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Carlos Castaneda Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Teachings of Don Juan Books

The Teachings of Don Juan (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Separate Reality (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Journey to Ixtlan (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tales of Power (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Second Ring of Power (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eagle's Gift (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fire from Within (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Power of Silence (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Art of Dreaming (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Magical Passes (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wheel of Time (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Active Side of Infinity (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Voices and Visions(1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Portable Sixties Reader(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Carlos Castaneda was an American author that built a reputation out of the mystery of his person and the enigma surrounding his work. The controversy surrounding Carlos’ books has always revolved around the question of whether they are fact or fiction.

Even though the books were published as fictitious works, many of Carlos’ fans have since come to the conclusion that his accounts of training to become a Shaman under the mysterious Don Juan Matus are actually true and represent an accurate testament of the things Carlos Castaneda endured.


Carlos Castaneda was born in Cajamarca, Peru in 1925 to Susana Castaneda Navoa and Cesar Arana Burungaray. Carlos grew up in Peru, though he eventually moved to the United States and became a naturalized citizen in the 1950s.

He author eventually met and married Margaret Runyan in 1960, though their relationship has since become the source of debate and controversy. Not only did the pair only live together for six months, but Carlos’ death certificate says that he was never married.

Carlos’ journey to fame began while he was studying anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. As part of his research log, Carlos wrote ‘The Teachings of Don Juan’, a book through which he spoke of his apprenticeship with a Yaqui Indian from Northern Mexico known as Don Juan Matus.

Even after he acquired his Bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. Carlos Castaneda continued to chronicle his supposed tutelage under Don Juan, with each new book exposing new aspects of his training.

According to Carlos, who wrote these books as though they were an accurate account of his life, his teacher recognized him as a leader of sorts amongst seers and that he had some sort of connection to the unknown.

Carlos’ books gained renown because his supporters were certain that they were true accounts of the author’s ascendency as a seer; the books were also recognized for their contribution to philosophy, especially in their description of the practices used to attain increased awareness.

Many an academic scholar attempted to discredit the books, though, with some critics endeavoring to highlight the contradictions between Carlos Castaneda’s claims in the books and anthropological data, not to mention the absence of corroborating evidence to back some of the author’s claims.

However, these challenges to Carlos’ books only worked to grow his reputation as fans and critics alike delved further into his works in an attempt to find some sort of consensus on the debate.

Not that any of these debates mattered to Carlos Castaneda, the one person in the world that could have shed light on the argument. Even though his books had made the author such a popular public figure, Carlos rarely exposed himself to public scrutiny.

In fact, for all the fame that his books elicited, almost everything known about Carlos was little more than speculation, some media sources even going so far as to suggest that the cover portrait Carlos used for his books was just a surrogate.

The few interviews that Carlos permitted did little to clear up the misunderstandings surrounding his person. And after a while, Carlos completely retired from public view, allowing the mystery of his being to drive the popularity of his works.

Carlos Castaneda died in 1998. His death was imputed to his fight with Hepatocellular cancer. Carlos died just as he lived: surrounded by mystery and enigma. A public service wasn’t even permitted, with the author’s body being quickly cremated and his ashes taken out of the country to Mexico.

It took two months for news of Carlos’ death to proliferate throughout the literary world. His passing did little to quell debates about his encounters with Don Juan Matus, with many today still trying to ascertain whether or not don Juan Matus is a real person.

Carlos Castaneda touched many readers with his story of a young hero becoming apprenticed to a Shaman and seeking enlightenment.

+The Teachings of Don Juan

The first book in the Don Juan series tells the amazing story of a young fellow looking to become an extraordinary man of knowledge. The journey he undertakes challenges the reader’s understanding of reality.

This is the most controversial book that Carlos Castaneda has ever written. While some readers view it as a powerful volume filled with unending wisdom, others dismiss it as the rantings of a man stumbling through a psychotropic experience after smoking one too many plants in Mexico.

Fans of Carlos will tell you to forget about all the controversies surrounding this book. It doesn’t matter whether or not Don Juan ever existed or if Carlos actually undertook this supposed journey to attain enlightenment.

What matters is the message hidden within Carlos’ words, the profound writings scattered throughout this short book and the engaging questions the book elicits amongst those who have read it.

It has been claimed that the New Age movement elicited many of its teachings and ideas from the observations Carlos makes in this book. That alone should be enough to prove that this book can transcend its controversy and questions of its authenticity to become an educational tool for the seeking.

+A Separate Reality

The second volume in the Don Juan books finds Carlos returning to Mexico and to the teachings of Don Juan seeking an experience unlike any Western Civilization has ever seen. Carlos rips apart the veil between this reality and the world of magic.

In the first Don Juan book, Carlos finished out his five-year apprenticeship to Don Juan and left. In this book, he comes back to see what more there is to learn from his sorcerer of a teacher.

‘A Separate Reality’ differs from its predecessor in that it doesn’t focus as much on philosophical teachings. Instead, Carlos smokes a lot of mushrooms and reveals the observations he makes on his new journey.

Carlos is learning to become a warrior. It requires that he learn about other sorcerers and make new allies. The book makes an effort to explore reality as it is seen by people, with Carlos highlighting the fact that people generally define their worlds, the words they internalize manifesting as truths over time.

