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  • Barbara Emrys

The Messenger To begin, I want to say how much I appreciate your attention to these monthly essays


The Messenger

To begin, I want to say how much I appreciate your attention to these monthly essays. We’re all drawn to topics that relate to us, of course– to our lives and to the issues that might have the most impact on our lives. And then there’s our open curiosity about other people’s lives.

We scan the news for stories. We want to know what someone else deals with, day after day. Is it anything like the stuff we’re dealing with? What keeps them going through tough times? How do they manage the kind of fear and anger that we, too, experience…or, do other people actually feel the things we feel?

Obviously, this blog isn’t about other people– what they wear or who they marry...It isn’t about local news or world events. It’s intended to pull us away from outside preoccupations. This blog is inspired by a specific message, it reflects the life and teachings of one particular messenger.

These essays reflect the wisdom of don Miguel Ruiz, someone I’d call a different kind of messenger. On the surface, he’s always been like you, me, or anyone. He was born and raised within a big family and lived through the same kinds of events that most of us experience. He suffered similar losses and benefited from surges of good fortune, as we all have; but his life was also uniquely different.

Some members of his family were closely connected to the ancient traditions of their Mixtec ancestors. His grandfather and great-grandfather were practicing shamans. In her later years, his mother was a prominent curandera in her community. The language and culture of shamanism were familiar to him throughout childhood. Growing up, paranormal occurrences were frequent and unremarkable.

Eventually, the old traditions would draw him away from a career in medicine to inspire his immersion into another kind of dream. He wanted to make sense out of mystery. He wanted to understand how the mind causes suffering and disease. He wanted to expand his own awareness.

A great messenger is someone who perceives the world from a different perspective and communicates that perspective to amazing effect. As we’ve seen throughout history, great messengers are not always benevolent or merciful. They can use their compelling voices to inspire fear and division. Or, they can turn us in the direction of self-awareness and unconditional love.

Don Miguel Ruiz asks us to wake up and see the difference. He says we are dreaming; that every human on the planet is dreaming, or interpreting reality according to what others taught us to believe. We each dream our reality differently– and, at the same time, we dream a larger, collective dream.

He tells us to see humanity as it is. See. Listen. Wake up. He asks us to broaden our vision and observe the world from outside our small perspectives. Our awareness can include all points of view, if we allow it. It can even reflect the point of view of life itself.

Don Miguel asks this of us: “Help me change the world.” He’s referring to your world, my world– the world we create inside our heads. If we can modify that virtual world, we can inspire huge changes in the physical world around us. Existence will be all the more precious when we take off our masks, give up our pretenses, and reclaim the authenticity that defined us at birth.

Humanity reaches its full creative potential when each of us becomes a messenger for the truth. Don Miguel is such a messenger. Like the best spiritual warriors in human history, he faced his fears and conquered them. He confronted the myth of himself. He dared to see things as they are, taking his own private journey out of superstition and complacency.

Over decades, he has observed humanity with the eyes of a scientist, and what he’s learned he shares generously with the world. His teaching invites us– here and now– to confront our own lies. Put into practice, it discourages our hatreds and obsessions. Most importantly, it puts us at peace with life.

Read his works, and feel love emanating from every word. Allow yourself, too, to love without condition. Allow awareness to clear your obscured view of things. Allow the truth to gently impose itself on your dream.

Listen. See. Wake up, and change the world you know.




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