“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.”
Richard Feynman

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

Bend your Mind


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

1: Perception

Order in our perception is the exclusive realm of the tonal; only there can our actions have a sequence; only there are they like stairways where one can count the steps. There is nothing of that sort in the nagual. Therefore, the view of the tonal is a tool, and as such it is not only the best tool but the only we’ve got.

2: Unspeakable

The Nagual is the unspeakable. All the possible feeling and beings and selves float in it like barges, peaceful, unaltered, forever … When the glue of life binds those feelings together a being is created, a being that loses the sense of its true nature and becomes blinded by the glare and clamor of the area where beings hover, the tonal… A being pops into the tonal once the force of life has bound all the needed feelings together … What a warrior does in journeying into the unknown is very much like dying, except that his feelings do not disintegrate but expand a bit without losing their togetherness. At death, however they sink deeply and move independently as if they had never been a unit.

3: Human

The sorcerer’s explanation says that each of us has a center from which the nagual can be witnessed, the will … it is up to the individual warrior himself to direct the arrangement and rearrangements of that cluster. The human form or human feeling is the original one, perhaps it is the sweetest form of them all to us; there are, however, an endless number of alternative forms which the cluster may adopt … I have called that cluster the bubble of perception. I have also said that it is sealed, closed tightly, and that it never opens until the moment of our death. Yet it could be made to open… when one plunges into the nagual.

4: Surrender

Your reason is willing to admit that the world is not as the description portrays it, that there is much more to it than what meets the eye. Your reason is almost willing and ready to admit that your perception went up and down that cliff, or that something in you or even all of you leaped to the bottom of the gorge and examined with the eyes of the tonal what was there… At that instant you not only saw, but you knew all about the double, the other… The secret of the double is in the bubble of perception, which in your case that night was at the top of the cliff and at the bottom of the gorge at the same time. The cluster of feelings can be made to assemble instantly anywhere. In other words, one can perceive the here and the there at once.

5: Physical

Your reason cannot fight the physical knowledge that you are a nameless cluster of feelings. Your reason at this point might even admit that there is another center of assemblage, the will, through which it is possible to judge or assess and use the extraordinary effects of the nagual. It has finally dawned on your reason that one can reflect the nagual through the will, although one can never explain it.

6: Disintegration

The conviction that there is a real you is a result of the fact that you have rallied everything you’ve got around your reason. At this point your reason admits that the nagual is the indescribable, not because the evidence has convinced it, but because it is safe to admit that. Your reason is on safe groud, all the elements of the tonal are on its side … To make reason feel safe is always the task of the teacher. I’ve tricked your reason into believing that the the tonal was accountable and predictable. Genaro and I have labored to give you the impression that only the nagual was beyond he scope of explanation; the proof that the tricking was successful is that at this moment it seems to you that in spite of everything you have gone through, there is still a core that you can claim as your own, your reason. That’s a mirage. Your precious reason is only a center of assemblage, a mirror that reflects something which is outside of it. Last night you witnessed not only the indescribable nagual but also the indescribable tonal.

7: Integration

Reason is merely reflecting an outside order, and that reason knows nothing about that order; it cannot explain it, in the same way it cannot explain the nagual. Reason can only witness the effects of the tonal, but never ever could it understand it, or unravel it. The very fact that we are thinking and talking points our an order that we follow without ever knowing how we do that, or what that order is … Sorcerer’s do the same thing with their will – they say that through the will they can witness the effects of the nagual. I can add now that through reason, no matter what we do with it, or how we do it, we are merely witnessing the effects of the tonal. In both cases there is no hope, ever, to understand or to explain what it is that we are witnessing.

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