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Carlos Castaneda Carlos Castaneda 1962 Born Carlos César Salvador Arana Castañeda December 25, 1925(1925-12-25) Cajamarca, Perú Died April 27, 1998(1998-04-27) (aged 72) Los Angeles, California, U.S. Occupation Anthropologist, author Nationality American Period 20th-century Subjects Shamanism Carlos (César Salvador Arana) Castaneda[1] (anglicized from Castañeda; 25 December 1925 – 27 April 1998) was a Peruvian-born American anthropologist and author. Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his alleged training in traditional Mesoamerican shamanism. His 12 books have sold more than 8 million copies in 17 languages. The books and Castaneda, who rarely spoke in public about his work, have been controversial for many years. Supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which enable an increased awareness. For several years, anthropologists considered his work authentic and important, but then a number of exposés questioned Castaneda's veracity. Academic critics now claim the books are works of fiction, citing the books' internal contradictions, discrepancies between the books and anthropological data, alternate sources for Castaneda's detailed knowledge of shamanic practices, apparent sources of plagiarism, and lack of corroborating evidence. In his books, Castaneda narrated in first person what he claimed were his experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui shaman named Don Juan Matus whom he met in 1960. Castaneda wrote that he was identified by don Juan Matus as having the energetic configuration of a "nagual", who, if the spirit chose, could become a leader of a party of warriors. He also used the term "nagual" to signify that part of perception which is in the realm of the unknown yet still reachable by man, implying that, for his party of seers, don Juan was in some way a connection to that unknown. Castaneda often referred to this unknown realm as nonordinary reality, which indicated that this realm was indeed a reality, but radically different from the ordinary reality experienced by human beings who are well engaged in everyday activities as part of their social conditioning. Ordinary reality as experienced by humans was simply a "description" that had been pounded into their awareness since they were infants. Castaneda dropped out of public view in 1973, living in a large house with three women ("chacmools") who had cut their ties to family and changed their names. He founded Cleargreen, an organization that promoted tensegrity, purportedly a traditional Toltec regimen of spiritually powerful exercises. Immediately after he died in 1998, five women connected with Castaneda disappeared.[2] Contents 1 Biography 2 The Witches 3 Reception 4 Bibliography 5 Other creative works 6 Related authors 7 See also 8 References 9 External links // Biography Immigration records for Carlos Cesar Arana Castaneda indicate that he was born on 25 December 1925 in Cajamarca, Peru.[3] Records show that his surname was given by his mother Susana Castañeda Navoa. His father was Cesar Arana Burungaray. His surname appears with the ñ in many Hispanic dictionaries, even though his famous published works display an anglicized version. He moved to the United States in the early 1950s and became a naturalized citizen in 1957. In 1960 he was married to Margaret Runyan in Tijuana, Mexico. They lived together for only six months, but their divorce was not finalized until 1973. He was educated at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (B.A. 1962; Ph.D. 1973).[4] Castaneda's first three books, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, A Separate Reality and Journey to Ixtlan, were written while Castaneda was an anthropology student at UCLA. He wrote these books as his research log describing his apprenticeship with a traditional "Man of Knowledge" identified as don Juan Matus, a Yaqui Indian from northern Mexico. Castaneda was awarded his bachelor's and doctoral degrees based on the work described in these books. In his books, Castaneda narrates in first person the events leading to and ensuing after his meeting a Yaqui shaman named don Juan Matus in 1960. Castaneda's experiences with don Juan allegedly inspired the works for which he is known. He claimed to have inherited from don Juan the position of nagual, or leader of a party of seers. He also used the term "nagual" to signify that part of perception which is in the realm of the unknown yet still reachable by man, implying that, for his party of seers, don Juan was a connection in some way to that unknown. Castaneda often referred to this unknown realm as nonordinary reality, which indicated that this realm was indeed a reality, but radically different from the ordinary reality experienced by human beings. Nagual has been used by anthropologists to mean a shaman or sorcerer who is capable of shapeshifting into an animal form, and/or, metaphorically, to "shift" into another form through Toltec magic rituals, shamanism and experiences with psychoactive drugs (e.g., peyote and jimson weed).