The Warriors' Way | Readers of Infinity
Number 1. Volume 1.
by Carlos Castaneda
"THE WARRIORS' WAY"
To be called "READERS OF INFINITY" starting issue Number 3 of Volume 1.
A Journal of Applied Hermeneutics
Number 1, Volume 1
Los Angeles, January 1996
WHAT IS HERMENEUTICS ?
Hermeneutics was first a method for interpreting sacred texts, essentially Biblical texts. Later, it covered the interpretation of literary texts and texts in general, and finally as it stand today, it is a philosophical method that deals with the interpretation of the historical, social, psychological, etc., aspects of our world.
It is called a method because it is a manner or mode, a systematic way to approach a topic of inquiry. Hermeneutics as a philosophical method seeks to examine the bases that structure the different aspects of our world and to lay bare their presuppositions.
What we propose to do in this journal of applied hermeneutics is to take the position delineated by don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian sorcerer from Mexico, and to describe the way which he and other sorcerers like himself interpreted the social, historical, psychological, etc., aspects of their world.
Thus our intention to emphasize the sorcerers' idea of practicality as opposed to the purely abstract reflection of a philosophical method; hence, our proposal to call it a journal of applied hermeneutics.
THE WARRIORS' WAY VIEWED AS A PHILOSOPHICAL-PRACTICAL PARADIGM.
One premise of the warriors' way will be discussed in every one of our issues.
WE ARE PERCEPTORS. This is the first premise o the warriors' way, according to the form in which don Juan Matus taught it to his disciples. It seems to be a tautological statement: the reassertion of the obvious; something like saying a bald man is one that doesn't have hair, but it is not tautology, what we have here. In the sorcerers' world, it refers to the fact that we are organisms whose basic orientation is perceiving. We are perceptors, and that, according to sorcerers, is the only source from which we could establish our stability and obtain our orientation in the world.
Don Juan Matus told his disciples that human being as organisms perform a stupendous maneuver which, unfortunately, gives perception a false front; they take the influx of sheer energy and turn it into sensory data, which they interpret following a strict system of interpretation which sorcerers call the human form. This magical act of interpreting pure energy gives rise to the false front : the peculiar conviction on our part that our interpretation s stem is all that exists. Don Juan explained that a tree as we know tree is more interpretation than perception. He said that for us to deal with tree, all we need is a cursory glance that tells us hardly anything. The rest is a phenomena which he described as the calling of intent: the intent of tree, that is to say, the interpretation of sensory data pertaining to this specific phenomena that we call tree.
And just like this example, the whole world for us is composed of an endless repertoire of interpretations where our senses play a minimal role. In other words, only our visual sense touches the energy influx which is the universe, and it does so only minimally. Sorcerers maintain that the majority of our perceptual activity is interpretation ; they maintain that human beings are the kind of organisms that need a minimal input of sheer perception in order to create their world or, that they perceive only enough to serve their interpretation system. To assert that we are perceptors is an attempt on the part of sorcerers to push us back to our origin; to push us back to what should be our original stand : perceiving.
QUERIES ABOUT THE WARRIORS' WAY
WHO ARE THE CHACMOOLS?
One of the questions that has been asked with remarkable insistence has to do with the three persons who have been teaching the seminars and workshops so far: Kylie Lundahl, Reni Murez and Nyei Murez. They have been called "the chacmools." This is a term taken from the name given to some massive human figures found in the pyramids of Tula and Yucatan in Mexico. Archeologists have classified those massive figures of reclining men as incense burners set at the doors of the pyramids, but don Juan Matus believed that they were representations of warrior guardians that protected the pyramids as sites of power.
These figures were first encountered in the Mayan town of Chacmool, hence the name "chacmool." The three persons mentioned above fit into this general category of warrior guardian. However, it is erroneous to believe that the three of them by themselves constitute this category of warrior. The three of them are the ones on which has rested, so far, the responsibility of sustaining the idea of a warrior guardian. Any one of us who accepts the responsibility of guarding becomes, ipso facto, a chacmool. Carlos Castaneda, as the nominal head of our enterprise of freedom, is the chacmool of all of us, and by the same measure, so is Carol Tiggs.
On Kylie Lundahl, Reni Murez and Nyei Murez falls, nevertheless, the burden of having been the first ones to apply to dayly living some movements called magical passes discovered and developed by shamans who lived in Mexico in ancient times ; on these three women falls also the joy and the honor of having brought those magical passes to the public in general. And the act of bringing them out should have liberated them; it should have further cut their ties with the self-importance that rules the acts of everyday life. Ideally, Tensegrity should bring freedom to its practitioners, and the three chacmools known to the participants in our seminars and workshops should profit from this situation. However, the novelty of our bringing out for public consumption something so secretive as the magical passes has been a pitfall we had no means to anticipate.
After having said thank you and good-bye, in the seminar and workshop of December 9 and 10 of 1995, to their audience, the three of them will head for another strata of the multi-leveled affair that is the warriors' path. They will part to test their discipline against indeterminable odds.
THE TENSEGRITY LOG:
WHAT IS TENSEGRITY?
Another question that has been asked consistently is "What is Tensegrity ?" Tensegrity is the modernized version of some movements called "magical passes" developed by Indian shamans who lived in Mexico in times prior to the Spanish Conquest.
"Times prior to the Spanish Conquest" is a term used by don Juan Matus, a Mexican Indian sorcerer who introduced Carlos Castaneda, Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar to the cognitive world of shamans who lived in Mexico, according to Don Juan, between 7000 and 10000 years ago.
Don Juan explained to his four disciples that those shamans, or sorcerers, as he called them, discovered through practices that he could not fathom, that it is possible for human beings to perceive energy directly as it flows in the universe. In other words, those sorcerers maintained, according to don Juan, that any one of us can do away, for a moment, with our system of turning energy inflow into sensory data pertinent to the kind of organism that we are (in our case, we are apes). Turning the inflow of energy into sensory data creates, sorcerers affirm, a system of interpretation that turns the flowing energy of the universe into the world of everyday life that we know.
Don Juan further explained that once those sorcerers of ancient times had established the validity of perceiving energy directly, which they called seeing, they proceeded to refine it by applying it to themselves, meaning that they perceived one another, whenever they wanted it, as a conglomerate of energy fields. Human beings perceived in such a fashion appear to the seer as gigantic luminous spheres. The size of these luminous spheres is the breadth of the extended arms.
When human beings are perceived as conglomerates of energy fields, a point of intense luminosity can be perceived at the height of the shoulder blades an arm's length away from them, on the back. The seers of ancient times who discovered this point of luminosity called it "the assemblage point," because they concluded that it is there that perception is assembled. They noticed, aided by their seeing, that on that spot of luminosity, the location of which is homogeneous for mankind, converge zillions of energy fields in the form of luminous filaments which constitute the universe at large. Upon converging there, they become sensory data, which is utilizable by human beings as organisms. This utilization of energy turned into sensory data was regarded by those sorcerers as an act of pure magic : energy at large transformed by the assemblage point into a veritable, all-inclusive world in which human beings as organisms can live and die. The act of transforming the inflow of pure energy into the perceivable world was attributed by those sorcerers to a system of interpretation. Their shattering conclusion, shattering to them, of course, and perhaps to some of us who have the energy to be attentive, was that the assemblage point was not only the spot where perception was assembled by turning the inflow of pure energy into sensory data, but the spot where the interpretation of sensory data took place.
Their next shattering observation was that the assemblage point is displaced in a very natural and unobtrusive way out of its habitual position during sleep. They found out that the greater the displacement, the more bizarre the dreams that accompany it. From these seeing observations, those sorcerers jumped to the pragmatic action of the volitional displacement of the assemblage point. And they called their concluding results the art of dreaming.
This art was defined by those sorcerers as the pragmatic utilization of ordinary dreams to create an entrance into other worlds by the act of displacing the assemblage point at will and maintaining that new position, also at will. The observations of those sorcerers upon practicing the art of dreaming were a mixture of reason and seeing energy directly as it flows in the universe. They realized that at its habitual position, the assemblage point is the spot where converges a given, minuscule portion of the energy filaments that make up the universe, but if the assemblage point changes location, within the luminous egg, a different minuscule portion of energy fields converges on it, giving as a result a new inflow of sensory data : energy fields different from the habitual ones are turned into sensory data, and those different energy fields are interpreted as a different world.
