A controversial look at the images in our dreams.
This column is probably a bit premature. Chances are this topic will heat up considerably after a large body of readers have completed their first recapitulation. Taisha has said, "The most important thing is to allow intent to guide you in your dreaming..." (page 15, center column). Does this mean we can expect instructions from actual figures in our dreams? Or does it mean that intuition will take over?
I believe it would be good for all of us to approach this topic with a level head and not get too carried away by assuming the people or teachers in our dreams are in fact who we believe them to be. Having had a series of such dreams myself, I can honestly say that the interpretation of exactly who the person in the dream was seems to be a product of waking consciousness and not a product of the dream. In the dream, one doesn't care.
I'm not making a moral judgment here and saying, "Hey, if you say Carlos was in your dream you'll look like an idiot later when it turns out to be wrong." Any discussion of Nagualism sounds pretty foolish to begin with, a little more won't hurt anything. The problem is that if we jump to conclusions, we'll likely be feeding our own personal self and we might actually miss what's really going on. There's no benefit to jumping to conclusions.
That said, I'll take some of the heat off those who were kind enough to submit material this issue and say that I've personally had 3 dreams with Carlos in them, 4 with Taisha, 1 with don Juan, and 1 with another unidentified woman. There is also another female whom I took to be learning the same techniques as me (and she was quite cocky about it).
Now I know you're probably thinking these were just ordinary dreams, so why mention them? Here are the facts: they lasted up to 2 hours a piece without straying off the topic. In one of the dreams, the teacher, who was helping me and the unidentified girl student, decided we had had enough for the night and stopped talking. He gave us a strange look and the girl and I got into a conversation about how well she could do the techniques. But the girl and I couldn't hold the dream together without the teacher's input and he sort of smiled as the dream faded away. I believe he was making fun of the girl's confidence.
Another strange thing about these dreams is that I had partial volition during all of them. I knew I could look at my hands and go do what I wanted, but I was more interested in learning the techniques. I was taught techniques which would definitely work. I never would have thought of those on my own and have successfully practiced some of the simpler ones (which involve skipping/jumping movements for encouraging the energy body). In my own case, I'd say it doesn't matter where those techniques came from, they are excellent not-doings and all the more so because they came from dreaming. Practicing them results in more dreams about them. Who can complain about more dreaming?
Here is what other readers had to say on this topic:
... Thanks for the Newsletter. I thought I might share this with you. As a result of my recapitulation I have made contact with other luminescent bodies & beings on the "astral plane". One has claimed to be Don Juan and the other claimed to be the original Nagual and Death Defier Quetzalcoatl. I have tested them many times and they have brought me into many unusual experiences. I hope you enjoy the book...
Source: N.Y.C., NY
Editor: This reader did in fact send a book he had written
on this topic, along with this letter. I briefly scanned the book,
but I would like to warn other readers that I'm not much for reading.
Usually, I only read Carlos' group's books and technical manuals.
Finding your hands.
... One of my most recent dreams, for example, was of having my hands firmly in the grasp of a woman who seemed to be trying to get me to focus my attention. I got increasingly agitated as I struggled to get my hands free, and woke up shouting "Let go of my Goddamned hands!" I was angry about having to struggle so mightily; disappointed that I had thrown away such a great opportunity. For days I kicked myself with "If only..."...
Source:Withheld by request
...The only dream I've had in which I may (I really have a problem with letting myself think that the following was anything other than a regular, desire induced dream, but here goes) MAY, have been with Carlos- in either a McDonalds or a Burger King restaurant! I remember sitting across from him at a table. He was reading or something and looked up at me, and I knew it was him. I don't remember much for a while, just the look of the inside of the restaurant, (usual beige walls with brown trim, and I think an orange? table top...). Carlos was possibly wearing a dark brown or black? trench coat type thing- like a "duster" I think they're called. The only thing I remember was that he had said something to me about one of those sports beverages- like Gator aide and the like, but I remember he specifically mentioned one called 10K. The only reason I keep sort of holding onto that dream is that I couldn't lose the weird pit-of-the-stomach feeling I had after I woke up. I really felt strange when he looked at me. I had no idea what he wanted me to do (if anything) or what the 10K meant, but the next day I was getting gas at a convenience store and I saw a bottle, so I got it. It helps replace lost energy, and helps build endurance or something similar. Could Carlos have been telling me that I needed to work to replace my lost energy and recapitulate more to gain the endurance to be able to better sustain a dream with him? Was the restaurant a symbol that my main energetic inputs were akin to junk fast food? Was the whole thing just a meaningless construct of my ego and fancy in tandem?...
Source: Wilbraham, MA
Editor: I don't know, but I'm going to get a bottle of
that stuff, just in case.
How to run REALLY fast.
