Ruiz studied everything he could find about Totec spirituality. In 1986, after six years as a practicing surgeon, he moved to California. It was there that he began teaching Tolèque wisdom in informal environments and joined his mother in a teaching project she had started in the early 1970s. Ruiz remembers his early days, when he taught these courses: «We can say that the biggest challenge I had was to cleanse all the Tolec knowledge of mythology, superstition and fanaticism. And if we do all that, we are left with what I call common sense. The common sense of the four agreements comes down to one subject: we do not need to strive so much to be ourselves. Everyone is conditioned to live up to the images imposed by society. But this process – which Ruiz calls «domestication» – is actually holding us back. «We seek perfection outside of ourselves, but it`s one of the biggest wastes of time,» he says. «The truth is that we are already perfect in a very individual way. Whatever you are, it`s you. That`s all. Ruiz curls his leg between him on the living room couch as he sits next to his mother and son. Jose Luis clings to his grandmother`s hand.
It is clear that the three generations are held together by a deep and spiritual bond. Don Miguel speaks with soothing clarity, as if there is no doubt that his words are true. His voice is friendly and reassuring, his smile radiates kindness. «The most important point is to enjoy life,» says Ruiz. «This can only be done if people become who they really are. I studied Tolèque philosophy for many years and taught students, but I don`t tell them, «You should be a lawyer.