The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Part 2

Continued from yesterday . . .

Castaneda writes about our being able to perceive the Auras, or the “Cocoon” of energy around people (luminous beings or light beings) and that you are able to tell if an individual’s Tonal is good.  And having a good Tonal is a prerequisite to developing yourself as a Nagual.

One day, the Brujo “sees” a person with a good Tonal sitting in the town square where they are visiting. And he requires, as part of Castaneda’s training, for him to introduce himself to this person and to offer assistance with any task that this person needs to perform.  Castaneda complies and he assists the woman in a somewhat strained manner. 

I forget now, what it was he helped her with, but that is irrelevant to my tale. 

So picture my group of Ag student travelers, coming in from our day’s research at the Mexican farms, and our bus pulls into a town where we are given thirty minutes to shop.  The town is Tequisquiapan, a popular tourist town with a central square. Cobblestone streets and rustic homes and shops.  It has a 300-year heritage as a colonial town, but it’s populated primarily by Indigenous peoples.

I have exactly 24 pesos in my pocket.  And I’m in search of a bottle of tequila for the evening ahead. 

I stroll the town square and notice two gentlemen, one much older than the other, observing me.  Without warning or provocation, they approach me and introduce themselves by first name.  Their English is not perfect, but we can understand each other.

Now, I sense something about these two as being a bit extra corporal but I can’t quite put my finger on it.  They seem, and my 20-year-old gut tells me, that they mean me no harm. 

I explain my dilemma, not really much of an issue in the grand scheme of things, as they direct me to a liquor shop, a tiny hole-in-the-wall – literally – and offer, for no apparent reason to assist me in my quest.  It is as though they knew a head of time what I’d ask.

The place we enter has a mere 100 square feet floor space, but it’s ceiling must be 16 feet high!  Alcohol of all varieties are stacked in wall shelves, in no particular order, covering three of the four walls, reaching to the full height of that ceiling, and all the way down to the floor! 

And then a comedy ensues. 

The Sorcerer (the Brujo or the Nagual) remains stationary in the middle of the store – observing – while his apprentice and I scour the shelves at eye-level trying to find the elusive bottle of tequila that only costs 24 pesos.  Much to my amazement, the apprentice began, literally, climbing the shelves in this tiny but high-ceilinged shop, in pursuit of the golden liquid of which I wished to partake.   It is the only way to see what’s up there, and the Nagual now starts shouting out orders in their native language and points to various glistening, multi-colored bottles.

His eyes beaming.  I willingly join in with the cajoling, and pointing, and start climbing the shelves on my side of the room. 

We all find ourselves laughing hysterically as the apprentice and I start zig-zagging across the shelves above and behind the shop owner at a speed I would not have thought possible. 

The owner joins in the yelling, but in Spanish, and with a not-so-happy tone. 

The apprentice and I make eye-contact several times, and I have the realization that this playful moment was somehow orchestrated by my new companions.  We shift our focus to the pattern we’re making as we crisscross the wall shelves, sort of mirroring each other’s movements on the opposite sides of the shop.  No longer actually searching, just enjoying the climbing and descending. 

Finally, the shop owner grabs one of my legs and directs me, a bit more forcefully, to come down.  He looks terrified probably with the valid fear that we could have easily pulled every bottle down with us.  In fact, it seems impossible that our feet failed to dislodge any of the bottles from their roost.

Standing on the floor now, I turn, and a 24 pesos bottle of tequila is staring me straight in the face.  Waiting for me. I could swear that I looked at this spot multiple times before our climb began and I never saw it.

I pick it up, show my companions great thanks, and they take a bow before exiting the stage.  

I pay for the evening’s beverage and run back towards my bus.  I was the last one boarding, and our professor was getting ready to start looking for me.  I take my seat and glace out over the town square where I see my new friends, smiles from ears to ears, staring directly at me.  We wave to each other, and our bus heads back to our hotel.

I had the overwhelming feeling that the apprentice had passed his test.  Whatever it may have been.

Now something happened here that was a bit unearthly.  That had slipped a bit out of the Tonal, the physical reality, and into the Nagual or Spiritual Realm.  And I realized when it was over that this little play was, in many ways, similar to what Castaneda described in his book.  Except the person he was helping was completely unaware of the test before Carlos when he was the apprentice.

My experience had a lot more laughter.  

I’m not saying some incredible event transpired or that anyone was touched by the hand of God or anything. But it seemed that something, a bit of a ritualistic dance, had occurred, and for a few moments in time our minds merged in a bit of playful abandon. Our physical actions were irrelevant. It was more about our mental or metaphysical awareness. Where one detaches from the body, and the body moves freely through matter.

A controlled folly. Where somehow, despite all of our chaotic actions, not a single bottle fell to the Earth.

So, you have to tell me, have you had any unusual encounters where you thought more was going on than what meets the eye? There is Magic of all forms out there.  We just need to “see” it.

 In Metta

Photo: I took this shot out the window of the back seat of our bus. It was an appropriate Sunset for our last night in Mexico.

