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Fire from Within

(The Teachings of Don Juan #7)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,999 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Fire from Within is the author's most brilliant thought-provoking and unusual book, one in which Castaneda, under the tutelage of don Juan and his "disciples," at last constructs, from the teachings of don Juan and his own experiences, a stunning portrait of the "sorcerer's world" that is crystal-clear and dizzying in its implications.

Each of Carlos Castaneda's books is a
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by Washington Square Press (first published 1984)
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Gregory Hi,

Castaneda's books aren't exactly "how-to" books. There is a practical handbook called "The Teachings of Don Carlos" by a gentleman named Victor Sa…more

Castaneda's books aren't exactly "how-to" books. There is a practical handbook called "The Teachings of Don Carlos" by a gentleman named Victor Sanchez that purportedly, I do not own nor have I read any of the book, teaches don Juan's techniques in workbook style.

I've found that all of the teachings are more or less easily correlated with various techniques in Western esotericism for contacting the "higher self" and utilizing the will- just in a different language.

Shifting awareness or, to use the current parlance "altering consciousness" is the basic practice behind most mystical practices. A course of Raja Yoga, the neo-Gnostic exercises of Aleister Crowley, or the shamanistic/artistic workings of Austin Spare all offer ways to achieve this goal.

On the other hand, I have found that combined with previous knowledge that I have been able to extrapolate techniques from Castaneda's books (there are small measures plainly incorporated in don Juan's dialogues and actions throughout- they may seem insignificant). You might also want to look into his later books "The Art of Dreaming" and "Magical Passes" which are supposed to give instructions in tensegrity.

-Logreus (less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Fire from Within (The Teachings of Don Juan #7), Carlos Castaneda
Fire from Within is the author's most brilliant thought-provoking and unusual book, one in which Castaneda, under the tutelage of don Juan and his "disciples," at last constructs, from the teachings of don Juan and his own experiences, a stunning portrait of the "sorcerer's world" that is crystal-clear and dizzying in its implications.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یازدهم ماه ژوئن سال 1988 میلادی
مجموعه ی این دوازده کتاب به توالی تاریخ انت
Christina Carson
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys have their mind-boggled.ertaining.
Recommended to Christina by: Discover the first one by chance in 1972.
I have been reading the Castaneda books for 40 years. They picture the universe from a different worldview, one now popping up in descriptions from quantum reality. They frame the world not as subject-object but as a world of interconnected, conscious energy. The value of Castaneda in the mix was his ability to frame questions to the man who lived from this worldview and thus reveal it to the reader. These books are read for many reasons, but if you read them long enough, like the quantum physi ...more
Luís Nunes
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: behaviour
Quotes on FFW:
"A nagual never lets anyone know that he is in charge. A nagual comes and goes without leaving a trace. That freedom is what makes him a nagual."
"Seeing is a euphemism for moving the assemblage point."
"The conviction that the new seers have is that a life of impeccability by itself leads unavoidably to a sense of sobriety, and this in turn leads to the movement of the assemblage point."
"I have given you a detailed account of the two forces that aid our assemblage points to move: t
Iona  Stewart
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All Castaneda´s books are brilliant and fascinating reads. However, I felt that this one was even more challenging than many of the others I have tackled.

We learn that “seeing” is a peculiar feeling of knowing something without a shadow of a doubt. The old seers found out that the best way to teach their knowledge was to make their apprentices shift to their left side, to a state of heightened awareness, where real learning takes place.

We meet la Gorda, a woman from Don Juan´s group of warriors,
Giulia Rossi
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
apart from being an esoteric book and therefore leaving space to ferocious critics, I must say that if this is the case, and therefore, if the author just invented all of this, well, that means this was an amazing story teller and writer..

.... because.... not only you can physically feel this fire within coming out of your body, but also, you will enjoy the way the story is told and the dark and subtle side of this writer.... obviously to enjoy the book fully you must have an interest in esoter
Ivinela Samuilova
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All books of Carlos Castaneda are very important to me. He (and his Don Juan), Vadim Zeland - writer from Russia, quantum physicist and Alexey Bachev - an unusual psychologist from Bulgaria, protagonist of my book Life Can Be a Miracle have shaped my way of thinking, perceiving, experiencing the reality. Very grateful for showing me the miraculous way of living!!!!
Sep 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
May 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
I've read too many Castaneda books to review each individually, other than to say "I'm sorry I found this so compelling." I have to admit, I was conned.

