Author Carlos Castaneda wrote this book–as well as two subsequent books in a trilogy, “A Separate Reality”, and “Journey to Ixtlan”–while he was an anthropology student at UCLA. The trilogy went on to become a cultural phenomenon and are today strongly associated with the questioning and experimenting with alternatives that typified the 1960s. In this seminal first work, Castaneda tells in journal form of his meeting a Yaqui “man of knowledge” named Don Juan Matus and the lessons in culture, life, wisdom, spirituality, etc. that Don Juan imparted to him. The Yaqui are a native Mexican people who also range into the American southwest and, according to Don Juan, are descended from an ancient people called the Toltecs, and much of what Don Juan shared with Castaneda was allegedly attributed to a tribal knowledge handed down from these Toltecs. A fascinating read on which to ruminate.
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.