THE BORDER LIFE

THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN
Riverdave Owen Facilitator 
Duke Continuing Studies
Winter 2019

OUR CLASS OUTLINE IS AS FOLLOWS:
class #1 - January 10 - Fateful encounter at the Nogales Bus Station; the Diableros - Introduction 
class #2 - January 17 - Finding one's happy spot - Chapter I
class #3 - January 24 - Mescalito Part One - Chapter 2
class #4 - January 31 - Mescalito Part Two - Chapters 4 & 8
class #5 - February 7 - Former student of Castaneda shares with us
class #6 - February 14 - Devil’s Weed Part One - Chapters 3a & 5
no class - February 21- Duke Continuing Studies winter break
class #7 - February 28 - Devil’s Weed Part Two - Chapters 6 & 9
class #8 - March 7 - Little Smoke Part One - Chapters 3b & 7
class #9 - March 14 - Little Smoke Part Two - Chapter 10
class #10 - March 21 - Four Enemies of the Man of Knowledge - Chapter 3c

NOTES FOR CLASS # 2 - January 17

When studying cultures and concepts that are exotic to us, it is important to AT LEAST learn and pronounce correctly a few technical terms in the new language that can become like a mantra to us, helping channel the energy of the story into our present moment. Here's a key word from Chapter One that Carlos thought it important for us to know since he left it in our text in Spanish: http://www.spanishdict.com/examples/sitio 

Class discussion questions for chapter one:

1 - Why does Don Juan insist that Carlos have clarity of purpose in his heart before learning about Mescalito?

2 - Do you know how to find your happy spot?  Is it a creative work spot, a relaxation spot or a withdrawal and retreat spot?

3 - What does Don Juan mean that one needs “enough backbone” and “have command over one’s resources” to meet Mescalito?

4 - Why does Don Juan refer to Mescalito as a personal masculine being, unlike how most of us refer to plants as non-personal and genderless?


Here's a chapter from Castaneda's third book, A Journey to Ixlan, where Carlos discovers a "happy spot" on a hilltop after a long hike through the desert led by Don Juan. I italicized the passage: A Warrior's Last Stand 


"To be old and youthful, that is sorcery!”
Carlos Castañeda - Quote from an Interview published in Psychology Today, March 1, 1996


NOTES FOR CLASS #1 - January 10

Class discussion questions for Goldschmidt's Forward and Castaneda's Introduction to our text:
1 - How might we "see fleetingly the real world, the one between our own cultural construct, and those other worlds?" (from the fourth paragraph of the Forward)
2 - How might Castaneda's encounter with Don Juan in the Nogales Bus Station inform us about how we can also find our own teacher/guru? 
3 - Is there a difference between a sorcerer (diablero or brujo) and a shaman? See: https://www.reddit.com/r/occult/comments/1kj2we/sorcery_vs_shamanism/ 
4 - How do we distinguish power objects from having an ally?
 
If you are unable to purchase your own copy of our text before the first week of class, you may use this online text:  
Please also have a look at this brief article about the Sonora Desert, as we will be focusing on a geographical region that is particularly rich in natural history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonoran_Desert
 
Here is an expanded version of the Nogales Bus Station Encounter found in Castaneda's third book - A Jouney to Ixlan: