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Castaneda books were very popular when I was an undergraduate, and when I first started teaching in the 1970s I remember reading all three and being amused and confused I suspect I was mostly interested in the author s descriptions of his experiences with peyote Years have passed, and I revisited A Separate Reality after a friend s adult son passed away I saw imagery and a quote from Castaneda in his artwork, and thought this might be a time to see what I could learn from the book What a di Castaneda books were very popular when I was an undergraduate, and when I first started teaching in the 1970s I remember reading all three and being amused and confused I suspect I was mostly interested in the author s descriptions of his experiences with peyote Years have passed, and I revisited A Separate Reality after a friend s adult son passed away I saw imagery and a quote from Castaneda in his artwork, and thought this might be a time to see what I could learn from the book What a difference all those years of living made in my interest and understanding I was fascinated in the student and mentor s different ways of perceiving the world, and in the ongoing conversation they have about the differences between looking and really seeing, between an intellectual understanding of the world and and experiential understanding This time I felt Don Juan had something to teach me, not just Carlos, about living life as fully aware as possible, with intention, and respect for death, that comes for each of us When I was an undergraduate in the mid 70 s, Castaneda s Don Juan trilogy with maybe a little Hermann Hesse thrown in was what one read to be considered deep and interesting Thirty years on, Hesse still holds up for the most part For Castaneda one can only ask What was I thinking But presumably that s what undergraduate time should be used for to read broadly and indiscriminately So not everything you read in college is going to be good. We read and we read, and then, we encounter, well, A Separate Reality Much depends on how we read If we re too immersed in story, we miss the More, if we re to concerned with artificial criteria of evaluation, we miss the Value, if we re too bubbled in our cocoon of self we miss the Usefulness Within the distinct realism of A Separate Reality we find an overwhelm of potency, which, if we re not prepared to actually change our world, will pass us by.To read this powerful and transformative wor We read and we read, and then, we encounter, well, A Separate Reality Much depends on how we read If we re too immersed in story, we miss the More, if we re to concerned with artificial criteria of evaluation, we miss the Value, if we re too bubbled in our cocoon of self we miss the Usefulness Within the distinct realism of A Separate Reality we find an overwhelm of potency, which, if we re not prepared to actually change our world, will pass us by.To read this powerful and transformative work we have to DO much Such as set aside our habits, including the habit of reading Here we re required to stop, absorb, hear, imbibe, incorporate, assimilate, Apply, integrate, and actually Change Not only who we are, but our entire conception of ourselves and which world we live in We have to set aside our continuity, a difficult challenge for many, unhook from our conformity, our cosiness and indulgences Discarding our habits of perception and our assumptions of focus is another We have to perceive past the obvious and pay close Attention to that which requires no faith or belief, no external agents to implement, and in these pages we can find such power There s much to gain if we make that effort to determine Value, Usefulness and Applicability for ourselves, with an open being.Too many get lost in the indulgence of connecting to the drug story lure, which is immaterial to the magic of this book Or they unnecessarily sideline themselves by needlessly debating whether Don Juan is real or not What does it matter where a self evident Value comes from If you need someone to be real to determine whether an utterance or communication has Value or validity, well, then you re lost before you begin Only you have that particular power, since you and you alone, are the Final Arbiter of Truth When we discern the wisdom and conceptualising genius so abundant in A Separate Reality we encounter a treasure trove of Life Change.The inordinate Gift of A Separate reality is exactly that, a separate Reality of Being Such a potential is gifted us in this monumental work if we can see past the tests of self which are part of this challenge of being We have to look at the real power, which is the presentation of new conceptions of what it means to BE Ways of Being which are distinct, new, foreign, even alien, yet attainable Simple but complex, such as relinquishing the seduction of self importance We are not merely informed this may be valuable, the usefulness of this life transformation is amply demonstrated for us by that marvellous example of Impeccability, Don Juan I feel many make the mistake of identifying with the fool Carlos, because yes, of course we too are similar nincompoops, but, the real Gift I believe lies in stretching ourselves to identify with the possibility of being as much like Don Juan as we can Once we grasp this as an actual potential actuality, we begin a Path where his Way of Being becomes our model, or standard, our code, our sensibility, and default measure for our Impeccability If we simply ask ourselves how Don Juan would behave in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, we have a fantastic self leverage which is powerful and transformative If we connect to Don Juan not for his magical powers, but to his essential Character of Self, we connect to his ethics, his integrity, his Joy of Being and all the other marvellous examples of a self we can move toward being If we read this book in this way, well, it becomes muchthan reading Such is the nature of this mind bloom.But, to connect to this power of the book, we have to read past the story, past the character interactions, and truly listen, truly hear what s conveyed Our read perception has to include identifying what we don t want, what s irrelevant and immaterial, and in that simple selectivity, we come to see what s truly of issue and important to our Deep Self We are thus required to read and connect to the implications