"A marvelous book with rich teachings that particularly touch the heart of death -- and, thus, life itself."--Thom Hartmann, author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
Carlos Castaneda comes back from the dead in a true-life spiritual adventure story set in the French Pyrenees, Machu Picchu, the Peruvian Amazon, and the American Southwest.
Four months after his death, the world-renowned writer, anthropologist, and mystic Carlos Castaneda turns up in the French Pyrenees. He meets with writer Martin Goodman. His purpose? To lead Martin beyond the fear of death and the confusions of mortality, and to offer a clearer understanding of the ultimate wisdom -- the wisdom to live the rest of our days in full and conscious harmony with the living earth.
Martin Goodman is a gifted storyteller who has infused I Was Carlos Castaneda with literary verve and humor. When, at their first encounter, an incredulous Goodman confronts Castaneda with reports of his recent death, Castaneda replies wryly, "Details. . . mere details." And so the story begins.
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1 . This book is a complete scam
Posted December 20, 2009 by Sam , Las VegasAfter reading all of Carlos Castaneda's books multiple times, I can tell you without any doubt that this author is a complete fraud trying to make money off of Mr. Castaneda's great works. This author deserves to have the spirit of good will strike him down for this fraudulant piece of crap.
Anybody who has read Castaneda's work can easily tell within the first chapter that this author knows nothing about being a warrior or following the warriors' path. The publisher should have never accepted this, and to put Carlos Castaneda's name of the cover is a travesty.
April 23, 2001
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Excerpt from I Was Carlos Castaneda by Martin Goodman
Lightning jags above the Pyrenean mountains, thunder roars, and death takes on new meaning. It is appropriate that the first time I see the man he stands at the foot of the full-size crucifix that borders the road just outside the village. But then everything he does is appropriate.
Do I recognize him, this man who fought shy of cameras all his life? Of course not. His book jackets carry no image of him. I found his first book so disturbing I never read another. Millions bought his every book, but not me.
Then he died. On April 27, 1998. It was some two months before the death was reported, and about two months after then that we meet.
August 21, to be precise.
I'm jumping ahead of myself, but then I'm excited. It's not that he came back from the dead. That's wild enough, but he'll explain it. It's that he chose to come back to me.
The first drops of rain fall. They bounce off his head, and give an extra sheen to the silver hair with its curls drawn back across his scalp. I stop on my walk -- not because he looks at me, because he doesn't. He has never seen me before, yet he yells my name out loud against the thunderclaps as he looks up at the naked body of the crucified Christ.
It's a cry for help. I do nothing but remain where I am as the rain falls.
"Come here and look at this!"
I step up to his side, and we both raise our heads toward the face of Jesus.
"Tell me what's wrong about this, and what's right."
"Is this a riddle?" I ask.
"The only riddle is why I am asking you, and not telling you."
"It's wrong that Jesus was killed?" I suggest.
"You have a simple mind. Maybe that's a virtue in you. Can you absorb all that I am going to tell you? We'll see. First I will tell you what is wrong about this statue. It is pathetic that this crucifix is here. People paid good money to have this piece of wood carved, painted, and erected. What purpose does it serve? Every time they come and go along this road, they are faced with death. Christ is not about dying. He is about eternal life. Not death, but resurrection. If people want a symbol by the side of the road, then let them build an empty tomb. At least such a structure could shelter passersby from the rain. Come on, Martin. We will go to your home and get dry."
He shakes his head to sling water from his hair into my face, then starts off down the road into the village. I am impressed by his language. His voice is gentle, with a slight trace of an accent to give it distinction; I presume the accent comes from nearby Spain, and the flow of his words is beautiful. There is no pause, but softness of delivery gives polish to every word. His skin is tanned in depth, it has the color and texture of a local's, but his whole air of being is cosmopolitan.
"How do you know my name?"
"Is that what is important? How somebody knows your name? I use your name because I am talking to you. It is important that you listen to what I have to say rather than waste time wondering why I say it. We are speaking of Christ. There is time to consider you later. You now know what is bad about hanging this dead body beside the road for all to see. This morbid fascination with death kills the spirit. But tell me, what is good about it?"
"Nonsense. You go past this statue on your walk every day. Do you ever stop and stare at it as I was doing?"
"Sometimes. Not for so long."
"That's fine, as it happens. There is not so much to see. I am a sculptor myself, trained in Italy, so you can take my word for the quality of the piece. But you can never know this much for yourself, not about sculpture or anything, any work of man or nature, unless you spend time staring into it. Tune yourself to where you're looking, Martin. Open wide and see if there is a message for you there. If there is, you will know it from your eyes. They will vibrate. You will take in the energy of its creator. If you stare at a tree or a flower, you take in the energy of the universe. Stare at a statue, and you take in the energy of the sculptor. The devotion in that sculptor was slight. There is little that is universal there. But there was some care as he formed this image of the male human body. The male nude. You can see he ran his hands over the wooden skin. What value there is in this sculpture is in the surface alone. The statue has painted flesh but no heart, no guts. Still it's a body, nonetheless. That's our goodness, Martin."
"The body is our goodness?"
"Perfect. You're learning. My time may not be wasted. Yes, the joy of being human is living in a body. It's fine to have a body as an emblem of religion, even if it is a dead one. Do you eat meat, Martin?"