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Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda
by Amy Wallace
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"Amy Wallace - daughter of novelist Irving Wallace - first met Carlos Castaneda and friends when she was a teenager through her father's social circle of celebrities. They met sporadically for many years, but through a fortuitous reconnection with Florinda Donner, one of the "witches" in Carlos' inner circle, she was drawn back to him and into his classes and lectures. Amy and Carlos fell in love, but she slowly learned that she was part of a harem. Yet she remained with the group because she is a spiritual seeker at heart, fascinated by the legend of Don Juan, and stubbornly attached to her lover." "Castaneda's circle of intimates included three very influential "witches," one "magical alien," and a shifting clique of people attracted by the books to pursue Infinity, the ultimate liberation. The cut-throat scramble to be part of the inner circle, the manipulative tactics of Castaneda, and the thrills and crushing disappointments experienced by ambitious followers all point to the inevitable conclusion: Castaneda created a cult and set himself up as guru. Wallace's story spans thirty years, focusing on the last years of Castaneda's life, until his death on June 19, 1998 from liver cancer and diabetes. His admirers sadly realized that this was "not the death of a nagual," who should "burn from within" and disappear into Infinity. Castaneda left his lovers, witches, students, fans, and groupies to grapple with the implosion of their fantasies." "Amy Wallace's true story paints a most disturbing portrait of Carlos Castaneda and his closest associates. Her own profound trauma, disillusionment, and shame caused Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, not uncommon for ex-members of any cult. The writing of this book was a part of her healing. Yet Wallace is able to separate the tawdry reality of a cult from the essential genius of Castaneda and the shining gems of wisdom that can be gleaned from his unique writings. Many people have said that real or fake, the books of Castaneda (presented as truth) are brilliant and well worth reading, and Wallace agrees, even though modern consensus tells us that Don Juan never existed, Castaneda was a chronic liar, and the powers ascribed to "sorcerers" in the books and in the actual cult were imaginary."--BOOK JACKET.
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