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The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
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The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (The Teachings of Don Juan #1)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  21,795 ratings  ·  618 reviews
Thirty years ago the University of California Press published an unusual manuscript by an anthropology student named Carlos Castaneda. The Teachings of Don Juan initiated a generation of seekers dissatisfied with the limitations of the Western worldview. Castaneda's now classic book remains controversial for the alternative way of seeing that it presents and the revolution ...more
Hardcover, deluxe, 30th anniversary, 215 pages
Published September 8th 1998 by University of California Press (first published 1968)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Miguel Mayher
You may find this book has a lot of chaff on how they prepare peyote and other drugs, mundane descriptions in diary... yet when you less expect it, they hit you with a boulder of wisdom that leaves you freezed.

There is ONE core idea in the book that makes the price tag disappear. You cannot pay for it. It goes like this:

"Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any
...more
Laura
Sep 15, 2007 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pagans
Shelves: witchynonfiction
I am going to give the same review to all the Carlos Castaneda books I read in that series, simply because they are all outstanding. I was lucky to come across Castaneda very early on my magickal path. My spells and rituals have always relied on the power of intent, and I have found no better education on how to focus your intent than in this series of books. Back then (1994) they were classifed as nonfiction. Lately, they say they are fiction. All I know is much of what is in these books works. ...more
Rich
I found this book in my friend's house in Spring Lake, New Jersey about 20 years ago. Flipped through it, started reading, and couldn't put it down. Since then I've read all of Carlos Casteneda's books, but this is by far the best. Sadly, the power of this work is often diminished by readers who mistakenly, and obtusely, attribute his experiences solely to tripping through the use of psychotropic plants in Mexico. "That's a book about tripping," people have told me. But no, it really has nothing ...more
gokce
The discussions on whether this book is fiction or non-fiction are rather futile, and prevent the reader from engaging with it more closely. I think a smarter move would be to suspend judgment on the matter, and look into what one can learn from this account.

The Teachings of Don Juan may be read as a bildungsroman where the narrator/anthropologist Carlos Castaneda engages with an alternative reality, under the strict guidance of Don Juan, on the path to becoming “a man of knowledge”. As a means
...more
Hyun-mi
The Best Advice that anyone has ever given me is all in this book. This book is my spiritual guidance.
"A warrior acknowledges his pain but he doesn't indulge in it.
The mood of the warrior who enters into the unknown is not one of
sadness; on the contrary, he's joyful because he feels humbled by
his great fortune, confident that his spirit is impeccable, and
above all, fully aware of his efficiency. A warrior's joyfulness
comes from having accepted his fate, and from having truthfully
assessed
...more
Adam
A young anthropologist goes into the desert, meets an old shaman and does a bunch of peyote, DMT/salvia, and shrooms. This book is his account from one trip to another with bits of hippy-wisdom thrown in, like the oft-quoted "ask yourself if this path has a heart" passage. Beyond the tripping, the author doesn't seem to understand the spiritual aspects of what Don Juan is trying to tell him. Like when he smoked the "little smoke" and thought himself to become a bird, he asks Don Juan afterwards ...more
Ninja
This obscure writer has a huge cult following who believe that Castaneda's semi-fictious stories about Don Juan and the indigenous peoples of Mexico hold the keys to power and enlightenment. Ninja is a skeptic. She doesn’t believe in any of that rot – but they are best books being peddled as non-fiction that I have ever read.

Years ago, I caught an edition of “Imprint” on our local public television station TVO. The host, Daniel Richler, was leading a panel discussion about native spirituality an
...more
Pamela Wells
Every Seeker has at some point experienced an unexplainable moment. These are great opportunities to expand your perceptions to begin to believe in something greater then yourself that cannot be explained by your culture, current beliefs or family. Any of Carlos Castanada's books will give you the opportunity to discover another perspective about what reality really is. For those who call themselves Seekers - looking for the meaning of life - this is a foundational book. This was the first book ...more
Nick
Jan 02, 2008 Nick rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I was reminded of this book by a recent article, and I realized I had never read it when it first came out. I was curious to see what the fuss was about. I must say I was sorely disappointed -- the book is clumsily written and very sparing with its insights. Not recommended for enlightenment or even a good read.
Bistra Ivanova
Добре зная, че книгите, претендиращи да бъдат "духовни", но същевременно предрешени като романчета, за да станат "общодостъпни", обикновено са точно толкова плитки, колкото изглеждат, но тук направо щях да се задавя с био чая си от удивление! Твърде много години бях слушала за Кастанеда и Дон Хуан от хора, в чието думи най-малкото се вслушвам, за да имам основание да очаквам поне нещичко. Нещо различно от смешни разговори, недомлъвки, много страшни _тайни_, още повече наркотици и никаква идея за ...more
Samantha
I liked the first half of the book, but then it just seemed to be more of the same, so I stopped about 3/4 of the way through. Maybe I'm just impatient, or maybe the story was going nowhere. I understand why don Juan was annoyed with the narrator, he got on my nerves at times, too.

