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The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge Mass Market Paperback – March 3, 1985
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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.
Praise for the groundbreaking work of bestselling author Carlos Castaneda
"Extraordinary in every sense of the word." (The New York Times)
"An unparalleled breakthrough... Remarkable (Los Angeles Times)
"Hypnotic reading." (Chigago tribune)
"It is impossible to view the world in quite the same way." (Chicago Tribune)
"Excquisite... Stunning... Fresh, unexpected visions with the logic of dreams." (Detroit Free Press)
"Taken together [Castaneda's books] form a work among the best that the science of anthropology has produced." (The New York Times Book Review)
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Top customer reviews
Carlos Castaneda gave us a new look into the possibilities of various realities and perceptions not really understood, and only discussed at late evening dinner parties, or in the dorm rooms of various colleges or, perhaps a sociology classroom here and there.
For some reason, the fact that Castaneda was using drugs for research and personal understanding made the book easily more acceptable to a variety of his readers.
I first read the book about 40 years ago. At the time I thought it was superb. However, upon re-reading it (at age 62), it simply didn't have the same powerful grasp it once held.
The initial meeting between Castaneda and the alleged "Don Juan" is interesting reading as is the recruitment process into the shadow-world of the shaman. Naturally, there are psychotropic drugs involved, but it seemed to me that page after page, after page was nothing more of recounting his "trip" experience from the three major sources of Yaqui wisdom; Peyote, Jimson Weed, and Mushroom.
The use of such drugs obviously enhances the ideas of what we today would call; "Shape shifting," Astral Projection, and various other rather well known terms in today's
Although, Mr. Castaneda followed this publication with numerous other related stories, I think he probably spent too much time and focus on the drugs for surely...there was much more knowledge passed on other than the collection, preparation, and usage of various hallucinogens.
None the less, the book remains a major pioneering feat, and is interesting especially, if you are reading it for the first time. It is a contemporary real life story of "The Sourcer's Apprentice" with Carlos Castaneda playing the role of Walt Disney's "Mickey Mouse."
Regardless of my somewhat prejudicial summary, there are some very good points of wisdom handed down by Don Juan that should be remembered by any generation who has an interest in anthropology, sociology, and or, just plain...entertaining reading.
In this book, there are pre-agreements made directly and alluded to before experimentation using three separate hallucinatory plants; Jimpson Weed, Peyote and Mushrooms, each plant representing a very different perception of non-ordinary reality, from power and ally to helper. The ideas agreed on are done with the skill of Don Juan, where one expects a particular paradigm prior to ingestion, truly psychology at work. If such teachings were not given special prior consensus than interpretations would be entirely different. The whole process of teaching takes much time - years- and there are serious ritual preparations involved.
The majority of the book contains diary entries, while the later is a structural analysis of the events. It is all written very well and surprising when reading the second portion how intense all the ideas really are. Now this book is the first of a series of 15 books that further these teachings. While to some the idea of speaking to a Mescalito to show one the right way, to turning into a crow or fighting off an enemy trying to take your soul may see absurd or insignificant superstition but the deeper implications of the mind here are assessed and there is a psychology that ventures in deeper plains than mere doctrinal formulations and surface meanings.