In part two of Face the Current’s soulful sit-down with don Jose Ruiz, we dive deeper into our responsibility to future generations, the acceptance of our imperfect life paths, getting off of our “islands of safety,” being our own angels, breaking our addictions to suffering, facing and accepting the currents of our lives, and freeing ourselves from negative habits for the health of the gardens of our lives.
We continue opening our minds to the healing wisdom of the Toltecs, as don Jose Ruiz enlightens and empowers us to live our lives with accountability and the purest of hearts with insights from his latest books “The Wisdom of the Shamans” and “The Fifth Agreement.”
Facing the current is so powerful, because facing the current is facing life. This is what the whole world needs to be doing: facing the current and letting the old dream go. The new dreams will come to you and live.
Sasha Frate: Our intent is manifesting through word and is responsible for the creation of everything as the messenger delivers his or her message. What are some of the more powerful, positive messages that you believe are being delivered today?
don Jose Ruiz: Humans are respecting life more. They’re respecting life in animals’ right to live. And, they’re also respecting their own lives. We’re just beginning to respect the great essence that we really are. And this way, people are beginning to have a voice, and their voices are being heard. People are the ones to pass on this legacy of negativity to the next generation. So, in this beautiful place, it’s a step toward consciousness. Waking up, we can never go back to sleep, and by taking action, we remain awake. So, this is a very beautiful time we are living in.
SF: Yes, and that’s something I really saw on my travels––all the community coming together. It’s amazing how much––even if you’re not going on these journeys or you’re getting the message from a messenger––it really starts to amplify and creates that ripple effect. It spreads when each person goes back home and back to their normal environments. It’s really happening.
dJR: Yeah, and I love that word “amplification” because that’s what we really are in our current bodies. Our life is an amplification of the planet, and the planet is what we call in the many traditions the Mother. And we’re amplifying for Her. So, every idea that we have, every act of goodness that comes from our heart, everything that we can deliver, we begin amplifying. This is why the Toltecs are named artists, because we’re really creating art with whatever we feel from the Mother. So, it’s a beautiful word, amplification. I love it.
SF: Awesome, yes. You’ve described one of the biggest lies of the present time with the statement that nobody’s perfect. Why do you call this a lie? And, why is it not enough to simply say, “We are perfect”?
dJR: It’s like I was saying before: We are an amplification of Mother. Even the negative things that we have done are part of it; that was also supposed to happen, so even that is perfect. When we are negative, when other people are negative, it makes an action in life that sparks the people who are living in positivity to have a voice and to speak up. They begin raising that love, raising that vibration, raising that awareness. The consciousness is being opened and the eyes are being opened to that way of living. So, whatever makes us change is whatever we live in our life. Every experience that we have was perfect because it was supposed to happen. It happened because it was supposed to. When we waste our time disrespecting ourselves, the problem is when we say it wasn’t supposed to happen, or it was supposed to be some other way. No. Everything is perfect and when we surrender to any situation, to any circumstance, we can wake up to really begin serving. We need to no longer expect stuff from the art of complaining, because complaining and getting paralyzed doesn’t do anything––it doesn’t change anything. But, when we see what it means to be change, and we begin taking action in our own home, this is when we really know that we’re perfect. Making a change in our home begins the ripple effect that will begin happening everywhere. So now, maybe every human and artist will respect their own art and the world will be a better place. This is a beautiful thing to do, so that’s what I mean when I say everything is perfect.
The fourth agreement: always bring your best. With that action bringing you to the fourth agreement, we begin to manifest things and we begin to let go of things. In the Toltec tradition, it’s about unlearning and learning what the old negative habits are that don’t let us grow.