There are so many cryptic messages in this book, so many more vague references than in the first, which might prove annoying for some people.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Carlos Castaneda

9 Responses to “Carlos Castaneda”

  1. Jon Onelonevoice: 5 months ago

    Like many I read the first book in the 70’s it was years later I heard there was another book, I found 5 total and never knew there were more until 20 minutes ago 1/12/24 lagging way behind now, It was a journey that just made sense but the idea of a kind of Universal encyclopedia of everything you could ask any question to and get an answer, once you learned how to ask and be receptive to the answers given. That was the most amazing of all. I kept getting sidetracked with the typical life of a human,things like Love Marriage children, working to provide the needed things and more.spurts of learning, too few of those.Now I can finish the story Late indeed but not forgotten. I just need new and better glasses. Thank you to whoever created this web site.

  2. RJB: 2 years ago

    Most people don’t want to know reality as it truly is; they have been taught (purposely) the opposite of what reality is so that they may be easily subjugated by the powers that be in our civil and government establishments.

    If one chooses to follow a valid mystical path, of which there are many varieties, the true nature of reality will reveal itself progressively. It is a long journey and may take many lifetimes.

    Eventually one arrives at a place in the mind that is beyond imagination.

    Don Juan taught the techniques of perception, and with devotion a student will be able to tap into that seemingly ‘magical’ reality. But it is not magic. it is merely what is real.

    And that is what is so extraordinary.

    Om ah hum vajra guru padme siddhi hum

  3. Daniel Diehl: 3 years ago

    I find the books do or have the ability to create a second/future present time reality. I do not do drugs but yet did experience a separate type of reality after reading one of his books

  4. Bodhi Apurva: 3 years ago

    If Carlos books are fiction, he must be credited with being one of the most vividly imaginative writers ever. If there are factual aspects within them, they have been interwoven with some elaborate stories. My own view having read most of the books a number of times is that Carlos has discovered some Shaman knowledge and incorporated it into the writing. Also have experienced being in what Carlos calls The Energy Body a number of times. During lucid dreaming, we humans are replicated in this dream state but with different laws of physics that apply to that state of being. Always wanted to make films about the books in order to explain some of the concepts that Shamans teach others.

  5. Marc Salzman: 4 years ago


  6. Marc Salzman: 4 years ago

    The semi-famous / infamous stories were that, for a time, Carlitos would do book tours ,talks, signings,lectures & all the cosmic new (at the time) new-age peoples from the Bay area, Santa Cruz, Topanga Cnyn., Malibu, Berkeley, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, would come in their hippy garb, having splashed on the requisite Patchouli oil, carrying “A Separate Reality” or “Ixtlan” for him to sign, many people were very excited to see him in person, expecting 1 of their own to show, & there would appear a slightly chunky, short-haired latino professorial type & would look at each other confused a bit, maybe a little disappointed, slightly scared by this STRAIGHT guy & would scratch their heads in bewilderment. I heard that once he started talking many were intrigued, even mesmerized & others tuned out or just left. He was most certainly, for the most part, NOT coming from where they were coming from. And I can see little has changed.

  7. Marc Salzman: 4 years ago

    All of you folks rancor aside, which comes out frequently when the C.C. topic comes alive, which i personally find mildly amusing (as Roger Waters entitled an album, ” AMUSED TO DEATH”; the warrior’s, hunters, stalkers path is no joke. i took the books as fact as a teen in the ’70’s & practiced many of the techniques & incorporated THIS path, regardless of literary petty squabbles, in fact I disregarded all that entirely as a plethora of synchronicities brought me in, as I worked towards unbending intent on a path w/ heart, there was nothing ‘bliss ninny’ about it; fraught w/ much darkness. My conclusion all these years later, like much of life – It’s as real as you make it. Carlos was Carlitos, not the ‘main man’, so to speak; I was more interested in don Juan, but i liked Carlitos’ writing. I had some amazing, real & at times terrifying experiences; what i was missing was a teacher & a benefactor; I had a partner in this for some years, an equal, but like most in life, though i’ve had 2 long-term ‘romantic’ relationships, etc.
    I HAD TO GO IT ALONE, BUT I LOOK AT SOLITUDE AS A DIAMETRIC OPPOSITE, in a sense, THAN ISOLATION, BUT THAT COMES INTO PLAT TOO ! The core, the heart & soul of the teachings, were all that mattered AND I found a correlation w/ the Tao Te Ching & the original inspiratus of the 12-steps to have overlap, integration & have an as yet unpublished thesis on the corollary of these 3 paths / disciplines.

    • Merci Werk: 2 years ago

      For those of us that have had contact with the Toltec teachings and other non-material experiences, Carlo’s experience is REAL, I for one have been with the Shaman’s of Mexico and I know how prevalent their understanding of non-ordinary reality is, sadly, many of us in this world are not open to the unexplainable, as if the universe could be explained! This knowledge, of course, will be denied by Orthodox Anthropology, Religion, Etc. imagine how our world view would have to change to accommodate the arts of the ancients! The Colonialist mind would have to admit to their stupidity and recognize their foolishness. Not just in Mexico and all of America but also in Africa and Europe, Australia and Asia, not to mention India. Don Juan’s gift to us is for those that are ready to know how magnificently mysterious this world is, take it or leave it.

  8. Nob Nubit: 6 years ago

    His books have hardly been published as fiction. Every copy has always had the NONFICTION notice somewhere on its cover. A blatant lie, obviously, which is why his books–as well as any publisher of them–are so insidious.


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