1. Carlos Castaneda Bibliography v1.3.3

2. Carlos Castaneda Speaks, An interview
   by Keith Thompson.

3. CASTANEDA'S CLAN (An interview with
   Florinda, Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar,
   and Carol Tiggs by Keith Nichols.)
   Magical Blend Magazine (c) 1994

4. Carlos Castaneda Overview (v0.4uc)

5. Notes on a talk by Taisha Abelar '92.

6. Notes on a talk by Taisha Abelar '94.




Version:      1.3.3
Last-Updated: Wed Jul  6 14:09:51 CDT 1994

The many contributors have my sincerest thanks.

Items marked with | are new or updated since version 1.2.

    "The Books"

Abelar, Taisha , "Sorcerer's Crossing". 1992. Castaneda, Carlos, "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge". 1968. Castaneda, Carlos, "A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan". 1971. Castaneda, Carlos, "Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan". 1972. Castaneda, Carlos, "Tales of Power". 1974. Castaneda, Carlos, "The Second Ring of Power". 1977. Castaneda, Carlos, "The Eagle's Gift". 1981. Castaneda, Carlos, "The Fire from Within". 1984. Castaneda, Carlos, "The Power of Silence". 1987. Castaneda, Carlos, "The Art of Dreaming". 1993. Castaneda, Carlos, Psychology Today, Dez. 1977, "The Art of Dreaming". (That's not the book, it's an article from C.C.; mostly adapted from "Second Ring". but the introduction is new and contains new information.) Castaneda, Carlos, "Seis propositiones explicatorias". Mexico 1985. (In the Mexican version of "Eagle's Gift" - "El don del Aguila" - there is an appendix, 25 pages long with a structural analysis by C.C. himself. There he talks about secrets of the assembledge point and about how stopping the dialog is connected to the rings of power. Things that are missing in the rest of his work...) Castaneda, Carlos, "Preface to the Mexican edition of Donner's _Being-in-Dreaming_". (Short but interesting) Donner, Florinda, "Shabono". 1982. Donner, Florinda, "The Witch's Dream". 1985. Donner, Florinda, "Being-in-Dreaming". 1991.

    Interviews

---------- ?, Magical Blend #14, "A conversation with the elusive Carlos Castaneda". ?, Magical Blend #15, "Carlos Castaneda, part II". ?, Magical Blend #35, "Interview with Florinda Donner". | Blair-Ewart, Alexander, DIMENSIONS, Vol. VII No. 9, 1992 | "The Art of Stalking True Freedom - Taisha Abelar in | Conversation with Alexander Blair-Ewart". | This is a pretty good interview with TA. Discussions | about why all the books are being published, the | "new configuration", the recapitulation, energy, | Carol Tiggs' return, etc. More hard information than | usually appears in interviews. | Blair-Ewart, Alexander, DIMENSIONS, 1992? | "The Sorcerer's Crossing - Taisha Abelar in | Conversation with Alexander Blair-Ewart (Part II)" | Blair-Ewart, Alexander, DIMENSIONS, February, 1992 | "Being-In-Dreaming - Florinda Donner in Conversation with Alexander Blair-Ewart" | Burton, Sandra, Time Magazine, "Magic and Reality". 1973. Interview with C.C. (A horrible thing - quite awful and really boring...) | Corvalan, Graciela, "Der Weg der Tolteken - Ein Gesprdch | mit Carlos Castaneda", Fischer, 1987, ca. 100p., ISBN | 3-596-23864-1 | An interview with Carlos Castaneda dating from | 1979/80 in the form of a book; most interesting. The | original is in Spanish and has been translated into | German by Joachim A Frank. Eagle Feather, Ken / Kramer, Carol, Body, Mind & Spirit #6/1992, "Being-in-Dreaming". An Interview with Florinda Donner. (Reveals what happened to La Gorda, the Genaros and the Little Sisters, Soledad, et.al.) Fort, Carmina, "Conversationes con Carlos Castaneda". Madrid (Spain), 1991. Carmina, Carlos, and Florinda Donner met several times in 1988. Carmina wrote this book about the events, conversations and revelations. Quite good. (about 130 pages.) Keen, Sam, Psychology Today, "Sorcerer's Apprentice". 1975. An interview with C.C. (Of some size and quite interesting. Timeframe: Shortly before nagual Juan Matus' departure = 1973, perhaps February) Leviton, Richard, Yoga Journal, March/April 1994 #115, "The Art of Dreaming". Part book review, part inquiry on dreaming. gopher://gopher.internet.com:2100/11/collected/yoga Nichols, Keith, Magical Blend #40, Oct 1993, "Taisha Abelar on Sorcery: Sorcery and reality in the Castaneda clan". Interview. A good introduction to sorcery, recapitulation, dreaming, the Assemblage Point, and the energy body. Nichols, Keith, Magical Blend #42, April 1994, "Castaneda's Clan". Interviews with Taisha Abelar, Florinda Donner-Grau, and Carol Tiggs. gopher://cscns.com/00/ News%20and%20Information/aspen/Magical%20Blend/ Issue%2042/Articles/Castaneda_Clan.doc Thompson, Keith, New Age Journal, March/April 1994, "Carlos Castaneda Speaks: Portrait of a Sorcerer". Interview. gopher://gopher.internet.com:2100/11/collected/new_age Wagner, Bruce, Details, March 1994, "The Secret Life of Carlos Castaneda: You Only Live Twice". A most interesting interview.

    Articles

-------- Cox, Murray, "Notes from the New Land: Join the expedition at the Monroe Institute where researchers use the science of sound to explore altered states of consciousness". Omni, Oct 1993. Magical Blend #5, "A comparison of Aleister Crowley and Carlos Castaneda". Magical Blend #40, Oct 1993, "Carlos Castaneda on don Juan". This is from a transcript by way of David Christie, not an interview. Gnosis #2, Spring/Summer 1986, "Magical Autobiographies". The New Thunderbird Chronicle vol 1, no 3, Oct 1989, "Taking the Fifth" et passim. The threshold of the Eagle's spiritual Aerie. Drawing of Carlos on the cover (with sombrero covering head).

    Critical

-------- de Mille, Richard, "Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory". 1976. de Mille, Richard, "The Don Juan Papers". 1980. | Fikes, Jay Courtney, "Carlos Castaneda: Academic | Opportunism and the Psychedelic Sixties", Millenia | Press, 1993, ISBN 0-9696960-0-0. The gist of this one is | that CC's works are fabrications, although the DJ | character is based on a real-life sorcerer. Much info | about the Huichol Indians. Noel, Daniel C., "Seeing Castaneda". 1976, ISBN 339-50361-7.

    Collection of critical reviews, large bibliography.

| Williams, Donald Lee, "Border Crossings: A Psychological | Perspective on Carlos Castaneda's Path of Knowledge", | Toronto: Inner City Books, 1981, ISBN 0-919123-07-04. A | Jungian interpretation of Castaneda's books up to The | Second Ring of Power. Dry and scholarly.

    Related Books

------------- ?, "Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution". 1992, ISBN 0-553-37130-4. Chapter 1 ("Shamanism: Setting the Stage"). Blackmore, Susan J., "Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences". 1992, ISBN 0-89733-344-6. Published on behalf of The Society for Psychical Research. Chapter 12 ("The Physiology of the OBE"), et passim. Capra, Fritjof, "The Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture". 1982, ISBN 0-553-01480-3. Chapter 11 ("Journeys Beyond Space and Time"). Classen, Norbert, "Das Wissen der Tolteken". Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-9802912-1-9. (My poor little book... about the Toltec knowledge. A practical and philosophical guide. It includes a German version of C.C.'s ``propositiones explicatorias'', only published in Mexico before.) Coerper, Hellmut, "Der Zugang zum Wissen". Fellbach 1981. ISBN 3-87089-310-9. (C.G. Jung, Psychology and C.C. Intellectual, but interesting...) | Corvalan, Graciela N.V., "Conversation de fond avec | Carlos Castaneda", traduit de l'espagnol et annote par | Eva Martini, Paris: Editions du cerf, 1992, 128p. Drury, Nevill, "Don Juan, Mescalito and Modern Magic". London & New York 1978, ISBN 1-85063-015-1 (Arkana). (Old, but interesting, too...) Dubant, Bernard & Marguerie, Michel, "Castaneda - le saut dans l'inconnu". Paris 1982, ISBN 0-85-707-085-3. (They wrote further books on C.C.. Something for the French fans and readers...) Eagle Feather, Ken, "Traveling with Power". 1992, ISBN 1-878901-28-1. Apprentice to Don Juan talks about perception. Fikes, Jay Courtney, "Carlos Castaneda, Academic Opportunism, and the Psychedelic Sixties". 1992, ISBN 0-8191-8585-X. (The title disqualifies itsself. Somekind of a weird book in the tradition of de Mille...) Fox, Oliver, "Astral Projection: A Record of Out-of-the-Body Experiences". 1962, 1990, ISBN 0-8065-0463-3. Expanded from original articles published in the "Occult Review" in 1920. Chronologically ordered accounts of his experiences. Hutchison, Michael, "Mega Brain: New Tools and Techniques for Brain Growth and Mind Expansion". 1986, ISBN 0-345-34175-9. Chapter 12 ("Tuning the Brain with Sound Waves: Hemi-Sync"), et passim. Leary, Timothy, "Flashbacks: A Personal and Cultural History of an Era". 1990, ISBN 0-87477-497-7. Chapter 20, short "Biography" of Castaneda, Leary's stay at 'La Catalina' hotel and run-in with a would-be sorcerer. L|tge, Lothar R|diger, "C.C. und die Lehren des Don Juan". Freiburg 1983. (A practical guide. Frugal...) Monroe, Robert A., "Journeys Out of the Body". 1971, 1977, ISBN 0-385-00861-9. First book: initial experiences. Monroe, Robert A., "Far Journeys". 1985, ISBN 0-385-23181-4. Majority of the book is a "tale" of the OBE journeys of ``AA'', and what he learns. Monroe, Robert A., "Ultimate Journey". Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-47207-2 M|ller, Burkhard, "Castaneda's Erben. Eurasburg 1991". ISBN 3-9802912-0-0. (A book about experiences with C.C. and the Toltec knowledge.) Pearce, Joseph Chilton, "The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: Challenging Constructs of Mind and Reality". 1971, 1988, ISBN 0-517-56661-3. Chapter 9 ("Don Juan and Jesus") et passim. Pearce, Joseph Chilton, "Exploring the Crack in the Cosmic Egg: Split Minds and Meta-realities". 1974, ISBN 0-671-80638-6. Chapters 15 ("Reversibility Thinking") & 16 et passim. Pearce, Joseph Chilton, "Magical Child Matures". 1985, ISBN0-553-25881-8. Chapter 18 ("Not Doing") passim. Rogo, D. Scott, "Leaving the Body: A Complete Guide to Astral Projection: A step-by-step presentation of eight different systems of out-of-body travel". 1983, ISBN 0-13-528026-5. Chapter 6 ("The Monroe Techniques"), et passim. Rucker, Rudolf, "Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension". 1977, ISBN 0-486-23400-2. Chapter 4 ("Time as a Higher Dimension"), Annotated Bibliography discussion of "A Separate Reality". Sanchez, Victor, "Las Ensenenzas de Don Carlos. Mexico 1991". ISBN 968-6565-09-4. (Practical guide. Very good, but in Spanish. Victor is working on a second book at the moment. It seems to be very interesting. By the way, he knows C.C. and studied with him.) Smith, Adam, "Powers of Mind". 1975, ISBN 0-345-25426-0-195. Timm, Dennis, "Nagual Junior". Anthologie, 1982, ISBN 3-9800414-2-5. (Anthology with some dubious interviews and texts...) Timm, Dennis, "Die Wirklichkeit und der Wissende". Frankfurt 1989, ISBN 3-596-24290-8. (Philosophical study, but including some interesting texts from American anthropologists who studied with C.C. and comment on his work... mostly positiv!) Ulrich, Hans E., "Von Meister Eckhard bis C.C.". Frankfurt 1986, ISBN 3-596-26541-X. (Esoterical bullshit; boring...) Watson, Lyall, "Beyond Supernature: A New Natural History of the Supernatural". 1988, ISBN 0-553-34456-0. Chapter 8 ("Description: Paranthropology"). Wittman, Ulla, "Leben wie ein Krieger". Interlaken 1988, ISBN 3-7157-0120-0. (Practical intentions... but sometimes boring, repeating, repeating, repeating...)

