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Fire from Within

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Fire from Within.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Carlos Castaneda(Author)

    Book details

Each of Carlos Castaneda's books is a brilliant and tantalizing burst of illumination into the depths of our deepest mysteries, like a sudden flash of light, like a burst of lightning over the desert at night, which shows us a world that is both alien and totally familiar -- the landscape of our dreams.

Fire from Within is the author's most brilliant thought-provoking and unusual book, one in which Castaneda, under the tutelage of don Juan and his "disciples," at last constructs, from the teachings of don Juan and his own experiences, a stunning portrait of the "sorcerer's world" that is crystal-clear and dizzying in its implications.

Praise for the groundbreaking work of bestselling author Carlos Castaneda "Extraordinary in every sense of the word." (The New York Times)"An unparalleled breakthrough... Remarkable (Los Angeles Times)"Hypnotic reading." (Chigago tribune)"It is impossible to view the world in quite the same way." (Chicago Tribune)"Excquisite... Stunning... Fresh, unexpected visions with the logic of dreams." (Detroit Free Press)"Taken together [Castaneda's books] form a work among the best that the science of anthropology has produce." (The New York Times Book Review) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Born in 1925 in Peru, anthropologist Carlos Castaneda wrote a total of 15 books, which sold 8 million copies worldwide and were published in 17 different languages. In his writing, Castaneda describes the teaching of Don Juan, a Yaqui sorcerer and shaman. His works helped define the 1960's and usher in the New Age movement. Even after his mysterious death in California in1998, his books continue to inspire and influence his many devoted fans.

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Book details

  • PDF | 304 pages
  • Carlos Castaneda(Author)
  • Washington Square Press (January 1, 1991)
  • English
  • 9
  • Religion & Spirituality

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Review Text

  • By doomsdayer520 on December 30, 2005

    Carlos Castaneda picked up some adherents who saw him as a mystic philosopher with access to the great mysteries of knowledge, but he was more of an early version of today's self-help hucksters who are convinced that their contrived allusions to poorly-defined spiritualism actually make them messianic gurus. The main problem is Castaneda's supposed teacher Don Juan, who is deified as a pure and noble shaman who disdains the spiritual emptiness of modern western society. But Don Juan's character is laughably thin and inconsistent, as the righteous shaman of the small Indian village somehow voices all of Castaneda's westernized opinions. If Don Juan truly existed, which is highly doubtful, he would have been one of those "gurus" who drew gullible drugged-out hippies into his cult to provide him with free stuff. But actually, the same could be said about Carlos Castaneda. He either made lots of rubes fall for his half-baked spirituality, or convinced himself of the reality of his own imagination.As for the Don Juan philosophy, he was apparently descended from the ancient Toltec shamans of Mexico, and has inherited the deep universal knowledge of the old Mesoamerican mystics. This is quite convenient for Castaneda, because the religion of the Toltecs is not very well understood by modern archeologists and anthropologists, so Castaneda took the opportunity to construct it himself. But he still could have given us something more creative than the warmed-over Buddhism and Taoism that he actually delivered, with a few motifs from stereotypical Native American mythology thrown in. Don Juan's teachings don't get any deeper than typical Eastern concepts of "seeing" and "awareness" of the deep mysteries of humanity. Even the core concept of not being obsessed with oneself is borrowed directly from the most basic Buddhist stereotypes. Meanwhile, Castaneda keeps harping about how emotionally overwhelming all of his sessions with Don Juan were, but he can't write anything stronger than stock new age gibberish like "I marveled how easily my emotional states could escalate to nearly unmanageable heights or drop to nothing." Wow that's real deep, man. I have nothing against people who wish to take semi-mystical fluff like this seriously, when searching for alternatives to unsatisfying mainstream belief systems. But you should trade up, not down. [~doomsdayer520~]

