The Teachings of Don Juan: A Structural Analysis
It's the second part of the first book of Carlos Castaneda "The Teachings of Don Juan".
- 1 Intro
- 2 The Operative Order
- 3 The Conceptual Order
- 4 Summary
- 5 Appendix A - The process of validating special consensus
- 6 Appendix B
The following structural scheme, abstracted from the data on the states of non-ordinary reality presented in the foregoing part of this work, is conceived as an attempt to disclose the internal cohesion and the cogency of don Juan's teachings. The structure, as I assess it, is composed of four concepts which are the main units: (1) man of knowledge; (2) a man of knowledge had an ally; (3) an ally had a rule; and (4) the rule was corroborated by special consensus. These four units are in turn composed of a number of subsidiary ideas; thus the total structure comprises all the meaningful concepts that were presented until the time I discontinued the apprenticeship. In a sense, these units represent successive levels of analysis, each level modifying the preceding one.*
Because this conceptual structure is completely dependent on the meaning of all its units, the following clarification seems to be pertinent at this point: Throughout this entire work, meaning has been rendered as I understood it. The component concepts of don Juan's knowledge as I have presented them here could not be the exact duplicate of what he said himself. In spite of all the effort I have put forth to render these concepts as faithfully as possible, their meaning has been deflected by my own attempts to classify them. The arrangement of the four main units of this structural scheme is, however, a logical sequence which appears to be free from the influence of extraneous classificatory devices of my own. But, insofar as the component ideas of each main unit are concerned, it has been impossible to discard my personal influence. At certain points extraneous classificatory items are necessary in order to render the phenomena understandable. And, if such a task was to be accomplished here, it had to be done by zigzagging back and forth from the alleged meanings and classificatory scheme of the teacher to the meanings and classificatory devices of the apprentice.
- For outline of the units of my structural analysis, see Appendix B.
The Operative Order
The First Unit - Man of knowledge
At a very early stage of my apprenticeship, don Juan made the statement that the goal of his teachings was 'to show how to become a man of knowledge'. I use that statement as a point of departure. It is obvious that to become a man of knowledge was an operational goal. And it is also obvious that every part of don Juan's orderly teachings was geared to fulfill that goal in one way or another. My line of reasoning here is that under the circumstances 'man of knowledge', being an operational goal, must have been indispensable to explaining some 'operative order'. Then, it is justifiable to conclude that, in order to understand that operative order, one has to understand its objective: man of knowledge.
After having established 'man of knowledge' as the first structural unit, it was possible for me to arrange with assurance the following seven concepts as its proper components: (1) to become a man of knowledge was a matter of learning; (2) a man of knowledge had unbending intent; (3) a man of knowledge had clarity of mind; (4) to become a man of knowledge was a matter of strenuous labour; (5) a man of knowledge was a warrior; (6) to become a man of knowledge was an unceasing process; and (7) a man of knowledge had an ally.
These seven concepts were themes. They ran through the teachings, determining the character of don Juan's entire knowledge. Inasmuch as the operational goal of his teachings was to produce a man of knowledge, everything he taught was imbued with the specific characteristics of each of the seven themes. Together they construed the concept 'man of know ledge' as a way of conducting oneself, way of behaving that was the end result of a long and hazardous training. 'Man of knowledge', however, was not a guide to behaviour, but a set of principles encompassing all the un-ordinary circumstances pertinent to the knowledge being taught.
Each one of the seven themes was composed, in turn, of various other concepts, which covered their different facets.
From don Juan's statements it was possible to assume that a man of knowledge could be a diablero, that is, a black sorcerer. He stated that his teacher was a diablero and so was he in the past, although he had ceased to be concerned with certain aspects of the practice of sorcery. Since the goal of his teaching was to show how to become a man of knowledge, and since his knowledge consisted of being a diablero, there may have been an inherent connexion between man of knowledge and diablero. Although don Juan never used the two terms interchangeably, the likelihood that they were connected raised the possibility that 'man of knowledge' with its seven themes and their component concepts covered, theoretically, all the circumstances that might have arisen in the course of becoming a diablero.
To become a man of knowledge was a matter of learning The first theme made it implicit that learning was the only possible way of becoming a man of knowledge, and that in turn implied the act of making a resolute effort to achieve an end. To become a man of knowledge was the end result of a process, as opposed to an immediate acquisition through an act of grace or through bestowal by supernatural powers. The plausibility of learning how to become a man of knowledge warranted the existence of a system for teaching one how to accomplish it.
The first theme had three components: (1) there were no overt requirements for becoming a man of knowledge; (2) there were some covert requirements; (3) the decision as to who could learn to become a man of knowledge was made by an impersonal power.
Apparently there were no overt prerequisites that would have determined who was, or who was not, qualified to learn how to become a man of knowledge. Ideally, the task was open to anybody who wished to pursue it. Yet, in practice, such a stand was inconsistent with the fact that don Juan as a teacher selected his apprentices.
In fact, any teacher under the circumstances would have selected his apprentices by means of matching them against some covert prerequisites. The specific nature of these prerequisites was never formalized; don Juan only insinuated that there were certain clues one had to bear in mind when viewing a prospective apprentice. The clues he alluded to were supposed to reveal whether or not the candidate had a certain disposition of character, which don Juan called ' unbending intent'.
Nevertheless, the final decision in matters of who could learn to become a man of knowledge was left to an impersonal power that was known to don Juan, but was outside his sphere of volition. The impersonal power was credited with pointing out the right person by allowing him to perform a deed of extraordinary nature, or by creating a set of peculiar circumstances around that person. Hence, there was never a conflict between the absence of overt prerequisites and the existence of undisclosed, covert prerequisites.
The man who was singled out in that manner became the apprentice. Don Juan called him the escogido, the 'one who was chosen'. But to be an escogido meant more than to be a mere apprentice. An escogido, by the sheer act of being selected by a power, was considered already to be different from ordinary men. He was considered already to be the recipient of a minimum amount of power which was supposed to be augmented by learning.
But learning was a process of unending quest, and the power that made the original decision, or a similar power, was expected to make similar decisions on the issue of whether an escogido could continue learning or whether he had been defeated. Those decisions were manifested through omens that occurred at any point of the teachings. In that respect, any peculiar circumstances surrounding an apprentice were considered to be such omens.
A man of knowledge had unbending intent The idea that a man of knowledge needed unbending intent referred to the exercise of volition. Having unbending intent meant having the will to execute a necessary procedure by maintaining oneself at all times rigidly within the boundaries of the knowledge being taught. A man of knowledge needed a rigid will in order to endure the obligatory quality that every act possessed when it was performed in the context of his knowledge.
The obligatory quality of all the acts performed in such a context, and their being inflexible and predetermined, were no doubt unpleasant to any man, for which reason a modicum of unbending intent was sought as the only covert requirement needed by a prospective apprentice.
Unbending intent was composed of (1) frugality, (2) soundness of judgement, and (3) lack of freedom to innovate.
A man of knowledge needed frugality because the majority of the obligatory acts dealt with instances or with elements that were either outside the boundaries of ordinary everyday life, or were not customary in ordinary activity, and the man who had to act in accordance with them needed an extraordinary effort every time he took action. It was implicit that one could have been capable of such an extraordinary effort only by being frugal with any other activity that did not deal directly with such predetermined actions.
Since all acts were predetermined and obligatory, a man of knowledge needed soundness of judgement. This concept did not imply common sense, but did imply the capacity to assess the circumstances surrounding any need to act. A guide for such an assessment was provided by bringing together, as rationales, all the parts of the teachings which were at one's command at the given moment in which any action had to be carried out. Thus, the guide was always changing as more parts were learned; yet it always implied the conviction that any obligatory act one may have had to perform was, in fact, the most appropriate under the circumstances.
Because all acts were pre-established and compulsory, having to carry them out meant lack of freedom to innovate. Don Juan's system of imparting knowledge was so well established that there was no possibility of altering it in any way.
A man of knowledge had clarity of mind
Clarity of mind was the theme that provided a sense of direction. The fact that all acts were predetermined meant that one's orientation within the knowledge being taught was equally predetermined; as a consequence, clarity of mind supplied only a sense of direction. It reaffirmed continuously the validity of the course being taken through the component ideas of (1) freedom to seek a path, (2) knowledge of the specific purpose, and (3) being fluid.
It was believed that one had freedom to seek a path. Having the freedom to choose was not incongruous with the lack of freedom to innovate; these two ideas were not in opposition nor did they interfere with each other. Freedom to seek a path referred to the liberty to choose among different possibilities of action which were equally effective and usable. The criterion for choosing was the advantage of one possibility over others, based on one's preference. As a matter of fact, the freedom to choose a path imparted a sense of direction through the expression of personal inclinations.
Another way to create a sense of direction was through the idea that there was a specific purpose for every action performed in the context of the knowledge being taught. Therefore, a man of knowledge needed clarity of mind in order to match his own specific reasons for acting with the specific purpose of every action. The knowledge of the specific purpose of every action was the guide he used to judge the circumstances surrounding any need to act.
Another facet of clarity of mind was the idea that a man of knowledge, in order to reinforce the performance of his obligatory actions, needed to assemble all the resources that the teachings had placed at his command. This was the idea of being fluid. It ***created a sense of direction by giving one the feeling of being malleable and resourceful. The compulsory quality of all acts would have imbued one with a sense of stiffness or sterility had it not been for the idea that a man of knowledge needed to be fluid.
To become a man of knowledge was a matter of strenuous labour
A man of knowledge had to possess or had to develop in the course of his training an all-around capacity for exertion. Don Juan stated that to become a man of knowledge was a matter of strenuous labour. Strenuous labour denoted a capacity (1) to put forth dramatic exertion; (2) to achieve efficacy; and (3) to meet challenge.
In the path of a man of knowledge drama was undoubtedly the outstanding single issue, and a special type of exertion was needed for responding to circumstances that required dramatic exploitation; that is to say, a man of knowledge needed dramatic exertion. Taking don Juan's behaviour as an example, at first glance it may have seemed that his dramatic exertion was only his own idiosyncratic preference for histrionics. Yet his dramatic exertion was always much more than acting; it was rather a profound state of belief. He imparted through dramatic exertion the peculiar quality of finality to all the acts he performed. As a consequence, then, his acts were set on a stage in which death was one of the main protagonists. It was implicit that death was a real possibility in the course of learning because of the inherently dangerous nature of the items with which a man of knowledge dealt; then, it was logical that the dramatic exertion created by the conviction that death was a ubiquitous player was more than histrionics.
Exertion entailed not only drama, but also the need of efficacy. Exertion had to be effective; it had to possess the quality of being properly channelled, of being suitable. The idea of impending death created not only the drama needed for overall emphasis, but also the conviction that every action involved a struggle for survival, the conviction that annihilation would result if one's exertion did not meet the requirement of being efficacious.
Exertion also entailed the idea of challenge, that is, the act of testing whether, and proving that, one was capable of performing a proper act within the rigorous boundaries of the knowledge being taught.
A man of knowledge was a warrior
The existence of a man of knowledge was an unceasing struggle, and the idea that he was a warrior, leading a warrior's life, provided one with the means for achieving emotional stability. The idea of a man at war encompassed four concepts: (1) a man of knowledge had to have respect; (2) he had to have fear; (3) he had to be wide-awake; (4) he had to be self-confident. Hence, to be a warrior was a form of self-discipline which emphasized individual accomplishment; yet it was a stand in which personal interests were reduced to a minimum, as in most instances personal interest was incompatible with the rigour needed to perform any predetermined, obligatory act.
