56 How to Stay Awake in Infinity and Not Die (with Carlos Castaneda)


This episode engages us in time travel. We journey back to the early 70s and stand before the wide portals to infinity that were open to those coming out of the 60s with their minds blasted by the excesses of those times. We see the choices they had to make. We experience that reality by looking at our choices now. For a fuller appreciation of time travel, read the essay blow the image; enjoy a trip into the alternate reality of Carlos Castaneda; try out the view from a mind not bound by rational thinking. Commit a couple of hours to take that journey yourself. Set up a longer journey, if all of this looks back at you with the unrelenting eyes of infinity. It’s for real if you catch on to what it means to travel in time.


Letter to Listeners: Time Travel to the Early 70s for Exploring Choices

Yesterday I sat in my doctor’s office reading Carlos Castaneda’s Journey to Ixtlan for the umpteenth time while I awaited his arrival. Tick tock. Time passes in startling ways when you are waiting with magical doorways open in your lap. The doctor’s eyes widened when he saw what I was reading. I asked him whether he had read it. “In the time,” he said,” back in the early 70s. I read all of them.” “Yes,” I responded. “The 70s were as remarkable as the 60s, especially in the choices we made.” By that time his shields had come up. “You know all that has been debunked,” he said turning his eyes to his computer. “Not to those who can still feel the magic,” I replied.


He had moved on big time, though. A wonderful chance to communicate from outside the rational mind had vanished in the blink of an eye. He saw on his computer screen that the numbers on my glucose, A1C, and weight had dropped dramatically, and he did not even make a comment. Awake physicians usually do. Progress, you know, and assessing those numbers was why I was there. But my doctor was busy time travelling back to the early 70s when he decided to go the route of the rational mind. Too late to revisit that, he must have thought. He just shored up the shielding around the choosing, made sure it wouldn’t bother him later when there was no computer screen to stare into. Never happened. It wasn’t true anyway.

So many choices to be made back then. Coming off the psychedelic haze, many of us looked around at the same crossroads Tom Hanks faced at the end of Castaway. He made choice #4 explained below. See this 30 second clip:

Laid out in inadequate language, those choices looked something like this: 1) live the traditional life of family, children and grandchildren, no questions asked, following the broad path; 2) stake out navigable territory with the rational mind (the scientist), only certain questions allowed to be asked when laying out the broad strokes; 3) lasso a personal dream from out of the infinite and live it as best you can, exploring fascinating questions as they arise; 4) take the deep inward turn to find the truth of your existence in whatever form the mysterious powers of the universe provide you, when the eyes of anyone, family or friend, might look back at you with the cold, unrelenting eyes of the infinite. I have friends who made each of these choices and are living wonderful lives all.

Most people in the 70s were never faced with these decisions. They continued sleepwalking through life as most people in all ages have done. Choices made by awakened people in any era have powerful spiritual value because their influence extends throughout all time. In time travelling back to the early 70s, we can revisit those choices made by many at that time by placing ourselves with Tom Hanks at that crossroads. Even if you were not alive in the early 70s, you can time travel to the portals that were open to infinity then, which apparently were open much wider than they are today. Time travel is the impetus of this episode of The Invisible Room Search for Enlightenment Podcast.

There is no hurry to discover infinite things unless the growl of the universe already has you by the throat, as it does me. My doctor chose to live out of the rational mind; he became a scientist, dedicated his life to helping others, like me, live a healthier life. No harm, no foul; but no magical thinking; no journeys back to the 70s to reassess. Maybe it’s too late anyway. Smash the time machine.

No, not too late, but why switch paths before the treasures of our choices are fully lived. Each of these choices leads to lives to be cherished. Imagine infinity as a clean chalkboard where we each sketch out our beliefs and desires; this but not that; earthplanet operating system imbedded in the board. And so it goes.

Infinity never goes away regardless of our choices. Where would it go? It patiently waits to step in, this lifetime or another, at just the right time to break the spell and pull you down the rabbit hole where others who made the inward turn have left a few magical clues to help you find a way into the unknown.

It’s just that the early 70s were a point in time that had so many doorways open for the fortunate few who were poised to awaken. Even if just for that moment to choose.

If you wish to continue this journey beyond listening to the podcast episode, strap in for the last Carlos Castaneda book The Active Side of Infinity (1998). Listening time 2:40. I had in mind just the last hour; that would be enough to support this podcast experience. You can find that last hour by scrubbing forward to 1:40. Listening to the whole book is, of course, more.

“If the universe is composed of aware energy and holds a multitude of assemblage points where perception can be assembled into many worlds, then our partial mastery of our onr known world is just a tiny island in a vast unknown and inconceivable universe, then the only worthy activity for us is to organize our island as our launch pad from which we explore the vast unknown.” –Peter Luce, Getting Castaneda: Understanding Car

For those truly ready to fly into the unknown with Don Juan and Carlos Castaneda, Journey to Ixtlan is a beautiful and unforgettable journey. There are many angles one might take when entering this world. Caution is recommended. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, there were many readers who confused the reality of infinity with the reality of the concrete mind. They tucked the books under their arms and headed for Mexico to find Don Juan. They projected events in the stories outside their personal psyches into the world, where those events became for many lies and deception. In my experience of Castaneda, events in his stories refer not to events in the world but only to each other; they are exclusively about transforming one’s inner landscape. For me all of Castaneda is a self-contained narrative whose primary purpose is to radically disrupt the narrative we are locked into when we are born, which from the viewpoint of the invisible room is a lie. The most fantastic advantage for immersing oneself into these stories, however, is that they become in toto a discrete, quantum event in the psyche with distinct boundaries drawn around it, which can be apperceived as mystical revelation from the clear, unbounded space of infinity. It is your creation in your psyche; it is not the Self. This material, however, is very powerful magic if you are awake enough to transcend its mental allure! No tickets available for the rational mind or the foolhardy.


Only Castaneda knew Castaneda. He led a very strange and reclusive life. His truth was a sorcerer’s truth, and he invited no one in to share it. How could one expect otherwise? For a deeper plunge into this rabbit hole, read The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Amy Wallace.  It is a space with many mirrors and many more rabbit holes to dive into. And many opportunities to feel yourself a fool. If you get this far, there really is no return.

My invitation to experience the reality of Carlos Castaneda is to assist anyone wanting to unhook from the dark narrative of the world we live in so as to take that inward turn. What occurs on this page is a gust of wind in the right direction, a friend and ally from the mountains and deserts of Mexico for your journey into the unknown. Adjust your sails and let go.



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