These lessons come from the shaman culture of Central AmericaToltec knowledge arises from the same essential unity of truth as all the sacred esoteric traditions found around the world Though it is not a religion, it honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth While it does embrace spirit, it is most accurately described as a way of life, distinguished by the ready accessibility of happiness and love.
introduction pg x Happiness and love Sign up the Hippie Librarian, pronto.
The book goes on to talk about how everyone has unconscious beliefs that we pick up as children We view and experience our world through these beliefs Most folks aren t even aware that they have them and this causes a myriad of misunderstandings and problemsWe keep searching and searching, when everything is already within us There is no truth to find Wherever we turn our heads, all we see is the truth, but with the agreements and beliefs we have stored in our mind, we have no eyes for this truth We don t see the truth because we are blind What blinds us are all those false beliefs we have in our mindpg 17.
So, how do you cut through the fog of these beliefs to see clearly Ruiz suggests using The Four Agreements.
The first isbe impeccable with your word you begin to see all the changes that can happen in your life Changes first in the way you deal with yourself, and later in the way you deal with other people, especially those you love the mostpg 46 This includes your inner voice, the way you talk to yourself and how you narrate your reality.
Ruiz mentions that some people talk to themselves in a manner that they would find unacceptable to use with the people they care about Change the way you speak and, Ruiz claims, your life will follow.
The second agreement isWhatever people do, feel, think, or say, don t take it personally If they tell you how wonderful you are, they are not saying that because of youpg 59 This helps you becauseWhen we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do Even if others lie to you, it is okay They are lying to you because they are afraid They are afraid you will discover that they are not perfectpg 63.
The third agreement is don t make assumptionsIf others tell us something, we make assumptions, and if they don t tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicatepg 74 Now that I ve been looking for this, I ve caught myself assuming things all the time.
It s funny how quick hurt feelings evaporate when I just put an assumption label over any stories I ve concocted It has actually been world changing for me to realize how many stories I make up because I m bored or confused or simply don t know what someone else is thinking And to realize that they re not real is such a relief Really.
FinallyJust do your best in any circumstance in your life It doesn t matter if you are sick or tired, if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself And if you don t judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self punishment By always doing your best, you will break a big spell that you have been underpg 85.
This was another big one for me I used to get down on myself about how circumstances played out even if I had nothing to do with it Now, I just pause and give it a quick think over, Did I try my best Generally, yeah, I was trying my guts out.
And that s all I can ask of myself, really I can t control the uncontrollable, I can only do the best I can with what I ve got in front of me The Four Agreements may help readers live in the now and experience life as it is rather than as they ve imagined it to be At least, that s what it has done for me Also recommended for readers who may be interested in spirituality but want a easy place to start This one is simple and packs a big punch in a very few pages.
OK So I liked several parts of this book very much I love that happiness is a choice I especially appreciated reading about the third agreement Don t Make Assumptions because communication is something I can always work on I loved the parts about accepting and loving yourself and others There is some amazing advise in this little book and I can see how it can be life changing for many people.
I m going to be honest and admit that Ruiz almost lost me at Everything is God in the introduction Even though it sounds very pretty when said by a dude made of stars and fog, Everything is God is a meaningless statement That s just something people say to blow everyone s mind and make themselves appear deeper than they actually are Believe what you like about God, but saying everything is God is just the same as saying nothing is God, in which case you ought to go ahead and say what you mean and be a respectable atheist He almost lost me again at the John Lennon quote, just before the beginning of Chapter One Little known fact John Lennon quotes are a pet peeve of mine Who knew right And then again when he kept using the word dreamy dream dreamer to make everything sound super emotive and enlightened Not that there s anything really wrong with that just not my thing.
And I admit I was annoyed by his over simplifications, his vagueness about the evils of the dream of the planet societal expectations and again by his many generalizations especially about how NO ONE is free to be herself because we re ALL domesticated brainwashed by society and our parents and teachers and church leaders, ALL blind, ALL narcissists Which, you know, isn t entirely true I m certainly not a conformist, but I believe there needs to be a balance some things you should conform to Like not stealing Or speeding through residential neighborhoods Whether I m personally feeling it or not, many societal expectations aren t relative They re necessary On the other hand, if by the dream of the planet he means cultural customs like judging people for their hairstyle or the music they like then I agree that the dream of the planet is bad news See, it would be helpful if he were slightly less mysterious in his approach Once I managed to sort through the new age incense and magic Not my flavor , I actually agreed with the four agreements Imagine that It turns out I ve heard them before from Mother Teresa, C.
S Lewis, Dr Seuss, Steven Covey, Jesus Christ, and many others Life is infinitely better when you re honest and courageous enough to accept yourself, communicative in your relationships, positive, open and loving, forgiving of yourself and others, and continually trying to do your best That is how we become a happy person That is what most religions teach That s what most schools encourage That s what science shows Its no secret its just surprisingly difficult to remember and put into practice Props to Ruiz for reminding me of this and for writing a book to help others While his writing style made me vomit a little in my mouth, still he meant well and has assuredly encouraged many on the path to happiness.
