A collection of strange objects.
Rather than leave out any reader comments that apply to Nagualism, we have created this column as a storehouse of whatever you find out there and care to send in.
Please send me your newsletter. I could always use a good laugh. The idea of printing a newsletter pertaining to the warrior's way may indeed be the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of. Even more absurd than writing about sorcery in the first place. Nonetheless, I admit that I am interested in hearing what you + your readers may have to say, particularly as I personally know no others out there who agree, or who will agree beyond a certain point. Also, a Question! You claim that there are no naguals on your staff. Are you sure about that? And if not, why not?...
Source: Phoenix, AZ
Editor: I once stood naked, in a pail of cold water, in front of a mirror, in the dark, for 2 hours trying to figure out if I was a Nagual. The only conclusion I came to was that I needed to lose some weight. Just kidding! Seriously, I hope to God that no one on the staff has Nagual potential. Imagine the incredible burden of leading a group of sorry apprentices to freedom. It's much better to be a naughty kid than to be Santa Claus.
I liked this reader's letter because it was spunky. Long time practitioners seem to develop certain personality quirks, and spunkiness is often one of them. I think that other readers have toned down their submissions.
Welcome to the newsletter, if you don't get a good laugh, we'll refund your money. I fully agree that the newsletter was a ludicrous idea.
Finding your scale in dreaming.
...I practice recapitulation and the piano. Results? My musical skills improve. I find dreaming difficult. Perhaps I should look for my hands as they run an A major scale.
Source: Grass Valley, CA
Editor: I think that's a great idea! Someday I'd like to see someone who got good at dreaming by a method other than finding one's hands. Another plus to this idea is that your energy body and you could play doubles on the piano.
Connection to Carlos?
... I have read and re-read Carlos Castaneda's books for over twenty years, and just now learned there is an organized group and letter. The latest book I found a close relationship with. Please inform me of any relationship with Carlos Castaneda, his work, his group.
Source: Norfolk, VA
Editor: No connection to Carlos here. Reader's shouldn't think that we are being deceptive and there is, there is certainly not. If Carlos were to do something like this, I'm sure he'd get someone much more qualified. Now if you meant inform you of any lectures, we'll send out postcards if we find out about one.
Sorcery school student.
...I am currently about to finish my second year of training in a system based in Vancouver, British Columbia and Seattle, Washington. At this time it is a seven level program; I am about to finish Level III. The first seven of Castaneda's books are required reading during participation in each level. Most of us also read his eighth book and anything from his sorcerer's party we can lay our hands on. There are approximately 200 to 250 students in the student body, and we are growing all the time. We are stalkers, training as impeccable warriors on the path to freedom.
It was exciting to realize that Carlos and his party are out and about giving lectures. If any of them were to be willing to come to the Seattle area, I know that at least the sum total of the student body I am part of would "camp on their doorstep!" I would be happy to volunteer to do any of the leg-work involved to facilitate such an event...
Source: Renton, WA
Editor: We don't know how to set up a seminar, but if we hear of one we will send out postcards to our readers. Please keep it to yourself. When we published Carlos' agent's phone number, the phone was rumored to be disconnected the next month. We hope that's a coincidence, but we'd hate to be responsible for sending 250 sorcery school students to one of Carlos' lectures. By the way, if you feel a certain anti-school sentiment in this issue of the newsletter, please don't feel unwelcomed. This is a do-it-yourself publication, so it's only natural to see that. You are very welcome here and we hope you feel like sharing why the school attracts you and what kind of school it is.
... We also need the non-verbal doings: the recapitulation, etc. Are joint efforts with others interested in these things possible? How about an NNL readers' expedition to surroundings, not necessarily a place mentioned by C.C & company? How about generating a list of such places from reader input! Here's my contribution: a circle of rocks in the hills in O'Melveny Park near Granada Hills, CA... What is the significance of the photograph on the front cover of Issue 2?
Source: Altadena, CA
Editor: People haven't liked that picture at all. We wanted the lava mountains, but none of us have been able to get away as yet. Anyone got a picture of them for issue #5?
About the field trips: Myself, I'm a bit of a recluse. But lots of readers have expressed interest in grouping. The Junkyard column is at your disposal if you want to set something up.
A technique from the Dimensions Interview.
... The basic interview. TA explains stalking and the need to maintain order and reason even if in a totally different realm, the new line, and recapitulation. She describes a match technique to quiet the internal dialogue: "You just hold up the flame of a match and you look at the flame for a moment, and then 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 go heavily into Oriental meditation techniques, because you're already doing the recapitulation and you don't want to get fixed into any form."...
Source: Oakland, CA
Let's keep it practical.
... In an editor's note on page 3 of issue 2 you make a statement that does concern me about the future of Nagualism. You, I hope mistakenly, imply it to be a doctrine. It seems to me that the problem with all these other belief choices you referred to was that they became doctrines. Doctrines inhibit individuality and I have yet to see that barrier of misguided central leadership in Nagualism.
Source: Ashland, MA
Editor: I was really glad to see your letter, it's nice to know there are some who value the challenge of doing it alone. Sorry about issue 2, my head was throbbing from listing all of those wonderful doctrines and the word just slipped out.
If you felt uneasy about issue 2, issue 4 must really give you the willies! I'm afraid that after Carlos leaves, the vultures will fly in and eat what's left of the carcass. You're right, a doctrine is a terrible thing. We'd better try to make that leap before we all get indoctrinated.General comments.
Here are some general comments and questions. I hope that Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner will write more books and grant more interviews. It was their books that led me back to Castaneda's books, which I had given up on some years back.
Is Carlos going to write more books? How about a book length interview with Carlos.
If don Juan gained the freedom to access other worlds then he must have the ability to access this one as well. Has he ever returned here? And does anyone really know where he is.
The brief descriptions of some of these other worlds in the books are far from attractive and I wonder if these sorcerers have accessed other worlds that are attractive.
What happens to the Assemblage Point when a person dies? Does it automatically move to a particular place?
It's not really made clear how one develops the Double or Dreaming Body. Can the Double be used in everyday life?
These are just a few questions that perhaps someone has answers for.
Source: Northbrook, IL
Editor: In issue 2 someone asked a bunch of questions, but I didn't have any answers that time. This time, I think that every single one of your questions was addressed in a previous issue, or maybe in this issue. Every time I worry that the newsletter is a bad idea, I just remember how little I knew about this stuff before it started. It can't be all bad. Just to prove it, I'll give a swing at each of the questions:
Taisha has "Stalking with the Double" coming along, and Carol has "Tales of Energy". No mention of Florinda that I can recall. On the other hand, we have reports that Carlos' group is leaving when the blue scout graduates from school, and she has. If they haven't been published at that point, what happens to the books then? We also have Merilyn Tunneshende's book about stalking through dreaming coming. I know some readers think she's a fake, maybe the book will tell.
Carlos said he had another "work" for a future time in The Art of Dreaming introduction. There is a book length interview mentioned in the Publications of Interest section, but only in Spanish. Maybe they're trying to lure us to learn Spanish. I believe we have a reader who knows Carmina Fort. Maybe that reader could find out why the book isn't in English. Can we help? Magical Blend is also interested.
Merilyn says that don Juan comes back all the time to visit her, and that he's with other sorcerers who are unraveling reality in all directions. But lecture notes from Arizona in this issue say that don Juan got stuck on the edge of the second attention and needs rescuing! Wow!
I don't know about you, but those worlds sound attractive to me. I like horror movies. But there was that "Glory" world that they found. Maybe you'd like that one.
The witches have made it clear that the assemblage point is a feature of a living being. It just goes out when one dies. The time frame is vague.
Now about the double - there is something really weird going on there. Did anyone else notice that Carol claims to have been with Carlos during the visit to Vicente? But that happened early in the apprenticeship. According to the books, Carlos didn't know who Carol was until the end of the apprenticeship. This is the kind of contradiction that the detractors of Carlos should harp on. Instead they harp on the petty stuff. Could it be that the second attention experiences Carlos had, as a result of the Nagual's blow, were superimposed on top of the normal memories he had? In other words, the books up to this point give the impression of don Juan striking him on the back and then taking him somewhere else he didn't remember, until years later. But maybe both events took place at the same time. There are hints of this in the practice jumps off the cliffs in Tales of Power. Maybe it's like the reader's explanation (Strange Tales of Power) of his experience which finally condensed down into the shape of a giant box. Maybe Carlos was with Carol in the second attention, but his memory of it left her out. Or maybe she was spying with her double. Or maybe he just didn't mention her. Who knows? I think this double stuff isn't as cozy as they make it seem. I suspect it's a lot more irrational than we would accept, especially in the chaotic beginning. Here's a scary thought. Maybe things can actually change backwards in time. There are several hints of this from both don Juan and Florinda (see Shabono).