    Miscellaneous

------------- MT (Michael Topper) Initiates' Class Tapes: #56 (8/10/91) Assemblage Point, #90 (4/18/92) Shaman's Path. NovaDreamer -- Tools For Exploration, (415) 499-9050, (800) 456-9887. signals when you are dreaming to help induce lucid dreaming. -- $245

    Sources

------- Details ISSN 0740-4921 USPS 001707 Box 58246 Boulder, CO 80322 USA [They claim to be international] Magical Blend ISSN 1040-4287 USPS 002-677 Business Offices (916) 893-9037 PO Box 600 Chico, CA 94927-0600 USA [Back issues must be paid in advance, call for pricing] | [may be defunct--ed] | DIMENSIONS (Canada's New Age Monthly) ISSN 0836 5059 | Voice (416) 928-6730 | Fax (416) 928-1446, | 3 Charles St. W., Ste 300 | Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1R4 | You can write to Castaneda and the rest of his clan c/o: | Toltec Artists | 183 N. Martel | Hollywood, CA 90036 | (213) 938-9500 (Tracy Kramer--agent) | Nagualist Newsletter | 1057 E. Imperial Hwy., Suite #117 | Placentia, CA 92670 | [A high quality work published by people who prefer | to remain anonymous.] | Nagualist Network in LA. | John O'Neill <74631.1463@CompuServe.COM> | (213) 463-9062

