You must stop talking to yourself. We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. This internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, but only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such or so and so. If we stop telling ourselves that the world is so-and-so, the world will stop being so-and-so. You must start slowly to undo the world.

We also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk to free the energy from this continual reinforcement for other perceptions and other choices. You have to know this if you want to live like a warrior.

First of all you must use your ears to take some of the burden from your eyes. We have been using our eyes to judge the world since the time we were born. We talk to others and to ourselves mainly about what we see. A warrior is aware of that and listens to the world; he listens to the sounds of the world. He is aware that the world will change as soon as he stops talking to himself and he must be prepared for that monumental jolt.

The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue. To change our idea of the world is the crux of shamanism, and stopping the internal dialogue is the only way to accomplish it. The rest is just padding. Nothing of what we do, with the exception of stopping the internal dialogue, can by itself change anything in us, or in our idea of the world. The provision is, of course, that that change should not be deranged. Therefore a teacher doesn’t clamp down on his apprentice. That would only breed obsession and morbidity.

When a warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable. Whenever the internal dialogue stops, the world collapses, and extraordinary facets of ourselves surface, as though they had been kept heavily guarded by our words. You are like you are, because you tell yourself that you are that way. You are too heavy and self-important. Let go! Turn off your internal dialogue and let something in you flow out and expand. That something is your perception, but don’t try to figure out what I mean. Just let the whispering of the nagual guide you.

The way to stop talking to ourselves is to use exactly the same method used to teach us to talk to ourselves; we were taught compulsively and unwaveringly, and this is the way we must stop it: compulsively and unwaveringly. Once inner silence is attained, everything is possible. Silent knowledge is nothing but direct contact with intent.

So you must learn how to stop your internal dialogue at will. At the beginning of our association I delineated another procedure: walking for long stretches without focussing the eyes on anything. My recommendation was to not look at anything directly but, by slightly crossing the eyes, to keep a peripheral view of everything that presented itself to the eyes. If one keeps one’s unfocused eyes fixed at a point just above the horizon, it is possible to notice, at once, everything in almost the total 180-degree range in front of one’s eyes. That exercise is the best way to learn shutting off the internal dialogue.

Stopping the internal dialogue is the key to the sorcerers’ world. The rest of the activities are only props; all they do is accelerate the effect of stopping the internal dialogue. There are two major activities or techniques used to accelerate the stopping of the internal dialogue: erasing personal history and dreaming. Erasing personal history and dreaming should only be a help. What any apprentice needs to buffer him is temperance of the warrior’s way, without which there is no possibility of withstanding the path of knowledge.

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