What does "died" mean?
Carlos Castaneda, the author of 11 books devoted to the teachings of shamans of ancient Mexico, died on April 27 at his home in Westwood (Los Angeles) from liver cancer; his body was cremated, and the ashes were sent to Mexico — this is the official information. The message about this appeared in the press ("Los Angeles Times", "New York Time", etc.) on June 19, i.e. almost two months later.
The very first thing I would like to do is to clarify the term "died".
In most spiritual traditions, a person who has achieved enlightenment (speaking in terms of Eastern traditions) retains awareness after death, and his physical body remains in this world. This happened, for example, with the Indian masters of the XX century: Babaji, Osho Rajneesh. So the Buddha, the founder of Jainism Mahavir, the Orthodox Saint Sergius died. However, in some traditions, for example, Dzogchen (translated as "Great Perfection"), at the end of his path, the practitioner realizes the Body of Light or the Rainbow Body: he announces that he will die in seven days; it is closed in a room or tent, and on the eighth day only hair and nails are found there. During these seven days, many rainbows appear from the sky, hence the name "rainbow body".
Many traditions speak about the incarnation, on the grave of Rajneesh it is written: "Never born, never died. Only visited this planet Earth between 11.12.31 and 19.01.90."
The Castaneda tradition does not recognize reincarnation, nor does it recognize the possibility of preserving awareness by leaving the physical body to die in this world. According to the teachings of magicians, a human being, being born, receives awareness as an "advance" from an impersonal powerful Force, which magicians figuratively called an Eagle. Throughout life, a person develops this awareness, enriches it with his experience. When death comes, the Eagle takes away his awareness along with the accumulated experience and impressions. Therefore, each of us has only two possibilities: either we die and the Eagle absorbs our consciousness, or we embark on the path of a warrior in order to get a "cubic centimeter of a chance to have a chance" to achieve absolute freedom, or, in other words, to burn in the fire from the inside. This happened to Castaneda's teacher, Don Juan Matus, and to his teacher, Naguel Julian, and to his teacher's teacher...
Don Juan said that the further evolution of a person in a biological body is no longer possible. According to the teachings of magicians, an ordinary person sees the world around him as solid physical bodies only because he is taught from childhood to interpret the energy that he perceives in this way. Magicians see the universe as a set of luminous energy fibers, " stretching in all imaginable and inconceivable directions from infinity to infinity." From the energy point of view, human beings are "luminous cocoons" through which the energy fibers of the universe pass. At the moment of death, magicians transform their body (which, like everything else in the world, is energy) into pure energy and become beings without an organism. Don Juan believed that man is by nature a magical being — a being for whom perception is the main thing, and in perception a person can reach extraordinary depths. However, people who have grown up and live in society have forgotten about their perception journey.
Castaneda said: "I would like to gain integrity so that I can leave this world in the same way that he (Don Juan) did, but there is no guarantee." If Carlos Castaneda really died, it only means that he could not realize his "cubic centimeter of chance". For those who practice the techniques described in Castaneda's books, go to seminars on tensegrity (a modern version of the magical passes discovered by the shamans of ancient Mexico), nothing has changed — each of us can have a chance, but can not have guarantees.
By the way, the seminars are continuing. They were held after April 27: May 2 in Santa Monica (USA), May 23-24 in Munich, June 6 and 13 in the USA.
The data from unofficial sources are as follows. Castaneda and two female warriors of his magic group: Taisha Abelar (author of the book "Magical Transition" ) and Florinda Donner-Grau (author of the books "The Witch's Dream", "Shabono", "Life in a Dream") - left this world, retaining awareness. This was stated by one of the energy trackers (energy investigators — this is the name of a group of female practitioners who demonstrate tensegrity at seminars) at a meeting with seminar participants. (There were no reports of the deaths of Taisha and Florinda in the press). Of the four members of Castaneda's magic group, only Carol Tiggs remained here.
Castaneda's literary agent, Tracy Kramer, reported: "In accordance with the tradition of shamans of his line, Carlos Castaneda left this world in full awareness "(quoted by the Los Angeles Times).
