The Book of Carlos Castaneda


(1925 – 1998)

Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete.

The world is incomprehensible. We won’t ever understand it; we won’t ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat the world as if it is a sheer mystery.

For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my intent has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here in this marvelous world… in this marvelous time. I want to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here only for a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels in it. 

  We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. 


The only thing that is real is the being in you that is going to die.

One must have something to die for in order to have something to live for.

In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regret or doubts. There is only time for decisions… [So]… a man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting.

It doesn’t matter how one was brought up, what determines the way one does anything is personal power.

You say you need help. Help for what? You have everything needed for the extravagant journey that is your life.

To achieve the mood of a warrior is not a simple act. It is a revolution.

There’s no emptiness in the life of a warrior. Everything is filled to the brim, and everything is equal.

The art of being a warrior is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.

A warrior never worries about his fears.

Warriors do not win victories by beating their heads against walls… Warriors jump over walls; they don’t demolish them.

Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy and vain. To be a warrior one needs to be light and fluid.

Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. Nobody is doing anything to anybody, much less to a warrior.

To regard the lion and the water rats and our fellow men as equals is a magnificent act of a warrior’s spirit. It takes power to do that.

Forget the self and you will fear nothing in whatever level of awareness you find yourself to be.

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all. 

Nothing in this world is a gift. Whatever must be learned must be learned the hard way. 

Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.