Carlos Castaneda (December 25, 1925[nb 1]–April 27, 1998) was an American author with a Ph.D. in anthropology.
Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly with a group whose lineage descended from the Toltecs. The books, narrated in the first person, relate his experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui "Man of Knowledge" named don Juan Matus. His 12 books have sold more than 28 million copies in 17 languages. Critics have suggested that they are works of fiction; supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which lead one to an awareness of energies, beings and worlds which lie outside the perceptual paradigm of the vast majority of human beings on this planet.
Castaneda withdrew from public view in 1973 to work further on his inner development, living in a large house in Westwood, California, with three colleagues whom he called "Fellow Travellers of Awareness." He founded Cleargreen, an organization that promotes Tensegrity, which Dr. Castaneda described as the modern version of the “magical passes” of the shamans of ancient Mexico. Magical Passes comprise bodily movements discovered in dream states by shamans of don Juan’s lineage, expanding their powers of perception.