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February 24, 1974 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1974-02-24

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Sunday, February 24, 1974 14

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

THE MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday, February 24, 1974"

BOOKS
ON THE ROAD

MORE CASTANEDA
Coping with mystical realities:
An apprenticeship to Don Juan

JOURNEY TO IXTAN: THE
LESSONS OF DAN JUAN. By
Carlos Castenada. New York:,
Touchstone paperback. 315
pages, $2.95.
By MARNIE HEYN
C ARLOS CASTENADA is an an-
thropologist who went to
Mexico is 1961 in search of na-r
tive folklore about the psych-
tropic plants which some Indians
use in religious ceremonies.
Instead of folklore, he found
don Juan Matus, a Yaqui sorcer-
er - a 'man of knowledge," as
he describes himself - and em-
barked on a ten year journey as
a sorcerer's appreatica that ul-
timately altered his conception of
reality, and of his life.
Journey to Ixtlan: The lessons
of Don Juan is Castenada's third
book drawn from hsi experienc-
es with don Juan, but it would
be a mistake to assume that each
work is simply a rehash of tha
earlier narratives. Reading the
three books sequentially and com-
paring their style and content vs
its own lesson in human growh
and maturation.
In his introduction, Castenada
explains that his earlier interpre-
tation of don Juan's reality is
mistaken: while he thought den
Juan was talking about drugs
and associated states of twisted
consciousness, don Juan was in
fact teaching him a visionary
method and the path of a war-
rior. Therefore, Part I of Journ-
ey to Ixtlan comprises his field

notes on don Juan's lessons in
"stopping the world," and Part
II is Castenada's description of
the events surrounding his awn
visionary experience.
" TOPPING TIE world" is
f den Juan's name for the pro-
cess of divesting ones' self of
the descriptions and perceptions
of ordinary reality which one is
socialized to accept from birth,
and which bind people together
into societies. If one is to "see"
- other perceptions and reali-
ties - it is necessary to set
aside, and possibly leave behind,
the only reality that is accepted
and understood.

derstanding of the world, but
goes beyond it into almost ar-
cane conceptions.
Don Juan's reality gradually
emerges as one which is both
thoroughly practical and ulti-
mately apocalyptic: he can per-
form daily chores wit almost
heroic nonchalance, and he can
consult his death as a friendly
counselor and be ready to meet
him at any time.
He explains to .Castenada that
this is becuase he "lives as a
warrior," and instructs him in
that manner: ". .. A warrior is
an impecable hunter thit hunts
power. If he succeeds in h i s
hunting he can be a man of
knowledge."
THE TITLE Journey to Ixtlan
comes from an anecdote and
metaphor told to Castenada by
don Genaro, a friend of don
Juan and a fellow sorceaer wbo
assisted him in Castenada'a in-
struction. Don Genaro told of his
first encounter with his ally (an
initially hostile source of power
who must be conquered and won
over before one can become a
man of knowledge), of his sub-
sequent disorientation, of his at-
tempt to return home to Ixtlan,
and of his later travels and the
beings he encountered.
"I was still numb from my
encounter with the ally. (iwanted
to get mad at the ally or at the
phantoms (people who are "no t
real") but somehow I couldn't
get angry like I used to, so I
gave up trying.
"Then I wanted to get sad
but I couldn't, so Ig-ave up on
that too.
"Suddenly I realized that I had
an ally and that there was noth-
ing the phantoms could do to me.
"There was no final outcome
to my journey. There will never
be any final outcome. I am still
on my way to Ixtlan . . . I will
never reach Ixtlan . . . Nothing
is the same any longer."
PERHAPS NONE of Casten-
ada's realizations are .start-
ingly new. Yet his writing is
fresh and intense, and don Juan
is an edifying companion. Jour-
ney to Ixtlan is a hypnotic ex-
perience, and a joyous and com-
passionate expansion of human
horizons.

wake
who kisses
(for satisfaction)
matters tonight.
not alone
hap py .com pan y
says
sure, let go.
high and laughing
inside saes
let be. surely.
but (ah...) tonight
smiling you,
absent still
founding heart inemory,
mhatter.
satisfaction is never, never
you 1n0W.
letting go, letting be
matter still kisses.
but (ah . . .) you,
absent still
matter.
-Cynthia Yockey

Lonesome traveler:

