The Nagual

The Nagual is the teacher who becomes the gateway, the doorway, the intermediate between the world of the “seeker” or apprentice, and the world of the spirit. The Nagual has been described as being “empty” – devoid of ego and the personal self that modern mans attention and devotion is trapped by. The Nagual reflects only the infinite, and is a pure conduit for the commands of the spirit.

The Nagual has been described as a peculiar energetic configuration, of a different structure than the “egg-shaped” luminous bodies of your average man. He is described as a compounded set of 4 luminous quadrants. In this respect, Castaneda was an anomaly: a configuration of 3 compressed luminous spheres, rather than the traditional four.

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Silent Knowledge

In the book, The Power of Silence, Don Juan talks about “Silent Knowledge” as a state of awareness that mankind was once anchored in. It was described as a position of the assemblage point that was governed not by reason, but by intent. He went on to say how humanity was now anchored in the place of “reason” – rather than silent knowledge – but that due to our true nature as humans, we still long for the place we have lost, the place of deeper wisdom and knowing the infinity of human potential that is embodied in the expression, “silent knowledge”.

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Benefactor vs Teacher

In the book, Tales of Power, Don Juan Matus reveals a significant truth in the roles that he and Don Genaro Flores were playing in Carlos Castaneda’s apprenticeship.  To understand the contrast of these two roles, one must first understand the concepts of first and second attention, and the juxtaposition of tonal and nagual.

In following Don Juan’s teachings through Castaneda’s 4 books – up to and including Tales of Power – one develops the understanding that Juan Matus is the main teacher and benefactor to Carlos.  Genaro is seen as somewhat of an oddity: one who is imbued with the 2nd attention, or permanently trapped in his dreaming body; and in being such an enigma – a constant source of terror and mystery to Carlos (and entertainment to us)!

So, halfway though the 4th book, Juan Matus drops this bombshell on Carlos: no, he is not the “benefactor”, he is a mere teacher – one who is cleaning and preparing the island of the tonal, for the ‘real’ lessons of the nagual himself, who happens to be Don Genaro.

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Quote: “A Man of Knowledge…”

“A man of knowledge is one who has followed truthfully the hardships of learning, a man who has, without rushing or faltering, gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of personal power.”

~ Don Juan Matus – from Journey to Ixtlan

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Death as Advisor

In the years he spent with Don Juan Matus, Carlos Castaneda was often reminded about mortality.  This was not introduced on a conceptual basis, but as an experiential glimpse into the reality of death’s presence in our day-to-day existence.   What is essential here is an understanding of who we are at our core, deep beneath the layers of assumption and societal programming that we wear like overcoats around our more fragile centers.

The programming we all have around death is inescapable and often impenetrable.  It’s fused together with many viscous elements, including – but not limited to – religious beliefs, fear, television and media programming, personal and familial trauma and aversion programming, societal and material addictions and distractions. These incessant and ongoing programs fuse us into a living a robotic ‘DisneyLand’ script of unfocused consumerism that becomes our life blood, our purpose, and our hiding place. Unconsciously, we weave a perceptive illusion that marries the denial of mortality with the false assumption of immortality.

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