Sustained Reaction Archive - Page 6
I was impressed with his sincerity and lack of pretension. No claims of being a sorceror or anybody special. I found interesting Sanchez's criticism of Carlos (this was a couple of years ago, in light of the subsequent emphasis on Tensegrity. Sanchez said he developed the seminars as a result of hearing Carlos speak several times and being greatly impressed by his work but lacking in follow-through. It seemed like all Carlos wanted to do (in the 80's) was talk about his experiences. Sanchez wanted something he could do to live like a warrior, which is why he worked so hard to try and find out for himself which of the techniques described in the books and that he observed in the indigenous people he worked with (he's an anthropologist by training)worked best.
I don't want to misrepresent the experience. The workshop lacked the energy and purpose I've experienced at the Tensegrity workshops, and at times the experiential exercises were a little new-agey and seemed stilted. But the guy seemed genuine to me.
I have met many so called great men in my life from cult leaders to zen masters, but Victor Sanchez impressed me by the sheer physical approach to his Toltec vision. Lots of doings and not doings and very little theory. Probably largely due to the fact they all spoke spanish and very little english.
And yes maybe the workshop seemed a little low on energy compared to a tensegrity workshops, because I myself have had much more energetic experiences. But attendance at his ONE of his workshop made me realize that I could walk the warriors path alone. His party helped me with the logistic's of the exercise's. That all I needed. Warriors truly are solitary beings.
Others who have attended Sanchez's workshops have already addressed your question regarding the nature of those workshop much better than I could. It has taken me a couple of days to locate my notes on the declarations in Castaneda's case against Sanchez with respect to Castaneda's view of those workshops. My notes show that on Sept. 30, 1997, Castaneda signed a lengthy declaration stating that he did not know Sanchez, but that the guy had been a "nuisance" since 1980, and had been conducting workshops using Castaneda's name since he published his book in 1994. Another declaration filedby Castaneda's lawyer Deborah Drooz (now the Estate trustee) in the damages phase of the case (after a default judgment against Sanchez for his failure to appear), was by Francisco Victor Bringas. He claimed to have attended one or more of Sanchez's workshops, and stated that Sanchez took advantage of his "magnetism" with women, using his "charisma to seduce single and married women." Bringas further claimed, "I felt that Mr. Sanchez's bad conduct reflected poorly on Dr. Castaneda [since he assumed that Sanchez had studied under Castaneda]."
I have no way of knowing whether there is any truth to Bringas's claims about seduction of women at Sanchez's workshops, but if there was, then that aspect, at least, would have been comparable to the Cleargreen workshops back when Castaneda was alive and active. ;-)
Note: For more info on this topic, including a summary of the Castaneda vs. Sanchez case, Castaneda's signed declaration against Sanchez, and Sanchez's response, click here.
Are you sure the suit had to do with the workshops? Maybe the "facts" are wrong. ;)
Sanchez has often been asked of his connection with Castaneda and forever states although inspired by Carlos's writings he was never his student. He did tell us Carlos would have lectures in mexico city and he and others attending would press him for more practical help.(this was before tensegrity workshops)But Castaneda would just tell then to be impeccable. So Victor took his seach to the indigenous Wirrarika and Nahuas of his native mexico. The workshop was a synthesis of what he learned from these living toltecs and his own experience with Castanedian practices.
As for the Bringas claims of bird dogging by Sanchez with his "magnetism." What can anyone say, only Victor knows for sure. Sexual mud is the easiest to sling, but trust me that dog won't hunt.
I don't see why you think that someone who doesn't even claim to have spent much time with Castaneda would have any particular answers to most of the inquiries we have launched here but, as it happens, Victor Sanchez (who indicates that he reads this website) recently contacted me. I look forward to meeting with him when and if his travels bring him to Southern California. In the meantime, there are informants who know a lot more about Castaneda at various points in his life who seem a lot more relevant to the inquiries I'm most interested in. Those who are interested in any Native American connections to Castaneda's work (and who have better connections to those communities than I do) are encouraged to explore those connections and share their findings with us, if they are comfortable doing so. Those of us, like me, who are more interested in some of the Gurdjieffian and Asian spiritual bases that Castaneda and Taisha drew from are likewise encouraged to do the same.
"Those who are interested in any Native American connections to Castaneda's work (and who have better connections to those communities than I do) are encouraged to explore those connections and share their findings with us, if they are comfortable doing so. Those of us, like me, who are more interested in some of the Gurdjieffian and Asian spiritual bases that Castaneda and Taisha drew from are likewise encouraged to do the same."
Now, do you mean ANY connections, or only those that "prove your thesis on this site?
A while back I posted something under "beat me to it" relating to some "native connections". All I got in response from you and Linda were attacks (calling me a puke, among other things). I also recently posted something on the eurocentrist bias I see in your analysis, but again, all I got was crap in response (BTW, that response to Chris Rodgers was a JOKE. I was expecting you to delete it!).
So, I really wonder whether you're open to alterantive explanations to your own.
As I told Linda, and now you, if you're REALLY interested in the "native connection" and some background read "Lightningbolt" by Hyemeyohsts Storm (you can find copies in the LA public library).
As far as the "Asian connection," well I already stated that I've practiced Asian (and Indian) martial arts for some 50 years. I've studied with masters in L.A., San Francisco, Japan, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. I won't go into all that right now, but I will tell you that I know Howard Lee. I first met him when I was studying Choi Lay Fut Kung Fu with Master Low Ben in the late 60's.
I'll wait and see what others contribute to this "exploration" then I'll see if there's anything of worth I can add.
>>> I mean I could say that every path is just a path, they lead nowhere etc., but that's just quoting Don Juan again...What I meant when I said that was that the "way" has the idea of being at "war" in it. When you are at war you are not trying to be nice to the other guy, you are trying to get something *done*.>>>
Pray tell, what is it you are trying to do with this "act" of war? What other "guy"?
>>>When Don Juan spoke about his lineage, he said that some of the past cohorts kind of "missed the boat" to freedom. He said that they knew they in a way that they were missing the boat, but in a predatorial universe poised to rip you apart, maybe the only solace for a sorcerer IS to go to the inorganic beings world. And no one has any guarantee that they are going to burn. Carlos said often that he thought he was going to blow it..I know he also said he was "ready" to burn, but again, no guarantees. Carlos spent a lot of time in the inorganic beings world and I think that maybe he just wasn't impeccable enough to burn.>>>
Don Juan spoke, Carlos said, etc. etc. All of this is predicated on the validity of someoneís word who has been proven to have lied about almost every aspect of himself and those around him. I donít trust any of what he said, I only trust myself.>>>But if you don't believe in the kind of stuff that Castaneda talks about, what DO you believe? THat we all die and go to heaven? That we just lay still and fade to black?>>>If we are not perceivers, what ARE we, and what are we doing here? And if we "just die" and death ends it all, what is the point of anything? To try and make for a "pleasant" journey for all here on earth? Well, I just don't think that *that* is what the Warrior's Way is all about...>>>
What do I believe? Well, Iíve had an experience or two, but since they are not replicable, I donít feel that I want to put them into the public domain. When, and if I am able to replicate those experiences utilizing scientific methodology, I will. Basically, I would rather work on becoming silent through meditation and keep my body strong and fit by working out in a gym. I donít feel a compulsion to find a "nagual" to lead me anywhere. I will lead myself to where I want to go. Thatís good enough for me.This "Warriorís Way" business is really becoming quite nauseating. Is there some reason why this term keeps being tossed about as if it means something? Did Castaneda or anyone associated with Cleargreen actually even make a pretense of living up to any sort of "Warrior" standards? How about being scrupulous about money? I think not.
I get the impression that DJ's exclamation over his preposterousness is to make plans for something that you can't even conceive of. What would it be like to become a class of IB? Will DJ's human concerns impinge on his being enough to turn around and come back for Carlos (or Ken eagle feather?!) or would he recognize it as an indulgence like wanting his grandson to become a sorcerer, or at least meet wih mescalito? I guess it is impossible for the caterpillar to think where it will fly when it is a butterfly because the whole idea of 'where' is bound by the experience of crawling an inch at a time and how that defines space in it's world. I guess,
I too would like more info on that about DJ is stuck somewhere stuff. Also about silvio manuel and all those loose ends. I would have loved a book that tied all that up, because it is really quite a cliffhanger.
