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That said,--- it seems to me--
Castaneda, and all his followers/disciples' reasoning, or lack of such, (are these even the right words?), as well as their motivations and his, might be discernible, but only through a far more direct knowledge than any of us posses.
I read the Salon piece, and it made a fair attempt to be even-handed, but it clearly wasn't easy. There's such a perfect archetype for the story to be shaped by.
When I re-read a couple of his books a few years ago, I was disappointed. I wondered that I could have been so easily impressed those long years ago. Then I skimmed the original, and ran across his essay in which Don Juan talks about the four enemies of a warrior, and I remembered what it was that I saw there.
I wish I had the book- I'd reproduce that bit.
But it would not change anything.
Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
Of course there will be something that provides a sense of some wisdom, though it comes down to some rather obvious things, face your fear, etc. But then some people go on to believe in flying Don Juans who turn into animals, etc. :-)
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
I meant specifically through the lives and actions of the inner circle. If there's concentrated manna, that's where you'd expect to find it, surely. If a guru promises enlightenment or special powers, then followers should be able to show enlightenment or special powers. At the very least they should show some progress towards same.
But if the inner circle is dysfunctional, where's the wisdom?
And also - all of the same attempts to mine from the same seam, from Christian Science to Castaneda to all of the modern retellings, make the same promise, which is individualised heroic mastery.
It's very, very easy to make a living telling people that they're warriors, masters, or whatever, and that if they do X, Y, or Z anything is possible.
It's also politically poisonous because it distracts people from a more complex reality of interdependence and synergy. No one's going to celebrate you or buy your books if you tell them that infinite power is an infantile dream and the truth is we're all in this together, personal power is limited and dependent on others, and somehow we all have to get along.
individualised heroic mastery
That's spot on.
No one's going to (celebrate you or buy your books) pay you any attention if you tell them that infinite power is an infantile dream and the truth is we're all in this together, personal power is limited and dependent on others, and somehow we all have to get along.
That's true. But if we could succeed in that, we'd have found the new story.
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