... I don't remember the entire dream, my memory starts with the feeling that the dream had been going on for quite some time and I was just about finished learning the technique I was being taught. I was with a woman, and she was teaching me a running technique that allowed one to run extremely fast, perhaps as fast as a mile a second. The instructions were very detailed, but I'll summarize. You run at a moderate pace, and then you dream you are running behind your physical body, about 50 feet back. When your dreaming body has a complete view of the surroundings and can see the physical body running ahead, it runs faster and overtakes the physical body. It runs slightly to the left of the physical body, but not so much that there isn't an overlap. The idea is for the energy body to glance or strike the physical body, on its left side, while both are running. The energy body should be running fast enough to make a smacking collision. The collision causes the energy body to take precedence, the physical body gets sucked up, and an orange ball of light, the size of the energy body, forms a tunnel to run in. The energy body can then run faster and faster inside the tunnel, and the surroundings can be seen while running. The orange ball is always inches ahead. To stop, the energy body just slows down until the physical body comes back... This was the fourth dream I had had with this woman, the others are too fuzzy to remember, but were also instructional. Intellectually, I fancied the woman to be a dreamer, not a stalker.
Editor: As a rule, when a reader submits a technique he has come up with on his own and it's this complicated, we don't print it. You would have to see the reader submissions to understand why, the problem is that no one here is qualified to decide and some of the techniques are really questionable. We let this slip through because it was part of the topic and was necessary to show how detailed this dream was.
Emissary or Teacher?
One night I was trying to become aware of falling asleep, and used visualizing the back of my hand to help retain awareness. After many minutes a voice authoritatively boomed, "the focus should be palm-centered." It startled me to full consciousness because the voice seemed to be mine although much stronger, but the phrasing was definitely not mine...
...[Different story] after awakening at pre-dawn to remind myself to become lucid, I went back to sleep and had the following dream: I was lying on my back in bed, and the bedroom looked exactly like mine. I opened my (dreaming) eyes and saw a woman who looked like the classic stereotypical schoolteacher (horn-rimmed glasses & hair in a bun), standing over my bed scowling at me. She said, "you're supposed to be dreaming, not sleeping." Then I woke up. Damn!
Source: Knoxville, TN
A group from New Mexico.
...I dreamt that I met a group of women led by a man. They were friendly, asking me what I do. My sense was that they were teachers in the Southwest / New Mexico... The new rule that is emerging is more generous.
Source: Clayton, NM
Editor: This reader's comment about the new rule was not
connected with the dream. His letter included a discussion of intent
and I liked the sound of things getting easier. This reader's opinion
is that the techniques, for instance recapitulation, are only necessary
because we intend them to be necessary, and that the Spirit
wants our freedom more than we do. I don't personally know if that's
true, but all of the fun things start to happen after the recapitulation
is started, so why fight it?
No talking please.
... You asked if we had a teacher in our dreams. I have a teacher who sometimes appears to me in lucid dreams. At one point there was an initiation ceremony and a totem animal was received. I have little to say about this except that I do not remember the teacher and I ever talking; we just do things together. I have no idea who or what this experience is and I also have no feeling it is or is not Castaneda...
Source: Louisville, KY
Dinner with Carlos.
About a year ago a very vivid dream came to me: I was sitting at a dinner table with Carlos Castaneda and the rest of his party, as a completely accepted junior member.
I woke up terrifically energized, knowing that with effort, I could become much more than I was. The idea that I actually communed with Carlos and his intrepid band of total freedom seekers in some other reality is very appealing. But it is also equally probable that this is how my mind chose to symbolically clothe this inner experience, since Carlos and the rest of the warriors were extremely real characters in my imagination from reading all their books.
Either way, one important result of this experience was to leave me with a greater acceptance of myself as an abstract being, and therefore opened up to a whole new host of possibilities.
...I do not know that my experiences which I am going to relate were dreaming and not just dreams, but they were very real to me. For years I have dreamt of being in a teaching setting. It was initially a very vague situation with vague memories. As time progressed, I would find myself being taught pragmatic things by distinct people. I would take them with a grain of salt for the following reason: All too often, the teachers were none other than voluptuous models and famous supermodels. Being a consummate ladies man, I thought that this was my indulgence following me to the dream world. A friend of mine soberly suggested an alternative: given my predilection (to beautiful women), whatever (whoever?) was spending time and energy to teach me in my dreams was given the form (by me?) that would attract and bind my attention the most. It works. (as a postscript, all that "goes on" in these lessons are learning - I'm not that indulgent:)
Another experience happened only a few months ago. In a dream, I was receiving a "last visit" from a man. From what I understood from the situation, he was to me as don Juan was to Carlos Castaneda. I have no recollection of this man from my dreams or reality. What makes this dream stand out above all my other dreams, normal and lucid, was his eyes. When he said his "warrior's good-by" his eyes were so deep and clear and aware - I cannot describe the feeling. I am still in awe. If I had to choose one event from all my known experience (awake and dreaming) of the most "alive" person I have ever met, it would have to be this man. His physical appearance was that of a very short, stout american indian. His shortness actually surprised me. He couldn't have been more than five feet tall. His skin was very dark and his eyes were deep aware brown. I can still see those eyes in my mind's eye as I did at that moment. When he embraced me his enormous energy produced an incredible feeling of well-being in me, and at the same time a profound sadness that I would never see him again. He was of immense girth, but none of it was fat! He was as firm as an athlete. His size seemed somehow to have something to do with his enormous stores of energy.
