The World according to the Mexican Sorcerers

By Paulo Coelho

The great majority of spiritual traditions present in the Americas before Columbus’s arrival, has managed – by some miracle! – to preserve its roots. In other words, they were stronger than the civilizations which were here, and which soon succumbed to the conquistadors. Among them, Mexican shamanism, which is still practiced by many local tribes, is one of the most widely studied; various anthropologists have carried out serious studies about the way in which the sorcerers understood God’s presence and their spiritual search. Here are some of the aspects of this understanding of the universe, drawn from various sources:

1] The absence of the personal story: in order for magical rites to pass from generation to generation, the sorcerer (shaman) must forget all he learned before his initiation into magic. According to tradition, a man or women who is tied to his past, will in the end allow himself to be governed by his parents’ way of thinking, or that of the society in which he lives. This is why all those who are initiated choose a new name and seek to free themselves from their memories, both good and bad.

2] The process of forgetting: in order to abandon the story he lived in, the sorcerer spends months on end remembering in detail each of the events of his life. Some traditions require him to spend hour after hour speaking out loud to a glass filled with water, reciting everything which happened at each meeting with each person; thus, the experience is removed from the memory and enters the water – which is then thrown into a river. In this way, the head is left “empty”, and can begin to be filled with new things.

3] Interior silence: once free of his old thoughts, the sorcerer concentrates on his inner silence, and waits for the spirits to begin telling the true story of the Universe. This silence, together with the absence of memories of the past, gives the sorcerer the sensation of total freedom to understand a new world.

4] The web: when he begins understanding his new universe, he enters a sort of trance, and “sees” that everything around us is a giant web of luminous fibers, all linked – in other words, it is a unique object, and part of the same energy. Sometimes, these luminous fibers are condensed in an egg shape, and this means that there is the soul of a human being. (Carlos Castaneda explains this vision very well in his book A Separate Reality).

5] The encounter with power: looking at his own “egg of light”, the sorcerer notices a point, which must join with the luminous fibers capable of conducting the energy of power. This energy, although it can be used by the sorcerer, cannot be manipulated – he must know how to gently lead it to his apprenticeship. Approaching this pointing of joining up is the most difficult work during initiation, and requires silence, meditation and perseverance.

6] The negative energy: some of these fibers of light conduct destructive fluid issued by other sorcerers – who seek not knowledge but control over the souls of others.

7] The “disturbance”: there is always an event in our lives which is responsible for the fact that we ceased to progress. A trauma, an especially bitter defeat, an amorous disappointment, these all lead us towards a cowardly attitude, and we refuse to go on. The shaman, during the process of forgetting his personal history, must first free himself of this “disturbance point”.

According to Mexican sorcerers (and also, curiously, to some Buddhist thinking), death enters through the region of the navel. At this moment, the “egg of light” disintegrates, and the fibers which were there blend with the energy of the universe, until they regroup again in a new form.

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Comments

  1. tara says:

    I highly reccomend the works of Carlos Castaneda to all who have not yet read them. This is my prayer for tonight on healing the split between what we (as a consequence of our life times habitual thought patternings)are accustomed to seeing, and the truth of what IS.

    Dear light love heart beings of soul and spirit of the great I AM,

    I pray that i will come to be free of my ego
    And my grasping mind
    That i can move beyond self
    To the freedom of heart centred loving

    I pray that i will awake fully from this illusion
    That i can embody the joy we were meant to be
    That i can reflect back to the consciousness of love
    With awareness the light of your eternal beauty

    I pray that i can connect with what is
    That i can come to a place where hearts are whole
    Where walls and shadows have no place
    Where there is only space for celebration

    Please guide me to walk along your path
    I pray that my spirit may dance with you
    A dance of creating truth and joy
    A dance of grace being love and light

    Please stop me from falling
    Please heal my separation from
    The natural way of being in love
    That in my being i may be a vessel
    Through which love can flow relentlessly

    I pray that i
    As humble and imperfect
    Can honour my soul calling
    To serve love to serve light
    To become clear
    To enable healing

    I pray that i
    Although often forgetting
    Can more often be remembering
    Although often sleeping
    Can more often be awakening

    I pray that these words will create
    Movement not thoughts
    That the God in them will manifest
    And become my reality

    Please guide my spirit
    To take flight
    From the imagined problems
    Of my little self

    I pray that i
    Can become we
    And that we as one
    Will be
    Music
    Joy
    Dancing
    Healing
    Wonder
    Laughter
    Spirit
    Love
    Light

    That each precious and beautiful gift
    That each moment of life
    Can be embraced in its entirety
    That we will unlearn and learn to see
    And that our combined awareness
    Will expand to mirror to reflect
    The divine miracle
    The endless eternal perfection
    Of conscious loving

    That we all may be in light.

