle to the back as far as it can be extended.
The arm makes a curve at the end of this extension and goes back to the front, and then to its initial resting position by the side of the body.
The same movement is repeated by the other arm.
Both arms draw this wing-like semi-circle, within the duration of a long exhalation.
This movement ends with a deep abdominal breath.
12. The Window of Recapitulation
The first part of this magical pass is exactly like the preceding one; a deep breath is taken with the hands raised to the ear level. The forearms maintain a perfect verticality. This is followed by a long exhalation as the arms are pulled backwards. A deep inhalation is taken as the elbows are raised at the level of the eyes, and the arms make an opening in front of the eyes by overlapping the hands, with the wrists bent and the fingers pointing upwards. The hands create in this fashion an opening in front of the eyes that looks like a small window, through which, sorcerers affirm a practitioner can peer into infinity. A deep exhalation follows as the arms are extended laterally and the hands are straightened out and kept at the same level of the elbows.
In this magical pass, the window of recapitulation is made holding the left arm closer to the body and the right arm is placed in front of the left.
13. The Five Deep Breaths
The beginning of this magical pass is exactly like the other two. At the second inhalation, the arms go down and cross at the level of the knees, as the practitioner adopts a semi-squat position. The hands grab the part underneath the knees. The index and middle finger are placed against the tendon at the back of the knee and the thumb is wrapped around the inner part of the knee. The exhalation ends then, and a deep inhalation is taken, pressing the tendon.
Sorcerers maintain that this is the only position in which a practitioner can take deep breaths that fill the top as well as the lower part of the lungs by pushing the diaphragm downwards. Five breaths are taken in this fashion.
14. Drawing Energy from our Fringe of Awareness
The belief of sorcerers is that the only glow of awareness left in us is at the bottom of the luminous sphere that we are, a fringe that extends in a circle and reaches the level of the toes. The first part of this magical pass, as it is with this series of four, is the same as the other three. At the second Inhalation, the arms go down and the arms wrap around the inside of the calves as the practitioner adopts a squatting position. The backs of the hands rest on top of the toes, and in this fashion, three deep inhalations and three deep exhalations are taken.
After the last exhalation, the body straightens as a deep inhalation is taken to finish the magical pass.
Magical Passes that Aid Dreaming
Dreaming has to do exclusively with the displacement of the assemblage point. The magical passes that the sorcerers of ancient Mexico used to aid their dreaming are purported to displace the assemblage point by hurling it onward.
1. Getting the Assemblage Point Loose with a Movement that Places the Outer Edge of the Hand in Front of the Face
The left arm moves in front of the face in an upward thrust.
The palm is turned until the outer edge of the hand is facing inward.
The fingers are held together.
This magical pass is executed by each arm in succession for as many times as the practitioner desires. Also, the knees are kept bent for greater stability and thrusting force.
2. Forcing the Assemblage Point to Drop Down
The body is kept in a totally vertical position. The knees are straight, and the hamstrings as tight as possible, the left arm is placed at the back, a few inches, away from the body, the palm facing downward with a pronounced bend of the wrist, and the fingers pointing backward. The right arm is placed in front in the same position, palm facing downward, with a pronounced bend of the wrist, the fingers pointing forward.
The head turns in the direction of the arm that is kept at the back.
The same movement is repeated with the other arm.
3. Enticing the Assemblage Point to Drop by Drawing Energy from the Adrenals and Transferring it to the Front
This magical pass starts by placing the left arm behind the body with the hand held like a claw at the kidney level. The fingers are held tightly together as the hand drags across the kidney area from right to left.
Then the right arm executes the same movement, while the left arm, with the fingers straight, smears the energy from the kidney area across the stomach area, from right to left. This magical pass is repeated in succession with each arm in succession as many times as the practitioner desires. The knees are kept bent for greater stability and force.
4. Playing Out the "A" and "B" Types of Energy
The sorcerers believe that everything in the universe is composed of dual forces, and that we are subjected to that duality in every aspect of our lives, At the level of energy, they believe that there are two forces at play. Modern sorcerers call them the "A" and "B" forces, or the 1 and 2 forces, or the left and right. Don Juan Matus called it, when he taught this to his disciples, the "A" and "B" forces. He said that the "A" force is what is employed ordinarily in our daily affairs, and he represented it by a straight vertical line. The "B" force, he said, is ordinarily an obscure force that rarely enters into action: It is kept lying down. He represented it with a horizontal line drawn to the left of the vertical one, at its base, making in this fashion a reversed capital letter "L".
