Sunday, September 22, 1996, at Dance Home in Santa Monica (1 - 3 PM PDT)
by Corey Donovan
[Kylie, Talia, Lorenzo, Julius, Grant, Brandon, Angelica and Ellis were on hand. Also two new people joined us, both Argentines and close friends of K, who had met Castaneda recently at Versailles--P and B (formerly "tall Carlos.")]
Castaneda began by showing us a photocopy of a picture of the Jugador--the seated figure supposedly doing Tensegrity that he had mentioned the previous week. Lance had found the picture, which Ellis handed to Castaneda as we started. Castaneda claimed that it was a Chinese man. Someone asked what a Chinese person was doing in Mexico. Castaneda asserted that there were Chinese in ancient Mexico, and that they had come "by boat, they were not the ones who [are theorized to have] crossed the Bearing Straits."
Castaneda commented that "the Mexicans are so ethnocentric and nationalistic"--more so even than the U.S.--that they do not do any research into this, in fact, he claimed, "they discourage it." He also commented that they were heavily controlled by the Catholic Church. He claimed that religion "takes advantage of the back and forth mind," meaning the side-to-side, instead of natural circular, motion of "the Flyer’s installation." He told us that if we were to digest religious doctrine with "the other, circular" mind, we would "tear it to shreds." But instead, we primarily use the back-and-forth mind. Castaneda asserted, "We think we’re challenging it with ‘Reformation,?or concerns that others are not ‘devout enough.?quot;
He claimed that this seated figure had "great ch’i. You can just see how full of energy he was," Castaneda claimed, further asserting that the figure was in a seated posture for Tensegrity. Ellis then handed him the book I had brought, which contained a map of the National Anthropological Museum in Mexico City. He showed us that the exhibit containing the statues that he had claimed represented the Witches "is on the left side as you face the large fountain, just beyond the cafeteria." As we confirmed, they are in "Mayan Room 10," where, he said, "Florinda and Taisha are standing by the window, and sometimes Carol is there too."
The chacmool statue in this room, which Castaneda called "Kylie," sits a little ways from the representations of the witches. [When we found the chacmool picture in the book, Castaneda said that it was not the one of Kylie’s chacmool, that hers "had more teeth."] In the next exhibit area, which he described as the "Oaxacan Room," although it is formally called the Olmec Room, Castaneda told us "You can see people who are really heavy, into psillocybins, with gigantic heads." It sounded like he was describing the Old Sorcerers, referring to these people also as "very much in their heads, morbid and heavy." He suggested that room might be "too much" for us. He also mentioned that there was a circle of small jade figures in that room who are "dreamers."
Castaneda told us that don Juan had once had him and other apprentices stand like the jade circle of dreamers. [The group I went out to eat with afterwards thought Castaneda had been referring to the time he had previously mentioned when they supposedly were out looking for "the energy center of the Sonoran Desert."] One time they all stood or sat like that, and "kept pushing," finally "hitting something, like a bubble," which, he claimed, you "could see through but could not go through." Afterwards, he said, "everyone had a bladder infection. Why is that?"
In the large area just opposite the entrance to the museum, which Castaneda called "the Valley of Mexico" room, is an object made entirely of obsidian depicting a monkey holding a bowl. He told us it is of interest to sorcerers because no one knows how the object was made. As he explained: "You cannot carve obsidian--you can sharpen a piece of it for an arrowhead, but how you would carve a whole object, with smooth round surfaces like this has, is a real mystery. Did they melt it down? How could you melt down obsidian? It reflects ‘intent?to have been formed into such a complex shape." The object had once been stolen from the museum, but recovered, so now they display it in a double glass protective case.
