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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • jesus
  • North las Vegas, NV, United States
  • 07-09-13

Amazing story

What made the experience of listening to The Teachings of Don Juan the most enjoyable?

The narrator is great. Story is amazing. The wisdom is so unique and one of kind.

What other book might you compare The Teachings of Don Juan to and why?

So unique it's hard to compare to anything else.

What does Luis Moreno bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

TONE!! Luis has an amazing ability to transition between characters so well. So far he is the best narrator I've heard.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The extent a person is willing to go to acquire knowledge. Reminds me of me.

Any additional comments?

An absolute must for all students of shamanic culture.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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The Teachings of Don Juan

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!

31 of 37 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, dark fiction.

Great descriptive power in sharing the "tripping" on psychedelics experience within a very narrow minded (black and white) view of witchcraft. The author has his soul stolen by a witch and has to fight to get it back while tripping balls. Great story telling but the characters are a bit shallow.

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very nice reread

I first read this book several decades ago, and enjoyed it again by audio. Thanks.

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  • Vlad P
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 05-26-17

Not quite what I expected

If you could sum up The Teachings of Don Juan in three words, what would they be?

The world is a dark and frightening place that's out to get you unless you have a powerful ally or access to magic powers.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Didn't make it to the ending.

If you could give The Teachings of Don Juan a new subtitle, what would it be?

For shamanic practitioners

Any additional comments?

I can't quite blame it on the book, to be honest. Rather it was a case of misplaced expectations on my part. For some reason I expected it to be a story of an inspiring spiritual journey, self discovery and rising consciousness. Instead it was a very detailed and meticulously transcribed personal encounter with shamanic culture and rituals. I found the narrator talented and artistic, who used his quite voice skillfully to enhance the drama of the story. Again, you may find the book fascinating if you are interested in the shamanic culture. I am not, so I never made it to the end, although I found it amusing at times but not much more.

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A constructive journey of mind

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.

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Reminds me of why we left the 60's

What would have made The Teachings of Don Juan better?

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.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Team of Rivals

Would you be willing to try another one of Luis Moreno’s performances?

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.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Sadness

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Continue

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!!

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enlightenment

exceptionally great a must read if you open your mind it will charge your life

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Motivational

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.

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  • Jim Vaughan
  • 02-15-15

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • m
  • 12-27-13

a brilliant story with many lessons

Would you consider the audio edition of The Teachings of Don Juan to be better than the print version?

have not read the book

What did you like best about this story?

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

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jna
  • 06-01-17

Boring

Didn't finish. Left after 9 chapters. The emotions expressed by author does not resonate at all. It feels like a disconnect between author and reader. Also, if this is a fiction or a reality is also debatable topic.

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  • Sharon jeffrey
  • 11-16-15

most interesting

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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