SF: And truly, every person that crosses our path––even those that we feel might have come through with some kind of negativity or challenge––is serving us in some way. Right?
dJR: Yes. It even becomes a blessing when we understand our situation; when we no longer have emotional attachment. When we really let go of the situation, we begin seeing it for what it was. It was a learning lesson. And, no matter what, it’s about the act of kindness to ourselves. Because letting go of somebody negative is half the penance to ourselves. It’s like getting the negative person out of our home or getting the big dog that abuses the little dog out of its space. When we begin seeing this, it’s a blessing to learn how to take care of ourselves. When that happens, we say that it will never happen again, because we are now present. This is why I love that phrase when Siddhartha wakes up to become the Buddha. He says, “Architect, you will not be building your home here anymore.” It’s because he woke up to that point and sees life as it is.
SF: You were saying that you also really welcome and invite these sorts of conflicts, because it allows you to practice not taking things personally.
dJR: Yes, it’s a reminder to remain humble, to keep one foot on the ground, and to learn that everybody’s going through something. We might not know what they’re going through––they might have a good mask. But, everybody is going through something. And, when we begin to have a foot on the ground, are kind to ourselves, and are humble in any situation––even when we fall––that’s how we learn. The most beautiful thing is how we can serve and support one another to not spread that negativity anymore.
SF: Now, why do you say that the biggest fear in this world is actually the fear of the truth?
dJR: It’s because when we begin lying, we put ourselves on an “island of safety,” like we say in my tradition. On that island of safety, we prefer to live in a lie than to live in the truth. If we don’t want to focus on the truth, it’s because it hurts so much. It’s like putting alcohol into an open wound in an attempt to heal it. And, we don’t want that wound healed, because we’re addicted to reopening and reopening it. Like my older brother says, there will come a point that you see the truth and that will lead you to change. It’s just like the old sacred town quote, “The truth will set you free.” But many people don’t want to be set free; they want to remain in habitual suffering. My pain is building your pain, I pass on the pain, and it passes to everybody else, all because I’m suffering and didn’t know how to heal. When you’re ready to go through any situation to get yourself out of living in pain, that’s when you make the decision to stop living that way. If you don’t want to, it’s because you’re afraid of the truth, because most people know exactly what they need to do for themselves. (Not what they want to do because wanting and desiring is something else.) But, if you don’t take action, it just puts you into a bubble. Stop blaming everybody else and only start doing. You’re breaking the curse—the curse that we place on ourselves. That’s why it’s important to always be honest with ourselves and to be humble, because when we do that, we can see the truth and let things go. Let not that evil grow. Let go of your pain to always have clean gardens so your flowers can grow.
SF: Beautiful. As you’ve made clear, there’s a lot of unlearning to do, and a lot of constant reinforcement to navigate before reaching second attention or even the third attention in the upper world that you call the dream of the masters. Is this truly achievable to become a master?
dJR: Oh yes. The beautiful thing about the old traditions is sometimes they make the world so powerful, so mystical, that we believe we cannot attain them. But you know what? It’s like vision questing for me; it’s simply day dreaming and allowing your voice to be heard. So, with this being said, everybody can achieve what they desire. In this moment I can say, “I want this in my life, or I don’t want that in my life.” I’m saying this prayer that the angels will hear, but who is really listening? I am listening because I am that angel. I’m praying to myself and now I take action. I can achieve whatever I want, and I can let go of whatever I don’t want, because it’s an action of sowing. It’s the fourth agreement: always bring your best. With that action bringing you to the fourth agreement, we begin to manifest things and we begin to let go of things. In the Toltec tradition, it’s about unlearning and learning what the old negative habits are that don’t let us grow. This is where we’re calling a light to the darkness inside of us. Because we believe in ourselves so much that we want to learn to live the old way, no longer paralyzing ourselves with our own stinger, our own poison, our own mad words of corruption. We are back with the old ways and we don’t take things personally. Only then will we stop making excuses about the things we cannot change. When we begin practicing the beauty of the word, one day we begin thinking impeccably and we begin to take care of our garden; the love of our lives. It is possible—everybody can do it.
