Rather than begin his book with Toltec mythology, Don Miguel comes right at the heart of the Judeo-Christian tradition, with the Genesis story of Adam and Eve, saying it tells a story with symbols, that he will attempt to tell with words. Central to all is the tree of knowledge, the prince of lies that lives in that tree, and the 'eating' of its fruit: the knowledge of good and evil.
In the beginning there was only experience and a loving communion with the universe. After the fall, there was separation; a veil of knowledge dropped between the universe and ourselves. Now I see it this way. We then begin to live in a binary world of judgment. Like an operating system in a computer, we learn to calculate the universe with a one or a zero, in yes or no, in good or bad, in big or small, in salt or pepper, in yesterday or tomorrow. Moreover, these calculations become so rapid and unconscious that we believe they are the real world.
(Re-read that paragraph until its message really sinks in, because this is critical….
Before this next paragraph becomes apparent.)
And that is the original sin of humankind: believing with all our faith in the lies of knowledge. Believing in its virtual reality of judgment, concept, and opinion. Using that judgment to find ourselves guilty, and punishing ourselves with separation from the unity of the universe. That is the first truth of Toltizian Dreaming.
What Ruizian genius! Taking what has been perverted through the ages as some morality story and showing its deeper meaning and metaphysics. Stretching a Meso-American truth across our western framework and uniting them as a common wisdom tradition. Revealing truth in a very practical, loving, and straightforward manner.
And notice the aura of responsibility inherent in the story. We believe. We judge. We punish ourselves. And there lies the hope behind the rest of the book: we can change our actions.
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