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 Castaneda Carlos Interviews

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Numero di messaggi : 2142
Data d'iscrizione : 04.02.09

MessaggioOggetto: Re: Castaneda Carlos Interviews   Mer 16 Dic 2009 - 8:06

http://www.volny.cz/castaneda/en/interviews/28.html
I'm a Tonal, not a Nagual, kind of guy, in other words. I had a life, such as it
was.
What Castaneda's life was, though, remains a mystery. He seems to be one of
those peculiar Americans (despite his origins), like Joseph Smith, L. Ron
Hubbard, Walt Disney or Hugh Hefner, who had a dream of combining mission
with marketing. He was more subtle than most, and therefore less successful
(though successful enough to remain in print, and on required reading lists, for
30 years). Cruising the Internet, however, I've noted that he has bickering
female "disciples," roaming the land, promoting his (Don Juan's?) concept of
"tensegrity" through workshops and seminars. Tensegrity is a tool that allows us
to cross the bridges of space, time and awareness. Nothing wrong with that, but
where's the theme park? The church? The drugs?
Ah well, if it isn't dead, Castanedaniasm is young. As are we all. Forever young,
forever stupid.
As the ever-wise Don Juan put it in "The Teachings," re. the abuse of magical
power:
"I killed a man with a single blow of my arm ... Once I jumped so high I chopped
the top leaves off the highest trees. But it was all for nothing! ... For what? To
frighten the Indians?"
Really. What's the point of that? That's the true lesson of the '60s, isn't it? On
the magic bus, we're all Indians. What's the point of that?
Copyright, SALON. June 24, 1998
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Austin Chronicle - Jul 1998
Homage to a Sorcerer
by Michael Ventura
A sorcerer died two or three months ago. Liver cancer, they said, but the details
are vague. Also vague is why it took so long for word to get out. There are
strange rumors. No matter. All this is as it should be for a sorcerer. Strangest of
all, in a way, were the obituaries of the media heavies, a blurry photo in The
New York Times, tributes that were respectful in a distant and baffled sort of
way. It's doubtful The New York Times ever before felt compelled to pay
homage to a sorcerer. But that was Carlos Castaneda's mojo. Many who
professed not to take him seriously nevertheless read him, remembered, and
were haunted. Let them wonder whether he was born in 1931, as he said, or in
1925, as some immigration records said. Let them wonder whether he was
Peruvian or Mexican. Wonder, even in such minor matters, will be good for
them.
Carlos Castaneda has died. There aren't many to bear witness to or for him,
because he didn't allow many witnesses. One met him by invitation, usually, and
even that was more fluke than not. Those invited were of all sorts. I happened to
be one, for reasons that weren't clear (to me) and probably aren't important.
Perhaps I was called to be a witness?
About 12 years ago a friend who worked in a bookstore in Santa Monica called:
Carlos Castaneda was giving a talk in the cellar of the store (it would be in the
cellar!), by invitation only, would I like to come? Who knew it was really him, I
said? My caller, whom I had reason to trust, said, "It's Carlos, alright."
He was a small man. Impossible to tell his age. Didn't look much over 40, but
his eyes were older, smiling eyes but deepened by a vague sense of grief. He
laughed readily, didn't insist that we take him seriously, stood before us in an
attitude of welcome. He wanted us to ask him questions. He said there was
something he'd forgotten, and that sometimes he came out of his seclusion and
talked to strangers hoping that a question would spark the memory of this
forgotten thing. He didn't say this sadly. He was frank and matter-of-fact. That
night nobody asked the question he was seeking, but every question brought
forth a story of Don Juan, and every story had laughter in it. As in his books,
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when Castaneda spoke of Don Juan the old Yaqui wizard was near and
dangerous, inviting us to adventure. It was Castaneda's laughter, more than his
skills as a storyteller, that convinced me of his sincerity and authenticity. He
talked for free, had nothing to gain from us, spoke without artifice. People rarely
laugh when they lie. At least, in my experience, they don't laugh sweetly. And
there was an irresistible sweetness to this man.
He described the most fantastic experiences as though they were almost jokes,
but the joke was on him. I had the impression of a desperate man, but a man
who knew how to live with desperation in ways that made it something else.
He'd transformed his desperation, as a sorcerer must, into a search. (Was I
seeing in him the man I would like to be, who, though fated to desperation,
could be desperate in a wise and engaging and gentle way? Perhaps.) He was,
at the same time, vulnerable and invulnerable: vulnerable in that he seemed a
little lost; invulnerable in that he was on his path, a path of heart. If he was lost it
was because that path had led him to unknown and unexpected territory. It
would have been easier for him to face physical danger than to face that there
was something important about Don Juan he'd forgotten. But he was facing it,
and in public. More than magic tricks and the Sorcerer's Way, Don Juan had
taught him to be brave.
When he finished speaking, and the 20 or so people in that cellar milled around,
he greeted a couple of old friends. I didn't want to intrude, didn't introduce
myself, wouldn't have known what to say anyway. So, in effect, I met him but he
didn't meet me.
Then, about three years ago, another friend called. Would I like to go to lunch
with Carlos Castaneda? Why I received this invitation I was never told. It turned
out that there were four of us and Carlos. We met at the Pacific Dining Car, one
of the best (and most expensive) steakhouses on the West Coast. (Carlos
picked up the check.) He had changed, and so had I. We had both lived a lot
further into our very different desperations, and carried them with more
assurance. He was much thinner, older - obviously ill. Whereas in the
bookstore's cellar he had dressed casually, this day he was decked out in an
elegant suit. But for all his fragility he seemed much livelier, happier, and even
funnier. The food was very fine, but really we lunched on laughter. Even his
saddest stories of Don Juan were, again, like jokes; but this time the joke wasn't
on Carlos, wasn't on us - the joke was between the wizard and God, and a
splendid joke it was.
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I won't repeat those stories. I wasn't there to record them. They were his to tell
or not. Best that anything he chose not to write should die with him.
But two moments caused not laughter but silence. A woman at the table said
she loved her job, her husband, and her child, but still she felt a lack - it was that
she had no spiritual life. How could she achieve a spiritual life?
Answering this woman, Carlos didn't change the lightness or generosity of his
manner; yet a steely thing came into his voice, a tone that made his words
pierce all of us. He said that when she got home at night she should sit in her
chair and remember that her child, her husband, everyone she loved, and she
herself, were going to die - and they would die in no particular order,
unpredictably. "Remember this every night, and you'll soon have a spiritual life."
Notice that he didn't tell her what sort of spiritual life to have, much less whether
it should agree with his. He didn't suggest she read his books more carefully, or
attend the movement classes he'd begun to teach. He gave her a practical
instruction, something she could accomplish within the parameters of her life as
it was, and then assured her that this would set her on her own spiritual path,
whatever that might turn out to be. This is the mark of a true Teacher.
Later in the conversation this woman asked how she could discipline herself to
follow his advice, deeply follow it, so that it wouldn't be just an exercise. Carlos
said: "You give yourself a command."
On the page there's no duplicating how he said it. He spoke quietly, but it was
as though he'd suddenly jammed a knife into the tabletop.
"What's that mean?" one of us asked.
"It means you give yourself a command." And that was that.
A command is not a promise. A command is not "trying." A command is
something that must be obeyed. His tone invoked something deeper than the
idea of mere will. His was a call to action. He wasn't talking about mulling or
meditating or analyzing or wishing. To step on the path you step on the path.
There is no substitute for that.
After a nine-months-pregnant pause, the conversation took flight again. He told
of a party at which a very tall and handsome Native American was saying, with
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great solemnity, that he was Carlos Castaneda, and revealing all sorts of Don
Juan's "secrets." Did Carlos disabuse him of that fantasy?
"No!" he laughed. "He looked the way people expect Carlos Castaneda to look!
Not some little round-faced brown man. And he was having such a good time!
Why ruin it? Let him be Carlos for an evening!"
About a year later the woman who'd asked those questions at our lunch sent me
a pamphlet that Carlos had printed privately. He'd requested she send it on to
me. One passage goes:
"Sorcerers understand discipline as the capacity to face with serenity odds that
are not included in our expectations. For them, discipline is a volitional act that
enables them to intake anything that comes their way without regrets or
expectations. For sorcerers, discipline is an art: the art of facing infinity without
flinching, not because they are filled with toughness, but because they are filled
with awe. ... Discipline is the art of feeling awe."
Any manifestation of the universe, any way in which it behaves toward us, isn't
merely about us, isn't merely psychological, but is a movement of the universe,
and as such what happens to us, no matter what it is, connects us to everything,
and in that connection what can be felt but awe? "A live world," he wrote, "is in
constant flux. It moves; it changes; it reverses itself." We try to defend ourselves
against that, but we cannot. The only freeing response is awe.
When I saw him years ago in that cellar, an unhappier man than the dying man
at lunch, I wrote: His presence was an admission that every truth is fragile, that
every knowledge must be learned over and over again, every night, that we
grow not in a straight line but in ascending and descending and tilting circles,
and that what gives us power one year robs us of power the next, for nothing is
settled, ever, for anyone.
Now I would add: What makes this bearable is awe.
Go well, Don Carlos.
Copyright Austin Chronicle, July 1998
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Electronic Telegraph - Aug 1998
Life & Times Electronic Telegraph - Saturday 1, August 1998
Issue 1163
Shaman or sham?
Carlos Castaneda's spiritual guidebooks made him a cult figure of the
psychedelic age but both his life and his recent death have been shrouded in
mystery. Mick Brown reports
In February of this year I received a curious and completely unexpected
invitation... Would I like to interview Carlos Castaneda? To the uninitiated, the
invitation will mean nothing. But those who came of age in the Sixties counter-
culture will recognise that it was like being invited to peruse the Cretan
Minotaur.
Carlos Castaneda stands alongside Timothy Leary as one of the great avatars -
and one of the great enigmas - of the psychedelic age. In 1968, Castaneda
published The Teachings of Don Juan, describing his apprenticeship in the
deserts of Mexico to an Indian shaman, and his induction through mind-altering
substances into 'the Yaqui way of knowledge'.
Like Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf and Aldous Huxley's The Doors of
Perception, The Teachings of Don Juan, and its sequels, became essential
reading for a legion of seekers after truth - guidebooks into a fantastic and
exotic world beyond the dull grind of materialism. And long after the first
generation of fans had moved on to more pragmatic concerns - mortgages,
families, tax returns - the books continued to sell. Since 1968, the works of
Carlos Castaneda have sold more than eight million copies in 17 different
languages, totally unhindered by the fierce debate about whether don Juan
really existed or was simply a figure of Castaneda's imagination. No less a
mystery was Castaneda himself. 'The art of the hunter,' don Juan had taught, 'is
to become inaccessible,' and it was a maxim which Castaneda had observed
with an almost religious dedication for 30 years, forsaking public appearances,
refusing almost all interviews, leading the life of a recluse.
But now, I was told, there had been a mysterious and dramatic change of heart.
After years of inaccessibility, Castaneda had emerged into the public eye,
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bringing with him for the first time what he claimed was the most important facet
of don Juan's teachings - a system of physical movements known as 'magical
passes'. He was prepared to lift the shroud of secrecy and talk to the world.
A date was provisionally set for me to meet him in Los Angeles. I was told that
he would countenance no photographs, no tape-recording equipment. I would
be allowed only to take notes, as he had taken notes during his years of
tutelage at the feet of don Juan. 'A recording,' Castaneda had told the Los
Angeles Times in 1995 in a rare conversation, 'is a way of fixing you in time.
The only thing a sorcerer will not do is be stagnant. The stagnant world, the
stagnant picture, those are the antitheses of the sorcerer.'
Then the date was changed. And changed again. Castaneda, I was told, was
'on retreat' in the Mexican desert. When - if - he returned, I would be notified. In
late March, I left for California on other business. But the call never came. There
was a simple reason. At the time that I was in sitting in a hotel room in Los
Angeles, Castaneda was not in Mexico at all. He was three miles away from me
in his Westwood home, dying of liver cancer.
Carlos Castaneda died, at the age of 72, on April 27. But, peculiarly, it was to be
another two months before the news of his death became public.
There was no announcement, no press report, no funeral or service of any kind.
According to the Culver City mortuary that handled his remains, his body was
cremated at once, his ashes spirited away to the Mexican desert.
In death, as in life, Castaneda remained inscrutable. When, eventually, the
news of his death leaked out to the press, two British newspapers ran
obituaries, alongside photographs of a man who was not Carlos Castaneda. His
friends drew a veil of silence over the death, refusing to comment. In a
statement to the press, his agents, Toltec Artists, would say only that, 'In the
tradition of the shamans of his lineage, Carlos Castaneda left this world in full
awareness.'
Castaneda, this suggested, was a spiritual teacher of the highest order, who
had left behind a body of work to enrich mankind. In reality, he left behind a
more tangled legacy. Rather than dying 'the immaculate death' of the sorcerer, it
is suggested that the sorcerer's apprentice actually died a frail, paranoid and
angry old man, lashing out at the world with lawsuits - including one against his
73-year-old former wife, Margaret - and conjuring up the spirit of don Juan in a
last, desperate attempt to exploit it for all it was worth.
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A key aspect of the teachings of don Juan, as recounted by Carlos Castaneda,
was the necessity of the 'self' to die. 'It is imperative to leave aside what [don
Juan] called "personal history",' Castaneda told the Chilean magazine Uno
Mismo in 1997. 'To get away from "me" is something extremely annoying and
difficult. What the shamans like don Juan seek is a state of fluidity where the
personal "me" does not count.' For Castaneda, 'the personal me' was a subject
of constant fluctuation and revision.
By his own account, Castaneda was born on December 25, 1935, in Sao Paolo,
Brazil. His mother died when he was seven and he was raised by his father, a
professor of literature whom Castaneda supposedly regarded with a mixture of
fondness and contempt - a shadow of the man he would subsequently meet in
don Juan. 'I am my father,' Castaneda told Time magazine in his first - and last -
major interview, in 1973. 'Before I met don Juan I would spend years
sharpening my pencils and then getting a headache every time I sat down to
write. Don Juan taught me that's stupid. If you want to do something, do it
impeccably, and that's all that matters.' He claimed to have been educated in
Buenos Aires, and sent to America in 1951. He travelled to Milan, where he
studied sculpture, before returning to America and enrolling at UCLA to study
anthropology.
In fact, American immigration records indicate that Castaneda was born not in
1935, but in 1925 - not in Brazil, but in Cajamarca, Peru. His father was not a
university professor but a goldsmith. His mother died when he was 24. And
while it was true that he had studied painting and sculpture, this was not in Milan
but at the National Fine Art school of Peru. Arriving in America in 1951, he
studied creative writing at Los Angeles City College before enrolling on an
anthropology course at UCLA in 1959.
The following year, he travelled to the Mexico-Arizona desert, intending to study
the medicinal use of certain plants among local Indians. At a bus station in the
town of Nogales in Arizona, he would later write, he met the man he called don
Juan. For the psychedelic generation it was the equivalent of Stanley stumbling
into a jungle clearing and discovering Livingstone, the young John Lennon
bumping into Paul McCartney at a church fete in Woolton.
According to Castaneda, don Juan Matus was a Yaqui Indian nagual, or leader
of a party of sorcerers - the last in a line stretching back to the times of the
Toltecs, the pre-Hispanic Indians who inhabited the central and northern regions
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of Mexico a thousand years ago. Under the guidance of the Yaqui sage,
Castaneda was introduced to the psychotropic substances of peyote, jimson
weed and 'the little smoke', a preparation made from Psilocybe mushrooms that
had been dried and aged for a year. Under the influence of these drugs the
bemused anthropologist underwent a series of bizarre encounters, with columns
of singing light, a bilingual coyote and a 100-foot tall gnat - 'the guardian of the
other world' - manifestations of the 'powers', or impersonal forces, that a man of
knowledge must learn to use.