I would add, it is my personal belief that our reason for being our purpose on earth is to learn to be happy And truly happy people are always good people Not perfect, but good And I would add further that it stands to reason that the better a person is, the happier she becomes Which is where religion takes the four agreements a step further, claiming that we are eternal beings and if so then we are day by day over an eternity either becominglike God, or less like God We are either progressing towards perfect happiness or perfect misery Christianity also adds that we don t need to do this on our own, which idea rings true and logical and brings me comfort.
Wow Ruiz inspired me to write my own book.
In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz Reveals The Source Of Self Limiting Beliefs That Rob Us Of Joy And Create Needless Suffering Based On Ancient Toltec Wisdom, The Four Agreements Offer A Powerful Code Of Conduct That Can Rapidly Transform Our Lives To A New Experience Of Freedom, True Happiness, And Love The Four Agreements Are Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don T Take Anything Personally, Don T Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best This is my second time reading this book and I picked it up again because I felt I was compromising too much in my life and it was affecting my core I have a chapter to go but here s the summary The book cites four agreements that, with practice, will lead you to a happier state of living, essentially and dramatically, lead you out of your living hell The idea is focused 100% on you You can only control yourself and only honor yourself.
1 Be impeccable with your word Your word is your power to create the events in your life It can create positive events or destructive events Impeccable means without sin So the idea here is that you use your word without sin against yourself You take responsibility for your actions but you do not judge and blame yourself There is a big difference And as you practice your impeccable word don t you think the very actions which might have caused you to judge and blame yourself before will decrease and it will become easier to truly know the difference between taking responsibility and punishing yourself over and over again.
2 Don t take anything personally Don t take compliments or insults or anything in between personally If you know who you are and are impeccable with your word i.
e being yourself, not going against yourself then you will get better and better at not allowing others to shape how you feel about yourself This particular chapter I struggle with because I personally like to build people up by showing them how I feel about them and what I think about who they are It is a rare thing for me to tell someone something negative unless i am trying to be a friend to help them through something and they need to hear it However, I will re read this to try to gainmeaning and understanding out of it.
3 Don t make assumptions This almost requires no comment We do this ALL the time I know I do You hear someone explaining their situation and as they are you are summarizing it in your own words in your head, filling in blanks because you want to have the complete picture Except it s not the complete picture because rather than ask questions to fill in the blanks, you used your own experience and assumptions to do so.
4 Always do your best so that you will not judge and punish yourself Do things because you want to do them and do your best, not for some reward Enjoy your life Live it now And your best may not be the same every day if you re sick, tired, or you ve fallen victim to beating yourself up Doing your best means doing your best with the previous 3 agreements also and it means you may not always live up to your desire to always honor them But it s your best so don t judge yourself.
The Four Agreements A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book, Miguel RuizThe Four Agreements, was published in 1997 and has sold around 5.
2 million copies in the U.
S and has been translated into 38 languages The book advocates personal freedom from beliefs and agreements that we have made with ourselves and others that are creating limitation and unhappiness in our lives The Four Agreements are 1 Be impeccable with your word 2 Don t take anything personally 3 Don t make assumptions 4 Always do your best 2002 1388 128 9786009114916 20 1393 120 9789649027098 1384 128 9789649559032 1380 130 9643281310 1392 1384 144 9646581420 1393 175 9789647974936 1382 171 9647047088 1391 9786009293926 I never thought I would fall for a book by someone who would allow this picture of himself to adorn the back cover I can t explain it I m not one to be floored by silly, little self help books full of spirituality and cliches and horrible stories and simple advice But I was This book might just change my life.
I ll hand the rest of this review over to David Foster Wallace It seems to me that the intellectualization and aestheticizing of principles and values in this country is one of the things that s gutted our generation All the things that my parents said to me, like It s really important not to lie OK, check, got it I nod at that but I really don t feel it Until I get to be about 30 and I realize that if I lie to you, I also can t trust you I feel that I m in pain, I m nervous, I m lonely and I can t figure out why Then I realize, Oh, perhaps the way to deal with this is really not to lie The idea that something so simple and, really, so aesthetically uninteresting which for me meant you pass over it for the interesting, complex stuff can actually be nourishing in a way that arch, meta, ironic, pomo stuff can t, that seems to me to be important That seems to me like something our generation needs to feel.
5 28 20197 3 2018
Trivial introduction to New Age ethics with a large side order of third rate, rancid leftovers from Jean Jacques Rousseau, all written for a third grade reading comprehension.
Considering that the first agreement is be impeccable with your word, it s ironic and evenhorrifying that the words in this book are so lazy, careless, contradictory, infantile, incoherent, and devoid of integrity.