A man of knowledge in his role of warrior was obligated to have an attitude of deferential regard for the items with which he dealt; he had to imbue everything related to his knowledge with profound respect in order to place everything in a meaningful perspective. Having respect was equivalent to having assessed one's insignificant resources when facing the Unknown.
If one remained in that frame of thought, the idea of respect was logically extended to include oneself, for one was as unknown as the Unknown itself. The exercise of so sobering a feeling of respect transformed the apprenticeship of this specific knowledge, which may otherwise have appeared to be absurd, into a very rational alternative.
Another necessity of a warrior's life was the need to experience and carefully to evaluate the sensation of fear. The ideal was that, in spite of fear, one had to proceed with the course of one's acts. Fear was supposed to be conquered and there was an alleged time in the life of a man of knowledge when it was vanquished, but first one had to be conscious of being afraid and duly to evaluate that sensation. Don Juan asserted that one was capable of conquering fear only by facing it.
As a warrior, a man of knowledge also needed to be wide-awake. A man at war had to be on the alert in order to be cognizant of most of the factors pertinent to the two mandatory aspects of awareness: (1) awareness of intent and (2) awareness of the expected flux.
Awareness of intent was the act of being cognizant of the factors involved in the relationship between the specific purpose of any obligatory act and one's own specific purpose for acting. Since all the obligatory acts had a definite purpose, a man of knowledge had to be wide-awake; that is, he needed to be capable at all times of matching the definite purpose of every obligatory act with the definite reason that he had in mind for desiring to act.
A man of knowledge, by being aware of that relationship, was also capable of being cognizant of what was believed to be the expected flux. What I have called here the 'awareness of the expected flux' referred to the certainty that one was capable of detecting at all times the important variables involved in the relationship between the specific purpose of every act and one's specific reason for acting. By being aware of the expected flux one was supposed to detect the most subtle changes. That deliberate awareness of changes accounted for the recognition and interpretation of omens and of other un-ordinary events.
The last aspect of the idea of a warrior's behaviour was the need for self-confidence, that is, the assurance that the specific purpose of an act one may have chosen to perform was the only plausible alternative for one's own specific reasons for acting. Without self-confidence, one would have been incapable of fulfilling one of the most important aspects of the teachings: the capacity to claim knowledge as power.
To become a man of knowledge was an unceasing process Being a man of knowledge was not a condition entailing permanency. There was never the certainty that, by carrying out the predetermined steps of the knowledge being taught, one would become a man of knowledge. It was implicit that the function of the steps was only to show how to become a man of knowledge. Thus, becoming a man of knowledge was a task that could not be fully achieved; rather, it was an unceasing process comprising (1) the idea that one had to renew the quest of becoming a man of knowledge; (2) the idea of one's impermanency; and (3) the idea that one had to follow the path with heart.
The constant renewal of the quest of becoming a man of knowledge was expressed in the theme of the four symbolic enemies encountered on the path of learning: fear, clarity, power, and old age. Renewing the quest implied the gaining and the maintenance of control over oneself. A true man of knowledge was expected to battle each of the four enemies, in succession, until the last moment of his life, in order to keep himself actively engaged in becoming a man of knowledge. Yet, despite the truthful renewal of the quest, the odds were inevitably against man; he would succumb to his last symbolic enemy. This was the idea of impermanency.
Off-setting the negative value of one's impermanency was the notion that one had to follow the 'path with heart'. The path with heart was a metaphorical way of asserting that in spite of being impermanent one still had to proceed and had to be capable of finding satisfaction and personal fulfillment in the act of choosing the most amenable alternative and identifying oneself completely with it.
Don Juan synthesized the rationale of his whole knowledge in the metaphor that the important thing for him was to find a path with heart and then travel its length, meaning that the identification with the amenable alternative was enough for him. The journey by itself was sufficient; any hope of arriving at a permanent position was outside the boundaries of his knowledge.
The Second Unit - A man of knowledge had an ally
The idea that a man of knowledge had an ally was the most important of the seven component themes, for it was the only one that was indispensable to explaining what a man of knowledge was. In don Juan's classificatory scheme a man of knowledge had an ally, whereas the average man did not, and having an ally was what made him different from ordinary men.
Don Juan described an ally as being ' a power capable of transporting a man beyond the boundaries of himself; that is, an ally was a power that allowed one to transcend the realm of ordinary reality. Consequently, to have an ally implied having power; and the fact that a man of knowledge had an ally was by itself proof that the operational goal of the teachings had been fulfilled. Since that goal was to show how to become a man of knowledge, and since a man of knowledge was one who had an ally, another way of describing the operational goal of don Juan's teachings was to say that they also showed how to obtain an ally. The concept 'man of knowledge', as a sorcerer's philosophical frame, had meaning for anyone who wanted to live within that frame only insofar as he had an ally.
I have classified this last component theme of man of knowledge as the second main structural unit because of its indispensability for explaining what a man of knowledge was.
In don Juan's teachings, there were two allies. The first was contained in the Datura plants commonly known as Jimson weed. Don Juan called that ally by one of the Spanish names of the plant, yerba del diablo (devil's weed). According to him any species of Datura was the container of the ally. Yet every sorcerer had to grow a patch of one species which he called his own, not only in the sense that the plants were his private property, but in the sense that they were personally identified with him.
Don Juan's own plants belonged to the species inoxia; there seemed to be no correlation, however, between that fact and differences that may have existed between the two species of Datura accessible to him.
The second ally was contained in a mushroom I identified as belonging to the genus Psilocybe; it was possibly Psilocybe mexicana, but the classification was only tentative because I was incapable of procuring a specimen for laboratory analysis.
Don Juan called this ally humito (little smoke), suggesting that the ally was analogous to smoke or to the smoking mixture he made with the mushroom. The smoke was referred to as if it were the real container, yet he made it clear that the power was associated with only one species of Psilocybe; thus special care was needed at the time of collecting in order not to confuse it with any of a dozen other species of the same genus which grew in the same area.
An ally as a meaningful concept included the following ideas and their ramifications: (1) an ally was formless; (2) an ally was perceived as a quality; (3) an ally was tamable; (4) an ally had a rule.
An ally was formless
An ally was believed to be an entity existing outside and independent of oneself, yet in spite of being a separate entity an ally was believed to be formless. I have established 'formlessness' as a condition that is the opposite of 'having definite form', a distinction made in view of the fact that there were other powers similar to an ally which had a definitely perceivable form. An ally's condition of formlessness meant that it did not possess a distinct, or a vaguely defined, or even a recognizable, form; and such a condition implied that an ally was not visible at any time.
An ally was perceived as a quality
A sequel to an ally's formlessness was another condition expressed in the idea that an ally was perceived only as a quality of the senses; that is to say, since an ally was formless its presence was noticed only by its effects on the sorcerer. Don Juan classified some of those effects as having anthropomorphic qualities. He depicted an ally as having the character of a human being, thus implying that an individual sorcerer was in the position of choosing the most suitable ally by matching his own character with an ally's alleged anthropomorphic characteristics.
The two allies involved in the teachings were presented by don Juan as having a set of antithetical qualities. Don Juan categorized the ally contained in Datura inoxia as having two qualities: it was woman-like, and it was a giver of superfluous power. He thought these two qualities were thoroughly undesirable. His statements on the subject were definite, but he indicated at the same time that his value judgement on the matter was merely a personalistic choice.
The most important characteristic was undoubtedly what don Juan called its woman-like nature. The fact that it was depicted as being woman-like did not mean, however, that the ally was a female power. It seemed that the analogy of a woman may have been only a metaphorical way don Juan used to describe what he thought to be the unpleasant effects of the ally. Besides, the Spanish name of the plant, yerba, because of its feminine gender, may have also helped to create the female analogy. At any rate, the personification of this ally as a woman-like power ascribed to it the following anthropomorphic qualities: (1) it was possessive; (2) it was violent; (3) it was unpredictable; and (4) it had deleterious effects.
Don Juan believed that the ally had the capacity to enslave the men who became its followers; he explained this capacity as the quality of being possessive, which he correlated with a woman's character. The ally possessed its followers by bestowing power on them, by creating a feeling of dependency, and by giving them physical strength and well-being.
This ally was also believed to be violent. Its woman-like violence was expressed in its forcing its followers to engage in disruptive acts of brute force. And this specific characteristic made it best suited for men of fierce natures who wanted to find in violence a key to personal power.
Another woman-like characteristic was unpredictability. For don Juan it meant that the ally's effects were never consistent; rather, they were supposed to change erratically, and there was no discernible way of predicting them. The ally's inconsistency was to be counteracted by the sorcerer's meticulous and dramatic care of every detail of its handling. Any unfavourable turn that was unaccountable, as a result of error or mishandling, was explained as a result of the ally's woman like unpredictability.
Because of its possessiveness, violence, and unpredictability, this ally was thought to have an overall deleterious effect on the character of its followers. Don Juan believed that the ally willfully strove to transmit its woman-like characteristics, and that its effort to do so actually succeeded.
But, alongside its woman-like nature, this ally had another facet which was also perceived as a quality: it was a giver of superfluous power. Don Juan was very emphatic on this point, and he stressed that as a generous giver of power the ally was unsurpassable. It was purported to furnish its followers with physical strength, a feeling of audacity, and the prowess to perform extraordinary deeds. In don Juan's judgement, however, so exorbitant a power was superfluous; he stated that, for himself at least, there was no need of it any more. Nevertheless, he presented it as a strong incentive for a prospective man of knowledge, should the latter have a natural inclination to seek power.
Don Juan's idiosyncratic point of view was that the ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana, on the other hand, had the most adequate and most valuable characteristics: (1) it was male-like, and (2) it was a giver of ecstasy.
He depicted this ally as being the antithesis of the one contained in Datura plants. He considered it to be male-like, manly. Its condition of masculinity seemed to be analogous to the female-like condition of the other ally; that is, it was not a male power, but don Juan classified its effects in terms of what he considered to be manly behaviour. In this instance, too, the masculine gender of the Spanish word humito may have suggested the analogy to a male power.
The anthropomorphic qualities of this ally which don Juan judged to be proper to a man were the following: (1) it was dispassionate; (2) it was gentle; (3) it was predictable; and (4) it had beneficial effects.
Don Juan's idea of the dispassionate nature of the ally was expressed in the belief that it was fair, that it never actually demanded extravagant acts from its followers. It never made men its slaves, because it did not bestow easy power on them; on the contrary, Humito was hard, but just, with its followers.
The fact that the ally did not elicit overt violent behaviour made it gentle. It was supposed to induce a sensation of bodilessness, and thus don Juan presented it as being calm, gentle, and a giver of peace.
It was also predictable. Don Juan described its effects on all its individual followers and in the successive experiences of any single man as being constant; in other words, its effects did not vary or, if they did, they were so similar that they were counted as being the same.
As a consequence of being dispassionate, gentle, and predictable, this ally was thought to have another manly characteristic: a beneficial effect on the character of its followers. Humito's manliness was supposed to create a very rare condition of emotional stability in them. Don Juan believed that under the ally's guidance one would temper one's heart and acquire balance.
