Author Topic: Carlos Castaneda  (Read 109794 times)

Offline A.H.

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #45 on: April 21, 2008, 07:49:56 am »
A couple points:


Part of his appeal was also that he made racism against NDNs (the romanticized image of the Noble Savage in particular) sound appealing to the counterculture.

...

Cleargreen is mentioned in several threads in here, but we don't have a thread specific to it. Since they're an abusive cult who continue to harm many people, a thread is badly needed.

Yours and moma porcupine points are very good...


I could only not agree about the "noble savage" notion - Don Juan was presented as a very modern "NDN", actually a philosopher, as someone who has seen through our contemporary society with the gaze of "The Other". (at least I understood it like that). This is not "noble savage" imidge. Such people (philosophically - not as sorcerers or shape-shifters or whatever) do exist. Also inside "western" culture.  But the origins of their knowledge is more reliable and real. Or at least attributed to the right sources, not fake ones.

But exactly this modern, "see-through" style is probably why it appealed so much to the "counter-culture" and that is also why this enterprise lost its appeal with later published books that became more and more new-age and poorer in construction and definitely lost any of its appeal to "counter-culture" with the Cleargreen Inc. which can only appeal to nuage-heads...

 
I agree - there is a need for a clean and sharp thread about Cleargreen Inc. on this forum. 



P.S.

ed.ind. - you asked what appealed to us - this thread stirred my old interest and I went searching the net and found a collection of well-known quotes of Don Juan. Now thinking aside of fraud and fakeness of some of their origin - but those ideas are very reasonable to me and still valid as such - not attributed to the specific person, origin,... :


"A petty tyrant is a tormentor.......Someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction."--Don Juan

(petty tyrant and how to deal with them was one of my favourite ideas from C. books - I met quite many in my life and those books helped with dealing with them)

I am not bothered by the word "warrior" - it can be exchangead by something appropriate. "I Ching" talks about "great man", Nietzsche talks about "super-man" - all that can sound pompous but it really means (simply put) just someone that sees (or tries to) beyond the utilitarian, materialistic mode and seeks answers and the right/real conduct in/of life


Some quotes good for self-criticism and introspection:

"The characteristic of miserable seers is that they are willing to forget the wonder of the world. They become overwhelmed by the fact that they see and believe that it's their genius that counts." ----Don Juan p58

"Self-importance is man's greatest enemy. What weakens him is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of his fellow men. Self-importance requires that one spend most of one's life offended by something or someone."--Don Juan

(Zen, Tao, Buddhist thought in general?, maybe even traces of NDN philosophy?)


Some more very likeable Don Juan's thoughts ("real" as a caracter, people!):

"The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or as a curse."--Don Juan

(we could attribute this to I Ching, Taoism or even Nietzsche)


"What a strange paradox! Every warrior on the path of knowledge thinks, at one time or another, that he's learning sorcery, but all he's doing is allowing himself to be convinced of the power hidden in his being, and that he can reach it."

----Don Juan Matus, The Power of Silence

(Buddhism and any other "enlightenment" path philosophy)



And Castaneda "outs" himself, hehe:

"It's better to get something worthwhile done using deception than to fail to get something worthwhile done using truth."---Don Juan (Carlos Castaneda)



And the core of Don Juan philosophy that showed me "sense" as a teenager:

"For the average man, the world is weird because if he's not
bored with it, he's at odds with it. For a warrior, the world is
weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable.
A warrior must assume responsibility for being here, in this
marvelous world, in this marvelous time."


(Average man and warrior concepts are the same concepts as in I Ching - describing a man that does not think about his actions and the other one that feels a need to do so... Nothing pompous - just two different ways of percieving the world.)


So, what could not be likeable about so much new wisdom for a young man?  (but I wouldn't recommend his work nowadays - I would point people to other, more valid sources)

It can be too misleading or even dangerous if you don't discover that it comes from other sources and just fall for his deception.


In his books he never claimed to be "good" or "nice".
 I think compassion was described in a Nietzschejan way as weakness and fake. I conclude that they both (Castaneda and N.)  understood compassion more in a contemporary Christian way not in a Buddhist way.

