Subject: Regarding Casteneda
Date: Thu, April 1, 2010
To: Ken Adachi
Dear Mr. Ken Adachi,
First, a little background information that may help to define my nature as it
relates to encountering your philosophical considerations on this webpage. I am 35
years old and have spent the last 7 of those years witnessing firsthand the greed of
the corporation as a bank teller, all the while simply sufficing to exist in the
condition now commonly called life. As the economy collapsed and was blamed on
citizen's failure to consume, the cronies of the powerful wrestled the monoliths of
our industry from beneath their own weight. They couldn't fail, after-all, but when
my job tallied with the ranks of the millions more unemployed I found myself with
ample free time to consider what my life has become. How had the system grown so
twisted that consumption now drives the happiness of America? Stop consuming, stop
being happy...it seems to have come to this.
All the same, what has been is in the past and I am grateful yet for the 9
consecutive months I have been unemployed as it has given me the time to inform
myself as to what truly is the natural state of the world. I've spent many lengthy
nights consuming texts in search of insight into what truly enlivens the soul; I
have uncovered many new considerations that challenge my perception of Being; the
answers all seem to come together less cohesively though. And, in yet another bout
of the contagion insomnia pursuing answers to the questions I possess, I happened
across your website. Mr. Adachi, I am intrigued. I will fully admit to having only
glimpsed at your theories, however I feel you provide a reliable, fact-based
reporting of the evidence behind the form we are conditioned to see.
This brings me to my main reason for writing to you this evening and I hope you
understand I am only seeking answers, hoping we can correspond briefly. Please view
this as a personal meeting of the minds and please, please keep this off that
Letters to the Editor board; it seems there are some rather harsh critics of your
ideas out there and I don't care to relate myself in anyway to them. Your
'Vanquishing Fear' page listed in the links at the top discusses Casteneda's work
briefly as it pertains to Don Juan and the Yaqui Way. In my own personal quest for
knowledge, since the meltdown of my industrialized life, Casteneda's works have
proven the most useful to me. I would like to know how familiar you are with
Casteneda's teachings, particularly concerning his lessons of the influence of
conditioning on perception and how that transfers to the problems surrounding the
current, sorry state of world affairs.
I appreciate your effort in keeping your message alive; it inspires me to seek the
real answers that surround our present human condition. Thank you in advance for any
insights you can provide, I appreciate your time in reading what turned out to be a
rather lengthy note.
I never felt the need to study Castaneda, but I did read some of his material and found it interesting. If I had more free time I would likely read more, but overall, he doesn't strike me as a guru in matters spiritual. The idea you mentioned about conditioning influencing perceptions is true enough. Castaneda was a Peruvian who had a genetic and cultural connection to Andean shamanic traditions. Most of his white readers, however, don't fall into that category.
It's OK to read Castaneda, but his books also inspire people to experiment with psycho-active drugs and I'm opposed to that. Generally, white people with no connection to shaman traditions (and culture), have no business taking powerful, psycho-active plants which produce these mind bending experiences (although I recognize that certain unique people can handle it) . It's not part of our culture and it's not intended for non-Shaman, New Age experimenters. You don't acquire spiritual "advancement" through a drug. That's screwy.
Barbara Crouse Brown said in her interview with Daniel Ott that she had a positive experience taking Ayahuasca when she was younger and found the experience expansive. She also said that you have to be in good shape physically in order to handle the drug, otherwise you're going to get sick. Barbara is one of those unique people who can handle it, I feel, but most people aren't in her league. The Terrence McKennas of the world are misguided and foolish, in my opinion. . .
The world that Castaneda enters is the Astral and it's filled with characters that you don't want to depend on for mentors. You could also open up dimensional doors that don't necessarily close so easily once opened. This could possibly plague you for many years after the fact. What might seem adventurous in the beginning, could turn into a nightmare. I'd rather learn about metaphysical postulates from Tuesday Lopsang Rampa, .Yogananda, or Seth (via Jane Roberts).
Your Higher Self is your greatest source of insights and consciousness expansion. If you learn to look within for answers, you will find a knowledge repository that far exceeds anything written by Carlos Castaneda.
(I maintain this web site in the interest of sharing my opinions with readers on matters that have general application. There's nothing in your letter that exposes personal information about you. I want my comments about Castaneda to be read by other readers and not just you alone. I'll change your name to another and not post your e-mail address. You have nothing to be concerned about. I don't publish friendly letters that expose information that could put someone in jeopardy or cause embarrassment, but your letter doesn't fall in that category. )
----- Original Message -----
To: Ken Adachi
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2010
Subject: Re: Regarding Casteneda
Thank you for your careful reply to my email, it speaks to your commitment to alternative reasoning. However I do have a few comments regarding the information you have provided. You highlight the importance of cultural and genetic connections to one's capabilities as it relates to the specific path one can follow in unraveling mangled perception; is there any significant basis for the assumption that what has been created by humanity (i.e. shamanic traditions) cannot be shared by members of the group human across the divide of cultural barriers? It seems to me that, like language, all aspects of humanity are transferable across the imagined divisions of race, age, gender, or cultural upbringing. This seems to be supported by the fact that human kind is capable of overcoming nearly all learning barriers given enough time (e.g. progressive notions of advancement through history are hard to deny).