A corollary of all the ally's manly characteristics was believed to be a capacity to give ecstasy. This other facet of its nature was perceived also as a quality. Humito was credited with removing the body of its followers, thus allowing them to execute specialized forms of activity pertinent to a state of bodilessness. And don Juan maintained that those specialized forms of activity led unavoidably to a condition of ecstasy. The ally contained in the Psilocybe was said to be ideal for men whose natures predisposed them to seek contemplation.
An ally was tamable
The idea that an ally was tamable implied that as a power it had the potential of being used. Don Juan explained it as an ally's innate capacity of being utilizable; after a sorcerer had tamed an ally he was thought to be in command of its specialized power which meant that he could manipulate it to his own advantage. An ally's capacity of being tamed was counterposed to the incapacity of other powers, which were similar to an ally except that they did not yield to being manipulated.
The manipulation of an ally had two aspects: (1) an ally was a vehicle; (2) an ally was a helper.
An ally was a vehicle in the sense that it served to transport a sorcerer into the realm of non-ordinary reality. Insofar as my personal knowledge was concerned, the allies both served as vehicles, although the function had different implications for each of them.
The overall undesirable qualities of the ally contained in Datura inoxia, especially its quality of unpredictability, turned it into a dangerous, undependable vehicle. Ritual was the only possible protection against its inconsistency, but that was never enough to ensure the ally's stability; a sorcerer using this ally as a vehicle had to wait for favourable omens before proceeding.
The ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana, on the other hand, was thought to be a steady and predictable vehicle as a result of all its valuable qualities. As a consequence of its predictability, a sorcerer using this ally did not need to engage in any kind of preparatory ritual.
The other aspect of an ally's manipulability was expressed in the idea that an ally was a helper. To be a helper meant that an ally, after serving a sorcerer as a vehicle, was again usable as an aid or a guide to assist him in achieving whatever goal he had in mind in going into the realm of non-ordinary reality.
In their capacity as helpers, the two allies had different, unique properties. The complexity and the applicability of these properties increased as one advanced on the learning path. But, in general terms, the ally contained in Datura inoxia was believed to be an extraordinary helper, and this capacity was thought to be a corollary of its facility to give superfluous power. The ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana, however, was considered to be an even more extraordinary helper. Don Juan thought it was matchless in the function of being a helper, which he regarded as an extension of its overall valuable qualities.
The Third Unit - An ally had a rule
Alone among the components of the concept 'ally', the idea that an ally had a rule was indispensable for explaining what an ally was. Because of that indispensability I have placed it as the third main unit in this structural scheme.
The rule, which don Juan called also the law, was the rigid organizing concept regulating all the actions that had to be executed and the behaviour that had to be observed throughout the process of handling an ally. The rule was transmitted verbally from teacher to apprentice, ideally without alteration, through the sustained interaction between them. The rule was thus more than a body of regulations; it was, rather, a series of outlines of activity governing the course to be followed in the process of manipulating an ally.
Undoubtedly many elements would have fulfilled don Juan's definition of an ally as a 'power capable of transporting a man beyond the boundaries of himself'. Anyone accepting that definition could reasonably have conceived that anything possessing such a capability would be an ally. And logically, even bodily conditions produced by hunger, fatigue, illness, and the like could have served as allies, for they might have possessed the capacity of transporting a man beyond the realm of ordinary reality. But the idea that an ally had a rule eliminated all these possibilities. An ally was a power that had a rule. All the other possibilities could not be considered as allies because they had no rule.
As a concept the rule comprehended the following ideas and their various components: (1) the rule was inflexible; (2) the rule was non-cumulative; (3) the rule was corroborated in ordinary reality; (4) the rule was corroborated in non-ordinary reality; and (5) the rule was corroborated by special consensus.
The rule was inflexible
The outlines of activity forming the body of the rule were unavoidable steps that one had to follow in order to achieve the operational goal of the teachings. This compulsory quality of the rule was rendered in the idea that it was inflexible. The inflexibility of the rule was intimately related to the idea of efficacy. Dramatic exertion created an incessant battle for survival, and under those conditions only the most effective act that one could perform would ensure one's survival. As individualistic points of reference were not permitted, the rule prescribed the actions constituting the only alternative for survival. Thus the rule had to be inflexible; it had to require a definite compliance to its dictum.
Compliance with the rule, however, was not absolute. In the course of the teachings I recorded one instance in which its inflexibility was cancelled out. Don Juan explained that example of deviation as a special favour stemming from direct intervention of an ally. In this instance, owing to my unintentional error in handling the ally contained in Datura inoxia, the rule had been breached. Don Juan extrapolated from the occurrence that an ally had the capacity to intervene directly and withhold the deleterious, and usually fatal, effect resulting from noncompliance with its rule. Such evidence of flexibility was thought to be always the product of a strong bond of affinity between the ally and its follower.
The rule was non-cumulative
The assumption here was that all conceivable methods of manipulating an ally had already been used. Theoretically, the rule was non-cumulative; there was no possibility of augmenting it. The idea of the non-cumulative nature of the rule was also relative to the concept of efficacy. Since the rule prescribed the only effective alternative for one's personal survival, any attempt to change it or to alter its course by innovation was considered to be not only a superfluous act, but a deadly one. One had only the possibility of adding to one's personal knowledge of the rule, either under the teacher's guidance or under the special guidance of the ally itself. The latter was considered to be an instance of direct acquisition of knowledge, not an addition to the body of the rule.
The rule was corroborated in ordinary reality Corroboration of the rule meant the act of verifying it, the act of attesting to its validity by confirming it pragmatically in an experimental manner. Because the rule dealt with situations of ordinary and of non-ordinary reality, its corroboration took place in both areas.
The situations of ordinary reality with which the rule dealt were most often remarkably uncommon situations, but, no matter how unusual they were, the rule was corroborated in ordinary reality. For that reason it has been considered to fall beyond the scope of this work, and should properly be the realm of another study. That part of the rule concerned the details of the procedures employed in recognizing, collecting, mixing, preparing, and caring for the power plants in which the allies were contained, the details of other procedures involved in the uses of such power plants, and other similar minutiae.
The rule was corroborated in non-ordinary reality The rule was also corroborated in non-ordinary reality, and the corroboration was carried out in the same pragmatic, experimental manner of validation as would have been employed in situations of ordinary reality. The idea of a pragmatic corroboration involved two concepts: (1) meetings with the ally, which I have called the states of non-ordinary reality; and (2) the specific purposes of the rule.
The states of non-ordinary reality. - The two plants in which the allies were contained, when used in conformity with the allies' respective rules, produced states of peculiar perception which don Juan classified as meetings with the ally. He placed extraordinary emphasis on eliciting them, an emphasis summed up in the idea that one had to meet with the ally as many times as possible in order to verify its rule in a pragmatic, experimental manner. The assumption was that the proportion of the rule that was likely to be verified was in direct correlation with the number of times one met with the ally.
The exclusive method of inducing a meeting with the ally was, naturally, through the appropriate use of the plant in which the ally was contained. Nonetheless, don Juan hinted that at a certain advanced stage of learning the meetings could have taken place without the use of the plant; that is to say, they could have been elicited by an act of volition alone.
I have called the meetings with the ally states of non-ordinary reality. I chose the term 'non-ordinary reality' because it conformed with don Juan's assertion that such meetings took place in a continuum of reality, a reality that was only slightly different from the ordinary reality of everyday life. Consequently, non-ordinary reality had specific characteristics that could have been assessed in presumably equal terms by everyone. Don Juan never formulated these characteristics in a definite manner, but his reticence seemed to stem from the idea that each man had to claim knowledge as a matter of personal nature.
The following categories, which I consider the specific characteristics of non-ordinary reality, were drawn from my personal experience. Yet, in spite of their seemingly idiosyncratic origin, they were reinforced and developed by don Juan under the premises of his knowledge; he conducted his teachings as if these characteristics were inherent in non-ordinary reality: (1) nonordinary reality was utilizable; (2) non-ordinary reality had component elements.
The first characteristics - that non-ordinary reality was utilizable - implied that it was fit for actual service. Don Juan explained time and time again that the encompassing concern of his knowledge was the pursuit of practical results, and that such a pursuit was pertinent in ordinary as well as in non-ordinary reality. He maintained that in his knowledge there were the means of putting non-ordinary reality into service, in the same way as ordinary reality. According to that assertion, the states induced by the allies were elicited with the deliberate intention of being used. In this particular instance don Juan's rationale was that the meetings with the allies were set up to learn their secrets, and this rationale served as a rigid guide to screen out other personalistic motives that one may have had for seeking the states of non-ordinary reality.
The second characteristic of non-ordinary reality was that it had component elements. Those component elements were the items, the actions, and the events that one perceived, seemingly with one's senses, as being the content of a state of non-ordinary reality. The total picture of non-ordinary reality was made up of elements that appeared to possess qualities both of the elements of ordinary reality and of the components of an ordinary dream, although they were not on a par with either one.
According to my personal judgement, the component elements of non-ordinary reality had three unique characteristics: (1) stability, (2) singularity, and (3) lack of ordinary consensus. These qualities made them stand on their own as discrete units possessing an unmistakable individuality.
The component elements of non-ordinary reality had stability in the sense that they were constant. In this respect they were similar to the component elements of ordinary reality, for they neither shifted nor disappeared, as would the component elements of ordinary dreams. It seemed as if every detail that made up a component element of non-ordinary reality had a concreteness of its own, a concreteness I perceived as being extraordinarily stable. The stability was so pronounced that it allowed me to establish the criterion that, in non-ordinary reality, one always possessed the capacity to come to a halt in order to examine any of the component elements for what appeared to be an indefinite length of time. The application of this criterion permitted me to differentiate the states of non-ordinary reality used by don Juan from other states of peculiar perception which may have appeared to be non-ordinary reality, but which did not yield to this criterion.
The second exclusive characteristic of the component elements of non-ordinary reality - their singularity - meant that every detail of the component elements was a single, individual item; it seemed as if each detail was isolated from others, or as if details appeared one at a time. The singularity of the component elements seemed further to create a unique necessity, which may have been common to everybody: the imperative need, the urge, to amalgamate all isolated details into a total scene, a total composite. Don Juan was obviously aware of that need and used it on every possible occasion.
The third unique characteristic of the component elements, and the most dramatic of all, was their lack of ordinary consensus. One perceived the component elements while being in a state of complete solitude, which was more like the aloneness of a man witnessing by himself an unfamiliar scene in ordinary reality than like the solitude of dreaming. As the stability of the component elements of non-ordinary reality enabled one to stop and examine any of them for what appeared to be an indefinite length of time, it seemed almost as if they were elements of everyday life; however, the difference between the component elements of the two states of reality was their capacity for ordinary consensus. By ordinary consensus I mean the tacit or the implicit agreement on the component elements of everyday life which fellow men give to one another in various ways. For the component elements of non-ordinary reality, ordinary consensus was unattainable. In this respect non-ordinary reality was closer to a state of dreaming than to ordinary reality. And yet, because of their unique characteristics of stability and singularity, the component elements of non-ordinary reality had a compelling quality of realness which seemed to foster the necessity of validating their existence in terms of consensus.
The specific purpose of the rule. - The other component of the concept that the rule was verified in non-ordinary reality was the idea that the rule had a specific purpose. That purpose was the achievement, by using an ally, of a utilitarian goal. In the context of don Juan's teachings, it was assumed that the rule was learned by corroborating it in ordinary and non-ordinary reality. The decisive facet of the teachings was, however, corroboration of the rule in the states of non-ordinary reality; and what was corroborated in the actions and elements perceived in non-ordinary reality was the specific purpose of the rule. That specific purpose dealt with the ally's power, that is, with the manipulation of an ally first as a vehicle and then as a helper, but don Juan always treated each instance of the specific purpose of the rule as a single unit implicitly covering these two areas.
