Interview 1995 Donner, Haines Ely
KVMR Radio - Florinda Donner
Hanes Ealy: Well I'm Hanes Ealy and my intent today is to talk to Florinda Donner and try to bring as much of the sorcerers' world to the listener as possible in one hour. I'm going to let Florinda introduce herself.
Florinda Donner: So, I'm going to do this myself?
HE: I'm going to ask you to tell who you are and what you're going to do today.
FD: Oh. Actually I really don't know what I'm going to do today. I think that, well... I am Florinda Donner, I am an anthropologist. I have been working with Carlos Castaneda over twenty years and as a student of anthropology, I was drawn into the world of sorcerers and I have stayed there ever since.
HE: Well the question that comes to mind right off the bat Florinda, is the world of the sorcerer doesn't allow any volunteers...
FD: Well, not volunteers in the sense that "Yes, I want to be in the world of the sorcerers." Of course in a weird way we have to be totally volunteers because nobody is drawn into this world against their will. However... I don't know if you know about it? We have been giving a series of lectures lately in bookstores, Taisha Abelar and myself and Carol Tiggs and that is the recurrent question, you see? "What makes you so special?" or... I mean nothing makes us so special (laughter). We are truly and I'm not saying this out of false humility, we are very ordinary people and something very extraordinary has happened to us. The idea of there are not volunteers in the sense that this world is an extremely arduous and solitary world.
What we have noticed as we have been talking to different groups of people is most, I'm not saying all, but most of the people have... are used to having weekend workshops and seminars and they want answers, they want crystal clear answers in the sense of "What do I have to do to change my life?" Well, to change your life, you have to die practically in the sense what the sorcerers know as leaving the ego, which is a death in of itself. In order to accomplish that, its not that you really die, its a life time endeavor. You see, we have no clear answers, people want a program, they would like "Ok, Step one, two and three and four, five follows." Well it doesn't work that way at all. It is an extremely difficult proposition to get across, that its a way of life, its not just something you do in your free time. Your total life is involved in this, body, mind and spirit or whatever we want to define it.
HE: So many people want to join the sorcerers' world. So many people, when they heard you were going to be on the show, starting coming to the local bookstore and saying "Is Florinda or Taisha going to come to our town?" They just have a tremendous, tremendous interest in what you do and yet there's no way the average person could even come close to doing what you do.
FD: I just returned from Mexico, in fact I just came back. An hour ago I returned from Mexico. I was there with Carlos Castaneda and we talked to several people and its always the same thing, you know? "What can we do to join this world?" Well... "Why are you different from the different sorcerers, the different lines, lineage's of Naguals?" Well Carlos is different in the sense that he has written these books. These books are obviously available to the public, and in the books, and I'm not saying that you know, the book does not follow any kind of line, but in the books, it's very clearly stated in terms of what it involves to be in that world. People, I think, fail to see that the procedures, not the procedures but there is... It's a clearly delineated path in the sense that we have to totally cut off ourselves from the world with out retreating from the world.
Another point is that people when they say "I want to join the sorcerers' world, I need a teacher, I need a Guru. You had that too." Yes of course we did have it, but it was a very solitary, well it is a very solitary battle. People always talk in terms of "Well there is the group, there is the Castaneda group." Well, there is no group. We had the hardest time for 3 days in Mexico that there is no group. There is a place which Carlos calls the place of the second attention, the place of no self pity, of no compassion in the sense that we can not allow ourselves to be compassionate, to have compassion or pity for our fellow man when we haven't changed ourselves. And there is that place, no matter if we're in Mexico, Los Angeles, San Francisco that we do meet, you see? There is this place that we all get together and people from lets say, "the outside world", if there is such a thing that can be called, made a dichotomy. They do join us, even if it's only for a moment.
The things that are involved in this... like the first things I tell people is they have to recapitulate their lives. Its one of the main, lets say "procedures" to truly examine our life. Examine our life in such a minute detail, its not a psychological, lets say, analysis or investigation about ourselves. It's far from it. It's a total examination of what we are in the sense of how we have learned by the time we were three or four years old, how to manipulate the world and our fellow human beings and it becomes very clear how we have learned those patterns and what we want to do, we want to divest ourselves of those patterns. If we can not divest ourselves of those patterns, at least have a momentary second, or I guess, a momentary chance to not react the same way we react. According to don Juan, they say our energy, let's say, 90% of our energy is involved in the presentation of the self. Because of that nothing of what is out there really can come to us.
We are so filled with how we look to others, how we come across, either just physically or emotionally. The idea of the presentation of the self takes all our energy, all our endeavor. Its like we are already booked, we are closed to anything that can come in. Of course we have glimpses which we immediately discard "Oh well, something happened. That was whatever." Either its in dreams or in the everyday life of being awake.
HE: In this recapitulation, I think it was in Taisha's book, or maybe Taisha said it, that you have to recapitulate every person that you've ever encountered in your life.
FD: The way you want... Taisha's book...basically, it is... It deals with the recapitulation.
