On The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
I picked up my copy of The Four Agreements after it was recommended by Mimi Ikonn. A powerful read to say the least. Heres what I’ve taken from it:
- The influences of society, school, religion and what your parents taught you knows no bounds. We are programmed from birth. Therefore all our behaviours (up until we make this realisation) are learned behaviours. We are a sum of all the rules taught to us on how to behave in the world. Ruiz calls this ‘the domestication of the human’.
- While we did not have the option of whether or not we were exposed to this information, we did have the choice to agree that this was true. Agreement is the only way by which we store information.
- The learned behaviours and information we agreed was true become our points of reference, our belief system which Ruiz calls the Book of Law. This becomes our moral code, our truth. Even if it is wrong, it keeps us safe. We run from the fear that our Book of Law is incorrect.
- All of humanity is searching for truth, justice and beauty, its an eternal search. In reality there is no truth to find, everything is within us. Our false beliefs blind us from this truth.
- ‘This is why humans resist life. To be alive is the biggest fear humans have.’ It is not death, ‘our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive and to express who we really are.’
- If your belief system relies on what everyone else has told you, you will never attain the truth. This is a standard you can never reach, you will only reject yourself and submit to behaviours to please other people. When you are left alone, you will self-abuse.
- Its our own duty to rewrite the agreements we have made with ourselves. In these agreements that tell us who we are, what we feel, believe and how to behave.
The human is the only animal on earth that pays a thousand times for the same mistake. The rest of the animals pay once for every mistake, but not us. We have a powerful memory. We make a mistake, we judge ourselves and we find ourselves guilty and we punish ourselves.
Time and time again, we relive our mistakes and end up making ourselves feel shit about how things turned out. I am guilty of this to. The reality is that some things are out of our control, life is 5% what happens to us and 95% how we respond. How we respond is a mindset.
Ponder on this:
If you consider a hell a state of mind, then hell is all around us. Ninety five percent of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies and we suffer because we believe them.