He suggested we could go through the rest of the museum, too, "although it may be overwhelming to cover so much territory, like a tourist." He also suggested "you have enough energy and enough silence now to be able to let the objects do strange things to you." He indicated that we could "see things," images that we could not comprehend, and that "it could continue for a week or so, with such images coming up in ‘dreaming.?quot; He explained, "As long as you are not the central object of those dreams, I want to hear about them. It is when we become the center of such dream images that it gets too weird." He further explained, "If there is only one ‘me?speaking, I could listen to you all night. It is when there are two, or three ‘me’s,?that I have to say, ‘Forget it. Ciao. See you later. That’s not interesting.?quot; He suggested we "try to keep it to no more than two ‘me’s?quot;--"If there is a third ‘me,?get rid of it!" He told us we could tell now when there are two or three "me’s." Ideally "you should get it down to one. And if you can get rid of the one, then you are ‘silent.?quot;
He reminded us that there had been a nagual in his lineage [Elias] who used to either bring things back from, or create things identical to, objects he had seen in "dreaming." The items he made reportedly "didn’t work the way they did in the Second Attention," but sometimes, supposedly, he was also able to directly bring things back. That reminded Castaneda of the "tripod-like beings" in one world, and their incredibly fast means of locomotion [perhaps something like the moving robots in the documentary "Fast, Cheap and Out of Control"]. He suggested that "our science could learn a lot from" these beings.
Castaneda told us he would really like to go with us during the upcoming Mexico workshop. He has not "gotten the go ahead yet" from the entity?quot;Intent"--that he supposedly asks. He joked it would probably wait until the following week, Thursday, and say, "Yes, you can go. Then what’s the point?" This reminded him of his former agent, Ned [Brown], "who was a terrible guy," although Castaneda assertedly "loved him a lot." He was "good at contracts though." Castaneda told us he used to ask "It" [the Dreaming Emissary?] about Ned all the time, and would not hear anything back. Now, years later, he suddenly received "all this information about Ned, but it is out of sequence; it doesn’t matter anymore."
Florinda once gave Castaneda a manuscript [probably for Shabono], and he read it and was very excited. He gave it to Ned to read, and they waited a week, and then two weeks. Castaneda explained, "If you don’t hear from your agent within a week or two about a manuscript, then it is probably not good." So finally Florinda called Ned and he told her that it "wasn’t very good," had too much in it about her, "the blue-eyed sorceress," and should be more about someone else, and that she should "start again from scratch." It later turned out that Ned "didn’t even read it--he was really good at contracts but he didn’t read the books, he didn’t even read my books, so he didn’t know what I was doing." Ned had his daughters and his wife read the books, "and they were extremely jealous of Florinda, so they weren’t going to help." Castaneda sent the manuscript to his editor, Michael Korda, and Michael called back the same day. Castaneda asked him what he thought and Michael said, "Sell it to me. I’ll publish it." Castaneda asked, "As it is?" and Michael said yes. So Castaneda had to get another agent, which he needed to anyway because Ned was "trying to have his kids inherit me." While Ned was at least good at contracts, Castaneda said "his kids did not even have that ability, and they were not good at reading the material either."
Castaneda then remarked that he had forgotten why he was relating the story about Ned. He looked at Thorton and said, "I lost my point." Thorton told him it was "because ‘the Voice?was not responding to you when you needed the information." Castaneda responded, "Yeah, yeah," and said "it’s the same thing"--that he was afraid he would not hear back from the Voice about Mexico until it was too late.
Later in the session, he said maybe the Voice would tell him, "Go Monday," which would also be too late. On second thought, Castaneda said, "But no, maybe it will be okay," meaning that for those of us who stayed in Mexico beyond the Sunday of the workshop, we might be able to take an excursion together. It seemed like he was then feeling that it would be okay for him to go on Monday, but Dan Lawton pointed out that the museums in Mexico are not open on Monday, so it was once again left up in the air.
Francois had to ask, "If you’re there, how will we know?" Castaneda responded, "Don’t worry, we’ll find you. We’ll call you." He told us don Juan used to tell him, "When you look for me, I’ll be here." Castaneda claimed he used to laugh at that and wonder how that could be. "But it does work. Under certain stress, you will suddenly get the feeling, ‘Oh, I need to see Carlos,?and you’ll say ‘goodbye,?and you’ll see me. It works." He compared this to a time when he had a girlfriend he wanted to introduce to don Juan. They went to Mexico and were looking for a few days but could not find him. Don Juan later explained that the woman "needed a nursemaid," and that she would be a full-time chore for Castaneda, that he would have to be her nurse, and that Castaneda "didn’t have time for that."