    * Carlos Castaneda Speaks, An interview by Keith Thompson *

Author: Keith Thompson Literary agents are paid to hype their clients, but when the agent for Carlos Castaneda claimed that he was offering me "the interview of a lifetime," it was hard to disagree. After all, Castaneda's nine best-selling books describing his extraordinary apprenticeship to Yaqui Indian sorcerer don Juan Matus had inspired countless members of my generation to explore mysticism, psychedelic drugs, and new levels of consciousness. Yet even as his reputation grew, the author had remained a recluse, shrouding himself in mystery and intrigue. Aside from a few interviews given seemingly at random over the years, Castaneda never ventured into the public spotlight. Few people even know what he looks like. For this interview, his agent told me, there could be no cameras and no tape recorders. The conversation would have to be recorded by a stenographer, lest copies of Castaneda's taped voice fall into the wrong hands. The interview -- perhaps timed to coincide with the publication of Castaneda's latest and most esoteric book, The Art of Dreaming -- took place in the conference room of a modest office in Los Angeles, after weeks of back-and-forth negotiations with Castaneda's agent. The arrangements were complicated, the agent said, by the fact that he had no way of contacting his client and could only confirm a meeting after speaking with him "whenever he decides to call . . . I never know in advance when that may be." Upon my arrival at noon, an energetic, enthusiastic, broad- smiled man walked across the room, extended his hand, and greeted me unassumingly: "Hello, I am Carlos Castaneda. Welcome. We can begin our conversation when you are ready. Would you like coffee, or perhaps a soda? Please make yourself comfortable." I had heard that Castaneda blends into the woodwork, or resembles a Cuban waiter; that his features are both European and Indian; that his skin is nut-brown or bronze; that his hair is black, thick, and curly. So much for rumor. His mane is now white, or largely so, short and mildly disheveled. If asked to guide a police artist in making a sketch, I would emphasize the eyes -- large, bright, lucid. They may have been gray. I asked Castaneda about his schedule. "The entire afternoon is available. I should think we'll have all the time we need. When it's enough, we'll know." Our conversation lasted four hours, continuing through a meal of deli sandwiches that arrived midway. My first exposure to Castaneda's work had been as much initiation as introduction. It was 1968. Police officers were clubbing demonstrators in the streets of Chicago. Assassins had taken Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" topped the charts. All of this amidst an ocean of sandals, embroidered caftans, bell-bottoms, jangling bracelets, beads, and long hair for men and women alike. Into all this stepped an enigmatic writer named Carlos Castaneda, toting a book called The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. I remember how it transformed me. The book I began reading was a curiosity; the book I held when I finished had become a manifesto, the kind of delirious cause celebre for which my psyche had been secretly training. What Castaneda seemed to be affirming -- the possibility of awesome personal spiritual experience -- was precisely what the Sunday-morning-only religion of my childhood had done its best to vaccinate me against. Believing in Castaneda gave me faith that someday, some way, I might meet my very own don Juan Matus (don is a Spanish appellative denoting respect), the old Indian wise man/sorcerer who implores his protg Carlos to get beyond looking -- simply perceiving the world in its usually accepted forms. To be a true "man of knowledge," Carlos has to learn the art of seeing, so that for the first time he can truly perceive the startling nature of the everyday world. "When you see," don Juan says, "there are no longer familiar features in the world. Everything is new. Everything has never happened before. The world is incredible!" But, really -- who was this Castaneda? Where did he come from and what was he trying to prove, with his mysterious account of a realm that seemed to be of an entirely different order of reality? Over the years, various answers to that question have been offered. Take your pick: (a) dissenting anthropologist; (b) sorcerer's apprentice; (c) psychic visionary; (d) literary genius; (e) original philosopher; (f) master teacher. For balance, let's not forget (g) perpetrator of one of the most spectacular hoaxes in the history of publishing. Castaneda has responded to the bestowal of these conflicting ID tags with something like ironic amusement, as though he were an audience member enjoying the spectacle of a Chekhov comedy in which he himself may or may not be a character. The author has consistently declined -- over a span of nearly three decades -- to engage in the war of words about whether his books are authentic accounts of real-world encounters, as he maintains, or (as numerous critics have argued) fictional allegories in the spirit of Gulliver's Travels and Alice in Wonderland. This strategic reticence was learned from don Juan himself. "To slip in and out of different worlds you have to remain inconspicuous," says Castaneda, who is rumored (his preferred status) to divide his time nowadays between Los Angeles, Arizona, and Mexico. "The more you are identified by people's ideas of who you are and how you will act, the greater the constraint on your freedom. Don Juan insisted upon the importance of erasing personal history. If little by little you create a fog around yourself, then you will not be taken for granted, and you will have more room for change." Even so, scattered clearings in the fog offer glimpses of tracks left by the sorcerer's apprentice in the years before his life faded to myth. The scholarly consensus, unconfirmed by the author himself, is that Carlos Cesar Arana Castaneda was born in Peru on Christmas day 1925 in the historic Andean town of Cajamarca. Upon graduating from the Colegio Nacional de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, he studied briefly at the National Fine Arts School of Peru. In 1948 his family moved to Lima and established a jewelry store. After the death of his mother a year later, Castaneda moved to San Francisco and soon enrolled at Los Angeles City College, where he took two courses in creative writing and one in journalism. Castaneda received a B.A. in anthropology in 1962 from the University of California at Los Angeles. In 1968, five years before Castaneda received his Ph.D. in anthropology, the University of California Press published The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, which became a national best seller following an enthusiastic notice by Roger Jellinek in the New York Times Book Review: "One can't exaggerate the significance of what Castaneda has done. He is describing a shamanistic tradition, a pre-logical cultural form that is no-one-knows how old. It has been described often. . . . But it seems that no other outsider, and certainly not a 'Westerner,' has ever participated in its mysteries from within; nor has anyone described them so well." The fuse was lit. The Teachings sold 300,000 copies in a 1969 Ballantine mass edition. A Separate Reality and Journey to Ixtlan followed from Simon & Schuster in 1971 and 1972. The saga continued in Tales of Power (1974), The Second Ring of Power (1977), The Eagle's Gift (1981), The Fire from Within (1984), The Power of Silence (1987), and The Art of Dreaming (1993). (Bibliophiles may be interested to learn that Castaneda says he actually wrote a book about don Juan before The Teachings, titled The Crack Between Worlds, but lost the manuscript in a movie theater.) In assessing the impact of his work, Castaneda's admirers credit him with introducing to popular culture the rich and varied traditions of shamanism, with their emphasis on entering nonordinary realms and confronting strange and sometimes hostile spirit-powers, in order to restore balance and harmony to body, soul, and society. Inspired by don Juan's use of peyote, jimsonweed, and other power plants to teach Castaneda the "art of dreaming," untold numbers of pioneers extended their own inner horizons through psychedelic inquiry -- with decidedly mixed results. For their part, critics of Castaneda's "path of knowledge" dismiss his work as an ongoing pseudo-anthropological shenanigan, complete with fabricated shamans and sensationalized Native American religious practices. The writings, they claim, have netted an unscrupulous author tremendous wealth at the cost of denigrating the sacred lifeways of indigenous peoples through commercial exploitation. Castaneda's presentation, writes Richard de Mille in Castaneda's Journey, "appeals to the reader's hunger for myth, magic, ancient wisdom, true reality, self-improvement, other worlds, or imaginary playmates." Appropriately, the Castaneda I encountered was a study in contrasts. His presence was informal, spontaneous, warmly animated, and at times contagiously mirthful. At the same time, his still heavily accented (Peruvian? Chilean? Spanish?) diction conveyed the patrician formality of an ambassador at court: deliberate and well-composed, serious and poised, earnest and resolute. Practiced. The contradiction, like so much about the man, may strike some as a bothersome inconsistency. But it shouldn't. To reread Carlos Castaneda's books (as I did, astonishingly, all nine of them) is to see clearly -- perhaps for the first time -- that contradiction is the force that ties his literary Gordian knot. As the author had told me, intently, during our lunch break: "Only by pitting two views against each other can one weasel between them to arrive at the real world." I had the sense he was letting me know his fortress was well guarded -- and daring me to storm it anyway. Keith Thompson: As your books have made a character named Carlos world-famous, the author called Castaneda has retreated further and further from public view. There have been more confirmed sightings of Elvis than of Carlos Castaneda in recent years. Legend has you committing suicide on at least three occasions; there's the persistent story of your death in a Mexican bus crash two decades ago; and my search for a confirmed photo and audio tapes was fruitless. How can I be sure that you're truly Castaneda and not a Carlos impersonator from Vegas? Have you got any distinguishing birthmarks? Carlos Castaneda: None! Just my agent vouches for me. That's his job. But you are free to ask me your questions and shine a bright light in my eyes and keep me here all night -- like in the old movies. You're known for being unknown. Why have you agreed to talk now, after declining interviews for so many years? Because I'm at the end of the trail that started over thirty years ago. As a young anthropologist, I went to the Southwest to collect information, to do fieldwork on the medicinal plants used by the Indians of the area. I intended to write an article, go on to graduate school, become a professional in my field. I hadn't the slightest interest in meeting a weird man like don Juan. How exactly did your paths cross? I was waiting for the bus at the Greyhound station in Nogales, Arizona, talking with an anthropologist who had been my guide and helper in my survey. My colleague leaned over and pointed to a white-haired old Indian across the room -- "Psst, over there, don't let him see you looking" -- and said he was an expert about peyote and medicinal plants. That was all I needed to hear. I put on my best airs and sauntered over to this man, who was known as don Juan, and told him I myself was an authority about peyote. I said that it might be worth his while to have lunch and talk with me -- or something unbearably arrogant to that effect. The old power-lunch ploy. But you weren't really much of an authority, were you? I knew next to nothing about peyote! But I continued rattling on -- boasting about my knowledge, intending to impress him. I remember that he just looked at me and nodded occasionally, without saying a word. My pretensions melted in the heat of that day. I was stunned at being silenced. There I stood in the abyss, until don Juan saw that his bus had come. He said good- bye, with the slightest wave of his hand. I felt like an arrogant imbecile, and that was the end. Also the beginning. Yes, that's when everything started. I learned that don Juan was known as a brujo, which means, in English, medicine man, curer, sorcerer. It became my task to discover where he lived. You know, I was very good at doing that, and I did. I found out, and I came to see him one day. We took a liking to each other and soon became good friends. You felt like a moron in this man's presence, but you were eager to seek him out? The way don Juan had looked at me there in the bus station was exceptional -- an unprecedented event in my life. There was something remarkable about his eyes, which seemed to shine with a light all their own. You see, we are -- unfortunately we don't want to accept this, but we are apes, anthropoids, simians. There's a primary knowledge that we all carry, directly connected with the two-million-year-old person at the root of our brain. And we do our best to suppress it, which makes us obese, cardiac, cancer-prone. It was on that archaic level that I was tackled by don Juan's gaze, despite my annoyance and irritation that he had seen through my pretense to expertise in the bus station. Eventually you became don Juan's apprentice, and he your mentor. What was the transition? A year passed before he took me into his confidence. We had gotten to know each other quite well, when one day don Juan turned to me and said he held a certain knowledge that he had learned from an unnamed benefactor, who had led him through a kind of training. He used this word "knowledge" more often than "sorcery," but for him they were one and the same. Don Juan said he had chosen me to serve as his apprentice, but that I must be prepared for a long and difficult road. I had no idea how astonishingly strange the road would be. That's a consistent thread of your books -- your struggle to make sense of a "separate reality" where gnats stand a hundred feet tall, where human heads turn into crows, where the same leaf falls four times, where sorcerers conjure cars to disappear in broad daylight. A good stage hypnotist can produce astonishing effects. Is it possible that's what don Juan was up to? Did he trick you? It's possible. What he did was teach me that there's much more to the world than we usually acknowledge -- that our normal expectations about reality are created by social consensus, which is itself a trick. We're taught to see and understand the world through a socialization process that, when working correctly, convinces us that the interpretations we agree upon define the limits of the real world. Don Juan interrupted this process in my life by demonstrating that we have the capacity to enter into other worlds that are constant and independent of our highly conditioned awareness. Sorcery involves reprogramming our capacities to perceive realms as real, unique, absolute, and engulfing as our daily so-called mundane world. Don Juan is always trying to get you to put your explanations of reality and your assumptions about what's possible inside brackets, so you can see how arbitrary they are. Contemporary philosophers would call this "deconstructing" reality. Don Juan had a visceral understanding of the way language works as a system unto itself -- the way it generates pictures of reality that we believe, mistakenly, to reveal the "true" nature of things. His teachings were like a club beating my thick head until I saw that my precious view was actually a construction, woven of all kinds of fixated interpretations, which I used to defend myself against pure wondering perception. There's a contradiction in there, somewhere. On the one hand, don Juan desocialized you, by teaching you to see without