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A Separate Reality

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A Separate Reality
A separate reality
Author
Carlos Castaneda
Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Publish Date
1971

A Separate Reality is a book by Carlos Castaneda. Written in 1971, the allegedly nonfictional book tells the story of the author's apprenticeship with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, Don Juan Matus, between 1968 and 1971. Throughout the novel, Matus attempts to get the author learn how to "see," the process of "perceiving energy directly as it flows through the universe". The book was featured in the episode "He's Our You."

On Lost

A young Benjamin Linus brought this book to an imprisoned Sayid along with a meal. Ben described the book as really good, stating that he had read it twice. ("He's Our You")

Important Concepts

Castaneda's connection with Don Juan Matus is extended over several novels, each evoking elements of magical realism. However, Castaneda insists the works are non-fiction. Don Juan shares many teachings relevant to LOST.

  • Alternate Death - Matus believed that reality is created by infinite numbers of "luminous eggs" that exist just beyond a human's reach. The fibers of these "eggs" assemble reality, but the average person does not realize they are there. The shaman (or warrior) is able to enter the "eggs" of others and to transcend bodily death by dissolving himself into the luminous fibers of the egg. (Eggtown)
  • Dreaming - this is the easiest way to communicate with higher consciousness. Often "dreaming" is induced by the use of hallucinogenic drugs. (Locke's vision quest, Oldham's truth serum)
  • Inner Silence - usually through meditation, the seeker attempts to still the voice of his consciousness so the true nature of reality can speak to him. (Locke on several occasions)

Relevant Quotations

The book contains several passages that are consistent with the surreal nature of the Island and the predicaments both Sayid and Ben are in.

  • "A warrior takes responsibility for his acts; for the most trivial of his acts. He waits patiently, knowing that he is waiting, and knowing what he is waiting for. That is the warrior's way."
  • "It is up to us as single individuals to oppose the forces of our lives. Only a warrior can survive. A warrior knows that he is waiting and what he is waiting for; and while he waits he wants nothing and thus whatever little thing he gets is more than he can take. If he needs to eat he finds a way, because he is not hungry; if something hurts his body he finds a way to stop it, because he is not in pain. To be hungry or to be in pain means that the man has abandoned himself and is no longer a warrior; and the forces of his hunger and pain will destroy him."
  • "By the time knowledge becomes a frightening affair the man also realizes that death is the irreplaceable partner that sits next to him on the mat. Every bit of knowledge that becomes power has death as its central force. Death lends the ultimate touch and whatever is touched by death indeed becomes power."
  • "A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit."
  • "Nothing is pending in the world, nothing is finished, yet nothing is unresolved."

See also

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