The Art Of Stalking True Freedom
Taisha Abelar In Conversation with Alexander Blair-Ewart, Part 1.
the long years when Carlos Castaneda first informed the world of the wonders of
American aboriginal spirit knowledge, many recognized that a tradition of great
significance had begun to reveal itself to the world. Over the years Castaneda
has progressively shown the all-engulfing world view of the Toltecs in its
reformed state as a work of spiritual art, shaped by the new seers, who have
survived the devastating encounter with European colonial civilization.
Taisha Abelar, author of the new book The Sorcerer's Crossing (Viking Arkana) is
one of the new seers whose designation "stalker" balances the world of the
"dreamer" [see Dimensions Feb '92 interview with the "dreamer" Florinda Donner].
It is with true delight that we witness the emergence into the world of a new
and genuine way of the spirit.
Alexander Blair-Ewart: One meets people who have abandoned reason and
logic, and the natural functions of the mind, and who end up in a kind of
twilight zone of not really being able to derive any clarity about anything.
Taisha Abelar: Yes, and that was one of the major pitfalls of the old
sorcerers, who emphasized dreaming techniques to shift the assemblage point, but
they did not have the stalker's technique to balance that out. It's a question
of balance, because unless you have the sobriety and the control, what's the
point of moving the assemblage point? You move it and you get lost in those
realms and you're never able to return to this level, which is what we're doing
at this point. We're moving into other realms, but we're also returning to this
reality, shifting back and forth. And we have that control.
Abe: So you also call that the 'day' and 'night' sides of consciousness. Is that
Taisha: Yes, you can think of it like that. although, when you are in the night
side, you are absolutely in the night side, and that becomes your day. But it's
true. You want to be able to maintain an order, because what stalking does is
that it has to fixate the assemblage point to a new position, wherever that is.
It could be out in a totally different reality. but you still want, within that,
to maintain the sobriety and your consciousness, your awareness, that has to
remain intact. And that's where your stalker's techniques come in, because if
you lose that, either through fright or indulgence or just sheer ignorance, then
you lose everything. It's like you say, you end up in this twilight zone, and
you've lost the game, in other words. You want to be able to maintain the order,
and in stalking you create the reality wherever you are by creating structure,
by imputing order, be reasoning. You can reason even if you're in a totally
different realm. You still maintain your awareness. You try to bring order to
the inconceivable perceptions, the chaos that is the universe. And so wherever
you move the assemblage point, the energy for maintaining your awareness intact
has to also be there. So that's the prerequisite for shifting into different
Abe: So your essential being hood, your essential humanity survives this
transition into worlds of alternative reality?
Taisha: I wouldn't say your humanity, but...
Abe: ...I said your "essential" humanity...
Taisha: ...your luminous "double".
Taisha: Your luminosity and your awareness, which is the assemblage point, stays
intact elsewhere. But it's not human. It doesn't have to be human, and there's
the error that we don't want to make. No, you leave everything that's human
Abe: Now, most people would not really want to do that.
Taisha: Exactly, no, they don't. And there's a lot of interest in our work, and
in Carlos Castaneda, and in don Juan. But they don't really want it. What they
like is an intellectual curiosity, the possibility that there's something else
out there, because we all have that as human beings.
Abe: So, in that sense, there's all of the work that Castaneda has published,
and Florinda Donner. And now there's this book from you. And I have a hunch that
there are going to be other books from other previously unheard of members of
that spiritual school or tradition. And yet the books are going out there;
literally millions of people, as you know, have read the books; hundreds of
thousands of people have tried to do what is in them. And yet we're
acknowledging here that this work, this sorcerer's path is really only for the
few. Very very few people will actually walk this path. Why did you publish the
Taisha: Good question. There's a double answer here. First of all, one reason is
that Carlos Castaneda and Florinda Donner, myself and Carol Tiggs, we're the
last of don Juan's line; he's the last of that lineage, the end of the line.
They didn't know at the time that they were training us--and I came into don
Juan's world very young, when I first became an adult. I'd been with don Juan
and then with Carlos Castaneda all my adult life--and they didn't know that
Carlos Castaneda was going to be the next Nagual, and that he would have his
structure of people according to the rule, which is very specific, and sets up
the dreamers and stalkers, and it has a certain numerical configuration.
But they trained us in dreaming and stalking and many of the techniques that
they use, they handed down to us. but then it turned out Carlos Castaneda is not
at all a four-sided Nagual.
