Omega Institute Tensegrity Workshop - May 26-29, 1995
Part VI - Sunday evening, May 28
Q&A Period with the Chacmools, Florinda and Taisha
by Corey Donovan
In response to the first question, Kylie explained that the Chacmools "don't yet 'see' as the books describe. The scouts have returned to the inorganic beings' world, and go beyond. They are 'inter-world' navigators."
A woman asked, "Why do you do as they [the scouts] command?" Kylie said their term for it was "writing a blank check." She further claimed, "We're not being controlled but do what they ask out of affection and the sheer delight of it."
A man asked whether the Chacmools knew where the scouts came from. That question seemed to stump the Chacmools, so Florinda came up to answer, followed by Taisha. Florinda said that the scouts are both, in a weird way, "our beacon." She claimed, "they act from total egolessness; even their appearing to fight with each other is a great delight to us, since the scouts know they can't live without each other." [Apparently they found a way by '97.] The group believes they have some energy from "way beyond." She claimed, "We don't know who the scouts' fathers are." (In Mexico City, Florinda joked that in the case of her child, the father was "a huge, fat Indian from Oaxaca.")
A man asked an astrological question about the Mayan calendar and Castaneda's group's role "in planetary evolution." After hearing the rather grandiosely phrased question, Florinda pretended to walk off the stage. Taisha answered "We don't think there is a correlation between what we do and Earth cosmology. The energy or power we draw on is beyond that, in my opinion. Our discipline is much vaster than the standpoint of ordinary earth and human interpretation. For example, where the scouts come from is way beyond human imagination, like places that have two or three rotating suns. The only answer for us as to what is happening now in our world is because Carol Tiggs returned."
A woman asked a question about the Death Defier and Carol Tiggs. Florinda responded that the Death Defier, "is riding Carol Tiggs. On one level, she is Carol Tiggs." In fact, after the Mexico City experience, "we don't know at the moment whether she is the Carol Tiggs we have always known. We're trying to bring her back in dreaming, which is very hard when we have to be so much in the world, delivering a workshop for four days." Florinda then mentioned that the Orange Scout had called her that morning. She commented, "It is a big mistake to call me before noon," and yet Florinda's door was being knocked on that morning at 8:00 AM. The Orange Scout just, "wanted to talk to Mommy." But Florinda was, at first, enraged. In Florinda's words, "Nothing is colder than a witch's tit." She concluded, "The only way we can reach Castaneda or Carol Tiggs now is through dreaming."
A man asked about the difference between intent and awareness. Taisha responded that "awareness is energy that enables us to perceive. It seems totally impersonal, but is personal. The energy that holds the filaments together is intent. It is an abstract connection that seems personal. The control a warrior has is with his actions; if he does them with abandon but control, then his link [to intent] is strong and pure. Don Juan called it 'the Selector,' selecting the filaments that will pass through the assemblage point. It depends on energy though--the more you have the more extraordinary things that the Selector can pass through. For example, intent can use the stellar energy of dead stars. You can intend anything, with integrity, emptiness and impeccability." Florinda further explained that intent, "on the earth plane," is also what we do in everyday life (like seeing a distant rectangular building as "the White House"). It is just that "sorcerers intend a different intent."
A man asked how long it took them to recall their Second Attention experiences. Florinda quipped, "Not as long as Carlos." As a German, she's "very focused on time." When Fabrizio drove them to an antique store in town that day, she insisted that they be back by three, knowing that if she didn't they'd still be there. When they got back to the car, it was one minute to three.
A woman asked about recapitulation. Florinda said that was a question for the Chacmools, "who are on their fifth recapitulation." Nyei and Kylie both looked at Renata, who said, "I guess I'm nominated." Renata responded that after one puts a list together, and finds "a private place in which to build the discipline needed for the recapitulation, you take the most recent person on the list and pick a scene in which you interacted with this person. You recreate the scene in its entirety, breathing it all in. It is an inhale and an exhale. It may be helpful to pick old sexual relationships first, because recapitulating those frees a lot of energy. Recreate the whole scene of all the interactions you have had with that person. Once you complete your entire recapitulation list, you should start again with all the interactions you have had in the meantime since you started your recapitulation."
