The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
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A Yaqui way of knowledge.
The teachings of don Juan is the story of a remarkable journey: the first awesome steps on the road to becoming a "man of knowledge" -- the road that continues with A Separate Reality and Journey to Ixtlan.
"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel, looking, looking, breathlessly." -- Don Juan
itself.” Sunday, 20 August 1961 Last night don Juan proceeded to usher me into the realm of his knowledge. We sat in front of his house in the dark. Suddenly, after a long silence, he began to talk. He said he was going to advise me with the same words his own benefactor had used the first day he took him as his apprentice. Don Juan had apparently memorized the words, for he repeated them several times, to make sure I did not miss any: “A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide-awake,
finished, put the lizard down and let her go, but don’t watch where she goes. Dig a deep hole with your bare hands and bury everything you used in it.” About 6:00 p.m. don Juan scooped the root extract out of the bowl onto a flat piece of shale; there was less than a teaspoon of a yellowish starch. He put half of it into a cup and added some yellowish water. He rotated the cup in his hand to dissolve the substance. He handed me the cup and told me to drink the mixture. It was tasteless, but it
of the lizards had died while I was holding it. He said the death of a lizard would be an unfortunate event. If the lizard with the sewed-up mouth had died at any time there would have been no sense in pursuing the sorcery, he said. It would also have meant that the lizards had withdrawn their friendship, and I would have had to give up learning about the devil’s weed for a long time. “How long, don Juan?” I asked. “Two years or more.” “What would have happened if the other lizard had died?”
rule, and for that reason it was not an ally even though it was capable of transporting a man outside the boundaries of ordinary reality. Not having a rule not only barred Mescalito from being used as an ally, for without a rule it could not conceivably be manipulated, but also made it a power remarkably different from an ally. As a direct consequence of not having a rule, Mescalito was available to any man without the need of a long apprenticeship or the commitment to manipulatory techniques,
of special consensus, had an equally pragmatic value. Reality of special consensus The main body of don Juan’s teachings, as he himself stated, concerned the use of the three hallucinogenic plants with which he induced states of non-ordinary reality. The use of these three plants seems to have been a matter of deliberate intent on his part. He seems to have employed them because each of them possessed different hallucinogenic properties, which he interpreted as the different inherent natures of