Postscript: Many people would say that Castaneda’s work was fiction mingled with an added bit of extraction from various Eastern texts. That may be true as there is a great deal of similarity in concepts, they’re just labeled differently. Others, and this includes myself, have found his works to be valuable despite whether or not they are fabrications. I think it is good for us to consider having multiple states of awareness, or consciousness, as we explore the far reaches of our body and soul.

As if to drive the point home about the crossover with Eastern philosophy, last night, while reading something completely different, I came across the term “Vipassana.” This term means, literally, “special or super seeing.” It is fleshed out as meaning seeing , or gaining insight, into the true nature of things or the true nature of reality. And it describes a type of meditation, its counterpart being “Samatha,” which means “mind calming.”

This is really interesting because Castaneda spends a good deal of his texts talking about learning to “see” or “seeing,” in a fashion that reveals the true state of reality. Coincidence? Doubtful.

This link provides a good biography for Castaneda.

I read that Castaneda was relieved of his Ph.D. on the grounds that he presented fiction in his dissertation instead of proper ethnographic research.

20 thoughts on “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Part 2”

  1. WOW… sure have had many amazing experiences….are you sure this one was before you drank the tequila and not after ? Ha….i believe you….i think we drink alcohol and take drugs to stimulate a deep desire to touch and experience another dimension we’ve lost touch with….i know i was always thrilled to see how the mind bends…..

    i can see this scene in a movie….and no…i never got into Castaneda….i think because i was too busy experiencing myself, instead of reading about others experiences……but now i will look into him….because of you….

    Waiting now for part 3 !!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ! It is a crazy life we have isn’t it ? 🤔 And I agree, we like to stimulate and enhance our senses in any way we can. These scenes may seem silly in isolstion, but if we widen our view who knows what we might “see” ❤ You were wise to be experiencing yourself

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Harold! I have a response for your plea of unusual encounters. I apologize for the length of my tale. Bear with me, shortening stories is definitely a skill I’ve yet to master.

    When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was perceived to have a “unique ability.” And not just perceived by myself  but somewhat accepted by others. An ability to, at times, be able to persuade events to happen as to my wishes. And because I was able to do this on demand and frequently enough in front of others (family and friends), this somehow got to be accepted as — normal for me.

    There are many incidents to tell, but my best friends wedding is the one I chose here. During the reception, at the head table, sat the groom (my best buddy), his brother, the best man (myself) and 2 more from a group of buddies we all hung out with. Close friends I see even today.

    With dinner over, now came time for the speeches. The last fellow to speak was a priest decked out in a white traditional flowing garb, standing in front of his table right in front of us, in the first row. By now we were all a little fidgety wanting to get the party going so to speak, but said Holy man had other ideas.

    He droned on and on, blessing this and Holy that and sanctified union this and who new what else. Going on for a good 10 minutes already with no end in sight. Even the other guests were starting to fidget now, sounds of squeaking chairs and repositioning bodies.

    Finally the groom (my best friend) leaned over to me and whispered in my ear. Do something Cork! He’s boring the shit out of everybody. It’s time to dance and drink and be merry. Nobody’s fucking merry Cork! Let’s get this party started! And so, in a roundabout way, I suppose I did!

    The priest and I locked eyes. Mine never leaving his, his never leaving mine. I could sense something was about to happen, but what, I didn’t know. I could also sense his growing discomfort, something lay heavy in the air. And that’s when the explosion happened!

    Apparently, our good but overly-gabby priest, had stowed away under his table a magnum of wine for later. The sudden exposition of said bottle erupting red wine all over the inside of the hanging tablecloth and beyond. Spattering wine in all directions including over the back of the priest’s immaculately clean white garment.

    The sudden explosion sending gasps throughout the crowd but soon turning to giggles when the source became apparent. All through this, the priest’s eyes never left mine. Staring knowingly without a flicker. But my spell was broken by a hardy slap on the back. “Good job Cork!” the groom said, “now lets get the party started.”

    He turned to the crowd and in a joyous booming voice — “Ladies and Gentlemen, the bar is now open!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks! That’s a wonderful story Wayne – LOL – nice work! I’m glad you shared it. We do have powers, many untapped, some tapped only at specific times in our lives, and others that may be at our beck and call for our whole lives. I seemed to be able to manifest small things in my late teens, early 20s, but it was also out of my control. Maybe that age for us was significant in bringing these powers out? Who knows, but it shows we have many things that aren’t explainable with the ordinary

      Liked by 1 person

  3. the case you described is definitely a part of some “nagual” touch 🙂 with a happy ending lol – you got your bottle, after all that crazy climbing-dancing 🙂
    Well, I met some bad people when I was younger … we called them witches in the village where my grandmother lived. I mean the things you are sharing-telling us are real, and I believe in these powers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks again! It was definitely one of those experiences with no other explanation. And it was fun. And I do believe there are others on the dark side. Stay away from the bad ones. Sometimes when I’m out in public I sense, or my gut senses, when I’m passing someone with bad intentions. I trust my gut that tells me they have a bad tonal

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ! There is so much that surrounds us that we can’t explain. I’m a huge science lover, but some of these phenomena and states of consciousness may never be explained. I’m having fun writing these experiences now, and I’ll try to keep my spiritual side open to all that’s out there

      Liked by 1 person

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