Indeed, all three female warriors were present at the seminar on April 4 (Castaneda himself had not appeared at the seminars for more than a year). On May 2, Carol was alone in Santa Monica (she didn't say a word about Carlos ' death). Taisha and Florinda were supposed to be at the Munich seminar at the end of May, but they did not come, the organizers even lowered the cost of the seminar and returned the difference to the participants. On June 6 and 13, also, none of the four magicians were present. (I was at the seminars personally, so the information is first-hand.)
The Great Hoaxer
It is quite possible that both versions of Castaneda's death are fake. The newspapers note that the circumstances of Carlos ' death are as full of hoaxes as his life. The death certificate says that he is a teacher at a school in Beverly Hills — but he is not listed in the school's lists.
According to the report, he was cremated "at once" ("instantly", "immediately") — a suspicious hurry. However, the press reports were two months late, as an explanation, the publication cites the words of Deborah Druse ,a" lawyer and friend "of Carlos Castaneda:" He did not like to be the center of attention. Knowing this, I did not take responsibility for issuing an official press release."
Officially, he died of liver cancer — but seminar participants who saw Castaneda at his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles in February (i.e., two months before his death) report that he looked like anyone but a person suffering from liver cancer.
The photo "Castaneda in 1951" looks unreal: firstly, the man in the photo is under forty, and Castaneda in 1951 was no more than 26; secondly, I conducted a mini-survey of those who saw Castaneda — of course, we saw him in 1996, but there are still few similarities. In general, Castaneda forbade photographing himself and shooting on film: "Recording is a way to fix you in time. The only thing a magician should not do is become static, inert. A static world, a static picture is the opposite of a magician."
In 1997, a book was published in Canada by Margaret Runyan Castaneda-Carlos ' ex-wife, she describes him as a master of hoaxes. Here is an example. According to the questionnaires of the University of California, Carlos was born on 25.12.1931 in Brazil, according to the immigration card — on 25.12.1925 in Peru. But this is only one fact. According to the teaching, the magician erases his personal history. So there is no doubt that we will never know most of the information about Castaneda.
Why does a magician need hoaxes? The goal of the magician is to leave while maintaining awareness. And for this, the magician must not only have enough energy, he must be free and fluid. Personal history, public attention, as well as a sense of self — importance, is what hinders: binds, takes away energy. Almost every seminar is attended by people who very soon forget about why they came — about practices, about improving themselves and about infinity. And they begin to collect the facts of the biography of Castaneda and the women of his magic group. For the participants, this is an unacceptable waste of time and energy, for Castaneda's magic group, it is another attempt at fixation. But a magician can't be fixed!
I will give an epigraph to Castaneda's book "Tales of Power":
Five conditions for a lonely bird
First: it reaches the highest point
Secondly, she does not suffer from the company, even birds like her
Third: its beak is directed at the sky
Fourth: it does not have a certain color
Fifth: and she sings very quietly.
The Main question
And now I would like to ask a question: maybe we are solving the wrong problem? Castaneda has died, Castaneda has left, or he has freed himself from the burden of public attention — what can the possession of this information give us? How many copies are broken in the discussion of the questions: "was Don Juan a real person?", " did Castaneda use the works of other anthropologists?", "are the events of his books real or is it fiction?" But what and to whom did this give?
Why do we continue to spend time and energy on this? Isn't it because discussing these things is much more familiar and easier than asking yourself (specifically yourself) the main question: do the techniques described by Carlos Castaneda work? After all, if we ask ourselves this question, we will face the fact that we have little time and only one choice: we can either blithely move towards our own death, or "give up the damned pettiness that is characteristic of people who live their lives as if death will never touch them."
My friend, a tensegrity practitioner, said: "You know, it is more useful for us to believe that Castaneda really died. You become more determined. You understand that you are alone and you must mobilize all your forces."
Indeed, "the best that we are capable of is manifested when we are pressed against the wall."
Castaneda said: "Intention is not reasoning, it is action." The masters of the Dzogchen tradition emphasize: "We are not talking about a philosophical doctrine, we are talking about the practical return of a person to his true nature." There are many beautiful strong techniques described in different traditions: prayer, meditation, yoga asanas... Why do we ignore them, or turn them into a formality, fulfilling which, we are not moving anywhere, we are not changing?!
I will allow myself to finish with the words of Castaneda, said at one of the seminars: "We will all come face to face with infinity, whether we want it or not. Why do this when we are weak and decrepit, at the moment of death? Why not when we are strong? Why not now?