Secret Toltec Knowledge of Fire, Mexico

Selections from 'The Fire Within'

By Carlos Castaneda
June 11, 1961 (published in 1984)

The Glow of Awareness and the Alignment of Emanations

"The old seers saw that the earth has a cocoon... They saw that there was a ball encasing the earth, a luminous cocoon that entraps the Eagle's emanations. The earth is a gigantic sentient being subjected to the same forces we are." (p 204)

He explained that what he called the key to everything was the first-hand knowledge that the earth is a sentient being and as such can give warriors a tremendous boost; it is an impulse that comes from the awareness of the earth itself at the instant in which the emanations inside the warriors' cocoons are aligned with the appropriate emanations inside the earth's cocoon. Since both the earth and man are sentient beings, their emanations coincide, or rather, the earth has all the emanations that are present in man and all the emanations present in all sentient beings, organic or inorganic for that matter. When a moment of alignment takes place, sentient beings use that alignment in a limited way and perceive their world. Warriors can use that alignment either to perceive, like everyone else, or as a boost that allows them to enter unimaginable worlds. (p 206)

He explained that the earth's boost is the force of alignment of only the amber emanations. It is a boost that heightens awareness to unthinkable degrees. To the new seers it is a blast of unlimited consciousness, which they call total freedom. (p 247)

Don Juan restated over and over that the portion of the emanations inside man's cocoon is in there only for awareness, and that awareness is matching that portion of the emanations with the same portion of emanations at large. They are called emanations at large because they are immense... inside man's cocoon the unknown is the emanations untouched by awareness. When the glow of awareness touches them, they become active and can be aligned with the corresponding emanations at large. Once that happens the unknown is perceived and becomes the known. (p 207)

"They say that perception is a condition of alignment... Alignment is what allows awareness to be cultivated by every living creature... When seers see perception, they witness that the luminosity of the... emanations outside those creatures' cocoons brightens the luminosity inside their cocoons. The outside luminosity attracts the inside one; it traps it, so to speak, and fixes it. That fixation is the awareness of every specific being." (p 61)

The circular aspect... is what maintains life and awareness, fulfillment and purpose... "The reason that it's called the circular force is that it comes in rings, thread-like hoops of iridescence... it strikes all living beings ceaselessly... to give them strength, direction, awareness; to give them life... It's one indivisible force that fits all living beings, organic and inorganic." (p 228)

..."[O]ne of the most worthwhile findings of the ancient seers... was the discovery that organic life is not the only form of life present on this earth... For seers, to be alive means to be aware... For the average man, to be aware means to be an organism. This is where seers are different. For them, to be aware means that the emanations that cause awareness are encased inside a receptacle." (p 90)

The Three Attentions

"Seers say that there are three types of attention... they are rather three levels of attainment. They are the first, second, and third attention, each of them an independent domain, complete in itself." He explained that the first attention in man is the animal awareness... everything that one can think about is part of the first attention... (p 76-77)

Don Juan explained that in order for our first attention to bring into focus the world that we perceive, it has to emphasize certain emanations selected from the narrow band of emanations where man's awareness is located. The discarded emanations are still within our reach but remain dormant, unknown to us for the duration of our lives. The new seers call the emphasized emanations the right side, normal awareness, the tonal, this world, the known, the first attention. The average man calls it reality, rationality, common sense.

The emphasized emanations compose a large portion of man's band of awareness, but a very small piece of the total spectrum of emanations present inside the cocoon of man. The disregarded emanations within man's band are thought of as a sort of preamble to the unknown, the unknown proper consisting of the bulk of emanations which are not part of the human band and which are never emphasized. Seers call them the left-side awareness, the nagual, the other world, the unknown, the second attention. (p 116)

"... [T]o utilize those unused emanations, one needs uncommon, elaborate tactics that require supreme discipline and concentration... the art of dreaming... the concentration needed to be aware that one is having a dream is the forerunner of the second attention. That concentration is a form of consciousness that is not in the same category as the consciousness needed to deal with the daily world."

