Summary of “The Four Toltec Chords”: The Four Toltec Chords give us the keys to overcome fear, hatred, judgment, limiting beliefs imposed by our domesticated society by inviting us to set out in search of our deep and true identity in order to regain our personal freedom and thus move towards a life of happiness, joy and unconditional love.
By Don Miguel Ruiz, 1999, 160 pages.
Original title: The four agreements
Note: This column is a guest column by Christelle from the blog mindstyle-et-noixdecajou.com
Chronicle and summary of Don Miguel Ruiz’s 4 Toltec chords:
The author, Don Miguel Ruiz, was born in 1952 in Mexico into a family practicing the ancient Toltec traditions. Her mother was a healer and her grandfather was a shaman. He studied medicine and worked as a neurosurgeon until his car accident in which he had a near-death experience. From then on, his path branches off towards the study and application of Toltec ancestral wisdom with the help of his mother. He will follow the Toltec teachings of the lineage of the Eagle Knights. Rich of his initiation, he will want to share his knowledge with the world by publishing this first book which includes the four practical steps that can help you to reach a life of happiness and love.
Who are the Toltecs?
Toltec culture goes back thousands of years. Toltecs are builders of scientific, artistic and spiritual knowledge. Originally from the Teotihuacan region, the various invasions meant that they had to secretly preserve, practice and transmit the knowledge of their naguals (shamans). Indeed, knowledge had to be initiated in order to be used wisely. Over the centuries this knowledge has been passed down through lineages of naguals. Don Miguel Ruiz was initiated and belongs to the lineage of the Knights of the Eagle.
Ancient prophecies foretold that age would come when men would need to regain this knowledge. And this moment has come: that is why Don Miguel Ruiz explains in his book four principles of the Toltec tradition. This knowledge is an integral part of all esoteric traditions, regardless of religion or country. The Toltec traditions, although spiritual, are above all a way of living on the path of happiness and love and in no way a religion.
Introduction: The Smoke Mirror
The author Don Miguel Ruiz explains his perception of the universe in the form of an allegory: he tells us the story of a man like you and me who lives an experience of leaving his body three thousand years ago. This man travels through the universe and becomes aware that light is the messenger of life because it connects everything and is everything. We human beings are part of a whole. He realized that although he was part of a whole, he was not that whole. Then he called the whole “tonal” and the light “nagual”: it is the Life that connects the tonal and the nagual and which is the guarantor of the balance between all things.
He also realized that matter was like a mirror that reflected light and thus gave an image to that light. The author realized that sometimes this image was distorted, that there was a thick fog, a mirror of smoke that prevented him from seeing things as they really were. And he understood that it was necessary to look beyond this mirror of smoke and that everything was made up of light and love.
Don Miguel Ruiz considers man as a mirror and has become aware of this fact: everything that reflects light is composed of differently arranged life. Everything has its origin in the light. So we are all alike in our essence. The perception we have of each other, when it differs from the original mirror, is due to the smoke coming from our illusions (or dreams according to the author). As a result, the man is like a mirror of smoke.
Chapter 1: The process of domestication and the dream of the planet, prelude to a new dream
“It’s easy to live with your eyes closed, misinterpreting everything you see…” John Lennon
Don Miguel Ruiz teaches us what the dream of the planet is in his eyes: our mind dreams 24 hours a day without interruption. It is made up of all the dreams of all mankind which include all the rules of society, all the beliefs, all the laws…etc.
From the moment you are born, the dream of the planet uses your parents, school, religion to get your attention. The attention allows you to keep at the forefront of your consciousness all the teachings of the dream of the planet and thus become your reality. You are taught what is good or bad, what is beautiful or not, what is right or wrong, what you should do or not do… thanks to the attention of people such as your parents, teachers, boss etc… At your birth, you do not choose your language, religion or values: these were present long before you were born. Because of the attention you pay to the dream of the planet, you believe in it by signifying your agreement. Your agreement will drive your beliefs. And that’s how children will believe everything the adults who carry the dream of the planet say.
