Florinda Donner-Grau Chronology Part X [July 1996 - June 1997]
July 20-25, 1996 - Intensive Tensegrity Workshop at UCLA¡¯s Pauley Pavilion at which Castaneda, the three Witches and Nury Alexander all spoke.
Florinda told the story of her sports car being wrecked by Old Florinda, to keep her from driving. [Another episode wholly omitted from Being-in-Dreaming.] She explained that she used to race cars in Brazil, how she lived for the track, and claimed that she was either the first, or one of the first, female jockeys in that country. "I lived to drive, and loved to drive fast."
She claimed she paid all cash for a new car, "a nice little sporty model." She took it to Tucson, without telling anyone else that she had left L.A., got a hotel room in Tucson, showered, ate, cleaned up, and took off for northern Mexico. As she got closer to the sorcerer's house, she began to have misgivings about buying the car, wondering what the sorcerers would say.
When she got there, she claimed, they were all waiting for her. They admired the car, and it was suggested that she let Old Florinda take it for a spin. Florinda said she didn't think Old Florinda could drive. But suddenly, don Genaro did a somersault into the back seat and Old Florinda was in the driver¡¯s seat, while Florinda was in the passenger seat, all before she knew what was going on.
Off they went, zipping up mountain roads, Old Florinda double-clutching and surprising Florinda with her expert driving abilities. They were going pretty fast and Florinda turned around to see Genaro in the back seat getting pretty green in the face. "Oh no!" she thought, "He's going to get sick in my new car!" She had Old Florinda pull over and they got out of the car. Florinda was worried about where they had stopped, for it was a narrow, winding road, and the car was a good target for a fast truck that might be coming the opposite way. Old Florinda said she would push the car up to a corner, and that Florinda should help Genaro.
As Florinda catered to Genaro, she watched Old Florinda push the car to the curve in the road. Once Old Florinda got to the curve, she paused, and released the brake. As Florinda watched, in disbelief, Old Florinda proceeded to shove the car into ravine below.
Florinda then saw the whole situation had been contrived: the ogling of the car, the request to drive, the positions in the car, Genaro getting car sick, the site they stopped at. She was furious. She claimed the car was not insured, and that she had used all her cash to buy the vehicle. There was no way she could buy another one. [Good thing she got to keep her four-year-old sports car in her 1972 divorce settlement. Hmm, but that would have been about the same time as this incident, wouldn't it, since Genaro supposedly left with don Juan in 1973?]
They walked back to the sorcerer's house, Florinda yelling at Old Florinda for what she had done. They locked her out of the house and Florinda cried since it had never been locked on her. Later she found it open, but her hammock was gone and she cried again. Finally, Old Florinda convinced her that it was her concern for her that made her trash the car. Florinda was in her care, and she had seen that driving was not in her best interest.
To this day, Florinda claimed she did not drive. She claimed she "gets to park the cars and occasionally chauffeur," which she took great delight in, but that she did not own a car, nor drive one otherwise.
Florinda also described Taisha's inorganic "pigeon." It was allegedly legless, and about the size of a dog. It moved around on its stomach. Taisha wanted to bring it to the lecture that day. Carol and Florinda had "tried to talk her out of it," fearing it would scare everyone. Taisha managed to sneak it into the car, but Carol and Florinda found it just before they arrived.
Florinda claimed "Carlos is no longer here. His awareness, probably 90% of it, is now out there, facing ¡®It.¡¯ He's not really here with us any more, and it takes a lot of energy for him" to lecture and answer questions.
September 27-29, 1996 - Mexico City Workshop at Palacio de los Deportes, near the airport. Florinda and Taisha were on hand.
During the first part of her talk Florinda related the story she had told at Westwood about her "brand new red car," that "Big" Florinda pushed into the ravine; her rage at subsequently being locked out of the house and then being reduced to tears on the doorstep. Finally, when she found the door had been unlocked, she described going to "her" room and finding no place to lay down as her hammock had been taken away. All these "maneuvers" had "pushed me beyond my limits." Don Genaro was there and when she asked him why they had done what they did, he told her that, due to her predilection, it was the only way to really get her attention, to force her to change. Anything less and she would have just kept being her same old self.
The second part of her talk focused on the passion of the warrior that drives a sorcerer on: "the passion for the unknown, for the adventure and whatever situation they find themselves in as they navigate." She then played a recording of a song don Juan supposedly used to listen to, entitled "Adelante" ("Come in"). About 1200 people were on hand.
November 29-December 1, 1996 - Pasadena Workshop at the Pasadena Center Exhibition Building. Castaneda, Florinda, Carol and Taisha spoke, and Nury read the chapter from Memorable Events (Castaneda's work in progress) about Carol Tiggs¡¯s return.
Castaneda criticized the adherence to tradition in his lineage, and said "now there are no rules." They had hoped that explaining things would help people arrive at realization and make the jump, but "there hasn¡¯t been that much progress that way," so in the future they would emphasize practical actions more. Castaneda said don Juan gave him the task of taking care of the three witches, and noted that to manage them is "as difficult as changing the chain of a chain saw while it¡¯s running." Florinda spoke for an hour. She described not-doings don Juan had suggested, including not-doings of clothing, involving walking around naked (but not in public) with various bugs pasted to her tits. She joked that on a bad day she'd use only flies. On other days she'd use butterflies and beetles. When don Juan suggested she tie tomatoes to her genital area, she was appalled. She claimed she never viewed clothing quite the same again. [She apparently failed to remember any of this when she wrote Being in Dreaming, however, which seemed to cover virtually all of her non-"dreaming" interactions and conversations with don Juan.] There were about 750 participants, and the cost was $400, or $300 for those who had attended three prior workshops.