The short,

KEROUAC: A BIOGRAPHY.
By Ann Charters. San Francisco:
Straight Arrow Books, 417 pages.
$7.95.
By LAURA BERMAN
J ACK KEROUAC enjoyed a
brief period of fame after On
the Road was published in 1957.
From there, his reputation de-
clined with the publication of
every book that followed. Then,
suddenly, in the mid-Sixties, a
full Kerouac revival got under-
way. Everyone in high school
and college was reading him; he
became a symbol for a decade.
Prophet, seer and an original
hippie, Kerouac's exuberant vis-
ion of America was in harmony
with the idealism of a nation's
youth out to change the world.
He wasn't a great writer - that
was obvious - but when he
wrote you knew he hadn't lost his
sense of wonder nor his belief
that man can triumph against all
odds. It was Kerouac who came
charging down the mountain in
the Dharma Bums at breakneck
speed, Kerouac who yelled in
his hurtling descent that y o u

can't fall off a mountain. And if
a mountain can't beat vou, what
can?
On the Road inspired a lot of
hitchikers to make their o w n
search for America. If you read
the novel, it wasn't easy to for-
get the image of Dean Moriar--
ty burning up the hignway in a
borrowed Cadillac. Kerouac's
characters weren't farticularly
productive people - they didn't
do much besides smoke dope,
write poetry, make love and drive
fast. But in those cross-aount-y
driving marathons, Kerouac
made us feel the sheer expanse
and possibility of America. He
expressed what Ann Charcers
calls "the feeling that at some
point something had been to-
gether, that there was a spec'al
vision we all shared, a romantic
ideal that called on the road just
ahead."
In reality, Kerouac was f a r
from the romantic figures of hi-3
novels. In Ann Charter's excel-
lent biography, Kerouac emerges
as a lonely, almost pathetic, fig-
ure. We see him as the writer
who failed to achieve lasting suc-

sad journey of Jack Kerouac

A THERAPIST'S ACCOUNT
Psychiatry: A flippant, provocative tale

The inclusion of a poem
each week becomes a books
page feature beginning to-
day. We invite submissions
from anyone in the local
community. Entries, which
become the property of The
Daily, should be typed and
cannot exceed 30 lines.
They should be left in the
books mailbox on the sec-
ond floor of The Daily, 420
Maynard.

In Part I, don Juan gives Cas-
tenada detailed and graphic in-
structions for cutting loose from
ordinary interpretations and lo-
gical reality. These are diffi-
cult tasks for anyone (perhaps
more so for Castenada, in spite
of - or possibly because of --
his training as an anthropolo-
gist), and Castenada gives a
lucid and eloquent account of
the fear, confusion, and annoy-
ance that people often feel when
encountering a conscious -ers that
,not only includes their own un-

THE MAKING OF A PSY-
CHIATRIST By David S. Viscott,
M.D. New York: Fawcettl Crest
paperback. 416 pages, $1.75.
By DAN BORUS
ON THE COVER of David Vis-
cott's The Making of a
Psychiatrist, the publisher has
included a come-on which in-
forms the reader that this book
reads like a novel, a novel in
which the author tells all.
It does, and that is the event-
ual failing of the book. Viscott
cannot decide whether he's writ-
ing a fictional or non-fictional
account. As a result he incorpor-
ates conventions of both forms
and the eventual result is to
make the book a bit confusing.
It is not hard to understand
why the book was written. Des-
pite the correlation between
one's education and one's inter-
est in psychiatry, the popular

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notion still holds that psychiatry
is not really a science or an art,
but a jargon which confuses
rather than alleviates psycholog-
ical problems.
Opponents of the profession
point to the inexactness of the
diagnoses, the mecurial nature
of the cure, and even the ad-
hominem argument that psychia-
trists were usually more neuro-
tic than the patients they treat.
EVEN SO, psychiatry is still
heavily counted upon to per-
form services for those in psy-
chological need, as anyone who
has spent a year or two in a
college dorm will testify.
But, as one psychiatrist point-
ed out to. me, one can't shop
around for a shrink the way one
shops for a good pair of pants.
It takes a good deal more subtlty
since the patient may not initi-
ally like or understand what he
is 'buying', especially since the
psychodynamics of any individ-
ual are incredibly complex -
and different.
By the same token, one can't
understand psychiatry by read-
ing a book, although reading
can help alleviate some forms of
anxiety.
Like its predecessor, the best-
selling Fifty Minute Hour, which
could have easily been subtitled
'True Romances in the Fertile
Fields of Freud', The Making of
a Psychiatrist operates on the
sensational and the splashy to
make its points. What emerges
is a 416 page opus which is ex-
tremely readable, but also ex-
tremely flippant.
VISCOTT EXPLAINS this flip-
pancy by informing the read-
er on the very first page that his
sarcasm is a cover for his in-
ability to be honest with his feel-
ings. That's a truth, but it is an-
extremely self-serving and shal-
low truth.

