The Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum / Issue 3 Oct./Nov. 1994
Copyright 1994 by Nagualist Newsletter, all rights reserved. Individual submissions by readers and staff of the newsletter are also protected under copyright law. No portion may be reproduced without the written permission of the Nagualist Newsletter and of the individual who made the submission. Additional copies may be available at no charge.

Worth the struggle?

...I've been trying to recapitulate while doing other things and find it to be quite a struggle. I suspect that the struggle to remember and visualize, while working on another task in broad daylight, may have its own benefits. It almost "hurts" my brain to do it. Who knows, maybe the struggle itself is the main thing. If that's true, recapitulating while doing something else ought to produce positive results...

Source: Riverside, CA

Recapitulation events that never happened?

...How do you explain recapitulating experiences which could not possibly have happened? Are these recapitulated dreams?...

Source: New York, NY

Editor: I don't try to explain them, I just enjoy them. If any other readers have an explanation, fire away.

These types of events are very puzzling. There you are, recapitulating away, and you find yourself in the middle of a very visual experience where you're finally recapitulating the way you hoped you would be. You can see the scene, maybe even hear it, you feel lots of things. It's working! Then you realize, "Hey! This never happened!"

I once took a business trip to a troublesome foreign country with a new business partner. When I got back, I experienced a very visual and tense recapitulation scene of us doing business next to some shelves. He was explaining fantastic things about doing business in that country, all of which were probably true. Then I realized it never happened. That made me lose the vision. But I managed to worm my way back into the vision. Inside the vision, I was absolutely sure it had happened and even wondered why I was getting confused into thinking it didn't take place. I went back and forth twice. Outside the vision it was obvious it hadn't happened. Inside, it was obvious it had!

Taisha says you can recapitulate your dreams, and don Juan said the recapitulation is a way to entice the knowledge of the energy body to come out in terms of memories. Maybe there's an answer there.

Can recapitulation be self-indulgence?

...Okay, recapitulation is great. I resisted it for a long time, but I can see the benefits of it now. But so far no one has mentioned anything about Castaneda's first few books. What about techniques like Erasing Personal History? Aren't these at least as important to storing energy as the recapitulation. (Without this for balance - it seems that sitting in a box remembering every minute detail of your life could become the ultimate in self-indulgence.)

Source: New York, NY

Editor: I doubt if the recapitulation could ever lead to self-indulgence. Carlos & don Juan's group has suggested that it leads to the realization that one is a boring, repetitive, predictable idiot. I believe that eventually one might even physically feel the human form's grip on one's awareness.

As far as erasing personal history goes, it's just my opinion, but I think that erasing personal history is more of a preparation for a future as a sorcerer plus a way of protecting an apprentice from being sucked back into society by his "friends". Those petty tyrants just don't like sorcery! If it's true, then their lives are pointless. They resent that. Erasing personal history also makes it easier to stop being "yourself" and is thus a not-doing. Not-doing hasn't been forgotten in the recent tide of events. Taisha's lectures, as described so far in the newsletter, emphasize it.

Car crates?

... I find that the interior of my car is suitable for packing in the returning energy...

Source: West Salem, OH

Editor: My car has been called a crate a bunch of times. I'm curious to know if you've learned to recapitulate while driving or if you use the car while parked? If so, that's a new one to the newsletter. So far we have a shower, a bathtub, a crate, a tepee, a bunk bed with a blanket, a cardboard box, but no parked autos. Good idea.

Does poor memory interfere with recapitulation?

Recapitulation has seemed difficult to me because outside of dreaming I do not have visual imagery and I have very poor memory. It seemed that without having better visual imagery and memory, formal recapitulation was impossible. I have used recapitulation very successfully to stop the internal dialogue and greatly enhance dreaming. When something is on my mind I recapitulate it until I am freed of it and the mind is still. This works well for my spouse and I. Countless times this winter I was able to sustain lucid dreams for over an hour after using this method. Since getting NNL I have started formal recapitulation. My method is somewhat different from other readers because of my poor memory. I focus on a person and give them back their luminous fibers. I have good proprioceptive imagery and think proprioceptively. When I exhale the other person's energy it clings to my luminous body. The sweep holding my breath then washes the fibers for the next inhalation...

Source: Louisville, KY

Editor: One of the nice things about Nagualism, as described by Carlos' group, is that turning things into a routine always seems to be the wrong way to go. For instance, I was beginning to think that more time recapitulating was better than less time, and that readers who did not follow the letter of the instructions were weakening the technique. According to the notes on Taisha's lectures, as published so far in the newsletter, there are no rules. If you are recapitulating successfully with your own technique, you can count on it polishing itself on its own, according to your own needs. The only thing she has emphasized is the written list. There is even a hint that this isn't required if you intend to go for a random pattern. For this reason, I believe a "sorcery" school could never take place. One reader mentioned wishing there was one, but as one gets into the techniques, this looks more and more like an impossibility. Intense flexibility and creative adaptability are required for this path, how could it be turned into school lessons? By the way, my memory was lousy in the beginning and my visualization zero. That changes with time, because these very qualities are the result of one's energy level, and the recapitulation restores it. In my case, it took nearly a year of faithful practice before it improved.

This reader offered the opinion that emotion was not necessary for recapitulating. Taisha's lecture notes have verified this. Last issue, a reader emphasized emotional responses to the scenes. I believe that in the case of some people, substituting the word "involvement" for "emotional response" gives that readers comments a more universal interpretation.

 Bathtub sanctuary.