And what about 'the dome' and the world of the 'little red bugs'... I just remembered that they *did* actually seem to be making plans to meet there...if Carlos did "blow it", I don't know why the witches didn't just say something like 'hey, it takes a LOT of impeccability to be able to make it to freedom, there are NO guarantees.' Then they could have said that Carlos, fortunately or unfortunately, didn't burn, but he decided to go to the IB world that he was familiar with thru dreaming, and that they were in contact with him thru their dreaming, and they could have kept Cleargreen and the seminars going...well, maybe one day we will all find out why really happened...One other thing, do you have any thoughts about the fact that all thru the books, Castaneda says very clearly that *women* can NOT be TRAPPED in the world of the inorganic beings. Then he says that the 'blue scout' appeared to him as a seven year old child, a girl, and then we hear that Patricia Lee Partin IS now the blue scout. Well, IF it was just 'Patricia Lee Partin, then how could SHE have been trapped in THAT world??? Maybe I should make a new post about it, but I don't think it's the kind of stuff any of SA wants to try to explore. I thought with your ideas about hermenuetics, you might have an interesting take on how to interpret this. diana.
The story about the Blue Scout is that after CC rescued it from the IB world he had to deal with its prescence here. The solution was for someone to give birth to a child which was intended as a vehicle for the Scout. Thus the incarnation Pat Partin.
I was a journalist who "came upon" taisha's book and an opportunity to interview her. I did so, and Carol Tiggs came along. We hit it off and spent two hours talking (this was in June 1992) and they invited me to LA later that year for "classes" with carlos.
I spent three days with them, and two long evenings with CC, just talking. He gave me so much attention and information, and told me Taisha wanted to sponsor me. There was tremendous affection between us, and I felt great truth and support from all four of them (I even had lunch with the 3 witches).
Then the door seemed to close, even though CC told me he would come back from Mexico for me. I saw something so sad in his eyes when I left LA after 3 days; I sensed I would never see him again and that he would be cut off from me.
When I saw him again at the Cleargreen workshops in 1995, I was stunned. He had lost about 30 pounds and aged 15 years in only three. He also seemed quasi-blind. The witches were cold and arrogant, and phoney. All of the promises had fallen by the wayside, replaced by commercialism.
I had been promised free attendance for life, but was cut off. I always thought I had done something, but what I had done was discover this was not a path with heart. After thousands of dollars I finally pulled away (in June 1997) and have long wondered what happened to carlos.
Did the women make him a prisoner? How could he have developed a life so totally opposite to our talks? His wisdom, that of Don Juan, was precious, and I still follow it to a good degree. Yet what happened was frightening, all the martinettes following and believing and desperate to be noticed and to be included.
I realized these people were not kind, not spiritual in the sense I follow (compassion and service and not fear-based), and thus a reflection of the "teachers."
I am most interested in following the thread here, and would contribute to any understanding possible. I would like to close the door on this chapter because it DOES appear that they created a cult of money and greed, and that their methods are full of bunk.
You are finally getting it. There is no reason to just believe in these things.
"Ask Corey why he has become visibly older and stiffer and so super-serious"
You give yourself away when you say things like this --- your total lack of integrity, which of course explains why you swallow ridiculous lies so eagerly. I doubt you've even seen Corey lately. I have many times. He's been looking great, better than ever. And you are clearly just another liar. Well done! You are learning your "lesson", the lesson of lying. Tales of Lying. The Art of Lying. The Power of Lying. Magical Lying. The Wheel of Lying. Being-In-Lying. The Liars' Crossing. A Separate Lie. Journey to Lie Land. The Second Ring of Lying. The Witch's Lie. The Teachings of a Big Liar, a Liar's Way of Knowledge. The Eagle's Lie. The Active Side of Lying. :-)
Did I leave any out?
And by the way, asshole, I use an alias in this forum because I wish to be addressed by it. If you want to make a permanent enemy and be abused every single time you post, then continue to be an jackass and keep throwing everyone's real name around while cowardly hiding your own.
And when I was describing him as a far too serious man, this doesn't mean that I can't imagine him laughing, it's more the style of this homepage, his behavior at the workshops etc. that makes me think so. When Corey looks now better than ever before, good for him. I wish him a long and successful life, really.
As I told you before, Corey, I think that you have become an important person, so the essence of Tensegrity and Carlos' teachings could not reach you. You seemingly even donít have an idea what this essence could be. (Yes, yes, I know, itís sex and dollars, the essence, isnít it? At least thatís what you could perceive... as a lawyer and not as a being who is going to die)Calixtoís answer seems to give me a hint: eidolon might have haunted enough this discussion board. So he should perhaps simply continue his way. Regard him as a True Believer when you want. He simply regards you as people who have failed the cube centimeter of chance..................After all, I think that Florinda Donner-Grau characterized the actions of the SustainedActioners pretty well in an answer she gave to stupid linear-minded questions on a seminar in Mexico City, in 1997:
Answer to the questions of the Tensegrity practitioners in Mexico: In the first place I would like to make an impersonal observation after reading all your questions. By their content I can see that all of you are tremendously intellectual, lost in the minutiae of banal thought. Does God exist? Does the Spirit exist? Is the soul imperishable? What can you tell me about heaven and hell? How on earth can a humble practitioner of magical passes of the shamans of ancient Mexico answer such questions? What you want, ladies and gentlemen, is the gospel: A collection of assertions made by egomaniacs that, according to them of course, know God and have an intimate relationship with Him. These are questions you should ask one of those pot-bellied gurus who know it all. Keep to your practice, distinguished practitioners, and forget about your intellectual squabbling. The practice of Tensegrity will give you the guidelines, and you yourselves will answer your own questions through a very simple process that the Old Nagual taught us, and takes a lifetime to realise. Practising the magical passes of the shamans of ancient Mexico automatically makes one discard intel-lectual masturbation. At the end of a diligent practice, you won't care less about everything said on the "inconceivable", the "unspeakable". What can we, as petty human beings, possessors of a brain that hardly works, a brain that is satisfied with TV soap-operas, speculate about the "inconceivable" and the "unspeakable"? The only thing that I can think of as an answer, as I faithfully follow the footsteps of the Old Nagual, is that by recapitulating our lives we can get a true answer. It is not possible to achieve a genuine change of behaviour without recapitulating and practising Tensegrity. The question of value among your summary, that has to do with what I am saying, is the idea you have that the practice of Tensegrity increases self-importance. Whoever believes that is not a Tensegrity practitioner. He/she is already an incorrigible egomaniac in search of new ways to increase his/her self-importance. These beings exist and have no remedy. So it is useless to talk about them or worry about them. They have a universal club where they take refuge and go and drink their little glasses of self-importance. Your humble servant. Florinda Donner Grau.
When I saw that Carlos was so sick... what you wrote (quote below) was EXACTLY the SAME thought that occurred to me!!!
"When I saw him,and I thought by myself, what the hell is he doing? After all those years of Tensegrity and on the Warrior's way..."
What in the HELL was Carlos doing to energetically DAMAGE himself so irrepairably?
It is a question we each need to ponder for ourselves... and about ourselves...
Thank you for sharing the basis for your very judgmental comment earlier -- that I had become visibly "old and rigid" since departing from the path of Tensegrity, as though you are anyone I personally know or ever see. Frankly, I feel better and lighter than I have in years, mainly as a result of throwing off the heavy "habits" and rigid thinking I had adopted as a member of Castaneda's Sunday group. In fact, people I'm meeting for the first time regularly assume that I'm nearly 10 years younger than I actually am. Maybe it's just a matter of inheriting good skin, or something, but I personally rejoice at having gone through the "darkness of the valley of narcissism," since I have emerged again into the light of life without need for a guru.
