Toltec Art of Life and Death

Author: don Miguel Ruiz

Buy It: Amazon

Entertainment Value: 8/10

Life Value: 10+/10

Read If: You want to escape the prison of the mind, and are interested in a masterclass on the art of living and dying.

Do Not Read If: You are just beginning on the path of spiritual understanding. While you may grasp the central themes, it can also be complex at times. I’d begin with reading some of his other works, like the Four Agreements, or Mastery of Love.

Wow.  There are certain texts that are destined to be read for thousands of years, because the truth contained therein is so universal and profound that it will be eternally relevant.  This is one of the works.  The story recounts the life, teachings, and philosophy of one of the great sages of our time, a man that I had the pleasure to spend several days with.

Don Miguel Ruiz is the real deal.  He walks the walk in a manner unlike anyone I have encountered.  This, likely his last book offers a complete philosophical and spiritual system rooted in his own interpretation of the toltec tradition.  For many of us who have sought truth from many sources, we will find commonalities in what is expressed, but there is something unique and incredibly potent about this manner of explanation.  

The central thesis of the book is to draw a line of demarcation between love & life, and knowledge and death.  Love and life breathes in the present moment, whereas knowledge and thought is already dead, living only in the past and the future.  In this way it very much echoes the sentiments of another of my favorite author’s, Eckhart Tolle.  But beyond the main theme are a thousand gems that you can harvest as your own to help you create your own masterpiece of life and death.

The author embodies the sentiment of ruthless love.  He asks pointed questions to his students, such as “Are you stupid or happy?” and asks them why they like to eat poo instead of honey.  This is not a book for the timid.  It is a book for warriors.  There is a thin line between hyperbole and fact, and parable and fiction and Don Miguel is certainly not afraid of the line.  But if you see beyond the words to the truth behind the symbol, you will have something to cherish and guide you for the rest of your life.

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