A Nagual is one that has four energetic compartments, and this is really a
question of the energetic makeup of luminous beings. He's a three-sided Nagual,
meaning his mission is different, and one of the major differences is that the
Nagual woman who usually goes with the previous Nagual's group, in this case
Carol Tiggs, she went with don Juan, but one day she came back. The Nagual
Carlos' intent, or Florinda Donner's and mine, we literally hold her back into
this reality. In other words, her assemblage point shifted back, so that she is
now with us. Now that's absolutely unheard of in all the generations of Naguals
and seers in don Juan's lineage. So, because she came back, she gave us that
energy of actually writing about our experiences.
Abe: Carol Tiggs came back, and the idea was that she was going to go with don
Taisha: And she did. When they left they took her.
Abe: And Carlos was supposed to find the next Nagual and the next Nagual woman.
Then, when he would have taken her and the cycle would have continued. But now
this unprecedented thing has occurred. What does it mean?
Taisha: The designs of the Spirit are absolutely different from what they were
for don Juan. His group followed the rules, they had a certain training
procedure. Although they were abstract, they were in a sense very concrete. They
were practitioners of the things that were handed down to them by the previous
group. And they handed these things down to us. But the things that we actually
only really keep are the most abstract things, like the recapitulation, the idea
of impeccability, the things that we do or are not doing, which is the total
negation of practices or procedures, and I am going to talk about those. but
your question is why is it coming out now, and why are we writing. The Nagual
woman gave us this extra energy to bring these things out into the ordinary
Otherwise, unless there's the energy, they would forever remain ideas. Although,
we practice them; we are the ideas. There's no difference between what we say
and what we do, and that's why we are able to move our assemblage points,
because they're not only abstractions, but our bodies actually embody these
things. So therefore our assemblage point moves. But unless the energy is there,
one is not able to bring it out into this reality for other people to see. So a
lot of these things, we've had, we've written down, we've had these things, we
were taught them many many years ago.
The things that I write about happened many years ago. But there wasn't that
energy to put it out, to give it a concrete form, in other words. The second
reason is that, since there are no apprentices, so to speak, the design of the
Spirit, and I repeat that, I keep saying that, because it's nothing that we
decide...There's no way I can say, oh, I'm going to write this and do this,
because I have no volition in that sense. The design of the Spirit decides that
this should be coming out now, and so it is, and because, I would say, there is
no next generation, in the traditional sense. So it has to be put out to whoever
is out there.
And like you say, yes, there are thousands, maybe millions of people that are
reading these things. And one of them could practice them and succeed in finding
the way. And the reason I say that is because you don't need a teacher. Being
abstract, the way all of us are in this last generation, we can see that all you
need is like a minimal chance, and idea. Given the word, the possibility that
this is what you can do, the recapitulation is like this, and then if somebody
does it, they can move their assemblage point, and something will happen and the
Spirit or the Intent itself will guide them and teach them. And that's already
built into the recapitulation, into the not-doing exercises, into the books
themselves. The intent is already there. Okay, so we said that most people won't
want to leave the pack. They'll feel that this is not for them. That's the way
it is, yes. But, there's some people out there that this will affect, and those
are the people for whom the books are written, and who knows what will happen?
Abe: Can you talk in a more specific way about the 'recapitulation'?
Taisha: Okay. What it is is really a very very ancient technique handed down by
the old sorcerer's in don Juan's lineage. But it was sort of forgotten by them,
because they were more interested in power and having power over others,
dominating people, that kind of thing. The furthest thing form their mind was
the idea of losing self importance. But the technique was there, and the new
sorcerers revived it, so to speak, and it was handed down, and it came to the
Nagual Carlos and us. And we now consider it really the fundamental technique in
sorcery of all the techniques we learned for moving the assemblage point.
The recapitulation is really the best one for modern man, and the reason we put
so much emphasis on it--don Juan put the emphasis on it, too--is because anyone
can do it. You don't have to be a "sorcerer's apprentice" or anything like that.
Just any individual with minimal interest--they don't even have to be absolutely
devoted or anything, but have some curiosity--can start this. It is a technique
for erasing the idea of the self, or what the self is, in terms of all the
memories and associations with people that one had during one's lifetime. And
it's not just an idea. I mean, I say idea, but it's an energetic idea, because
when one interacts with persons, energy is exchanged, of course.
