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A Separate Reality (The Teachings of Don Juan #2)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  10,941 ratings  ·  165 reviews
"A man of knowledge is free...he has no honor, no dignity, no family, no home, no country, but only life to be lived." --don Juan

In 1961 a young anthropologist subjected himself to an extraordinary apprenticeship to bring back a fascinating glimpse of a Yaqui Indian's world of "non-ordinary reality" and the difficult and dangerous road a man must travel to become "a man of
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 1st 1991 by Washington Square Press (first published 1971)
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Sherry (sethurner)
Castaneda books were very popular when I was an undergraduate, and when I first started teaching in the 1970s. I remember reading all three and being amused and confused. I suspect I was mostly interested in the author's descriptions of his experiences with peyote. Years have passed, and I revisited A Separate Reality after a friend's adult son passed away. I saw imagery and a quote from Castaneda in his artwork, and thought this might be a time to see what I could learn from the book. What a di ...more
Steven Fogel
I recommend Carlos Castaneda's body of work, which had a great impact on my worldview. A Separate Reality (the second in the series) describes his studies with Don Juan, the Yaqui shaman that he first wrote about in Teachings of Don Juan, a Yaqui Way of Knowledge. Like Teachings, A Separate Reality explores the multiple realities that we experience in our lives, such as our dreams, which while we're dreaming are our true universe, and our waking reality, in which our dreams are just a fantasy. A ...more
Diana Silaghi
Feb 02, 2013 Diana Silaghi is currently reading it
Don Juan had once told me that a man of knowledge had predilections. I asked him to explain his statement.
"My predilection is to see," he said.
"What do you mean by that?"
"I like to see" he said, "because only by seeing can a man of knowledge know."
"What kind of things do you see?"
"But I also see everything and I'm not a man of knowledge."
"No. You don't see.
"I think I do."
"I tell you, you don't."
"What makes you say that, don Juan?"
"You only look at the surface of things."
"Do you mean
Rob Poole
There is another world just beyond our reach and we only need to seek it to find it.

In the 1960s Carlos Castaneda made his way to Mexico to learn more about Yaqui Indians and to do a little soul searching. What he found was a man named don Juan, a very powerful sorcerer and a force to be reckoned with. Don Juan turns Castaneda's whole world upside down by teaching him the ways of a sorcerer and the results are some of the most beautiful and touching pieces of nonfiction.

In "A Separate Reality" C
Դոն Խուանի հետ առաջին հանդիպման պահից անցավ արդեն 10 տարի։ Մարտիկ դառնալու ու տեսնելու ճանապարհը լի է դժվարություններով, որոնք հեղինակը փորձում է հաղթահարել այս անգամ ավելի պրակտիկ գործողություններով, սակայն ամենաբարդ բանը՝ լիովին ընդունել սկսած ճանապարհը, կողքի դնելով սովորական ընկալումը, դեռ չի ստացվում։ Բայց սառույցը արդեն շարժվել է, դեպի ետ ճանապարհ այլևս չկա։ Մյուսը՝ Ճանապարհորդություն դեպի Իստկլանն է, որն, թվում է, էլ ավելի հետաքրքիր կլինի։

Անհնար է պոկվել գրքից։ Իրականությունը փոխվում է, հ
Daniel Parks
You can either view Castaneda's work as extremely well written psychedelic fiction prose or you can view it as a collection of vital truths that will help you live a better life. Either way you would be right in my opinion, and the fact that it is all most likely completely made up only makes the fiction that much more magical to me, and more true.

"It was as if the point of departure had always been myself. It was as if Don Juan had never really been there, and when I looked for him he became w
When I was an undergraduate in the mid-70's, Castaneda's "Don Juan" trilogy (with maybe a little Hermann Hesse thrown in) was what one read to be considered deep and interesting. Thirty years on, Hesse still holds up (for the most part). For Castaneda one can only ask "What was I thinking?".

But presumably that's what undergraduate time should be used for - to read broadly and indiscriminately. So not everything you read in college is going to be good.
Sandra Hernandez
This book was hard to follow, I found myself asking wether or not what was being read was actually occuring or if it was part of a story. I still enjoyed it, the book has the potential to open a mind and explore different dimensions outside of this world. I really think I would have captured more of the books teachings if I had joined in the peyote smoking! :>
Aaron Dennis
A Separate Reality is the second book written by Carlos Castaneda, and while still practically mired in the realm of hallucinogenic mixtures, a few new topics are brought to life; seeing, living like a warrior, and shutting off the internal dialogue.

