A reader sent a letter that had so much good miscellaneous information that I didn't want to break it apart and put the pieces into separate columns. We've had some readers complain about the way we do that, so this is their chance to see why we do. There are pieces in here that are redundant simply because we've already printed the information somewhere else, like the thing about the Ixtlan tape. There are a couple of bombshells in the middle of the letter, so I'm sure you'll be on the edge of your seat as I was.
One very weird point. It may seem off the subject, but a week before this letter was received, another reader was speculating about the spelling of the Tensegrity word. He stated that perhaps another reader might send in the correct spelling. Then this letter came in. This has happened so many times now that it's out of the realm of coincidence.
...Thanks for sending me the first three issues of the Nagualist Newsletter. It is a joy for me to find such a publication, as one following this path seems to be alone much of the time. Your newsletter really gives a sense of connection to fellow warriors other than Carlos' group. There are a number of things I would like to comment on. I have been interested in Nagualism for approximately twenty-two years. I have been seriously studying this path for the last three years. I attended workshops given by the witches (Taisha, Florinda & Carol with the Chacmols) at the RIM Institute (their first) in July 1993 and a workshop given by Taisha and Florinda, with the Chacmols and the Little Sisters at the Esalen Institute in November 1993. Since attending these workshops, I have been a devotee of this form of Nagualism.
1) In regards to your wanting information on the tensegrity movements (this IS the correct spelling). I have excellent notes regarding all of these movements presented to us at the workshops. I was requested by many workshop attendees to forward them my notes and drawings. I am an artist, so I thought I could do some good illustrations of the movements for instruction. I wrote to Tracy Kramer, whom I met at both workshops I attended, in regards to illustrating these movements to help other people on this path. Enclosed is a copy of the reply I received. My response was not to do the drawings. I would like to share this wealth of information I received, but I have to respect the wishes of Toltec Artists.
2) In issue #3 you mention under Publication of Interest/Audio Cassettes that Journey to Ixtlan by Ten Speed Press is available. I called them to order it (I already have the Teachings and Separate Reality). I was told it doesn't exist and there is no plan to make another Castaneda tape.
3) I tried to get a copy of the interview by DETAILS, but DETAILS is no longer in business. Does anyone at your end or readers have the article that I could get a copy of?
4) I must comment on the comments you make in regards to some of the letters you receive. Some of your responses are so inappropriate (bad taste) and very biased, not to be confused with those that stand as very intelligent analyses. I really grow tired of your unfounded displeasure with Stephen LaBerge's Novadreamer and Course in Lucidity. I have found these tools to be very effective in my dreaming practices. To quote Taisha from the Esalen Institute, "It's not what you do, but the intent with which you do it". Your pebbles work for you, a Novadreamer may work for someone else. If you can't respect that, I suggest you recapitulate on it. Your energy seems to be stuck on this opinion.
5) I attended some classes in San Diego, sponsored by the Sixth Sun Foundation. I get the feeling that these individuals are more concerned with profit than teaching. If you don't pay, you don't get their form of enlightenment. Their Nagual is Miguel Angel Ruiz. They expressed some false accusations about Carlos' Clan so I stopped attending. Do you think one should have to finance their way to enlightenment or discover it for themselves?
6) I wanted to make a point, that as far as I remember, was not made in the first three newsletters. At the RIM institute, Florinda told us that don Juan and his party DID NOT make the jump when they left the world. They are stuck in the world of inorganic beings. They did not intend to be in this world and they don't have the energy to leave. She said there were too many of them, in the group, and they were too heavy. She said that Carlos' group, Carlos, Carol, Taisha and herself are going to join them and hopefully supply the needed energy for all of them to leave the world of inorganic beings. If Carlos' group fails to help them, then all of them, don Juan's and Carlos' parties will be stuck in the world of inorganic beings. Everyone in attendance, including myself, became very melancholy at this point. If don Juan couldn't make the jump how could I possibly try?
7) Florinda also addressed the issue of power plants at this same lecture. She said not to use power plants, they are harmful to the energy body. Carlos was given them because he was very dense. Florinda said that the luminous egg changes shape from the use of power plants. Instead of being egg-shaped it becomes bell-shaped. The luminous fibers at the bottom, of this bell shape, are dense and stuck in this position. At this point, almost everyone in attendance was very concerned and wanted to know if they were bell-shaped. She said this bell shape is irreversible.
8) At the Esalen Institute, November 1993, Taisha gave these eight examples of sorcery not-doings:
-Visualize the fibers of your energy body. On one side (the right side), grab the fibers and hold them tight. Feel what the energy is (behavior, habit, etc.), tense your muscles and let go of it. Repeat on the other side.
-The match technique: This is used to stabilize the assemblage point. Light a match, holding it upright, and gaze at the flame. Then while still lit, gaze at the match while holding the match with the head down (do this when the match is almost burned out) then douse the flame in water.
-To stop internal dialogue: Touch your index finger to the depression between your eyes, just above the brow ridge on your skull, at the bottom-most point of your forehead. Grab a fiber or filament (visualize this) with your index finger and your thumb and pull it out, then let it go.
-For concentration: Put your hands together just below the navel and move them up your body, keeping your hands together, to your forehead. Repeat.
-Make or construct items of materials or things these items are not normally made of.
-Visualize and feel a wall, a very hard wall. Push any unwanted feelings, energies, thoughts, etc., out of yourself. Pierce the wall with feelings, energies, thoughts, etc. and feel yourself break through the wall as you pierce it.
