Published by Editor in Castaneda and Don Juan
Perception takes place because there is in each of us an agent called the assemblage point that selects internal and external emanations for alignment. The particular alignment that we perceive as the world is the product of the specific spot where our assemblage point is located on our cocoon. In order for our first attention to bring into focus the world that we perceive, it has to emphasize certain emanations selected from the narrow band of emanations where man’s awareness is located. The discarded emanations are still within our reach but remain dormant, unknown to us for the duration of our lives.
The new seers call the emphasized emanations the right side, normal awareness, the tonal, this world, the known, the first attention. The average man calls it reality, rationality, common sense.
The emphasized emanations compose a large portion of man’s band of awareness, but a very small piece of the total spectrum of emanations present inside the cocoon of man. The disregarded emanations within man’s band are thought of as a sort of preamble to the unknown, and the very unknown consists of the bulk of emanations which are not part of the human band and which are never emphasized.
Seers call them the left-side awareness, the nagual, the other world, the unknown, the second attention.
The old seers discovered that the assemblage point is not in the physical body, but in its luminous shell, in its own cocoon. Every living being has an assemblage point which selects emanations to emphasize.
Human beings have always chosen to perceive the same emanations for two reasons. First and foremost: because we were taught that these emanations are perceivable; secondly: because our assemblage points select and prepare these emanations for use.
One of the most important breakthroughs for the new seers was to find that the spot where that point is located on the cocoon of all living creatures is not a permanent feature, but is established on that specific spot by habit, in that specific region. Hence the tremendous stress the new seers put on new actions, on new practicalities.
They want desperately to arrive at new usages, new habits.
The contention of the new seers is that in the course of our growth, once the glow of awareness focuses on man’s band of emanations and selects some of them for emphasis, it enters into a vicious circle. The more it emphasizes certain emanations, the more stable the assemblage point gets to be. This is equivalent to saying that our command becomes the Eagle‘s command. It goes without saying that when our awareness develops into the first attention the command is so strong that to break that circle and make the assemblage point shift is a genuine triumph.
A matter of great importance is the proper understanding of the truths about awareness in order to realize that that point can be moved from within. The unfortunate truth is that human beings always lose by default. They simply don’t know about their possibilities.
The new seers say that realization is the technique. They say that, first of all, one must become aware that the world we perceive is the result of our assemblage points being located on a specific spot on the cocoon. Once that is understood, the assemblage point can move almost at will, as a consequence of new habits.
The assemblage point of man appears around a definite area of the cocoon, because the Eagle commands it. But the precise spot is determined by habit, by repetitious acts. First we learn that it can be placed there and then we ourselves command it to be there. Our command becomes the Eagle‘s command and that point is fixated at that spot. Consider this very carefully; our command becomes the Eagle‘s command.
The assemblage point is also responsible for making the first attention perceive in terms of clusters. An example of a cluster of emanations that receive emphasis together is the human body as we perceive it. Another part of our total being, our luminous cocoon, never receives emphasis and is relegated to oblivion; for the effect of the assemblage point is not only to make us perceive clusters of emanations, but also to make us disregard emanations.
The assemblage point radiates a glow that groups together bundles of encased emanations. These bundles then become aligned, as bundles, with the emanations at large. Clustering is carried out even when seers deal with the emanations that are never used. Whenever they are emphasized, we perceive them just as we perceive the clusters of the first attention.
One of the greatest moments the new seers had was when they found out that the unknown is merely the emanations discarded by the first attention. It’s a huge affair, but an affair, mind you, where clustering can be done. The unknowable, on the other hand, is an eternity where our assemblage point has no way of clustering anything. The assemblage point is like a luminous magnet that picks emanations and groups them together wherever it moves within the bounds of man’s band of emanations. This discovery was the glory of the new seers, for it put the unknown in a new light. The new seers noticed that some of the obsessive visions of seers, the ones that were almost impossible to conceive, coincided with a shift of the assemblage point to the region of man’s band which is diametrically opposed to where it is ordinarily located.
Those were visions of the dark side of man. It is somber and foreboding. It’s not only the unknown, but the who-cares-to-know-it. The emanations that are inside the cocoon but out of the bounds of man’s band can be perceived, but in really indescribable ways. They’re not the human unknown, as is the case with the unused emanations in the band of man, but the nearly immeasurable unknown where human traits do not figure at all. It is really an area of such an overpowering vastness that the best of seers would be hard put to describe it.
The mystery is outside us. Inside us we have only emanations trying to break the cocoon. And this fact is a divergence to us, one way or another, whether we’re average men or warriors.
Only the new seers get around this. They struggle to see. And by means of the shifts of their assemblage points, they get to realize that the mystery is perceiving. Not so much what we perceive, but what makes us perceive.
As I have said, the new seers believe that our senses are capable of detecting anything. They believe this because they see that the position of the assemblage point is what dictates what our senses perceive. If the assemblage point aligns emanations inside the cocoon in a position different from its normal one, the human senses perceive in inconceivable ways.
The distinction between a movement and a shift of the assemblage point is that a movement is a profound change of position, so extreme that the assemblage point might even reach other bands of energy within our total luminous mass of energy fields. Each band of energy represents a completely different universe to be perceived. A shift, however, is a small movement within the band of energy fields which we perceive as the world of everyday life.
The aspect of alignment that keeps the point stationary is will; and the aspect that makes it shift is intent, the intent! One of the most haunting mysteries is how will, the impersonal force of alignment, changes into intent, the personalized force, which is at the service of each individual.
The strangest part of this mystery is that the change is so easy to accomplish. But what is not so easy is to convince ourselves that it is possible. There, right there, is our safety catch. We have to be convinced. And none of us wants to be.