preconceptions. Yet it sounds like he then resocialized you by enrolling you in a new set of meanings, simply giving you a different interpretation, a new spin on reality -- albeit a "magical" one. That's something don Juan and I argued about all the time. He said in effect that he was despinning me and I maintained he was respinning me. By teaching me sorcery he presented a new lens, a new language, and a new way of seeing and being in the world. I was caught between my previous certainty about the world and a new description, sorcery, and forced to hold the old and the new together. I felt completely stalled, like a car slipping its transmission. Don Juan was delighted. He said this meant I was slipping between descriptions of reality -- between my old and new views. Eventually I saw that all my prior assumptions were based on viewing the world as something from which I was essentially alienated. That day when I encountered don Juan in the bus station, I was the ideal academic, triumphantly estranged, conniving to prove my nonexistent expertise concerning psychotropic plants. Ironically, it was don Juan who later introduced you to "Mescalito," the green-skinned spirit of peyote. Don Juan introduced me to psychotropic plants in the middle period of my apprenticeship, because I was so stupid and so cocky, which of course I considered evidence of sophistication. I held to my conventional description of the world with incredible vengeance, convinced it was the only truth. Peyote served to exaggerate the subtle contradictions within my interpretative gloss, and this helped me cut through the typical Western stance of seeing a world out there and talking to myself about it. But the psychotropic approach had its costs -- physical and emotional exhaustion. It took months for me to come fully around. If you could do it over again, would you "just say no"? My path has been my path. Don Juan always told me, "Make a gesture." A gesture is nothing more than a deliberate act undertaken for the power that comes from making a decision. Ultimately, the value of entering a nonordinary state, as you do with peyote or other psychotropic plants, is to exact what you need in order to embrace the stupendous character of ordinary reality. You see, the path of the heart is not a road of incessant introspection or mystical flight, but a way of engaging the joys and sorrows of the world. This world, where each one of us is related at molecular levels to every other wondrous and dynamic manifestation of being -- this world is the warrior's true hunting ground. Your friend don Juan teaches what is, how to know what is, and how to live in accord with what is -- ontology, epistemology, and ethics. Which leads many to say he's too good to be true, that you created him from scratch as an allegorical instrument of wise instruction. The notion that I concocted a person like don Juan is preposterous. I'm a product of a European intellectual tradition to which a character like don Juan is alien. The actual facts are stranger: I'm a reporter. My books are accounts of an outlandish phenomenon that forced me to make fundamental changes in my life in order to meet the phenomenon on its own terms. Some of your critics grow quite livid in their contention that Juan Matus sometimes speaks more like an Oxford don than a don Indian. Then there's the fact that he traveled widely and acquired his knowledge from sources not limited to his Yaqui roots. Permit me to make a confession: I take much delight in the idea that don Juan may not be the "best" don Juan. It's probably true that I'm not the best Carlos Castaneda, either. Years ago I met the perfect Castaneda at a party in Sausalito, quite by accident. There, in the middle of the patio, was the most handsome man, tall, blond, blue-eyed, beautiful, barefoot. It was the early '70s. He was signing books, and the owner of the house said to me, "I'd like you to meet Carlos Castaneda." He was impersonating Carlos Castaneda, with an impressive coterie of beautiful women all around him. I said, "I am very pleased to meet you, Mister Castaneda." He responded, "Doctor Castaneda." He was doing a very good job. I thought, He presents a good way to be Castaneda, the ideal Castaneda, with all the benefits that go with the position. But time passes, and I'm still the Castaneda that I am, not very well suited to play the Hollywood version. Nor is don Juan. Speaking of confessions: Did you ever contemplate downplaying the eccentricity of your teacher and presenting him as a more conventional character, to make him a better vehicle for his teachings? I never considered such an approach. Smoothing rough edges to advance an agreeable plot is the luxury of the novelist. I'm not unfamiliar with the spoken and unspoken canon of science: "Be objective." Sometimes don Juan spoke in goofy slang -- the equivalent of "By golly!" and "Don't lose your marbles!" are two of his favorites. On other occasions he showed a superb command of Spanish, which permitted me to obtain detailed explanations of the intricate meanings of his system of beliefs and its underlying logic. To deliberately alter don Juan in my books so he would appear consistent and meet the expectations of this or that audience would bring "subjectivity" to my work, a demon that, according to my best critics, has no place in ethnographic writing. Skeptics have challenged you to exorcise that demon once and for all, by presenting for public inspection the field notes based on your encounters with don Juan. Wouldn't that alleviate doubts about whether your writings are genuine ethnography or disguised fiction? Whose doubts? Fellow anthropologists, for starters. The Senate Watergate Committee. Geraldo Rivera . . . There was a time when requests to see my field notes seemed unencumbered by hidden ideological agendas. After The Teachings of Don Juan appeared I received a thoughtful letter from Gordon Wasson, the founder of the science of ethnomycology, the study of human uses of mushrooms and other fungi. Gordon and Valentina Wasson had discovered the existence of still-active shamanic mushroom cults in the mountains near Oaxaca, Mexico. Dr. Wasson asked me to clarify certain aspects of don Juan's use of psychotropic mushrooms. I gladly sent him several pages of field notes relevant to his area of interest, and met with him twice. Subsequently he referred to me as an "honest and serious young man," or words to that effect. Even so, some critics proceeded to assert that any field notes produced by Castaneda must be assumed to be forgeries created after the fact. At that point I realized there was no way I could satisfy people whose minds were made up without recourse to whatever documentation I might provide. Actually, it was liberating to abandon the enterprise of public relations -- intrinsically a violation of my nature -- and return to my fieldwork with don Juan. You must be familiar with the claim that your work has fostered the trivialization of indigenous spiritual traditions. The argument goes like this: A despicable cadre of non-Indian wannabees, commercial profiteers, and self-styled shamans has read your books and found them inspiring. How do you plead? I didn't set out to write an exhaustive account of indigenous spirituality, so it's a fallacy to judge my work by that criterion. My books are instead a chronicle of specific experiences and observations in a particular context, reported to the best of my ability. But I do plead guilty to knowingly committing willful acts of ethnography, which is none other than translating cultural experience into writing. Ethnography is always writing. That's what I do. What happens when spoken words become written words, and written words become published words, and published words get ingested through acts of reading by persons unknown to the author? Let's agree to call it complex. I've been extremely fortunate to have a wide and diverse readership throughout much of the world. The entry requirement is the same everywhere: literacy. Beyond this, I'm responsible for the virtues and vices of my anonymous audience in the same way that every writer of any time and place is so responsible. The main thing is, I stand by my work. What does don Juan think of your global notoriety? Nada. Not a thing. I learned this definitively when I took him a copy of The Teachings of Don Juan. I said, "It's about you, don Juan." He surveyed the book -- up and down, back and front, flipped through the pages like a deck of cards -- then handed it back. I was crestfallen and told him I wanted him to have it as a gift. Don Juan said he had better not accept it, "because you know what we do with paper in Mexico." He added, "Tell your publisher to print your next book on softer stock." Earlier you mentioned that don Juan deliberately made his teaching dramatic. Your writings reflect that. Much anthropological writing gives the impression of striving for dullness, as if banality were a mark of truth. To have made my astonishing adventures with don Juan boring would have been to lie. It has taken me many years to appreciate the fact that don Juan is a master of using frustration, digression, and partial disclosure as methods of instruction. He strategically blended revelation and concealment in the oddest combinations. It was his style to assert that ordinary and nonordinary reality aren't separate, but instead are encompassed in a larger circle -- and then to reverse himself the next day by insisting that the line between different realities must be respected at all costs. I asked him why this must be so. He answered, "Because nothing is more important to you than keeping your personal world intact." He was right. That was my top priority in the early days of the apprenticeship. Eventually I saw -- I saw -- that the path of the heart requires a full gesture, a degree of abandon that can be terrifying. Only then is it possible to achieve a sparkling metamorphosis. I also realized the extent to which the teachings of don Juan could and would be dismissed as "mere allegory" by certain specialists whose sacramental mission is to reinforce the limits that culture and language place on perception. This approaches the question of who gets to define "correct" cultural description. Nowadays some of Margaret Mead's critics declare she was "wrong" about Samoa. But why not say, less dogmatically, that her writings present a partial picture based on a unique encounter with an exotic culture? Obviously her discoveries mirrored the concerns of her time, including her own biases. Who has the authority to cordon off art from science? The assumption that art, magic, and science can't exist in the same space at the same time is an obsolete remnant of Aristotelian philosophical categories. We've got to get beyond this kind of nostalgia in the social science of the twenty-first century. Even the term ethnography is too monolithic, because it implies that writing about other cultures is an activity specific to anthropology, whereas in fact ethnography cuts across various disciplines and genres. Furthermore, even the ethnographer isn't monolithic -- he or she must be reflexive and multifaceted, just like the cultural phenomena that are encountered as "other." So the observer, the observed phenomenon, and the process of observation form an inseparable totality. From that perspective, reality isn't simply received, it's actively captured and rendered in different ways by different observers with different ways of seeing. Just so. What sorcery comes down to is the act of embodying some specialized theoretical and practical premises about the nature of perception in molding the universe around us. It took me a long time to understand, intuitively, that there were three Castanedas: one who observed don Juan, the man and teacher; another who was the active subject of don Juan's training -- the apprentice; and still another who chronicled the adventures. "Three" is a metaphor to describe the sensation of endlessly changing boundaries. Likewise, don Juan himself was constantly shifting positions. Together we were traversing the crack between the natural world of everyday life and an unseen world, which don Juan called "the second attention," a term he preferred to "supernatural." What you're describing isn't what comes to mind for most anthropologists when they think about their line of work, you know. Oh, I'm certain you're right about that! Someone recently asked me, What does mainstream anthropology think of Carlos Castaneda? I don't suppose most of them think about me at all. A few may be a little bit annoyed, but they're sure that whatever I'm doing is not scientific and they don't trouble themselves. For most of the field, "anthropological possibility" means that you go to an exotic land, arrive at a hotel, drink your highball while a flock of indigenous people come and talk to you about the culture. They tell you all kinds of things, and you write down the various words for father and mother. More highballs, then you go home and put it all in your computer and tabulate for correlations and differences. That to them is scientific anthropology. For me, that would be living hell. How do you actually write? My conversations with don Juan throughout the apprenticeship were conducted primarily in Spanish. From the outset I tried to persuade don Juan to let me use a tape recorder, but he said relying on something mechanical only makes us more and more sterile. "It curtails your magic," he said. "Better to learn with your whole body so you'll remember with your whole body." I had no idea what he meant. Consequently I began keeping voluminous field notes of what he said. He found my industriousness amusing. As for my books, I dream them. I gather myself and my field notes -- usually in the afternoon but not always -- and go through all my notes and translate them into English. In the evening I sleep and dream what I want to write. When I wake up, I write in the quiet hours of the night, drawing upon what has arranged itself coherently in my head. Do you rewrite? It's not my practice to do so. Regular writing is for me quite dry and labored. Dreaming is best. Much of my training with don Juan was in reconditioning perception to sustain dream images long enough to look at them carefully. Don Juan was right about the tape recorder -- and in retrospect, right about the notes. They were my crutch, and I no longer need them. By the end of my time with don Juan, I learned to listen and watch and sense and recall in all the cells of my body. Earlier you mentioned reaching the end of the road, and now you're talking about the end of your time with don Juan. Where is he now? He's gone. He disappeared. Without a clue? Don Juan told me he was going to fulfill the sorcerer's dream of leaving this world and entering into "unimaginable dimensions." He displaced his assemblage point from its fixation in the conventional human world. We would call it combusting from the inside. It's an alternative to dying. Either they bury you six feet deep in the poor flowers or you burn. Don Juan chose burning. I guess it's one way to erase personal history. Then this conversation is don Juan's obituary notice? He had come to the end, deliberately. By intent. He wanted to expand, to join his physical body with his energy body. His adventure was there, where the tiny personal tide pool joins the great ocean. He called it the "definitive journey." Such vastness is incomprehensible to my mind, so I can only give up explaining. I've found that the explanatory principle will protect you from fear of the unknown, but I prefer the unknown. You've traveled far and wide. Give it to me straight: Is reality ultimately a safe place? I once asked don Juan something quite similar. We were alone in the desert -- nighttime, billions of stars. He laughed in a friendly and genuine way. He said, "Sure, the universe is benign. It may destroy you, but in the process it will teach you something worth knowing." What's next for Carlos Castaneda? I'll have to let you know. Next time. Will there be a next time? There's always a next time.

