Carlos Castaneda (1925 – 1998) was a Peruvian-born American author. Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his purported training in traditional Mesoamerican shamanism. His 12 books have sold more than 8 million copies. The books and Castaneda, have been controversial for many years. Supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which enable an increased awareness. In his books, Castaneda narrates in first person what he claims were his experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui shaman named don Juan Matus.
Castaneda reports that he was identified by don Juan Matus as having the energetic configuration of a “nagual”, who, if the spirit chose, could become a leader of a party of seers. He also used the term “nagual” to signify that part of perception which is in the realm of the unknown yet still reachable by man, implying that, for his party of seers, don Juan was a connection in some way to that unknown. Castaneda often referred to this unknown realm as nonordinary reality, which indicated that this realm was indeed a reality, but radically different from the ordinary reality experienced by human beings who are well engaged in everyday activities as part of their social conditioning.
DON JUAN THE SORCERER – Carlos Castaneda interviewed by Theodore Roszak. Author of “The Teachings of Don Juan” discusses his experiences with hallucinogenic substances used under the guidance of his Yaqui Indian teacher, don Juan Matus. BROADCAST: KPFA, 30 Jan. 1969.(37 min.) BB2038 Pacifica Radio Archives.
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