Monday, March 27, 2006

"A warrior treats the world as an endless mystery and what people do as endless folly."

After quitting his apprenticeship to don Juan for a few years, Carlos Castaneda returns to Mexico to show off his first book. Don Juan is unimpressed, but coaxes Carlos back to sorcerer's training, and teaches him about spirits, otherworldly powers called 'allies,' will, and the Yaqui way of the warrior. There are fewer drug hallucinations in book two, as a true sorcerer needs such things only when starting out. Once he learns to see the world as it truly is, instead of seeing what one expects to see, Carlos might make headway. He proves an obstinate pupil, however, and don Juan enlists the aid of another sage named don Genaro, who performs marvels in order to shock their pupil out of the chains of rational thought.

Castaneda's Yaqui mysticism is an interesting blend of Baghavad Gita, Watercourse Way, Kabbalah, Buddhism, Yoga, Samurai codes of behavior, and Nietzsche. Of course all religions are to varying degrees mixtures of such stuff. Interesting and at times harrowing.

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