Today i find myself in a place of detachment after what would once have been a distressing situation, but after awhile now having to deal with other people in their not so enlightened states, i find myself in a strange and foriegn state of mind. Carlos Castaneda describes this place on the assemblage point position so well , that i quote him here from “Losing the human form” : I woke up in the early morning hours with an unbearable pressure in my head. It was not a headache. It was rather a very intense weight in my ears. I felt it also on my eyelids and the roof of my mouth. I knew I was feverish, but the heat was only in my head. I made a feeble attempt to sit up. The thought crossed my mind that I was having a stroke. My first reaction was to call for help, but somehow I calmed down and tried to let go of my fear.
After a while, the pressure in my head began to diminish, but it also began to shift to my throat. I gasped for air- gagging and coughing for some time. The pressure moved slowly to my chest, then to my stomach, to my groin, to my legs, and to my feet before it finally left my body.
Whatever had happened to me had taken about two hours to unfold. During the course of those two grueling hours, it was as if something inside my body was actually moving downward; moving out of me. I fancied it to be rolling up like a carpet. Another image that occurred to me was of a blob moving inside the cavity of my body.
I discarded that image in favor of the first because the feeling was of something being coiled within itself. Just like a carpet being rolled up, it became heavier and thus more painful as it went down. The two areas where the pain became excruciating were my knees and my feet, especially my right foot which remained hot for thirty-five minutes after all the pain and pressure had vanished.
La Gorda, upon hearing my report, said that this time for certain I had lost my human form; that I had dropped all my shields, or most of them. She was right. Without knowing how or even realizing what had happened, I found myself in a most unfamiliar state. I felt detached; unbiased.
It did not matter what la Gorda had done to me. It was not that I had forgiven her for her reproachable behavior with me. It was as if there had never been any betrayal. There was no overt or covert rancor left in me for la Gorda, or for anyone else.
What I felt was not a willed indifference, nor negligence to act. Neither was it alienation, nor even the desire to be alone. Rather, it was an alien feeling of aloofness; a capability of immersing myself in the moment, and of having no thoughts whatever about anything else.
People’s actions no longer affected me because I had no more expectations of any kind. A strange peace became the ruling force in my life. I felt I had somehow adopted one of the concepts of a warrior’s life- detachment.
La Gorda said that I had done more than adopt it. I had actually embodied it.
Don Juan and I had had long discussions on the possibility that someday I would do just that. He had said that detachment did not automatically mean wisdom, but that it was, nonetheless, an advantage because it allowed the warrior to pause momentarily to reassess situations; to reconsider positions. In order to use that extra moment consistently and correctly, however, he said that a warrior had to struggle unyieldingly for a lifetime.
I had despaired that I would never experience that feeling. As far as I could determine, there was no way to improvise it. It had been useless for me to think about its benefits, or to reason out the possibilities of its advent.
During the years I had known don Juan, I certainly experienced a steady lessening of personal ties with the world; but that had taken place on an intellectual plane. In my everyday life, I was unchanged until the moment I lost my human form.
I speculated with la Gorda that the concept of losing the human form refers to a bodily condition that besets the apprentice upon his reaching a certain threshold in the course of training.
Be that as it may, the end result of losing the human form for la Gorda and myself, oddly enough, was not only the sought-after and coveted sense of detachment, but also the fulfillment of our elusive task of remembering.
And again in this case, the intellect played a minimal part.