Actually Castaneda was openly a deceiver - he even described it as a technique of "stalking".  That does not make him right, but anyone who fails to see through it even Don Juan hasn't teached a thing, hehe..


Sorry, if all this seems too much. Had to spit it out.

Understanding comes from confrontation of opinions and you are very good and sharp debaters.


P.P.S. I am really not defending Castaneda as person... Just saying that his first books were helpful to me at some stage, but I still recognize them as fake now and know the real origins of those ideas. And also that some ideas are valid as such and should not be mudded just because he used them.

This article says probably most of what needs to be said about this con:

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/04/12/castaneda/
 







« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 10:01:45 am by A.H. »

Offline Ingeborg

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2008, 12:41:37 pm »
Quote
I could only not agree about the "noble savage" notion - Don Juan was presented as a very modern "NDN", actually a philosopher, as someone who has seen through our contemporary society with the gaze of "The Other". (at least I understood it like that). This is not "noble savage" imidge. Such people (philosophically - not as sorcerers or shape-shifters or whatever) do exist. Also inside "western" culture.  But the origins of their knowledge is more reliable and real. Or at least attributed to the right sources, not fake ones.

The stereotype of the noble savage is one of the stereotypes applied in Castanedas books.
It is also to be kept in mind that Castaneda's books were written in the 60ies and 70ies, so the mindset of white mainstream society was different from what it is now. As one example: 'green' aspects were not represented in mainstream politics until much later.

Castaneda's description of Don Juan may have a few 'modern' aspects (like e.g. he met him at a bus station), but there are more sides to this coin: Don Juan's place of residence is in a remote place difficult to travel to. To start with, this places Don Juan right outside the 'modern' world, 'our' world, and also puts him - as an ndn - in 'his place' metaphorically.

Don Juan does in fact view contemporary 60ies/70ies society with the gaze of 'the other' - and once again, this puts him outside of 'our' world which he is not really part of: he lives in a safe distance from our world, he is not part of it physcially and mentally; although he does visit our world from time to time and makes use of our amenities, he does not belong. So it is necessarily an outsider's perspective which Don Juan takes, and the entire setting employed by Castaneda bases upon this.

Don Juan himself, according to Castaneda, uses terms like 'sorcery' for what he does. In the time these books were written, white mainstream society had in fact not given up to view progress with and by any means as a positive asset. Things like sorcery therefore had to be seen in deep and sharp contrast of this modern (= 'our') society, it was mostly believed to be 'old wive's tales', superstition without a real base, even less in 'our age'. Don Juan thus is rather portrayed as a relic from former times, earlier stages of development of humankind.

Perhaps Don Juan would have to be seen as a philosopher in 'our' world - it is however a revealing fact that Castaneda calls him a brujo (and makes Don Juan call himself one), thus creating a sharp dichotomy between 'our' modern white world and 'theirs' which gets defined as backwards, an anti-thesis of progress, and not to forget: 'their' world is definitely not white.

Castaneda makes quite a tiring use of the element of depicting himself as largely unable to understand Don Juan's so-called teachings. While one aspect of this certainly is to show clearly to his readers that this inability is brought about by the estrangement of 'modern' humans, another aspect is that a modern human is simply unable to understand 'pre-modern' humans. By repeating this ad nauseam, Castaneda's books simply hammer this home. Ndn cultures get described as if they belonged to peoples not at a homo sapiens sapiens level, hence 'savages'. Castaneda on the other hand is well versed in how to live in a modern world, well enough to get through university and therefore belongs to the elite of this society. Don Juan is the anti-thesis of all Castaneda stands for and comes from, and as long as Castaneda is part of civilzation, what does this make Don Juan?

For today's readers, the savage aspect of Don Juan's culture is even increased: while stalking has come to be a criminal offence in many 'Western' countries ('our' world), it is promoted as a technique in Castaneda's books. Of course Castaneda was in no position to preview this, but it reinforces the picture of Don Juan as a savage not really being part of our civilized world today.

Offline A.H.

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #47 on: April 21, 2008, 01:53:56 pm »
Nice explanation.