Nyei added that recapitulation is one of the "arts" discovered and enhanced by the old sorcerers. "'Seeing' units of energy void of interpretation made the old sorcerers 'see' a cloud-like force that gave birth to every being. They also saw that this cloud of awareness was enhanced during life. They then saw that life was taken when only awareness should be. The force that retrieves awareness is not capable of separating life from awareness. So the sorcerers found that the Eagle could be satisfied by a facsimile of awareness. By doing this, the sorcerers 'passed through the eye of the needle to freedom.'" On recapitulating, the Chacmools claimed they found their view of their lives changed radically. They advised that the suggested recapitulation steps should be followed, especially for the first recapitulation, "because they greatly hone our capacity to recollect as well as expand our awareness. Recapitulation is the recovery of our energy and the returning of foreign energies. It also displaces the assemblage point slightly, enough to give fluidity. It also empties humans of the stuff that keeps them from being buoyant and light. We may acquire a lot of awareness through life, but without a recapitulation, we won't 'sneak by the custom house of death' with the awareness we possess. With each person on your list, start with your last interaction and eventually go all the way back to your first interaction. Then cross that person off the list and do the next person."
Florinda then offered that she grew up in Venezuela, where the bridges made a big impression on her, and that while they were watching the nearby river that day and taking in the view from the bridge (which she asserted she had now re-named the "Donner Bridge"), she was inspired to a new recapitulation of memories. Taisha offered that she had likewise seen an inflatable swimming pool in someone's yard during their drive that brought on "a total recall of a past memory" for her. They suggested we should "breathe that in as well" when such memories suddenly come back to us. Florinda suggested we can also use old photos of ourselves (before we get rid of them) to recapitulate, since they contain lots of memories. Kylie also suggested that music and popular songs can be used as well. Florinda advised, however, that before we start using clues like these to aid in recapitulating, we should takesome months to make a very systematic list of our interactions, to help us acquire the necessary discipline. She claimed that her first recapitulation helped her to understand Heidegger, and even to read him in German somehow, "although my reading ability in German is normally pretty low. The recapitulation opened up synapses that expanded my mental abilities."
A woman then asked about menstruation. Florinda responded, "It's wonderful!" [Laughter] "The Yaqui warriors had eight menstruating women make the decisions in war. You should use menstruation, hormonally and energetically, to see how your whole perception changes. Menstruating women dream easier. Precisely because they have wombs they can enter the Second Attention more easily."
A woman asked a long question about the dominance of women in Castaneda's clan, their efforts to recover Carol Tiggs, and intent. Taisha responded: "Carol Tiggs's scarf is here [Taisha was wearing it], because it does link us to her, and her intent is here." She also indicated that the night's discussion, revolving around the scouts, Carol Tiggs and the Elements [Bruce Wagner and Tracy Kramer], who are also in Carol Tiggs's domain, was "all part of Carol Tiggs' intent. The reason there are only females on stage has to do with the bright part of the assemblage point pointing inwards in females" (in males it supposedly points outward). They're not much concerned with changing that direction of the assemblage point, except that Taisha did "some turning of her assemblage point when stalking her role as Ricky."
Men who have gravitated to them "often have assemblage points that are so fixed, they can't move. To go with us, it seems to take fluidity and female energy." Florinda interjected at this point that once a male makes up his mind to follow the sorcerers' path, they tend to be much more persistent than women. Florinda claimed that, "Don Juan, being from Yuma, Arizona, spoke English very well and used to use the horrible term 'cracked cunts' in referring to the women. But it's true that's the basis of their greater abilities. Men usually lead because the male energy provides the sobriety needed to make sense of their navigations. Carol Tiggs's intent was to return, and that intent had to have existed for a long time. Don Juan knew we would find themselves in our current circumstances, and his intense training of us in a variety of techniques was because he knew we would be needing it."