Because the specific purpose referred to the manipulation of the ally's power, it had an inseparable sequel - the manipulatory techniques. The manipulatory techniques were the actual procedures, the actual operations, undertaken in each instance involving the manipulation of an ally's power. The idea that an ally was manipulatable warranted its usefulness in the achievement of pragmatic goals, and the manipulatory techniques were the procedures that supposedly rendered the ally usable.
Specific purpose and manipulatory techniques formed a single unit which a sorcerer had to know exactly in order to command his ally with efficacy.
Don Juan's teachings included the following specific purposes of the two allies' rules. I have arranged them here in the same order in which he presented them to me.
The first specific purpose that was verified in non-ordinary reality was testing with the ally contained in Datura inoxia. The manipulatory technique was ingesting a potion made with a section of the root of the Datura plant. Ingesting that potion produced a shallow state of non-ordinary reality, which don Juan used for testing me in order to determine whether or not, as a prospective apprentice, I had affinity with the ally contained in the plant. The potion was supposed to produce either a sensation of unspecified physical well-being or a feeling of great discomfort, effects that don Juan judged to be, respectively, a sign of affinity or of the lack of it.
The second specific purpose was divination. It was also part of the rule of the ally contained in Datura inoxia. Don Juan considered divination to be a form of specialized movement, on the assumption that a sorcerer was transported by the ally to a particular compartment of non-ordinary reality where he was capable of divining events that were otherwise unknown to him.
The manipulatory technique of the second specific purpose was a process of ingestion-absorption. A potion made with Datura root was ingested, and an unguent made with Datura seeds was rubbed on the temporal and frontal areas of the head. I had used the term 'ingestion-absorption' because ingestion might have been aided by skin absorption in producing a state of non-ordinary reality, or skin absorption might have been aided by ingestion.
This manipulatory technique required the utilization of other elements besides the Datura plant, in this instance two lizards. They were supposed to serve the sorcerer as instruments of movement, meaning here the peculiar perception of being in a particular realm in which one was capable of hearing a lizard talk and then of visualizing whatever it had said. Don Juan explained such phenomena as the lizards answering the questions that had been posed for divination.
The third specific purpose of the rule of the ally contained in the Datura plants dealt with another specialized form of movement, bodily flight. As don Juan explained, a sorcerer using this ally was capable of flying bodily over enormous distances; the bodily flight was the sorcerer's capacity to move through nonordinary reality and then to return at will to ordinary reality.
The manipulatory technique of the third specific purpose was also a process of ingestion-absorption. A potion made with Datura root was ingested, and an unguent made with Datura seeds was rubbed on the soles of the feet, on the inner part of both legs, and on the genitals.
The third specific purpose was not corroborated in depth; don Juan implied that he had not disclosed other aspects of the manipulatory technique which would permit a sorcerer to acquire a sense of direction while moving.
The fourth specific purpose of the rule was testing, the ally being contained in Psilocybe mexicana. The testing was not intended to determine affinity or lack of affinity with the ally, but rather to be an unavoidable first trial, or the first meeting with the ally.
The manipulatory technique for the fourth specific purpose utilized a smoking mixture made of dried mushrooms mixed with different parts of five other plants, none of which was known to have hallucinogenic properties. The rule placed the emphasis on the act of inhaling the smoke from the mixture; the teacher thus used the word humito (little smoke) to refer to the ally contained in it. But I have called this process ^ingestion-inhalation' because it was a combination of ingesting first and then of inhaling. The mushrooms, because of their softness, dried into a very fine dust which was rather difficult to burn. The other ingredients turned into shreds upon drying. These shreds were incinerated in the pipe bow] while the mushroom powder, which did not burn so easily, was drawn into the mouth and ingested. Logically, the quantity of dried mushrooms ingested was larger than the quantity of shreds burned and inhaled.
The effects of the first state of non-ordinary reality elicited by Psilocybe mexicana gave rise to don Juan's brief discussion of the fifth specific purpose of the rule. It was concerned with movement - moving with the help of the ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana into and through inanimate objects or into and through animate beings. The complete manipulatory technique may have included hypnotic suggestion besides the process of ingestion-inhalation. Because don Juan presented this specific purpose only as a brief discussion which was not further verified, it was impossible for me to assess correctly any of its aspects.
The sixth specific purpose of the rule verified in non-ordinary reality, also involving the ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana, dealt with another aspect of movement - moving by adopting an alternate form. This aspect of movement was subjected to the most intensive verification. Don Juan asserted that assiduous practice was needed in order to master it. He maintained that the ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana had the inherent capacity to cause the sorcerer's body to disappear; thus the idea of adopting an alternate form was a logical possibility for achieving movement under the conditions of bodilessness. Another logical possibility for achieving movement was, naturally, moving through objects and beings, which don Juan had discussed briefly.
The manipulatory technique of the sixth specific purpose of the rule included not only ingestion-inhalation but also, according to all indications, hypnotic suggestion. Don Juan had put forth such a suggestion during the transitional stages into nonordinary reality, and also during the early part of the states of non-ordinary reality. He classified the seemingly hypnotic process as being only his personal supervision, meaning that he had not revealed to me the complete manipulatory technique at that particular time.
The adoption of an alternate form did not mean that a sorcerer was free to take, on the spur of the moment, any form he wanted to take; on the contrary, it implied a lifelong training to achieve a preconceived form. The preconceived form don Juan had preferred to adopt was that of a crow, and consequently he emphasized that particular form in his teachings. He made it very clear, nonetheless, that a crow was his personal choice, and that there were innumerable other possible preconceived forms.
The Fourth Unit - The rule was corroborated by special consensus
Among the component concepts forming the rule, the one that was indispensable for explaining it was the idea that the rule was corroborated by special consensus; all the other component concepts were insufficient by themselves for explaining the meaning of the rule.
Don Juan made it very clear that an ally was not bestowed on a sorcerer, but that a sorcerer learned to manipulate the ally through the process of corroborating its rule. The complete learning process involved verification of the rule in non-ordinary reality as well as in ordinary reality. Yet the crucial facet of don Juan's teachings was corroboration of the rule in a pragmatic and experimental manner in the context of what one perceived as being the component elements of non-ordinary reality. But those component elements were not subject to ordinary consensus, and if one was incapable of obtaining agreement on their existence, their perceived realness would have been only an illusion. As a man would have to be by himself in non-ordinary reality, by reason of his solitariness whatever he perceived would have to be idiosyncratic. The solitariness and the idiosyncrasies were a consequence of the assumed fact that no fellow man could give one ordinary consensus on one's perceptions.
At this point don Juan brought in the most important constituent part of his teachings: he provided me with special consensus on the actions and the elements I had perceived in nonordinary reality, actions and elements that were believed to corroborate the rule. In don Juan's teachings, special consensus meant tacit or implicit agreement on the component elements of non-ordinary reality, which he, in his capacity as teacher, gave me as the apprentice of his knowledge. This special consensus was not in any way fraudulent or spurious, such as the one two persons might give each other in describing the component elements of their individual dreams. The special consensus don Juan supplied was systematic, and to provide it he may have needed the totality of his knowledge. With the acquisition of systematic consensus the actions and the elements perceived in non-ordinary reality became consensually real, which meant, in don Juan's classificatory scheme, that the rule of the ally had been corroborated. The rule had meaning as a concept, then, only inasmuch as it was subject to special consensus, for without special agreement about its corroboration the rule would have been a purely idiosyncratic construct.
Because of its indispensability for explaining the rule, I have made the idea that the rule was corroborated by special consensus the fourth main unit of this structural scheme. This unit, because it was basically the interplay between two individuals, was composed of (1) the benefactor, or the guide into the knowledge being taught, the agent who supplied special consensus; (2) the apprentice, or the subject for whom special consensus was provided.
Failure or success in achieving the operational goal of the teachings rested on this unit. Thus, special consensus was the precarious culmination of the following process: A sorcerer had a distinctive feature, possession of an ally, which differentiated him from ordinary men. An ally was a power that had the special property of having a rule. And the unique characteristic of the rule was its corroboration in non-ordinary reality by means of special consensus.
The benefactor was the agent without whom the corroboration of the rule would have been impossible. In order to provide special consensus, he performed the two tasks of (1) preparing the background for special consensus on the corroboration of the rule, and (2) guiding special consensus.
Preparing special consensus
The benefactor's first task was to set the background necessary for bringing forth special consensus on corroboration of the rule. As my teacher, don Juan made me (1) experience other states of non-ordinary reality which he explained as being quite apart from those elicited to corroborate the rule of the allies; (2) participate with him in certain special states of ordinary reality ;: which he seemed to have produced himself; and (3) recapitulate ; each experience in detail. Don Juan's task of preparing special f consensus consisted of strengthening and confirming the corroboration of the rule by giving special consensus on the component elements of these new states of non-ordinary reality, and on the component elements of the special states of ordinary reality.
The other states of non-ordinary reality which don Juan made me experience were induced by the ingestion of the cactus Lophophora williamsii, commonly known as peyote. Usually the top part of the cactus was cut off and stored until it had dried, and then it was chewed and ingested, but under special circumstances the top part was ingested while it was fresh. Ingestion, however, was not the only way to experience a state of nonordinary reality with Lophophora williamsii. Don Juan suggested that spontaneous states of non-ordinary reality occurred under unique conditions, and he categorized them as gifts from or bestowals by the power contained in the plant.
Non-ordinary reality induced by Lophophora williamsii had three distinctive features: (1) it was believed to be produced by an entity called 'Mescalito'; (2) it was utilizable; and (3) it had component elements.
Mescalito was purported to be a unique power, similar to an ally in the sense that it allowed one to transcend the boundaries of ordinary reality, but also quite different from an ally. Like an ally, Mescalito was contained in a definite plant, the cactus Lophophora williamsii. But unlike an ally, which was merely contained in a plant, Mescalito and this plant in which it was contained were the same; the plant was the centre of overt manifestations of respect, the recipient of profound veneration. Don Juan firmly believed that under certain conditions, such as a state of profound acquiescence to Mescalito, the simple act of being contiguous to the cactus would induce a state of non-ordinary reality.
But Mescalito did not have a rule, and for that reason it was not an ally even though it was capable of transporting a man outside the boundaries of ordinary reality. Not having a rule not only barred Mescalito from being used as an ally, for without a rule it could not conceivably be manipulated, but also made it a power remarkably different from an ally.
As a direct consequence of not having a rule, Mescalito was available to any man without the need of a long apprenticeship or the commitment to manipulatory techniques, as with an ally. And because it was available without any training, Mescalito was said to be a protector. To be a protector meant that it was accessible to anyone. Yet Mescalito as a protector was not accessible to every man, and with some individuals it was not compatible. According to don Juan, such incompatibility was caused by the discrepancy between Mescalito's 'unbending morality' and the individual's own questionable character.
Mescalito was also a teacher. It was supposed to exercise didactic functions. It was a director, a guide to proper behaviour. Mescalito taught the right way. Don Juan's idea of the right way seemed to be a sense of propriety, which consisted, not of righteousness in terms of morality, but of a tendency to simplify behavioural patterns in terms of the efficacy promoted by his teachings. Don Juan believed Mescalito taught simplification of behaviour.
