Now it’s time to talk about the totality of oneself. The totality of ourselves is a very mysterious affair. We need only a very small portion of it to fulfill the most complex tasks of life. Yet when we die, we die with the totality of ourselves. Some of the things I am going to point out to you will probably never be clear. They are not supposed to be clear anyway. So don’t be embarrassed or discouraged. All of us are dumb creatures when we join the world of sorcery, and to join it doesn’t in any sense insure us that we will change. Some of us remain dumb until the very end. What I’m about to say is meant only to point out a direction.
I’m going to tell you about the tonal (pronounced toh-na’hl) and the nagual (pronounced nah-wa’hl.) Every human being has two sides, two separate entities, two counterparts which become operative at the moment of birth; one is called the tonal and the other the nagual. The right side, which is called the tonal, encompasses everything the intellect can conceive of. The left side, called the nagual, is a realm of indescribable features: a realm impossible to contain in words. The left side is perhaps comprehended, if comprehension is what takes place, with the total body; thus its resistance to conceptualization. All the faculties, possibilities, and accomplishments of sorcery, from the simplest to the most astounding, are in the human body itself.
For the shamans who lived in Mexico in ancient times, which stemmed from perceiving energy directly as it flows in the universe, found that when the human body is perceived as energy, it is composed of two complete functioning bodies, one on the left and one on the right, a fundamental understanding to their endeavors as sorcerers. It is utterly patent that it is composed not of two parts, but of two different types of energy: two different currents of energy, two opposing and at the same time complementary forces that coexist side by side, mirroring, in this fashion, the dual structure of everything in the universe at large.
Each one of these two different kinds of energy was accorded the stature of a total body. Their emphasis was on the left body, because they considered it to be the most effective, in terms of the nature of its energy configuration, for the ultimate goals of shamanism. The shamans of ancient Mexico, who depicted the two bodies as streams of energy, depicted the left stream as being more turbulent and aggressive, moving in undulating ripples and projecting out waves of energy. For illustration, visualize a scene in which the left body was like half of the sun, and that all the solar flares happened on that half. The waves of energy projected out of the left body were like those solar flares – always perpendicular to the round surface from which they originated.
Now imagine the stream of energy of the right body as not being turbulent at all on the surface, but moving like water inside a tank which was being slightly tilted back and forth. There were no ripples in it, but a continuous rocking motion. At a deeper level, however, it swirled in rotational circles in the form of spirals. Envision a very wide, peaceful?looking tropical river, where the water on the surface seemed barely to move, but which had shattering riptides below the surface. In the world of everyday life, these two currents are amalgamated into a single unit: the human body as we know it.
To the eye of the seer, however, the energy of the total body is circular. This means that the right body is the predominant force. The division of energy between the two bodies is not measured by dexterity, or the lack of it. The predominance of the right body is an energetic predominance, which was encountered by the shamans of ancient times. They never tried to explain why this predominance happened in the first place, nor did they try to further investigate the philosophical implications of it. For them, it was a fact, but a very special fact. It was a fact that could be changed.
Why would you want to change it? Because the predominant circular motion of the right body’s energy is too friggin’ boring! That circular motion certainly takes care of any event of the daily world, but it does it circularly, if you know what I mean. Every situation in life is met in this circular fashion, on and on and on and on and on. It’s a circular movement that seems to draw the energy inward always, and turns it around and around in a centripetal motion. Under these conditions, there’s no expansion. Nothing can be new. There is nothing that cannot be inwardly accounted for. What a drag!
It’s too late to be really changed. The damage is already done. The spiral quality is here to remain. But it doesn’t have to be ceaseless. Yes, we walk the way we do, we can’t change that, but we would also like to run, or to walk backward, or to climb a ladder; just to walk and walk and walk and walk is very effective, but meaningless. The contribution of the left body would make those centers of vitality more pliable. If they could undulate instead of moving in spirals, if only for an instant, different energy would get into them, with staggering results.
The sensation that human beings have of being utterly bored with themselves is due to this predominance of the right body. The only thing left for human beings to do, in a universal sense, is to find ways of ridding themselves of boredom. What they end up doing is finding ways of killing time: the only commodity no one has enough of. But what’s worse is the reaction to this unbalanced distribution of energy. The violent reactions of people are due to this unbalanced distribution. It seems that from time to time, helplessness builds furious currents of energy within the human body, which explode in violent behavior. Violence seems to be, for human beings, another way of killing time.
The sorcerers of ancient Mexico didn’t know why this situation happened, but they knew how. Awareness is the only avenue that human beings have for evolution and something extraneous to us, something that has to do with the predatorial condition of the universe, has interrupted our possibility of evolving by taking possession of our awareness. Human beings have fallen prey to a predatorial force, which has imposed on them, for its own convenience, the passivity which is characteristic of the energy of the right body.
Our evolutionary possibility is a journey that our awareness takes across something the shamans of ancient Mexico called the dark sea of awareness: something which they considered to be an actual feature of the universe, an incommensurable element that permeates the universe, like clouds of matter, or light. The predominance of the right body in this unbalanced merging of the right and left bodies marks the interruption of our journey of awareness. What seems to be for us the natural dominance of one side over the other was, for the sorcerers of his lineage, an aberration, which they strove to correct.
Those shamans believed that in order to establish a harmonious division between the left and the right bodies, practitioners needed to enhance their awareness. Any enhancement of human awareness, however, had to be buttressed by the most exigent discipline. Otherwise, this enhancement, painfully accomplished, would turn into an obsession, resulting in anything from psychological aberration to energetic injury.
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