I would just comment on the usage of "sorcery" - it is explained that it was not meant to be some "primitive" superstition in those books. While Don Juan is an antithesis to "civilized" Castaneda, this does not make him "savage" by default. You're dead on that Don Juan doesn't "belong" - but he doesn't belong to any larger community in the story. He is sort of solitary stranger. I still can't see a typical "noble savage" in him..
Also about "stalking" - I think Castaneda's term has somewhat different meaning than the usual act of stalking. His term means more "con" or playing false roles with great conviction not "stalking somebody" - it surely also is illegal in its extreme forms...
But that doesn't make Don Juan an even more obvious "noble savage" in our times. 

In this meaning all his books and also Cleargreen Inc. could be seen as one big stalking enterprise.

Actually Don Juan said his books could be good only to wipe his ass with them if I am not mistaken, hehe.. So if someone writes this in his own book it surely has some underlying meaning...

Ok - enough from me on this topic - he is a deceiver (obviously) and you can oppose Cleargreen Inc. - but you should have a smart tactic. To laugh at them and not taking them seriously - any other way that would take them more serious would just empower them I guess.




 

Offline garners

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2008, 04:27:29 pm »
A.H. you seem to be hooked on Castaneda and willing intellectually to admit it was all a fraud but emotionally unable to accept that it was a rolemodel for abusing  and stereotyping Indians and Indian spirituality and therefore was unconscionable and ethically unsupportable.
Calling Castaneda's hoax  a work of "stalking" shows that you have fallen prey to the misdirection and fraud of the books even though you give lip service to their faults.

Cleargreen makes the direct claim that it's Magical Passes come from a secret Indian shamanic lineage. In this they exploit and make money from the same hoax and abuse of Indians that Castaneda popularized.
Castaneda was called the grandfather of the New Age and he got that way by showing a way to make tons of money and garner lots of compliant followers by exploiting stereotypes of Indians in what was to become  the New Age fashion.

Instead of coming from any Indian source the magical passes of Tensegrity seem to have been influenced by Howard Lee a new age kung fu light channeler and workshop teacher himself.

I am unaware that Lee ever sued Castaneda I do not think that is so.
The rumor is that Castaneda paid Howard Lee a large sum and gave him the dried sexual part of a male Puma in exchange for Howard not ever speaking of the issue openly.
Howard has denied this. But also has not spoken about the issue publicly except to say that yes Castaneda studied with him for almost 15 years and dedicated his Book the Fire From Within  to him.

Castaneda sued Victor Sanchez who copied Castaneda's tehnique of exploiting and commercializing Indians. Sanchez claimed the Huichol (Wixáritari) were Toltecs and that he received his Toltec teachings from living with them. Now days there are hundreds of people using the Toltec scam to make a buck. I think this is because there are no real Toltec Indians to complain. Therefore it is a way to gain entry into exploiting and misusing the stereotyped  Indian mystique that New Agers are so vulnerable to. Doing this, they hope to and often succeed in making a lot of money from it ..without much direct challenge.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 04:31:56 pm by garners »

Offline A.H.

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #49 on: April 21, 2008, 04:49:06 pm »
A.H. you seem to be hooked on Castaneda and willing intellectually to admit it was all a fraud but emotionally unable to accept that it was a rolemodel for abusing  and stereotyping Indians and Indian spirituality and therefore was unconscionable and ethically unsupportable.
Calling Castaneda's hoax  a work of "stalking" shows that you have fallen prey to the misdirection and fraud of the books even though you give lip service to their faults.


Possible (first part). But closer to reality is that as a teenager I understood it as some sort of "underground knowledge" that later appeared to be plain mixture of mostly Buddhist and other asian systems of belief that I am still "hooked to" in an intellectual way.


I didn't call it stalking as I mean it is really that - I said that in the meaning of his use of term stalking you could understand his hoax as stalking... And maybe they do understand it as such...



Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2008, 05:23:03 am »
Castaneda also provided the template and formula for many exploiters to follow in his footsteps. He was so successful in selling his "I met the ancient Medicine wo/man, who entrusted me with the secret knowledge," formula, that frauds like Lynn V. Andrews are rumoured to have said they "wanted to be the next Castaneda."