He said that sorcerers were beings which had succeeded in turning the force "B" which is ordinarily lying down, horizontally, out of use, into an active vertical line. And consequently, they succeeded in pulling force "A" to rest. He represented this process by drawing a horizontal line at the base of the vertical one, to its right, and having, as a result, a capital letter "L".
This process is depicted in the magical pass with the forearms. It starts with the right forearm raised in front of the body, with the elbow at the level of the shoulders, and the left arm bent at the elbow, with the back of the hand underneath the right elbow. The pressure of both arms is a downward pressure, and this is balanced by an upward thrust, as If two forces were simultaneously acting on the two arms. They are kept under thls tension for a count of twenty.
Then the same movement is executed by reversing the position of the arms.
5. Rolling Energy from the Assemblage Point and Projecting it Out with a Fist
The arms are kept at the shoulder level with the elbows bent. The hands overlap each other, and they are turned with the palms down. A circle is made with the hands rotating around each other; the movement is inward, toward the face. They rotate three times around each other, then the left arm is thrust forward with the hand in a fist, as if to strike an invisible target. Three more circles are drawn with each hand, and the right arm strikes the same target, with the hand in a fist.
6. Hurling the Assemblage Point Like a Knife over the Shoulder This magical pass is an actual attempt to hurl the assemblage point, in order to displace it from its habitual position. The practitioner holds the assemblage point as if it were a knife. The left hand reaches back, grabs the assemblage point and hurls it forward like a knife, then the right hand does the same movement. Sorcerers affirm that something in the intent of hurling the assemblage point causes a profound effect towards the actual displacement of the assemblage point. The knees are kept bent for hurling stability. This pass is done as many times as the practitioner desires.
7. Hurling the Assemblage Point Like a Knife from the Back by the Waist
The knees are kept bent as the body leans forward. Then the left hand grabs the assemblage point and hurls it forward with a quick slashing movement of the wrist. The same movement is repeated with the right hand. This pass is done as many times as the practitioner desires.
8. Hurling the Assemblage Point Like a Disk from the Shoulder
This pass begins with a slow rotation of the body. The right arm moves to the left side of the left leg, then the left arm moves to the right side of the right leg, then the right arm moves again to the left side of the left leg. The left hand reaches back, grabs the assemblage point, takes it to the right shoulder and hurls it forward like a disk.
The legs are kept bent slightly at the knees and a great pressure is asserted at the back of the thighs. The right arm sticks out behind the body to give stability to the act of hurling a disk. This position is held for a count of twenty.
The same movement is repeated with the other arm.
9, Hurling the Assemblage Like a Ball Above the Head The left hand moves back quickly and grabs the assemblage point, rotates in a big circle above the head and tosses the assemblage point forward from a place above the head.
This movement is repeated with the right hand. The knees are kept bent for this pass.
Magical Passes that Aid the Attainment of Inner Silence
Inner silence was described by don Juan Matus as a condition of human perception in which cognition functions without its seemingly perennial companion: the Internal dialogue. Inner silence was considered by don Juan and all the sorcerers of his lineage as the essential quality of evolved perception.
1. Drawing Two Half Circles with Each Foot
The total weight of the body is on the right leg as the left foot draws two semi-circles, starting from a point a half step in front of the body. It moves laterally to draw a semi-circle that ends by the heel of the right foot, and then another one that ends half a step behind the right body.
The same movement is executed with the right foot after the whole weight of the body is transferred to the left leg. The knee of the leg that supports the weight is bent for strength and stability. The practitioner breathes normally.
2. Drawing a Hall Moon with Each Foot
This magical pass starts with the left leg drawing a semi-circle around the body from the front to the back, while, the weight of the body is kept on the right leg, with the knee slightly bent.
The same movement is executed with the right leg. The practitioner breathes normally.
3. The Scarecrow in the Wind with the Arms Down
The arms are kept extended laterally at the level of the shoulders with the elbows bent and the forearms dangling downward. The forearms swing freely from side to side, as if moved by the wind alone for a count of twenty. The forearms and the wrists are kept straight and vertical. The knees are locked.
4. The Scarecrow in the Wind with the Arms Up
Just as in the preceding movement, the arms are extended laterally at the level of the shoulders, with the forearms turned upward, bent at the elbow. The forearms and wrists are kept straight and vertical. Then they swing freely downward and upward again, for a count of twenty times. The knees are locked lightly.