I do not agree with your statement that the Self is negatively impacted by psychotropic endeavors; It seems to me that any effort to challenge one's perception is a deviation from the typical conditioned perception we are raised within. If we can challenge our inherent perception, by any means, we are actively taking steps towards strengthening the Self. I agree that some people struggle with the realizations psychotropics present, they ought to continue in other means of enlightenment; but it is a generalization to assume the problem lies in the drug and not in the person. You say it is not part of our culture, taking psycho-actives, but isn't culture a distinct symptom of the perception within which we are raised? Culture is nothing more than the shared beliefs of a majority; culture is a distinct set of perceptual ties to a group. Could you elaborate your position on conditioned perception and how that reflects itself in the world around us?
Thank you, again, for your reply to my email. My intentions, once again, are personal and not aimed at challenging your views or enlightening others (as I feel only delusion arises from greedily challenging others). Any insights you can provide to the questions I have posited would be greatly appreciated.
Subject: Casteneda shamanism
Date: Sat, April 3, 2010
To: Ken Adachi
I am a white woman who practises my own kind of Shamanism. I do not take drugs and
apart from my own intuition and my higher self my best teacher is Mother Earth and
her Sylphs elimentals and four legged and tree children. If I do not feel safe with
any information I receive other dimensionally or my intuition says some thing dodgy
there matey I ignore or banish it.Your mind and soul and spirit is the most
important tool you have as well as your imagination and dreams.
I do beleve that our Celtic and Saxon ancestors used a form of Shamanism
Subject: Regarding Cataneda
From: Mike White
Date: Sun, April 18, 2010
To: Ken Adachi
I am hoping the following points help bring some light to Castaneda and the subject
of so called psychotropic 'drugs'.
1. It was only in Castaneda's first two books that Don Juan used ancient
psychotropic concoctions to help Cantaneda ACCEPT that there are other realities,
inhabited by "inorganic life", that are just as real as this 3D world.
2. It was after Castaneda's initiation to alternate realities, that Don Juan
disclosed to his pupil that psychotropic concoctions are NOT required to experience
these 'other planes of existence'. Rather, the spiritual 'warrior' has all he or
she needs INTERNALLY to transcend into other planes of existence, and through
discipline, he/she will spend equal amounts of time engaged in this 3D world and in
the 'other' worlds.
3. Science has done it's job in localizing the "physical" mechanisms that allow a"spiritual warrior" to experience other dimensional beings and places. The best
work out there, to my knowledge, is Dr. Rick Strassman's "DMT: The Spirit Molecule".
DMT (Dimethyl Tryptamine) is an Endogenous molecule found in ALL life forms (incl
humans), is a natural derivative of the amino acid "tryptophan", and chemically is
almost identical to Seratonin and Melatonin, and the "psilocybin" of magic
mushrooms. DMT production is localized to the Pineal Gland, and is a very
interesting area of study. Descartes referred to the Pineal as the "seat of the
4. As a natural compound, already found in our brain and spinal fluid, is DMT really
a "drug"? NO, of course not. Is somebody being "foolish and getting high" if
he/she, through meditation and silencing of the mind (The Yaqui/Toltec practices of
Don Juan), increases their DMT output to the point of "communing with non-physical
life"? NO. Is somebody being foolish if he/she, without the higher goal of seeking
spiritual truth, takes an OUTSIDE source of DMT (i.e. Ayahuasca) in order to 'get
high', just to try it ut? YES, VERY FOOLISH INDEED, and it could blow his/her mind,
and end up being a horrifying and negative experience!
5. I suggest ANYONE of western lineage and culture thinking of communing with
Inorganic Life, start by reading the series of Casteneda's books, DMT the Spirit
Molecule, and then study the eastern traditions of "silencing the mind" through
MEDITATION as a way of achieving his/her goals of communing with "inorganic life".
A fool would rush out and find a source of DMT in order to just get "high". In summary, ALL HUMANS have the innate ability to control DMT production in the
Pineal, as a means of experiencing and communing with life forms that are"inorganic". If that is the ONLY GOAL, then it is a positive frame of mind to enter
such efforts! But if the goal is to 'get high' then the dangers of taking DMT,
without being spiritually prepared, could be hazardous beyond belief.
Your website is a major contribution to truth and understanding, and I commend ALL
your efforts and postings. THANK YOU KEN!
All information posted on this web site is
the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only.
It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor
can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer
of your choice for medical care and advice.