Mescalito was believed to be an entity. And as such it was purported to have a definite form that was usually not constant or predictable. This quality implied that Mescalito was perceived differently not only by different men, but also by the same man on different occasions. Don Juan expressed this idea in terms of Mescalito's ability to adopt any conceivable form. For individuals with whom it was compatible, however, it adopted an unchanging form after they had partaken of it over a period of years.
The non-ordinary reality produced by Mescalito was utilizable, and in this respect was identical with that induced by an ally. The only difference was the rationale don Juan used in his teachings for eliciting it: one was supposed to seek ' Mescalito's lessons on the right way'.
The non-ordinary reality produced by Mescalito also had component elements, and here again the states of non-ordinary reality induced by Mescalito and by an ally were identical. In both, the characteristics of the component elements were stability, singularity, and lack of consensus.
The other procedure don Juan used to prepare the background for special consensus was to make me the co-participant in special states of ordinary reality. A special state of ordinary reality was a situation that could be described in terms of the properties of everyday life, except that it might have been impossible to obtain ordinary consensus on its component elements. Don Juan prepared the background for the special consensus on the corroboration of the rule by giving special consensus on the component elements of the special states of ordinary reality. These component elements were elements of everyday life whose existence could be confirmed only by don Juan through special agreement. This was a supposition on my part, because as co-participant in the special state of ordinary reality I believed that only don Juan, as the other co-participant, would know which component elements made up the special state of ordinary reality.
In my own personal judgement, the special states of ordinary reality were produced by don Juan, although he never claimed to have done so. It seemed that he produced them through a skilful manipulation of hints and suggestions to guide my behaviour. I have called that process the 'manipulation of cues',
It had two aspects: (1) cuing about the environment, and (2) cuing about behaviour.
During the course of the teachings don Juan made me experience two such states. He may have produced the first through the process of cuing about the environment. Don Juan's rationale for producing it was that I needed a test to prove my good intentions, and only after he had given me special consensus on its component elements did he consent to begin his teachings. By 'cuing about the environment" I meant that don Juan led me into a special state of ordinary reality by isolating, through subtle suggestions, component elements of ordinary reality which were part of the immediate physical surroundings. Elements isolated in such a manner created in this instance a specific visual perception of colour, which don Juan tacitly verified.
The second state of ordinary reality may have been produced by the process of cuing about behaviour. Don Juan, through close association with me and through the exercise of a consistent way of behaving, had succeeded in creating an image of himself, an image that served me as an essential pattern by which I could recognize him. Then, by performing certain specific choice responses, which were irreconcilable with the image he had created, don Juan was capable of distorting this essential pattern of recognition. The distortion may in turn have changed the normal configuration of elements associated with the pattern into a new and incongruous pattern which could not be subjected to ordinary consensus; don Juan, as the co-participant of that special state of ordinary reality, was the only person who knew which the component elements were, and thus he was the only person who could give me agreement on their existence.
Don Juan set up the second special state of ordinary reality also as a test, as a sort of recapitulation of his teachings. It seemed that both special states of ordinary reality marked a transition in the teachings. They seemed to be points of articulation. And the second state may have marked my entrance into a new stage of learning characterized by more direct co-participation between teacher and apprentice for purposes of arriving at special consensus.
The third procedure that don Juan employed to prepare special consensus was to make me render a detailed account of what I had experienced as an aftermath of each state of nonordinary reality and each special state of ordinary reality, and then to stress certain choice units which he isolated from the content of my account. The essential factor was directing the outcome of the states of non-ordinary reality, and my implicit assumption here was that the characteristics of the component elements of non-ordinary reality - stability, singularity, and lack of ordinary consensus - were inherent in them and were not the result of don Juan's guidance. This assumption was based on the observation that the component elements of the first state of non-ordinary reality I underwent possessed the same three characteristics, and yet don Juan had hardly begun his directing. Assuming, then, that these characteristics were inherent in the component elements of non-ordinary reality in general, don Juan's task consisted of utilizing them as the basis for directing the outcome of each state of non-ordinary reality elicited by Datura inoxia, Psilocybe mexicana, and Lophophora williamsii.
The detailed account that don Juan made me render as the aftermath of each state of non-ordinary reality was a recapitulation of the experience. It entailed a meticulous verbal rendition of what I had perceived during the course of each state. A recapitulation had two facets: (1) the recollection of events and (2) the description of perceived component elements. The recollection of events was concerned with the incidents I had seemingly perceived during the course of the experience I was narrating: that is, the events that seemed to have happened and the actions I seemed to have performed. The description .of the perceived component elements was my account of the specific form and the specific detail of the component elements I seemed to have perceived.
From each recapitulation of the experience don Juan selected certain units by means of the processes of (1) attaching importance to certain appropriate areas of my account and (2) denying all importance to other areas of my account. The interval between states of non-ordinary reality was the time when don Juan expounded on the recapitulation of the experience,
I have called the first process 'emphasis' because it entailed a forceful speculation on the distinction between what don Juan had conceived as the goals I should have accomplished in the state of non-ordinary reality and what I had perceived myself. Emphasis meant, then, that don Juan isolated an area of my narrative by centering on it the bulk of his speculation. Emphasis was either positive or negative. Positive emphasis implied that don Juan was satisfied with a particular item I had perceived because it conformed with the goals he had expected me to achieve in the state of non-ordinary reality. Negative emphasis meant that don Juan was not satisfied with what I had perceived because it may not have conformed with his expectations or because he judged it insufficient. Nonetheless, he still placed the bulk of speculation on that area of my recapitulation in order to emphasize the negative value of my perception.
The second selective process that don Juan employed was to deny all importance to some areas of my account. I have called it 'lack of emphasis' because it was the opposite and the counterbalance of emphasis. It seemed that by denying importance to the parts of my account pertaining to component elements which don Juan judged to be completely superfluous to the goal of his teachings, he literally obliterated my perception of the same elements in the successive states of non-ordinary reality.
Guiding special consensus
The second aspect of don Juan's task as a teacher was to guide special consensus by directing the outcome of each state of nonordinary reality and each special state of ordinary reality. Don Juan directed that outcome through an orderly manipulation of the extrinsic and the intrinsic levels of non-ordinary reality, and of the intrinsic level of the special states of ordinary reality.
The extrinsic level of non-ordinary reality pertained to its operative arrangement. It involved the mechanics, the steps leading into non-ordinary reality proper. The extrinsic level had three discernible aspects: (1) the preparatory period, (2) the transitional stages, and (3) the teacher's supervision.
The preparatory period was the time that elapsed between one state of non-ordinary reality and the next. Don Juan used it to give me direct instructions and to develop the general course of his teachings. The preparatory period was of critical importance in setting up the states of non-ordinary reality, and because it pivoted on them it had two distinct facets: (1) the period prior to non-ordinary reality, and (2) the period following nonordinary reality.
The period prior to non-ordinary reality was a relatively short interval of time, twenty-four hours at the most. In the states of non-ordinary reality induced by Datura inoxia and Psilocybe mexicana the period was characterized by don Juan's dramatic and accelerated direct instructions on the specific purpose of the rule and on the manipulatory techniques I was supposed to corroborate in the oncoming state of non-ordinary reality. With Lophophora williamsii the period was essentially a time of ritual behaviour, since Mescalito had no rule.
The period following non-ordinary reality, on the other hand, was a long span of time; usually lasting for months, it allowed time for don Juan's discussion and clarification of the events that had taken place during the preceding state of non-ordinary reality. This period was especially important after the use of Lophophora williamsii. Because Mescalito did not have a rule, the goal pursued in non-ordinary reality was the verification of Mescalito's characteristics; don Juan delineated those characteristics during the long interval following each state of nonordinary reality.
The second aspect of the extrinsic level was the transitional stages, which meant the passage from a state of ordinary reality into a state of non-ordinary reality, and vice versa. The two states of reality overlapped in these transitional stages, and the criterion I used to differentiate the latter from either state of reality was that their component elements were blurred. I was never able to perceive them or to recollect them with precision.
In terms of perceived time, the transitional stages were either abrupt or slow. In the instance of Datura inoxia, ordinary and non-ordinary states were almost juxtaposed, and the transition from one to the other took place abruptly. The most noticeable were the passages into non-ordinary reality. Psilocybe mexicana, on the other hand, elicited transitional stages that I perceived to be slow. The passage from ordinary into non-ordinary reality was specially long-drawn-out and perceivable. I was always more aware of it, perhaps because of my apprehension about forthcoming events.
The transitional stages elicited by Lophophora williamsii seemed to combine features of the other two. For one thing, both the passages into and out of non-ordinary reality were very noticeable. The entering into non-ordinary reality was slow, and I experienced it with hardly any impairment of my faculties; but reverting back into ordinary reality was an abrupt transitional stage, which I perceived with clarity, but with less facility to assess every detail of it.
The third aspect of the extrinsic level was the teacher's supervision or the actual help that I, as the apprentice, received in the course of experiencing a state of non-ordinary reality. I have set up- supervision as a category by itself because it was implied that the teacher would have to enter non-ordinary reality with his apprentice at a certain point of the teachings.
During the states of non-ordinary reality elicited by Datura inoxia I received minimal supervision. Don Juan placed heavy stress on fulfilling the steps of the preparatory period, but after I had complied with that requirement he let me proceed by myself.
In the non-ordinary reality induced by Psilocybe mexicana, the degree of supervision was the complete opposite, for here, according to don Juan, the apprentice needed the most extensive guidance and help. The corroboration of the rule necessitated the adoption of an alternate form, which seemed to suggest that I had to undergo a series of very specialized adjustments in perceiving the surroundings. Don Juan produced those necessary adjustments through verbal commands and suggestions during the transitional stages into non-ordinary reality. Another aspect of his supervision was to direct me during the early part of the states of non-ordinary reality by commanding me to focus my attention on certain component elements of the preceding state of ordinary reality. The items he focused upon were apparently chosen at random, as the important issue was the act of perfecting the adopted alternate form. The final aspect of supervision was restoring me back to ordinary reality. It was implicit that this operation also required maximal supervision from don Juan, although I could not recall the actual procedure.
The supervision necessary for the states induced by Lophophora williamsii was a blend of the other two. Don Juan remained at my side for as long as he could, yet he did not attempt in any way to direct me into or out of non-ordinary reality.
The second level of differentiative order in non-ordinary reality was the seemingly internal standards or the seemingly internal arrangement of its component elements. I have called it the 'intrinsic level', and I have assumed here that the component elements were subject to three general processes, which seemed to be the product of don Juan's guidance: (1) a progression towards the specific; (2) a progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal; and (3) a progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality.
The progression towards the specific was the apparent advance of the component elements of each successive state of nonordinary reality towards being more precise, more specific. It entailed two separate aspects: (1) a progression towards specific single forms; and (2) a progression towards specific total results.
The progression towards specific single forms implied that the component elements were amorphously familiar in the early states of non-ordinary reality, and became specific and unfamiliar in the late states. The progression seemed to encompass two levels of change in the component elements of non-ordinary reality: (1) a progressive complexity of perceived detail; and (2) a progression from familiar to unfamiliar forms.
