South Lake Tahoe, CA, United States | Member Since 2007
Castaneda tells us that he approached Don Juan, his shaman guru, to learn about peyote. So his first two books focus on the hallucinogenics; and he admits in this third book that he omitted the philosophy and other instruction from Don Juan which Castaneda discounted as nonsense. Well, I am not going to be using peyote, and I truly appreciated Don Juan's pointers for effective living. Not nonsense at all!
I could identify with Castaneda's always taking notes, always talking, always asking questions. He is a graduate student who usually wears a suit and tie and carries a briefcase. Don Juan sometimes teases him about this. I could not identify with Castaneda's reluctance to talk to plants! The author is really anal at several points! Of course all these years later we are more comfortable with meditation, plant and animal communication, all the concepts of the New Age.
I will be getting the paper book because some nuggets have to be underlined or at least marked with a page corner turned down. Don Juan is evidently quite an old man, and yet he can sit on the ground in such a way that he can stand up in one motion if necessary. He is as strong as he needs to be. He climbs or walks as far as he needs to. Carlos, the author, is often winded or needing to be helped! Don Juan gives several hints about how he stays fit -- for sure not a gym membership!
This book is a must-listen for young and old because it lays the ground for so much more. I should have read it in the '70's, but I was reading the Seth books instead. Don Juan has an excellent attitude toward death, personal history, discipline, readiness. The book ends well at a good stopping place. Carlos does indeed "stop the world" and see the magnificent gridwork that Seth referred to and Stuart Wilde discusses. I wish I had skipped over "Separate" and "Teachings" to jump into this book.
Somehow I had expected this would be simply Tom Paine's writing, not a whole book about him. History, philosophy and politics are not my strengths, but I've lived long enough and traveled enough that I do care about these things. I found another audio book on the same topics, Founding Brothers, very difficult listening, although I believed it was well narrated. This book by contrast is almost suspenseful. The narrator reads with great understanding, but the book is written so as to be interesting. This author has an exciting mind!
Back in high school I didn't really get it about the deists. And who cared about the Louisiana Purchase? Paine was already trying to solve the problem of slavery, develop a plan for freed slaves. Paine even foresaw a need for a welfare system. Well, goodness! It's a most stimulating book. Educational, exciting, most worthwhile.
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