An alternate thing to look at for this development of the double is the "Smoke and Spiders" story in this issue. I believe this reader is developing his double, or at the least is becoming aware of it. If that's the case, then the double results from the energy gathered through recapitulation.
Sleepy lecture attendees.
At the Dec. 93/Jan 94 workshop, C.C. mentioned that "there was something approaching from the North", but he had no idea what. I forget what led to this statement...
What are the Chac-mools, other than reclining stone statues?
At the workshop I noticed that people in general remained fairly alert for a while (approx. 1 hr.) and then started to "go to sleep" (please excuse the gurdjieffian terminology) - some were quite obviously "not there" most of the time. My own attention-span capabilities were seriously bothering me...
During the first of the series, I sat behind a martial-arts type "guru" - judging from his clothes and body-language- who had his followers wipe his brow and attend to his other physical comfort needs...
Source: Altadena, CA
Editor: This reader was referring to the Santa Monica workshop at Phoenix bookstore. On the way there, the second day, he saw a perfect circle of fog hanging in a larger fog bank to the west.
The Chac Mools are described in this issue. The reclining figure is also what's on the business card used by Toltec Artists. It looks like a jade carving of the Toltec figure in issue #1, but it's reclining as if sitting on a couch.
Maybe those sleepy lecture attendees are dreaming awake to get a different view of the lecture.
I'm always leery of martial arts guys, they have convoluted egos most of the time. But the guy you described sounds odd, I haven't met any martial arts leaders who would exhibit behavior that made them look indigent. They're usually quite friendly and energetic towards their students. I wonder what that was all about.End of the Lineage?
... I became so shocked, to say the least, in reading that C.C. will be the end of the lineage... Anyway, I could be sentimental & mushy...
I read in [source withheld] this Nagual having tours going to [destination withheld]. Man, to me, he's a goddam fat pig liar. Trying to make a buck. That's really nerve. That makes me sick to see that...
Source: New Orleans, LA
Editor:Remember how don Juan told Carlos that a witch had stolen his soul? I suspect that if his lineage would fib to teach an apprentice something, they would surely fib to sink themselves back into secrecy. With no self-importance, why remain in the limelight? Why handicap the next Nagual with so much fame? The truth is that we'll never really know if the lineage came to an end.
No experts here.
...I haven't been doing much. Some dreaming, a little recapitulation (I notice that I dream more afterwards). I keep wanting a `better place' to do it, but that's probably just brain noise. Often I'll watch a couple hours of T.V., and be thinking the whole time, "Damn, I could be recapitulating right now!"
I participated in the Internet news groups for a while, but found all the arguments between the "experts" very draining - worse, I started to want to be an expert too! I hope the NNL is something better...
Source: Oakland, CA
Editor: If you catch anyone here acting like an expert, please write in and chew us out. We hope the newsletter is the way readers would like it to be. We always welcome any suggestions for change, although sometimes the recommendations contradict each other. We try to keep our own desires out of this as much as possible, but it's hard for us to tell if that's what's happening. For instance, in this issue you'll see the first of a series of comparisons between Carlos' techniques and other systems. We didn't want to do that, but enough readers asked that we felt compelled.
The real question.
I spend a lot of time looking for potent literature and couldn't resist Magical Blend when I saw an imported copy. `Shamanism & Cyberspace' - wow: only in America... In England all the spiritual stuff is either very twee and Hobbit-oriented, or printed at home on a second-hand copier. Most of it's rubbish, so rather than wade through it all I rely on random impulse-buying. But I've been looking for an ad like yours...
The question is, `What are we to make of Carlos?'. Castaneda is a strange fruit. Outside of a small group of friends I have had no contact or even word of others who have a committed interest. No one is standing up as part of the wider debate to say `I am a Castanedarian Sorcerer'. I have met a few people who say "Yea, the first four books were great, but then he started to make it up"; and others who apparently read more but who just look at you strangely and wince and mutter "Yeah, it does your head in, man".
It's like there's an unbreakable barrier between the kind of knowledge that Sorcery deals with and the standard consensus type of knowledge that we're all taught at school. And since the media uses the language of the consensual world, Castaneda-style weirdness just doesn't translate. At University I tried to make bridges from one to the other, but just gave myself a headache. I am now beyond the days of introducing the idea of the assemblage point into university common room debates, and I am very cautious to whom I reveal my abstract spiritual passions, partly because I don't have the energy to voice effectively what I know, but largely because such metaphysical perspectives tend to act as grit in the cogs of rational argument, and it just confuses people and pisses them off...