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was first published in
1968 as an anthropological thesis by the University of California Press. A year
later - repackaged in a psychedelic bookjacket - it was published by a
mainstream company. It became an immediate counter-culture hit, prompting an
exodus of would-be apprentice sorcerers to the deserts of Mexico in search of
don Juan - or at least good drugs.
A Separate Reality, published in 1971, was more of the same - a giant gnat
circles around Castaneda, and he sees don Juan's face transformed into a ball
of glowing light - as the old Indian inducted Castaneda into the so-called second
cycle of apprenticeship. These experiences were not just psychedelic magical
mystery tours. The use of drugs, Castaneda explained, was don Juan's way of
leading his pupil to 'see' the world outside the cultural and linguistic constraints
of Western rationalism, unencumbered by conditioned preconceptions or the
taint of personal history.
Drugs were not in themselves the destination, he explained in Journey to Ixtlan,
which was published in 1973; they were merely one route to the destination, to
be discarded once this fundamental shift in perception had been achieved.
Journey to Ixtlan won Castaneda his PhD from UCLA. It also made him a
millionaire.
By now, doubts about the authenticity of Castaneda's accounts had begun to
multiply. It was one thing for him to refuse to divulge the identity and
whereabouts of the Yaqui sage (don Juan, he always made clear, was a
pseudonym which he used to protect his teacher's privacy), but quite another for
him to refuse to let his field notes be examined by other anthropologists. But
whatever the doubts about the books' provenance, even the most sceptical
critics agreed that they were powerful parables about the search for personal
enlightenment, 'remarkable works of art' as the author Joyce Carol Oates
described them.
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In 1976, a teacher of psychology named Richard de Mille (the son of Cecil B.)
published the first comprehensive critique of the don Juan books, Castaneda's
Journey: The Power and the Allegory, detailing myriad inconsistencies in the
chronology of Castaneda's accounts and the character of don Juan. Don Juan,
de Mille concluded, was a work of fiction, but Castaneda 'wasn't a common con-
man, he lied to bring us the truth. . . This is a sham-man bearing gifts.' But de
Mille's book vanished without trace while Castaneda's continued to sell.
An anthropologist named Jay Courtney Fikes provided yet another twist on the
don Juan stories in his book, Carlos Castaneda, Academic Opportunism and the
Psychedelic Sixties, published in 1993. In this, Fikes suggested that rather than
being one individual, don Juan was actually an amalgam of two or possibly
three authentic Indian shamans, including a well-respected Mazatec healer
called Maria Sabina, who had also collaborated with the anthropologist Gordon
Wasson on his study of psychedelic mushrooms in the Fifties.
'I would see Castaneda as an anthropologist-lite, as it were, or a travel writer,'
Fikes now says. 'There is a residue of authenticity there. I think he did make
trips to Mexico, and he had some interesting experiences, and he then
fictionalised them and called them non-fiction.
'I don't think he set out in 1960 to create a massive hoax. The first book took off,
it was bestseller; there were very few people who publicly expressed scepticism
at that point, so he just kept going.'
Castaneda's response to the criticisms was always the same. He was writing
about states of mind and perception outside the normal conventions of
academia, so the normal terms of reference did not apply. Sorcerers, he said,
have only one point of reference: 'infinity'. He would continue repeating the
same mantra to the very end. 'I invented nothing.'
Castaneda maintained that don Juan 'left the world' in 1973, dying 'the
immaculate death' of the warrior. His departure did nothing to stem the flow of
Castaneda books. Throughout the Seventies and Eighties, a stream of books
appeared expounding further on don Juan's teachings. Diligent readers noted
that the anthropological references seemed to grow fewer and that the books
increasingly bore the traces of other influences; the study of phenomenology;
Eastern mysticism; existentialism.
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Something weird started happening to don Juan's voice. One minute he was
intoning sonorous desert utterances, the next joshing in American slang, and
the next assuming the stilted, jargon-heavy circumlocutions of a professor of
philosophy. (In Castaneda's last book, The Active Side of Infinity, which is due
to be published next year, don Juan is quoted as saying, 'The effect of the force
that is descending on you, which is disintegrating the foreign installation, is that
it pulls sorcerers out of their syntax' - a mouthful for a professor of linguistics, let
alone a Yaqui Indian.)
Critics talked of 'the grim sound of barrels being scraped', and noted an
increasingly messianic tone in Castaneda's pronouncements. With don Juan
having 'left the world', Castaneda himself had become the heir to the lineage,
the nagual. No longer a mere disciple, he had become the prophet, and as
befits a prophet he began to gather around him a coterie of disciples. Foremost
among these were three women - Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner-Grau and
Taisha Abelar - who, according to Castaneda, had also been students of don
Juan. Abelar and Donner-Grau, like Castaneda a former UCLA anthropology
student, even wrote their own books recounting their experiences with don
Juan.
'The four disciples of don Juan', as Castaneda styled them, lived in close, but
apparently celibate, proximity to each other. Castaneda once said that he
eschewed relationships of 'a sexual order', for shamanic reasons. More
prosaically, rumours suggested that Castaneda was incapacitated by 'a groin
injury', said to have been sustained when he was young.
For years, the group remained largely reclusive, apparently following don Juan's
dictum that the sorcerer's way was to 'touch the world sparingly'. But in 1993,
Castaneda suddenly emerged into the public eye, propagating what he claimed
to be the culmination of the sorcerer's arts - a system of bodily movements
which he called 'magical passes'. These movements, Castaneda claimed, had
been taught to initiates over 27 generations in conditions of the utmost secrecy,
and passed on by don Juan to Castaneda and his three other disciples before
his death.
Through these 'magical passes', Castaneda claimed, the Toltec sorcerers had
attained an increased level of awareness which allowed them to perform
'indescribable feats of perception' and experience 'unequalled states of physical
prowess and well-being'. The 'magical passes' even had a brand name - 'Carlos
Castaneda's Tensegrity' (an architectural term meaning a combination of
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tension and integrity) - and an organisation called Cleargreen, set up by
Castaneda to promote seminars and workshops.
Castaneda himself would appear at these seminars, alongside his three women
companions, talking about his experiences with don Juan, before introducing a
team of demonstrators, dressed in black work-out uniforms and known as 'the
chacmools', to demonstrate the movements.
Even the most credulous students of his writings were puzzled. In all of the don
Juan books there had been no mention of Tensegrity or 'magical passes'. If
these movements were so important, why had Castaneda never mentioned
them before? And why was he breaking the habit of a lifetime by appearing in
public to talk about them?
Castaneda's explanation was typically mind-boggling. It was true that don Juan
had always maintained that the 'magical passes' should be kept secret, but an
extraordinary event had dictated they should now be made public. While
following don Juan's techniques in mastering 'the art of dreaming', Carol Tiggs
had apparently 'disappeared into a dream' in a hotel room in Mexico City
sometime in the Seventies. She had vanished, Castaneda said, in order to act
as a beacon from the other side, guiding initiates through 'the dark sea of
awareness'. In 1985, however, Tiggs made a surprising reappearance in a
California bookshop where Castaneda was giving a talk. Her reappearance had
convinced Castaneda that the 'message of freedom' enshrined in the 'magical
passes' should now be passed on to the world.
More puzzling still was the fact that there is no tradition of such bodily
movements among pre-Hispanic Indians and that Castaneda's 'magical passes'
bore a suspiciously close resemblance to such Asiatic disciplines as kung fu
and t'ai chi.
In fact, it seemed that for inspiration Castaneda had travelled no further than the
Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica, to the classes of a kung fu teacher and
'energy master' named Howard Lee. Lee confirms that Castaneda studied with
him between 1974 and 1989. 'I didn't even know who he was for many years,'
Lee says. Castaneda subsequently provided an endorsement for Lee's
brochure, describing him as 'a most respected and admired practitioner of the
art of dealing with energy', but he never credited Lee with being the inspiration
behind Tensegrity.
There were allegations that Castaneda paid a substantial sum of money 'and
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http://www.volny.cz/castaneda/en/interviews/30.html
the phallus of a puma' in order to deter Lee from taking legal action. Lee denies
this ('A what of a puma?') and says he has never seen the 'magical passes' in
action. 'Some people have said they're similar to what I teach, but I don't know.
I've never seen them and I'm not interested.'
Whatever their origins, the courses in Tensegrity proved extremely profitable. To
a generation who had grown up on the books of don Juan, the chance to meet
and shake hands with their reclusive author was irresistible. Workshops and
seminars, costing from $200 to $1,000, attracted hundreds of participants,
stimulating a brisk business in Tensegrity T-shirts ('The magic is in the
movement') and videos, on sale for $29.95.
In its marketing techniques, its promises of well-being, its promotion of
Castaneda as the guru, sceptics could see in Tensegrity the seeds of a New
Age religion. 'Castaneda had built himself up as a prophet through the don Juan
books,' says Jay Fikes. 'The bible, so to speak, was written; but there was no
ritual, so it was necessary to invent one.'
And like every religion, it was suggested, this one had a bottom line. 'Another
sorcerer once remarked that if don Juan wanted to demonstrate his power as a
sorcerer, he would do some energetic manoeuvre that might impress you,' says
one insider. 'But if Carlos Castaneda wanted to demonstrate his power, he
would show you the size of his bank balance.
'That's using the understanding that money is just another type of energy. But
certainly Castaneda had power; he had the power to create an enormous
amount of energy in the form of money.'
Whether Castaneda's books were wholly true, partly true, or wholly fiction, even
his sternest critics acknowledged that their success opened the door to a
tradition of authentic Indian shamanic teachings which had hitherto been
unavailable to the world at large. In the years following the publication of the don
Juan books, a number of teachers emerged in America, claiming to be in the
same Toltec tradition as don Juan, even to have been taught personally by him
or his contemporaries.
The Toltec tradition has even penetrated Britain. The Sacred Trust, an
educational organisation based in Bath and dedicated to 'the preservation of
indigenous and shamanic traditions', offers workshops by such visiting Toltec
teachers as Victor Sanchez and Ken Eagle Feather on such themes as 'The
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Double Nature of the Luminous Being' and 'The Transformation of the Other
Self'.
Among the most prominent of these teachers is an American, Merilyn
Tunneshende - 'The Nagual Woman' - who says that she met the man
Castaneda had called don Juan on a railway station in Yuma, Arizona, near the
border with Mexico, in 1978, five years after Castaneda claimed he had 'left the
world'. According to Tunneshende, don Juan was a Yuma, not a Yaqui Indian.
She says she studied with him from 1978 until his death in 1991. At don Juan's
instigation, she met Castaneda in Los Angeles in 1979, remaining in intermittent
contact with him until his death.
Tunneshende became the most vocal critic of Carlos Castaneda's Tensegrity,
writing a series of articles in the American magazine Magical Blend - a forum for
such matters - alleging that Castaneda had actually been expelled from the
sorcerer's circle in 1980. 'Carlos was a very insecure man in a lot of ways,'
Tunneshende now says. 'With Tensegrity, he never felt as though he could
reveal at any point that this was something he'd developed himself. It was as if
he needed the name of don Juan to lend whatever he was doing some
authority.'
According to Michael Peter Langevin, the publisher of Magical Blend,
Castaneda's lawyers attempted to block publication of Tunneshende's criticisms
- leading to the bemusing spectacle of rival sorcerers claiming to be the
authentic students of a man who many people believed had never existed in the
first place.
Castaneda, according to one observer, had begun to behave 'like the Toltec
pope'. In 1995 he filed suit against another Toltec teacher - and an old friend -
Victor Sanchez, claiming that the jacket of Sanchez's book, The Teachings of
Don Carlos, infringed Castaneda's copyright. And in 1997 he launched a lawsuit
against his ex-wife, Margaret Runyon Castaneda, over the publication of her
book, A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda.
In his determination to obliterate any traces of personal biography, Castaneda
had never made any reference to a wife. According to Margaret, however, she
and Castaneda were married in Tijuana in 1960, and while they lived together
for only six months, their divorce did not become absolute until 1973.
Furthermore, she claims, Castaneda insisted that she sign documents with the
California Department of Public Health making him the legal father of her son,
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Carlton Jeremy, or CJ, by another relationship.
The book is a gossipy and affectionate account of her life with a man she
describes as 'looking like a Cuban bellhop'. (Castaneda never looked the part of
the New Age mystic - 5ft 5in tall, he favoured neat haircuts and three-button
suits.) It casts an interesting light on the possible origins of the don Juan books.
Long before encountering don Juan, she suggests, Castaneda had read
extensively on the use of psychotropic drugs among Indians, eastern mysticism,
and the literature of Aldous Huxley. She recounts a Thanksgiving dinner with
friends in 1959 - a year before Castaneda's supposed meeting with don Juan -
when the conversation turned to how the great religious scriptures were never
written by the teachers themselves but by their disciples. 'It seemed to make a
big impression on him,' Margaret Castaneda writes.
Which is not to say that don Juan did not exist. Margaret confirms that her
husband made frequent field trips to Mexico in the time he was supposedly
apprenticed to the Yaqui sage. But by and large, Castaneda seems to have
been as much a mystery to his wife as he was to everyone else.
One of his more marked idiosyncracies, she writes, was to suggest that he had
a double. She tells the story of meeting him in New York, having not seen him
for some years, having dinner and passing the night in a hotel room, conversing
about CJ. A few months later, she writes, Castaneda denied having been with
her at all.
Margaret's conviction that her former husband continued to be 'part of me.
There's no separation. He still feels that', was brought up short soon after the
book's publication in America when Castaneda filed the lawsuit against her and
her publisher, Millenia Press, claiming damage to reputation and infringement of
privacy, and seeking $100,000 punitive damages and a ban on the distribution
of the book.
'It was the behaviour of an embittered old man,' says David Christie, who owns
Millenia Press. The lawsuit was subsequently dropped after Castaneda's death,
but Christie is pressing ahead with the publication of his 300-page legal defence
against the suit under the title David vs New Age Goliath.
For Castaneda, there was a tragic irony in his emergence into the public
spotlight. For by 1996, at the time when he was promoting courses promising
'unequalled states of physical prowess and well-being', his own health was said
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to be in a state of steady decline. Castaneda's lawyer, Deborah Drooz,
maintains that the author was ill for 'some 10 to 12 months' before his death in
April 1998. Other sources close to Castaneda, however, claim that he was
aware that he had cancer at least two years before he died.
In February 1997, Castaneda made his last appearance at a Tensegrity
seminar, in Long Beach, California. A spokesman for his agents, Toltec Artists,
says Castaneda 'felt that the seminars were taking their own course and he did
not need to be present. It did not mean he couldn't be present. He was behind
each and every seminar.' But other sources say that Castaneda had become
too ill to attend. 'He was taking medication, losing weight,' said one. 'People
were becoming suspicious. If this stuff is supposed to lead to health and well-
being, why doesn't he look so good?'
Sometimes Castaneda would be seen at his favourite restaurant near his home.
But his direct communication with anyone outside his immediate circle began to
dry up. 'For the last 18 months he was all but unavailable to anyone,' says
Michael Peter Langevin. 'It was the people around him that seemed to do
everything and control everything.'
Castaneda's condition, however, did nothing to hamper the work of his
organisation, Cleargreen. The seminars continued without him, and with none of
the paying participants any the wiser about his deteriorating health. And work
proceeded on the publication of a new book, Magical Passes, describing the
Tensegrity philosophy and movements. The contract with HarperCollins for the
UK rights was signed by Castaneda himself in July 1997. The publisher was
given a verbal agreement by Castaneda's agents that they would do 'everything
in their power' to ensure that, for the first time in years, he would collaborate on
publicity. According to a source at HarperCollins, this assurance was 'a major
selling factor' in contractual negotiations. At no time was HarperCollins told of
Castaneda's declining health. By the time I was offered the opportunity to
interview him in February, he was already dying.