[5] Carlos Castaneda's works have sold more than 8 million copies in 17 languages. Oddly enough, even though purportedly the first four books were originally written in Spanish, a translator was needed in order to produce their Spanish editions. Castaneda was the subject of a cover article in the 5 March 1973 (Vol. 101 No. 10) issue of Time. The article described him as "an enigma wrapped in a mystery." Following that interview until the 1990s Castaneda disappeared from public view. In 1974 his fourth book, Tales of Power, was published. This book ended with Castaneda leaping from a cliff into an abyss, and signaled the end of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of don Juan. Castaneda continued to be popular with the reading public with subsequent publications. In all, twelve books by Castaneda were published, two of them posthumously. In the 1990s Castaneda once again began appearing in public to promote Tensegrity, a group of movements that he claimed had been passed down by 25 generations of Toltec shamans. On 16 June 1995, articles of incorporation executed by George Short were filed to create Cleargreen Incorporated. The Cleargreen statement of purpose says in part, "Cleargreen is a corporation that has a twofold purpose. First, it sponsors and organizes seminars and workshops on Carlos Castaneda's Tensegrity, and second, it is a publishing house." Cleargreen published three videos of Tensegrity movements while Castaneda was alive. Castaneda himself did not appear in these videos. Castaneda died on 27 April 1998 in Los Angeles due to complications from hepatocellular cancer. There was no public service, Castaneda was cremated and the ashes were sent to Mexico. It wasn't until nearly two months later, on 19 June 1998, that an obituary entitled "A Hushed Death for Mystic Author Carlos Castaneda" by staff writer J.R. Moehringer appeared in the Los Angeles Times.[6] Four months after Castaneda's death, C. J. Castaneda, also known as Adrian Vashon, whose birth certificate claims Carlos Castaneda as his father, challenged Castaneda's will in probate court. For many years Castaneda had referred to Vashon as his son. The will was signed four days before Castaneda's death and Vashon challenged its authenticity. The challenge was ultimately unsuccessful.[7] The Witches After Castaneda dropped from public view in 1973, he bought a large house in Los Angeles which he shared with three of his female followers, who became known as the Witches.[8] The Witches were required to break off their relationships with friends and family when they joined Castaneda's group. They also refused to be photographed and took new names - Regina Thal became Florinda Donner-Grau, Maryann Simko became Taisha Abelar and Kathleen Pohlman became Carol Tiggs. According to Corey Donovan (aka Richard Jennings), creator of the Sustained Action website: The use of the term "the Witches" to relate to the three women Castaneda was eventually to claim had also been apprentices of don Juan seems to date to the early nineties, when books by two of these women purporting to describe their experiences with don Juan and his party were published. These three women are Florinda Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar and Carol Tiggs. All three of them appeared and sometimes lectured at many of the Tensegrity workshops that began in July 1993, and Florinda and Taisha appeared at book signings and gave occasional lectures or radio interviews as well. Shortly after Carlos died, Florinda and Taisha disappeared, along with Patricia Partin (see the Blue Scout below). Talia Bey (Cleargreen president - born Amalia Marquez) and Tensegrity instructor Kylie Lundal had their phones disconnected and also disappeared. On 2 August 1998, Carol spoke at a workshop in Ontario. None of the Witches has been seen in public since. Spokespeople from Cleargreen have said only that they are "travelling", but no other information is available. It is speculated by some people that, contrary to the coterie's teachings, they have committed suicide. Others believe that the Witches simply went completely into the teachings and stopped being available to the world of modern man, in all ways.[2] Because the women had cut all ties with family and friends it was some time before people noticed they were missing. There has been no official investigation into the disappearances of Donner-Grau, Simko and Lundal. Luis Marquez, the brother of Talia Bey, went to the police in 1999 over his sister's disappearance, but was unable to convince them that her disappearance merited investigation. Their opinion changed in 2006 after the remains of Patricia Partin were identified, and the LAPD finally added Talia to their missing person database.