It is interesting, however, that you seem to have been so focused on me at the workshop over a year ago. Indeed, you are right, I was very "stressed" and miserable at that workshop. (And I know a couple of others from the old Sunday group who got very sick at that workshop and had to leave early.) I was upset at the lies that were being told at that workshop, and I had a hard time performing the new long forms that I knew at the time had not been generated by Castaneda at all, but were simply put together by Halley and others (contemporaries of mine from the Sunday classes). I actually left during stretches of the workshops when they were performing those passes, because it was hard to witness the charade. I was mainly there to see what Carol and the others had to say about Castaneda's death and the disappearance of the five women who left town when he died. It seemed the key moment for them to respond to those questions, since it was the first workshop held since they had publicly admitted that Castaneda was gone. The arrogance and blatant disregard for the truth in Carol's speech were very upsetting to me, and it was hard to hide how I was feeling. Nonetheless, at the time, I felt that I had to take what I knew to my grave. I wasn't going to upset anyone else who might be getting something out of what they were saying or showing, even though they had "lost" me by that point. It was more than six months later, after much soul searching (and confronting Reni and Bruce with some of the things I knew and not just getting unsatisfactory answers, but *no* answers at all, apparently because they had none themselves) that I ultimately decided to share a little of what I knew with the invitation-only group, mainly of former Sunday people, on the Sustained Action list. It was then only after several months of sharing thoughts and processing things on that list that several people at once had the idea of establishing this site -- to share some of that discussion with the larger Castaneda community.
>>>>And when I was describing him as a far too serious man, this doesn't mean that I can't imagine him laughing, it's more the style of this homepage, his behavior at the workshops etc. that makes me think so. When Corey looks now better than ever before, good for him. I wish him a long and successful life, really.<<<<
How generous of you. The same to you.
>>>>As I told you before, Corey, I think that you have become an important person, so the essence of Tensegrity and Carlos' teachings could not reach you. You seemingly even don't have an idea what this essence could be. (Yes, yes, I know, it's sex and dollars, the essence, isn't it? At least that's what you could perceive...as a lawyer and not as a being who is going to die)<<<<
Yes, you have repeatedly said that I have "become an important person," but what sense does that make? I think I'm publicly revealing my past folly with this site, and I generally feel pretty foolish when I talk about some of the things I formerly believed. I previously held fairly important career positions, and was in the media a lot, but I eventually gave up that life due to my Castaneda-influenced beliefs. I have a much simpler life now and it suits me quite well. I don't miss the media or my former responsibilities at all. I am, however, *less important* than I have ever been in my adult life. If you project "importance" on someone because they spend hundreds of uncompensated hours setting up a much maligned website and mailing list, then you have a rather bizarre notion of "importance." And as far as saying that I "don't have an idea" regarding the essence of Castaneda's "teaching," or that "they could not reach me," this again, is another arrogant presumption. I certainly don't have all the answers at the moment, and wouldn't purport to. I have helped launch this inquiry, however, which is continuing, and from which I have derived a great deal of information about many aspects of life. Omens and events keep showing me that this is the matter that Spirit has put in front of me -- reviewing Castaneda's legacy and the meaning of the Tensegrity movement he launched -- so until I receive contrary indications, I will continue to explore this subject, from all available perspectives, to the best of my ability. If this makes you and others uncomfortable about things *you* take for granted or don't want to have investigated, that's really your problem, not mine.
And frankly, your posts do not suggest to me in any way how you have taken your "square centimeter of chance" and run with it, beyond your repetition of certain dogma. But I'm sure there is more to what you have experienced than what has been revealed in your feeble attempts to belittle me and others responsible for this site.
Since you had given your intrepretation of the picture of Carlos taken just before he died. We invited you to see the tape. You emailed us and boldly said to name the time and place. We gave you our phone number to set up a convenient time, and you did not call.
If I were prone to guessing... this is what my guess would be... (gets out crystal ball)
You would have to reveal who you are. It is interesting that you termed "the video of the Nagual". Only Cleargreen people refer to Carlos as "Nagual", and usually in private, amongst themselves.
(puts crystal ball away)
In the previous post, you said you were aware that you were blowing your chance to see the video of the Nagual, by stating your opinion that the picture was taken by *spying*.
...and on the other hand there is the curiousity to see the information which came about directly through those condemned actions.
You are not the first to be caught in this dilemma... and surely not the last.
This form which you did not recognise is unfamiliar to you as a believer, given the seriousness of your warrior's quest for freedom.
Alot of what this site can do is to esthablish the true nature of Cleargreen; basically a pro-profit organiser of their own style of gymnastics.
If you look into the martial arts f.ex, you will see that they all usually have some esoteric teachings connected to them. At first you learn selfdefense and the likes but then you get to what is often refered to as energy generating movements (dynamic movements including some breathing technique).
At a later stage of martial arts learning you will often be encouraged (often strongly so) to come up with your own movements. In fact, the most dedicated pupils usually brake off from the guru, sensei, sifu or whatever, and after awhile create their own complete movement systems. That is how it has worked always I guess.
So be aware that tensegrity is only some peoples invention and compilation. By all means make your on.
I was in to Castaneda for a long time before he came along, and I searched for something similar in the martial arts studios, studying at a whole bunch while looking.
In one studio there were techniques to transform yourself into a Tiger, physically. They also had techniques for traveling very fast by taking extremely long steps, miles at a time. They had a technique for clinging to the sides of walls. That was HwaRangDo (sp?)
Another studio, Hapkido, had an old teacher who told me his teacher had been with him next to a lake one day, and commented that the guy on the lake in a boat would stand up, do a specific action, then sit down. The guy did exactly that.
In a chinese martial arts place they had an advanced class where you stood in ice water in a horse stance while the teacher did something to your body to start a flow of chi. The people who got in to that class (only chinese) insisted that it produced a huge energy flow, one so strong they had to keep their feet in water at night because they became so hot. That teacher recommended to us that couldn't take his class yet to get up early in the morning, at sunrise, go down to the beach, and stand in a horse stance facing the sun while punching with all our strength and calling to the spirit to give us chi.
The japanese schools were always more reserved, it was more about technique than anything else. But in one school, with a famous teacher named Yamazaki, it was rumoured that he belonged to a japanese group with quite an esoteric past. I once asked him about it and he replied that "satori" was the main thing, but that he never talked about it in the US.
The aikido schools are of basically a couple of kinds, some more oriented towards physical. One school, founded by a former zen practicioner, is totally energy oriented. They claim that it's possible to throw people using their techniques, but without touching the person, once you learn about ki.
The american kung fu schools are fond of the vibrating palm techniques, openly claiming they can kill or paralyze people by just placing their hand on their upper body at various points. There was one teacher who even demonstrated paralyzing people on TV.
The stick fighting people seem to have a tradition fo spirits and sorcery, especially the filipinos. But it's difficult for a white guy to get them to talk about it.
Is any of it true? I don't think so, but it's certainly part of their tradition.
I don't pretend to know about everything Carlos wrote about (I only read 4 of his books), but I do know that most of his initiation as a sorcerer began when Don Juan started taking him to great wilderness areas that were Places of Power. He had to be seak power and be "touched " by power before he could start being a man of "power". It seems to me that a lot of people dissapointed/frustrated with castaneda's teaching really beleive that can acquire power by simply attending workshops, practicing "tensengrity" (correct spelling?) and reading more books on how to "realign their assemblage point". Personnally I don't think you should follow any path unless you know from EXPERIENCE that some of the things make sense to you. I'd say to probably go on a vision quest, seek power, go to those places you've read about (the Sonoran desert, or perhaps the to the sacred temples of the incas in the high mountains of Peru). And don't go visiting as a tourist, be the STALKER of power. If you feel like it meditate or something, listen, or do your own litlle ritual if you feel like it. And then just maybe... if you're not to "western" in your thinking, if you're not just a wanderer, but a true seeker of power, then trust me in those moments of solitude, in the wilderness, something will happen and if you're not to skimpy, you will not run away but run towards it...And then, only and only then will you know if there is such a thing as "inorganic beings" or other manifestations of power.
