“... everyone who comes into contact with a child is a teacher who incessantly describes the world to him, until the moment when the child is capable of perceiving the world as it is described. According to Don Juan, we have no memory of that portentous moment, simply because none of us could possibly have had any point of reference to compare it to anything else. From that moment on, however, the child is a member. He knows the description of the world; and his membership becomes full fledged, I suppose, when he is capable of making all the proper perceptual interpretations which, by conforming to that description, validate it ...”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

Magical Deer

n

“A magical being is a sight to behold. I was fortunate enough to cross paths with one. Our encounter took place after I had learned and practiced a great deal of hunting. Once I was in a forest of thick trees in the mountains of central Mexico when suddenly I heard a sweet whistle. It was unknown to me; never in all my years of roaming in the wilderness had I hears such a sound. I could not place it in the terrain; it seemed to come from different places. I thought that perhaps I was surrounded by a herd of a pack of some unknown animals.

I heard the tantalizing whistle once more; it seemed to come from everywhere. I realized then my good fortune. I knew it was a magical being, a deer. I also knew that a magical deer is aware of the routines of ordinary men and the routines of hunters.

I quickly stood on my head and began to wail softly; I actually wept tears and sobbed for such a long time that I was about to faint. Suddently I felt a soft breeze; something was sniffing my hair behind my right ear. I tried to turn my head to see what it was, and I tumbled down and sat up in time to see a radiant creature staring at me, The deer looked at me and I told him I would not harm him. And the deer talked to me.”

Don Juan stopped and looked at me. I smiled involuntarily. The idea of a talking deer was quite incredible, to put it mildly.

“He talked to me,” Don Juan said with a grin.

“The deer talked?”

“He did.”

Don Juan stood and picked up his bundle of hunting paraphernalia.

“Did it really talk?” I asked in a tone of perplexity.

Don Juan roared with laughter.

“What did it say?” I asked half in jest.

I thought he was pulling my eg. Don Juan was quiet for a moment, as if he were trying to remember, then his eyes brightened as he told me what the deer had said.

“The magical deer said, ‘Hello friend,'” don Juan went on. “And I answered, ‘Hello.’ Then he asked me, ‘Why are you crying?’ and I said, ‘Because I’m sad.’ Then the magical creature came to my ear and said as clearly as I am speaking now, ‘Don’t be sad.'”

Don Juan stared into my eyes. He had a glint of sheer mischievousness. He began to laugh uproariously.

I said that his dialogue with the dee had been sort of dumb.

“What did you expect?” he asked, still laughing. “I’m an Indian.”

Taken from Carlos Castaneda’s “Journey to Ixtlan”

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