Also of note is that outside of all the magical ubermensch stuff, the recurring themes are sterility, futility, failure, and undeserved survival through dumb luck.

I've met more than a few people who count Carlos Casteneda and Ayn Rand among their favorite authors. At first I couldn't reconcile the two. One writes that there is no objective realit
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Fire from Within" contains some of the most fleshed-out thoughts on the magical worldview found in Castaneda's books. Perhaps it is simply that I am now more accustomed to his writing and have grown more sympathetic overtime, but I also found this to be the funniest of Castaneda's books so far.

The text concerns a dialogue between Carlos and don Juan about the differences between the old seers and the new seers. The teaching are centered around three central concepts: stalking, awareness, and i
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
T.L. Barrett
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I found this book in a discard box at the library and kept it for years. Suddenly I had the intuitive drive to read it. I found that the book was addressing many of my thoughts as they had synthisized through the years. Wow! Although it has a questionable literary history, I am writing about the content of the book itself and the alchemical truths it explores by recounting Castenada's journey into the unknown guided by don Juan and his fellow Toltec mystics. Anyone interested in Gnostic philosop ...more
Edward Z
Aug 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The reality we experience is a thin fragile veneer concealing a vast, fathomless universe of quixotic sensations and incomprehensible wonders. Even if everything in this series of books is total crap, the mysterious, primal human instincts they exploit are so fascinating.
Mohit Parikh
Sheer Power. Sheer Terror.
Athanasios Demeslis
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
No matter how you interpret Castaneda's claims, there are some very valuable, wise quotes in there that if received by a more general approach, can infuse the reader with very important advice to lead a great, addiction-free, ego-free, genuine life.

Keep your reading approach open to symbolism, metaphors and make sure to stop and think about connections that go beyond the strict limits of linear understanding. This way, "The Fire from Within" can be one of the most important books you'll ever re
Mike S
Mar 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: metaphysics
About a fifth of the way through the book I was not very happy with it, and started thinking about not finishing it. But somehow I didn't put it down, and not too long afterwards it started to improve.

My frustration was that it sounded a bit like an encyclopedia (or wikipedia entry), the transitions between scenes are almost non-existent, and mostly the author keeps a steady stream of information flowing, there's not a lot of action. If this is fiction then the author certainly did his homework
Summer Bock, Holistic Nutrition & Herbs
As with most Carlos Castaneda books, I find them a little confusing yet very enticing. This being the second time I have read this book, I was able to piece it together a little better.

What I found interesting about the topics and explanations by the nagual, Don Juan, were how they coincide with the information presented in the movie, "The Secret" and other books pertaining to the power of manifestation. Some of the descriptions in this book relating to will and intent are fascinating if you ar
Joey Brockert
Apr 05, 2014 rated it liked it

This is one of a series of books relating to a sorcerer teaching the wisdom he has learned himself.. I read this book some twenty (20) years ago, so this review is based on faulty memories and a gleaning of the first chapter or so. Mr. Castaneda is an Anthropology student studying sorcerers in Mexico. Don Juan is one of these.
Señor Juan has gathered or acquired a half dozen followers and students. Mr. Castaneda appears to be under a post-hypnotic suggestion such that he does not remember meeti
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in shamanism
Like all of Castaneda books The Fire from Within doesn't cover too much new stuff from his previous works. However, the new stuff is always very interesting. As a shaman/medicine man in training I've always read Castaneda's books from a critical point of view. I realize that the truth gets bent here and there in his books but I continue to read them for the great nuggets of truth, inspiration, and insight that are sprinkled through out them. Perhaps, Castaneda is offering a theory in this book f ...more
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be more trippy than his other books. Funny, since, according to the book, Carlos is not taking any druggs this time, like in the first three books. The reason that it is so trippy is probaby the long explanations on how Don Juan sees the world. Most of them are quite abstract, and thus pretty hard to follow. It was pretty annoying, and I put the book aside a lot.
I liked the story's about Don Juans past, and the encounter with the old seers. Exciting, mysterious, utterly weir
Ian Cattanach
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Only a bell and a bird break the silence…
It seems that the two talk with the setting sun.
Golden colored silence, the afternoon is made of
A roving purity sways the cool trees,
and beyond all that,
a transparent river dreams that trampling over
It breaks loose
And flows into infinity.