Shortly before Castaneda's death, his agent delivered to his publisher the
manuscript of his last book, The Active Side of Infinity. Read in the light of his
death, the book has a distinctly valedictory air. Reappraising his encounters with
don Juan, Castaneda reiterates that 'the total goal' of shamanic knowledge is
preparation for facing the 'definitive journey - the journey that every human
being has to take at the end of his life' to the region that shamans called 'the
active side of infinity'. ' "We are beings on our way to dying," [don Juan] said.
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"We are not immortal, but we behave as if we were. This is the flaw that brings
us down as individuals and will bring us down as a species someday." '
The Active Side of Infinity carries more than a whiff of paranoia, not least in its
description of a predatory universe populated by shadowy entities called 'the
flyers', preying on man's 'glowing coat of awareness'. Only by practising
'magical passes', Castaneda suggests, could these dark forces be repelled.
Students of the Toltec shamanic tradition have pointed out this apocalyptic view
is somewhat at odds with the customary teachings about cultivating harmony
with the 'unseen energies' of the world. But it is, perhaps, consistent with the
state of mind of a man dying of cancer.
It has been alleged that Castaneda was too ill to write the book alone, and that it
must have been largely written by associates. Toltec Artists say this allegation is
'absurd', and that both Magical Passes and The Active Side of Infinity 'were
specifically and only written by Carlos Castaneda'.
According to Castaneda, the enlightened sorcerer - the nagual - does not die a
normal death but is consumed by 'the fire from within' in a sort of spontaneous
combustion, gathering his mortal energy and carrying the body into the next
realm.
In The Active Side of Infinity, he describes don Juan's departure from the world
in purple prose: 'I saw then how don Juan Matus, the nagual, led the 15 other
seers who were his companions. . . one by one to disappear in the haze of that
mesa, towards the north. I saw how every one of them turned into a blob of
luminosity, and together they ascended and floated above the mesa, like
phantom lights in the sky. They circled above the mountain once, as don Juan
had said they would do; their last survey, the one for their eyes only; their last
look at this marvellous earth. And then they vanished.' This, says Castaneda, is
how don Juan left the world; and - the implication is clear - as a nagual himself,
this is how Carlos Castaneda would leave the world, too.
Merilyn Tunneshende has another version of the death of the man she knew as
don Juan. She says he died in 1994 at the age of 101, walking from his home to
a mesquite tree where he liked to sit. 'His death was immaculate. He literally
walked out of his body.'
He did not, however, take his body with him, she says. And nor, for that matter,
did Castaneda. 'Carlos was preaching [to his followers] that they were going to
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self-cremate,' says Tunneshende, 'that at the moment of death their energy was
going to ignite itself and they were going to disappear from the world
completely, taking their physical bodies with them. But you cannot defeat death.
The body belongs to the earth.'
There are any number of theories about exactly why it took two months to
announce Castaneda's death. Cynics point to the unfortunate coincidence of his
death with the publication of Magical Passes: it is hardly an advertisement for a
book promoting a system fostering 'health, vitality, youth and a general sense of
well-being' for its author to die of liver cancer. However, Deborah Drooz says
there was never any intention that his death should be made public at all. 'Dr
Castaneda spent his lifetime avoiding press attention and keeping the details of
his personal life extremely private. He wanted to be known only through his
work.'
Castaneda, she says, was 'lucid until the very end. If he had wanted a press
release to be issued, he would have directed it, but he didn't. Those of us who
were his friends and his advisers didn't feel it appropriate to take it upon
ourselves.' Had it not been for the matter of Castaneda's will, it is possible that
his death would have gone unremarked for years.
The news leaked out when Margaret Runyon Castaneda's son, CJ, who now
goes by the name of Adrian Vashon, received a court letter indicating he was
mentioned in Castaneda's will. According to Drooz, Castaneda asserted 'time
and time again' that Vashon was not his son. Drooz says that Vashon is not
named as a beneficiary. He is now contesting the will, and it is likely to be some
months before the matter is resolved. Castaneda's estate is believed to be
worth some $20 million.
Cleargreen would make no comment when I contacted them to talk about the
author's life and death. Florinda Donner-Grau, Carol Tiggs and Taisha Abelar, I
was told, were 'unavailable'. But the courses in Tensegrity go on. (This weekend
in Ontario, California: 'The Wheel of Time'. Cost: $600.) More books are
planned, along with an anthology of the aphorisms of don Juan. The
organisation made its first, and to date only, statement about Castaneda's death
on June 22, in a notice posted on their Internet website. This stated that he had
'left the world' in the same way as don Juan, 'with full awareness'. 'The cognition
of our everyday life,' the statement went on, 'does not provide for a description
of a phenomenon such as this. So in keeping with the terms of legalities and
record keeping that the world of everyday life requires, Carlos Castaneda was
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declared to have died.'
It is a statement ripe with ambiguity, acknowledging the legal fact of
Castaneda's death, yet leaving open the tantalising suggestion, for those
inclined to believe it ('a phenomenon such as this. . .') that in his final moments
Castaneda had somehow achieved the nagual's ultimate accomplishment of
burning in 'the fire from within'.
So Carlos Castaneda is dead, but then again perhaps he's not really dead at all.
Already the Internet is buzzing with accounts from people whom he has
supposedly visited in their dreams. It will not be long before psychics in South
Carolina and Virginia begin 'channelling' communications with Castaneda from
the other side; or, perhaps, before another young anthropology student walks
out of the Mexican desert, bringing with him the teachings of a sage who looks
like a Cuban bellhop: a sham-man's way of knowledge.
Copyright 1998 Telegraph Group Limited
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The L.A. Times - Aug 1998
Seeking New End to Story of Castaneda
By: Ann W. O'Neill
A Georgia man who says he is the only son of Carlos Castaneda is contesting
the reclusive writer's will, alleging in court papers that it was drafted by the
executor and that the signature is a forgery.
"It's just madness," responded the executor, Los Angeles entertainment
attorney Deborah Drooz. She denied doing anything improper and said Adrian
Vashon is not the writer's son.
Vashon, a.k.a. Carlton J. Castaneda, charges that in the final days of his life, the
author was "surrounded by a group of individuals who, in essence, built a wall"
around him. Vashon says those people controlled who could speak with or see
the elder Castaneda.
Vashon also says the writer was not in his right mind and may have signed the
will under duress. He is asking a Superior Court judge to deny Drooz's
appointment as executor of the $1-million-plus estate and to appoint him
instead. A hearing is set for Oct. 15.
"All you have to do is look at him" to determine that Vashon is not Castaneda's
son, Drooz said. The mystic writer, she said, was small and wiry. Vashon, on
the other hand, is tall and ample-bodied.
Castaneda wrote the best-seller "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of
Knowledge," the tale of his peyote-laced adventures with an Indian shaman.
The author died of liver cancer April 27 at his home in Westwood. The will
leaves nothing to Vashon or his mother, Margaret Runyan Castaneda, the
writer's former wife.
"Although I once treated him as if he were my son, Adrian Vashon, also known
as C.J. Castaneda, is not my son," the will states.
Runyan Castaneda's 1996 book, "A Magical Journey With Carlos Castaneda,"
identifies Vashon's birth father as Adrian Gerritsen, a man with whom the book
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says she had an affair while married to Castaneda.
Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times
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New York Times - Aug 1998
Carlos Castaneda: Mystery Man's Death Can't End the Mystery
By Peter Applebome
August 19, 1998
Once he began publishing his best-selling accounts of his purported adventures
with a Mexican shaman 30 years ago, Carlos Castaneda's life and work played
out in a wispy blur of sly illusion and artful deceit.
Richard Oden/Psychology Today A portrait of the writer Carlos Castaneda,
drawn by Richard Oden, and partially erased by Castaneda.
Now, four months after he died and two months after the death was made
public, a probate court in Los Angeles is sifting through competing claims on the
estate of the author whose works helped define the 1960's and usher in the
New Age movement.
His followers say he left the earth with the same elegant, willful mystery that
characterized his life. The man he used to call his son says Castaneda died
while a virtual prisoner of cultlike followers who controlled his last days and his
estate.
Given that Castaneda's literary credibility, marital history, place of birth,
circumstances of death and almost everything else are in dispute, the
competing claims -- including questions about the authenticity of his will and his
competence to sign it -- are not surprising. But they are providing a nasty coda
to the life of a man whose books, which sold 8 million copies in 17 languages,
are alternately viewed as fact, metaphor or hoax.
Admirers say the areas of dispute, most famously whether the purported
shaman and brujo (witch) Don Juan Matus ever existed, are peripheral to the
real issues Castaneda explored in his books.
"Carlos knew exactly what was true and what was not true," said Angela
Panaro, of Cleargreen Inc., the group that marketed Castaneda's teachings and
seminars near the end of his life. "But the thing that's missing when people talk
about Carlos is not whether Don Juan lived or not, or who lived in what house.
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It's about becoming a voyager of awareness, about the 600 locations in the
luminous egg of man where the assemblage point can shift, about the process
of depersonalization he taught."
The luminous egg, assemblage point and processes of depersonalization are all
part of the practice of Tensegrity, a blend of meditation and movement
exercises that Castaneda taught in his final years as a way for people to break
through the limitations of ordinary consciousness. Skeptics say they sum up a
career characterized, in the end, by literate New Age mumbo jumbo and artful
deception.
Even Margaret Runyan Castaneda, who had been married to him, while
admiring Castaneda and his work, says she doubts Don Juan ever existed and
believes his name came from Mateus, the bubbly Portuguese wine the couple
used to drink.
Carlos Castaneda rocketed from obscure anthropology graduate student at the
University of California at Los Angeles to instant, if elusive, celebrity in 1968
with the publication of "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of
Knowledge," a vivid account of the spiritual and pharmacological adventures he
had with a white-haired Yaqui Indian nagual or shaman, Don Juan Matus. He
said he met Don Juan at a Greyhound bus station in Nogales, Ariz., in the
summer of 1960 when Castaneda was doing research on medicinal plants used
by Indians of the Southwest.
In that book; its sequel, "A Separate Reality," and eight others, he described his
apprenticeship to Don Juan and a spiritual journey in which he saw giant
insects, learned to fly and grew a beak as part of a process of breaking the hold
of ordinary perception. Admirers saw his work as a gripping spiritual quest in the
tradition of Aldous Huxley's "Doors of Perception." Skeptics wondered how
much was true.
But despite Castaneda's obsessive pursuit of total anonymity -- he refused to be
photographed or tape recorded and almost never gave interviews -- he became
a figure of international notoriety, and the books continued to sell well after his
vogue passed.
'The Magic Is In the Movement'
In recent years he surfaced with a new vision, the teaching of Ten segrity, which
is described on the Cleargreen Web site as "the modernized version of some
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movements called magical passes developed by Indian shamans who lived in
Mexico in times prior to the Spanish conquest." He even made public
appearances and spoke at seminars promoting the work.
Tensegrity, its organizers say, allows followers to perceive pure energy, "zillions
of energy fields in the form of luminous filaments" and break the chains of
normal cognition.
Unknown to customers who turned out for the seminars -- which cost $600 and
more, where they could buy Mr. Castaneda's books, $29.95 videos and
Tensegrity T-shirts reading, "The magic is in the movement" -- Castaneda was
dying of cancer while describing his route to vibrant good health.
Indeed, although only his inner circle knew about it for two months, he died on
April 27 at his home, surrounded by high hedges in Westwood, a well-to-do
section of Los Angeles, where he lived for many years with some of the self-
described witches, stalkers, dreamers and spiritual seekers who shared his
work.
At a brief hearing in probate court in Los Angeles last week, the man whom
Castaneda for many years called his son challenged the will Castaneda
apparently signed four days before his death. The judge, John B. McIlroy, set a
hearing date of Oct. 15 for the case.
C.J. Castaneda, also known as Adrian Vashon -- whose birth certificate cites
Carlos Castaneda as his father, although another man was actually his father --
says Cleargreen became a cultlike group that came to control Castaneda's life.
"Those people latched onto him, stuck their claws in him and rode him for all he
was worth," said C.J. Castaneda, 37, who operates two small coffee shops in
suburban Atlanta and calls himself a powerful brujo. "I don't believe the will has
my father's signature, and I don't believe he was competent to sign it three days
before he died."
Deborah Drooz, Carlos Castaneda's lawyer, who was named executor of his
estate, said she witnessed the signing along with another lawyer and a notary
public. She said that Carlos Castaneda was completely lucid when he signed
the will, and that C.J. Castaneda had no claims to the estate. She denied that
Carlos Castaneda's followers were anything akin to a cult and said C.J.
Castaneda's claim did not constitute a serious legal challenge.
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"No one, none, of Dr. Castaneda's followers participated in the writing of the
will," she said. "And one thing that was very clear for years was that Dr.
Castaneda had not had a relationship with C.J. Castaneda or Adrian Vashon for
years, and he was very clear he should not benefit from Dr. Castaneda's death."
Questioning A Signature
By conventional standards, Mr. Castaneda's death was highly unusual.
Invariably described as an impeccable person who kept his affairs in perfect
order, Castaneda apparently signed the will on April 23, and then died at 3 A.M.
on April 27 of what his death certificate said was metabolic encephalopathy, a
neurological breakdown that followed 2 weeks of liver failure and 10 months of
cancer. The signature is partly ob scured, and C.J. Castaneda and his mother,
Mrs. Castaneda, say it does not look like his signature.
The death certificate is as much fiction as fact. It said he was never married,
when he was married at least once and perhaps twice; that he was born in
Brazil, when he was apparently born in Peru, and that he was employed as a
teacher by the Beverly Hills School District, which has no record of his
employment.
He was cremated within hours of his death.
His death was kept secret for more than two months until word leaked out and
was confirmed by his representatives, who said the deathwas kept quiet in
keeping with Castaneda's lifelong pursuit of privacy.
His will cited assets worth just over $1 million, a modest figure for an author who
sold so well and apparently lived simply. All his assets were given to a trust,
called the Eagle's Trust, set up at the same time as the will. It is not clear how
much in additional assets had already been placed in the trust, but a London
newspaper recently estimated his estate at $20 million.
To C.J. Castaneda and his mother, the circumstances of Mr. Castaneda's death
are so suspicious as to suggest that his life was being controlled by others.
But given that the the unusual was the routine for Carlos Castaneda, extending
to his own familial relationships, it is difficult to know how to evaluate the
discrepancies.
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MessaggioOggetto: Re: Castaneda Carlos Interviews   Mer 16 Dic 2009 - 8:07

http://www.volny.cz/castaneda/en/interviews/32.html
C.J. Castaneda's parents were Mrs. Castaneda, who wrote about her life in a
book, "A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda" (Millenia Press, 1996), and a
businessman named Adrian Gerritsen, a friend of Carlos Castaneda.
Mrs. Castaneda said she and Mr. Gerritsen conceived the child after she and
Carlos Castaneda received a Mexican divorce she took to be official but turned
out not to be valid. Carlos Castaneda put his own name on the boy's birth
certificate, helped raise him for several years, paid for his schooling and
continued to express affection in letters for many years, although the two
seldom saw each other in recent years.
C.J. Castaneda said Carlos Castaneda's followers kept his father away from
him. Ms. Drooz said the author made it clear he did not want to see him.
Richard de Mille, who published two books questioning Carlos Castaneda's
veracity, said Castaneda filed legal papers marrying a Peruvian girl with whom
he conceived a child in the 1950's, making her his only legal wife. The two never
divorced, he said.
Carlos Castaneda originally said he was born on Dec. 25, 1935, in Sao Paolo,
Brazil, the son of a university professor and a woman who died when he was 7.
American immigration records indicated he was born in 1923 in Cajmarca, Peru,
the son of a goldsmith, and that his mother died when he was 24.
Aside from his dubious biography and shamanlike tales of having doubles,
pulverizing glass or powering cars with his spirit is the question of what to make
of his books.
Few academics regard them as serious scholarship. Dr. Louis J. West, a
psychology professor at the U.C.L.A., who knew Castaneda when he was
completing his doctorate there, said the works were at least in part "science
fiction." But that does not take away from their virtues of conveying mysterious
places and alternative realities, he said.