Miguel Ruiz thinks that the ideal human is get this a toddler If we see a child who is two or three, perhaps four years old, we find a free human Why is this human free Because this human does whatever he or she wants to do The human is completely wild Just like a flower, a tree, or an animal that has not been domesticated wild Uh, yeah That human also completely loses its shit if for some reason it can t keep doing what it wants, and if you were to leave it in the woods, like a flower, a tree, or an animal that has not been domesticated, it would die like, really soon, unless it was, you know, adopted by wolves In which case it would be useless as a human.
There s a reason people call the period of being 24 to 36 months old the terrible twos If you think about it, a toddler is basically a living being who lives off of other living beings, sucking their energy without any useful contribution in return, and hurting their host little by little Or at least, that s what toddlers would be if they didn t stop being toddlers And that, by the way, is Don Miguel Ruiz s own definition of a parasite but he s too dense to realize it And if you are inclined to protest that it s harsh to describe toddlers as as beings that suck the energy of their hosts without making a useful contribution in return, google reasons my kid is crying.
At least the idealization of children explains the childish syntax and diction, the crudeness of the examples This douche nozzle actually writes An example I see a friend and give him an opinion that just popped into my mind I say, Hmmm I see the kind of color in your face in people who are going to get cancer If he listens to the word, and if he agrees, he will have cancer in less than one year.
How the hell does he know Has he actually tried it Is he such a horrible person that he would actually tell a friend that he looks like someone who s going to get cancer I have a relative who has severe OCD related to medical issues This person has been convinced for quite some time that they are going to get cancer, but they just keep not getting cancer, because it turns out that mere belief is not enough to give someone cancer after all People are told all the time, Don t smoke Smoking gives you cancer And they say, Meh That will happen to someone else It won t happen to me The reason people started getting cancer from smoking in the first place isn t that they were told they would get cancer within a year it s that smoking causes cancer Freakin DUH.
This book is so devoid of integrity that it even manages to make Hitler trivial and trite in ways not even the most egregious example of Godwin s Law on the internet could do Seriously Take the example of Hitler He sent out all those seeds of fear, and they grew very strong and beautifully achieved massive destruction Seeing the awesome power of the word, we must understand what power comes out of our mouths.
The mind reels The book manages to make evil banal in ways even Hannah Arhrendt could not have predicted.
And guess what will fix everything TALKING MORE TALKING BETTER All human problems would be resolved if we could just have good, clear communication Except you know who s shitty at good, clear communication A child who is two or three, perhaps four years old The wild, undomesticated human that Ruiz posits as the ideal human totally sucks at the thing that Ruiz says will solve all our problems.
This would be a significant flaw if Ruiz were actually trying to formulate a sophisticated system that would offer human beings a coherent guide to ethics and behavior if, that is, his work had any integrity But it obviously doesn t My guess is that Ruiz s one and only goal is to convince gullible people to buy the shit he s peddling, and he has clearly succeeded very well at that.
There is no wisdom in this book, only cheap platitudes And if you can t recognize that The Four Agreements is full of bullshit, well, science says there s a reasonable chance that you re just not smart.
I was surprised I thought I would really like this book A friend of mine told me the basic ideas were to be impeccable with your word, don t take things personally, don t make assumptions,and always do your best To me, these sounded great be honest, be forgiving, give others a chance to say what they think and try your bestor so I thought The ideas were actuallyalong the lines of don t send out poisonous words that put spells on people, don t let others poison you with their spells pretty strange, right , don t have expectations of others, and yes, try your best My husband and I were going to read this together, but by page 16 he couldn t take it any I needed to read it for our book group so I continued on solo I found the explanations for these ideas unnecessarily described as being from black or white magic, unnecessarily loaded with examples and I felt the author was talking down to me Also, by far the book s biggest flaw, the information, if it hadn t been so swollen by overexplaining EVERY single concept, could have been presented in half OR LESS of the length Really, an elementary student might need all the over simplified explanations supported by numerous examples, but even a teenager would have felt that Ruiz is beating a dead horse As my husband and I did by page 16 Another friend told me that the ideas in this book reminded her of things she s heard before and gave as an example You Are Special, a great children s book by Max Lucado I suggest reading that instead of this book.
The book s ideas felt religious and might be okay for someone who is without religion and looking for some principles to govern their life But, for me, as a Christian, I felt that these concepts were not only familiar but succinctly summed up in love one another and try to be like Jesus I really didn t like the book, but I suppose that I don t have to worry about the author taking it personally
2 Don t take anything personallyNothing others do is because of you What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won t be the victim of needless suffering.
3 Don t make assumptionsFind the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4 Always do your bestYour best is going to change from moment to moment it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self judgment, self abuse, and regret.
What I love about this book It s a short, captivating read I love the efficiency of receiving so much thought provocation in so little time The agreements are applicable to everyone, everywhere, regardless of religion, gender, age, etc Stories, anecdotes and examples from various beliefs are intertwined throughout, spotlighting their common bottom lines love, life and peace.
Possibly the most life changing book I ve ever read No, really See