It is those three concepts, which bring a rather large change to the narrative presentation. Some people argue that it is because the book veers away from the initial inspections of the first book that it must all be fake. Okay, very possible. It is
Ahmad Sharabiani
مجموعه ی این ده کتاب به توالی تاریخ انتشار به زبان اصلی که همه به فارسی ترجمه شده به قرار زیر است

1-The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968)
تعلیمات دون خوان (طریقه ی معرفت نزد یاکی ها) انتشارات فردوس ـ ترجمه ی حسین نیر
2 - A Separate Reality: Further Conversation with Don Juan (1971)
حقیقتی دیگر (باز هم گفت و شنودی با دون خوان) انتشارات آگاه، ترجمه ی ابراهیم مکلا
3 - Journey to xtlan: Lessons of Don Juan (1972)
سفر به ایختلان (سفر به ناکجا آباد ـ درسهای دونخوان) کتاب باعنوان «سفر
This was a reread from a college-assigned book. It’s a fictional but well written account with some philosophy buried in mystical pretense. (Castaneda never declared it to be fictional.) Strange, I wish it were true, and I’m not sure why. Maybe we want there to be a different world lurking just beyond conscious perception. This book and the whole Yaqui Way of Knowledge is an appeal to the mystic want-to-be. It makes our reality seem so boring. But actually it’s not. A separate and better reality ...more
J.E. Glaze
Again, this cannot be rated. More learning.

Frank McAdam
I had first read A Separate Reality many years ago while still a college student. I had hesitated to reread it because I was afraid that after all this time it would have lost its magic and would now seem mundane or even hokey. I was surprised to find that it still exerted just as powerful an influence over my imagination as it had originally.

I know there's been a lot of debunking of Castaneda over the years and endless discussions of whether Don Juan was actually a real person and whether the a
Erik Graff
Jan 26, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: psychonauts
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: religion
This is the volume following Castaneda's revised doctoral dissertation, The Teachings of Don Juan (1968), and preceding Journey to Ixtlan (1972). The three were eventually issued as a cloth trilogy. I started the series in paperback, but found the trilogy soon after and purchased it, probably at Stuart Brent Bookstore in Chicago near where I worked during the summer months between college and seminary.
This book would probably seem strange to most and only interesting to a few. For me I can only say that this book chose me, it came to me at a time in my life in which I was approaching a major spiritual awakening, though I didn't know it. This book helped push me over the edge. I feel if I would have read it any time sooner than when I did it would have been lost on me.
Irina N
How do you review a non fiction book?

This time around I really tried to use this book as a practical guide. Previously after reading a book by Castaneda, I would feel changed and mesmerized but I also found that details would escape me like after seeing a dream. I started the Separate Reality volume back in 2013 but could not make it to the end. The timing was not right.
Lately certain events triggered my desire to re-visit and make another attempt, particularly the Guardian episode! Similar to
anthropology or fabrication? doesn't matter--can't be too much carpe diem literature and this is excellent--i've loved page 88 for many decades--
I really tried to read his book, but more I'd read more I thought that the author had spent time with Don Juan on using some kind of drug.
June 2011

Another box of books has been reopened for cleaning, sorting, and reevaluation and lo and behold, many of the collected works of Carlos Castaneda are part of the contents.

Many years have gone but I remember this author and his works vividly. [Now don't get any ideas as to an allusion I may or may not be making] At some point I stopped purchasing more in the series and put them away. There's a 'blur' factor as I recall that happens with these stories of the metaphysical and magical journ
Bob Smith
Still Reading/ There is probably enough evidence to prove that most if not all of what Castaneda wrote really didn't happen. Still if makes for interesting reading. Sort of reads like Jack Kerouac.