HE: My problem is as a job, what I do for a living, as a physician, I've encountered over 500,000 people in my last 20 years.
HE: I can't recapitulate the people I saw yesterday, let alone the 100,000th person I saw in 1975.
FD: Oh no, but you see? Instead of saying that, you could say, well, you could certainly make an attempt because as you say, in the kind of job that you have, Let's say, I'm sure you have already a very standard and a very well worked out routine of what works in your line of work.
FD: I mean it has to be, otherwise you wouldn't be able to survive.
So that is your public persona. In lets say, your private life, how you deal with your fellow human beings, with your wife, with your parents, with your children, I don't know what what... In terms of how you are engaged in terms of the world, but you see the certain patterns that are recurrent, the way we interact with our fellow man, which is always to protect the ego. We're always trying to protect the ego. If it gets attacked or if it's in anyway threatened, we immediately have this lets say, this background of ways of immediately repairing the damage which is emotionally, it's alright for us, but its not alright for the body. You see? The body acknowledges those blows.
According to don Juan, he said, illness and disease didn't really exist in his world because it is basically... I don't want to say it's self inflicted because that's going too far, but we do make ourselves sick with stress. And the stress basically comes because the ego can not deal with the world outside.
HE: All these things that the ego does to maintain itself, its self importance, are energy drains, am I not correct?
FD: What are the energy drains? For don Juan, sorcery was a world of energy. Basically, a sorcerer is interested in visualizing, of seeing... not visualizing, of apprehending, of perceiving energy directly.
HE: And we're born with that power, we have enough energy when we're born to...
FD: All of us, no matter what we are, all of us have that inheritance, we are perceptors. We are fields of energy.
HE: And we squander that energy...
HE: ...by maintaining the self importance, the self image.
FD: The idea of the self. The idea of our self-image, whatever that entails.
HE: And we can recapture that energy by recapitulating our lives as best as possible?
FD: There is no guarantee. No. Its just one procedure to at least make us stop for a moment before we want to repeat our habitual behavior in terms of our presentation of the self.
Let's say if we are in the world, in a job, somebody insults us and says "look you didn't really do a good job" you see? Emotions, its like you can say like... "The asshole, he doesn't know what he was talking about", you know? "I really know what I'm doing. It doesn't really matter, I don't get insulted." But the body acknowledges that blow, you see? Especially our energetic body and that's exactly what don Juan was interested... But it doesn't happen, no matter how the world values you, it doesn't really matter, because they're only valuing an ideal of yourself anyway.
HE: Is there any particular portion of the body where we store these energy blows?
FD: Well it depends. Usually we store those energy blows in our weakest part, whether it's our organs, I mean, it depends... For instance, if you under stress, lets say you feel certain pains, or you feel drained, you get a cold, I mean you know your body better than anyone else. Well, that is exactly where the blow is going.
HE: But its not universal, it isn't in the nervous system or in the tendons, or in the vascular system, it varies from person to person?
FD: Varies person to person. For instance, I have very weak bronchitis, whenever I get drained, I start coughing very, very badly so whether is just something physically or I really got stressed out, you know, I start coughing. Of course in Los Angeles, very easy because with the smog.
HE: Sure. Well, in the sorcerers' world, from each thing I've read whether its Carlos' book or your book or Taisha's book or from hearing you talk, it seems that you were lent energy by the Nagual...
HE: ...or by the other witches.
FD: When we were in their company, we were running... It's not that they were lending - we were running on their energy. For us to meet them, for to be in their world, which is the world of the second attention, they were lending us their energy, yes, for them to actually do it, there has to be this total and... One of the interesting things, this idea, that when we give talks, people are extremely cautious, and of course, rightfully so. When I encountered the world of don Juan, there was no chance to be cautious. I either jumped or there was no game.
I'm not saying that's the thing to do, but for us, for me, in my case, there was no other way. Yes of course I resented it, its not that I resented it, but there were, you know... There were no really doubts but I was extremely, lets say, aberated in my patterns of behavior. Because from my perspective, I was the greatest thing that ever lived, I mean, the world validated my idea of the self. I grew up in South America, I had advantages just by the mere fact the way I looked. Children know how to manipulate that extremely well, I was President in my elementary school from kindergarten until sixth grade, I was in Venezuelan schools, I was... There were very few blond children. I mean, I was treated like a little goddess and I believed that that was my inherent right. You see, and then of course as an adult we do change, we alter these patterns, but there inherently is this self importance you know, "I'm the greatest thing that ever lived."
HE: There are people in society, taking the opposite view point, who...
FD: Yeah but you see what I'm saying... Taking the opposite view... I'm telling you in a very exaggerated manner, it doesn't really matter whether our idea of the self is positive or negative.
