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The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky: The Creator of <i>El Topo</i> Paperback – May 27, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594771731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594771736
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rather than clarifying the meaning of his imagery, this book only inspires readers to enjoy its 'mystery'. . . . a worthy read, filled with growing pains and crises that end in artistic triumph and achievement of wisdom and compassion." (Griselda Steiner, Scene4 Magazine, Jan 2009)

"Jodorowsky's interactions with the motley crew of magas are fascinating and his words are always entertaining . . . " (filmcomment, Film Society of Lincoln Center, NYC, Sep/Oct 2008)

"How this man has lived into the koan of his life is intriguing and vividly related." (Branches of Light, Issue 33, Fall-Winter-Spring 2008-09)

" . . . for anyone who enjoys reading memoirs about truly interesting and influential people, this is definitely a book to check out." (Curled Up with a Good Book, Nov 2008)

From the Back Cover

BIOGRAPHY / POPULAR CULTURE

In 1970, John Lennon introduced to the world Alejandro Jodorowsky and his movie El Topo, which the filmmaker wrote, starred in, and directed. The movie and its author instantly became a counterculture icon. The New York Times said it “demands to be seen,” and Newsweek called it “An Extraordinary Movie!” But that was only the beginning of the story and the controversy of El Topo and the journey of its brilliant creator. His spiritual quest began with the Japanese master Ejo Takata, the man who introduced him to the practice of meditation, Zen Buddhism, and the wisdom of the koans. Yet in this auto-biographical account of his spiritual journey, Jodorowsky reveals that it was a small group of wisewomen, far removed from the world of Buddhism, who initiated him and taught him how to put the wisdom he had learned from his master into practice.

At the direction of Takata, Jodorowsky became a student of the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington, thus beginning a journey in which vital spiritual lessons were transmitted to him by various women who were masters of their particular crafts. These women included doña Magdalena, who taught him “initiatic” or spiritual massage; the powerful Mexican actress known as La Tigresa (the Tigress); and Reyna D’Assia, daughter of the famed spiritual teacher G. I. Gurdjieff. Other important wisewomen on Jodorowsky’s spiritual path include María Sabina, the priestess of the sacred mushrooms; the healer Pachita; and the Chilean singer Violeta Parra. The teachings of these women enabled him to discard his emotional armor and advance on the path to spiritual awareness and enlightenment.

ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY is a playwright, filmmaker, composer, mime, psychotherapist, and author of many books on spirituality and tarot and over thirty comic books and graphic novels. He has directed several films, including The Rainbow Thief and the cult classics El Topo and The Holy Mountain. He lives in France.

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Customer Reviews

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For This book is deeply profound and speaks for itself.
Kyle Brogmus
I wholeheartedly recommend reading this outstanding story of Alejandro Jodorowsky,one of the greatest,most inspiring and delightful men I met.
Niva Lev
This book is a unique mix of an artist's personal and creative philosophy, expressed as a biographical narrative.
robert j todd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roberto I. Quesada on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book by this great surrealist master. His first encounter with Leonora Carrington as he described it is simply amazing! surreal surreal surreal surreal surreal surreal. If you are a big fan of Jodo buy this book but read first "La Danza de la Realidad" [The Dance of Reality].
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ross Heaven on April 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
There is more real spiritual wisdom in this book than a crate load of `how to find enlightenment' books.

Jodorowsky's mentor, Ejo Takata is a wise and funny Zen master and his teachings steer the book, but it is life itself - often in the guise of "wise women" (or raving nutters) (or both) - who supply the lessons. Jodorowsky's encounters with these women - including doña Magdalena, La Tigresa (the Tigress), Reyna D'Assia (Gurdjieff's daughter), mushroom shaman María Sabina, the rather brilliant healer Pachita, and the Chilean crazy singer Violeta Parra are often hilarious, surreal and meaningless in themselves - like most things in life - until, that is we (or, in this case, Jodo) finds meaning in them. The final conclusion of course is that life "is what it is", its only purpose being to live it. This is the real route to spiritual awareness and enlightenment, not sticking angel-charged crystals from the Pleiades up our seventh chakras.

A brilliant book which I read in one sitting during a san pedro ceremony in Spain. Just to make sure I went back and read it again when I was no longer cactified and it was still brilliant. Really really recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BMR on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I HIGHLY recommend this book... it's rare that I have a serious emotional reaction while reading such as laughing or crying - and I think it's a testament to Jodorowsky's genius that he could elicit such deep feelings in me. I laughed and sobbed multiple times.

This really is a brilliant documentation about a man's spiritual journey. True or not -- I learned a lot. His investigation into Koans was mind-bending, in the best of ways.

Regardless of what you think about his filmmaking, this book stands on its own.

For my full review see: [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By robert j todd on January 9, 2014
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This book is a unique mix of an artist's personal and creative philosophy, expressed as a biographical narrative. There are places in the imagination that Jodorowksi drags us through as a living experience, at times unbelievable but super-poignant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Niva Lev on May 1, 2013
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I wholeheartedly recommend reading this outstanding story of Alejandro Jodorowsky,one of the greatest,most inspiring and delightful men I met.
His story is breathtaking, fantastic and mosly inspiring to love and be loved and explore life to its maximum.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is great material for those wanting to know more about Jodorowsky's life from his perspective and some of the people who helped form it. As with much of his work, it can come off as a bit arrogant or pretentious at times, even though he is also quite self-critical and honest about many of his own flaws and mistakes. There is a great deal of value in here, so it is entirely worth any of these issues that might arise at times within the text.
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Alejandro has the best life experiences ever! It delivers great teachings and wisdom. Cabaret Mistico, the dance of reality and this book is a must!
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