Carlos Castaeda was an American author who lived from December 25, 1925, to April 27, 1998. Castaneda began writing a series of books in 1968 with The Teachings of Don Juan, which purportedly described the shamanic training he allegedly received from a Yaqui “Man of Knowledge” by the name of don Juan Matus.
40 Carlos Castaneda Quotes
- “A fine power is always heralded by great pain.”
2. “The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.”
3. “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
4. “The hardest thing in the world is for a warrior to let others be.”
5. “A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance.”
6. “You have everything needed for the extravagant journey that is your life.”
7. “When man fell to his knees he became the asshole he is today.”
8. “The art of a warrior is to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man.”
9. “Things don’t change, only the way you look at them.”
10. “Discipline Makes the Glowing Coat of Awareness Unpalatable to the Predator.”
11. “Beware of those who weep with realization, for they have realized nothing.”
12. “If one is to succeed in anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.”
13. “To seek the perfection of the warrior’s spirit is the only task worthy of our temporariness, our manhood.”
14. “Nobody is born a warrior in exactly the same way that no one is born an average man”
15. “Birth means nothing where there is no virtue.”
16. “A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. ”
17. “Do you know at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity if you so desire?”
18. “You say you need help. Help for what? You have everything needed for the extravagant journey that is your life.”
19. “We either make ourselves miserable, or make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”
20. “A man of knowledge has no honor, no dignity, no family, no name, no country.”
21. “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”
22. “The world is incomprehensible. We won’t ever understand it; we won’t ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat the world as it is: a sheer mystery.”
23. “Man lives only to learn. And if he learns it is because it is the nature of his lot, for good or bad.”
24. “Forget the self and you will fear nothing, in whatever level or awareness you find yourself to be.”
25. “Power rests on the kind of knowledge one holds. What is the sense of knowing things that are useless?”
26. “There is no beginning, the beginning is only in your thought.”
27. “Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy and vain. To be a warrior one needs to be light and fluid.”
28. “I had been experiencing brief flashes of disassociation, or shallow states of non-ordinary reality.”
29. “Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete.”
30. “The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.”
31. “In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions.”
32. “We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.”
33. “I had been reared, perhaps like everyone else, to have a readiness to accept man as an essentially weak and fallible creature.”
34. “I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”
35. “Detached and at ease, I will dart past the Eagle to be free.”
36. “It doesn’t matter what one reveals or what one keeps to oneself. Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power.”
37. “We are men and our lot in life is to learn and to be hurled into inconceivable new worlds.”
38. “The art of being a warrior is to balance the wonder and the terror of being alive.”
39. “A warrior takes responsibility for his acts, for the most trivial of acts. An average man acts out his thoughts, and never takes responsibility for what he does.”
40. “Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path.”
A Must Read – The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Casteneda
Do Castaneda’s stories have any basis in reality? Did Don Juan literally exist? Did Castaneda actually receive the training in lucid dreaming described in this book? My doubts are very strong. Literally speaking, these are works of fiction. However, despite being fiction, this and other Castaneda works address important truths that strike a chord with our psyches’ intuitive levels. There’s no doubt that he had a point. If you’re interested in dreams and how useful they can be as clues to the nature of reality, this book is definitely worth reading.
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Carlos Castaneda Short Biography
Castaneda wrote his first three books while studying anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA): The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, A Separate Reality, and Journey to Ixtlan. These books, he claimed, were ethnographic accounts of his apprenticeship with a traditional “Man of Knowledge,” a Yaqui Indian from northern Mexico named don Juan Matus. These books’ authenticity has been questioned since they were first published, and many people now believe they are fiction. Castaneda’s doctoral and bachelor’s degrees were given in accordance with the research detailed in these books.
Castaneda’s books had been translated into 17 different languages and had sold more than eight million copies by the time he passed away in 1998.
His fourth book, Tales of Power, published in 1974, described how his apprenticeship with Matus came to an end. Following publications describing additional aspects of Castaneda’s training with don Juan were published as he continued to enjoy popularity among readers.
Castaneda claimed that Don Juan acknowledged him as the new nagual, or head of a group of seers descended from him. Matus also used the term “nagual” to denote that aspect of perception that is in the realm of the unknown but still accessible to man, implying that Matus served as a conduit for his own group of seers to the unknown. Castaneda frequently used the phrase “nonordinary reality” to describe this uncharted territory.