Nagualism was a socially accepted practice for thousands of years, comparable to our religion or science. In time, its postulates grew in abstraction and synthesis, becoming a kind of philosophical proposition, the practitioners of which took the name Toltecs. The Toltecs were not what we ordinarily think of as ‘sorcerers’, that is, individuals who use supernatural forces to damage others, but rather extremely disciplined men and women who were interested in complex aspects of consciousness. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual
The books written by Carlos Castaneda encompass the teachings of the ancient Toltec people. There is not much to be found about the Toltec but the most consistent attribute is that they were known as women and men of knowledge; scientists, artists, teachers, spiritualists and people from various races and all walks of life, who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of the ancient ones.
They were, as Carlos Castaneda often wrote, “masters of awareness” who constantly challenged themselves to evolve beyond the realm of ordinary human awareness to attain personal freedom. They focused on pure energy as being the driving force behind all things and disciplined themselves to release everything extraneous in order to break free of the mold of man. They knew that the perception of the dominant paradigm was limiting and that it failed to integrate the sacred. They recognized that the earth is their host and teacher, a living, breathing intelligence. They knew that she and all beings are an extension of this pure and energetic universal force.
Because of their commitment to personal freedom, the Toltec became aware that the perception of consensual reality was a limiting and restrictive modality that distracted one from the truth of source. They knew that the mastery of a number of different practices, including recapitulation, aligning with intent and utilizing the dream world would result in the ability to hone their levels of awareness and perception. Always alert and committed to conscious evolution they consistently opened doorways to new worlds.
The true Toltec people of today work quietly and rarely speak of these ways. They do not hold workshops, teach classes or provide “certification” as a profitable way to try and convert others into utilizing these ways as a means of salvation. These practices are available to anyone who is ready and willing to align with intent to learn directly from the source. The nagual will empower one to find the means to their own personal evolution and freedom with gentle and ruthless guidance as opposed to dogmatic and structured instruction.
It should be noted that the Toltec ways are not prophecies to be fulfilled or opportunities to instruct others on how to attain mastery in awareness. To attempt to teach these ways as a means of salvation does nothing except dilute and minimize the power of these ancient ways. One must come into these ways as part of their own awakening and deep commitment to evolve beyond the limitations of their current perceptory filters.
Aside from the massive amounts of controversy, my belief is and has always been that Carlos Castaneda was a genius in his creative works. He wrote the books in a way that would flirt with the adventurous and perhaps entice them to attempt to accomplish the metaphoric feats Carlos spoke of. And when the majority of readers determined that they could not achieve the task at hand, whether in altered or unaltered states of awareness, they chalked it off as a bunch of bunk. But for those of us who were able to connect to the energy behind the words, well, need I say more?