A Separate Reality

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A Separate Reality
A separate reality.jpg
First edition cover (paperback)
AuthorCarlos Castaneda
CountryUnited States
PublisherSimon & Schuster
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover & Paperback)
Preceded byThe Teachings of Don Juan 
Followed byJourney to Ixtlan 

A Separate Reality: Further Conversations With Don Juan is a book written by anthropologist/author Carlos Castaneda, published in 1971, concerning the events that took place during his apprenticeship with a Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, Don Juan Matus, between 1960 and 1965.

In the book Castaneda continues his description of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Don Juan. As in his previous book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Castaneda describes the experiences he has with Don Juan while under the influence of the psychotropic plants that Don Juan offered him, peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and a smokable mixture of what Castaneda believed to be, among other plants, dried mushroom of the genus Psilocybe. The main focus of the book centered on Don Juan's attempts at getting Carlos to See, a practice best described as, in Castaneda's own words, "perceiving energy directly as it flows through the universe".

The book contains an introduction, an epilogue and two separate parts. Part One, "The Preliminaries of 'Seeing'", describes his re-initiation into the apprenticeship from which he withdrew in late 1965, and also describes his introduction to another brujo (sorcerer) named Don Genaro. Part Two, "The Task of 'Seeing'", elaborates on the mental processes involved with Seeing, and begins with Castaneda realizing that the plants are a necessary tool to arrive at Seeing.

References in popular media[edit]

A copy is given to Sayid Jarrah by a young Benjamin Linus in the episode "He's Our You" (Season 5 Episode 10) of the TV series Lost.

One of the stacked books in the episode "Concentrate and Ask Again" (Season 3 Episode 12) of the TV series Fringe.

The book inspired the members of metal band Between the Buried and Me offshoot, Trioscapes, to name their debut EP "Separate Realities".

In the film The Exorcism of Emily Rose, an anthropologist played by Shoreh Aghdashloo references Castaneda and the Separate Reality during her court testimony.

In Season 2 of the HBO series True Detective, Dr. Irving Pitlor is seen reading the book.


  • Castaneda, Carlos. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, 30th Anniversary Edition. New York: Washington Square Press, 1998
  • Castaneda, Carlos. A Separate Reality. New York: Pocket Books, 1971
  • Parada, Sergio. Guardians of the Separate Reality. New York: Lulu Press, 2010