- 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
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- #59 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Other Religions, Practices & Sacred Texts > Tribal & Ethnic > Native American
- #87 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > New Age & Spirituality > Shamanism
- #158 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Specific Demographics > Native American Studies
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The Art of Dreaming Paperback – August 26, 2003
"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
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 alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
Besides being such a gripping reading experience, the dreaming practices are real and can be experienced. For the practical-minded, this is a huge improvement over jumping into abysses and some of the other not very practical sorts of things done in the other books.
Now as for the rest:
1. There is no don Juan in this book. When dJ left this world (in the book Tales of Power), Carlos was still piddling about trying to see his hands in dreams. The advanced dreaming practices outlined in this book could not have possibly been learned back in those years when dJ was here. Either there was another teacher (and he did confirm that he had at least one other teacher), or...
2. The book is stylistically inconsistent with all of his previous books. Was the author getting old? Did he stop employing the services of his usual editor? or did someone else write this book? At any rate, this book has virtually nothing in common with any of his other books, either in practice or stylistically.
As we depart from this book, we come to the Cleargreen years and the Magical Passes, which I won't even bother to review. It's clear from this book and everything after it that, despite the unifying presence of the name "don Juan," Castaneda's books are about at least four distinctly different sets of practices that have little to do with each other. Discerning readers should distinguish from among them and use what is useful for them.
To be more explicit about that claim, CC's first three books are more or less ethnography about practices associated with Indians, the fourth book goes way beyond that, the fifth through eighth books introduce us to nagual groups and the concept of the assemblage point, the ninth (this) book covers someone's dreaming practice, Magical Passes covers just that, Wheel of Time looks back at the other books, and, not quite finally (we might include the books by Armando Torres here), Active Side of Infinity is a kind of autobiography that seems to have been written earlier and then withheld until after his passing.
The Art of Dreaming is absolutely the best book of its kind, thus its rating. Anyone who can understand this book could not possibly have any use for any of the other more popular books about lucid dreaming, except perhaps to use the paper for, as don Juan said in one of the other books, well, "you know what we use paper for in Mexico..."
One point to make is that while books by psychologists about lucid dreaming put the dreaming self at the service of the rational waking mind, a truer practice would put the mind at the disposal of the self that dreams, by whatever name; in other words, by experiencing dreams with ones awareness (as we also experience waking life) instead of trying to control their content. The former treats them as real, while the latter treats them as a product of our mind, which is the flaw of all psychology including (or especially) Jungian. But I guess all that hinges on what "real" means.
Regardless of the events that tarnished Castaneda's personal reputation during the 1990s, regardless of the stylistic deficiencies and the anachronistic use of don Juan as a character, regardless of whether we believe all the stuff that happened in Tula, as a book about dreaming, this book is the real deal.