Wednesday, October 17, 2007


im·pec·cable (im pekə bəl)


  1. not liable to sin, incapable of wrongdoing
  2. without defect or error; faultless; flawless

"Develop a sense of impeccability in everything you do. Impeccability is to do your best in whatever you are engaged in." -Carlos Castedenda, Tales Of Power

My husband Doug will be amused when he reads this post and discovers I am quoting Carlos Casteneda. Actually, I am quoting Castenada quoting the Sorcerer Don Juan.

For a Trailing Boomer such as myself, I view Castenada as part of the Baby Boomer's Trinity, along with Zen Buddhism and Socialism. You simply did not receive a college degree in the late 60's or early 70's without having read something of Castenada's, along with doses of the brand of Buddhism brought to our Pacific shores by Vietnamese monks escaping their war torn country and flirting with Europe's problematic social-political experiment. I have watched documentaries on Castenada but, on principle, have managed to avoid to read an entire book! I am not all that sure that I buy it. I'll keep my thoughts about Socialism and non Asian Buddhists to myself...however, I was instantly grabbed when my Baby Boomer Pilates teacher spoke of impeccability as she quoted Castenada. It is a word I hear Doug use. No wonder, he has a entire bookshelf upstairs dedicated to the work of Don Juan and Carlos.

Prompted by my hearing the word in a new context, I looked it up. Impeccability means the absence of sin and is an attribute of Christ. Roman Catholics believe the Virgin Mary was impeccable through the special grace of God. For the rest of us, it is a state that one aspires to but cannot attain. This is why I like the second line in the Castenada quote, that impeccability is doing our best in whatever we are engaged in. Now that is something I can do. I found a Don Juan point I agree with, that the warrior derives power from being impeccable.

I am pleased to be reminded to develop my sense of impeccability. In this case, Pat meant in my practice and performance of Pilates as a student and teacher. But I will do well to do all things with a commitment to flawlessness. As for opening up to the teaching of Don Juan, in spite of the messenger being a drug abusing anthropologist, perhaps there is a lesson or two there for me.

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