FD: The drain of energy is exactly the same, whether we maintain, we have a total loss of image or a bombastic idea of the self, it doesn't really matter, the drain of energy is the same, because we still have this idea... We have to defend this idea of what we truly are which is the sight of our fellow man. Inherently there is nothing to back it up. We know certain things, yes, we know to a degree that we are intelligent, we know how to do certain... Yes, but I'm not talking about this, I'm talking about our involvement with the self. The idea that we are all special in one way. We're always special, you see? What don Juan did with us, he bombarded this idea of being special. He said "If you're all special in the world, the world can't function." Which is absolutely true. That why we have, let's say, from a basic human point of view, we don't really know how to interact with each other because each one of us is always defending something.
HE: How can we stop this? I mean, we can recapitulate, but I, in my own life, let me just give an example, because I'm sure this would be for everyone else, recapitulation takes time. It seems like the sorcerers world is a world of people who have lots of free time, they have nothing better to do, nothing is calling on them to do something else. They can go off and dream for nine days, or disappear from the world for ten years, or whatever they want, but the average person with a job, a family...
FD: I totally agree with you.
HE: ...tries to recapitulate and they might get a half hour's worth in if they're lucky and they might take two lifetimes at that rate to recapitulate anything.
FD: Precisely, but like for instance, look, I've been in the sorcerers world I mean, I don't even want to mention... its way over twenty years, ok? That is a lifetime. The thing is, my lifetime has been spent in following the path. I have made that decision. That's all I do. There are people in our group that work jobs from what? 9 to 5 or whatever 6, whatever the hours are. Have totally ordinary jobs. Well one of them - I translate. I love to do translations, I translate from Spanish into English or vice versa or into German. So that's my income. I need to live. I'm certainly in the world in the sense that I do.. We have not retreated from the world but we are not in the world in the sense that whatever makes us react like our fellow man, we have curtailed this to the minimum. It doesn't really matter what they do to us anymore. How they bang us. Its not because we have succeeded at something, no, we are fighting this on a daily basis.
The people that have a family... I was just talking... In Mexico there was this man, he has 5 children, he has a wife, lovely woman, and she is of course is totally threatened by his interest in the world of sorcerers, in the world of don Juan and I said "No, but that is totally absurd because whatever he can get out of it, even by just recapitulating, if he really does it properly and is truly and sincerely interested, his life as a father and a husband has to get better. By the mere fact that he is changing will force you to change." Because especially in a relationship of husband and wife the only thing is well, "he has do, if I'm going to put this and this and this in, I'm going to change, he has to do it." In the world of sorcery it doesn't work that way. You change for the hell of it. What the other person does is none of your concern.
Your change of behavior will force the other person whether they want to or not, to change. I can tell you this with utter sincerity because that's exactly what happens in our world. I used to complain endlessly "Well SHE is not doing her job, HE's not doing his job. I'M trying to change, I'M doing this." You see? The "I","I", "I" never stops.
FD: And then when don Juan said "you know, you're full of prunes. You give everyone you deal with a blank check. Whatever they do to you, short of killing you and injuring you, has nothing to do with you. You change for the hell of it." And sure enough, he's right. If we change, the "I" changes, you force the world around you to change. And that's my contention, the idea, whether we are interested from an ecological point of view, from a psychological point of view, whatever we are trying to do in the world. We are not willing to change ourselves. We try to implement change in others without changing ourselves or changing ourselves only - we say that we have changed. In the body, the energetic body knows when someone hasn't changed, when its not quite sincere or quite right. Yes, that they're struggling, I agree, but the change has... We have to change ourselves as a person in order to effect the world around us - without expecting them to change.
HE: Our guest today on The Earth Mystery Show here on KVMR 89.5 FM is Florinda Donner. Florinda has been in the world of sorcery for the last twenty years. If you've just tuned in she's written several books. He latest, Being In Dreaming is available in bookstores and she has also written The Witches Dream and Shabono.
Speaking of change, you mentioned in Arizona at the Rim Institute when I first heard you, that men have more or less screwed up the world and its up to women to dream us a new world and change. Could you talk a little bit about the role of women?
FD: No, no, no, I did not say that it's up to women. No, no, no. Women can not do it by themselves, you see, I think either I'm not coming across right or... I don't want to say I'm being misinterpreted because that's sort of absurd, no. What I'm saying is, yes, let's take the masculine principle, let's say, has taken us to where we are now. What I'm saying is that women have a great deal to contribute. What we contribute in, let's say, the world of everyday life is not that different from what men have been doing. Yes, women have advanced enormously by the pressure they have put on the masculine frame. But we copy your paradigm, the paradigm that rules us in that no matter in what aspect of life, its a masculine paradigm.
We are basically a male Universe. When the Universe, according to sorcerers... The Universe is basically a sentient Universe and its almost like it has been reversed in the sense that whatever rules us is only the male principle. What I am saying is that it has to be balanced and it can not be balanced by asking, let's say the male... I'm not talking any male in particular. It has to change, because if you just look around you, we have truly screwed up the planet, I mean there is no doubt about it. Our whole institutions are just pretty much... sick!
HE: I agree but maybe I also misinterpreted what you said in Arizona, but also I felt you were calling on the women to stop being slaves, to stop accepting the paradigm of a male Universe when it's really basically a female Universe and start dreaming what the Universe should be for us.