Progressive complexity of detail meant that in each successive state of non-ordinary reality, the minute particulars I perceived as constituting the component elements became more complex. I assessed complexity in terms of my being aware that the structure of the component elements grew more complicated, yet the details did not become exceedingly or perplexingly entangled. The increasing complexity referred rather to the harmonious increase of perceived detail, which ranged from my impressions of vague forms during the early states to my perception of massive, elaborate arrays of minute particulars in the late states.
The progression from familiar to unfamiliar forms implied that at first the forms of the component elements either were familiar forms found in ordinary reality, or at least evoked the familiarity of everyday life. But in successive states of nonordinary reality the specific forms, the details making up the form, and the patterns in which the component elements were combined became progressively unfamiliar, until I could not put them on a par with, nor could they even evoke, in some instances, anything I had ever perceived in ordinary reality.
The progression of the component elements towards specific total results was the gradually closer approximation of the total result I accomplished in each state of non-ordinary reality to the total result don Juan sought, in matters of corroborating the rule; that is, non-ordinary reality was induced to corroborate the rule, and the corroboration grew more specific in each successive attempt.
The second general process of the intrinsic level of nonordinary reality was the progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal. In other words, it was the gain I perceived in each successive state of non-ordinary reality towards the expansion of the area over which I could have exercised my capacity to focus attention. The point in question here was either that there existed a definite area that expanded, or that my capacity to perceive seemed to increase in each successive state. Don Juan's teachings fostered and reinforced the idea that there was an area that expanded, and I have called that alleged area the 'range of appraisal'. Its progressive expansion consisted of a seemingly sensorial appraisal I made of the component elements of nonordinary reality which fell within a certain range. I evaluated and analysed these component elements, it seemed, with my senses, and to all appearances I perceived the range in which they occurred as being more extensive, more encompassing, in each successive state.
The range of appraisal was of two kinds: (1) the dependent range and (2) the independent range. The dependent range was an area in which the component elements were the items of the physical environment which had been within my awareness in the preceding state of ordinary reality. The independent range, on the other hand, was the area in which the component elements of non-ordinary reality seemed to come into existence by themselves, free of the influence of the physical surroundings of the preceding ordinary reality.
Don Juan's clear allusion in matters of the range of appraisal was that each of the two allies and Mescalito possessed the property of inducing both forms of perception. Yet it seemed to me that Datura inoxia had a greater capacity to induce an independent range, although in the facet of bodily flight, which I did not perceive long enough to assess it, the range of appraisal was implicitly a dependent one. Psilocybe mexicana had the capacity to produce a dependent range; Lophophora williamsii had the capacity to produce both.
My assumption was that don Juan used those different properties in order to prepare special consensus. In other words, in the states produced by Datura inoxia the component elements lacking ordinary consensus existed independently of the preceding ordinary reality. With Psilocybe mexicana, lack of ordinary consensus involved component elements that depended on the environment of the preceding ordinary reality. And with Lophophora williamsii, some component elements were determined by the environment, whereas others were independent of the environment. Thus the use of the three plants together seemed to have been designed to create a broad perception of the lack of ordinary consensus on the component elements of non-ordinary reality.
The last process of the intrinsic level of non-ordinary reality was the progression I perceived in each successive state towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality. This progression seemed to be correlated with the idea that each new state was a more complex stage of learning, and that the increasing complexity of each new stage required a more inclusive and pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality. The progression was most noticeable when Lophophora williamsii was used; the simultaneous existence of a dependent and an independent range of appraisal in each state made the pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality more extensive, for it covered both ranges at once.
Directing the outcome of the special states of ordinary reality seemed to produce an order in the intrinsic level, an order characterized by the progression of the component elements towards the specific; that is to say, the component elements were more numerous and were isolated more easily in each successive special state of ordinary reality. In the course of his teachings, don Juan elicited only two of them, but it was still possible for me to detect that in the second it was easier for don Juan to isolate a large number of component elements, and that facility for specific results affected the rapidity with which the second special state of ordinary reality was produced.*
The Conceptual Order
The apprentice was the last unit of the operative order. The apprentice was in his own right the unit that brought don Juan's teachings into focus, for he had to accept the totality of the special consensus given on the component elements of all the states of non-ordinary reality and all the special states of ordinary reality, before special consensus could become a meaningful concept. But special consensus, by force of being concerned with the actions and elements perceived in non-ordinary reality, entailed a peculiar order of conceptualization, an order that brought such perceived actions and elements into accordance with corroboration of the rule. Therefore the acceptance of special consensus meant for me, as the apprentice, the adoption of a certain point of view validated by the totality of don Juan's teachings; that is, it meant my entrance into a conceptual level, a level comprising an order of conceptualization that would render the teachings understandable in their own terms. I have called it the 'conceptual order' because it was the order that gave meaning to the unordinary phenomena that formed don Juan's knowledge; it was the matrix of meaning in which all individual concepts brought out in his teachings were embedded.
- For the process of validating special consensus, see Appendix A.
Taking into account, then, that the apprentice's goal consisted of adopting that order of conceptualization, he had two alternatives: he could either fail in his efforts or he could succeed.
The first alternative, failure to adopt the conceptual order, meant also that the apprentice had failed to achieve the operational goal of the teachings. The idea of failure was explained in the theme of the four symbolic enemies of a man of knowledge; it was implicit that failure was not merely the act of discontinuing pursuit of the goal, but the act of abandoning the quest completely under the pressure created by any one of the four symbolic enemies. The same theme also made it clear that the first two enemies - fear and clarity - were the cause of a man's defeat at the apprentice's level, that defeat at that level signified failure to learn how to command an ally, and that as a consequence of such failure the apprentice had adopted the conceptual order in a shallow, fallacious manner. That is, his adoption of the conceptual order was fallacious in the sense of being a fraudulent affiliation with or commitment to the meaning propounded by the teachings. The idea was that upon being defeated an apprentice, besides being incapable of commanding an ally, would be left with only the knowledge of certain manipulatory techniques, plus the memory of the perceived component elements of non-ordinary reality, but he would not identify with the rationale that might have made them meaningful in their own terms. Under these circumstances any man might be forced to develop his own explanations for idiosyncratically chosen areas of the phenomena he had experienced, and that process would entail the fallacious adoption of the point of view propounded by don Juan's teachings. Fallacious adoption of the conceptual order, however, was apparently not restricted to the apprentice alone. In the theme of the enemies of a man of knowledge, it was also implicit that a man, after having achieved the goal of learning to command an ally, could still succumb to the onslaughts of his other two enemies - power and old age. In don Juan's categorization scheme, such a defeat implied that a man had fallen into a shallow or fallacious adoption of the conceptual order, as had the defeated apprentice.
The successful adoption of the conceptual order, on the other hand, meant that the apprentice had achieved the operational goal - a bona fide adoption of the point of view propounded in the teachings. That is, his adoption of the conceptual order was bona fide in that it was a complete affiliation with, a complete commitment to, the meaning expressed in that order of conceptualization.
Don Juan never clarified the exact point at which, or the exact way in which, an apprentice ceased to be an apprentice, although the allusion was clear that once he had achieved the operational goal of the system - that is, once he knew how to command an ally - he would no longer need the teacher for guidance. The idea that the time would come when a teacher's directions would be superfluous implied that the apprentice would succeed in adopting the conceptual order, and in so doing he would acquire the capacity to draw meaningful inferences without the teacher's aid.
Insofar as don Juan's teachings were concerned, and until I discontinued my apprenticeship, the acceptance of special consensus seemed to entail the adoption of two units of the conceptual order: (1) the idea of a reality of special consensus; (2) the idea that the reality of ordinary, everyday-life consensus, and the reality of special consensus, had an equally pragmatic value.
Reality of special consensus
The main body of don Juan's teachings, as he himself stated,
concerned the use of the three hallucinogenic plants with which he induced states of non-ordinary reality. The use of these three plants seems to have been a matter of deliberate intent on his part. He seems to have employed them because each of them possessed different hallucinogenic properties, which he interpreted as the different inherent natures of the powers contained in them. By directing the extrinsic and intrinsic levels of nonordinary reality, don Juan exploited the different hallucinogenic properties until they created in me, as the apprentice, the perception that non-ordinary reality was a perfectly defined area, a realm separate from ordinary, everyday life whose inherent properties were revealed as I went along.
Nevertheless, it was also possible that the allegedly different properties might have been merely the product of don Juan's own process of directing the intrinsic order of non-ordinary reality, although in his teachings he exploited the idea that the power contained in each plant induced states of non-ordinary reality which differed from one another. If the latter was true, their differences in terms of the units of this analysis seem to have been in the range of appraisal which one could perceive in the states elicited by each of the three. Owing to the peculiarities of their range of appraisal, all three contributed to producing the perception of a perfectly defined area or realm, consisting of two compartments: the independent range, called the realm of the lizards, or of Mescalito's lessons; and the dependent range, referred to as the area where one could move by one's own means.
I use the term 'non-ordinary reality', as already noted, in the sense of extraordinary, uncommon reality. For a beginner apprentice such a reality was by all means unordinary, but the apprenticeship of don Juan's knowledge demanded my compulsory participation and my commitment to pragmatic and experimental practice of whatever I had learned. That meant that I, as the apprentice, had to experience a number of states of nonordinary reality, and that firsthand knowledge would, sooner or later, make the classifications 'ordinary* and 'non-ordinary' meaningless for me. The bona fide adoption of the first unit of the conceptual order would have entailed, then, the idea that there was another separate, but no longer unordinary, realm of reality, the' reality of special consensus'.
Accepting as a major premise that the reality of special consensus was a separate realm would have explained meaningfully the idea that the meetings with the allies or with Mescalito took place in a realm that was not illusory.
The reality of special consensus had pragmatic value The same process of directing the extrinsic and intrinsic levels of non-ordinary reality, which seemed to have created the recognition of the reality of special consensus as a separate realm, appeared also to have been responsible for my perception that the reality of special consensus was practical and usable. The acceptance of special consensus on all the states of non-ordinary reality, and on all the special states of ordinary reality, was designed to consolidate the awareness that it was equal to the reality of ordinary, everyday-life consensus. This equality was based on the impression that the reality of special consensus was not a realm that could be equated with dreams. On the contrary, it had stable component elements that were subject to special agreement. It was actually a realm where one could perceive the surroundings in a deliberate manner. Its component elements were not idiosyncratic or whimsical, but concise items or events whose existence was attested to by the whole body of teachings.
The implication of the equality was clear in the treatment don Juan accorded to the reality of special consensus, a treatment that was utilitarian and matter of course; not at any time did he refer to it, nor was I required to behave towards it in any but a utilitarian, matter-of-course way. The fact that the two areas were considered equal, however, did not mean that at any moment one could have behaved in exactly the same way in either area. On the contrary, a sorcerer's behaviour had to be different since each area of reality had qualities that rendered it utilizable in its own way. The defining factor in terms of meaning seems to have been the idea that such an equality could be measured on the grounds of practical utility. Thus, a sorcerer had to believe that it was possible to shift back and forth from one area to the other, that both were inherently utilizable, and that the only dissimilarity between the two was their different capacity for being used, that is, the different purposes they served.
Yet their separateness seemed to be only an appropriate arrangement that was pertinent to my particular level of apprenticeship, which don Juan used for making me aware that another realm of reality could exist. But from his acts, more than from his statements, I was led to believe that for a • sorcerer there was but one single continuum of reality which had two, or perhaps more than two, parts from which he drew inferences of pragmatic value. The bona fide adoption of the idea that the reality of special consensus had pragmatic value would have given a meaningful perspective to movement.
