Subtitle: The lessons of Don Juan
Author: Carlos Castaneda
Number of pages: 281
First published: 1973
· About the author:
· Carlos Castaneda was a graduate student in anthropology at U.C.L.A., gathering information on various medicinal herbs used by the Indians in Sonora, Mexico the old Yaqui Indian, Don Juan.
Journey To Ixtlan is Carlos Castaneda’s third book as it is the third book in his series of The Lessons of Don Juan. It was preceded by the books The Teachings of Don Juan, his first book. This was about the first period the two men spent together, as master and pupil. His second book, A Separate Reality continues the account.
Carlos Castaneda Travels to Sonora, Mexico to see don Juan Matus a Yaqui Indian sorcerer.
Carlo Castaneda originally came to the old Yaqui to learn more about medicinal herbs and especially hallucinogenic cactus and peyote. Don Juan tells him there is nothing to learn about medicinal herbs because there is nothing to say about them.
Carlos Castaneda is very fixed on the old man and though he tells him nothing about medicinal herbs or psychotropic plants he keeps coming back, taking lessons from him.
Don Juan takes the writer to various places in the desert to show him another truth. He has to learn this truth by following various instructions.
He teaches Castaneda things which all eventually will lead to one common goal, stopping the world. This is an expression Don Juan uses to describe the state where one stops seeing the world as one is used to and enters a different reality.
Throughout the book Castaneda keeps learning more from the old Indian by following his instructions such as becoming a hunter, erasing personal history, losing self importance, assuming responsibility and being accessible to power.
In the end Castaneda knows a great deal more about these things and he even succeeds in stopping the world. Don Genaro, a friend of don Juan, explains to him that once he was on his way home, after the first time he stopped the world, he was on his way to Ixtlan but he could never get there. As I understood it this was the true meaning of erasing personal history. After don Genaro had stopped the world he could never return home, he was a different man.
· My opinion
I liked the book very much because it had a lot of mystical elements in it described in such a way that is seemed all very reasonable to me. Also it is a very humoristic book in a sort of surreal way. I think Carlo Castaneda is a gifted writer and therefore was able to combine his extraordinary experiences with his writer skills in this book.
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