Carlos Castaneda

The Art of dreaming (1993)

…As I was watching a window in a dream, trying to find out if I could catch a glimpse of the scenery outside the room, some windlike force, which I felt as a buzzing in my ears, pulled me through the window to the outside. Just before that pull, my dreaming attention had been caught by a strange structure some distance away. It looked like a tractor. The next thing I knew, I was standing by it, examining it.

I was perfectly aware that I was dreaming. I looked around to find out if I could tell from what window I had been looking. The scene was that of a farm in the countryside. No buildings were in sight. I wanted to ponder this. However, the quantity of farm machinery lying around, as if abandoned, took all my attention. I examined mowing machines, tractors, grain harvesters, disk plows, thrashers. There were so many that I forgot my original dream. What I wanted then was to orient myself by watching the immediate scenery. There was something in the distance that looked like a billboard and some telephone poles around it.

The instant I focused my attention on that billboard, I was next to it. The steel structure of the billboard gave me a fright. It was menacing. On the billboard itself was a picture of a building. I read the text; it was an advertisement for a motel. I had a peculiar certainty that I was in Oregon or northern California.

I looked for other features in the environment of my dream. I saw mountains very far away and some green, round hills not too far. On those hills were clumps of what I thought were California oak trees. I wanted to be pulled by the green hills, but what pulled me were the distant mountains. I was convinced that they were the Sierras.

All my dreaming energy left me on those mountains. But before it did, I was pulled by every possible feature. My dream ceased to be a dream. As far as my capacity to perceive was concerned, I was veritably in the Sierras, zooming into ravines, boulders, trees, caves. I went from scarp faces to mountain peaks until I had no more drive and could not focus my dreaming attention on anything. I felt myself losing control. Finally, there was no more scenery, just darkness…

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