The TONAL and the NAGUAL

The warrior’s way acts as a vital shield for the TONAL [roughly: the sense of bodily integrity and wholeness maintained by the ego], giving a man durable options as he struggles to bring the totality of himself into balance. The mark of the warrior’s spirit is that he treats his TONAL in a very special way. He seeks a proper TONAL that is balanced and harmonious and aware of everything that occurs on his island, “A warrior doesn’t ever leave the island of his TONAL, he uses it.”

The NAGUAL [I argue, it is the residual pre-Oedipal consciousness–Jennifer] surrounds the island and should be the most obvious occurence; yet it is not. The TONAL and the NAGUAL are said to be a true pair, though the manifestations of the NAGUAL are virtually eliminated from view by the clever doings of the TONAL. For the NAGUAL to emerge, the TONAL’s [ego’s] unity must be broken and it must shrink; this is a very dangerous affair. [the work of the Oedipus complex in causing repression must be partly undone — Jennifer]

To attempt to define the NAGUAL is virtually impossible. It is presented as “that part of us for which there is no description, no words, no names, no feelings, no knowledge.” [ie. It is the pre-Oedipal that enables us to unconsciously adapt to adult communities as a political “whole” — Jennifer]. The teacher indicates that to say anything about the NAUGAL forces one to borrow from the TONAL, thus it is easier to simply detail its effects. This is so because our talking makes sense only when we stay within certain boundaries, and those boundaries “are not applicable to the NAGUAL.” [because the NAGUAL is actually a feature of one’s unconscious that precedes and also continued to extend beyond the type of awareness that is quintessential to the adult’s “reality-based” ego]. The NAGUAL can only be witnessed; [ie “experienced”–Jennifer] it can be neither understood nor explained.

“for the NAGUAL thereis no land, or air or water … the NAGUAL glides, or flies, or does whatever it may do in NAGUAL’s time. (TP, p 194)”

In order to witness the NAGUAL, the warrior must come upon a benefactor who is a man of knowledge and capable of leading the way. The benefactor gives man demonstrations over a period of time, while the teacher aids the warrior in fortifying his TONAL during the onsloughts [ie. strengthens the mind to enable it to encounter madness without ever losing the reality based ego-centre–Jennifer] The emergence of the NAGUAL is a jolt which is said to terrify the TONAL, and specific practices are required to soothe the TONAL so that is can maintain the view of the NAGUAL. [ie. shamanic doubling is facilitated, which produces the capacity to tolerate simultaneously two very different states of mind, and to allow them to feed into each other, yet without becoming mad — Jennifer.] In the presence of the masterful benefactor, the apprentice encounters extraordinary occurrences.

–from the book, Beyond Health and Normality, ed Roger Walsh and Deane Shapiro.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s