Florinda Donner-Grau book: Being-In-Dreaming / an Initiation into the Sorcerers' World
More Info |
Buy the Book
The riveting autobiographical account of Florinda Donner's initiation into the world of "being-in-dreaming" is now in paperback. Peopled by a circle of enigmatic sorcerers--including Carlos Castaneda--and punctuated by intriguingly unsolved puzzles, Being-in-Dreaming takes readers to a surrealistic world of ancient Meso-American traditions, enchantment, and magic. Donner also wrote Shabono and The Witch's Dream.
With this book, Florinda Donner (FD) gives us another view of the sorcerer's world revealed in the works of Carlos Castaneda (CC) - the way of knowledge ; the warriors path. As with CC's books it was a difficult book for me to put down. Unlike CC, however, FD's presentation is much more of a view from the outside, only entering that world for brief periods. Perhaps because FD is a woman, or maybe because she is not a "nagual", her tales of power bring that world to the reader in a unique way. It's the same world, seen through a different pair of eyes. Eyes which, for me, could more likely have been my own.
In one sense, "Being In Dreaming" is more believable than the stories of CC. The tales have a more ordinary, real-life quality, while still being told artfully and with a great sense of adventure and humor. This same real-life quality, however, in a sense makes it more difficult to accept the juxtaposition of such people to our day-to-day reality.
Throughout most of the book, it's easy to think (of the characters in "Being In Dreaming") things like "those people are crazy", or "they're just irresponsible non-conformists". But by the end of the book, our own phantom-like nature becomes clear, and one is left with the haunting realization that it's we, not they, who are not seeing "ourselves and our surroundings for what we really are: breathtaking events that bloom into transitory existence once and are never to be repeated again".
Where CC's works are like high explosives, shattering the ego at it's foundation, "Being-In-Dreaming" is like a subtle, consistent chipping-away at that same foundation. While the ego has the capacity to totally rebuild itself; to simply "forget" the blasts of CC, FD's stories enter the reader's mind and remain, like those small plants that grow in the cracks of huge boulders, eventually cracking them to pieces.
The subtitle, "An Initiation into the Sorcerer's World", is a very good description. Read with caution.