The Toltec was a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture, native of Mexico that ruled from about 900 AD to 1500 AD. Ultimately, they passed on that heritage to civilizations such as the Aztecs, who regarded the Toltecs as a great and prosperous civilization. The first settlement of the Toltecs was at Culhuacan, but they later established a capital at Tollan.
The Tollan is assumed to be renowned for its sumptuous palaces and awe-inspiring buildings made from gold, jade, turquoise, and quetzal feathers. The city and the civilization were possessed with skilled artisan, craftsman, metal workers, jewellers and agriculturists. It is no doubt, that the civilization must have been well-governed and protected, since it survived and flourished for so many years. Toltecs had remarkable religious practices and were masters indistinctive art. They were very well versed in architecture, sculpture, writing and accomplished in medicine.
After its extinction, what survived was the ancient traditional Toltec wisdom. Their tradition cannot be called a religion, but is a way of life and honours all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. The Toltecs embrace spirits and are deeply into spiritualism. Throughout southern Mexico, the Toltects were referred to as ‘men and women of knowledge’. They came together as masters (naguals) and students at Teotihuacan, the ancient city of pyramids outside Mexico City known as the place where ‘Man becomes God’.
For an era, the toltects were forced to conceal and protect the ancestral wisdom from the many conquests of invaders and misusers who tried to seek it simply for personal gain. This esoteric knowledge was passed on to generations of naguals and was maintained in secrecy for hundreds of years. They foretold the coming of age when it would be necessary to reveal it in discourses.
As Don Miguel Ruiz, a nagual from the Early Knight lineage, refers ‘Toltecs as scientists and artists who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge and practices of ancient ones.’ The Toltec wisdom is sacred and introspective.
But how can one edify and educate self with Toltec wisdom when it apeals to us so much?
Fortunately, we have our knight and nagual to teach us the Toltec wisdom. Don Miguel Ruiz in his book ‘The Four Agreements’ put forth the insights of the Toltecs. These four agreements, when practiced lead to lasting happiness and love.The contents of the book are meant for self-discovery, healing and self-improvement.
The introduction to the agreements introduces you to the illusion we all are in. Only the awakened one can see the reality. The author shares a story which can be assumed to be the experience of the first nagual of the Toltec tribe.
‘Three thousand years ago, a human like us lived near a city surrounded by mountains.’ This man was practicing medicine, to learn the knowledge of his ancestors. But he was dissatisfied with what he learned, ‘he felt that there must be something more’.
‘One day while he was sleeping in a cave, he dreamed that he saw his own body sleeping. He came out of the cave on the night of a new moon. The sky was clear, and he could see millions of stars. Then something happened inside of him that transformed his life forever. Ho looked at his hands, he felt his body, and he heard his own voice say, “I am made of light; I am made of stars.” “Everything is made of light” he said, “and the space in between isn’t empty.” And he knew that everything that exists is one living being, and that light is the messenger of life, because it is alive and contains all information.’
The realisation was that everything in existence is a manifestation of one. Human perception is merely light perceiving light.
This realisation awakened him from the dream he had been in for so long. When he saw the world with those sparkling, illuminated eyes of his, he could understand everyone so well but no one could understand him. He realized that everyone was dreaming without awareness, without knowing who they really are. People who saw him is his awakened state perceived him to be an incarnation of God, but there he was, a mere human with higher level of consciousness, beyond illusion and insightful.
Each human is a mirror to others, but there is a wall of fog or smoke between the mirrors. That smoke was made by the interpretation of images of light – the dream of humans. To remember all his acquired visions, he decided to call himself – the Smokey mirror; so that he would know that matter is a mirror and the smoke in between is what keeps from knowing who and what we truly are.
“I am the Smokey mirror, because I am looking at myself in all of you, but we don’t recognize each other because of the smoke in between us. That smoke is the Dream, and the mirror is you, the dreamer” inferred the nagual.
“The real mission you have in life is to make yourself happy, and in order to be happy, you have to look at what you believe, the way you judge yourself, the way you victimize yourself”Don Miguel Ruiz