The Active Side of Infinity

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9780060929602: The Active Side of Infinity
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"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.

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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

Review:

"Castaneda's sanity lends to even the most lurid experiences the force of data. It compels us to believe that don Juan is one of the most extraordinary figures in anthropological literature, a neolithic sage. It helps us to accept, from the continent we stole, a mysterious gift of wisdom".

-- LIFE

"Carlos Castaneda was one of the most profound and influential thinkers of this century. His insights paved the way for the future evolution of human consciousness. We are all deeply indebted to him."-- Deepak Chopra"We are incredibly fortunate to have Carlos Castaneda1s books...One can't exaggerate the significance of what he has done."-- "New York Times""Castaneda's sanity lends to even the most lurid experiences the force of data. It compels us to believe that don Juan is one of the most extraordinary figures in anthropological literature, a neolithic sage. It helps us to accept, from the continent we stole, a mysterious gift of wisdom."-- "Life""It's impossible to view the world in quite the same way after reading him...If Castaneda is correct, there is another world, a sometimes beautiful and sometimes frightening world, right before our eyes at this moment--if only we could see."-- "Chicago Tribune"

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