"Only through the recapitulation of one's entire life
can the apprentice truly understand his total being."
-Theun Mares-

The technique of recapitulation came back to western readers via the writings of Carlos Castaneda, but it is found in all ancient traditions from Buddhism to Egypt to Native teachings. It is also called purification, throwing off the world, being reborn into the world, the inventory and the little death. It is the remembering, or more precisely, the reliving and recovering of all of our past experiences. Prior to death our entire life flashes before our eyes to allow us to review our life, how every event was interconnected, and see the challenges we did not embrace and overcome. Death must stand aside for a short while until our life review is complete. Because it shows us the truth, many will find it hard to undergo this review. Yet beyond seeing what we did poorly, we will also get one last view of the beauty that always surrounded us: from hugs and kisses, to laughter, to a hawk soaring in the sky. We get the chance to remember how much magic happens in each little moment of our life. Ancient wise men and women realized that this process “cleaned” us before the recovering of a new form, thus to do the review while still alive would gain the form the benefits we normally wait until death to receive. In my opinion, the entrance to an ancient temple happened after the aspirant was given this technique and spent 1-2 years completing a life pass. Until one has seen the giant lie of their life, who they believed themselves to be, and the reality of the world around them, all spiritual teachings will just leave them spinning in the dark- getting them nowhere though they will believe they are going somewhere.


"Recap takes you out of the past
and inserts you into the now."
-Carlos Castaneda-

We recapitulate our lives to regain the energy we lost from the interactions of day to day life. It is a natural process that our energy body does to heal itself from the damages of the past to make itself whole again (as people have gone through recaps without warning). Normal memory is there to sustain our life story (me) and it in fact blocks our energy body’s natural ability to heal with recapitulation. Thus we must learn techniques to awaken our body, by consciously choosing the practice of recap. What we are doing is training our body to remember to do what it already knows how to do. At the deepest level we are deconstructing the story of “me.” This is a tool to make form run better, but is also a part of the awakening process as more parts are seen as false and dropped.

A true recap involves reliving every single moment of our lives: every conversation, every feeling- everything! When one first hears this it sounds impossible, yet the universe is not what it appears to be, so we do have more than enough time to complete a full life recap. One of the reasons for this, is that most everything we do is simply a repeated habit of something we have already done. At the start of one relationship I noticed that I was doing the exact same thing as a previous one, even going to the same places on dates. As well, each cycle of our lives is exactly the same, it just appears different on the surface, thus recap one full cycle fully and the rest will reveal itself. The people and surroundings may be different, but the base events will be the same.

A recap will help us gain clarity. The technique is found in the east, with the element of air. The clarity comes from seeing our life as it really is, and from this clarity we can turn to the north and let go of our habits and patterns, and also take us to the west to erase our personal history. Recapitulation is the main practice of stalkers, who learn to control their energy body (while dreamers focus mostly on their dreaming body) thus able to watch their interconnection of the surrounding dream. It is often the first technique taught to a new apprentice, not because it is more important than the other techniques, but because it takes the most time. A recap is done by starting at the present and working our way backwards to birth. This does two things. First is helps to unwind our life, like a tape, and free up space on it. We go backwards because it is easier to remember details of what happened yesterday than when we were four. In time events will no longer be seen as good or bad, just an event that is part of a perfect whole. Only without ego self importance can this be seen.

16th century Catholic Friar Alonso de Molina (one of the few Spaniards who was not killing and torturing the conquered Mexicans) made a dictionary of the Aztec Nahuatl language. One word, Tlacentalia, he claimed was the “gathering together of the sins, bringing them into memory,” while the word Teochihua was the practice of “releasing the sins.” These two words are the original words for recapitulation, and to a Catholic Friar without understanding of recap, he would associate it with sins and ridding of sins. Interestingly the word Teochihua contains Teo (like Teotihuacan, the place where the ancient training was taught) chi (the Chinese word for energy) and hua (a Hawaiian word to use energy or control energy).1

Why spend so much time on our past in recap? Good question. Our mind is constantly interpreting the moment based on the past, thus getting a distorted view of the now. We don’t realize that we have created a false past, a lie, that allows our ego to live its habits and use the excuse of “look what happened to me.” It is the tough part of recap as people begin to see that what they thought was their life, was really just a mythological past that we keep repeating to ourself over and over, a story our ego has created to justify its existence. Thus we need to examine our past in order to let go of our false associations. Our past, “is like a stone. We drag it with us through our life. We are attached to it with hooks. Every hook we release turns that part of the stone into Styrofoam. The load itself never goes away- just gets much lighter.”

Without a recap there is always someone or some event to blame for where they are now. “I can’t get into a relationship because of what my mother said, I beat my kids because my father beat me, I can’t show you affection because my last boyfriend was a jerk, I can’t be successful because I failed when I was 14.” That is why mind loves the past so much. No matter how ugly it was, it gives us a great excuse. From my own recap I found that events “my mind” had locked onto for blame were not true. It was actually other, very small and simple events that were the catalyst. Our entire life may have gone off track from one simple event, something so small and insignificant that we can’t remember it, but deep down the real us did. It may seem like nothing the time our brother threw our favorite toy on the roof, but that event may have caused us to make a secret promise to ourself such as not to be friends with anyone again. Until we clean up the past, it keeps affecting us without realizing it, and every time we try to change our life for the better “something” stops us, which is our unseen hooks, dialogue, and promises to the past.

We can’t use our normal mind to recap, for it will only show us what it wants us to see, what it wants us to remember. Thus recap only works when we can get past our normal memory to a much deeper place, our True Mind and True Memory. These True Memories are stored in our legs, not our head. We learn to recap not to find the events, but the feelings from those events stored in our body, and the experiences the mind pushed away due to their opposing its view of the world.

