Yesterday I was marginally surprised to hear of Carlos Castaneda’s birth date as being 1925. I had assumed that because he was an anthropology Ph.D. student he would have been in his twenties and not his forties when he wrote the books. The voice speaking to me in the books seemed younger. When I first read them, as a chemistry undergraduate, it seemed to me that the author was about my age.
Unless you have worked with the principle techniques, you have no idea what they do to you, so speculation from the context of orthodox psychology is simply that, speculation. The techniques aim at eradicating identity. Whereas mainstream psychology promotes some sense of identity and works at using a shoehorn to fit the “patient” back into mainstream society as it is held to be at the time or epoch of treatment. Behaviours currently socially acceptable were taboo and even illegal in our recent history, sodomy being but a simple example. Social acceptance is a time varying beast.
It is very easy to critique, nit-pick and find holes. I have examined several Ph.D. theses and it was pretty simple to find a few errors and points for questions and probing. I didn’t really go for it because the purpose was not to tear the students a new arsehole. The purpose was to convince myself they did the work and had a fair idea what it was all about. I did ask on a couple of occasions for a partial re-write because there were technical errors.
People can get famous criticising others and creating some controversy in which they garner fame as the person who proved the fraud. It is easy to criticise a dead man. No matter what my belief system is, the fact remains that I was a mainstream scientist at a top university for a number of years. I undertook physics and chemistry research for over twenty years and co-founded a high-power laser company.
Is it then controversial that I am talking about the New Age, the Toltec Teachings and the occult?
Have I lost my marbles?
Am I a few cards short of a full deck?
I guess it is up to you, the reader, to assess if I am whacko or sane.
One of the comments about Castaneda I read is that he plagiarised others, borrowed their words. If there is only one truth, there are only so many ways of expressing it. Is plagiarism always plagiarism or is there a paucity of available language? If you want to nit-pick, you can, anyone can.
Take for example an academic paper. How many of them start with things like, “In recent years there has been a lot of interest in…” or “Superconductivity was first observed in XXXX and since then there have been many studies….”
There are only so many ways to write an introduction to a science paper. Are we all then plagiarising others?
There was a big deal when Einstein was “proven” wrong about spooky action at a distance.
Why do people get off on “proving” someone wrong?
Do they go damp or get a boner from it?
People are weird…