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Tales of Power Paperback – January 1, 1991
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in literary history, abetted by the fact that the author himself
swore to the truth of every fantastical event he described in their pages until his dying day. That Castaneda died an old,
frail man when the books promised an extraordinarily long and healthy life seemed to give lie to his words, but in fact this
does not take away from the philosophical beauty of works like
"Tales Of Power", which is my favorite of the six I have read
so far (there are ten in all).
The first book, "The Teachings Of Don Juan", is easily the
slightest--although it introduces the saga and provides the reader with some of the terminology, it is clear that Castaneda
had yet to grasp what was happening to him, and much of it is (as he later admits) a strange cross between far-fetched prose and overly-analytical text. "A Separate Reality" is a vast improvement, even as the stories get wilder and wilder; some readers have howled with laughter over tales of invisible 'allies' which guard the sorcerer, or of an astral
"yoke" which can give a man superhuman powers, but the imagery
is extraordinary and the philosophical lessons behind such
truly bizarre events are unique and important.
The third book, "Journey To Ixtlan", is the easiest to swallow for most people, since it concentrates on the self-help and ethical aspects of the teaching and keeps the wild stories to a bare minimum (as such, it is highly recommended).Read more ›
In the first volume Carlos describes the weird rituals and exercises that his teacher puts him through as he trains him in the ways of his line of sorcerers. It concludes with a quasi-scholarly analysis, really nothing more than an outline of the concepts of his teacher's world-view. This book focuses on the concept of living like a warrior and the book is structured as a question and answer sequence between student and teacher.
In the second book, whose time frame has a good deal of overlap with the first book, carlos' activites center around coming to believe that the world is an artifical construction of the human ego, a fantasy that we all choose to agree on. Don Juan batters Carlos with psychotropic drugs to break down his ego and force his consciousness over to the other side of awareness, beyond normal human perception.
The trilogy concludes with Carlos pursuing "stopping the world". This offering portrays the final challenge along the path to becoming a sorcerer. The apprentice will be faced with his own imminent death, and either stop the world, disassembling and reassembling "reality" in a way that ensures his survival, or accept death and enter the eternal realm. Obviously Carlos survives, as he wrote a book about it, and in the process spawned an immense controversy. What was all this bizarre stuff? Was it real? Was there a real Don Juan? A Don Genaro?Read more ›
If you have ever read Jane Roberts "Seth" books, you will find striking parallels between what Seth tells us about life, death and the afterlife, and what Don Juan teaches. Don Juan's philosophy of "impeccability" embraces all the great religions' philosophies: live life as perfectly as you can each day, enjoying it, being kind and helpful to your fellow man, learning from it.
Did any of you read "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom, or see the TV movie? Morrie says death is a little bird sitting on your left shoulder, always ready to take you. Thus, live your life to its fullest each day, savoring every moment. What does Don Juan tell Carlos in each book? Death is always at your left shoulder ready to tap you.
And last but not least, this is only one reality which we perceive. Don Juan (and Seth, and countless others) tell us of a multitude of realities that we can tap into. Seth's whole preaching that our dreams are as real and as important as our waking life is Don Juan's teaching that dreaming gets you into a different reality.
Obviously, one needs to be at a receptive point that this type of information and philosophy is believable. Many people will find Castenada's writings rediculous, but many others can get tremendous benefits out of the teachings. After all, whether you embrace the Golden Rule, or live your life with "impeccability" what does it matter as long as you are doing good and loving all people?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. Of course I am biased. I follow every Carlos Castaneda book and try to learn from them.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Very good reading, it keeps your interest all the way.Published 3 months ago by Alfonso E. Martinez
The spiritual philosophy discussed in this book are very similar to Mayan beliefs . Considering this book was published in the 1960's , the experiences explained are Years ahead... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Unfortunately, although this is a good story and well written, it has no credibility as a work of non-fiction and it surprises me, with all that has come to light about the author... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Michael Ludwig
When I was 14 I stumbled across Castaneda. He has followed me since.Published 9 months ago by Philip Saenger
Book is fabulous and in great condition. No complains. Only gave 4 stars because it took a looooooong tim ti arrive!Published 11 months ago by J. Gaiger