of what s imparted, to look past the tests of self such as the rituals and the indulgences of Carlos and look at the Way of Living and Deep Sobriety Don Juan Shares so incredibly Doing so connects us to what he s really offering, which is of course, a Gift of Power Of all the thousands of books I ve read, which include a substantial selection of classics from around the world, this incredible book stands out, and is a definite must read and multiple read Along with its extension, A Journey to Ixtlan To be sure, one can find all the conceptions and ideas elsewhere, however, not so compacted and cohesive, not presented as an example in practice, and also not in the excellent resonating language of Don Juan When we read to hear him, feel him, know him, imbibe him, and connect to this paragon of possibility who is Don Juan, especially if we don t over mythologise him, and read not to remember what he said, but to BE what he Shares, then we shift into our journey toward living in a reality whichandbecomes A Magic Reality of actuality I recommend Carlos Castaneda s body of work, which had a great impact on my worldview A Separate Reality the second in the series describes his studies with Don Juan, the Yaqui shaman that he first wrote about in Teachings of Don Juan, a Yaqui Way of Knowledge Like Teachings, A Separate Reality explores the multiple realities that we experience in our lives, such as our dreams, which while we re dreaming are our true universe, and our waking reality, in which our dreams are just a fantasy A I recommend Carlos Castaneda s body of work, which had a great impact on my worldview A Separate Reality the second in the series describes his studies with Don Juan, the Yaqui shaman that he first wrote about in Teachings of Don Juan, a Yaqui Way of Knowledge Like Teachings, A Separate Reality explores the multiple realities that we experience in our lives, such as our dreams, which while we re dreaming are our true universe, and our waking reality, in which our dreams are just a fantasy A key concept in A Separate Reality is the difference between looking which is what we do most of the time and seeing in which we perceive the essence of something It is truly a mind expanding book You can either view Castaneda s work as extremely well written psychedelic fiction prose or you can view it as a collection of vital truths that will help you live a better life Either way you would be right in my opinion, and the fact that it is all most likely completely made up only makes the fiction that muchmagical to me, andtrue It was as if the point of departure had always been myself It was as if Don Juan had never really been there, and when I looked for him he became w You can either view Castaneda s work as extremely well written psychedelic fiction prose or you can view it as a collection of vital truths that will help you live a better life Either way you would be right in my opinion, and the fact that it is all most likely completely made up only makes the fiction that muchmagical to me, andtrue It was as if the point of departure had always been myself It was as if Don Juan had never really been there, and when I looked for him he became what he really was a fleeting image that vanished over a hill Don Juan had once told me that a man of knowledge had predilections I asked him to explain his statement My predilection is to see, he said What do you mean by that I like to see he said, because only by seeing can a man of knowledge know What kind of things do you see Everything But I also see everything and I m not a man of knowledge No You don t see I think I do I tell you, you don t What makes you say that, don Juan You only look at the surface of things Do you mean Don Juan had once told me that a man of knowledge had predilections I asked him to explain his statement My predilection is to see, he said What do you mean by that I like to see he said, because only by seeing can a man of knowledge know What kind of things do you see Everything But I also see everything and I m not a man of knowledge No You don t see I think I do I tell you, you don t What makes you say that, don Juan You only look at the surface of things Do you mean that every man of knowledge actually sees through everything he looks at No That s not what I mean I said that a man of knowledge has his own predilections mine is just to see andto know others do other things What other things, for example Take Sacateca, he s a man of knowledge and his predilection is dancing So he dances and knows Is the predilection of a man of knowledge something he does in order to know Yes, that is correct But how could dancing help Sacateca to know One can say that Sacateca dances with all he has What s it like to see, don Juan You have to learn to see in order to know that I can t tell you Is it a secret I shouldn t know No It s just that I can t describe it Why It wouldn t make sense to you Try me, don Juan Maybe it ll make sense to me No You must do it yourself Once you learn, you can see every single thing in the world in a different way Then, don Juan, you don t see the world in the usual way anyI see both ways When I want to look at the world I see it the way you do Then when I want to see it I lookat it the way I know and I perceive it in a different way Do things look consistently the same every time you see them Things don t change You change your way of looking, that s all I mean, don Juan, that if you see, for instance, the same tree, does it remain the same every time you see it No It changes and yet it s the same But if the same tree changes every time you see it, your seeing may be a mere illusion He laughed and did not answer for some time, but seemed to be thinking Finally he said, Whenever youlook at things you don t see them You just look at them, I suppose, to make sure that something is there Sinceyou re not concerned with seeing, things look very much the same every time you look at them When you learnto see, on the other hand, a thing is never the same every time you see it, and yet it is the same I told you, for instance, that a man is like an egg Every time I see the same man I see an egg, yet it is not the same egg But you won t be able to recognize anything, since nothing is the same so what s the advantage of learningto see You can tell things apart You can see them for what they really are twisted book |READ EPUB ☤ A Separate Reality ♀ This is the second