Tales of Power
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A warrior, or any man for that matter, cannot possibly wish he were somewhere else; a warrior because he lives by challenge, an ordinary man because he doesn't know where his death is going to find him.
Death is the indispensable ingredient in having to believe. Without the awareness of death everything is ordinary, trivial. It is only because death is stalking us that the world is an unfathomable mystery. Without an awareness of the presence of our death there is no power, no mystery.
Having to believe that the world is mysterious and unfathomable is the expression of a warrior's innermost predilection. Without it he has nothing.
You are aware of everything only when you think you should be; the condition of a warrior, however, is to be aware of everything at all times.
Now it's time to talk about the totality of oneself. 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 tonal is the social person. The tonal is, rightfully so, a protector, a guardian--a guardian that most of the time turns into a guard.
The tonal is the organizer of the world. Perhaps the best way of describing its monumental work is to say that on its shoulders rests the task of setting the chaos of the world in order. It is not farfetched to maintain, as sorcerers do, that everything we know and do as men is the work of the tonal . At this moment, for instance, what is engaged in trying to make sense out of our conversation is your tonal ; without it there would be only weird sounds and grimaces and you wouldn't understand a thing of what I'm saying.
I would say then that the tonal is a guardian that protects something priceless, our very being. Therefore, an inherent quality of the tonal is to be cagey and jealous of its doings. And since its doings are by far the most important part of our lives, it is no wonder that it eventually changes, in every one of us, from a guardian into a guard. A guardian is broad-minded and understanding. A guard, on the other hand, is a vigilante, narrow-minded and most of the time despotic. I say, then, that the tonal in all of us has been made into a petty and despotic guard when it should be a broad-minded guardian.
The tonal is everything we are. Anything we have a word for is the tonal . Since the tonal is its own doings, everything, obviously, has to fall under its domain.
Remember, I've said that there is no world at large but only a description of the world which we have learned to visualize and take for granted. The tonal is everything we know. I think this in itself is enough reason for the tonal to be such an overpowering affair.
The tonal is everything we know, and that includes not only us, as persons, but everything in our world. It can be said that the tonal is everything that meets the eye.
We begin to groom it at the moment of birth. The moment we take the first gasp of air we also breathe in power for the tonal . So, it is proper to say that the tonal of a human being is intimately tied to his birth.
You must remember this point. It is of great importance in understanding all this. The tonal begins at birth and ends at death.
The tonal is what makes the world. However, the tonal makes the world only in a manner of speaking. It cannot create or change anything, and yet is makes the world because its function is to judge, and assess, and witness. I say that the tonal makes the world because it witnesses and assesses it according to tonal rules. In a very strange manner the tonal is a creator that doesn't create a thing. In other words, the tonal makes up the rules by which it apprehends the world. So, in a manner of speaking, it creates the world.
The tonal is like the top of a table--an island. And on this island we have everything. This island is, in fact, the world.
There is a personal tonal for every one of us, and there is a collective one for all of us at any given time, which we can call the tonal of the times. It's like the rows of tables in a restaurant, every table has the same configuration. Certain items are present on all of them. They are, however, individually different from each other; some tables are more crowded than others; they have different food on them, different plates, different atmosphere, yet we have to admit that all the tables are very alike. The same thing happens with the tonal . We can say that the tonal of the times is what makes us alike, in the same way it makes all the tables in a restaurant alike. Each table separately, nevertheless, is an individual case, just like the personal tonal of each of us. But the important factor to keep in mind is that everything we know about ourselves and about our world is on the island of the tonal .
What, then, is the nagual ? The nagual is the part of us which we do not deal with at all. The nagual is the part of us for which there is no description--no words, no names, no feelings, no knowledge. It is not mind, it is not soul, it is not the thoughts of men, it is not a state of grace or Heaven or pure intellect, or psyche, or energy, or vital force, or immortality, or life principle, or the Supreme Being, the Almighty, God--all of these are items on the island of the tonal.
The tonal is, as I've already said, everything we think the world is composed of, including God, of course. God has no more importance other than being a part of the tonal of our time.
The nagual is at the service of the warrior. It can be witnessed, but it cannot be talked about. The nagual is there, surrounding the island of the tonal . There, where power hovers.
We sense, from the moment we are born, that there are two parts to us. At the time of birth, and for a while after, we are all nagual. We sense, then, that in order to function we need a counterpart to what we have. The tonal is missing and that gives us, from the very beginning, a feeling of incompleteness. Then the tonal starts to develop and it becomes utterly important to our functioning, so important that it opaques the shine of the nagual , it overwhelms it. From the moment we become all tonal we do nothing else but to increment that old feeling of incompleteness which accompanies us from the moment of our birth, and which tells us constantly that there is another part to give us completeness.
From the moment we become all tonal we begin making pairs. We sense our two sides, but we always represent them with items of the tonal. We say that the two parts of us are the soul and the body. Or mind and matter. Or good and evil. God and Satan. We never realize, however, that we are merely paring things on the island, very much like paring coffee and tea, or bread and tortillas, or chili and mustard. I tell you, we are weird animals. We get carried away and in our madness we believe ourselves to be making perfect sense.
What can one specifically find in that area beyond the island? There is no way of answering that. If I would say, Nothing, I would only make the nagual part of the tonal . All I can say is that there, beyond the island, one finds the nagual.
But then you say, when I call it the nagual , aren't I also placing it on the island? No. I named it only because I wanted to make you aware of it. I have named the tonal and the nagual as a true pair. That is all I have done.
We sense that there is another side to us. But when we try to pin down that other side the tonal gets hold of the baton, and as a director it is quite petty and jealous. It dazzles us with its cunningness and forces us to obliterate the slightest inkling of the other part of the true pair, the nagual.
The nagual has consciousness. It is aware of everything. In order to talk about it we must borrow from the island of the tonal , therefore it is more convenient not to explain it but to simply recount its effects.
Are the nagual and the tonal within ourselves? you ask. You yourself would say that they are within ourselves. I myself would say that they are not, but neither of us would be right. The tonal of your time calls for you to maintain that everything dealing with your feelings and thoughts takes place within yourself. The sorcerers' tonal says the opposite, everything is outside. Who's right? No one. Inside, outside, it doesn't really matter.
To explain all this is not that simple. No matter how clever the checkpoints of the tonal are the fact of the matter is that the nagual surfaces. Its coming to the surface is always inadvertent, though. The tonal 's great art is to suppress any manifestation of the nagual in such a manner that even if its presence should be the most obvious thing in the world, it is unnoticeable.
Let's say that the tonal , since it is keenly aware of how taxing it is to speak of itself, has created the terms "I," "myself," and so forth as a balance and thanks to them it can talk with other tonals , or with itself, about itself.
Now when I say that the tonal forces us to do something, I don't mean that there is a third party there. Obviously it forces itself to follow its own judgments.
On certain occasions, however, or under certain special circumstances, something in the tonal itself becomes aware that there is more to us. It is like a voice that comes from the depths, the voice of the nagual . You see, the totality of ourselves is a natural condition which the tonal cannot obliterate altogether, and there are moments, especially in the life of a warrior, when the totality becomes apparent. At those moments one can surmise and assess what we really are.
When we die, we die with the totality of ourselves. A sorcerer asks the question. "If we're going to die with the totality of ourselves, why not, then, live with that totality?"
Last edited by mudra on Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total