The book raises interesting questions.
- How much of it really happens.
- Even if Don Juan is real, is he really a Yaqui sorcerer, or just a crazy old man high on peyote.
Even Don Juan's own nephew seemed to feel that this was the case.
- Related to the previous question do the psychoactive drugs that Don
I just read this book in a 24 hour period. Granted, I had a three hour car ride and lots of down time at work, plus found myself locked out of my apartment here in Bangkok for several hours -- so I had the time. But the point is, I couldn't put it down. I haven't enjoyed reading this much in a long time. I wish I had started with the first book in this series, but I think it will be more than fine to read it next. I recommend it if you are interested in shamanism related subjects, adventure stor ...more
The second book in the Castaneda series is not quite as academic as the first one. In this respect the excitment and sureal adventures of the sorcerer and apprentice kick into high gear. This is the only book that explores the sorcerer's use of 'power plants' such as Peyote, Dartura (jimson weed) and Some kind of mushrooms that get smoked. The expierences that follow make for fantastic reading but are pretty scary; so scary that I think if this were published in the mid 60's maybe the halucenoge ...more
This book is much more eventual than THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN, which is actually a bad thing coming after its idea-driven predecessor. Too much stuff happening, Castaneda getting confused, and too little insight into the ways of Don Juan. Don Juan does talk a lot but nothing much could be gleaned from it compared to the first book.

But the upside is that the character of Carlos Castaneda himself acts as a foil for ourselves, when Don Juan criticizes or laughs at Carlos, we all feel Don Juan laug
It took me nearly two years to be brave enough to pick up the sequel to Carlo's "classic". I really needed that time or I don't think I could have gotten through. That being said this book is far better than the first and I don't think I'll need as much time to pick up the third.

First off this book has about 100 pages of filler crap. Carlos goes into new depths of stupid by repeating the same questions over and over and reexamining all his experiences no matter how many times he's told not to.
The main issue with this book is that I couldn't distinguish if it were fact or fiction. Possibly, it shouldn't matter, since it's a philosophy book, but I just couldn't get over the fact that, at different times, it sounded like Plato's Republic, The Celestine Prophecy, and Go Ask Alice. It never felt genuine. He does comment in the introduction about how each "lesson" ends on a dramatic note because that's just how don Juan did it, but it seemed more like a cheap literary device to me, along t ...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. This was my first Castaneda so it's possible my experience would have been different if I had begun with his first book, The Teachings of Don Juan. What made this story challenging for me is my ambivalent feelings about Don Juan as a personality and as a guide. Carlos asks a series of reasonable questions to extremely disorienting answers from a man who displays conflicting emotions and is at times warm, wise, and caring just as easily as he is mocking, bel ...more
Read the entire series of Castenda books in my early college years and they were really inspirational to me. The concept of alternate ways of thinking and separate realities were novel to me at the time. I have always meant to return to them. I like the mixture of a deeper hidden message and that of the light tale of the medicine man that runs through the pages.
The second book in the Don Juan series delves deeper into the world dealing with peyote a power plant. This is probably the most favorable in my opinion of all the Castaneda books I've read thus far. For some reason I've been reading his books backwards in accordance to their release dates going from the deeply almost intangible to his beginning explorations of the world of spirit. Overall his books are somewhat repetitious but manage to go deeper into a different aspect of his experiences. It i ...more
"We learn to think about everything, and then we train our eyes to look as we think about the things we look at. We look at ourselves already thinking that we are important. And therefore we’ve got to feel important! But then when a man learns to see, he realizes that he can no longer think about the things he looks at, and if he cannot think about what he looks at everything becomes unimportant."

"Once you decide something put all your petty fears away. Your decision should vanquish them. I will
Sep 15, 2007 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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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
More about Carlos Castaneda...

Other Books in the Series

The Teachings of Don Juan (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
  • Journey to Ixtlan
  • Tales of Power
  • Second Ring of Power
  • Eagle's Gift
  • Fire from Within
  • Power of Silence
  • The Art of Dreaming
  • Magical Passes: The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico
  • The Wheel of Time: The Shamans of Mexico Their Thoughts About Life Death & the Universe
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge Journey to Ixtlan Tales of Power The Art of Dreaming Eagle's Gift

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“We are men and our lot in life is to learn and to be hurled into inconceivable new worlds.” 43 likes
“Once you decide something put all your petty fears away. Your decision should vanquish them. I will tell you time and time again, the most effective way to live is as a warrior. Worry and think before you make any decision, but once you make it, be on your way free from worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still awaiting you. That's the warrior's way.
A warrior thinks of his death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit.”
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