For over 40 years, Carlos Castaneda’s The Teachings of Don Juan has inspired audiences to expand their world view beyond traditional Western forms. Originally published as Castaneda’s master’s thesis in anthropology, Teachings documents Castaneda’s supposed apprenticeship with a Yaqui Indian sorcerer, don Juan Matus. Dividing the work into two sections, Castaneda begins by describing don Juan’s philosophies, then continues with his own reflections.
©1969; 1996 Regents of the University of California; Carlos Castaneda (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
"It's impossible to view the world in quite the same way after reading him.... If Castaneda is correct, there is another world, a sometimes beautiful and sometimes frightening world, right before our eyes at this moment - if only we could see." (Chicago Tribune)
The narrator is great. Story is amazing. The wisdom is so unique and one of kind.
So unique it's hard to compare to anything else.
TONE!! Luis has an amazing ability to transition between characters so well. So far he is the best narrator I've heard.
The extent a person is willing to go to acquire knowledge. Reminds me of me.
An absolute must for all students of shamanic culture.
I was very fortunate to have actually met the author. This was sometime in the late seventies or early eighties. I was living with my teacher, who was a native american medicine person. When this odd sort of person just showed up one day and stayed for... somewhere around one or two weeks. He would always sit away from the main group and simply watch, listen, and write. I do not wish to elaborate here, but I have to say that the personal experiences I had when I would notice him were enough to make me believe that Mr. Castaneda did indeed have a spiritual gift and that he had also received some very real training. He ended up leaving a notebook behind when he left and I did read what he had written. One page included an unpublished declaration of release, by Don Juan. To this very day, I still use it!
If a book challenges my preset notions and stretches my mind to see things from a different vantage point, I am please with the effort of reading (or listening) to it - whether fiction or non-fiction.
I remember this book from when I majored in philosophy in the 1980's. I get the interest in psychotropic drugs. But with my current understanding, I am struck with what we have truly lost. To be a "man of knowledge" it is required that one possess large amounts of testosterone. Castaneda summarily discounts the experience of the native women.
Team of Rivals
Not a fan of Luis Moreno. He sounds to me like one of those old time news reporters, in which you want to insert "stop" between each sentence.
After reading or listening to all the writers' books, please go to Thomas Campbell and Robert Monros Book. This journey of new horizon is at the tip of the iceberg....more immersion needed. Great book!!
I'm probably more enlightened than I am intellectual so the first 80% of the book I really understood and enjoyed while the last 20% I had trouble understanding. All in all, an incredible insight into the world of shamans.
I hope to be a shaman one day. This book is awesome and worth reading
Mr. Moreno gives a great reading of this story. I am happy with his narration.
"Altered States and Strange Encounters in a Shamans World"
I really like books that show the world from an unusual perspective. This is the (allegedly) true account of the apprenticeship of Carlos Castaneda, an anthropology student, to a Yaqui Shaman named Don Juan. It is well read and enjoyable.
What I liked best was the contrast of cultures. So, after Castaneda is scared witless by an encounter with the peyote god "Mescalito" who "teaches a man how to live", the following day he keeps asking "does Mescalito really exist?".
For Don Juan this question is totally missing the point "did you not see Mescalito?" His concern is on what Mescalito communicated and the significance of the encounter for a "man of knowledge". It is the clash of modern rational science with aboriginal religion, in a still enchanted world. In the end it becomes too much for the young student and, fearing he is going mad, he terminates his apprenticeship.
This is a book of its time, written in the early 1960s when people were experimenting with altered states and strange religions. It does give a glimpse of an aboriginal worldview populated by spirits and "powers" who can be called on for help as allies or must be confronted and overcome as adversaries.
I very much enjoyed the narrative section of the book, which raised many questions for me about religion, science and reality - and purpose in life. Sadly the "analysis" section at the end of the book avoids these ontological questions, attributing Casteneda's experiences to "suggestion" combined with the effect of powerful psychoactive plants, and thus is much less interesting, though luckily short.
I will be getting the next in the series, when he returns to his apprenticeship, but not for a while. Overall it is a thought provoking book, very well narrated, but a little strange.
"a brilliant story with many lessons"
have not read the book
being on a spiritual / shamanic path I have come across this book several times in the past and have considered reading it but have been put off by the bad reviews. I decided that alot of books especially on these type of topics have some bad reviews. These bad reviews are normally from academics or people from a religious back ground who are ignorant to the topic that they are criticising. Sometimes the bad reviews are from people who are not happy about outsiders wrting about a topic that they were not born into. I do not know if the story in this book is real or fictional. I do however know that I learned alot from the book and have come away with a much better understanding of the world of a Yaqui shaman. This book is great for someone who is on a shamanic path and wants to understand the heart and discipline that is required to be a true shaman. Most of us in the west may become shamanic practitioners but this is on a whole other level.
The second part of the book is more for a student of anthropolgy or someone who wants to know the ins and outs of the plants used in the book. There will not be many readers in that category who have the patience or understanding for this. This does not mean I will review this part of the book badly. I am glad I have finally bought this book and will definitely buy the other books from this author
the first part was most interesting and enjoyable however the 2nd part I found difficulties to follow and to fishish and had to relisten to some parts.
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