Carlos Castaneda

Carlos Castaneda interview by Theodore Roszak

Carlos Castaneda (December 25, 1925 April 27, 1998) was an American writer and anthropologist of Peruvian descent who wrote a number of books about his relationship with and school with an Indian shaman named Don Juan Matus.   The books contain many supernatural phenomena and magic but also extensive explanations of the philosophy of this Don Juan. They attracted a lot of attention and gained a certain cult status. Later, however, doubts arose, including whether Don Juan really existed.

Carlos Castaneda (Americanized version of what was actually Castañeda) claimed to have been born on December 25, 1931 in São Paulo, Brazil, but according to his immigration papers, that was six years earlier in Cajamarca, Peru. He studied at the University of California, Los Angeles. Casteneda graduated in 1962 and obtained her PhD in 1970.

In 1960 he met the Yaqui shamanDon Juan Matus, apprenticed to him and wrote the partially autobiographical works that have made him best known.  Initially, the conversations with Don Juan were part of his thesis in anthropology, on the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms and cacti, but later Castaneda was apprenticed to Don Juan to learn his worldview and wisdom. The books, initially anthropological in tone, changed tone as the series progressed and eventually resulted in a mixture of story, religion, and philosophy. His work includes descriptions of paranormal experiences, various psychological techniques (such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming), toltec magical rituals, shamanism, and experiences with hallucinogenic drugs such as peyote and jimson weed

source: wikipedia


source: “DON JUAN THE SORCERER” – Carlos Castaneda interviewed by Theodore Roszak. Author of “The Teachings of Don Juan” discusses his experiences with hallucinogenic substances used under the guidance of his Yaqui Indian teacher, don Juan Matus. BROADCAST: KPFA, Jan. 30, 1969. (37 min.) BB2038 Pacifica Radio Archives.