Here's some excerpts from an old interview with Carlos Castaneda that pertain nicely to SWEDA. Full Interview here.
CASTANEDA: Don Juan thinks that what he calls seeing is apprehending the world without any interpretation; it is pure wondering perception. Sorcery is a means to this end. To break the certainty that the world is the way you have always been taught you must learn a new description of the world--sorcery--and then hold the old and the new together. Then you will see that neither description is final. At that moment you slip between the descriptions; you stop the world and see. You are left with wonder; the true wonder of seeing the world without interpretation.
KEEN: Do you think it is possible to get beyond interpretation by using psychedelic drugs?
CASTANEDA: I don't think so. That is my quarrel with people like Timothy Leary. I think he was improvising from within the European membership and merely rearranging old glosses. I have never taken LSD, but what I gather from don Juan's teachings is that psychotropics are used to stop the flow of ordinary interpretations, to enhance the contradictions within the glosses, and to shatter certainty. But the drugs alone do not allow you to stop the world. To do that you need an alternative description of the world. That is why don Juan had to teach me sorcery.
KEEN: There is an ordinary reality that we Western people are certain is 'the' only world, and then there is is the separate reality of the sorcerer. What are the essential differences between them?
CASTANEDA: In European membership the world is built largely from what the eyes report to the mind. In sorcery the total body is used as a perceptor. As Europeans we see a world out there and talk to ourselves about it. We are here and the world is there. Our eyes feed our reason and we have no direct knowledge of things. According to sorcery this burden on the eyes in unnecessary. We know with the total body.
KEEN: Western man begins with the assumption that subject and object are separated. We're isolated from the world and have to cross some gap to get to it. For don Juan and the tradition of sorcery, the body is already in the world. We are united with the world, not alienated from it.
CASTANEDA: That's right. Sorcery has a different theory of embodiment. The problem in sorcery is to tune and trim your body to make it a good receptor. Europeans deal with their bodies as if they were objects. We fill them with alcohol, Bad food, and anxiety. When something goes wrong we think germs have invaded the body from outside and so we import some medicine to cure it. The disease is not a part of us. Don Juan doesn't believe that. For him disease is a disharmony between a man and his world. The body is an awareness and it must be treated impeccably.
KEEN: Do you think don Juan lives in this state of awareness most of the time?
CASTANEDA: Yes. He lives in magical time and occasionally comes into ordinary time. I live in ordinary time and occasionally dip into magical time.
KEEN: Anyone who travels so far from the beaten paths of consensus must be very lonely.
CASTANEDA: I think so. Don Juan lives in an awesome world and he has left routine people far behind. Once when I was with don Juan and his friend don Genaro I saw the loneliness they shared and their sadness at leaving behind the trappings and points of reference of ordinary society. I think don Juan turns his loneliness into art. He contains and controls his power, the wonder and the loneliness, and turns them into art. His art is the metaphorical way in which he lives. This is why his teachings have such a dramatic flavor and unity. He deliberately constructs his life and his manner of teaching.
CASTANEDA: Don Juan used psychotropic plants only in the middle period of my apprenticeship because I was so stupid, sophisticated and cocky. I held on to my description of the world as if it were the only truth. Psychotropics created a gap in my system of glosses. They destroyed my dogmatic certainty. But I paid a tremendous price. When the glue that held my world together was dissolved, my body was weakened and it took months to recuperate. I was anxious and functioned at a very low level.
KEEN: Does don Juan regularly use psychotropic drugs to stop the world?
CASTANEDA: No. He can now stop it at will. He told me that for me to try to see without the aid of psychotropic plants would be useless. But if I behaved like a warrior and assumed responsibility I would not need them; they would only weaken my body.
KEEN: You now minimize the importance of the psychedelic experience connected with your apprenticeship. And you don't seem to go around doing the kind of tricks you describe as the sorcerer's stock-in-trade. What are the elements of don Juan's teachings that are important for you? Have you been changed by them?
CASTANEDA: For me the ideas of being a warrior and a man of knowledge, with the eventual hope of being able to stop the world and see, have been the most applicable. They have given me peace and confidence in my ability to control my life. At the time I met don Juan I had very little personal power. My life had been very erratic. I had come a long way from my birthplace in Brazil. Outwardly I was aggressive and cocky, but within I was indecisive and unsure of myself. I was always making excuses for myself. Don Juan once accused me of being a professional child because I was so full of self-pity. I felt like a leaf in the wind. Like most intellectuals, my back was against the wall. I had no place to go. I couldn't see any way of life that really excited me. I thought all I could do was make a mature adjustment to a life of boredom or find ever more complex forms of entertainment such as the use of psychedelics and pot and sexual adventures. All of this was exaggerated by my habit of introspection. I was always looking within and talking to myself. The inner dialogue seldom stopped. Don Juan turned my eyes outward and taught me to accumulate personal power.
I don't think there is any other way to live if one wants to be exuberant.
KEEN: In the existential tradition, discussions of responsibility usually follow discussion of death.
CASTANEDA: Then don Juan is a good existentialist. When there is no way of knowing whether I have one more minute of life. I must live as if this is my last moment. Each act is the warrior's last battle. So everything must be done impeccably. Nothing can be left pending. This idea has been very freeing for me. I am here talking to you and I may never return to Los Angeles. But that wouldn't matter because I took care of everything before I came.
KEEN: This world of death and decisiveness is a long way from psychedelic utopias in which the vision of endless time destroys the tragic quality of choice.
CASTANEDA: When death stands to your left you must create your world by a series of decisions. There are no large or small decisions, only decisions that must be made now. And there is no time for doubts or remorse. If I spend my time regretting what I did yesterday I avoid the decisions I need to make today.
KEEN: There seem to be many parallels between existential philosophy and don Juan's teachings. What you have said about decision and gesture suggests that don Juan, like Nietzsche or Sartre, believes that will rather than reason is the most fundamental faculty of man.
CASTANEDA: I think that is right. Let me speak for myself. What I want to do, and maybe I can accomplish it, is to take the control away from my reason. My mind has been in control all of my life and it would kill me rather than relinquish control. At one point in my apprenticeship I became profoundly depressed. I was overwhelmed with terror and gloom and thoughts about suicide. Then don Juan warned me this was one of reason's tricks to retain control. He said my reason was making my body feel that there was no meaning in life. Once my mind waged this last battle and lost, reason began to assume its proper place as a tool of the body.
KEEN: "The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of" and so does the rest of the body.
CASTANEDA: That is the point. The body has a will of its own. Or rather, the will is the voice of the body. That is why don Juan consistently put his teachings in dramatic form. My intellect could easily dismiss his world of sorcery as nonsense. But my body was attracted to his world and his way of life. And once the body took over, a new and healthier reign was established.
CASTANEDA: It has been this element of engagement in the world that has kept me following the path which don Juan showed me. There is no need to transcend the world. Everything we need to know is right in front of us, if we pay attention. If you enter a state of nonordinary reality, as you do when you use psychotropic plants, it is only to draw back from it what you need in order to see the miraculous character of ordinary reality. For me the way to live--the path with heart--is not introspection or mystical transcendence but presence in the world. This world is the warrior's hunting ground.