CRATE, CAVE, OR CLOSET? ONE PERSON'S EXPERIENCE.
Can't sustain your dreaming? Need energy? Try sitting in
a cramped place for a year or two.
There is nothing I dread more than recapitulating. Sometimes
I go on a binge and miss a few days. After a while, I find myself split
at some strange level. One part is like a dead weight. I fancy it to be
my lazy, tired old body. You'd think it would be the part that wanted
to get more energy, but it's not. The other part of me, the part that
takes responsibility for things, eventually nags my body into skipping
the next Twilight Zone rerun. Off we both head for the crate.
I always pacify the heavy part with a stop by the refrigerator
for a quick drink of root beer. The heavy part understands a bribe. When
I finally find myself entering the crate, I sometimes hear the responsible
part say out loud, "It's about time!"
The odd thing is that recapitulating makes me feel happy,
healthy, optimistic, and energetic. Dreaming makes me gloomy and
indifferent. And I still prefer dreaming.
I guess both parts have to participate to recapitulate.
When I do dreaming the heavy part gets to go to sleep.
I decided to try recapitulating because I wanted to isolate
a scout. Getting control of your dreams is entertaining enough and I'd
do it just for fun, but it doesn't prove a thing. Neither does shutting
off the internal dialog. So you hallucinate, big deal. As soon as you
start thinking again it all ends.
I wanted to do something impossible. Isolating a scout and
following it to the inorganic beings' realm seemed like a make or break
test of truth.
I began to put a fierce effort into my dreaming. I
didn't find any scouts, but I did gain unbending intent. It had always
seemed like a romantic idea with no basis. I found out it was something
concrete. Everything else began to drop off in importance until it all
felt like someone else's problem. It was like the feeling in elementary
school when summer vacation comes around. There's freedom ahead and the
tension of the classroom doesn't matter anymore.
I became more responsible. I finally noticed that Don Juan
had said, "The reason average people lack volition in their dreams is
that they have never recapitulated. Suddenly recapitulating didn't
seem so unreasonable. I poured over the books and discovered what others
must have discovered. There isn't one way to do it.
There is a discrepancy in the head turning direction and
there are questions about the breathing. Do you breath all of the time
or just when taking back energy? How often do you hold your breath?
I opted for Florinda's instructions in "The Eagle's Gift".
I used right to left inhalations and continuous breathing. I started with
the initial breath before taking the item at the top of my list. I finished
each "topic" with a single pass holding my breath. I followed that with
a complete breath looking straight forward. I added a touch of Taisha
by concentrating on extending my fibers from my midsection.
The first thing I learned is that the Nagual Julian was
right. He felt that the list and the crate were very important things.
I would have assumed the act of recapitulating was the only thing. Not
so. Making the list does indeed stir things up. It turns out to
be not only possible, but rather fun. I decided mine was done when I couldn't
think of a single person or event to add for 2 weeks.
I learned that it was just indolence that made it seem like
an unreasonable effort. It was an effort beyond what I'd been reared to
consider reasonable, but it was far from impossible. It took a month and
a half to make the list.
Building the crate was also quite an experience. I fancy
it to be like the first time a virgin actor gets on stage in front of
a huge audience. Up until then it's all a fine idea and its easy to believe
you're committed. But suddenly you really are committed and it feels like
you've shrunk. Building the crate is a commitment to a ridiculous task
that no one in their right mind would even consider. It's a gesture that
can't be forgotten. When you're done, there is a gigantic structure in
your room that just can't be ignored.
I don't recommend using a cave. I couldn't find "Caves R
Us " in my area. Besides, the root beer is too far away. I live alone
and didn't have to opt for the closet. If you build a crate, I recommend
getting a big comfortable armchair first. Build tightly around that and
let lots of air in at the top while keeping light out. I bought cheap
redwood strips and stapled them flat to the top with a space between them
slightly smaller than their width. Then I put 3 of them on top perpendicular
to the originals and started anew level resting on top of the perpendicular
ones. That level covered over the spaces as far as light goes. The crate
itself is in a room I can easily darken.
I could say a lot more, but the nice thing is you will discover
it all on your own. I probably shouldn't admit it, but I only average
40 minutes a day. If I don't want to go in, I tell myself "Just for 5
minutes". I've never felt like leaving in less than 20. It's very nice
and weird things happen eventually. And your dreaming gets vivid
and natural. It really does work!
Don't skip any steps or do a sloppy job. You'll have to
put so much time into the project that there isn't much point in cutting
comers. Besides, the process is just as important as the result. It really
If you turn out to be a little dense and don't notice anything
(maybe that old assemblage point is set in its ways), look for the following
things that happened to me:
- Your head stops turning in mid breath and you don't realize it until
- You can't remember what you were doing during that time.
- You start to see vague lights or a soothing glow.
- Your muscles twitch or bulge.
- You have vivid nightmares or dreams.
- You find your hands in your dreams more often or your dreaming lasts longer.
- You find yourself recapitulating events that couldn't possibly have
taken place but you were sure they did while recapitulating.
- Your body moves on its own (fingers pointing, hands raising, etc.)
in reaction to a scene.
- You remember an event during recapitulation that you haven't thought
of in years but you have the certainty you think about it constantly.
It took me 8 months to execute an acceptable breath. It
didn't happen until I succeeded in getting my "fibers to come out". They
didn't look like I expected so I'm not sure if it was the real thing.
The only thing I know is that when I see them my breathing becomes as
smooth as silk, my neck doesn't jerk at all (not even a little) and I
can gather all of the feelings from a scene in a couple of breaths. When
the fibers are absent it takes about 5 minutes.
You really will know when you've had enough of a scene.
Don't stop until it feels emotion free (good or bad). If it's taking too
long, Taisha suggested to breath in the scenery along with your feelings.
Recapitulating will age you a hundred years in a few months.
Maybe that's just my fancy, but see if it isn't true. I bet that you'll
aquire a calm indifference. Don Juan said that "Naguals are as cold as
the arctic wind." I believe that's from recapitulating.
Source: Quail Valley, Ca.
The Nagualist Newsletter and Open Forum / Issue 1 June/July 1994