The World Was Born When You Were Born

When you were born, the Tonal was there only as potential. It was surrounding you, nurturing you. You knew the Tonal only as an all-encompassing feeling. You did not distinguish between one feature of it and another. You did not say, “This is my mother, and this is a crib.” It was all the same. It was feeding you; it was carrying you into sleep, protecting your form. That’s all you knew.

As time went by, your assemblage point was fixed, and the world became what it is now, and you were able to name and distinguish things. So you looked at your mother and said, “Mama,” and you looked at your father and said, “Not the mama.” And you looked at your toys and said, “Mine.” And then you looked at your neighbor’s toys and said, “Mine.” And then someone beat you up—usually your neighbor’s kid when you took his toys—and you learned to share, out of the goodness of your heart.

From my upcoming book: The Teachings of a Toltec Survivor

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We Create the World to Act in the Face of the Immensity

When a baby is born, they have a brain full of neural connections ready to take on the programming. The baby begins by not having a fixed world. It does have a Tonal but it is elusive, not fixed. The delimitations between the Tonal and the Nahual are ephemeral at best, and the child keeps moving between this world and other possible worlds. We begin to concentrate the attention of that child to this world with our teachings and what we allow the child to see, and the world is thus consolidated. The way this happens is physical, by pruning and by getting rid of neural connections. There is constant pruning for five to seven years. The baby begins to eliminate parts of his brain because he has to have what is necessary in this world. When you encounter a situation, or when you enter a room (this is how the brain works), your nervous system picks up on a few cues about the room, and that makes you realize which program you should be running. It’s an efficiency mechanism.

When you go home to your children, spouse, and parents, you find yourself in very familiar situations. The sets of programs you have for those situations are very limited. The triggers abound and the program runs automatically. You don’t need to decide what to do; you already know. When you see a face, you recognize it from just a few visual points within the face.

When we are in our office, and we see that face with certain similarities, we already know who it belongs to. Your nervous system, to save time and energy, does not bother with picking up the signals every single time. It just picks up a few, runs the program, and puts the familiar face in it. If you put all your attention into that face, the program is not running; you are receiving the data and it is completely new.

So, imagine that someone were to tell you that when you are born you easily stare into the face of God. To see that face now would require far too much attention. So instead, you run your program called “the world,” “reality,” “the Tonal.” This program allows you to act without being rendered incapable of acting due to the awe, the influx of infinite information.

To act in the face of the immensity of the real, we construct a world. To act, yes, but also to be able to adumbrate a piece of the infinite, and through that construct we hope to one day see the luminous truth beyond all appearances.

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