Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bibliograph/Book Review; Castaneda, Carlos; The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, A Separate Reality; Journey to Ixtlan, et al.

Bibliography/Book Review;
Castaneda, Carlos; The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge; A Separate Reality; Journey to Ixtlan, et al.

I am aware of the controversies surrounding Mr. Castenada and the chronicles of his adventures and apprenticeship with a Mexican Yaqui Indian sorcerer by the name of Don Juan Matus, all presented as true stories, although there is significant evidence that they were mostly flights of fancy, borrowing heavily from other sources without attribution, amounting to plagiarism. In this light, it is unfortunate that he chose the medium of non-fiction. His books may have had the same popularity and effect without the controversy if he had couched it all in terms of fiction, whereby his tales may still have taken their place alongside similar inspiring fictional works set in other realms, such as The Lord of the Rings, Dune, The Chronicles of Narnia, and more recently, the Harry Potter series. Because for me, it is of little matter whether Castaneda’s stories were literally true or not, just as these others were not. They all exist in some world, and I am happy that they do.

When I first heard of these books, back in the 70’s, I hungrily consumed them and eagerly awaited for news of the next installment. Of course, the first book was a great hit among those in the drug culture, with its seeming endorsement of the use of hallucinogens as a tool for self-development. Castaneda quickly burst that bubble with a subsequent message that the hallucinogens were of a limited use and eventually unnecessary. But the tales, teachings, and wisdom were often profound, moving, humorous and poetic, and they had a deep and positive influence on my young and growing psycho-spiritual being. I feel deeply grateful for having been exposed to them and highly recommend them to anyone looking for spiritual teachings and inspiration couched in a captivating story-line about an apprentice and a master involved in extraordinary powers and events.

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Quote of the Week 381 - Heaven

Heaven is all round,

Translated to sound.

--Michael Hedges



Announcing Publication of New Book, DIMENSIONS: Navigation the Spiritual Spectrum

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum, now available at Amazon, in paperback print and Kindle versions. It is easily found by searching my name, or by searching the full title and subtitle. You can also click on the image of the book in the right hand column of this blog.

What a great way to start the New Year, cozying up to a fire, real or imagined, and reading a new spiritually inspiring book, sure to become a classic!

DIMENSIONS: Navigating the Spiritual Spectrum

Grounded in the traditions of Torah and Veda, Steven J. Gold takes us on an oceanic tour of the depth and breadth of spiritual consciousness. Sharing personal stories and insights into various traditional scriptures as examples, he urges us to adopt a spiritual worldview, to “ponder infinity, awake and arise,” to “find your inspiration and follow it.”

“The chapters…are records of what happens when Steve’s right mind, and heart, are given full freedom to wander where they wish. As discoveries and correlations are made, his well-trained left mind and sharp wit give his observations shape and form…” – Brother Shankara, Resident Minister, Vedanta Center of Atlanta

“Universal Ice Cream: Dive deep into Steve’s wonderful book to help find your favorite flavor on the Spiritual Spectrum.” – Rabbi Mitch Cohen, Spiritual Leader, Congregation Shalom B’Harim, Dahlonega, GA

“Steven J. Gold’s Dimensions is an exploration of spirituality from the inside out. If you are looking for a guide through the pathless land of truth, read this book.” – Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author of The World Wisdom Bible

Interfaith/Inter-Spiritual Contemplative Groups

Please check out the following, which is an ongoing activity that may be of interest: