Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brujo Fantastico

Back in the last night of the UP Fair 2011, I came across some people selling old books along the sidewalk in the campus. To my delight, I've found a copy of Carlos Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1974 edition) among the books and it only costs 100 pesos. It's an account of the anthropologist Carlos Castaneda time as an apprentice under the Yaqui Indian brujo (sorcerer) Don Juan way back in the early 1960's. After a harrowing experience, Castaneda ceased his training, wrote a book about it and went back to continue his apprenticeship under Don Juan. It is a tale of sorcery, shamanic journeys and peyote.

I said "peyote". You know, the hallucinogenic plant.

Yeah sure it was heavily debated whether Carlos made the whole thing up or not but that book started the shamanism craze back in the 60's. In fact, anything mystical was a huge thing back in the 60's. Heck, Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange was created in the 60's.

"By the Hoary Hosts of Hallucinogens!"

Whether or not the experiences of Carlos Castaneda were fabricated, it matters not to me. Nothing is true, everything is permitted. If it works for me, yippee-kay yay. However, I don't need the use of hallucinogenic plants thanks to the use of certain trance-inducing techniques. Another thing that intrigued me was the use of lizards for information-gathering. The parts about sewing up their eyes and mouths sounds very iffy though.

"P-pardon me?"

I could just create a lizard-based servitor just for that purpose. Another thing that interests me is Carlos' transformation into a crow. In astral form of course.

For the last time I'm not Heath Ledger.

The Teachings of Don Juan may be very controversial and hardly useful in magical instructions but it inspires me. The Little Prince in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's book of the same name said "What is essential is invisible to the naked eye." The Teachings of Don Juan may be hardly of use to many but I see the essential in it.

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