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A MYTHICAL ANALYSIS OF A YAQUI WAY OF KNOWLEDGEIn the summer of 1960 Carlos Casteneda a UCLA anthropology student traveledto thesouthwest to do research on medicinal plants While at a bus station hemet an extraordinaryman His name was don Juan Mateus but I will refer to him as don Juan DonJuan a Yaquibrujo or shaman decides to teach Carlos the Yaqui way of knowledgeIt is not known ifthese stories are fiction or non-fiction and many critics still debate overhis writings I interpret hisbooks as modern mythological stories for several reasons The Heroic JourneyArchetype andshamanistic ideologies and also the general moral explainative andphilosophical content of hiswritings indicate that these stories can be viewed as modern mythThroughout Castenedas stories you can see the Heroic Journey ArchetypeCarlos goesthrough a restless stage and breaks ties with his studies and professorsat school He movesforward with the help of don Juan whose shamanic wisdom enlightens and guidesCarlos alonghis spiritual path He also faces death many times in his quest to becomea warrior Finally aftermany years he passes through This mythological archetype is one of themain reasons Ibelieve his stories are mythical in natureThere are also many shamanistic idealogies that run throughout his storiesViews of thenatural world including plant life animal life and elements are allpersonified Everything isembodied with spirit Concepts of reality are altered through drug inducedstates Mushroomsand peyote are mainly used in rituals that don Juan uses to teach Carloshis way of knowledge Mescalito the spirit of the peyote plant indicated to don Juan that Carloswas the chosen onethe person to whom don Juan should pass on his knowledgeCLC87 Don Juanspeaks of manydifferent spirits and separate realities His teachings gave an explanationto mans view ofexistence and his ignorance resulting from attachment to the materialworldMythological proof is also found in don Juans teachings which compare Indianfolkloremysticism and philosophy Don Juan explains that there are many differentplanes of reality andthat a warrior must detach himself with the aid of an ally Carloss
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