Even More Letters to Sustained Action
Subject: Castaneda and the problem of truth
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2001 13:29:38 +0100
From: Giuseppe De Pasquale <email@example.com>
my name is Giuseppe De Pasquale, and I'm Italian.
I apologize for my English, not quite correct, but intelligible, or at least I hope so.
Since 1974 I'm interested in Castaneda and his work. Recently I found
Sustained Action on the Internet. Great site, and a very good job. So please go on.
When Castaneda died, I wrote an article for an Italian quarterly magazine
of psychical research and parapsychology, "Luce e Ombra" (Light & Shadow),
entitled "Castaneda e il problema della verit? (Castaneda and the problem
of truth). Here is the English summary of the article:
"Following an extensive search of the Internet, the writer has
accumulated evidence in more than sufficient quantities to be convinced that
the works of Castaneda - with the possible exception of the first, which may
reflect some of the anthropologist's actual experiences - are fruit of the
imagination and not bona fide accounts of real occurrences validated by
field notes. It has in fact been established that the existence of these
notes has never been proved: they have never been seen, despite Castaneda's
insistencein the preface to his books that he was in possession of them.
Initially, those falling foul of the deception were a number of professors
at the UCLA, who endorsed as scientific work a piece of research that lacked
any verifiable documentation. Later it was the turn of the press, together
with a number of representatives of American academic circles, to be
similarly hoodwinked, giving an enthusiastic welcome to Castaneda's work.
"The events described by Castaneda provide all the required ingredients
of extraordinariness and the paranormal, but their underserved reputation
for truthfulness has ill-served parapsychology, whose claim require the
support of serious and objective research; in other words, a genuinely
The article's contents goes far beyond the above summary, and deals with
the probem of truth. which in my opinion is of basic importance for man. If
you are interested, I'll send the whole article to you, but it is written in
Italian, so you'll have to get it translated. Now I'll try to summarize some
of the topics of interest.
I think man has two ways of using his mind, or maybe two channels to get
his awareness and his attention connected with the source of our mental
activity. I call them the Real and the Imaginary. By the Real, you deal with
this physical world we live in with our physical bodies. by the Imaginary we
are connected to other "realities" which may have their own existence, but
different from the physical existence of this world. As we have these two
faculties, we are free to use both of them, but we cannot mistake one for
the other. Their purpose is different. A writer, or a creative person, uses
the Imaginary to get in touch with a source of inspiration, that tells him
stories of a different dimension, a "separate reality", with Castaneda's
Castaneda was with no doubt a gifted person from this point of view, and
he had an almost endless ability to connect with a story telling source.
But, as a man, he made the mistake of believing that the Imaginary could
take the place of the Real. He himself was the first to be caught in the
trap of his game, and as he had a great energy (but not in the last years of
his life) he was able to convince many people of the validity of his point
He was a liar but, in my opinion, he didn't believe to be a phoney,
because he dismissed, without any criticism or real understandin', the
function of the Real, thinking it was only an artificial social
superstructure. He thought man has no need of it, because man has no need to
deal with reality. This is not true, of course, 'cause in this life and in
this world man needs to deal with reality. And in this respect the backside
of Castaneda's insanity (I think he was a little insane) is all that stuff
of attorneys and legal documents.
But why was Castaneda so interested in this effort to make people believe
in his ideas? He could live without problems with the proceeds of his books.
And why a lot of people were ready to believe without criticism in what he
said? I think that the answers to these questions stay in the fact that our
widespread culture states that our awareness is bound to our body life. This
is not true, but as long as you believe it is, or as long as you are afraid
of it, a part of you is ready to betray your mind, letting you believe in
any foolishness will give you a hope of surviving bodily death.
So people are ready to do the most strange and useless (if not dangerous)
things, in order to get a bad surrogate of what they all have for granted:
the eternal life of their spirit. It is not the same of the eternal life of
their bodies, but can anyone say that Castaneda's body lives forever? This
was the greatest mistake of Castaneda, to let people believe that our
physical body could live forever. This is not true, and Castaneda's death is
there to give evidence of it.
But our spirit lives forever, and death is there to mark the passage of
our awareness to another dimention, that will be, without any doubt, a
separate reality in respect with this physical reality. And we are here,
now, in this physical world, with our physical body, not to escape from this
reality, as Castaneda asserts, but to deal with it. This is the choice, and
the challenge, of our spirit.
If you want to know why I believe that eternal life is granted to our
spirit, I'll try to make myself clearer next time. For now, I wish to thank
you for your effort to find out and give evidence of facts and events
related to Castaneda himself and person of his cohort. By the way, if you
want to put this letter in Sustained Action's website, free to do it.
Yours sincerely. Giuseppe.
Replica Watches Replica Watches
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2001 15:57:57 +1000
From: "Jon Kinred" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'd just like to thank whoever is responsible for this site, after reading
several of castaneda's books (multiple times) and finding discrepencies i
was left with the feeling that things just weren't right. The last couple of
days i've been researching on the web and i'm almost convinced that carlos
and his cohorts had nothing but their own personal gain driving them. It's
disheartening to see such a pure and apparently idealistic reality
represented in his early books only to have the 'official' castaneda site
present a new age religion (tensegrity, i hadn't read Magical Passes before)
which seemed to be centered around not much more than monetary gains.
Anyway, the fact that you offer your information for free (information is
something which the clear green site lacks) i find your objective (whatever
that is) more credible than cleargreen's greedy representation. If people
have something worthwhile to show people they'll tell it, not sell it.