"Carlos wrote beguilingly and well, and told very colorful tales that hold the
interest and give descriptions of people and places and activities that are
illuminating," he said.
Mr. de Mille is less forgiving.
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"I wouldn't call him a fraud, because any sensible person would see through it,"
he said. "He could be charming and playful, but that doesn't make him honest or
defensible or anything like that."
Even admirers tend to be skeptical of the Tensegrity seminars. Many find it hard
to believe that Castaneda would spend almost three decades conveying and
refining Don Juan's teachings, only to start marketing a whole new version of it
at the end.
"It really seemed to me that the Carlos Castaneda that I met and who was
giving these workshops was not even the same person who had written the truly
fine books on the teachings of Don Juan," said Barry Klein, a Castaneda
admirer who tried the Tensegrity seminars briefly.
A Composite Of Experiences
As to Don Juan's authenticity, many people believe Don Juan was at best a
composite of things Mr. Castaneda read and experienced.
"I really think there was no Don Juan," Mrs. Castaneda said. "I think Don Juan
was anyone with whom he had a conversation, like the Dialogues of Plato. I told
him Plato probably never had anyone to talk with, but the Dialogues were his
way of conveying both sides of things. I think that's what Carlos did."
Still, she's pretty sure that Castaneda is doing fine wherever he is.
"I did the numerology of the day he died," she said. "He ascended to a 22, and
that's the highest you can get. He was very highly evolved, and I'm sure he
won't come back to this world. I like the pseudo-sciences. They help me find my
way and understand."
Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
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Chicago Tribune - Sep 1998
Carlos Castaneda's legacy is in dispute
By Peter Applebome
September 2, 1998
After he began publishing his best-selling accounts of his purported adventures
with a Mexican shaman 30 years ago, Carlos Castaneda's life and work played
out in a wispy blur of sly illusion and artful deceit.
Now, four months after he died and two months after the death was made
public, a probate court in Los Angeles is sifting through competing claims on the
estate of the author whose works helped define the 1960s and usher in the New
Age movement.
His followers say he left the Earth with the same elegant, willful mystery that
characterized his life. The man he used to call his son says Castaneda died
while a virtual prisoner of cultlike followers who controlled his last days and his
estate.
Given that Castaneda's literary credibility, marital history, place of birth,
circumstances of death and almost everything else about his life are in dispute,
the competing claims -- including questions about the authenticity of his will and
his competence to sign it -- are not surprising. But they are providing a nasty
coda to the life of a man whose books, which sold 8 million copies in 17
languages, are viewed variously as fact, metaphor or hoax.
Admirers say the areas of dispute, most famously whether Don Juan Matus, the
purported shaman and brujo (witch), ever existed, are peripheral to the real
issues Castaneda explored in his books.
"Carlos knew exactly what was true and what was not true," said Angela
Panaro, of Cleargreen Inc., the group that marketed Castaneda's teachings and
seminars near the end of his life. "But the thing that's missing when people talk
about Carlos is not whether Don Juan lived or not, or who lived in what house.
It's about becoming a voyager of awareness, about the 600 locations in the
luminous egg of man where the assemblage point can shift, about the process
of depersonalization he taught."
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The luminous egg, assemblage point and processes of depersonalization are all
part of the practice of Tensegrity, a blend of meditation and movement
exercises that Castaneda taught in his final years as a way for people to break
through the limitations of ordinary consciousness. Skeptics say they sum up a
career characterized, in the end, by literate New Age mumbo jumbo and artful
deception.
Even Margaret Runyan Castaneda, who had been married to him, while
admiring Castaneda and his work, says she doubts Don Juan ever existed and
thinks his name came from Mateus, the bubbly Portuguese wine the couple
used to drink.
Carlos Castaneda rocketed from obscure anthropology graduate student at the
University of California at Los Angeles to instant, if elusive, celebrity in 1968
with the publication of "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of
Knowledge," a vivid account of the spiritual and pharmacological adventures he
had with a white-haired Yaqui Indian nagual or shaman, Don Juan Matus.
In that book, its sequel, "A Separate Reality" and eight others, he described his
apprenticeship to Don Juan and a spiritual journey in which he saw giant
insects, learned to fly and grew a beak as part of a process of breaking the hold
of ordinary perception.
Admirers saw his work as a gripping spiritual quest in the tradition of Aldous
Huxley's "Doors of Perception." Skeptics wondered how much was true.
In recent years, he surfaced with a new vision, the teaching of Tensegrity, which
is described on the Cleargreen Web site as "the modernized version of some
movements called magical passes developed by Indian shamans who lived in
Mexico in times prior to the Spanish conquest." He even made public
appearances and spoke at seminars promoting the work.
Tensegrity, its organizers say, allows followers to perceive pure energy, "zillions
of energy fields in the form of luminous filaments" and break the chains of
normal cognition.
Unknown to customers who turned out for the seminars -- which cost $600 and
more, where they could buy Castaneda's books, $29.95 videos and Tensegrity
T-shirts reading, "The magic is in the movement" -- Castaneda was dying of
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cancer while describing his route to vibrant good health.
Indeed, although only his inner circle knew about it for two months, he died on
April 27 at his home, surrounded by high hedges in Westwood, a well-to-do
section of Los Angeles, where he lived for many years with some of the self-
described witches, stalkers, dreamers and spiritual seekers who shared his
work.
At a brief hearing in probate court in Los Angeles recently, the man whom
Castaneda for many years called his son challenged the will Castaneda
apparently signed four days before his death. The judge set a hearing date of
Oct. 15 for the case.
C.J. Castaneda, also known as Adrian Vashon -- whose birth certificate cites
Carlos Castaneda as his father, although another man was actually his father --
says Cleargreen became a cultlike group that came to control Castaneda's life.
"Those people latched onto him, stuck their claws in him and rode him for all he
was worth," said C.J.. Castaneda, who operates two small coffee shops in
suburban Atlanta and calls himself a powerful brujo. "I don't believe the will has
my father's signature, and I don't believe he was competent to sign it three days
before he died."
Deborah Drooz, Carlos Castaneda's lawyer and executor of his estate, said she
witnessed the signing along with another lawyer and a notary public. She said
that Carlos Castaneda was completely lucid when he signed the will, and that
C.J. Castaneda had no claims to the estate. She denied that Carlos
Castaneda's followers were anything akin to a cult and said C.J.. Castaneda's
claim did not constitute a serious legal challenge.
"No one, none, of Dr. Castaneda's followers participated in the writing of the
will," she said.
By conventional standards, Castaneda's death was highly unusual.
Invariably described as an impeccable person who kept his affairs in perfect
order, Castaneda apparently signed the will on April 23, and then died at 3 a.m.
on April 27 of what his death certificate said was metabolic encephalopathy, a
neurological breakdown that followed two weeks of liver failure and 10 months
of cancer. The signature is partly obscured, and C.J. Castaneda and his mother,
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Mrs. Castaneda, say it does not look like Castaneda's signature.
He was cremated within hours of his death. His death was kept secret for more
than two months until word leaked out and was confirmed by his
representatives, who said the death was kept quiet in keeping with Castaneda's
lifelong pursuit of privacy.
His will cited assets worth just over $1 million, a modest figure for an author who
sold so well and apparently lived simply. All his assets were given to the Eagle's
Trust, set up at the same time as the will. It is not clear how much in additional
assets had already been placed in the trust, but a London newspaper recently
estimated his estate at $20 million.
To C.J. Castaneda and his mother, the circumstances of Castaneda's death are
so suspicious as to suggest that his life was being controlled by others.
As to Don Juan's authenticity, many people believe Don Juan was at best a
composite of things Castaneda read and experienced.
"I really think there was no Don Juan," Mrs. Castaneda said. "I think Don Juan
was anyone with whom he had a conversation, like the Dialogues of Plato. I told
him Plato probably never had anyone to talk with, but the Dialogues were his
way of conveying both sides of things. I think that's what Carlos did."
Copyright 1998 Chicago Tribune Company
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OPENING TO THE WHISPERS OF POWER
Quest, Winter 1993
Introduction
The articles to follow are aimed at those who have been touched or interested in any way by the
works of Carlos Castaneda.
The material herein is designed to provide the reader with an understanding of how to actually
implement some of these teachings into their lives. I became frustrated, mainly with myself, for a
long time after reading Castaneda's work because of my seeming inability to actually implement any
of the important aspects of his teachings. My attempts to "clear my tonal" seemingly always served
to remind me just how out of control my own internal state was, and eventually, in frustration, and
tiredness at pretending that I was enacting these principles, I drifted away to live my life as I always
had done, blinding myself by degrees to what I knew was out there for me. I did not know that
something more powerful than myself was at work to keep me on a path I thought I had abandoned.
Now, nothing can ever put me back on the path I was on before.
These articles formed during a period in my life when internal change and realization was taking
place at a rate that seemed to necessitate that I write the understandings down. I felt that if I did not
do this, some of the finer points may have become lost in the streams of connections being made in
my mind.
Originally a device for my memory, it soon became clear to me that these articles were of value to
others who may be attempting the same things in their lives as I.
While I have yet a great distance to travel on the path I find myself on, I know I have come a very
long way from where I was. Before I continue on with these ideas, I would like to set forth the idea of
the Double Description. This is the reason my understandings gained the depth and dimensionality
that allowed them to be implemented in my life.
The double description is a method for attaining sufficient knowledge of something to begin to act on
it in life. It is analogous to stereoscopic vision; each eye presents a slightly different description of
the world it is representing to the brain, and from this slight difference comes new, real and usable
information, in this example, depth perception. This information is not present in either single
description alone.
I have found double descriptions for the Teachings of don Juan from a number of sources; it should
be noted that no single source contains double descriptions for all the teachings, but only small
pieces. The collective of these, taken together, have staggering and profound impact on the lives of
those who would employ them.
I would like specifically to thank Dr. Wayne Dyer for his parts of the double description. A great deal
can be gleaned from his tape "Choosing Your Own Greatness", and his book "Your Erroneous
Zones", both impeccable works; Anthony Robbins for his book and tape series by the same title
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"Unlimited Power"; John Grinder and Richard Bandler for their work in creating a psychotechnology
called neurolinguistic programming, from which specific steps are available for working with and
gaining control over your own mental functioning. Lastly, and most importantly, I wish to thank
Carlos Castaneda for his brilliant, courageous and masterful relaying of the teachings of don Juan.
My life as a result is continually amazing, mysterious, and empowering. I am indebted to this man
for providing the thread on which to string the double descriptions of his work. As the thread has
become a string, then a rope, I hope soon to find the way to grasping the ultimate fullness of the
fabric of the Nagual.
The Way of the Hunter
Hunting is a relationship. When one hunts, one is in a relationship with the prey. When one hunts
power, personal power one seeks to put him or herself in a relationship with power. As with any
prey, the prey requires that certain things be done in certain ways to attain it. For instance, a deer
hunter does not wait in his living room for a deer to knock at his door. The deer requires that the
hunter put himself in the deer's environment, and learn about it, and become proficient in moving
about within the realm that belongs to the deer. The deer also requires that the one who would hunt
it learn about the deer itself; it's movements, it's habits, it's preferred foods, etc. The hunter, though
seldom is it realized, must do quite a bit of internal preparation if he or she is to be successful at
attaining that which is sought.
Hunting power requires much of the same as hunting anything else. Power is a much more
demanding prey, but the rewards are beyond measure.
Disrupting Routine
How often do you eat out? Where do you usually go? What do you usually get to eat? These
questions can help you begin to see that routines do exist in your life. Many people favorite
restaurants, and a few favorite meals in each. There is nothing wrong with eating (or anything else)
what you like, but if you are reading this with the intent of hunting power, then you may be passing
up opportunities to attain it with each bite you take. Power requires that one be open to experience. I
know of people who go to a local Polynesian/Oriental restaurant that offers over two hundred
DIFFERENT meals on it's menu. These folks always order from the same three meals. They won't
even try a sample of one of the one hundred ninety seven other meals. Not that they might not like
them, (because they haven't got a clue, by their own admission, what they are like) but because
they are comfortable with what they know. Most people are comfortable in their living rooms, but
they still have to go to the woods to hunt a deer. To hunt power, you must go into the woods in your
own life. You must consciously avoid doing the things you are comfortable with, you must break
your routines, in order to become accessible to power. Go to the restaurant and order something
you have never tried before. Go to work a different route every day.
Which shoe do you usually put on first in the morning? Put the other one on first tomorrow. And last,
but perhaps most importantly, as soon as you believe that you've got this down pat, take a good
look and see if you have made the disruption of your routines into a routine. NEVER BE
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PREDICTABLE! The reason a hunter gets the deer is because the hunter can predict where and
when the deer will be.
By disrupting your routines completely, you can help to swing the balance of your life from hunted to
hunter, and be one step closer to a relationship with power.
Doing for the Sake of Doing
The most important thing to assimilate into one's behavior is the ability to do something without
having an explanation, or expecting any reward or understanding after the event, as to why it was
done. This is simple to do if it is accepted absolutely.
There is no strategy, no rhyme, no reason, at least in the beginning. You must simply do for the
sake of doing, and eliminate the need from your life to explain or have a reason for what you do.
You must eliminate the stiffness or psychological discomfort that might stem from you performing in
a way not "usual" for yourself in the company of others. Power makes strange requests of those who
would seek it.
Start by practicing a few things. ENSURE that these are practiced frequently but NOT ROUTINELY!
Arrange the writing implements on your desk in a particular fashion, for no reason. Walk backwards
around your house twice a week. Write notes to yourself with your non-dominant hand (even if you
can't read them). Walk around in a store that you never go into for anything. Explore any place that
you've never been to before, for no reason. And then forget about it.
Period.
In this fashion, you become open to the whisperings of power. Power may want you to go
somewhere, or do something. You will have no idea in advance what the purpose is; there may not
appear to be one to you, but to power it may be important. When you walk down the street and feel
a strange urge to detour, or go into a store, or talk to someone you've never seen before, pay
attention. These may be the leadings of power. Most importantly, though, you will develop an aspect
of your awareness that you may not have noticed before.
Loss of Self Importance
This is the big one. Self-importance is the single biggest roadblock within anyone to going beyond
themselves and going into areas of life unfamiliar to them. Self importance prevents us from
attempting things that we would like or need to do because of how it may appear to others or
ourselves. If we want to attempt something new, and fear failure, (or how it would look to ourselves
or others if we fail), then we may not do the very thing that we need to do to grab some of the power
available to us in the moment.
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While in a training workshop recently, during the lunch break outdoors, I decided to swing on a
swing set nearby. The gentlemen I was with felt compelled to say that they would pretend to not
know me, and didn't join me. I have always enjoyed swinging. I find it's rhythmic sensations relaxing
and enjoyable. I used to swing quite a bit when I was a child for those same reasons. Then, for a
time in my adolescence and early adulthood, I bought into the idea that these things were something
for children and not engage in the behaviors of children. Since that time, I have realized that I need
not be accepted as an adult by anyone outside myself. I know that I am one, and need not prove it
to anyone. I have the physicality of an adult, and swinging is hardly going to remove that. In
addition, I now have the pleasures of childhood open to me again.
Self importance is not related to self respect. In the process of losing self importance, one may in
fact gain more self respect. Self importance generates the need to choose to be embarrassed if your
actions don't measure up to others beliefs, standards, and ideas about what's "proper". Self
importance generates the need to defend one's self against all doubt from the outside in order to
generate the appearance of "rightness". The catch is that it is not your, but someone else's idea of
"right". When you know in your heart that your beliefs are right (swinging...) then you needn't justify
your motives or actions to others. Simply allow others their opinion and if you choose, thank them
for their input, then proceed with your intent without mind to others needs to have you conform to
their needs. When you do this, you find a whole world opening up to and around you that is fun,
exciting and challenging. Try anything! And remember the NLP presupposition: There is no failure,
only feedback. Always bear in mind that you can do ANYTHING in this world, as long as you are
willing to accept the consequences. Self importance is merely a filter on our belief system that
makes a certain set of consequences unacceptable. It limits you. Eliminate it, and be closer to
unlimited power.
