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    Thread: Castaneda Hoax

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      Castaneda Hoax

      Ok, so I thought this would best fit under this thread, but if you feel the need to move it, iceDAWWWG, then feel free.

      Any ways, so I've found out about this website that exists called Sustained Action (www.sustainedaction.org) and what it is is basically a resource for information discussing the possibility of fabrication within the world that Castaneda himself painted. There is a lot fucked up stuff on this page, but I think the taker of the cake there is the recently released book that was written by a young woman who supposedly knew Castaneda for like 27 years(since she was 16), and it's all about how fucking nuts he was and how he used her and other women and some really bizarre shit. Not to mention the book his ex wrote, about how abusive and weird(with mental games and such) Carlos was. Carlos was married to Florinda Donner and Carol Tiggs, as well. There's some really indisputable information regarding how Carlos MUST have fabricated a great deal of what was in his books. However, I'm not too sure if he didn't believe it. I'll have to read the book that girl wrote. It sounds very interesting. Plus, she has a forum where she posts back to people that have questions regarding her and the other members of Cleargreen(including Carlos himself), so if any one had a question, they could even post it their for this young lady to answer. This... is... well a rather odd development to any Castaneda fan. I always thought Carlos seemed a little sexist, and a little nuttier than some, but... well... guess he was really nuts. Kinda strange, makes me want to talk to my friend's step-dad who knew Carlos, as a personal friend. I've seen one of Castaneda's old houses, it's out by my friend's parent's land, in Weber Park, CO. He wrote some shit that's influenced a lot of people's ideas, and he did supposedly study under some shamans, but some of the stuff he said and did and made up was not quite right. He got lost on his search for truth, and... well... it's fucked up. I don't know, I just thought that any one that's read Castaneda would want to know, check the shit out. It's weird.

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      Guardian Serinanth's Avatar
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      dude, I love your avatar =).
      That would be sad if all that suff about Carlos is true.
      "A knight is sworn to valor.
      His heart knows only virtue.
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      I will check it out. I have always wondered if some of his writings was a bunch of crap.

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      Member jill1978's Avatar
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      I guess just like anything you have to take it with a grain of salt( as they say....who are they, I dont know) I think sometimes we want to beleive things are true, but even religion cant be proven, so those that beleive in him will not be swayed by any amount.

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      poor carlos

      The first books are really truthful (truthful as carlos is, which is actually not very, he does not trust himself and thus neglects much)

      but i think the power gets to him, his will is strong but he has no empathy, he has RAGE

      I would believe that he would use his power to manipulate others (he always believes that Juan and Genaro are attempting to manipulate him) and I would add that he is learning from the apprentice of a Diablero, so Don Juan's power was probably initially meant for manipulation.

      Carlos also learns to Act, this is the most dangerous thing that anyone can learn.

      Once one learns that morality and truth are completely subjective, and once one learns to completely change oneself and actions, who is to say what is real anymore. This is a world that any can become lost in, it is the biggest desire a man can be faced with. Once one can act with no truth or fear one can accomplish anything. The later years are a result of Casteneda's raw desires, karma kicks him worse then any could have imagined I think. Desire.


      But then again I just finished 'Tales of Power,' I may change my opinion with time and knowledge. For now I will happily continue to reading the most amazing record of shamanism I have encountered thus far.
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      It's just sad that in the end, everyone seems to fall to their own lies.

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      Member Silver Sphere's Avatar
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      I've never read any Castaneda but I don't think I've ever heard anyone speak really highly of him. I'm inclined to steer clear...

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      I read all his books some years ago. His book about dreaming I found does have some merit as some of the things discussed I had personally experienced before reading the book. I see his books like threshing cotton. If you can get all the seeds out you will have some cotton left!!

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      His books are supposed to be part fictional anyway. The messages he presents in them are the things that he was promoting. No, every single word wasn't true, but come on.....No one would have wanted to read them if they had not had an interesting story behind them. His books have a lot of spiritual merit, whether his books were absolutely true or not. I don't really believe that he really did that with those women anyway. But if he did, what do I care? His books were still really, really good.
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      *shrugs* i've never taken his writing at face value. i do know many of the concepts described expanded me when i read him years ago...who cares if its fiction or not if it works?
      for instance, even the hand stabilization technique alone is enough to make me glad he published the books.

      power corrupts. its nothing new, and makes no difference to me.


