In this audio version of the fourth book in the popular series, don Miguel Ruiz reminds readers of a profound yet simple truth: The only way to end emotional suffering and restore joy in living is to stop believing in lies — mainly about ourselves. Ruiz refers to the forbidden tree of knowledge, likening the abandonment of the true self to the fall from heaven. This fall, he says, occurred because of the loss of "the impeccability of the word," that simple yet potent prescription for countering the judgmental inner "Voice of Knowledge." Adhering to "the word" — saying only what one means, refusing to speak against one’s self — allows anyone to quiet those inner tyrannical thoughts so that we can become aware of our Voice of Integrity. Knowledge then becomes an ally, and life becomes an expression of the authentic self.
As little children we know how to live in the moment and be completely authentic. But then something damaging happens to us, according to author Don Miguel Ruiz: we are given "knowledge" about how to live in the world. Parents tell us how to behave in order to be a "good" boy or girl. Teachers tell us what it takes to be a "winner" or a "successful" adult. This collective "voice of knowledge" is not only false--it is often poisonous, explains Ruiz, bestselling author of The Four Agreements. It makes us believe that "I am not the way I should be; it is not okay to be me." Drawing upon the story of Adam and Eve, Ruiz refers to the forbidden tree of knowledge and likens the abandonment of the true self to the fall from heaven. What Ruiz calls "the voice of knowledge" others spiritual teachers might call ego--the hidden and carefully defended belief system that prevents us from living and expressing who we really are. "The structure of our knowledge makes us feel safe….When we discover that we are not what we believe we are, the foundation of our entire reality begins to collapse." In the Toltec tradition, Ruiz says every human is an artist, "and the supreme art is the expression of the beauty of our spirit." He explains that there are two kinds of artists: "the ones who create their story without awareness, and the ones who recover awareness and create their story with truth and love." The recovering of awareness is what this fourth book in the Toltec Wisdom series is all about. This makes for a good bedside spiritual growth book. Each chapter closes with "Points to Ponder"--summary thoughts to sleep upon as you create the more authentic story of your life. --Gail Hudson