If you’re been on a spiritual path or believe in a higher consciousness beyond what Science can explain, you’d be hard pressed to miss the work of spiritual teacher and bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz, who is most known for his “Toltec Wisdom Series,” which includes one of my favorite reads “The Four Agreements,” as well as The Mastery of Love, The Voice of Knowledge, The Four Agreements Companion Book, The Circle of Fire, and The Fifth Agreement.
If you haven’t read at least one of them, get moving — the reason that his Toltec Wisdom books have sold over 10 million copies in the United States, and have been published in 40 languages worldwide is because his wisdom speaks to people at a soul level.
We had an opportunity to interview him recently so join us in a Blue Soul Chat (no video this time around) with this remarkable teacher, author and visionary.
When I thought about the types of things I wanted to ask don, it was tough to know where to begin. You see, most of what I know about him came from The Four Agreements, largely because I have read it several times at different times in my life. It’s only in the past few years that I reconnected with my Shamanic past (from previous lifetimes not this one) and so it seems only fitting that I would pick up his books again recently.
He garners his wisdom from his Toltec ancestors as well as his own life experiences. If you haven’t read The Four Agreements, they are based on these simple (but profound) “agreements” or you could say best practices for life. The Four Agreements are: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. And, always do your best.
When I picked up his most recent book The Three Questions, he follows a similar style of teaching, going back to basics. The three questions he puts forward are: Who am I? What is Real? And, What is Love?
The simplification of his writing combined with his pivotal examples forces you to go deep within yourself to see whether you are indeed living your own truth or…..someone else’s. Ethics paves the way throughout.
And so, unlike the recent interview we did with Peter Smith, which ended up being more of a fluid dialogue, we opted for a Q&A format since we had less time together and because I was curious where they would lead. Join us!
Wisdom from don Miguel Ruiz
I love how don Miguel Ruiz so gracefully and eloquently uses storytelling to get us to reflect on our own lives. In The Three Questions, he starts with a story to do just that, because he asserts that one way or another, one story represent’s everyone’s story. He says, “if a story is very good, it can get under our skin and dare us to see the truth, opening up new doors of perception.”
Renee: You focus quite a bit on “truth” if your latest work, as a way to get people out of their comfort zone. And, to get people to see that truth (in themselves) and everywhere around them, you brilliantly use examples of the role models in a traditional family, in a community, in a government and so on. You even say that we are all dreaming reality. Do you see people feeling more lost (or rather the real word is probably disconnected from themselves) today than they were a decade ago and if so why?
“We’re all dreaming reality. — don Miguel Ruiz”
don: Everything is shifting day after day and it’s such a different world than it was in the 1950’s and 1960’s for example. The rules are different. The superstitions that we had 1,000 years ago don’t exist in the same way today. But now, everything is fragile and people do feel lost. Politically, everyone has opinions and can make other opinions wrong. But as humans, we will adapt to our circumstances. We always do.
The question is: what is real for us personally? If it’s not a truth for us, we can create a different reality from everyone else’s reality. What is most important for us is to be completely neutral and be okay with it.
Renee: You bring up fears and of course, part of being human regardless of how evolved we are consciously, is having “some fears.” While I didn’t personally live through the Depression and was only a child during the Vietnam War, it feels to me that socially, economically and politically, the fears people have today feel very rooted….even “fragile.” Do you think that the political and economic changes that are taking place in the states and Europe have shifted people’s own beliefs in how to live, or even democracy itself?
don: If we can find peace within ourselves, that’s our contribution to everyone else. It’s a way of saying, “I want to share with people a different way to be and think in the world.” We have a government within ourselves. How we rule ourselves is a mirror to the outside world. If we shift ourselves, we shift what our government looks like.
If we’re messed up, afraid and focused on fear, then those demons will show up in our government. Hate is going on inside people right now and that personal conflict is our own state.
The government is just a reflection of what the society is and wants. Think of yourself as a mirror — others will react and respond to how and who you are.
Renee: You speak of memories, which are stored in matter (our brains) as not real, but rather what is more real is impressions and perceptions. What examples could you give which are not in the book that could help someone find a way beyond their impressions and memories in order to change their own perception of their life as they know it and elevate their consciousness in a human body?
don: Think of memories as cassettes and that our memories are recorded in those cassettes. We record what we perceive — sounds, movement, thoughts — all of that goes into a memory bank/matter if you like. A reflection of our perceptions is a perceived reality. Our reflection is connected to other memories, recorded in our brains.