Don Miguel Ruiz calls this “the process of domestication of humans”. Just like we train a pet, we train our children through a system of rewards/punishments. The child reproduces what his parents tell him: he is rewarded. If not, he will be punished. This system is so ingrained in you that as an adult you are constantly seeking the attention of others to praise or punish you in the same way. You need to be rewarded so badly that you are willing to forget your inner self to please others. Some people rebel and learn to say no! But it creates fear, fear of being punished.
Don Miguel Ruiz tells us that once we are adults, we no longer need our parents to teach us the dream of the planet, but we are so domesticated that we become “trainers” ourselves; against ourselves but also against others and our children. The dream of the planet represents the “Book of the Law” and it will decide all your reactions. It will lead to judgment on your part towards yourself but also towards others. With each decision taken or act carried out, your internal judge; representing the book of the Law, will congratulate or punish you.
In the case of punishment, you’ll be ashamed. The part of you that receives the punishment is the part of you that is a victim: “I’m not enough this, I’m not enough that…” This is because your beliefs are so ingrained in you that you cannot questioning them. When you feel this deep down it does not match your deepest nature; it is extremely difficult to get rid of your beliefs.
But it is possible!
This will take courage, because going against your beliefs leads to a feeling of insecurity: you have to face guilt, criticism and shame for detaching yourself from a principle you had agreed to. You judge yourself tirelessly because your mind, your surroundings, and society like to remind you that you have gone against the Book of the Law. Don Miguel Ruiz tells us that 95% of our beliefs are false and that we suffer because we believe in these laws.
The dream of the planet is a nightmare for human beings. And all over our planet, fear is nurtured. Emotions that arise from fear manifest themselves as jealousy, envy, hatred and anger. The author shows us that everything we are looking for is already within us. But all your beliefs tell you otherwise! Your whole mind is caught in a fog that the Toltecs call a mitote. The mitote represents all your beliefs and prevents you from becoming aware of who you really are. It’s scary to come out of the closet because you’ve learned to conform from birth; to please everyone in order o be rewarded.
Achieving this perfection is impossible since it is not in sync with your deepest self. The failure to achieve this perfection is intolerable to you. And you make sure that you are not found out by others: but at what cost! So much so that you expect others to be your model of perfection. You keep punishing yourself for not fitting the perfect model. You are the first to punish yourself through the Judge, your belief system and the Victim.
And you’re your worst judge!
What you do to yourself, you allow others to do to you! You have even reached such a point of judgment that you accept to be mistreated by others because, in your mind, you deserve the punishment. You reject yourself because your “perfect” image is unattainable because it does not match your true self. In your mind, throughout your life, you have many agreements with yourself. But agreements that are born out of fear require crazy energy to maintain!
Once you have become aware of these agreements and have integrated the fact that you want to sever them, then you will be able to apply the four agreements that Don Miguel Ruiz shows you in the continuation of The 4 Toltec Agreements. These are very powerful and will help you break all the other agreements in your mind. You will have to be tenacious but the changes will happen gradually and will take you from a nightmare to your personal dream.
Chapter 2: The First Toltec Agreement = May your word be impeccable
“Speak with integrity. Just say what you think. Avoid using words that go against you or gossiping about others. Use the power of your words with truth and love.”
Don Miguel Ruiz explains that your word represents your creative power that can bring about your paradise on earth. Your word is how your intentions are expressed. On the other hand, if you misuse your word, you create a nightmare. You need to understand the power of the word, Don Miguel Ruiz thinks that the word has “magic power“. Words can engender good when they are flawless, but they can also bring on tragedy: one only has to remember the words of Hitler, who manipulated an entire society in his time by exacerbating people’s fear.
The word is like a spell that you cast, and this spell can be a love spell or conversely a hate spell. During your “domestication,” your parents, teachers, and others who caught your attention, spoke to you. In doing so, spells were cast on you and caused you to believe things that are totally unfounded. Throughout your life, you will hear words that will either reinforce these beliefs (thus making the spell more powerful) or go against these false beliefs (thus breaking the spell and setting you free).