[9] In his book The Art of Dreaming, Castaneda describes an encounter during a lucid dreaming session with a supposed conscious entity that was trapped by other inorganic beings. The trapped entity was named the Blue Scout because its "energy" appeared blueish and it was an energetic scout (meaning it was outside of its original realm). The Blue Scout was apparently bait used by the inorganic beings to trap Castaneda as well. But instead they (Castaneda and the Blue Scout) escaped by supposedly merging their energies. The alleged result of merging their energies was that the Blue Scout followed Castaneda to our world. Furthermore, Castaneda claimed that he gave the Blue Scout a human physical body by helping Carol Tiggs give normal birth to her. A real girl was brought forward at various public sessions held by Castaneda and Tiggs and was introduced as the Blue Scout, and Tiggs was referenced as her mother. This is strange because that girl was someone named Patricia Partin who had real, known biological parents other than Castaneda and Tiggs. The remains of Partin, sometimes referred to by Castaneda as Blue Scout, Nury Alexander and/or Claude, were found in 2003 near where her abandoned car had been discovered a few weeks after Castaneda's death in 1998, on the edge of Death Valley. Her remains were in a condition requiring DNA identification, which was made in 2006.[2] Reception Serious analytical criticism of Castaneda's books did not emerge until 1976 when Richard de Mille published Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory, in which he argues, "Logical or chronological errors in the narrative constitute the best evidence that Castaneda's books are works of fiction. If no one has discovered these errors before, the reason must be that no one has listed the events of the first three books in sequence. Once that has been done, the errors are unmistakable."[10] The most damning instance of this, according to de Mille, is Castaneda's relations with a witch named 'la Catalina.' In October 1965 Carlos-One went through an ordeal so unexpected and disturbing that he sadly withdrew from his apprenticeship and avoided don Juan for more than two years. The ordeal was a night-long confrontation with a powerful enemy who had assumed don Juan's bodily form though not his accustomed gait or speech.... Curiously, when Carlos-One begged don Juan to explain what had happened during the "special" event, 'the conversation began with speculations about the identity of a female person' (Castaneda's emphasis) who had snatched Carlos's soul and borrowed don Juan's form. The lady was not named, and the reader was left to wonder whether the galvanizing impersonatress was in fact a certain 'fiendish witch' called "la Catalina", who had been mentioned briefly on November 23, 1961, four years earlier. At that time don Juan had said he was harboring certain plans for finishing her off, about which he would tell Carlos-One 'someday.' Poor Carlos-One had to wait ten years to learn about those plans in Tales of Power, but Table 2 reveals that Carlos-Two, traveling a parallel time track, carried out those plans with moderate success in the fall of 1962, when he met the magic lady six times in a row, once as a marauding but indistinct blackbird, once as a sailing silhouette, and four times face to face "in all her magnificent evil splendor" as a beautiful but terrifying young woman. Reacting to those encounters, he felt his ears bursting, his throat choking, his hands frozen, his body chilled, and his arms and legs rigid. The hair on his body literally stood on end. He shrieked and fell down to the ground. He was paralyzed. He began to run. And he lost his power of speech. Here we are asked to believe that a flesh-and-blood anthropologist who enjoyed this tumultuous supernatural affair with a glorious witch in 1962 did not recall her name in 1965, did not make the connection between the last meeting and the previous six when sorting through his field notes in the safety of his apartment, did not put it all together when naming her in his first book, but found the memory "as vivid as if it had just happened" on May 22, 1968, a few pages into his second book. Even if we could credit this uncharacteristic amnesia, we would still have to account for don Juan's equal failure to name 'la Catalina' in 1965. The puzzle is easily solved by switching from the factual to the fictive model. The abrupt, unsatisfying ending to The Teachings is not a symptom of ethnographic battle fatigue, for our campaigner has already survived six such battles with colors flying. It is only a serialist's preparation for the next episode, a cliffhanger that makes us hungry for another book. On these showings, one thing is certain. "The Teachings of Don Juan" and "Journey to Ixtlan" cannot both be factual reports.