Carlos Castaneda

The Art of Dreaming (1993)

…It seemed at that time that every breakthrough in dreaming happened to me suddenly, without warning. The presence of inorganic beings in my dreams was no exception. It happened while I was dreaming about a circus I knew in my childhood. The setting looked like a town in the mountains in Arizona. I began to watch people with the vague hope I always had that I would see again the people I had seen the first time don Juan made me enter into the second attention. As I watched them, I felt a sizable jolt of nervousness in the pit of my stomach; it was like a punch.

The jolt distracted me, and I lost sight of the people, the circus, and the mountain town in Arizona. In their place stood two strange-looking figures. They were thin, less than a foot wide, but long, perhaps seven feet. They were looming over me like two gigantic earthworms. I knew that it was a dream, but I also knew that I was seeing. Don Juan had discussed seeing in my normal awareness and in the second attention as well. Although I was incapable of experiencing it myself, I thought I had understood the idea of directly perceiving energy. In that dream, looking at those two strange apparitions, I realized that I was seeing the energy essence of something unbelievable.

I remained very calm. I did not move. The most remarkable thing to me was that they didn’t dissolve or change into something else. They were cohesive beings that retained their candlelike shape. Something in them was forcing something in me to hold the view of their shape. I knew it because something was telling me that if I did not move, they would not move either.


It all came to an end, at a given moment, when I woke up with a fright. I was immediately besieged by fears. A deep preoccupation took hold of me. It was not psychological worry but rather a bodily sense of anguish, sadness with no apparent foundation.

The two strange shapes appeared to me from then on in every one of my dreaming sessions.

Eventually, it was as if I dreamt only to encounter them. They never attempted to move toward me or to interfere with me in any way. They just stood there, immobile, in front of me, for as long as my dream lasted…

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