in the Don Juan series, in which the author is able to enter and see the sorcerer s world with the aid of hallucinogenic drugs, a strong will and courage The author s other books include The Teachings of Don Juan and The Quest for Ixtlan There is another world just beyond our reach and we only need to seek it to find it.In the 1960s Carlos Castaneda made his way to Mexico to learnabout Yaqui Indians and to do a little soul searching What he found was a man named don Juan, a very powerful sorcerer and a force to be reckoned with Don Juan turns Castaneda s whole world upside down by teaching him the ways of a sorcerer and the results are some of the most beautiful and touching pieces of nonfiction.In A Separate Reality C There is another world just beyond our reach and we only need to seek it to find it.In the 1960s Carlos Castaneda made his way to Mexico to learnabout Yaqui Indians and to do a little soul searching What he found was a man named don Juan, a very powerful sorcerer and a force to be reckoned with Don Juan turns Castaneda s whole world upside down by teaching him the ways of a sorcerer and the results are some of the most beautiful and touching pieces of nonfiction.In A Separate Reality Castaneda attempts to explain don Juan s teachings about the art of seeing Through the use of a hallucinogenic substance of don Juan s own creation Castaneda experiences visions that shake him to his very core Don Juan also explains the importance of becoming a warrior A warrior is someone who is ever ready to perform to the best of their ability by being aware of every opportunity and using it to their advantage According to don Juan it is inherent that one become a warrior before becoming a sorcerer.Often Castaneda finds himself in over his head He rushes into this new world with a childlike wonder that is refreshing and a curiosity that is commendable However, his curiosity seems insatiable There is no end to his quest to understand the world of don Juan s sorcery, and this leads him to question don Juan s teachings until they are imperceptible Every new experience brings innumerable questions from Castaneda s brain and many of them are unanswerable Don Juan seems to do his absolute best to explain and some of his explanations are truly beautiful, but at times it seems like Castaneda is missing the point.Throughout A Separate Reality I found myself questioning my own views of the world Don Juan has a way of making you think twice about nearly everything you ve come to accept and Castaneda describes his experiences with a deftness the likes of which I have rarely seen I enjoy Carlos Castaneda s work His quiet prose and humble outlook ring true in my heart I feel for Carlos in every situation that don Juan puts him through I understand his fear and confusion almost inherently There were moments in A Separate Reality where I found myself laughing out loud, Castaneda s experiences with don Juan s friend don Genaro are especially hilarious There were moments where I found myself gripped with fear, such as Castaneda s first experience with an ally Castaneda has an incredible ability to pour his heart on to every page.My overall impression of A Separate Reality has left me wantingThe intriguing world of don Juan has inspired me To paraphrase don Juan, once you are introduced to his world there is no turning back as you realize there is no other way to live Second Don Juan book A little weaker than the first Plus, there are hints of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy re packaged as native American wisdom Old wine in new age skins But instead of reading these as the non fiction they are marketed as, I am reading them as fantasies That said, I love the new character Castaneda introduces here, don Genaro A true trickster, he makes me laugh But the wisdom revealed here is less interesting than the wisdom revealed in the first volume Instead Second Don Juan book A little weaker than the first Plus, there are hints of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy re packaged as native American wisdom Old wine in new age skins But instead of reading these as the non fiction they are marketed as, I am reading them as fantasies That said, I love the new character Castaneda introduces here, don Genaro A true trickster, he makes me laugh But the wisdom revealed here is less interesting than the wisdom revealed in the first volume Instead of grounded, here Castaneda seems to imply that the etheric body has physical manifestations It may or it may not But as most true spiritual masters have pointed out Jesus, Buddha, etc grasping for power gets you stuck So perceiving and using your etheric body to gain power over the spiritual realm is a trap.That said, I do not know how to rate these books As fantasies, they are okay, ranking as a lesser Ursula K Le Guin What s , the wisdom, is often pretty good, andgrounded than the think and grow rich nonsense that New Age has developed into, like The Secret The problem is that today, most if not all archaeologists who look at Castenada s work in depth think he made Don Juan up There are many tip offs, but the most notable are his naming of plants and animals Instead of Amerindian names, he gives them common American and Spanish names And Castenada died defending if not believing his own guff I can understand Castaneda s delusions He was, from all appearances, a seeker who created a powerful imaginary friend who was an ally in his maturation He fell prey to one of the seven deadly sins pride He had used don Juan to get his PhD at UCLA To state the truth would have made him admit he was a fraud So he hunkered down, and his pride made him believe his fiction.So while I understand, though do not excuse, Castenada, I cannot understand the publisher By now, they know that Castaneda s field work was fraudulent And yet the market it as non fiction So I can only give the book two stars.For my full explanation of my feelings on Castaneda, please read my review of The teachings of Don Juan A Yaqui Way of Knowledge This is the volume following Castaneda s revised doctoral dissertation, The Teachings of Don Juan 1968 , and preceding Journey to Ixtlan 1972 The three were eventually issued as a cloth trilogy I started the series in paperback, but found the trilogy soon after and purchased it, probably at Stuart Brent Bookstore in Chicago near where I worked during the summer months between college and seminary.