This month Minnie is exploring the alphabet by digging out the unusual, often unexplained and alternative way of thinking. Stories of creatures, places and mysteries that have been passed down to us through centuries tease our imagination, live in our dreams and dare us to explore the impossible. Join Minnie each day as she discovers something unusual in the alphabet.
|"We’re off to see the Shaman and follow the yellow brick road, just make sure you wear comfortable shoes."|
Many years ago, while working for one of the buyers at B. Dalton Booksellers, I came across a series of books that changed my way of thinking. These were books on Nagual Sorcery and the sorcerer Don Juan Matus written by Carlos Castaneda. Matus is described as a Yaqui Indian to whom Castaneda was first introduced at a bus depot in Yuma, Arizona in the early 1960s. He turns out to be a 'Man of Knowledge' who imparts much of his wisdom and clarity through his 'connection' with Castaneda. The Knowledge is passed on to Castaneda by means of actual experiences, simple exercises and much patience on the part of both which ends in further transforming both characters' view of the world.
The existence of this man has caused some controversy. Regardless of whether don Juan is a fictional character, or an actual human subject of study in Castaneda's books, Juan tells Castaneda that he is a brujo (Spanish for sorcerer or medicine man); a sort of healer, sorcerer or shaman, who had inherited an ancient Mesoamerican practice for vastly enhancing one's awareness of, and interaction with, the energies of the Earth and its assorted beings.
Don Juan's philosophy might be summed up in a passage from Castaneda's first book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge:
“For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length. And there I travel—looking, looking, breathlessly.”
Do Sorcerers really exist? I believe they do, but the definition might need further examination. If you have not read these books I recommend you do so. Most likely they will also open your eyes to another way of thinking.