The art of dreaming became for those sorcerers their most absorbing practice. In the course of that practice, they experienced unequaled states of physical prowess and well-being, and in their effort to replicate those states in their hours of vigil, they found out that they were able to repeat them following certain movements of the body. Their efforts culminated in the discovery and development of a great number of such movements, which they called magical passes.
The magical passes of those sorcerers of Mexican antiquity became their most prized possession. They surrounded them with rituals and mystery and taught them only to their initiates in the midst of tremendous secrecy. This was the manner in which don Juan Matus taught them to his disciples. His disciples, being the last link of his lineage, came to the unanimous conclusion that any further secrecy about the magical passes was counter to the interest that they had in making don Juan's world available to their fellow men. They decided, therefore, to rescue the magical passes from their obscure state. They created in this fashion, Tensegrity, which is a term proper to architecture that means "the property of skeleton structures that employ continuous tension members and discontinuous compression members in such a way that each member operates with the maximum efficiency and economy."
This is a most appropriate name because it is a mixture of two terms : tension and integrity ; terms which connote the two driving forces of the magical passes.
Cleargreen announces that its first seminar in 1996 will be given on February 9, 10, and 11 in San Francisco. The theme of this seminar will be Intentionality. Intentionality is a theme of philosophical discourse which pertains to the tacit act of filling out the empty space, left by direct sensory perception. In other words, what is called Intentionality is the act of enriching the observable phenomena by an act that calls intention as its main driving force. When we try to explain intentionality we are trying deliberately to stay away from the standard philosophical definitions of it. We want a pragmatic slant to whatever we do. There is an entry in the discipline of philosophy called intentionality ; and there is an entry in the sorcerers' discipline which is named calling intent. We believe that the philosophers' intentionality in an intuitive version of the pragmatic sorcerers' calling of intent. We want to explore this difference/similarity to the course of this seminar. The magical passes taught in this workshop have been singled out exclusively because of their effects in producing the internal quietness necessary for the calling of intent. The magical passes will be taught by a new formation of warrior guardians called the PATHFINDERS.
The second seminar sponsored by Cleargreen, Incorporated in 1996 will be given on March I, 2, and 3 in Los Angeles. The theme of the workshop and seminar will be The Female Energy Body. Efforts are going to be geared towards explaining certain basic sorcerers propositions presented by don Juan Matus to his three female disciples : Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar. The magical passes which will be taught in the workshop will be in the exclusive realm of the female body. Their stated purpose is the enhancement of faculties proper to women only ; faculties which, if exercised, lead women to a state of profound quietude and alertness at the same time. The magical passes will be taught by don Juan's three female disciples : Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar, and by the blue scout. Each one of them will teach an original and unadulterated magical pass taught to them personally. They will each be assisted by a warrior guardian most closely related to them who will show the same pass, but in a more generic form. The lectures will be given by Carlos Castaneda, Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar, and the blue scout, interspersed with the performance of the magical passes.
Another issue of interest for our readers this month is the release of our new video on Tensegrity, called Redistributing Dispersed Energy. This video is now available in both VHS and PAL formats. Volume 1 of Tensegrity, Twelve Basic Movements to Gather Energy and Promote Well-Being. is also available now in PAL format. The cost of each video is $29.95, including shipping and handling in the United States. Canada and Mexico, add $5. All other countries add $8. To order, please call (800) 490-3020 or (214) 243-6809. The Spanish language domestic edition of The Art of Dreaming -- El Arte de Ensoñar -- will appear in the United States, published by Harper Collins this month.
All articles in this issue of The Warriors' Way, were written by Carlos Castaneda and edited by Nyei Murez. Journal design by Elaby Gaethen. To subscribe to The Warriors' Way please send a check, money order, or major credit card number with expiration date to Cleargreen, Incorporated. 11901 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 599. Los Angeles, California 90025 Attn. : The Warriors' Way Subscription Department. Annual Subscription : $24 for twelve copies plus a special issue. Single Copies : $2.50. Outside North America : $30 for annual subscription, $3.00 for single copies.
Cleargreen. Incorporated email address: TGAQ72A @ PRODIGY.COM
Published by Cleargreen, Incorporated. Copyright 1996, Laugan Productions, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of this text cannot be done without permission of the publishers.