The author dissects the meaning of the word impeccable: composed of the Latin word pecatus = sin and the radical im = without => without sin. Beyond any religious reference, sin represents “going against oneself”, of rejecting oneself. When you address a person and say words of rejection, you will get the same rejection back.
Don Miguel Ruiz states that communication is an exchange of energy and that if the energy sent is negative, you will receive negativity in return. On the other hand, if your word is positive, you will receive positive energy. Deciding that your word is impeccable is not an easy thing to do because all your upbringing has pushed you to live a lie about yourself in order to satisfy others. Thus, by your word, you perpetuate bad spells which themselves will generate other bad spells. The word is a magical instrument: you have to become aware of it in order to go to your paradise of life. You are not misusing it consciously but you are reproducing what you have been taught. When you send an evil spell via your word, the only thing that can break it is the use of truth.
As a child, you were exposed to many discussions by adults who would gossip about others and you thought that was the “normal” way to communicate. Slander has become a common and extremely contagious communication tool.
You only have to look at the phenomenon of rumors spreading from person to person like a computer virus. Imagine if this virus spread to the entire planet! It’s this virus the Toltecs call Mitote. You even express slander against yourself! When you decide to be impeccable in your speech, you will stop being negative towards yourself but also towards the people you love the most. All of us have slandered someone we love just to get other people’s approval of what we say or do. Your slander is not the root of the problem, you are just looking for the attention of others to make you believe what you believe. Even if your words aren’t right.
And the wonderful thing is that having impeccable speech will mean that you will no longer be receptive to negative speech. Indeed, since you will cultivate love for yourself, negative words will no longer reach you since you will know that they are false. Making the decision to have impeccable speech first of all towards yourself implies that your word will become impeccable towards others for all the reasons that Don Miguel Ruiz has explained previously. When you become aware of the power of the impeccable word, you will be able to create your own earthly paradise.
Chapter 3: The Second Toltec Agreement = Whatever happens, don’t make it personal
“You are not responsible for the actions of others. 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 are no longer the victim of unnecessary suffering.”
In order to take something personally from something that is intended for you, you must give your consent. The author explains that if you tend to agree, it is because you give yourself “personal importance”. Personal importance is the manifestation of your selfishness as you relate everything you say to yourself. You always feel that others know your life and your feelings, but this is not true. Other people’s words are said with other people’s agreements, it has nothing to do with you. Then why do you think it has anything to do with you?
Don Miguel Ruiz considers this flood of evil words as a poison. When the poison gets to you, you get into conflict. You defend your opinion and your beliefs tooth and nail. When you become aware of who you really are, you will stop being affected by the poison because you will know your true worth. Sometimes you hurt someone despite your impeccable word. As your word is impeccable, there is no reason for your words to be hurtful. It is not your words that hurt the person but the reaction of unhealed wounds that are unique to the person. When you know your words are flawless, you cultivate love.
And love makes everything wonderful. Don Miguel Ruiz offers an explanation for the information that goes through your mind without knowing where that information comes from. Sometimes it’s you talking to yourself, but sometimes those voices come from who knows where. Don Miguel Ruiz assigns these voices to a higher level which you are not aware of but from which you receive information. He says that, “we have the right to make something a personal issue, or not, from what it tells us”.
Your mind can also be divided into two parts, one of which talks to the other. It is even possible that many voices may be speaking at the same time: the Toltecs call this phenomenon mitote, as the author explained earlier. You then witness a veritable clash of contradictory ideas and you are unable to take a position. By making an inventory of all your beliefs and analyzing them one by one, you will succeed in getting rid of the clutter. By freeing yourself from taking things personally, you will be freed from suffering.
Human beings have this propensity for pain. There are even people who live only through this suffering because they have no self-esteem and would rather suffer than break their agreements. Everything happens as if they exist through their suffering: it is the only way they can exist. Lying is also common in human relationships: you are already lying to yourself, so how do you expect others not to lie to you? When you no longer take things personally you will be released and have the choice to believe – or not – the information that comes to you. Don’t be hurt that some people lie to you: they only act in fear, afraid of not getting recognition from you.
Observe actions: they will show you the truth.
