Book Review: "The Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan" by Carlos Castaneda

The information in this book has a lot of practical merit.

This book will teach you a great deal about the importance of fulfillment and living in the moment.

What I gained from this book is merely another affirmation of the importance of meditation and mindfulness—behaviors he dubs “stopping the world” for their ability quiet our thoughts and interpretations about the world and experience it more directly.

Castaneda basically elaborates on a series of techniques he gained from Don Juan through field trips to the desert, and he provides vivid sensory descriptions.

Also, he admits his erroneous original assumption that Peyote was the only means of communicating and learning the teachings of Don Juan. 

The book is full of pithy wisdom.

For example, Don Juan says you must erase personal history because doing so makes you free from the encumbering thoughts of other people and able to reinvent yourself.

He says you must lose self-importance because as long as you feel that you are the most important thing in the world you cannot really appreciate the world around you.

He says you must use death as an advisor so that you recognize the fragility of life and treat every act as if it were your last stand on earth.

In general, I love the Don Juan’s terminology—hunter, warrior, and sorcerer—titles he gives to certain ideals of human behavior.