[11] Castaneda's works were presented as real-life accounts, but critical work showed that they were more likely fictional. According to Robert J. Wallis, in his 2003 book Shamans/Neo-Shamans: Contested Ecstasies, Alternative Archaeologies, and Contemporary Pagans: At first, and with the backing of academic qualifications and the UCLA anthropological department, Castaneda's work was critically acclaimed. Notable old-school American anthropologists like Edward Spicer (1969) and Edmund Leach (1969)[12] praised Castaneda, alongside more alternative and young anthropologists such as Peter Furst, Barbara Myerhoff and Michael Harner. The authenticity of don Juan was accepted for six years, until Richard de Mille and Daniel Noel both published their critical exposés of the don Juan books in 1976 (De Mille produced a further edited volume in 1980, in which he withdrew some previously published criticism about Castaneda's knowledge of flora indigenous to the Sonoran desert. In short, de Mille had asserted that mushrooms did not grow in that desert, which was completely wrong, and he edited out this criticism in the 1980 volume). Most anthropologists had been convinced of Castaneda's authenticity until then — indeed, they had had little reason to question it — but many averred that De Mille's meticulous analysis disproved the veracity of Castaneda's work. This is open to debate. Beneath the veneer of anthropological fact stood huge discrepancies in the data: the books ‘contradict one another in details of time, location, sequence, and description of events’ (Schultz in Clifton 1989:45). There are possible published sources for almost everything Carlos wrote (see especially Beals 1978), and at least one encounter is ethnographic plagiarism: Ramon Medina, a Huichol shaman-informant to Myerhoff (1974), displayed superhuman acrobatic feats at a waterfall and, according to Myerhoff, in the presence of Castaneda (Fikes 1993). Then, in A Separate Reality, don Juan's friend don Genaro makes a similar leap over a waterfall with the aid of supernatural power. In addition to these inconsistencies, various authors suggest aspects of the Sonoran desert Carlos describes are environmentally implausible,(mushrooms in the desert) and, the ‘Yaqui shamanism’ he divulges is not Yaqui at all but a synthesis of shamanisms from elsewhere (e.g. Beals 1978). Castaneda himself said that at first in the 1960s he presumed that it was a Yaqui belief system because Don Juan had told him that he had been born a Yaqui.. but some years later, Don Juan explained that it was a Toltec belief system, and Castaneda duly wrote this. Wallis concludes that "there is no corroboration beyond Castaneda's writings that don Juan did what he is said to have done, and very little that he exists at all." In The Power and the Allegory, De Mille compared The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui way of Knowledge with Castaneda's library stack requests at the University of California. The stack requests documented that he was sitting in the library when his journal said he was squatting in don Juan's hut. One of the most memorable discoveries that De Mille made in his examination of the stack requests was that when Castaneda said he was participating in the traditional peyote ceremony—the least fantastic episode of drug use—he was not only sitting in the library, but he was reading someone else's description of their experience of the peyote ceremony. Other criticisms of Castaneda's work include the total lack of Yaqui vocabulary or terms for any of his experiences.[13] Some writers see value in the work even while considering it fictional. David Silverman's Reading Castaneda describes the apparent deception as a critique of anthropology field work in general—a field that relies heavily on personal experience, and necessarily views other cultures through a lens. According to Silverman, not only the descriptions of peyote trips but also the fictional nature of the work are meant to place doubt on other works of anthropology.[14] Donald Wiebe cites Castaneda to explain the insider/outsider problem as it relates to mystical experiences, while acknowledging the fictional nature of his work.[15] Bibliography Further information: Bibliography of Carlos Castaneda Other creative works "Winds of Nagual" - A piece for wind ensemble by composer Michael Colgrass Sorcerer - A concept album of ambient music by Michael Stearns and Ron Sunsinger inspired by the late Castaneda The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer, A contemporary work by Mr Dyer referencing and building on Castaneda's work with Intent. Related authors Two other authors, Taisha Abelar (born Maryann Simko) and Florinda Donner-Grau (born Regine Thal), wrote books in which they claimed to be from don Juan Matus' party of Toltec warriors. Both Abelar and Donner-Grau were endorsed by Castaneda as being legitimate students of don Juan Matus, whereas he dismissed all other writers as pretenders. The two women were part of Castaneda's inner circle, which he referred to as "The Brujas", and both assumed different names as part of their dedication to their new beliefs. They were originally both graduate students in anthropology at UCLA.[2] Felix Wolf, one of Carlos Castaneda's apprentices and translators, wrote The Art of Navigation: Travels with Carlos Castaneda and Beyond. In his book Wolf details how his life had been transformed by his association with Castaneda. While touching on all aspects of the teachings, Wolf highlights what he perceives to be the overriding and essential transmission that came through Castaneda's work: The Art of Navigation. Donald Barthelme parodied Castaneda's books in his The Teachings of Don B.: A Yankee Way of Knowledge, in which he substitutes "brujo" with "brillo." Anthropologist Victor Sanchez claims to have received similar teachings from the Wirrarika people in Mexico.