But why would experiences in the desert be any different than getting silent and going in to dreaming? I've been pulled in by all kinds of weird beings, had them come out of the dream into the waking world, and had wonderful visions that happened while I was awake, driving my car, or walking.
None provided any evidence of being anything more than our natural ability to "navigate" in to worlds of our own creation.
It's fun, but it sure would be nice if there was something physical which could have an effect that lasted beyond the vision.
I like the idea of a vision quest, but it seems kind of naive to assume that one hallucination will actually change the direction of your life, seeing as how I've been saturated by them and haven't found any lasting effect. You get better at it, it pertains only to itself.
Isn't it really a matter of self-importance that you have such a vision and take it, without any real proof, as meaning anything more than it is, a vision that comes and goes?
Other than one hand dream, I mostly had visions of eggs, bacon and whole wheat toast.
None of my experiences has provided any proof it's anything other than a simple mind induced vision. I've developed remarkable control at being able to initiate them and sustain them. And the process and results completely agree with what Carlos described. Yet, it's just something that happens, gets me really excited at the time, then the next day is barely rememberable. It's as if Carlos only explained what it felt like at the time and the conclusions he reached then, without telling you what happened later. It's a lie of omission. Like if you told someone you opened up a letter from Publisher's clearing house with a check for $1 Million, but didn't bother to tell them you later found out the check wasn't cashable.
The sober thing to do is not to jump to conclusions and not use dreaming experiences to justify a cult or to make wild claims about living forever. Carlos told you X, Y, Z. You experience X in dreaming. That doesn't validate Y and Z, especially since you can see he lied about those experiences as they applied to him and his group.
I go overboard saying it's all an illusion in order to try to balance out the lies and exagerations told by the cleargreen people. They've comitted a huge crime against the workshop audience. They let you all believe that somewhere inside the secret confines of the cleargreen group, someone really knows this all to be true because they're living the magical life of a sorcerer. But they aren't. They're lives are just like your own, with a little less variety and a little more harsh routine.
As to whether there's anything real to dreaming, I don't know. I think you can never prove it's false. Because if it's false, nothing will ever happen, and someone can always say you have to try some more. The only thing you can do is say that it ought to have produced a specific result by now. But someone else will tell you that you did it wrong.
By the way, you're not supposed to be able to mess up dreaming. It's supposed to be that you learn to sustain dreams at will (I can hold any dream for 20 minutes, and many for up to 6 hours). Then you learn to change dreams. I make it a rule to change dreams at least once each time, sometimes as many as 20 times. As a result of doing that, inorganic beings are supposed to notice you in a few years.
Well, I've put in the few years and no inorganic beings. I've run into what I believe might be the source of Carlos' claim of scouts, but they don't have any realness beyond the dream.
Don Juan said the main benefit of dreaming was that you didn't really believe any of it was true, until you got so far it was too late. So my not believing should not be an issue.
My point is, work hard, do what I've done, then I'm sure you'll agree with what I say and disagree with what cleargreen claims. But really do it. Don't just do a little and become an overnight expert, jumping all over to your own conclusions and not telling the truth about how much you can really do. We've already got plenty of those.
Despite my disbelief I keep trying, my goal is to learn to jump in to dreaming anytime on a moment's notice, awake or asleep, with control enough to go to any specific place. Then I'll be able to investigate the "realness" of it. Control like that will probably take me another 10 years at least. Right now I can get in to dreaming any night, as long as I'm lying down on my side, and not too tired. But I haven't got control over where I end up. So there isn't any way for me to test it against anything measurable.
I know you said you cant get to a specific location, but I meant when you are trying to get to a place does the time of day that you are traveling match the time of day it would be if your "real" body was to be trying to make the journey at that time...also I forgot to ask if you do see your body on the bed if it dressed the same way as it "really" is...'naid.
I've gotten up from the bed directly in dreaming, without passing through an intermediate dream. As odd as it sounds, I never thought to look back on the bed for a sleeping body. I suspect I wouldn't have seen one though. In that particular type of dreaming the room seems perfectly normal for quite a while, perhaps 5 minutes. Then I typically discover something wrong, such as moving curtains. It usually scares the shit out of me for an instant, but I've learned that dreaming fright goes away if you confront it.
I've never had the experience that matches Genaro's one of waking up and finding oneself. But I do find there are different types of dreaming, and one of them is where you are dreaming an exact copy of where you went to sleep. It has a deffinate different flavor.
The time of day matches when I have the dream where I am dreaming a copy of the room. In the rest of dreaming, when you just find your hands or go directly into a dream somewhere else, there's really no way to say what time of day it is because if you look for sunlight you'll find some somewhere. It's a good way to get back a dream that's fading out, look for patches of sunlight and put your hands in them to brighten the image.
I think that categorizing dreams by the time of day is another of Carlos' fibs by omission. What you look for is what you find in dreaming.
A final question if I may. In your time with him, did carlos frequently travel to mexico? Now with all his power spots, and warrior burial grounds, contacts(?) etc. that he knew in Mexico, why just hang out in L.A.? There is clearly something up with wilderness areas and power, especially alone. It is perhaps the place where I have encountered IB's the most and been still enough to communicate, rather than explain them away) before getting the fuck back to civilization. So I wonder if CC went there, lived there, or what? Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
Carlos told us that he couldn't go to mexico anymore because the energy ceiling was too high there and he had almost burned the last time he went there. He told us that he was ready to burn right now, and that if he ever got too sick he'd just burn instead of suffering.
As far as I know, he did not go to mexico after he started the sunday classes. And less than a year later he was diagnosed with fatal liver cancer, so he certainly didn't go after that.
Yea, I have to admit I wonder if the tensegrity was part of the process. But I didn't suddenly learn to do dreaming, I worked hard for many years. Before I learned any tensegrity I had already worked my way up to twice a week finding my hands. I really think it was the endless hours of trying to get silent, plus all the recapping. I don't believe the recapping works as they say, but it's a good exercise for visualizing scenes and bound to be good for dreaming.
I stopped doing any tensegrity at all when I learned the origin of the recent tensegrity techniques. It was too disgusting for me. When I stopped, my dreaming went way up. Instead of being dogmatic and insisting on following Carlos' techniques, I loosened up a little. I didn't force myself to look at my hands every few seconds. I didn't care if the dream was totally controlled, if the plot was interesting I went along with it a little more. As a result I've become at least twice as proficient, although not quite as purposeful.
I have noticed that exercise in the gym produces very good results. It increases my ability to lie down and go directly in. My body is tired, I have an exercise high, but my mind is not fatigued. That's a good condition to get dreaming by lying silent.
I'll never know if the tensegrity helped because I wouldn't have put in as much effort as I did without it. Believing is half the battle. But now any kind of exercise that produces a buzz and doesn't tire the mind will do. I deffinately prefer heavy weight lifting. It teaches me to relax while exerting and extreme effort. That's good for dreaming, and also to avoid getting a hernia (which Carlos warned us about constantly).
The Sunday classes started in Sept. 1995 and ended in mid-1997. There were two Mexico workshops (possibly three) that Castaneda went down for during that time. He told us that Kylie or Talia or someone had to stay with him the entire time, so he didn't "burn," and that he basically got no sleep. On two occasions, he told the Sunday class he wanted to take us on a tour of Tula and a couple of other sites important to don Juan, but the first time he left after barely two days in Mexico (i.e., couldn't stay the extra day for this tour), and the second time he had to cancel out on going to the Mexico workshop because of his health.
Bernie asks: <<<<I want to know if anyone knows what Carlos was referring to when during the Westwood seminar , I think it was his last lecture, he said; "a new nagual has been found, here at this workshop. He is outside at the moment going bananas with the energy of this seminar. He is a prophet, you are all prophets". There was mention of Cleargreen staff dealing with a guy who had lost a bit of composure (see Ixtlan notes of the same seminar). Whom was he referring to? Was it just a stir up for Ďwould -be naguals?>>>>
Those don't sound like exact quotes from the Westwood July 1996 workshop, but they are close enough in their meaning, I guess. What is referred to here in these inexact quotes is a Greek guy who attended the workshop, who was apparently so upset at not being "discovered" during the course of the workshop (among other things, he had asked a real "suck up," attention getting question on one of the workshop's first days), that he stood up to denounce Castaneda during the last question & answer session, on the grounds that poor people who "needed" Tensegrity were being excluded by the prices charged for the workshop. I can't remember whether he was escorted out or not. I do remember that the next person to get up and try to denounce Castaneda in the same session was the infamous Merilyn Tunneshende (who attended the workshop under the name "Margaret Townsend," if I remember correctly). She is well remembered for shouting "You're selling it! You're selling it!" and then being escorted outside by Bruce Wagner.