Taisha responded to a question about Carol Tiggs and the Death Defier by saying that Carol Tiggs's merging with the Death Defier was explained in The Art of Dreaming, because of the gift of nagual energy Castaneda made to the Death Defier. "But something even now has changed. We don't know right now if there is a Carol Tiggs." Every time she takes them in a dream to old Tula, they claimed, she changes. "On this recent trip to Mexico, she changed further. She's in transition--re-dreaming or reorganizing energetic units into something else, we don't know what yet. Castaneda and Carol Tiggs always had the same energy, as don Juan said, but what the Death Defier caused was some kind of total merging of this energy."
A man asked Florinda how she manipulated her energy to have the Orange Scout born through her. Florinda responded, "The way we do it in the world." The Orange Scout was "in me energetically. The process was very much directed by the Old Nagual, not that he was there at the time."
In response to a question about Castaneda having a son, and the impact of children on one's edge, or having children causing a hole in one's luminous egg, Florinda claimed that a child, especially the first born, "does take the edge. This does make it harder [to pursue the sorcerer's path], but not impossible. Castaneda never had a son. He was given a boy to raise, but that child was taken away from him when the child was six-years-old. And Castaneda contributed a great deal of energy to the birth of the Blue Scout."
In response to a question about petty tyrants, Florinda said they "help us, like one that the disciples had, that they complained to don Juan about. A petty tyrant forces you to change. This is just like writing a blank check. The defending, judging, should make us ask why do we always want to fight for no reason at all?" Florinda explained that she is aggressive, "I want to be always right and to fight for no reason at all. My parents and brothers always talked loudly and aggressively, and I had to talk over this." Taisha added that "once you have a certain level of energy, these things just don't make you react anymore. This energy gives you a 'cloak of confidence' to treat these situations in a different way. As energy rises, there is other stuff that bugs you, and gives you new challenges. Don't repress or deny, that doesn't work. Use new filaments in your luminous egg if you have the energy, and use your intent," she advised.
Kylie interposed that "these creatures" [meaning Florinda and Taisha] are "far away" from the level that we're at. "During the transition to where they are, you still see yourself reacting but can't stop it. That's where ruthlessness comes in. You have to persist. None of us know how to persist and persevere at that point, we just have to continue. When your buttons get pushed, look for where that place is in you. Fighting, sorcerers can see, is an energetically useless maneuver- it's just 'two blobs bumping against each other.' In the beginning you have to force it [your ruthlessness with yourself], but something begins to guide you if your decision is final."
A woman asked about controlled folly. Taisha explained, "It's like a game. Controlled folly is a way of viewing the world that sorcerers use. It's a ploy. The universe is a complete mystery that we'll never unravel, and we have no control over our destiny. Sorcerers use that as a different filter from our usual way of viewing things. They know that our lack of control over our destiny means there's not going to be a pay off of any sort, so their actions are not 'investments.' Sorcerers call this 'folly' because what we do is ultimately meaningless. But there is 'control' because you can do a thing as well as you can--that's your control. This approach helps keep one unstuck. If you act from the point of controlled folly, you are going to give it everything you have and then move on, with no attachment.
This means detachment from benefits and expectations about possible results of your actions." Florinda added, "If we take seriously the premise that we're going to die, then nothing can hurt us." She mentioned that at a workshop they did some months ago in Mexico, a woman showed up wearing a surgical mask. She had just had an operation that gave her a new kidney, and had extremely low energy. Florinda claimed they saw "a dark spot on her that is a sign of impending death. Her brother later told us that her body was rejecting the transplant. Within a short time she was back in the hospital, dying, and literally gave up--she finally knew she was going to die. As a result, something happened. When we saw her again in Mexico City last week, she looked great. Her stomach cancer has disappeared and her new kidney is growing."
Florinda claimed that Florinda Grau used to tell her, "If you beat me, it's a matter of ego. If I beat you, it's controlled folly, because to me, it doesn't matter." Florinda also quoted a line from a poem that Castaneda apparently likes very much, "We drown in a cup of tea."
A man asked if there was a way to stop our energy from dissipating in current interactions. Taisha advised just to "keep current" in our recapitulating.
A woman asked how the Chacmools came into the sorcerers' world. Kylie responded that Florinda got sick on chocolates in Norway, and "I was completely taken with her. To me, Florinda was like some sprite from a German forest. As I listened to Florinda, I recognized something I always hoped was true," i.e., that there was "a being that wasn't duplicitous. It pulled me. Florinda passed out in my arms, and Castaneda says that's the moment when I began to guard her. Florinda left, but I followed her to L.A., not even bothering to pack."