Yet the books sell like hot cakes. What do those readers
think? Are they practitioners too? Are they doing it?... Oh and there's
thousands of other extraordinary things I want opinions on, like:
Source: Norfolk, England
Editor: This reader wrote a whole lot more, part of which we turned into the story, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". We printed this part here just so we could have the question about the Nagual Julian.
Actually, we already know that he had sex with Tala and the woman in the shack. What worries me is that he dressed don Juan up in women's clothes and told him to flirt with the mule drivers. And don Juan stopped short of telling Carlos the extent of the Nagual Julian's doings, because he was afraid that Carlos was too prudish. So I'd be happy just to hear that the Nagual Julian didn't have any plans along that line for don Juan.
Carlos at MIT.
... And where were you in the late 1960s??? Carlos was giving lectures at, of all places, M.I.T. I have had the privilege of reviewing some of the lecture tapes. Mind blowing.
However, hard to believe for some of the engineers in the audience, which is probably the best reason for one of that type of person to now be my ex! Couldn't handle the uncertainty.
Actually what he said verbally makes a lot more sense to me than some things in his books.
Source: San Diego, CA
Editor: Don Juan accused Carlos of going around giving lectures as a method of avoiding erasing personal history. Maybe that was one of those lectures. Please do write in and tell what you can recall from the tapes, even if only a little. We have no lecture notes from those early days. Also, tell what you know about the tape. We have readers who have an interest in verifying the authenticity of such tapes. It seems there are indeed some fakes! So far, the only one everyone agrees is truly Carlos, is the 1968 radio interview.
... I am very happy to see so many serious sorcerers practicing unbending intent. It really warms my heart. Also, it has reminded me of techniques I had forgotten I had a profound experience with, if you can imagine that. Particularly, "stopping the internal dialogue" - I have worked on that for years. Basically it is the same technique that many people have experienced during meditation, only it creates a stronger altered state.
Like another of your corespondents, I have experienced this state mostly in driving. It seems particularly useful after dark, as he was saying.
But I would like to relate to you my daytime experience with this practice.
It seemed to have elements of recapitulation in it. I felt like a child before "internal dialogue" begins, feeling everything from my abdomen - including painted signs, motion of other people and cars, and generally, how spacious or crowded an area was. Painted man-made signs created a whirling sensation, for example. Other feelings are less describable...
Source: Richmond, VA
Editor: I was glad to hear this. I'd had a very similar experience about a week before, and had dismissed it as indulging. In my case, I was recapitulating while driving, and then practicing shutting off my internal dialogue. I got stuck in a very pleasant state, but it magnified until I could barely stand to keep driving. I could feel the road under me, and the cars to the side. I was feeling them with something in the pit of my stomach. It was a nauseateing experience and I wondered if sorcerers ever got to the point that they didn't like to travel in cars. As a strange coincidence to this reader's comment about signs, I found relief by watching the man-made signs on the side of the road through my blue blocker sunglasses, while trying to figure out if there was any blue in the sign.
Expand or keep small?
Hey, You want the truth? Distribute dude! Near or far or to the stars! Tell shy people to have no fears, if they keep their mask cloud near! One can still be who they are!
Source: Greenville, MS
Editor: This was from the reader who only writes in poetry. I think this was her answer to the question of whether to seek aggressive newsletter distribution or keep it small. The response is 30% negative on expanding, so we aren't going to do it. We have picked up 5 readers from Hawaii, one of whom attended the Maui lecture. I guess we should have trusted intent and stopped worrying so much. As of now, the policy on stores is that if they ask we will provide newsletters, but we won't seek them out. Besides, the readership is already as large as we want it to be.
That darn signpost.
... I started re-reading "The Eagle's Gift" and came to the part about the signpost (cover photo on Issue 2), and am in a state of internal confusion about this (internal - not external or infernal!). Does Carlos write about this so that the compulsives go looking for the street sign, get a pat on the ego when finding it, or otherwise drive themselves crazy??? Or is there some genuine reason for someone to find this particular signpost, or is it just page-filler material, or ??? Why does NNL put it on the front cover of the Newsletter???...
