I hope you are enough of a rational adult not to jump off any cliffs.
I have not jumped off any cliffs lately. The point I was making is that Castaneda's books have been inspirational without having to be strictly factual. This is where one needs to acknowledge symbolic learning as a potent transformative agent used for thousands of years.
You can find out more by reading Jung and others, but briefly, symbolic learning is a form of communication using myth, symbols and stories. It is said that dreams are a similar form of communication from the unconscious to the conscious mind. My understanding is that they contain heuristic knowledge that is extra-rationally triggered in the prepared
Many teachers like Morihei Ueshiba used symbolic language to convey their understanding. I am not sure why it was disregarded in Ueshiba's case, but maybe his students felt it was not in accord with the progressive ideas of a Japan that was rapidly entering a technological - and rational - age.
One of Don Juan's lessons was "Stopping the World," getting Castaneda to interrupt his continuous stream of consciousness. This stream usually consists of habitual thoughts, beliefs and self-talk that make up what we assume to be the rational mind, and forms our idea of the world. In Castaneda's case, his academic arrogance was preventing him from understanding Don Juan's deeper teachings.
Ueshiba was said to have had at least two "Stopping the World" moments in which he experienced his very "real" connection with the cosmos, in which he said he was filled with a sense of awe and love. These no doubt transformed his ideas of aikido and what he taught.
Another of Don Juan's lessons is "Erase Personal History." I had a lot of difficulty accepting this one as a teenager, but now, coming to the other end of life, I so much realise how my fixed sense of personal history has shaped my mood, my beliefs, and my achievements throughout my life. I get the sense that if I had succeeded in erasing my personal history and its baggage of limiting beliefs, I might have accomplished more in my life...
I notice a lot of people insisting on rational explanations in this forum and other aikido forums. This causes them a lot of difficulty understanding and accepting ki. However, the Tao Te Ching says, "The Tao that can be spoken of is not the Tao, the Tao that cannot be spoken of is the Tao." I believe this paradoxical statement also applies to ki.
In order to gain understanding of ki and its application, I believe we need to allow "super-fuzzy logic" to exist, to allow an integration of symbolic knowing, felt embodied knowledge, and a rational acquisition and processing of information, to work together. It is not as easy as "ok tell me the facts": it involves a commitment to be open to lifelong learning and realisation. As one has these realisations through the course of one's life, we are transformed, our World is changed. That is the basis of mastery and wisdom.