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Posted August 5, 2005
Lackluster organization and linear connection, but still interesting
Castaneda's work is interesting and at times provocative, but the organization of the text and lack of some linear connection between ideas and concepts makes this work difficult to understand as a whole. A good reader can extract many interesting ideas and concepts about life and purpose, along with a key component to Yaqui sorcerers' teachings--abandonment of the ego--yet the reader will likely struggle to connect these elements with the context of the book in order to construct some main theme or overarching revelation about life and purpose. I would recommend that a prospective reader of this book instead look to the works of Wayne Dyer, a new age author, former professor, and longtime counselor, who derives some of his concepts directly from Castaneda, in fact often referencing Castaneda in his work. Dyer's most complete work, 'The Power of Intention,' available in print and also on DVD/VHS from PBS, like Castenada's 'The Active Side of Infinity,' centers around abandonment of the ego and helps the reader to understand Castaneda's concept of 'Intent' and how to harness it to co-create the world our way. While sometimes interesting, I would not strongly recommend 'The Active Side of Infinity,' but I would not dismiss it's unique contribution to Western society's understanding of alternative worldviews, an ancient way of life, and an original account of Juan Matus, Yaqui sorcerer. Two interesting things to note... Juan Matus, Yaqui sorcerer speaks of abandoning the ego, yet his actions and treatment of Castaneda hint that he has a large ego, believes himself very important, and believes himself much wiser than others. Also, some of the more 'supernatural' aspects of the book are not explained and leave logically minded people to wonder endlessly. It should be mentioned that Castaneda and Juan Matus did occasionally use hallucinogens, as divulged in some of Castaneda's earlier works on Matus, such as 'The Teachings of Don Juan.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.