Interview with the Instructors of the
This interview is the answer of tensegrity instructors to a series of
questions sent by Mexico City practitioners in October, 1999. It is probable
that not all the questions reflect everyone’s concerns, but undoubtedly all the
answers are for everyone. The students of Carlos Castaneda referred to this
questionnaire as the first part of a series, and left the door opened to
questions of practitioners everywhere.
Do you have a clear awareness, in
the tonal, of the new course, or new direction that instruction of the magical
passes is taking? Do you read this in infinity or how do you know?
navigating. The Nagual compared this to being at the front of a train, facing
the oncoming time. This train is a bit different than most, because there are no
tracks -we find them as we go. We read energy and follow where it is flowing
today- not where it flowed yesterday. How do we know if we’re following that
flow? Because when we go in that direction, it works. If it doesn’t work, we
don’t go there -or we shift direction immediately.
The Nagual gave us certain
guidelines. He imbued each of his apprentices with a specific facet of his
knowledge; this means none of us can see the direction we are moving by
ourselves; we have to work together; and yet each of us has to pull his or her
own weight, and be what the nagual called energetically available, watching at
the front of the train. “Be my eyes and ears!” he would tell us. Now we each
have to be the eyes and ears for the others.
Infinity is the one who points
out the direction to take. Following its flow is the challenge that all of us
face -practitioners and instructors alike. The female students of don Juan are
guiding us in this effort, as Florinda Matus did with don Juan’s four students
after don Juan left.
Participating in a Tensegrity practice group is one way for practitioners to
push themselves to the front of the train. We are accustomed to having a leader
who gives orders. So in working together without that leader, we are entering
new terrain; we are moving our assemblage points.
This is not an easy path to
take. The Nagual told us that it takes guts of steel to sustain one’s purpose
without a person in charge, telling us personally what to do. We are just dying
to have an authority figure around, interpreting things for us, taking care of
details, giving orders.
There is much longing for the presence of the
witches which manifests itself in many ways, from doubts to sadness. Is there
any possibility that we will see them again?
The female students of don
Juan told us that anyone who wants to can meet them in the place of no pity.
This doesn’t mean harshness; rather, it means no self-pity, or pity for someone
else based on the idea that we are better off than they are. It also means we
are standing side by side, not looking to be carried or rescued, but looking in
the same direction: toward infinity.
They said it is our time; they can only guide us -we are the ones who have to
As a unified body of practitioners, we are entering the unknown. Each of us
has to decide whether they want do this -to run joyfully after the bird of
freedom, with no guarantees, no assurances. For us, that’s something exquisite.
The proposal of Infinity, is it a concept, or a real possibility?
Several of us asked the Nagual this question at one time or another. “Don’t take
my word for it,” he said. “Don’t journey only in your mind. Find out for
We know that the task of celibacy is individual, but–are there
magical passes or breaths that would facilitate the change of direction when the
hormones become overwhelming?
The Nagual told us that there is no way to get
rid of our longing, nor could we leave behind socialization. We move around it,
and also, we use it to our advantage. Why not work together as male and female
to enhance our awareness, rather than to keep ourselves locked into rigid roles
and behaviors that keep us from dreaming?
It’s much more challenging to interact with each other without trying to control
each other, or possess each other, than it is to follow the track of courtship.
It takes much more imagination.
Seers recommend celibacy for young
practitioners because we are trained to approach sexuality from the standpoint
of an investor. “I’ll do this for you if you do that for me.” Or “I love you
madly and forever until you look at someone else.” Carlos Castaneda considered
this to be a travesty—to merge the best of your energy with another being as an
investment? No, he said. For seers, the only way to have a sexual union with
another being was from the position of total affection, without expectations.
This takes guts of steel, he said, and is not for baby warriors.
In the sexual act, there are lines of energy -lines of affection- that are
created between the two partners. Unless the two are free of personal
expectations, these lines become broken, and cause turmoil in the body,
especially for the female. Add two or three sexual partners, or even more, and
you have a real problem here.
All the magical passes help us to be more aware of the nature of our longing
-which according to seers, is really the longing for the energy body- the
energetic counterpart of the physical body. The magical passes, and impeccable
actions, help us to entice the energy body.
Are there any specific
strategies to maintain the focus during the recapitulation. How do we break our
resistance to recapitulate?
