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The Art of Dreaming Paperback – August 26, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In bestsellers like A Separate Reality and Journey to Ixtlan , Castaneda recounted his purported adventures with Mexican Yaqui Indian sorcerer don Juan Matus. Here he tells how, under don Juan's tutelage, he gained control over his dreams and used dreaming as a launching pad to a pervasive but unseen realm of ancestral spiritual forces, good and evil. He goes through tunnels, enters into the consciousness of trees, meets scouts, emissaries and form-changing blobs of energy. Aided by don Juan's companions and fellow apprentices, Castaneda penetrates a realm of "inorganic beings" who set traps for him and attack him, as if to illustrate don Juan's teaching that consciousness is compelled to grow through life-or-death confrontations. For believers, Castaneda's quest offers a tantalizing glimpse of alternate worlds beyond the rational parameters of our mundane reality.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The eighth--and one hopes the last--book about Castaneda's apprenticeship with the Yaqui Indian sorcerer Don Juan Matus. By now, Castaneda's bestselling engine is running on empty, at least to judge by this lackluster entry, which adds fuel to the argument that the Don Juan books are fiction and that their author has passed his creative prime. Gone is the vivid sense of wonder as Don Juan escorts Castaneda into a new world of mystery and magic; gone the crisp presentation of esoteric ideas; gone the crackling tension between teacher and student. What remains is a token representation of Don Juan, guffawing at Castaneda or smacking him on the back, and a cloud of confused teachings about the world of dreams. Taking control of one's dreams, says Don Juan, is the key to a sorcerer's power. But what kind of sorcerer? Don Juan makes a distinction between the ancients, who manipulated the world for personal power, and moderns--such as himself--who ``search for freedom.'' Castaneda must thread his way between these two opposing camps, balancing his thirst for truth and his personal ambition. In so doing, he passes through three ``gates of dreaming'': becoming aware of falling asleep; waking from one dream into another; seeing yourself asleep. Castaneda barges through these portals in his typically bumbling fashion, all the while communicating with--and being used by--``inorganic beings'' that look like thin tree trunks and give the sorcerers their secret knowledge. His journey ends with a perilous confrontation with a ``death defier,'' a Methuselah-like male sorcerer in the guise of a woman. Castaneda is rescued from this and other dangerous encounters by his fellow apprentice, the beautiful Carol Tiggs, who at book's close vanishes into the world of dreaming. Will Castaneda rescue her in the next volume, playing Orpheus to her Eurydice? Tune in, if you care. The Art of Dozing is more like it. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006092554X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060925543
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1925 in Peru, anthropologist Carlos Castaneda wrote a total of 15 books, which sold 8 million copies worldwide and were published in 17 different languages. In his writing, Castaneda describes the teaching of Don Juan, a Yaqui sorcerer and shaman. His works helped define the 1960's and usher in the New Age movement. Even after his mysterious death in California in1998, his books continue to inspire and influence his many devoted fans.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I usually do not review the books I purchase - but seeing that none of the reviews, in my opinion, give this book enough credit, I will express why I believe this book is of extreme importance - especially to those whom intend to become conscious of the subconscious.
Now, as suspected, there are a lot of rumors concerning the 'authenticity' of Castaneda's experiences with a Yaqui Shaman named Don Juan and the teachings he revealed. I however, believe them all to be non-relevant in this particular instance. The fact is, Castaneda has torn a gapping hole in many peoples way of perceiving what they �think� to be reality. And because of this, many of the critics and �egos� choose to turn their heads and deny any possibility that all we perceive is a just a very convincing hallucination.
�The Art of Dreaming� gives the reader a first hand account of what a �person� is capable of, that is, if his/her intention is strong enough to overcome the illusion of space, time, and self, and in so doing experience that which underlies and goes beyond our normal illusionary existence without trying to give it an objective meaning.
That said; I would like to justify why I believe (the majority of) this book is �authentic,� and not just a good writers imagination and I would also like to remind everyone that they travel to the fourth dimension every night when sleep paralysis sets in and there energy bodies float out into his/her own small corner of the astral realm which we refer to as dreaming.
Anyone with any occult knowledge will automatically realize the significance of the wisdom enumerated in this book. The organic beings are called larvae that only bother those which cannot control there own emotions and desires. The energy body is the astral body or linga sharira.
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7 Comments 74 of 80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
By the age of 70, the average person will have spent 6 years dreaming. And the scientific community still really has no idea why. I completed my thesis on the function of REM sleep, so I have read a lot on the subject, from J. Allan Hobson to Edgar Cayce to Freud and Jung. This book is thoughtful and very entertaining. Regardless of whether Don Juan's teachings are true or not, it made me very desperately want to experience lucid dreaming. The ideas presented are captivating and make you think. Plus, it's trippy!
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Format: Paperback
Whether you enjoy this book or not, very much depends on your beliefs & disposition. If you hold the belief that everything is energy, that beings exist in other realms & through dreaming practices you may be able to access those realms, then read this book. If you are a rationalist, leave well alone.
This book does not have any hidden messages about the meaning of life to convey & is not meant to be a brilliant work of fiction. As the title very clearly states, it is the art of dreaming & the dreaming practices it details are possible.
However, like any piece of writing on experience that cannot be rationally explained, it may be hard for readers without any 'out of this world' or 'out of body' experience to believe its contents. Read it with an open mind.
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Format: Paperback
For anyone who has experienced what it is like to dream lucidly, this book is invaluable. I think the problem with this book is that the only way you can truly appreciate just how important this book is, is if you are a lucid dreamer. My advice is as follows, if you are interested in dreaming lucidly but have no experience, read the book but suspend judgement. Just hold on to it until you begin to have the actual experience and then re-read the book. In the meantime, I would suggest some of the more basic texts like those written by Robert Monroe (Journeys Out of the Body, Far Journeys, Ultimate Journey) or Esmeralda Arana (The Path). It is important to understand that the practice of lucid dreaming is what gives Warriors their extraordinary perceptual abilities. This is the key feature of the Warrior's Way that results in the development of abilities such as clairvoyance. While it is certainly not the only way to tap into our "magic" it is nevertheless a very powerful tool.
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By kaioatey on September 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Castaneda is always a valuable read. The man has, single-handedly, introduced more fundamental concepts into the contemporary mainstream of shamanic studies than anyone else I know. Assemblage point, luminous fibers, medicine plants, spiritual warrior, dreaming, stalking are now commonly accepted terms and, dare i say it, practices?! At the same time, the man himself -dead and alive - has eluded attempts at categorization; he is not as prissy as Eliade, simplifier and popularizer like Harner, neither does he seem to be in for the money, like perhaps the majority of book-writing modern would-be "shamans" and "sorcerers". Methinks this very fact should make one curious and interested.
The Art of Dreaming does not disappoint in this regard. It seems to be quite consistent with C's previous work and IMO C is quite effective in depicting the complexity of the worlds that may be accessed during one's dreams. For ordinary humans like you and me this work reads like fiction, because in order to access even the most rudimentary of these worlds, one would (according to Castaneda) need "energy" acquired through time-consuming and effort-full practices. We don't have this kind of energy. Yet myself, at the very least, have a deep respect and admiration for this wily old man who gave us so much food for thought. He seems to care for one thing above all others - freedom. AOD is about using one's dreams to become a freer person. That means living one's life with dignity and gusto and AOD certainly is something worth reading at the side of a pool on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
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