Questionable whether Castenada's book are real.
His books are real enough. At least I can say I own a few physical copies from the 1970s.
Interesting, I was a teenager in the 1970s, and excitedly told a "rational adult" about the Castaneda books I had been reading. He patronisingly told me, "Why don't you just stick with the real world, Gerald."
My journey into drugs, going into virgin jungles, and meeting "primitive" (actually sophisticated) people made me realise the "real world" is what we perceive it to be as a result of our beliefs, our upbringing, our culture - i.e. the collection of our resultant thoughts. If you believe in magic, your life is full of magic; if you don't, your life has no magic.
There is an army of naysayers, who have wasted their valuable time trying to research and discredit Castaneda.
The problem with materialists and rationalists is their overwhelming arrogance, which prevents them from allowing possibility, and from recognising the power of symbolism. Their rationality prevents them from thinking more deeply, and experiencing life more richly.
For example, people who say thinking, creativity and genius are "only" chemical reactions in the brain, themselves are not thinking deeply enough.
Whether Castaneda's books are "real" is beside the point. Is the Bible "real"? Is the Tao Te Ching "real"? Is the Mahabharata "real"?
Castaneda's books inspired me as a 16-year old, and gave me reference points to experience the world in different ways from many other people. This did not prevent me from building another world of constriction and limitation, which I am now realising I have done. As a youth, I did not have the experience and wisdom to fully utilise Don Juan's tools and fully free myself from my psychological and emotional "personal history."
Even as a student of aikido of one of Europe's most charismatic and brilliant teachers in the 80's and early 90's, I did not realise the gift of what I was receiving from him. I thought I was learning aikido techniques, and how to defend myself. How naive I was. Now, 30 years later, I am realising what it is about - for me anyway. And it is something I want to share, so others don't have to take 30 years.
Like Castaneda's books, you either "get" Ki or you don't. You don't have to know what you are doing, you don't have to prove it physically, you don't even need to try and explain with phony biomechanics theories, you just have to be open to the possibility that it exists.
I cannot change cynics and angry people. My hope is that, those who are new to aikido, and those who have an open mind, can resonate with what I have shared, and that it might inspire them to keep exploring Ki.
Have an awesome weekend.