95+ Best Carlos Castaneda Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Carlos Castaneda was an American author. He wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly with a group whose lineage descended from the Toltecs. Profoundly inspirational Carlos Castaneda quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

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Famous Carlos Castaneda Quotes

Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one relieve one’s sadness, don Juan said. Warriors are always joyful because their love is unalterable and their beloved, the earth, embraces them and bestows upon them inconceivable gifts. The sadness belongs only to those who hate the very thing that gives shelter to their beings. Don Juan again caressed the ground with tenderness. This lovely being, which is alive to its last recesses and understands every feeling, soothed me, it cured me of my pains, and finally when I had fully understood my love for it, it taught me freedom. – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior seeks to act rather than talk. – Carlos Castaneda

My benefactor said that when a man embarks on the paths of sorcery he becomes aware, in a gradual manner, that ordinary life has been forever left behind; that knowledge is indeed a frightening affair; that the means of the ordinary world are no longer a buffer for him; and that he must adopt a new way of life if he is going to survive. The first thing he ought to do, at that point, is to want to become a warrior. – Carlos Castaneda

You’re in a terrible spot. It’s too late for you to retreat but too soon to act. All you can do is witness. You’re in the miserable position of an infant who cannot return to the mother’s womb, but neither can he run around and act. All an infant can do is witness and listen to the stupendous tales of action being told to him. You are at that precise point now. You cannot go back to the womb of your old world, but you cannot act with power either. For you there is only witnessing acts of power and listening to tales of power. – Carlos Castaneda

The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive. – Carlos Castaneda

The hardest thing in the world is for a warrior to let others be. – Carlos Castaneda

It doesn’t matter how one was brought up. What determines the way one does anything is personal power. – Carlos Castaneda

To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other. – Carlos Castaneda

The world doesn’t yield to us directly, the description of the world stands in between. So, properly speaking, we are always one step removed and our experiences of the world is always a recollection of the experience. We are perennially recollecting the instant that has just happened, just passed. Re recollect, recollect, recollect. – Carlos Castaneda

You are like you are, because you tell yourself that you are that way. – Carlos Castaneda

When a man has fulfilled all four of these requisites-to be wide awake, to have fear, respect, and absolute assurance-there are no mistakes for which he will have to account; under such conditions his actions lose the blundering quality of the acts of a fool. If such a man fails, or suffers a defeat, he will have lost only a battle, and there will be no pitiful regrets over that. – Carlos Castaneda

Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete. – Carlos Castaneda

When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous. We are timid only when there is something we can still cling to. – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior knows that he cannot change, and yet he makes it his business to try to change, even though he knows that he won’t be able to. That’s the only advantage a warrior has over the average man. The warrior is never disappointed when he fails to change. – Carlos Castaneda

If your tendency is to make sense out of chaos, start chaos. – Carlos Castaneda

The world is incomprehensible. We won’t ever understand it; we won’t ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat the world as it is: a sheer mystery. – Carlos Castaneda

To seek freedom is the only driving force I know. Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there. Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up against the light of a billion stars, remains intact, because it never pretended to be more than what it is: a mere candle. – Carlos Castaneda

The dying sun will glow on you without burning, as it has done today. The wind will be soft and mellow, and your hilltop will tremble. As you reach the end of your dance you will look at the sun, for you will never see it again in waking or in dreaming, and then your death will point to the south. To the vastness. – Carlos Castaneda

Power rests on the kind of knowledge one holds. What is the sense of knowing things that are useless? – Carlos Castaneda

Seeing energy as it flows is an imperious need on the path of knowledge. Ultimately, all the effort of sorcerers is guided to that end. It is not enough for a warrior to know that the universe is energy; he has to verify it for himself. – Carlos Castaneda

Your problems is that you think you have time. – Carlos Castaneda

Fright never injures anyone. What injures the spirit is having someone always on your back, beating you, telling you what to do and what not to do – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior thinks of death when things become unclear. The idea of death is the only thing that tempers our spirit. – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior knows that he is only a man. His only regret is that his life is so short that he can’t grab onto all the things he would like to. But for him, this is not an issue; it’s only a pity. – Carlos Castaneda

Death is the only wise advisor that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you’re about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you’re wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, ‘I haven’t touched you yet. – Carlos Castaneda

Intent is a force that exists in the universe. When sorcerers (those who live of the source) beckon to intent, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment, which means that sorcerers always accomplish what they set out to do. – Carlos Castaneda

We’re a feeling, an awareness encased here. – Carlos Castaneda

How can I know who I am when I am all this? – Carlos Castaneda

We talk to ourselves incessantly about our world. In fact, we maintain our world with our internal talk. And whenever we finish talking to ourselves about ourselves and our world, the world is always as it should be. We renew it, we rekindle it with life, we uphold it with our internal talk. Not only that, but we also choose our paths as we talk to ourselves. Thus, we repeat the same choices over and over until the day we die, because we keep on repeating the same internal talk over and over until the day we die. A warrior is aware of this and strives to stop his internal talk. – Carlos Castaneda

Our senses perceive the way they do because a specific feature of our awareness forces them to do so…because we learn what to perceive. – Carlos Castaneda

The world is such-and-such or so-and-so only because we tell ourselves that that is the way it is. – Carlos Castaneda

In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamens call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link. – Carlos Castaneda

What is a truthful life? A life lived with deliberateness, a good, strong life. – Carlos Castaneda

To seek the perfection of the warrior’s spirit is the only task worthy of our temporariness, our manhood. – Carlos Castaneda

Don Juan assured me that in order to accomplish the feat of making myself miserable I had to work in the most intense fashion, and that it was absurd. I had now realized I could work just the same in making myself complete and strong. The trick is in what one emphasizes, he said. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. – Carlos Castaneda

The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to himself. Perhaps you are chasing rainbows. You’re after the self-confidence of the average man, when you should be after the humbleness of a warrior. The difference between the two is remarkable. Self Confidence entails knowing something for sure; humbleness entails being impeccable in one’s actions and feelings. – Carlos Castaneda

Nothing in this world is a gift. Whatever must be learned must be learned the hard way. – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior must learn to make every act count, since he is going to be here in this world for only a short while, in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it. – Carlos Castaneda

All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. However, a path without a heart is never enjoyable. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy – it does not make a warrior work at liking it; it makes for a joyful journey; as long as a man follows it, he is one with it. – Carlos Castaneda

If a warrior is to succeed at anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession. – Carlos Castaneda

Think about it: what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellow men. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone. – Carlos Castaneda

Personal history must be constantly renewed by telling parents, relatives, and friends everything one does. On the other hand, for the warrior who has no personal history, no explanations are needed; nobody is angry or disillusioned with his acts. And above all, no one pins him down with their thoughts and their expectations. – Carlos Castaneda

The most effective way to live is as a warrior. A warrior may worry and think before making any decision, but once he makes it, he goes his way, free from worries or thoughts; there will be a million other decisions still awaiting him. That’s the warrior’s way. – Carlos Castaneda

Intent is what can make a man succeed when his thoughts tell him that he is defeated. – Carlos Castaneda

One day I found out that personal history was no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped it… Little by little you must create a fog around yourself; you must erase everything around you until nothing can be taken for granted, until nothing is any longer for sure, or real. Your problem now is that you’re too real. Your endeavors are too real, your moods are too real. Don’t take things so for granted. You must begin to erase yourself. – Carlos Castaneda

One, must have something to die for in order to have something to live for – Carlos Castaneda

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That’s control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That’s abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions. – Carlos Castaneda

It is best to erase all personal history because that would make us free from the encumbering thoughts of other people – Carlos Castaneda

One cannot enter don Juan’s world intellectually, like a dilettante seeking fast and fleeting knowledge. Nor, in don Juan’s world, can anything be verified absolutely. The only thing we can do is arrive at a state of increased awareness that allows us to perceive the world around us in a more inclusive manner. – Carlos Castaneda

In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions. – Carlos Castaneda

Once it has learned to dream the double, the self arrives at this weird crossroad and a moment comes when one realizes that it is the double who dreams the self. – Carlos Castaneda

Burn your bridges every 2 years. – Carlos Castaneda

Dreaming is the vehicle that brings dreamers to this world, the emissary said, and everything sorcerers know about dreaming was taught to them by us. Our world is connected to yours by a door called dreams. We know how to go through that door, but men don’t. They have to learn it. – Carlos Castaneda

The ego is like a tired old dog. We can never kill it, so put it out on the back porch, let it rest there, and step around it. – Carlos Castaneda

If a warrior needs solace he simply chooses anyone and expresses to that person every detail of his turmoil. After all, the warrior is not seeking to be understood or helped; by talking he’s merely relieving himself of his pressure. – Carlos Castaneda

The spirit reveals itself to everyone with the same intensity and consistency, but only warriors are consistently attuned to such revelations. – Carlos Castaneda

Seek and see all the marvels around you. You will get tired of looking at yourself alone, and that fatigue will make you deaf and blind to everything else. – Don Juan – Carlos Castaneda

Forget the self and you will fear nothing, in whatever level or awareness you find yourself to be. – Carlos Castaneda

Our normal expectations about reality are created by a social consensus. We are taught how to see and understand the world. The trick of socialization is to convince us that the descriptions we agree upon define the limits of the real world. What we call reality is only one way of seeing the world, a way that is supported by social consensus. – Carlos Castaneda

If his spirit is distorted he should simply fix it-purge it, make it perfect-because there is no other task in our entire lives which is more worthwhile…To seek the perfection of the warrior’s spirit is the only task worthy of our temporariness, our manhood. – Carlos Castaneda

The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse. – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior must cultivate the feeling that he has everything needed for the extravagant journey that is his life. What counts for a warrior is being alive. Life in itself is sufficient, self-explanatory and complete. Therefore, one may say without being presumptuous that the experience of experiences is being alive. – Carlos Castaneda

Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all – Carlos Castaneda

Self importance is man’s greatest enemy. – Carlos Castaneda

Self-importance requires spending most of one’s life offended by something or someone. – Carlos Castaneda

Learn to see, and then you’ll know that there is no end to the new worlds of our vision. – Carlos Castaneda

There’s no way to put a limit on what one may accomplish individually if the intent is an impeccable intent. Don Juan’s teachings are not spiritual. I repeat this because the question has come to the surface over and over. The idea of spirituality doesn’t fit with the iron discipline of a warrior. The most important thing for a shaman like don Juan is the idea of pragmatism. – Carlos Castaneda

A man of knowledge chooses a path with a heart and follows it and then he looks and rejoices and laughs and then he sees and knows. – Carlos Castaneda

Never take a path that has no heart in it. You can’t lose if your heart is in your work, but you can’t win if your heart is not in it. – Carlos Castaneda

We chose whether to be warriors or to be ordinary. – Carlos Castaneda

Crows are not always available to give warning. – Carlos Castaneda

That was the way human beings are; they love to be told what to do, but they love even more to fight and not do what they are told, and thus they get entangled in hating the one who told them in the first place. – Carlos Castaneda

Discipline, as understood by a warrior, is creative, open, and produces freedom. It is the ability to face the unknown, transforming the feeling of knowing into reverent astonishment; of considering things that exceed the scope of our habits, and daring to face the only war that is worthwhile: The battle for awareness. – Carlos Castaneda

Modern man has left the realm of the unknown and the mysterious and has settled down in the realm of the functional. He is turned is back to the world of the foreboding and the exulting and has welcomed the world of boredom. – Carlos Castaneda

When a warrior learns to stop the internal dialogue, everything becomes possible; the most far-fetched schemes become attainable. – Carlos Castaneda

You see all of us go through the same doubts. We are afraid of being mad; unfortunately for us, of course, all of us are already mad. – Carlos Castaneda

Only as a warrior can one withstand the path of knowledge. A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges. – Carlos Castaneda

Let’s say that when every one of us is born we bring with us a little ring of power. That little ring is almost immediately put to use. So, every one of us is already hooked from birth and our rings of power are joined to everyone else’s. In other words, our rings of power are hooked to the doing of the world in order to make the world. – Carlos Castaneda

The self-confidence of the warrior is not the self-confidence of the average man. The average man seeks certainty in the eyes of the onlooker and calls that self-confidence. The warrior seeks impeccability in his own eyes and calls that humbleness. The average man is hooked to his fellow men, while the warrior is hooked only to infinity. – Carlos Castaneda

All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. The difference between an average man and a warrior is that the warrior is aware of this, and one of his tasks is to be alert, deliberately waiting, so that when his cubic centimeter pops out he has the necessary speed, the prowess, to pick it up. – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior doesn’t know remorse for anything he has done, because to isolate one’s acts as being mean, or ugly, or evil is to place an unwarranted importance on the self. – Carlos Castaneda

I am already given to the power that rules my fate. And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend. I have no thoughts, so I will see. I fear nothing, so I will remember myself. Detached and at ease, I will dart past the Eagle to be free. – Carlos Castaneda

Will is what can make you succeed when your thoughts tell you that you’re defeated. – Carlos Castaneda

For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here. – Carlos Castaneda

We have to balance the lineality of the known universe with the nonlineality of the unknown universe. – Carlos Castaneda

I too did not want to take the path of a warrior. I believed that all that work was for nothing, and since we are all going to die what difference would it make to be a warrior? I was wrong. But I had to find that out for myself. Whenever you do realize that you are wrong, and that it certainly makes a world of difference, you can say that you are convinced. And then you can proceed by yourself. Any by yourself you may even become a man of knowledge – Carlos Castaneda

To tune the spirit when someone is trampling on you is called control – Carlos Castaneda

A warrior chooses a path with heart, any path with heart, and follows it; and then he rejoices and laughs. He knows because he sees that his life will be over altogether too soon. He sees that nothing is more important than anything else. – Carlos Castaneda

The third point of reference is freedom of perception; it is intent; it is spirit; the somersault of thought into the miraculous; the act of reaching beyond our boundaries and touching the inconceivable. – Carlos Castaneda

The reason you keep on coming back to see me is very simple; every time you have seen me your body has learned certain things, even against your desire. And finally your body now needs to come back to me to learn more. Let’s say that your body knows that it is going to die, even though you never think about it. So I’ve been telling your body that I too am going to die and before I do I would like to show our body certain things, things which you cannot give to your body yourself… So let’s say then that your body returns to me because I am its friend – Carlos Castaneda

I’m afraid you will have to fly holding the rock with its heavy chain. – Carlos Castaneda

Dwelling upon the self too much produces terrible fatigue. A man in that position is deaf and blind to everything else. The fatigue itself makes him cease to see the marvels all around. – Carlos Castaneda

We don’t need more to be thankful for, we just need to be more thankful. – Carlos Castaneda

Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow, you must not stay with it under any circumstances. – Carlos Castaneda

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