The assemblage point shift is similar in principle to electroshock therapy. Both therapies can be used to address depression, mania, schizophrenia, and catatonia. However, shifting the assemblage point is noninvasive compared to electroshock. It complements Hoffer’s and Osmond’s understanding of the link between the hallucinogenic plants of the American Southwest and the state of mental well-being. (See: Why it is an honor to pay income tax – April 16, 2009)
In Castaneda’s The Fire from Within, Don Juan repeatedly warns about the health dangers that come from an assemblage point that has been knocked off center. Both legal and illicit drug use can knock an assemblage point off center. Don Juan uses peyote and other medicinal plants to induce a hallucinatory state in Castaneda. To bring him back to a balanced state afterwards, Jon Whale observes that Don Juan surreptitiously gave the author a quick sharp blow to the shoulder blade, popularly referred to as the shaman’s blow.
Dr. Whale has observed that psychiatric drugs do a poor job of moving the assemblage point back into position. According to him, psychiatric drugs do not take into account the complexities of the endocrine system and leave the patient in a chronic depressed state rather than correcting the situation. Dr. Hoffer’s niacin treatment is, in my opinion, another way of realigning the assemblage point. Whether you hallucinate naturally (e.g. schizophrenia) or unnaturally (e.g. mescaline and peyote), the antidote is the same: moving the assemblage point back into its correct position.
I became an avid follower of the anthropologist Carlos Castaneda and the German high court judge Daniel Paul Schreber after stumbling upon the concept of the assemblage point while researching light and color therapy early in the new year, 2006.
The assemblage point is familiar to fans of Carlos Castaneda and the shaman Don Juan Matus. Yet, despite the many hours of instruction that Castaneda received from Don Juan, he remained unclear as to what exactly the assemblage point was and where it was located. From Don Juan he learned that it was a hairy, luminous egg-shaped cocoon located about an arm’s length away from the body and linked to the energy at our disposal. A warrior’s energy, according to Don Juan, is always a consequence of a shift in his assemblage point. “Any movement of the assemblage point means a movement away from excessive concern with the individual self.”
In 1900, Daniel Paul Schreber, who was thought to be suffering from dementia praecox (the old term for schizophrenia) wrote to Dr. Flechsig, his psychiatrist, about what appears to be the assemblage point, although he calls it the soul. “The human soul is contained in the nerves of the body, about their physical nature I, as a layman, cannot say more than that they are extraordinarily delicate structures—comparable to the finest filaments—and that the total mental life of a human rests on their excitability by external impressions. Vibrations are thereby caused in the nerves which produce the sensations of pleasure and pain in a manner which cannot be further explained, they are able to retain the memory of impressions received (the human memory) and have also the power of moving the muscles in the body which they inhabit into any manifest activity by exertion of their will power.”