The Toltec Art of Life and Death

- A Story of Discovery -

Miguel Ruiz and Barbara Emrys

EPub Edition September 2015 ISBN 9780062390943
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Book Details
 292 p
 File Size 
 1,848 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978–0–06–243696–2 (BAM)
 978–0–06–243445–6 (BN)
 by Miguel Ruiz and Barbara Emrys

About the Authors
DON MIGUEL RUIZ is the international bestselling author of The Four
Agreements (a New York Times bestseller for over seven years), The Mastery of
Love, and The Voice of Knowledge, and coauthor of The Fifth Agreement. His
books have sold over seven million copies in the United States and have been
translated into dozens of languages worldwide. He has dedicated his life to
sharing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec culture through his books, lectures, and
journeys to sacred sites around the world.
For information about current programs offered by don Miguel Ruiz and his
apprentices, please visit

BARBARA EMRYS is an inspirational teacher and the author of The Red
Clay of Burundi: Finding God, the Music, and Me.
Discover great authors, exclusive offers, and more at

Preface and Prologue
Q1: In the beginning of the book, Sarita enters the dream world on a quest to
restore her son Miguel to life. Do you often interpret your sleeping dreams? How
is that different from commenting on your waking life?
Q2: Miguel welcomes death with the gratitude of a warrior who fought well and
wishes for a safe homecoming. What are your feelings about death?
Chapters 1–5
Q3: When Sarita tries to persuade Miguel to return to his body, we learn that he
was once a shaman. Are you familiar with shamanism? What do you think is a
shaman’s unique skill?
Q4: In this book’s narrative, why does it seem that Lala sometimes resembles
the one looking at her? Why does she appear to dislike the smells and the chaos of life?
Q5: In the book, Miguel remembers his childhood interactions with girls, and
ponders how they taught him that seduction is vital to life, that suggestion
provokes imagination, and that imagination builds reality. How do you think
your childhood encounters with the opposite sex still affect your relationships today?
Q6: An angel is a messenger. Miguel tells us that “it is an unusual messenger
who uses seductions of the mind to benefit another human being. It is an iconic
messenger who applies this skill to benefit humanity as a whole.” What kind of
messenger do you imagine yourself to be?
Q7: Miguel’s grandfather tells him: “All the things you’ve learned in school, and
everything you think you understand about life, comes from knowledge. It isn’t
truth.” Can you see how knowledge can be perceived as a reflection of truth, and
how that reflection (the sum of your opinions and beliefs) is a distorted version of truth?
Q8: Sarita insists on having her son returned to her, but Miguel tells us, “For her
troubles, she [Sarita] will bring home a pretender—the flesh-and-blood likeness
of her youngest son, who has already found the truth, and has gleefully dissolved
into its wonders.” In this story, how will Miguel be a pretender if he returns to
his life? Have you ever felt like an actor in someone else’s play? Has a lifechanging
event ever made it difficult to return to your normal routines?
Q9: Sarita is helped in her quest in the dream world by her father and
grandfather, both long dead. Do you ever converse with loved ones who have
died? What is your relationship to the people you have lost?
Chapters 6–10
Q10: Ancient Toltec spiritual warriors allowed themselves to be consumed by a
metaphorical snake, in order to emerge reborn as aware beings and to master
death. What do the words “mastering death” mean to you?
Q11: When Miguel meets Dhara, he senses that they will transform each other’s
lives. Have you ever met individuals you sensed would change your life? Did
they? What part did you play in any changes and transformations?
Q12: Can you feel the activities of your mind as separate from your body? How
do your thoughts affect the body, emotionally and physically? When you alter
your thinking, do you then feel a different emotional result?
Q13: Miguel recalls a car accident as the beginning of a life-change for him.
What, if any, traumatic experiences in your life have offered you an opportunity
to reevaluate things? Did you change any part of your reality as a result? Did
your personality change? Was there wisdom gained, and how did that wisdom
become manifest in your actions?
Q14: In this story, hell is described as a marketplace, the mitote of ideas in our
heads. Do you sometimes feel the kind of confusion that comes from too much
thinking? If you want relief from the noise, how do you usually accomplish this?
Q15: Do you think it’s true that humans are addicted to suffering? To what
degree do you make yourself suffer over ideas, people, or opinions about your life?
Chapters 11–15
Q16: Try writing the story of your life, and see which memories tempt you to
feel emotional pain. How many times do you need to rewrite your story before
those memories no longer distress you?
Q17: Nagual and tonal are words that describe infinite life and all its very finite
manifestations. Allow yourself to experience yourself as the nagual, then the
tonal, and then the bridge between the two.
Q18: In Miguel’s view, love is synonymous with truth. Have you ever used love
as an obstacle to truth in your life? Have you used it as an excuse to suffer?
Q19: Have you ever been able to love without conditions? How has being loved
unconditionally at any point in your life helped you to be more authentic and confident?
Q20: Black magic is the art of self-defeat. When, in the course of your life, do
you remember using black magic on yourself? Do you still?
Q21: In your experience, have changing perceptions led to personal
transformations? Have you ever deliberately changed a belief or quit a habit?
Did the change lead to other changes?
Chapters 16–20
Q22: Can you see how everyone in the human dream is competing for others’
attention? Can you see how they may be unaware of the amazing power of their
own attention? Personal beliefs typically control our attention. How would it
help your life to take charge of your own attention?
Q23: Awareness means seeing what is, without judgment. Can you use the
memories of your life to create a clear awareness of yourself in this moment?
Q24: A toltec is an artist; the ancient Toltec masters were artists of life. How is
your own life a work of art?
Chapters 21–25
Q25: Have you noticed how fanaticism can alter perception and corrupt
behavior? When, in your experience, have you been driven to a kind of
fanaticism? How has obsession hurt you, do you think?
Q26: Near the end of the book, the reality of death is explained in detail. How
have your views on the subject changed as you’ve journeyed through these chapters?
Q27: In what ways are you practicing authenticity? In what ways do you still
practice being what you’re not?
Q28: In many ways, knowledge is made aware of itself in this story. Can you
think of ways that you’ve become aware of yourself as the voice of knowledge
—as both the tyrant and the savior in your own wonderful story?....

