Castaneda and the warrior’s spirit

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.



  1. Kealan says:

    Carlos Castaneda! (that is all I can say at this moment in time).

  2. luz mariposa says:

    Hermosas reflexiones¡¡ Un guerrero debe enfrentar batallas con si mismo..
    esas son las mas duras..pera regresar a su espiritu ileso..lleno de luz..encontrando su interior ,su perdon,su sabiduria..
    Un guerrero tiene temple..enfrenta los se detiene ante el miedo.ante nada…concilia el terror de ser un hombre..con la maravilla de ser un hombre..
    Creo que un guerrero camina por la vida en busqueda de si comprension..La voluntatd de un guerrero es su mayor don..
    Gracias Paulo..por esto y tanto mas…Somos guerreros de luz..

  3. prasad says:

    Be a WARRIOR!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Susana says:

    Thank you so much for the post Paulo…and the comments everyone. Yes, it is the WILL and the understanding that it is this force that drives us on. To reach what it is we need to grasp, in order to take the next step .. which may be one of stillness, to appreciate what is around us. I feel empowered by what I’ve read here and remember now ‘the journey to Ixtlan’ thinking that I too should re-read.

  5. Yan says:

    Chinese translation:

    by Paulo Coelho on March 30, 2012
    作为作家,卡洛斯 卡斯达尼达在我这一代留下了印记——尽管在学术界从未有人注意到他。为了纪念他,在这里我献给大家他的经典名言:
    我们怎么被养大并不重要。行动的决定因素在于如何控制自己的意愿。意愿是一种感知,一种天赋,会为我们带来热情的东西。 意愿是可以去获得的——也是在人奋斗一生的过程中必不可少的。

  6. Psalmbody says:

    yet appreciating the way you share the sometimes secret, always sacred Life :)

  7. Hector says:

    Con palabras simples pero con espiritu de guerrero Castaneda nos inspira confianza.

  8. stardust says:

    White tiger

  9. Yuri says:

    A imagem do texto aparece no clipe de Gita , o meu preferido.

  10. toñi says:

    Este mensaje es para Mónica:
    gracias por compartir la misma opinión conmigo. Siempre seremos esos niños y nuestra infancia y como hemos sido educados es importante. El niño tiene un sistema de defensa en su mente para olvidar las experiencias tristes que le han hecho sufrir , pero su cuerpo nunca olvida esas experiencias. No sólo es importante aceptar que nuestra vida nos marca, además es nuestra responsabilidad descubrir las razones de nuestro pasado que nos han marcado. Hay que encontrar a ese niño pequeño y preguntarle. Así es como empezamos a crecer. A mi nunca me ha gustado jugar y no soy capaz ni siquiera de jugar con mi hija y busqué en mi mente ¿porque no te gusta jugar con tu hija? entonces sentí un dolor terrible en mi oreja izquierda, después con la ayuda de mi hija supe que tenía una cicatriz en la oreja, el cuerpo no olvida, el cuerpo siempre recuerda. Y recordé que de pequeña, en el colegio de monjas, unas niñas me pegaron cuando jugabamos a cromos de picar. Me pegaron, me cortaron en la oreja con unas tijeras y me quitaron todos mis cromos de picar. Desde entonces nunca he vuelto a jugar a cromos ni a nada. Ahora estoy aprendiendo a volver a jugar, incluso puedo reirme si al jugar pierdo o reirme si mi hija hace trampas en los juegos. Y seguiré buscando en esta vida y en mis experiencias y recuerdos para seguir creciendo. Gracias por lo que has escrito en el blog.

  11. Jessica says:

    I have books from Castaneda …… now you reminded me of that …. maybe I should read some soon :-)

  12. Cátia Critina says:

    Fantastico, palavras sabias, simples assim.

    Apenas um guerreiro pode suportar o caminho do conhecimento. Um guerreiro não reclamar ou lamentar nada, e vê desafios como nem boa nem má. Os desafios são simplesmente desafios.

  13. LoveM says:

    True humility
    Knowing That
    Is divinity

  14. Monica says:

    Sobre Carlos Castañeda, aunque admiro sus escritos no comparto algunos de sus enfoques, estoy de acuerdo con el comentario de Toñi, es totalmente falso, que los hechos ocurridos y las vivencias de la infancia no nos marquen, todo lo contrario, todos somos aquellos niños que fuimos, los recuerdos y el pasado es todo lo que tenemos para afrontar el futuro. Podemos hacer como el señor Coelho y buscar en otras vidas los conflictos y las deudas pendientes, algo muy respetable pero sin olvidar que no hace falta irse tan lejos para encontrar la causa de nuestros frenos, problemas y neurosis. El principio de todo camino es la busqueda de la verdad, solo aceptando quienes somos podremos emprender el camino.

