carlos castaneda

Cam cam Cam, modified 10 Years ago.

carlos castaneda

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
http://www.prismagems.com/castaneda/

Lists of each of the salient points made in the books about Castaneda. Basically, all the useful stuff minus the story telling which links it all together.

Some nice points on getting over self-importance which were good for me. Detailed instructions on exactly how to shift the assemblage point are lacking but that doesn't make it useless.
Velvet V., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 37 Join Date: 4/13/10 Recent Posts
So you like Castaneda and you're serious about it, C C C? That's rare. Usually people disrespect this author.
J Adam G, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Comes with the territory when one is caught having falsified so much anthropological data. However, not having one's morality trip together doesn't necessarily imply problems with one or both of the other two trainings. He certainly seems to have some valuable things to say about concentration, though I am not familiar enough with what he says about what we would call insight to have an opinion about his advice there.

Thank you for posting the link! It will be very interesting to go through when I have some time. I'll bookmark it until then. My mother loves the Don Juan series, and I may send this stuff to her.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
velvet, yes it's a very nice style of writing. Style of writing is very important to me - it tells me a lot about the author and where he is at. Sure, most of it is unusable, but those little exerpts, some of them, are like rare gems. It talks mainly of reducing self importance and self talk. Whether it is fiction or not doesn't bother me too much, Adam. Some of the best spiritually-inclined writings are fiction, IMO. Fiction talks directly to the subconscious. Story telling gets under the conscious minds rigid barriers. If the message is good, you will know because it will make you feel good. I don't know if I'm allowed to mention a pop-psychology dude on here (I'll probably get shot down for being soft-core mainstream!!!), but some of Deepak Chopra's fiction writing is very good.
mjk 10 93, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 20 Join Date: 12/13/09 Recent Posts
Castaneda was a well-known fraud. I'd steer well clear of him. You can go directly to the writings of actual tribal Shamans if you are so inclined. And considering Chopra claimed that he caused the recent earthquake in Mexico by meditating on the Shiva Mantra, that warning goes double for him.

Sorry if I'm stepping on any spiritual toes here, but I get no vibe but a big load of phony from either of those guys.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Why not try reading that Castaneda stuff and make up your own mind? You'll find it quite sensible. If he fabricated certain parts, what's wrong with that? Bit of 'poetic license' to make it more readable and saleable would be quite the norm I would have thought. Doesn't detract at all from the underlying messages, which are very good.

I met Chopra once. He just seemed like an ordinary dude with an eye for pretty women and expensive clothing and jewelry. I don't think even he would say he has attained any great spiritual insights. I got no vibe, (good or bad) being in his presence, and I'm pretty good at reading people. The Twitter thing was a stupid comment, wasn't it? His fiction writing is very good. The non-fiction stuff I find a bit generic and dull, but I don't throw the baby out with the bath water. I take the good bits and leave the rest.
Velvet V., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 37 Join Date: 4/13/10 Recent Posts
I read his books and they're really nice. I like his idea that there are other objective worlds, rather than side-effects of your practice that you can observe as visions. And I like how he didn't put it to the extreme. Usually it's either about no objective realms at all, or about everything that you see being objective. Although Castaneda leant into the second direction, he tried to verify things, I like it. No matter if it worked out or not, I like the trend. It shows that he really saw the two extremes. And I like the idea of other objective realms, no matter how childish it might sound.

Apart from that, his books aren't much different from other stuff around, in my opinion. Stop being attached to yourself and the world, find your "original self" by stopping monkey mind, gain ability of direct knowledge of things. The only difference is that he did it all to gain access to the worlds he believed in, not to attain enlightenment. And some of his methods are really strange although creative, like lying about yourself to others in order to stop being attached to yourself.
mjk 10 93, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 20 Join Date: 12/13/09 Recent Posts
C C C:
Why not try reading that Castaneda stuff and make up your own mind?


I read a ton of Castaneda as a kid. My local library had the whole set (right next to the "Time Life Mysteries" series and the Eck books - loved those too.) Finding out that he - and the Eck guys - were frauds was a big blow to my 12-year-old self. I think I started thinking of myself as an atheist (a materialist atheist, not the Buddhist kind) soon after that.

