The Fire From Within

A book review
by Chris Hibbard

The Fire from Within by Carlos Castaneda

I had to read this book for an advanced Blackfoot Philosophy class with a great prof named Leroy Little Bear this semester. Three semesters earlier Leroy had made our not-so-advanced Blackfoot Philosophy class read two other books by Castaneda. Frankly, I don’t like Castaneda, and don’t understand why Little Bear does so much, except for the fact that Leroy is the closest thing to a Blackfoot hippy that I’ve ever met, and Castaneda is certainly counter-culture and hippy-esque in his own right.

With this being said, I understand why Leroy gets us to read them in philosophy classes, for Castaneda’s is a unique approach to life, the universe and ourselves – even if it is all bullshit.
Castaneda writes about how reality is all subjective, how our consciousness affects our reality, and how we can all become warriors and men of knowledge. It’s a trippy-dippy philosophy that incorporates made-up words, peyote visions and animism that I think we’re supposed to take seriously. Yet all of this is wrapped around a tedious, boring storyline full of inane dialogue and poorly constructed sentences. And if that’s not enough, it beats you over the head with its ideas – not telling you once or twice, but up to five times reiterating the same thing.

And this is only one Castaneda book. I barely needed to read it, since the other two had given me forewarning on what to expect. Sorry Little Bear, sorry Castaneda, I am just not a fan.

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~ by Chris Hibbard on October 31, 2008.

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