Despite his acknowledgement
of this weakness; Viscott persists
in drowning the reader with his
own good wit and charm; an en-
tertaining show-off.
This tactic will do one of two
things: either you'll agree that
psychiatrists are human like the
rest of us, or you'll believe that
they aren't serious about pa-
tients' problems behind their
backs.
Viscott's tendency to show off
is evident throughout. A casual
reading will give the impression
that our learned essayist has
cured almost everyone he met at
Union Hospital. He's always hav-
ing success, making gains where
analysts fear to tread, and gen-
erally endearing himself to all
but the most extreme of castrat-
ing women. Even his failures in
the state hospital make him
come out in a positive light.
S0 WHAT Viscott is writing is
not a memoir of the average
psychiatrist, because the aver-
age psychiatrist has had more
failures than he nor an explana-
tion of the craft, but rather a
subtle self - aggrandizement.
Psychiatry, while certainly not
a hit-or-miss proposition, does
not have a 100 per cent cure
rate. Even though Viscott in-
cludes a disclaimer, with the
standard acknowledgement, that
spontaneous remissions take
place; and even though he dis-
cusses his own insecurities and
doubts, the reader is still capti-
vated by his successes.
Viscott's inability to capture
his experiencesafictionally or
non-fictionally means that the
book is filled with stock heavies:
the psychoanalytic student who is
so rigid in his ideas he can't
decide anything unless Freud
has written about it (if not
Freud, Karl Abraham will do in
a pinch), the quack who simply
cannot or will not handle pa-
tients, and the doctors who fall

cess in his lifetime, the Beat Gen-
eration member who'seemed to
be always on the periphery, the
man whose confused felings
about his sexuality led him
through two short.marriages and
a few meaningless affairs, but
finally, always back to hi mth-
er.
BORN IN Lowell, Mass. in 1922,
Jack Kerouac was the son
of French-Canadien workning clas
parents. Always a dreamer and
a loner, Kerouac had an unevent-
ful boyhood, went to Coiunib a
and then to the Navy. Throug a
girlfriend he met Allen Gins-
berg, William Burroughs and oth-
er local intellectuals who were
experimenting with writing and
drugs.
Charters' thorough, always com-
passionate, account of Kerouac's
life also includes compelling por-
traits of the other influentialfig-
ures of the "beats":
-William Burroughs, Harvard
drop-out and heir to the office
machine fortune. He fed Kerouac
and friends the steak provided by
his trust fund, wrote Naked
Lunch, and accidentally killed
his wife by shooting her in the
head while playing William Tel.
-Allen Ginsberg, one o Kerou-
ac's closest friends, poet, radi-
cal and Jewish Buddist.
BUT KEROUAC was never a
member of the "inner cir-
cle" of the group. He liked to
remain enigmatic, aloof and su-
perior. "He was," Charters writ-
es, "dedicated to the idea of
being different and legendary
even among his closest friends."
Charters debunks a common
myth about the book in her bio-
graphy. Kerouac often said he
wrote it in three weeks. Actual-
ly, he worked on it and shelved
it unfinished until an en'husias-
tic, wildly-written letter f r o m
Neal Cassady transformed Kero-
nac's writing style. He discover-
ed "spontaneous prose" Kerouac
then sat down and rewrote On
the Road in three weeks on one
continuous roll of teletype paper.
Finally, when his publisher re-
fused the manuscript, Kerua
worked on it another five years
before it was finally published in
1957.
When the novel' came out,, It
received immediate eritcal ac-
claim and the media seized upon
Kerouac as a spokesman for the
Beats. He hardly qualified. "He
always looked like the serious t-
shirted younger brother of -the
others," said one beat poet; he
was more traditional and con-
servative than his friends. Al-
though he was briefly interest-
ed in Buddhism, he retiained a
devout Catholic all his life. Gins-
berg claimed Rimbaud and Bau-
delaire as his spiritual fathets;
Kerouac culled his majir :nflu-
ences from the American main-
stream: Hemingway, Wolfe and
Saroyan. Even the sexnal adven-
tures in his work were usuall!
not his own; and until the end
of his life, his attitude toward
sex was confused and Catholic. In
the later years of his life, Kerou-
ac disowned the Ameican coun-
ter-culture - politically, he hsd
become a conservative.
Y 1964, Charters says, Kerou-
ac's prose had changed, los-
ing its energy and muscle. He
left his friends and returned to
Lowell to live with his mother.
Occasionally, young fans would
seek him out and invarialv be
disappointed by the sight of a
cult hero turned dissipated, 45-
year-old alcoholic. He died with-
out fanfare in 1969. Charters'
eulogy is simple: "The images
he cast in his books were so dif-
ferent from the reality of ,the
man himself."