By using this, we give shape and form to that reality. And, within that frame, we live within that story. In other words, “this is what I believe that I am.”
This is distorted however because it’s only one reality and one perception. If the brain dies, the perception isn’t there anymore. But, the brain is matter just like a CD or a tape or a mirror. It is just perceived.
Everything we see in the mirror is not real — it’s just a reflection. Our brain is that mirror, just a reflection of life. You see yourself in that virtual reality and it is just a reflection of you.
Renee: Two of my favorite parts from your book are about people’s belief systems. You ask people to take a hard look at these belief systems and ask them if they’re more important than the truth of YOU? And, are they more important than love?
You also say the only real truth is ENERGY because Energy is Life itself. In our spiritual work, our “guides from the other side” talk about love being the most important force in the universe, so can you talk about energy as it relates to and incorporates love from your personal and shamanic viewpoint?
don: Everything we believe is what we have learned to believe. If you close your eyes, everything disappears. Reflection is only in our brain. In our own virtual reality, is what we believe we are, not who we really are. It’s a perception in a moment — “it’s about ME.”
In your mind, your image of yourself could be “the President” for example. You/President = everything that you believe. We live in that life or that constitution of what we believe is right or wrong and that’s how we live our lives.
Consider the President and Congress — we are a victim of our own beliefs and rules, so we victimize the “truth” and those rules. Our own personal constitution isn’t true. We need to change those rules and when you do, you will gain respect and be free. In this place, you are free to BE FREE!
“It has nothing to do with us unless we agree that it does.” — don Miguel Ruiz
Within your own constitution and ‘story,’ you become victims of your own creation and your own beliefs. Our outside government will stay the same externally until we change our own internal President within ourselves and how we show up to the world.
Energy is the only thing that matters. Energy is a force which moves matter. Energy is also love. It’s the only thing that matters. It reflects itself in matter. Reflection of love and matter is love itself. We learn to love however we love with conditions. For example, “if you let me control you, I will love you.” This is how we learn to love.
And sadly, we learn to love ourselves the same way. It is how we love ourselves with conditions, i.e., “I will love myself if X, Y and Z.” This is how we understand all the conflict in humanity.
War lies between lies and truth within ourselves. When you have a newborn baby, you love it unconditionally. If we can relearn how to love ourselves the same way we love that newborn baby, then everything will change.
Our number one priority needs to be that care and love for ourselves unconditionally, including our physical body, for without it, you have no physical life. Your physical body is what and why you’re here. Your physical body is always loyal to you, so you need to take care of it first before your children, your family, your work and your passions.
We punish ourselves for not being perfect or like someone else when the truth is, everything is beautiful and everyone is beautiful.
More About don Miguel Ruiz
don Miguel Ruiz was born in rural Mexico to parents who were healers and practitioners of ancient Toltec traditions. As a young adult, he graduated from medical school in Mexico City and practiced neurosurgery with his older brother in Tijuana.
A near-fatal car crash forever changed the direction of his life, causing him to leave medicine and to examine the essential truth about life and humanity. With his mother’s help, and through her ancestral teachings, he discovered his own path to awareness, which evolved into a deep understanding of the physical universe and the virtual world of the mind.
“By adopting energy’s point of view, we let go of our small obsessions. By seeing beyond our own concerns, we can appreciate the infinite landscape. Each of us is pure energy, caught up in the dream of matter. We assume we know who we are. We assume we can discern what is real. We believe all our assumptions are true — until we start to doubt. That’s the first step in answering ‘What is real?’. Then, our sense of reality starts to shift when we question what we believe.” — don Miguel Ruiz from the Chapter The Second Pearl in The Three Questions
Below are some beautiful desert shots taken with his son don Jose Ruiz who is also an acclaimed author and motivational speaker.
For more information on don Miguel Ruiz, his books, teachings and his world, visit his website. You can get his latest book The Three Questions over on Amazon. And, be sure to read more great spiritual teachers and healers in our Spiritual Voices section.