  • By Iona Main Stewart on February 8, 2015

    All Castaneda's books are brilliant and fascinating reads. However, I felt that this one was even more challenging than many of the others I have tackled.We learn that “seeing” is a peculiar feeling of knowing something without a shadow of a doubt. The old seers found out that the best way to teach their knowledge was to make their apprentices shift to their left side, to a state of heightened awareness, where real learning takes place.We meet la Gorda, a woman from Don Juan's group of warriors, who is Carlos' ”petty tyrant”. This is one who “either holds the power of life and death over warriors or simply annoys them to distraction”.Also, we are introduced to the concept of the Eagle, and its emanations. Castaneda tells us that there is no world of objects, but “a universe of the Eagle's emanations. These are fluid, forever in motion, and yet unchanged, eternal”. I can't say I really understood about the Eagle, but Don Juan terms it as the indescribable force which is the source of all sentient beings. It was called the Eagle because the old seers “saw” it as something that resembled a black-and-white eagle of infinite size. It is the Eagle who bestows awareness, and the reason for the existence of all sentient beings is to enhance awareness. The awareness of sentient beings flies away at the moment of death and floats into the Eagle's beak to be consumed. This meant that the reason for the existence of sentient beings is to provide food for the Eagle. (This reminds me of Gurdjieff's assertion that we human beings are food for the Moon.)Carlos is brought by Don Juan into heightened states of awareness, in which he “sees”. But when he returns to normal awareness, he forgets everything he has experienced and understood.“Seeing” is not done by the eyes but by alignment. “The alignment of emanations used routinely is the perception of the day-to-day world, but the alignment of emanations that are never used ordinarily is “seeing”. When seers “see”, a voice tells them in their ear what's what. If the voice is not present, the seer is not “seeing”. Carlos is told that later on everything would become clear to him.Don Juan instructs Carlos about the first, second and third attention. The first attention in man is “animal awareness”. Everything that one can think about is part of the first attention. It is “the flow of awareness developed to an 'ultra shine', a flow that covers the known. The second attention, however, is a more complex and specialized state of the flow of awareness, and has to do with the unknown. The third attention is attained when the flow of awareness turns into the fire from within: a glow that kindles all the Eagle's emanations inside man's cocoon.(I did mention that some of the information contained in this book is somewhat challenging.)There is a chapter about inorganic beings, those beings that are dealt with extensively in Castaneda's “The art of dreaming”, in my view the most fascinating of his books. Inorganic beings have the emanations of awareness in them and a kind of love man can't even conceive. In the present book it is described how Carlos gazes into a mirror held under water and sees not only the reflections of Don Juan's face and his own, but also another head – not a human head or an animal head, but a “shape that had no inner mobility” (whatever that means). At the same time Carlos hears a voice in his ear, and realizes that he is “seeing”. The headlike shape in the mirror was an inorganic being that had come to look at them. The voice in Carlos' ear said that he was dying, and he would have died, had Don Juan not been there.The two do another frightening experiment with a mirror, after which Carlos has a severe attack of melancholy.Organic beings have a different kind of energy, more like an electric current, or heat waves. They are attracted to emotions, particularly “animal fear”.Don Juan states that there is no God – all there is is the Eagle's emanations.“ … human beings are made of the Eagle's emanations and are in essence bubbles of luminescent energy: each of us is wrapped in a cocoon that encloses a small portion of these emanations.”There are chapters about the assemblage point, which is a point in our cocoon, the location of which determines what we perceive of as the world. The precise spot of its location is determined by our repetitious acts. The position of the assemblage point thus dictates what our senses perceive.I won't go into the further content of the book. As indicated, it is not the easiest book to comprehend, but, like all the author's works, it is absorbing and well worth reading, and thus I thoroughly recommend that you read it!

  • By Thomas on January 27, 2016

    I am not a fan of Castaneda. I find his visions to be ego serving, sexist, and narcissistic.

  • By Ronald A. Bracale on January 14, 2014

    This book transcends a rating system since it is the revealed wisdom of ages of wisdom. The ancient shamans of the new world were devastated by the conquests; but, the survivors, the new Seers, kept the essentials, and since they were forced to secrecy, they refined the wisdom teachings. They kept the essential aspects, guided by their Seeing, and discovered new principles.Wisdom is revealed that living things are assemblages of sentient superstrings and that we may rearrange our assemblages to be free of the limitations of the world we perceive. We. are entangled. We can seek freedom through the creation of the double and engage in non-local activities. There exist sentient beings who are not inhabitants of our current world view, the inorganic beings. There is so much more to reality than the outdated paradigm of mechanical materialism.Those who criticize this as a rehashing of other ancient wisdom teachings definitely did not understand what was said here. Those who criticize this work for lack of character development must have mistakenly thought they were reading a fictional novel and not a true accounting of tales which transcend the ordinary.Warning, you cannot comprehend this through intelligence and ego, you must have some experience with the higher forms of perception, the second and third attention: or at least some experiences with deep meditation or 'the seventh sense'. This book is about stopping the mind and accessing direct perception. If you are a searcher for higher wisdom and have experienced more than the ordinary, then this book is a timeless treasure.

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