This book is the sequel to the first book "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge" and is just as meaningful and profound. The idea of spirituality under the Yaqui Indian paradigm, like other esoteric perceptions, conveys a non-ordinary reality where rationalizations and human explanations act as superficiality.
"Once a man learns how to "see" he finds himself alone in the world with nothing but folly." p. 81 Anotherwards, all the world is a stage and everything we do are roles we act. We don't leave the world as a hermit because we don't willfully abandon ourselves, but instead we recognize the superficial roles we are required to play as human beings and in turn, rest in our silent self, the silent observer who "sees" this world as a series of necessary folly and superficiality and learns to to limit mental chatter, thinking and rationalizing and to start listening.
This book reminds me of Timothy Leary's explanation of reimprinting. Each time one "trips," he takes a trip beyond static reality to the dynamic flow and each time he returns he takes an additional snapshot and reimprints as a baby does when born. Each imprint is added to the previous imprints, as well as reinterpreting former imprints. And so, when Don Juan uses the power of suggestions with Carlos Castaneda and consensus is agreed, the dynamic affect under hallucinogens conform to such ideas which are compounded during the reimprinting stages back to normal reality. And so, peyote consists of an entity called Mescalito and magic mushroom smoke produces encounters with allies.
In turn, as with many Eastern mediators, the awareness grows of the silent observer self beyond the superficial ego self we are required to live through as human beings. We see the folly of human existence and become detached while simultaneously maintaining our lives active in this world, not in inertia, but with the paradox of "seeing" our real silent witness selves and using our superficial roles with more artistic and less attachment.
One learns to act like a warrior by acting, not by talking." p 144 "If a man sees he doesn't have to live like a warrior, or like anything else, for he can see things as they really are and direct his life accordingly." p 149 "Seeing dispelled the illusion of victory, or defeat, or suffering." p. 138 "Nothing of what I had done in my lie was really worthy of that last ultimate emphasis so I had nothing to think about. That was an exquisite realization." p. 243"Worry and think before you make a decision, but once you make it, be on your way free from worries or thoughts . . that's the warrior way." p. 47 Don Juan teaches learning how not to think, silencing the mind and learning to listen.
I also enjoyed how Don Juan considered much of the Tibetan Book of The Dead as "crap." And yet, one can say the same thing about his Yaqui Indian Sorcerer interpretation of non-ordinary reality. Yet both paradigms, Tibetan and Yaqui acknowledge the silent observer, the mental chatter, and the need to listen without fear in reality of clarity beyond mental conceptions.