Impeccability
As defined so many times by don Juan, impeccability, the most important aspect of living as a
warrior, is simply the best use of ones energy levels. It is thought and action, behavior and beliefs,
which allow one to obtain an outcome with the least amount of energy expenditure. It calls for
thoughtfulness towards ones actions, examination of ones intent, frugality, and above all, it calls for
a lack of self reflection. Self reflection as it commonly exists in man, as self importance, is the single
biggest drain on ones energy that there can be. It makes one spill vast quantities of energy on totally
unimportant and unworthy events and actions.
There are two areas in which energy can be dissipated: in the physical plane, and in the dimension
of thought. In the physical plane, automatic or unconscious behaviors such as tapping, nail-biting,
and the like, drain energy. Think of these or any nervous habit as being a leak in your energy or
luminous body. This energy is dissapated in an activity that is not aligned toward the direction you
are trying to go in, and leaves less for other pursuits. The energy lost is slight, but it does add up,
and needs to be replaced. There is an even greater area in which to save energy. In the physical
plane, the energy drains mentioned will not prevent you from continuing on the path; in the realm of
thought, the energy drains can bring your life to a standstill.
Why do runners in a marathon pace themselves? To conserve energy for the last mile to sprint to
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the finish. What is the energy that flows in human interaction with the world? Thought. When we use
our thinking, we use our energy. What we think about is what we use our energy on, and what we
use our energy on is what we get more of.
Begin today to examine how our thought-energy is being used. Is it directed at our highest aims, or
our worst nightmares? When driving home at night from work, do we focus on our problems earlier
that day, or on our plans for the evening. Are our thoughts mostly bright and positive, or dark and
ominous.
Negative thinking drains our energy. Ask anyone who is depressed about life. Do they have energy?
Do they feel alive and vibrant? Often these people don't even have the power to get out of bed in the
morning, much less greet life with enthusiasm.
The elimination of negative thinking patterns will go leaps and bounds toward increasing your
resources of personal power. It is not an instantaneous switch. Those "thinking muscles" that
generate negative thought get strong through use, and the positive "thinking muscles" may be weak
or atrophied. Thought is just like muscle development. The ones you use most get stronger, just as
your dominant arm is stronger than your non-dominant arm.
If you want to build your non dominant arm, you would exercise it. In fact, as you go through your
day, if you find yourself using your strong arm, you may opt to use your weaker arm to give it a
chance to build.
Thought, being like muscles in this way, can be built in the same manner. Every once in a while,
consciously think in a positive fashion. See a situation working out. Hear someone saying something
nice to you. Feel good about something. Most importantly, when you find yourself immersed in a
negative thought, consciously "use your weaker arm", and change your thinking to a positive
thought, ESPECIALLY if the thought is future oriented. If you are going in to talk to the boss, instead
of imagining how the boss will berate you, or cut you off, or whatever, imagine that he/she will be
open to you. Imagine a very positive, productive interaction. What you experience in the dimension
of thought actually does set you up for the experience in "reality".
By the elimination of negative thinking patterns, I do not mean to adopt a rosy, "Pollyanna-ish" view
on the world. You should always maintain a space in which to plan for the possibility that things may
not go perfectly. In this manner you won't be caught with your pants down, i.e., have a backup plan.
But once you know what to do in that event, or if there is no alternate plan, then leave those
thoughts in that space, and come back to the thoughts of things working out. If you give your energy
to the positive, you will have more of it in your life. It's an absolute law of the universe that you get
what you think about. If you think about good, you'll have good in your life, and be conserving
energy and power, being impeccable, for the journey to accepting the Eagle's gift of freedom and
totality.
Impeccability is efficatiousness. Absolutely, unquestionably the most effective set of thinking
patterns and action which effectively obtains for one the necessary aspects of their reality. When
you need something, when five steps will get you, with no compromise on quality, what it would
normally take ten steps to do, doing it in five is more impeccable. It is the straight line path; it curves
only when straight would make you climb a mountain that a curve would allow you to avoid. This is
where thoughtfulness to ones action is important; it requires that one perceive where their actions
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MessaggioOggetto: Re: Castaneda Carlos Interviews   Mer 16 Dic 2009 - 8:08

http://www.volny.cz/castaneda/en/interviews/add-1.html
will get them before setting off on a course, otherwise one may find cliffs, mountains, potholes, and
a host of other unforeseen events. Forethought does not guarantee that unforseen events will not be
met with, but it reduces the chances. A sighted man in the middle of a busy highway stands a better
chance of getting across than does a blind man, but the sighted man may still get hit. Viewing
impeccability in this way can help to make a very subjective ideal and make it into an objective,
tangible guiding principle to adopt in the path to freedom and totality.
The Warriors Path
The first step on the path of knowledge, after the loss of routines in one's life, is becoming a warrior.
This is an attitude which life is faced with which effectively makes one impervious to the world. It
can't touch you if you have become a warrior. This does not mean that life suddenly becomes idyllic,
or especially easy, but the way in which you approach the events in your life becomes something
whereby you may be empowered by events, that at one time, would have drained and defeated you.
Part of the trick is finding a way in which to view all the events in your life as a challenge- something
to be risen up to and overcome. Enter the "petty tyrant". The petty either a person, or an event or
situation, that has always "pushed your buttons"- one in which you expect, know in fact, that
encountering it will cause you to be angry, depressed, flustered, enraged, or otherwise in a less than
pleasant internal state. There is inherent value of incalculable measure in a petty tyrant, and if you
have one in your life, count yourself fortunate, for the petty tyrant is one road to impeccability. The
petty tyrants are the "files" which we encounter in life that enable us to file off, smooth out the rough
spots in our interactions with the world around us. They help us to remove the burrs that catch on
the passing fabric of our life. The best petty tyrants are "rasps"-very course files. It is interesting to
note that there is a class of file that is legitimately known as a "bastard".
The question now becomes, how does one use the petty tyrant?
The question requires that one understand the feeling of the state of impeccability. To that end, I
offer the following metaphor:
At some point in our lives, we have all been out in a storm, with terrific winds blowing all around us.
You can imagine the feeling of the changing winds, shifting direction faster than you can change
with them. These winds can blow you off course, blow rain in your face, always seemingly keeping
you off balance. The state of impeccability is like suddenly the wind ceases to move you. Whether it
is blowing through you, or around you isn't for sure, but it doesn't move you any more. You can still
hear the wind, you can see it's effects on everything around you, but it simply doesn't push you
anymore. You only feel a gentle, calm breeze when you so desire. This is one aspect of
impeccability. In Castaneda's works, there was a passage to the effect that "impeccability is the
ability to temper or tone your spirit while you are being trampled upon". The use of the petty tyrant
accomplishes this goal. When faced with a situation that gives rise to negativity, one must first
understand that your internal state is your own responsibility, and no one can make you feel any
way that you don't want to. When we allow external situations to determine our internal state, what
we are doing in effect, is handing our innards over to the very person or event for which we have the
negative state to begin with. The trick is, when faced with a situation with no easy or ready solution,
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to accept that, for the time being, the event or person may have or control the situation, but don't let
them have or control you inside. The next time that you find yourself with someone who you find
particularly difficult to deal with (i.e., petty tyrant), remember that allowing your internal state to
become chaotic or ruffled in any way is, in effect, handing over the most intimate part of yourself to
that person to do with as they will. The ultimate use of the petty tyrant is in keeping a calm,
controlled demeanor inside as well as outside when in situations such as these. Most importantly
this is done not by suppressing your feelings, but by having an interractional goal of a higher logical
order than being right/in control/treated respectfully/whatever. In the path for power, the goal
becomes behavioral impeccability, and saving personal power. The great benefits of this are the
ability to remain focused on your objectives in the interaction, and to save great amounts of personal
power and energy. Anger, frustration, despair and depression are among the greatest drains on
personal power there can be, especially when they have no value to the situation. With mindfulness
to the idea of the "petty tyrant", these feelings become signals to become impeccable, and rise
above the situation at hand. From your vantage point above the situation, you may see options and
paths not available to you in similar situations before. The rewards come afterwards, from within
yourself, in the form of certain very pleasant feelings, resulting from knowing that you were in control
of yourself, and that you were able to save your personal power for use in more productive ways.
After a while, it becomes so easy and natural that you get surprised by realizing that the negative
feeling states never come up; they are immediately bypassed as your proficiency in shifting to more
productive and self controlled states becomes more developed. The benefits you will reap in your
life from this one aspect of the path of knowledge will improve your entire existence in a very short
time, and will surprise and delight you.
Death as an Advisor
Almost everyone at one time or another has heard the idea of asking "If you had only six months to
live, what would you be doing?". This is an effective means of allowing yourself the space to
entertain your most treasured experiential goals, but it somehow always seems to fall short of the
mark, in terms of changing your actual behavior. There is, however, a far more motivating form of
utilizing the idea of your own impending death in your life.
There is a story about two men walking on a trail in a vast canyon in the southwest. One becomes
aware that his shoe has become untied, and stops to tie it. While he ties his shoe, a huge boulder
from the canyon wall just ahead drops to the ground not ten feet in front of them. The man is
certainly glad he tied his shoe, and they walk on happy to have avoided being crushed under tons of
rock. What they don't stop to realize is that another day, in another canyon, one may stop to tie his
shoes, and then a rock directly above him will drop, ending his time on the earth. The very same
delay that saves him one time, may be the delay that kills him another.
The main point is that any act you perform may be your last. The only thing that counts, then, is that
you perform your absolute best in anything you do, because it may very well be the last thing you
do. The secret to using death as an advisor, then, is not in asking about your actions if death was
comfortably removed by six months, six years, or a whole lifetime; but in asking about your actions if
your death would occur within the very next instant. If you represent death as close and personal,
your outlook changes rapidly.
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"Is this the act that I would want if it were to be my final act on earth?" is a question that will drop
more pettiness and idiocy from your life than almost anything else. It is not designed to make one
think about career changes, moves, or relationships. It is designed to help one see their present
moment for what it really is- teetering on the edge of annihilation. The only thing we can do is to face
that moment with the knowledge that we are doing our impeccable best in each moment we have.
Worry is something that most everyone has experienced. There are plenty of things to worry about,
too, and yet, worry, in and of itself, has no action on the world around us.
Worry is a signal for us to evaluate a situation to determine what action needs to be taken to
generate a desired outcome.
All the things in the entire universe that can be worried about fall into one of two categories: those
you can do something about, and those you can't do anything about. To worry about the sun going
supernova would not have any effect on whether it does or not, hence, there is no need to worry.
Worry, as stated earlier, is your mind and bodies way of signaling you to find and take action on
something. Since there isn't a thing you could do, with your own actions, to save yourself or anyone
else from a supernova, you don't worry about it.
To worry about being hit by a train if you happen to be standing in the middle of the tracks is
reasonable, provided that if one comes, you take action and get off the tracks. If you stay on the
tracks as the engine rumbles toward you at great speed, blasting it's horn, you can worry all you
want to, right up to the time that the train squashes you if you want; your worry alone would not
accomplish a single thing. Only when worry serves as a trigger to take action does it have any
purpose. If you find yourself worrying about anything, ask yourself this question: Is there anything I
can do, or am willing to do, to satisfy what I am worrying about? If the answer is no, simply stop
worrying. Worry then only serves to grow ulcers, make headaches, and make you a pain to be
around. If there is something you can do, but are unwilling to put the time or effort into it, then stop
worrying there, too. If it is not worth the effort to do something you know you can, then it isn't worth
the strain on your body and the people close to you to continue to worry.
"Lord, grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can't, and
the wisdom to know the difference."
Though the author of that quote is not known to me, it's truth and power are evident. Free yourself
from impotent worry, act on what you can or are willing to, and your life will begin to become more
efficient, empowering and relaxed. And the very real benefits to your physical, mental, and
emotional health will be a source of continual enjoyment.
Unbending intent
Often as one progresses along the path of the Warrior, a peculiar paradox begins to show itself;
while we say, and in fact really do want one particular behavior or attitude, our actions are
diametrically opposed. Since the Warrior's path is one of action, this is naturally cause for
investigation; our actions need to be in line with our ideals, or our intent. When they are not, we
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experience what has been termed "cognitive dissonance". An excellent example of this is one who is
significantly overweight, and dissatisfied with that fact, and yet, they will still order the hot fudge
sundae for desert, after stuffing themselves with their quarter pounder and fries. The behavior is
opposed to the intent. Who was it that said "A house divided against itself cannot stand"?
Because the Warrior's path is a path of action and not words, one's action must match intent, and
intent must direct action with an iron will. Unbending Intent can be likened to a laser beam. Science
fiction movies always show laser beams zapping across the screen as luminescent flying tubes of
light; in actual fact, they are silent and invisible. If there were to be a beam of sufficient intensity to
cut a man in half, in a totally dark room, the beam would be undetected until someone was unlucky
enough to walk into the beam. Only then would the light from the beam, now reflecting off of it's
newfound target, dazzle the eyes and light up the room.
Under certain circumstances, the laser beam can become visible; fog or smoke in the air provides
microscopic particles in profusion which reflect tiny bits of the beams light; if the particles are of
significant quantity, they can divert enough of the beams power to make it totally harmless by the
time it hits its intended target.
On the path to freedom, one's intent must be unbending. All of one's power must be directed
unerringly and focused on your goals. As an example, in the process of developing the physicality of
the warrior, hot fudge sundaes are like the smoke in the beam. They detract from the energy you
are focusing on becoming strong and healthy in form; enough hot fudge sundaes floating in the
beam of your intent leaves little to hit the target, ie., you are unlikely to attain the goal of a warrior's
physique.
With unbending intent, your energy is fullest at the place you want it, and with it, you can burn
through the toughest walls you find on your journey to freedom. And you will feel good about
yourself for having the control and strength to maintain your effort in the face of whatever temptation
crosses your path. importantly, you will find it to be your most powerful and unfailing tool along the
path, and yet it takes up no room in pack.
Controlled Folly
Controlled folly is the idea by which one learns to handle all of life's occurrences. It can be said that
all human activity is folly; in comparison with the activities and events in the Universe, no action of
man, either individually or collectively, has any universal significance. If the sun were to supernova,
taking our tiny little planet with it, our solar system would simply join the ranks of countless millions
of other systems that have gone that way, and no part of the universe would shudder, or pay tribute
to our passing. The only testimonial to our having been in this vast and amazing universe would be
some clouds of dust and gas, floating eternally in the cosmic continuum.
The only importance, therefore, that our actions can have, is the importance, or meaning, that we
place on them. The fact of life is that we must live this folly to survive and be healthy, happy,
productive members of our planet. But allowing this folly to carry away one's happiness, and
especially one's health, is a very sad and unnecessary folly.
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Controlled folly is a way of living. It is doing one thing, anything in fact, and doing it impeccably, and
yet knowing that you are actually doing something else- practicing the Warrior's path by exercising
impeccable action and unbending intent. It allows one to be involved in anything and everything as
much as anyone else, and yet it allows detachment. It is the art of pretending to be immersed in the
action at hand- pretending so well that no-one could tell it from the real thing. It is a sophisticated,
artistic way of being separate from everything remaining an integral part of everything.
Nearly everyone along the path to freedom begins to wish they could simply extricate themselves
from their mundane responsibilities and concentrate their total energies on the journey to power and
freedom. Yet simply dropping those responsibilities would be less than impeccable. Controlled folly
is the answer to this apparent paradox; it allows one the opportunity to turn one's entire life into a
living practice of the Warrior's path; practicing unbending intent to impeccably attend to their
responsibilities, knowing that the activities at hand are folly, and of no universal significance, yet
sharpening their edge and building their Warrior's spirit with impeccable action to their
responsibilities. Controlled folly also allows one the breathing room to not feel threatened by the
myriad other situations that life, and other people, insist are "important"; everyone's meanings are
their own, after all. Controlled folly helps you maintain unbending intent, and the combination of
these two ideas of the Warrior's path help you overcome more obstacles on the path to freedom and
true life.
