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The Art of Navigation: Travels with Carlos Castaneda and Beyond Paperback – April 15, 2010
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"It's an exciting ride! If you were a fan of Carlos Castaneda, or even if you weren't, you will enjoy The Art of Navigation." --Sharon Steffensen, editor of' YOGA Chicago
"Be prepared to step into a new way of being in the world as you turn the first page." --Donna Thomson, author of 'The Vibrant Life'
"Authentic and transformational - storytelling at its best!" --Gini Gentry, author of 'Dreaming Down Heaven'
"A thoroughly enjoyable read - Eat Pray Love meets The Power of Now." --Susanne Sims, author of 'Healing Vacations in Hawaii'
"A powerful new age collection addition." --Midwest Book Review
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I cherish this work. Thank you Felix!
Make up your mind that you will not get any truth or furtherance of Castaneda's teachings on every other page. Nor will you get any information or deeper teachings of Don Juan. Know that you will not get many juicy stories about "how it was" with the "nagual." Behind the scenes tales are mostly not told out of school. Realize now that Wolf is not a great storyteller and 90% of what you would really like to know about him and others he mentions is left out. Of course, it must be the very devil to write your autobiography and still "erase personal history." How do you offer yourself in words to the public for a price and yet still remain hidden, elusive, obscure, opaque? You do it by cheating your reading public. It's like he is playing a warrior's game with the reader: "I will tell you the bare minimum and let you guess the rest -- if you dare." Honestly, it's not fun. I would think once you have recapitulated your entire life in a deep way, it no longer matters to you who knows what. But Wolf doesn't see it that way, apparently.
Wolf writes in a flat, anti-climatic style. He makes a few points, drops too many hints, lays on a lot of descriptions of the various climates he has inhabited, and brings descriptions of people down to a minimum. He will often give you the dots of his life, but does not show you how to connect them. Maybe he himself hasn't figured it out.
There are also a few contradictions that are puzzling. I'll mention just one. This is a man whose entire existence was based on "the warrior's way," learning to become a "man of knowledge." To that end he practiced meditation and "stopping the world," silencing his internal dialogue inside and outside of Castaneda's inner circle, to a high degree. And then George Bush got elected President for the second time -- and Wolf lost it. His mind fell into chaos. (I confess, mine did too, but that's another story and I'm not a consumate warrior.) He and Carmela didn't know what to do. So they decided to go into a 10-day silent meditation retreat in order to reclaim their mental self-control. Heck, all I did after the Bush Debacle was to do a few breathing exercises, accept what was and let it go. Voila! Self-control returned. But as I say, I do not have the indepth experience that Wolf has.
I'll tell you what's great about this book. Yeah, I gave it only 3 stars because it felt like many pages of anticipation that led nowhere. However, scattered here and there throughout is Wolf's teachings about Navagation (looking for signs from the Universe that will cue you in on what to do). Near the end of the book he rewrites in a few pages the booklet he and Carmela created on Navagation for troubled teens. Had I been his editor, I might have suggested that he make that booklet central to his book and build his narrative around it. Those few pages are worth the price of the book, especially if you can get it at a discount.
I have to say, tongue in cheek, that I wonder, after all Wolf has been through and all he has learned, if he and Carmela have, in the end, married, settled down in a nice house with a white picket fence, had a few kids, some cats, a dog, worked hard, attended PTA meetings and lived happily ever after.