Sunday, December 27, 2015

Don Miguel de Ruiz - A Story of Discovery

““Miguel,” he said gently, with a sweet smile on his face, 
“all the things you’ve learned in school, and everything you think you understand about life, 
comes from knowledge. It isn’t truth.”

“Don’t take offense, my child,” he went on. 
“This is the mistake everyone makes. 
People put their faith in opinions and rumors—and out of this, they construct a world, 
believing that their constructed world is the real world. 
They don’t know whether what they believe is true. 
They don’t even know whether what they believe about themselves is true.
 Do you know what is true, or what you are?”

“Yes, I know what I am!” I insisted.
How could I not know myself? I’ve been with myself since birth!” 

“M’ijo, you don’t know what you are,” he said calmly, 
“but you know what you’re not. 
You’ve been practicing what you’re not for so long, you believe it. 
You believe in an image of you, an image based on many things that aren’t true.”

I didn’t know what to say next. 
I had expected praise, or at least an argument against my point of view. 
I would have been happy to participate in an intellectual boxing match with my grandfather. 
In my opinion, I had enough information to debate the master, and to win. 
Instead, what he gave me was a knockout punch to the self. 
Everything I thought about Miguel, my grandfather disqualified in a few hard sentences. 
Everything I knew about the world was now in doubt. 
Doubt! It’s hard to overstate the importance of doubt 
when we’re bringing down the intellectual house we’ve built. 
We learn words, we believe in their meaning, 
and we practice those beliefs until our little house is solid and strong. 
Doubt is the tremor that brings it down, when it’s time. 
Doubt can cause a citadel of beliefs to crumble; 
and that kind of tremor is necessary if we want to see beyond our private illusions. 
An earthquake is necessary. 
I looked at my grandfather, and he smiled back at me, as if we had just shared a happy secret. 
Did he even notice that my self-esteem had been shattered?

The Toltec Art of Life and Death:A Story of Discovery–Don Miguel de Ruiz

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