Source: Altadena, CA
Editor: That particular story stuck in my own mind, probably because I covet dreaming. A photographer took the picture for us and it looked spooky, so we kept it. Since the books emphasize story telling, I don't feel it's inappropriate. But it is interesting that the books are so filled with detail. In Florinda's book, she even gives Carlos' apartment number and describes quite a bit of detail about its layout. I have to think there's a reason for them to do that, since it isn't a necessary part of the factual account. Someday I think we'll understand the reason, but for now it's just a curiosity.
Thoughts and reflections.
We are what we perceive. There are different perceptions, different points of view. An example we can all look at is in Carlos' latest book, The Art of Dreaming. Carlos, being very obviously a male (and a hot-blooded Latin one at that), found himself caught between two different points of view, two different perceptions, two diametrically opposed female Energies. Those are represented in the book as Carol Tiggs, and the Tenant (both female).
These two ladies had different ways of explaining their being in the world of the Nagual. Who is to say which is right or wrong. Both their views are valid. It is the perception of the reader that decides the personal outcome or choice, if indeed one perceives choice to be the issue at all...
An interesting exercise in Carlos' books is to `read between the lines.' In The Art of Dreaming, the face on the book cover is a good case in point. Have you read that face? What does he/she tell you? We are all magical story-tellers if we change our perception, turn our hats, and see reality from a different point of view.
Source: El. G's benefactor
Editor: Carlos' conflict with women goes back a long way. It started with la Catalina, but let's not forget about Soledad, who has now gone mercenary. Even so, I'm not so sure I'd say both opinions are equal. Remember the story of the three little pigs? The Tenant's argument with Carlos about love is a lot like having the homeless Pig, who's house got blown over, discuss the benefits of straw while having dinner at the house of the Pig who used bricks. But then again, if don Juan really is stranded, maybe his house was merely sticks.
El's benefactor also stated that no one can take away our edge if we don't allow it. This was in answer to the reader question about losing one's edge to a child. He further states that worry is a drain of energy, and will affect dreaming. Best to relax and let dreaming return. I suspect this is a major drain for all of us, and recapitulation doesn't necessarily make us immune. He also adds that judgment takes up a lot of energy.
The issue of story telling has been touched on, but not explained by Carlos' group. It seems to be more than we suspect. Since the newsletter is heavily involved with story telling, maybe we'll learn what it's all about.
Is she for real?
... I've read the article by some woman in the September issue of Magical Blend, where I saw your ad, and find her attitude to be a bit arrogant. Is she for real? She can speak the lingo. The others seem to depreciate themselves or at least their image in the public eye...Source: Tucson, AZ
Editor: Based on reader response, and what I was told by Magical Blend, 30% of Carlos' readers think Merilyn is for real. And that's saying something, they never agree that well on anyone else. She does have a different attitude, but it seems to be consistent with someone who had lots of exposure to the little Sisters and the Genaros. Also, writing a short article like that for a magazine forces one to get across a lot of info real quick, and doesn't leave time for the usual apologetic prose. I plan to buy her book, which is supposed to be out early next year. If she is a fake, she's setting herself up to be shot down, having claimed a tie to Carlos. If she were a fake, it would have been easier to just say "me too", and leave Carlos out of it.
... I would like to ask if there are any reader accounts of the physical appearances of these folks that we have such an interest in. Shining eyes, youthful appearances, basically anything that might give a clearer idea as to what a fully realized, or one in possession of the totality of themselves might look like. It's an idea? Hmmm, did that make sense?Source: Austin, Republic of Texas
Editor: We have quite a few accounts like that in this issue. They started coming in by the droves just a couple of weeks after we got this letter.
I don't know about the youthful appearance thing. If sorcerers can change their appearance at will, the best thing they could do is not do it. For instance, if Carlos showed up at a lecture looking 30, it would attract a terrible amount of attention. I can see the Hardcopy story now, "Peyote makes you younger!"Reincarnation?
...Is reincarnation part of the Toltecan tradition?...Source: PA
Editor: This reader presented evidence of this from the books, but our seminar notes indicate that the answer is no. The horrible thing about the reincarnation idea is that it's often used to justify the failure of systems such as Yoga or Buddhism. The theme is "quit being impatient, it will work eventually, enlightenment takes several lifetimes." It's like the Christian promise of going to heaven, where you have to die to find out. With Nagualism, you get to find out right now and the only limit on how fast is your own effort.
One of the many things I find remarkable about Castaneda is the fact that it appears he was born on Christmas Day.