Castaneda also mentioned that in the cave near Cacahuamilpa, the formation he previously told us about was "at the end of a cement path, after you go up some stairs, to where the ‘Champagne Bottle?formation is. You look up from there." It used to be that a light shown on it from underneath, but "now it is lit in such a way that you cannot see it properly"--because the spotlight is now coming from the side. He suggested that if we "intend for the lighting to change," we could all go to Cacahuamilpa. He also claimed it was a good place for "making vows of impeccability," and for being silent. He said he had been there with people who "weren’t silent," and specifically mentioned one person [probably Bruce Wagner], who was "going on and on about his lover, Judith." Castaneda told us that was "not the way to approach it."
Castaneda mentioned that the Witches "don’t have any time." When don Juan used to tell him that, he claimed, he thought he meant they were "out of time, or didn’t have any time left--I didn’t understand what he meant." He compared the Witches?experience of time to that of Shirley MacLaine. Through some friends of Florinda, Castaneda was invited to dinner with Shirley MacLaine. He described her as "this big lady"--she is "big, with red hair, big boobs and kept talking about how she lived in China until she was twenty and was always being complimented on how handsome and beautiful she was. For her," Castaneda explained, "time is spongy--it’s this big thing," so that her "nostalgia can carry her back decades to when she was an object of adoration." By comparison, the Witches "don’t have any time. Carol," he told us, "is twenty. She doesn’t think about when she was twenty." So that is the sense in which they "have no time." They also, assertedly, do not have time for "the frivolous."
Castaneda taught us seven movements. On the last one--where you shoot the hands upward from the wrist--he instructed us to move the shoulders and the stomach, first on one side and then the other, "like the energy body does when it snaps in." We should make that movement to get used to the feel of it, "so that when the energy body does it, you’ll be prepared." Castaneda claimed he had experienced people’s energy bodies "approach him," sending him some signal to "take them," indicating that they were frustrated with the people they were connected to. That is something "don Juan alluded to," but he did not think don Juan "ever saw it or experienced it as clearly as I have."
Castaneda mimicked someone talking like they were high on marijuana, commenting, "We all want to talk like Nicholas Cage." That reminded him that when he was young there was a man he looked up to by the name of "Nicholas Cage." This guy "had two girlfriends, that he lived with." This really amazed the impressionable young Castaneda, who asked the guy, "How do you do it?" The man told him it was "pretty easy," advising him "you take the two girls to a movie and first you start kissing one. She then goes to the bathroom and you have them trade places and then you start kissing the other one." He told him, "It’s not so hard. Why don’t you try it?" So Castaneda took his girlfriend to a movie theater on Fairfax--he told us it was "still there, it’s called the ‘Silent Movie Theater?quot;--along with a friend of hers. He did not know that the seats in this theater were not "nailed down." So he made out with his girlfriend, and after she went out for awhile, he had the two women change places and started kissing the friend. His girlfriend became enraged and said she was leaving, demanding to know, "What the hell are you doing?"
He knew she was going to have to get herself home, but he said, "Go ahead," figuring she was a "big girl" and could find the bus. But the next thing he knew he was being yanked from the back of his head and the whole row of seats tipped over, including those in which an elderly couple were seated at the other end of the row. "So it nearly killed me, this stupid advice that Nicholas Cage gave me. I couldn’t figure out why the guy had told me that! It ruined my chances with the girlfriend and could have gotten me killed." [In The Active Side of Infinity, Castaneda calls the girlfriend "Patricia Turner," and her best friend "Sandra Flanagan." The guy from whom he gets the bad advice is named "Nicholas van Hooten" in the book, which includes a number of names that are different from the ones he used in talking with us, presumably for legal reasons. In a chapter entitled, "Saying Thank You," Castaneda describes how don Juan instructed him to buy both women, whom he no longer had any contact with after this incident, and who had assertedly moved to New York, very expensive presents--a new automobile and a full-length fur coat--as a gesture of thanks for the genuine love and affection they had shown him before the theater grope out.]
