Carlos Castaneda was an author who left his mark on my generation – although in academic circles he was never considered someone worthy of attention. As a tribute to him, I present a summary of his most important writings:
The most difficult thing in this world is to adopt the spirit and attitude of a warrior. It is no use being sad, complaining, feeling unjustly treated, and believing someone is doing something negative. No one is doing anything, and certainly not to a warrior.
It matters not how we were brought up. What determines our way of acting is the manner in which we administrate our will.
The will is a sentiment, a talent, something which lends us enthusiasm. The will is something which is acquired – but it is necessary to fight for it one’s whole life.
The humility of a warrior is not the same humility as that of a servile man. The warrior does not lower his head to anyone, and nor does he allow anyone to bow before him. The servile man, on the other hand, kneels before anyone he believes to be more powerful, and demands that the people under his command behave in a similar fashion before him.
The bad thing about words is that they make us feel as if we were illuminated and understanding everything. But, when we turn and face the world, we see that reality is completely different from that which we discussed or heard. A warrior seeks to act, and not waste time in useless conversation.
The ordinary man thinks that yielding to doubts and worries is a sign of sensibility, of spirituality. Acting thus, he remains distant from the true meaning of life. This type of person loves being told what he should do.
Only a warrior can endure the path of knowledge. A warrior does not complain or lament anything, and sees challenges as neither good nor bad. Challenges are simply challenges.
The world is unfathomable and mysterious, just as we all are. The art of the warrior consists of reconciling the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man.