I took Rolands suggestion and viewed the documentary, "Enigma of a Sorcerer". This explained many things I had only seen hints of regarding Castaneda's activities outside of his published books. I haven't read these books for over 20 years or more and must go from memory as I have no time to get new copies and re read them. While I think that the activities, the not doings, of Don Juan described by Castaneda are very explainable by MBT concepts, I don't accept the reasons given by Don Juan for doing them, their motivations, as a good reason for their actions and treatment of others. I hope that you are not too disappointed by the following as I wrote it at your instigation. I was more accepting of their world 30 years ago, although more puzzled by it.
I do think that much of what Castaneda describes regarding Don Juan's world of the Nagual and his lineage of Naguals dating from pre Colombian times is entirely possible in light of MBT cosmology, if not precisely true as stated. Compare this to the lineage of Zen masters, starting with Bodhidharma. While Zen is a serious part of Japanese, Chinese and other cultures at this time, it once was a matter of a few monks deliberately living in obscurity and their student followers maintaining an oral tradition. Things get hazy and drift into myth in these circumstances over centuries, but there clearly was a continuing tradition and a succession of Masters passing the robe and bowl symbolic of mastership by direct transmission down the generations. We know this lineage existed, so why not a lineage of Nagual masters of comparable length. In a virtual reality, people can and do encounter events that are not expected by those limited by the expectations of the Tonal, Don Juan's term for ordinary reality, PMR and the PMR viewpoint with language based limitations of our perceptions and understanding. It is very hard to see what your intellect tells you is impossible to exist. A secret group based on esoteric practices of Naguals could certainly exist over long periods of time with no notice by those limited by their immersion in the Tonal. And in the cosmology of MBT, people could certainly incarnate with the intent of participating in this continuing series of inter related experience packets.
That so many things about the non ordinary reality world of the Nagual that Castaneda described appear to be made up or less than fully factual should be no surprise. Repeatedly Don Juan tells Castaneda to maintain the secrets of his identity and actual area of operation and specific doings. He claimed to have enemies from whom he must keep the secrets of his activities and whereabouts. If someone existed who Castaneda chose to call Don Juan Matus, do you think he would be fully truthful about his identity when he was effectively sworn to secrecy and would have been cut off from the world of the Nagual and his apprenticeship with Don Juan if he had not proven himself to be reliable in keeping their secrets? Clearly from the books, those who knew Don Juan but were not insiders of the Nagual tradition, including his own relatives, were not permitted to have a clear understanding of the nature of his activities and abilities. And this was clearly a continuing tenet of the Naguals over the centuries. During pre Colombian times they were pictured as somewhat of an elite and powerful secret society, a priesthood, with many conflicts and internal aggressions. Secrecy was a necessary attribute when one had real enemies and competitors who would kill you or destroy or take your place in society. After the arrival of Columbus and the Catholic church and the policy of suppressing native spirituality and religion, secrecy was described as an absolute necessity if you didn't want to be tortured or killed by the local Inquisition for your non Catholic beliefs and activities. And since they were shamans/sorcerers, they would have been killed as doing the devil's work. I read recently that the first published mention of a shaman pictured him in his horned mask and regalia and described him as a devil worshiper. There can be no doubt that secrecy was inherent and necessary to the history of the lineage of Naguals leading up to Don Juan and Castaneda.
One of the training concepts taught to Castaneda over time was the practice of erasing personal history. He was to break off connections to old friends and family. Possibly not actually have no contact, but to compartmentalize past history and associations and obscure any links to present associates and activities. Obscure and compartmentalize everything, let no one know what you really did or who you did it with. What no one knew about you could not be used to pin you down or lock you in to confining mental concepts and behaviors. Activities within the Tonal locked you in to the Tonal and prevented you from accessing the Nagual. What people knew about you tied you down. Particularly if they knew your full history from childhood and all of the things you ever did, good or bad, trivial or not. No prophet is believed in his own country is an old saying. Do all of your friends, family and business or professional associates know about your personal interest in spirituality, MBT and the concepts and activities discussed in these forums? Why not? Are you ashamed of these activities or does the expectations of some of your family or other associates tie you down, inhibit you in some way? How many others do you know who have any clue that there is such a thing as PMR, NPMR, VRs and OOBE, etc. or would want to know? Most of you use avatar names rather than actual names on the forums. This is standard on the Internet. Secrecy within the group associated with Don Juan was also the standard operating procedure. Apprentices were told things on a need to know, developmental basis. Castaneda was not told about the other apprentices for years. Then he was not told any more than had to be or he could figure out for himself. Do you remember when Castaneda, by chance instead of design, ran into Don Juan in the city and wearing a business suit? Castaneda was totally taken aback. He just could not envision Don Juan, the poor, Yaqui, desert dwelling, peasant Nagual, wearing a business suit in the city and all that implied about aspects of his existence that Castaneda knew nothing about. But they were also described as a multi generational lineage of Naguals and their entourages/apprentices. They were heirs to a continually maintained and developed spiritual knowledge. They were described as owning houses in various locations, not just Don Juan's small desert house. They were not just spiritual heirs to each other, they were obviously material heirs to each other with absolute commitment to the world of the Nagual. I would not be surprised that they existed as either an informal trust or in fact a formal trust with lawyer generated documentation and ownership of real property and liquid assets. They were intelligent people and generated incomes that were to some extent shared or put into the ownership of and used for the lineage. The current Nagual functioning as the chief executive officer and potentially managing considerable accumulated property with their centuries of existence. They were a family of multiple generations with membership based upon spiritual knowledge and participation rather than genetic descent.
