“Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path, and there is not affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition.
I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question. This question is one that only a very old person asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young, and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understand it.
I will tell you what it is: Does this path have a heart?
All paths are the same, they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long, long paths, but I am not anywhere. My benefactor’s question has meaning now. “Does this path have a heart?” One makes you strong; the other weakens you.
The trouble is nobody asks the question: and when a person finally realizes that they have taken a path without heart, the path is ready to kill them. At that point very few people stop to deliberate and leave the path.
A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.
For my part there is only the travelling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length.
And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly.”
– Don Juan
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
“The nature of ruthlessness is that it is the opposite of self-pity. All sorcerers are ruthless.”
“As I have said, the fourth abstract core of the sorcery stories is called the descent of the spirit, or being moved by intent . In order to let the mysteries of sorcery reveal themselves it is necessary for the spirit to descend. The spirit chooses a moment when a man is distracted, unguarded, and, showing no pity, the spirit lets its presence by itself move the man’s assemblage point to a specific position. This spot is known to sorcerers as the place of no pity. Ruthlessness becomes, in this way, the first principle of sorcery.”
“The place of no pity is the site of ruthlessness. Let’s say that ruthlessness, being a specific position of the assemblage point, is shown in the eyes of sorcerers. It’s like a shimmering film over the eyes. The eyes of sorcerers are brilliant. The greater the shine, the more ruthless the sorcerer is.
When the assemblage point moves to the place of no pity, the eyes begin to shine. The firmer the grip of the assemblage point on its new position, the more the eyes shine.”
“For sorcerers to use the shine of their eyes to move their own or anyone else’s assemblage point they have to be ruthless. That is, they have to be familiar with that specific position of the assemblage point called the place of no pity. This is especially true for the naguals.”
“When the assemblage point moves and reaches the place of no pity, the position of rationality and common sense becomes weak.
Silent knowledge is something that all of us have, something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything. But it cannot think, therefore, it cannot speak of what is know.”
“Continuity is so important in our lives that if it breaks it’s always instantly repaired. In the case of sorcerers, however, once their assemblage points reach the place of no pity, continuity is never the same.”
“The place of no pity is a position of the assemblage point, a position which renders self-pity inoperative.”
Don Juan Matus (The Power of Silence)