The fact is Castaneda didn't just fabricate some of his stuff. That alone would be disturbing enough. But the truth is far worse: It was basically all made up. All of the more interesting stuff in his books, the Inorganic Beings, the Focal Point, the Universe being a (somewhat predatory) female in search of the rare male essence etc. bear little to no resemblance to the actual beliefs of the Indian tribe he supposedly lived with, when he was actually in LA writing science fiction for New Age suckers to buy as fact. Castaneda learned well from L. Ron Hubbard's example and I consider them of the same ilk.

It's hard to let go of all the fantastic horizons we probably all saw as kids reading these books. Very hard. I don't think I've ever fully let go of them even to this day. There's always the glimmer of hope that somewhere out there another dimension, another reality, really exists and that somehow we can find it and this will cure our suffering. But as this is a Buddhist board I will point out that in Buddhism no experience, no matter how fantastic, is a cure for suffering. Even if Castaneda's world was real, eventually you would get bored with it. Only the letting go of experience is a cure for suffering.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
But that's my point, story telling (fiction) can still be very useful. AND, if you read the links in that website you will see how applicable to the real World his message is. It's all about overcoming self- importance and attachment to 'the known'. If his terminology freaks you out, just substitute 'buddha' for 'sorceror' and 'soul/spirit' for 'nagual', etc.

You criticize Castaneda for story telling, and yet Buddhism has a few mythological stories of its own, doesn't it?....and I'm sure its fair share of cults and control freaks. Even so, you can still filter through all the garbage and come out with the really useful stuff. Luckily Daniel has done that for us in his book. I'm sure as hell I wouldn't have had the patience to do the same.

As for Hubbard, anyone can see from a distance he was a control freak and probably quite deluded as to his level of spiritual accomplishment. Once upon a time, he probably did some concentration practice, saw a few aliens and thought "oh my god, this is IT!". All you'd need to do is look at the people who follow him to know his path is useless, and probably dangerous. Totally different kettle of fish.
mjk 10 93, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 20 Join Date: 12/13/09 Recent Posts
Yes, Castaneda wrote fiction but not innocently. He passed it off not only as genuine spiritual experience but as scientific Anthropology. That's a big difference in my book from the legends about the Buddha that developed over time as Buddhism spread to different cultures.

I think anyone looking for a genuine spiritual experience is wasting their time with charlatans like Castaneda and his followers like Dwayne Dyer, he of the endless PBS specials and $400 DVD sets. You are right, Hubbard's followers show his stuff is bunk, but Castaneda's #1 disciple today is just a New Age version of a Televangelist, right down to bragging about his mansion and swank lifestyle that "the Source" gave to him. So that says something similar about Castaneda's path, no?

Anyway if you think there's some kind of spiritual truth encoded within his fiction, I hope you find it. I doubt that there is.
Katy R Eng, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Post: 1 Join Date: 9/11/09 Recent Posts
You can find 'genuine spiritual truth' in anything. Don't waste your time compartmentalizing.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
I'm just bumping this thread because I happened to attend a Deepak Chopra lecture last night. Someone bought me a ticket for my birthday - nice huh?!

Boy, has he taken it up a few notches since I last saw him! Previous lectures had been little more than a rehash of his latest book, with a bit of a bored presentation manner. Last night's lecture was astonishingly good, and I'm very critical when it comes to such things. Perfectly pitched, lots of cutting edge science (I read a lot of health-related stuff and it was new to me), useful practical ideas about happiness. Just a masterful presentation.

Deepak's 'thing', his talent, has always been to take spiritual and scientific concepts and make them appealing to a mass audience. To do this properly is no easy task. Firstly, the subject matter must necessarily be watered down, otherwise the mass market won't even look at it, let alone digest it. Secondly, the mass market are pretty stooopid! It has to be easily understandable. I'm just stunned how elegantly he conveys his messages without losing too much of the gist. Again, masterful. Only a couple of times during the lecture did I think to myself "99% of the audience ain't gonna get this" and it was when he was explaining the concept of 'entanglement' (as a quantum weirdness phenomenon).