Don Juan was looking for his successor, a task repeated by and the responsibility of every Nagual in his lineage. When he first met Castaneda, he thought that he saw the signs of a Nagual. I find no surprise in being 'introduced' to someone by NPMR interaction or prearrangement and feeling yourself to be linked to them in some way. I have experienced this more than once and Tom has described it as happening to him. Later Castaneda's energy configuration was described as not fully meeting the requirements of Nagualship. But by then, Don Juan had invested years of training in Castaneda and in the meantime, had found no other apprentice with the full Nagual configuration as a replacement. Don Juan appeared to be indicating that he had failed in his Nagualship in later books by failing to find and train a proper Nagual successor and was basically stuck with Castaneda. Castaneda was sort of released, as I understood it, together with two or three of the other apprentices, women, to basically make their way in the world as best they could. Most of the apprentices joined with Don Juan, Don Genaro, the Nagual woman of Castaneda's generation, and the apprentices of Don Juan's and Don Genaro's generation and age to leave the earth together. A ceremony was described of their participating together and burning from within, leaving the earth and ending the lineage of Nagualship with Don Juan. That no one noticed the simultaneous disappearance of perhaps two dozen people in a rural area of Mexico is not surprising. Especially since they were mostly not local to the area, were secretive in their activities and there could well in fact have been no bodies to dispose of. It was up to Castaneda to establish a new lineage or whatever he could manage on his own. This is my understanding, not fact nor clearly stated in the published books as I understood them. But it seems to match what happened into the future. I have never seen any sign that Castaneda found or selected a successor or trained a successor Nagual. But I have not followed their adventures into the present. But it seems that the Nagual lineage either ended with Don Juan or changed totally in it's attributes.
Whether some practice described by Castaneda is fully consistent with the practices of native hallucinogenic drug users is beyond my knowledge. Descriptions of the peyote cult and practices included. But that participants should interact with a consistent personification as Mescalito is not surprising. There is a world wide spectrum of evidence linking spiritual practices literally around the world as indicated by small figures that are consistent in appearance and found around the world. These small figures, clay or carved, represent ritual postures indicating the required positioning of one's body in order to participate in drum or rattle induced ecstatic trance states. The specific postures produce relatively consistent results belonging to a particular spectrum of experience to be expected when basing one's trance state on a particular posture. I will only mention Grandfather Bear that appears consistently related to shamanic initiation (which frequently involves healing the shaman to be from some illness that he suffers from) or healings in which the participant is rent asunder by Grandfather Bear and then reassembled in a better way, less their former disease. Other postures are for divination, less drastic healing, personal insight, learning new rituals and more. The origin of this present knowledge of ecstateic trance states originates with the work of Felicitas D. Goodman, Ph. D., a cultural anthropologist. See this web site for further and continuing information. http://www.cuyamungueinstitute.com/
So it is not surprising at all for peyote participants to consistently encounter a plant-man being as Mescalito who teaches them how to live. All of this is consistent with a VR generated by the VRRE.
Another of the not doings described in these books is the efforts of Don Juan and Don Genaro to introduce Castaneda to the concept of the dreamer and the dreamed. While out of body under the effects of the smoke from a hallucinogenic mushroom based mixture, they tried to show the Castaneda that was fumbling around out of his body that his body was lying asleep or comatose in his bed. While they could in some way manipulate and move Castaneda's dreaming body around, he had a tendency to fall out of their arms or through walls as he was not material. An apparent demonstration of NPMR interaction and reality as a virtual reality in which you can participate in more than one way. A dream in which you can dream of yourself or dream yourself. All a dream in a sense that The One is dreaming you while you are dreaming of dreaming . . .
While they spoke of intent in Castaneda's books, it was more a matter of a psi based ability resulting from accumulated personal power than Intent as considered in MBT. It was a developed ability to manipulate reality based on personal power rather than the quality and maturity of one's development in the way of MBT Intent. The accumulation of personal power was a primary concern within the world of the Nagual. It was a matter of intense, long term training and concentration and I believe that a factor in having your intent be able to produce non ordinary results was the fact that these things were done in secrecy. This permitted the psi uncertainty principle to allow these things to happen. No one would know except the participants in the world of the Nagual in general and your direct associates in particular. You learned to believe that something could be done and willed it intensely. Thus you were permitted after sufficient training and development of 'personal power' to create the desired results with NPMR approval and not violating the psi uncertainty principle by virtue of your secrecy.