There were good parts, though, I liked where they were out in the desert ingesting peyote, and he wandered off talking to the embodiment of peyote, or "Mescalito", who told him to eat some more, but he didn't have a kn
...more
Adam
Whoa. This one was a real trip and half. UCLA grad student in botany goes down to southern Arizona to learn about plants in the 1960s. Winds up studying under the tutelage of a local Yaqui shaman and explores the nether-regions of human perception, induced through a variety of 'power plants' as well as peyote (its own special deity). The is the first of a whole series of books and a large following that were largely inspired by the author, Carlos Castaneda. I haven't read the others, but I like ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 26, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in altered states of consciousness
Recommended to Erik by: Bill Causer
Shelves: religion
Carlos Castaneda's series about Yaqui religion is a mixture of fact and fiction. According to the Wikipedia article about him, the first three of the dozen or so volumes he produced constitute the academic work leading to his doctorate in anthropology. However, only this volume, the first, has an academic tone. Subsequent volumes are more literary.

Although Castaneda is rightly criticized for misrepresenting his work to the UCLA faculty of anthropology, the first three books still bear reading fo
...more
Maureen
May 25, 2008 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Maureen by: the hippies
This book did more to promote the youth of the sixties to try mescaline than any other social influence. That was not Casteneda's purpose in writing the book. It is an intriguing sociological study of the Yaqui society, and Casteneda's relationship with Don Juan. There is a lot of advice for living in this book. It is also a very good read.
JRemick
Very deep, you need to be in the right frame of mind for this one
David
This may be the first book that truly exposed me to psychedelic literature. I have just completed it for my third time, and it was just as fresh as the times I read it during college.

Carlos Castaneda was an American author who wrote a series of books about his experiences with traditional Mesoamerican Shamanism. The books that follow The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge are also excellent, and I plan on re-reading the series and reviewing it. This book is written in first person b
...more
Eleanor
Spiritual learning and hallucinations in the desert. Enjoyable to read and also full of interesting and inspiring knowledge; I gained a lot of ideas about self-awareness, personal improvement and approaching life with a more respectful and open attitude. Be the warrior!

“All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you ... Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as ma
...more
Wesley  Gerrard
For anyone who has the vaguest interest in shamanism, this is an essential text. It is Carlos Casteneda's seminal work and in my opinion is a work of art. He has a very direct personal way of revealing his story, about an encounter with an ageing Native-American man of knowledge, who takes Carlos under his wing and reveals to him some of the secrets of shamanism. The range of psychedelics encountered are followed up in the book, after consumption, with vivid detail of the accompanying experience ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
اگر با آثار کاستاندا آشنایی ندارید، لازم میدانم توضیح دهم که: این کتاب (دومین حلقه ی قدرت) پنجمین کتاب از مجموعه ی ده کتاب است که کارلوس کاستاندا در طول عمر خود به نوشتن آنها اقدام نمود۰ برای آشنایی با جهان بینی ای که او تلاش در بیان آن در این مجموعه ی آثار را داشته و در زمان خود (دهه های هفتاد تا نود قرن گذشته) بسیار مورد بحث و جنجال در میان روشنفکران معاصر بویژه در دنیای غرب قرار گرفت، بایستی از خوانش نخستین کتاب آغاز و به ترتیب انتشار آن به زبان اصلی پیش رفت تا در جریان سیر تکوینی این نوع جها ...more
Jaime Contreras
I read this as a promise to read at least one of Carlos Castaneda's philosophical books. This book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge is the first of his seminal trilogy. Castaneda wrote this and his subsequent books based on his research log describing his apprenticeship with Don Juan Matus, Yaqui Indian sorcerer from northern Mexico. This "Man of Knowledge" guided and taught Castaneda in the positive value of pharmacological drug use. Castaneda's book idealizes hallucinogenic ...more
Steven
Although the authenticity of this text has been questioned over the years, and it has been disowned as an anthropological case study (for obvious reasons), this text remains a beautiful and thought-provoking piece of historical fiction. Castaneda no doubt spent a great deal of time in the Mexican Southwest and in this novel he recounts his first years under the tutelage of Don Juan, a Yaqui "brujo" or sorcerer. He describes his fascination with psychotropic cacti, mushrooms and jimson weed, and ...more
Michael Lassoff
Jun 03, 2008 Michael Lassoff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Michael by: Barrett
Normally teachings that involve drugs bother me to no end. Somehow this book is proving an exception to that. Drugs, I think, complicate spirituality by orienting seekers toward intense spiritual experiences. They strike me as a great form of laziness, which would be fine if they were more effective than they are. But it usually just boils down to rich white kids that watched the matrix one too many times. Again, in the person of Don Juan, the drugs occupy a very secondary position. Foremost, mo ...more
Emily
This book was recommended to me a few years ago by a professor of mine. I was deep into graduate school by then, attempting to earn my MFA while not losing my mind. My work as well and my mental state were suffering.

