måndag 6 april 2020
(Review of Jörgen I Eriksson's book The Active Side of Infinity: Castaneda and Shamanism written by Michael Peter Langevin for the April issue of The Echo World, www.theechoworld.com)
Those of you who enjoy Carlos Castaneda and traditional shamanism, I got one for you. This is an amazing book. Not since Peter Luce’s Getting Castaneda, have I read such an insightful book. Sofia turned me on to Jörgen I Eriksson because he has written of Nordic Runes and Seidr. However, I had no idea his understated succinct Nordic writing style would cut so well and deeply into aspects of Castaneda’s teachings which I have wondered about for many years. Eriksson does not get caught up in any of the soap opera or drama which distracts people from Castaneda. Rather, he tells the story of how Don Juan warned Carlos about choosing the Coyote as his spirit guide. That that explains who Carlos was and what his life consisted of.
Eriksson has studied shamanism and rune magic for over forty years. To prepare for this book he reread all twelve of Castaneda’s books for two years. He states that by distancing Castaneda from Castaneda we can see that his writings are important in the cannon of shamanic literature. I had never thought to compare Don Juan’s teachings to Nordic shamanism or Nordic myths. This book does that wonderfully. It also hit many of the parts of Castaneda’s books that seem important but challenging to grasp. How can a sorcerer defy death for 800 years and still be alive? What is the Tonal and the Nagual? What exactly is the assemblage point, how can we shift it and what can that achieve? My favorite points are how Eriksson deals with death as an ally and the ultimate importance of intent.