Thanks for your input.
if a man looks up and points at a shooting star, and then you look up and see the shooting star yourself, the observation that he drops his pants and asks for directions to Atlantis, is irrelevant.
if you are staring into the eyes of a one legged orangutan wearing SM clothing, and he looks behind you, you may suspect that someone has walked up behind you, and you may wish to turn around
if you are staring into the eyes of ten one legged orangutans wearing SM clothing, and they all look behind you at the same time, you can be certain that something is going on back there, even before you look. ; - )
"if you are more interested in being grown, than appearing to be grown, then temporarily suspend any limiting beliefs (that is to say, all beliefs), at least long enough to ponder a few big thoughts." - TWC
Funny! But what if the man isn't actually pointing at a shooting star but claims that he is? Then looking up is a waste of time. And if he lies about shooting stars while trying to divert your attention from the fact that he's dropping his pants, run - or you may get screwed! As quite a few people who got close to him were.
As for the orangutans, whether one or ten, just because a bunch of apes look in the same direction doesn't mean that we all should. Multiplying gullible behavior doesn't prove its worth.
I don't respect people who harm and deceive others with mind games and manipulation, even if ten orangutans look at the abuser and say that he's got The Truth
. The fact of his abuse undermines his credibility, to me.
If you want to look at shooting stars and ignore dropped pants, or mimic strangely attired primates, how does that further
"an attitude of scientific pragmatism that appreciates the elegance of fundamental truth"?
To me, Carlos was very interested in "appearing to be grown", which is why he lied and created a cult around himself. He was a fine story teller though, and I was deeply impressed with what he wrote until people started revealing "the man behind the curtain".
Am I throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Perhaps, but if people want to learn about shaman from an honest source, I suggest Michael Harner's The Way of the Shaman
. Less entertaining story telling than Carlos', but much more in keeping with an attitude of scientific pragmatism, with respect for another culture's spiritual traditions (and no dropped pants that I'm aware of).