Archive for October, 2010

Tonal, Nagual and Limits of Rational Thinking

Friday, October 1st, 2010

In Carlos Castaneda’s books, Don Juan Matus describes a dichotomy of Tonal and Nagual. Simply, Tonal is what can be named or described with words. Nagual is all that is unnamable and undescribable. Tonal lies in the level of reason, while Nagual is what is beyond reason.

Word structures (be they positive statements or negations) determine relations between perceived objects, in the highest point achieving the irreducible Existence. Differences and contradictions between the constructs of concepts (their affirmations or negations) can be explained by differences in activities of consciousness of each “separate” being, or in other words, consciousness which operates on “individual”, “separated” level. In any case, each “separate” being at some moment of time begins to “break through” on the level of the ever-increasing truth, generalizing and reducing the information which was received by means of perception, while eliminating all particulars by summarizing them into patterns, rules or laws. This is the limit of knowledge, which can be achieved with rational thinking, thinking “with reason”. This is the boundary of Tonal (the domain of rationalizable), after which Nagual begins – the region of unrationalizable.

Penetrating into the Nagual (which one must do having a firm base in the Tonal), the being receives direct gnosis, shadows of which are projected and reflected in Tonal, which find it’s expression in the form of new descriptions of received knowledge. These descriptions lie in the sphere of Relative, but nevertheless reflect the Absolute. Consciousness therefore performs a a galloping process – from Tonal to Nagual – where it receives new experiential knowledge – back to Tonal – where it analyses received knowledge – followed by rest/relaxation – and then a new jump into the Nagual, and so forth. It is an infinite process with which the boundaries of Tonal increase, however also the horizon of penetrability into the Nagual also increases with time. Nagual in a way “drags” Tonal behind it, as a horse drags a carriage, while using it as a support. In this infinite process a conscious being increasingly lights up the edges of That, which is called the Truth.

(c) John Meralog

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