"The new seers... let the mastery of awareness develop to its natural end, which is to extend the glow of awareness beyond the bounds of the luminous cocoon in one single stroke. The third attention is attained when the glow of awareness turns into the fire from within: a glow that kindles not one band at a time but all the... emanations inside man's cocoon." Don Juan expressed his awe for the new seers' deliberate effort to attain the third attention while they are alive and conscious of their individuality... "The supreme accomplishment of human beings," he said, "is to attain that level of attention while retaining the life-force, without becoming a disembodied awareness moving like a flicker of light..." (p 77-78)

...[T]he glow produced by a state of total awareness... is seen as a burst of incandescence in the entire luminous egg. It is an explosion of light of such a magnitude that the boundaries of the shell are diffused and the inside emanations extend themselves beyond anything imaginable. "Are those special cases, don Juan?"

"Certainly. They happen only to seers. No other living men or any other living creatures brighten up like that. Seers who deliberately attain total awareness are a sight to behold. That is the moment when they burn from within. The fire from within consumes them. And in full awareness they fuse themselves to the emanations at large, and glide into eternity"...

"[As seers] our case is a bit different, because we are at the end of our trail. We are not seeking anything... we go from day to day doing nothing. We are waiting. I will not tire of repeating this: we know that we are waiting and we know what we are waiting for. We are waiting for freedom!" (p 120-121)

Fire and Water, Above and Below

He continued then with his elucidation of the practices of the old seers. Another of their great findings had to do with the category of secret knowledge: fire and water. They discovered that flames have the most peculiar quality; they can transport man bodily, just as water does... They considered flames and fluidity to be higher, magical properties, and they used them as a means for bodily transportation to the realm of inorganic life.
(p 92)

[Some men of knowledge] "endeavored to use seeing positively and to teach it to their fellow men. I'm convinced that under their direction, the populations of entire cities went into other worlds and never came back." (p 18-19)

Don Juan said that the old seers observed that the wetness of water only dampens or soaks, but the fluidity of water moves. It runs, they surmised, in search of other levels underneath us. They believed that water had been given to us not only for life, but also as a link, a road to the other levels below... to be transported bodily by the fluidity of water anywhere between this level of ours and the other seven levels below.
(p 98-99)

The knowledge of the below had to do with fog, water of underground springs, swamps, lightening bolts, earthquakes, the night, moonlight and the moon. (p 93)

Negative Inorganic Beings

Between their knowledge of that kind of life and their fire and water practices, the ancient seers became bogged down in a quagmire with no way out. (p 92)

"These were techniques that made the old seers into horrid beings. And their secret knowledge of the earth was employed either to groom or destroy anything that stands on the ground. The counterpart of the earth was what they knew as the dark regions... These practices... dealt with entities without organic life..." (p 90)

"Organic living beings have a cocoon that encloses the emanations. But there are other creatures whose receptacles don't look like a cocoon to a seer. Yet they have emanations of awareness in them and characteristics of life other than reproduction and metabolism... such as emotional dependency, sadness, joy, wrath and so forth and so on. And I forgot the best yet, love; a kind of love man cannot even conceive..."

"If those beings are alive, how come they don't make themselves known to man?" I asked.

"They do, all the time. And not only to seers but also to the average man. The problem is that all the energy available is consumed by the first attention. Man's inventory not only takes it all, but it also toughens the cocoon to the point of making it inflexible. Under those circumstances there is no possible interaction..."
(p 90-91)


The sacred Toltec science of the soul mirrors many ancient Sanskrit teachings, as seen in the parallel concepts of the attainment of the 'third attention' and 'buddhahood'. When the Toltec master Don Juan certifies "we know that we are waiting and we know what we are waiting for. We are waiting for freedom!"
(p 121), we can infer that he believes he will attain the third attention along with all other seers at the Red Dawn of the new solar era beginning on December 22, 2012. The quantum physics of nonlinear acoustics now directly supports this widely held indigenous belief. The rectification of science with ancient spirituality is presented throughout this website in order to navigate the oncoming changes in human consciousness.

The sacred Toltec center where Castaneda was initiated in Sonora, Mexico (30.00N 106.85W) is situated 7,469 miles or 30.00% of the Earth's circumference distance from the Orion pyramids of Giza, Egypt. The qualities of enhanced awareness by infrasound that resonates at this site will be gradually culminating in waves of piezoelectric fires. This type of phenomena has been occurring recently in Messina and Berici, Italy, Ratria, India, Bodibe, South Africa, Seattle and Santa Barbara, USA.