    Amen.

    1. kik says:

      The work of carlos castenada is not authentic mexican shamanism. I suggest you read the article “The dark legacy of carlos castaneda” by james frey.

      Watch the BBC documentary “Carlos Castaneda and the shaman” on google videos.

  2. wanbliska says:

    What do you mean by “forget all he learned”? How?

    Thank you Paulo.

  3. vishesh says:

    thanks for sharing…that shows there is a link between all races of the world..

  4. Leaf says:

    Tara
    Beautifully spoken; I thank you
    xxxx

  5. Nancy says:

    Mr.Coelho this story is a great gift to all your blog readers. My past and my memories have definitely affected my spiritual journey and maybe I’ve finally reached a point of not only recognizing it, but start doing something about it. Release it all and break free from the ropes. I hope all those who were touched by the article success in doing what was stated.

  6. Tania says:

    I am most fascinated with this way of releasing , I must do some more reading on Mexican Sorcerers .I am mainly used to Kinesiology ,NLP or Pranic healing , I like to clear the physical body of the memory stored ,energy body ,chakras and the mind . I will give anything ago to clear stuff ,after all thats what helps us move forward and not be stuck . I like the speaking out loud of all your events /meetings and having them go into the glass of water , I use water in my clearing of houses and then throw it in the river …Blessing Tania

  7. tara says:

    I highly reccomend the works of Carlos Castaneda to all who have not yet read them. This is my prayer for tonight on healing the split between what we (as a consequence of our life times habitual thought patternings)are accustomed to seeing, and the truth of what IS.

    Dear light love heart beings of soul and spirit of the great I AM,

    I pray that i will come to be free of my ego
    And my grasping mind
    That i can move beyond self
    To the freedom of heart centred loving

    I pray that i will awake fully from this illusion
    That i can embody the joy we were meant to be
    That i can reflect back to the consciousness of love
    With awareness the light of your eternal beauty

    I pray that i can connect with what is
    That i can come to a place where hearts are whole
    Where walls and shadows have no place
    Where there is only space for celebration

    Please guide me to walk along your path
    I pray that my spirit may dance with you
    A dance of creating truth and joy
    A dance of grace being love and light

    Please stop me from falling
    Please heal my separation from
    The natural way of being in love
    That in my being i may be a vessel
    Through which love can flow relentlessly

    I pray that i
    As humble and imperfect
    Can honour my soul calling
    To serve love to serve light
    To become clear
    To enable healing

    I pray that i
    Although often forgetting
    Can more often be remembering
    Although often sleeping
    Can more often be awakening

    I pray that these words will create
    Movement not thoughts
    That the God in them will manifest
    And become my reality

    Please guide my spirit
    To take flight
    From the imagined problems
    Of my little self

    I pray that i
    Can become we
    And that we as one
    Will be
    Music
    Joy
    Dancing
    Healing
    Wonder
    Laughter
    Spirit
    Love
    Light

    That each precious and beautiful gift
    That each moment of life
    Can be embraced in its entirety
    That we will unlearn and learn to see
    And that our combined awareness
    Will expand to mirror to reflect
    The divine miracle
    The endless eternal perfection
    Of conscious loving

    That we all may be in light.

    Amen.

  8. Agnieszka says:

    Transition..

    :-)

    love
    Agnieszka

  9. Agnieszka says:

    Butterfly

    …….
    There’s never emptiness inside..
    love fills the silence in your heart,
    in your mind,
    but.. it is only then
    if you let it..
    if you see all the brightness
    and.. take it..
    It is awaiting for you,
    for your acceptance,
    your understanding,
    your proof of openness,
    your endless..
    believing in something..
    you simply will never comprehend,
    your pure,
    unafraid feelings
    of…lightness,
    of..
    holiness.
    ……

    lots of love
    Agnieszka