Carlitos journeys to the Nagual

The Tonal and The Nagual

by Jerry A. Sierra

Approaching the Nagual

[Skip the intro & start the journey]

These images are based on the books by Carlos Castaneda, which depict a young man's transformative journey into a world of sorcery, mystery and spirituality.

This work represents a celebration of the journey to the unknown.

This is not meant to be an academic interpretation of the concepts and ideas handed from Don Juan Matus to Castaneda, but a personal one, which is why I cast the affable representation of Silent Bob in the role of Carlitos. [Given the premise that the figurines are “actors” in visual/cinematic plays for Sierra Unreality Studios, Silent Bob turned out be an inspired casting choice.]

The images are a personal interpretation of ideas presented in the books as I perceived them.

I was in my early twenties when I began to read the Castaneda books, without making a conscious decision to believe or disbelieve the words I was so eagerly consuming. I “sensed” that Castaneda believed, and that was enough.

For me it was a great journey, and my own amateur attempts at “dreaming” became the subject of jokes among the few friends close enough to know about them. One day I realized that I was the center in a small group of believers and disbelievers. Mine would be the deciding vote. Was Castaneda a true explorer or a fictionalizer? This is a polite way of describing what was once a heated and passionate conflict. the nagual

I never cast my vote, nor felt that it was necessary to do so.

Eventually we all went our separate ways… divorce, promotions, death, migration… I stay in touch with those left, but in our few long-distance conversations the subject of Castaneda has never come up. For years, however, some of the jokes that had been at my expense became a calling card. Someone would say to me, “Good morning, Jerry, how’ya doing’?” I’d respond, “I’m not Jerry. I’m his dreaming double. I’m not as nice as he is.” I always knew it was stretching the concept a bit.

Most people didn’t get it or think it was funny, but it secretly reminded me of how important it was for me to believe that Castaneda’s world was… real… or, at least, possible. How nothing in our world of logic and technology and political authority could begin to disprove the spiritual nature of existence. Maybe that’s why I could never cast my vote.

The quotes used in the images (so far) come from Tales of Power, The Art of Dreaming and The Power of Silence and The Second Ring of Power.

the eagle in the nagualThese images may change as my perceptions evolve.


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