SF: Yes, I agree. You said that the fifth agreement is intended for messenger training or angel training for messengers who are aware that they have a message to deliver. How will awareness make a difference in these messengers?
dJR: Well, it’s an important question because this is what it is all about: service. When you become aware and live this way, the message that we give is to ourselves. When we give it to ourselves, we can give it to others, because we cannot give what we don’t have. When we’re prepared and know what we want and what we don’t want, we know what “good message” truly is. It also proves a point: we’ve got an ally in our lives, and that ally is ourselves. In this moment of understanding, we’re no longer a victim; we see how the world is. It’s addicted to suffer, but then we wake up; we take an antidote. We then have the second attention; we have a line in the sand. We’re going to be loyal to the love of our lives because that is us. No matter what happened in our lives, it was supposed to happen and now we’re grateful to be alive; we’re grateful to reawaken and from this point on, we’re experiencing the messenger training. We are the angel; we are the messenger.
We’re training ourselves and like we ask in the book, what kind of messenger are we? What is the mission we give to the people? We say we give with all of our hearts. Well, what we give to others is ourselves—our presence; our dreams. We can give others our drama and negativity, or we can give them our love, understanding, and support. When we wake up, what we give is given back to us, so we become very aware. What is the price that I’m going to pay to enter a debate? What is the price that I am going to pay for letting evil live? When you recognize the price, you say, “Oh no, I don’t want this.”
Sometimes we want something, but we don’t read the hidden legal fees. We just go for it and then wonder what just happened. It’s because the action came with a price. When we pretend with ourselves, we are living in a dream. It’s an understanding when we wake up in our purest hearts. Toltec work is all about coming home and training yourself, and like I said, the younger generation is ready for the regeneration of the tradition. But, it’s not what we say to them; it’s how we live our lives.
SF: Something that really resonated with me was this analogy that you shared because it relates to the perspective of “facing the current.” It also provides this really beautiful perspective for considering this concept. You explained the story of attachments and hanging onto things, and how it would be better if you would just face the current and face what’s coming to you (instead of continuing to chase everything downstream that doesn’t serve you anymore). Could you share that story?
dJR: Facing the current is so powerful, because facing the current is facing life. It’s not about facing the past or facing something that life took away. There’s a story about the river; the mastery of the river. Many women come to this river, and I remember going to this river and going within my imagination with my daydreaming and with my vision questing. I closed my eyes and heard the stream coming, and I saw myself at the side the river. I then noticed that I had something precious in my hand; something that I adored. Then, all of a sudden, I lost my balance. Nature didn’t lose its balance, because nature is always there. I lost my balance. So, when I moved, I dropped what I held precious, and the river began taking it away. The stream was so powerful because it was nature’s force, so I turned around and began chasing it. It was like in the movie Castaway when Tom Hanks is chasing his buddy ball, “Oh, Wilson! Wilson!” I was chasing what the river took away, and then suddenly the current is calm. Now the sun is up, the birds are singing, and everything is so beautiful. But I am so sad thinking about what the river took away. One month passed, one year passed, and I’m still looking at what the river took away. People come to drink out of the river, and we begin to talk. And, the only thing I could talk to them about is what the river took away. I was like a ghost—haunting the place. Until one day, I had this thought: What if the river didn’t take away the fruits of the cacao tree? If the river didn’t take them away, then I would never get to have them in my hands and to enjoy them. It’s time to let it go. Let the current serve a purpose.
And so, in the new dream the river is bringing today is just to let it go. I never looked back after that. I was just too excited about facing the current. Now when the people come and visit the river, they don’t see someone haunting the place; they see somebody living in the place. Now, someone is not lamenting what the river took away, he’s saying, “Come. Join me in what the river’s bringing to us today.” So, facing the current is the way of living. And, I’m so grateful for everything that Face the Current shares. It’s beautiful because it’s from the heart. This is what the whole world needs to be doing: facing the current and letting the old dream go. The new dreams will come to you and live.
SF: Thank you for sharing this, it’s so beautiful. I’m so grateful for you.
dJR: Grateful for you, Sasha. Much love.
Books: “The Wisdom of the Shamans” / “The Fifth Agreement” / “Ripples of Wisdom: Cultivating the Hidden Truths from Your Heart” / “My Good Friend the Rattlesnake: Stories of Loss, Truth, and Transformation”