Nyei claimed her introduction to the group was "a three-fold story: I was introduced to them twice. I went to a lecture by Florinda, but I was late, and was told by others there that I had nearly missed her." Nyei then realized she'd have been there much earlier [meaning she had had a prior opportunity to be introduced to them], but was "lost in trying to become a genius poet, and had to get burned out on that first. By some great luck I found Florinda. Then Taisha and Kylie came and stole me from my parents' house. Florinda had invited me to a Tensegrity class. I felt an energetic change on one level immediately. Taisha and Kylie came to help me 'move some things,' and before I knew it I was out of my parents' house and going with them--they weren't just moving furniture, they were taking me too. Once I arrived with them, they ignored me completely and told me to recapitulate."
Renata said she wished she had "as noble a story as Kylie's." She said that when Carol Tiggs "came back," Castaneda found her in Los Angeles at a bookstore [the Phoenix Bookstore in Santa Monica]. "By a twist of fate, I was sitting next to her. They had taken everyone's name at the lecture, and that's how I happened to get word when Castaneda started Tensegrity, and that was my 'ascent' into their world." (The others, apparently detecting the self-important sound of the word "ascent," quickly advised Renata that she meant "descent.")
A woman asked the Chacmools how long it took for their awareness to rise after they began practicing Tensegrity. Kylie claimed it "took awhile to not have the desire to notice whether we were getting results. Carol Tiggs says, 'Stop checking the pots.' If you keep checking whether you're getting anywhere, you are holding back. So I don't really know when the shift came." Florinda commented that she knew with Nyei the moment that something happened in her work and the shift was made. When the assemblage point starts shifting in recapitulation, you are in "that prior place again. When you get back in that position, you're not judging anymore, or being psychological about it. You're using the assemblage point to put it back in that position, and shifting the assemblage point ever so slightly."
A man asked a question about the Nagual Lujan, and the differences between the four lines of passes they had been taught. Someone [my notes don't indicate who, but I think it was Taisha] responded obliquely that "a dreamer uses units of dream to propel themselves, while a stalker uses units of everyday life."
A man asked, "What's the rule of the three-pronged nagual?" Florinda responded dramatically, but somewhat jokingly, "There are no rules!"
In response to a question about gazing, Taisha said there are many different kinds of gazing, including "quick glances leading to over stimulation. Gravel is really good for gazing, or shiny objects that catch your attention. One's focus gets naturally dispersed, without the prejudice of seeing the world as objects."
A man asked the difference between the intent of Tensegrity and martial arts. Taisha replied, "The intent of Tensegrity is to move the assemblage point, to call back the energy body, and to make us unpalatable to the Flyers while our awareness rises. The intent of martial arts depends on what martial arts we're talking about; they may have a self defense or combat intent. Martial arts practices began as meditation techniques but were quickly turned into a martial practice. Since the intents are very different, it is important not to mix the two."
A woman asked, "As you recapitulate and lose your persona, or as you dream, does your body change on a cellular level, and does it then become harder to return? And what stage of dreaming are the Chacmools at?" Taisha responded that when you are in other realms, "you go with your total being. You have to come back. Our 'hunting ground' is this world. The more work we have to do, the better chance we have to hone ourselves as sorcerers. We can't just retreat from everything. When you are changing, your intent is to raise your level of awareness. But that has to happen here, in the world."
In response to a question about the jobs they work at, Florinda claimed her current job was as a translator, and that "I write about sorcery, feminism and phenomenology, and take care of the Chacmools and the Orange Scout. The Chacmools work at Toltec Artists." Taisha said she has another persona who is a professional "who does accounting and bill paying and investments. It took me years to train for this. When I get back to Los Angeles, this person has to kick in to deal with a lot of work. I also cook and clean." Florinda jumped in to say that Taisha, "doesn't clean." Taisha continued, claiming "All of us do mundane things, but they are transformed, becoming true pleasure."
