From the moment we are born, we are told how to behave, how to act, what is wrong, what is right. We are told what to wear, what not to wear, how to act, how to behave, how to interact with others. What we are taught forms our view of the world around us.
As we grow up, everything we are told becomes a voice inside of our heads. It is the voice of knowledge: the voice that tells us what is right, what is wrong. It repeats what we were taught, what we hold as truth. Unfortunately, this leads to negative thoughts. I am not perfect; I am not the way I should be. This line of thinking is wrong.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the phenomenally best selling book "The Four Agreements" and "The Four Agreements Companion Book" shows us that we are all born perfect, so how could we be otherwise. Following the teachings of an ancient people named the Toltec, Ruiz teaches us a path to inner peace.
The Toltec were "men and woman of knowledge." The Toltec were artists and scientists "who formed a society to explore and conserve the spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones." Ruiz has brought their teachings into the mainstream and many, including Oprah Winfrey, are drawn to the wisdom of the Toltec.
At first, I was a little sceptical of the book's core message: Once we learn a language, the people around us hook our attention and program us with knowledge. This knowledge is filled with lies. In order to achieve inner peace, we must not listen to these lies. All right, I was more than a little sceptical. I mean, it couldn't be that easy, could it?
This book started me on a personal journey that will continue for some time, I think. There is a lot to take in here, a lot to digest, but it all rings true. I found myself reading this book going "Exactly! That's exactly how I feel!" Here's a quote from the book that I particularly identified with:
"If you believe the common lie "I'm not worth it," that lie lives in your mind because you believe it. You don't believe people who tell you how great you are, and don't believe them because you believe the opposite. Your faith is already invested in a belief that's not the truth; it's a lie. But your faith guides your actions....What you believe about yourself is what you project to other people, and that is what others than believe about you"
Ruiz tries to show us through examples of his own personal journey that inner peace can be achieved and also gives us wonderful "Points to Ponder" at the end of each chapter that summarize that chapter's lesson. It is written with a clear voice, a deft hand and a compassionate heart. With each example of the lies from the Voice of Knowledge, I found myself going deeper and deeper within myself, peeling away the onion skin layer by layer. I'm not done, there is a lot more soul searching to go through, but "The Voice of Knowledge" helped to start me on the right path.
Put simply, this is an amazing book. Be warned however: To start "The Voice of Knowledge" is to begin a personal journey down a winding path. Don't worry though, it's worth it! The book is a gem, hard to put down and absolutely wonderful. You don't even need to read any of his previous works to read it, so what are you waiting for? Go get it! You won't regret it!