FD: Well what it should be, there's no way, like for instance say "What should it be?" For us to survive as a species we have to evolve. You see we have to evolve and I don't mean evolve in ideologies. The ideologies that rule us have been exhausted. We only come up with a different version of what has been going on for the last 5000 years. We haven't really done anything new. I don't know if I mentioned this, we have to INTEND something new. We can't intend what it is, what its going to be, the new thing, except that it has to be some change. For instance the dinosaurs, they intended flight. They didn't intend wings, the wings were the by-product of that intent. The same with us... and the women have, lets say, the biological constitution to evolve. That's the only thing I said. But for women to do that, they have to be given the time and protection from the males. They need that time to rule not just... look no matter what, lets say how sensitive, how.... you as a human being, let's say in your relationship with your family... that is not enough to make a difference. There are pockets, groups yes, the male is totally in agreement that something has to change. They are willing to give the female or the women, whatever, the time or lets say "Yes, you are in charge", but I'm not saying in terms of "You are in charge" again that is a masculine terminology. No one is in charge. It has to be a joint process of trying to change and that change can only come by changing ourself. The emphasis on the "I", on the ego, has to go. I think one of the reasons we are so enthralled with the idea of the self is because we have really nothing else to protect. Its like let's say in primitive man, prehistoric man, the idea of the cave. It's almost like a territoriality. We are treating the ego as a territory because we don't defend the cave anymore. Thetas already been taken care of. So we defend in the most exorbitant manner and a most exorbitant price, the idea of the self and if that goes, something will happen. I know because it happened to the sorcerers.
HE: See, you mentioned "intending" and the word "intent" is used all through Carlos Castaneda's books and its mentioned in your book and that's something that is difficult I think for the average person to understand...
FD: Very difficult for us to understand too. It is because it is extremely subtle, extremely powerful and yet it is not ... Intent speaks, lets say directly to the energy body. We all have an energy body. We voice our intent and yet it is not voiced as a psychological process and yet it sounds... You see it is very difficult and I'm not trying to say you know it's so esoteric or abstract, its not, its so simple. I think its it's own simplicity that makes it so hard to grasp and that again... I'm talking... it sounds like I am...
HE: Let me see if I can say it the way I understand it and that is that "intent" is a spirit, is an energy that pervades the Universe and that spirit or that energy is benevolent, it wishes us well and it throws things in our face, every day, every night, all the time which are for our own good and we as energy beings, as egos, ignore it, look by it, pay attention to our own ego, our own life and ignore what the intent of the Universe is.
FD: Ok, I want to correct only one thing, this idea that it is benevolent. No, it is only energy. It is neither good or bad, it is only energy. We make that interpretation. Energy is energy, its like something that is out there in the Universe, creating the Universe. Let's say almost from an astronomy point of view.
HE: I used the word benevolent just because so many people are afraid of the word sorcery, they assume sorcery has something to do with evil.
FD: Sorcery of course carries a whole range of.... When the New World was discovered by the Spaniards you had totally... was a Catholic view which the idea of good and evil is so prevalent that it was impossible for them to understand anything else, so whatever was destroyed in terms of a system of knowledge was so gigantic you know? Like for instance, like in Yucatan you have of course... you know about the old Spanish... the clergy Diego de Landa and whatever they have done in the new world was so gigantically negative in the sense that they burned... let's say the Mayas in the Yucatan, the libraries that Diego De Landa burned. It took four months of daily burning to burn all the manuscripts. I mean, that's inconceivable in terms of the kind of knowledge that was lost that has nothing to do with our Western point of view.
HE: Well, there are, there are still people like you and your party who try and preserve small bits of this knowledge and who write books and bring some of this knowledge back to us, but there are obviously as you said four months worth of books that nobody is ever going to see again...
HE: Is it your intention and your party's intention to put all this stuff into print so that average person can read it and learn it and do it?
FD: Our intent... the reading is basically, I mean whatever we have written is extremely personal in the sense that is exactly what has happened to us. In terms of what we know from the sorcerers of the lineage of don Juan, its only one line what we know, you see? I am sure there are many other systems of knowledge that express, let's say the terminology, the vocabulary is different, but ultimately the intent is the same. It is not that the different systems of knowledge... this system of knowledge is extremely pragmatic. It truly gives us the way, if you are interested, to follow certain... I don't want to say rules and regulations, because there are none, but does give us a very pragmatic way of trying to implement something that in other traditions we can only read about.
Rituals, exercises, yes they are fine only to hook our attention, but ultimately the only thing that counts from our experience is that inherent change, we truly want to do it, with no recompense in sight. There is nothing that guarantees us that we are going to make it, there is nothing in that scenario... I emphasize this again and again that people who are interested, I can not guarantee you that whatever the work you put into it - you're going to be successful. I don't know it myself! If I am going to succeed the way don Juan succeeded, if that was success, anyway, but at least the path, whatever we are trying to do or whatever we are doing is infinitely more exciting to us than if I would to follow my parents path and I'm not criticizing my parents, I love my parents dearly, I'm not criticizing, I just...I would like my life to end differently than I know the way their lives is going to end.
