This is the first book I’ve read by Castaneda in the last many, many years. I’m afraid I’m not good at reading books in the correct order, and this applies with Castaneda’s books too. It would perhaps have been easier to begin with his first books.
In this book we are instructed, among other things, about the art of stalking and the mastery of intent.
We learn about a point of brilliance called the assemblage point on the surface of the luminous ball surrounding our body. When this is moved from its usual position, it brightens up new energy fields, making them perceivable. This perception is known as seeing. Movement of the assemblage point enables perception of an entirely different world. “Sorcerers go into that other world to get energy power, solutions to … problems, or to face the unimaginable.”
Intent is what causes us to perceive. The aim of sorcerers is to reach a state of total awareness.
We are given the dramatic story of how the nagual Elias meets Julian, saves his life and takes him as his apprentice. Julian becomes the benefactor of Don Juan.
Don Juan accompanies Castaneda on long treks and in particular to a special cave which was created as “an instrument to push the apprentice deep into heightened awareness”.
Don Juan tells about a time years ago when he was kept prisoner by his benefactor, tricked into believing that the house belonged to a “monstrous man” and that he needed to wear women’s clothes in order to escape. Eventually he did manage to do so but kept being pursued by the monstrous man until he realized it was a figment of his imagination (actually, an “inorganic being”, a formless energy field).
Don Juan keeps banging Castaneda on the back, thus enabling him to move his assemblage point and enter a heightened state of awareness, in which state he clearly understands everything. However, later, he may have forgotten not only his understandings, but everything that happened. (Don Juan states at one point that striking C’s back was actually more a trick to trap his attention than a bone fide maneuver to manipulate his perception.)
We need to intend the movement of our assemblage point. We want it to reach the place of no pity, which is the site of ruthlessness. When this happens the eyes of the sorcerer begin to shine.
Don Juan frequently bursts out laughing when Carlos opens his mouth, just as Don Juan’s benefactor Julian continually weeps profusely when together with Don Juan (which he does to hide his laughter).
We learn about the art of stalking and its four moods – ruthlessness, cunning, patience and sweetness. Stalking is “special behaviour – it is secretive, furtive, deceptive behaviour designed to deliver a jolt. And, when you stalk yourself you jolt yourself using your own behaviour in a ruthless, cunning way.”
You can use the idea of your death to stalk yourself. Death is our challenger – the only worthy opponent we have.
I found comprehension of all the presented information to be extremely challenging. Carlos himself found the material challenging/incomprehensible. This is because it is a totally different sort of information than that we are used to understanding with the logical left part of the brain.
But the book is well-written, fascinating, engrossing and highly entertaining, and I recommend it highly, although it may be preferable to begin by reading “The teachings of Don Juan” and the other early books before tackling this one.
These soul-searching novels that portray to un-earth the meaning of life, the Universe, and everythihng! are excellent books in thier own right. These are some of the most enlightening and self soul searching books I for 'one' have read to date, and they are good, very good a must read in my opinion.
I have read all the critisisms written by the stallwart 'critiques', but I say even taking into cosideration all the flaws in the time-lines of supoosable incidents, I still believe that these books of 'Carlos Castaneda' and his close coleagues are worth every penny of and page turning magic. Considering that the magic is eveident to the un-critcal first-time reader, I believe that thier is a core of truth to these novels that is easy to redicule, but could you wright a novel like these? I have read Aldous Huxley 'The Doors Of Perception', and as good as this short novel is, it does not measure up to 'Castaneda'. Havng said this Aldous writes from a very different perspective, yet his findings are equally difficult to accept from a person of the limited 'square minded disposition - point of view! All I can realy say is, try to read both these books: Aldous Huxley "The Doors of Perception" and Carlos Castaneda "The Power of Silence" from a open mind.
Very insightful into how one should live their life, it gives a different view of the world and challenges the ideas and beliefs that we have be taught whilst also providing simple methods to changing your thinking and behaviours with how we interact with the world on a day to day basis. I really enjoy reading these series of books, they go far deeper to answering the questions about our purpose than anything else that I have ever read.
Like all of Castaneda's books, "Power of Silence" grips you from the start, and before you know it you've finished the book. I found this one to be interesting because Don Juan talks about his past. He tells Castaneda about how he got started in sorcery, and even gives details about his benefactors past. Crucial details on the path of knowledge.