      “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” (or better yet: three...)
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      No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker. - Mikhail Bakunin

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      Some people think that some degree of skeptism is always healthy, however, in this case it is outrageous -- Carlos Castenada was on the faculty of a University and was presenting his books, at least the earlier ones, as genuine field research. This would make it a fraud.

      Now, ordinarily people can speak their theories and discuss their practices and make their claims, but it is understood to be on the strength of their own experience tempered by what might be an element of self-interest -- we all know of New Age Gurus who exaggerate in order to hype their own product. But a University Researcher and Professor is supposed to be above and beyond all that. That is what Castenada had betrayed. Honestly, the University of California probably should have retaliated with the strongest possible measures. No one should ever get away with such a Crime against Truth.

      It reminds me of an incident several hundred years ago when a British Admiral had in good conscience avoided an engagement with an enemy ship that went on to do some significant damage somewhere. The Admiral had thought it was not advisable to pick a fight where the wind, waves and other circumstances made it likely that he would lose. But the Parliament was all against using good sense in such deliberations, and equated caution with cowardice, and they voted to have the Admiral hanged, "as an encouragement to the other Admirals". Well, Carlos should have received also some commensurate punishment as "encouragement to the other professors". Civilization and the University Traditions simply should not tolerate such abuses. We have capital punishment for people for killing only other people, but people die anyway, and other people are born to take their place. But once the University System is not trusted, and people start talking about taking University Papers "with a grain of salt", then how much greater the loss to Civilization then a mere human life. Some crimes are worse than murder, and the punishment they entail should be worse also.

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      Member Gwendolyn's Avatar
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      Originally posted by wombing
      *shrugs* i've never taken his writing at face value. i do know many of the concepts described expanded me when i read him years ago...who cares if its fiction or not if it works?
      *for instance, even the hand stabilization technique alone is enough to make me glad he published the books.
      Exactly. I had my first LD while I was reading one of his books. This technique saved my dream clarity that night. I love the books, no matter what kind of life Casteneda led. He does have some valid things regarding shamanism to say anyway.
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      Carlos

      I enjoyed reading Castenada's books. But I would be amazed if ANYBODY thought they were completely true. If so I hope they don't jump off a mountain or try and sew lizard eyelids closed.

      I also don't believe his books are completely false. Some of his experiences (e.g. finding hands in dream) struck me as true.

      It was interesting to me that he was describing a shamanic path that was devoid of ethics. It was just about power. It would be amazing to me if such a philosophy didn't create problems with his personal life.

      When the 3 witches started their workshops I found this less entertaining. But I was unable to finish any of their books.

      For another remarkable book I'd recommend "Of Water and the Spirit" by Malidoma Patrice Some. I think he is on a little firmer ground.
      "we may accept dream telepathy as a working hypothesis." Stephen LaBerge, page 231 Lucid Dreaming 1985

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      huh. i didn't think he was making anything up until once all the other apprentices got involved. the first 4 or so books seemed honest.
      gragl

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      I always assumed Castaneda was a guru and took his writing as truth. Granted, I have only read the teaching of don juan (I just picked up the art of dreaming) but that text seemed credible. What one must understand is that truth can be shown in many different lights. It is possible some of the experiences may have been embellished or multiple events condensed into one. That doesn't make the experience any less true, even if the physical events are not entirely accurate.

      Honestly, I get really upset when people or their work is so easily discredited. I have not read many of his books, so it is possible what people have said is true. But even if a few things in a few books are inaccurate or entirely bogus, this doesn't mean that the man and his life's work was all a fraud. Using that same logic, a crooked lying politician could say one thing that was true and all of a sudden be the voice of the people.

      I like to think of things as useful or hindering. If you can read something and glean an important message and learn something, then it is useful. If this knowledge can help you further your life goal or spirituality then it is worth reading. Whether or not it actually happened, or was a dream or complete BS is irrelevant. It is what it is. A story to learn from.

      // cybereality

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      Member Gwendolyn's Avatar
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      I agree with you, cybereality.
      Shine on, you crazy diamond!