  15. Shine says:

    Thanks for the remainder Paulo…….thank you so much. Loads of love Avantika

  16. Annie says:

    It was not a surprise to see this post :))
    and few other quotes I love – there are so many…:
    “In order to follow the path of knowledge, one has to be very imaginative. On the path of knowledge, nothing is as clear as we’d like it to be”

    “A warrior returns victorious to the spirit, having descended into hell. And from hell he brings trophies. Understanding is one of his trophies”

    ‘There are lots of things a warrior can do at a certain time which he couldn’t do years before. Those things themselves did not change; what changed was his idea of himself”

    Love and Gratitude

  17. John Perez says:

    The Teachings of Don Juan…..was one of his best books

  18. Sefene.s says:

    Only one thing i would like to say about: “get silent;because of the words……..”

  19. Mat Watson says:

    “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.”

    Hope these lines from Castaneda inspire some one.. just like they did me..

    1. jlcollinsnh says:

      Hi Mat…

      That’s it, perfectly. What all the series is about in three lines. Well done, and thanks.


  20. Egle says:

    it was necessary for me here and now. thank you.

  21. THELMA says:

    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 Will (Thelema, Θέλημα, Θέλμα!!! ) to live, to love, to act, to move, to change the World, to change ourselves, to find and fight for our Treasure! Our Will in adjustment with HIS Will is for what we have to pray and fight for!
    Thelma xxx

  22. it’s true words often come short in front of that which we want to describe…
    because it is so much more.
    Life is so much more…
    and still, words are the tools I like the most.

    I’ve started writing again.
    (and biking)

  23. Rico says:

    I love the first few quotes in particular. You have presented me to an author who I’d certainly like to read. Obrigado

    1. Linda - USA says:

      I read Castenada’s work in the early 70’s and kept up with it for many years. This seems to be a reminder I should go back and reread it with a fresh eye. Thank you for your wonderful blog and your GR8 works.

  24. Tushar says:

    What to say – motivational post add more passion towards life with positivity

  25. myself says:

    en lo personal me siento identificada con el pasaje que dice:

    La humildad de un guerrero no es la misma humildad como la de un hombre servil. El guerrero no bajar la cabeza a nadie, y ni se permita que nadie se postrarán delante de él. El hombre servil, en cambio, se arrodilla ante cualquier persona que cree que es más poderosa y exige que las personas bajo su mando se comportan de manera similar antes que él.

    Dios nos ilumine para saber identificar la diferencia y cuando la tengamos enfrente podamos actuar como verdaderos guerreros. Bendiciones!

  26. Nikoya says:

    I needed this today. Your insight and work is deeply appreciated. Great share :)

  27. ricardina says:

    si somos guerreros de esta vida….como dice solo un guerrero puede soportar el camino .

  28. Marie-Christine says:

    En francais

    Castaneda et l’esprit du guerrier
    Carlos Castaneda etait un auteur qui a laisse sa trace sur ma generation – bien que dans les cercles academiques il n’a jamais ete considere comme quelqu’un de remarquable.
    Je lui rends hommage en presentant un resume de ses ecrits les plus importants.

    La chose la plus difficile dans ce monde est d’adopter l;’esprit, l’attitude d’un guerrier, d’une guerriere.Il est inutile d’etre triste, de se plaindre d’etre maltraite/e et de croire que quelqu’un fait quelque chose de negatif. Personne ne fait rien et certainement pas a un guerrier, une guerriere

    La maniere dont nous avons ete eleve n’est pas importante. Ce qui determine notre facon d’agir est la maniere avec laquelle nous gerons notre volonte.
    La volonte est un sentiment, un talent quelque chose qui nous apporte de l’enthousiasme.La volonte est quelque chose que l’on apprend mais il est necessaire de lutter pour elle toute notre vie.

    L’humilite d;un guerrier, d’une guerrier n’est pas la meme que celle d’un homme, d’une femme servile. Ce guerrier/re ne fait des courbettes a qui que ce soit et non plus ne permet a personne de saluer avant lui. L’homme la femme esclave au contraire s’agenouille devant n’importe qui dont il/elle croit avoir plus de pouvoir et demande que les personnes sous son ordre se conduisent de la meme maniere devant lui/elle.

