The Mastery of Love Book Summary
In this article we cover:
- Who Is Don Miguel Ruiz?
- Who Are the Toltecs?
- Mastery Comes With Practice
- First Sense of Injustice and “Dream Of Hell”
- Love Creates the Master
Published April 27, 2022
The Mastery of Love book was written by Don Miguel Ruiz. This body of work is a Toltec guide for those naive in the art of relationship, or have yet to master it. Master or novice, if you are human, you will gain plenty of insight from reading The Mastery of Love book. This 209 page long text is truly a masterpiece. Easy to comprehend yet poignant, the Mastery of Love book is packed with ancient wisdom.
Although The Mastery of Love only takes roughly four hours to read, it will take one’s lifetime to practice. That said, there would truly be no better use of a person’s time. A Don Miguel Ruiz introduction and who the Toltecs are is the perfect place to begin. Subsequently, an overview of the chapters that lie within will follow.
First Off; Who Is Don Miguel Ruiz?
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico in August 1952, the author of The Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz, is a devoted Toltec. Raised by a curandera (healer) mother and shamanic grandfather, Miguel is a born and bred healer. It would take a near-death experience for Miguel’s life to completely transform. This experience catapulted him into a shamanic apprenticeship and led him to the work he would teach.
Now a nagual, or shaman, from the Eagle Knight lineage, Don Miguel Ruiz’s soul and life’s work has been well-initiated. A surgeon before his near-death experience, Don Miguel Ruiz is now a devoted and celebrated Toltec teacher. Don Miguel Ruiz is most commonly known for his first book, The Four Agreements. The Mastery of Love was Don Miguel Ruiz’s second book he wrote, released in 1999.
Second Off; Who Are the Toltecs?
Proceeding the Aztecs, Toltecs were a Mesoamerican people. “Toltec” derives from the ancient Mesoamerican language, Nahuatl. In Nahuatl, “Tōltēcatl”, translates to “artisan” in English. Their sacred work began sometime between 800 and 1000 CE. For thousands of years, they’ve been known as “men and women of knowledge.” At the sacred Teotihuacan site, where “Man Becomes God,” naguals taught the Toltec lessons to eager and open students.
Toltecs are not a nation, race, or religion. Truth be told, if you can live from your heart and incarnate unconditional love, you too, are a Toltec. “Artists of the spirit,” Toltecs are a society of artists and scientists who organized to unearth and instill ancient spiritual teachings and practices. The Toltecs have never required allegiance or claimed to be the only source of wisdom and truth. In fact, they pay high regard to the various masters and their spiritual approaches all around the globe.
Fundamentally, the Toltecs believe that the human mind has always carried and continues to carry a “disease.” Their remedy for this disease of the mind is nothing more than the combination of truth, forgiveness, and self-love. The Mastery of Love is a detailed elaboration on each of these three Toltec remedies or philosophies. What it means to be in absolute truth with oneself and with others. What it means to graciously forgive oneself and others. And what it means to unconditionally love oneself and experience love for others.
The Mastery of Love Chapter Summary; Mastery Comes With Practice
According to the Toltecs, within each one of us lives a master. This master can be an embodiment of freedom, authenticity, giving, and loving. Or, this master can be one of jealousy, sadness, and self-rejection. What we choose to master all comes down to which master’s traits we practice. The way we think, feel, and act in the world is how we practice. In order to become masters of love, we have to practice love.
Each of us is our own living creation. This includes our version of reality, our beliefs, and who we pretend to be around certain people. What prevents us from seeing the truth, our truth, is fear. We pretend to be people that we truly are not out of fear. But where does this fear come from?
We are born to people who carry the same mental disease. This disease makes us desperate for acceptance, terrified of rejection, and believe that we will never be good enough. Our parents caught this highly contagious disease from their parents. Our grandparents caught it from their parents, and so on. Thus, our parents do to us what was done to them and teach us to be just like them.
The Mastery of Love Chapter Summary; First Sense of Injustice and “Dream Of Hell”
Ruiz says we first become infected around three or four years of age. The first site of infection takes place through an act of injustice. Punishment for an innocent and truly unintentional action is our first sense of injustice. This injustice opens the first of many wounds in a child’s mind.