HE: Let me take a minute to tell the listeners that you are listening to KVMR 89.5 FM and our guest today is Florinda Donner. She's written her latest book, "Being in Dreaming -- an Initiation into the Sorcerer's World", and she's also written the Witches Dream and Shabono.
Speaking of your parents, all of you have had to die to the world in once sense or another to become sorcerers... Carol Tiggs said that she was in a different place, a different world for ten years. What relation do you have with your past family?
FD: With my past family? Actually I think I am the only one that has any kind of relationship with the family because of my circumstances. When I first entered, if there is such a thing, entered into the sorcerers world, I cut myself off, purposefully, from most people that I knew including my parents of course. My parents did not know for about ten, twelve years whether I was dead or alive. It was a very calculated move, because of the sorcerers point of view is that for us to change, for us to be able to change, we need to cut off from the people who know us so well because, not that they do it maliciously, but they prevent us from changing because they already know what we are and nothing that we do will make them change their mind. And I'm not talking about in terms of "OK you're not capable of doing certain things", no I'm talking about a fundamental change in our energy.
HE: They're going to reinforce your self image that they knew before you changed.
FD: And then I remember Florinda at one time said "Look, it doesn't matter, why not just go and see your parents?" and at that time... you know.. I had been working, you know I was doing... I was an anthropologist, actually I was in contact with one brother and from time to time I would let him know, I just wanted to at least re-assure them that I was not dead. I said I was involved in something that I had to cut myself off. Personally, I had parents who were extremely understanding and lets say, at least from my perspective, it went very well. When I lets say re-established contact with my parents, it was extremely interesting to see that my relationship with my parents was much more loving and understanding than it had ever been before.
HE: You mentioned seeing, and to a sorcerer, a sorcerer being a person who can change his perceptions at will... Sorcerers see, I gather, the human as a luminous egg of energy fibers and within that luminous egg there is a place that you call the assembly point where we perceive and if you should shift that assembly point you perceive things totally differently, you are in a different world. And I assume that when we dream the assemblage point is shifting a little bit and that's why we perceive dreams, but you're able to dream "awake", you're able to dream consciously, and the dream world scenes from your books and what I've heard seem to be very, very real, realer than it is to most of us.
FD: Ok, lets say that the .. one of the... lets say not the ultimate, but one of the greatest accomplishments of a bona fide sorcerer is that the world of the second attention, the world of dreaming awake, "dreaming" as in Castaneda's latest book, has to do that you want the same control as you have in world of everyday life, that you have in dreams. And I'm talking dreams in the sense that it is like some sort of psychological... lets say our ordinary dreams are basically.... you see, don Juan was never interested in the content of our dreams, he was interested in the control of the assemblage point. As you said, the assemblage point moves... shifts naturally, it vibrates in dreams. It crosses into new energy bands, new worlds are being... lets say, they are not being constructed, we enter into different layers of the onion.
A sorcerer wants to maintain that assemblage point long enough and that's what basically is referred to, what stalking is.. that you can fix the assemblage point in a new position for as long as you wish. And that's where the control of the assemblage point comes in, because you do assemble new worlds and you live in that world as you live in this world. For instance, the world of don Juan, the world of the sorcerers of don Juan's group was the world of the second attention. They were perennially in the world of the second attention.
HE: The question arises, I'm sure you've been asked this many times... What is the difference between the world of the second attention or dreaming awake and lucid dreaming which many people experience routinely?
FD: Well, the world of the second attention is a bona fide world. I think lucid dreamers do enter that world of the second attention, but not long enough. They can not sustain it because, as you already said before, we all have the inherent capacity to this way. The sorcerer extends that capacity and totally dominates it in the sense that he manipulates that world in the way that he manipulates the world of everyday life. He is master, in the sense of how he enters or exits from that world, where as a lucid dreamer does it... it's chance.
You see and then, whether we are in some sort of psychological turmoil will bring us into that world, hunger, drugs, alcohol, I think the emphasis of our society, let's say the fixation on drugs is basically that they know there is something out there that they want. You see, energetically they know that whatever this world is, is not enough. So they try to do it artificially, and of course by that, they have cut everything off, because they can erase the world of everyday life or their concerns with the world of every day life by either taking a drug or smoking marijuana or hashish, I mean it's incredible what we consume. Now we make it of course totally illegal and people are into pharmaceuticals, legal drugs. Which is as deleterious as anything else.
HE: To enter the second attention one has to acquire enough energy but I mentioned this earlier, you borrowed the energy or it was given to you by the witches, the sorcerers. The average person doesn't have that benefit, nobody is going to give them an energy boost to the point where they can shift their assemblage point.
