Last fall, Ediciones Urano announced it would add English-language titles to its North American publishing program. The line started on November 17 with the release of The Actor: How to Live an Authentic Life by Don Miguel Ruiz. The book was published simultaneously in Spanish and English in the U.S., Spain, and Latin America, with distribution in the U.S. through Spanish Publishers. The Actor is the first in a four-book series titled School of Mysteries, each with simultaneous publication in translation.

Ruiz is best known as the author of The Four Agreements, which has sold more than six million copies in the U. S. and seven million worldwide, according to the publisher. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages and he has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.

Born into a family of Toltec healers and raised in rural Mexico by a curandera (healer) mother and a nagual grandfather, Ruiz seemed destined to go into the family business. However, he studied conventional medicine first, becoming a surgeon, before a near-death experience led him back to exploring the ancient ancestral healing his family practiced.

PW spoke with Ruiz about The Actor and its exploration of the idea of authenticity.

How do we begin to live an authentic life?

Planet Earth is a university designed for the human mind. We are all rather the same: we tend to be reactionaries instead of listening to the teachings of life. Life begins to reveals its mysteries to us when we’re young. The first reveal is the ability to speak. Those that surround us will teach us to speak.

In The Actor, you discuss how we are all actors playing different roles instead of being our authentic selves. Is life just an act?

Life is a stage that was waiting for our birth. Learning a language was the first mystery life revealed to us, and we modeled the behavior of those around us. By modeling the behavior of others, we begin to create the master script of our life.

The stage and the actor need to adapt to each scenario: we become actors and behave differently depending on where we are. We are constantly worried about what our “critics” will say, and we adapt in our effort to please others. We learn about love and how to fill it with conditions in our effort to control the one we love. And if everyone is our critic and we learn to love with conditions, we then love ourselves with conditions and we pretend to be someone we are not. Of course we are our worst critics, and a war for control is formed.

Are you referring to internal wars?

Yes, but we also create wars in order to control others. This also leads to injustices and some of the worst calamities created by human beings. When we realize this, we have opportunities to recover our authenticity. We must first find unconditional love for ourselves and then for others.

What are the upcoming titles in the series, and when will they be published?

Eros will be the next title, and it will focus on love. Other books in the series that will be published in 2021 are The Myth and The Duel.

Don Miguel Ruiz discusses The Actor, the first book in his new School of Mysteries series.