It can be painful to become aware of reality, but don’t attach yourself to it, let it pass. By applying the Toltec agreements you will not suffer any more. If your relationship with a person is nothing but suffering, take the separation as a gift from heaven! You will suffer for some time but above all you will gain confidence in “your own ability to make the right choices”. When this second agreement has become a way of life, nothing will be able to reach you, hurt you, or “contaminate” you.
Do you realize the impact this agreement will have on your life? No “poison arrow” will be able to reach you. This way, a multitude of little agreements that used to make you go through hell will disappear! And if, finally, you apply the first two Toltec agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz says that you will be free from 75% of these harmful little agreements!
Don Miguel Ruiz insists that you write this second Toltec agreement on a piece of paper and that you put it in a place that you regularly walk past. This is so that you don’t forget it along the way 😉.
By applying this agreement, you will be free to express your love and free to say yes or no; and without feeling any guilt or need to question. You will follow your deep-set values and you will live your newly found inner peace from here on.
Chapter 4: The Third Toltec Agreement = Don’t Make Assumptions
“Have the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings and drama. With this one Agreement, you can completely transform your life.”
How many times have you had a misunderstanding? Usually it’s because you assumed someone else’s reasons for saying this or that. The worst thing is that your assumptions, you’ll take them for granted and maintain them as true! A drama may even ensue because you will take things personally and your word will no longer be impeccable. Think about all the times you’ve argued with others because of assumptions you’ve made. You blame the other person without even asking for an explanation. Your assumptions take precedence because you assume they are true… often wrongly.
The mitote, this fog of smoke makes your thoughts wrong. Because of its presence, you think you know and understand everything, but that’s not true! You spend your time interpreting the actions of others without asking questions to make sure you have interpreted them correctly. And we inflict the same thing on others. Haven’t you ever wanted something, without expressing it, and blamed your spouse for not guessing what it is? They know you well though, they should know it!
Their reaction hurts you because they are not interpreting your signals correctly when it was up to you to express yourself and give clear explanations. You will take their lack of reaction personally, your word will stop being impeccable and all this for an unasked question which can end up in a massive argument. Stop assuming that others know what you want: they are not in your mind. Don Miguel Ruiz says we lack the courage to ask questions.
This lack of courage leads to a flood of suppositions because every act, every word and even silence must be interpreted by our mind because it reassures us. And our mind reacts with such liveliness (because we have been trained this way) that it is very difficult to do away with it. Besides, have you been taught to ask questions? In most cases the answer is no because “one mustn’t disturb”.
You make assumptions not only about others but also about yourself: “I can do this or I can’t do that” but without having tried to see if you could. There is no room for supposition in relationships, the author explains. You love a person for who they are and not for who you wish they were. If that person needs to change, that’s up to him or her to decide, it’s not your assumptions that will change them the way you want. True love is the acceptance of what the other is. And the reverse is also true: you have to be what that person is looking for, and they must not want to change you either.
If this is the case, don’t persevere!
Don Miguel Ruiz points out that this notion may seem harsh but is no less true. You will be energized by not persisting in transforming someone who does not want to be transformed. In a relationship, you have to be able to be who you really are deep down inside, no role play. If that’s the case, you’re with the right person. To avoid suffering from your assumptions, simply ask questions until the answers clarify them. The person will have the right to say yes or no to you, you have to accept this as you have to accept that you too have the right to say yes or no. This way, having the right answers, you will be able to communicate impeccably.
All your dialogues of words with people will become clear and you will no longer need to make assumptions since you will have obtained your answers by asking questions. “This is what I want; this is what you want. »
There is a huge difference between understanding this third agreement and applying it in everyday life. Keep this agreement in mind as a seed that will germinate when you encounter situations, and you will approach them with awareness and lucidity. Your communication, which used to be so automatic, will change if you continue to pay close attention to it as you nourish your third agreement. And by feeding it, your new agreement will become an integral part of your personality! Don Miguel Ruiz writes: “When you change your dream, magic happens in your life… It is called mastery of intention, mastery of the mind, mastery of love, mastery of gratitude, and mastery of life. That’s what the Toltecs are for. This is the path to personal freedom. »
Chapter 5: The Fourth Toltec Agreement = Always Do Your Best
“Your best can change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy to when you are sick. Whatever the circumstances, always do your best and you will avoid guilt, frustration and regret.”
