- Lost Book Club entry: A Separate Reality, by Carlos Castaneda.
I’ll let Wikipedia do the work here:
A Separate Reality is an allegedly non-fictional book written by anthropologist/author Carlos Castaneda in 1971 concerning the events that took place during an apprenticeship he claimed to have served with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, Don Juan Matus, between 1968 and 1971. The authenticity of the book, along with the rest of Castaneda’s series, has been a topic of debate since they were published.
In the book Castaneda continues his description of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Don Juan, from which he had withdrawn in 1965. As in his previous book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Castaneda describes the experiences he has with Don Juan while under the influence of the psychotropic plants that Don Juan offered him, peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and a smokable mixture of what Castaneda believed to be, among other plants, dried mushroom of the genus Psilocybe. The main focus of the book centered around Don Juan’s attempts at getting Carlos to See, a practice best described as, in Castaneda’s own words, “perceiving energy directly as it flows through the universe”.
The book contains an introduction, an epilogue and two separate parts. Part One, “The Preliminaries of ‘Seeing'”, describes his re-initiation into the apprenticeship from which he withdrew in late 1965, and also describes his introduction to another brujo (sorcerer) named Don Genaro. Part Two, “The Task of ‘Seeing'”, elaborates on the mental processes involved with Seeing, and begins with Castaneda realizing that the plants are a necessary tool to arrive at Seeing.
A fairly clear-cut analogy to Sayid’s “Seeing” his purpose back on the Island, right? Might we also apply that analogy to Ben, who told Sayid he read the book twice? Perhaps Richard (or maybe Jacob) is the sorceror teaching Ben to “See.” I’d like to think that’s further evidence in favor of Ben arranging his own shooting so he could become a ghost and live happily ever after with his mama.
- That “Seeing” came courtesy of some sodium pentathol/LSD-like concoction he was encouraged to take by the Dharma Initiative version of Sayid: Oldham.
Though this version is an older hippie living in a teepee out in the jungle who spends his days listening to classic tunes on his victrola. I couldn’t quite catch what the title embroidered on his Dharma jumpsuit; I’ll leave it to other sites with higher-res screencaps than I.
- I touched on this already, but was Ben putting on a show for the captive Sayid when he “allowed” his father to abuse him? More manipulation from the mastermind.
His ability to machinate transcends age.
- Sayid’s tracks down his final target in the quest to rid Charles Widmore’s organization of those who pose a threat to the castaways. “Andropov” gets two in the chest, his bribes doing nothing to dissuade Sayid from his purpose.
We later learn Ilana is actually a bounty hunter commissioned by the family of one Peter Avellino, who Sayid dispatched on a golf course in the Scheychelles (circa season 4).
Why would she be taking to Sayid to Guam, however? I’m not sure any of us believe she (knowingly or not) was contracted by the Avellino family; rather by Widmore or Ben. Either contractor would make sense: Widmore wants Ben dead (I think), and Ben wants himself dead so he can become a ghost and rejoin his mom (I think).
- Ilana and boots go well together.