The assemblage point is one of the main themes in the Castaneda book series and a critical topic for understanding what the teachings are all about. In this article I explore what the assemblage point is and how to utilize the assemblage point to expand YOUR perception.
The seers associated with the Castaneda’s lineage have passed down knowledge over thousands of years about the nature of reality due to their discovery of seeing pure energy directly, as it flows in the universe. Our familiarity with the world we perceive compels us to believe that we are surrounded by a world of objects, existing by themselves and as themselves, just as we perceive them, whereas, in fact, there is no world of objects, but a universe of energetic emanations. The seers of Castaneda’s lineage were able to see a flux of emanations and to see how man and other living beings utilize them to construct their perceivable world. These emanations or filaments are aware of themselves, alive and vibrating. Fluid, forever in motion, and yet unchanged, eternal. There are so many of them that numbers have no meaning and each of them is an eternity in itself.
Living organisms are able to grasp a certain range of those emanations particular to their species. The emanations at large exert great pressure on the organisms, and through that pressure, organisms construct their perceivable world. For a seer, humans are luminous beings, resembling an egg like cocoon. Our luminosity is made up of a portion of these emanations which are encased in our luminous cocoon. That particular portion, that handful of emanations that is encased, is what makes us people. Human beings are made of these emanations and are in essence bubbles of luminescent energy; each of us is wrapped in a cocoon that encloses a small portion of emanations at large. To perceive is to match the emanations contained inside our cocoon with those that are outside. The emanations inside and the emanations outside, are the same filaments of light. Sentient beings are like bubbles made out of those filaments, and are attached to the infinite emanations.
As human beings, we employ those emanations and interpret them as reality. But what man senses is such a small portion of the big picture, that it’s ridiculous to believe that our perceptions are all there is to reality, and yet it isn’t possible for us to disregard our perceptions either. Perception takes place, because there is in each of us an agent called the assemblage point that selects internal and external emanations for alignment. The particular alignment that we perceive as the world is the product of the specific spot where our assemblage point is located on our cocoon. For most humans, the assemblage point is located on the upper right quadrant of our cocoon, near the rear surface.
The spot where our assemblage point is located on our cocoon is not a permanent feature, but is established on that specific spot by habit. Hence the tremendous stress the seers of Castaneda’s lineage put on new actions, on new practicalities. They wanted to arrive at new usages, new habits. Once a person becomes aware that the world we perceive is the result of our assemblage points’ being located on a specific spot on the cocoon, the assemblage point can move almost at will, as a consequence of new habits.
As infants, we have hundreds of teachers who teach us exactly where to place our assemblage point. Seers see that infants have no fixed assemblage point at first. Their encased emanations are in a state of great turmoil, and their assemblage points shift every which way. Then as they grow, the older humans around them, force the children’s assemblage points to become more steady by means of an increasingly complex internal dialogue. The internal dialogue is a process that constantly strengthens the position of the assemblage point, because that position is an arbitrary one and needs steady reinforcement. So the internal dialogue is what keeps the assemblage point fixed to a steady position, providing us with a stable reality that seems solid and is soon taken for granted. Once inner silence is attained however, the assemblage point can move away from it’s customary position and then, anything is possible in terms of perception.
The assemblage point is like a luminous magnet that picks emanations and groups them together wherever it moves within the bounds of man’s band of emanations. If the assemblage point aligns emanations inside the cocoon in a position different from its normal one, those emanation then align with new emanations outside of the cocoon, and the human senses perceive in inconceivable ways.
The exact position of the assemblage point is an arbitrary position chosen for us by our ancestors, and it can move with a relatively small effort. Once it moves, it forces new alignments of emanations, thus new perceptions. In many cases, people move their assemblage points by accident. For example: hallucinogens can move the assemblage point, but hunger, tiredness, fever, and other things like that can have a similar effect. For a more controlled and voluntary movement, seers begin by stopping their internal dialogue. Once inner silence is attained, the bonds that tie the assemblage point to the particular spot where it was placed begin to break and the assemblage point is free to move. A small movement produces a small change in perception, however once that assemblage point moves beyond a certain limit, it can assemble worlds entirely different from the one we know.