Editor: I know don Juan said Naguals often take refuge in the church, but I don't think Carlos would go that far!
Are some readers nuts?
... I was wondering if you have to sort through a lot of ... "unusual" submissions from folks who might not quite have the same interests as the majority of the readership. I ran an ad up here several years back to investigate the possibility of a study group and found myself wondering if my ad had been sent to a psych ward. I even got one vague death threat from someone who apparently associated Castaneda's material with the fact he was a paraplegic alcoholic!...
Source: Wilbraham, MA
Editor: I prefer to think of these as people who have succeeded in shifting their assemblage points quite a bit. Yes, we do get more than our share of these. I just hope these people were crazy to begin with and that sorcery had nothing to do with it.What happens when you die?
Here's a question maybe one of the readers can answer; What happens to the awareness of an ordinary person who dies? And is there any difference between such a person and a warrior who dies before having a chance to burn with the fire from within?...
Source: Pittsburgh, PA
Editor: I doubt if anyone will be able to answer this one! But we do know that Carlos' group has said that the assemblage point goes out, and that death is not necessarily the linear process we might imagine. We also have even weirder stuff sitting right here at NNL, but we can't use it yet! It's a wonderful transcription of a radio interview that Taisha gave where she stated that Manfred was not a dog at all, but one of the old sorcerers who was dying and had no choice but to adopt the form of a dog! We'll either summarize it in issue #5, or try to get permission to print it.
... Here is my question: In the lineage to which belongs Castaneda, each generation forms a definite structure (presence of the four corners, female male...); does someone know if this structure is a general pattern in the Spirit's designs for people walking the True Path (whatever shape The True Path may take)? In other words, admitting that I am walking the True Path, will I find myself in such a structure, in one point or another?...
Source: Caslegar, BC
Editor: I don't know what it means, but the Body Mind & Spirit interview with Florinda said that, "The sorcery configurations of don Juan's world are no longer applicable to us. We are on our own." Also, "we have found ourselves in the odd situation of being explorers in a new territory."
The hunt goes on.
About the supposed TV interview on a "local" (Sedona) station. - According to my yellow pages directory, these would be: 1) Channel 18 TV, 1575 S. Roadrunner Lane, Camp Verde, AZ (602) 567-3433. 2) KKTM-TV, 2158 N 4 St., Flagstaff, AZ (602) 527-1300. There is no TV station in Sedona! I have little to no interest in obtaining a tape of the interview. I have no TV or VCR and am not wanting for either. But there's the information; maybe it will help someone else.
Source: Sedona, AZ
Editor: We have a transcript of a radio interview, maybe we could get permission to make one for the tape. I hope people keep looking. We aren't going to do it, it's against our rules.
No black people?
... Hey, how come there's no black people in all these Tales of Power? I'm not black but I'm curious. There's German, Italian, French, Indian, Yaqui, Yuma, Mayan, Mazatec, North American gringas, Peruvians, but no soul brothers. Looks like the spirit doesn't connect with Afro-centricity...
Source: New Orleans, Louisiana
Editor: We have quite a few black readers. Of course, there's no way to tell unless the reader states it, but the number exceeds Indians, as far as we can tell.
This reader recapitulates, cloud gazes, hangs out under trees, and practices stalking. " Dreaming" is still hard.
Lots of tricky questions.
... I want to ask you, the reporters and publishers a few questions. They are:
1. How did you come about starting a newsletter? 2. Does any of the group know of the newsletter's existence? If they do, what do they think of it? 3. How many readers do you think you have? 4. If Castaneda or the group do not know of the newsletter's existence, might we just as well be talking about "Elvis Sightings"? 5. How do you verify your sources? Are you afraid of printing something that you could be liable for? 6. Do you have any negative thoughts about Castaneda or his group? 7 If you had one question to ask him what would it be? (Besides Josephina's phone number.) 8. The Editor wrote "when he or she was eighteen years old they were hypnotized by Castaneda." Don't you think you still are? 9. Do you find yourself ever looking at what we call "Reality" and this other world that Castaneda has shown us and felt confused or depressed? 10. Would you ever trust a sorcerer or sorcerers? 11. Why do you think squirrels become angry? Hunger maybe?
Source: Phoenix, AZ
Editor: This reader attended a book signing-lecture by Taisha at Phoenix. She describes her as very educated and professional. She wrote to her publisher to ask why they wrote the books, and got the Toltec Artist's address. They sent her a list of appearance dates (1992). That's good to know!
