LOL, I sometimes wonder if Carlos hadn’t read Berkley and Kant. Remember the incident he describes in one of his books involving the Mexican Air Force jet that seemed to violate causality?
“LOL, I sometimes wonder if Carlos hadnt read Berkley and Kant. Remember the incident he describes in one of his books involving the Mexican Air Force jet that seemed to violate causality?”
Well, he was known as a voracious reader of books, it being noted that wherever he lived was stacked to the ceiling with them.
However, his emphasis was always perception, not defining what was possible to perceive, it being far too complex to grasp all at once. So what we think is cause and effect may not be. Nor may they be in the right order.
Castaneda puts a great deal of emphasis on the unreliability of ordinary memory, but we are reliant on memory and assumptions to make the cause and effect association.
I remember a friend’s story of his meeting with a rural peasant in the Chiapas area of southern Mexico. The two went to a Pemex station far from the peasant’s home, and went into the restroom. The peasant was amazed and perplexed at water coming out of the sink faucet, but could not associate that with the act of turning the sink knob on and off. He had no grasp of the machinations involved.
From his point of view, turning the knob to produce water was like waving your hands in the air to make a magical gesture. It made no sense. He was shown it several times, but still tried to grab the faucet and shake it to make water come out.
As pitiful as it sounds, the peasant was really stuck in that mindset, and would have needed considerable training to learn even the basics of modern society. It was an alien zeitgeist.
However, we should not be very confident, either, because our mindset is just as contained. To make matters worse, there is an inherent limitation to mechanical complexity, in which fewer and fewer people actually understand what is involved. To the rest of us, it just “works”, but we have little or no idea why. Already our society is experiencing peripheral problems with legacy technologies that no longer have experts familiar with their use.
Ironically, Castaneda pointed to this as one of the reasons that the culture of the old sorcerers collapsed. Knowledge became complex and specialized, which made it brittle. Then people entered the situation with a different zeitgeist, and bonked them on the head.