Carlos Castaneda

Easton Press Carlos Castaneda books

The Art of Dreaming - signed first edition - 1993


Who was Carlos Castaneda?

Carlos Castaneda was a controversial American author and anthropologist best known for his series of books that purported to document his experiences with a Yaqui Indian sorcerer named Don Juan Matus. Born on December 25, 1925, in Cajamarca, Peru, Castaneda became a prominent figure in the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. Castaneda's early life is shrouded in some mystery, with conflicting accounts of his background. He claimed to have studied anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he supposedly met Don Juan in the early 1960s. His first book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, was published in 1968 and recounted his experiences with Don Juan and the mystical teachings he claimed to have received.

The subsequent books in the series, including A Separate Reality (1971), Journey to Ixtlan (1972), and others, continued to describe Castaneda's alleged apprenticeship under Don Juan. The books gained widespread popularity and influenced the New Age movement, as well as readers interested in spirituality and alternative ways of thinking. However, controversy surrounded Castaneda's work. Many scholars and critics questioned the authenticity of his accounts, arguing that they were more likely works of fiction than factual anthropological studies. Castaneda never provided concrete evidence or identified the exact location of Don Juan, contributing to skepticism about the veracity of his claims.

Despite the skepticism, Castaneda's books enjoyed commercial success, and he became a cult figure. His influence extended beyond literature, impacting popular culture and inspiring various artistic and philosophical movements.

Carlos Castaneda's later years were marked by increased privacy and seclusion. He continued to publish books throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but the reception was not as favorable, and the controversy surrounding the authenticity of his work persisted. Carlos Castaneda passed away on April 27, 1998, in Los Angeles, California. The debate over the legitimacy of his writings continues, with some considering his work a significant contribution to spiritual literature, while others view it as a controversial and fictional narrative that blurred the lines between anthropology and imaginative storytelling.


The Art of Dreaming

After six years of study and meditation, the author presents a book which takes the reader on a journey of the soul via the teachings of the great sorcerer, Don Juan. Like layers of an onion, the author reveals that there are worlds existing within our own that can be visited through dreams.

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