Carlos Castaneda’s "The Teachings of Don Juan - A Yacqui Way of Knowledge" is a truly fascinating read. Whilst the debate continues over the authenticity of Castaneda’s tuterage under the Yaqui Indian sorcerer Don Juan Matus, the book delivers a powerful philosophy of life experienced in the ‘non’ordinary reality’ offered by the consumption of Datura, Psilocybin and Peyote. It is recommended reading for anyone interested in Shamanism, entheogens or altered states of experience.
Despite its subject matter, Castaneda’s book is certainly not a treatise expounding the virtues of "turning on, tuning in and dropping out!", but instead explores the often terrifying experiences of a student trying to make sense of unfamiliar concepts in a pagan world where literally anything can happen.
The book is divided neatly into two main sections. Part one tells Carlos Casteneda’s tale of his first meeting with the feared Don Juan and his initiation into the Yaqui Indian's various entheogenic rites and beliefs whilst the second part of the book is Castaneda's scholastic take on the sorceror's arcane knowledge and the methods he employed in imparting this wisdom.
This is the first book in Castaneda’s series which follow the student as he learns to navigate the various alternate realities of existence and become a sorceror and ‘Man of Power'.
A recommended, mind-expanding read.