Don't be put off by the fact that he is popular, successful and wealthy. Don't be put off by the fact that he sells books and CDs. There's actually nothing wrong with that. There is certainly no hoo-haa, no pushing of his products during the talk or afterwards. If you cry out that everything popular is bad, you would have missed the Beatles, ACDC, the Rolling Stones....and you never have "got the Led out". Sometimes people are popular for very good reason.

One last thing: integration. Daniel if you're reading this, Deepak's stuff on integration is really fantastic, even though he doesn't use that word. I like it because it integrates form day 1 - not waiting for great spiritual breakthroughs before one starts. He links this in to creativity, having fun and enjoying work. He is also big on achievement as a way of overcoming 'psychological stuff'. Sometimes I see people who have great insights, but they still have their 'stuff', their baggage. Being able to stabilize in Equanimity but being offended when someone cuts you off in traffic???? That's total bullshit! Unbalanced living is what i would call that.

I have no alliance with Deepak, don't work for him, don't know him personally. None of that.
Victor Cova, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 9 Join Date: 7/12/10 Recent Posts
For a slightly different take on the whole Castaneda thing, and as a first post from me:

He is not only read but quoted and taught by some of the best anthropologists around today, one of which is Roy Wagner. There are some good reasons for that: He wrote before the 1970s a book that would inspire a lot of anthropologists to start taking a lot more seriously what the people they were working with were telling them, away from kinship diagrams and towards experiential stuff. Moreover, he prompted the creation of the anthropology of conciousness, which was an interesting enough movement. Finally, once you realize that when he writes "today I attended a Peyote ceremony" he actually refers to him sitting in the library reading about a Peyote ceremony, you get a lot of the debates prompted in the 1980s by Writing Culture, and in particular the way myth relates to everyday experience, writing and orality, etc. Wagner seems to see even a lot more in it than just that, but I haven't yet read or heard him ;ore extensively on that topic.

All of this to say that, actually, Castaneda may not be bad anthropology. However, why non-anthropologists would read him is a bit of a mystery, as he repeats a lot of popular psychology and popular religion available at the time, for instance Zen and the Art of Archery etc (For more exact references of pretty much all his sources, see Richard De Mille's books on the topic and Rodney Needham's essay in Exemplars). Maybe it's a good summary of stuff, maybe not. If you are interested in Shamanism, a better idea would be to go towards Michael Harner and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. Harner is a very good anthropologist who left academia in the 1980s to teach the "West" about what shamans do. From what I've read, the basic training they provide is a bit disappointing, but it gets better after that, as it should, with soul retrieval stuff etc.

Which brings me to a question: Western Buddhism, to caricature, is this very "pure" thing, mainly concerned with internal states, knowledge and a bit of superpowers, whereas as far as I know (but my speciality is Amazonia, not Asia), buddhism is usually found alongside some forms or other of "shamanism" in Tibet etc. Are the two compatible, mutually incompatible but equivalent paths, one ascetic the other ecstatic, completely divergent paths, one better than the other...? To make the question more grounded: I'm going to go spend a few years with Shuar Indians in Lowland Ecuador in a year; Something they may do (though it is possible they have now stopped) is to take Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic, and dance, sing and talk to animals and travel to underwolds and waterworlds and forest worlds etc. Should I spend the year trying to get very very good at insight meditation etc so that I'll be able to better grasp what theyy're doing, will it be useless for that purpose but a good thing generally, or should I avoid mixing the two together?

Cheers for any reply...
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Martin M, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Hey Victor,

trying to make some meditation progress in the remaining year before using Ayahuasca seems like a good idea to me.
Especially becoming familiar with the stages of the dark knight might prove useful.
Not speaking from personal experience here but merely out of interest myself and the accounts of other people.
You might find more specific advice (from actual users) regarding this on https://www.dmt-nexus.com/forum/. There´s also a great section of e-books and videos about hallucinogens (and related) topics.
Trent H., modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Victor Cova:
To make the question more grounded: I'm going to go spend a few years with Shuar Indians in Lowland Ecuador in a year; Something they may do (though it is possible they have now stopped) is to take Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic, and dance, sing and talk to animals and travel to underwolds and waterworlds and forest worlds etc. Should I spend the year trying to get very very good at insight meditation etc so that I'll be able to better grasp what theyy're doing, will it be useless for that purpose but a good thing generally, or should I avoid mixing the two together?