    * CASTANEDA'S CLAN. Interview with three female warriors *

*************************************** An exclusive interview with three if the female warriors of Carlos Castaneda's sorcery lineage Florinda, Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar, and Carol Tiggs interview by Keith Nichols. It's been over twenty years since Carlos Castaneda began igniting his readers' imaginations about the possibility of viewing reality differently. Today, American seekers are involved in a magical blend of religious practices aimed at the same thing from Zen Buddhism to Yoga to herbal remedies and even Wicca and spiritualism. Yet questions still remain from the intensive searching of the last several decades, such as when are we going to get free, anyway? And how do we explain the inexplicable? These were the questions on my mind when I found myself journeying down the coast toward Los Angeles for an encounter with three women of Castaneda's sorcery lineage: Florinda Donner Grau, Taisha Abelar, and Carol Tiggs. When Florinda Donner-Grau and I first met, she told me about an encounter that serves well to explain the threshold that many people have already encountered. As she walked down the streets in downtown Los Angeles, she saw a floating blob of energy. As she watched it bounce up and down the street, she was a little unsure about her senses. She tugged on the shoulder of a man standing nearby whose mouth was open wide in a state of disbelief--or maybe bewilderment. She saw that he too was looking at the blob. As a sorcerer, Donner-Grau is aware that reality is largely perception and that what we choose to perceive and not to perceive is based on our training. So perhaps the man in L.A. represents a sort of graduation in the school of larger possibilities, a generation prepared by Castaneda and others to perceive subtler energies. With the recent publication of Castaneda's ninth book, as well as books by Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar, Carlos Castaneda's sorcerers party has evolved into seems to beckon forth that this reality is not the only one; others do exist into which we can transcend. Why are the women of this lineage just beginning to come out and speak about their practices? Florinda Donner-Grau: Well, there is a fundamental difference in the way males and females perceive and respond to reality. Females, such as Taisha, Carol, and I, didn't write about anything for twenty years. This is the fundamental difference: females need to embody a system of belief before they can write about it. While males build their bridges of understanding with words, women build their understanding with their life. Both are equally valid ways of understanding, yet they are very different ways of processing life. In terms of energy the male cones toward knowledge; he builds step by step. In physics, this stepping can be described like a cone, where males are always moving toward a source but never reaching it. With females, it is different because that cone is reversed. Because of the womb, females have the capacity to perceive knowledge directly. There is no reason for her to explain because she already knows. And it is this knowingness, this experience of being connected with the source-what we call Intent-that sorcerers want to get back to. Females have an inherent advantage in that they know Intent directly, while the male is always approaching it. What is the purpose of being connected with this source, Intent? Florinda Donner-Grau: Well, I'll tell you a story. I love books; I'm an avid reader. Now Carlos hasn't read a book in over twenty years. I know that because he gave all his books to me. Now I'm very interested in phenomenology because as an intellectual pursuit, it is the only one that comes close to sorcery. Well, I'll be reading something and then I'll ask Carlos a question. He'll be quiet for about ten minutes and then he'll give me an explanation of exactly what I have been reading. At that point, I know that he's been out there grabbing that knowledge from elsewhere. And this ability has no limitation; I can ask him something about physics and he immediately gives me a bonafide answer. How would you describe what he is doing? Carol Tiggs: I would say that he is practicing dreaming, which is a way of describing that he is using his energetic body to grab hold of a line of energy and access information directly from the source of the universe. Florinda Donner-Grau: And Carlos knows exactly what line to grab. Seers see that it is all out there anyway. But what makes a capable sorcerer is the ability to access these lines of information with control and at will. Recently, Carlos took a group of twenty people to a small church in Mexico (written about in several of his books). While in the church, he took the whole group into a state of dreaming and journeyed into another world. How does one learn how to do this? Florinda Donner-Grau: It's all a matter of having enough energy to be able to see. We're all so consumed by the everydayness of life that we simply don't have any energy left over to see. How do people use daily life to begin to find where they are draining themselves energetically? Carol Tiggs: When you look back over your workday, one of the clues to where you lost your energy is where you began to feel tired and not energetically yourself. Those places are where you'll find your answers and start to develop some perspective-and you'll be able to begin to pull back your energy from these events and begin to start examining the patterns that keep you stuck within the ego game of hero and victim. Is this process different for the males and the females? Florinda Donner-Grau: The process isn't any different. When you recapitulate, you take yourself back and recreate every event as it happened. Once you have the energy, this happens automatically and you don't have to reach it through any shamanistic means, such as fasting and so on. You can begin any day and start from that day and move backwards. I've done four recapitulations of my entire life to date and I find something new each time. And what I find is that not directly but indirectly we always try to be the hero ourselves. At some of the lectures we have given, people are always taking notes and I find myself saying to them, "No, don't take notes, because those things are meaningless. Just listen." All of their energy is gong into taking notes and they're missing half of what is really going on. Taisha Abelar: We constantly hear people say, If only I was a part of your group, then I could do this or that. But what they don't understand is that wherever you are, that is where you start. Carol Tiggs: Sorcery is really just perception. There are no rituals, no dancing, no nothing. Just perception and some techniques to enhance perception through gathering up of oneself energetically. There are aids, such as not-doing techniques. Taisha Abelar: Or just watching your thoughts and hearing what you are really thinking. You can learn a lot by doing that. Carol Tiggs: What I've found is that people generally fall into one of two categories: either they have to be in control or they are being controlled by something else. When you come from these two scenarios, you generally aren't perceiving your life clearly. By recapitulating you light up in your awareness exactly the energies (or reality) that was constructed so that you can begin to perceive the patterns and programming that control you. Taisha Abelar: When you begin to clearly see the social patterns that control you, you start to move into stalking yourself. This is where you can become an active participant in life. Suddenly your boss is no longer that evil, horrible controller that he once was. Instead he becomes a mirror by which you start to see where you are trapped into the games of this reality. These games are what consume or tie up people's energy and keep them from perceiving the true energetic nature of this reality. When you move away from the consensus of everyday life, you can allow the Intent or the dream that has been set up by Intent to become the moving force, the guide. Florinda Donner-Grau: To do this you have to relinquish this feeling of having to be the one in control. But believe me, even after you have recapitulated, you still have that feeling that you have this one little area over here and that once you get to it, then you will be the one who is in charge. Let's get back to the ways in which males and females perceive. If females perceive directly, then why aren't most females walking around steeped in understanding or knowingness of Intent? Florinda Donner-Grau: Males have an energetic advantage in the physical world. Though the male cone shape configuration of energy makes perceiving the source of Intent more difficult, it is ideal for being able to work stronger in the physical world . There is no way for females to compete against that energetic advantage as long as they are imitating roles that males have created. Instead we as females have to find our own resources and break this cycle of imitation so that we can truly begin to evolve into something different. What is that evolvement? Carol Tiggs: To tell you the truth, I really don't know. What is our Intent as we evolve and what does this evolvement entail? For female sorcerers, part of this comes into enhancing the secondary functions of our wombs, which are the dreaming organs in the female body. And we do this by recapitulating, breaking old patterns, gathering up our energy, so that we can begin to dream a new dream. Taisha Abelar: Whatever has happened to us-and something has happened-we hope to convey to younger people that change is possible. But there has to be some kind of critical mass to make this change possible. Florinda Donner-Grau: When you go against the enormous consensus that constitutes everyday reality, you are pounding against a stone wall. When sorcerers enter into dreaming, the first thing they will usually encounter is a bank of fog. When you see this fog you are pulling at something else energetically. ln a way, sorcery is like Chinese Medicine in that it treats the body as if it were a field of energy. Western Medicine treats the body as if it were an object so it doesn't take advantage of the more powerful energetic reality. Consequently you have doctors cutting out matter instead of using energy to change it. Medicine, like modem man, would change dramatically if it took advantage of these energetic principles to aid in a metamorphis of current limitations and illnesses. Carol Tiggs: What a sorcerer searches for is that evolvement within his awareness or energetic field; that moment or possibility of change into a state of being that has more wellness. Florinda Donner-Grau: Currently there is so much invested in institutions like the A.M.A. that there is no way that they are going to change things like that. But what they are doing to the body is horrendous. They teach us that medicine has advanced, but that simply isn't true. Now we have Aids and cancer and we really don't know what the hell we are doing. I had a young female friend who died of intestinal cancer a couple of months ago. On the outside she was living the perfect life but on the inside she was being eaten alive. You see, her husband was a president of one of those huge corporations and you wouldn't believe the pains she went through to impress people. She was killing herself to impress other people. I asked her, "If things are so bad, why didn't you seek some help?" But she said that she was worried about what people would think. I answered back, "What will they think when you are dead?" Now, she is dead, and they don't think a thing. If that is the price you are going to pay, then take off. But that's what we do. You see, in a way, we're still monkeys. Don Juan used to tease us and say that we are like a monkey who has reached into a gourd to grab some seeds. The monkey can't get his hand out as long as he holds on to those seeds. Humans are very much the same way. Our social expectations are the seeds which consume our awareness. All the monkey would have to do to become free is to just let go of those damn seeds, but he won't. We won't let go of the seeds to get ourselves out of a trapped situation. We just can't let go. Gary Larson drew a cartoon showing an ape who had fallen out of a tree and was laying flat on the ground. Under the drawing was the transcription: The dawn of man. The only thing he forgot to add was that the monkey had fallen onto a patch of seeds. You see, he had grabbed for the seeds; that was the real fall of man. Magical Blend Magazine (c) 1994

    * Carlos Castaneda Overview (v0.4uc) *

========================= Version: 0.4 (under construction) Last-Updated: Tue May 17 12:54:52 CDT 1994

    The Sorcerers' Explanation

-------------------------- Summerized from Tales of Power, Washington Square Press. The secret of the luminous beings is that we are perceivers, we are an awareness without solidity or bounds. The world we think we see is only a description of world told to us by our internal dialog, a description that has been taught to us by others. We are trapped inside that bubble of perception and what we witness on its walls is a reflection of our world view, our description. As luminous beings, our perception is controlled by the position of our Assemblage Point (the point where our luminous being focuses its awareness on the energy fibers of the universe). There are infinite worlds outside our daily perceptions. By stopping the internal dialog you break through this barrier to the totality of oneself. To this end sorcerers use "the right way of walking" as a practical task; it saturates the tonal and without the one-to-one relation with the elements of its description the tonal becomes silent. Also used are acting without believing or expecting rewards; erasing personal history; and "dreaming". To help erase personal history the techniques of losing self-importance, assuming responsibility, and using death as an adviser are applied. To aide in "dreaming" the three techniques of disrupting the routines of life, the gait of power, and not-doing are used. These techniques are bound together by living like a warrior, to give temperance and strength to withstand the path of knowledge. The nagual is the unspeakable. All the possible feelings and beings and selves float in it like barges, peaceful, unaltered, forever. Then the glue of life binds some of them together and a being is created. That being loses the sense of its true nature and becomes blinded by the glare and clamor of the tonal, where all unified organizations exist. That cluster is the bubble of perception. The secret of the double is in the bubble of perception. In the nagual, the cluster of feelings can be rearranged to any form and made to assemble instantly anywhere. In other words, one can perceive the here and the there at once. The nagual is witnessed by "will", and the tonal by "reason". The tonal is but a reflection of that indescribable unknown filled with order; the nagual is but a reflection of that indescribable void that contains everything.

    The Seven Gates of Dreaming

--------------------------- Summerized from _The Art of Dreaming_. First Gate: You reach the first gate when you become aware you are falling asleep or have a gigantically real dream (perhaps what some would call a lucid dream). You cross the first gate when you are able to sustain the sight of any item in your dream. In order to offset the evanescent quality of dreams, sorcerers have devised the use of the starting point item. Ever time you isolate it and look at it, you get a surge of energy, Second Gate: You cross the second gate when you are able to change from dream to dream. For example, you wake up from a dream in another dream or use an item of your dream to trigger another dream. Third Gate: You reach the third gate when you dream yourself asleep. You cross the third gate by moving your engery body after having done so. At the third gate you begin to merge your dreaming reality with the reality of the daily world. Fourth Gate: At the fourth gate, the energy body travels to specific, concrete places either in this world, out of this world, or places that exist only in the intent of others. Go to sleep in a certain position, then in dreaming, dream that you lie down in the same position and fall asleep again. This is called the twin positions and it solidifies your dreaming attention. The second dream is intending in the second attention: the only way to cross the fourth gate of dreaming.

