Carlos Castaneda (December 25, 1925 – April 27, 1998) was an American author with a Ph.D. in anthropology.
Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly a group that he called the Toltecs. The books, narrated in the first person, relate his experiences under the tutelage of a Yaqui “Man of Knowledge” named Don Juan Matus. His 12 books have sold more than 28 million copies in 17 languages. Critics have suggested that they are works of fiction; supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which enable an increased awareness.
Castaneda withdrew from public view in 1973 to work further on his inner development, living in a large house with three women whom he called “Fellow Travellers of Awareness”, and who were ready to cut their ties to family and changed their names. He founded Cleargreen, an organization that promoted tensegrity, purportedly a traditional Toltec regimen of spiritually powerful exercises.