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Castaneda

"Castaneda's books contain the personal search of Juan Matus and his friend Genaro, their mistakes, how they found themselves in a deadlock on the spiritual path, how they found their way out of it, how they made a lot of things that are unnecessary on the direct path."

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Castaneda

Question: Would you say a few words about Castaneda, please? When did the described by him take place?

Answer: Castaneda is our contemporary. While reading his books, one has to realize that he primarily describes not his spiritual experience, but the way he was taught, that is the process of his apprenticeship.

He was a student at university, and he started gathering materials for his ethnography paper. For this purpose, he went to Mexican Indians. In particular, he was interested in hallucinogenic plants that they used. There he found Juan Matus who later became his spiritual preceptor. Their contacts were going on for several decades.

Castaneda’s books describe how Juan Matus himself grew over this period of time and how he taught Castaneda. The books are written in a very interesting, bright literary form. Castaneda used the technique that speaks of his humility (most high feature!), he laughed at himself, at his failures; he also described episodes when Juan Matus and others mocked him.

It is essential to emphasize, that Castaneda’s books contain not the completed Teaching of Juan Matus but the history of their relationship, the personal search of Juan Matus and his friend Genaro, their mistakes, how they found themselves in a deadlock on the spiritual path, how they found their way out of it, how they made a lot of things that are unnecessary on the Straight Path. The reason is that they did not have such an enormous amount of book knowledge with description of their predecessors’ experience that we possess. There was only very simplified Catholicism, which did not even provide parishioners with the New Testament. Don Juan did not read the New Testament himself, otherwise he would quote it. And naturally, such form of religion could not satisfy Juan Matus; he was looking for more. There was also a tradition of ancient sorcerers — Toltecs, who did not walk the “path of love”, the “path of the heart” (in Juan Matus’s terms), and this also ceased to satisfy him starting from a certain moment. And then he took to the new path, having proclaimed Love the major principle for successful advancement toward the Goal.

 

 
 

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