YT description: audio ends at about 2h50 mark; the second and third books are already up on youtube so thought it was a good idea to install the first!
Title: The Teachings of Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda, Audio book (YT link) Uploaded by Idomeneo.
The Teachings Of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda – (1968) 4 stars
Run time for audio book: 2 hours, 50 minutes. For years and years I’ve been hearing about how great this book is, and I finally got around to giving the audio book a listen. This is an abridged version, so you won’t get everything that is in the book, which runs at about 120 pages or so, but you will get the most salient information. I may or may not read the book and give an additional commentary, if I feel like doing that.
To an intermediate extent, I have researched Native American culture, shamanism and skinwalkers, so I had an idea of what to expect here. In that respect, I did not come across much that I had not researched before. Basically, hallucinogenic substances are smoked or eaten, and a lot of trippy shit ensues. This is well documented in other cultures ranging far and wide in time and place, from the Viking era to Voodoo Africa to the shaman of South America. There is always ritual and ceremony involved, and every culture has its own forms of deities that it reveres and / or worships. In the case of Don Juan, it is Peyote / Mescalito that must be honored and not disrespected, or else! I have communicated with a shaman from the northern U.S. who calls upon Nordic deities, and I’ve read about entities from witchcraft and other cultures, where if a practitioner does something wrong the spirits will castigate and sometimes even kill their shaman. I saw one occasion where an American blonde woman tried to experience Indian Kundalini, and whatever came over her was enough to inflict here with a severe nervous tic that was odd and repulsive to look at. People have to walk a very fine line when accessing higher realms with drugs, whether they be natural or manmade. That’s why I refuse to take them!
What can this account add or refine to our pool of knowledge? Okay, we know that people claim there are numerous spiritual dimensions past our physical world. In addition to the cultures I’ve already mentioned, you can add the Egyptian and Tibetan Books of the Dead and the Gnostic concept of Archons to that mix, which I believe were also accessed or witnessed through hallucinogenic consumption. These materials may have been as simple as burning a toxic incense, or in the case of some Greek oracles, by placing divination temples too close to places that gave off toxic gases. It can be assumed that certain plants like Ayahuasca, Peyote and the Amanita Mushroom stimulate parts of the brain into opening portals to higher realms, or at least to the inner subconscious at profound levels.
The most intriguing concept I’ve heard is that these plants are living, sentient beings that live in this and other dimensions simultaneously. This isn’t that hard to correlate. For example, our human body lies in the physical world, while our soul is in the spirit realm. So where do thoughts and feelings come from, because they don’t come from either place. In that respect, why can’t plants and animals also exist in multiple dimensions? By consuming a mushroom or chewing on a peyote bulb, the living entity we are ingesting is allowing us a brief time to visit its realm, according to some. This can’t be dismissed easily because sometimes the information revealed in the ‘trip’ is accurate or prophetic. For example, I live here in San Diego, on the West Coast of the U.S. but I have lucid dreamed details of multiple people from England that I later met online, and that’s only through using dream practice and meditation. I can’t really get high off weed, but after smoking a tremendous amount one night, I was only mildly buzzed and saw a ghost who looked like a Hispanic or Native American man from the 1700s or 1800s hanging around me for several hours. Imagine what can be accomplished through deep mediation and a drug specifically used to advance that state of mind like some of these shaman are doing.
Moving on to the skinwalker and shamanistic angles. I’ve heard a lot of tales from all over the world about what I consider to be very stupid shaman. I heard of a shaman from South America who ingested a large amount of Ayahuasca, and afterwards he ate a number of chicken bones that he later vomited out. These bones were ‘magic’ after they came out of the man’s stomach. This shaman got into a spiritual war with the shaman from another village. The shaman hurled a chicken bone at his rival, but he hit his rival’s brother instead. Allegedly, the bone went into or through the man’s body. The brother later died from poisoning. I read another account where a Native American shaman was so jealous of his neighbor’s shiny new truck that he turned into a wolfman and went to attack his neighbor’s house and vehicle. From my buddy from Eritrea, I got a story about a man who had a pretty wife. The local shaman wanted to sleep with this pretty woman, so when her husband went to work, the shaman transformed his self into the image of the husband and went to sleep with the wife. The wife and other people swore they saw the man’s double or Doppelganger in the neighborhood, when the man was actually miles away. I’ve read of similar happenings from the Canadian Inuit and in China as well. Here in Castaneda’s book, we hear about a skinwalker who changed into a dog for the grand purpose of going into a neighbor’s house to eat cheese. Are you effing serious? What good is shamanism and changing into animal / spirit forms, if all you end up doing is scratching the truck of the guy across the street or eating your neighbor’s cheese and getting shot and killed as a result?
The great Western alchemists and magicians aren’t doing any better, mind you. We have Crowley who, gasp, made a guy trip half a block ahead of him, and we have Dees who, gasp again, caused a marble to float out of a window in front of witnesses. There was a popular phrase in the 1980s; Where’s the beef? I’m certainly not seeing it, and I’ve been looking for the beef for decades now. What are modern ‘sorcerers’ doing today? Well, we’ve got mind-freaker Cris Angel toying around with playing cards and Dynamo, I think it was, pulling long pieces of bread out of the palm of his hand. So what? Is that really the extent of magic historically and also contemporaneously? Even The Powers That Be can’t get a full lockdown on the masses, despite vast resources and wealth, Kabbalah, Sacred Geometry, Numerology, Witchcraft and other devious means. The bad guys, both the intelligent ones and the dunces, are only like two steps ahead of the rest of us. That’s not very far!
Look at this example of Don Juan. He has all this power and mystique that Castaneda is in wonder and awe of, but what is Juan doing with that power? Well, nothing really. He smokes out, he chews his little Peyote, and he teaches Castaneda to do very little. The big thrill is to witness and have a chat with this Mescalito character, but what knowledge is really being revealed here? I see Castaneda learning more about his self than anything else, which leads me to believe, again, that he is only unlocking his own subconscious and not really accessing anything like divinity, Akashic Records or universal / Jesus consciousness.
You don’t really need hallucinogenic drugs to get in touch with your inner self. You can do that naturally. For contrast, I can call upon tons, and I mean tons, of apparitions, light anomalies and shadows to appear in my apartment nearly every single night. After dealing with these entities for over four years now, I find that if I ask them bigger questions or questions involving others and myself, I get iffy answers. If I ask questions about me and only me, such as will I have a good day or a bad day, or will I see X news or Y news on today’s alternative news sites, or are my favorite chips on sale at the store, I have a 75% accuracy. In that respect, my ‘spirits’ are more like vague Tarot cards or like flipping coins while concentrating on a strong / belief intent.
Basically, your physical experience is subjective, so what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. At the same time, there are a million ways for you to reach your Higher Self / Spirit Guides / angels, or whatever else you believe in, without scaring the crap out of yourself like Castaneda did several times in the book. You start with prayer or meditation to clear you mind, you eat healthy and you do your regular exercise. Once you have that down, you ask your helpers or your subconscious to show you the next step. Depending on how ready or grounded you are spiritually, you might get a quick or delayed response. If you try something for a time and it doesn’t work, you move on to something else until you find something that does work. The basic tenets will always be Service To Others or Service To Self. From my years and years of research and hands-on practice, I don’t think anybody can reach the level of the famed Arthurian Merlin or the Biblical Moses during the fabled time of the Exodus. As far as I can tell, those levels of power are out of the reach of today’s humans. If you do follow the Left Hand Path, which is alchemy / magic and not Satan, do us all a favor, leave the petty jealousies and bickering behind and do something for the common good.