    The Path of a Man of Knowledge

------------------------------ Exceprts from _The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge_; pages 82-87. A man of knowledge is one who has followed truthfully the hardships of learning. A man who has, without rushing or without faltering, gone as far as he can in unraveling the secrets of power and knowledge. To become a man of knowledge one must challenge and defeat the four natural enemies. The first enemy of a man of knowledge is Fear. A terrible enemy--treacherous, and difficult to overcome. It remains concealed at every turn of the way, prowling, waiting. And if the man, terrified in its presence, runs away, his enemy will have put an end to his quest. Once a man has vanquished fear, he is free from it for the rest of his life because, instead of fear, he has acquired clarity of mind which erases fear. And thus he has encountered his second enemy; Clarity. That clarity of mind, which is so hard to obtain, dispels fear, but also blinds. If the man yields to this make-believe power, he has succumbed to his second enemy and will be patient when he should rush. And he will fumble with learning until he winds up incapable of learing anything more. He must defy his clarity and use it only to see, and wait patiently and measure carefully before taking new steps; he must think, above all, that his clarity is almost a mistake. And a moment will come when he will understand that his clarity was only a point before his eyes. And thus he will have overcome his second enemy, and will arrive at a position where nothing can harm him anymore. It will be true power; the third enemy of a man of knowledge. A man at this stage hardly notices his third enemy closing in on him. And suddenly, without knowing, he will certainly have lost the battle. His enemy will have turned him into a cruel, capricious man. The man must defy his power, deliberately. He has to come to realize the power he has seemingly conquered is in reality never his. He will reach a point where everything is held in check. He will know then when and how to use his power. And thus he will have defeated his third enemy. The man will be, by then, at the end of his journey of learning, and almost without warning he will come upon the last of his enemies: Old age. This enemy is the cruelest of all, the one he won't be able to defeat completely, but only fight away. His desire to retreat will overrule all his clarity, his power, and his knowledge. But if the man sloughs off his tiredness, and lives his fate through, he can then be called a man of knowledge, if only for the brief moment when he succeeds in fighting off his last, invincible enemy. That moment of clarity, power, and knowledge is enough.

    The Books

--------- Teachings: Jun 23 1961 - Sep 30 1965 Separate Reality: Apr 2 1968 - Oct 18 1970 Journey to Ixtlan: Dec 17 1960 - May 1971 [I would like short reviews of each book, if you do it just email it to castaneda-request@austin.bsdi.com]

    Glossary

-------- The Eight Points +---Seeing----+ / \ Nagual Will-----Feeling-----Talking---Reason Tonal \ / +---Dreaming--+ Stopping the Internal Dialog Stopping our description of the world; breaking the barrier of perception. Stopping the internal dialog is the key to the sorcerers' world. The rest of the activities are only props to accelerate the effect. The Right Way of Walking Tales of Power, WSP Paperback edition, page 236, don Juan says: The warrior, first by curling his fingers, drew attention to the arms; and then by looking, without focusing his eyses, at any point directly in front of him on the arc that started at the tip of his feet and ended above the horizon, he literally flooded his "tonal" with information. The "tonal", without its one-to-one relationship with the elements of its description, was incapable of talking to itself, and thus one became silent. Acting Without Believing Acting just for the hell of it, without expecting rewards. Erasing Personal History Removing cues of oneself from the world at large, making oneself unavailable. This frees you from the trap of others attention. This also helps to remove Self-Pity from your world. Losing Self-Importance Another aide in removing Self-Pity. Assuming Responsibility Assume responsibility for your actions and being in this world. Using Death as an Advisor Take every act as your last battle on earth. It doesn't matter if you win or lose a battle but never abandon yourself, even to your death. You should replace Self-Pity as your advisor and use death instead. Actions taken with death as an advisor have power. Disrupting the Routines of Life Our routines are what allows death to stalk us. A hunter learns the routines of its pray and uses them to kill it. Gait of Power Running with abandon, but without abandoning oneself. Imagine yourself being chased in the dark by a ferocious animal, if you get away, this is how you will have run. Not-Doing Focusing your attention on features of the world that are ordinarily overlooked, such as the shadows of things. Dreaming Using the natural shift of the Assemblage Point while asleep. Together, disrupting routines, the gate of power, and not-doing are avenues for learning new ways of perceiving the world, and they give a warrior an inkling of incredible possibilities of action. These lead to the knowledge of a separate and pragmatic world of "dreaming". Stalking Fixing the Assemblage Point in position to give your perception coherence. Used in the daily world it's a way of behaving towards our fellow men. Recapitulation Used to free energy trapped in the world. Performed by visualizing past events (to shift your Assemblage Point to that point) and reclaiming any energy you left behind and returning energy that isn't yours. Mood of a Warrior A mood in which to approch the world, acting with abandon but without abandoning oneself. Using death as an advisor, each act is your last battle on earth. Controlled Folly Since a man of knowledge "sees" and he knows that nothing is more important than anything else then nothing matters to him, he has only his controlled folly, acting as if it mattered even though he knows it does not. Gazing A sourcerery technique of looking without staring at something. The "not-doing" of looking at something. Worthy Opponent An opponent to spur you on the path of knowledge. Having to Believe Having no choice, the situation inspired by the worth opponent. Man of Knowledge A warrior who has become a sorcerer and who "sees" and knows. The ultimate state of being, in total control over your being. Energy Body ??? Assemblage Point The point at which your awarness is focused on your luminous being causing the energy fibers at large to align with the energy fibers inside your cocoon. Glow of Awarness The glowing point at which the Assemblage Point is focused, indicating that the being is alive. This glow lights the fibers and makes the luminous being percieve them. First Attention The attention of the tonal. Used to assemble our daily world. Second Attention The attention of the nagual. Third Attention The attention after burning with the fire from within. Dreaming Attention The attention used while dreaming to exercise the energy body, it's a gateway to the second attention. First Ring of Power Also the first attention Second Ring of Power Also the second attention Gates of Dreaming The seven gates of dreaming are energy obstacles that must be overcome. Dreaming Emissary ??? Scouts Energy beings from other realms in your dreams. By isolating then and indending to follow them they can transport your awareness to inconceivable realms. Dreaming Awake This state results from moving the Assemblage Point during normal awareness. The Tonal and the Nagual The tonal is but a reflection of that indescribable unknown filled with order; the nagual is but a reflection of that indescribable void that contains everything. The Dreamer and the Dreamed The secret of the dreamer and the dreamed is that the dreamed dreams the dreamer, just as the dreamer dreams the dreamed. The Secret of the Luminous Beings The secret of the luminous beings is that we are perceivers, we are an awareness without solidity or bounds. The world we think we see is only a description of world told to us by our internal dialog, a description that has been taught to us by others. We are trapped inside that bubble of perception and what we witness on its walls is a reflection of our world view, our description. Bubble of Perception The bubble of perception is the cluster of feelings that have been assembled in the nagual and bound together by the force of life.

    * Subject: Notes on a talk by Taisha Abelar 92 *

The following are notes I took at a talk by Taisha Abelar on 10 October 1992 at the Alexandria II bookstore in Pasadena, California. These are somewhat cryptic but may be of interest to some on the list. ((my comments if any are in double parentheses)) The Activity of sorcerers is that of Dreaming yourself. Society is oriented toward a "poor baby" syndrome (society and the individual are at effect). Drills to resolve this : Write your internal dialogue down for 3 days, wait three days and read it Mark up the newspaper wherever the poor baby concept is expressed. We presently have a mating/courtship compulsion the self is presented as a "poor baby" to the world Stalking the self - see how you are living. The reason for all this is that mankind's assemblage point is in a certain position. You can move the assemblage point to another place. That's what sorcerers do - move it away from the poor baby position The assembalge point is a place of luminosity on the energetic body, it lights the filiaments. When the filiaments of the energetic body match those of the universe perception takes place. How do you move the assemblage point? You need energy - this may be obtained from not doing the presentation of the self in everyday life and stopping seeking courtship. curtail needingness. After you've increased your energy THEN practice sorceric techniques. 1. The recapitulation (see Sorcerer's crossing) 2. Quiet the internal dialogue (Meditation and breathing techniques are good for this) ((Taisha told a rather amusing story of going to a guru in India who had a $900 breathing technique)) The $900 dollar breath: 3 exhalations, 1 inhalation (Use) any technique that works - sorcery passes, gazing techniques. Practice impeccability, you'll know impeccability when you have no self interest. Act without expecting rewards or returns. Act impeccably and the assemblage point moves to the" place of no pity " Heightened awareness. When the assemblage point moves far enough you'll see different worlds. You'll know when you are there - (you'll be) very quiet, unknown to yourself, you'll feel solitude but not loneliness. Energy comes to you and will guide you, energy of the double, the ethereal body. " Poor Baby" ravages energy. That's the beginning, heightened awareness is the door to infinity. NOW you can use dreaming and stalking. Dreaming, use dreams to enhance awareness of being, wake up the energetic body. The art of dreaming - move the assemblage point systematically (find your hands, etc.) Art of stalking - when assemblage point moves you have to fix it at new position - give it reality - explore, get adventuresome. find out the ramifications of the new position from a bodily energy viewpoint. Then develop the energetic body. Use it (while awake). Solidify it and act from it. Where Taisha Abelar is is a poistion of the assemblage point. Moving assemblage point to where their's (other sorcerers) were. The earth too has an assemblage point ((cf. Ley lines etc.)) embarrassment disrupts the assemblage point. There are other worlds than this consensual world. Nagual - pronounced " NO - ALL" You can move the assemblage point in dreaming. (( Taisha Abelar made a loud scream at this point in the talk)) Shriek - makes the assemblage point shift and solidify the energy body. For a normal human the assemblage point is behind the left shoulder at the back. Perception is encoded in the body (cf. Husserl, phenomenologists) Perception - a facet of corporeality. The only way to change the energy body is to move the assemblage point, lighting up different filiaments. Memories can reengage, restimulate different energetic memories. Dream yourself, its up to you A man waits for death and while he waits he surrounds himself with beauty and with strength " The Death Defier" The change comes from within, to change the world, the environment, the universe. You must move the assemblage point Recapitulation - make list of everyone you've known begin with the latest person and work backwards Breath in over right shoulder to left then exhale back (rotating the head back) - visualize and breath you can do it in the world. Don't poor baby yourself. Use devices to jolt yourself you can move the assemblage point up and down. (( She talks about her experiences in the other world with the trees (described in Sorcerer's Crossing))) Competition among the roots of trees (not recommended to move the Assemblage point down) The greatest challenge - practice controlled folly, you see the situation and you don't do anything about it - you don't judge - judging is death. Inorganic entities, they permeate this other realm of the universe. Don Juan's/Carlo's new book The Seven Gates of Dreaming The second gate is these guys - Gargoyles/vampires/shadows they inhabit a close realm and feed off our energy. Don Juan's allys. Seers can see this energy. Build integrity - internal strength. Gazing at gravel/leaves/moon/clouds But if you don't have the sobriety of recapitulation then there are hazards. The Inorganic Entities come thru tunnels, ignore them. The Inorganic Entities obey your commands. You can recapitualte your dreams or recapitulate in your dreams. If awake Normal recapitulation start at right inhale to left, exhale to center. In dreams inhale Clockwise, exhale counterclockwise in center. There are layers of recapitulation. Best place for assemblage point - an infinite number of other places. The spirit, intent, will let it move , Best intermediate place - "The place of no pity" Do the newspaper exercise (looking for "poor baby") Take a pen and paper to your internal dialogue. Scratch the surface, stalk yourself. Taisha Abelar and her fellow sorcerers are now moving assemblage points elsewhere and using energetic bodies to establish realities there. Proper use of sexual energy. if you've got energy to spare - ((sex is)) OK if you've recapitualted. If you want to move the assemblage point to other areas use sexual energy to do dreaming. The second gate is the graveyard of failed sorcerers. Control, the stalker's sobriety. level 1 energy body level 2 energy and physical body (this needs lots more energy) ((the above is describing 'going places' via dreaming as an energy body or taking the physical body too)) After recapitulating there is only NOW. This permits discrepancies - coming and going from the consensual universe. When moving the assemblage point either: 1. Get rid of friends 2. Use them as controlled folly. The world has multitudes of realities The real challenge is in the world - can you get off the assemblage point position? Stalking - move assemblage point, give the energy body a jolt. ((an example of a stalking exercise follows)) Tie up the dominant hand and use the other. Not doing exercises Walk backwards Walk on all fours with kneepads any trigger - sound/time/smell causes the body to remember cover up mirrors - (they reinforce agreements and put attention on the self) Stalk yourself look at the world Begin recapitulation Dream and find your hands in your dream Not doing Disrupt routines and do exercise to wake up the energetic body (physical exercise)