-With your hands together, in a prayer fashion, and your thumb tight against your index finger, place your hands on top of your head, fingers pointing up. Bow to the sun, pointing your fingers at the sun. Do this three times.
-When in the shower, isolate each muscle starting at the top of your body. Tense the muscle, then relax it. Work your way down your body to your feet doing this technique.
After giving us these sorcery not-doings, Taisha said, "It's not what you do, but the intent with which you do it".
9) In response to the questions in issue #3:
- Distribute the newsletter to all who would find it of value.
- The Dreaming Questions: When I first started to find my hands in my dreams, I would get a loud buzzing in my ears. At first this really frightened me. I had NEVER experienced this loud buzzing in my normal dreams. I thought I would die if I didn't move my gaze and wake up. As I became more confident in my dreaming abilities, I managed to hold my dream until the buzzing faded. Then I started to hear fast, high pitched voices in each ear as I found my hands in my dreams. Now, I am feeling an oppressive weight on me as I start dreaming. Do you have any ideas what these experiences indicate?
Thanks for providing this newsletter for all of your clan members. You're doing all of us a great service. I DO support your endeavor 100%
Source: Encinitas, CA
Editor: No other reader has reported your drastic early dreaming experiences. Maybe you take more of your totality into dreaming than the rest of us.
You raised a key point here about the newsletter. I've been surprised to see no mention of it so far. I'm referring of course to the irreverent, slightly sexual humor of the newsletter. This attitude was no accident. When the first newsletter input came in, we foresaw that the newsletter could easily become an obsessive, unreadable, almost maniacal worship of something none of us were actually certain was true. To fight this tendency, we borrowed the attitude of Carlos and don Juan's party. Of course we're all idiots here, but we copied it as best we could. For instance, Delia says, in Being in Dreaming, "A fuck a day keeps the doctor away." In that same book, don Juan, rather than simply tap Florinda on the back, has Genaro make her choke on a peanut so that he can pretend to help her cough it up. And in Carlos' earlier works, Genaro constantly plays the "shiting boulders" trick on Carlos. Then there's the Details Magazine interview where Carol jokes about lightening coming from her tits. And let's not forget how the witches lift their skirts to show off their hairless vaginas.
Keeping this in mind, and realizing that we weren't clever enough for family humor, we opted for bad taste. After the first 2 issues we braced ourselves for a lot of criticism. To our surprise, readers enthusiastically mentioned liking the atmosphere. We did receive one other complaint from someone who said that it was outright disrespectful to call Carlos anything other than "the Nagual Dilas Grau". My poor fingers would get tired if I had to type that every time! Everyone should know that we aren't attached to this atmosphere and may have gone overboard on it. But the newsletter is run by the democratic principle, for lack of a truly ruthless leader.
It worried me that this reader, obviously a very serious practitioner, didn't like the atmosphere. I pondered this a lot and then realized that it was precisely because of his seriousness that he didn't like it. Seriousness is demonstrated throughout his letter, including the dreaming descriptions. But this reader has avoided the pitfall of twisted obsession, probably because he's taken to heart the practice of loosing self-importance. I say that because rather than taking an ego boost and claiming to have practiced for 22 years, as many readers would, he honestly states that he's only been serious for 3. We weren't concerned about this type of seriousness, but about the type that springs from those who have never actually done any real work, and who have become obsessed with Journey to Ixtlan ethics. An unfortunate side effect of our remedy is that real practitioners with a serious mood will probably not like the joking around.
Novadreamer is a tricky topic. The Lucid Dreaming book treated Carlos lightly, so I didn't feel badly about poking fun at them just to spice up the newsletter. I was expecting, almost hoping, that someone would write in and prove me wrong, so I could go buy one myself. But now, I officially have to take the stand that things don't look so good for its usage. The letters we print mentioning it are typical of the input. If it does increase dreaming frequency, it's not apparent from reader input. Not one single mention of it to the newsletter indicates a dreaming frequency on the part of the practitioner which is beyond average. Besides that, the rocks and the Novadreamer are not in the same category at all. To use the rocks, you have to concentrate very hard on shutting off your internal dialogue, usually for several hours. It's hard work! To use Novadreamer, all you have to do is put it on. The rewards of learning to focus for hours on nothing but dreaming are incalculable. In addition to dreaming, dreaming-awake can result from this, and Novadreamer can't possibly trigger dreaming-awake.
Now, about that letter from Tracy. Naturally we can't print it, but we are glad to be able to examine it. I like Toltec Artists' fun logo. Visualize that mannish female statue from issue #1, sitting on a flat bathtub with her legs up, and looking askance. Tracy's letter was very professionally and carefully worded. It stated, "we do not endorse anyone publishing anything on the Sorcery Passes." It goes on to describe why, basically stating that seeing them a few times would not give anyone the intent to convey them to others. It suggests that those with poor memory should intend to remember more as they practice the passes. His letter was extremely polite, but clear on the point that they didn't want any help to perpetuate the passes.
On the surface, this letter sounds like we should also drop the project. But our project is for those who have not attended lectures and thus are not in the position of being able to reconstruct a proper intent. Also, this letter was sent to someone offering help and Tracy must also have taken that into account in his letter. Plus they have to worry about lawsuits. Despite this, we will stop our sorcery pass project and will no longer print any input on the subject, beyond that which we had already received for this issue and which is partially about not-doing. I guess all we can do is hope that Tracy pushes for the Video. Hey Tracy, what about the rest of us?