He leaned over a picked up a small rock and held it between the thumb and index of his left hand and held it in front of my eyes. 'This is a pebble because you know the doing involved in making it into a pebble." he said. "I say you are making it into a pebble because you know the doing involved in it," he said, "Now in order to stop the world you have to stop doing."

"In the case of this little rock," he went on, "the first thing that doing does is to shrink it down to size. So the proper thing to do, which a warrior does if he wants to stop the world, is to enlarge the little rock, or any other thing, by not-doing."

"Is this all true, don Juan?" I asked.

"To say yes or no to your question is doing. but since you are learning not-doing I have to tell you that it really doesn't matter whether or not all this is true. It is here that a warrior has a point of advantage over the average man. An average man cares that things are either true or false, but a warrior doesn't. An average man proceeds in a specific way with things he knows to be true, he acts and believes in what he does. A warrior, on the other hand, acts in both instances. If things are said to be true, he would act in order to do doing. If things are said to be untrue, he would still act in order to do not-doing.

"Not-doing is very simple but very difficult, " he said. "It is not a question of understanding but of mastering it. Seeing, of course, is the final accomplishment of a man of knowledge, and seeing only occurs when one has stopped the world through the technique of not-doing."

He pointed to a long boulder directly in front of us.

"Look at the shadow of that boulder," he said. "The shadow is the boulder, and yet it isn't. To observe the boulder in order to know what the boulder is doing, but to observe it's shadow is not-doing.

The most difficult part of a warrior's way is to realise that the world is a feeling. When one is not-doing, one is feeling the world. Dreaming is the not-doing of dreams, and as you progress in your not-doing you will also progress in dreaming. As long as the warrior keeps on acting without believing he is not-doing.

You must let your body discover the power and the feeling of not-doing.

Let's say that when every one of us is born we bring with us a little ring of power. That little ring is almost immediately put to use. So every one of us is already hooked from birth and our rings of power are joined to everyone else's. In other words, our rings of power are hooked to the doing of the world in order to make the world.

For instance, our rings of power, yours and mine, are hooked right now to the doing in this room. We are making this room. Our rings of power are spinning this room into being at this very moment."

"Wait, wait," I said, "This room is here by itself. I am not creating it. I have nothing to do with it."

Don Juan did not seem concerned with my argumentative protest. He very calmly maintained that the room we were in was brought to being and was kept in place because of the forces of everybody's ring of power.

"You see," he continued, "every one of us knows the doing of rooms because, in one way or another, we have spent much of our lives in rooms. A man of knowledge, on the other hand, develops another ring of power. I would call it the ring of not-doing, because it is hooked to not-doing. With that ring, therefore, he can spin another world."


"I commented that I did not have the qualifications to become a sorcerer.

"Perhaps another meeting with Mescalito will help you." he said.