Monday, May 17, 2010

Osho on Carlos Castaneda and His Guru Don Juan

Carlos Castaneda 1949

Osho on Carlos Castaneda and His Guru Don Juan

Question - Is Carlos Castaneda's Guru, Don Juan an Enlightened Master?
Osho - If there were someone like Don Juan he would be enlightened, he would be like a Buddha or a Lao Tzu -- but there is nobody like Don Juan. Carlos Castaneda's books are ninety-nine per cent fiction -- beautiful, artful, but fiction. As there are scientific fictions, there are spiritual fictions also. There are third-rate spiritual fictions and first-rate ones: if you want third-rate, then read Lobsang Rampa; if you want first-rate, then read Carlos Castaneda. He is a great master -- of fiction.

But I say ninety-nine per cent fiction. One per cent of truth is there, hidden here and there; you will have to find it. It is good even to read it as fiction. Don't bother about Rampa's fiction, because it is rubbish created by a mediocre mind -- and of course created for mediocre minds. But Carlos Castaneda is worth reading. When I say fiction I don't mean don't read him, I mean read him more carefully, because one per cent of truth is there. You will have to read it very carefully, but don't swallow it completely because it is ninety-nine per cent fiction.

It can help your growth -- it can create a desire to grow. That's why I say it is beautiful. But it can hinder growth also if you take it at its surface value. This man Carlos is really crafty, very clever. Rarely it happens, such cleverness -- because it is very easy to create scientific fiction, not much imagination is needed, but to create spiritual fiction is very very difficult; one needs a great artistic and imaginary mind. Because things you don't know, how can you even imagine them? That's why I say one per cent of truth is there. On that one per cent of truth he has been able to create a big edifice. On that one per cent of truth he has been able to project much imagination. On that one iota of truth he has made the whole house, a beautiful palace -- a fairy tale. But that one per cent of truth is there, otherwise it would have been impossible.

So one per cent of Don Juan must be there somewhere or other. He must have met somebody; maybe his name was Don Juan, maybe not, that is not material, that doesn't matter. Carlos has come across a being superior to himself, he has come across a being who knows some secrets. Maybe he has not realized them, maybe he has stolen them, maybe he has just borrowed them from someone else. But he has met somebody who has somehow got some facts of spiritual life and this man has been able to create imagination around it. And the imagination becomes possible if you use drugs as a help -- very easy, because drugs are nothing but an aid to imagination.

This man has come across some being who knows something, and then through drugs, LSD and others, he has projected that small truth into imaginary worlds. Then his whole fiction is created. It is a drug trip, but a good experiment in itself. And when I say all these things I am not condemning Carlos. In fact I have come to love the man. It is a rare flight of imagination, and if it is a hundred per cent fiction then Carlos himself is a rare being. If he has not come across anybody at all then he must have that one per cent of reality in himself. Because otherwise it is impossible -- you can only build a house on a foundation, even an imaginary house needs at least a foundation in reality. You can make a house of cards but at least the ground, the solid ground is needed. That much is true.

So read, because you will have to read. Every age has its own fictions, romances; one has to pass through them. You will have to read. You cannot escape Carlos Castaneda. But remember that only one per cent is true -- and you have to find it.If you have been reading Gurdjieff's books, particularly ALL AND EVERYTHING, then you can become artful about how to find the true, how to sort out chaff from wheat. If you have not read ALL AND EVERYTHING, it is a good beginning.

First you should read ALL AND EVERYTHING of George Gurdjieff and then you can read Carlos Castaneda's books. It is a very difficult training to read Gurdjieff; in fact no more than a few dozen people exist in the world who have read his book ALL AND EVERYTHING completely. It is difficult. It is a one thousand-page book and Gurdjieff is a master of hiding things. He goes on saying irrelevant things, useless things, spinning tales within tales -- hundreds of pages and then one line of truth, but it is worth seeking, it is a diamond. A hundred pages of rubbish, but then comes a diamond -- it is worth it.

If you can find the diamonds in Gurdjieff it will be a great training for you. And then you can find in Carlos Castaneda what is true and what is not true. Otherwise you can become a victim of a fiction. And I think many Americans particularly are roaming in Mexico in search of Don Juan. Foolish!


  1. This is not a picture of Carlos Castaneda, the writer of Teachings of Don Juan.

  2. Maybe if 'Osho'/ 'Sunthosh' was mistaken about the picture he is mistaken about the man's books, too. Osho...that's 'Rajneesh' who created the 'orange people', right? The man who made the word 'sannyasin' into a laughing stock.