A Separate Reality is an allegedly non-fictional book written by anthropologist/author Carlos Castaneda in 1971 concerning the events that took place during an apprenticeship he claimed to have served with a self-proclaimed Yaqui Indian Sorcerer, Don Juan Matus, between 1968 and 1971. The authenticity of the book, along with the rest of Castaneda's series, has been a topic of debate since they were published.
In the book Castaneda continues his description of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Don Juan, from which he had withdrawn in 1965. 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 around 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.