Because the Greek guy was so pompous, flowery in his speech and seemingly full of himself, Castaneda referred to him as one of the many "new self-proclaimed naguals" that were often being condemned (usually by Kylie) in that era of the workshops.
The description red dot in the black field is several thousand years old, it's the "inner lights" aphorism you can find in "How to know God", a translation of patanjali's aphorisms.
One interpretation of that technique is that you meditate until you get to inner bliss (you mind feels like it sunk down, you can't feel your body, you get so silent everything becomes abstract, you start to have visions, etc). Then you stop meditating for about 30 seconds, and let the single thought "inner lights" come in. You let it fade away and return to whatever state you reached in meditation. If you practice, an echo will result from holding and then dropping the thought. That echo often produces the predicted result. I learned 19 of these techniques, their predicted results ranged from levitation to viewing a map of the universe. Some of them worked on occasion, and the results were always entertaining.
I had an argument about these lights the other day with someone, because I thought that Muktananda had described them in one of his books but wasn't sure. But I do know that the blue dot, in the form of a pearl, is the sign of one of the branches of yogananda's schools. I didn't realize that, and went to visit their school, about 20 years ago. As I stood in the doorway to go in I saw a blue dot materialize in front of the door. I later saw on the cover of one of their books that this was a symbol for their school. When I told some of the devotees that they practically threw me out for being a crackpot.
I believe it's muktananda that describes these as a red light, a black hole or cloud, a whitish mist (or purple?), and a blue dot. The blue one can turn into a pearl and reveal an alternate "astral plane". Coincidentally, I used to work with a tai buddist who only saw the blue dot, and claimed that when it turned into a pearl it was actually a whole world and in the center you could see your master sitting on a lotus flower. He didn't seem to be aware of the yogic interpretation.
They do in fact work, but I have to wonder that if someone included a green frog if that would also work. And people have in fact seen them before being told about them, so they also probably have some direct physical connection to us all. I used to see the blue dots so often that I told my eye doctor, who claimed it was a rod or cone inside the eye spasming or dying.
I've read off the wall a couple of times, in exactly the manner Carlos described, using the red (he said "pommegranite") color dot. And what I read was about as useless as what Carlos used to report to us in the sunday class. I tie his description to those yogic lights because when I saw it I realized it was the same as the ones I used to see practicing that form of yoga. It was the same phenomena, I just hadn't looked for anything to read in the center of it. By the way, Carlos used to say you could read off the wall any number of ways, that was just his way.
Don't think I'm putting it down, it's a lot of fun. If you find any use for it I'd be all ears. It just seemed like you were offering it as proof of Carlos' teachings and I wanted to point out it was a pretty old experience.
I surrender. It took about a month to let go of the 16years old belief system in my mind. The scale was tipped by the the stories of B. Meyerhoff. They clearly illustrate that Castaneda was not the dull fellow that he portrays himself to be, especially so in the early books. Furthermore, one story by his former wife showed that even before allegedly meeting don Juan, Castaneda was exploring his own magical potential (as shown in his way of understanding the Sue Childress affair) . These two personnel accounts highlight Castaneda as a type that is diametrically opposed to the character he wants the reader to see. To me, that undermines his credibility.
But there is a paradox. The paradox arises by information from his former Sunday students, especially David Worrel, Daniel Lawton, and possibly Greg and Gabi. These people provide the first independent and reliable evidence that 1) seeing energy as it flows in the universe is possible and 2) that control of dreams is possible, largely to the extent described by Castaneda.
It seems rather certain from the documentation available on SA Explorations and Chronologies, that what Castaneda reported on as an anthropologist was fraud. But at the same time, he was able to outline in detail, a way of life that would yield highly unusual results in terms of perception. Whatever anyone says, seeing pure sensory input is by all standards highly unusual. He was not only able to largely live up to the rigorous disciplines himself, but he also managed to instruct other people to obtain similar experiences of perception. That is by all guru standards very unusual.
You may say what you like about Castanedas integrity, and no doubt points will continuously be raised about his acts of lust, but he did apparently live a disciplined and somewhat Spartan life. Among the majority of fake gurus, I believe there is a positive correlation between income and stomach size. Being a superb storyteller, Castaneda could have given his teaching a twist that would have allowed him to give up his rigorous life style ? How can one be so persistent in adhering to ones own demanding ideas about life without anyone to live up to?
Among the most attractive aspects of his teaching are dreaming and seeing. They are real disciplines. The third and very most attractive point of his teaching is to burn from within. Unfortunately there are little evidence in support of spontaneous human combustion, in whatever form. Had we just smelled a tiny breeze of smoke coming out of the mans ears last spring, this web-site would probably not have been in existence. But he flubbed it. Furthermore, among his stories about sorcerers of ancient Mexico, there are not a single story about anyone making it to absolute freedom, burning from within or otherwise. So even if he had not been a liar, what is his teachings worth ?
Carlos Castaneda worked himself up from nothing to become a professor at UCLA. That is a feat. At the same time he managed to set up his own rules and definitions of reality and perception which he lived according to. The existence of Castanedas reality is confirmed by his former students. That is such an incredible achievement that I find no other word for it than sorcery.
As you can see, this post contains something that looks like contradictions. On the one hand I believe his books are largely works of fiction, on the other hand I suggest that the concepts presented and exemplified by Castaneda was not purely the product of his imagination. What the detailed picture is, I can only speculate.
But you, dear TDB´s (true dis-believers), do not have to be content with speculations. You were there and if anyone can provide a varied picture, it is you. This is no court. There will be no final bang with a hammer, no final truth. Maybe you could fill us in on some of the "positive" experiences. Permit a more detailed picture to emerge. Maybe you could encourage an approach that will not brand this fine web-site as single-minded TDB´s pursuit of the "truth", which, in the end of the day, will only be one facet of something quite extraordinary.
PS Thanks Corey. I got more time now but no friends to spend it with. Three years ago I met the woman of my life but sneaked out of it due to the no attachment rule. I broke of from my long time comrade one and a half year ago. Both actions was stupid. I now conclude that it is stupid to reject friendships and human warmth (a million people could have told me that, some did, but I thought that I knew better).
You certainly nailed the quandry there. Yes, you can learn to see energy, and manipulate dreams in ways I haven't seen described in the lucid dreaming stuff.
Now, is the stuff offered by cleargreen the best way to do that? And is it worth the price? There aren't as many people in there doing this stuff as there should be, I used to be eager beaver when it came to getting people to tell what was happening to themselves. And I used to have a few good contacts of cleargreen insiders. The fact is, not much was happening to them in this arena, their experiences were more cult oriented ("more energy", incredible sense of community with special beings like the blue scout, hallucinations they got after laying down after hours of exercise, etc).
We all used to be very much involved with trying to remove the baby and throw out the bath water, but we became synical because the TBs were so large in number and so uninterested in actually figuring out what was going on. It was like that movie "night of the living dead". At first, you might find that situation really interesting, even wanting to capture one of them and poke it with a stick to see why it was able to walk around. But by the end of the movie you'd find your self just slashing at them with an axe, because there were too many of them and they weren't particularly good company.