[16] Although he says he has met Castaneda, and that Castaneda's books were an inspiration for him, he emphasizes that Castaneda did not endorse his work.[17] Martin J. Goodman claimed to have spent 2 days with a "reconstituted" Carlos, or Carlos' double, after the death of Carlos in his book I Was Carlos Castaneda. Miguel Ángel Ruiz is known for bestselling book The Four Agreements. Armando Torres wrote Encounters with the Nagual: Conversations with Carlos Castaneda five years after Castanda's death claiming he had been told to do so by Castaneda himself. In it he describes the Rule of Three-Pronged Nagual. Castaneda say in 1995 he has not other Students than the Chacmooles, then Armando Torres look as a merchandise product, and some links relations between the publisher and a newage cult focused in Toltecs called "Templo Tolteca". Amy Wallace wrote Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda[18] an account of her personal experiences with Castaneda and his followers See also William Patrick Patterson: The Life & Teachings of Carlos Castaneda (2007, Arete Communications, ISBN 978-1-879514-97-3) Carlos Castaneda bibliography Lucid dream Amalia Marquez Plastic shaman Cultural appropriation Neoshamanism New Age Recapitulation (Castaneda) Toltec Toltec (Castaneda) References ^ Corey Donovan. "Prelude to don Juan: Castaneda's Early Years". http://www.sustainedaction.org/chronologies/Castaneda_early_years.htm. Retrieved 2010-05-04.  ^ a b c d Robert Marshall (April 12, 2007). "The dark legacy of Carlos Castaneda". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/04/12/castaneda/index.html. Retrieved October 13, 2010.  ^ The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Volume 5: 1997-1999. Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002. ^ Castaneda's Journey, The Power and the Allegory (Lincoln: iUniverse.com, Inc., 2001 [1976]) 27. ^ Castaneda, C: The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, pp. 88-120, Washington Square Press Publication, 1968 paperback ISBN 0-671-60041-9 ^ Castaneda Obituary All Things Considered, June 19, 1998 ^ "Mystery Man's Death Can't End the Mystery; Fighting Over Carlos Castaneda's Legacy" by Peter Applebome, NY Times, August 19, 1998, retrieved September 3, 2008 ^ Lachman, Gary, "Don Carlos and the Witches", Fortean Times 238, July 2008 ^ The Charley Project ^ de Mille, Richard Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory,' Capra Press, 1976, pp. 166 ^ de Mille, Richard, Castaneda's Journey, 1976, pp. 170-171 ^ Leach, Edmund (1969-06-05). "High School". The New York Review of Books (New York). ISSN 0028-7504. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1969/jun/05/high-school/. Retrieved 2010-10-13.  ^ Harris, Marvin (2001). Cultural materialism: the struggle for a science of culture. Walnut Creek, California: AltaMira Press. p. 322. ^ David Silverman. Reading Castaneda: A Prologue to the Social Sciences. ISBN 978-0-7100-8146-9 ^ Donald Wieve. "Does Understanding Religion Require Religious Understanding?" In Russel T. McCutcheon (ed.), The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion. New York: Bath Press, 1999. p. 263. ^ Victor Sanchez. The Toltec Path of Recapitulation. (Bear & Company: Rochester, Vermont 2001), p. 7, ISBN 1-879181-60-6 ^ Castaneda Controversies ^ View at Google Books Citation will soon be automatically completed. In the meantime, please check that you have correctly copied the book identifier. Border Crossings: A Psychological Perspective on Carlos Castaneda's Path of Knowledge by Donald Williams. Inner City Books, 1981. Digitized by Google January 10, 2008 from the University of Texas. 153 pages. External links Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Carlos Castaneda Sustained Action Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan's Teachings, a 117,500 word book compiled from Carlos Castaneda's ten books Carlos Castaneda's Tensegrity, or, site maintained by ClearGreen Inc., currently conduct Tensegrity seminars and classes Nagualism, collection of information, interviews and forum discussion on Carlos Castaneda, Nagualism, and Shamanism Carlos Castaneda at the Open Directory Project Carlos Castaneda il Nagual, Italian study about Nagualism Platform for informing about and supporting academic studies of altered states of consciousness v · d · eCarlos Castaneda Books The Teachings of Don Juan  · A Separate Reality  · Journey to Ixtlan  · Tales of Power  · The Second Ring of Power  · The Eagle's Gift  · The Fire From Within  · The Power of Silence  · The Art of Dreaming  · Magical Passes  · The Active Side of Infinity  · The Wheel of Time Characters Don Juan Matus  · Genero Flores  · Florinda Donner  · Taisha Abelar  · Carol Tiggs Other Tensegrity  · Toltec  · Recapitulation  · Cleargreen Persondata Name Castaneda, Carlos Alternative names Castañeda, Carlos Short description Latin American writer Date of birth December 25, 1931 Place of birth São Paulo Brazil Date of death April 27, 1998 Place of death Los Angeles, California