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Never Trust a Hippy: Carlos Castaneda

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by Idris2002, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    Some of the older folk around here will have heard of Carlos Castaneda, the American author who claimed to have been instructed in the spiritual use of Peyote by a mysterious 'Don Juan', a shaman of the Yaqui people.

    Largely forgotten, his books were massively popular in their time, and played a large role in the emergence of the modern 'New Age' movement.

    They were also a pack of lies and a load of plagiarised rubbish.

    'Don Juan' does not seem to have ever existed, and the Yaqui Indians do not, in fact, make use of peyote for spritual or other purposes.

    As for Castaneda, he appears to have been just another bogstandard Californian cult leader, and his death seems to have been followed by the disappearance of some of his followers, and at least one suicide.


    Never trust a hippy.
    Chilli.s likes this.
  2. Yetman

    Yetman Cheesecar Fucksquad #1

    This is very old news
  3. Yetman

    Yetman Cheesecar Fucksquad #1

    That said, I read a book by a woman, who also met Don Juan.....or maybe it was Casteneda himself......I'll have to check it out. Her story is interesting. Comes via a fairly skeptical and feminist perspective, and is a good read, though probably as bullshit as the Casteneda books, jumping on the same bandwagon.
  4. Idris2002

    Idris2002 A kick up the Arás

    Quality never goes out of style.
    Greebo likes this.
  5. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    I go with Robert Anton Wilson's take on Castenada, which was that he wrote stuff that acted as a halfway decent guidebook for psychonauts, but was shit as either biography or literature.
    ruffneck23 and Greebo like this.
  6. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    What about hippies under 30?
  7. xslavearcx

    xslavearcx time for a nu-metal revival?

    i got given castanenda books to read by my dad when i was 15. he was/is a hippy but i can trust him since he told me that the books were a lot of shit but a good read, which they were imo
    Greebo likes this.
  8. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. Never Mind That, It’s Time For the Bus!...

    This is all that needs to be said about Castaneda and peyote.
    Please do not watch if you suffer from Epilepsy!

  9. rutabowa

    rutabowa YUPPIES OUT

    1st few are ok to read. i never for a second thought they were anything but fiction though... but i guess that is because i read them only a few years ago.
  10. Yuwipi Woman

    Yuwipi Woman Whack-A-Mole Queen

    Another fakir is T. Lobsang Rampa. He's a British guy who claims to be the walk-in of a reincarnated Tibetan monk. I have to admit that I did find his books entertaining as a teen.

    I saw one book by a woman claiming special knowledge of Cherokee healing practices. It looked a lot like Gardnarian Wicca dressed in feathers and beads. :facepalm:

    Sometimes I think there should be a cause of action against these "authors" for misappropriation of cultural knowledge.
    Greebo likes this.
  11. IC3D

    IC3D Post Mid Arc

    Carlos Castaneda immortalised by Homers chilli trip presumably.
  12. Johnny Canuck3

    Johnny Canuck3 Well-Known Member


    That was known back at the time that the books were popular.

    The point is that the books got people to consider spirituality in a new way, and to examine different ways of thinking. As you set out in your op, they were successful at doing that. It's a sign of our 'Newer Age', that the focus is on the negative aspects, with short shrift being paid to the positive.
    Greebo likes this.
  13. Johnny Canuck3

    Johnny Canuck3 Well-Known Member

    I could never stomach Lobsang Rampa. There's fake; and then there's fake. :D
    Greebo and Yuwipi Woman like this.
  14. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen Sproutarian.

    I only skimmed the first book.
    It piqued my interest in datura - but only as an ornamental.
  15. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. Never Mind That, It’s Time For the Bus!...

    Reliable plumber though. Could get the first fix and drops in half a day.
    His first work should have been The Third Bidet.
    Greebo likes this.
  16. rutabowa

    rutabowa YUPPIES OUT

    ah ok, i did kind of suspect that was the case. i mean people weren't stupid in the 70s. they didn't have the internet to check things straight away, but they weren't totally credulous of everything i wouldn't have thought.
    Greebo likes this.
  17. two sheds

    two sheds not as daft as i look

    Anyone who says you can find your 'spot' in the room by taking a lot of drugs and sitting in all possible positions to see what they feel like is not all bad.
    Greebo likes this.
  18. DizzyDreamer

    DizzyDreamer New Member

    Hi, being interested in the works of Carlos Castaneda and having a lot of difficulty with his
    lucid dreaming, I purchased a copy of this book last year and practiced the suggested technique
    until I was able to quite literally lucid dream on-demand *without* having to first fall asleep
    in the usual manner.

    It only took me a month to perfect the technique and I can attest to its author's claims about
    making lucid dreaming incredibly available even to absolute beginners. The similarity to that
    described by Carlos Castaneda description of 'Dreaming Awake', however, is astounding!? These
    are incredibly lucid dreaming states arrived at 'without' having to first fall asleep!