I've also met lots of drug-damage cases who, inspired by the books, took all sorts of stupid drugs and toxic herbs in their efforts to have visions or power. Now some of these people have children, and it's not pretty.

The guy has a lot to answer for.

Offline A.H.

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2008, 07:23:25 am »
No more defending Castaneda (even subconsciously)! I guess like garners said (my interpretation) - I am willing to kill Castaneda, but not Don Juan. He worded some of the most meaningful ideas when I needed them - and they are still valid in their original form.

I guess that is why his appeal has this "magical" spell that even people criticizing him still find some attraction - like that devoted site Sustained Reaction that the first poster mentioned. People have sharp criticism, but still delve in this "castanedish" space.  It is probably wise to let it go completely if you were once interested. The most philosophically advanced buddhist traditions as Yogacara, Chan/Zen substitute ALL of Don Juan's wise words and ofcourse contain no SF and egoistic nietzschejan power-gaining bull-shit and romanticized NDN stuff..

Kathryn - yes about he having a lot to answer to...  Only - Lynn V.Andrews?? And talking about rumours. Not some argument... I mean - even the biggest idiot can be inspired or claim a wish to be the next Einstein or Nikola Tesla (not that I associate Castaneda with those minds) That woman is really easily seen through superficial, utterly moronic new-ager...

Just an afterthought - about those inspired to use drugs and have children at the same time (as you mentioned Kathryn) or that guy - Ari fallen for Cleargreen Inc. scam - we should be responsible for our own stupidity... and realize what is Pied Piper's direct fault and influence and what is a product of our own delusions. We should be responsible ourselves for "drying a cat in a microwave oven".
 

Offline garners

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2008, 02:40:37 pm »
 Lynn Andrews and all those people that cash in by making up fantasies about Indian Shamans as a way to sell their own New Age bunk (And the list is now in the thousands) were inspired by don Juan and Castaneda spin offs. Inspired to use the same model to make money and gain followers.

While Cleargreen claims to come directly from the same lineage of Indians as Castaneda's phoney lineage countless other authors and workshop teachers have followed Castaneda's example dreaming up their own phoney Indian teachers and scenarios.

This includes every single person claiming Toltec knowledge. People such as  Miguel Ruiz (the Four Agreements) and the hundreds of people he has given a degree in pretending to be Toltec to such as
 
 Brandt Morgan
 
 Victoria Miller
 
 Gary van Warmerdam

 Leo van Warmerdam

 Niki Orietas
 
 Sheri Rosenthal
 
 Barbara Simon
 
 Ray Dodd

 Ed Fox

 Heather Ash

 Allan Hardman

 Gloria Jean
 
 Robin Nicolaus
 
 Rita Rivera
 
 Laura Paxton

And this is just some of the people of one organization of people "graduating" with diplomas as so called teachers of ancient Indian lore.

And according to Ari (who I think is a female) the Buddhists of Sakyong Mipham at Shambala Mountain center are supporting the same rip off of Indians by sponsoring Cleargreen Workshops and furthering the false claim that the content comes from Ancient Indian Shamans.

You know AH ...different delusions for different confusions.
 There are surely people out there that think that Lynn Andrews saved their life.
And that her writings came to them just hen they needed it. Just like you express about Castaneda's don juan.
After all Andrews is the spokesperson of a secret Native American organization, the Sisterhood of the Shields isn't she?

 And look at some of the people that have graduated from her Shamanic degree programs through the Lynn Andrews Center for Sacred Arts Training.

http://www.lynnandrews.com/directory.htm

Maybe they should come here and point out how they have been helped by Lynn's wonderful 19 books. and talk about how inspiring the Indian Characters like Agnes Whistling Elk of "Medicine Woman" were to them.  lol.
They should probably support them like you support don juan  if they were so inspired right?

 Never mind how many others are following in Castaneda's and Andrews footsteps.
it was still inspiring material to you and others.

 Seems that this woman's life was also saved by a Medicine Man ...a lot like you AH.
.....and you can pay her to lecture on it!!!