Recapitulation in the privacy of the bathtub works for me. My bath has been gridded as a domestic santuary and is an energetically safe and sealed environment. In experimenting with this technique, I find it to be very effective in recharging my field and increasing my level of detachment and compassion. Since my practice has begun, I notice that I leave fewer energetic traces than previously and that my appearance alters after each session. My field positively radiates upon emergence from the temple.

I have integrated recapitulation into my professional practice as a healer. I find it, combined with other compatible techniques, to be exceedingly successful in assisting in the healing process of many abused & traumatized people. I integrate the technique when those who, after years of dredging & regurgitating, are ready to unfold as healed. These clients are grateful to be able to actually pull back their energy in a safe & sealed environment and the feedback so far has been consistently positive.

As far as stones go, I have a piece of Kunzite I use as a dreamstone. Sometimes I hold it until I move into alpha and other times I sequester it under my pillow immediately. I do notice it has effect on the clarity of dreamtime, yet so far I don't correlate its use directly with lucidity. There has not been any consistency however when using the stone combined with other practices such as Dzog-chen [sp?] meditation or conscious pathway entry - it does tend to amplify the effectiveness of these techniques.

Source: Norwalk, CT

Editor: The question about pressing pebbles or crystals in the first newsletter ad was about a technique from The Art of Dreaming, which is designed to help one become aware of falling asleep. If you were to try that technique, you would need 6 of the Kunzites and you would press them firmly between your fingers as an aid to shutting off the internal dialogue before sleep. You are already ahead of the game, since deep meditation is a very effective way to learn to shut off the internal dialogue (and mighty pleasant if you get good at it.)

I have concerns about the casual use of recapitulation in healing practices. There is no doubt at all that it would work. A couple of the biggest causes of mental illness are suppressed memories and what you called regurgitating (going over and over the same situation in your head). Recapitulation would most certainly help with those. But recapitulating a current relationship is said by Taisha to possibly lead to breaking that relationship. Also, if one of your clients gets into it more, are they prepared to have their view of the world get fuzzier and fuzzier over time? What about the side effect of nightmares and strange dreaming experiences? Wouldn't they worry they were losing their minds? What about the cynical view of the world that will likely go along with recapitulating while not learning to lose self-importance?

I have an ulterior motive for harping on this issue. I'd like to ask readers not to evangelize using the newsletter. This particular reader is making use of a tool that seems to work, but for the rest of you, let someone discover and ask for the newsletter on their own, unless you already know they are practicing these techniques. I've seen people's mental stability completely break down from practicing these techniques without full commitment.

We have another reader with interest in the application of Nagualism. His idea is to apply the techniques to drug rehab. I guess it can't be too bad to dabble in it, since Carlos' group must be fully aware that most of those who start will never completely adopt this lifestyle. Anyway, everyone should look at the lecture notes in this issue and see Taisha's warnings about doing it halfway.

Traveling papers.

I've just finished my first recapitulation and I have some goods news to share and some bad news. The good news is that it works. The bad news is that there isn't a chance in hell that a first recapitulation will be complete. I toyed with the idea of not sending in this information for fear it might discourage those just starting. I sincerely recommend to them that they avoid doing what I did. Read about it, but don't do it. Here's what happened to me:

I was driving down the street, all happy that I'd finished my recapitulation list, when I got the urge to take a street I hadn't gone down in years. I really wasn't going anywhere in particular and it seemed like a fun thing to do. I guess I should have seen it coming, what I felt was nostalgia, a sure sign of unrecapitulated memories. As I traveled down the street, I noticed a store I hadn't been to in years. Then I remembered something I'd forgotten to recapitulate. No biggy, it happens all the time. I started the sweeping breath with the intention of getting back that episode. Just as I was finishing, I noticed another spot I'd forgotten about. At that point, I was quite excited. It felt like a street lined with dollar bills of energy, there for the taking. I thought I'd stumbled on another technique: driving down the road, scooping up lost energy.

As I traveled on further, I started to get behind. The interactions in those places deserved several minutes each, and that just wasn't possible at 40 miles per hour. Then I hit a shopping mall I'd forgotten about. Pretty soon I was 30 memories behind, with 6 hours of recapitulating to do when I got home. I stopped at a red light and noticed that I hadn't been down any of the intersecting streets for years. Each of them was likely to have just as many memories and there were probably hundreds of streets like them scattered throughout my life. A world-sized grid of lost memories began to materialize in my mind.

Now I keep a pad of paper with me when I drive, just to write down all of the missed memories. I plan to retrace the movements I've made over my entire life. Until then, I guess I wasn't as done as I thought.

My suggestion to other readers is to avoid discovering this for yourselves until you are prepared to see those streets as lined with dollars. If you still see your list as a terrible burden, avoid looking to the side when you're driving in old familiar places.

Source: Orange, CA

Editor: I feel that the jolt one gets by remembering on one's own is stronger than the jolt when the memory is triggered externally, but when you're done with your list, why not go looking for memories?

Here's another idea. Go shopping very carefully. Instead of shopping for objects, shop for energy. For instance, if you're at the grocery store, look at every single item. See if it triggers any memories. How about that Cream of Wheat? What about the Cornish Game Hen? Something is bound to jump out at you. When you're done with food shopping, go to an antique shop. You'll likely find some of those rare and coveted early childhood memories there. Carrying this to its extreme, the entire world becomes a place to hunt for energy, with every object encountered a possible trigger. Taisha hints at this when she says, "any trigger - sound/time/smell causes the body to remember", and "you can recapitulate while walking or doing the dishes, just sweep up little bundles of energy..." Using this view, you can dismantle the world a piece at a time, looking for anything that still holds feelings. In light of this, it's curious that Carlos had such a segregated view of the recapitulation in The Art of Dreaming, when he said he could remember no more.

Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum / Issue 3 Oct./Nov. 1994