If you put a Juan Ramon Jimenez poem in a allegorical novel, you know it's going to be good. Best Castaneda book if the message is what you're searching for. You have to be skepctical, but the content is
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Is that subliminal messages are very deep. I'll tell you why, I was reading this book when I was pregnant with my first son, who I was all ready to name, Tyler Alexander Gregory, I thought, hmm, nice ring, well rounded name, so that was that. I read this book, while debating a baby name, and was not even thinking about the characters in this book, and when "alexander" was born he did not feel or look like an Alexander, and somewhere in both of us we agreed on Julian. It was so perfect. Years lat ...more
Monika Müller
Jan 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Many years after having read this book I should learn what was the reason of my thought that Carlos Castaneda seemed to have a memory even about the things he wrote and published. It was like reading repetitions of this what he had already written in other books before:
The true writer of this material, living in Puebla, had tried, after Carlos Castaneda did not return to him the large manuscript, to recover the material in re-writing it from memory. Carlos Castaneda got also in a strange way hol
Gina Briganti
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The Fire from Within" was an easy read compared to another Castaneda book I read years ago, "Magical Passes". One key message I enjoyed was about getting past our obsession with ourselves simply for how much of our energy is freed to do other things,

There were a number of incredible stories in "The Fire from Within" that highlight the difference between how I was taught Reiki and how I teach Reiki. I wonder if all teachings can claim these big differences or if they are specific to the naguals
Jun 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
it took a while to finish this book, especially in comparison to the ones that came before in this series. but the several months of hiatus were worthwhile. at about half-point when i paused i was almost certain i wouldn't be starting again. but i did and it did not take long to make it through the rest of the book. i do not necessarily take castaneda literally, but what he offers is certainly a way of talking about things which resonates with the way which things might be. there is absolute pow ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
According to Carlos Castaneda's bad-cop/good-cop gurus Don Juan and Don Genaro, the universe is a big cosmic joke to which the only proper response is forced laughter. That's a far cry from Beckett's tragicomic POV which at least elicits a genuine case of the giggles. Because of that "The Fire From Within" isn't a book I'd recommend when trying to make existential sense of it all. Emanations. Fibers. Stalkers. The mumbo jumbo never really comes together although there's a persuasive argument for ...more
Kenn Prebilic
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but it didn't hold my attention. The writing is bad in places, and the overall story isn't very interesting. Mostly he just walks around talking to a spiritual mentor who claims all kinds of unverifiable things about ancient 'seers'. The book has a few interesting ideas that dwell squarely in the realm of fiction, but it's touted as nonfiction. So don't jump off cliffs thinking you can recreate the world before you hit the ground and survive. ...more
Pierre LeBaux
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: other
In one sentence:
This book is a definitive guide to mushroom trippin'.

Esoteric, spiritual book, so this is definitively not for everyone. It is kinda dark and creepy, and if you are trying to understand it too much you will simply fall asleep. But this book is just something else, and it is refreshing if you read in between science books. I can very much recommend it, but this is one of the books you are going to love or hate.
Don Nicolaysen
Aug 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
I don't recommend this book. I think the author has a warped view of existence, and readers should be cautioned that this controversial but entertaining author is a classic shaman looking for a cult of followers. A sociopath no doubt. Perhaps he would have been viewed differently if he had described his writings as fiction, but as non-fiction there is no escaping the judgement of thoughtful readers. I'm sure the cannabis culture still enjoys his tripping narratives. ...more
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
i found this to be the most difficult of Castaneda's books to read so far. it contains a lot of 'technical' explanations about alignment and the assemblage point but very little insights about the warriors way of life -which is what I consider the real gem of his work, that makes it at times way to abstract and difficult to grasp ...more
Iris Hulsker
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: entertaining
It is not a fun book to read. It is written based on the author's experiences, and many of those I simply could not understand or imagine. Shamanism is something I wanted to know more about, but I am not sure this book did the trick. I wonder if any outsider can grasp the concepts, feelings and visions the authors writes about. ...more
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Carlos Castaneda was an Latin-American author.
Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly with a group whose lineage descended from the Toltecs.
The books, narrated in the first person, relate his experiences under the tutelage of a man that Castaneda claimed was a Yaqui "Man of Knowledge" named don Juan M

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
  • A Separate Reality
  • Journey to Ixtlan
  • Tales of Power
  • Second Ring of Power
  • Eagle's Gift
  • 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

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