The Teachings Of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge
Castaneda rehashes his experiences as a young college student with DonJuan; a Mexican Indian of the Yaqui people, now living in Arizona.Taken on as a benefactor of Don Juan's ancient people, Castaneda is treated as though he were a Yaqui scout. Learning lessons of life,death, religion, and the key ingredient to all these elements...patience. Don Juan is the master of patience in this chronicle of culture. He demands the same of the young and often times impatient Castaneda. Of all the questions posed to our Yaqui friend one stands at the fore front and of course is the last unveiled. Castaneda urges to learn about the significance of the plant product Peyote or as known by the Yaqui as Mescalito. Don Juan cannot share this precious Yaqui secret without determining Castaneda's will to understand. The anthropological significance of this tale is nothing shy of fantastic.Castaneda proves without a shadow of doubt that there are those of us who fully desire to understand the people of Earth without prejudice. Castaneda, in his early studies of anthropology, went throughout the southwestern region of America to explore the significance of plants to American and Mexican Indians. When his studiesput him in the company of Don Juan he soon realizes that this old Mexican Indian has a perspective that cannot be denied. In his search for the answer to the magical powers of Mescalito (Peyote) he finds that Don Juan is not too quick to show him the ways. Castaneda'sfirst quest is to find the wild plant that expresses his own innate human characteristics. This quest and others bring about a hilarious perspective of the vast differences between mature, wise, and experienced people to that of young, naive, and stubborn people.Castaneda and Don Juan create a relationship that is synonymous to that of a Grandfather and Grandson. Castaneda is defiant in understanding the significance to these quests and Don Juan is unsympathetic explaining that you do not choose Mescalito, He chooses you. Our young scholar goes on to find that his plant is Devil's Weed; only to become his after learning to tame and conquer its characteristics. As Castaneda progresses in knowledge of the Yaqui way he approaches his chance to meet Mescalito. Don Juan informs Castaneda that Mescalito is his own source of energy. He (Mescalito) may accept you or He may not.If accepted Castaneda is to become deeply understanding of his existence, if not he may die. On Don Juan's porch one late afternoon with Don Juan and some of his people, Castaneda finds out his chance to meet Mescalito has come. The once overly eager Castaneda now realizes where his studies have brought him and now feels uneasy. From a satchel Don Juan takes the pulp from the peyote buttons and puts them into acoffee can with some tequila.Castaneda is to drink it down.Castaneda then asks if Don Juan and his friends will be drinking the substance too. He is answered by a round of laughs and confirmation that they will only be consuming the tequila. Don Juan tells Castaneda that this journey is only for Castaneda and so he drinks. Soon all of Castaneda's senses are opened to Mescalito and his world. In Mescalito's world Castaneda finds himself closely tied to everything, including a hilarious interlude with Don Juan's dog, I will tell you that among other things they pee on each other. Castaneda completes his quest and Don Juan is proud to have trained him and even more proud that Mescalito had accepted him. With a vast array of knowledge Cataneda now realizes the awesome power of Mescalito and holds astrong feeling towards never going Mescalito's way again. Loaded with philosophical overtones, this anthropological study opens the doors to a group of people who are becoming extinct and there ties to the Earth,which ironically enough show them the way into the Divine. TheTeachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge is a shard of glass in the mosaic of understanding diversity and a great way to spenours in ents of deep wonderment.