“A hunter that is worth his salt does not catch game because he sets his traps, or because he knows the hunting routines of his prey, but because he himself has no routines. This is his advantage. He is not at all like the animals he is after, fixed by heavy routines and predictable quirks; he is free, fluid, unpredictable.”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

A Teaching Model

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This is an excerpt taken from Carlos Castaneda’s book “Tales of Power“:

Sorcerers say that we are born inside a bubble. It is a bubble into which we are placed at the moment of our birth. At first the bubble is open, but then it begins to close until it has sealed us in. That bubble is our perception. We live inside that bubble all of our lives. And what we witness on it’s round walls is our own reflection … The thing that is reflected is our view of the world. That view is first a description, which is given to us from the moment of our birth until our attention is caught by it and the description becomes a view.

The teachers’ task is to rearrange the view, to prepare the luminous being for the time when the benefactor opens the bubble from the outside … The bubble is opened in order to allow the luminous being a view of his totality. Naturally this business of calling it a bubble is only a way of talking, but in this case it is an accurate way.

The delicate maneuver of leading a luminous being into the totality of himself requires that the teacher work from inside the bubble and the benefactor from outside. The teachers reorders the view of the world. I have called that view the island of the tonal. I’ve said that everything that we are is on that island.  The sorcerer’s explanation says that the island of the tonal is made by our perception, which has been trained to focus on certain elements; each of those elements and all of them together form our view of the world. The job of the teacher … consists of reordering all the elements of the island on one half of the bubble… on the side of reason. My task has been to disarrange your ordinary view, not to destroy it but to force it to rally on the side of reason …  on the right half of the bubble.

The teacher always addresses himself to that side, and by presenting his apprentice on the one hand with the warrior’s way he forces him into reasonableness, and sobriety, and strength of character and body; and by presenting him on the other hand with unthinkable but real situations, which the apprentice cannot cope with, he forces him to realize that his reason, although it is a most wonderful affair, can only cover a small area. Once the warrior is confronted with his incapacity to reason everything out, he will go out of his way to bolster and defend his defeated reason, and to that effect he will rally everything he’s got around it. The teacher sees to that by hammering him mercilessly until all his view of the world is on one half of the bubble. The other half of the bubble, the one that has been cleared, can then be claimed by something sorcerers call will.

… The benefactor’s task is then to open the bubble on the side that has been cleaned. Once the seal is broken, the warrior is never the same. He has then command of his totality. Half of the bubble is the ultimate center of reason, the tonal. The other half is the ultimate center of will, the nagual. That is the order that should prevail ; any other arrangement is nonsensical and petty, because if goes against our nature; it robs is or our magical heritage and reduces us no nothing.”

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