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The Pathway of Spiritual Deception

Particularly in the 1970, the books written by Carlos Castaneda were a highly influential element to modern spirituality. They depicted the author’s interaction with a Mexican Indian shaman known as Don Juan. In fact, Carlos Castaneda competed his Ph.D. from U.C.L.A. by presenting his dissertation on his interactions with Don Juan which would later be published and sell millions of copies; Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. The only problem was, it was all a lie. Virtually everything presented in the dissertation/book was fiction. Yet, the man became a cultural icon and earned his Ph.D. by presenting false facts.

Me too… Back then before the truth was revealed, I too read, believed, and learned from his books.

What I am saying here is one-hundred percent easily verifiable. In fact, there have been entire books written on the subject. So, there is no new wisdom being imparted here. From this, however, the question must be asked, “What is true knowledge?” “What is fact and what is fiction?”

Let’s step beyond the element that what he had written was not based in fact. Let’s forget about that for moment… Was what he wrote educational—particularly from a spiritual perspective? Yes, it was. Obviously, it was. He sold millions of copies of his books. But, would people have purchased those books had they believed it was not the true story of his spiritual unfolding? That’s hard to say. We will never know. But, as it was presented as fact, people really believed what he, or more precisely Don Juan, was teaching.

Throughout time, there have been a lot of people who have presented false illustrations of their spiritual awakening to the world. Having walked this path for most of my life, I have encountered more than few false profits and fake teachers. But, for them, it was all about ego; it was all about undiagnosed psychological inadequacy, it was all about money. They were seeking fame and fortune. Castaneda was not that way, however. In fact, he was all but a recluse. Sure, he made his money via his writings, but he was not out there on the lecture circuit where the fame and the admiration really come into play.

The question must be asked for anyone who seeks spiritual awaking and seeks it via listening to or following some other person, “Is what they are saying true?” And, “If it is not, does that change their message and does it alter the fact of whether they should or should not be listened to?”

Castaneda, in part, earned his Ph.D. via a deception about himself and his learning experience. But, U.C.L.A. never disavowed that degree. Most people who read Castaneda probably still do not know his truth. Thus, in their mind, all they read was real. They learned from it. His writings guided them. They had no reason to doubt their or his validity.

So, is a lie ever the truth? And, does it really matter if you believe it?

Can a teacher who lies be trusted? Or, does them being a liar cause their message to go mute?

You should think about these things before you ever believe anyone or anything they say because what they say, though it may even be university approved, may be a complete lie. What does that make them? What does that make what they teach? And, what does that make you for listening to and believing them in the first place?