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Magical Passes
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Cult author Castaneda has written nine books (e.g., The Teachings of Don Juan, LJ 3/1/69) chronicling the life and practices of Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan Matus. While these books talk about the magical and shamanistic practices of Don Juan and his lineages, this new book begins with Don Juan chiding Castaneda about his physical well-being (or lack of it) and then teaching Castaneda the physical movements practiced by the sorcerers. These magical movements are called "tensegrity"‘a combination of the tension of contracting and relaxing with the integrity of the body moving in one complete unit. The bulk of the book is a detailed step-by-step description and photographs of the movements, which can be done following the book but require a concentration that cuts out extraneous thought. Recommended for collections where Castaneda's other books are popular and for collections on meditation and movement.‘Gail Wood, SUNY at Cortland

It has been 30 years since Castaneda published The Teachings of Don Juan, the first volume of his continuing story of his extraordinary apprenticeship to a Yaqui Indian sorcerer. In the eight books that followed, Castaneda maintained secrecy about many of the practices he was taught. Here, however, he lifts the veil on aspects of a tradition that he claims reaches back 27 generations, revealing a set of physical movements, called "magical passes," allegedly discovered by shamans of ancient Mexico. The purpose of the movements is to "agitate" and "redeploy" stuck energy fields within the body, inducing "inner silence," a "heightened awareness" and "an optimal state of being." Castaneda has adapted these movements into his own modern version, which he calls "tensegrity," a combination of the words tension and integrity, "the two driving forces of the magical passes." These postures and movements deal with issues including intent, "recapitulation" (remembering all one's life experiences), decision-making, dreaming, left- and right-body integration (similar to current views of left- and right-brain processes) and "masculine," or aggressive, energies. All of the movements are clearly illustrated through 486 halftones, but some if not most may be difficult to achieve without personal instruction. They do, however, seem to offer the possibility of offering a unique new path to opening the perceptions and releasing energy in the body. (Feb.)

"Castaneda has become one of the godfathers of the New Age movement...He is addressing the central issues of our time." -- "Los Angeles Times""Castaneda's sanity lends to even the most lurid experiences the force of data. It compels us to believe that don Juan is one of the most extraordinary figures in anthropological literature, a neolithic sage. It helps us to accept, from the continent we stole, a mysterious gift of wisdom." -- "Life""It's impossible to view the world in quite the same way after reading him...If Castaneda is correct, there is another world, a sometimes beautiful and sometimes frightening world, right before our eyes at this moment--if only we could see." -- "Chicago Tribune" "Carlos Castaneda is one of the most profound and influential thinker of this century. His insights are paving the way for the future evolution of human consciousness. We are all deeply indebted to him." -- Deepak Chopra

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