    * Subject: Notes on a talk by Taisha Abelar 94 *

These are the of notes of the Abelar public talk in Menlo Park, California held January 7, 1994. These notes are not in the public domain; they may be distributed to friends interested in Abelar, CC and Donner, but please do not repost them on other bulletin boards and they may not be published in any magazine etc. Please respect the style of teaching of Abelar, Castaneda etc. which seems to be based on limited public display. "Tonight's talk with be on Stopping. To Stop you must only do one thing. Decide to be a warrior or not. "The assemblage point fluctuates naturally in sleep. It will also move under the influence of drugs, deep meditation, starvation, sensory deprivation. "The assemblage point is located behind you at the level of your shoulder blades. "Sorcerers use Discipline to move their assemblage points. "Everyone of us can 'see' energy - even now - but you are no longer aware of it. Infants on the other hand perceive energy directly. However, as they get older the 'Usher' introduces them to the world of ordinary reality. Instead of seeing amorphous energy, the infant one day will assemble the energy configuration into...a table. A toy. A dog. A tree. Each time the transformation comes from the Usher. "First and foremost we live in a world of energy. Only secondarily do we live in a world of objects. The position of the assemblage point determines the reality that we assemble of the energy. "The sorcerer [presumably unlike the hunger artists and sensory deprivers] seeks to FIX the assembly point at a new location [not just move it]. To agglutinate energy again into new sets of 'objects' and hence into a new 'reality.' "This world is not as important as we make it out to be. Our language is biased; we call it 'reality' when it is really only one of many modes of the assemblage point. For convenience though let us refer to it as 'ordinary' reality. "Ordinarily once the Ushers do their work of helping us perceive the various energy configurations as 'objects,' the assemblage point is fixed once and for all and the assemblage point does not move thereafter. "We are forced to maintain a world of everyday life until we die. "By the way death, from a sorcerer's standpoint, is not the fast process that it appears to be. The glow of the assemblage point fades quickly, but all the other energy strands that make up the energy egg of the human being can take a long long time to disperse. This process can also be slowed down, for example if you were buried in a lead coffin right after death. "The alternative to being stuck all your life on one assemblage point is to move it by the practice of Discipline, and then to fix it at a new location while awake. "A firm foundation in the warrior's way is required for heavy duty stopping and dreaming." "Discipline is not the same thing as practiced by Catholic girls in a convent. Nor the same thing as what USED to be practiced by the nuns themselves. It is not getting up early to do aerobics before going to work, or eating sensibly. These are just routines, habits. Not a warrior's Discipline. "From the point of view of a warrior, stalker or dreamer, Discipline is abstract - an unbending hooking to a purpose - so that the actual implementation of the Discipline is actually very flexible and fluid. It takes courage of steel, there is no room for doubt or hesitation which will otherwise rise up to pull you back to the everyday world of tantrums and self indulgence. "Discipline leads to harmony, well being and balance. Everyday life, on the other hand, is indulgence. "Unbending unyielding purpose is what is requird for Discipline in our quest for freedom. "At the Phoenix Bookstore [ed. note - Santa Monica, CA I think] talks recently - some of you were there - Carlos Castaneda gave a talk of the 'warrior's way.' "You can't 'learn' to be a warrior! It is just a decision you have to make one day for yourself on your own. Asking someone to teach you to be a warrior is the wrong approach, it is the 'poor baby me' approach to warriorship. "Carlos Castaneda said that first and foremost the transfiguring event in a warrior's life, what is at the bedrock of becoming a warrior, is accepting responsibility for your own death. This is the bottom line. Don't assume you are immortal. "Face infinity and death in the mirror at night. "Just by doing this, taking death as an advisor this way, lots of things will fall off, fall away from you. "Assume responsibility for your perception of the world. Not just the single perception you were born into. Instead intend the movement of your assemlage point to other areas of the luminous egg. If you tighten your belt, curtail the other things in your life the pont will JUST MOVE ON ITS OWN without any exercises or routines on your part. The lamp of awareness, strong now that you have cut the excess baggage out of your life, will shine on all the other possible positions of your assemblage point. "The next rule of being a warrior is to pay your debts. A warrior is very generous. He or she does not look at the world in terms of what other people owe him or her. The warrior looks at the world in terms of opportunities to discharge his or her debts to other people so he or she will not be tied up forever. "This paying of debts leads to an unbiased affection for all things. Most of what we consider to be affection is the trading of favors with other people. The warrior, on the other hand, gives affection with no expectation of return. It is not that the warrior is trying to eliminate affection, be an unfeeling person. The warrior's affection is just so unbiased it unravels everyday connections. The warrior's affection is so unbiased that if the warrior goes into another reality completely different from this one the warrior's affection will extend to all the other new beings that exist in that other reality. "If someone has really INJURED you this also needs to be paid back. The concept of paying debts is not a sentimental concept limited to returning the good connections. The point is to loosen all connections. If you are connected to someone who injured you, you may need to sever that connection by paying back the injury. So it is not a moral issue; it goes two ways." "The warrior's path is an escape hatch, somewhere to go after you have finished dismantling everyday life. There is no room for crapping out, for fear, for indulgence, for regrets or for nostalgia when going into the unknown. "Unbending determination is the only choice you can make or terrible things will happen to you once you have accumulated enough energy [by using death as an advisor to cut loose the excess baggage]. "You CANNOT be half assed, half willing or, with your partial energy, even worse things will happen to you [than if you had never taken this path]. "Take back the energy used to support the everyday world [by using death as an advisor and paying back debts]. The everyday world is a gigantic edifice but it rest on just three cornerstones: "(1) how we present ourselves in the world, how we fit into the social structure. The recapitulation lets you think about all this, how you fit in, it is a looking glass of how others see you in your hopes and fears. All this takes energy. The warrior looks instead at what he or she is doing the face of death and what conduct, what intensity is really appropriate in that light. "(2) the second cornerstone is our biological need to mate and to reproduce. We are social animals. Sorcerers say - let the others do it. Sorcerers need the energy that goes into the social dance and biological need to get their freedom. We refuse to be the flower that blooms -and dies - to propagate the species. Security of the family is one of the strongest attractions to the social order. There is a tremendous fear of being alone, of dying alone. Sorcerers have to learn to be ALONE for long stretches, which is why Don Juan and the others would test us by keeping us alone, on our own, to see how we handled solitude. Why are you so afraid to have no moives, no friends. It is also important to learn to keep mental silence, mental solitude, for long periods. The world will then collapse on its own without the inner talk! Dreaming is also very alone, facing the dangers in the dreaming world alone. "We are talking about STOPPING tonight and have to get used to solitude. As women we just don't want to be an old maid, a bitter old maid with a mole and whiskers on her cheek as was held up to me. We learn these things, the need to be beautiful to ctch a good mate and we fund the entire cosmetics industry with our fears and worries. In recapitulation we have a chance to see this and to look for alternatives." "The warrior's way [is not to get trapped in the biological imperative to mate and the social dance motivated by loneliness it] is to give unbounded affection instead, not to count the number of affairs we have or be in a relationship and daydream about alternatives that would be even better for us. A warrior's affection so transcends the social order that the warrior can move to any other position of the assemblage point, even an unknown universe and still be full of affection. So don't be afraid to chip away at this second cornerstone of everday reality, that if you do so you won't have any affections or feelings left. "The third cornerstone of ordinary reality is very sublte; it is self importance. We joked about putting out a bumper sticker 'Self-importance kills' because a false sense of self importance, when undercut, is a great source of suicide and illness not to mention taking away from a zest for living. Everyone manifests self importance one way or another, either by wanting to be best in something or by wanting to play the martyr and be the worst - the use my bones as stepping stones to your own glory syndrome. Don't substitute false humility or false modesty for pride about your self importance. The important thing to realize is that you are no MORE and no LESS important than any other living thing. To think otherwise is like one ant in a heap carrying an especially big load and thinking it is the most important, the best ant when in a moment I will step on that ant and all his companions and they will be equal in their death. Something will 'step' on all of us someday, just like one of us might step on an ant hill. We are all equal and self importance is nothing but a reward from the social order of everyday reality, like the drip of a drug into your brain to keep you hooked on the social order. It is better to save your energy and take your freedom instead. "The 'Selector.' A very simple mechanical model of a needle pointing in a certain direction and we get our engergy configuration lined up at a new assemblage point. The Selector does it all for you if you have enough energy it pulls certain things in the universe down to you. Once you have restored your energy by the recapitulation there is no need for chanting or special rituals to move your assemblage point. Where why how the Selector moves the assemblage point we don't know all we can do is acquiesce in the movement, act implacably under the terrible pressure of the Selector. "Stalking. I - stalkers in general - use behavior to move the assemblage point to create maximum cognitive dissonance." "You cannot choose where to move your assemblage point when you are living as a stalker because if you choose you will not have enough cognitive dissonance between the old point and the new point to work with. This is why warriors are under tremendous pressure, because the Selector - or spirit - chooses difficult new positions that are so scary or different that sometimes the assemblage point of the warrior, when subjected to the pressure to move, starts vibrating in place, you can see this energetically. If the warrior lapses into an internal dialog about what is going on, then the point will not relocate it will snap back to its normal position which for you is ordinary reality. "It takes tremendous pressure to move the point and what you need to do is to keep the pressure up but it should be harmonious pressure or you culd actually go crazy. Once you have energy and unbending intent the point will move very easily with no problems and after you do the recapitulation it will move sometimes and you won't even be aware of it. "I had certain tasks chosen for me by the Selector. I had to completely live as different people, this was not just acting during the day or being aware you are acting it was complete immersion in a new self. 24 hours a day. You ARE that new person. Let me be Sheila Waters for you. [Puts on wig and eyeglasses.] I have to wear eyeglasses when I am Sheila Waters. "Sheila Waters was pointed out to me by the Selector (spirit or whatever you want to call it) I had to become a business woman, get an MBA, real estate license, paralegal, invest in commodities, keep business relationships with attorneys and accountants and all the other people in the business world. I got things done and made and lost fortunes. Because when you are in that assemblage position there is a natural desire to succeed, not fail, so naturally the tendency is to try to make lots of money, not just stand still or lose money. If you are not impeccable it is easy to lose money by not listening to your own inner voice. I decided that I had to have some really great timber land in the north and it was really great land perfect in every way; except that it was near Mt. St. Helena and when the volcano blew up it was ruined. I used to read the Wall Street Journal and watch Ruyckhaueser [spelling?]. "Other personas. [Takes off glasses and wig.] In Mexico I was under Emilito's supervision he was more of a guardian or spectator than a teacher, would not interfere with the roles the Selector chose for me. I was Ricky, the first position chosen for me, an American gringo male trying to pass himself off as a Mexican. I dressed in mans clothing, passed for a man, romanced a lady and even used the urinals. Don't ask me to tell you what I had to do to use the urinals, I will put it in my new book Stalking the Double. "The second assemblage point chosen for me was a young ingenue from Texas, niece of some women in Mexico who were of course really the women sorcerers from Don Juan's party. I had blonde hair by choice and would parade in the square waiting to attract men to this virginal thing, because of course I had to be a virgin, and the blonde hair was very startling and attractive. "It is essential to be absolutely fluid. That is the point of all the not-doing exercises, so that you can be absolutely fluid and when the Selector moves your assemblage point you will have the Discipline to be able to fix it at its new location. "You cannot view yourself as just a cynical manipulator of behavior, acting out one role then another. It must be real to you, absolutely real. "Next I was a crazy beggar. Sat on the church steps bitten by fleas and mosquitos all day but although I am allergic to bites in my role as a crazy beggar woman I did not care, did not mind them at all. I was a crazy female outcast beggar so I had 4 strikes against me and all the time in the world to just sit there and watch the world go by because no one noticed me or cared." "To conclude. Nothing is real, just a manipulation of behaviour, just a result of the accidental fixation of our assemblage point at birth. That is what the stalker learns from being so many different people. Each position is equally real and hence equally phantoms. We cherish our present positions, but even the closest, most real ones are just phantoms when you move to another postion. "It took years of recapitulation to undermine the sense of reality . At the same time I had to replace reality with the warrior's way to avoid the trap of cynicism. Turn my response to the world into controlled folly, the warrior's delight! "If ou have the energy all the things it [Selector, spirit] puts around you become things of beauty and strength, in the highest sense your life becomes surrounded by a display of living art. "Remember that you are already dead, already a phantom like everything else, and lose your sense of self importance. "Know beyond a shadow of a doubt that nothing is real." [Questions & answers; questions inaudible in the garden.] "After the recapitulation and not doing, then you can see. "Moving into another complete band of the luminous egg is like dying, because the glow of your awareness in the everyday world has gone out. Awareness is still with you but you are perceiving a different reality. To the ordinary reality world you are gone, dead. "There are similarities between Chinese acupuncture theory and the sorcerer's description of the luminous body. If you draw the main body meridians they form an egg like the sorcerers describe. Also Chinese theory is that you are born with a limited supply of intrinsic energy, same view as sorcerers. We think that the assemblage point in the embryo is in the embryo and only relocates outside the embryo when the Ushers bring in the ordinary reality. Also some people are born more energetically powerful than others. For example if both parents are energetic and the baby is raised on the mother's milk. But don't worry if you were not born with a special abundance of energy, you have all you need if you will be careful with it. Also you will get extra jolts when your assemblage point moves. We just need to be more disciplined to guard our energy. It really does not take much energy anyway to move the point. "Nietsche said whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger. That is how sorcerers think. But otherwise be careful of philosophers because they are famous crazy self indulgers. "Recapitulation. There is no method. There is a method but it is not important whether you move your head from right to left or from left to right or set aside a regular time or a lot of time. What is important is the unbending intent to recapitulate. Then spirit will guide you into the right form and time and amount of practice. With intent, time will set itself. When you make the right intent, you will have 27 generations of sorcerers behind you. They did not all practice the recapitulation the same way, but their intent will hook you support you and guide you. The intent out there to recapitulate is constant but the method varies. Therefore: "1. Intend it. "2. Have an integrity about it - don't brag or compete (competition is the worst thing in the world, it is a primary support for the third cornerstone of everyday reality, the sense of self importance). "3. Discipline order harmoney. Don't be random unless you intend it. Most people make a list and work backwards. "4. Breath. Direction not important. What is important is using the breath to pull the energy back. "Letter came to Carlos Castaneda - 'I recapitulated last night. Can I join your party now?' Recapitulation takes a lifetime, not a night." [end of transcription. By Swedenborg@aol.com]