Castaneda told us he was always impressed with the way Professor Garfinkle would be looking down when Castaneda walked in, and that before speaking to him Garfinkle would move his mouth and lips around and make a few smacking noises while staring at him. Then he would ask, "What the fuck do you want?" The guy was completely intimidating, and Castaneda would forget what he was going to ask him. So Castaneda told us he had "kept that, except for the ‘fuck,?quot; and he repeated it for us a couple of times--smacking for awhile, and finally barking, "What do you want?" In the same vein, he imitated for us the voice that he claimed he kept asking whether he had the energy to join us in Mexico.
I believe he told us that the energy body could "split." He seemed to indicate that one part was covered by the liver and the other by the spleen. And, of course, "the energy body is in much better condition than the physical bodies of most people." He told us "my energy is low right now," and that he woke up a lot "with the terrible smell of adrenaline." He told us he was not afraid of dying--"no offense to the Spirit"--but his fear "of ending up in the Infinite alone, without a mass or group to share it with, is very strong." He claimed that he and Carol were recently "gone" for two days, and went "as far as we could," before they had to let "the rubberband" pull them back, or "we wouldn’t have been able to come back anymore." When he described the place they had gone to, he mentioned that, "Intent is just as endless as infinity."
He claimed that "Bobby the Flyer" is much older than we are, and speculated "maybe it is Bobby that goes through nine reincarnations, until it ends."
"Carol is now trying to push her party," especially some of those who have been with them a long time, like Rosa Coll and Margarita Nieto. He said she "doesn’t even speak to them anymore; she will come by and look at them." Her idea is, "Let’s all meet ‘there?now." So it "is pushing them rather hard right now."
He said that what he wished for us now was "clarity and daring."
He claimed that don Juan had told him one can "create a place from which things will disappear." Don Juan supposedly instructed him to "set up" a place like that. Castaneda told us he laughed at him, of course. But don Juan supposedly had a place like that, where he would put things for them to disappear. Castaneda quizzed don Juan on "how big should it be" and "how much should it weigh?" He mimicked himself asking, "Is it twenty inches by fourteen?" He told us that he sometimes stayed in the other half of Florinda’s place [the side of the Pandora duplex she shared with Taisha, adjoining Castaneda’s unit], where there was a tub that la Gorda supposedly used to use before she assertedly died from an aneurysm. Nobody would use her tub anymore, and he claimed he was the only one who would stay in that part of the place where she used to live. So they started setting stuff in the tub to use it as a place from which things could disappear. [This would have had to be sometime after 1985, of course, the claimed year in which la Gorda died, therefor long after don Juan supposedly advised him to set up a "disappearance zone."]
Castaneda told us that Florinda had some thirty-year old photos of herself doing karate. [Actually, 25-years-old, if they are the ones in Samurai magazine issues dating to 1974 and ?5.] Castaneda thought they were "fantastic," because they showed that "she is younger now than she was thirty years ago." Florinda, who did not like the pictures, tried to get rid of them all, but he saved "some of the best, that most showed how different she was then." She thought he was saving "the worst ones of her, to use against her," so she stole them out of his room. When he approached her about it, she claimed "The Inorganics took them!" According to Castaneda, Florinda "made a solemn accusation against the inorganics," specifically accusing Globus and Phoebus [Taisha’s "pet" inorganics], but "that’s not something you can do lightly." He told us she was "really taking a risk" doing that. So finally, after a week or so, she "broke down and admitted that she had taken them; she couldn’t go through with it." In the meantime Castaneda had asked Taisha, and "Taisha never does anything like that . . . why would she take them?" Taisha had told them to "Fuck themselves." So Florinda had destroyed the pictures.
