With the invasion of the Spanish, most of the knowledge of the Central and South American civilizations, such as the Incas, Aztecs and Maya, has been lost. The Toltecs are a Mexican group whose origins lie in the mists of time. Miguel Ángel Ruiz, of Uto-Aztec descent, claims to have been initiated into their secrets through a centuries-old chain of transmission from teacher to student. He points to Four Agreements, Four Agreements ('treaties') with yourself. Do these have any significance for this time?
Who were the Toltecs?
We don't know much about the Toltecs. In classic Nahuatl means Tōltēcatl, artist, wise man; toltecayōtl is wisdom; civilization. Mainstream archeology holds that the Toltecs were a Mesoamerican people. Modern archaeologists believe that the Toltecs lived in the city of Tollan, nowadays Tula. But according to some, in my opinion, convincing theories, the Toltecs were not a people at all, but a group of philosophers. Much like the Indian sadhus or the old Israeli Nazirites or Levites. According to the Aztecs, the Toltecs would live in the mysterious city Teotihuacán are located. This city had been empty for many centuries when the Aztecs founded their empire.
Miguel Ruiz also believes this. He also claims to be part of an ancient Toltec tradition of philosophers. According to him, there is also a Toltec esoteric philosophy built around four Conventions. In form, not content, these can be compared with the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. The Toltec wisdom, according to Ruiz, passed down from father to son, do not require belief in a mystical tradition and seem to speak for themselves. Their depth is great. Even if Ruiz is an imposter, the eloquence and usefulness of the Four Correspondences with yourself is great.
Is Ruiz a fraud?
Ruiz claims to be part of a hidden Toltec community. He claims to be the son of a traditional healer (curandera) and a native shaman (nagual). In itself this is indeed plausible. For example, five centuries after the last Jews were expelled from Spain, Judaism was found to still survive. For Jews converted to Catholicism, marranos, still secretly practiced Judaism to this day. And if a group of people is convinced that they have valuable knowledge, then it is obvious that they will do everything they can to keep this knowledge secret. And to pass it on to insiders. The Aztecs were certainly no exception in this regard. It also provides a logical explanation for the origin of the Toltec concept in Nahuatl.
What are the Four Similarities of the Toltecs?
The Toltec philosophy (according to Ruiz) is centered around Four Correspondences, with yourself. These lead, according to Ruiz, to solving psychological and intellectual problems. The Agreements are as follows.
1. Only say what you really mean; do not speak lies.
2. Don't be moved by the opinion of others; they live in their reality, you in yours.
3. Don't make assumptions about things you don't know; communicate with others as clearly as you can.
4. Do what you do with heart and soul.
What worldview is behind this philosophy?
According to Ruiz, we all live in our own reality. We cannot really say what we think. And always lie to ourselves. That is why we burden ourselves with feelings of guilt. Only when we "cleanse" our own reality, ie, internally consistent, will we be able to break free from the demons of fear and guilt. Indeed, this philosophy ties in quite closely with what is known of the Aztec Philosophy. Because this philosophy does not appeal to metaphysical things like God, heaven and hell, it is well suited to the modern age.