The philosophy of Nagual has inspired me for a long time. I still practice it. Yet, through Judeo-Christian eyes, it has a serious disadvantage: there is not morals in it, no altruism, no charity. For many of us, it’s unacceptable. This is one of the sensitive points on which there is no compromise. And yet!
It is fruitful to revise one’s moral or ideological positions. They are often only conditional reflexes or behaviors acquired by mimicry. Without the agreement of the deep being. And then, in terms of altruism and charity, there are fashions. The bounties of yesterday are insulting to today’s eyes. The generosities of tomorrow would seem inconceivable to us. For good or for bad ? These modes do not follow the ideal curve of progress. Sometimes they regress. On the other hand, what is charitable for you is intrusion for another. Remember Castaneda and his snail.
If we know Castaneda, we know that he is outside the Judeo-Christian referential that dominated the Western world when his books were published in the 70s-80s. More than that, Carlos Castaneda was not a WASP.White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. He doesn’t belong to the white and straight elite. In short, when he asks the inevitable question of altruism to his benefactor Don Juan Matus, the latter roundly responds to him that there is no morality in the Rule, that the Nagual doesn’t give alms, that the warrior’s way is not a church nor impeccability means holiness. These notions are very different.
In Nagualism as in Buddhism, the adept must ensure individual salvation without worrying about the fate of others. Once again, Castaneda is rebelling. Don Juan clarifies his thought: “On the path of the warrior, the choice is yours. I knew a relentless nagual who never gave a present to anyone, that was his way of being impeccable. I happened to know the nagual Elias who was very different; he kept the path with a heart, which is the path I have always used.”
Nothing in the philosophy of the nagual pushes to worry about others, nor to listen to one’s heart. Everything happens as if Castaneda had added this notion to get the bitter pill: nagualism has no heart. In our age of triumphant sentimentality, such infamy does not forgive. Everywhere, on all your screens, the obscene display of commercial kindness trickles the eyes and cascades the currency. It pays a max, the charity business. It pays, the heart of butter that melts on the radiator. Mamours, cuddles, repeated tweets, soft ceremonies of the knees among all those little flying hearts that beat to who better-better, stop the overdose! Do not throw any more! No more false smiles, ban those empty kisses, ban those cascades of stiff cuddles, those torrents of super-friendly shit, this tsunami of craps and nonsense.
To have a heart is not to flaunt it. The good place for the heart is not on the hand, but in the chest. Let your right hand ignore the charity your left hand is doing. Do not give yourself the merits. Do not believe yourself superior because you show generosity. Help giving, is it generous? Is there any heart in the money? We search for it in vain. Money is not an end in itself. It’s a mean. Money is used to undertake. To build up. For a living one doesn’t need money, bartering is enough.
The paradox of the snail
One day, Carlos Castaneda walks with Don Juan Matus. Suddenly the apprentice picks up a snail that is dragging himself in the middle of the path, and he puts it in the shelter. Matus rebels: never a warrior imposes his “help” on anyone, even a snail. Who are we to decide the destiny of another being? By moving this snail, Castaneda may have stolen a victory that would have made it better. “I’ll put it back where I took it,” says the sheepish apprentice. “No,” said Matus, “stupidity is done, do not add another.”
By moving this snail, Carlos Castaneda shows compassion. He walks on the path that has the heart, like his model Juan Matus. And yet the latter reprimands him. Compassion is not a good program for a warrior of light. Often it is only a mask that hides the superiority. By showing compassion, we send this signal: I am more intelligent than you. I see you need help, and I see you do not dare to ask. I know more, I can help you, see: I already help you. The golden rule would be never to intervene without a prior, duly detailed request. The request made for another, or the request made lip service is not enough. This recommendation is valid for healing, it is also for smaller things like moving a snail. But no logical study overcomes the irrational, the unknown, the superhuman that is nagual.
Paradoxically, whereas here Don Juan respects the free will of a snail, at other times he shows a total lack of respect for the free will of his students. Among his towers, Matus has the stroke of Nagual. This is a light tap on the brightness of the subject, which has the effect of moving the assemblage point. He never asks permission before intervening thus, posing a serious act of consequences for the future apprentice. This is how the sorcerer puts in his bag the beings that interests him. It happens that they rebel: Juan Matus left his benefactor for ten years, I left mine for ten years too … But the duration of the absence does not matter: it just takes time for the disciple to understand the challenge.
Strictly speaking, there is no god or morality for wizards, but a blind, inexhaustible, universal power, which is Energy, and an impersonal reactive principle, Intention. With his own intention, the warrior draws the Impersonal Intention, which rains a flood of Energy on him. Intention attracts energy as a lightning rod attracts lightning. When he receives the cosmic energy, the warrior is connected: he is united with the All. Then he accumulates pot shots and synchronicities. To each of us to learn to attract luck. And the way is impeccability. Not holiness.
So ? This path with a heart, where is it? Finally, I don’t know anything about. Is it a coquetry of language? Don Juan Matus wants to mitigate a bit the forbidding image that gives impeccability, and especially implacability? These notions are acts, they do not admit a margin of error. A relentless wizard does not make a gift. He knows what he wants even if he does not know what he is looking for. His goal is his life. To reach it is an absolute. All his actions are centered on his goal, even if he knows that they have no influence on the result, he acts as if his life or death depended on it. Buddhism has the same priority: all action must be effective, and tense toward one goal, enlightenment. Like nagualism, Buddhism is a self-centered discipline. Others matter little, charity is not on the agenda, nor the love of neighbor. Witness this fierce Buddhist saying: “If you meet Buddha on your way, kill him.”
What about me? In confidence, I do not think about it, for the good and simple reason that my head has been empty for years. Empty, yes, I tell you. When I write, only my fingers know where to sit on the keyboard. I read it afterwards on the screen. I do not think anymore. After 60 years of effort, I cut off my head. Finally ! The absence of thought opens the doors of perception and those of contemplation. It makes it possible to remain on the left side, that is to say, to maintain oneself in the clear and total consciousness, far from the castrating reason, as far from the schizophrenic madness that once awaited me, I advance unmasked. The king is naked. Do not think anymore …
What about me? In confidence, I don’t think about it, since I don’t think at all. I tell you my head has been empty for years. Absolute emptiness. When I write, only my fingers know where to sit on the keyboard. I discover while reading the screen. I do not judge what I receive. I do not think anymore. After a 60-year effort, I cut off my head. Finally ! The absence of thought opens the doors of perception and the windows of contemplation. This no-mind spirit makes it possible to stay on the left side, that is, to maintain oneself in the clear and total consciousness, on the middle way. It’s my law. Far from the castrating reason, as far from the schizophrenic madness that once traced me, I advance unmasked. The king is naked. Don’t think anymore …
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite” William Blake