"Things do disappear," he claimed, and when they do, "it’s a sign of inner silence having been reached." He told us that Ellis had brought over a bunch of pictures, including all of the ones showing her having ice cream with her father in different parts of the world--"in Greenland, Antarctica, Paris and Rome, everywhere they had themselves photographed eating ice cream." Nothing happened to them, so he had given them back to her, but she had left the ice cream pictures with him, and ultimately they disappeared. He told us Ellis had obtained her father’s bible for him, and it was heavy so he had stored it on something near this tub. He explained that he had wanted a bible so he could "channel" his "Reverend Osgoode character"--the fundamentalist preacher that he imitated--but he did not want to buy one. Florinda had plumbing problems--they called it the "Day of the Yellow Shrimp" because the tub backed up with run off from the toilet. So the Bible that had been sitting there was literally "full of shit." It also affected other things that had been sitting there for awhile, including "papers of the Leperchun," meaning Tycho--the so-called Orange Scout. Those papers had supposedly not disappeared after ten years. "But there is something not human about the Leperchun anyway," he asserted, so it somehow made sense that her stuff had not disappeared. Nyei had also placed a stack of her yearbooks there and they had supposedly disappeared.
He told us that Taisha took her own time about doing things. If there was something he needed, she would tell him she would bring it, but "she doesn’t say when." She might do it "hours later, when I don’t need it anymore." Recently she had offered to bring him dinner. He waited for her, and asked rhetorically, "Does she think I’m supposed to wait like this," mimicking a dog waiting with its paws up and head hung, "because that’s how her inorganics wait for her, like little dogs?" He claimed it was "getting close to seven," when she finally showed up with food. He indicated that it had happened again that morning, that she was going to make hamburgers for Kylie and Talia, and two hours later she was nowhere around. He was hungry so they were about to leave for Versailles. Then she appeared and said, "Oh, I’ll make your hamburgers now," claiming "You knew I had to go to the store, and I had to do this and that." She was very apologetic and said she would bring their food, and asked "Should I get down on my knees?" He told her no, "because if she does that, then who knows what she will do" to them in retribution.
When Castaneda suggested that we try setting up a place from which things could disappear, he told us not to "put anything valuable in there . . . don’t put your wedding ring in there. Just put something in to try it out." He suggested that it was a matter of intent, this disappearing spot, and that sorcerers can also "experience things coming to them." He mentioned that J, who was standing behind him, was an engineer. He suggested that mathematical equations might "come to him." He said that they probably come to himself as well, but since he does not have the training, he would not understand them, and would wait for something that he does understand to come to him. He said there was also a place in the house that he went to sit and "intend things." [He mimicked himself doing this, jokingly making a motion with his hand like he was drawing something toward him.]
Summary of passes taught:
1. Circle arms out and extend to sides, inhaling all the way. Exhale like blowing out a candle, while bringing arms back and crossing in front of chest.
2. Make two-and-a-half inward circles in the air with right foot, knee up and plant foot; then make two-and-a-half outward circles with the left foot.
3. Circle hands up and forward across the body and back to the side. Start with loose wrist. Alternate hands.
4. Gather energy at the crotch, then throw it out to the side, fingers pointing up.
5. With arms held in front of the body, alternate having one hand with fingers pointing to the floor while the other hand snaps up at the wrist so that fingers are pointing upward.
6. Holding hands pointing forward, palms facing each other, snap upward at the wrist so that the palm is pointed upward. Do first with one hand only, and then both hands.
7. Do same movement as in #6, but move hand forwards more, and move with the shoulders and stomach as well, first on one side and then the other ("like the energy body does when it snaps in").
Dan Lawton described another pass from that day as follows: "Parry outward with the right hand, palm facing forward. The left is an inward strike with the forefinger and thumb hand edge, palm down. The right hand goes above the left during the brief overlap period, and the shoulders get involved in the smooth action."