FD: But the energy boost was also... let's say when I encountered the world of don Juan, it was... of course I entered their world, but I had to do my part. Because if I did not... and that had to do with in terms of, because I had their example in front of us. Ok, lets say when we go out in the world and we give lectures, basically, the audience is extremely, well, I wouldn't, no I mean its not because I've never had that encounter... The audience is extremely let's say...
FD: Interested and at the same time very disbelieving. And quite... very often discontented because of exactly that dimension... "Well you had don Juan, you had the old Florinda, you had this and this and this". Well, so what? At the moment all you've got is me in front of you or Carlos, or Taisha. Or Carol Tiggs. I'm not saying that by any stretch of the imagination that we are... in fact I reiterate that over and over again... we do not have the ability or the power that don Juan and his group had to truly force you into that world but we certainly are presenting the procedures of doing it. Because in terms of... yes, we were there with don Juan, but then we had to do the work, and look it took us 30 years to do what we are trying to do. At least (make) ourselves coherent enough and present something to the world.
And I think that is again the difference between males and females, the male talks about the struggle, look at... Carlos Castaneda's books are a witness to that. He talks about the process from the very beginning. Well, the three of us, the women, after living in this world for over 20 years, we finally can talk about the process because we have totally embodied it; and that is one of the basic differences, I think between being male and female and that is what don Juan said. Again, I repeat this over and again, I've had a lot of males extremely angry at us because suddenly the thought was "Well, this is just a world of females". It is not a world of females, neither is it a world of males. It is a totally... I don't want to say "integrated' because it has such a psychological load to it.. but it is a harmonious world in the sense that they are... no one is more than someone else.
The only thing that counts in our world is Energy. That the nagual is a male is because of his energy configuration and also because as females, don Juan always said that whether you are in the world of sorcerers or in the world of everyday life, "You are whackos. You need the energy of the male in order to function properly". And, from the feminist point of view this was one of the most difficult things for me to totally accept. Now I'm not accepting this in terms of defeat, but as a statement of fact. We do need the world of the male to make this world sober. I can see over and over again, I talk a lot to a lot of women, to friends, to small groups of women and believe me that when we all get together, it is so easy to get out of control. Everybody is just thinking "we're having a great time." No, it's a lack of control! Not of control, it is a lack of sobriety that the male principle, whatever it is, brings to the world, whether it's the world of everyday life or the world of the sorcery, it brings that sobriety which is necessary, no matter where we are acting.
HE: The word sobriety... um... could we use the word "responsibility" or "sense of responsibility" in place of "sobriety?"
FD: No, lets say, no, no, no. I'm specifically using "sobriety", its a sobriety.
HE: I know you are using the word, but to most people that implies not being drunk.
FD: Pardon me? Oh, the drunk... oh so yes, so yeah, it has that connotation. No, no, no, no, no... I don't think.... males drink more than females I think. No, no, no, it has nothing to do... no its.... yah, sober means, yeah not being drunk....yeah...
HE: It just means, to me it means a responsibility, or some inner drive to be responsible and together.
FD: No, not... No, I don't want to use "responsible" at all. No, no, no. It is some sort of coherence. Sobriety in the abstract, it's the sobriety... there is no... No, no... I think we have bastardized the word with alcoholism. But yeah, I want to go to the original meaning of sobriety.
HE: Ok. Well this whole world is so fascinating, so interesting, I certainly wouldn't argue with you that it exists or not, I'm a fully... full believer in it. I, like many of the listeners would like to have some way of entering it, but obviously in my world, I have no energy to dream the way you dream and am not likely to acquire it.
FD: No, no, no. The thing is... you see, you don't want to retreat from the world to follow, lets say the exercises or to follow something that... whatever you think we are doing. No, in your daily world you can become... what is your job description?
HE: I'm a physician.
FD: A physician; and what you do in the radio? What is it called when you do a radio, when you work for the radio?
HE: This is called self amusement.
FD: Self amusement, ok. As a self amuser, you can become a sorcerer in self amusement. You see, whatever you do, you do your job or whatever you are doing... You make an art out of it. And that is basically what we are interested in. That is what sorcery is. You make it into an art. Whether you do through recapitulating your life, by trying to stop the involvement with the self. Believe me that is all it takes for the world to open.
HE: I love the concept of controlled folly. Ever since I've read that, I've thought of so many times where life really is controlled folly.
HE: But the wild, imaginative world of Being In Dreaming is what I think many of us would like to enter. Even for a time, like going to the movies and I know you like movies, but to be able to let's say, go to another world, the world of the inorganic beings, something like that, and return and just even remember it for one time other than going to sleep at night and dreaming and forgetting it all.
FD: But you see... that sounds... because let's say the work is presented in such a light, because that is my predilection and my delight. But the idea of entering into the world of dreaming, you see, that's exactly what I have talked in my lecture. You see, it would be interesting to do this for awhile and then return to the world of the everyday life - Well, it's not possible. You see, I can talk about the world of inorganic beings, I can talk about the world of the sorcerers in Mexico... you see, for me this world doesn't stop, It's real. I am in that world, even as I talk to you now. For other people, it could be just like a holiday and then life continues. Well, for us, it doesn't continue. The horror exists. Because in a weird way this is a horrifying world.