Al lot of it is lost or left in things. Through concerns or deep emotions, it's
left in the world and in people. And the strategy--because it is a sorcerer's
strategy--is to regain that, to bring it back, so you can have it all with you
now, in the present. Why leave it floating around in some mysterious past that
kind of holds you fixed in the place where you are? So what you do is you sit,
you find a place where you have some quiet and solitude, preferably a closet or
big box or even a shower, because you want an enclosed space--the sorcerers used
to have their recapitulation boxes, where they would bury themselves, or be in a
cave. I started mine in a small cave. Something that encloses the energetic
body, so that there's some pressure put on the luminous self. Before you sit,
you make out your list.
You have a list of everyone that you've every met, encountered, had anything to
do with throughout your life. So this takes some doing, and some remembering.
This remembering, in itself, sort of loosens the assemblage point. So it's kind
of like a preliminary exercise. By going back in your mind and remembering
everybody that you've every known, you work from the present backwards, and you
write down all the people that you've worked with, your family, your associates,
everybody that you've had anything to do with. Actually you make two lists.
First of all your sexual experiences.
Anyone that you've had any sexual dealings with. And sorcerers always say you
start there, because that's the fundamental energy that's lost out there, and if
you retrieve that, then that will give you the boost to do your other people. So
you have your two lists, and then you sit in your recapitulation box, cave or
closet, and you start the breathing.
The third element besides the lists and the box or the place is the breath. And
the breath is very important, because the breathing is what disentangles the
energy. And this is already set up by Intent. Our interaction with others is
done with our energetic body, and the breath moves the luminous fibers. You
start on your right shoulder, where you put your hand--actually I describe this
in my book pretty well--but you start on your right shoulder, and when you have
set up the scene of people and places in your mind, you've situated everything
and you've visualized it to perfection in all its detail, then you have your
chin on your right shoulder and you breath in, turning your head to your left
shoulder, and then you exhale moving your head back to your right shoulder, and
then bring you head to the centre. You sweep it; it's like a sweeping of the
You just sweep the whole room or person or place, whatever. And you pull back
whatever of that other person's energy was left in you. You exhale it and give
it back. In a sense you detach yourself from that particular encounter. And you
do this with everything.
FORMLESS AND PATTERNLESS:
After you've done it with your whole life, you detach pretty much from your
remembered past. This is not an analysis, by the way. It's not meant to be like
a real self analysis, but you can't help seeing in the way you act and behave
and what is expected of you, a pattern forming, and absolute pattern emerging.
And with the breath, you break that pattern. So what you essentially want to do
is move into formless, patternless behavior, which is the way a sorcerer acts.
He's absolutely fluid. And that brings us back to stalking.
A stalker is someone who makes himself unobtrusive, the art of being unobtrusive.
He had no self, no pattern, nothing to assert, no point to make, no demands, no
desires. And all this will be eliminated through the recapitulation. And then
there's some other things that really need to be done with that, and that's
quieting the internal dialogue.
So that when you're now here it this today, you have all your energy with you so
that you don't persist in repeating that same patterns of behavior. And the way
these patterns are ingrained in us is through that internal dialogue, in which
we keep repeating certain things to ourselves, like "Oh, I'm no good" or "They
don't like me" or "I have to be like this, prove myself here". Whatever goes
through one's mind, which is a constant flow of thoughts or reaffirmations,
really, of the self. And so, the sorcerers say that you really need to put a
stop to that continual reinforcement of the self, which is that position of the
Now when you do the breathing with the recapitulation, by moving back into the
past, moving forward into now, and that intense concentration that is needed to
sit there and visualize these things, that shifts your assemblage point
minutely. And whoever does the recapitulation will see that.
They'll see that oh, god, I'm doing this again, and ten years later doing it
again. The same kind of relationships, again, the same type of man, the same
type of woman. We know somebody who says he always picks difficult women.
(laughter) I don't know what that means, but it's true. It's like this person is
doomed to have difficult relationships. So patterns get repeated, no matter what
they are, and whoever recapitulates will see that. So the seer within us gets to
break out. And then, as you do this and you go back into your regular day to day
life, you become more quiet, and then you do these techniques once a week to
quiet the internal dialogue, and some of them are described in my book.