Marsha Scarbrough
One-Woman Show:
• In her one-woman show Medicine Dance, Marsha Scarbrough explores shamanism from an experiential perspective by dramatizing her training with Native American medicine man Beautiful Painted Arrow/Joseph Rael. She follows in the footsteps of Carlos Castaneda and Lynn Andrews to confront life-threatening illness with shamanic healing. Her deeply personal (and often humorous) performance is based on her book Medicine Dance: One woman’s healing journey into the world of Native American sweatlodges, drumming meditations and dance fasts.
Marsha is available for:

Readings:
• The Miracle of the Hummingbird
• Prayers, Sweat and Tears
• Drum Dance

Lectures:
• The Lessons of Medicine Dance
• Sacred Sweat
• Ancient Healing Vibes
• The Medicine Man who Saved My Life

Workshops:
• Medicine Dancing
• Ancient Vibrations
• Drum Journey
 
So when you praise don Juan and Castaneda books while laughing at Lynn Andrews and Agnes Whistling Elk..  you are supporting something insidious and harmful by falling for it..  and well.... I don't see how you can expect to grant validity to one and not the other.
"He worded some of the most meaningful ideas when I needed them - and they are still valid in their original form"  -AH

Maybe you should think of what you speak in support for don Juan a bit deeper. People feel the same about Lynn Andrews and her Indian shamanic tales....

"I have most if not all of lynn's books and they are the most informative and interesting books I have ever had the Honor of reading" -MV

"Crystal Woman" truly moved me - and I've been into New Age studies since for the past twenty years!" -MG

Does that make Andrew's pretend Indian characters "valid"?
Or morally defensible?



Offline A.H.

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2008, 05:22:49 pm »
Wov, what a lineage.. you are right garners, but you also misunderstood some things I wrote.

I wrote too long posts already to try to define what was (to me) and can be appealing (in general) and why in Castaneda's hoax.

Somer frauds are more intelligent than other and some at least steal really meaningful ideas and present them in an interesting and intelligent way... Why else would Castaneda fool so many people for so long and have some appeal even for his critics...? (I don't count the later books and Cleargreen - that is obvious bull-shit / I was talking from the beginning about his first three or four books that I read through and even about them I clearly said that they are fraudulent and I don't support them now...)

I think I expressed my view quite clearly and there is no need to waste time with further misunderstandings... (ad hominem)

About the validity of ideas - I said they are valid in their original form - that means their ORIGINAL form - ideas originating in several different Buddhist schools..  not their form inside Castaneda's books.

I wrote too long posts in trying to catch the subtleties, but obviously I am not really successful at this if you can still make such black&white statements about supporting, etc.

(garners) If you feel the need to persuade or educate me  - continue in PM for all others sake if you think it is neccesary... But I don't support Castaneda now, so what's the point?

I made my opinion clear and provoked some responses that would otherwise not be told and it is good that they were in my opinion.


best

 

« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 05:39:41 pm by A.H. »

Offline Ari

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Re: Hello from Ari
« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2008, 08:12:51 pm »
A.H. wrote:  "ed.ind. - you asked what appealed to us - this thread stirred my old interest and I went searching the net and found a collection of well-known quotes of Don Juan. Now thinking aside of fraud and fakeness of some of their origin - but those ideas are very reasonable to me and still valid as such - not attributed to the specific person, origin,... :


"A petty tyrant is a tormentor.......Someone who either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction."--Don Juan"



A. H., i see this example of "Don Juan" as a clear illustration of psychologically harmful and spiritually degrading idea, sold by CC as wisdom of Native America.

People invited to treat their fellows as tyrants and take relationships as battle ground. As we know from the stories about Don Juan, the battle could and as imposed should go as far as to actual murder and this kind of behavior should be practiced if person is aiming to reach spiritual merits. 

If to look closer at almost every proposition of so called warriors way, we'll find it far from been healthy and recommendable. For millions of readers of Castaneda this perverted ideas were presented as associated with Indian Way of Knowledge.

