The Naguals—Self-Importance

Welcome to Part Four of our work with the Toltec teachings.

If you’re joining us for the first time, please read the three previous posts first:  The Naguals—Dreaming, The Naguals—Personal Power, and The Naguals—Become Impeccable before continuing.  Again, this psycho-spiritual work is intense.  Challenging our core beliefs and breaking with routine creates fear and anxiety in human beings with stellar mental health.

If you are currently suffering from a bipolar or psychotic episode, or if you are experiencing anxiety, please save this work for a more stable time.

A warrior can be injured but not offended.  For a warrior there is nothing offensive about the acts of his fellow-men as long as he himself is acting within the proper mood.—Don Juan

Self Importance is the way our ego assembles and maintains its reality for its own self-confirmation and to convince itself it is real. We are chained to “the mirror of self-reflection” and use the majority our energy maintaining our self-image—trying to influence other people’s opinions of us; defending ourselves against criticism; demonstrating that we are the best or the worst, the most beautiful or the most miserable, always “special” in some way.  Eliminating self-importance frees up incredible personal power.

Egomania is a real tyrant.  We must work ceaselessly to dethrone it.  As long as you feel that your are the most important thing in the world you cannot really appreciate the world around you. The world around us is a mystery.  And men are no better than anything else.  To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow-men as equals is a magnificent act of the warrior’s spirit.  It takes power to do that.—Don Juan

Petty Tyrants

The Petty Tyrant is a tormentor that makes life impossible.  It is an enemy, in a position of power and not under our control (no spouses or children).  The real damage comes from the humiliation and offense that results from taking ourselves too seriously. Working with Petty Tyrants as a form of Stalking (the strategic control of one’s own conduct) which helps break our hold on Self Importance.

The Stalker’s Strategy

  1. Control—to tune the spirit when the Petty Tyrant is trampling us.
  2. Discipline—to gather information on the Petty Tyrant while under siege.
  3. Forbearance—to wait patiently without anxiety, a simple joyful holding back.
  4. Timing—to put into action all we’ve prepared through the first three strategies.
  5. Will—the only element belonging to the Unknown.  Cultivated through conservation of personal power.

Only a warrior can withstand the path of knowledge.  A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad.  Challenges are simply challenges.—Don Juan

The Second Agreement—Don’t Take Anything Personally

We assume everything is about us, when everything is really about them.  Most of all, we can’t take ourselves personally.

You are like you are, because you tell yourself that you are that way.—Don Juan


Write about your Petty Tyrant and a specific situation.  Begin to consider this person and circumstance as an opportunity for stalking your impeccability and loosening your hold on self-importance.

  1. What difference does it make to consider this person as an enemy instead of someone to tolerate or fear?
  2. What kind of control could you have exercised in this situation?  Write as if you had played out that control.  How does the situation change?
  3. What information could you have gathered about your Petty Tyrant?  What discipline would be required to do this?  Write about summoning this discipline and how the situation changes.
  4. Remove any haste or anxiety from the scene.  How does waiting patiently change the situation?
  5. Consider the timing of your actions and reactions.  How would you alter your timing?  What are the results?
  6. Did you exercise your will?  How might you have used your will differently?  Write about doing this and how the situation changes.
  7. Pay attention to any remaining feelings of offense or humiliation.  Recognize the energy being expended to maintain these feelings.

Make a list of 20 things you feel a strong attachment to:  People, Things, Events, Feelings, Beliefs.

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how much attachment do you have to these items?
  2. Chose an object on your list that you adore and feel attachment to (at least a 5 rating).
  3. List some reasons why you’re attached to this object.
  4. Consider how much energy you spend maintaining your attachment to this object.  On a scale of 1-10, how much attention and energy is spent:  Protecting the object from others?  Keeping it in perfect condition?  Paying for maintenance or protection?  Worrying about it?

Non-Journaling Homework

Practice stalking your own behavior.  Observe yourself as you would prey.

Notice when you become offended and mark your self-importance.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. strugglingwithbipolar
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 08:27:00

    I love what you are doing with these posts. Thank you for sharing. I am saving the homework for later, but I do enjoy reading.


    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 27, 2011 @ 10:20:06

      Thank you. It seems like lifetimes ago when I taught this material. Stepping back into that persona is a big leap for me after being so sick for so long.


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