My reason for asking you to "define real" was to determine where your own thoughts lie with regard to the definition itself. The thing is... it was only when I began wrestling myself free of these confining definitions that I began to achieve what my heart had always desired: contact with the infinite, direct interaction with the nagual, personal Knowledge that the world is nothing like we have been taught to believe. So when you said you chose to believe don Juan was real... it just seemed to me your own parameters may be determining what you are seeing.
and obliterates those you choose to ignore."
This was a statement made by Orlando when I was relatively new to the journey, and it has changed the manner in which I choose to believe, the manner in which I see the world. If I already believe that we live on a flat earth, then I have absolutely no incentive or motivation to move my mind into a round earth mindset. In other words, I remain stuck in my status quo based on what I believe - which often isn't at all true with regard to the bigger picture of what-is.
I see a lot of folks so busily looking for the man behind the curtain - trying to prove that don Juan was "real" or "not real" - that they miss out altogether on the magic the wizard is performing. So I prefer to look at it this way: the magic is quite real even if the magician was only a figment of Carlos Castaneda's imagination. But the magic may be far more significantly real (to myself and others walking a similar path) if it can be perceived that maybe (just maybe...) Carlos-the-Buffoon was really the man behind the curtain all along. In other words - just maybe Carlos figured it out for himself, but projected the Knowledge outside of himself into the manifestation of a Yaqui Indian in Old Mexico, to provide a milieu for his own learning, and simultaneously to provide a teacher with whom he could interact. Without that juxtaposition, it is possible to achieve the same results, though it usually takes a lot longer and has the distinct disadvantage of appearing to work in a vacuum.
In other words, it is altogether likely that don Juan was Carlos Castaneda's double in the truest possible sense of the word: energetically, intellectually, spiritually, infinitely. Whether Carlos himself ever knew this or not, who's to say? The double is the trickster, leaving it up to the mortal self in the Now to dig deeper into the quantum layers, or simply assign the lowest common denominator explanation and take the world on face value.
It seems to me at times that many young or inexperienced seekers tend to base their conclusions on narrow parameters within the ordinary world - i.e., they are accepting on Carlos' word that the double could not be verified with tactile sensation, just for one example. If that was your experience, I might tend to take it a bit more seriously, but it is only your belief based on someone else's experience, which may or may not have been "real", and which may or may not have been accurately recorded as it filtered through his own perceptions.
Why does any of this matter? Only for one reason: for as long as you base what you will accept on the past-tense definitions provided for you by someone else, you are living in an "unreal" world out of fear or habit. For as long as I truly believed I knew what was "real", my experience was limited to my own inner agreement of what I would allow myself to perceive.
We are all like this, for we are all human. The trick is getting past our beliefs and into the realm of actually seeing through the eyes of our own unique experiences.