The Four Agreements

That said, let’s get to my review of one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2005, The Four Agreementsby Don Miguel Ruiz. For such a tiny little book, clocking in at just over 100 pages, it really packs a punch. The pages are short, the text layout is light (as opposed to a densely packed page), and Ruiz’s voice is conversational. Though you could get through this book in a day or two, its powerful message will resonate for years to come. Good things really do come in small packages.

Ruiz begins with an introduction to the Toltec people, tribal men and women of immense knowledge. He speaks of his Mexican ancestors passing their beliefs down through the Naguals, or masters, one generation to the next. In The Four Agreements, Ruiz is our Nagual, leading us on a spiritual journey through our Dream of the Planet, which is the Toltec theory that each of us is dreaming our own dream, or version, of the world within which we exist.

According to Ruiz, we have been domesticated since the moment of our birth to understand and accept all that surrounds us and embodies us. He calls the beliefs borne of this process of domestication, Agreements. He goes on to explain that the overwhelming majority of these agreements are detrimental to us and to our journey towards spiritual transcendence. Acknowledgment and acceptance of this idea sets the stage for the transformation that we must undertake by switching out those harmful agreements for the following four beneficial agreements:

  • Be impeccable with your word
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best
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