Injustices continue to appear throughout our lives. They come from our siblings, our school, and society. With each injustice we experience, resent compounds. With continuous resentment amidst, day by day, we lose the ability to forgive. These injustices teach us to believe that we are not safe to be who we really are. To be who we really are attracts punishment. Thus, we pretend and practice what we are not.
The more we practice who we are not, the more we become masters of what we are not. When we become a master at who we are not, we forget who it is we really are. This mastery of who we are not is what the Toltecs call the “Dream Of Hell.” We see the Dream Of Hell all around us. Suffering, fear, war, violence, judgment, punishment, and lack of justice are all characteristics of the Dream of Hell.
The “Dream of Hell” is more of a symbolic name, not to be confused with actual dreams. If you find dreams interesting, check out our article, What is a Dream Worker?
The Mastery of Love Chapter Summary; “Track of Love” vs. “Track of Fear”
One of the most profound lessons from The Mastery of Love is that happiness never comes from outside of us. When you make anyone else responsible for your happiness, you give them the power to take it away.
Outlined earlier, every person has two versions of themselves. Version one, who they really are, and version two, who they pretend to be. And in every relationship, not just romantic, each person also has their own dream. Each dreamer cannot help but to dream their own way. No matter how much common ground exists within the relationship, the differences in their dreams will remain. For any relationship to work, there must be both an acceptance and mutual respect for each other’s different dreams.
Coined the “track of love” and “track of fear” by Ruiz, two emotions make dreams; love and fear. Ruiz tells us to think of the two tracks as ways of seeing how we are living our lives. If you are in the track of love, you have no obligations, resistance, or expectations. Love is based on respect, justice, kindness, compassion, responsibility, and is always unconditional. “I love you the way you are and you are free to be the way you are.”
The track of fear is the opposite. The track of fear is based on obligations, resistance, and expectations. Fear has conditions, likes to control, is pitiful and selfish. Those living in the track of fear are also avoidant of responsibility. Ruiz says that anger, sadness, and jealousy are just fear with masks on. Sadly, Ruiz claims that most people live their lives in the track of fear.
The Mastery of Love Chapter Summary; Love Creates the Master
Every relationship has two halves. One half is yours, and the other half is your sons or daughters. Your fathers or your mothers. Your friends or your lovers. The only half you can control or influence is your own. Ruiz deeply encourages each of us to only focus on the relationship we have with ourselves. He underscores that true love can only come from within.
Realizing and practicing the relationship with ourselves is the greatest mastery of the Toltecs. This is the Mastery of Love. Remember, the only way we can master love is to practice. “Love creates the master,” Ruiz puts it simply.
The right woman or man for you is someone who’s emotionally, physically, economically, and spiritually compatible and aligned. Someone you respect and love. You can open your heart to them. They listen to your needs when you state them. They love you just the way you are. If they’re not an honest match, the Toltecs ask us to let them go so they can find what and who they really want. Letting them go also sets yourself free to do the same.
The Mastery of Love Chapter Seven Summary, The Dream Master
Soul Primacy’s favorite part of The Mastery of Love is Chapter Seven, The Dream Master. A dream master is a person who intentionally works to transform their automatic programming. What does automatic programming even mean? It all comes down to your reactions. Your life is one large manifestation of your own choices.
The choice in your reactions to each given situation guides a person to their personal dream. This requires working with oneself at every moment of every day. Speaking the truth, watching your reactions, and learning to control them. By being aware of your actions or choices, you can determine if you like or dislike them.
Ruiz says “that is the challenge: to change your normal reactions, to change your routine, to take a risk and make different choices.” At every moment, we always have a choice. This ultimately puts the responsibility of our lives in our own hands. Why is this Soul Primacy’s favorite chapter? Because it puts the power in the individual’s hands. Life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to Life.
In The Mastery of Love, Ruiz says everything that exists is both hunter and prey. Including humans; within each of us lives a hunter and prey. What are we hunting? Love and fulfillment of our needs. But when we hunt for what we don’t need, we become predators. Thus, hunting for love and validation from others will never satiate us.
