part one Stopping the World


Friday 26th June 1961

Carlos feels that he cannot make the changes of personality that don Juan recommends, but that he still really wants to learn about plants. Don Juan says that his intentions are not enough, and that to know about peyote - he called it Mescalito for the first time - was a serious affair.

In the early evening don Juan sets up the test to find a beneficial spot on his front porch. The problem exhausts Carlos but he eventually falls asleep after noticing a changes of colour on the floor. Don Juan announces that not only has Carlos found the beneficial spot but also it's opposite, a negative spot.

Saturday, 24 June 1961

Don Juan: Sometimes it's necessary to find a beneficial spot quickly out in the open. Crows are not always available to give warning, you must learn by yourself to find a proper place to camp or rest.

Don Juan teaches the technique which he says takes years to perfect and which consists of gradually forcing the eyes to see separately the same image. This double perception allows the opportunity to judge changes in the surroundings which the eyes were not ordinarily capable of perceiving

Looking again for a proper place Carlos picks a spot which he thinks may have glittered in the corner of his eye. This turns out to be not a beneficial spot. Carlos says he was seeing glitter. 

Don Juan: I don't care, you could be seeing an elephant. How you feel is the important issue. 

Don Juan lets him try the spot before he rescues him from it, charging from a distance and grabbing his arm to lead him away.