For the assemblage point to shift significantly, one needs available energy. Usually our energy for perceiving is already spoken for, used up by the concerns of our day to day lives. Without enough energy, the force of a new alignment of emanations is crushing. You have to have energy to sustain the pressure of alignments which do not take place under ordinary circumstances. Fortunately, there are many ways to free up surplus of energy, which can then be used to move the assemblage point and perceive new worlds.
Here’s one simple way to get started freeing up surplus energy: Make a list of everything you do each day and eliminate the things that use up the most energy. Certain things are necessary for survival and can’t be eliminated, such as going to work, doing chores, the mandatory. But perhaps the way we do these things can be changed. I’ll explain: if mandatory tasks can’t be eliminated then other things like obvious energy wasting habits can be dropped. If you are honest with yourself and make a thorough list, you will find that our most wasteful energetic habits have to do with our ego and defending our ideas of ourselves and our world. Arguing, becoming offended, having to prove ourselves right, complaining and feeling sorry for ourselves, criticizing others, etc. are energy wasting practices which are certainly not needed and they all stem from the ego. We can never truly vanquish the ego because it’s part of who we are. But we CAN make it less prominent and apply that freed energy toward moving our assemblage point. No one will tell you that shrinking your ego is going to be easy. The ego has been in charge of everything we do for most of our lives and does not let go of the controls so easily.
The list of energy wasting habits is not limited to the world of action. Our thoughts waste energy as well. Constantly talking to ourselves in our head, especially about negative topics, uses a lot of our energy. If we can curtail our internal dialogue and retain more inner silence, the amount of surplus energy that can be saved is surprising. Meditation can help with this, but it will only take you so far. If you want to get to work on getting more control of your internal dialogue AND move your assemblage point to perceive the energies around us, you should try setting aside a few hours every day or night and spend some time in complete darkness, with your eyes open. This method has been refined and developed into an effective technique by the R/Castaneda group on Reddit, and they call this method the darkroom practices. Here is a link to that group if you would like to check it out: https://www.reddit.com/r/castaneda/
Before beginning the darkroom practices, it helps if you have worked on recapitulation and lucid dreaming to help you gain more energy and loosen up your assemblage point. I have some how to videos on my Youtube channel about those two topics if you have not already tried them. I will link those videos at the bottom of this page. You can begin the darkroom practices without recapitulation and lucid dreaming, but your darkroom sessions will be much more productive if you are practicing recapitulation and lucid dreaming as well.
So to begin the darkroom practices, you will need a purely dark room. You should black out the windows with cardboard or a very thick curtain, and tape the edges so that no light gets in. Use tape to cover any LEDs so that the room is completely dark. Then just sit and stare into the darkness with your eyes open, looking for colors. When you begin to see any kind of colors, keep watching them. They will get brighter and brighter over the next few days of practice. Once you can see the colors more brightly, get up and walk around. Look for more colors on the floor, the ceiling, anywhere you can think to look for them. Some of the colors might not be stationary, but keep looking and you soon you will find some that are stationary and look unquestionably real, like you forgot to cover an LED or something.
Next, try to scoop up some of the colors, using your hands, and deposit them onto your body or just swish the colors around. What you are doing is moving your assemblage point to a new place where this perception becomes possible. And this is only the beginning. A full breakdown of what comes next is laid out with explanations and diagrams on the Castaneda subreddit on reddit.com. They have been working with this technique for years and have a great community of serious practitioners who can help answer questions as you work on getting that assemblage point moving!
A link to my Youtube video on Recapitulation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGB2YUt1110
A link to my Youtube video on Lucid Dreaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9s2145BLQY