People were enticed into big confusion. I would never think that taking drugs can be good if it would not be for trust to old wise Indian don Juan dedicating pages to drug use promotion. lol!

Offline garners

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #55 on: April 22, 2008, 11:09:24 pm »
Well AH .  I do not know you. I am just speaking to the issue of supporting pretend Indian story authors and their creations .. no matter what comes from their imaginary characters mouths.
 If they garner support with their fraud then they are worse frauds .. more harmful..
not better.

yes that is a long list of Shamanic practitioners. and it is only a drop in the bucket.
The lists of people graduating as Shamanic teachers of supposed magical Indian wisdom is so long now that ten posts like that would not be near enough to name them all. And much of this scam coming in large part because Castaneda's successful fraud of don Juan supposedly spoke words of wisdom that impressed people.

Anyway I realize that this is not a place to keep discussing the same fraud again and again.
I appreciate that NAFPS identifies the frauds and moves on.

That is part of what makes NAFPS a useful place for people to come and receive information on Indian culture theives and abusers... and their deceits.

Thankyou NAFPS.





« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 11:11:48 pm by garners »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: A clarification on the spawn of Castaneda
« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2008, 12:00:23 am »
Only - Lynn V.Andrews?? And talking about rumours. Not some argument... I mean - even the biggest idiot can be inspired or claim a wish to be the next Einstein or Nikola Tesla (not that I associate Castaneda with those minds) That woman is really easily seen through superficial, utterly moronic new-ager...

I only called it a rumour because I can't remember the exact quote, and can't find it online to cite it. IIRC, David Carson, in an interview in a New England Nuage tabloid, in the late 1980s, said that Andrews had approached him to ghostwrite or co-write the Medicine Woman books. He said they plotted how they would market her as "the female Castaneda," and tap into the Women's Spirituality market.

IIRC, Carson said he couldn't go into much detail, as he took a hefty cash settlement in the lawsuit. IIRC, he said he sued her because their deal was he wouldn't be credited for his input - the better to market it as her personal experience - but he did expect to be paid. He says she did not pay him, and then tried to claim he hadn't helped her. IIRC, he said that when he won the settlement, part of the terms were that he couldn't discuss it in public anymore.

I remember in this interview he used her exploitation of Indigenous cultures as one of the reasons he'd gone public about it. But of course, by his own admission, he'd agreed to the scam in the first place. And then he proceeded to write a bunch of shameon books himself.

So, I only called it "rumours" as I don't know that he's the most credible source, and I don't have the quotes at hand. I did find his story of the collaboration with Andrews believable - it held together and made sense. And, IIRC, I think there was confirmation that he got a sizable amount of hush money, which, if it's true, also gives weight to his claims. Having read her books, I also believe that the first ones were written by someone different from the later ones. Whether this means she wrote the later ones herself, or has a new ghostwriter, I don't know.

Sorry to take this off-topic from Castaneda. I don't think it takes anything but skimming their books to see Andrews is a Castaneda clone. But I also think it's relevant and credible that following in Castaneda's footsteps was her conscious plan from the very beginning. Her plan, and thousands more.

Offline A.H.

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Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2008, 10:24:52 am »
This part of debate came to fine closure.

I already voiced too much tribute to the man as a collateral damage of presenting my views. I am guilty of being idiot enough to repeat that.

I speak again to this topic (I wish to close with it too) only because of Ari's last (and initial) post. Maybe this could be PM, but maybe it is also useful to any other recovering "wannabe-warrior".

Ari, I don't know your current position - world view and motives that attracted you before to Castaneda's hoax.

The following words are not intended to offend you but maybe suggest something useful if my observation is right.

As I read from your posts you seem being cheated by Castaneda's organization and now became disenchanted with all the ideas and "warrior path", etc. And went on a vengeance mission.

You seem to read his works very literally and took active part in mimicking the form of "wannabe-warriors" as a part  of Cleargreen workshops.

"Petty tyrant" (forget the origin for a second) can be very useful if you take its essence... You have probably dealt with some buerocrats in your life. Maybe you experienced military service and its petty tyrants, you might have experienced a petty tyrant boss, you could have bad luck with some unfulfilled professors that think their mission in school is to torment children not to teach...