If your aim is to 'better grasp what they're doing,' you'd probably find it useful to ingest Ayahuasca with an experienced, sober-at-the-time friend so as to understand the nature of the trip out of the context you may experience it in while in Ecuador. Insight meditation probably won't help you understand it any better unless you can get to anagami or so, and in that case, it will (at best) only provide for a more stable emotional state (which is important when doing such things, hence the suggestion above about having a companion). It would probably also intensify some of the effects in some ways (due to increased imagination strength which is a byproduct of concentration strength). If the above isn't an option, it would be a good idea to experiment with some other psychedelic (if you haven't already), in a similar manner.

By having experiences such as the ones alluded to above, you'll likely be much more stable and less "suggestible" on later trips. For example, if you experience "something profound" while in the "underworlds--" and you had not had previous experiences to give it context-- you may walk outta there believing (or at least open to) all sorts of madness. If, however, you've previously experienced "something profound" when in the "spaceship" that your bedroom transformed into, you'll be in a much better place to understand the alterations (ie: that the "underworld" was a cave in a jungle on earth), what they mean and don't mean, be able to enjoy the experience for what it is without confusion, and so on.

Enjoy,
Trent
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
As a former psychonaut, let me say Trent's post is awesomely to the point. Better not do it the first time in the tribe.

Come to amsterdam :-) here they sell ayhuasca in the magicshops.

Trent, I'm curious, did you every try psychedelics? Even more, did you ever try psychedelics post arhatship/AF?

Bruno
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Eric Bause, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 186 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Victor Cova:
Which brings me to a question: Western Buddhism, to caricature, is this very "pure" thing, mainly concerned with internal states, knowledge and a bit of superpowers, whereas as far as I know (but my speciality is Amazonia, not Asia), buddhism is usually found alongside some forms or other of "shamanism" in Tibet etc. Are the two compatible, mutually incompatible but equivalent paths, one ascetic the other ecstatic, completely divergent paths, one better than the other...? Cheers for any reply...


I would hazard to say the two are compatible, at least regarding Tibetan Buddhism. The Budhism that travelled from India to Tibet had melded with tantra, and then to some extent melded with the indigenous Tibetan Bon relgion. I beleive that Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, whose name has come up here in the DhO regarding to his book The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep, is a holder of both Nyingma (one of the principle Tibet Buddhist schools) and Bon lineages.

What I know about this subject is pretty much contained in what I've typed above.
J Adam G, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Ayahuasca? PLEASE bring copious amounts of stability and pregame with lots of brahmavihara concentration practice. Especially metta, and especially karuna, and ESPECIALLY EQUANIMITY. LOTS OF EQUANIMITY. Not that mudita is in any way disposable -- it most certainly isn't.

Just a bit of friendly advice from someone who has been down that road =)

As for the combining of entheogenic/shamanistic paths and enlightenment practices, it can be done. But the results are never quite what you think they'll be. In particular, psychedelics love to trigger the A&P. What always comes after the A&P? Dark night! And if you think the dark night is bad in everyday life or while meditating, just you wait until the dark night hits you under the influence of a psychedelic...

Frankly, psychedelics are sucky ways to get to the A&P because they don't teach you how to concentrate. And in the dark night, concentration becomes both difficult and necessary. You MUST concentrate to get to the Equanimity stage after it, but if you haven't learned how to concentrate enough to get yourself through the A&P on meditation alone, then you're up the creek without a paddle.
Victor Cova, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 9 Join Date: 7/12/10 Recent Posts
Hi guys,

I’m very new to all of this so will be taking it slow to make sure I understand. I do realize some of what I’m saying may sound a bit naïve/preposterous etc, but what can I say, newcomers make mistakes. If I understand Trent correctly, you’re saying that I should try some in an environment I know before doing it there so as not to get to crazy when I do it there, but apart from that Insight meditation won’t do much good or harm, unless I get to second path which won’t happen overnight (and probably not in a year), and even then not much good will come out of it. J Adam G, you seem to be advising brahmavihara concentration practices, and that I should at least try to get through A&P by meditating in order not to get stuck too in the dark night, an advice also given by Martin M. In general, you all seem to be saying that psychotropes get you to places but not the most interesting ones and without the skills necessary to manage in these places.

