“You say you need help. Help for what? You have everything needed for the extravagant journey that is your life.” ~ Carlos Castaneda
Life is a journey full of lessons, and sometimes, unexpected sources can offer profound insights. One such source is the enigmatic figure of Carlos Castaneda, author of the masterpiece titled The Teachings of Don Juan.
Through his timeless writings, Carlos inspires you to awaken your inner warrior, to seek the truth within yourself, and to strive for a life that is authentic, purposeful, and filled with adventure.
The quest for wisdom and understanding is a lifelong pursuit. And it’s up to you whether you will use the great teachings of those who have walked before you to reconnect with the truth of who you are and set the world on fire.
40 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Carlos Castaneda
1. Freedom is the only driving for to know.
“To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there. Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up against the light of a billion stars, remains intact, because it never pretended to be more than what it is: a mere candle.”~ Carlos Castaneda
2. You are already given the power that rules your fate.
“I am already given to the power that rules my fate. And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend. I have no thoughts, so I will see. I fear nothing, so I will remember myself. Detached and at ease, I will dart past the Eagle to be free.”
3. You are going to be here for a short while, so learn to make every act count.
“For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, 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 for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”~ Carlos Castaneda
4. Absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent.
“In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link.”~ Carlos Castaneda
5. “Nothing is pending in the world…nothing is finished, yet nothing is unresolved…Everything is filled to the brim.”
6. Learn to cut your wants to nothing, and the smallest thing you get will be a true gift.
“What makes us unhappy is to want. Yet if we would learn to cut our wants to nothing, the smallest thing we’d get would be a true gift.”
7. You are surrounded by an eternity that you can use if you so desire.
“Do you know at this very moment you are surrounded by eternity? And do you know that you can use that eternity if you so desire?”
8. “Nothing in this world is a gift. Whatever must be learned must be learned the hard way.”
9. Erase everything around you until nothing can be taken for granted.
“One day I found out that personal history was no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped it… Little by little you must create a fog around yourself; you must erase everything around you until nothing can be taken for granted, until nothing is any longer for sure, or real.
Your problem now is that you’re too real. Your endeavors are too real, your moods are too real. Don’t take things so for granted. You must begin to erase yourself.”
10. You have everything you ever need for this journey that is your life.
“You have everything needed for the extravagant journey that is your life.”~ Carlos Castaneda
11. “Things don’t change, only the way you look at them.”~ Carlos Castaneda
12. “Nothing can temper the spirit of the warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power.
“Nothing can temper the spirit of the warrior as much as the challenge of dealing with impossible people in positions of power. Only under those conditions can warriors acquire the sobriety and serenity to withstand the pressure of the unknowable.”~ Carlos Castaneda
13. A warrior’s life is an endless challenge.
“Only as a warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge. A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”
14. “Beware of those who weep with realization, for they have realized nothing.”
15. The strangest paradox is that we need others to convince us there’s incalculable power at our fingertips.
“We don’t need anyone to teach us sorcery, because there is really nothing to learn. What we need is a teacher to convince us that there is incalculable power at our fingertips. What a strange paradox!”
16. The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man.
“The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity.”
17. When you are one with your path, you make it into a joyful journey.
“All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. … Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn’t. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you.”~ Carlos Castaneda
18. A warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.
“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.”
19. A good path to follow is one you’re in with your heart.
“A path is only a path, and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you . . . Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself alone, one question . . . Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.”~ Carlos Castaneda
20. “Man lives only to learn. And if he learns it is because it is the nature of his lot, for good or bad.”
21. “We hardly ever realize that we can cut anything out of our lives, anytime, in the blink of an eye.” ~ Carlos Castaneda
22. When you change your idea of yourself, you also change the thing you can and cannot do.
“There are lots of things a warrior can do at a certain time which he couldn’t do years before. Those things themselves did not change; what changed was his idea of himself.”~ Carlos Castaneda
23. “The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.” ~ Carlos Castaneda
24. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.
“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~ Carlos Castaneda
25. “Forget the self and you will fear nothing, in whatever level or awareness you find yourself to be.”
26. Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power.
“It doesn’t matter what one reveals or what one keeps to oneself. Everything we do, everything we are, rests on our personal power.”