A man asked whether they paid attention to the phases of the moon. From their initial looks, one gathered they generally don't. Florinda offered that "when there is a full moon, the Chacmools and I all stand with our hands back at kidney level and shout for 'intent.'"
A woman asked whether any of them were in relationships when they came into the sorcerers' world and, if so, whether the relationship survived. [Laughter] Florinda responded, "How could it? We are truly solitary beings. And no, we don't have a relationship with Carlos." She said they all go to the movies together, and that their interactions with each other are pretty mundane. "We don't sit around asking each other what process we experienced."
A man asked about the role of academia in their world. Florinda responded that Castaneda thinks that "only by training the mind to its limits can we make sense of the world out there. Academia played an important role for us too simply because it's Castaneda's 'mood.'" Taisha and Florinda claimed to be very interested in phenomenology. Only Florinda was interested in feminism. "To truly be in the world, one can use professors as petty tyrants," Florinda suggested. Florinda claimed that she and Taisha usually wrote each paper twice: "once for ourselves and once for the professor."
A man asked about the significance of the cover art on the first Tensegrity tape. Florinda said she "thought it was obvious." She, or someone else, quipped, "Three eggs, and stuff around it."
Someone asked Florinda whether she was really wearing clothes or not. She said she had "thought about practicing the sheer robe of energy on you, but one needs sandals for that, and I didn't bring any. You can't do it wearing socks." Florinda also said at some point that she and Taisha had adjoining apartments.
In response to a question about time, Florinda claimed that the last time she and Taisha went into 'dreaming,' together they were talking to Castaneda in his living room. While Castaneda was talking he saw them disappear. "He waited nine days for us to return. We thought we were only gone three days. He told us if we hadn't returned on the ninth day he would have gone into 'dreaming' to find us." They assertedly had been "shopping for nine days," and Florinda claimed it was "pure hell." Taisha said, "I enjoyed it." Taisha explained that "to hold the dreaming position of the shopping mall, we have to do all the little movements of shopping and checking out the merchandise over and over, like 'Ricky' [one of her stalking assignments] did when he had to be obnoxious, twisting and chewing on the straps of purses and pulling on everything. To maintain the shopping mall, I would piddle for hours with cosmetics and other little things to prolong our stay." [When asked how they pay for items there, Taisha responded, "Universal Credit Card!"]
Taisha explained that when you wake in a dream and feel you've awakened, "the tack is to keep from waking out of the dream. You do whatever is pertinent to the dreaming place you find yourself in to prolong the dream." Florinda then said she was joking about hating the shopping experience. She claimed, "Going with Taisha anywhere is a great pleasure."
In response to a question about the Tensegrity passes moving the assemblage point, Nyei said that for the Chacmools, "the assemblage point dropped and came into the center of our physical bodies as a result of Tensegrity. Before the Blue Scout showed us that was a possibility" (i.e., bringing the assemblage point into the physical body in a harmonious way), "the old sorcerers used to force it to go inside, which always created a furrow." Florinda explained that the assemblage point of a baby is "inside the physical body, but when they become socialized, it moves outside their physical body to the back of the luminous egg."
A woman asked about the effect of an abortion or miscarriage on a person's luminous egg. They responded that "It does make a hole, which heals but leaves a scar."
Kylie tried to conclude by making a disclaimer she said they needed to make about Tensegrity and Castaneda. She said, "No matter what others offering 'tensegrity' workshops say, they've never worked with Castaneda or others in their group. As to Victor Sanchez's book [Teachings of Don Carlos], it's insane for someone to think they can take Castaneda's work and give it a better interpretation." When someone asked if that meant that Castaneda never gave Sanchez an interview, she responded, "No, Castaneda never met him." She emphasized that "no one is authorized to teach Tensegrity except the three Chacmools."
As to a question about people getting together in practice groups and comparing our notes on the Tensegrity passes, they agreed that would be useful.
As to the final question about when the teaching of Tensegrity began publicly, they said that the first workshop had been at the Rim Institute two years earlier. Then there was one that same year in Hawaii, and none after that until Esalen. "Then this year we had workshops in Mexico City, Los Angeles, Boulder, Hawaii, Argentina and Mexico City again."
The session then concluded and we, the audience, headed into the cold and gently misting night air.