Awareness: The ability to see things as they are.
Death: Matter; the absence of life.
Dios/Diosa: God/Goddess
Don/Doña: Titles of respect in the Spanish language (similar to sir, lady).
A dream: The mind’s reflection of our perception.
The dream of the planet: The collective reality of the human species.
Dreamer: Someone who knows that he or she is dreaming all the time.
Energy: The eternal supreme power, the only thing that really exists.
Evil: The result of believing in lies. Evil actions intensify according to how
distorted the lie is and how great the level of fanaticism.
Faith: Believing 100 percent, without a doubt.
God: The eternal supreme power, the only thing that really exists.
Heaven: A story in our mind that results in happiness.
Hell: A story in our mind that results in drama.
Intent: The message of energy that gives direction to light, creating matter and
disintegrating matter. Intent travels at the center of light, with quanta revolving
around it. Intent is life itself.
Knowledge: Agreements made between humans about the nature of reality.
Knowledge is communicated through symbols, such as words and numbers, phrases and formulas.
Lies: Distortions of the truth within the human mind.
Life: The creative force of God, or energy, that manifests matter.
Light: Life’s messenger, and its first manifestation.
Love: The aspect of energy that manifests as the totality of all vibrations,
moving matter and recording information into matter. Matter perceives and
reflects it, and reacts with the complete range of emotions.
Magic: The creative aspect of energy.
Matter: The finite manifestation of infinite life.
Mind: A virtual reality, created by the reflection (in the brain) of everything that the brain perceives.
Mitote (mee-'toe-tay): The ongoing conversation in our head, which sounds as
if a thousand people are talking at once and nobody is listening.
Nagual: The Nahuatl word referring to the force that moves matter.
Nagual man/woman: A person who knows himself/herself as the force that
moves matter; an immortal.
Nahuatl: The language of Aztecs.
Power: The potential to create.
Shaman: In all cultures, a medicine man or woman.
Soul: The force of life that holds a universe (matter) together (e.g., the universe
of the human body). Every component recognizes itself as part of that universe.
Story: An explanation of a dream.
Teotihuacan (Teo): An ancient city of Mexico, which flourished from 200 BC to
AD 500. Its excavated temples and pyramids are located approximately thirty
miles northeast of Mexico City.
Toltec: A Nahuatl word meaning artist.
Tonal: Matter
Truth: That which is real; another word for God and energy. Truth existed long
before humanity and will exist long after humanity.
Wisdom: The ability to react correctly to every event; common sense.

The Toltec Art of Life and Death- A Story of Discovery

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