Many people review parts of their life with people like a psychologist, but that gets you nowhere. To just retell an event the way we think it happened just reinforces it the story your mind has created, keeps you locked into being a victim, and reinforces the ego belief in the existence of time. This is great for our ego, which is why people love to go and see psychiatrists because they get to relive all their pain in their life, the way their mind wants them to remember it. The psychologist wants to fix your mind, make it normal yet they are in fact keeping you insane like everyone else.

A true recap is designed to show how our life history is a giant lie. Often lost events will surface that we have no memory of, as we wonder, “that couldn’t have happened to me.” As we realize it did, we wonder how we could have ever forgot something so important. We begin to see the truth that everyone is just a mirror for us. Anyone is the way they are in our life because they are just reflecting something of us. What we think of as our past is a self-generated lie that we never question. These lies create holes in our energy body, holes that we keep up through our habits and patterns created from a loss of energy in an earlier encounter. We first have to see our endless wasting patterns from our life review, which allow us to begin stopping them, thus regaining lost energy. None of this is easy. Mind has put a lot of work in to make ourselves miserable, and the mind is not going to want to let go of its food source (our suffering) so easily. Find all the little secrets of our past and break free of them, we regain our optimal state. Recap is not designed to hide you from your past, quite the opposite, it wants you to see it fully. It wants you to grieve where you should have grieved, laugh where you should have laughed.

Of course while self-importance is still in command, recap often seems to do little else other than bring out a giant dose of self-pity, as the apprentice sees how hard-done they are by their past. But recap is meant to be worked in tandem with the north (not doing) and the west (erasing personal history) so that one can stop indulging in the need to be a victim. To be challenged is far more different than to be victimized.

Young children should not do a recap, due to the fact that they are still likely full of energy. Teenagers are a tough call, and must be decided on an individual basis. Any drug users, or smokers or heavy drinkers will have their recap (as well as their whole life) hampered by the intake of these substances. It is recommended to stop for at least 30 days to let your system clean out before beginning recap, to allow the process to work well.

In a book by Armando Torres, Carlos Castaneda told him that Don Juan used to claim that anyone who has not done a recapitulation was radioactive, seeping dirt from every pore, and would joke that he needed to wash himself if Castaneda accidentally touched him. Recap is really the first step to regaining our energy and our freedom. Recap isn’t taking you to something new, but something old. It will allow us to get to the roots of why we really do what we do, and how to eliminate the lies of a lifetime. This frightens people, so a lot of people won’t recap. We hate to have to see the real us, and the way we really treated people. Doing so, we will gain more laughter as we see the stupid wastes of energy we have used to uphold our ego. Our life thus goes from one of great pain, to one of great laughter, at ourself.


"Recapitulation is the recovery of the state of completeness
we had at the moment of birth."
Victor Sanchez

In every interaction of our life there has been some exchange of energy. In “would you like fries with that” encounters, the exchange was so minimal that it was barely noticed and was returned to each person rather quickly. With people we have spent a lot of time with, a great deal of each other’s energy has been exchanged. It is the difficulty of a break-up, for each of us is carrying so much of the other’s energy while we are now missing the energy of ours that they have. In fact many people are carrying so much of someone else’s filaments they act like other people (parent, first grade teacher, first lover) without even realizing it. In fact often we aren’t living our life at all, but someone else’s life. During very painful events of our life, we gave away our energy and our power out of fear to try and make the event stop. Thus recap is about regaining all of our own energy that we no longer have. No one else can use it, it only gives others a false feeling of power and strength. We also must give back all the energy of others that we have (and believe me, you have more than you think). It does nothing for us either, only keeping old events alive that we may need to release.

Every single memory of your past requires a great deal of energy to keep it alive. The more recap you do, the more you will find just how much of your energy went into simply keeping up your past attachments. Through the proper recapping of an event, we don’t eliminate the event or pretend it never happened, we take back is the emotional energy we used to give it life. It then becomes just an event, and in time you may see your whole life as though it were a series of events that happened to “someone else” because you have no emotional attachments to any of it anymore. When we were babies our energy was whole and complete. It is why babies smile so much, they don’t have someone else’s energy clouding them. As they begin to interact with others, their energy body begins to get attacked. Great healing will simply come from regaining our lost energy and letting go of what is not ours. These attachments can be seen as the long cords or fibers, that we attach to other people. Some people we attach with one, with others, hundreds. The deeper the emotional connection, the more fibers attached. Thus in a sense, energetically we are learning how to let other fiber hooks go, and bring back our own fibers so as to not try and drain someone else. In a sense this aspect of recap is similar to a soul retrieval (bringing back a lost part of ourself), a refilling of a hole in our energy body. This return of energy has coincided with the return of a lost event (while the soul retrieval does the opposite, brings back the energy first, sparking the spontaneous recap of the event that caused the “loss” in the first place).


The first way to practice is to recap the day before going to sleep. Review the day backwards from the end of the day until the time you woke up, the opposite of what the mind will want to do. So view the last event first (in forward of course, no need to see people walking backwards), and then review the event previous to that one, until you return to the time you woke up in the morning. It will help you regain your lost energy from the day, thus you will sleep better and awaken more refreshed, usually with the need of less sleep. Many of our dreams are simply the way of the mind to rehash the events of the day that were ignored, but by recapping the day we will have less normal dreams and more that would be classified as “dreaming.” You will also find many things in the day that you missed, rushed by, words people said that had a deeper meaning. It will help you be aware of how you acted, so as to stay more alert the next day. It will also help you begin to see some of your energy wasting patterns. This is a good warm-up for a month before beginning the recap of our life.