Border Crossings: A Psychological Perspective on Carlos by Donald Lee Williams

By Donald Lee Williams

Publication by way of Williams, Donald Lee

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Additional resources for Border Crossings: A Psychological Perspective on Carlos Castaneda's Path of Knowledge (Studies in Jungian Psychology)

Sample text

Don Juan was transported in 1900 with his father to central Mexico when the Mexican government exiled thousands of Sonoran Indians. He is said to have lived in central and southern Mexico from 1900 until 1940. Castaneda tells us that he met don Juan in Arizona in the summer of 1960 and that the apprenticeship was subsequently carried on in northern Mexico. In 1968, Castaneda published his first book, The Teachings of Don Juan, describing a series of highly focused episodes from his experience as an apprentice to don Juan.

Castaneda realizes that don Juan had begun introducing him to the sorcerer's description of the world from the first moment of their meeting, and that he had missed many of the most significant teachings of don Juan by directing his attention far too narrowly to the use of psychotropic plants. Journey to Ixtlan reveals the non-drug-related aspects of don Juan's teachings, from the moment of their first meeting until December, 1962. The last three chapters of the book jump ahead to 1971, and to Carlos's experience of the ally without the use of drugs.

Otherwise, whether don Juan is fact, fiction or a mixture of the two, he is quite real. Carlos, on the other hand, is another matter. If we look at Carlos, making the distinction as de Mille does between "Castaneda," the author of the books, and "Carlos," the character in those books, we see that Carlos's attitude is highly routine and predictable quite a contrast to that of don Juan. 9 The Carlos of Castaneda's work seems to be the embodiment of old personal habits and collective tendencies, such as intellectualization, dependence upon reason, and fear of the unconscious.

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