27. “We don’t need more to be thankful for, we just need to be more thankful.”
28. When you worry you cling to anything out of desperation.
“To worry is to become accessible, unwittingly accessible. And once you worry you cling to anything out of desperation; and once you cling you are bound to get exhausted or to exhaust whoever or whatever you are clinging to.”~ Carlos Castaneda
29. Self-pity is the real enemy and the source of man’s misery.
“Self-pity is the real enemy and the source of man’s misery. Without a degree of pity for himself, man could not afford to be as self-important as he is. However, once the force of self-importance is engaged, it develops its own momentum. And it is this seemingly independent nature of self-importance which gives it its fake sense of worth.”
30. Words always force us to feel enlightened, but when we turn around to face the world they always fail us and we end up facing the world as we always have, without enlightenment.
“There is a flaw with words, they always force us to feel enlightened, but when we turn around to face the world they always fail us and we end up facing the world as we always have, without enlightenment”~ Carlos Castaneda
31. Whenever the internal dialogue stops, the world collapses, and extraordinary facets of ourselves surface.
“Whenever the internal dialogue stops, the world collapses, and extraordinary facets of ourselves surface, as though they had been kept heavily guarded by our words.”
32. We repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over.
“We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves.
Thus we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk.”
33. “Power rests on the kind of knowledge one holds. What is the sense of knowing things that are useless?”
34. The average man is either victorious or defeated, and based on that he becomes the persecutor or the victim.
“The average man is either victorious or defeated and, depending on that, he becomes a persecutor or a victim. These two conditions are prevalent as long as one does not see. Seeing dispels the illusion of victory, or defeat, or suffering.”~ Carlos Castaneda
35. “A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting.”
36. When you get tired of looking at yourself alone, you become deaf and blind to the marvels all around you.
“Seek and see the marvels all around you. You will get tired of looking at yourself alone, and that fatigue will make you deaf and blind to everything else.”
37. Self-importance is our greatest enemy.
“Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it – what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone.”~ Carlos Castaneda
38. “If one is to succeed in anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession.”
39. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated.
“Intent is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. It operates in spite of the warrior’s indulgence. Intent is what makes him invulnerable. Intent is what sends a shaman through a wall, through space, to infinity.”
40. Once you decide something put all your petty fears away. Your decision should vanquish them.
“Once you decide something put all your petty fears away. Your decision should vanquish them. I will tell you time and time again, the most effective way to live is as a warrior. Worry and think before you make any decision, but once you make it, be on your way free from worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still awaiting you.”~ Carlos Castaneda
And these are just 40 life-changing lessons you too can learn from Carlos Castaneda. I hope his words will inspire and awaken you to the Truth of who you really are, and the Freedom to be all that life created you to be.
“I’m never angry at anybody! No human being can do anything important enough for that. You get angry at people when you feel that their acts are important. I don’t feel that way any longer.”~ Carlos Castaneda
“Warriors do not win victories by beating their heads against walls, but by overtaking the walls. Warriors jump over walls; they don’t demolish them.”~ Carlos Castaneda
“The warrior: silent in his struggle, undetainable because he has nothing to lose, functional and efficacious because he has everything to gain.”~ Carlos Castaneda
“Feeling important makes one heavy, clumsy and vain. To be a warrior one needs to be light and fluid.”
“Once it has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that it is the double who dreams the self.”
“A warrior lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting.”
“An average man is too concerned with liking people or with being liked himself. A warrior likes, that’s all. He likes whatever or whomever he wants, for the hell of it.”
“For a human being, sadness is as powerful as terror. Sadness makes a warrior shed tears of blood.”
“The world is incomprehensible. We won’t ever understand it; we won’t ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat the world as it is: a sheer mystery.”
“Modern man has left the realm of the unknown and the mysterious, and has settled down in the realm of the functional. He is turned is back to the world of the foreboding and the exulting and has welcomed the world of boredom.”
“When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous. We are timid only when there is something we can still cling to.”
“Seeing energy as it flows is an imperious need on the path of knowledge. Ultimately, all the effort of sorcerers is guided to that end. It is not enough for a warrior to know that the universe is energy; he has to verify it for himself.”
“It is best to erase all personal history because that would make us free from the encumbering thoughts of other people.”