A HarperElixir Book
The beloved teacher of spiritual wisdom and author of the phenomenal New York Times and international bestseller The Four Agreements takes readers on a mystical Toltec-inspired personal journey, introducing us to a deeper level of spiritual teaching and awareness.
In 2002, Don Miguel Ruiz suffered a near fatal heart attack that left him in a nine-weeks-long coma. The spiritual journey he undertook while suspended between this world and the next forms the heart of The Toltec Art of Life and Death, a profound and mystical tale of spiritual struggle. As his body lies unconscious, Ruiz’s spirit encounters the people, ideas, and events that have shaped him, illuminating the eternal struggle between life—unending energy and truth—and death—matter and subjective knowledge—in which we are all called to engage.
Over ten years in the making, The Toltec Art of Life and Death invites readers into the mind of a master of spiritual seeking, offering an unparalleled and intimate glimpse into the development of a soul. In this culmination of a lifetime's learning, Ruiz shares with readers the innermost workings of his singular heart and mind, and summons us to grapple with timeless insights, drawn from ancient Toltec wisdom, that are the essence of transformation.
After selling more than five million copies of his previous book, Ruiz (The Four Agreements) follows up his succinct and instructive manual of clear principles and matter-of-fact advice for living with a much more diffuse volume. What Ruiz's legions of fans will make of this multifaceted mythology that reads like an extended dream sequence is a fair question. Will they savor the complicated truths this self-described shaman discovered during a nine-week coma following his 2002 heart attack, or will they turn away from his nuanced exploration of wisdom's many forms? There's a lot to chew on, as Ruiz switches between the parable-filled inward journey he took during his coma, his mother's impressions of joining him there in that dream-state, and straightforward memories of family and students. Mirrors are a recurring theme in Ruiz's work, and many images present a duality tailored to challenge "your entire belief system." Readers might find it difficult to follow Ruiz's winding road to the truth, but will come away from this book with a deeper understanding of life's complexities.