HE: When you say continue... I was very curious, that your group is the last of a long line of Toltec sorcerers. Is there going to be any continuation or are you the last of it? Is this the end?
FD: Don Juan told Carols that he was the last of his line. That's the last we knew from don Juan.
HE: Then your intent, when you talk to me on the radio or talk to groups of people is.... what?
FD: My intent? That we are going... let's say, we are going... Like somebody said in Mexico "Well, what's the matter with you now? Why are you going public now" quote. I said we are going public because we want to, lets say, gather... that's the wrong word because it means like we are looking for disciples; we are not. We want to at least, let's say, create a critical mass. If a critical mass exists in any kind of endeavor, some kind of change will ensue. We need a critical mass of interested parties that at least take us seriously. And I don't mean seriously as a hobby, I mean seriously as a profound change.
HE: Let's say you have a critical mass of people who are recapitulating their lives, they're trying to decrease their self importance, their ego. They're doing sorcerer's passes which we haven't discussed, moves to increase personal energy. Let's say you get a group of those people, will you be able to tap the energy from those people for your own purposes?
FD: Its not.... Look, are you married?
HE: Yes indeed.
FD: Pardon me?
HE: Four children.
FD: Four children. Look, if you take me seriously, I can guarantee you that your life and the life of your family changes.
HE: I've noticed just from doing the sorcerer's passes and thinking about intent, phenomenal things happen.
FD: In what degree that change, only you can decide. You see? That's why I am saying this idea of a guru, of someone taking you by the hand is...
HE: No, but I'm asking specifically, when you get a group of people, a critical mass, will you use their energy? You being the sorcerer's group, not you personally.
FD: Of course. I mean energy not in the sense of... we can not use your energy. I could only use your energy if you're... let's say, if you have divested yourself of the ego. That's the energy we want, because that's the energy that's going to open up your parameters of perception, that's going to blast you out of your idea of the self.
It's only energy. Not what I say or what I do. You have to... you see, you have to join me.
FD: And that's what we want. That's why we are going public.
HE: Where are don Juan and don Genaro right now?
FD: Well... I don't think.... hmmmm. I have already, you know? I have already, let's say, I have talked about it already and it doesn't get across quite properly.
They have made the jump into the inconceivable. They have jumped in terms of... if we want to put it in any kind of physical sense... lets say they have made the leap into the unknown. What is ultimately the unknown? Are they stuck in the world of the inorganic beings? We think, yes. So did don Juan finally make it and his group? In a weird way that's... let's say... it's a world of prisoners as our everyday life is. Its another system.
HE: Well the reason I asked you about the energy of us, people listening to you, people who might be trying to increase their energy level, is could you use our energy to rescue don Juan from the world of inorganic beings, as you rescued Carlos from that world.
FD: No, I don't... we don't really know. I think at one time, I think that misunderstanding comes because I thought, let's say, "Yes, if we have enough energy as we leap to pull him out of it", but that's almost like a metaphor, you see? There is... I don't really know what I... in terms of how can... you see, we don't have the lexicon to truly describe even the world of inorganic beings. We describe that world as metaphors, although they're not metaphorical or as something that is already known to us because we don't have the language to describe something that is unknown to us. It can only be described in something that is known. So, yes, on one level, yes. If we have enough energy we could, as we leap, whatever that means, that leap... just lets say formulate... as a physicist you probably know.
HE: What I'm thinking is that um... as I mentioned earlier in this talk, or the interview, intent throws at us all the time in unknown ways. This is a camouflage universe, it is a universe of energy, but its camouflaged as what ever we perceive it as. Every once in awhile there are cracks in the screen, there's a tear in the screen that lets us know that this camouflage isn't really real.
FD: Yes, precisely.
HE: And those bits of intent, or bits of energy, or whatever you want to call it, in the dream world you would call them scouts.
HE: But if you could hook onto that scout, it will take you to another world, to the world where that scout is coming from.
HE: How can the average person, just listening to this talk on the radio right now, how can that person see, feel, perceive when an event is something that intent is throwing in their face to hook onto and not let it slip by?
FD: You need energy for that. You see, that is what I am saying. If you are divested of the idea of the self that's you know like... Just yesterday I was talking to those people in Mexico... exactly, I mean, almost word by word exactly the same question and I said "well that is premature". You know, they're all interested in the world, you know? Jumping into the second attention, meeting the inorganic beings, but its absurd to talk about that stage if they have not divested themself of the idea of the self.
You see? That's what I'm talking. The most important step for us is this idea of losing self importance, of reducing that ego to nothing. We're never going to lose it all, although it is possible. From my perspective Castaneda is totally egoless. He's so empty its scary to be with him - it's frightening.
HE: I can understand.
FD: At the same time, its the most addictive, lets say, substance that there is - a person who has no ego. It's a total addiction.
HE: Isn't human life, the ego in human life, the addiction that we're all addicted to?
