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The Gnostic Castaneda

Cover of the album Shaman (2002) from Santana

Over the years since first reading Carlos Castaneda back in 1968, I have become ever more mindful that the word shaman begins with sham. Who would have thought, way back then, that just about everyone and his cousin would claim to be a shaman by the year 2000? Yet Castaneda's writings contributed enormously to this trend. The cover of the 2002 Santana album is unthinkable without don Juan....

Introduction: The Sham and the Slither
Dreaming Castaneda - A First Person Encounter
The Topic of Topics: Gnostic Parallels in the Writings of Carlos Castaneda
Carlos Casanova I: Sex and the Sorcerer
Carlos Casanova II: The Sorcerer's Bluff

Shamanism, shamming-ism. To sham is to pretend or fake. The human species has reached a desperate pass when spiritual direction comes from those who fake their way through the most revelatory, transformative experience a human being can undertake, short of death itself: round-trip passage into the Unknown. Moving across that boundary has been the defining skill of men and women shamans in all ages, all cultures.

Shamaism today is a morass of claims....

Purple Medicine Woman (not faked)
From an on-line photo gallery of Siberian shamanism

jll: in loco placentis November 2009 Andalucia


Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.