J. Stender wrote, poignantly:<<<<I surrender. It took about a month to let go of the 16years old belief system in my mind. The scale was tipped by the the stories of B. Meyerhoff. They clearly illustrate that Castaneda was not the dull fellow that he portrays himself to be, especially so in the early books. Furthermore, one story by his former wife showed that even before allegedly meeting don Juan, Castaneda was exploring his own magical potential (as shown in his way of understanding the Sue Childress affair) .. . . . But there is a paradox. The paradox arises by information from his former Sunday students, especially David Worrel, Daniel Lawton, and possibly Greg and Gabi. These people provide the first independent and reliable evidence that 1) seeing energy as it flows in the universe is possible and 2) that control of dreams is possible, largely to the extent described by Castaneda.>>>>
I greatly appreciate your sharing your thought process and this apparent paradox with us. For me, the most succinct and enlightening take I've seen regarding your second point was recently shared on the SA list by someone who originally posted the following to the "Energie" Mailing List:
"If we prove Carlos to be wrong - that means to assume that he only presented us his fantasy and stories from second hand - then our awareness is obviously cabable of transforming other people's fantasies into a reality that we can experience since Carlos fantsy became reality in our experiences. If our awareness can do that, we confirm through our experience Carlos' 'FantasyThesis' that our imginations build our perception of the world."
You also stated: <<<<Carlos Castaneda worked himself up from nothing to become a professor at UCLA. That is a feat.>>>>
Just a small point of clarification--Castaneda received, controversially, his Ph.D. from UCLA, with his third book--Journey to Ixtlan--being credited as his dissertation. He was never, however, a professor at UCLA (although he may have had some teaching assistant responsibilities while he was a graduate student there). He *was* appointed for a semester or a year's term at UC Irvine as a guest professor, being voted into that position by the student body which had, at least for a time, the prerogative of electing one person of their choice to be a temporary faculty member. (I'm just explaining this to clear up the record, not to detract from any of the other valid points you made.)
Finally, J. moved me deeply with the following personal information:<<<<PS Thanks Corey. I got more time now but no friends to spend it with. Three years ago I met the woman of my life but sneaked out of it due to the no attachment rule. I broke of from my long time comrade one and a half year ago. Both actions was stupid. I now conclude that it is stupid to reject friendships and human warmth (a million people could have told me that, some did, but I thought that I knew better).>>>>
I hope you don't kick yourself too hard for this. You had committed yourself to a path that was based on a lot of fine philosophy. In the course of the workshop movement, Castaneda seemed to condemn one-on-one relationships at every opportunity (let alone marriage and "love"). Taisha's book too quotes "don Juan" as saying that celibacy (let alone the seven-year rule) is an absolute, bottom line requirement for any "warrior" seeking to experience their "double." (E.g., on page 160, don Juan tells her, "The double must be released gradually, harmoniously. A prerequisite, however, is that one remains celibate," and "[s]eriously, though, storing sexual energy is the first step in the journey toward the ethereal body, the journey into awareness and total freedom.") So your story, while poignant and disturbing, is not at all an isolated case. In fact, it was largely due to the fact that I kept hearing such stories about those of us who, like myself, had parted with loved ones or ended relationships that they couldn't rectify with their "warrior's path," that I decided I had to come forward with what I knew about Castaneda and company.
It is my deepest hope ("intent"?) that love, friendships and human warmth (in my view, the real "bird of freedom") once again shine on you (and the rest of us in like circumstances) very soon.
When, in 1997, I told Cleargreen that I would not be returning to do seminars (this after travelling from Australia three times over an eighteen month period), I decided to find my beloved; I did, I moved, and in a couple of weeks we are getting married. What blinding bliss! I am middle aged, I've never married and hardly been in a relationship. Why the turn around in events for me? Because by going into something so opposite my tendencies, as shamanism is, I was able to discover my own tendencies more fully? Probably. I still do magical passes and love them, and will allways do them as long as I exist I think, but I might not, big shit! It's not my path but I travel it sometimes. It's just a path, so is mine. Bernie
People usually think I'm just grinding on the axe again when I say this, but I've discovered that exercise is superior to tensegrity.
I can even quantify it, or explain it a little. I've been working on it. So here's what I've learned so far (since you brought up the fact that you still do tensegrity).
1. Aerobic exercise gets blood and oxygen flowing and reduces your inactive heart rate dramatically, resulting in a great feeling of well being. When practiced on a machine which insures 15 minutes of genuine aerobic heart rates it's vastly superior in effect to tensegrity. I believe now that the good feeling from tensegrity was largely a result of aerobic portions of the movements, which are not particularly well sustained.
2. Carlos was a genius at isolating muscles. We saw many times in class how he would come in with a new technique which seemed specifically designed to isolate and work out a muscle. That also produces a very good result.
But the machines in the exercise places do it even better, and allow you to put a controlled strain on the muscle, as much weight as you want. In the process they realign bones, such as your shoulder, puff your muscles up with blood so that you get a true understanding of where one starts and where another starts, and generally teach you to exert a concentrated physical effort without tensing up another portion of your body.
I believe that if people honestly went to a gym with the idea of finding out if they could reproduce similar results to tensegrity they would realize that machine isolated and controlled exercise is superior.
The high I got from working out last night lasted for 12 hours. The average tensegrity high used to last me only 2 hours. And it didn't realign my shoulder. In fact, I've talked with many people who have shoulder and back problems as a result of doing tensegrity.
The movements are excellent from a physiological standpoint. I encourage you to do them as exercise or whatever. Take about six months and reflect on the rest. Mix them with your normal routines and exercises. There are some movements there that are scarce in normal gymnastics, aerobics (although it's coming close), and even the normal repetoire of martial arts that the common person has. So if you're familiar with Tensegrity, keep on practicing but the rest of your life is damn important too!
"I hope you don't kick yourself too hard for this. You had committed yourself to a path that was based on a lot of fine philosophy."
Here I find is the predicament: blindly following a system or teacher. I contend that anything read or heard must be evaluated by a comparison to one's own personal experience. I could not accept or integrate into my daily actions inforamtion given to me without this examination process. It is unfortunate that someone would base their actions at the direction of another without personally validating that information. As an extreme example, if CC directed: "your tonal is out of whack, as a stalking manouevre to rectify the problem, you should go out and murder people". I sense most would reject this information. It appears to me that CC & cohorts, and even Cleargreen, at least in their writings, have warned against the 'guru' mentality and hierarchies.
The only thing an individual has is his/her personal experience which must be trusted and used well to evaluate everything else. With this attitude CC's work approached. Then the question of whether DJ was an actual being or, did CC make up tensegrity is not critical to me; while intrigued by the stories, I will only accept as useful knowledge that which I have been able to integrate and validate by my personal experience.
Erik Grafstrom wrote: >>>> Here I find is the predicament: blindly following a system or teacher. I contend that anything read or heard must be evaluated by a comparison to one's own personal experience. I could not accept or integrate into my daily actions inforamtion given to me without this examination process. It is unfortunate that someone would base their actions at the direction of another without personally validating that information. As an extreme example, if CC directed: "your tonal is out of whack, as a stalking manouevre to rectify the problem, you should go out and murder people". I sense most would reject this information. It appears to me that CC & cohorts, and even Cleargreen, at least in their writings, have warned against the 'guru' mentality and hierarchies.<<<<
Cleargreen does have a habit of saying whatever they think suits them at the moment, whether it's the new suggestions to be "kind to your parents," or the belated and duplicitous claim that "there is no hierarchy, we're all at the same level."
What you and others who were not personally involved with Castaneda seem to conveniently (and understandably) ignore, given that you are primarily dealing with what he wrote in the books, is that the in-person Castaneda was quite a *different* personality from the bumbler/student in the books. In fact, Castaneda regularly told us in the Sunday group to "throw away the books," and "pay attention to what I'm saying now." He also encouraged those who were personally invited to meet with him to "set aside your judgments," and recognize that "I'm your only hope" for making the "leap" he constantly referred to.
So your prerogative of "not accepting or integrating" an authority's information without evaluating against your personal experience is wonderful and commendable, and is a good guideline for all of us. Those of us who were regularly told that our "centimeter of chance" and "window of opportunity" lay in doing what Castaneda told us at the time we were seeing him were, I submit, in a very different position. (Keep in mind too that we were also regularly told there was "no time," that it was "one minute to midnight," in his efforts to heighten the sense of urgency about whatever he was telling us.)