    The author calls it 'Waking-Induced Lucid Dreaming' (WILD) which I'd never heard of before until
    reading this particular book, although subsequent research on my part revealed WILDs were in
    fact discovered and documented right along with DILDs, albeit they have been almost completely
    overlooked in comparison to the sheer publicity surrounding and supporting DILDs.

    I have, by now, also experienced many DILDs simply from practicing these WILDs (a seeming
    automatic benefit of WILDing, in that DILDs begin to occur quite spontaneously after practicing
    these WILDs for only a few months)

    Consequently, I feel obliged to pass this info on to you (and to other Carlos Castaneda
    affectionados), in the hope that it may well help others with their lucid dreaming difficulties
    too, and in connection to Carlos Castaneda's description of dreaming awake.

    With kind regards

    The book in question is called: 'The WILD Way To Lucid Dreaming' (by 'slider') and is listed on
    Amazon. There is also a website for it (the wildway.com) which is only mentioned in the book
  19. keybored


    Please tell me more.
  20. Ground Elder

    Ground Elder Well-Known Member

  21. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    I'm literally amazed that no-one's seen fit to quote Alabama 3 since this thread was started in 2014! :D

    :) ;)
  22. xenon

    xenon Carne Por la Machina

    Why do we hate hippies? I mean I do but why. If I had been around in the 60s, I would’ve hated them then too.
  23. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    Because hippieism is a fundamentally individualistic, hedonistic philosophy which ultimately lends itself to neo liberal Thatcherism a decade or so later. Branson being the poster child for this.
    Otoh good music and great drugs, so not all bad.
    Libertad, mao, SpookyFrank and 11 others like this.
  24. bubblesmcgrath

    bubblesmcgrath Well-Known Member

    Isn't it really just another word for daydreaming?
    Which most people do...
    Einstein And Newton both said they daydreamed some of the kernels of their theories.

    Daydreaming really is the key to solving complex problems
    Terry Manners likes this.
  25. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Erm...Sad to say, I tend to tick quite a few of the hippy boxes myself - kind to small children and animals, tendency to wear multiple colour clashing garments, likes being 'in nature' and definitely enjoys getting wankered, eats brown rice with every sign of enjoyment...and until recently, had seriously hoped to start a new fashion trend involving plaits and far too many ribbons (ceased after Grand-daughter asked if I was a 'raggy doll'). Finally (and the pointiest nails in the coffin) - still listens to Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen 3rd Ear Band, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Pentangle.

    And yes, of course I read Castaneda...and De Quincy, Huxley, Kesey, Kerouac, Hesse et al - I was/am a psychonaut rather than just a waster (ahem). Went right off datura though - never again.

    Libertad, wiskey, ska invita and 4 others like this.
  26. kebabking

    kebabking Unfettered ambition


    HNY. :)
  27. hot air baboon

    hot air baboon Well-Known Member

    probably more true of trustafarian kids who played at it when it became a big media thing than the small number who more genuinely embraced alternative lifestyles - which I always thought were pretty communal
    Tom A likes this.
  28. BigTom

    BigTom Well-Known Member

    nah, the philosophy is based on the individual changing their mindset (with the help of drugs) and in doing so societal change is produced. The change that is wanted is generally anti-materialism/consumerism and there's a healthy dose of what would become new-age dippy stuff, which rejected ideas of ownership and this leads to some people organising communally for sure, but the philosophy is very much about the individual and their behaviour, than about society and how that produces behaviour.
    There's a substantial amount of hippie ideas and philosophy that I like but to me, "turn on, tune in and drop out" is a pretty reactionary action as it fails to challenge the structures of society, in doing so it implicitly supports the status quo, despite intending to act against it. When hippieism failed to transform the world, It didn't leave behind structures that continued to challenge capitalism, instead it left behind individuals, some of whom went one way, some the other. My criticism/issue is not with the individuals but with the underlying philosophy.
  29. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    True enough, Tom...and the blueprints for an outraged generation was handily provided by a whole raft of therapeutic self-centred self-improvement - from a re-evaluation of Freud, through Adler, Jung and Laing...to outright (imo) charlatans such as Arthur 'Primal Scream' Janov. The roots of identity politics found fertile soil in the bewildered post psychedelic, post Vietnam, post civil rights generation. I missed the first wave in the late 50s through the 60s...but uneasily fell in with the next, already fractured (and wholly middle class) iterations where the 'self' was the focus.
    I was a shallow sort though - more concerned with squatting, getting wrecked and going to as many gigs as possible...but even so, then, as now, homelessness and housing rights have informed my politics for half a century.
    Libertad, seventh bullet and BigTom like this.
  30. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    I like what Carlos has to say about Crows (dont fuck with crows)

    I reckon GG Martin (?) of Game of Thrones nicked his three eyed crow thing from Castaneda

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