If you get into the habit of doing your best, the first three agreements will fall into place much more easily. In fact, the effort you will make to transform these into a permanent habit will be much more effective. However, doing your best is not the same as doing too much or too little. It’s about balance. You can’t apply the same energy if you are completely rested as opposed to exhausted after a hard day’s work. Similarly, if you are ill, your best will be less than when you are healthy.
The agreement does not ask you to be better than your best but just your best. Because when you do more than your best, it takes a lot of energy and you will over-do things which will reduce your well-being. So it’s all a question of balance. Doing less than your best will lead to dissatisfaction within you, a dissatisfaction that will affect the application of the other three agreements. Therefore, if you do your best in all situations, all facets of your life will be at their best.
Look around you: how many people act in expectation of a reward and not out of pleasure to do their best? The majority! How many of us go to work every morning waiting for the weekend to come, waiting for the paycheck to come in… we’re all waiting for our reward. We work hard because we have been taught to be productive, not because we want to. We work to be rewarded with money, then comes the weekend when we’re going to spend that money and so on, month after month: but for what result? And we don’t feel fulfilled and happy because we are always waiting for the reward: this is not the way to encourage ourselves to do our best.
Instead, imagine that all the actions you take are done with and for the fun of it, and that you are no longer waiting for the reward: you will be rewarded for doing the best you can, but without being focused on the reward itself. You will feel satisfied with your actions and when you do things with love, you always do your best. When you do your best, your inner judge will no longer judge. Similarly, when you do your best, you no longer feel regret because you have done your best. The awareness that will come from all your actions will be liberating.
Don Miguel Ruiz says that you should not take action because you have to, but only if you feel like it, because it is impossible to do your best when it is imposed on you. “To be in action is to live life to the fullest” and a lack of action is a lack of life. Some people have a lot of big ideas in their head but never put them into action. They literally miss out on their lives. If you don’t decide to act, you won’t live.
To support his words, the author reminds us of the story of Forrest Gump: this man always put his ideas into practice and above all, without ever expecting a reward. On the other hand, you must act for yourself, to realize your own dream, and not to impose it on others. Don Miguel Ruiz chose to always do his best: for him it became a kind of ritual, a life choice. When he takes a shower he sees this as a ritual: it is the moment to say thank you to his body and to let him know how much he loves it. He affirms that all men are born with the right to love, to be happy. Honor your happiness at being alive, by the very fact of being alive.
You were born with the right to be yourself. To exercise this right, you can only do your best. The very fact of being alive makes you a deity: declare your love for yourself! In order to make the first three Toltec agreements part of your life, do your best. Not every deal will fall into place instantly because bad habits are persistent. But by doing your best you will no longer have any reason to feel guilty or judge yourself negatively. You will look upon yourself kindly even if your first three agreements are not always followed to the letter. You will be in the action of putting into practice new agreements for your happiness; and by repetition you will improve your application daily.
If you decide to apply the 4 Toltec agreements in your life by doing your best, you will no longer live the dream of the planet but your dream of paradise. The four agreements are simple, but your negative agreements are so deeply rooted in you that you will need to be tenacious and insightful. Don Miguel Ruiz admits that the implementation of these agreements did not happen overnight. He wasn’t even sure he was going to make it. He failed many times but always persevered:
“Even if I fall, I’m strong enough, smart enough, so I’ll still make it! »
If you can’t do it, that’s okay, don’t judge yourself negatively. The author gives us this tip: try for a whole day to have impeccable speech, take nothing personally, do not make assumptions and do your best. And do it again and again until you have integrated the agreements and made them your own. Then you will see how much your life has changed, how much happier you feel in the paradise you have created.
Chapter 6: The Toltec Voice of Freedom = Breaking Old Agreements
“True freedom is the freedom to be free to be who we really are.”