There's lots of things like this in Carlos Castaneda's books on gazing, certain
gazing techniques. Or you can do a match gazing technique. You just hold up the
flame for a moment, and then you douse the tip of it, and then you turn it
upside down, after you've kind of cooled off the tip while it's still burning,
turn it upside down and hold it in your left hand and look at the flame as it
burns the bottom of the match in front of your eyes, and that quiets the mind.
You can use any minor meditation techniques. I wouldn't say go heavily into
Oriental meditation techniques, because you're already doing recapitulation and
you don't want to get fixed into any form. All we're doing now as abstract
sorcerers is a minimal of technique so that we can get away from the self. We
don't want to get heavier in the area of ego and ego enforcement, and "now we're
meditators", or "now we're..."
Abe: So you don't want to build up an image of yourself, even as a spiritual
Taisha: No, you don't. You don't want to add to that. And when you look at how
much you have to get rid of you'll be kind of careful not to add more.
(laughter) And you don't want to add more in terms of becoming more important in
other areas, just because you're getting rid of some of these old things. But
you're putting that energy into fighting with your husband or wife. And that's
where impeccability comes in. You want to maintain your daily behavior on an
impeccable level, and that means you just do your best, your humble best. We're
no longer interested in reasserting the ego or the self, or defending the self.
The brunt of energy really goes into defense of the self, because if it's
attacked left and right...I mean, you can't go out of your house...even in your
house, there's always something that is threatening, or your boss says something
somebody looks at you the wrong way, and they gip you, this or that. Right away
you have to go back and build up "I'm not that bad. They don't understand me."
The mind rallies like lightning trying to patch up these things. No, you don't
let it go.
You're not interesting in defense of the self anymore. You're interested in
getting rid of the self, in culminating the self. And don Juan had a good adage.
He said, "Eliminate the self and fear nothing." So, if you don't have a self
there's absolutely nothing to fear, because all the fears, the disappointments,
everything comes from the idea of the self, or certain expectations that aren't
met. Not just negative things, but if good things happen, then you feel good,
you know. So it goes both ways. Stalkers, then are really indifferent, they're
detached, and that gets us back to how we started this conversation.
What stalkers really want to do is detach themselves from the self, which is
saying that they want to detach the awareness from that position of the
assemblage point where society, our parents, the sheer fact that we were born
into a certain family, have certain relationships, has put us, has forced us,
has imprisoned us, really.
So when we recapitulate and detach ourselves from everything that's every
happened, we're floating. The assemblage point becomes free. It can move, and
very harmoniously. It can move without the aid of drugs, without the aid of some
external person or Nagual. Because any time you have something external, you're
not free, you're dependent on that thing.
So the only thing that the modern sorcerer, or the stalker is really dependent
on is something so abstract that he calls it the Spirit, the Unknown. By getting
rid of the self, they give the self to the Eagle as a token. They give
themselves in a symbolic death. And in that sense the Eagle, they say, allows
the impeccable warrior to escape. And what that's metaphorically saying is that
a person who has recapitulated and disentangled his energy from the expectations
of the everyday world is able to move elsewhere.
He's able to do dreaming with control, because even in dreaming he has no self.
And this differentiates, again, the old sorcerers from the modern ones. When the
old sorcerers did dreaming, they had very heavy ego and then of course they got
lost and trapped in different levels of dreaming. They weren't able to move out
again, because they were too heavy. But they had their ideas of power and they
became obsessive. The stalker is absolutely not obsessed with anything. He
treats the whole world as 'controlled folly'.
What that means is that everything is there to be used. There's order; there's a
structure. But it's not to be taken seriously, because there are other orders,
other structures, an infinite number of layers to this onion of reality, and he
can go elsewhere. But wherever he is, he creates his order and his structure,
and when the Spirit moves him, something moves the assemblage point, and he
moves elsewhere. And he's impeccable in his dreams, he's impeccable in this
everyday reality, if and when he's here.
But a stalker begins here in the everyday world, and that's why this
recapitulation is really for everyone. They begin here, right wherever anyone
is. That's where they start. And they start with their list and their place,
they sweep the past, then they make themselves quiet internally, so that they
don't accumulate more of the debris, using certain gazing methods--and I don't
mean acrobatics or anything like that-- but there's some sorcery passes that
have been handed down.
Or just sitting quietly--you don't even have to call it meditating--just shut
off the internal dialogue. And you elongate these moments of silence. And then
you have the power that comes from sheer silence. That in itself will allow the
assemblage point to move from your everyday state into heightened awareness.