The Stages of Seeing
There are several aspects of experience which comprise the act of seeing. The first, and perhaps
the most important of these is the ability to see beyond one's own meanings of the events around
them, and see them as simply the play of events and objects that they really are.
The second aspect is the bodily realization that what one perceives with the eyes basically has little
or nothing to do with what one thinks one is perceiving. This holds equally true for the other senses
as well.
The third requires "rewiring" of sorts on the part of one's unconscious mind. The visuals of seeing
are something already available to us, yet we must be taught what to see, before we can discern it,
amplify, it by putting our attention on it (the same process we use for "looking" at anything).
The first aspect, seeing through or beyond ones own meanings and interpretations, seems to be the
hardest of all. This could possibly be due to the fact that it is precisely those meanings or
interpretations we need to go beyond, that are the source of all feeling or emotion related to what we
look at or hear. These emotions themselves seem to create a diversion to our consciousness; to be
caught up in the feeling, swept away with it, is to loose our vision of what is actually before our
senses, and adopt the vision of our meanings. When people decide they want to get past their own
meanings, often they end up trying to do so by fighting or suppressing their own feelings about their
perceptual input, rather than by going to a higher authority and suppressing the meanings assigned
to the input.
An illustration of one who "sees" by going past (or more appropriately before) their own meanings
would compare as follows:
A man, standing before a spectacular sunrise, could experience many things. If he knew that this
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was the start of a day in which his greatest dreams would come true, he would probably experience
joy. If he knew that this was the start of a day in which he would loose all his earthly possessions, he
would probably experience sadness. If the man was a seer, or becoming one, he would be able to
know either "reality"; yet he would feel the same in each. He sees the sunrise without that meaning
attached, and experiences the fullness of the sunrise and its beauty. Now all three involve feeling.
Seeing does not mean that one cannot feel; it allows one the choice of feeling the most productive,
worthwhile, functional emotion, or no emotion at all; The seer, being outside of his meaning, and not
inside, could see the other meanings available to him and has the option to choose any meaning to
enter and feel, or to remain in an "observer" position. Being out of his meaning about what it
"means" to loose all of one's earthly belongings, he has the freedom to choose the feelings which
serve him best in view of the circumstances in his life. The seer looks to feel, but he sees to know;
not just to know what is there to see, but to see how would be most advantageous for everything
involved, to process, or feel, about the situation being perceived. The non-seer sees with the eyes of
his meaning, the seer sees with the eyes of an observer, one not involved directly with the person
whom the observer watches, and can objectively see options that the non-seer can't. By getting
"out" of a meaning, you get into a much bigger space where there is lots of room to move and
breath, and you have helped yourself one third of the way to actually seeing.
A bodily realization that the information your eyes present to your brain is not what is there to be
perceived is the next step. By a bodily realization, I refer to the phenomena which is experienced as
an "Ah-ha moment"; it is a difficult experience to pin down with words, yet nearly everyone has
experienced it. It is a feeling of knowing not with your head, but somehow in your chest. In this
example it almost produces a sensation of dualistic perception; somehow despite your full reason
and observation, visually, auditorially, kinesthetically, and olfactorily, you know, you actually feel,
that there is something outside the confines of what you are perceiving with, that if we could actually
perceive it, would be revealed to be incomprehensibly different from what we thought it was.
What we perceive, or think we see, begins by what we perceive as light, striking our retina in our
eyes. And that is where all contact with the "real" world stops. Our retina turns that real "something"
into nerve impulses- mere reflections or echoes of the actual light. These nerve impulses then are
reduced in number thousands of time, as they go from the millions of rods and cones in the retina, to
the optic nerve bundle. The information jumps over junctions known as synapses; those of sufficient
intensity make it across the junction; the rest do not. Only the strongest, or those we consciously
focus our attention on, make it out of our eye and on toward our brain. Then the reticulum takes its
bite. Its main function is to get bored, and single out selected items for deletion from awareness, or
amplification in awareness. The reticulum is what is responsible for keeping you from being aware of
numerous continual stimuli, like your watch on your wrist, the feel of your feet on the floor, the
position of your knees, the feeling of your clothing on your skin, etc. There are literally millions of
available sensory inputs of which you could be conscious, but if they all flooded in at once, we would
be drowned in our own perceptions. The reticulum is what allows us to concentrate on a good book,
a television program, or anything else to the exclusion of distractions. It also tends to remove
unnecessary information from the visual field; an example is that while reading this, you are (until I
mention it here) probably not aware of (or thinking of at this moment) the particular orientation of the
page with respect to the nearest wall, the light levels on the page, or the precise positioning of your
hands on the page. This is all information available through the visual sense, but if you concentrate
on the reading, these other bits of information are distractions, and are filtered out.
So, after all these functions take their toll, what you think you see is only a reflection of the distant
echoes of your own nerve impulses; what you think you see, in reality is only you. Your perceptions
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are a product of your own body and are not a true representation of what it is that you believe
yourself to be perceiving.
After the first two steps have been completed, your unconscious mind and you will have a greater
level of rapport. You will be starting to see the same way your unconscious sees. It is your
conscious mind that usually goes around telling your unconscious how it should feel about things,
when in fact the unconscious mind perceives without meaning anyway. Babies provide tremendous
insight into the processing of the unconscious.
If a baby watches two big shiny objects moving above the ground come closer together until one
touches and pushes the other and makes a big noise, he may just look blankly at it. An adult on the
street watching two cars have a head on at high speed would probably experience a tremendous
rush of feelings, which would all be associated with the meaning of the perception. The baby sees
with the eyes of the unconscious, touched only lightly with the meanings of the conscious mind.
Since meanings, and what we pick out and group together and give names and labels to, are
something we learn, and are taught with passion by all those around us, we actually come to
perceive, in a way, what we are told to. Children are born without these lists of acceptable
perceptions, and often times see a great deal that remains unseen except by the seer. These things
are given less and less importance in our visual field, and eventually disappear by our first few
years. Seers are those who have allowed these perceptions access to their consciousness again, by
getting past their meanings, and realizing that there are both other ways of perceiving one thing, and
that what we perceive is not what is there. Then the seer has the option of choosing the perception,
as well as the experience of it. The unconscious will wire your perceptual abilities to perceive what
you teach it to perceive. When you learn of the field surrounding living beings, our "luminous egg",
and begin to let the subtle hints of it in through your sensory channels, your attention will fixate the
perception, and amplify it with practice until you can consciously switch your perception to see in
this new way.
Last Words...New Beginnings
Realization is something altogether different from understanding. One may understand completely,
and yet not act in accordance. Realization means to make real, tangible. One may know with the
mind, but one realizes with the whole body-mind system. It is the "Ah-ha!" moment- you feel it when
it finally hits; your action changes to reflect your realization. This is what one strives for in the path of
knowledge.
As don Juan stated several times, the path is one of trickery. I originally was attracted to the path
because of its promise of power; yet power is about changing the things outside one's self to suit a
particular whim or desire. Soon I learned that power is not what I was being offered, (or more
appropriately, my definition of power), and that to accept what was being offered, I had to closely
examine myself, and begin to make changes, sometimes in areas that I did not want to admit. I have
never grown from denying my faults, yet I have always grown from facing them and making the
necessary changes.
I have found that the true offering of don Juan is freedom. Freedom to live my life to the absolute
limits of my potential if I choose, and freedom not to, if I choose. The key is, it is MY choice, not
anothers. This can be a scary prospect, as it requires one to take responsibility for every occurrence
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in ones' life; there can be no blame. The power don Juan was offering is something we all already
posses; we must learn that, and claim that power as our own, rather than assigning responsibility on
other people or things for the condition of our lives. When we deny responsibility, we rob ourselves
of our own inherent power.
By living life in this way, with total accountability, we will find the totality of ourselves, we have the
power to propel ourselves to the limits of our potential. I am still an infant on the path, yet I see that
what I had held as "givens" and "truths" about life and living and death, are mere illusions, and can
only hold as much reality as I choose to give them. I have begun to map a new reality, and it is
wonderful. May your journey be as good. I wish you well.
David Copeland
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Some general hints and tips on Dreaming techniques.
(c) 1994, 1995 by Ian Mapleson. Second edition.
Send all comments, suggestions, and extra tips and info to be added to: mapleson@cee.hw.ac.uk
Ian.
Important note: For more detailed info on all things discussed here, read the books written by Carlos
Castaneda (CC for short). These are:
1. The Teachings of Don Juan, A Yaqi Way of Knowledge,
2. A Separate Reality,
3. Journey to Ixtlan,
4. Tales of Power,
5. The Fire Within,
6. The Eagles Gift,
7. The Second Ring of Power,
8. The Power of Silence,
His latest book is:
9. The Art of Dreaming.
There might be a tenth book called, 'The Art of Stalking'. We shall see.
By the way, if you end up reading them, note that the first book is very 'scientific' and TOTALLY
unlike the others. This is because book 1 is basically his thesis-in-a-book.
Actually, the above books are about a hell of a lot more than just dreaming, but if it's dream
techniques you're after, these are the books to go for, especially books 6 and 9. A good method I
would recommend is to read the books in a random order and then to read them again in the
published order. The reason for this is difficult to explain unless you've read the books, so I won't
bother to explain. Smile
Also, if you are female, there are books available now written by female members of the group of
people Carlos was with; these will probably contain info that is especially relevant to you. As it
happens, females can do this sort of stuff much easier than males, in some ways. A girl I've only
known for a year has been doing this stuff for just that long, since I met her (I lent her the books.
Now she owns her own copies). But, already, she can do stuff that I couldn't do even after 5 years!
Very Happy
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It's not that CC's books are not for females, they are for both sexes, but I suspect that the new
books will probably have info that female Dreamers will find more understandable because of the
way it is presented perhaps. The archetypes will be different, and so on. I can't say for sure because
I haven't read the new books, though I certainly intend to.
This file mainly consists of my answers to peoples' questions about Dreaming (I capitalise the word
because that's what I am, a Dreamer. The term is defined in Carlos' books; there's not space to
define it here – too complex) that occurred during email conversations which resulted from people
who were posting to alt.games.doom about them getting dreams about Doom after playing the game
for long periods; some people wanted to know how to control the dreams, etc.; as it turned out,
every single person who emailed me for info, in response to my offer for said, was actually
interested in dreaming skills and altered perceptional states anyway, and so I began to construct
this file, to pool together the results of these conversations. As it stands, this file isa the result of
chatting to about 10 different people.
Here we go! Smile
(NB: sorry if sometimes the same point is repeated; it often helps to have the same thing written
down in a different way, so I've left such instances in)
> Dreams: I've been pretty delinquent in this area. I know a few techniques, namely keeping a
dream journal and some stuff to work toward lucid dreaming, but I haven't been doing the work :-(
...
That's stage one. Scrap the journal. Only use mental recall to remember.
(Insert: actually, Carlos kept a complete written record of everything he did. For some people, then,
this method might work well. What I say here about keeping written records is a generality. This
applies to all that I say here. If a specific description of something doesn't work or give useful
results, then try something else, vary the parameters, sleep on your head if need be! Experiment.
Little of what I say here is completely concrete - it is just stuff that applies to the majority of people
and has worked for me fairly well)
> ... I will get to it, though. What sorts of stuff do you do? What kinds of things does Casteneda
prescribe? I haven't
Yeek, where do I begin??
Well, time control, dream-integrity control (maintaining dream stability), dreaming skills (you name it!
Flying, teleporting, TK, PK, the lot).
Lucid dreaming is fairly boring and mild compared with the skills learned in Castanedan stuff.
For example, try going to sleep with the intent that you will dream that you are lying down on some
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surface (say comfortable moss) in the same posture that you are in when you go to bed.
Then, you have to intend that when this occurs, you will dream that you fall asleep AGAIN, only this
time you will dream-dream that you can get up, move about, do whatever.
For some reason, you end up in a perceptual state which is FAR more real than lucid dreaming (one
I had honestly felt like it lasted 3 days. I was only asleep 8 hours!), and far clearer and easier to
control.
This can lead to problems of keeping track of which dreaming level you're in though. Gotta be
careful there! Smile
Actually, the above is a pretty advanced technique, so you might not want to try it at first. Do some
of the other simple things first.
General tips though are things that you intend you will do not do when dreaming.
Examples:
- don't stare at one particular spot for very long. Look via glances, look here, look there. Never stare
at anything for more than a moment. If you do, the dream will start to collapse; at least, it will when
you're a beginner. When you get better at Dreaming, you can hold a dream together by sheer will
alone, but that's a waste of energy - better just to not stare at things too long anyway.
- if a dream starts to collapse, it can help if you ram your hands into whatever dream surface is
available and claw it to shreds. This maintains a perceptual contact with the dream world and helps
to stop it collapsing. I scragged a road in a dream and it stopped the dream collapsing. A useful
technique, but it gets superceded later by better will.
- Anything shouted in a dream is a command. This is very difficult to remember. If you are in a tight
spot, and you want out or something, shout something like 'I intend that I have a BFG!' and PAFF!
You'll have one! Then you can start blasting! Works for me! I haven't had nightmares in years.
Anything comes near me in a dream and I just blow the crap out of it! Very Happy
- This is the most DIFFICULT thing to remember: in a dream, you can do ANYTHING, but to know
you can do something, you have to have done it. Rats. Catch 22. However, if you keep intending
that you will do a thing, eventually your reason gives in and it will work. Dream flying is a good
example. The first time you get a good one, you'll be blissfully delighted when you wake up! The
thing to remember is that dream skills are just like any other skill. Start off small and work your way
up. And practice, practice, practice... Smile
I use the Castanedan books because, so far, they have matched my prior experience. The
Castandean system is just a perceptual model, but it is very flexible and can cover quite a large area
of experience, via the use of a concept known as the 'Assemblage Point' (the 'point' where
perception is 'assembled').
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> Ahh.... You're into Lucid Dreaming? I am too. But I don't know the technique yet.
Hmm... a few tips then:
1. Try getting reeeeeeeally knackered and then going to sleep (like, stay up for 36 hours, for
instance). What can often happen is that one's body goes to sleep but ones mind does not -
excellent dreams result and often those known as OOBE's (out of body experiences) as well. I've
had many. They're great fun! Smile They can be a bit scary too, but you get used to that.
2. Try focusing on something before you go to bed. eg. get hold of a photo of a pleasant landscape,
sit down and stare at it for 10 to 15 mins before turning out the lights. Then, as you're lying there, will
intend imagine that, when you fall asleep, you will be in such a place. Good dreamers can return
again and again to the same place. I have one or two. One has a sea that is actually blue! (I mean
the water is genuinely blue, like the colour of copper sulphate; no idea why! Very Happy).
Actually, no reason why you couldn't use a Doom editor to construct a cool landscape, minus
monsters, etc., and run about that in the game for half an hour before going to bed. Eventually, you'll
dream of being in that place.
3. Try not thinking. To not think, that is. VERY difficult to do. Takes much practice. If you can
manage this, lucid dreams are practically guaranteed. Try it now! Right now! Try not thinking of
ANYTHING at ALL! Not a word! Zippo! Bet you can't do it. The idea here is to relax your mind's
'attention' on the everyday mundane world, so that it can more easily enter a dreaming state. What
you do is get yourself in a non-thinking state when you go to bed and then you have to 'watch' for
the moment you fall asleep, that is, be aware of that moment. At first, when you try this, you'll tend to
'snap' back away from actually falling asleep, you'll sortof wakeup with a start. This is because
you're simply not used to being aware of the moment you fall asleep! Eventually, with practice, you
can be aware of the moment in a way that doesn't prevent you actually falling asleep. And so you're
asleep, but you're concious! At this stage, you can initiate a dream about whatever you like! You
name it! Smile Note that this technique IS very difficult to do at first, so don't expect instant results. If you
do it right, the time sense of the dream can be controlled as well. This can be very confusing if you
decide to 'dream' of something which lasts a long time. The longest continuous such dream I've had
lasted 3 days subjective time - in fact, I was only asleep for about 8 hours. Bizarre! But a lot of fun!
