"Carlos Castaneda was cool"
Carlos Castaneda (1925 – 1998) was a Peruvian-born American anthropologist and author. He wrote a series of books that describe his training in sorcery, beginning with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968. In The Teachings, Don Juan tells Carlos that he is a brujo (a sorcerer or medicine man), who has inherited an ancient tradition whereby he is able to vastly enhance his awareness of, and interaction with, the energies of the Earth and its assorted beings. Don Juan is an expert in the cultivation and use of various psychotropic plants found in the Mexican deserts, which are used as aids to reach states of non-ordinary reality.
Castaneda's 12 books have sold more than 8 million copies, in 17 languages. In 1973 he withdrew from public view in order to work further on his inner development. He shared a large house in Los Angeles with three of his female companions, who cut all ties to their friends and families and took new names. Despite the widespread popularity of Castaneda’s works, their accuracy and validity has been questioned by several critics.