There was another man with him, but his presence was only very subtle and I only realized his presence when reviewing the dream. Both men wore winter coats (this area has fierce winters) with hoods which had the drawstrings pulled - only their faces were visible. This whole situation is definitely recapitulation fodder.
Source: Winnipeg, Canada
Editor: I'm still wondering about the motives of the inorganic beings. Maybe those supermodels are their ideal human form.
On a serious side, I've also had your experience of encountering someone in my dream with very alive eyes. In my case, it scared me. We also have the reader who was told to drink 10K, and reported that he felt weird because of a look. And last issue we have the person who saw pure awareness radiate from a bunch of gnats. I wonder if what's happening here is that all of us have encountered beings in our dreams that actually possess awareness. They might be allies, they might be teachers, but they are energy generating things, like don Juan described in The Art of Dreaming. Maybe this can form some criteria for us to test our dreaming teachers. Our dreaming body is probably fully capable of telling the difference between a being with awareness and one that only exists in our intent.Night dream on Elm Street.
...I had another dream last night - the only thing I remember is that I was talking to Florinda on the telephone, and she had mentioned something about Elm street in West Springfield (a city about 1/2 hour from where I currently reside), and I thought it interesting in the dream that she knew the city well enough to know the street names. Well, guess I'll take a ride over to Elm Street (and hope it's not a nightmare...)
Source: Wilbraham, MA
There is a recurring presence in my dreaming that shouts at me or tries to startle me. I always know what it is because I get the feeling of death; rotting flesh, bones, dust, decay. I believe that its been around interfering with my dreaming for a long time. The most recent episode was when I succeeded in dreaming 3 times in one night. I'd saved up a lot of energy before that and my dreaming just went on and on. Every time it ended, I'd slip back into it by force of concentration. Finally, I was looking as some things in a courtyard and a voice yelled, "GET OUT OF HERE!" I knew immediately who it was (without understanding it). I started to leave the courtyard and vaguely saw a torso composed of dusty chalk bones behind a cement window in the building. I grumbled "Shut up!" as I was nearing the exit, and the figure climbed down from the window to chase me. I was scared and my dreaming ended. What is it?...
Editor: Well it sure isn't Carlos. But his group has
given us lots to think about in this area. When Carlos woke up from
dreaming screaming, don Juan suggested a second recapitulation. On
the other hand, Carlos was attacked by a type of scout not fully described
by his group. And don Juan said that there were many more types of
scouts than the 3 (or 4) mentioned in The Art of Dreaming.
UNINVITED GUEST, PART 1
It had been a while since my dreaming had been interrupted by a knock on my apartment door. I'd completely given up on checking to see who was there. There was never anyone to see. I now seemed to be free from the interruption to my dreaming, but to tell the truth, I kind of missed it.
The quality of my dreaming had changed during that time. My awareness of being asleep was sometimes so keen that the awareness itself was like a dream. I began to notice that my sleeping mind often gets stuck on a single idea and holds it for hours at a time. One day while sleeping, the image of the top half of a window, with something behind it, kept going through my mind. I had only enough volition to notice it, I couldn't turn it into dreaming, or anything else. This went on for so long that it began to be uncomfortable.
Finally, the telephone rang and woke me up. Startled, I wondered whether to answer it, or ignore it. I thought about who might call me and whether I wanted to talk with anyone. But the phone was no longer ringing.
A few days later the same thing happened. I can't remember what I was thinking about while sleeping, but I was interrupted by the same ring. This time I was sure I wasn't going to answer the phone, I even wondered who had the nerve to keep calling me every morning. I was listening to see how many times they would try to get through, when I noticed something strange about the ring. It was loud and clear, but it seemed to be behind a membrane of some kind. I could actually see a white surface in front of the ring I was hearing, with my eyes closed. I became suspicious of the ring. I listened more carefully.
That wasn't the ring of my telephone! It was a mechanical ring, like an old fashioned telephone from a 1940s movie. My phone was electronic and completely incapable of making that sound! I listened to one more ring, but it was beginning to fade, as if the ringer had realized its mistake and was embarrassed to ring too loudly. Before the ringing could stop, I jumped up and answered the phone. There was only a dial tone.
Source: Corona, CA
Editor: We broke this story into 2 parts because issue 3 was full. The second half is spooky.