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The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge Paperback – May 9, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Original publisher University of California Press here offers a 30th-anniversary edition of Castenada's Teachings. Along with the original text, this sports a new introduction by the author, who, it was revealed recently, died earlier this year. Though this is reasonably priced for a hardcover, libraries needing multiples copies may opt for the paperback.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, 40th Anniversary Edition edition (May 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520256387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520256385
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

265 of 296 people found the following review helpful By Chris Peters on October 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Teachings of Don Juan" is the first in a series of about 15 books by Carlos Casaneda describing the author's experiences with Yaqui Indian shamanism in Northern Mexico. As a studier of religion for many years (although not as knowledgeable as some scholars) I find these books to be utterly unique in their scope and subject matter. They are not like other New Age books. The journey that Castaneda takes his readers is mind-boggling, and his experiences are simply beyond what most people have even remotely encountered.
Castaneda first met Don Juan in the early 60's, before the hippy movement, before psychodelic drugs became popular. He was studying anthropology in Los Angeles, and Don Juan served as a field source for some fading knowledge of tribal and shamanistic rituals in Northern Mexico. Castaneda was specifically interested in peyote, a plant that gives its users hallicinations and mixes the senses in strange ways, and which LSD was meant to be a chemical reproduction of. Castaneda's first book presents a very detailed scholastic interpretation of his experiences. All books after the first simply focus on Castaneda's experiences with Don Juan.
Castaneda's drug experiences are different from other accounts I have read, because they are intimately tied with the Yaqui philosophy and mythology. The drugs only serve as a means to an end, not as the end in themselves. The first 2 books in the series describe Castaneda's drugs experiences with Don Juan, but from the 3rd book on, the drugs disappear forever and Carlos' experiences are actually more fantastic, more amazing, more unbelieveable as he slowly becomes a practicing sorceror, traveling to alternate dimensions and battling other sorcerors.
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful By D. W. Casey on April 4, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy Carlos Castaneda's books because they always offer an escape from reality -- in this case, I mean that quite literally.
Castaneda's books involve an age-old technique of storytelling, the teaching of a body of knowledge from a master to a pupil. In this case, the master, a Yaqui Indian known as Don Juan, teaches the ancient Toltec art of sorcery to a young, first-person narrator, Carlos Castaneda. This narrator is dubious and incredulous as Don Juan shows him things about the nature of reality and our perceptions of it, but increasingly he has to conclude that the world of Don Juan is an accurate description of the may facets of reality, and our modern world is merely one narrow view.
There is controversy over whether Castaneda's books are "real" --Castaneda was granted a PhD for his "field" work; but other scholars have found a lot of Castaneda's research to have no anthropological authenticity. Supporters of Castaneda dispute this.
That there is even an argument over whether the books are "real" or not indicates how good the stories are -- like the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, people really, desperately want to visit Castaneda's world. His books are riveting, fascinating, beautiful, and also very scary.
Although later books in the series (Tales of Power, for instance) are better than this introductory work; I think it is important to read the books in their order of writing, in order to get the "lessons" that Castaneda learns in the correct order.
I am a great fan of the books, even if they are 100% fiction. But one is really just never sure if they are. . .
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
To fully understand,if possible,the teachings of Don Juan one must suspend all preconcieved notions of what is real.This is true,if you follow the readings,even if you believe this is a fictionalized account of many different conversations the author had with different people.The lessons taught still hold true in most cultures;that a well trained and disiplined mind will allow a person to see things others may not.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful By renee dufresne on October 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This Book allow you to connect to an ancient Indian Shaman collection of 'extreme knowledge into nature'a captivating and enthraling reading. You will walk through the writer's experiences of altered realities, and other dimentions, a confrontational, sometimes frightful journey. Through The writer Carlos learns to be masterful and have "intention" in all he does in his life. When he comes back to California he cannot leave his Shaman life behind. I unintentionally found this book to be psycologically powerful for me. My life has changed by not acepting less than full intention in all that I do. I own a metaphysical healing store in La Habra and bring the power of Carlos Castanada writings here every day. The story goes something like this: A young student Carlos Costanada, goes to Mexico to meet an old Indian man who knows about medicinal & hallucinogenic plants. Carols doesen't really like him at first. Their relationship develops into Shaman and apprentice. Carlos doesn't choose to be Don Yuan's apprentice. He is there to take notes, and to study all he can for his degree. For aproximently 10 years Carlos unites with The Shaman and goes through intrepid and exhilarating experiences, beyond his scholarly responsibilities. A brimming study of What it means to be on the path of a Shamans apprentice. Is it true? Carlos says it is. First you must read all the books. The first one, is the only one where there are drug induced rituals. Don Yuan explains this is needed for Carlos because of his 'limited western mind's ability to see another reality'. This is one of the controversies about the book. Perfectly written.
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