Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Agreements

I have been reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and whilst I won’t yet say it is life changing I will say that it has the potential to be and I will reserve my judgement for the time being. In any case, it is worth exploring some of the themes he raises.

I am a rational man, at least I have always seen myself as one. So new age concepts and things that can’t be empirically measured or demonstrated by scientific experiment have in the past been things I would scoff at, or ignore as irrational or whacky.

“Somewhere between the time you arrive and time you go may lie a reason you were alive but you’ll never know’, said Jackson Browne and as I’ve gotten older I’ve found the need to begin looking for those reasons. My exploration of Miguel Ruiz’s agreements is part of that search.

Ruiz says that our perception of reality is coloured by those that went before us and the collective consciousness of the society into which we are born. And I do not claim to speak for him here and state at the outset that what I write is my interpretation of what he is saying. But even the rational man in me can understand this concept.

We have opinions foist upon us from the moment we are born – laws, social mores and family lore are fed to us and like sponges we suck it up. Ruiz calls these rules that we live by agreements and he says that they are not necessarily all ones that we should accept unquestionably. Some of them cause us great grief because we accept them as truth when in fact they are simply opinion, or at the very least, an interpretation of the truth as seen by the person offering them. He describes things like gossip as black magic because they can be words of evil that determine how we perceive other people and can do untold damage when spread and repeated without any real justification for their spreading.

Ruiz speaks of the power of the word and in reading this I am reminded of some things that occurred in my life that have had a great impact on how I behave or on how I perceive the world I live in. Words can be used fr great good as in the praise given to a child, or they can be used in a way that binds a childs behaviour in ways which we never truly intend.

He states that by the adoption of four agreements we can begin to take control of our own lives and begin to unwind those spells of words which have begun to bind us from the moment we are born.

The four agreements are –

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don't take anything personally.
3. Never make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

I will deal with each of these on this blog as I digest what they mean. Thankyou to the friend who gave me the gift of this book.

2 comments:

Lady Penelope said...

Loz - thanks for leading me to this post.

The Four agreements - wow - definately not an easy way of living my life. There would have to be some major changes to the way my brain functions now. To use each and every one in my daily life constantly (not just with family or not just in the work place etc.) would be an achievement.

Sounds like a book I will be looking for ;)

Loz said...

It does take a bit of re-wiring of the brain and I won't say that I have totally achieved that yet but I am on the way. I do highly recommend the book.