We get asked questions like this often. We don't print them because there are always good reasons not to answer them, and no good ones to do so. Because we're trying to fight the newsletter tendency to be dominated by babbling men, and this reader was female, we decide to print the questions and answer as many as we thought it responsible to answer.
The newsletter started as an idea that kept bugging one of our staff members. Because of that, he's stuck with the awful task of interfacing to the outside world. Here are the facts: He accidentally went into dreaming-awake during recapitulation. He was looking down a tunnel of light at some strange place and his little finger physically raised and pointed at something. That brought him out of the vision and the only thing left was the thought, "Hey, this stuff works, I wonder if anyone else is doing it!" For weeks after that his recapitulation was interrupted with a hazy light and that same bothersome idea. There were many times when he blacked out and found himself writing the advertisement for the newsletter, when he meant to be recapitulating. He eventually gave up, maybe just so he could continue recapitulating in peace. He decided to take responsibility for it and make the publication for free. If Carlos' group tells us to stop, he says he'll feel absolved from the responsibility.Several of the interviewers of Carlos' group know about the newsletter. Tracy is rumored to have been told and to have been concerned (before he saw it). That's understandable. I'm still concerned about the darned thing to this day! Merilyn certainly knows about it because we were invited to submit questions to ask her. People who know Carlos' group know about the newsletter. One of them was given the first 3 issues, liked them, and we received a letter stating he/she would give them to Florinda and Taisha within the week. Beyond that, I hope we all leave them alone, they've given enough. Besides, what if they don't like it and we have to stop making fools of ourselves?
The legal questions are interesting. The newsletter is in the position of being able to claim both religious rights and freedom of the press. What judge wouldn't consider this a religion? That means we can say that the Pope is the devil himself if we want to. And this is a news publication. We print the information we receive in good faith because there's usually no practical way to verify it. And we never reveal how many readers we have. That would spoil the fun.
Several of your questions are unnecessary if one finds this stuff to be even partly true. Give it a real try and maybe you'll have your own answers. And finally, I don't believe that squirrels become angry, doesn't that take an obsession with verbalization that only humans have?
... One participant at the RIM Institute talk said, "Men cone towards knowledge and women yone (as in yoni) towards it. Florinda said "the womb is a second brain." Men don't have that facility and must build a structure...
...The Phoenix bookstore is not where Carol reappeared, but it's where she found Carlos after her ten years in the outer realms of the second attention...
...Actually, he thought of calling that book [The Teachings of Don Juan], A Path with a Heart. I'm not sure where I heard that but it's a nice reminder...
...Also I have a proposal to make to the newsletter and the editor. A suggestion to all those who would like to be a part of a Dreaming Conference Experiment. We set up a place and time that people reading the newsletter can meet in their dreaming body. But it should be more than just meeting and hanging out - perhaps some task or group purpose...
Editor: Another reader sent a letter claiming that yoni means vagina. If that's true, those witches are nastier than construction workers. Speaking of cone and yone, another reader expressed concern that the publication will fill up with pointless poetry. It's true that I feel the same way, but the newsletter is quite clogged with conehead male analysis, and I don't want to make any logical male rules that might eliminate the feminine. A billowing angelica is a terrible thing to waste.
About the conference. At the risk of sounding corny, you need the spirit to set that up. Since we don't know that the spirit is, we can't. But those of you who want to try on your own can use the Junkyard section.BATTLE WITH RAIN.
About two weeks ago, a striking thing happened -- I was taking a late night walk along a deserted street in my neighborhood. When I had started out, there were stars shining brightly between irregular black masses of clouds, but as the walk progressed, the sky became increasingly overcast.
I take walks to quiet down the mind, but even though almost a mile had been covered, I was still rehashing the events of the day. A few drops began to hit the leaves.
Suddenly, my awareness was captured by the sound of the drops. Something wasn't right. Instead of the usual sound of raindrops coming from all sides; there was a blast of drops hitting only a single tree on my left, followed by another series hitting a tree to my right, or one in front or in back of me.
I listened intently for a moment before terror set in. The randomness I had always associated with rain was gone, and in its place, I sensed an intelligence behind this pattern of sound.
I started running. It started raining harder and turned into a normal rain. I slowed down and got soaked. Then, feeling strangely exhilarated, I yelled `thank you' to the universe. Later, the thought occurred, "This must be what Carlos felt while hiding out in the bushes and witnessing the wind searching for him."