Story Inconsistencies: Example from The Eagle's Gift
and The Active Side of Infinity
By David Worrell
Here's one of my favorite examples. Two quotes, the first one from The Eagle's Gift, and the second one from The Active Side of Infinity:
"The next time I had a similar dream I went to my favorite coffee shop on the corner. The reason I selected it was because I was used to going there all the time in the very early hours of the morning. In my dreaming I saw the usual waitresses who worked the graveyard shift; I saw a row of people eating at the counter, and right at the very end of the counter I saw a peculiar character, a man I saw nearly every day walking aimlessly around the UCLA campus. He was the only person who actually looked at me. The instant I came in he seemed to sense me. He turned around and stared at me. I found the same man in my waking hours a few days later in the same coffee shop in the early hours of the morning. He took one look at me and seemed to recognize me. He looked horrified and ran away without giving me a chance to talk to him." (Chapter 3)
Replica Watches Replica Watches
"There was no doubt in my mind that I had jumped into an abyss in Mexico. I was now in my apartment in Los Angeles. . . .. I went to eat breakfast, something I always did at any time of the day or night, at Ship's Restaurant on Wilshire. . . .. At that moment, the back door of the restaurant, the one that led to the parking lot, opened and a strange character entered: a man perhaps in his forties, disheveled and emaciated, but with rather handsome features. I had seen him for years roaming around UCLA, mingling with the students. . . .. When he entered the restaurant, he sat at his usual place, and then he looked at me. Our eyes met. The next thing I knew he had let out a formidable scream that chilled me, and everyone present, to the bone...The man jumped off his stool and ran out of the restaurant, turning back to stare at me while, with his hands, he made agitated gestures over his head. I succumbed to an impulsive urge and ran after the man. I wanted him to tell me what he had seen in me that had made him scream. I overtook him in the parking lot and asked him to tell me why he had screamed. He covered his eyes and screamed again, even louder." (Final chapter)
In The Eagle's Gift, this is related as if it was just one of the events along the road of his dreaming training, and it occurs 10 chapters before getting to the point where he is jumping into the abyss. In The Active Side, it is related as if it occurs after he returns from having leaped into the abyss. In The Eagle's Gift, he has stared at the man before, in dreaming. In The Active Side, he simply meets him in the restaurant, after his leap. In The Eagle's Gift, he is unable to talk to the man. In The Active Side, he chases him down and talks with him. Get the picture? Castaneda clearly uses little incidents that happened to him at some point and sticks them together in a manner which is artistically "meaningful". Small parts of the stories probably are true, at some point, some street person probably looked at him, screamed, and ran out of a restaurant (or, at least, this probably happened to someone he knew). But the stories he tells, as presented, are clearly NOT true, and that is why I do not believe them.