Now first of all I’m not really into the whole psychedelic thing, never did drugs barely some alcohol, it just isn’t my thing. But the people I’m going to see may be doing it, if the missionaries haven’t scared them too much, and if they do it will be a major part of their life as it’s one of main ways to become fully adult. If it’s important for them, it will have to be important for me. But as it’s not my scene, I’m only staying there for a year or two and they’ll have been given some from their childhood, I don’t want to be too lost. Moreover, if there had been a clear counter-indication with meditation, I would have had to decide which one to drop. This doesn’t seem to be the case, which is good.

Now to the extent that these things can be planned, as Daniel mentions in The Book, can I get through A&P and the worst of the Dark Night in a bit more than a year, and if so how intense should my practice be to get there, how many retreats etc? If I can’t, or if no one can tell, should I nonetheless try intensely because wherever I get to is worth it, or is it better that I take stuff very quietly and get intense when I come back? J Adam G, which books do you advise I should get info on brahmavihara concentration practices from?

Cheers for taking time to read this and think about it and even reply to me,

Victor
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Victor I think that other than some general advice "be careful of what you get yourself into," it is really hard to predict what will happen, what is a good idea and what is a bad idea.

For instance, I got into dark night due to an LSD trip, I hadn't done any meditation prior to this. Even if you start super powering your meditation, there is really no guarantee that you can "get A&P and work yourself out of dark night in a year's time".

My two cents are: I think that if you do one ayhuasca trip in the middle of the forest, within a tribal context, and are generally a happy and relaxed guy, then it should be an awesome experience, and you'll come out fine on the other side (but it will change you ever so slightly emoticon). I mean, if you already have most of the mental health that meditation supposedly brings, then there shouldn't be any problem with taking ayhuasca, but on the other hand, there shouldn't be any reason for doing meditation either... And if you do not have this kind of mental health, then you might be able to get it through meditation, but by all accounts it takes way longer than one year...
Victor Cova, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 9 Join Date: 7/12/10 Recent Posts
Hey Bruno,

Thanks for your advice. You're saying that one won't affect the other much, or at least not in any overly predictable way, confirming again what Trent said, and confirming what I thought about the amount of time it takes to make progress, but generally reassuring me that things should go ok whatever I do if I'm a generally mentally healthy person.

As you mentionned, i don't think there can be much better preparation to the thing than what the Indians themselves do, which involves days, or even weeks, of not doing anything and concentrating, though I have to look deeper into it. As for myself, my main worry was around any obvious and clear instruction to not mix the two, but since that's not the case (yet) I shall go on with my own little practice, of which I may say more when I'll start wondering "what the hell was that", or asking for advice re: retreats and the like. I will probably follow through J Adam G's advice concerning brahmavihara concentration practice since that sounded somewhat sensible.
J Adam G, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
There are some great resources out there on brahmavihara meditation. One is Sharon Salzberg's book Lovingkindness, The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Each chapter contains explanations and a few anecdotes illustrating the subject of that chapter (for example, how to deal with anger and resentment towards people by using metta practice). The end of each chapter contains the actual instructions for how to do the meditation.

Some of the resources are on the internet.
A somewhat technical article, describing an intense version of the brahmavihara practice. http://www.buddhanet.net/mettab5.htm
A document that describes the brahmaviharas in rich detail. http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/four_sublime_states.php

Basically, brahmavihara practice is pretty simple. You just cultivate the specific feeling/attitude you're working on, and then you focus on it and try to grow it until it becomes more and more expansive. First your heart overflows with it, then your entire body, then the room you're in, then the entire area near you, then the earth, and then you fill the entire universe with it.

It usually starts by reciting a phrase such as "may all beings be happy and become awakened" as genuinely as you can. Of course, if you could feel the sentiment strongly enough to fill the entire universe with love the first time you said it, it wouldn't be a practice. So expect it to feel somewhat awkward at first, and trust that the sentiment develops and grows with practice. That's how it goes. The results of pregaming for psychedelics with brahmavihara practice are immense.

Yes, it takes time to become an anagami. There are plenty of cases of people in the hardcore dharma scene doing the first two paths in a year's time, especially with the aid of retreats, but I haven't personally heard a case of someone doing the first 3 paths in a year.

At the risk of making this post overly long and filled with imperfect advice, I'll give my recommendation with regards to the insight path and psychedelics, because I just don't see this information anywhere else. Before I give the recommendations, let me confirm your understanding of the general advice concerning psychedelics + insight meditation: you're exactly right that it moves you into some of the territory, but doesn't necessarily give you any of the skills to handle it. Then again, it can't always be said that vipassana itself gives the skills to handle the territory optimally either; it just moves you through to the other side of it as long as you keep using the technique correctly.

Now, if you're actively dark nighting at the time of an ayahuasca ceremony, I recommend against it. Not out of a fear of you seriously damaging yourself; it's just really unpleasant and it's hard to learn anything from what appears to be meaningless extreme pain. But if it's your only opportunity to share such an important experience with these people who mean so much to you, then fine. Every cloud has a silver lining, and you'd be expected to bond a LOT with whoever you do it with.

If you've just finished a path and you're still in the early review of that path, I think that would be the best time -- but who can plan that? "Okay, the ceremony is on the 20th. I guess I'll need to schedule my 2nd path moment for the 15th, around noon..." Still, if it works out like that, it would be awesome!

If you're in the early stages of a path, like the Mind and Body through Three Characteristics zone, it's reasonable to expect the A&P to get triggered by the ceremony, though it isn't at all certain. Still, if it happens, try and solidify the joy of the A&P and/or the cool, peaceful bliss of Dissolution into the corresponding second and third shamatha jhanas, respectively. The reason for that is to avoid getting into the dark night territory during the ceremony. It's just not skillful to let yourself get into a new Fear, Misery, or Disgust stage under the influence of long-lasting DMT.

If you're in Equanimity, then the decision is up to you. If you're really solidly into Equanimity, you'll probably be fine. If you're just barely in Equanimity, then expect to get yanked back down into the later dark night stages.

Please let me know if any of the above is unclear or unhelpful. I'm a bit sleep deprived and I don't know if I'm talking any sense today.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 3166 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
My experience with the acrid jungle vine sludge as an anagami with a shaman far out in the jungle in Peru about 7 years ago, in summary, realizing that everyone might have different experiences and this is just one possibility:

Drank it: tasted like poison. The guy said if in 30 minutes nothing happened to drink more: so glad I didn't.
30 minutes later: massive vertigo, laid down, closed eyes.
Shortly thereafter: the exceedingly rapid, excruciating, grinding, technicolor, hellacious vertigo spinning crap-storm began, like my mind and body had been thrown into a blender on high speed with loud razors with blinding neon confetti that churned and churned and churned hour after hour, interruptions as below:
After about 45 minutes, I would guess, I heard another person there get up and walk outside and vomit for a long time.
This raised the question: how can they possibly stand up in the first place, much less figure out which way up was?
About 20 minutes later, I found myself in the grip of massive nausea, and it took every possible bit of concentration I had to stagger outside, at which point I vomited like I never have before for about 45 minutes, dry heaving when all was long gone and gagging uncontrollably and barely able to maintain even a stable crouched position (given the profundity of the vertigo) and thus avoid vomiting on myself, which I was miraculously able to accomplish.
I staggered back in, laid down, and the extremely harsh, rapid, grinding technicolor stuff resumed full force instantly on closing my eyes, making anything I had experienced in the worst of Re-Obervation seem like nothing by comparison.
About 3 terrible hours later I felt my bowel begin to churn and cramp as well in the most unpleasant of ways, and by this time the thing was calming down slightly, such that I was able with great effort to navigate the very slippery, wet cut tree disks that made the trail above the jungle muck about 500ft back to my hut, where the diarrhea that hit was horrid and prolonged, and I was still tripping pretty hard, just at a somewhat functional level rather than the basically complete incapacitation that had marked the first 4 hours or so.