One must hunt for love inside themselves. This goes back to hunting down every reaction you have. Routines and reactions change one at a time, with each decision we make. The more routines and reactions we have oriented towards love, the more we discover love from within. “The love we need to hunt is inside ourselves, but that love is difficult prey,” says Ruiz.
The Mastery of Love Chapter, Relationship With Your Body
When it’s healthy, the greatest relationship accomplishment can be between you and your body. Similar to every relationship you have with other people, your body handles half of the relationship. Your body is an open vessel, willing to receive all the love the mind has to give.
But your mind has a hard time letting the body do this. The mind abuses, mistreats, and is mean to the body. The mind makes judgments about the body. Either the body looks right or it looks wrong. It looks good, or it looks bad. It’s beautiful, it’s ugly. Your mind is seeking perfection and constantly rejecting what it sees.
When your mind is constantly at war with your own body, you can never be at peace with those around you. Ruiz stresses that this is a crucial point for understanding the art of relationship. “The relationship you have with yourself is reflected in your relationship with others.” Every human being has the right to feel good in their body. To feel good about themselves, and to enjoy their life. Accepting and honoring the body just as it is is all that one must do. With love for your body and love in your eyes, love is seen everywhere you go. Love is seen in everyone you see.
Chapter Eleven, Healing the Emotional Body
Another Soul Primacy favorite is chapter eleven, Healing the Emotional Body. Healing the emotional body requires opening up our wounds so we can clean and tend to them. How does one open up their wounds? Using the scalpel of absolute truth. Opening our wounds with truth can be a painful process. We discover all the lies we’ve been told or told ourselves.
A good place to start is to change your belief in the lies you’ve been told to believe. Lies you’ve told yourself to believe. Even lies you were programmed to believe since birth. Perhaps you believe you’re not good, strong, or intelligent enough. Start with those beliefs, with those lies. Perhaps you have set protective boundaries or stubborn self-limitations. If so, remove them. Where and when did you decide you are unworthy of love or joy? Forget that! If you think you’re not a beautiful person, inside and out, let that lie go.
When the lies you’ve carried with you throughout life are removed, you then must clean the wounds. The wounds where those lies were deeply embedded. To do this, you have to forgive those who hurt you. Forgive yourself. No matter how egregious the mistake, or how painful the hurt they caused was, forgive. You’ll know forgiveness has set in when you can revisit a wound or touch its scar and it doesn’t hurt. You don’t retract or wince, and you don’t shy away from looking at it.
Nothing anyone did to you had to do with you. When you realize this, it’s not taken personally anymore. Instead, you have compassion and understanding. Compassion and understanding lead to forgiveness. Ruiz highlights that forgiveness is the root from which the flowers of self-acceptance and self-love grow.
The Mastery Of Love Book Summary; A Guide to Self-Love
Don Miguel Ruiz says that once the wounds have been cleaned, we can accelerate the healing process with unconditional love. Love in our heart for ourselves, for foes, and for strangers we’ve never met. He says the only way to truly be happy is to live as a being of love. That’s it.
Each of us has a birthright to exist, play, have fun, be happy, and enjoy life. All we have to do is cultivate awareness and become wise. With wisdom, life suddenly becomes much easier. That is because you have done the work to become who you truly are. From The Mastery of Love book, “you have already mastered fear and self-rejection; now you are returning to self-love.”
According to Ruiz, the Toltecs have prophesied a new world where humans accept responsibility for their lives and beliefs. “Imagine that from one day to another, you awake from the Dream and you are completely healthy. You no longer have wounds, you no longer have emotional poison. Imagine the freedom you are going to experience. Everything is going to make you happy just to be alive wherever you go. Why? Because the healthy human being is not afraid to express love. You are not afraid to be alive, and you are not afraid to love.”
While there are many cherished books on Soul Primacy’s shelves, The Mastery of Love has earned its rightful place. To us, it belongs on the very top shelf. We hope this Mastery of Love book summary motivates you to make room for The Mastery of Love on your own bookshelf.