Florinda Donner-Grau Chronology Part XII [Sept. - Dec. 1997]

September 23, 1997 - $536,000 worth of income is distributed to Cleargreen, Inc., shareholders (including $71,536 to Florinda, $70,536 to Taisha, $70,786 to Muni, $66,925 to Nuri, $70,786 to Talia, $71,536 to Fabricio, $14,480 to Nyei and Reni and $17,680 to Kylie.) [Again, only an incomplete scrap of Cleargreen financial information, per documents filed by C.J. Castaneda in connection with his motions in the probate proceedings.]

October 22, 1997 - Castaneda signs a will witnessed by Patricia Essig and Brian T. Mayeda. In it he states that he "legally adopted Nury Alexander as my daughter," and intentionally omits Adrian Vashon (C.J.). His estate is to be given 50% "to those of Tisha [sic] Abelar, Florinda Donner Grau, Muni Alexander, Nury Alexander and Haley Van Osten who survive me, in equal shares," and 50% "to those of Kylie Lundahl, Talia Bey, Naya [sic] Murez, Maria Guadalupe Blanco, Zaia Alexander, Carola Alexander and Fabiana Pompa who survive me, in equal shares."

November - December 1997 - Florinda calls me about putting together some people to buy the Westwood House. I eventually come up with Paul, Daniel and maybe Kathleen Seligman and her husband James. This eventually turns into a project to convince Joanie Barker that the house is being sold so she¡¯ll move out of her little apartment over the garage. We come over three times to take measurements, or to "review" the renovation work being done around the compound, and then have tea with the Witches. During the course of our conversations, Florinda claims that a bench in the garden is the "recapitulation bench" that don Juan helped her build.

December 13-14, 1997 - Mexico City Workshop at Expotek 2001 near Alameda Park. Florinda attends, with Zaia and Miles leading the passes. (The following quotes are taken primarily from Joanne Albrightson¡¯s notes.)

Florinda explained how the ancient sorcerers had learned the magical passes in dreaming and that the passes create a special awareness. Florinda then claimed that, for years, she, Carol, Taisha and Carlos had thought that not doings were all the crazy things don Juan had them do. She repeated the story about don Juan making her change her attitude about clothes. Clothes were very important to her. She was brought up to dress very elegantly. Don Juan first had her not tie one shoe, then to wear different laces on each shoe, then later to wear different shoes on each foot, then one high heel and one low heel. Then don Juan allegedly told her to get rid of all of her clothes, so she did and she went around naked. [None of this, of course, was mentioned in Being-in-Dreaming.] She wasn't embarrassed at all about it so don Juan asked, "Why not add ornaments to your beautiful body?" When Florinda was happy, she claimed, she pasted dead butterflies on her breasts; when she was sad she used dead flies. Next don Juan suggested she tie bits of tomato to her pubic hairs. None of this bothered her, so don Juan told her to "cut your hair." Florinda had beautiful hair. She didn't want to cut it, and claimed that she whined "Who will love me if I cut off my beautiful hair?" Don Juan supposedly told her not to worry, that he would always love her. She confided she didn't tell him she wasn't concerned about an old man loving her. She was "worried that ¡®Quique¡¯ and ¡®Tito¡¯ wouldn't love me anymore."

She returned to Los Angeles and went to a psychiatrist who told her not to listen to "this crazy old Mexican," and advised that she shouldn't cut her beautiful hair. Eventually, she ended up cutting it in stages until it was its current short length. She claimed that now her hair was not capable of growing any longer. [This is a different short hair explanation than she gave in May 1995 at Omega, where she claimed that she had been shaved bald after a bad case of lice from living in the Amazon--a trip that supposedly occurred a few years after don Juan was already gone.]

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Florinda claimed that "Carlos had started writing a book about the not doings several times but he would always destroy it before he was done because he sensed that what he was writing about was not really what don Juan meant by the ¡®not doings.¡¯" Florinda explained that the not doings "are not weird behaviors," that those behaviors are a result of the not doings. She repeated "there is a vibratory force in the Universe that holds all things together, including ourselves. The not doings create a lull in this force. The result is indescribable and must be experienced," and even then the understanding is not "ah yes, it is like this." The "understanding" gained is allegedly more of a feeling.

Florinda reported that, "In the past people would come to the seminars and say that the sorcerers were stealing energy from them. This is impossible. We are sealed units from which no energy may leave or enter. When we say we are tired or have no energy, what has happened is that our energy has disbanded to the edges of our cocoons. Tensegrity brings it back to our vital centers." Florinda asked the participants to "suspend judgment" and to put "your prejudice aside and just do the movements."