Subject: error regarding Castaneda interview
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 18:50:59 EDT
A mistake in the Tiggs chronology: Celeste Fremon is NOT the pen name of
Gwyneth Cravens. Celeste Fremon had sought out Castaneda and set up the
interview between Castaneda and Cravens, who wrote it up. Later Fremon took
sole credit for the article. She did have a friendship with Castaneda and
did go on to become a journalist and an editor of Playgirl. Cravens was the
author of another article/interview for Harper's Magazine about Castaneda
that came out a few months after the one in Seventeen. Some of the material
in that article found its way into the book by Castaneda's alleged
wife--where it was presented as her own knowledge. A few years later Cravens
published a novel called Speed of Light in which a Castaneda-like character
plays a role. Cravens has refused to comment about anything in the novel.
BTW, Castaneda told people he had attended meetings of the L.A.
Gurdjieff foundation after he returned from adventures in the desert with Don
Juan--he said he was looking for the tradition connected with what he was
learning from DJ.
Subject: Practices outlined in The Sorcerers' Crossing
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2000 12:30:01 -0400
From: "John Rogers" <email@example.com>
I'm looking for anyone who has experience with or knowledge about the
practices outlined in Taisha Abelar's "The Sorcerers' Crossing". These
practices are almost identical to the Chinese practices known as Qi Gong or
Chi Kung ("Clara" states that she learned some of the techniques in
China). I'm interested in trying out these techniques, but I've been
reading books on Qi Gong that warn of the possibility of injury if a certain
training sequence is not followed. They warn that the training must be
every day without exception and that skipping steps in the sequence or
stopping the training midway could injure your body and shorten your life.
Does anyone have any information that might be helpful regarding this?
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 16:31:40 +0200
From: "Dale Morris" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organization: Liberty Life
Hi folks (folk? person?people?)
I saw your site for the first time today, after years spent down trackin'
down that old-time Sorcery...
At first I thought "just another dis site", but wait - congratulations on a
marvellous project - its obvious that Corey at least speaks from a place of
great love (only those we love can whack us), and equally so, so so many
Great discussions underway - I was reallyi mpressed, with their quality and
resonance. Something about the subject is attracting the best of a large
group of people.
Well done. If this is how you find the truth, and this is your true path,
Lots of love
Date: Saturday, July 14, 2001
Time: 02:41:03 AM
I have found that a good technique for Stalking is to imagine/become someone/something else other than your usual self. This means not to act as in "acting", but that you actually change your thoughts and behavior toward everyday life by "willing" yourself to do so. For example, I "became" a pshycopathic, violent, irritated man. I actually willed myself to become very pissed off at everyone and everything, and to become tense and violent. In between this switched persona I became another person, one who was shy and quiet , weak and timid. I then tried to revert back to my usual behavior only to find that it was just another act itself, and I had a moment of pure awareness. I realized that I have been putting on acts all my life, that my identity is really nothing more than a fixed idea of the world caused by routine use of that idea. My point is that if we change the way we think of the world (objects, people, feelings) even for a moment, we (I did, at least) realize that we are all "acting" according to ideas fixed into our minds throughout our lives.
Right now I'm Don Juan : )
Name: Tom Jankowski
Date: Monday, October 22, 2001
I would just like to say that your website is probably one of the most insightful and informative on the web. I would also like to thank you for answering many questions that I've had and bringing many other points to the surface of my attention that I was not previously aware of concerning Carlos Castenada. I've been an avid reader of C.C. for some years now reading all of his books and in some cases reading them many times over being deeply intrigued and affected. The books aroused an interest within me concerning mysticism and magic that I have held since I was a child. I thought that what he expounded was real, although I did question many of the things in his books as I read them as being quite far fetched and truly incomprehensible. But I also felt and still do that magic is real, we humans are magic ourselves. I don't just credit this feeling to reading C.C., I have before reading him and still do read upon much eastern philosophy- Buddhist, Taoist and other esoteric writings like that of Madame David Neel and Evans Wentz of Tibetan lore. So when I read C.C.'s books I already had afinity to have an open mind in the realm of human potential and mind research and what many here in the west call impossible or magic. I did feel that as I read along Carlos's books had some major flaws in them, like time-spatial discrepancies, contradicting statements, and how C.C. managed to train under Don Juan and at the same time manage graduate school work and work in general and a social life?,(that's a helluva drive to Sonora). Also his later books became too bizarre in the sense of how the other apprentices were such egomaniacs when they were supposed to be acting like 'warriors' that were trained under such impecable sorcerers. There was too much missing, too much info that Carlos just threw at me with no backround information to substantiate it. But I did not think to think that it was fiction due to the fact that I fell in love with his books and that many of the points that Carlos did make throughout his
Name: bernie c
Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Like the rest of CCs fans I'm also resigned to the fact that he invented it all !!! But what a brain, man !!!
I've started reading the early books when I was about 10 after seeing it on my elder sisters bookshelf in the early seventies. Until now I still believe that there must be more to life than what see in our daily lives. I am not imbittered after knowing the truth. Actually, the funny thing is I feel like saying "Yo Carlos, thanks for the ride this last quarter (of a century) !!!
>From his books I can digest only three truths:
a) Find a path (a life) with heart. Enjoy life !
b) Grab a chance even if it appears only for a second (that second might change your life).
c) Do anything that is humanly possible to achieve a goal - even using sorcery. Haha.
Cheers to all CCs fans.