The Naguals—Dreaming

As a person of bipolar persuasion, my quest continues to find substantial, workable tools for managing my illness and living at my greatest potential.  The tools that have worked best for me come from a wide variety of spiritual traditions and integrated studies.  Recently, I’ve been reminded of the teachings of the Toltecs—the work found in the writings of Carlos Castaneda and Don Miguel Ruiz.  The Naguals, the keepers of the ancient wisdom and practices, taught that reality is only a description, not Truth, and that we live our day-to-day lives in an endless flow of perceptual interpretations of that description.  We mistake the finger pointing at the Truth as the Truth.  We live in a dream, a world of illusion.  The stories we tell ourselves, and choose to believe in, create our reality.  Most of these stories, these beliefs, are lies.  Our task as human beings is to awaken from the dream.

This approach seems even more vital for those of us with mental illness.  We layer on more skewed perceptual interpretations, then believe them.  We act from our beliefs, which only reinforces the dream.  Waking up is not just a task for us, it’s the only way we can break the illness’ hold on us.

Long ago and far away, I used to teach this material.  I’m taking a big step out of the shadows by offering some of that instruction here.  If you choose to tag along with me, you’ll need a journal.  There’s homework.  I know.  Sorry.

One of the first steps in waking up from the dream is to identify our beliefs and start questioning them.  You will be creating your own Book of Law in your journal.  Below are some categories suggested by Don Miguel, but make up ones that fit you.  As you work with these categories, ask what’s good/bad, right/wrong about each one (ie. what’s good/bad about your physical appearance).

When our beliefs are challenged, we feel fear.

Please do not attempt this work if you are suffering from an episode or already feeling anxious.

Book of Law Categories

Your Body and Your Self

  1. Personal Appearance
  2. Diet and Health
  3. Mental Health
  4. Masculine/Feminine

Family and Friends

  1. Love and Sex
  2. Marriage and Family
  3. Friendship and Social Interactions

Life and God

  1. Religion and Spirituality
  2. Death and Loss
  3. Nature, Animals and All Forms of Life

Work and Career

  1. Your Unique Skills and Talents
  2. Money and Finance
  3. Success and Failure

If you are willing, share your experiences and any “Eureka” moments.  We’ll take it nice and slow.

Suggested Reading:

  1. Castaneda, Carlos, Journey to Ixtlan and Tales of Power.
  2. Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements and Mastery of Love.
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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. strugglingwithbipolar
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 17:13:30

    I read The Four Agreements, but I cannot remember it. I was probably too sick to read it then anyway. I will try keeping a journal soon to follow along. I love this post.

    Reply

  2. Linda
    Mar 25, 2011 @ 17:40:07

    Oh, Sandy – You are soooo perfectly in tune with the Universe! I was one of your students when you taught The Four Agreements, and I can safely say (and have many times) it’s the only book that has COMPLETELY changed my life. I’ve read, studied, worked many books, and that one with you as Sensei (teacher) was amazing. I still work it, having to remind myself several times a week not to take things personally, and give myself a break when my best today isn’t as good as it was yesterday. I love you woman, and I look forward to this ride with you!

    My brain is mush after a long day/week, so I just cut and pasted the categories and didn’t stress about coming up with new/different ones. I am perfect today, even if I’ll be better tomorrow and was yesterday…

    Linda’s Book of Law

    My Body and My Self (good/bad – right/wrong)
    1. Personal Appearance (red hair/weight – I’m a girl/I’m a girl :O)
    2. Diet and Health (not a lot of junk food/not a lot of fruits & veggies)
    3. Mental Health (up mostly/dark thoughts more than occasionally lately)
    4. Masculine/Feminine (Too much masculine/not enough feminine)
    Family and Friends
    1. Love (Love All/seems repressed lately)
    2. Sex (gettin’ some/not enough wanting :O)
    3. Marriage (not married/less connected than I’d like)
    4. Family (good with mom/not so good with dad)
    5. Friendship (have some/disconnected-disinterested)
    6. Social Interactions (fun in the moment/hard to keep going)
    Life and God
    1. Religion (know better/still get sucked in)
    2. Spirituality (have some/disconnected and wanting)
    3. Death and Loss (minimal/hugely felt)
    4. Nature, Animals and All Forms of Life (recognize and honor/hold humans at a distance)
    Work and Career
    1. Your Unique Skills and Talents (good at job/needing something more)
    2. Money and Finance (recovering/still have a ways to go)
    3. Success and Failure (seems balanced)

    Miracles Abound!
    Rev. Linda

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 25, 2011 @ 19:08:56

      I know how meaningful this material was for you. I can remember bits of our class together.
      It’s a little weird for me to present it again. It’s like an echo of who I was then is whispering this information to me. But, doing this feels right and appropriate, so, here I go!

      Reply

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