My professor told me I needed to learn how to see. And this book would show me how.

And it did. It helped tremendously. I did not approach the book as an anthropologist. Nor did I approach it as a study of any kind. I had no prior knowledge of Castaneda or any of the controversy his b
...more
Monika Müller
When having read that book I knew that not one person has written
it. The description of the magic experiences and the intellectual analysis about those experiences didn't seem to come from one and the same person. Thinking "When one day it should happen that I have to know about the truth of the writing of this book, the information will come to me."
About 20 years later, working every winter in the town of Puebla in Mexico, a so-called coincidence introduced me to real author of all books publis
...more
Sukanya
Back in college my visual arts teacher had referenced this book, while talking about the importance of space and our 'intuitive understanding' of spaces we occupy in our everyday lives. And how and why we occupy them.

I looked up this book immediately. But it took me all of 10 years to finally complete this book. It's not an easy book to read. There is no other way to say this, but it IS not an easy book to read.

But yes, there in the midst of that tedious prose and detailed descriptions of Casten
...more
Lori (Hellian)
Heheheh yeah go on make fun, but I'm tellin ya back in the 70s and being 19, I thought it contained Deep Meaning. Hopefully I wasn't completely up my ass, and that it does contain some tiny bits of Deep Thought.
Nicholas
I came across this book, strangely enough, reading an old (70's era) interview with Joni Mitchell. She had mentioned it in a rather oblique way, but there was enough info to search it out. I was totally amazed by it and looked more into who this Castaneda guy was. I wish I hadn't because what I originally took for an honest first hand experience was turned into a (possibly) fantastical fictional story, or at least Ol' Carlos had some skeptics that pleaded a good case against him.

Nevertheless, t
...more
Tom Lombardo
Carlos Castenada is one of the great legendary heroes of the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s and 70s. He dedicated the first part of his life to anthropology and ethnography, and from the outset he seems to have set before himself the task of being mysterious and unknowable. He usually told people he was six years younger than he really was. He often said he was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil but was actually born in Cajamarca, Peru.

He attended the University of California at Los Angeles, whe
...more
Jetska Kahanek
I loved this book but once I researched the author a little more, I found his cult like theories to be weird and creepy. I have 3 of his books and wouldn't mind parting with them. These books are primarily about student anthropologists who studies Native American usage of peyote, Dimethyltryptamine(DMT), saliva, and mushrooms. He meets a shaman who teaches him the method in which to use peyote and discovers the powers of shamanism. The first half of this book goes into the efforts of trust and s ...more
George
Far out! as previous generations would say.

The book follows the apprenticeship of an anthropology student to a medicine man of native american descent. The student ingests psychotropic plants in an effort to learn the 'correct way to live.' Beyond learning the correct path, one can use these plants to divine the unknown, travel through objects and great distances, transform into animals, and travel beyond this world into the realm of spirits and demons.

This book was really interesting in that it
...more
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Carlos Castaneda (December 25, 1925 – April 27, 1998) was a Peruvian-born American author. Immigration records for Carlos Cesar Arana Castaneda indicate that he was born on December 25, 1925 in Cajamarca, Perú. Records show that his surname was given by his mother Susana Castañeda Navoa. His father was Cesar Arana Burungaray. His surname appears with the ñ in many Hispanic dictionaries, even thoug ...more
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“For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length--and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.” 100 likes
“A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war: wide-awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it might never live to regret it” 69 likes
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