Gives you a sense of having made up for lost time.
4. Try relaxation excercises. Many are available from books on Yoga. One particularly good
exercise is described in a book called 'Magic Mirrors', available from the Sorcerers' Apprentice, in
Leeds, England.
5. Try lying on your front or back, or basically going to sleep NOT on your side. If you normally go to
sleep on your front/back, try sleeping on your side instead. The idea here is to upset ones normal
routine. The Carlos books recommend lying on one's front, but I find this difficult. Lying on my back
always seems to get me some good dreams, but not everybody is the same. Experiment.
6. A dream within a dream.
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MessaggioOggetto: Re: Castaneda Carlos Interviews   Mer 16 Dic 2009 - 9:41

http://www.volny.cz/castaneda/en/interviews/add-2.html
Warning! This can be rather confusing if you don't mentally keep track of what's going on! Very Happy
The idea here is to have a dream within a dream. It's done by intending that this will occur. The most
powerful technique is to become aware that you're dreaming, by whatever method, and, in that
dream, deliberately lie down (in the SAME posture that you're in in your actual bed) and fall 'asleep'
AGAIN. The second level of dreaming you enter will be so real you will NOT be able to tell the
difference from reality, as far as quality of image, smell, taste, touch, hearing, etc, is concerned, if
it's working well. Thus, you have to keep an eye on what 'level' of dreaming you're in. I wouldn't want
to contemplate what would happen if you entered a 3rd level - two is fine enough for me thanks very
much! Very Happy
One time when I was in one such state, eventually I woke up, got up, went to the kitchen, pottered
about a bit feeling that something wasn't quite as it should be and then woke up again. This can get
confusing, especially if it happens by accident, which it can if you were tired and not concentrating
when you went to sleep in the first place.
7. Dream abilities.
Coupla key concepts here:
You can do ANYTHING in a dream. That's so important I'll say it again!
A N Y T H I N G!!!
Trouble is, in order for you to be able to do something, you have to know that you can do it! Oh
dear. Catch 22. Well, almost! Smile
Basically, some things are easier to do than others, so what you do is intend that you will do (or be
able to do) a particular thing, repeatedly, night after night. A good example is flying (my forte Smile.
Every time you hit the sack, intend that you will fly in your dream. It probably won't work at first, but
eventually your brain mind whatever gives in and whooosh! Off you go! My best dreams have been
flying types. I often zoom over a landscape of some kind, whilst shouting such things as (and this is
a quote) 'Yeeeeaaaaahooooo! I don't beLIEVE how fucking REAL this is! Waaaaheeeee!'. That one
was a particularly nice one. Lots of rolling hills, quiet villages, etc.
The key is to remember that you can do anything at all. The bummer is trying to recall that you can
do a particular thing when you need to be able to do it in a dream. Dream abilities are JUST like
ordinary abilities: they take practice. Such abilities include (these are my own, at varying degrees of
effectiveness):
Flight, invisibility, PK, TK, vision-zoom, teleport, item-summoning.
That last one means that you intend that a particular thing will appear and, as a result, POW! It
does. I've done this with a BFG in a dream. Got into a sticky situation in a Doom type dream,
demanded that a BFG appear, it did, hence much imp butt was kicked. Smile
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Start off with easy things and work up. Flying is a good to begin with 'cos it's fun! (especially if the
dream appears real enough).
On the subject of dream-flying: believe it or not, the "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books are
remarkably accurate on how to do it; i.e. in a dream, it's not so much a case of learning how to 'get
your feet off the ground', it's more a case of learning to forget how to keep one's feet ON the ground.
Smile Douglas is into this stuff, I'm sure; there are so many things in Hitch Hikers that sound like stuff
from the Castaneda’s books, it's ridiculous! S.E.P. fields... Smile (stands for Somebody Else's
Problem).
8. Commands.
This is tricky to get used to because it's powerful and works very well. Basically, anything you shout
say in a dream is a command. That is, anything you 'announce' to the dream environment kinda
becomes instant law, as it were. I use the expression 'I intend that... <whatever>'. For instance, in
one dream, I was investigating something or other in a shopping mall. Someone was approaching
and so I said 'I intend that I am invisible.' Bingo! I'm invisible! Smile
The geek in question just walked on by. Never saw me at all (of course, there's no way to tell
whether I was invisible from the person's point of view or whether I directly intended that the
character wouldn't see me (such that someone else I hadn't noticed would still be able to).
Incidentally, it might seem a little odd that I describe these things as if, when the dream is occuring,
the things one experiences are actually happening; more about this in a minute).
Commands don't have to be worded this way, though. If what you say has the intent within it
anyway, then it will work just fine. A classic, if rather Doom-esque example, is during a combat
situation in a dream I once had: some bad guy comes at me, so I point my finger at him and shout
'DIE!'. He did. Nyeheheh.... Smile
9. Dream recall.
When you wake up, the most important thing to do is to remember what you dreamed, to recall it.
Ever tried to recall a word that's on the tip of your tongue? Exactly WHAT is it that you are doing
when you do this? What are you feeling when you try to remember? Well, that's what you gotta do to
recall a dream. Remember. Recall. It's difficult to describe because, in western languages, there is
no word for it at all. It's only in other cultures such as the Aboriginal Dreamtime that such concepts
are given names, gestures, etc. This just goes to show how little western cultures care about one
third of their lives! Very Happy (think about it: you will spend about 23 YEARS of your existence asleep).
In the system given in the Castanedan books, one would say that, to remember a dream, one has to
'move the assemblage point to where it was when you dreamed - whatever it was that you dreamed -
when you dreamed it'. Yeah, I know that doesn't make much sense; you'll just have to read the
books to understand that one. Sorry! Smile
Anyway, to recall a dream, one way is to just sit on the bed for a few minutes, eyes closed, and try
to recall what happened. Tips: if you can only remember fragments, try working remembering
backwards from a point in the dream and then forwards again, etc. This helps to 'fill in the gaps',
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rather like repeatedly painting over the same patch of wall with a brush: each swipe fills over a little
more.
If you don't remember much, be aware that, at some point during the day, a brief image of the
dream may suddenly pop into your head (at work, in the loo, wherever). If this happens, stop what
you're doing (if possible. Smile and exploit the moment - try and recall what you can. This can often
occur because of something in the real world that 'triggers' the memory. When this happens, try
alternating back and forth between trying to remember the dream that the real-life event aroused
and contemplating the real-life event that was the trigger. It depends on the nature of the trigger
itself: it may be a sight, a sound, a smell, anything.
What you should be trying to do is to 're-live' the dream insofar as the feelings you had when you
were dreaming. This is especially important for flying dreams - you have to remember what it felt like
to fly. Oh, by the way, don't even bother trying to explain to someone what these feelings are like
because you won't be able to - this kind of knowledge is called 'Silent Knowledge' in the Castanedan
books; i.e. that which cannot be communicated, only experienced. I know what it's like to dream-fly,
but there's no way I can describe it; as Spock says to Bones in 'Star Trek III' when Bones is
annoyed that Spock refuses to discuss death: 'we lack a common frame of reference'.
I mean, how do you describe to someone what the flavour 'strawberry' is like, to someone who's
never tasted it before? You can't. They simply have to try it themselves. Nice little analogy that... Smile
You could try and keep a dream diary but I don't bother with this as you can rely on it too much to
keep the details of your dreams, instead of trying to improve your own recall dream abilities. I used
to use a diary, years ago, but it ends up being like a history book: the diary's contents get relied
upon too much as the basis for remembering the details of the dream; something that, at the time,
wasn't included becomes forever lost because it's not there in the diary.
On the other hand, unless you deliberately recall remembered dreams every now and then, the
details can slip away. So I guess a diary of dream reminders (kinda like pointers) to what happend
might be useful; such a reminder for me might be 'InsubZone', which relates to a fairly lengthy
adventure dream I had once about parallel dimensional travel. Just that word brings back all the
associated memories. If I tried to write down the dream, it would become too much like a hard copy
(I will be writing a story based on the drea though, because it was rather good. (see Appendix A).
What IS useful is a dream tape. By this I mean that you keep a tape recorder sitting next to your
bed, ready to record. What I did was to have the record button pressed, but the power was turned
off at the wall. An easily reached switch would then activate the power and start the recording - no
mucking about with 'record + play' at the same time, etc.
Thus, when you wake up, start the recording and just blabber away anything you can remember.
The cool thing is that you can do this with the lights still off, which means you won't get the sights
and sounds of the new day 'deleting' your dream memory. Then, later, you can play back the tape
and use it to help you remember the dream properly. It's all too easy to be able to fully remember a
dream just after you've woken up, but hours later the memory has almost gone. Carlos would say
this is because one's assemblage point is, just after waking up, still fairly close to where it was when
dreaming. Later, though, it's moved away and so one can't remember. Listening to the tape can help
bring the memories back, perhaps because your voice will carry what you were feeling at the time
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quite strongly and it's the feelings that are perhaps most important.
A final word:
This is a little bizarre, this bit, but make of it what you will. When you get good at this kinda stuff, you
can have dreams which, if they aren't controlled properly by you, are so damned real that you can't
tell the difference between it and 'normal' reality. Ordinary dreams, and even lucid dreams for the
most part, tend to such that one is always aware, somewhere at the back of one's mind, that one is
just dreaming. But advanced dreams can be different. Like I said, if you have a double dream
(dream within a dream) then, if you don't properly keep track of what you're doing and maintain
decent control, you can have the disturbing experience of waking up more than once! 8|
This has happened to me about 3 times and it's very annoying.
Hence, therefore, and otherwise, when you're doing this stuff (this is the crunch) you have to treat
what happens in your dreams as if what is happening is actually real; i.e. you are aware that what
you are experiencing is a dream, but you behave as if it were not, in a way. I don't mean literally
real, 'cos i.r.l. a lot of what goes on in dreams would be pretty wierd! Here's an example reasn for
this:
If you have a nightmare (I don't get these nowadays. Anything nasty that comes near me in a dream
gets SPLATTED! Very Happy), and it's an advanced dream (i.e. better than lucid) then the experience will
scare the crap outa ya! More than Doom in VR at 10000000 by 10000000 resolution could! Not nice.
Hence, don't arse around in advanced dreams. For the most part, they're mega fun, if a bit scary at
first. But if you get hassle in a dream, nuke first and ask questions later! Very Happy
Doom can help. Having clocked up so many hours of Plasma rifling things, you should be able to
'summon' a suitable weapon at any time. Heh heh, 'I intend that I have a chainsaw!
<BZzzzzZZZZT!> <Splurch!>'.
Ha ha! Messy. Smile
> I've had 2 lucid dreams. ...
I've had hundreds. Been at this stuff since the mid 80's. One of my best spanned 30 millions years.
Not subjective time, that is, but there was a 'jump' in the dream that was that long - kinda like a vinyl
LP being the flow of time and the needle suddenly skips a few places towards the middle. One was
watching so one got a damn good idea just how LONG 30 million years really is. Oh boy... <mind
splatted expression>
When I woke up, I staggered into the lounge and told my brother the entire adventure (cool story!
Gonna write it down sometime). He understood. He's been doing this stuff longer than I have.
Anyway, Mum comes in and says 'Would you like a cup of tea?'. A cup of TEA???!!! Ha ha! I just
stared at her like she was the Suez Crisis popping out for a bun or something. Smile
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My brother just said to her, 'Don't ask Mum, don't ask... <grin>'.
Ha ha! Very Happy:D
This was way back in about 1989 I think, btw.
> ... But I got so excited I woke up. Sad
This is a common problem. Start small and work your way up.
So why bother with all this stuff? you may ask. For me, there is one simple reason:
Humans spend a third (that's right! A THIRD!) of their lives asleep. Consider this simple fact
carefully: out of an average 70 year life span, you will spend some 23 YEARS of it asleep! Twenty
three fucking YEARS! 8|
Hence, the least you can do is to spend as much of this time having as much fun as you can! Very Happy
Actually, try writing down some time just how much time you spend doing various things: eating,
sleeping, cooking, travelling, working, etc. Being asleep comes in at number numero uno! Very Happy
Be/do anything, go anywhere, see anyone, etc. That's dreams for ya.
I once saw a guy on a youth TV show here, years ago, who had had some kind of accident which
made it VERY easy for him to do this kinda stuff. Each night, he would have a dream that (as far as
he was concerned) lasted some 30 or 40 years, however long he wanted. He would be or do
whatever he wanted: film star, space marine Smile, gangster, president, assassin, 6 foot blonde female
Swedish porn star, etc. His real world waking hours were, for him, the actual dream world since they
were so few. He looked... distant, to say the least. Freaked the HELL out of the youth presenters!
One of them (ha ha) asked how old he was. He said he couldn't answer the question. They
persisted. He said that his physical age was nothing like the actual number of years that he had, as
far as he was concerned, been alive for. His dreams were, from his viewpoint, reality. And reality,
being so brief and boring, was a dream. The presenter persisted for a rough figure, an estimate. He
said 'About 768 years, give or take a few.'. The presenter didn't say very much after that! Very Happy:D:D
It was very funny to watch! Very Happy
There is one aspect to dreams I haven't mentioned and that is sex.
If you get good at Dreaming, you will probably find that, unless you're happily married, etc, you will
start to get some pretty hoopy sex-related dreams. How you deal with this is entirely up to you. They
can certainly be very enjoyable (obviously. Cool, but if you'd actually intended that you were going to
do something serious in your dream, like improving your flying abilities, and the dream just goes
haywire into a scene with you and 3 babes (or guys if you're a girl, or whatever. Very Happy) then it can be
pretty annoying after you wake up, kinda like 'Yeah, that was fun, but a bit of a waste of energy.
They're not real, after all. :/'
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Thus, you have two choices:
a. Will that such dreams will never occur.
Probably a bad move as doubtless one would want to have them on occasion, although if you can
do it and it doesn't bother you then go ahead.
b. When such a scene begins in a dream, simply leave, etc.
Yeah, like that's gonna work! Very Happy
Trouble with this is, if you're enjoying something in a dream, it can be difficult to stop doing whatever
it is that you're doing. Actually, perhaps a good test of control in a dream is to will that some fantasy
event occurs and then when it happens summon the control to walk away from it. Doesn't have to be
sex related, either; it could be, for some people, thetemptation of binging on food, etc.
c. Compromise.
I find this the best method. Example:
Take flying. If I was trying to do some serious dream-flying practice and instead I end up on some
dream-beach with The Girl Next Door, then I'd simply intend that she come with me on the dream-
flying trip. Those of you who've read the part in the Hitch Hiker series about Arthur and Fenchurch
will know what I mean. Smile
Then, along the way, depending on how I feel about whether the girl's presence is helping or
hindering what I'm trying to accomplish, I either allow the situation to continue or I kindof fade them
out, like a scene-change in a movie.
> ... However, there are still a few things fuzzy. When I close my eyes do I keep my concentration
on the void, or do I just try to drift off like I normally do? What are some good methods to 'stay
aware' when I'm almost asleep?
This is very difficult to describe. You have to want to do a particular thing, without consciously
thinking about it. This is difficult to achieve and takes practice. This is basically what is encapsulated
within the concept of 'intent'. Trying to remain aware during the transition into sleep is tricky at best.
One tends to start thinking about all sorts of rubbish, from apples to hoovers to mountains playing
guitars! Very Happy
Thus the idea of being able to not think. One technique my brother uses is what he calls 'Monitoring
your thoughts'. This is where you sort of look at each thing you're thinking, disspationately, kinda like
you think something and feel the equivalent of 'Ho hum. Yeah, so what?'. Eventually, your mind gets
bored with thinking and quits, because it's not impressing anybody.
