This letter is fairly typical of the input we received as a result of mentioning the possibility of stopping the newsletter. Some letters were a bit more militant. One even said the equivalent of "forget them, who knows what they're really up to." I have a hard time taking that stance, considering that we wouldn't have heard about this at all without Carlos' group. Besides, the point isn't "what are they really up to", but "do you want to interfere with it?" Still, I can't help but share the opinion of the person who wrote the following letter:
I am a reader who enjoys the benefits of NNL tremendously and have lately found myself doing a great deal of stalking.
Because I am a woman not having sex, I must be very creative with those around me.
An example of this is that everyone believes I am in a torrid love affair with someone, so therefore everybody leaves me alone as far as mating rituals go. Men in the obvious manner and women in the subtle ways they are with each other.
This has led to my being able to see a lot about people's inner motives, and not just sexually.
One evening at home, after an exceptional day of improvisation at work that I surprised even myself with, I found myself in a heightened awareness after taking a shower.
I went for the towel and saw myself reaching for it. I saw myself from within my own body as if someone else was doing it, yet it was me. But I was also an observer. I became aware of every single act, every breath, which seemed like an eternity but was only a few minutes.
And having had experiences like this, I long for more and know that Nagualism is the thing to do.
Now I have some comments on certain statements in issue No. 4.
The editor goes on to say in regards to the newsletter "What if they don't like it and we have to stop making fools of ourselves?" Another quote: "I fully agree that the newsletter was a ludicrous idea."
I realize these statements should not be taken literally and was probably meant to poke fun at ourselves and not to take things too seriously. But we should not try to downplay our own efforts.
I may be a fool, but don't feel we're making fools of ourselves. The NNL is a very honest endeavor that has positive intent behind it. Saying that it's ludicrous is trying to be above it all. Nothing is ludicrous. Everything is ludicrous.
We need to keep ourselves on track and in check constantly. No one has the answer, that's what we're all doing here. We're all following the same path.
To all of us who have discovered and become aware that there are other practitioners out there (we all suspected as much and have now realized it), it feels like the moment we have been waiting for. It is already a very solitary path.
We can at last share information with those who have an idea what we're talking about and understand. I look forward to your next newsletter. Thank you for all your hard work.
Editor: The two quotes from the newsletter that you picked out were my attempts to let people know that the newsletter was not intended to be a personal endeavor, that we sincerely believe here that we had no choice but to produce it. We just couldn't ignore a little finger moving on its own like that.
The problem with continuing now is that it would go against the rules we made when we started. We vowed to end if we had made a mistake and the newsletter wasn't in tune with intent. We decided that Carlos' group disapproving would be one sign of that.
Now that this has happened, to continue would make this into a personal endeavor. Such an endeavor would only feed the idea of personal self all of us are trying so hard to starve. Daily we'd have to think, "Well gosh! This is too important to stop. Carlos' group is just out of touch with the readership. We know better than they do, fuck them." It would be like a junk food banquet for the self.
Someone else will have to attend that feast. Everyone here has had too much to eat already. Now if someone else wants to take up the task, we might consider a snack from time to time.
For the scholarly.
A reader sent in some more references to Nagualism of the type shown in Issue #1 of this publication. In fact, one of the references even starts out by refuting Dr. Brinton's claims. The gist of it is that "Nagualism" is a catch all category, similar to how we might view "Shamanism" today. He took exception with the idea of a secret organization extending over a wide area.
Here are the references:
Magic, Witchcraft, and Curing, edited by John Middleton, American Museum Sourcebooks in Anthropology, published for the American Museum of Natural History: The Natural History Press, 1967 Garden City, N.Y. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 67-12895.
Brinton, D.G. 1894 "Nagualism: a study in native American folk-lore and history" Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 33.
Holland, W. 1961 "Tonalismo y nagualismo entre las Indios Tzotziles de Larraonzar, Chiapas, Mexico". Estudies de Cultura Maya 7.
Kaplan, L.H. 1956 "Tonal and Nagual in Coastal Oaxaca, Mexico" Journal of American Folklore 69.
Villa Rojas, A 1947 "Kinship and nagualism in a Tzeltal community" American Anthropologist 49.
Foster, G. 1944 "Nagualism in Mexico and Guatemala" Acta Americana 2.
The December 1994 issue of Lapidary Journal lists a Calendar of rock shows across the country on page 127. Looking over the calendar, I saw that we have readers in the cities mentioned. This isn't a complete calendar, it's just the shows a particular dealer will be attending. There are probably others in the same issue. We'd planned to print the calendar, but we received so many lecture notes we didn't have room. The reader who sent the magazine we examined also mentioned that if you want to dig your own crystals you can go to Mount Ida, Arkansas. Local crystal stores there will tell you how to go to a local mining site with a bucket to dig your own for about $20.00.