I had experienced some of those and it was a relief to be able not to take their anger and violence on me, but keep smiling inside and thinking how dumb they were in their petty violence and I fought back with being even a better student, supplying all the paperwork needed or whatever was the "petty tyrant" idea of brigning me down - and just ignoring their violent approach - this why "bother with idiot?" approach is an essence of "petty tyrant" to me.

You don't go into direct confrontation that will cause you much energy - you just play his game back to him. Ignoring his violence.
But if you apply this on good people not on real "petty tyrants" - this is than manipulation...


You don't need to kill the annoying buerocrat that deliberately makes your life worse because he has some little power over you, but if you would be in a concentration camp or similar - the final act of freedom might also include killing the tormentor.

But let's stay where we are - so "petty tyrant" idea is not harmful - it is very reasonable not to accept their violence and be psychologically harmed by the people that accidentally appear in a position where they can abuse their power over you...

Not to speak about another idea that you might understand as psychologically harmful - having death as an ally.
You can understand that literally and mimick some dark and deranged "warrior path" or you can understand that as a very good idea that really frees you psychologically: the ultimate thing that can happen to you is death (if you don't believe in any other superstitions ofcourse).
When you really understand (feel) this reality of being confronted with your ultimate annihilation your life choices are freed from many petty concerns. I know I did many big decicions towards less financially rewarding and more daring life-style because I knew the worst thing that can happen is to die and that I certainly will someday. So why not do something meaningful in the meantime? Why worry about unimportant things if I can die in the next moment. This idea is psychologically very powerful - this is actually a positive application. This idea originates from some of existentialist philosophy and literature (esp. Camus, Sartre) where it is mostly applied in a nihilist version which can be more psychologically harmful. 

So, why I wrote this reply to you Ari - I suggest to you to stop delving in that space (Sustained Reaction) devoted to Castaneda (even though it is supposedly "negative" devotion) - you still debate his work, criticize his work and denounce some ideas that have their valid existance elsewhere where you could research and study them seriously. Why bother with Castaneda if you can move forward?

Many ideas that Don Juan worded are not some vain new-age gibberish but stolen treasures from other cultures - mostly Buddhism - they are not even too distorted in some places in the books - some essence of the ideas remained but was presented in a distorted setting (as old Native American knowledge). As I said before - that is a part of the appeal - because some of that knowledge is real in its essence, but it is presented in a false and fraudulent way.

And the most harmful effect is that when you realise that and denounce Castaneda you also denounce those ideas that are valid - in their ORIGINAL form in other cultures.

Castaneda was a liar who spoke some truth and many lies - that is a problem I guess...

So yes - forget the path of a warrior - but there is still the path of freedom. I was delighted ("saved") by discovery of this path. But if you were attracted to the power-gaining aspect of Castaneda's books you might not find any satisfaction in those other books and traditions I will suggest to you now.

If you are still interested in the "path of freedom and liberation" and you want to know more about the nature of reality apart from "common-sense" everyday whereabouts this might be a good starting point:

Read the good translations with valid commentaries (if any) of I CHING & Taoist masters (try not to join any sect claiming their origin in ancient chinese traditions afterwards, hehe) (i don't know which are good books in English - but we have some very good scholars and philosophers whose translations I read in my own language) Always keep in mind that you are already confronted with some interpretation - but you can sense the core ideas after reading much literature on the same topic.

Read valid Zen books (stay away from Zen new-age and sects! - even the old monastic ones, hehe) - especially some Japanese zen & western philosophy scholars found many connections between western existentialism, phenomenology & Zen. So you can also check some of the european authors - I wouldn't suggest Heidegger so much than I would Karl Jaspers and some Husserl. There are also many others... if you will go into this you will discover yourself..

Still remember that knowledge is dispersed and especially in philosphy - ideas evolve and are constantly rethought - there is no final truth or occult wisdom to cling onto - not one person has all the answers and you will synthesize your own personal view in any case...

A very helpful site is Karl Jaspers forum where they continue in his spirit - not directly about him or his writings - but they (pre)publish articles that are mostly dealing with the conception of reality, perception, etc.