In recapitulating, we are lightening our
burden, letting go of our personal history, and our habits, rendering our
assemblage points fluid. How could this be boring, or burdensome? Because we are
approaching the task with our old opinions, which lead us to believe we find
reward only through deep suffering. The Nagual suggested that we could just as
easily enjoy the recapitulation.
If we approach the recapitulation as a
magical passa seers’ technique for enhancing awareness, found in the second
attention, our resistance breaks down. Don Juan’s four students have told us
that we resist recapitulating because our view of past events is clouded by
fear, or deep sadness, or personal disgust, or enchantment with the self. The
detached view of the second attention cancels out these feelings, making it
possible for us to see patterns in our behavior and interactions we weren’t
Anytime we were telling a story from our lives and we ended up weeping with
shame or pity, or puffing up with pride, then the Nagual let us know: you
haven’t really recapitulated that event. Otherwise, we would not feel such
personal attachment. He told us that by recapitulating, we turn our life events
into stories. Those stories may be funny, or embarrassing, or deeply moving, or
just boring -what they have in common is that they have lost their personal
The Nagual told us that a navigator uses everything around him that can help
him to see his or her life from this detached view-films, interactions,
memories, foods, daydreams. Each of them, he said is like a snapshot that can
help us to see our own patterns. What moved you in that film? What did someone
else notice that you missed? What bothered you in the conversation you had at
lunch today? These are definite signals to guide us in seeing our own actions.
Before we judge the director of the movie, or a co-worker, or a friend, we have
the discipline to take a look at ourselves and see what we are doing.
To cultivate the dreaming attention, is it required to maintain the
attention between the eyebrows -there are coincidences to certain geographic
areas. How do you deal with this?
You can place the attention on a number of areas of the body, such as the
calves, for example. We explore this avenue in a series of magical passes called
Mapping the Body.
On a more basic level, the attention of daily life has a
direct affect on the dreaming attention. If we are worried about what our boss
thinks of us, or whether she likes him better than me, we can’t even find a cup
in our dreams, much less enter into full-fledged dreaming.
On the other hand,
if we live artistically in our daily lives, then we will find ourselves dreaming
The practice of Tensegrity has facilitated perceiving with our bodies. But
sometimes the linear mind interrupts the flow. How can we reestablish that flow?
The Nagual told us that this is the vice of the bored conception: to doubt.
He told us that one of the simplest cures for our bored-conception state was to
breathe -to allow the body to connect with the air outside it and the new
perceptions that it brings in. “You have to hone the body,” he said, “so that
the intent to perceive can prevail over the intent to doubt.”
He said there’s
no way to doubt and to dream at the same time. He said that we never get rid of
doubt. We just put it on the back burner, so to speak, so it’s not in charge.
We would like a clarification of how to approach the magical passes for
crossing phyla. Are these about converting oneself into an insect? Some of us
understood them as having to do with the alignment of perception and the way in
which insects -on aligning perception as a whole- work as a group, like an
organism, one single being, in order to survive, and that gives them other
possibilities of evolution.
What a delightful question. The magical passes that involve energetically
crossing phyla are practiced to bring us the new view that comes with a new
position of the assemblage point. The truth is, we don’t know all the
implications of what these magical passes bring. We are finding out as we
practice them. The Nagual warned us about too much speculation about the effects
of the magical passes. He said that we loved to try to make things familiar,
like tourists bringing all the comforts of home into the jungle. Much more
valuable than speculation, he said, was direct experience. Just do the magical
passes, he told us, and find out where they take you.
The magical passes of Olinda in a form called The Amber-Blue Dust of
Infinity, bring us a strange awareness of a moth-like being that seers refer to
as the guardian of the second attention, an awareness that requires a new syntax
to describe. The Nagual told us, “You may notice a new line of thought that
comes through as you practice this series. You might find yourselves making
sentences that are unlike any you’ve formulated before.”
We could find ourselves communicating with each other, as a body of
practitioners, in a different syntax. Insects do have a syntax, and for seers,
human beings haven’t done that well using their own. We don’t need to abandon
what we’ve learned, but why not learn some others, and be fluent in many
Many practitioners have asked us what we mean by “unified body of
practitioners,” or “group dream.” Whoever is available energetically is in the
dream that the Nagual had for us, in which we are sending signals of awareness
to each other, finding our way together. These signals can be sent from anywhere
-we don’t need geographic proximity to hear each other. We just need discipline:
the art of feeling awe.
© Copyright Fractalum
Publication Date: April 2000