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      I'm not too surprised as there have been rumours for a long time now saying that Castaneda was heavily criticized not only for writing such bizarre things, but also his research is not even really that and has no scientific value. Above everything else, he is a talented writer and whether or not 'The Teaching of Don Juan' are completely fabricated or not (the only book by him I've read) anyone with half a brain knows that psychedelics are extremely powerful tools and SOME of what he wrote about isn't all that far fetched...

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      Originally posted by vanilla
      I'm not too surprised as there have been rumours for a long time now saying that Castaneda was heavily criticized not only for writing such bizarre things, but also his research is not even really that and has no scientific value. Above everything else, he is a talented writer and whether or not 'The Teaching of Don Juan' are completely fabricated or not (the only book by him I've read) anyone with half a brain knows that psychedelics are extremely powerful tools and SOME of what he wrote about isn't all that far fetched...
      you should read some more of the books. psychedelics play a very small role in this series of books, and the books only seemed to get better and better (until the eagle's gift, in my opinion)
      gragl

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      Yeah youre right, later on Don Juan is known to say that he only introduced Castaneda to them because he was too dumb to understand it otherwise. I think it's irrelevant, the power of psychedelics aren't in question. Besides, the main focus of the first novel is Carlos' desire to understand the psychedelics, and what better way then to do them ??
      But yes I will look into buying the rest of the series...

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      The rest of them are very good. I would really give them a try. I didn't really like the earlier ones so much. The ones starting with Journey to Ixtlan upwards are really the best.
      Shine on, you crazy diamond!

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      Castaneda - techniques for LD that work!

      It is possible some of the experiences may have been embellished or multiple events condensed into one. That doesn't make the experience any less true, even if the physical events are not entirely accurate. [/b]
      I completely agree. I did not read any Castenada for years because I had heard they were bogus. Then I read them all, especially The Art of Dreaming. It offered techniques that I had not seen elsewhere, and I used them with amazing success. I could stay in LDs much longer than without them. They WORKED! So, ultimately, who cares if his stories are bogus - if we get something useful out of them, then we win.

      Try the viewing exercise: Pick one object right after going lucid and look at it for 1-3 seconds. Then move to another object and look at it for same length. Then go back to first object. Then move to third object, then back to first. With practice you can do several objects before going back to the anchor object. It can even help you stay lucid when you feel the pull back to the body - do the technique and stay lucid.

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      I had recently finished the "Art of Dreaming" and I took from it the technique of applying pressure to the roof of the mouth with the tip of the tongue. It took me an hour to fall asleep but I had waken up three times in an hour from over excitement of the lucid dream but got back into the the Lucid Dream through a WILD three times in a row. I think tongue technique works the same way the finger tapping techniuque works:

      http://www.dreamviews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5270

      Personally, I think some of the stuff he wrote pertaining to his daily life has been questionable to myself, but the stuff he witnessed and has been to in dreaming, I have heard from several people that never heard of castaneda.
      -Live to dream, dream to live.-

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      I heard that the real carlos died after writing the tales of power and his student took his name and continued writing books with his notes and some fiction mixed in... but all i know is that everytime i pick up his books and read it tells me everything i want to know. If i had a question about dreaming I would read a few pages and the answer would be shown to me. The books definitly changed the way i think about everything. Whatever you think you cant just discard his books cause you think he was crazy or whatever. Read them and find out for yourself... I am on the last book now, Art of Dreaming was my favorite. I know for a fact that there are truths in the Art of Dreaming. It doesnt matter if all of it is true or not, what matters is what you believe and the feelings you get from the book. If you truly believe something its true no matter what anyone says. One man chose what to put in the bible and millions of people swear by it because its what they believe. Different strokes for different folks.
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      Gus
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      Takes crazy people to know a crazy person



      ive seen things casteneda couldnt imagine, and ive seen some of the stuff hes talked about and i think its real, now how much it affects our reality is very arguable

      point being its not a bad idea to take everything w/a grain of salt but also dont close out possibility, remember always that everything is energy, if its not energy its pure consciousness, if its not either of these two it does not exist

      ne way just my pov


      i personally think highly of casteneda although i have only read the art of dreaming and none of his other works although that will change in the near future.

      ne wayz, peace
      Why?

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      Those books are what got me in to Buddhism. There are so many links between the two, you just have to change the terminology and emphasis.

      I read the whole series and loved it but was sad I come never follow that path. I then discovered than Buddhism was even more incredible and had good ethics (and not just for the sake of it, there is good reason).

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