Since Carlos was such a large influence on my early shamanic thinking, today I honour his day of ascension in 1998 after 72 years. He knew about it for years in advance. Don Juan showed him his death. Instead of quoting Carlos – he wrote a dozen books to do that – here is a short story I wrote called Carlos, Neil and Me. On a high hill in southern Saskatchewan next to a stone buffalo effigy, I met Carlos Castaneda. He was alone and naked except for a guitar. He sat cross-legged on the dry dun grass and strummed, trying to remember the words to some old Neil Diamond song. The sun was in his eyes. He clenched them shut against the heat, the fury, the bullshit! He asked if he could have my car. I told him it was rented. “Rented!” he exclaimed. “Everything is rented!” with a wave of his hand to express inclusion. “We’re all rented!” I gave him the car. When he started it, that old Neil Diamond song was playing on the radio.
“I am…I said, to no one there,” sang Neil.
Carlos left me two bags of groceries and drove away.
“Everything is a circle,” said the buffalo effigy.