Even though I have been studying the Toltec teachings for a while, taking a deep dive into Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Voice of Knowledge with A New Earth Movement’s Study Group has truly opened me up to a far richer understanding of my personal story and how I create my virtual reality…my own heaven or hell. In The Voice of Knowledge, we learn that there exists a Tree of Knowledge that bears fruit contaminated with lies, and these lies represent all of those beliefs outside of ourselves and our true authenticity that “inform” us about the world and who we are. For example, when our parent’s teach us we have to be strong and not cry when we get upset or hurt as a small child, we adopt this false belief as the truth, going out into the world thinking we know what it means to be strong. No, we believe the lie that being strong means modifying our authentic responses. Once we eat this fruit, we make an agreement to believe these lies and become infected with a parasite which lives inside us and feeds on our faith repeating these lies. While I have heard theses teaching many times, taking the opportunity to really study them and share with others on this path has ignited a new curiosity and investigation for me on how this plays out in my life.

When I look back on so much of my life, I see that I had become addicted to the taste of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. I thought it tasted so good! Unbeknownst to me, the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge is actually rotten and infested with poisonous lies and, once eaten, infected me as well. But I believed with all my heart that the fruit was delicious and would continue to eat this fruit by reinvesting my faith in these lies, and I suffered as a result, that is for sure. No matter how sick I got or how much I suffered, I kept on eating because I thought it tasted so delicious. But I only believed the fruit was delicious because I was told it was, and in my innocence, I believed it. The fruit of lies! 

I am seeing so much of my training has been detoxing off this fruit that has made me so sick …these lies that have nearly killed me. Abstaining from the fruit and purifying my heart and vessel from its harmful ill effects. I am recognizing that I am more able to stroll past the Tree of Knowledge with the familiar fruit I used to love so much, and I find myself more organically drawn to the Tree of Life, which bears the fruit of truth and love. The Tree of Knowledge has lost much of its appeal because when I look at that shiny fruit, I remind myself of the suffering it brings, and I stay strong in my center, aligned with Creator and the Mother. The Trees of Knowledge are all around me everywhere I look, but they become solely ornamental if I keep on walking. 

But even in this knowing, there are times when I am vulnerable. I might become a little complacent in my practice or fall back to sleep and forget the suffering the fruit promises. I become hungry, so I might take a tiny nibble of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Surely that wouldn’t hurt anything, right? Recently I had this experience, and that tiny nibble immediately aligned me with the Prince of Lies instead of Creator and knocked me off my center. The Prince of Lies met up with my entire Mitote, that committee of liars in my head, and they were catching up on old times. They began gossiping loudly and incessantly about me, speaking nothing but lies, but cunningly they speak in my own voice!  And unconsciously that infection of lies began to spread, and I figured well, I already nibbled on this fruit and it tastes so familiar and before I knew it, I had eaten a whole bushel! And what happened? Boy, did I suffer for a while until that nasty fruit made its way out of my system. I didn’t feel very good, and it was a little messy, and yet the entire time, I was very aware that there was nothing wrong. Everything was OK. I was simply suffering the aftereffects of eating fruit infested with lies. I wasn’t sick, I had just eaten something that was not good for me, and once my system purified it, I would be restored once again. Restored to my authenticity that reins when I am resting in my center aligned with the Divine. I ate something that didn’t agree with me, and there was no need to use it against myself, but important to remember the next time I am vulnerable and become hungry. 

The problem is once we eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, even just a nibble, then it gets digested through our system and must be excreted to be purified again, and this creates suffering. We must stay vigilant and awake, remembering how much suffering those lies bring. Even though it can be so tempting to taste that familiar fruit, we must remain centered and abstain from taking a bite and investing even a moment of faith in the lies. And what if I mistakenly eat from the Tree of knowledge then what? The answer is simple… stop the infection of lies before it has a chance to spread. Don’t believe what that voice is telling me. Don’t believe myself. A lie does not exist without a belief, but the truth remains. I must repeatedly disinvest my faith in the lie until it no longer exists. Ultimately, I am learning to live in harmony with the Tree of Knowledge. I honor and respect that there will always be the Tree of Knowledge, but I strive to stay vigilant and to abstain from its forbidden fruit.

In Love and Light, 

Sari Fleischer