Then, that's when the practitioner--you don't even have to call them sorcerers--
that's when they enter heightened awareness. It's when they have that ability to
have the silence extend itself into whatever they're doing.
And they're active. If you've working, if you're driving, do whatever, but do it
silently, because you don't have the idea of the self impinging. And them, of
course, you use the petty tyrants of the world, because okay, so you've
recapitulated... and I have to mention here that there's not just one
recapitulation...it's really an ongoing process, because after you're finished
all the sexual encounters, then you do everybody whom you've encountered in your
Then you can go back to certain themes. Like you notice that there are still
things like when you're working, or something happens during the day, you notice
oh boy, that gave me a jolt, that really bothered me. Then you can see why did
it bother you, and you can use certain themes. Like wanting to be liked seems to
be so common. Everybody seems to want somebody to like them, support them,
approve of them. That has to go, but that's a very strong driving force that
keeps us in line, because as long as you still have that, it's just like the
carrot being dangled in front of your nose. Whatever it is that somebody dangles
out there that your body naturally would react to...
Abe: Would you say it's a major accomplishment, then, on that part of the would
be seer when they reach a point where they are no longer concerned with whether
or not they're liked?
Taisha: Yes, that's a major accomplishment. Absolutely. That is, for someone who
is very concerned with that. Now, maybe there are the rare few that maybe just
don't care, honestly. They have enough energy. And you know what that hinges on,
really? Being liked, wanting to be liked? The sorcerers have a theory about the
idea of the energy you were given at your conception. If your parents liked each
other, and I mean sexually, if they had a very grand time, a great, great sexual
experience, both of them, mother and father, when that child is conceived that
child will have this great burst of energy.
And he may not care whether people really like him or not because he has this
intrinsic sense of energetic well-being. but, if one of the parents are
bored--the sorcerer don Juan always called them 'bored conceptions'--or if they
were made out of a very boring experience, with not much flash. Or maybe the
partners didn't even like each other, they just went through the motions of
having sex because they were married and it was the thing to do Friday night,
then that child will come out into the world with really a disadvantage.
And he will always feel that something is missing, and he wants to be liked. He
wants his peers to like him, he wants his mama to like him, and she may not even
like him at all. But that is not just theory, but it's something that sorcerers
have arrived at through their seeing. They actually see how energetic a luminous
being is. They can see how the energy moves. In some people it's very sluggish,
stagnant, and of course that expresses itself in a very meek or low level zest
for life. they sort of just barely get through the day. That kind of feeling.
But others have a lot of energy. They meet everything as a challenge. Everything
to them is an adventure.
They dominate people naturally. They have this charisma, sort of a mesmeric
effect on others, and on things around them. And they may not have this need,
they're not as needy as other people they want to be liked and are needy.
Abe: Of course, then that person who has all that energy, will attract all kinds
of needy people who want to suck on it. (laughter)
Taisha: Exactly. And you attract those people. The sorcerers say that the self
is really a metaphorical dagger that we stab ourselves with. but, it's alright
as long as we bleed in company.
As long as there are others bleeding with us, we're okay. (laughter) As long as
somebody else feels worse, we're happy. But the recapitulation will give those
needy people...and I have to include myself in that category, because absolutely
I was not a product of a zestful union...so those are demons and you will see
them in the recapitulation. And that's why I say that the recapitulation is
never done, because even when I was with don Juan and his people...okay with
the, they had enough energy to cover up, let's say for my deficiency. Their
energy would elevate me to this heightened level.
But the minute they were gone or even left the room, I would slump back to my
own natural level, and then I would want attention. And all the apprentices were
like that. And of course they would test us by ignoring us, or not speaking to
us, or doing things with others when we wanted to be included. So when I say
recapitulation, it has to be tried and tested in the everyday world. You can't
just escape into the desert and do it, and then feel good and that's the end of
You have to get back with your mother, with your father. What do they do to you
for you to react like the little girl, the little boy that wants mommy to do his
laundry, to take care of his tummy? We still have those feelings. So, just
recapitulation by itself is not enough. Stalkers stalk the self, and so when
they're with people in the world, they're constantly stalking themselves and
seeing what's happening.
End of Part 1.
© Copyright Dimensions Magazine
Publication Date: 1994