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“Do you know how many copies of this book have been sold?”

“More than three million. And the beautiful part is that mainly it’s word of mouth. It’s true that Oprah read it and gave it a big boost. But whoever reads it, right away they think of the people they love, so it keeps growing in that way.”

“I get the impression that your more popular books — The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love — are for just regular folks. But you seem to be on a double track here in that you’re training people in Toltec nagualism, you’re teaching apprentices.”

“Yes, I teach what I call Dreaming. I have a whole Dream school, and there are teachers there who teach the others.”

I was curious as to how what he called “Dreaming” related to other spiritual practices. I said, “My sister, she’s a magical person. She used to do what she called ‘astral traveling.’ I couldn’t do it. But I do write fiction. My feeling is that when you write fiction, that you are Dreaming.”

“Yes, you are Dreaming. Certainly, right now. Certainly, all the time.”

“That part’s true,” I said. “This is a level of Dreaming. And that’s another level of Dreams.”

He shook his head. “The way your sister approaches it is a different way than you do. You just don’t know that you are Dreaming, and you call it your imagination. That you write science fiction, or whatever you write, is in your imagination. And it’s true that you are traveling into a virtual reality that is real. Because everything here is just a virtual reality that is happening in your brain. It’s not exactly true.”

“So this world is a screen, and we’re just running our movies on it.”

“Yes.”

“And what you’re teaching is how to put a happy ending on it.”

“That’s exactly the direction that a Dream Master has. You know, like I told you before, the word Toltec means ‘artist.’ And the art that we practice, really, is the art of Dreams. As with every art, we enjoy the art. That’s why we do it.

“You know, your whole life is really a story that you create. And that includes your parents, your brother. It’s true that they exist. Yes, your father exists. But in the story that you create, you give them…they become characters in your story. It doesn’t mean that they are what you believe.” He smiled and cocked his head.

“In your story your father is a certain way. Your mother is a certain way. That’s what you believe, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s only true in your story. If you compare notes, you will find out your father is not what you believe he is. Your mother is not what you believe she is. Your children are not what you believe they are.

“And even going a little deeper, you find out that you are not what you believe you are. This is a place in Dreams when your whole reality starts coming apart. What you believed you are is not what you are but what you pretended to be for so long.”

“How many Toltec naguals have you trained, do you think?”

“I think there are a lot of them. The main two ones are my own children, but there are many others that are really masters.”

The bookends of Don Miguel’s career are the traffic accident and a massive heart attack in 2002 that nearly killed him. Since then, he has — at least in theory — worked a reduced schedule, laboring to set up his sons, Miguel Jr., who lives in Santa Monica, and José Luis, who lives in San Diego — and in time, his youngest son, Leonardo — to follow in his footsteps.

“What are your students — the actual naguals that you’ve changed — what are they doing with this knowledge?”

“Well, they’re doing so many different things. You know, when you teach them, what you really teach is about themselves. And everybody is completely different. Then, what they do is to have a way of life that makes them happy. Just a few of them try to be teachers. But many others, they are artists, they paint and they draw beautiful art.

“The other kind of artists are the actors. There are medical doctors, lawyers, engineers. They are all kinds of people, and what they are doing, they keep going with their life in their way but with awareness. Now they know what they are doing, and they do it with a purpose. And mainly the purpose that they have is about giving. It’s no longer to receive. That becomes secondary. And by giving they are receiving much more than they give.”

I wondered how this was accomplished. “What is the University of Transformation?”

“It was created because of the need that we had to go to the next level of Dreaming. To have a place specifically where they have a place to sit in a chair, to go into Dreaming, and see their confirmation. This is a very intense work that they do.

“All that started four years ago, on my last journey to Egypt. Then one of my apprentices, she insisted that I teach Dreaming. So I told her no. But she was insisting, and I said, ‘Okay, let’s make a deal. Get 40 people who would really want it so bad that they agree for a whole year not to fail one Dreaming. If you can do that, I will teach Dreaming.’

“When I told her that, I didn’t think that she could get even 5 people who would really commit themselves. And she came back to me with much more than 40 people. To my surprise, they did it. They did four years of Dreaming.”

“Okay,” I said, “University of Transformation. Transform from what to what?”

“From a victim to a warrior. From living without awareness to living fully aware. And that starts with yourself. In order to give, first you must have. And what you don’t have is awareness.”

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