Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

No One is Better Off

--by Carlos Castaneda (Jul 10, 2000)

All human beings are at the same level. At the beginning of my apprenticeship with Don Juan Matus, he tried to make me see how common man's situation is. I, as a South American, was very involved, intellectually, with the idea of social reform. One day I asked Don Juan what I thought was a deadly question: How can you remain unmoved by the horrendous situation of your fellow men, the Yaqui Indians of Sonora? I knew that a certain percentage of the Yaqui population suffered from tuberculosis and that, due to their economic situation, they couldn't be cured. "Yes," Don Juan said, "It's a very sad thing but, you see, your situation is also very sad, and if you believe that you are in better condition than the Yaqui Indians you are mistaken. In general the human condition is in a horrifying state of chaos. No one is better off than another. We are all beings that are going to die and, unless we acknowledge this, there is no remedy for us." -- Carlos Castaneda,

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On Aug 10, 2012 paul wrote:
 You have to have an open and perceptive mind in order to understand what Don Juan Matus is saying in his various books on a Yaqui way of knowledge. Skeptics will never be able to go beyond their reason which is one of points that Don Juan repeatedly states throughout his books. Formal religious types will try to tie it to the devil or evil in their limited way of thinking. There are many things that the Don Juan books convey in their teachings, being free from the thoughts and stereotypes of others is one of his teachings. Self-importance, erasing personal history, taking responsibilty for our actions are all points well taken that most people won't get.