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"Ordinarily, events that change our path are impersonal affairs, and yet extremely personal. My teacher, don Juan Matsus, said this is guiding me as his apprentice to collect what I considered to be the memorable events of my life.... Don Juan described the total goal of the shamanistic knowledge that he handled as the preparation for facing the definitive journey: the journey that every human being has to take at the end of his life. He said that what modern man referred to vaguely as life after death was, for those shamans, a concrete region filled to capacity with practical affairs of a different order than the practical affairs of daily life, yet bearing a similar functional practicality. Don Juan considered that to collect the memorable in their lives was, for shamans, the preparation for their entrance into that concrete region, which they called the active side of infinity."
In this book written immediately before his death, anthropologist and shaman Carlos Castaneda gives us his most autobiographical and intimately revealing work ever, the fruit of a lifetime of experience and perhaps the most moving volume in his oeuvre.
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Carlos Castaneda was the author of the bestselling books, including the acknowledged classic The Teaching of Don Juan and most recently The Art of Dreaming and Magical Passes. He departed on his definitive journey in 1998.From Kirkus Reviews:
Dense, narcissistic musings on death and the shaman's life. Onetime anthropologist Castaneda has built a three-decade career out of relaying the teachings of his Yaqui Indian mentor, Juan Matus, in works ranging from The Teachings of Don Juan (196 8) to 1993's The Art of Dreaming. Apparently, Castaneda feels that he has yet more wisdom to impart. Still, this vague assortment of personal vignettes offers little in the way of spiritual guidance. Paradoxically, although Don Juan often tells Castaneda that a sorcerer must be emptied of self to accept infinity (annoyingly, this latter word is always italicized in the text), the book seems self-absorbed from the start. In preparation for accepting infinity, true, Castaneda must revisit some of the most p ivotal events in his life. A few of the stories are hopelessly sad (and one relentlessly misogynist). One of the most touching occurs when Don Juan urges Castaneda to track down the two women who helped him when he was a very young man. Castaneda is instr ucted to reward themwhile rendering himself pennilesswith an extravagant gift. And one of the women, now a homemaker with three kids, is indeed overjoyed to receive a top-of-the-line station wagon. Yet it's hard to find a larger meaning in the stories. We wind up learning something more of Castaneda but not much at all about the active side of infinity, which is mystically translated as ``intent.'' It appears that we ought to live with intent, never forgetting that we will die, regardless. Death (and the knowledge of it) should thus inform all of our actions and relationships, providing a perspective and enforcing our humility. This is hardly an original idea, and it cant justify wading through Castanedas welter of self-indulgence, which might translate b etter to a bumper-sticker adage. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Thorsons, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0722539371