    Ce qui est mauvais, a propos des mots c’est qu’ils nous donnent l’illusion comme si nous etions enllumines et comprenions tout. Mais lorsque nous nous tournons face a face avec le monde nous nous apercevons que la realite est completement differente de celle dont nous avons parle ou entendu. Un guerrier, une guerrier cherche a agir et ne perd pas son temps dans une conversation inutile.

    La personne ordinaire pense que succomber aux doutes et soucis est un signe de sensibilite, de spiritualite.Agir de cette maniere, il/elle se distance du vrai sens de la vie. Ce genre de personne aime qu’on lui dise ce qu’il faut faire. Seul un guerrier, une guerriere peut endurer le chemin de la connaissance. Un guerrier , une guerrier ne se plaint pas ou se lamente sur rien et voit les defis comme ni bons ni mauvais. Les defis sont simplement des defis.

    Le monde est insondable et mysterieux comme nous le sommes tous. L’art du guerrier consiste a reconcilier la peur d’etre un homme. une femme avec la merveille d’etre un homme .une femme.

    1. Marie-Christine says:

      ‘les defis sont simplement des defis’.
      Defis turn upside down becomes a good thing – a yes faith – a si fed – a positive feed …. plus others
      It is right for me because it is the way I look at things that make the difference.
      Therefore I can turn it around and I found it is just the right recipe for me. for enjoying the moment.
      So what is there to love for the present time becomes my question and that’s all ….just savoring it and not looking further than ‘le bon heur’ (the good hour’.

      With love


  29. Richard d lennox says:

    Good to remember

  30. karina says:

    A diferenca é que o homem servil é medíocre , enquanto o guerreiro é ele mesmo com seus defeitos e qualidades. Procura dentro de si o equilibrio entre o dualismo que o faz um SER nem melhor e nem pior, nem maior e nem menor…

  31. Luz says:

    Hola! Paulo
    Me encanta leerlo, Aleph me atrapo, termine de leerlo y queria empezar de nuevo el libro!! De mi parte permitame felicitarlo por esa magia tan hermosa que tiene usted al escribir.
    11 minutos fue otro libro que no podia parar de leer, cuando lo empeze a leer iba en un autobus camino a mi casa, con todo el erotismo que leia me empezaba mi mente a trabajar y me sonrojaba, pensaba q la gente que estaba parada o sentada a un lado mio sabian lo que yo leia!! pero aun asi no pare de leer. Dios lo bendiga, le de mucha vida y salud para que nos siga deleitando con mas libros.
    Desde Monterrey, N.L. Mexico le envio un afectuoso saludo!

    Luz Pardo

  32. Claudia R. Rentfro says:

    God, how can I keep the Wisdom coming to my heart wth out letting the Every day world keep pushing it to my head?
    I pray that all wisdom I receive fom you thru all your channels keeps coming thru my heart.
    I love you so much!

  33. Sherin says:

    Lead a lyf with a true warrior’s spirit.. Act

  34. Edgar Aquino says:

    Paulo: Actualmente estoy leyendo su libro “Manual del guerrero de la Luz” y quisiera decirle que me esta ayudando bastante a descubrir quien soy. Muchas gracias por compartir con nosotros cada Lunes. Es muy bueno ver ese lado chistoso suyo en cada sesion.
    Gracias! ; )

  35. beatriz says:

    como siempre un genio.aunque no sean suyo, comparte pensamientos

  36. Laura Lamoy says:

    Fantastic post! My favorite passage from “The Teachings of Don Juan…” is the one about the path. Do you choose the left or right path? :)

  37. Michelle says:

    The truth is often so simple but we humans complicate our own lives, and with this the truth does really set you free thank you Paulho you are a true inspiration

  38. LoveM says:

    Freedom doesn’t need
    Journeys or destinations
    Not even a ride

    What is on your mind
    Comes between you and Free;Dom
    Only if you mind

    Life just as it is
    Now practice this perfection
    Calm calamity

    Marvellous Mystery
    How I look is what I see
    Coming back to me

    In here
    Out there

    Discover the Truth..
    You are free.. Ever present..
    Heart pleasing Being..

    Silence is freedom
    And no words.. not even these
    Words can capture this