have a new low

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Come on in and try
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WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
FROM THE CELLAR:
1. LOW PRICES
2. GREAT SELECTION
3. WARRANTY PROTECTION-If your
calculator should need a warranty
repair, the Cellar will handle the ship-
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the university cellar
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769-7940

THE UNIVERSITY ACTIVITIES CENTER
Which presently sponsors
DAYSTAR CONCERTS
FUTURE WORLDS
CHARTER FLIGHTS
MEDIATRICS FILMS
MUSKET
SOPH SHOW
AND MANY OTHER ACTIVITIES
is now receiving petitions for next year's
Four Senior Officers:

I
a
I

asleep while a patient is talk-
ing.
But while The Making of a
Psychiatrist is not Tender is the
Night, it does have some valu-
able points for the reader who
is troubled and thinking of en-
tering therapy, or for the reader
who is simply curious as what
therapy is like.
His techniques section is re-
warding because it is simple, but
not simplistic.
He dispells the jargon, which
is usually a handicap, and dem-
onstrates some of the tools of
the profession. For those who
have spent some time in therapy,
with a competent therapist, the
recognitions are instantaneous.
In the last chapter, Viscott of-
fers some "free" advice to pa-
tientssinpsychotherapy, and it
has a value for those concerned
about the process. Some of his
suggestions are valuable to the
perplexed, but others, such as
his suggestion that the patient
tell all even when he doesn't
feel like it, are foolish. The re-
sistance to therapy that every
patient has felt cannot be so
easily rationalized.
F IS that advice which forces
one to conclude that "free"
isn't all it's cracked up to be...
Dan I3orus fancies himself "a
student at the university", in ad-
dition to his previous editorial
responsibilities at The Daily.

President
Chief Financial Officer
Co'rdinating Vice President
Public Relations Vice President
and next year's
producer of Soph Show

U

"REPORT FROM BANGLADESH 1974"

U ___________

WED. and THUR.
Feb. 27 and 28

The hills are alive with-

--as
M
l /
I.rd
)REz

....--

I
qtt, 1,
M1
S
1

Petitions may be picked up in the U.A.C. Offices,
2nd floor, Michigan Union,
and must be returned by Monday, March 11.
For further information, drop by the office or call 763-1107

--.

THE

SMUS

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PRESENTS:
EUROPE SUMMER
yFLIGHTS
0 all flights round-trip from Detroit to
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S May 1-May 23. .. $254.00
May 22-June 20 .. $274.00*
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SUNDAY, FEB. 2477: 0 P.M.
ECUMENICAL CAMPUS CENTER
SPEAKER: WARREN DAY, Director of the Center for Peace, East
Lansing. Mr. Day, formerly director of the International Volun-
tary Service Program in Bangladesh, returned last week from a
visit to Bangladesh. He will report on current conditions there,
illustrating his presentation with sides.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
Sponsored by: The Ecumencal Campus Center
Filing Open for Rackham
Student Government Positions,
POSITIONS OPEN: President, Vice President (must run as slate)
15 Executive Board representatives-2 from Biological and
Health Sciences, 3 from Physical Sciences and Engineering,
3 from Social Sciences, 3 from Humanities, 4 from Education
LENGTH OF TERM: One Year from Election
ELIGIBLE: Any student now enrolled in Rackham School of Gradu-
ate Studies.
FILING DEADLINE: 4:00 P.M. Thursday, March 21, 1974.
How to File: Simply write down your name, address, phone
number, Department or Program, and the office for which
you wish to run. Mail this information to: RSG, 2006 Rackham

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SPONSORED IN ANN ARBOR
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LOGOS BOOKSTORE
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Registration Deadline Feb. 26
LOGOS BOOKSTORE 761-7177 1205 S. University

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Winner of 4 Academy
INCLUDING BEST PICTUI

Financial Aid Applications
FOR
Spring-Summer Term

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