There have been a series of writers in the last 50 years (Carlos Castaneda, don Miguel Ruiz – along with many others) who have popularized and created interest in the wisdom of the Toltec’s.
The Toltec were an ancient culture chiefly located in what is now the pyramid ruins of the great city of Teotihuacán in the high midlands of Mexico. Regrettably, their mythology was significantly distorted and militarized by the later empire of the Aztecs.
In a tradition that dates back thousands of years and continues today, the Toltec Shamans were known throughout Mexico as men and women of Knowledge. One interpretation of the word “Toltec” is “artist.” They considered the way you lived your life as your art; thus, the Toltec path was not a religion but more accurately a way of life.
This idea that you are the artist of your life assumes that no matter what shape your life is in, it is your masterpiece – your creation. So, it follows that if you want to change your creation there is no way to do it unless you have a clear awareness of what you have created, how your perception is significantly altered by your experiences and beliefs about everything.
There is a beautiful story that illuminates this point: One of the most important figures in Toltec mythology was a great sorcerer – Tezcatlipoca .(tes-kaht-li-poh-kah) One morning Tezcatlipoca awoke from a powerful dream with a life-shattering insight:
You are always dreaming – day and night – all Humans do. When you are awake, it is a dream that you perceive as indisputable reality. But it is not. The dream appears real but is filled with the smoke of illusion.
Tezcatlipoca (a sorcerer and shapeshifter) was called “The Smokey Mirror” His dream illustrates that you don’t see life as it is – you see life as you believe you are. Only by cleaning the mirror (changing your limiting beliefs) can you perceive the world without distortions that create conflict, fear, worry, regret and self-doubt.