Don Miguel Ruiz sees true freedom as the freedom to be entirely oneself and notes that few human beings actually are. We usually accuse others of hindering our freedom, but the real obstacle is none other than ourselves! Let’s take a 2 or 3 year old child: they do what they want, they are free and they almost always have a smile on their face! They haven’t quite been domesticated yet. Children explore the world without fear. Their only fears concern their basic needs such as eating, drinking and sleeping: these are necessary fears for survival. The child is only love, he lives in the present and doesn’t care about his past and his distant future. In him we can see what it is to be a human being who is free from all domestication: he loves life, discovers, plays and, above all, loves.
Don Miguel Ruiz wonders what could have happened in our lives that was so terrible that we can no longer be that loving being, that is the child? We have all been through the domestication of the planet! And it goes on, from generation to generation, from parents to children, from teachers to students and so on, relentlessly. Don’t blame anyone, the pattern repeats itself because the domesticators were once the domesticated. We do not let our true self express itself because we constantly act in relation to others, we seek the approval of others: our freedom has no room to exist. Few people will listen to their inner voice crying out to be free from domestication, but the majority of humans stay in the pattern they have been taught.
As in any evolutionary process, the key is awareness. Once you realize that something is not right for you, you are free to rid yourself of it. You are free to break old agreements that do not suit you and to abandon your false beliefs. The Toltecs teach us that our life must be “the manifestation of our dream, a work of art”. From his experience, Don Miguel Ruiz shares with us what it is like to live as a Toltec. This implies that there is neither leader nor disciple, that each person’s dream is their own and that they can change it according to their experiences.
To become a Toltec, you need to acquire three skills:
- Mastery of Attention (awareness of who we really are)
- Mastering the Transformation (knowing how to change by freeing oneself from domestication)
- Mastery of Intention (Intention is represented by life and unconditional love, so it is a question of mastering Love).
Toltecs consider domestication to be a parasite. It’s a parasite that’s taken over your mind and your brain. If you look for the definition of a parasite, you will find that, in order to survive, the parasite must feed on its host and eventually destroy it. For the Toltecs, the parasite of domestication is composed of the Judge, the Victim and the belief system. When you become aware that your mind is being parasitized, you will have two choices:
- Continue as before without changing anything and thus continue to live the dream of the planet,
- Or rebel and declare war on the occupier of your mind.
This does not mean that you will succeed in eradicating it at the first attempt, but you will do your best to fight it. In the same way, you may not win the fight, but you will have fought for your freedom. You will fight against the dream of the planet in order to implement your dream of paradise. The author explains that the notion of paradise is not necessarily linked to death. On the other hand, it can be experienced on earth as a wonderful place filled with joy and love, in which you are free to be who you really are. This paradise exists in all of us but it is often shoved into a corner to make room for the parasite. Don Miguel Ruiz provides us with three solutions (fairly easy to apply) to overcome the parasite:
- The parasite is composed, among other things, of all your fears: fight each fear one by one.
- Starve the parasite by depriving it of your emotions and especially those that come from fear.
- The initiation of death: it is a symbolic death, our physical body is not affected at all. This death will lead to the final destruction of the parasite. However, it will take much courage.
Don Miguel Ruiz reminds us that our attention was captured as a child; thus we were all domesticated: he calls this attention the primary attention. In fact, he considers that when we become aware of our domestication and change our beliefs one by one; we re-form another attention.
That of our own conscious choices: he calls it second attention.
- The first step: to become aware that what we are living is not our truth and that we are constantly dreaming. In this way, you will freely choose to change this or that belief in order to move towards your dream.
- The second step: become aware of all your limiting beliefs by listing them. You will be able to modify them with the help of tools such as the application of the four Toltec agreements.
“The decision to adopt the four Toltec agreements is a declaration of war against the parasite in order to regain your freedom.”
The agreements are there to help you gradually progress to the Art of Transformation. By breaking all your agreements, one by one and little by little, your power will increase. In this way, it will be easier and easier for you to pursue your own dream. Every deal you break must be replaced by a deal that makes you happy. You need to replace your fog with clear sky. Breaking your agreements requires patience. These agreements have taken a long time to put in place so don’t expect them to be replaced in the blink of an eye. You’ll have to be persistent. Don Miguel Ruiz explains that we wake up every morning with a certain amount of energy.