January 31, 1997 - Cleargreen shareholder distribution of $137,333 from retained earnings of $596,876. (Talia scoops up $34,097, Kylie snags $18,758, Muni rakes in $12,419, Nyei at $10,146 edges out Renata¡¯s $10,124, Florinda manifests $9,941, Taisha blinks in $9,890, Nuri registers $7,791, Fabricio grabs $6,668, Bruce and Tracy each pull in $6,043, Zaia liberates $2,574, Tycho generates $2,201, and Grant slams down $632.) [Accounting scrap from documents filed as an exhibit to C.J. Castaneda¡¯s motion in the probate proceedings.]
February 15-16, 1997 - Intensive Review Workshop on the Cal State University Long Beach campus. [Florinda did not lecture or appear, but spoke two days later to the German-language participants, on February 18.]
Replica Watches Replica Watches
April 1, 1997 - Interview with Carol Tiggs, Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau by Concha Labarta [Spanish workshop organizer] appears in Mas Alla in Spain. ["In your most recent books, Being-In-Dreaming and The Sorcerers¡¯ Crossing, you talk about personal experiences that are difficult to accept. Accessing other worlds, traveling into the unknown, making contact with inorganic beings, are all experiences which challenge reason. The temptation is either not to believe such accounts at all, or to consider you as beings that are beyond good and evil, beings that are not touched by sickness, old age or death. What¡¯s the everyday reality for a female sorcerer? And how does living in chronological time fit with living in magical time?" The Witches, presumably in writing rather than in person or by telephone, responded: "Your question, Miss Labarta, is too abstract and farfetched. Please forgive our frankness. We are not intellectual beings and are not in any way capable of taking part in exercises in which the intellect engages words which in reality don¡¯t have any meaning. None of us, under any agreement, are beyond good and evil, sickness, or old age." They also explained: "The old nagual and his cohorts died an alternative death, which is possible for any one of us, if we have the necessary discipline. All we can tell you is that the old nagual and his people lived life professionally, meaning that they were responsible for all their acts, even the most minute ones, because they were extremely aware of everything they did. Under such conditions, to die an alternative death is not such a farfetched possibility."]
April 18-20, 1997 - Mexico City Seminar at the Palacio de los Deportes, Pabellon Ferial Este, entitled, "Six Series of Tensegrity." [Florinda spoke twice for about half an hour each time, and presented a song that, roughly translated, begins: "Mexico, sweet and beloved, if I die away from you, let them say that I'm asleep, and let them bring me back here."]
? 1997 - Nayely Tycho Aranha Thal (a.k.a., the "Orange Scout," and assertedly Florinda¡¯s "daughter"), who was enrolled at UCLA as "Tycho Aranha," leaves the university without paying her final bill, and is no longer seen at workshops.
June 20-22, 1997 - Barcelona workshop [Florinda and Taisha spoke. Florinda again told the story about Old Florinda pushing her new sports car down the ravine. Florinda claimed they avoid sugar, alcohol and coffee, although don Juan had "an occasional beer" and Florinda likes chocolate. About 700 attendees; the cost was $595.]
June 27-29, 1997 - Berlin workshop at Max-Schmeling-Halle, in the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn Sportpark. Florinda gave the first two lectures.
Florinda is asked, "Isn't the sorcerers' world cold and impersonal?" She responds, "Impersonal yes. We are all alone facing the unknown. There is no group, we are a unit focused to reach a moment of inner silence. We are a unit who are united energetically, not in everyday life, we are individuals, we live apart. We only come together in our purpose." In response to the question, "When did la Gorda, Josefina and the others leave?" Florinda answered "in 1985." [As to "Josefina and the others," this statement contradicts the stories she told about their current activities at the Rim Institute in 1993 and other early workshops. In fact Florinda and Castaneda were still referring to the Little Sisters as still being around at workshops and lectures through the end of 1994.]
Florinda again told the sports car story, explaining that she used to love to drive, and was a very good driver. Old Florinda told her she could not drive anymore. Once she had bought a new car, a convertible, and she drove down to Sonora to show Florinda the car. She was very excited, and suggested they go for a drive. Up to that point Florinda had no idea that older Florinda knew how to drive. They drove up into the mountains and watched the beautiful sunset.
Then Old Florinda pushed the car down the mountain. It was completely wrecked. Florinda was very upset, had no insurance and had paid for the car in cash. Old Florinda said that was even better, then she could not buy a new one for quite a while. "But there is no good public transportation in Los Angeles, I need a car," she pleaded. Old Florinda supposedly responded, "No you don't. You have plenty of friends you can call who will be delighted to drive you." But she told us she "didn't want to call Carlos because I didn't want him to know what I was doing." Florinda claimed this act was an example of "the pragmatism of the old sorcerers." Florinda claimed she had used driving "to avoid really doing anything." She suggested we are all using some habit to avoid "doing the work," and that we need a pragmatic solution, though it doesn't have to be that drastic.
Workshop is organized by Clair, a vegetarian, workshop-organizing commune from southeastern France. The fees are 980 DM, or $595. Eventual net income is $238,725, after expenses of $140,775, which is split 75/25 between Cleargreen ($152,187) and Clair, per materials filed by C.J. Castaneda in the probate proceedings.
Go to Florinda Donner-Grau Chronology part XI