We regularly heard him lament, for example, that someone he had just sent away from his group had "trashed" their only chance, or failed to recognize that he was their "only hope." And he constantly held up other members of his inside group who were "not following instructions" as examples for us. In the Sunday notes on this site, for example, you can read Castaneda telling us: "Talia still hasn't said goodbye to her parents yet. I don't investigate, I don't need to find these things out. She's shown me letters, which I've said she should get rid of. But I've come to find out recently that she's very tied to her mother and parents. Am I going to have to say goodbye to Talia? How could I say goodbye to Talia? Unless she's severed that connection with her parents she can't go with us." [See http://www.sustainedaction.org/Sunday_051097.htm ]
So Erik, while I respect your personal approach to evaluating this info in the absence of a teacher, I submit that it is not respectful to chide others for taking on faith to some degree certain information (at least for a time) when they found themselves in front of someone who claimed to have the answers and was purporting not only to teach us but also offering to "take you with us" on many occasions as well.
Dan Lawton writes: "As in any cult, people who were found out to be giving due consideration were not invited back. It was a precarious situation, with the certain knowledge that any questioning would result in the loss of the opportunity."
Well, I am sure I could easily be swept away by the enthralling prospect of becoming a magical being and cheating death.
May I ask you as a favour, to summarize what you consider salveageable or useful knowledge that you obtained from the books and your association with this group of people, that might be useful for other people.
#1 most important: Learn to get silent.
#2 You can get really good at dreaming through making a real effort
Do you see any value in making the effort to attain points #2 & #3 ?
#2 You can get really good at dreaming through making a real effort
#3 There is such a thing as "seeing"
If it's just for entertainment value, one should consider the side effects. I guess in that case it's not a good thing to pursue.
But it might turn out there's something there. Seeing is in fact a way of perceiving with a minimum of interpretation. And dreaming is a state where the tiniest sensory input can be interpreted in novel ways.
So if mankind does in fact have hidden abilities, they're more than likely to come out in some form through seeing or dreaming.
Dreaming makes you pretty unconcerned about the rest of the world. It may be because of the effort it requires, maybe it modifies brain activity. But there's deffinately a grouchiness and detached after effect. That causes you to be less productive in your regular life. I've talked with many people who have experienced this. Although I have to say that since I dropped the dubious philisophy Carlos created I haven't noticed this effect. Just a general sluggishness after a night of heavy dreaming.
But seeing is quite a different story. Who knows what's up with that. If you learned to see at will, would it really be forced schizophrenia? Maybe not. I used to worry that forcing silence might stop one's heart and breathing. That turned out to be false (who could know what part of the brain might shut down).
Typically, in philisophies or religions which emphasize seeing, people who can see are really weird, and not in a positive way. Carlos created the idea of the impeccable seer (which he didn't seem to attain), but that's not the typical scenario.
Those are the side effects I'm talking about. Withdraw from regular life, sluggishness, and possible mental illness.
Calixto writes: " Thus, just based on the placebo effect, we could expect as many as three out of ten to experience "beneficial effects" of Tensegrity and Recapitulation (as I did). We may be able to expect as many as three out of ten to do things like experience the "vibratory force", "meet inorganics", or "encounter the spirit" (asI did). And if people have healing effects or powerful experiences from these practices I suppose that is all well and good. But in the end, I still have to conclude with ... so what? "
So one of the goals I suspect you originally had, experiencing something extraordinary, was achieved. Now you know it is possible and you walk away, enriched.
" Back to my question: are we to believe in nothing? Or in everything? Or just in anything we damned well please? "
We don´t have to believe in the placebo effect because it is a fact, as you point out. We call it an effect because of lack of understanding of the actual drive. Shall we conclude that the ability to believe can function as an agent with which we can alter physical reality, at least on a personnel basis ?
"If I fervently believe that I can melt steel with my bare hands, can I do it?"
Not quite maybe, but the Danes became Christian because the monk who tried to pursuade them passed a test from one of the chiefs in the South. The test was to wear a hot red-glowing iron glove. That is considered a historic fact, as they come a 1000 years ago.
"If not, then it is a weird weird world indeed, perhaps even weirder than the one portrayed by charlatans like Charlie. If I believe that this power comes from Jesus, does it? If I believe it comes from the Sun God Ra, does it? It's intent, it's spirit, it's a built in capacity of the brain and the nervous system, it's the mind, it's the soul, it's the buddha nature, it's maya, it's theta, it's God, it's ... you name it, and someone can say it ... and define its alleged characteristics, and create complex philosophies around it, and have thousands of fervent followers and believers , and ... so what? "
Forgive my bluntness but you are being stupid (the "so what" question). It is a weird world. Those who describe the world in terms fundametal for our culture, the physicists, certainly describe something very weird. The fact is that we have abilities that only charlatants and their likes explore. It is possible that those abilities never will be explained in terms we know of. But they are still a source of entertainment, awe, and best, they are a surface with what we know only little about. Changes, e.i. confrontations with the unknown, is a prime source of vitalization.
"But see, demanding fellow that I am, I want to know what that "Placebo Effect" is REALLY about. And now that I'm aware of the extent of the phenomena I'm not going to be satisfied with believing in anything until I do know. And, as usual, I should close by saying that I'm *especially* not going to be satisfied with just believing in the explanations of people already proven to be an unrepentant bunch of damned liars. I will not stoop to using the methods of such self-serving people in order to produce "effects" in myself. Nor will I be making use of this well-known "effect" in myself to help create holodeck representations of their liar's world. Bah. "
I certainly agree on not being satisfied by explanations from a bunch of liars. But why on earth should you ? The point I try to raise here on this page is that simplified statements about complex matters will not improve our knowledge. Just calling the Castaneda crew liars will not exactly improve the resolution of the time consuming experience you went through. Maybe you have a sufficient resolution, but in making a credible point in front of the public you got to give a balanced and detailed view.
"One thing that I do find interesting is that while there are plenty of examples on record of someone making a wart disappear, there are no examples of someone making, say, a house disappear (CC's fiction aside). The simple implication may be that the human body and brain has some significant ability to mold *itself*, but... very little ability to have a major effect on anything else."
Not true I think. The Russians made a lot of paraphyscological lab. experiments during the fifties and sixties (maybe also the Americans). I saw a footage with a woman who could separate the yolk from the white of a raw egg in a salt water tank. They also esthablised that many blind people could distinguish colors by the touch.
"There are all kinds of ways to look at this thing, but frankly, I see little possibility of discussing the issue thoroughly in an environment where half the participants are sorely tempted to reach for their CC bottle at the drop of a hat. "
That could be true. But is it possible to discuss Castaneda without discussing sorcery?