    * Some questions *

LK> I got a disarming book recently called "The Don Juan Papers". It is a LK> supposed expose of the entire series by Carlos Castenada. LK> Anyone else read and follows these works? There's some amazing and LK> probing ideas there. All I know about this case is what I've read in Cornerstone magazine (Vol. 19 Issue 93, p.24), in part 3 or a series by Bob Passantino, called "Fantasies, Legends, Heroes: a discussion of popular 'legends' and how they arise." I'll quote the relevant section: Christians aren't the only ones who accept legends substituted for real research. Those of you who are around my age and who remember (or were even part of) the 1960s age of "drug enlightenment" probably remember Carlos Castaneda as the anthropologist who discovered that hallucinatory drugs supposedly bring spiritual enlightenment. He didn't do it the way many of my generation did, by dropping acid, staring into a flower, and suddenly realizing that everything is "God." He did it by allegedly spending portions of several years in the American Southwest and Mexican deserts as an apprentice to an Indian shaman. UCLA awarded Castaneda a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1973 for his fieldwork and ethnography dissertation on Native American shamanism. "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yacqui Way of Knowledge" represents that work and is known worldwide for its vivid portrayal of Castneda's apprenticehip to the shaman, Don Juan. However, practically nothing about Castaneda, including his name, birth date, and original nationality, is what it appears to be. In fact, careful investigation and analysis shows that his books represent more of the Castaneda his college friend described as "witty, imaginative, cheerful--a big liar and a real friend"*1 than they do Castaneda as the serious anthropologist and reporter who sacrifices himself for scientific ethnographic research. Like most legends, the Castaneda legend is missing dates, times, people, places, and documents. Careful research and investigation uncovered gaping holes, inconsistencies, and outright fabrications in the convoluted stories Castaneda told in his four books *2. But the reason I mention the Castaneda legend particularly is that I would never have expected the professional reaction to the expose. Rather than relegating his books to the legend shelf, some professionals STILL depend on them for ethnographic information, and still herald him as the father of the ethnographic "revolution" in anthropology! What is most interesting is the response that has greeted the revelation that Castaneda's works are fictional. First, there has been no real attempt to revoke his Ph.D., based as it is on fraudulent "research." Secondly, as de Mille ... documents, the response among many anthropologists and others who share the Don Juan type of philosophical outlook has been neutral. In other words, it doesn't matter if the works are fictional because the underlying philosophy is, in some vague sense, true. An excellent example of this approach is Shelburne's (1987) article titled "Carlos Castaneda: If It Didn't Happen, What Does It Matter?" Shelburne argues that "the issue of whether it [Castaneda's experience] literally happened or not makes no fundamental difference to the truth of the account" (p. 217). Such excuses are little more than intellectual used-car salesmanship. *3 Let's relate this back to our legend/research paradigm. Castaneda BASED his "revolutionary" cultural anthropological ideas on FICTION *4. That's like building a house on sinking sand instead of solid rock. Now Shelburne and other professional like him say it doesn't matter, because the "truth" is the same. That's like saying your sinking house is fine where it is--the house itself is well built. But no matter how well built the house is, it will fall apart since it's built on sand instead of solid ground. You need BOTH as well-built house AND solid ground if you expect to live in the house. *1 Richard de Mille, "Castaneda's Journey" (Santa Barbara, CA: Capra Press, 1976), 26. *2 The most comprehensive investigation was done by Richard de Mille and is contained in "Castaneda's Journey (see above note) and the book de Mille later edited, "The Don Juan Papers: Further Castaneda Controversies (Santa Barbara, CA: Ross-Erickson Publishers, 1980). *3 Terence-Hines, "Pseudoscience and the Paranormal" (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Press, 1988), 278. *4 If there is any truth to Castaneda's anthropological theories, it would be in spite of his fantasies, not because of them. [End Quote]

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