Again - be selective - truth doesn't come on golden plate.

http://www.kjf.ca/ (read their statement of purpose and you will understand better what they are all about)

I would also deeply suggest works of Shinichi Hisamatsu. Especially about the Zen Nothingness.

There is also a website that continues his message:

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/fas/soc/

An if you haven't - you can discover many origins of Castaneda ideas in Richard De Mille criticial books.

This is only start - I am really interested what the original NDN "philosophical" legacy and its contemporary interprets (scholars with indigenous origins and insider gaze) have to say - I just ordered a couple of "valid" books.

There is still much life to waste, hehe.

But don't waste your time just critically debating Castaneda's legacy on some sites devoted to him - use his sources instead. 

If this suggestions are of no use to you and I judged your position wrong - just forget and ignore it.


I wish to end writing about Castaneda here.


best to all











« Last Edit: April 23, 2008, 11:04:22 am by A.H. »

Offline garners

  • Posts: 14
Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2008, 09:42:23 pm »
For someone claiming not to defend Castaneda AH and saying
"Ok - enough from me on this topic -"
You sure keep going and going.

I think you are totally off base with your advice to Ari and she probably should ignore your invite to play new age intellectual and get hooked on the ideas you claim to still be hooked on.

To begin with Castaneda ideas and Buddhism are polar opposites and your defense of Castaneda by claiming it has a Buddhist source or an Asian source is without any real correlation ...unless you are speaking New Age Buddhism or other New Age treatments of Asian Philosophies such as Taoism.

Also your advice that Ari should apply don juan  principles and not confront abuse directly seems very misguided to me.
If Indians and their supporters were to just wait for the abusers and frauds to defeat themselves by humoring them they would not get very far.
 It is the confrontational activist position that is finally making headway against the frauds by forcing people to think clearer about the deceits and making business as usual for frauds and wannabes much more difficult for them.

I encourage Ari to act directly and strongly against what she protests.

And besides ...advising "stalking the "petty tyrant is just giving Castaneda lip service again. I will remind you that in the books the main example of stalking the petty tyrant was a premeditated act that ended up with a killing.
 And all this murderous retribution and deception was of course perpetrated by an Indian.
All the twisted absurd game playing behaviors in Castaneda books is supposed to be Magical wise old Indian lore.

 Buddhism springs from compassion and disipating suffering. Nothing in Castaneda's fiction has this as an objective..


Now you rationalize that Castaneda's  ideas are valid because they have older unclaimed non Indian correlations.. but you have not and never could prove this. It is only intellectual speculation at best.

Castaneda is not defensible. Sure maybe his books are defensible for you
You have made that clear AH. Why I am not sure... seems you are maybe a bit of a don Juan roleplayer
..quoting don Juan and suggesting to use his techniques.

 I think that claiming that Castaneda's ideas are sourced from valid sources and therefor good and helpful .. is no different that posting here  that things any other frauds say and sing in pseudo sweatlodges or in paid for blessings, prayers, books and talks are from genuine sources so they are good and have helped you. 
What good is this doing the cause of NAFPS?

 It seems to me that this website is about stopping fraud not rationalizing it.



Offline Ari

  • Posts: 39
Re: Carlos Castaneda
« Reply #59 on: April 24, 2008, 04:54:28 am »
A. H., Juanism expressing extremely selfish, egocentric and hostile stance a person can take in relation to the world. Exactly what unhappy rebellious teenager mentality could appropriate very well.

Philosophy of juanistic warriors way is fraudulent in it's nature and it gave life to fraudulent New Age worldwide action. Validated as initiation into mysterious Indigenous way of knowledge. Non fiction.

Yes, personally i was affected badly by my involvement into believing this confusion to be highly meaningful system of esoteric knowledge and it hurts even more to see it was composed  exploiting fraudulently the whole cultural group of people.       

A. H., I was witnessing plenty of cases of believers playing Juanistic warriors game to see that you seems to be deliberately stalking the tyrants here... patiently, cunning, sweet, ruthless... Well, congrats! You got us.