Reading many of the comments from thase disenchanted from CC and his world, a few points come to mind. Firstly, That many of the people posting here are trying to bring the Daily world and the sorcerers world into one. This is on the premise that there is an "out there" reality, objective so to speak, that is renderable by humans in one form or another. Reality is a trick of light, it is not 'Out there" but In us interacting. I still find the idea (reality?) of the assemblage point as the best way to understand this, rather than say, the placebo effect, which really brings us nowhere but back to staring at our own navels rather than at infinity in one way or another. Sorcery belongs to a separate world, to the world of spirits and wilderness and people without industry (at least historically) It has a role and a purpose, that fulfills a practical necessity and exists as an expression and extention of the world that these people experience. I am reminded of Daniel Lawton's statement about seeing not being very practical or even useful, and he is quite correct I think. There is no room in current western society for sorcery as it is/was in its own domain, that is in the sorcerers world. Example, If you have witches in a neighboring village killing your family, YOU BETTER Be able to see it and do something about it, then it becomes practical. But in L.A. ( sorry if it sounds harsh, I'm a NYer)What use is it besides a mysterious pastime, practically speaking? I personally believe it is useful in breaking the hold the world has on you, so please don't think I am asking 'what's the point?'. Now for someone who knows the sorcerer's world, or is psychic, or is a Pima Indian shaman, or whatever, what is the use, Where can they fit in current western society? The only way to remain out of western society is to keep quiet about it, and just be an eccentric old coot or whatever. But if WE (that is us) Know or hear about these people, they must have a place in Western society, which has no NEED for them, and so doesn't offer them a proper place per se. They are the 1-900 numbers, the corner psychics, the writers of inspirational books, the prey of anthropologists, or the Cult leaders! Yes, this is where they fit, and can only fit, in light of the industrial strength of western culture, and I don't care what reservation you are from, If you speak English/spanish or can read this, Western culture has got you and there is no denying it's hold, you drank it with your mother's milk. Now there is room for variety and different cultural influences, but they tend not to seriously rival the west. Now CC with his knowledge taken as being true (just humor me for arguments sake)how can he offer a RIVAL world-view without becoming a "cult leader", Jesus was a cult leader, and he only had 12 devout followers! the only difference is that his propaganda is still around and is in the majority (maybe not, but you have to admit it is strong) Now in the deserts of Mexico with a bona fide member of an different world (sorcerer's world) western bounds can loosen enough to let a bit of that world sink in, against all odds. But in seminars in LA? The sorcerers world will not be easily appreciated. To anyone who denies that the Sorcerers world exists: existence is not an issue of fact or fiction, if one is witness to something no one else has seen (however unlikely) it cannot be taken as fact by anyone else but the perceiver, but for the perceiver to deny it is to lose the enriching aspect of just such an experience. There is no final word or case closing final argument for these issues. We cannot take anyone's word over our own, but we can look where others have indicated something may be found, or lost as the case may be. I too like many of you took many of CC's writings as Gospel (sorry for all the religious stuff) and have suffered and made many mistakes because of it. But they were my mistakes, my fault, not CC's. cult leaders are made by their followers, not by their teachings, true or false. The stories of the sunday group and all the cleargreen stuff is unfortunate, and I am grateful to have read it, but just because CC was our exclusive source on the matter (in many cases) doesn't mean that when he falls in disgrace, that it invalidates what he described as his being witness to. Leave it open, I say. and all these references to western critiques, and use of the Term 'Cult babble' is, if I am reading correctly (no offence to anyone, I hope) just like saying 'that injun mumbo-jumbo crap'in other words. The same statement in two different worlds can have drastically different meanings, and a statement that a world is separate can work as a mechanism to hide inconsistancies, as well as be a valid description in light of just such a separate world, perspective changes truth so that there can be no ultimate or overriding rendition. Now that is something that I don't like to see coming from people who may have had validating experiences with the sorcerer's world. It is a hard battle because we don't live in the sorcerer's world, we live in the western world, and we can't reconsile them into one big happy cosmology. They are separate, and cannot be otherwise, western culture comes with the arrogant assumption that it can understand and assimilate anything because it deals with the "real, objective world" well many people with different views have said the same thing and have been just as bound to slavery as we are, even if they have magic, it doesn't save them, Shit we have the internet, beat that. So I guess what I'm saying is, who really knows? and if anyone stops seeking, well then they certainly don't know. And the one who's got it all figured out, well let him/her come forward and make a jackass of themselves, much like Carlos did. Yes he can be discredited but you must realize that the methods you employ to do so are not objective but belong to the world they come from and WILL SERVE TO VALIDATE THAT WORLD. AS a tidbit of a peace offering to those who hear what I'm saying, take a read of Morris Berman's The reenchantment of the World, p.94 will be a pleasant surprise.
From: Linda Zoontjens
>>>Certainly expectations and beliefs are key forces in the placebo response. Beliefs can harm, heal, kill, or save, and native healers may be well aware of this...The patient's confidence and beliefs are affected by the entire context in which healing occurs. Thus the personality, status, behavior, and beliefs of the therapist as well as those of the patient all play a role.>>>
From Sastun - My Apprenticeship With A Maya Healer by Rosita Arvigo
"My patients have abandoned me," he cried. "Itís those cultists. Theyíve thrown me over in a flash for those cultists."He was talking about the evangelists. They had arrived on Sunday and were conducting a week-long revival meeting down the road in a community building in the village of Cristo Rey. As their evangelism was revived, the people discarded their Catholic customs, fiestas, saints and beliefs in exchange for a simpler doctrine: Jesus is the only way, worldly ways lead to the devil.
It wasnít just the Catholic saints and the Virgin of Guadalupe who were discarded. Ix Chel and the Maya Spirits were doubly condemned: Evangelism required a complete rejection of the old Maya ways and beliefs.So when the evangelists conducted a week of soul savind for eternal life with Jesus in paradise, Don Elijio was a very lonely man. He was, sadly, an anachronism twice over since his healing was based on his friendly combination of Maya and Catholic lore. His old brand of Catholicism was accepting and had co-opted many Maya beliefs in order to survive in the peopleís hearts. And Maya religion had also co-opted Catholic beliefs in order to survive. There was no intolerance in Don Elijioís heart."Every night I can hear the loudspeaker going in Cristo Rey - the shouting and the screaming," he wailed. "No, they donít even want to hear my name now. Only hallelujah, halelujah, brother, and pass the donation basket."Those healings that they do donít last," he added. "Iíve seen it with my own eyes. They flail their arms about, they faint, they holler and get up walking or cured, but in a few days after the screaming and shouting is over, the sickness returns. Then, yes, they want to look for Don Elijio again."They donít understand," he said. "It is their own faith that heals them, not the evangelist preacher."
From: erik grafstrom
Yes there is hope for mystery.
Placing the the workshops, Cleargreen,anecdotal beaviour problems, politics, etc. aside, I still see a remarkable set of books that builds a consistent plan or view of humanity and the cosmos.
I am less interested in the question why was this plan developed than where did it come from?
From library material researched and synthesized ? From HL, DJ & others? From a poetic imagination or combination of the above?
If CC got the inforamtion from the library or from a collection of other people it is still a mystery to ultimately source where this information came from.
And if CC made everything up ( or most of it) it becomes more of a mystery to source the impluse of what I would have to call a 'poetic imagination'.
I contend that great ideas powerfully shaping our destiny thru time have come from this source of imagination. Think of the first person who 'discovered' the number zero, gravity, the notion of forgiveness.
The books should be evaluated on their own for what they are. To me it is ultimately irrelevant if CC, TA, or FD wrote the material as I believe there is no private ownershipof ideas. Sourcing this inforamtion goes beyond any individual. And validation can only be done by one's personal experiencel.
From: Sandy McIntosh
A few months ago I would have agreed with this. However, when I was writing my summary of Richard de Mille's *Castanada's Journey* for the SA list and this website I ran into trouble. This is what I wrote at the time: "I found one chapter of the book especially difficult to summarize. Chapter 7: "The Teachings of Don Juan" analyzes don Juan's cosmology as presented in the first four books. You'd think that this would be a piece of cake, summarizing-wise, but it wasn't. I discovered that the version of don Juan that deMille was using was (to put it in software terms) something approximating version1.1. In 1999, with *The Active Side of Infinity*, we've graduated to version 5.0, or better, which makes all previous versions obsolete. I hadn't realized how much don Juan's view of the All had evolved during the years since he left the world."
In other words, actually reading deMille's chapter and then going back over the first four books, I was amazed to find that Castaneda's (don Juan's) view of humanity and the cosmos are not consistent at all with what he later wrote. I found that the books are, in fact, a record of improvisation. I invite you to do what I did: go back over the books and at the same time look at the chronologies and the reprints of what contemporary anthropologists and other critics of Castaneda were saying. If in one book he was faulted for some factual, historical or cultural error, in the next book he went out of his way to to smooth over the criticism, even if the smoothing over required him to offer something even more outlandish.
From: Daniel Lawton
I used to know what Howard taught, but I forgot. He started teaching again a year or two ago, you could call his number and find out about classes. I think the Salter brothers have gone to his classes, if you know who they are you could ask them.
Carlos even taught us one technique which he named using the name of Howard's kung fu, if I remember I'll check my notes and get the name.
Howard's body is in incredible shape, whatever that martial art is it must be pretty good exercise. I saw somewhere a picture of him squatting down on one leg with the other straight out. A really difficult feat, try it yourself.