The Teachings of Don Juan Series by Carlos Castaneda
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge Summary & Study Guide
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge was published by the University of California Press in as a work of anthropology , though many critics contend that it is a work of fiction. It purports to document the events that took place during an apprenticeship with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, don Juan Matus from Sonora , Mexico between and The book is divided into two sections. The first section, The Teachings , is a first-person narrative that documents Castaneda's initial interactions with don Juan. He speaks of his encounters with Mescalito a teaching spirit inhabiting all peyote plants , divination with lizards and flying using the " yerba del diablo " lit.
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge describes the effects of three hallucinogenic drugs taken by a graduate student under the supervision of a Yaqui Indian shaman, first as a narrative of the experiences and then as a systematic, scholarly analysis. After a year of growing friendship and a test that shows he has the backbone to meet "Mescalito", the anthropomorphism of the hallucinations caused by ingesting peyote buttons, face-to-face, Castaneda begins a "long and arduous" apprenticeship. During his first peyote experience, Castaneda convulses and feels suffocated, but cavorts with a glowing black dog, whom Matus assures him is Mescalito in a rare display of playfulness. Matus advises him to concentrate on his calling, rather than on his fear, and to see the marvels around him. Gradually, following his benefactor's methodology, Matus introduces Castaneda to allies.