Tales of Power. Castaneda. Carlos.
Tales of Power
Tales of Power
Tales of Power
Tales of Power

Tales of Power

New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1974. First Printing. Hardcover. Simultaneously lauded and derided, the controversial Carlos Castaneda (1925 - 1998) is known for the series of four books which he claims describe his training in shamanism by “Don Juan Matus,” a Yaqui Indian “sorcerer” who has never been proven to exist. Though we are now removed by some decades from the scholarly controversy which engulfed this work, it is worth revisiting because in recent years, younger people—allured by the prospect of ancient wisdom, witchcraft, and secret teachings for sale—have given Castaneda new consideration. Anthropologist Edward H. Spicer, in reviewing Castaneda’s claims, wrote that descriptions of events in his work were not consistent with Yacqui cultural practices and as such it is doubtful that Castaneda or the mythical Don Juan ever participated in Yacqui group life. Others, such as the celebrated, pioneering psychedelic drug research R. Gordon Wasson, praised Castaneda and his work. Castaneda claimed that, upon finishing his apprenticeship to Don Juan Matus, he was recognized as “…the new nagual,” the new leader of “…a party of seers of his lineage.” By virtue of this crowning, he claimed that—for his own “party of seers,” he could be a connection to “…that unknown,” “…unknown but yet still reachable by man.” He called this unknown realm “non-ordinary reality.” Studies of psychopathy have shown that psychopaths often employ the use of “pseudo-realities,” in which the pseudo-realist posits the argument that what you think is reality is actually not reality, and once you are “taught” to “see,” you will see that “…what you think is reality isn’t actually reality” and start working on behalf of the pseudo-realist (the cultist) and acting in such a way as to uphold the pseudo-reality. This is often realized in costly personal sacrifices on behalf of the initiate—including isolation from friends and family. With Castaneda and his circle (he lived with three women whom he called “Fellow Travelers of Awareness”), this meant embracing “…a principle of freedom from personal history.” Removing oneself from society, one’s family and one's past thus becomes “…a principle of freedom from personal history.” This is not only a midlevel cult indoctrination path, but an impressive cult-inducing reframe if there ever was one. In the 1990s, Castaneda founded what was basically a church—promoting a religion of “Tensegrity,” which was predictably described in its promotional materials as “…the modernized version of some movements called magical passes developed by Indian shamans who lived in Mexico in times prior to the Spanish Conquest.” Castaneda, along with Carol Tiggs, Florinda Donner-Grau and Taisha Abelar, created “Cleargreen Incorporated” in 1995, which sold seminars, books, and merchandise. Was Castaneda a bona-fide anthropologist who was genuinely trying to share with the world some secret, magical knowledge he felt could benefit mankind? Or was he nothing more than a rarefied cultist, a neo-mystical polygamist bullshitter? Regardless of these considerations of person and factuality, it is inarguable that Castaneda was a powerful composer of prose who wrote with convincing authority. The dust has settled and some facts have emerged, but it is doubtful that we will ever get the full story on Don Juan Matus, Castaneda, or his “Tales of Power.” [ISBN: 0-671-21858-1]. Book in very fine condition, dust-jacket in very fine condition with only slight shelf-wear to fine-edges and price-clipped front flap. Very Fine / Very Fine. [Item #4167]

Price: $65.00

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