If I had accepted the idea that the reality of special consensus was usable because it possessed inherently utilizable properties which were as pragmatic as those of the reality of everyday consensus, then it would have been logical for me to understand why don Juan exploited the notion of movement in the reality of special consensus at such great length. After accepting the pragmatic existence of another reality, the only thing a sorcerer had to do would be to learn the mechanics of movement. Naturally, movement in that instance had to be specialized because it was concerned with the inherent, pragmatic properties of the reality of special consensus.
The issues of my analysis have been the following:
1. The fragment of don Juan's teachings which I have presented here consisted of two aspects: the operative order or the meaningful sequence in which all the individual concepts of his teachings were linked to one another, and the conceptual order or the matrix of meaning in which all the individual concepts of his teaching were embedded.
2. The operative order had four main units with their respective component ideas: (1) the concept 'man of knowledge'; (2) the idea that a man of knowledge had the aid of a specialized power called an ally; (3) the idea that an ally was governed by a body of regulations called the rule; and (4) the idea that the corroboration of the rule was subject to special consensus.
3. These four units were related to one another in the following manner: the goal of the operative order was to teach one how to become a man of knowledge; a man of knowledge was different from ordinary men because he had an ally; an ally was a specialized power, which had a rule; one could acquire or tame an ally through the process of verifying its rule in the realm of non-ordinary reality and through obtaining special consensus on that corroboration.
4. In the context of don Juan's teachings, becoming a man of knowledge was not a permanent accomplishment, but rather a process. That is to say, the factor that made a man of knowledge was not solely the possession of an ally, but the man's lifelong struggle to maintain himself within the boundaries of a system of beliefs. Don Juan's teachings, however, were aimed at practical results, and his practical goal, in relation to teaching how to become a man of knowledge, was to teach how to acquire an ally through learning its rule. Thus the goal of the operative order was to provide one with special consensus on the component elements perceived in non-ordinary reality, which were considered to be the corroboration of the ally's rule.
5. In order to provide special consensus on the corroboration of the ally's rule, don Juan had to provide special consensus on the component elements of all the states of non-ordinary reality and the special states of ordinary reality elicited in the course of his teachings. Special consensus, therefore, dealt with unordinary phenomena, a fact that permitted me to assume that any apprentice, by accepting special consensus, was led into adopting the conceptual order of the knowledge being taught.
6. From the point of view of my personal stage of learning, I could deduce that up to the time when I withdrew from the apprenticeship don Juan's teachings had fostered the adoption of two units of the conceptual order: (1) the idea that there was a separate realm of reality, another world, which I have called the 'reality of special consensus'; (2) the idea that the reality of special consensus, or that other world, was as utilizable as the world of everyday life.
Nearly six years after I had begun the apprenticeship, don Juan's knowledge became a coherent whole for the first time. I realized that he had aimed at providing a bona fide consensus on my personal findings, and although I did not continue because I was not, nor will I ever be, prepared to undergo the rigours of such a training, my own way to meet his standards of personal exertion was my attempt to understand his teachings. I felt it was imperative to prove, if only to myself, that they were not an oddity.
After I had arranged my structural scheme, and was capable of discarding many data that were superfluous to my initial effort of uncovering the cogency of his teachings, it became clear to me that they had an internal cohesion, a logical sequence that enabled me to view the entire phenomenon in a light that dispelled the sense of bizarreness which was the mark of all I had experienced. It was obvious to me then that my apprenticeship had been only the beginning of a very long road. And the strenuous experiences I had undergone, which were so overwhelming to me, were but a very small fragment of a system of logical thought from which don Juan drew meaningful inferences for his day-today life, a vastly complex system of beliefs in which inquiry was an experience leading to exultation.
Appendix A - The process of validating special consensus
Validating special consensus involved, at every point, the cumulation of don Juan's teachings. For the purpose of explaining the cumulative process, I have arranged the validation of special consensus according to the sequence in which the states of nonordinary reality and special ordinary reality occurred. Don Juan did not seem to have fixed the process of directing the intrinsic order of non-ordinary and special ordinary reality in an exact manner; he seemed to have isolated the units for direction in a rather fluid way.
Don Juan began to prepare the background for special consensus by producing the first special state of ordinary reality through the process of manipulating cues about -the environment. He isolated by that method certain component elements from the range of ordinary reality, and by isolating them, he directed me to perceive a progression towards the specific, in this instance the perception of colours that seemed to emanate from two small areas on the ground. Upon being isolated those areas of colouration became deprived of ordinary consensus; it seemed that only I was capable of seeing them, and thus they created a special state of ordinary reality.
Isolating those two areas on the ground by depriving them of ordinary consensus served to establish the first link between ordinary and non-ordinary reality. Don Juan directed me to perceive a portion of ordinary reality in an unaccustomed manner; that is, he changed certain ordinary elements into items that needed special consensus.
The aftermath of the first special state of ordinary reality was my recapitulation of the experience; from it don Juan selected the perception of different areas of colouration as the units for positive emphasis. He isolated for negative emphasis the account of my fear and fatigue, and the possibility of my lacking persistence.
During the subsequent preparatory period he placed the bulk of speculation on the units he had isolated, and he carried over the idea that it was possible to detect in the surroundings more than the usual. From the units drawn from my recapitulation don Juan also introduced some of the component concepts of man of knowledge.
As the second step in preparing special consensus on the corroboration of the rule, don Juan induced a state of non-ordinary reality with Lophophora williamsii. The total content of that first state of non-ordinary reality was rather vague and disassociated, yet the component elements were very well defined; I perceived its characteristics of stability, singularity, and lack of ordinary consensus almost as clearly as in later states. These characteristics were not so obvious, perhaps because of my lack of proficiency; it was the first time I had experienced nonordinary reality.
It was impossible to ascertain the effect of don Juan's previous directing on the actual course of the experience; however, his mastery in directing the outcome of subsequent states of nonordinary reality was very clear from that point on.
From my recapitulation of the experience, he selected the units to direct the progression towards specific single forms and specific total results. He took the account of my actions with a dog and connected it with the idea that Mescalito was a visible entity. It was capable of adopting any form; above all it was an entity outside oneself.
The account of my actions also served don Juan in setting the progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal; in this instance the progression was towards a dependent range. Don Juan placed positive emphasis on the notion that I had moved and acted in non-ordinary reality almost as I would have in everyday life.
The progression towards a more pragmatic use of nonordinary reality was set by giving negative emphasis to the account of my incapacity to pay logical attention to the perceived component elements. Don Juan hinted that it would have been possible for me to examine the elements with detachment and accuracy; this idea brought forth two general characteristics of non-ordinary reality, that it was pragmatic and that it had component elements that could be assessed seasonally.
The lack of ordinary consensus for the component elements was brought forth dramatically by an interplay of positive and negative emphasis placed on the views of onlookers who observed my behaviour during the course of that first state of nonordinary reality.
The preparatory period following the first state of nonordinary reality lasted more than a year. Don Juan employed that time to introduce more component concepts of man of knowledge, and to disclose some parts of the rule of the two allies. He elicited also a shallow state of non-ordinary reality in order to test my affinity with the ally contained in Datura, inoxia. Don Juan used whatever vague sensations I had in the course of that shallow state to delineate the general characteristics of the ally by contrasting it with what he had isolated as Mescalito's perceivable characteristics.
The third step in preparing the special consensus on the corroboration of the rule was to elicit another state of non-ordinary reality with Lophophora williamsii. Don Juan's previous directing seems to have guided me to perceiving this second state of non-ordinary reality in the following manner:
The progression towards the specific created the possibility of visualizing an entity whose form had changed remarkably, from the familiar shape of a dog in the first state to the completely unfamiliar form of an anthropomorphic composite that existed, seemingly, outside myself.
The progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal was evident in my perception of a journey. In the course of that journey the range of appraisal was both dependent and independent, although a majority of the component elements depended on the environment of the preceding state of ordinary reality.
The progression towards a more pragmatic use of nonordinary reality was, perhaps, the most outstanding feature of my second state. It became evident to me, in a complex and detailed manner, that one could move around in non-ordinary reality.
I also examined the component elements with detachment and accuracy. I perceived their stability, singularity, and lack of consensus very clearly.
From my recapitulation of the experience, don Juan emphasized the following: For the progression towards the specific he gave positive emphasis to my account that I had seen Mescalito as an anthropomorphic composite. The bulk of speculation on this area was centred on the idea that Mescalito was capable of being a teacher, and also a protector.
In order to direct the progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal, don Juan placed positive emphasis on the account of my journey, which obviously had taken place in the dependent range; he also put positive emphasis on my version of the visionary scenes I viewed on the hand of Mescalito, scenes that seemed to be independent of the component elements of the preceding ordinary reality.
The account of my journey, and the scenes viewed on Mescalito's hand, also enabled don Juan to direct the progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality. He first put forth the idea that it was possible to obtain direction; second he interpreted the scenes as lessons concerning the right way to live.
Some areas of my recapitulation which dealt with the perception of superfluous composites were not emphasized at all, because they were not useful for setting the direction of the intrinsic order.
The next state of non-ordinary reality, the third one, was induced for the corroboration of the rule with the ally contained in Datura inoxia. The preparatory period was important and noticeable for the first time. Don Juan presented the manipulatory techniques and disclosed that the specific purpose I had to corroborate was divination.
His previous directing of the three aspects of the intrinsic order seemed to have produced the following results: The progression towards the specific was manifested in my capacity to perceive an ally as a quality; that is, I verified the assertion that an ally was not visible at all. The progression towards the specific also produced the peculiar perception of a series of images very similar to those I had viewed on Mescalito's hand. Don Juan interpreted these scenes as divination, or the corroboration of the specific purpose of the rule.
Perceiving that series of scenes entailed also a progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal. This time the range was independent of the environment of the preceding ordinary reality. The scenes did not appear to be superimposed on the component elements, as had the images I viewed on Mescalito's hand; in fact, there were no other component elements besides those that were part of the scenes. In other words, the total range of appraisal was independent.
The perception of a completely independent range also exhibited progression towards a more pragmatic use of nonordinary reality. Divining implied that one could give a utilitarian value to whatever had been seen.
For the purpose of directing the progression towards the specific, don Juan put positive emphasis on the idea that it was impossible to move by one's own means in the independent range of appraisal. He explained movement there as being indirect, and as being accomplished, in this particular instance, by the lizards as instruments. In order to set the direction of the second aspect of the intrinsic level, the progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal, he centred the bulk of speculation on the idea that the scenes I had perceived, which were the answers to divination, could have been examined and extended for as long as I wanted. For guiding the progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality, don Juan placed positive emphasis on the idea that the topic to be divined had to be simple and direct in order to obtain a result that could be usable.
The fourth state of non-ordinary reality was elicited also for the corroboration of the rule of the ally contained in Datura inoxia. The specific purpose of the rule to be corroborated had to do with bodily flight as another aspect of movement.
A result of directing the progression towards the specific may have been the perception of soaring bodily through the air. That sensation was acute, although it lacked the depth of all the earlier perceptions of acts that I had presumably performed in nonordinary reality. Bodily flight appeared to have taken place in a dependent range of appraisal, and it appeared to have entailed moving by one's own power, which may have been the result of a progression towards a wider range of appraisal.
