Tag Archives: awakening

A Heightened Sense of Reality?


If you would like to read something that makes you think outside of the box I would recommend Carlos Castaneda’s series of books.  I read the first book while I was doing my practicum in graduate school because I was trying to better understand a client I was seeing.  The client was referencing things in therapy related to spirituality that I had no experience with myself.  As a student counselor I was eager to have a successful therapeutic relationship and I read the first book in the week between our meetings.  After I read it the client told me I should have skipped the first book because it is so boring that it would turn you off of the series-which frustrated me at the time because I was trying my hardest as a new counselor.  I just finished reading the third book in the series-Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan and now I am glad I read the first book because it discusses the time period that takes place in the first book but were left out because at the time the author thought they were insignificant.

Castaneda’s books are about his spiritual exploration with his mentor Don Juan Matus who is a Yaqui Indian who he visits sporadically in Northern Mexico.  During his time with Don Juan he experiments with psychotropic drugs, explores the wilderness surrounding Don Juan’s home and encounters various entities.  In the beginning Castaneda’s intention was to learn about the Indian traditional use of plants for healing.  The relationship with Don Juan becomes much more than that.   At times in his journey Castaneda fears for his life and even after reading the books the first hand account seems hard to explain.  Castaneda comes across as a logical thinker who is experiencing the illogical and is desperately trying to explain and understand it.  Don Juan continually tries to get Castaneda to change this logical way of seeing the world.  Throughout all three books I was rooting for Castaneda to succeed in his quest to understand and perceive the still unknown.  Some people have criticized the books saying that they were actually a work of fiction.  Since finishing the books I can’t decide what my opinion about that is but I do know that I liked the way the books make me think outside of the box, and it is intriguing to me to think that there are people in the world that have a heightened sense of perception.  I also know that I will continue to read more books by Carlos Castaneda.


-Callie Ham