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Tales of Power Paperback


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Tales of Power + Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan + A Separate Reality
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reissue edition (January 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671732528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671732523
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born in 1925 in Peru, anthropologist Carlos Castaneda wrote a total of 15 books, which sold 8 million copies worldwide and were published in 17 different languages. In his writing, Castaneda describes the teaching of Don Juan, a Yaqui sorcerer and shaman. His works helped define the 1960's and usher in the New Age movement. Even after his mysterious death in California in1998, his books continue to inspire and influence his many devoted fans.

More About the Author

Born in 1925 in Peru, anthropologist Carlos Castaneda wrote a total of 15 books, which sold 8 million copies worldwide and were published in 17 different languages. In his writing, Castaneda describes the teaching of Don Juan, a Yaqui sorcerer and shaman. His works helped define the 1960's and usher in the New Age movement. Even after his mysterious death in California in1998, his books continue to inspire and influence his many devoted fans.

Customer Reviews

Reading the books in chronological order is best for the reader to help follow.
Polly Durst
For those of you new to Carlos Castaneda's works, start with The Teachings of Don Juan - all books in his series are worthwhile reading and comptemplation.
Rebecamyth
I had bought all the Castaneda books at once and was reading them all the way through sequentially for the first time.
Ausar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Michael Topper on March 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Castaneda series has become one of the most controversial
in literary history, abetted by the fact that the author himself
swore to the truth of every fantastical event he described in their pages until his dying day. That Castaneda died an old,
frail man when the books promised an extraordinarily long and healthy life seemed to give lie to his words, but in fact this
does not take away from the philosophical beauty of works like
"Tales Of Power", which is my favorite of the six I have read
so far (there are ten in all).
The first book, "The Teachings Of Don Juan", is easily the
slightest--although it introduces the saga and provides the reader with some of the terminology, it is clear that Castaneda
had yet to grasp what was happening to him, and much of it is (as he later admits) a strange cross between far-fetched prose and overly-analytical text. "A Separate Reality" is a vast improvement, even as the stories get wilder and wilder; some readers have howled with laughter over tales of invisible 'allies' which guard the sorcerer, or of an astral
"yoke" which can give a man superhuman powers, but the imagery
is extraordinary and the philosophical lessons behind such
truly bizarre events are unique and important.
The third book, "Journey To Ixtlan", is the easiest to swallow for most people, since it concentrates on the self-help and ethical aspects of the teaching and keeps the wild stories to a bare minimum (as such, it is highly recommended).
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mcdermott on October 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
If you could only choose to read one of Carlos' books, this has to be the one. For those who aren't familiar with the books, this is the sixth. The first three, expected by most readers at the time of publication to be a "trilogy", describe the first several years of Castaneda's apprenticeship to a native nagual, or shaman in Sonora and other parts of Mexico.

In the first volume Carlos describes the weird rituals and exercises that his teacher puts him through as he trains him in the ways of his line of sorcerers. It concludes with a quasi-scholarly analysis, really nothing more than an outline of the concepts of his teacher's world-view. This book focuses on the concept of living like a warrior and the book is structured as a question and answer sequence between student and teacher.

In the second book, whose time frame has a good deal of overlap with the first book, carlos' activites center around coming to believe that the world is an artifical construction of the human ego, a fantasy that we all choose to agree on. Don Juan batters Carlos with psychotropic drugs to break down his ego and force his consciousness over to the other side of awareness, beyond normal human perception.

The trilogy concludes with Carlos pursuing "stopping the world". This offering portrays the final challenge along the path to becoming a sorcerer. The apprentice will be faced with his own imminent death, and either stop the world, disassembling and reassembling "reality" in a way that ensures his survival, or accept death and enter the eternal realm. Obviously Carlos survives, as he wrote a book about it, and in the process spawned an immense controversy. What was all this bizarre stuff? Was it real? Was there a real Don Juan? A Don Genaro?
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By erik_satie_rollerblading on March 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
Back in 1985 I read this book and was fascinated. Was it real or not?

I finally came to the conclusion that I didn't really care, the writing was extraordinary, magical in itself. Then last week (February 20, 2004) I woke up in the night during a dream. I soon found I was still dreaming. I woke up again, and figured I was again still dreaming. This has happened before and I go to great lengths to wake up, because it is terrifying. (You feel as if you will never 'really' wake up.)
This time I let the terror go, and went to use the bathroom, realizing I was dreaming. The bathroom door wasn't there, so I intended it to be there and it materialized. I was experiencing something I later discovered is called lucid dreaming. Why I hadn't come across this concept before is inexplicable, but I'd always considered Castaneda to be in some sort of waking state induced by Don Juan when he did his 'dreaming'. In retrospect, that oversight seems to be a defense mechanism my mind set up to protect me from the obvious fact that Carlos was asleep and doing lucid dreaming.
Now all of Castaneda's work, seen from the viewpoint of lucid dreaming, makes sense in a completely new way. Whether his entire episodes in Mexico are lucid dreams or whether he actually met a 'Don Juan' there who taught him how to enter lucid dreaming, there is no doubt in my mind that THIS is what he is talking about. His feelings of dread, his lapses of consciousness and being shaken awake by Don Juan, the feeling of being in two places at once, all fit with what I've experienced first hand in my false awakenings and my one (so far)lucid dream.
Was Castaneda a sincere communicator of his 'field' experiences or a cynical charlatan or both? I don't know. What I do know is that the reality of lucid dreaming, as I've experienced it, is congruent with his writings.
So I'm reading them all again ....
Contact me by email with your thoughts or experiences. big_bill_jeff@yahoo.com
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