Two other aspects of the sensation of soaring through the air may have been the product of directing the progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality. They were, first, the perception of distance, a perception that created the feeling of an actual flight, and second, the possibility of acquiring direction in the course of that alleged movement.
During the subsequent preparatory period don Juan speculated on the supposedly deleterious nature of the ally contained in Datura inoxia. And he isolated the following areas of my account: For directing the progression towards the specific, he placed positive emphasis on my recollection of having soared through the air. Although I did not perceive the component elements of that state of non-ordinary reality with the clarity that was customary by then, my sensation of movement was very definite, and don Juan used it to reinforce the specific result of movement. The progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality was established by centering the bulk of speculation on the idea that sorcerers could fly over enormous distances, a speculation that gave rise to the possibility that one could move in the dependent range of appraisal and then switch such movement over into ordinary reality.
The fifth state of non-ordinary reality was produced by the ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana. It was the first time that the plant was used, and the state that ensued was more in line with a test than with an attempt to corroborate the rule. In the preparatory period don Juan presented only a manipulatory technique; as he did not disclose the specific purpose to be verified I did not believe the state was elicited to corroborate the rule. Yet the direction of the intrinsic level of non-ordinary reality set earlier appeared to have terminated in the following results.
Directing the progression towards specific total results produced in me the perception that the two allies were different from each other, and that each was different from Mescalito. I perceived the ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana as a quality - formless and invisible, and producing a sensation of bodilessness. The progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal resulted in the sensation that the total environment of the preceding ordinary reality, which remained within my awareness, was usable in non-ordinary reality; that is, the expansion of the dependent range seemed to have covered everything. The progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality produced the peculiar perception that I could go through the component elements within the dependent range of appraisal, in spite of the fact that they appeared to be ordinary elements of everyday life.
Don Juan did not demand the usual recapitulation of the experience; it was as if the absence of a specific purpose had made this state of non-ordinary reality only a prolonged transitional stage. During the subsequent preparatory period, however, he speculated on certain observations he had made on my behaviour during the course of the experience.
He placed negative emphasis on the logical impasse that prevented my believing that one could go through things or beings. With that speculation he directed the progression towards a specific total result of movement through the component elements of non-ordinary reality perceived within the dependent range of appraisal. Don Juan used those same observations to direct the second aspect of the intrinsic level, a more extensive range of appraisal. If movement through things and beings was possible, then the dependent range had to expand accordingly; it had to cover the total environment of the preceding ordinary reality which was within one's awareness at any given time, since movement entailed a constant change of surroundings. In the same speculation it was also implicit that non-ordinary reality could have been used in a more pragmatic manner. Moving through objects and beings implied a definite point of advantage which was inaccessible to a sorcerer in ordinary reality.
Don Juan next used a series of three states of non-ordinary reality, elicited by Lophophora williamsii, to prepare further the special consensus on the corroboration of the rule. These three states have here been treated as a single unit because they took place during four consecutive days, and during the few hours in between them I had no communication whatsoever with don Juan. The intrinsic order of the three estates has also been considered a single unit with the following characteristics. The progression towards the specific produced the perception of Mescalito as a visible, anthropomorphic entity capable of teaching. The ability to give lessons implied that Mescalito was capable of acting towards people.
The progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal reached a point where I perceived both ranges at the same time, and I was incapable of establishing the difference between them except in terms of movement. In the dependent range it was possible for me to move by my own means and volition, but in the independent range I was able to move only with the aid of Mescalito as an instrument. For example, Mescalito's lessons comprised a series of scenes that I could only watch. The progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality was implicit in the idea that Mescalito could actually deliver lessons on the right way to live.
During the preparatory period that followed the last state of non-ordinary reality in this series, don Juan selected the following units. For the progression towards the specific, he placed positive emphasis on the ideas that Mescalito was instrumental in moving one through the independent range of appraisal, and that Mescalito was a didactic entity capable of delivering lessons by allowing one to enter into a visionary world. He also speculated on the implication that Mescalito had voiced its name and had supposedly taught me some songs; those two instances were constructed as examples of Mescalito's capacity to be a protector. And the fact that I had perceived Mescalito as a light was emphasized as the possibility that it might at last have adopted an abstract, permanent form for me.
Stressing these same units also served don Juan in directing the progression towards a more extensive range of appraisal. During the course of the three states of non-ordinary reality I clearly perceived that the dependent range and the independent range were two separate aspects of non-ordinary reality which were equally important. The independent range was the area where Mescalito delivered its lessons, and since these states of non-ordinary reality were supposed to have been elicited only to seek such lessons, the independent range was, logically, an area of special importance. Mescalito was a protector and a teacher, which meant that it was visible; yet its form had nothing to do with the preceding state of ordinary reality. On the other hand, one was supposed to journey, to move in non-ordinary reality, in order to seek Mescalito's lessons, an idea that implied the importance of the dependent range.
The progression towards a more pragmatic use of nonordinary reality was set by devoting the bulk of speculation to Mescalito's lessons. Don Juan constructed these lessons as being indispensable to a man's life; it was a clear inference that nonordinary reality could have been used in a more pragmatic manner to draw points of reference which had value in ordinary reality. It was the first time don Juan had verbalized such an implication.
The subsequent state of non-ordinary reality, the ninth in the teachings, was induced in order to corroborate the rule of the ally contained in Datura inoxia. The specific purpose to be corroborated in that state was concerned with divination, and the previous direction of the intrinsic level ended in the following points. The progression towards a specific total result created the perception of a coherent set of scenes, which were purported to be the voice of the lizard narrating the events to be divined, and the sensation of a voice that actually described such scenes. The progression towards an independent range of appraisal resulted in the perception of an extensive and clear independent range that was free from the extraneous influence of ordinary reality. The progression towards a more pragmatic use of nonordinary reality ended in the utilitarian possibilities of exploiting the independent range. That particular trend was set up by don Juan's speculation on the possibility of drawing points of reference from the independent range and using them in ordinary reality. Thus the divinatory scenes had an obvious pragmatic value, for they were thought to represent a view of acts performed by others, acts to which one would have had no access by ordinary means.
In the following preparatory period, don Juan emphasized more of the component themes of man of knowledge. He seemed to be getting ready to shift to the pursuit of only one of the two allies, the ally humito. Yet he gave positive emphasis to the idea that I had a close affinity with the ally contained in Datura inoxia, because it had allowed me to witness an incidence of flexibility of the rule when I had made an error in performing a manipulatory technique. My assumption that don Juan was ready to abandon teaching the rule of the ally contained in Datura inoxia was fostered by the fact that he did not isolate any areas of my recapitulation of the experience to account for directing the intrinsic level of the subsequent states of nonordinary reality.
Next was a series of three states of non-ordinary reality elicited to corroborate the rule of the ally contained in Psilocybe mexicana. They have been treated here as a single unit. And although a considerable time elapsed in between them, during those intervals don Juan made no attempt to speculate on any aspect of their intrinsic order.
The first state of the series was vague; it ended rapidly and its component elements were not precise. It had the appearance of being more like a transitional stage than like a state of nonordinary reality proper.
The second state had more depth. I perceived the transitional stage into non-ordinary reality separately for the first time. During the course of that first transitional stage don Juan revealed that the specific purpose of the rule, which I had to corroborate, dealt with another aspect of movement, an aspect requiring his exhaustive supervision; I have rendered it as 'moving by adopting an alternate form'. As a consequence, two aspects of the extrinsic level of non-ordinary reality became evident for the first time: the transitional stages, and the teacher's supervision.
Don Juan used his supervision during that first transitional stage to pinpoint the subsequent direction of three aspects of the intrinsic level. His efforts were channelled, in the first place, to produce a specific total result by guiding me to experience the precise sensation of having adopted the shape of a crow.
The possibility of adopting an alternate form in order to achieve movement in non-ordinary reality entailed in turn an expansion of the dependent range of appraisal, the only area where such movement could take place.
The pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality was determined by directing me to focus my attention on certain component elements of the dependent range, in order to use them as points of reference for moving.
During the preparatory period that followed the second state of the series, don Juan refused to speculate on any "part of my experience. He treated the second state as if it had been merely another prolonged transitional stage.
The third state of the series, however, was paramount in the teachings. It was a state in which the process of directing the intrinsic level culminated in the following results: The progression towards the specific created the easy perception that I had adopted an alternative form so completely that it even induced precise adjustments in the way I focused my eyes and in my way of seeing. A result of those adjustments was my perception of a new facet of the dependent range of appraisal - the minutiae that formed the component elements - and that perception definitely enlarged the range of appraisal. The progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality culminated in my awareness that it was possible to move in the dependent range as pragmatically as one walks in ordinary reality.
In the preparatory period following the last state of nonordinary reality, don Juan introduced a different type of recapitulation. He selected the areas for recollection before he had heard my account; that is, he demanded to hear only the accounts that pertained to the pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality and to movement.
From such accounts he set the progression towards the specific by giving positive emphasis to the version of how I had exploited the crow's form. Yet he attached importance only to the idea of moving after having adopted that form. Movement was the area of my recapitulation on which he placed an interplay of positive and negative emphasis. He gave the account positive emphasis when it enhanced the idea of the pragmatic nature of non-ordinary reality, or when it dealt with the perception of component elements which had permitted me to obtain a general sense of orientation, while seemingly moving in the dependent range of appraisal. He placed negative emphasis on my incapacity to recollect with precision the nature or the direction of such movement.
In directing the progression towards a wider range of appraisal, don Juan centred his speculation on my account of the peculiar way in which I had perceived the minutiae that formed the component elements that were within the dependent range. His speculation led me to the assumption that, if it were possible to see the world as a crow does, the dependent range of appraisal had to expand in depth and had to extend to cover the whole spectrum of ordinary reality.
To direct the progression towards a more pragmatic use of non-ordinary reality, don Juan explained my peculiar way of perceiving the component elements as being a crow's way of seeing the world. And, logically, that way of seeing presupposed entrance into a range of phenomena beyond normal possibilities in ordinary reality.
The last experience recorded in my field notes was a special state of ordinary reality; don Juan produced it by isolating component elements of ordinary reality through the process of cuing about his own behaviour.
The general processes used in directing the intrinsic level of non-ordinary reality produced the following results during the course of the second special state of ordinary reality. The progression towards the specific resulted in the easy isolation of many elements of ordinary reality. In the first special state of ordinary reality, the very few component elements that were isolated through the process of cuing about the environment were also transformed into unfamiliar forms deprived of ordinary consensus; however, in the second special state of ordinary reality its component elements were numerous, and, although they did not lose their quality of being familiar elements, they may have lost their capacity for ordinary consensus. Such component elements covered, perhaps, the total environment that was within my awareness.
Don Juan may have produced this second special state in order to strengthen the link between ordinary and non-ordinary reality by developing the possibility that most, if not all, of the component elements of ordinary reality could lose their capacity to have ordinary consensus.
From my own point of view, however, that last special state was the final summation of my apprenticeship. The formidable impact of terror on the level of sober consciousness had the peculiar quality of undermining the certainty that the reality of everyday life was implicitly real, the certainty that I, in matters of ordinary reality, could provide myself with consensus indefinitely. Up to that point the course of my apprenticeship seemed to have been a continuous building towards the collapse of that certainty. Don Juan used every facet of his dramatic exertion to accomplish the collapse during that last special state, a fact prompting me to believe that complete collapse of that certainty would have removed the last barrier that kept me from accepting the existence of a separate reality: the reality of special consensus.