Forty years ago the University of California Press published an unusual manuscript by an anthropology student named Carlos Castaneda. The Teachings of Don Juan initiated a generation of seekers dissatisfied with the limitations of the Western worldview. Castaneda's now classic book remains controversial for the alternative way of seeing that it presents and the revolution in cognition it demands. Whether read as ethnographic fact or creative fiction, it is the story of a remarkable journey that has left an indelible impression on the life of more than a million readers around the world.
In THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN, Carlos Castaneda, an anthropologist with an interest in peyote and psychedelics, introduces Don Juan Matus, the Yaqui Indian shaman who became Castaneda's teacher and passed on to him the wisdom of a long line of sorcerers. Under the tutelage of Don Juan, the author embarked on a quest to transcend the boundaries of self and identity through drugs, magic, and dream analysis. The accounts of Castaneda's visionary drug experiences in Mexico can be viewed as either "field notes" or fiction, but there is no doubt that the book, published in 1968, struck a chord with an audience who identified with the author's need to break the bonds of convention and assert his individuality. THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN and Castaneda's many sequels continue to be popular with readers interested in mysticism, parapsychology, and alternate realities.
- Social Science, Medical
- Anthropology / General, Sociology of Religion, Anthropology / Cultural, Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies, Psychiatry / Psychopharmacology
- May 5, 2008
- May 5, 2008
- Carlos Castaneda