By Ina Woolcott
“For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvellous world, in this marvellous desert, in this marvellous time. I wanted to convince you that you must 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” Don Juan to Carlos Castaneda, Journeys to Ixtlan
Carlos Castaneda’s 12 books are sorted into 3 sets of 3, in harmony with the Toltec mastery, which is as follows: The Mastery of Awareness, The Mastery of Transformation, and The Mastery of Intent. Included in each Mastery is also a 4th book, with complete summary and cross reference detailing the most important teachings from the overall work in each set. These extra books were published after the authors death. So the books aren’t necessarily in chronological order. The chronological order would be as follows:
1 – The Teachings of Don Juan, A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
2 – A Separate Reality
3 – Journey to Ixtlan
4 – Tales of Power
5 – The Second Ring of Power
6 – The Eagle’s Gift
7 – The Fire From Within
8 – The Power of Silence
9 – The Art of Dreaming
10 – Magical Passes
11 – The Active Side of Infinity
12 – The Wheel of Time
What follows here are the 3 sets the books are placed in including a brief description of each book
Set 1 – The Mastery of Awareness
This set of work stresses the importance of awareness from the world of everyday material things to the world of the Nagual (spirit). Over the course of this stage of the warrior-travellers development, he/she makes a purposeful, conscientious effort to depreciate self-importance. It is with utmost importance that the student is encouraged to take action and accept responsibility for their lives.
The Books and a short description of each
* The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) contained in this amazing book are detailed descriptions of plant allies, special exercises and the journey in the direction of knowledge. Plant allies used are Mescalito(or Peyote), Mushrooms, Jimson Weed and Datura.
* A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan (1971) this book in great detail examines the idea of will, controlled folly and seeing (as opposed to the act of just looking) as tools a utilised by the warrior-traveller to become a man/woman of knowledge. There are also more funny and moving conversations with don Juan, beautiful yet at times frightening journeys undertaken together with plant allies. Castaneda attempts to see beyond the surface realities of life meaning he must try and lay aside all preconceptions, a supreme effort of will and great courage.
* Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan (1972) Lessons in reaffirmations from the world around us, erasing personal history, losing self-importance, death as an advisor, assuming responsibility, becoming a hunter, being inaccessible, disrupting the routines of life, the last battle on earth (about death), becoming accessible to power, the mood of a warrior, a warriors last stand, the gait of power, not-doing and dreaming
* Magical Passes: The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico (compilation) (1998) contents contain descriptions and photos of sorcery based physical movements designed to boost well-being, a system which became known as Tensegrity. Before dying, he wished to pass on all he had learnt in a lifetime of deep immersion in non-ordinary reality. The magical passes, as suggested by Castaneda, are probably the most valuable part of his legacy, even more so than all the other extraordinary books detailing his apprenticeship with Don Juan and his development as a nagual in his own right.
For Book Set 2 follow link:
Carlos Castaneda‘s Books Set 2 – The Mastery of Transformation