FD: Yes, ultimately, yes. I think so.
HE: The listeners that are listening to this stuff are um... are very sophisticated. They've heard lots of stuff and you said the same question comes up to you all the time and hopefully this talk, this interview, has been trying to give you the questions that you hear every time, because that's what interests all of us and that's what everybody wants to know. And it boils down to you have to get rid of this self importance, this ego, which is a lesson from religions all around the world, they all say the same thing. But in practical steps, if I'm understanding the world of sorcery, is to recapitulate our lives...
HE: Go through everything, every event we can remember and try and see the patterns that we've been addicted to and try to recapture the energy from those patterns, then if we have done that successfully we will have enough energy to see intent when it throws itself in our face, or to grab hold of one of these scouts in a dream.
FD: Precisely... in a dream or in our waking life. It happens to us all the time. Don Juan.... Carlos described in his book, I think, its the cubic centimeter of chance that pops out at the most incredible moments and if you have the energy to grab it, you go for it.
For me, even like for instance, entering lets say the world of sorcerers, it was a decision of a millisecond. "Yes, I'm going to go with that woman. I'm going to take her with me, I'm going to give her a ride." You see, if I can... if I take the time to re-examine certain moments, crucial moments in my life... lets say the chance of having done the wrong decision or of taking the wrong path were so innumerable that it scares me to death. Just to think about it gives me headaches. Because it's such a minute decision. You think at the moment that it is nothing, but it is monumental. And that's what this idea of, you know intent.... something talks to us directly, and usually we are so concerned with whatever the concerns of the world - to notice.
HE: I still as a human, don't understand how we get rid of the concerns of the world. I mean, if you didn't go with that woman, or let's say, in my life someone came in and said "Would you go with me to Mexico, I would like you to start on this new life." I would have every thought in the world of "what about my children, what about my wife, what about my employees?" It would go on and on, it would never stop talking like that in my head, and yet that chance might be that one chance that you are talking about, that never comes again.
FD: Its not going to be like this, "Why don't you come with me to Mexico." I don't think... it has nothing to do with that. For instance, in my particular case, it had nothing to with... it was a matter of "Can you give me a ride to Hermasillo?" or something like that.
Or you know, "I can put you in contact with someone" - its not that delineated. Those moments don't come like this. "Ok, come with me to Mexico, I'm going to introduce you to the world of sorcery." No! It not going to... it's never going to come like that. No.
Look, even the idea of the.... you, only you have let's say, the power, the facility, to truly make something different of yourself and of your life and no one ultimately is going to help you with that. Don Juan ultimately didn't help us in the sense that we had to do it ourselves. Now I'm not trying to belittle the importance of those people, I'm just trying to stress the amount of work and dedication that is involved in something like that. Will power, sheer will power and total abandon that ultimately you don't give a damn what happens to you. You see and of course as a person that is totally alone, with no responsibilities, its a much easier step to take but you already have your responsibility in front of you. You can make your childrens' life and your wife's life a work of art. The mere fact that... now I'm not talking from a moralistic point of view or a religious point of view, I'm talking from an energetic point of view. For you to wish and do everything in your power to make the best for them, I don't even mean in terms of giving them the life they are accustomed to, no. I mean from an energetic point of view. That in itself is so liberating, it will flip you into another universe! You see, the idea of that there is another universe - its right next to us. It's a matter of perception. Its has nothing that suddenly you will be taken into the world of inorganic beings, you will be taken into the second attention. I live in the second attention, as I talk to you... its the prism, the way that I'm looking through the world has been changed through energy.
HE: Well, I'm hoping that you'll accept an invitation to come to our area. There was so much excitement about you being on the radio today that I know that if we could get you to come to Nevada City that there would be even more excitement in person for people to be able to talk to you as we've talked today.
FD: Are you in Nevada City?
FD: Where is Nevada City?
HE: It's northeast of Sacramento toward Lake Tahoe, off Route 80.
FD: Thought for a moment I was in... talking to the state of Nevada.
HE: No, Nevada City is in California and your friend Randy lives up here or is up here.
FD: Oh, you know Randy Fuller?
HE: He called me this morning.
FD: Oh he called you. Yeah he called and left a message on my machine.
HE: So, I know he has invited you, so I'm going to invite you for the sake of our radio audience and for myself to come here.
FD: Yeah I definitely know... I think we will come as we came to the Rim Institute.
HE: We would be very happy to set it up for you.
FD: And have a weekend session and we go definitely into the... I want to bring the chacmools. There are two big chacmools and two little chacmools and we definitely want to blast the hell out of you.
FD: No, no, I mean it because...
HE: I'm going to take that as a promise then.
FD: It is a promise.
HE: Thank you.
FD: Thank you!
HE: Florinda, it's been so nice having you on the air and we feel honored. Thank you again.
FD: And I hope we see ourselves very soon.
HE: I hope so.
FD: Ok, bye bye. Thank you.
HE: Thanks again.
(end of tape)
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