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All I can suggest is try. It took me weeks to manage, and even now I'm not an expert (partly my own
fault. I don't practice enough).
> The only one I know currently is to say something like "I'm aware that I'm dreaming" over and over
again. Hmm, there were some other questions
I think that might be counter productive. Thinking anything deliberately gives your mind something in
the real world to 'hang on' to. Thus, when you are about to go to sleep, you wake up!
Dreaming is kinda like riding a bike. You don't really know how you do it, but you do it anyway, right?
I mean, as you're peddling, you don't conciously think 'left foot down, right foot down, left hand pull
break...', etc., do you? In a dream, it's a mistake to try and conciously do anything! For example, do
not try and walk in a dream with your legs; you'll find it slow and cumbersome. Instead, you have to
will that you do a particular thing. The focus of this 'will' should come from the area just below your
navel. This sounds really wierd, and it is. Don't forget that your abdomen contains a nerve ganglion
that is second only to your brain in complexity (that's why it hurts so much to get punched in the
belly). A good excercise is to will visualise imagine that you have some kind of extra appendage,
like and arm, attatched to your stomach. Imagine that you are sweeping the ground in front of you
with it, kinda like a blind man's stick. It's an odd concept, I know, but it seems to work. Thus, in a
dream, you imagine moving yourself forward by willing yourself to move, from the area below your
navel. Like I said before, there is a distinct lack of useable words to describe all this. All I can
suggest is that you try, and practice. I'd be surprised if you get instant results. It's taken me a while
and I'm still nothing like as good as I need or want to be.
> that are gone right now, I'll ask them later when I remember them. I've been trying to lucid dream
since I was 14. I have every now and then
Oddly enough, I was doing it by accident then, and very real they were too.
> (better than the holodeck on TNG!), ...
Absolutely! Very Happy
> ... but as soon as I realize I'm dreaming I snap out of it. The longest it's ever last is around 3
seconds, and that's terrible. That's only happended three or four times that I can remember. ...
Bummer. My guess is that the surprise is too much and you then wake up. More often than not,
you'll try and do something in exactly the same way as you would in the real world, like lift an arm
up. This doesn't work. You have to will such things to happen, not think such things to happen.
> ... When I close my eyes, am I supposed to concentrate on the 'colorful void' that multiples?
Nope. Just relax, do nothing, etc. But be aware, without thinking about it, of what your intentions are,
i.e. your intent. Incidentally, there is an eye exercise which can eliminate the 'colorful void' you
describe; email if you'd like to know more.
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> ... Sometimes I see the image I am trying to picture, ...
This is good and it's known as visualisation. There are techniques to improve visualisation to the
extent that you can actually see a full colour image with your eyes closed (I know a girl who gets
after-images from Doom that are like this).
Closing your eyes and trying to 'see' the dream place you want to be in is one way, yes.
> ... but it is VERY faint and disappears somewhat quickly. I know
Practice! You'll get better.
> these are a lot of questions, but please try to answer as many as you can, it is very important to
me. Thanks a lot...
I know how imortant it is to you because it's just as important to me.
Hope I've been of some help!
Thing to remember is that you won't get to Supreme Adept Dreamer in one go. It takes time, energy
and practice.
One thing:
If you do something in a dream that's unusual, like fly or throw a fireball, then when you wake up you
should instantly try and recall and remember what it felt like to do what it was that you did
(especially for flying). Just try and remember in the same way that you'd try and remember
something that's 'on the tip of your tongue'. None of what you feel will be describable, so don't even
try to - it's not worth it! Very Happy ie. don't try and put it into words, just memorise the feeling that you had in
the dream when you did whatever it was that you did.
The idea here is to get your mind to become used to what it feels like to do stuff in dreaming.
Therefore, next time, it will be easier to do the same thing once again.
More will be added to this file at a later date.
Appendix A:
I have had 3 dreams that I intend to write out into stories. One is about a man who's 1st and 2nd
attentions are the wrong way round; his waking state is our dreaming state, and vice versa. He only
realises after an Aboriginal shaman sees him and says Hi. Smile It's the first time anyone has directly
addressed him without him saying something to begin with. Very Happy The shaman tells him that he must
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find his real body, wherever it may be, and recombine with it. A difficult task because he doesn't
know where his real body is or even what his real body looks like, not even whether it's male or
female - all he's ever had were ghost-like images. The story is called 'The Dreamer and the
Dreamed'.
Incidentally, this dream-story was triggered after, in a dream, I found a book case on a waste land. I
opened the book case. Inside were some magazines, such as 2000AD, etc. There were also some
books. I pulled one out. It was 'The Eagles Gift'. I looked at it and thought 'Cool!'. Then the dream
story began.
Another I call the 'InsubZone', which is an acronym for 'Zone of Insubstantiality'. This dream was
even more real than the above one. It is about a scientific type who is attempting to create a kind of
dimensional warp device for instantaneous travel. He creates a device allright, but it is not what he
was seeking. The device vibrates the object it is attatched to, not through space, but through time.
The result is that it vanishes, constantly alternating between being a fraction of a second in the past
and a fraction of a second in the future, but never inbetween (kinda like a square wave function).
The actual fraction is about 1 kronon, or 1E-32 of a second. Anyway, in his experiments, the objects
just vanish and never return. He thinks they're gone somewhere else. In fact, they're not; they're still
there, just vibrating through time. To find out for sure, he attatches the device to himself. When he
switches it on, everyone around him thinks he's gone, but he can still see them clearly, though he
cannot interact. He wanders around for a while, which is difficult as there is an element of being able
to 'phase' through solid objects, and eventually turns the unit off. His colleagues are delighted with
the results, but he immediately sees danger. The project is funded by the military and he fears they
will use it as a weapon (imagine being able to enter the Insub Zone and just waltz into your enemies
bunker, lower the bomb, set the timer for 2 minutes and you wander off. Boom!). His superiors learn
of the results and try to force him to continue. He decides to enter the Insub Zone for good, taking all
the necessary research data with him, but they come after him...
The third dream story is a bit more over the top in terms of scale. It concerns a race of beings who
inhabit a planet which is dying, because the star the planet orbits is dying; the star will nova within
millenia. The 'high council' type ruling body decides that they have only one option. They have no
space technology; it was never needed as their culture is based around psi abilities. Hence, they
decide to move the planet itself. This is done by constructing the Mind, an entity which combines the
sum total intent of all the beings on the planet. This Mind is controlled by something that humans
might regard as a computer, but that's a bit simplistic. Either way, once each being hands over
control of its will to the Mind, said being no longer has control anymore. The Mind is then in charge,
with a mission to find a new star to place the planet in orbit around.
There is, however, a restriction imposed upon the Mind: it must not find a star about which there
exists planets that are already inhabited. Unfortunately, this is a problem because almost every
suitable star already has, by the very nature of the star being a suitable one, inhabited planets
orbiting it! 8|
And so the Mind moves the planet on again and again. 30 million years pass (re my comment about
the skipping record). By this time, the Mind has become warped in its purpose. The individual beings
are aware that that something has gone wrong, but they cannot regain control and shut down the
Mind.
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And so the mind comes across a world and decides to orbit it, despite the presence of life already
there. The world isn't Earth, but something fairly similar. A world in which corporate empires rule
totally, where governments are unheard of, commerce is all, especially military related commerce.
The civilisation has reached the outer planets, but not other stars. Mercenaries, mining colonies and
general not-so-nice places abound. Meantime the rich luxuriate on skiing holidays on exotic moons,
etc.
Into all this, comes the Mind. The planet is detected when it is very far away, though no one
suspects its true nature. A company sends out a team to investigate, with the intent of possible new
mining wealth. The second half of the dream begins with this team's arrival on the approaching
planet, and what they find.
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Date: Tue, 28 Mar 1995 20:13:10 EST
From: scwdye@sunbelt.net (Scott Dye)
Subject: Quotes From CC's Books on Dreaming
Hey everyone,
Here's More Notes on CC's Books, on Dreaming.
I Hope someone will find them usefull.
My notation is as follows
A = The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
B = A Separate Reality
C = Journey to Ixtlan
D = Tales of Power
E = The Second Ring of Power
F = The Eagle's Gift
G = The Fire From Within
H = The Power of Silence
I = The Art of Dreaming
[ Example: H-120 = The Power of Silence, Page 120 ]
>>Dreaming
~ Dreaming is in essence the transformation of ordinary dreams into affairs involving will.
Dreamers, by engaging their attention of the nagual and focusing it on the items and events of their
ordinary dreams, change those dreams into dreaming. E-278
~ Dreaming is the not-doing of sleep. Dreaming affords practitioners the use of that portion of their
lives spent in slumber. It is as if the dreamers no longer sleep. Yet no illness results from it. They
do not lack sleep, but the effect of dreaming seems to be an increase of waking time, owing to the
use of the dreaming body. F-23
~ A good rule of thumb is to pay extraordinary attention to dreams that occur 3 or more times. F-50
~ A dreamer should avoid sudden surprises or jolts, and take everything with a grain of salt. F-50
Dreaming is the not-doing of dreams, as you progress in not-doing you will also progress in
dreaming. If you tackle not-doing directly, you will know what to do in dreaming. C-198
Each warrior has his own way of dreaming. Each way is different. The only thing which we all have
in common is that we play tricks in order to force ourselves to abandon the quest. The counter-
measure is to persist in spite of all the barriers and disappointments. D-11
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Three techniques that help dreaming: disrupting the routines of life, the gait of power, and not-doing.
These are avenues for learning new ways of perceiving the world. D-249
Dreaming is a practical aid devised by sorcerers, dreaming is training yourself to let go without
losing your marbles. D-250
~ In dreaming we pay attention with the belly button; therefore it has to be protected. We need a
little warmth or a feeling that something is pressing the belly button in order to hold the images in
our dreams. In your dreams you can find a brace for you belly button. I found a pebble in my
dreams that fit my belly button, and Don Juan made me look for it day after day in water holes and
canyons, until I found it. I made a belt for it and I still wear it day and night.
~ Dreaming tightens the layers of the luminous shell, or ties together their two attentions, so there is
no need for the center (attention of the nagual) to push out. So sorcerers like Genaro and Juan
might not ever die, because their two attentions are so tightly together.
~ As soon as one learns to do dreaming, any dream that one can remember is no longer a dream,
it's dreaming. F-140
~ Dreaming is naturally a way of storing the second attention. F-141
~ One strives to immobilize the second attention only in the learning period. After that, one has to
fight the almost invincible pull of the second attention and give only cursory glances at everything.
In dreaming one has to be satisfied with the briefest possible views of everything. As soon as one
focuses on anything, one loses control. F-142
~ What takes place in dreaming is the right and left side awareness are wrapped up together. Both
of them come together in a single bundle in the dent, the depressed center of the second attention.
To do dreaming one needs to manipulate both the luminous body and the physical body. First, the
center of assembling for the second attention has to be made accessible by being pushed in from
the outside by someone else, or sucked in from within by the dreamer. Second, in order to dislodge
the first attention, the centers of the physical body located in the midsection and the calves,
especially the right one, have to be stimulated and placed as close to one another as possible until
they seem to join. Then the sensation of being bundled takes place and automatically the second
attention takes over. F-259
The right side, the rational awareness, is wrapped up inside the left side in order to give the dreamer
a sense of sobriety and rationality. It is an inhibiting mechanism to protect the dreamer from
excesses and bizarre undertakings. F-261
~ At first the new seers were hesitant to use dreaming. It was their belief that dreaming, instead of
fortifying, made warriors weak, compulsive, capricious. The old seers were all like that. In order to
offset the unwanted effects of dreaming, the new seers developed a complex and rich system of
behavior called the warriors' way. With that system, the new seers fortified themselves and
acquired the internal strength they needed to guide the shift of the assemblage point in dreams.
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Internal strength meant a sense of composure, almost of indifference, a feeling of being at ease, but
above all, it meant a natural and profound bent for examination, for understanding. These traits of
character were called sobriety.
A life of Impeccability by itself leads unavoidably to a sense of sobriety, and this in turn leads to the
movement of the assemblage point. G-175-6
>> Dreaming Body &>Dreaming Position
~ Wherever the assemblage point moves in dreams is called the dreaming position. The old seers
became so good at keeping their dreaming position that they were even able to wake up while their
assemblage points were anchored there. They call that state the Dreaming Body. G-175
>> Procedure for getting to the dreaming body
~ It starts with an initial act, which by the fact of being sustained breeds unbending intent.
Unbending intent leads to internal silence, which leads to inner strength needed to make the
assemblage point shift in dreams to suitable positions.
This sequence is the groundwork. The development of control comes as one is able to maintain the
dreaming position by doggedly holding on to the vision of the dream. Thus inner strength gets
fortified, which makes the assemblage point shift into dreaming positions, which are more and more
suitable to fostering sobriety; in other words, dreams by themselves become more and more
manageable, even orderly. So, all in all, the procedure to get to the dreaming body is Impeccability
in our daily life. G-180-1
>> Ghost Dreaming
~ Whoever does ghost dreaming is marked by fate to have ghost helpers and allies. Those who are
violent or destructive sometimes do it. (Carlos did it because he dreamed of a saber toothed tiger,
which doesn't exist anymore) F-54
>> Steps to help dreaming
~ The best way to enter into dreaming is to concentrate on the area just at the tip of the sternum, at
the top of the belly. The attention needed for dreaming stems from that area. The energy needed in
order to move and to seek in dreaming stems from the area an inch or two below the belly button,
this energy is called will. In women both come from the womb. F-136
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~ The Best position to start dreaming is to sit up on a soft mat with the soles of your feet together,
and your thighs flat on the mat. F-138
~ The best time for dreaming is the late night or early morning hours. The first attention of our fellow
man around us causes interference, except when they are asleep, when their first attention if
dormant. F-138
>> Selecting a Topic in Dreaming
Choose a topic by deliberately holding an image in mind while shutting off the internal dialogue. We
have all done this whether we know it or not D-12
>> Set Up dreaming
This means to have a concise and pragmatic control over the general situation of a dream.
1~ Decide to look at your hands in your dreams. The Trick is not just to look at things but to sustain
the sight of them. When they begin to change shape you must look as something else, and then
look at your hands again. If you only glance briefly the images do not shift. Every time you look at
your hands you renew the power needed for dreaming, so in the beginning don't look at too many
different things. Four items will suffice every time. Later on, you may enlarge the scope until you
can cover all you want. But as soon as the images begin to shift go back to your hands. It takes a
long time to perfect this technique. When you feel you can gaze at things indefinitely you will be
ready for a new technique. C-112
2~ Next find object, look for specific features, such as building, streets and so on. E-278
3~ Learn to travel. First establish a place you want to go to. Pick a well-know spot, then will yourself
to go there. When you have mastered that technique you have to learn to control the exact time of
your traveling. C-113
4~ As a final stage, draw the attention of the nagual to focus on the total self. It's usually ushered in
by a dream that many of us have had at one time or another in which one is looking at oneself
sleeping in bed. A sorcer because his attention has developed enough to allow him to turn around
and engage himself in activity, as if in the world of everyday life. From that moment on there is a
breakage, a division of sorts in the otherwise unified personality. The result of engaging the
attention of the nagual and developing it to the height and sophistication of our daily attention of the
world is how one teaches the double. E-278
Dreaming is Real when one has succeeded in bringing everything into focus. Then there is no
difference between what you do when you sleep and what out do when you are not sleeping.
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>> Stages of falling asleep F-129
1~ Restful vigil is the preliminary state, a state in which the senses become dormant and yet one is
aware. In my case, I had always perceived in this state a flood of reddish light, a light exactly like
what one sees facing the sun with the eyes closed.
2~ Dynamic vigil is second. The reddish light dissipates, and one is left looking at a scene which is
static.
3~ Third is Passive witnessing. In it the dreamer is no longer viewing a frozen bit of the world but
observing and event as it occurs. This state is mostly audio and visual.
4~ Dynamic initiative is when you have control over you dream and what you do.
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