If one was interested in experiencing impermanence, suffering and no-self but in a way that was simply as horrid as I can imagine, then be my guest.

The whole experience left me from beginning to end with the deep conviction that I had drunk poison. I wouldn't recommend it, obviously.
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
Hello, i've been thinking a lot over the past few months about what this thing is. I learned this dance from a healer who 'triggered' it in me. Ever since then, I've had access to this energy that allows me to move spontaneously, sometimes not so strong, but sometimes pretty strong, very alpha trance. As the article shows, it is similar to Carlos Castanedas story.

Its a healing dance, http://www.asiaone.com/Health/Alternative%2BMedicine/New%2BAge/Story/A1Story20080623-72379.html

The story of how a Filipino, Pompet Villaraza, rediscovered this healing art, is fascinating, to say the least. In 2002, he stumbled on a mysterious Mexican in San Gabriel mountain, California.
The mysterious Mexican named Francisco knew everything about his background and actually anticipated his coming.

Villaraza followed the Mexican wherever he went and learned everything he knew about working with the subtle energy in the human body.

During one incident, he was moved to dance in a way he didn't think was humanly possible.

"I felt powerful surges of electricity and I was trying to contain them, but the only way I could keep from exploding - I really thought then I would combust - was to keep screaming.

"I cannot describe the actual movement in words. I was doing somersaults, something I cannot do, as I twirled this stick that lay on the sand. And I found an intricate and powerful stick-fighting technique which, I was stunned to find, I had unknowingly mastered," he said.

Later he was ordered to return to the Philippines and teach this healing. It is actually called Babaylan Inner Dance. "Babaylan" is a Visayan (Visayas is an island group in central Philippines) term for shaman (medicine man or woman).

Villaraza refers to the description of the inner energy by Carlos Castaneda in his book Magical Passes as "that tremendous power and energy that has been known since ancient times, and the release and control of which has preoccupied mystics, gurus and seers all over the world" for ages.

Casteneda wrote that his teacher, the Mexican Yaqui Indian mystic named Don Juan Matus, taught him that these calming and healing movements or "magical passes" were discovered by the shamans of Don Juan's lineage who lived in ancient times, while they were in shamanistic states of heightened awareness.

The shamans realised that certain postures and movements made while in these mind-states improved well-being tremendously.

I had previously revealed that the roots of qigong is believed to be from ancient India, and was then passed on to ancient China. Now we have to examine our history and see whether it all came from the ancient shamans of South America!

Alternatively, all the three civilizations may have independently discovered and developed the inner energy healing arts.
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katy steger, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda (and shamanism)

Posts: 1745 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
I have just written a post on succinctness (surgical use of words) and its supportive capacity to a experiential and pragmatic community such as this forum blah blah blah...and, via another thread, came to this one. I just want to celebrate the following words (which are so incredibly (subjectively) worthy of the the text-box call-out) and let you know that your post made me laugh hard (even while I felt some useless pity for your long past situation):

the exceedingly rapid, excruciating, grinding, technicolor, hellacious vertigo spinning crap-storm began
ixtlan eleutheria, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 4 Join Date: 3/14/10 Recent Posts
We can and must break his discourse into pieces.

1. Big frame : Tonal and Nagual(twofold), three attentions(threefold), assemblage point

2. Some figures common to other teaching :
Stopping the world(the internal dialog) = zen to silence
Not doing = mui (Chuang-tzu, )

3. His idiosyncrasy and his most talented thought : Passivity and Activity
This is most amazing and intriguing thought that other could not make.

There is the eleventh volume which did not mention 3 above. That is, he hid his essence
from mere summary(11th).

True summary, <abstract> or <ricapituration> of his thought is this Passive-Active sense.
C C C, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: carlos castaneda

Posts: 953 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
http://www.youtube.com/vineofthesoulfilm <-- DVD on Ayahuasca, includes a medical doctor's perspective.

ixtlan, I found your post a little cryptic, but would like to hear more from you on this. I'm sure there's more you could say on Castaneda's work.

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