5. Pushing Energy Backwards with the Full Arm
The two arms are fully extended backwards as high as possible, holding the hands in a fist position. The knees are locked, and the trunk bends slightly forward as the air is exhaled. Then the arms are brought forward by bending the elbows, but holding the forearms tight against the body, as high as possible. This movement is repeated twenty times, and then the breathing is reversed. Instead of exhaling as the arms are pulled backwards, an inhalation is taken. An exhalation follows as the elbows are bent, and the forearm is brought upward against the axilla.
6. Pivoting the Forearm
The arms are held in front of the body with the elbows bent and the forearms upward. Each hand is bent at the wrist, resembling the head of a bird, which is at the eye level. Keeping the elbows vertical and straight, the hands are flipped back and forth, pivoting on the forearms. The knees are kept bent for stability and strength.
7. Moving Energy in a Ripple
The knees are kept bent, and the trunk stoops over. The two arms are kept dangling at the side. The left arm moves forward with three ripples, cuts across the body in a sickle shape from left to right and then from right to left and moves back again to the side of the body with three ripples.
This movement is repeated twenty times with each arm.
8. The "T" Energy of the Hands
The two arms are hold at right angles right in front of the solar plexus, making the shape of a letter "T". The left arm is the top of the letter "T" with the palm turned upward. The right arm is the bar of the letter "T" with the palm turned downward, and then the hands flip back and forth with a considerable force twenty times.
This same movement is executed twenty times, placing the right arm as the top of the letter "T".
9. Pressing the Thumb Against the Curled-Up Finger
The forearms, bent at the elbows, are held right in front of the body in a perfectly horizontal position, maintaining the width of the body. The fingers are curled in a loose fist, and the thumb is held straight, crawled on the curled index. An intermittent pressure is exerted between the thumb against left index finger and the curled fingers against the palm of the hand. They contract and relax, spreading the impulse to the arms. The knees are kept bent for stability.
10. Drawing an Acute Angle with the Arms Between the Legs
In this magical pass, the knees are kept locked, with the hamstrings as tight as possible. The trunk is bent forward, with the head almost at the level of the knees. The arms dangle in front and moving back and forth, draw an acute angle, with its vertex between the legs.
This movement is repeated twenty times.
11. Drawing an Acute Angle with the Arms in Front of the Face
In this magical pass, the knees are kept locked, with the hamstrings as tight as possible. The trunk is bent forward, with the head almost at the level of the knees. The arms dangle in front of the body and, moving back and forth, draw an acute angle, with its vertex in front of the knees. This movement is also repeated twenty times.
12. Drawing a Circle of Energy Between the Legs and in Front of the Body
In this magical pass, the knees are kept locked, with the hamstrings as tight as possible. The trunk is bent forward, with the head almost at the level of the knees. The arms dangle in front of the body and the left hand crosses and rests in front of the right one, as the two arms swing back between the legs. Then they are pushed out and draw two outward circles that end at a position away from the body in front of the knees and two inward circles that end in a position between the legs. While drawing the four circles the left wrist is kept on top of the right one.
This movement is repeated ten times.
Then the right wrist is made to rest on top of the left one, and four circles are drawn again in the same fashion. This movement is also repeated ten times.
13. Three fingers on the floor
The arms move above the head with a deep inhalation; then, as the air is exhaled, the arms are brought down all the way to the floor, keeping the knees locked and the hamstrings as tight as possible. The index and middle fingers of each hand touch the floor a foot in front of the body, and then the thumb is also brought to rest on the floor. A deep inhalation is taken as the body slowly straightens.
14. The Knuckles on the Toes
The arms move above the head with a deep inhalation; then, as the air is exhaled, the arms are brought down all the way to the floor, keeping the knees locked and the hamstrings as tight as possible. The knuckles are brought to rest on top of the toes as the exhalation ends.
A deep inhalation is taken as the body straightens.
15. Drawing Energy from the Floor with the Breath
A deep inhalation is taken as the arms are raised above the head; the knees are kept bent; the trunk turns to the left, and bends down as far as possible. The hands, with the palms down, come to rest around the left fool with the right hand in front and the left hand behind; they move back and forth five times as the exhalation ends. A deep inhalation is taken then, and the body straightens; the hands move over the head. The trunk turns in the right, and the exhalation begins as it bends down as far as possible. The exhalation ends after the hands move back and forth five times. Another deep breath is taken then, and the body straightens up; the arms move above the head, and then they come down as the air is exhaled.