The world of the Nagual included the concept of impeccability and impeccable behavior as part of living as a warrior. By the dictionary, flawless, faultless and not capable of sin. This was however never fully defined in the books by Castaneda so the dictionary definitions can only be assumed as opposed to some other specifc, esoteric meaning. I don't however take this as a statement on either conventional or MBT concepts of morality however as the amount of manipulation of the minds of the participants is questionable as a violation of their free will. They did recognize their apprenticeship as placing themselves in the hands of Don Juan and Don Genaro in something of a quid pro quo however so they can be taken to have acquiesced to their treatment in exchange for their training. At least Castaneda, if not other apprentices, also provided food and other purchased goods to Don Juan. What I have retained of the concept of living as a warrior was related to maintaining the awareness in your mind at all times that death was imminent, possibly seconds away. You were to use death as your adviser in making decisions, choosing your actions. This was to act as an agent to free you to act at any time upon the opportunities that presented themselves. I prefer the knowledge that this is a virtual reality, one of many, and that we are birthless and deathless beings and thus need not fear to act upon opportunities nor to leave at any time. We are in fact individually alone in our most basic nature and solely responsible for our own development although we do cooperate in the development of the whole of The Consciousness Reality. This is not however the goal of Nagualism.
The concept of entropy reduction and development of the quality of your being was not part of Nagualism. It was all about personal power and manipulating both your own mind and others. Nagualism in terms of practice is entirely a PMR matter. There was no concept of returning to a non physical reality or having a non physical life to which you returned. You were born and you died or you slipped past The Eagle to be free as a man or woman of knowledge. Able to explore at will with no responsibility to The Eagle or whatever it represented for future interaction. The task of the Nagual was to teach you, and learn himself, what was necessary to slip past The Eagle to freedom. The Eagle was the personification of whatever existed beyond the aperture into the next reality that periodically opened to permit the entry of those who had left their bodies at death. They eventually entered this aperture where they became food for The Eagle. I never understood any conceptualization of this beyond this bare statement. They knew that The Eagle was just a cultural metaphor based on superficial visual impressions but never explained it further. This is clearly the same aperture that Robert Monroe encountered when he traveled to the far side of reality. They also described the same apertures from which Robert Monroe stated that God's Love emanated and that Don Juan said was the source of The Eagles emanations upon which this reality was based. Symbolically these apertures would be PMR concepts of the passageway between PMR and NPMR where there is no concept of either PMR or NPMR being virtual realities within The One Consciousness. There was no conceptualization such as in MBT of what The Eagle was other than an enigma. There was no concept that The Eagles emanations were either the reality cells as the basis for consciousness reality or perhaps the incoming data stream from something like the VRRE to provide our PMR experience of consciousness. Thus no inclusion of these aspects of MBT nor any cosmology capable of explaining everything that is explained by MBT.
Carlos Castaneda, according to the documentary, "Enigma of a Sorcerer", went on to set up an extensive cult organization in which he manipulated the lives and minds of the participants. He engaged in extensive sexual relations with the women within the group. He continued the practices of Don Juan in a sense as Don Juan engaged in extensive manipulations of the minds of his apprentices including Carlos Castaneda. It was never a matter of explaning how reality worked. It was always a matter of creating awe and bafflement. It appeared that Don Juan also maintained sexual relations with the women apprentices. At least his sleeping arrangements including these women apprentices was described.
But the Nagual lineage of Don Juan did display many evidences of NPMR and potential actions within PMR making use of NPMR and the VRRE. They did not go on as Tom Campbell has done to discover a metaphysics that can explain all of the above mentioned phenomena and much more. Castaneda's world was based largely upon psychedelic drug ingestion and thus is again different from, if not the antithesis of the discoveries of Tom Campbell resulting in MBT. I used Castaneda's books to think about possibilities and to try to understand reality because I gave them credence based largely on the agreement of some parts of the books and what Robert Monroe described in his books. Specifically the two apertures as the energy flux source and as the return point. I also encountered my own vision of the aperture and The Eagle. Clearly we had been to the same place. There are many tantalizing similarities between the reality described by Robert Monroe and Carlos Castaneda. But as a basis for understanding reality in any way comparable to MBT, Castaneda's books and the world of the Nagual is a dead end. I hope my comments and conclusions have not too much disappointed you. I can remember, and fondly, many other accounts in the books, but not useful to repeat or discuss here. And I doubt that I would ever read them again or attempt to visit the places in NPMR described in Castaneda's books. I did find them useful on the way to a bigger understanding however and remember them with pleasure.