The use of it will depend on the emotions we experience in our day. The image we have of the world is often linked to our emotions. For example, when you’re sad, the landscape you’re looking at looks sad. He explains that our emotional body, created by our domestication, is essentially composed of infected wounds. They keep reopening and everyone lives with them, seeing this as normal. These wounds are created by the fear that engenders: anger, sadness, hatred, betrayal, envy… To forgive, you will have to accept what is. This will not prevent you from changing your agreements and freeing yourself, but you will do so more easily. You’ll retreat from your role as a victim and that’s liberating.
Forgive and you will be set free!
Self-acceptance breeds self-esteem. You will love yourself and no longer need the recognition of others. To verify that you have truly forgiven a person, meeting them will no longer evoke any emotions. To keep control of your emotions you must become a spiritual warrior:
- A spiritual warrior is conscious: they act with their own discipline because they decide their course of action.
- A spiritual warrior is in control: they do not prevent their emotions from expressing themselves (in which case they would be a Victim). But they express them in a controlled way, with impeccable words and at the right time.
What would you do if you found out you only had a week to live? Would you act like a victim, feel sorry for yourself? Or would you take advantage of every minute you have left to be really happy and live without caring what others think? Don Miguel Ruiz wakes up every morning and thanks the universe for being alive. He strives to act with love and to express his love to the people he loves. This is because he does not want to die without having sufficiently expressed his love for his loved ones.
He says that it is realistic and feasible to live like this. Thus you will evolve as you prepare for the initiation of death. What will happen during the initiation: the parasite will die and therefore the Judge and the Victim will resist by making you think that it is you who will die but nothing is further than the truth! The parasite will die and you will rise again! The Angel of Death teaches us to live in the present because at any moment he takes away our past. Why make yourself unhappy with the things of the past when the Angel of Death has taken them away?
Chapter 7: The New Dream = Paradise on Earth
“The dream you’re living is your own creation. It is your perception of reality and you can change it at any time. You have the power to create hell, just as you can create heaven.”
In this last chapter Don Miguel Ruiz urges us to stop living the way we have been conditioned to live; to forget it, and to create our new life. He wants us to see the love that is all around us. In the same way, he encourages us to let go of our imagination to create our world of love in which we can be who we really are. He asks us to imagine different scenarios in order to free ourselves. To conclude his work, Don Miguel Ruiz shares with us two wonderful prayers:
- Prayer to be free
- Prayer for love
He advises a meditative state in order to live these prayers fully.
Conclusion of “The 4 Toltec Agreements”:
While reading this book, I did some real introspection. It happened naturally. During my first reading, some notions seemed very vague to me but as I progressed I found myself rereading The 4 Toltec agreements and finding new avenues of reflection. Size-wise it is a small book but big in richness of teachings. I was (I still am but much less so) constantly hurt by the words and actions of others.
Thanks to the application of the four Toltec agreements, my relationship with “others” has been greatly liberated/extended. I’m less dependent on what others think, on the need for recognition. In spite of everything, I realize that the changes take a long time to apply because our “inner programming” is unfortunately so well anchored! This book is an inexhaustible source of personal evolution. You have to read and reread it because it is full of subtleties. He gives us concrete tools to free ourselves from our shackles and thus blossom into a life of total freedom; filled with happiness and unconditional love. You can even discover unexpected aspects of your personality!
The 4 Toltec agreements summary :
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
- Concrete tools for action
- Several notions of personal development
- Many tangible examples that allow us to approach sometimes very subtle notions
- You never get tired of re-reading the inspiring pages
- This is a bedside book because when questioning life, we go back to it and we usually find an answer.
- At first glance, some of the explanations may seem “too good to be true”.
- Reading is at different levels, which can prevent some readers from taking action (some explanations are so obvious that they do not necessarily lead us to action).
- It is quick and easy to read: I put this in the weaknesses because I think it can lead to “no action” and therefore no life change.
- The implementation of the four agreements is a long term process.
My rating :
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