Don Juan supposedly asked her once how she was. Florinda responded "fine." He then asked "Are you OK?" and she again responded "Yes." "Is there anything the matter?" asked don Juan. "No" was her response. Then she noted, "You went out to dinner without me last night." Don Juan responded, "You said you were tired." Florinda said, "Yes, but you could have at least asked me to come." Don Juan said, "If you were hungry, you should have just come along." Florinda claimed, "But I didn't want to spoil the good time you were going to have with Carlos, Taisha, Carol and Old Florinda." [Note: In Being-in-Dreaming, of course, which purports to describe Florinda¡¯s entire time with don Juan and his cohorts, Florinda never mentions even having met Taisha or Carol while don Juan was still around. In fact, she several times refers to her frustration at not yet having met the "others that don Juan had blown" to Castaneda.] Florinda explained that we want to be begged for our attention, to be made to feel special.

In a later short lecture, Florinda asked the crowd, "Do you see that light behind me? That's my assemblage point." She then introduced "Dr. Zaia Alexander, a professor of languages and Germanic studies at the University of California" and "Dr. Miles Reid, a physician and a surgeon." In the question and answer session that followed, someone asked, "When did Carlos die?" Florinda answers, "Don¡¯t be ridiculous. He¡¯s still alive." Responding to a question about aging, Florinda stated: "The sorcerer¡¯s way avoids the pitfalls or at least smoothes the way while we age. We all grow old, it is the natural way, but that doesn't mean we have to suffer the effects of aging. By doing Tensegrity we can avoid the wrinkles, the illness. Yes we grow old, but we can grow old with vigor and vitality. When I first met don Juan he was at least 80 years old. He had all white hair and his face was all wrinkled, but you never thought of him as old because of his vitality." She responded to another question by saying that la Gorda died in 1985, and that the others left at different times.

Question: "Where is don Juan?" Florinda: "He is beyond." Question: "What is your relationship with Castaneda?" Florinda: "Carlos is a Nagual, which means he is no longer a man. Well, I mean he still has a penis and whatever else a man has, but he is no longer a normal man. We are all connected" [i.e., Carol, Taisha, Florinda and Carlos]. "He promised us he would take us with him. He could have burned from within years ago, but he is doing the impossible and remaining until we are all ready. He could have left long ago, but he is staying for us."

December 1997 - Mexico City practitioners write their questions for Florinda, whose answers are printed in their newsletter, La Senda del Guerrero. 

According to a translation a friend of mine prepared, the questions, which the practitioners put to Cleargreen through Verde Claro, were: "What are the differences between spirit and intent? Is there any other technique to preserve the unity of consciousness after death that is not the fire from within? Is it necessary to recapitulate ideas, like God? Some people close to us, like our wives or daughters or sons, feel that tensegrity creates a feeling of superiority, selfishness and intolerance. Can that be true?"

Florinda responded, in writing: "First of all, I¡¯d like to make an impersonal observation, after reading all your questions. By looking at the character behind the question I can see that you are total intellectuals, lost in the detail [or minutiae] of banal thinking. Does God exist? Does the spirit exist? Is the soul eternal? What can you tell me about heaven and hell? How the hell can a humble practitioner of the magical passes of the shamans of ancient Mexico answer such questions? What you want ladies and gentlemen is a dogma, a group of assertions made by egomaniacs that know God and have intimate relationships with him, of course, according to what they think. All these questions you¡¯ve just formulated should be asked to one of those fat belly gurus that know everything. Subtract yourselves to just practicing and stop wasting your time on intellectual dilemmas. The practice of Tensegrity will give you the ability to answer your own questions, through a simple process that the old Nagual explained to us, but has taken a lifetime for us to realize. The practice of the magical practices of the sorcerers of ancient Mexico will make you discard the masturbations of the intellect automatically. After an intense practice, you won¡¯t give a damn about everything that has been said about the inconceivable or the unspeakable. What can we petty human beings, beholders of a brain that hardly works, a brain that entertains itself with soap operas, say or speculate about the unknowable? All I can say, following the steps of the old Nagual without deviating from them, is that the recapitulation of our lives can give us a true answer. Without the recapitulation or the practice of Tensegrity, it is not possible to attain a genuine change of behavior. A worthy question that I found to address is the one regarding the idea that Tensegrity practice can increase self importance. Whoever believes that is not a practitioner of Tensegrity. He¡¯s a hopeless egomaniac, seeking new ways of increasing his ego. Those kinds of beings exist and simply have no hope. So it¡¯s just useless to talk or worry about them. They have a universal club and they get together to drink their cups of self-importance." Signed, "Yours truthfully, your humble servant, Florinda Donner-Grau."

Go to Florinda Donner-Grau Chronology part XIII