The Active Side of Infinity

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9780060192204: The Active Side of Infinity

This book is an astounding overview of Castaneda’s work of the last 30 years. He goes back through the most memorable events in his life, having been told that he should this by don Juan Matus, a Yacqui Indian Shaman who became his teacher for 13 years.

He has learned that these events, when collected together, form a device that powerfully stirs energy inside the self that has lain dormant. Our daily lives push these cachets of energy outside our reach. This method shows us how to redeploy our unused energy.

The aim is to put together the sum total of one’s emotions and realizations. For the Shaman’s of ancient Mexico this energy is preparation for facing the definitive journey, after death. Don Juan taught that through this training, Shamans were capable of retaining their individual awareness and purpose after death, which they needed to undertake the affairs of daily life that occur in a region that don Juan called ‘The Active Side of Infinity’.

This book is a fascinating collection of Castaneda’s key experiences organised in a very accessible way. They provide a unique insight into this tradition and elucidate ideas that occur in Castaneda’s previous books.

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Product Description:

"Ordinarily, events that change our path are impersonal affairs, and yet extremely personal. My teacher, don Juan Matsus, said this is guiding me as his apprentice to collect what I considered to be the memorable events of my life . Don Juan described the total goal of the shamanistic knowledge that he handled as the preparation for facing the definitive journey: the journey that every human being has to take at the end of his life. He said that what modern man referred to vaguely as life after death was, for those shamans, a concrete region filled to capacity with practical affairs of a different order than the practical affairs of daily life, yet bearing a similar functional practicality. Don Juan considered that to collect the memorable in their lives was, for shamans, the preparation for their entrance into that concrete region, which they called the active side of infinity."

In this book written immediately before his death, anthropologist and shaman Carlos Castaneda gives us his most autobiographical and intimately revealing work ever, the fruit of a lifetime of experience and perhaps the most moving volume in his oeuvre."

Review:

Depending on whom you talk to, Carlos Castaneda is either one of the very greatest thinkers of the last century, or one of its most accomplished charlatans. Ever since The Teachings Of Don Juan, the author's "true story" of his encounter with a Yaqui Indian sorcerer who led him on a mesmerising, magical and highly disturbing journey into another world, Castenada has fascinated readers with his extraordinary narratives. Hovering tantalisingly between anthropology and fiction, they offer visions of spiritual universes, worlds within our own that are accessible to anyone bold enough to undertake the psychic and spiritual challenges necessary to reach them.

Now, in his last book before he died, Castaneda offers this "collection of the memorable events in my life", at the suggestion, he says, of the shamanic teacher who started it all. This is no random memoir, says Castaneda, but itself a shamanic ritual--the "putting together [of] the sum total of one's emotions and realizations, without sparing anything", in preparation for "the definitive journey" into life after death, or what shamans call "the active side of infinity".

What we get is a kind of Castaneda reader or primer, a posthumous overview of the episodes that first brought him to our attention. As always both riveting and bewildering, Castaneda offers a behind-the-scenes gloss on the extraordinary events that inform his best-known books. It will surely have the effect of turning readers back to those first mind-bending volumes. --Dan Fielder

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